This issue of the OSBR provides insights to help navigate the chaos that is often associated with open source licenses.
 

Q. What is the state of open source in public administration?

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"It may turn out that open source's greatest contribution to organizations is not its great products, but its great working practices. Take a look at where you can take advantage of community within your organization."

Bernard Golden, CEO, Navica

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"We do not yet know the full potential of OCW (OpenCourseWare) and its ultimate impact on global education. But it is clear to us that by thinking of knowledge as a public good for the benefit of all, and acting on this philosophy through OpenCourseWare, we can make a difference."

Susan Hockfield, President of MIT

This article first introduces open content and open educational resources (OER), then compares OER and open source software (OSS), and finally discusses issues of OER project sustainability.

Open Content

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"Open Hardware is a thing - a physical artifact, either electrical or mechanical - whose design information is available to, and usable by, the public in a way that allows anyone to make, modify, distribute, and use that thing."

The TAPR Open Hardware License

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"Most people consider a company OSS when it contributes code to an OSS project, but nowadays a significant value of open source lies in non-code contributions...We should start thinking more about how to study non-code contributions, and how this relates to the commercialization of open source projects (and not only software)."

Carlo Daffara, the Italian representative of the European Working Group on Libre software

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"At OSI we have seen that the process of growth in Open Source is more evolutionary than revolutionary. We invite public debate with each successive wave of newcomers to start the process to close the gap between what they imagine Open Source to be and the reality of what is required (and why)."

Danese Cooper, Board Member of the Open Source Initiative

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In his book Foresight and Understanding: An Inquiry into the Aims of Science (ISBN 0-313-23345-4), Stephen Toulmin wrote "Definitions are like belts. The shorter they are, the more elastic they need to be. A short belt reveals nothing about its wearer: by stretching, it can be made to fit almost anybody."

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In his book Foresight and Understanding: An Inquiry into the Aims of Science, Stephen Toulmin wrote "Definitions are like belts. The shorter they are, the more elastic they need to be. A short belt reveals nothing about its wearer: by stretching, it can be made to fit almost anybody."

Keep in mind the nature of elasticity while reading through this issue of the OSBR. The theme this month is "Defining Open Source"; however, you'll find that the articles build upon and extend both the Open Source Definition and the Free Software Definition. This stretching in order to fit almost anybody is bound to make the open source purist uncomfortable; it is our intent to provoke thought and we look forward to receiving and publishing reader feedback.

"We just wanted to get our work out there and get people to use it. It would have been very difficult otherwise for two university students in Israel to get millions of users without having millions of dollars behind us."

Andi Gutmans, co-creator of PHP

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