Mom, apple pie and open source

Mom, apple pie and open source

Summary: The Center for American Progress, a liberal think tank founded by Obama transition head John Podesta (right), has come out with a release calling the Administration's stimulus proposal an open source stimulus, because it emphasizes transparency and will feature a Web site where voters can track where the money goes. That's not open source.

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TOPICS: Open Source
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Whenever I make a real egregious error here, like confusing FOSS with open source, I can usually count on a short e-mail from Richard Stallman, dear old RMS himself.

So I hope he forgives me going all Richard Stallman on the Obama Administration.

The Center for American Progress, a liberal think tank founded by Obama transition head John Podesta (right), has come out with a release calling the Administration's stimulus proposal an open source stimulus, because it emphasizes transparency and will feature a Web site where voters can track where the money goes.

That's not open source. Open source is not accountability and transparency. It's about licensing code in such a way that users get to see it, fix it, and extend it. It's not about putting up a Web site with numbers on it.

I think the use of open source here is in fact a complement. Open source, as a concept, is acquiring the cache of mom, apple pie, and warm puppies (which can be as hard to identify as Commerce Secretaries).

Thus it's natural that politicians would tend to graft open source onto what they say. Any term which becomes wildly popular gets this treatment. An example is early in this decade when rules meant to re-monopolize telephony and extend that monopoly to the Internet were termed "de-regulation."

It would be a shame if open source ended up on that historical scrap pile.

The question for now is whether CAP is misrepresenting the term. Should the OSI be writing CAP a stern letter?

And if we're not to use the term "open source" to denote accountability and transparency using Internet resources, what shorthand term should we use?

Topic: Open Source

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  • Running Centos....

    Well, I have to say not having any Windows OS's
    to get infected and being the fact I installed
    Red Hat 8.0 on her pc several years ago and now
    she has Centos 5.2 with no issues.

    She does not know anything about computers, other
    than click on icon for email or web-browser.

    And NO problems with viruses, malware, spyware,
    trojans, pop-up windows, ect...

    Safe, secure and the cost is just the time for me
    to set it up using a kickstart script and loading
    it/configuration ect...

    What was Windows again?
    Christian_<><
  • only the government

    Only the government can spend $800bn (and counting) and call something related to it "open source".

    (For that matter, calling this bill a "stimulus", but that's another discussion)
    coffeeshark
    • This wasn't the government

      This was a think tank founded by a member of the
      government.
      DanaBlankenhorn
  • You're right.

    A real open source stimulus could be changed by individuals to meet their goals.

    If employers could change the stimulus to eliminate jobs and guarantee executive bonuses, then it would be truly an open source project.

    Come to think of it, TARP is an open source project now, isn't it?!

    Anton Philidor
    • It has been. Pretty much.

      I wonder how much more money they're going to
      burn before they figure out the government has
      nationalized them?
      DanaBlankenhorn
  • This really bothers me.

    I don't care Obama himself wanted to call his administration The Open Source White House. It's not code. Send them a stern letter or the Amish will change their name to Farmers for American Progress.
    kozmcrae
    • FAP?

      I don't think the Amish would call themselves
      the FAP.

      I think we often forget the difference between
      open source code and Internet business models.
      The Internet made the open source business model
      possible.

      Online, yes. Transparent, yes. Open source, no.
      DanaBlankenhorn
      • Farmers for American Progress

        If an organization borrows and changes your organization's name then I think it's only fair that they lose control of their name too. In this case it's "American Progress" that gets lifted by the decidedly non-progressive Amish.
        kozmcrae
  • RE: Mom, apple pie and open source

    Like I've said before, gummint critters just don't understand the 'net enough to even make relational statements with buzzwords. Intent was good; implementation was terrible.
    twaynesdomain-22354355019875063839220739305988