Earlier this evening, many members of the community participated in chat with a representative (for lack of a better word that comes to mind) from the Open Source Initiative.

Having been initially contacted during the Area 51 phase, the OSI is still interested in this site. We've discussed and are likely to make features in order to keep communication. They are also open to having a site as proposed here.

Having done this, should we reach out to other organizations? I think the organizations in question would be:

  • The Free Software Foundation
  • Creative Commons
  • The Open Knowledge Foundation

Status Updates:

  • FSF: No response
  • CC: No response
  • OKF: No response
  • 1
    don't forget about eff!
    – albert
    Commented Jul 1, 2015 at 2:18
  • 1
    @albert You can post as an answer, but looking at it, here's why I say no: eff says that they defend your rights in the digital world, with a goal that doesn't apply to what we project for the site. ...clear the way for open source software, encryption, security research, file sharing tools, and a world of emerging technologies... leading technologists, activists, and attorneys in our efforts to defend free speech online, fight illegal surveillance, advocate for users and innovators, and support freedom-enhancing technologies. It wouldn't be appropriate as they don't support our goal, imo.
    – Zizouz212
    Commented Jul 1, 2015 at 2:44
  • 1
    you should really rethink that. eff is a pioneer in fighting for you digital rights. you should be thanking them.
    – albert
    Commented Jul 1, 2015 at 4:35
  • 1
    you should also add mozilla to this
    – albert
    Commented Jul 1, 2015 at 12:08
  • @albert - You're welcome to contact these organisations yourself, but if you want someone else to contact them then you'll need to justify why they should be included.
    – ArtOfCode
    Commented Jul 1, 2015 at 13:11
  • @albert In fact, please post an answer for this
    – Zizouz212
    Commented Jul 1, 2015 at 13:19
  • guys i'm not trying to be a jerk or rude....but mozilla and eff are the essence of openness and open source. if thats not obvious, idk how to get it through to you. i'd love to help out but i'm swamped with open source obligations already, not to mention open data se and stack overflow, as well as two reddit channels i mod. just adding the comments here to bring to light that those two companies are giants in the land of open source. didn't want them left out. i applaud your efforts
    – albert
    Commented Jul 1, 2015 at 17:16
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    @albert I would have said the Open Source Initiative and the Free Software Foundation were more the essence of our subject, actually. What are Mozilla and EFF doing that makes them so central to open/free ideas? I encourage you to contact them if you think they should be included, since none of us understand why they should be. Sending an email shouldn't take you much time - there's even a template here.
    – ArtOfCode
    Commented Jul 1, 2015 at 17:53
  • off the top of my head - eff has been fighting the feds for transparency and patent laws for years. they also launched the no drm in html5 initiative, amongst other things. mozilla runs firefox, supports open data, open science, and open journalism (each is its own initiative), as well as a plethora of other things. they've both been pushing for an open web for a long time. in no way, shape, or form, do i think that they're > osi, okfn, or fsf. imo they're all peers, fighting the good fight
    – albert
    Commented Jul 1, 2015 at 18:00
  • @albert In that case, please do contact them, we'd be glad to hear from them.
    – ArtOfCode
    Commented Jul 1, 2015 at 18:03
  • I don't think FSF would response/support the label "Open Source" :p
    – Pandya
    Commented Dec 30, 2016 at 8:45

4 Answers 4


Yes, we should.

One of the things that came up in the discussion was the issue of neutrality: our desire to ensure the site remains neutral from any one organisation so that we can interact with any organisation.

Part of doing this is to also ensure that we offer the various associated organisations equal opportunities to interact with us. That necessitates contacting them, informing them of our existence, and describing what we've done.

I'm going to get in contact with Creative Commons and the FSF. If anyone else wants to include anyone else, please feel free to contact them yourself.

  • Then in that case, I'll handle the Open Knowledge Foundation :)
    – Zizouz212
    Commented Jul 1, 2015 at 11:59
  • @Zizouz212 What is the status of our contact to the OKF?
    – user490
    Commented Jul 11, 2015 at 15:16
  • What is the status of your contact with FSF and CC?
    – user490
    Commented Jul 11, 2015 at 15:16
  • @EricGärtner So far no response
    – Zizouz212
    Commented Jul 11, 2015 at 15:28

Contact early, contact often.

Every major organisation that is somewhat in scope, and is willing to put in resources of people asking and answering questions should be very welcome on this site, and outreach is never a bad thing.

Whether they want to do that is their prerogative, but I don't think we would be worse of by letting them know this site exists, and inviting them to join, even if their answer is a polite (or even impolite) no.


This site itself has Freely licensed content, but neither the design nor the software is Free. The Free Software Foundation seem, to me, to care philosophically about Software Freedom, and this may be a dealbreaker for their participation. (The name Open Source might also put them off a little.)

Major providers of Free & Open Source Software:

  • The GNU Project (shares a founder with the FSF).
  • The Linux Foundation.
  • The Debian Project (the Debian Free Software Guidelines are influential).
  • The Mozilla Project (mostly famous for Firefox, but do a lot of other stuff; wrote a well-known and widely used license; care philosophically about Free Sofware and other freedoms).
  • The Apache Software Foundation (mostly famous for the web server, but do a lot of other stuff; wrote a well-known and widely used license; care philosophically about Free Sofware and other freedoms).
  • Canonical (they produce Ubuntu, which is widely used; and already have a partnership with Stack Exchange).
  • Red Hat (the most financially successful Free Software / Open Source company).

Other people who care about software freedom:

  • The FSF.
  • The OSI.
  • The EFF (they have actually produced some software, notably HTTPS everywhere).

Has the naming issue already been decided about? I would see that as a precondition for reaching out to anyone besides the OSI.

  • 1
    This should probably have been posted as a comment.
    – overactor
    Commented Jul 1, 2015 at 6:38
  • 1
    I thought about this, but I see it as a thing people want to upvote or downvote. Commented Jul 1, 2015 at 6:43
  • It's a preliminary to making any kind of formal partnership, but not to engaging discussions. Commented Jul 1, 2015 at 7:12
  • Why do you consider that a precondition? To me, a name is just a label.
    – Martijn
    Commented Jul 1, 2015 at 11:07
  • 1
    Some people see an issue with "just a label" as well. I would expect the opensource.* part of the name to be a massive hindrance when contacting the FSF, and the willingness to address that could help here. Commented Jul 1, 2015 at 11:35
  • But why do you consider it a precondition? They could say something along they lines of they would be happy to discuss it, but not under the current name. That's fine, we can contact them again if we decide to change the name. I don't think they will (for the reason of SE not being free software), but there is nothing wrong with asking them.
    – Martijn
    Commented Jul 1, 2015 at 11:41
  • @MichaelSchumacher Do remember that during our talks with the OSI, they noted that they get along very well with the FSF, and would be thrilled to have them participate. I'll see if I can find the quote for you
    – Zizouz212
    Commented Jul 1, 2015 at 17:35
  • 3
    You will have to make sure that the FSF and others get along well with this site. If I had known (or realized, if this was knowable on area51 already) that this site is to become some sort of official OSI stack - and not a general FLOSS site that is currently named a bit unfortunately - I would not have committed. Commented Jul 2, 2015 at 12:14

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