OSDL and FSF have announced a merger today with plans to become the “Linux Foundation”. This merger brings together industry vendors (i.e. represented by OSDL) and the community (i.e. represented by FSF); two sides of the same coin. Cool, this is a great move for the community.

Next, the OSI board is asking the “community” to provide input on whether to accept or reject the proposed SocialText license. To say that this is a delicate topic is an understatement. If the OSI decides that the proposed SocialText license does not fall into the boundaries of an open source license, companies like Zimbra, SugarCRM, SocialText, MuleSource & Alfresco wouldn’t be able to wear the open source badge without a license change.

Hence, the OSI board has asked the “for” and “against” crowds to get together in their respective corners and make arguments for their side. The OSI will then take this input into consideration when they deliver a ruling at the end of February.

I believe this is a great move on the part of the OSI. It gives everyone an opportunity to make their argument; there’ll be no crying foul about a closed decision. So, Roberto, I don’t think that this move reduces the influence of the OSI. In fact, this route is actually what makes an open community with multiple players so valuable. Imagine if the OSI were to make their decision without open input. The community would say that the decision was wrong because of X, Y or Z or biased because of where the various board members work. Considering the alternative, I’d say this is a great move from the OSI (and very much in line with how true open source development is done).