7 Rules For Engaging Communities On Legal Matters

When you need to discuss a license, a legal document like a CLA or a governance rule with an open source community, what’s the best approach to take?

Squirrel pops up behind log to check things outHaving watched a fair number of people attempting to engage both the Open Source Initiative’s licensing evaluation community and the Apache Software Foundation’s legal affairs committee, here are some hints and tips for succeeding when your turn comes to conduct a discussion over legal terms with an open source community. Continue reading

4 Lessons From Watching Governance Games

Even near-perfect governance like Apache’s can get gamed by a determined and well-resourced player. What lessons can we learn from their experience? 

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I’ve previously written about the fact the Apache Software Foundation offers an exemplar of large-scale open source governance. Even with those supreme qualities, things can still go wrong. Apache offers some of the best protections for open source contributors but its mature rules can be manipulated by skilled politicians and/or determined agendas. What can we learn from their experience? Continue reading

Engaging Open Source Communities

At FOSDEM 2017, Simon gave a well-attended talk explaining many of the things that could go wrong for a company trying to engage a large open source project over legal or governance issues. Based loosely on a mailing list thread at the Apache Software Foundation, the talk highlighted seven things to avoid and gave ideas on how to do so.

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FLOSS Weekly: Zalando

Simon co-hosted FLOSS Weekly 412 this week, interviewing leaders from European fashion retailer Zalando and asking questions about their many open source projects on Github and their use of Agile and Inner Source methodologies.

Microsoft & Linux & Patents & Tweets

Fact-checking some tweets about Linux Foundation’s newest member and their harvesting of other members’ money.

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Microsoft recently joined the Linux Foundation while still asserting its patents against the rest of the membership. As I found that odd, I tweeted some casually-calculated statistics  about Microsoft’s patent revenues that seemed to me to simply be the aggregation of common knowledge. But maybe people have forgotten the details; at least two respondents asked me to substantiate the figures. Having struck a nerve, this post is by way of explanation. Continue reading

The SEOscerers Apprentice

SEO can quickly get out of control if it involves gaming open source communities. Don’t risk your site becoming a jailbird.

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Have you ever considered hiring an “SEO expert” to “improve your Google rankings”? I don’t mean the type that advises you how to ensure all the express and implied metadata on your web site is correct. That seems a reasonable thing to do, and it shouldn’t take a magician to help you get it right, and can almost be automated. Continue reading