The rumor mill grinds

By Steven Vaughan-Nichols  |  Posted 2005-03-04 Print this article Print

There have also been rumors that the OSDL (Open Source Development Labs) was not comfortable working with the OSI with Nelson at its head. In a recent interview, Stuart Cohen, OSDLs CEO, said, "Theyve [the OSI] got to act in a mature, professional, responsible way."

On Friday, Cohen said to, "Weve had several conversations with OSI about license proliferation. The idea was to get the users, vendors and development communities to get together to work on this problem and reduce the number of licenses."

"When Raymond stepped down and Russ came in, we had no problem with this," Cohen said. Then, "We found out about the contents [of Nelsons blog] and we found both the contents and that it was being written about all over Slashdot and various blogs discomforting." "A bunch of developers also asked us if we were aware of these developments. So, I sent notes to several of OSI board members and asked if they were aware of these issues. They said that they were and that they were dealing with it," said Cohen. Nelson, before he resigned, wrote in an OSI discussion list, in connection with the controversy, that the "best way to calm a tempest in a teapot is to get rid of the teapot. No teapot, no tempest," indicating that he was considering resigning as early as Feb. 10. To take his place, the OSI board has appointed Michael Tiemann, Red Hat Inc.s VP of open-source affairs, as interim president. Tiemann had been OSIs VP immediately prior to his elevation to president.

One of the OSIs objectives when Nelson became president was to expand its board to nine members. A Red Hat spokesperson said that Tiemanns "primary focus is to grow the board," rather than set new policies.

After this is done, the OSIs newly expanded board will select a full-term president. It is only then that the group will focus its efforts on working with the community to evaluate the OSD licensing process.

Nelson will continue to serve on the OSIs board and licensing committee.

"OSIs mission is very important to me," Nelson said in a statement. "My hope is that the community can continue its focus on working together to advance the integration of open-source software into the wider society."

Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest open-source news, reviews and analysis.

Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols is editor at large for Ziff Davis Enterprise. Prior to becoming a technology journalist, Vaughan-Nichols worked at NASA and the Department of Defense on numerous major technological projects. Since then, he's focused on covering the technology and business issues that make a real difference to the people in the industry.

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