[Koha] Koha Foundation input

Cab Vinton bibliwho at gmail.com
Sun Sep 13 02:13:48 NZST 2009

OK, although I know little about OSS, much less OSS foundations, the
reference librarian in me couldn't resist ...

Seems to me there's little point in re-inventing the wheel here, & to
the extent that there are models available for successful and failed
OSSF's, the Koha community should be taking advantage of these.

Two highly relevant chapters from Steven Weber's The Success of Open Source:
Chap. 6: Explaining Open Source: Macro-Organization
Chap. 7: Business Models and the Law

Collaboration, Leadership, Control, and Conflict Negotiation and the
Netbeans.org Open Source Software Development Community
By Chris Jensen, Walt Scacchi [on the NetBeans.org community]

A couple of interesting CNET articles:
What makes a good open-source foundation?

Eclipse, a new model for open-source innovation

An article from the online journal, Open Source Business Resource
Open Source Software Foundations / Zhensheng Xie
Communities that develop open source software (OSS) are virtual
entities on the Internet, not legal entities. Some open source
communities establish open source software foundations (OSSF) in order
to protect their intellectual property and carry out contractual
arrangements. As legal entities, OSSF help communities attain their
long-term goals, hold community assets, provide resources to
communities, and balance interests amongst different stakeholders.
When OSS started to draw more business interests, commercial companies
became involved with open source communities. The emergence of OSSF
provides a good platform and opportunities for companies to exert
their influence in a more official way.
This article summarizes our recent research regarding the
relationships between company involvement, governance, revenue, and
[-- note that this article was based on the author's 2008 Master's
thesis on OSS foundations: "Open source software foundation: company
involvement, governance, and effectiveness" -- should be available via
Proquest UMI, or directly from the author]

Perhaps one or more of the following organizations/ research groups
would be willing to provide pro bono consultations:

Board members of existing (or perhaps failed) OSS Foundations -- many
candidates here.

Talent First Network (Carleton Univ.)

Free/Libre Open Source Software Research (Syracuse Univ.)

Big management consulting firms -- this would be a fascinating project
for them: McKinsey, BCG, Bain, Booz. Or maybe a business school
professor would be interested in developing a case study.

Microsoft's CodePlex Foundation, launched just a few days ago, with
the mission of "enabling the exchange of code and understanding among
software companies and open source communities"

Food for thought, at any rate.

Cab Vinton, Director
Sanbornton Public Library
Sanbornton, NH

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