EuroOSCON Day 2

Very late, but here’s a summary of what I did at EuroOSCON on the second day (Wednesday).

The keynotes started with Rael Dornfest talking about how “Annenuation is the new Aggregation”. He was followed by Red Hat’s Michael Tiemann talking about quality management. We then had Jason Matusow from Microsoft nicely illustrating how, hard as they might try, Microsoft just don’t understand Open Source. He did, however, announce that the licensing on their Shared Source program would be greatly simplified into three licenses. There then two keynotes which largely passed me by before Paula LeDieu gave an interesting talk on how the Creative Commons team are trying to see how their philosophies might apply in the world of scientific research.

A quick break and I was off to see Leon talk about his new, improved Perl debugger. It looks great, but unfortunately the web-based version doesn’t seem to install on my system. I’ve sent in bug reports. I then went to see Ben Goodger talking about the fantastic successes that the Firefox team have had in getting their product accepted into the mainstream.

After lunch I went to see CL Kao talking about his new version control system – svk. For my projects I still use CVS, but I should probably look at using something a little more up to date. It was particularly nice to see Karl Fogel from the Subversion project applauding so loudly at the end of CL’s talk.

I then stepped away from technical talks for a while to see Daneese Cooper talking about Free and Open Source Software in the developing world. Daneese works for Intel and it was interesting to hear her point out that Intel doesn’t really need to care what software people run on their chips – but that as a lot of proprietary software that is used in the developing world is pirated then you could see why they might have an interest in advocating the the use of Open Source Software. After a while this talk took a bit of a patronising “taking beads to the natives” tack which made me a bit uncomfortable.

Another coffee break and then I was of to see Jutta Horstmann talking about migrating to Open Source databases. This was a good overview of the Open Source database world, but a lot of the migration techniques were equally applicable for any kind of database migration whether the source and target databases are Open Source or proprietary.

For the last talk of the day I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to see. There wasn’t anything that paricularly grabbed my attention. So on a whim I went to see Robert Lefkowitz giving a talk called “Shielding and Exposing Innovation”. I really glad that I did. Robert is a great speaker and his talk drew many interesting parallels between the open Source movement and Renaissance Italy. I learnt some interesting history too.

I hung around and spoke to a few people and a group of us went off for some food before returning to the conference venue for the Maker Faire (why “Faire” rather than “Fair” or “Fayre”) where a number of hardware hackers set up stalls showing their interesting (and often very weird) projects. Bumped into a couple of friends who I didn’t know were going to be there, had some interesting talks and, all in all, had a most enjoyable evening.

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