Open Source as an Instrument of Public Policy - Presented by Brian Behlendor
Open Source as an Instrument of Public Policy Brian BehlendorfUS Dept of Health and Human Services (Advisor, Contractor) Board Member: CollabNet, Mozilla, Benetech Co-Founder: Apache Software Foundation
What Open Source Software Development Really Taught Us:● How to make consensus decisions while maintaining pace● How to effectively re-use prior work● Peer ownership and stewardship● A reinforcing of open standards, and vice-versa● A connection to reality - code used in production serves a grounding purpose to the work being done.● “Usage is like oxygen for applications” - Matt Mullenweg
Why drive CONNECT as an Open Source community?• Accelerate adoption of the NHIN standards across the healthcare industry, beyond the Federal sector.• Improve quality through transparency. ● “To a sufficient number of eyeballs, all bugs are shallow." - E. Raymond• Accelerate features on the development roadmap.• Provide a "diagonal" learning curve for adopters ● Make it easy to do the simple things, and possible to do everything else without hand-holding.• Ensure the best use of current technologies and design practices in CONNECT.
Whats the approach?• Encourage and facilitate bug reports, feature requests, ideas, and code contributions.• Encourage questions from new participants to build a database of ad-hoc knowlege about the platform.• Promote the emerging commercial ecosystem around CONNECT through the vendor directory and success stories.• Promoting major contributors to “committers”, who are peers to the contracted developers.
What Tools Do We Use To Do That?• Public development artifacts in: ● Subversion (for public code versioning) ● A public bug database ● A Wiki (for all development documentation, whiteboarding of proposals, and all other collaborative document work)• Public and inclusive development processes: ● Discussion forums ● Ability to “subscribe” to commits, new/changed bugs or issues, build reports, etc.• Visibility into the sprints and CCB meetings via the wiki, conference calls, and more• Public hack- code-a-thons• Vendor Involvement
The NHIN Direct Project● Focused on directed, secure health messaging● Project has been 100% public since inception● After much discussion and research, a simple approach: SMTP, DNS, S/MIME, Certificate Authorities● From use cases in April to v1.0 Reference Implementations in November● 200+ participating organizations & individuals● 5 pilots about to launch.
Government engagement of the publicin co-developing solutions requires:● A focus on specific outcomes, building something rather than just polling● Transparency from day one in processes and assets● Recognition of participant motivations● Facilitation by third parties or the participants themselves, humbling the brand of government● Expectations of perpetuity; but also an eventual hand-off to an NGO From Open Source software communities, we get:● Ways to make consensus decisions while maintaining pace● Ways to effectively re-use prior work● Peer ownership and stewardship● Reinforcing of open standards, and vice-versa● A connection to real, production-environment experiences