A revised OSI “Open Source Licenses” page

Don't do a nano without them by mpclemens, used under CC-BY 2.0.

When someone new to open source does a web search for “open source licenses”, the first page that comes up1 is opensource.org/licenses – making it one of the most important resources for newcomers to open source.2 Despite that, until today, all that a newbie would get when going to that page was two links: one…

Licensing confusion is great! (for lawyers)

I want to heartily unendorse Simon Phipps’ Infoworld article about Github and licensing. Simon’s article makes it sound like no one benefits from sloppy licensing practices, and that is simply not true. Specifically, lawyers benefit! I regularly get calls from clients saying “I have no idea if I’m allowed to use <project X>, because it…

Showrunner and Show Bible? Or Cult?

I don’t currently do much heavily collaborative writing, but I’m still very interested in the process of creating very collaborative works. So one of the many stimulating discussions at Monktoberfest was a presentation by two awesome O’Reilly staffers about the future (and past) of authorship. Needless to say, collaborative authoring was a major theme. What…

Thanking Contributors by Printing the MPL

The dino head, hand-colored.

As part of a general drive to get rid of stuff, I’ve recently become increasingly willing to part with my old books. This has been a painful process – books have many happy memories for me – but I think also a good and focusing one. As part of my emotional reaction to this, I’ve…

Format(ting?) of Forever

Archival photo stock - an old school Format of Forever.

Mark Pilgrim had a great post1 a little while ago where he talked about Docbook as ‘The Format of Forever’, but HTML as the ‘Format of Now.’ He also argued that (since technical books were constantly outdated) generating technical books in the Format of Now instead of the Format of Forever made a lot of…

List of Open _______

Because I think it might be alternately amusing and useful, I’ve decided to compile a list of Open things. Additions welcome in comments; or if you can point me to someone else who has already done this, I’d appreciate that too. I think the list is more interesting if it stays focused on organizations claiming…

A Quick Note on Conspicuous Text, also known as ALL CAPS

A copy of the MPL with yellow text instead of ALL CAPS.

[Quick followup: (1) Matthew Butterick, of Typography for Lawyers fame, has added a thoughtful comment that anyone reading the post should read; and (2) to be clear, nothing here is my original work or thought - it's all a convenient, collect-in-one-place paraphrase of ideas from the excellent Manual of Style for Contract Drafting and Typography…

Open Source Initiative Board Meeting in Chicago

Team hard at work

I’m celebrating the end of my portion of my trial by … spending all weekend in meetings, specifically the OSI’s annual face-to-face board meeting, which we’re holding this year in Chicago1. It’s been a very productive meeting so far, with lots of good discussion about both our vision and our plan for attacking the future.…