What is an Open Source Community

The open source culture within the ZIPPER JUNCTION™ community will be everywhere, in all we do, and will make this place and all the programs within like nothing else ever experienced.

What is An Open Source Community? Transparent, cross pollinating, fair, shareable, selfless, encouraging, complimentary; these things make The ZIPPER JUNCTION Project™, and all involved, an open source community.

The ZIPPER JUNCTION Project™ is the operational arm of an experience and opportunity factory. What makes it truly unique is the way it will actually function, as an open source community. We take the open source philosophy and bring it to life in a real place filled with those opportunities and experiences called ZIPPER JUNCTION™, a place where an open source community can actually live. But to understand what the heck this is all about, the term “open source” must first be understood.

Open source is a term that was born in the early 1980’s, coming into the main stream as an acceptable term in the mid 1990’s. It referenced computer software, more specifically it referred to software that not only had the user interface available to the general public, but also had the previously secret code available to the public to see, manipulate, improve upon and generally learn from. This was a dramatic shift in the way large corporations disseminated their software. They basically wanted folks to use the software but they wanted to keep how it all worked proprietary or secret. Many programmers started to believe that if the code was open, and other programmers could see it, they not only could add value in that more eyes were on it to debug problematic programs, they also felt they could potentially improve it as well, for the general good of the community. To this day, the basic theory remains the same, open source simply means everything is done without secrecy, making all of the design information available to everyone.

What does this have to do with the way The ZIPPER JUNCTION Project™ will operate? A bit more of an explanation may be needed now that the basic understanding of where this term came from is understood. After the software community embraced this concept – well some of them anyway – certainly not all, the philosophy began to rub off on other things, real tangible projects and information in general. The following few paragraphs are paraphrased from Wikipedia. They describe the four most common types of “Open Source” areas:

Open Source as Software: Open source software (OSS) is computer software that has its source code made available with a license in which the copyright holder provides the rights to study, change, and distribute the software to anyone and for any purpose. Open source software is very often developed in a public, collaborative manner. Open source software is the most prominent example of open source development and often compared to user generated content or open content movements.

Open Source as a Production and Development model: In production and development, open source development promotes a universal access via a free license to a product’s design or blueprint, and universal redistribution of that design or blueprint, including subsequent improvements to it by anyone. Researchers view open source as a specific case of the greater pattern of Open Collaboration, “any system of innovation or production that relies on goal oriented yet loosely coordinated participants, who interact to create a product (or service) of economic value, which they make available to contributors and non-contributors alike”. Before the phrase open source became widely adopted, developers and producers used a variety of other terms. Open source gained hold with the rise of the Internet, and the attendant need for massive retooling of the computing source code. Opening the source code enabled a self-enhancing diversity of production models, communication paths, and interactive communities. The open source software movement arose to clarify the environment that the new copyright, licensing, domain, and consumer issues created.

Open Source as Information Intelligence: Open source intelligence (OSINT) is intelligence collected from publicly available sources. In the intelligence community (IC), the term “open” refers to overt, publicly available sources (as opposed to covert or clandestine sources); it is not related to open source software or public intelligence.

Open Source Generally Applied: Open source denotes that a product or service includes permission to use its source code, design documents, or content (open source and open content – the latter deals with non-software deliverables or where the distinction between source code and other content is unclear or complex).

The ZIPPER JUNCTION Project™ takes all these definitions and puts them into practice in all we do. From the transparent nature of our internal operations as an organization, to the cross pollination that must take place between all the programs and places within our walls, from the fair and just way all things are carried out, to the free sharing of information between departments and individuals, from the selfless nature and intent of all people and activities, to the encouraging and complimentary atmosphere that will envelope the entire experience, these are the things that define the open source community we image and will bring to life.

Here is a good example to make this clearer if it is still a bit fuzzy: think of a large university, a place that has many different departments, so huge that each department seems to operate as a separate entity with separate goals and motives. Generally, this may be viewed as a good thing; why would the athletics department really need to be involved in the sciences in a large institution anyway? One of the major problems with this operational agreement is money, budgets that literally drive fights for funds without care or concern for the needs or wants of other departments. Administration has to sort it all out, but the departments never see the whole picture, nor do they want to at times. The operational litmus test for ZIPPER JUNCTION™ requires that each department must not only mesh well with all the others from an operational standpoint, they must actually complement each other and cross pollinate their seemingly different operations into one another, to even be considered for inclusion into the mix.

Take for instance those sports and science departments mentioned earlier, they certainly can coexist and complement each other if the atmosphere exists to do just that. What better test bed for the motion studies for say, a robotics laboratory to have than the athletes in a sports program? What better way for those robotic engineers to get the data they need from those athletes than to call upon the in house video production assets with all their high speed cameras and such? What better way to get all these things moved around and coordinated than to utilize central logistics to do some of the heavy lifting? Get the idea? The open source nature of things makes 2 + 2 = 5, or 25; the result is greater, or much greater, than the simple addition of all the individual parts.

What started out as a term for software grew into having application for things and intelligence. What The ZIPPER JUNCTION Project™ created was a living culture of this philosophy in regard to all things, from the people to the places, from the data to the creations. Like the very air we breathe or the gravity we rely on as a constant in the real world, the open source culture within the ZIPPER JUNCTION™ community will be everywhere, in all we do, and will make this place and all the programs within like nothing else ever experienced.