Friday Nov 13, 2009

A Software Freedom Scorecard

I spoke this morning at the South Tyrol Free Software Conference in Bolzano, Italy. My subject was the idea of a "software freedom scorecard", a list of indicators for the strength of software freedom in an open source project or product, about which I wrote recently. The slides are available for download.

I also refer to reptiles, and that's a reference to another blog post.

Thursday Feb 26, 2009

See you at CeBIT?


Next week is CeBIT, the monster IT trade show that has outlived COMDEX and all the others. Held in Hannover in Germany, it is an exhibition of staggering proportions that every geek should attend at least once (my preference: only once).

This year for the first time they have an open source sub-conference hiding pretty much unadvertised inside the event and I'll be speaking there on Wednesday March 4th at 3:15pm. I'll also be presenting one of the open source awards on March 5th in the evening.

Saturday Oct 04, 2008

The Conference That's Worth Attending

Keystone Conference Centre

I speak at loads of conferences, but there's one I have been attending for nearly a decade which I'd like to recommend you consider. Every year I go the content is spot on, and I know I have to find new insights for the audience in my annual keynote because they are all probably more qualified to be speaking than I am.

This conference:

  • Features technical sessions of depth and current relevance to practicing enterprise software developers without hyping a particular fad;
  • Features speakers who are current practitioners, all of whom have high speaker-quality ratings from previous events;
  • Schedules each talk to run two or three times so you can attend everything you want to;
  • Includes a daily open town-hall meeting for questions and problem solving;
  • Is a favoured destination for long-term open source contributors, especially from Apache;
  • Just announced they will be making the most of Apple dropping the iPhone NDA to include an iPhone developer track with real code from real developers;
  • Is a non-partisan, privately-run event with no exhibits, no "sponsors" skewing the agenda and no marketing hype allowed and no marketing droids presenting;
  • Has been running for seventeen years paid for solely by attendee fees, and has the highest repeat attendee rate of any event I know;
  • Is a family affair, run by a family for their extended family of friends and soon-to-be-friends;
  • Is held in a beautiful high mountain retreat where everyone, delegates and speakers, stay all week and meet and eat together. Delegates go home with a rich contact list as a result;
  • Has great food;
  • Is probably the best technical conference in the world.

If you're an enterprise developer with a leaning towards open source and the Java platform (in all its modern incarnations), you should consider attending this event, despite the fact I will be presenting a keynote there for the ninth time. Try Dave Landers for a second opinion.

The event?  Colorado Software Summit, in Keystone, Colorado. I hope I'll see you there.

Tuesday Jul 22, 2008

Un-Booth at OSCON

One of the perennial problems of sponsoring an open source conference is that the organisers always seem to want the sponsorship to pay for an exhibition booth. Exhibition booths need furnishing and decorating. They need things to exhibit. They need staffing. Most of this would be fine at a traditional exhibition, but at an open source conference there aren't many people attending to choose things to buy and thus the sales staff aren't keen to do all the above.

So what should we do with that booth? An approach we first tried at FISL a few years ago was to stop treating it as a selling space and start treating it as a social space. This year at OSCON in Portland we've decided to open up and dedicate our booth to hosting a micro-unconference. We've set it up with whiteboards, tables, electrical outlets and fresh coffee. And if having a place to veg isn't enough, we've invited all comers to deliver lightning talks throughout the two days. There are still a few slots on the agenda if you want to deliver a talk, but the quality of the speakers already listed is high (check out Monty's talk on Maria for example).

By the way, the legendary (or is that "mythical") Sun FOSS Party is back again this year, 8pm in the parking garage at the Doubletree hotel on Wednesday (July 23). Loads of cool diversions and I gather there is plenty more to drink this year than last. All welcome.

Thursday Feb 15, 2007

JavaOne Saves 111 Trees

I was just alerted to the availability of the first JavaOne mailshot. If you've ever been to JavaOne you'll be expecting your nice, glossy brochure through the mail about now. Well, the JavaOne team has decided that it would be more environmentally responsible to make it a virtual mailshot, so they have instead issued a PDF of the brochure and asked us all to pass the word around. This move has some great consequences; from an e-mail I just received:

By producing this piece virtually, the Eco group has calculated the savings made as follows:
  • Assuming (based on last year) the brochure is equivalent to 2.5 pages of 0% recycled copy paper
  • Total paper saved = 4.63 tons
  • Greenhouse Gases reduced (CO2 equivalents) = 13 tons (26,297 lbs)
  • Reduction in wood use = 13 tons
  • # of trees saved (assuming 1 tree makes 16.67 reams of copy paper or 8,333.3 sheets) = 111
  • Reduction in wastewater (and associated water pollution) = 78,616 gallons (equivalent to 838K cans of soda)
  • Reduction in solid waste (stuff sent to landfills) = 5.1 tons

I was also fascinated to see details of some of the sessions that have been accepted, including (on page 6) the session on Apache Harmony that Tim Ellison and Geir Magnusson will be giving as part of the new Open Source Track, as well as (on page 8) the Java Libre panel. This could be a very interesting JavaOne!


Thoughts and pointers on digital freedoms and technology markets. With a few photos too.


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