Wednesday, February 10, 2010

FOSS 2010, Day 1

Third #FOSS2010 posting of many.

Day 1 of FOSS 2010 has concluded, with only dinner left to go. I wanted to convey a sense of the session, although with 40 people in the room, it’s just a sense.

Of the 40, about 25 are either computer science or information systems (information school?) academics, 5 are social scientists, 7 are industry and 3 are from open source nonprofits. (There are some overlaps and that was from a show of hands).

There was live note taking on EtherPad. (EtherPad is a collaboration engine with lower latency than Google Wave, which is why Google bought its maker AppJet Inc.). Due to their freemium business model, only 16 of us could be typing simultaneously in the free version, but still the live updates were impressive. At some point the EtherPad stream-of-consciousness may be released to the public, or maybe not.

Definitely in the public was the huge stream of Tweets. If you want to drink open source snippets from a firehose, 140 characters at a time, check it out. By my count, I contributed (about) 36 of them.

As an experiment, below is (by my definition) an interesting excerpt of tweets from the conference:

openITstrat At FOSS 2010 workshop @ UCI, among 40 academics recommending to NSF future directions for open source research

openITstrat John L. King: open source is outlier in computing research to Congress, NSF,, CCC — none of the heavyweights are arguing it's core.

dirkriehle John L. King pointing out that #foss2010 can have a major impact on future funding of open source research

openITstrat #FOSS2010 Stormy Peters [@storming] of GNOME: we're upstream project, we get less feedback from users than a user-facing project. How do we reach users?

openITstrat #FOSS2010 Bob Gobeille of HP Linux/Open Source office: 85% of HP products have open source software in them.

storming "FOSS after Google" - interesting slide title [by Chris Kelty]. (Was more about cloud, group identity, etc.) #foss2010

cdknutson Joel West at #foss2010 throwing down the gauntlet on motivation, terminology, perspectives. Good to see courage and conviction.

jerenkrantz Ok. I can't stop from laughing at Joel West bashing Sun. #foss2010

openITstrat RT @jerenkrantz I can't stop from laughing at Joel West bashing Sun. #foss2010 I didn't bash Sun, I bashed bad OSS investments by Sun CEOs

openITstrat #FOSS2010 Not all bugs are shallow. Apache pres Justin Erenkrantz [@jerenkrantz]: Debian introduced security bugs into Linux distro, but no one spotted it.

jerenkrantz @openITstrat is BenL's post about that event #foss2010

klakhani @openITstrat maybe there were not enough eyeballs? i think ESR meant it as an average effect and not absolute..

openITstrat @klakhani The point of @jerenkrantz is that it's eyeball quality, not quantity. Monkeys could type Shakespeare, but how many would you need?

openITstrat #FOSS2010 Tony Wasserman [@twasserman], CMU: software startups now longer need to buy tools (unless developing for MS). OSS wiped out SW tools industry.

openITstrat #FOSS2010 Tony Wasserman, CMU: startups can just go to for stacks and applications ready to use — no new code or bugs

openITstrat #FOSS2010 Shoba Chengalur-Smith of SUNY Albany: "If a product is open source and the user does not know it, does it make a sound?"

felipecerda RT @fielding: Open source term should only apply if product can be modified and rebuilt by (or for) a user. Complex is no better than closed. #foss2010 [Fielding's comments: Mozilla can only be built by machine; can anyone outside RedHat build RH?]

divacanto @twasserman "Software Engineering books are outdated" #FOSS2010

dirkriehle John Noll at #foss2010: I wonder how many other fields have so much disdain for their textbooks

openITstrat #FOSS2010 @benevolentprof (Susan Sim): “not everyone can contribute to open source.” Me: not everyone can win American Idol, either.

cdknutson @openITstrat @benevolentprof "not everyone can win American Idol, either." American Idol is a cathedral. OS claims to be a bazaar. #foss2010

jerenkrantz @cdknutson I think Idol is certainly more bazaar than cathedral - at least compared to the rest of the music industry. #foss2010

cdknutson Walt Scacchi at #foss2010: "Software Engineering is becoming an empirical science

dirkriehle Walt Scacchi at #foss2010 - Software engineering is becoming an empirical science << pls tell that the program committees I'm on!

openITstrat #FOSS2010 @cdknutson likes Armour "The 5 orders of ignorance" (CACM 2000 & 1. answers 2. questions 3. asking questions

The [bracketed comments] are changes I made later, particularly when learning people’s Twitter handles. Update: For an alternate summary, see John King’s CCC blog post.

What was particularly fun was having Karim Lakhani join the conversation, even though he’s not here, but instead (AFAIK) teaching in snow-bound Boston.

See also my open source bibliography on the open innovation blog.

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