François Letellier

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François Letellier
Residence France
Nationality French
Other names flet
Citizenship French
Education Master's degree in computer science
Known for Open source advocacy ; success of ObjectWeb and OW2 communities
Board member of ObjectWeb, OW2 Consortium

François Letellier (aka FLet), born 1968, is a French proponent of free/open source software as a major means of innovation in the software industry. He served as evangelist and executive director[1] of ObjectWeb (European born community for development of open-source middleware[2]) in 2003[3]-2006 at INRIA. He worked on the inception of OW2 Consortium, was one of the individual co-founders and serves on the board of directors as elected representative of individuals since then. With several other individuals in the OW2 European Local Chapter, he incepted[4] fOSSa - a conference dedicated to industry/academia collaborations through free/open-source software. François Letellier first introduced the concept of "third generation" of open-source organizations[5][6] to describe non profits such as the Eclipse Foundation, Mozilla Foundation, ObjectWeb and the like. The concept is similar to that of "OSS 2.0".[7] He speaks extensively of these notions in the press and at public events. F. Letellier also documented the case against software patents in general, and software patents in Europe, in particular. François Letellier works as a freelance consultant on open-source business models, strategy, community building, open innovation.[8] He holds a master's degree in computer science and contributed to several open-source projects (e.g. Perl/CPAN). Since mid-2011, F. Letellier is appointed Director of Cluster Edit, a cluster initiative gathering software companies in the Rhône-Alpes region.

"Third Generation" of open source[edit]

In public presentations and published papers,[9] F. Letellier describes the three "ages" of open-source: first generation is the early times, where it was mainly a story of loosely connected individuals (roughly before 1990). Generation 2 appeared with the worldwide web and was the time of large scale communities federated by associations of individuals (e.g. the Apache Software Foundation). Third generation (from 2000 on) is the time of "meta-organizations",[10] i.e. associations of legal entities: Collaboration in an 3G open source organization may not happen at level of single projects - and one may even argue that some projects leaders come from the dark side of open source. But the ultimate goal is to have cross-projects collaboration. To bring back the value of open source at a higher level. And because the parties involved no longer are individuals, but also legal entities, a governance model that goes beyond meritocracy is needed.

Software patents[edit]

This is a draft - FL position is detailed in a position paper from ObjectWeb, on a wiki whose revision history shows that most of the text is originally written (in French) by FL[11]

The case about software patents is 5-fold:[12]

  • Free movement of knowledge
  • Economic development and technological innovation
  • Political awareness
  • Creating common infrastructures for public utility
  • Law harmonization

Open innovation[edit]

In numerous articles, François Letellier promotes the idea that open-source should be regarded as an innovation intermediary, therefore making open-source communities de facto practitioners of one of the most advanced forms of "open innovation" to date. In F. Letellier's view, the efficiency of this open innovation process derives from the fact that software is immaterial (hence non rival and indefinitely reproductible at no cost).

See also[edit]


  1. ^ ObjectWeb web site
  2. ^ 01 Informatique (n° 1725) 16 March 2003
  3. ^ Rapport d'Activité du consortium ObjectWeb - Année 2003
  4. ^ fOSSa presentation
  5. ^ The ObjectWeb ESB initiative, A. Boulze, F. Letellier, P. Moussier
  6. ^ The Future of Open Source Software through the European Research and Industry, S. de Panfilis, F. Letellier, B. Fitzgerald, OSS 2006
  7. ^ Blog entry on OSS 2006
  8. ^ Indexel, 1 April 2009
  9. ^ Open Source software: the role of nonprofits in federating business and innovation ecosystems, AFME 2008
  10. ^ Collaboration in meta-organizations: research issues and challenges, Rao B.P., Engineering and Technology Management, 1996. IEMC 96
  11. ^ [1]
  12. ^ ObjectWeb community whitepaper on software patents

External links[edit]