The proposed Org’94 successor to the Open Software Foundation (CI No 2,379) would get a handle on its costs by separating infrastructure funding from project funding. Executive sponsors, who get a board seat, would pay $1m a year, sponsors $200,000 for a fifth of a director and others $5,000 to $25,000 depending on who they […]
The proposed Org’94 successor to the Open Software Foundation (CI No 2,379) would get a handle on its costs by separating infrastructure funding from project funding. Executive sponsors, who get a board seat, would pay $1m a year, sponsors $200,000 for a fifth of a director and others $5,000 to $25,000 depending on who they are. The controversial Open Software Foundation Request For Technology scheme would be retained, augmented by what is called a Pre-Structured Technology process. The new body is described as a group of companies taking the initiative to propose a complete package including a solution to the identified user requirements. Pre-Structured Technology would require that specifications be put into the public domain in a timely fashion, ensure that documented interfaces and test suites needed for submission to X/Open Co Ltd are available, guarantee other companies the right to buy project sponsor privileges, guarantee access to source implementation for developing derivative work, ensure equitable early access to source implementations and require that sponsored source implementations be available to all at a fair market-based price. The Open Software Foundation Research Institute will remain unchanged, and be funded largely by the US government although Digital Equipment Corp was already talking last week about getting its future microkernel technology not from the Research Institute but direct from Carnegie-Mellon University. Projects, which would require board approval, would have to be aimed at increasing portability, interoperability and scalability to be okayed. New projects would need a two-thirds vote of the board, follow-ons one-third. Project sponsorship is supposed to buy the underwriters licensing rights at reduced prices, but is not intended to affect technology selections. Licence fees would be used to meet royalty and other expenses and then distributed to sponsors in proportion to their investment. Prior investments would apparently be partially reimbursed where possible in the form of royalty credits. Special Interest Groups would be encouraged to be more active and users and independent software vendors would be given representation on each of the Project Steering Committees, the new governance bodies for Org’94 projects, while having a director-at-large on the board. Large users and independent software vendors will be encouraged to become Org’94 sponsors or to sponsor specific projects. The Org’94 proposal given to the Software Foundation board on February 3 speaks of a migration to the new business model. Motif would move to the new model in August, the Distributed Computing Environment in November after the release of DCE 1.1, the Distributed Management Environment immediately, and OSF/1 in June after the release of OSF/1 1.3. The Software Foundation restructuring has the same stench of big-vendor smoke-filled rooms about it as previous deals of this nature have had. But broader based action would probably prove impossible to manage.