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Thoughts On Open Inventive Communities

By | August 7, 2020

By Joe Bostian, Ambitus Project Maintainer, IBM Open Source Architect

One of the challenges of being a mainframer is the idea that we used to innovate on this platform 50 years ago. Our community generates exceptional innovation that continues today and will extend long into the future. Our platform and environment are state-of-the-art, but too often we allow or enable the conversations about what we do to center on the past.

All of us who are Open Mainframers recognize the importance of open software.  The question to our community is how do we best wear our open source and mainframe hats at the same time?  If we do it well, we should create a new context for the mainframe conversation that shows our platform for what it is, not what it was.  At the same time, the open source community can benefit from us as experts in the areas of security, reliability, and efficiency among others.

Although the open source community has existed for much longer, over the last 10 years it has provided the paradigm and infrastructure for deploying a large majority of creative workloads and computing solutions.  There are very few new, purely proprietary offerings released today.  Open source permeates modern IT infrastructure, and all of us need to be good at it – not just as users, but as participants, contributors, and developers. Open source works best when we take an active role.

At the Open Mainframe Project, we have been building content over the last several months for a community under the Ambitus project.  Our goal is to assist anyone working with open source to succeed on the mainframe.  Whether you’re porting a project and want to know something about the platform, or you’re a systems programmer trying to understand an open source project you’re going to host, Ambitus is a place to learn and share.

Some of our most current topics include:

As with all new projects, this is a work-in-progress, and it will likely remain this way.  If you have a question, please ask in our Slack channel at the Open Mainframe Project workspace (#ambitus).


Consider becoming a member of our community by contributing some content:

  • Knowledge you’ve gained through your open source experiences on z/OS
  • Examples of configurations, toolchains, or pipelines
  • Updates to an existing open source project that you’re in the process of upstreaming

None of us knows as much as all of us, and this kind of community
can substantially broaden our mainframe open source ecosystem.