We at FGI are big proponents of free and open source software and open document formats for government information because we believe that using such software and formats is the best way to ensure long-term viability, usability, re-usability, and preservability of government information. But two FGI volunteers, James R. Jacobs and Shinjoung Yeo, are actively and successfully promoting open source where they work — at the Stanford Libraries.
- Open source on campus: The Stanford Open Source Lab by Ruth Suehle, Red Hat Magazine (2/12/08).
Over the last few months, open source has gained momentum at Stanford University in the form of the Stanford Open Source Lab. Inspired by groups like the Free Software Foundation, Oregon State University’s Open Source Lab, Drupal, Openflows Community Technology Lab, and MIT’s Open Course Ware, a few people at Stanford decided to band together and dedicate their time and energies to the development of free/open/libre learning and knowledge resources. The vision of the Open Source Lab is to be a nexus on campus for the discussion, advocacy, and technical support of community-based technologies and information systems.
As James notes in the article, their promotion of open source is philosophical as well as technological. As he puts it, "The ideals of the Library intersect closely with those of the open source community. That is, the free flow of and access to information, support by and of a community of interest, open standards, and the necessity for a growing and vibrant public domain to further the goals and interests of the community. Those ideals as well as the example of OSU’s Open Source Lab, led me to the idea of supporting open source at Stanford."
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