NASA is playing host to the Open Source community by hosting a Summit on March 29thand 30th at its Mount View, Ames Research Center in California. The Summit is part of NASAs contact program between its core team of development engineers and with leading names in the open source community.
Objective of the Summit
The objective of the Summit is to develop an industry standard or a protocol for-open sourcing propriety programs that NASA has developed as well as integrating the open source developed software into mainstream NASA programming.
Open Source community watchers believe that the Summit would not have anything truly path breaking with the exception of a detailed protocol development discussion. That the Summit is initiated by a leading national organization takes the summit to a higher plane. This is a platform for the large companies, organizations that use Open source development as the base but after they have achieved high profitability would like to spin it into the true open source community to use and develop it further.
What the Summit has for others
Presently there is many a slip between the roll-back of such open source codes and there is a huge requirement for a community standard that allows for the easy absorption of such open source platform software to be re-integrated into Open Source community development format.
Establishing such a protocol will show the way for other governmental agencies and companies who want to move into mainstream open source development. Most times the first goal for various private/government agencies is to protect/firewall, profit and only once the proprietary open source they have developed loses its strategic advantage will they want it to be available to the open source community.
Through the course of the summit, the dialogue will be on how to improve and adopt the open source software contribution from closed organizations.
Participants at the Summit
The Director of NASA Ames Research Center’s , Intelligent Robotics Group, Terry Fong and Chris. C. Kemp, the Chief Technology Officer for Information Technology at NASA would be the main participants from the host side. Open Forum Foundation’s Wayn Moses Burke & Lucas Cioffi would be facilitating the entire Summit.
The Guest Speakers list, is the who-is-who of the Open Source Community, including Pascal Finette from Mozilla Labs, IBMs Dr. Robert Sutor heading the Open Systems ; Chris Wanstrath from Github as well as Brian Stevens from Red Hat would be the other participants offering deep insights to identify best processes. Each guest speaker brings with them domain expertise is various aspects of Open Sourcing. It is expected their stories about building the open source communities and their invaluable lessons will help in forging workable solutions.
Summit is critical to NASA
It is critical for NASA to find solutions that are real, action oriented solutions that will open the gateways for NASA but at the same time ensure the whole process is secure leaving no room for security lapses to bubble their way into the collaborative initiative that Open Source offers.