As part of my move to Portland, I recently found out about the open-source lab at Oregon State University (OSU). A first glance suggests that they are involved in all sorts of key open-source projects around the world and at different levels. First off, they lead a number of exciting projects on their own: mostly network management and bug tracking but also the Oregon Virtual School District and a digital library project. Second, they provide hosting services to a wide range of popular projects. I first got a clue about the OSL when I realized that this was where my Drupal download was coming from. Finally, they have an impressive suite of sponsors.

I wonder what potential there is for collaboration with an organization that is already so open with their affiliations and projects. For example, their knowledgebase is powered by a wiki with a better oganizational focus than I have seen before: Confluence. The only drag is that it’s very expensive! So much for walking the talk!


  1. Stewart Mader says:

    Hi Richard,
    Thanks for mentioning Confluence – I’m glad you like the organizational focus. Since it’s designed with large enterprises in mind, we want it to be able to grow as needed but still feel like lightweight, simple software.

    Regarding cost, we actually give Confluence and our other products away free to open source projects, like OSU OSL. They’ve been running Confluence and JIRA, our bug tracker, for several years and we also provide full support to open source customers just like we do for commercial customers. If you want to read about the philosophy behind this, Mike Cannon-Brookes, Atlassian’s co-Founder and CEO, recently wrote about it on his <a href="http://blogs.atlassian.com/…">blog</a>.

  2. rkassissieh says:

    That’s very good of you to donate your software to open source projects. How about to nonprofit organizations, including schools?

  3. Greg Lund-Chaix says:

    Actually, we here at the OSL *do* "walk the talk" as you called it.

    The vast majority of the tools we use – and the tools we develop – are open source. Our osuosl.org web site runs on Drupal (on a LAMP stack), we use tools like Snort for network security, and we use Nagios, Cacti, AWstats, and OpenNMS for monitoring our systems (both our own and the ones we host). That does not mean, however, that we won’t on rare occasions use a commercial or proprietary product if it’s the right tool for the job. I think, though, you’ll see that except for a very few special case exceptions – like Confluence/JIRA – we are indeed running FOSS throughout our data center.

  4. rkassissieh says:

    Thank you, Greg. I was too strong with that statement. I guess I’m just jealous of your knowledgebase software. I am having trouble finding a good one for free. See http://www.kassblog.com/ind… for more about that. I think I’m going to use CCK and Drupal for my next attempt.