A Ratings System for Open Source Software - InformationWeek
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8/1/2005
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David  DeJean
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A Ratings System for Open Source Software

A rating system for open-source software will be announced at OSCON, the O'Reilly Open Source Convention going on this week in Portland, OR, The New York Times reports. The system is the cooperative work of Intel, the O'Reilly CodeZoo, Carnegie Mellon Univerity, and SpikeSource, a start-up company that supports and tests corporate open-source projects.

A rating system for open-source software will be announced at OSCON, the O'Reilly Open Source Convention going on this week in Portland, OR, The New York Times reports. The system is the cooperative work of Intel, the O'Reilly CodeZoo, Carnegie Mellon Univerity, and SpikeSource, a start-up company that supports and tests corporate open-source projects.The system, called Business Readiness Ratings, sounds less like the movie ratings (thank goodness -- I've had enough of headlines about X-rated software lately, thank you very much) and more like a sort of Zagat's Guide. Users of software would contribute numeric scores and comments in 12 categories.

The initiative has its own Web site at www.openbrr.org. A statement on the site says Business Readiness Ratings, which it describes as being in "a public comment period," is being proposed as a new standard model for rating open source software "intended to enable the entire community (enterprise adopters and developers) to rate software in an open and standardized way."

"The ultimate goal of BRR," says the site, "is to give companies a trusted, unbiased source for determining whether the open source software they are considering is mature enough to adopt. It will help adopters assess which open source software is best suited to their needs and enable them to share findings with the community. It promotes use and adoption of open source software and may assist developers in creating and delivering software geared to enterprise use."

Documents available on the site include white papers and sample evaluations and ratings forms.

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