FLOSS Seems to Love the Number FourAlong with my old boss, Karl Fogel, and my coworker Paul Ramsey, Sumana is high on my list of people I know (and admire!) who can synthesize big ideas in a way that is thoughtful, entertaining and easy to remember. She's currently attending Hacker School, and while she soldiers on towards becoming a Python master, she is gracing her fellow classmates (many who have little to no experience with FLOSS) with her vast knowledge of open source and how it works. Yesterday she recounted a recent experience where she rattled off what to my ears was probably the best schpiel on FLOSS and its approach to the four forms of intellectual property (patent, trade secret, trademark, and copyrights). I literally was mouth ajar. To paraphrase, she said: "There's patents which FLOSS isn't wild about, trade secret which isn't even possible, trademark which is just necessary, and copyright which open source licenses hack."* Brilliant! Can someone make a handy infographic of this please?
Being An Open Source Citizen
Speaking of the good Mr. Ramsey, he recently gave the keynote at the annual Free and Open Source Software for Geospatial (FOSS4G) and it was such a worldwide hit that we had him give an abbreviated version at our all-staff a few weeks later. Now, for your viewing pleasure, the speech is here on this little blog.
At work, we're always looking for new and quick ways to talk about the value of open source. Phrases like "You get what everyone pays for." and "More eyeballs make all bugs shallow." are popular ones. I recently heard (on the D&G Show), "Nobody is as smart as everybody". I should keep these somewhere; my brain is not a reliable place for these things anymore.
*Correct me if I got anything wrong here, Sumana.