This post is the third in a series of blog post that will discuss Ozone evolution from a widget framework to a software as a service platform. The goal is to generate discussion among the Ozone community to discuss challenges and possible solutions.
Ozone is an open source project. The community needs to collaborate and should seed the creation of a non-profit Ozone Software Foundation (OSF) with donations and volunteers to provide leadership for the Ozone community. The OSF would be responsible for increasing the value of the Ozone Platform to existing and new users by creating an active open source community of government, commercial, academia, and open source participants.
The OSF will be primarily responsible for the core of Ozone (Application Integration) and providing an inclusive umbrella for a loosely affiliated collection of Ozone projects. This will allow a wide variety of use cases to be captured, provide a central point of communication and discovery, and reduce the risk of fragmentation by reducing the costs that incentivize proprietary forks.
Ozone Software Foundation Mission Statement:
To ensure collaboration across government, the commercial sector, and academia while continuing to evolve Ozone into a self-sustaining open source project supporting IC, DoD, and commercial capabilities.
Ozone Platform was designed for modularity. The Inter-Window Communication (IWC) functionality, server software that supports it, and associated data standards forms the OZP core. Much like the Linux kernel does for the Linux ecosystem, the OZP Core provides the foundation for the Ozone platform by providing secure data sharing across multiple applications.
Defense Intelligence Information Enterprise (DI2E)
The Ozone Software Foundation will continue working closely with government agencies & organizations like the Defense Intelligence Information Enterprise (DI2E). DI2E provides critical support to government software development programs with modern web-based tools and services for documentation & design, artifact hosting, issue tracking, project collaboration, continuous integration, and creating source code repositories. Establishing a relationship with DI2E will enable the Ozone Software Foundation to establish new avenues for collaboration across other programs that wish to use Ozone services, spreading the capability of front-end app integration to various corners of the federal government.
Government contractors are encouraged to donate or volunteer developers to work on the development of Ozone. These volunteers could be in the form of technical resources, committee chairs, and most importantly software developers to write and commit code.
As a strategic partner ACES and Tensor Wrench have dedicated software developers to contribute code to the development of bug fixes and feature development for Ozone. These software engineers will contribute directly to Ozone code.
The Ozone Software Foundation will work with Universities and Colleges to promote not only Ozone but also Open Source Software. OSF members will be encouraged to connect with alumni and volunteer for “Learn to Code“ events using Ozone. Ozone’s modular design and use of modern technology make it a great candidate to teach those learning software development. The OSF will set goals of working with Computer Science programs to challenge students to contribute to Ozone as part of their course work. This will benefit the community by both marketing and promoting Ozone to those about to enter the workforce. Also, if successfully added as a course requirement, it will provide additional developer volunteers and code contributions.
Oftentimes, the commercial sector is engaged by competition and open events. The OSF will host events to engage the commercial community. Event planning will range from challenges, hackathons, and recognition through awards. The commercial sector loves to tout awards won and ways to show that they stand out among their peers. Awards will be made based on contribution levels to the Ozone Software Foundation and annual challenges hosted by OSF. Showcasing and marketing the cost advantages of using an open source ecosystem for web applications will encourage commercial entities to more readily adopt OZP as a corporate solution. Just as OSF depends on government and academia, the long-term success will be greatly bolstered by creating and maintaining commercial partnerships
Ozone has proven to be a viable product with interest across a broad number of government agencies. The decision to go from a GOSS model to an open development FOSS model has enabled Ozone to evolve from a widget framework to an open modular platform. However, if Ozone stops here and continues as a solely funded government effort a greater risk of community fragmentation and product abandonment occurs.
The more open and modular the development process can be the more outside collaboration and contributions Ozone will receive from the community. While it may be challenging to maintain a larger code base, larger community, and modular contributions from across the entire community, it is the only way for Ozone to meet the needs of the community and user-base. The OSF is modeled after the Apache Software Foundation which currently maintains an active global community across many different times zones and languages. The formation of the OSF will ensure collaboration across government, the commercial sector, and academia while continuing to evolve Ozone into a self-sustaining open source project.
Follow the conversation on the ozone-development Google Groups