Bonum Certa Men Certa

ClearlyDefined is Just Microsoft Land Grab (Which the OSI Now Actively Participates in)

Recent: Meet the People Behind ClearlyDefined (Mostly or Clearly 'Microsoft Proxy'), Where Most of the OSI's Budget Nowadays Goes and Flows

Clearly Microsoft



Summary: Today's OSI isn't a protector of the Free Software Definition or even the Open Source Definition; it's becoming little but a vessel serving Microsoft's agenda, centralising things for Microsoft to command and control

LAST month we watched the new President of the OSI speaking about finances, having served as treasurer and having seen the GM of OSI (their sole full-time member of staff) quitting abruptly without an explanation. Something isn't right at OSI, which earlier this year was abandoned by one co-founder and then banned the other. The OSI is becoming a Microsoft/GitHub enabler and a lousy licence endorser/enforcer, choosing openwashing over Open Source (let aside Free software as per FSD).



"The OSI is becoming a Microsoft/GitHub enabler and a lousy licence endorser/enforcer, choosing openwashing over Open Source (let aside Free software as per FSD)."Recently I've received a number of alarming (but not alarmist) E-mails from prominent people in the Free software and Open Source world. They don't wish to be named, but they share my concerns. Bluntly speaking, they think that OSI became rogue. Maybe that's why the GM quit some months ago; he wants nothing to do with it, albeit that's mostly a guess. People don't just quit their job at the middle of a pandemic, especially if they already work from home. It's not like he was a millionaire; his salary is clearly visible in the IRS filings and it's not unreasonable (unlike Mozilla and Linux Foundation salaries, which many find outrageous).

"I'm reading through this a bit more," one reader and developer told us. "Like the "reader" interaction," she added. "So, a few things..."

She asked: "How can OSI be a parent and a partner to ClearlyDefined?"

"Maybe that's why the GM quit some months ago; he wants nothing to do with it, albeit that's mostly a guess.""According to this "about" section of their website: "ClearlyDefined and our parent organization, the Open Source Initiative, are on a mission to help FOSS projects thrive by being, well, clearly defined. Lack of clarity around licenses and security vulnerabilities reduces engagement — that means fewer users, fewer contributors and a smaller community."

"Then the "about" page," she correctly noted, "the same page... lists OSI in the section for partners (as well as Microsoft)."

From the article we published very recently: "So most of the OSI’s budget goes to a programme that’s mostly Microsoft staff and is controlled by Microsoft, hosted on its servers etc."

She asked: "Is there a public budget I can view?"

"It's almost like the OSI rapidly becomes an extension of proprietary GitHub, which is antithetical to software freedom and a mechanism of Microsoft colonialism."Well, the IRS filings take a while to go public. So the latest budget we generally know from the Q&A section/session with the OSI's current president and former treasurer. We cropped the relevant part of the video and set that aside. He said this not once but twice (that ClearlyDefined receives the majority of the budget or about half).

"Some other concerns about ClearlyDefined," our reader noted: "Curate data through these people. No thanks..."

Is Microsoft now the 'daddy' of "Open Source"? That's an ambition for sure, but Microsoft is a proprietary software company and opponent of software freedom. And here's where it gets grimmer; Microsoft apparently wants to not only control the projects in GitHub with "Stars" and other nonsense. Our reader found the following about voting and rewards:

Voting?

"While ClearlyDefined is focused on data, the project will develop a modest amount of code. Code committership is independent of data committership. As such, code committers are elected by a vote of the existing code committer community as described below. Code committers have complete control over and responsibility for the operation of the harvesting, curation and serving infrastructure of the project."

Wait a second... the focus is data and a modest amount of development? Code committers are... Elected?

...and finally, this... recognition and promotion... or Badges! We don't need no stinkin' badges!

Ohhhhhhhhh... a badge. That's a great reward. So, these people are trying to gather data and create some centralized system - where we store source and vote on, stating they can help projects and - giving badges are considered a reward hahahahaha

As a developer, you know - and knowing devs... would you ever consider a "badge" important in your line of work. As a dev, here are a few things I consider a "reward".

A job well done. Code compiles and works - after a new feature or update! Someone thanks me for all that I do. Someone asks for assistance with my software and I can help. Someone finds a fix I can implement into the code to improve the software. People are using my software. Users are helping each other.

Take the badge (a virtual reward of nothingness) and put it where the sun doesn't shine... Seriously!

Hey! I have a good idea... what about a badge! Who do they think they are? I don't want a gold star from ClearlyDefined... not when I have the community. This seems like another "side path" away from community.


To quote their own site's charter:

Recognition and promotion

The project may, from time to time, run programs that recognize and reward the efforts of a project to become and remain ClearlyDefined. For example, a badging program would enable eligible projects to show they are ClearlyDefined, thus increasing consumer confidence. Such recognitions may be made relative to a specific domain such as licensing or security, or in relation to the overall ClearlyDefined effort.


It's almost like the OSI rapidly becomes an extension of proprietary GitHub, which is antithetical to software freedom and a mechanism of Microsoft colonialism.

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