Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. How do you maintain and assure quality?

A1. Rigorous peer review of patterns before they are promoted. A release cycle every 6-8 months chunks new patterns together so we can look for synergies and overlaps, and therefore determine which parts should be modules.


Q2.If I reference controls/patterns how do I know that the site will persist?

A2. We are committed to maintaining this site indefinitely. The hosting costs are negligible and are covered by donations from the core team. Over time we expect that there will be income to cover costs from certification and training.


Q3. How will you stabilize OSA? If I reference a pattern in my work I don't want it to suddenly change.

A3. We will use a release cycle to ensure that the existing OSA controls and patterns are usable while new items are being developed. The current release will be locked and when superseded will be deprecated but available in perpetuity so that specific implementations can always reference. The development candidate will be available for update, and features will be determined by the community per a published road map.


Q4. Why does this website look awful using IE5/6?

A4. Unfortunately these browsers are very non compliant with current standards for XHTML and Cascading Style Sheets. They do not support transparency on PNG's and the site menus will also not work properly. Treat yourself to a proper browser like Firefox, Opera or Safari. At a push IE7 should also work for you.


Q5. What should I use to create patterns?

A5. We recommend a vector graphics editor that supports SVG such as Corel Draw, Adobe Illustrator or Inkscape. We prefer Inkscape because its Open Source, very usable, and generates high quality files. Take a look at the tutorials, download the icon packages and pattern templates and away you go.


Q6. Can I use these materials for a commercial profit making organisation?

A6. Yes. The only aspect of the license that needs to be considered is the requirement to share back any improvements with the community. That way we all benefit. You should also credit OSA when you use the patterns, that way we hope more people will learn about us, and join the cause :-)


Q7. I want to use OSA but the first question I will get is, which other organizations are using it. Can you tell me?

A7. Basically No. It would be a breach of our users privacy to advertise or make public any organisations using these materials.

You should decide whether to use OSA based on the quality of the materials provided, not the names of the organisations that may be using.

However we are proud to see the traction that OSA has achieved. Some of the world's largest companies and organizations consider OSA  to be of outstanding quality and are using (parts of ) the framework and materials.


Q8. How long has OSA been available?

A8. The first OSA articles and patterns were published early 2008. Before that some of the ideas underpinning OSA were developed and prepared over the course of 10+ years by the founders.

Q9. How actively is OSA developed?

A9. Considering the fact that this is an open source project in a highly specialized field, and that we all carry out the development in addition to a day job, we are happy with the frequency of the updates and have received very positive feedback from all around the globe so far.