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Frequently Asked Questions about the OSL
  1. Why is the OSL at OSU?

    For years, Oregon State University has provided software archives at as a service to the Open Source community. As an extension of this service, we started hosting machines for specific Open Source projects so that updating from their archives to our mirror (and subsequently the world) would be much faster.

    At the same time that we started hosting machines for Open Source projects, OSU also took on some build-from-scratch development. From these efforts came products such as Maintain and the Helpdesk. These tools solved problems the University was facing at an economical cost. We decided to release both of these tools under Open Source licenses.

    OSU also uses Open Source tools quite heavily across the entire campus. Taking the use, development and hosting all together it became clear that we needed to combine that all into one place. Hence the Open Source Lab was born.

  2. How does the OSL's mission relate to OSU's core values?

    The OSL's mission closely mirrors the core values of OSU. From OSU's Mission Statement: Oregon State University aspires to stimulate a lasting attitude of inquiry, openness and social responsibility.

    The OSL is all about using open standards to promote technologies that help the University stimulate its lasting attitude of inquiry and social responsibility. Enabling students, faculty and staff by creating an atmosphere of innovation is a critical piece of the OSL's mission.

  3. How is the OSL a University function?

    The Open Source Lab is an entity that spans many different skills that are present at the University. The OSL will certainly be a resource to every College for research and learning. However, it will also be a resource beyond that. The OSL needs to be a resource to the administration and its various functions, to the private sector business and many other communities. It will succeed far better if it is a central point (as the OSU administration is) that can create collaborations among many groups.

    The OSL is also attempting to create new opportunities for the OSU community as a whole. As such, it should be housed within the central structure. Research and academia may lead specific efforts with the OSL providing backup. However, the OSL needs to be equally able to offer that service to all. Further, it needs to be able to create growth, revenue, and cost economies for any collaborator, by being a central, accessible and professional resource.

  4. How is the OSL funded?

    The OSL's initial startup money came from the University administration and more specifically the Central IS and Network Services budget.

    Of course, the money could have been spent in a number of ways to create direct benefits to the campus and OSU's IS. However, the Open Source Lab is a new opportunity to create a host of benefits for the entire University and its IS infrastructure.

    The OSL is a chance to create new recognition for the University: educational, research and outreach efforts. Each of these create strong recognition and value for OSU. The OSL will also create strong community and business side economic drivers.

    The return on investment is a return to the OSU community, the OSU IS infrastructure and a host of collaborators and other groups. This makes investment in the OSL an extremely valuable driver for OSU that enhances and goes beyond the IS infrastructure at OSU.

  5. How can I help?

    Want to work on a project? E-mail us at staff-at-osuosl-dot-org.

  6. Can I host a project here?

    We're pretty flexible in terms of project hosting. E-mail us at the address listed above and we'll take it under consideration.

Last modified 2004-06-17 04:38 PM

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