June 2009

The editorial theme for the June issue of the OSBR is "women in open source". We are pleased to present an issue entirely written and edited by women who are active within their open source communities.

This issue does not focus on gender. It does discuss some important issues, including: How do we define and encourage contributions? How do we extend open source interactions beyond the virtual community into our local geographic community? How do we build business models around open source skills?

As always, we encourage readers to share articles of interest with their colleagues, and to provide their comments either online or directly to the authors. We hope you enjoy this issue of the OSBR.

The editorial theme for the upcoming July issue of the OSBR is "collaboration" and the guest editor will be Stephen Huddart from the J. W. McConnell Family Foundation. Submissions are due by June 20--contact the Editor if you are interested in a submission.

Dru Lavigne



Whether you look at industry studies, online articles, or perhaps even around your own company, you'll see that women make up a small percent of the people working in free/libre and open source software (F/LOSS). Over the years there's been a growing interest in why so few women participate in this rapidly growing community and, more importantly, what can be done to help encourage more participation. Fortunately, members of the community - both male and female - are actively ramping up their efforts to attract more women to the F/LOSS community.

Resources such as LinuxChix.org, the Geek Feminism Wiki, as well as publications, blogs, and articles written by and about women, draw attention to this growing, influential group of F/LOSS participants. Events, such as the Women in Open Source track at the Southern California Linux Expo, help women network and connect with other members of the F/LOSS community, while also increasing their visibility.

In this issue of the Open Source Business Resource, innovative, energetic women discuss their specific projects, what other women in the field are doing, and their efforts to promote F/LOSS to people within their communities and internationally.

Cathy Malmrose, CEO of ZaReason, introduces women who make a variety of contributions to open source from all corners of the world. She also shares interviews with Belinda Lopez, Training Project Manager for Canonical; Brenda Wallace, well-know blogger from New Zealand; and Andreia Gaita, a Mono/Moonlight developer from Portugal.

Cat Allman, Developer Relations Specialist for the Open Source Programs Office at Google, discusses Google's efforts to reach out to the F/LOSS community. She also talks about their efforts to mentor high school and college students through the Google Highly Open Participation Contest and Google Summer of Code (GSoC).

Angela Byron, Senior Web Consultant at Lullabot and former GSoC participant, explains how fostering a healthy community around open source projects leads to better code.

Emma Jane Hogbin, Web developer and consultant, shares her experience with giving back to the community. She describes how a business model based on an experience economy is helping her open source business expand and gain new revenue streams.

Audrey Eschright, developer for Elevated Code and co-chair of the Open Source Bridge conference, offers an example of how to organize an open source project to encourage community development. She also suggests some tools that can make collaboration easier.

Stormy Peters, Executive Director of the GNOME Foundation, provides an overview of the community around the foundation and offers a look toward the future of the GNOME desktop environment.

Melanie Groves VonFange, an open source advocate, uses BSD as an example when looking at what role open source advocacy plays in increasing open source usage.

Selena Deckelmann, PostgreSQL specialist and co-chair of the Open Source Bridge conference, tells how the Portland open source community has increased participation by women and how other communities can benefit from their experiences.

Amanda McPherson, Vice President of Marketing and Developer Programs of the Linux Foundation, asks "So Are You a Contributor?” She also talks about the Linux Foundation's efforts to encourage a culture of inclusion.

The articles in this issue illustrate how the authors, their colleagues, and efforts within their communities are helping F/LOSS projects become more appealing to women. As a result, the F/LOSS community has become more inclusive overall, opening itself up to a diverse world of new contributors.

Rikki Kite

Guest Editor


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