Open Source Initiative (OSI) is a non-profit corporation dedicated to managing and promoting the
Open Source Definition for the good of the community, specifically through the
OSI Certified Open Source Software certification mark and
program. You can read about successful software products that have these
properties, and about our certification mark and program, which allow you to be confident that software really is
"Open Source." We also make copies of approved open source licenses here.
The basic idea behind open source is very simple:
When programmers can read, redistribute, and modify
the source code for a piece of software, the software evolves.
People improve it, people adapt it, people fix bugs. And this can
happen at a speed that, if one is used to the slow pace of
conventional software development, seems astonishing.
We in the open source community have learned that this rapid
evolutionary process produces better software than
the traditional closed model, in which only a very few programmers can
see the source and everybody else must blindly use an opaque block of
Open Source Initiative exists to make this case to the commercial world.
Open source software is an idea whose time has finally
come. For twenty years it has been building momentum in the
technical cultures that built the Internet and the World Wide Web.
Now it's breaking out into the commercial world, and that's changing
all the rules. Are you ready?
This site is still evolving as we think through the
implications of open source in the commercial world. We don't claim
to have all the answers yet, so mail
us with your thoughts and criticisms. Also, please send us
URLs of articles and papers on commercial trials of the
open source model, on open source software including such packages as Linux and Apache, and related topics.
Mirrors of this site are available in the following countries:
,Canada (new!), Australia (new!).