Membership and the Members Agreement
Becoming a “Member” of the OSLC community has both benefits and responsibilities.
What does it mean to be an OSLC Member? (#)
An OSLC Member is someone that has completed an OSLC Members Agreement, which signifies your commitment to the guiding principles of the OSLC community and to the governance and participation rules of OSLC.
OSLC Members are eligible for nomination to the OSLC Steering Committee.
You must be an OSLC Member before you can participate in any OSLC Workgroup. (You will have to agree to a Workgroup Participation Agreement (WPA) for each Workgroup as well.)
If I am not an OSLC Member, does that mean I am not a part of the OSLC community? (#)
Not at all. The OSLC community is much broader than OSLC Membership.
Here are ways you can participate in the larger OSLC community:
- Propose new OSLC workgroups or initiatives. (See the Workgroup Best Practices for more information)
- Implement OSLC specifications with either open-source or proprietary software
- Contribute to Eclipse Lyo
- Participate in other OSLC-related collaborative initiatives, online or off
What is the process to complete the Members Agreement? (#)
To become an OSLC Member:
When I complete the Members Agreement, am I committing to license my company’s patents? (#)
No. Completing the OSLC Members Agreement does not commit any intellectual property rights (IPR) of the person completing it or the organization the person represents.
Do I have to complete a Members Agreement every time I join a Workgroup? (#)
No. In general, you only have to complete the Members Agreement one time. If your ability to represent an entity changes (for example, you start working for a different company), you will have to complete a new Members Agreement.
You must complete a WPA for each Workgroup that you join.
Do community members who were were active in Workgroups before the OSLC Members Agreement existed need to complete the Members Agreement? (#)
Yes, if they want to continue contributing to Workgroups.
The Steering Committee
What is the Steering Committee? (#)
The Steering Committee is an elected body that focuses on the business and operational outcomes of OSLC while providing high-level governance of Workgroup activities. The purpose of the Steering committee is to make sure that business-driven scenarios are the force behind specification development of the Workgroups.
The Steering Committee will focus on the following activities:
- Approving the creation and decommissioning of Workgroups;
- Approving the scope of a Workgroup;
- Approving the target standard development organization (SDO) to which the specifications can eventually be delivered;
- Final approval of specifications;
- Recruiting and developing business alliances; and
- Assisting in communications, marketing and events participation.
What is the structure of the Steering Committee? (#)
The Steering Committee will consist of 5 to 7 members elected from among OSLC members.
Initially there is only one officer, the Chairperson, who will be elected by the Steering Committee members themselves. Other officers such as Secretary and Treasurer may be created if it becomes necessary as OSLC grows.
Can an Organization have multiple representatives on the Steering Committee? (#)
No. An organization (e.g., a company) participating in OSLC can have only one representative serving on the Steering Committee, regardless of the number of representatives of the organization that are OSLC members.
What are the criteria to be a member of the Steering Committee? (#)
You must be an OSLC Member.
How does one get nominated for the Steering Committee? (#)
OSLC Members can nominate other Members. The Steering Committee will be working out details on the nomination process for future elections.
What are the desirable qualities of a potential member of the Steering Committee? (#)
The desirable qualities of a steering committee member are:
- Actively participates in one or more Workgroups
- Leads initiatives that help the adoption of OSLC
- Is a strong advocate of OSLC in various public forums
- Has a strong history of contributing during OSLC meetings
How does one get elected to the Steering Committee? (#)
An election will be held between all of the nominated candidates to fill the vacant positions on the Steering Committee. The top Members receiving votes will fill those positions.
In the event of a tie between candidates a run-off election will be held.
How frequently will the elections be held? (#)
Our first Steering committee elections will be held about 2 years from now (around mid-2014). Subsequent elections will be held annually.
Who will be in the Steering Committee until 2014? (#)
Until the first elections, the Steering Committee will be composed of current community leaders. The initial 2-year period provides the founding Steering Committee and the OSLC community a period of steady governance to adapt to the new governance model. It also provides other OSLC participants time to demonstrate their credentials for elections in the future.
The initial members of the Steering Committee are:
- David Ingram, Senior Executive, Tools, Strategy, and Vision at Accenture
- Bola Rotibi, Research Director at Creative Intellect
- Andreas Keis, Manager, Software Engineering at EADS Innovation Works UK
- Rainer Ersch, Senior Research Scientist at Siemens
- Mik Kersten, CEO of Tasktop
- John Wiegand, Distinguished Engineer and Chief Architect for IBM Rational
How will voting and nominations be conducted? (#)
We are developing an electronic system for nominations and ballots.
How is a decision reached by the Steering Committee? (#)
Decisions are put to a vote, and each vote requires a 2/3 majority of members to pass.
What level of control or influence does the Steering Committee have over other Workgroups? (#)
The Steering Committee does not get involved in the day-to-day operations of the Workgroups. The Steering Committee’s governance over a Workgroup is limited to the following:
- Approving the formation of the Workgroup based on its charter, which specifies the scope of the Workgroup and the Target SDO to which its final specification will be submitted;
- Decommissioning the Workgroup if its activity extends beyond the approved scope/charter of the Workgroup, the goals of the workgroup become obsolete, or the need arises to merge workgroups.
- Approving the final version of a specification after the Workgroup itself has approved it.
What is an OSLC Workgroup? (#)
A Workgroup is a group of Members – often but not necessarily from corporate development organizations, systems integrators, industry consortiums, software vendors, or open source communities – who share a common interest in:
- defining specifications that enable lifecycle integrations around a given topic
- improving their organizations’ effectiveness in software delivery;
- creating greater flexibility in choosing tools to support the work they do; and
- the market opportunities and cost savings associated with open interfaces.
For example, the Change Management Workgroup is involved in understanding the kinds of services that are valuable in supporting interoperability with Change Management systems.
What does joining a Workgroup mean? What would I be doing? (#)
You can participate in several ways:
- Authoring or reviewing potential integration scenarios and deciding the scope for a spec iteration.
- Authoring or reviewing the technical specifications for resources and services needed to support the scenarios.
- Implementing the services – either as a service provider or a service consumer – to validate the spec or achieve the desired integrations.
Depending on their interests and skills, members may be involved in different activities to varying degrees – for example, a member may be active in scenario definition but less so in spec authoring or implementation. Expect to spend 30–60 minutes a week on average, and perhaps more during peaks of specification authoring and implementation efforts.
What must I do before I participate in a Workgroup (#)
Paperwork! You must:
- Register with the site
- Become an OSLC member by completing the Members Agreement
- Complete a WPA for the Workgroup.
After you complete the WPA, your name will also appear as a contributing member to the Workgroup.
How do Workgroups operate? (#)
Workgroups can determine their own procedures and decision-making processes. Because workgroups can vary in membership and scope, their approaches will necessarily vary; however, the following are essential to a successful Workgroup:
- Have a well-defined charter;
- Have a Workgroup lead who is responsible for driving activities, keeping efforts on track, and representing the Workgroup;
- Maintain an open dialog – an atmosphere where listening to and considering the perspectives of each member is valued;
- Adherence to the OSLC guiding principles
See the Workgroup Best Practices for more details.
How do Workgroups make decisions? (#)
We recommend that Workgroups operate on a consensus basis, with the Workgroup lead making reasoned and transparent decisions in exceptional cases in which there is not a prevailing consensus.
See the Workgroup Best Practices for more details.
What is needed for a specification to be finalized by the Steering Committee? (#)
A draft specification, working implementations, a test suite, and supporting documentation. See the Workgroup Best Practices for more details.
How can a specification continue to be developed after it is complete? (#)
As people use specifications, workgroups can propose new versions to address existing scenarios, evaluate new ideas, or expand the scope of the specification.
In some cases, a new OSLC Workgroup could be formed to address new ideas or a different scope.
Further, specifications may be proposed to Standards Development Organizations (SDOs).
How do the topics that are not Workgroup- or domain-specific get addressed? How is consistency maintained across the specification efforts of many Workgroups? (#)
The Core Workgroup addresses cross-domain topics and helps to ensure consistency across domain specifications by providing the foundation specifications for all other workgroups.
Who are members of the Core Workgroup? (#)
All Workgroup Leads should be members of the Core Workgroup. However, any OSLC community member may choose to join the Core Workgroup.
What are the roles of the other Workgroup Leads in the Core Workgroup? (#)
Workgroup leads play a three-part role in the Core Workgroup:
- They represent the needs and interests of their domain Workgroup
- they help to identify and shape cross-domain specifications and guidance documents (a.k.a the OSLC Core).
- they ensure that relevant OSLC Core specifications and guidance documents are considered and adopted by the Workgroups.
What are User Groups? (#)
User Groups allow OSLC Members to provide ideas, solutions, and scenarios to other technical Workgroups without the demands – both in time and intellectual property commitments – of creating a complete technical specification.
User Groups will provide a natural place for people to discuss scenarios around a specific industry or issue, especially those that cover multiple technical domains; for example, the Embedded Systems group will be exploring issues around Architecture Management, Automation, Change Management, and Requirements Management.
You can find some of the background discussions for User Groups on the wiki for the Steering Committee.
How do I join a User Group? (#)
Just show up! We'd love your input. User Groups will post their meeting schedules on their wikis and also in the forums.
How do I make my name appear as a “contributing member” for a User Group (#)
- Register with the site
- Become an OSLC member by completing the Members Agreement
- Edit any page or create a new page for the associated wiki for the User Group.
Your name will appear immediately.
Workgroup Participation Agreement and intellectual property
What is the Workgroup Participation Agreement? (#)
For each Workgroup in which an OSLC Member wants to participate, the Member must complete a Workgroup Participation Agreement (WPA) before participating.
By completing the WPA, you are committing intellectual property (IP) and the IP of the organization you represent (with respect to your contributions made to specifications for the workgroup) to the Workgroup in question and to the Core Workgroup.
Why do I have to complete a separate WPA for every Workgroup that I join? (#)
Because every workgroup might have different commitments. Each time you complete a WPA, your IP commitments are limited to the work of the Workgroup in question (and the Core Workgroup) and to the target SDOs specified in the Charter of the Workgroup. Different specifications might be a better match for different SDOs; accordingly, each Workgroup might have a different target SDO.
Making separate IP commitments for each Workgroup is also consistent with standard SDO practice.
Why did OSLC change its IP treatment from the previous Patent Non-assert or Patent Grant to the WPA and IP policy? (#)
The WPA and IP Policy provide more rigorous treatment of intellectual property rights than the previous Patent Non-assert or Patent Grant. It better protects both the Workgroup contributors and eventual implementers of OSLC specifications.
What are the most significant changes in IP treatment? (#)
- You must commit IP to specifications earlier
- Workgroups have target SDOs
- Limited opt-out of licensing certain patents
- Expanded requirements for attribution
- Clearer IP commitments of organizations and their affiliates
See the IP Policy for more details.
Why do Workgroups have target SDOs? (#)
Ultimately, OSLC specifications may be submitted for adoption by SDOs such as OASIS, W3C, OMG and others.
The target SDOs for every Workgroup will be known and set forth in the Workgroup Charter, so you will know what you are committing to.
May I opt out of my IP commitments to a specification? (#)
Yes, but only under very limited circumstances. The IP Policy section "Patents" has the details.
What are the expanded attribution requirements for specifications? (#)
Workgroups are now required to properly recognize contributors: your contributions will be subject to proper copyright attribution in the specification.
Why do I have to state which organization I am representing? (#)
Your organization must be aware of the IP commitments you are making on their behalf.
How is OSLC’s IP treatment different from other SDOs? (#)
Not very. Although the details of IP treatment can vary between SDOs, our treatment of IP in the WPA is similar to the core tenets of most SDOs. Here are the provisions that differ:
- Workgroups specify target SDOs
- Different Workgroups may specify different target SDOs.
Do Workgroup members who were contributing to a Workgroup before the existence of the WPA need to complete the WPA to continue participating? (#)
Yes, to afford equal treatment of all Workgroup Members going forward.
If I do not complete the WPA, does this invalidate the Patent Non-assert or Grant that I completed previously? (#)
No. The previous patent non-assert or grant that you completed for a given specification is still binding for that given specification. However, you will not be able to continue participating in a Workgroup without completing a WPA.
For a specification under development, do the IP commitments in the WPA apply to past contributions I have made to a specification? (#)
Yes, to the current version of the specification in development.