1 OSS Watch c University of Oxford This document is licensed under
2 key messages... These are the points to take away from this talk: is more than just a copyright licensing paradigm no one needs to tell you to use software good policy helps embed best practice standards, especially open standards, are a good thing pragmatism is also good
3 openness is...a warm puppy
4 in this talk OSS Watch is... software is... policy frameworks policy versus practice openness
5 OSS Watch: the UK software advisory service OSS Watch provides unbiased advice and guidance on free and software for UK higher and further education. strategic IT decision-makers IT managers and technical staff software developers academic end-users OSS Watch is funded by the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) and based within the Research Technologies Service at the University of Oxford.
6 OSS Watch site and wiki
7 promoting awareness and understanding OSS Watch is not an advocacy group. There are many other groups across the world who fulfil the advocacy function, e.g.: Free Software Foundation Open Forum Europe SchoolForgeUK and many more
8 is... a copyright licensing paradigm a marketing term for free software a software development methodology all about community a business model
9 is also...a warm puppy
10 is a copyright licensing paradigm Either your software is released under an Open Source Initiative (OSI) certified licence or it is not software. The first question you should ask of any software claiming to be is, what licence is this software released under?
11 definition free redistribution source code derived works integrity of the author s source code no discrimination against persons or groups no discrimation against fields of endeavour distribution of licence licence must not be specific to a product licence must not restrict other software licence must be technology-neutral
12 is about freedom The freedom to run the program, for any purpose The freedom to study how the program works, and adapt it to your needs The freedom to redistribute copies so you can help your neighbour The freedom to improve the program, and release your improvements to the public, so that the whole community benefits The Free Software Definition
13 is a development methodology Open source development may include: programmer commitment, because the programmer is also the user rapid change, because programmers want to see results unconstrained specifications, because there is no external client collective maintainance of the code response to change, dictated by (perhaps unexpected) users Eric Raymond famously characterised this apparent new development paradigm in his monograph The Cathedral and the Bazaar.
14 is about community Those who merely deploy software are also part of the community. It s the community, not the code, that s important.
15 is a business model Any business whose business model depends upon the use or development of software is an business. This leaves plenty of room for many different types of businesses: consultation business process analysis implementation support bespoke module development ongoing support contractor training hosting and more!
16 = openness?
17 policy framework in the UK Open Source Software: Use within UK Government JISC Policy on Open Source Software for JISC Projects and Services
18 UK Government policy (1) UK Government will consider OSS solutions alongside proprietary ones in IT procurements. Contracts will be awarded on a value for money basis. UK Government will only use products for interoperability that support open standards and specifications in all future IT developments. UK Government will seek to avoid lock-in to proprietary IT products and services.
19 UK Government policy (2) UK Government will consider obtaining full rights to bespoke software code or customisations of COTS(Commercial Off The Shelf) software it procures wherever this achieves best value for money. Publicly funded Research and Development projects which aim to produce software outputs shall specify a proposed software exploitation route at the start of the project. At the completion of the project, the software shall be exploited either commercially or within an academic community or as OSS.
20 JISC policy (1) Advice and guidance to the communities JISC serves must be neutral and unbiased, and must not discriminate between and closed source software products. Calls for funding, the bidding process, the award of funding, the administration of awarded funding and the evaluation of funded projects and services must not discriminate between between and closed source software, unless the purpose of the projects or services specifically requires it. Where and closed source software are evaluated against one another, value for money over the expected lifetime of the system must be compared.
21 JISC policy (2) Projects must maintain an IPR register, listing all contributors to their software and who owns the copyright on contributions. The ownership of code which is to be developed in joint projects must be established before work begins. Copyright of software, documentation, design materials, user interface and source code must be released under an OSI-approved licence, unless the bid explicitly argues why this should not be the case and proposes an alternative licence.
22 JISC policy (3) Projects must state in their bid whether they foresee the project continuing beyond the timespan of funding, and if so whom they see participating in the project. Projects should engage with end users and other parties to encourage and build self- sustaining communities. Projects should accept bug reports, patches, translations and feedback from contributors outside the project.
23 engagement with In October 2003, the virtual learning environment (VLE) Moodle did not even register on OSS Watch s initial national scoping study. By March of % of further education colleges reported they are using Moodle.
24 policy versus practice
25 what will openness mean for institutions?
26 key messages... These are the points to take away from this talk: is more than just a copyright licensing paradigm no one needs to tell you to use software good policy helps embed best practice standards, especially open standards, are a good thing pragmatism is also good
27 openness is...a warm puppy
28 Further Information For more information on software development and deployment, visit or write
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