Making Rahat Open Source

Making Rahat Open Source
Part 1: Building Our Open Source Value  

Rumsan team is working on making Rahat open source with support from UNICEF Innovation Fund. I will be sharing our learnings through a series of blogs. I hope our journey inspires more to use Open Standards, Open Data, Open Source, and Open Innovation. Now onwards!!

Rahat is blockchain based relief distribution management for aid agencies. One of our visions has always been to - doing well by doing good. We want Rahat to become one of the tools towards creating global goods. Creating an open source software (OSS) might pave a way to create a greater impact.

Image Source: SUSE

Before going into details, let me talk about the open source ecosystem. In open-source the copyright holder grants users the rights to use, study, change, and distribute the software and its source code or content to anyone and for any purpose. Open source can be for software, hardware or content.

To create an open source ecosystem there are four essential principles.These are unchangeable freedoms in Open Source.

  • Freedom to READ: Ability to see how it works and study the source.
  • Freedom to RUN: No restrictions on use. Run the software in any way you see fit.
  • Freedom to REVISE: You are always allowed to make changes to the software.
  • Freedom to REDISTRIBUTE: You are allowed to share your changes with others.

But in this world where IPs are kept secret and thought necessary for competitive edge. 

So, why make our creations public and open. There are few good reasons (You can look at Linux) -

  • Control:
    • Always possible to study and understand how it works.
    • Nobody can tell you what and how to use the software.

  • Training:
    • Learning happens in the public.
    • Connection to a wider ecosystem beyond closed source work.
    • Get faster feedback.

  • Security:
    • Easier to audit.
    • Often quick to fix problems due to more eyes.

  • Stability:
    • Build on open, common standards.
    • Improved interoperability.
    • Easier to fork and continue on, if needed.

Open source is a culture and a process. 

According to Justin Flory, OS Technical for UIF adopting open source is similar to building a house. Let me list down the process with this analogy.

  1. Foundations: Defining the strategy. Legal, policy, governance.
  2. Structures: Convert strategy into tactics. Begin construction.
  3. Entrypoints: Enable collaboration with clear on-boarding pathways.
  4. “Interior decorating”: Make it your own.

Rahat will be following this process to build and embrace open source culture. The series of upcoming blogs will highlight our open source vision, strategies, licensing, and governance. 

Stay tuned on how we have tried to build a strong foundation for our open source house. Now onwards!! 

This blog is based on an online mentorship session with Justin Flory. The presentation deck can be found here -