A Dual Model of Open Source License Growth

Abstract: Every open source project needs to decide on an open source license. This decision is of high economic relevance: Just which license is the best one to help the project grow and attract a community? The most common question is: Should the project choose a restrictive (reciprocal) license or a more permissive one? As an important step towards answering this question, this paper analyses actual license choice and correlated project growth from ten years of open source projects. It provides closed analytical models and finds that around 2001 a reversal in license choice occurred from restrictive towards permissive licenses.

Keywords: Open source; open source license; software license; open source project growth

Reference: Gottfried Hofmann, Dirk Riehle, Carsten Kolassa, Wolfgang Mauerer. “A Dual Model of Open Source License Growth.” In Proceedings of the 9th International Conference on Open Source Systems (OSS 2013). Springer Verlag, 2013.

The paper is available as a PDF file.

Announcing OpenSym 2013, the Open Symposium!

OpenSym is the conference for open collaboration researchers and practitioners, including free/libre/open source software, but also open access, open data, open government, and open innovation. OpenSym 2013 will be held for the first time in 2013, on Aug 5-7, in Hong Kong, China. OpenSym joins hands with WikiSym, an established conference that brings together wiki and Wikipedia researchers and practitioners. WikiSym + OpenSym 2013 will co-locate with Wikimania 2013, the Wikipedia (and related) user conference.

OpenSym is unique in bringing together all strands of “open researchers” and I can’t wait to see how it works out! It is truly an exciting time to experience how researchers and practitioners join hands across disciplines to make the world a better place!

Continue reading “Announcing OpenSym 2013, the Open Symposium!”

Looking Back on One Year of Public Policy Consulting

2012 was the year when I first did some serious public policy consulting. I found it quite informative to see how politicians work and what the impact of lobbyists is.

I’m a professor of computer science at a German technical university. I also have an M.B.A. from Stanford. I consult on open source, software development, and the software industry. I’m also a civil servant of the state of Bavaria in Germany. Thus, I try to maintain a policy-neutral stance, consulting on mechanism more than on policy. The German people elect politicians, politicians choose policy, and I help politicians choose and define mechanisms that will turn those policies into reality.

Continue reading “Looking Back on One Year of Public Policy Consulting”

The One Publisher to Boycott @ReedElsevierHQ

If there is one for-profit publisher to boycott, it is Elsevier. Here is the proof. My university, the Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nürnberg, just published a list of the most expensive journals it is subscribed to. 19 out of 20 are Elsevier journals (page in German). My university’s library is in a negotiation stale-mate with Elsevier, which is not budging on the price of these journals. This is for research papers delivered to Elsevier for free, reviewed and edited for free, all by the scientific community.

I ask you not to submit your research work to Elsevier journals. I ask you not even to cite papers from Elsevier journals unless you absolutely have to. Please. In the name of science, scientific freedom, and equal access for all to research publications.

Thank you for fighting the good fight!

elsevier

Publishers, E-Books, and DRM

2012-02-18: Updated the post with translations from the original letter.

I’m an Addison-Wesley author and just received a letter from Pearson, the owner of Addison-Wesley, informing me about their thoughts and steps towards e-books and the digital age. The letter is written as an open letter with no apparent secrets, so I’m making it available here for anyone interested to read and to comment on it.

In general, I have sympathies with companies trying to sustain their revenue streams. I do expect them, however, to understand that change is inevitable and to flexibly react to and to lead that change for their customers’ sake and not just their shareholders’ sake. As an author, I’m naturally in a similar or at least related situation.

The PDF is marked up with numbers. The following list relates to what the (German) letter says on the respective issues:

Continue reading “Publishers, E-Books, and DRM”

Call for Papers: WikiSym 2012

8th International Symposium on Wikis and Open Collaboration

August 27-29, 2012 | Linz, Austria

The International Symposium on Wikis and Open Collaboration (WikiSym) is the premier conference on open collaboration and related technologies. In 2012, WikiSym celebrates its 8th year of scholarly, technical and community innovation in Linz, Austria.  We are excited this year to be collocated with Ars Electronica, the premier digital art and science meeting that attracts over 35,000 attendees per year.

Submissions are invited for the following categories:

Continue reading “Call for Papers: WikiSym 2012”

Design and Implementation of the Sweble Wikitext Parser: Unlocking the Structured Data of Wikipedia

Abstract: The heart of each wiki, including Wikipedia, is its content. Most machine processing starts and ends with this content. At present, such processing is limited, because most wiki engines today cannot provide a complete and precise representation of the wiki’s content. They can only generate HTML. The main reason is the lack of well-defined parsers that can handle the complexity of modern wiki markup. This applies to MediaWiki, the software running Wikipedia, and most other wiki engines. This paper shows why it has been so difficult to develop comprehensive parsers for wiki markup. It presents the design and implementation of a parser for Wikitext, the wiki markup language of MediaWiki. We use parsing expression grammars where most parsers used no grammars or grammars poorly suited to the task. Using this parser it is possible to directly and precisely query the structured data within wikis, including Wikipedia. The parser is available as open source from http://sweble.org.

Keywords: Wiki, Wikipedia, Wiki Parser, Wikitext Parser, Parsing Expression Grammar, PEG, Abstract Syntax Tree, AST, WYSIWYG, Sweble.

Reference: Hannes Dohrn and Dirk Riehle. “Design and Implementation of the Sweble Wikitext Parser: Unlocking the Structured Data of Wikipedia.” In Proceedings of the 7th International Symposium on Wikis and Open Collaboration (WikiSym 2011). ACM Press, 2011. Page 72-81.

The paper is available as a PDF file (preprint).