[okfn-discuss] OSSD and Service Orientation

Rufus Pollock rufus.pollock at okfn.org
Thu May 21 14:49:51 UTC 2009

2009/5/21 John Bywater <john.bywater at appropriatesoftware.net>:


> From the POV of Service Orientation the question is very simple: what
> sort of service would require another service to be an open software
> service?
> If the answer is: a replica/derivative service, then we need 'strong' OSSD.
> I can't think of what a 'weak' OSSD would support, except curiosity. As
> software services are increasingly refactored into service dependencies,
> most of a service will be implemented within its dependencies. So 'weak'
> will over time tend to become 'almost entirely closed'.

Which is what I argued in the quoted section in my previous email --
and why I was in favour of the strong definition. At the time I got
the impression from people (e.g. Luis) that they weren't entirely
happy with this and since no-one spoke up either way the issue got

>From your comments my feeling is we should put something in the
definition along the lines of the "strong" requirement. It would be
fairly simple to do.

> Beyond replication, it would be useful to list some of the different
> types of usage of an open software service, as defined by the OSSD.
> But what is the OSSD actually for? (And is anybody currently using it?)

The OSSD is there to define what an free/open service is. Statements
as to why we should want free/open software services is dealt with in
something like the Franklin Street Statement [1] of which  the Open
Knowledge Foundation is a signatory. The OSSD forms a natural
complement to that statement and its influence should be discernible
in the section outlining what service providers are supposed to do (in
fact it is outstanding 9-month-oldTODO to put a post on the
autonomo.us site explaining the link!).


If one accepts that the openness (or not) of a service is important,
particularly to a user or reuser of a service, then I think it follows
that is important to have a clear and *simple* definition of what
openness means (and a clear associated 'mark/badge' so that people can
easily work out when a service is open). It this that the OSSD


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