OSS Watch Openness Rating
Written by Kay Ewbank   
Thursday, 01 January 2015

The Open Source Software Watch has developed an openness rating tool that you can use to work out how open source a software project really is.


Photo by Alan Levine used under CC-BY-SA


The tool has been developed by OSS Watch in partnership with Pia Waugh, who describes herself as an open government and open data ninja working within the machine to enable greater transparency, democratic engagement, citizen-centric design and real, pragmatic actual innovation in the public sector and beyond. Waugh is currently working as a Director of Coordination and Gov 2.0 for the Australian Government CTO.

The tool can be applied to software you’re planning to use (or write), whether open or closed source software in nature. The way it works is that you answer questions organized by a number of topics – legal, standards, governance and market. In each area you’re given a number of questions such as does the project rely on any closed proprietary standards; are project decisions ever made in a non-public environment; and who is able to contribute to the project development?

In each case you choose from a set of pre-defined answers. There are 51 questions in all, and once you’ve answered them you’re given an openness rating of the project so you can identify potential problem areas.

Writing about the tool on the OSS Watch Team blog, Scott Wilson says that the OSS Watch Team has

“used the Openness Rating internally at OSS Watch for several years as a key part of our consultancy work, but this is the first time we’ve made the app itself open for anyone to use. It requires a fair bit of knowledge to get the most out of it, but even at a basic level it’s useful for highlighting questions that a project needs to be able to answer.”



More Information

OSS Watch Openness Tool

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Last Updated ( Thursday, 01 January 2015 )