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Frequently Asked Questions about OSAF

For questions about Chandler Project, visit the Chandler FAQ

[Return to osafoundation.org]


What is OSAF?

OSAF is the Open Source Applications Foundation, a 501(c)3 non-profit foundation. Our main project is the Chandler Project: an open effort to build a personal information manager designed for small group collaboration. Chandler consists of a Desktop application, a Server and a free sharing service called Chandler Hub. We're currently working towards our Preview Release. The foundation's mission is outlined on the OSAF home page.

We conduct most of our work transparently; if you are interested, you can read the blog, look at mailing list archives or peruse the wiki. If you are interested in getting involved, see http://chandlerproject.org/getinvolved. As an open project, we're interested in collaborating with individuals or other organizations.

Where is OSAF located?

The OSAF office is located at 543 Howard St., Suite 500, San Francisco CA 94105.

Who founded OSAF? How was the idea for OSAF conceived?

Mitchell Kapor founded OSAF in 2001. You can read more about OSAF's history.

Who are the members of OSAF's board of directors?

The OSAF board of directors is comprised of:

Mitchell Kapor - Founder and Chair OSAF, founder Lotus Development Corp., co-founder Electronic Frontier Foundation.

Mitchell Baker - President of Mozilla Foundation

John Lilly - Board Member, COO of Mozilla Foundation

Who are OSAF's funders?

Mitchell Kapor is OSAF's primary funder, and will fund the organization through 2008.

In March 2003, OSAF received a $98,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to investigate whether Chandler could be extended to meet higher education needs. Subsequent grants were given in September 2003: $1.5 million from the Mellon Foundation and $1.25 million from the 25 university members comprising the Common Solutions Group. This money primarily funded work on the CalDAV calendaring standard, including the initial work on the Chandler Server and work to make the Desktop application a CalDAV client. The Chandler Server was originally formed as two projects: Cosmo (a CalDAV server) and Scooby (a Web UI for remote access to calendar data). Chandler Server has grown to be a data hub supporting a wide variety of protocols with a Web UI that is a full complement to the desktop for shared personal information.

In addition OSAF receives smaller cash donations from many individuals.

When was OSAF incorporated as a non-profit organization?

OSAF was incorporated as a non-profit public corporation in the State of CA on May 30, 2001. In February 2002, OSAF obtained Federal 501(c)3 nonprofit status.

How many employees does OSAF have?

As of August 2007, there are 27 people working full-time or mostly full-time on Chandler. Our intent is to keep the core team small, and to grow and collaborate with a vibrant open source community in order to to bring the full Chandler vision to fruition.

How large do you anticipate OSAF becoming in the future?

We do not have any plan to increase OSAF's core staff. We are primarily focused on building an active open source community around Chandler.

Is OSAF hiring? If so, what types of people are you looking to bring on?

We have no open positions at this time. Please subscribe to the announce mailing list for updates on job openings or follow our blog at http://blog.chandlerproject.org/.

What type of company culture has OSAF created?

OSAF values collaboration between highly motivated individuals who bring a passion for excellence, commitment to high standards of performance and quality of product, a capacity for creativity, and respect for others and their differences to their work.

We hold ourselves and others to standards of honesty, fairness, and accountability in our dealings.

What role does Mitch Kapor play at OSAF?

Mitchell Kapor founded OSAF, and for several years managed day to day operations at OSAF. Katie Parlante now fills this role as OSAF's General Manager. Mitch is currently involved with OSAF as a Board Chair, providing advice, support and guidance to Katie and the team. He is also the primary Funder, and will be through the end of 2008.

Does OSAF have a technical board of advisors?

While OSAF does not have a formal technical board of advisors, OSAF gets useful technical advice from hundreds of participants on the OSAF design and development mailing lists. Representatives from the higher education sector formed a Westwood Advisory Council, which has provided advice on adding features to make Chandler useful to higher education. This effort led to the Chandler Server project, as well as active involvement in the CalDAV calendaring standard.

What type of licensing model do you have in place?

Chandler Desktop and Server are licensed with the Apache 2.0 License. We chose the Apache License because it has fewer restrictions and is generally more developer friendly. This license is consistent with our goal of widespread adoption.

Previous versions of the Desktop were licensed under the GNU GPL because we thought that we would pursue a MySQL style dual licensing scheme as part of the sustainability plans for the Foundation. We no longer plan to pursue this kind of scheme in order to acheive our sustainability goals.

Does OSAF have a revenue model? How much funding do you need in the future to keep the organization alive?

OSAF is a 501(c)3 non-profit foundation, primarily funded by Mitchell Kapor. As a non-profit, OSAF will of course not seek an IPO. Mitch will continue to fund OSAF through 2008.

We are currently exploring revenue models as our funding situation will change in 2008. We have considered generating revenue from our hosted service offering (via advertising and/or subscription fees for some services). Corporate sponsorship or foundation support are other options.

Our current focus is to use existing funds to provide a usable experience with Chandler, in particular with our Preview Release. With our Preview Release we have a concrete, usable example of our vision. We hope to be able to gain adoption of Chandler with the Preview Release and to generate an active open source community around Chandler.

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