Open Source Initiative calls upon top dogs

OSI calls on Apache and Eclipse in organisation shuffle

Chris Mayer

The Open Source Initiative announces affiliate program as they reform into a member-based organisation

Open Source Initiative (OSI) board member
Simon Phipps has announced at open source forum FOSDEM that they
will be seeking advice from some of the top open source foundation
as they shift to a member-based model.

The non-profit corporation was formed in 1998 to educate
and advocate the practices instilled in software development and
build bridges within the open source community. The process of
moving from a self appointed board-based organisation
gradually to a member-based organisation is a big task, so the OSI
has called upon the Apache Software Foundation and the Eclipse
Foundation for some nuggets of sound advice for the

Other affiliates also offering sage judgement
include Creative Commons, Drupal, FreeBSD, Joomla (via
Open Source Matters), KDE, the Linux Foundation, the Mozilla
Foundation, Plone, Sahana and Wikiotics.

The OSI is also encouraging everyone to fill in their
anonymous survey,
which invites them to offer their views on what attribute should be
valuable to future OSI governance. 

Delegates from each affiliate will meet first to finalise
an affiliate agreement before consultation is made. This transition
phase could be implemented as early as next year, but Phipps
admitted 2014 was a much more likely.

Reform within the OSI has been on the cards for three years now,
but has hit several stumbling blocks. It appears that this is a
good move forward, calling upon some of the strongest open source
foundations for timely advice in how to switch to a membership-led

Phipps foresees the OSI becoming a community leader with a large
membership base. With Eclipse and Apache being the juggernauts in
the community, having them close by as affiliates can only be a
good thing. Eclipse currently has over 170
worldwide and Apache around
400 with both having firm structures after a decade in place.

Phipps left his role as Sun’s Chief Open Source
Officer at
 Sun Microsystems in 2010, on the day the
Oracle takeover occurred, and was appointed to the Board of
Directors at the OSI not long after. He has been pivotal in
facilitating the changes at board level and despite initially
failing to get the reform off the ground, this move looks like the
OSI are finally headed in the right direction to meeting their
mission statement of ‘building bridges’.

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