links for 2011-07-19

Ⓕ Drinks With ForgeRock at OSCON

Will you be in Portland (the one in Oregon in the USA) next week?  ForgeRock would love to meet you during OSCON.  Join us at Kells at 6pm on Thursday July 28th (it’s an easy and free Max ride from the Convention Center and you can easily make it back for the State of the Onion if you need to).  Come to our session on Thursday morning to collect a wrist band for unlimited free drinks!

In case you’re not familiar with ForgeRock, we’re a rapidly-growing startup that’s taking a radical software-freedom-first approach to creating an identity-oriented application platform – SAML, LDAP, provisioning, single-sign-on and much more. The software we’re developing is already mature and is already in use at around 50 of the worlds most interesting  high-scale technologically aggressive companies. At OSCON I’ll be joined by colleagues to explain our philosophy and our software.

Afterwards, maybe some Norwegian music is in order? One of my favourite Norwegian musicians, Thomas Dybdahl, is playing the Doug Fir Lounge at 9pm.

☞ Links Without Links

☝ Out Of Tune With Community

The first release of the contributor agreements created by Project Harmony were published last Monday. I participated in the Project, but I don’t endorse it. Find out why over on ComputerWorldUK.

⚡ Garden Monster

Garden Monster, originally uploaded by webmink.

Spotted this vapourer moth caterpillar eating the leaves on one of my blueberry bushes. Glad it’s only 3cm long 🙂

☞ Dis Harmony

  • Bradley Kuhn of the Software Conservancy is clearly opposed both to Project Harmony’s work products and sponsors.

    In short, Project Harmony is a design-flawed solution looking for a problem.

  • Stephen Walli of the Outercurve Foundation seems happy with the results.

    The Harmony Project is an attempt to provide some clarity to the discussion by creating a set of usable documents (with their guide, Creative Commons-style agreement generator, and FAQ) and the first version of the documents will be a stake in the ground to anchor debate for some time. I’ve great confidence that the agreements will continue to evolve with discussion and debate, and the core Harmony team should be applauded for their efforts to date.

  • Harmony Agreements Reach 1.0

    Open source consultant Dave Neary has a view that I find it easy to share.

    Do you really need a CLA to achieve your objectives? Is it, in fact, harmful to some of what you want to achieve? At the end of the day, my position remains the same: the goal should not be to write a better CLA, it should be to figure out whether we can avoid one altogether, and figure out how to create and thrive in a vibrant developer community.

  • The first part of the article by Richard Fontana of Red Hat.

    Despite my admiration, respect and affection for those who have been driving Harmony, I cannot endorse the product of their work. I believe Harmony is unnecessary, confusing, and potentially hazardous to open source and free software development.

  • The second part of the article by Richard Fontana of Red Hat. Richard declares the whole Harmony project misguided.

    Formal contributor agreements, whether maximalist or minimalist, remain an uncommon phenomenon in open source. We are only beginning to learn what works, what fails, and what causes harm to open source community development. It is premature for us to unify, or harmonize, the ‘law’ of open source contribution policies. We are particularly not ready to declare victory for the perennially controversial maximalist approach, let alone Harmony’s new take on it.

  • Here finally is the Harmony website complete with the release version of the agreements, largely hidden behind a form-driven wizard. I’d suggest you consider all forms the the CAA to be bad for your community, and only the first two variants of the CLA – with fixed and limited outbound licenses – to be usable (carefully) without harm assuming you have decided that some form of copyright accumulation is unavoidable.

(Footnote: This link post is the basis for Thursday’s Joining The Dots)

☞ Terms, Use and Clouds

  • Dropbox got lots of bad publicity when they first changed their terms of service and included a broad “all your work belongs to us” clause in it. But I’ve not seen any further coverage since they have clarified the ToS to say that they are only seeking sufficient rights to operate the service and do not seek any further rights. They actually responded rather quickly and deserve some congratulations.
  • I think I’d agree with Jay but phrase things differently. The benefits of open source are all the first derivatives of software freedom. As the market stabilises, we are seeing two effects.

    • The first is businesses valuing those first derivatives as a function of the freedoms that cause them.
    • The second is a shift in marketing to talk about those derived benefits, but usually somehow in the context of their cause.

    I believe we will actually see more, not less marketing of open source benefits; it’s just that it might not mention their origins so prominently. This, in fact, is the subject of my current conference keynote talk 🙂


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