Welcome to the conversation on opensource.com | Opensource.com

Welcome to the conversation on opensource.com

Posted 24 Jan 2010 by 

Jim Whitehurst (Red Hat)
Rating: 
(20 votes)
Image by : 

Opensource.com

submit to reddit

As the CEO of Red Hat, this is a day I've been looking forward to for quite some time. In my travels, I often find myself talking to people from all walks of life who see opportunities for the lessons of open source to be applied broadly to the world around us.

At Red Hat, we've used open source principles as the backbone of a successful technology company. We know there are opportunities to apply the open source way broadly in business, in government, in education, in the law, and throughout our lives.

This site is one of the ways in which Red Hat gives something back to the open source community. Our desire is to create a connection point for conversations about the broader impact that open source can have--and is having--even beyond the software world.

As you see in the header above, we think of this site as a "Red Hat community service." Meaning: all ideas are welcome, and all participants are welcome.

This will not be a site for Red Hat, about Red Hat. Instead this will be a site for open source, about the future.

What you see today is only a beginning. In the spirit of open source, we are releasing the site early. We will grow its functionality and content over time based on ideas we create together.

With your help, this will be a place that connects people, creates dialog, and--if we dare to dream--maybe even changes the world a little bit for the better.

Good to have you here. Let's get started.

(Update: Download an ogg of this video here.)

submit to reddit

31 Comments

benwerd
Newbie

What a great resource.

Open source - as an ethos and as a collection of real communities working hard in the enterprise and other markets - is gaining a huge amount of traction. What was once seen as a geek-led movement has become accepted in business, education, law and our personal lives - the categories you've added to the top of your site.

What we've been missing is a friendly way to talk about these values and share them with people who may not be familiar with them, as well as other members of our community. We know where to talk code, and download software, but there are so many other issues to discuss.

This site fills that gap. Thank you for creating it.

Vote up!
8
Vote down!
0
jhibbets
Open Sourcerer

Ben, thanks for stopping by. You summed things up perfectly.

Vote up!
0
Vote down!
0
Mckarnin
Newbie

I've always eyed open-source programming collaboration with a jealous eye. Not because I can or want to program computers but because I wanted the opportunity to collaborate with other people on projects that:

- are portable. wherever I am, I can work
- tend towards the construction of something sound
- let me donate my spare brain cells to a worthy cause
- are outside of bureaucracies

Thank you. I look forward to participating and promise that my behavior won't let granny down.

Vote up!
4
Vote down!
0
csm
Newbie

Many people newly familiar with our community seem surprised when they first hear us use the words "open source" in the parlance we commonly use referring to the working philosophy of our global community of software developers. But if anyone thinks our method has its origins with Linus Torvalds or the Gnu Foundation they're missing a huge body of contribution and work that has been gifted over the last 350 years and more.

We cannot ignore countless contributions made by Fellows of the Royal Society to the progress of human kind and in more direct ways to the creation and perfection of our "open source" philosophy.

The OSI says this:

"Open source is a development method for software that harnesses the power of distributed peer review and transparency of process."

The Royal Society describes their world renowned journal, originally entitled "Philosophical Transactions" this way:

"The first volumes of what is now the world's oldest scientific journal in continuous publication were very different from today's journal, but in essence it served the same function; namely to inform the Fellows of the Society and other interested readers of the latest scientific discoveries. As such, Philosophical Transactions established the important principles of scientific priority and peer review, which have become the central foundations of scientific journals ever since."

The Royal Society may not have had an "internet" when it began in the 17th century but their Journal certainly served as a vehicle for "code" distribution, review and discussion.

The Society's library is closed to the public until June of this year (2010) when it will reopen, both on and off line, as part of the celebration of their 350th year.

Perhaps many of this site's readers are aware of the foundational contributions made by hundreds of the Royal Society's Fellows over the years but I don't think I've ever heard it mentioned directly in discussions of "open source" and since I was recently reading about their on-going celebrations of 350 years I thought I would mention it here.

Congratulations on launching what should be one of the truly important sites!

Vote up!
4
Vote down!
0
Jill Stevens

I feel totally out of depth, but on opening Open Source for the first time at the suggestion of my youngest son, I am filled with hope for a better world. It is wonderful to know that this is happening. For the first time ever, I wish I was somewhat younger. I had no idea that the Royal Society had been sharing so openly for all these years. It is exciting to know that their research will soon be there for all to see.
In 1977 my group founded a magazine with what was termed New Age content and our contributors shared their experiences with our readers. All was done on a voluntary basis. But this was on a very small scale. My Home page is only Mine in the sense that I developed it and edit it for the group I belong to - The University of the Third Age Durban Branch. (U3A).
U3A also operates on an exchange of ideas and workshopes with fellow members. Course are given to each other at no cost and the organisation is virtually world wide. It was founded in France with the idea of keeping our minds and bodies active as we moved into reiredment. This piece of information may prove helpful to those who are about to retire and would like to keep in touch with likeminded people in a social setting. The main site is
http://worldu3a.org/
It is wonderful to know that so much educational material is available to those who cannot afford it. In the city where I live - Durban, South Africa, our municipal libraries have made it possible for anyone who is the least bit computer literate to have free access to the internet for research and study. I shall be forwarding the Open Source URL to two young people who come from seriously disadvantaged homes who now have access to the internet.

Vote up!
0
Vote down!
0
Jill Stevens

I feel totally out of depth, but on opening Open Source for the first time at the suggestion of my youngest son, I am filled with hope for a better world. It is wonderful to know that this is happening. For the first time ever, I wish I was somewhat younger. I had no idea that the Royal Society had been sharing so openly for all these years. It is exciting to know that their research will soon be there for all to see.
In 1977 my group founded a magazine with what was termed New Age content and our contributors shared their experiences with our readers. All was done on a voluntary basis. But this was on a very small scale. My Home page is only Mine in the sense that I developed it and edit it for the group I belong to - The University of the Third Age Durban Branch. (U3A).
U3A also operates on an exchange of ideas and workshopes with fellow members. Course are given to each other at no cost and the organisation is virtually world wide. It was founded in France with the idea of keeping our minds and bodies active as we moved into reiredment. This piece of information may prove helpful to those who are about to retire and would like to keep in touch with likeminded people in a social setting. The main site is
http://worldu3a.org/
It is wonderful to know that so much educational material is available to those who cannot afford it. In the city where I live - Durban, South Africa, our municipal libraries have made it possible for anyone who is the least bit computer literate to have free access to the internet for research and study. I shall be forwarding the Open Source URL to two young people who come from seriously disadvantaged homes who now have access to the internet.

Vote up!
0
Vote down!
0
quaid
Open Minded

In general, when writing or giving talks about free and open source software methods, I regularly reference the scientific method as the parent to how and why we do FLOSS the way we do. I haven't specifically referenced the Royal Society but that makes a great story especially as we hit the that anniversary.

There are actually at least two important aspects to the open source way that are historically derived. The scientific method, including the precept of peer review via the Royal Society, is the youngest of the two. The community methods (aka communities of practice) are at least as old as humanity's first tribal behaviors.

Vote up!
0
Vote down!
0
tuhl
Newbie

we should extend these principles to the Cloud.

Vendor lock-in is bad for innovation:

http://www.opencloudinitiative.org/

Yours
Tom

Vote up!
0
Vote down!
0
quaid
Open Minded

Tom:

Are you familiar with Delta Cloud?

http://deltacloud.org/

It's one of Red Hat's responses to the issue of vendor lock-in for the cloud.

Vote up!
4
Vote down!
0
dragonbite
Open Source Evangelist

While we each may have a similar idea of what "open source" is, I think a central location like this for talk, debate and banter will help formulate a more consistant (well, "more" but never "fully") concept of what open source is and how it fits into the world as a whole (business, science, education, etc.)

Not to mention, I am always looking for good arguing points to be able to utilize in conversations that summarizes things in ways people I am talking to will understand!

Vote up!
2
Vote down!
0
WeiShen

Is it something like sourceforge.net?

Vote up!
2
Vote down!
0
jhibbets
Open Sourcerer

@WeiShen no it's not. Sourceforge.net is a great resource where you can find open source software and a great developer community. Our purpose is much different, we want to highlight all the ways that open source principles, the same ones that you may be familiar with in software development, are being applied beyond technology. Thanks for visiting, we hope you will continue to participate.

Vote up!
0
Vote down!
0
Tony ODriscoll
Newbie

Jim,

What a great resource and what better way to promote the "Open Source Way" than to build a community that can share insights and experiences on how this approach can add value beyond the realm of software development!

Vote up!
2
Vote down!
0
dipankar
Newbie

This is a great initiative :), it will hopefully talk and discuss about open source as a philosophy and a way of life rather than only the technicals behind it.

Looking forward to some great content and conversations.

Vote up!
0
Vote down!
0
craigchurchill
Newbie

Fantastic to see this initiative up and running - congrats!
I've written an article on what thought leaders are doing in the space of trying to decipher the business genome. Akin to the human genome project, the business genome relies on mass participation to crack the essence of excellent practice within a company, sequences it and makes it available to all.
For this and other musings on mass collaboration check out http://craigchurchill.com/?p=207

Vote up!
2
Vote down!
0
dragonbite
Open Source Evangelist

Will there be an open-subject means of conversation? For example, if I wanted to talk or bring up about the Mozilla/HTML5 situation yet I am not a very good writer, is there an option to make suggestions or something?

I'm not sure you'd want to open a full-fledge forum with the required overhead, but just something to bring up various subjects that maybe it has been detected and maybe it hasn't?

~Drew

Vote up!
2
Vote down!
0
James Tupper
Community Member

I like this idea. I'd love to get into a quick conversation about Mozilla / HTML5 as well as several other topics out there.

Vote up!
2
Vote down!
0
gajownik
Newbie

Hi Drew
we'd love topic suggestions. this site and movement will grow through your content. here is a list of moderators. their individual profile pages have a contact section. http://opensource.com/meet-moderators

Vote up!
2
Vote down!
0
faha

Great work, visually fine.

New portal for showcasing free software, we all welcome it with enthusiasm.

All glory to the RedHat.

Greetings from Czech Republic, Europe.

Vote up!
6
Vote down!
0
withoutfeathers
Newbie

Open source isn't (or shouldn't be) just about software anymore. Great to have a resource for promoting the princibles of open source to the rest of the world.

I work for a company that prides itself on its ability to recruit and develop creative talent, yet I'm frustrated on a daily basis that we do so little here to support collaboration among those talented people.

The collaboration revolution could exceed the internet and personal computing revolutions in importance if we can just get the fires lit in the right places.

What am I doing sitting here waiting for someone else to start lighting fires? I'm officially inspired. I'm going to get the ball rolling here right now. I'll report back on my progress.

Vote up!
6
Vote down!
0
cgdeveloper
Newbie

Thanks to Red Hat for creating this great Place!!!

"Open source isn't (or shouldn't be) just about software anymore. Great to have a resource for promoting the princibles of open source to the rest of the world."

Nothing more to say!

Vote up!
0
Vote down!
0
Nivag

There needs to be one for Science, and possibly one for Mathematics (though Mathematics will probably end up as a sub-category of Science).

There must be lots of open source software in the science communities.

Vote up!
6
Vote down!
0
jhibbets
Open Sourcerer

@Nigav, great suggestion. Are current plan is to start with the five categories (or channels) that we have. The best part is that science can fit easily into the Life channel. If you have some suggested topics on science or math related to open source or people who can contribute these types of articles, please let us know. Come on over to the Life channel and meet the moderators: http://opensource.com/meet-moderators

Vote up!
0
Vote down!
0
tcolindodd
Open Source Champion

I think the only reason we didn't go full out for a science channel was that we needed people with expertise to handle and moderate that channel.

Hopefully some people will step up to do that, but in the meantime we have plenty of room for science stories in the life channel.

I am very interested in publishing these stories, but I was a film major (before that I was an English major), so editing and factchecking a science piece would be a challenge.

Vote up!
2
Vote down!
0
Nick Thomas

Great idea, kudos to RHT. Open Source is about collaboration and working together as a unit with the interests of the collective goal in mind above all else. Applying this core belief to other aspects of our lives beyond technology would simply make the world a better place.

Vote up!
0
Vote down!
0
zgorman
Newbie

And a great start! I am very excited to find a place where we can talk about open source in any way or shape of form and connect with others with common interests. Thank you very much for launching this site, Jim.

Vote up!
0
Vote down!
0
Sachin Dabir

Congratulations RH for taking this step and taking efforts to explain the value of open source beyond just the software projects.

Would love to see the discussions, coverage around the areas how entrepreneurs (rather the startups) can leverage Open source methodologies - collaboration, sharing etc.

Also would like to see discussion happening around leveraging open source licenses in the applications space to make successful commercial organisation. Today there are very few examples of commercially successful applications companies who are using OSI license.

Keep the good work going.

Cheers

Vote up!
0
Vote down!
0
Wendy Norris

Looking forward to watching the site unfold.

I recently launched an online news network with a strong focus on accountability journalism and a parallel news-tech R&D lab to build new tools to promote civic engagement through "news you can act on."

Hoping to be a part of the dialogue on extending the benefits of open source values into other aspects of community life.

Vote up!
0
Vote down!
0
c.hermansen
Newbie

Open source and open standards (and open discussion fora like this one - thank you Red Hat) provide us an interesting opportunity to behave ethically.

When I create a document or a data file in a proprietary format, I force people who might wish to collaborate with me to adopt the tools I use. In many cases, in many places, "it is common practice" for those users to grab an unlicensed version of those tools and start collaborating.

I would claim such a "community work" is, in principle, unethical. As the person who chooses to start such aa initiative, I'm probably not violating my EULA, though my collaborators with unlicensed software are certainly taking their chances with the manufacturer and perhaps the law.

In the case where an organization, especially a government organization or a company that operates in countries with varying degrees of protection for IP, requires that all information be communicated via proprietary standards, and that organization accepts the input of people using unlicensed software, it appears that there is an issue of whether or not the "value" generated by the collaboration can actually be claimed to be owned by the organization.

To suggest that something created with "stolen property" is itself "stolen property" takes the conversation in an unnecessarily drastic direction. The simple reality is that knowingly creating incentives for people to act illegally or at least unethically is itself unethical behaviour.

From this perspective, the government support for open source and open standards in countries like Brazil and France is laudable. These governments are inviting their citizens to collaborate in the governing of the country without breaking the law to do so.

A wonderful, open source facility like this web site, also promotes ethical behaviour, through its very existence. A particularly notable aspect of this is that collaborators must agree to their work being placed in Creative Commons, thereby removing further incentives for unethical behaviour.

Again, thanks, Red Hat, for giving us all this opportunity.

Vote up!
0
Vote down!
0
Jill Steven

Monet's Chemist is spot on and his call for ethical behaviour, supports the theory of Evolution as propounded by Jean Baptiste de Lamarck (1774-1829) - a theory pinned to human co-operation, as opposed to Darwin's Theory - survival of the fittest.
Without cooperation the human race can destroy itself, not necessarily in the literal sense, although that too! Open Source encourages both ethical behavior and cooperation. We helped each other through the Stone Age, the Iron Age, the Industrial Age and now we are living in the Age of Information Technology. Until recently the educational and technical resources were out of reach of the majority of our fellow human beings.
Thanks to improvement in technology and the 'philanthropic' expertise of more and more super 'bright sparks' more and more people are able to enter this 'new age'.
It would be great if my country (South Africa) were to encourage the use of Open Source in the same way as Brazil and France, in fact if I am not mistaken, our very own Mark Shuttleworth is doing something similar with Ubuntu software which is opening up a whole new world for underprivileged students..
My mind still boggles with all this IT info because I am neither a technocrat nor an IT person. It would be great if I were decades younger to absorb this paradigm shift in human evolution more readily. However I do believe that Lamarck's theory makes a lot of sense and with Open Source we would be continuing to opt for the path which according to Lamarck is why homo sapiens survived against all odds, when other 'humans' from the same roots died out completely
It has been proven that every living female can be traced back to one female's mitochondrial DNA mutation and that every living male has been traced back to one mutated y chromosome. These are not (necessarily) the fundamentalist's Adam and Eve. According to a posting in Wikipedia under 'Mitochondrial Eve' these common ancestors lived thousands of years apart. According to Lamarck the secret of human survival is co-operation and a willingness to help each other. Today's humans seem to be splitting into two evolutionary categories, those who are motivated by self agrandizement, power and greed and those who reach out to others in need, be it helping rebuild a country devastated by floods or earthquake, or giving voluntary assistance to those in need of an education or a helping hand with relationships etc. It reminds me of the Flower Power revolution of the sixties, where everyone in the movement was a brother or a sister and we all helped each other. Sadly in the 60s and 70s as is still the case today, one will always find those who are only too happy to receive but never to share. Perhaps with the emergence of bodies such as Open Source more and more of the 'give me give me' group, will move over to the 'willing to share sector' of the human race and come 'Armageddon' the strength of human co-operation will ensure that in the Lamarckian tradition good old Homo Sapiens will continue to evolve without the ominous threat of becoming 'too big for its boots'.

Vote up!
0
Vote down!
0
Colonel Panik

Jim Whitehurst, Thank you!
Red Hat, Thank you!

The small, rural town we live in is getting a cyber café
An Open Source cyber café.

The university here is very anti Open Source
but we have an underground Moodle group.

So far the biggest battle is trying to get past
apathy.

Vote up!
0
Vote down!
0

Jim Whitehurst is President and Chief Executive Officer of Red Hat, the world’s leading provider of open source enterprise IT products and services. With a background in business development, finance, and global operations, Whitehurst has proven expertise in helping companies flourish—even in the most challenging economic and business environments. Since joining Red Hat in 2008, Whitehurst has grown the company, and its influence on a variety of industries, by reaching key milestones—the

New to open source?

Contributor Spotlight

Open MindedAuthor

Submit an article