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Re: [ba-ohs-talk] open source question

Johannes Ernst wrote:    (01)

> I'm trying to understand the reasoning why some/many/most/few(?)
> people believe that a broadly adopted / adoptable OHS
> should/could/must(?) be licensed under an Open Source license, and I
> would appreciate your insights, either to the list or to me
> individually.    (02)

Personally, I think that the notion of developing an open source OHS
is a forlorn hope.    (03)

Much as I would have it otherwise, the ability to develop the kind of
system we envision requires too much cooperation from too many
different kinds of activity arenas -- servers, clients, transmission
protocols, information standards, and knowledge representations.    (04)

Now, it is possible that some bright collection of college students will
prove me totally wrong on this subject, and I hope they do. Lee
stands a strong chance of leading such an endeavor.    (05)

But my take on the matter is that a good open source project is typically    (06)

initiated by an individual. After that, the masses can gather to refine
extend the prototype.    (07)

That squence generally works, but here we have a chicken and
egg dilemma. We have no agreement on what the final result should
look like. The system we envision is aimed at solving exactly such
problems, so that people can work from a distance (as in any open
source project) to design the system. But, in the absence of such
a system, we have no good way for remote contributors to
collaborate on the design. So the "open source version"  awaits a
usable prototype.    (08)

Meanwhile, no locally-assembled collection of talent has shown itself
to have the time or resources necessary to solve the problem at a
prototype level, which would allow for effective long-distance
collaboration and ongoing enhancement.    (09)

The only way I see to draw together the necessary talent, and give
them the resources they need to get the job done, is through a
funded activity. (The one exception being a focused research
effort of the kind that Lee is now well-positioned and well-equipped
to lead. But for the past several years, my observations have held
true.)    (010)

As always, my take on the matter is that the ability to drive OHS-ness
into the public consciousness depends on several interlocking factors.
In order of importance, they are:
  1) The creation of an information marketplace.
      The day I can go to OHS-R-Us to get the specific information
       I need, instead of shopping Amazon.com for books on the
       subject, is the day that I should trade stocks in one for the
other.    (011)

   2) A freely available, bare-bones information browser.
       So the market for information consumers can ramp up as rapidly
       as possible.    (012)

    3) Cheap, inexpensive, bare-bones mechanism for information
        So potential publishers can experiment and do proof-of-
        principle without a major investment.    (013)

    4) High quality, purchasable information-developing mechanisms.
        So people can start capturing/developing/producing reliable
        information at high speed.    (014)

     5) High quality, purchasable, got-the-frills infomation browsing
         mechansims.    (015)

The "purchasable" part of items 4 & 5 have two major benefits that
are of paramount importance:
   a) The ability to make a profit motivates investors to devote money,
       developers to devote time, and organizations to bet their future
       by working in this area.    (016)

    b) The marketing that attends such products drives the concept into
        the public consciousness. Ads from Ford, GM, Mazda, Toyota,
        Misubishi, Nissan, BMW, Mercedes, and Honda all sell their
        own products. But taken together, they all repeatedly hammer the
        message, "You have GOT to have a car!"    (017)

In my opinion, any kind of "viral" license that forces all forms of
into the public domain simply dooms the effort to failure.    (018)

On the other hand, maybe the world will change.    (019)

That would be nice.
:_)    (020)