Mozilla uncovers ‘new conceptual framework’ for open source

Mozilla has partnered with Open Tech Strategies for a research project, reviewing the open source industry and studying Mozilla projects closely.

Open Tech Strategies is a services consultancy that aims to provide advice on open source implementation. The company says its clients come to it for assistance in launching, joining, evaluating, or influencing open source software projects.

A report has been generated which claims to offers ‘a new conceptual framework’ of open source project archetypes.

This research cover aspects of open source spanning business objectives, licensing, community standards, component coupling and project governance.

It also contains some practical advice on how to use the framework (it actually is a working framework) and on how to set up projects.

Mozilla reminds us that the famous ‘Four Freedoms’ originally defined by the Free Software Foundation are unambiguous. But says that they only define the rights conveyed by the software’s license.

The company says that people (users) often have expectations that go well beyond that (above linked) arguably quite strict definition: expectations about development models, business models, community structure, even tool chains.

We have to realise that it is even not uncommon for open source projects to be criticised for failing to comply with those unspoken expectations.

According to a Mozilla blog, the company says that it recognises that there is no one true model.

“As Mozilla evolves more and more into a multi-product organization, there will be different models that suit different products and different environments. Structure, governance, and licensing policies should all be explicit choices based on the strategic goals of an open source project. A challenge for any organisation is how to articulate these choices, or to put it simply, how do you answer the question, ‘what kind of open source project is this?’,” notes the firm.

You can read more here.

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