CommunityOne, the conference for free and open software was held on the 5th May 08. Most sessions were introductions to various free and open software. The event covered a wide range of topics from the Linux, Scripting and open software world yet it did not seem to have attracted many non-Java developers.
Holding the event just a day before JavaOne would get it a certain guaranteed audience every year but that perhaps is also the reason why the event isn’t going beyond the Java crowd. CommunityOne is still in it’s nascent stages and one hopes that in future years it would be a top event for non-Java developers.
I attended a session on Ubuntu as I use the OS regularly and quite like the way it’s moving. The speaker talked of how Ubuntu aims to be the “Free Software Community Done Right”. The speaker emphasized how they were going the extra mile to make he Ubuntu community as inclusive as possible. The speaker also talked of how the ‘vocal minority’ of free and open source users need to be more flexible. He noted that they shouldn’t get obsessed with being purely free and open source that they end up hurting the community. The session on the PHP Zend framework, talked of how most of the new Ajax development is happening in the PHP world and then showed code snippets of MVC development using the Zend framework.
Happened to be at an interesting discussion during the unconference at the lunch hall. Former MySQL CEO Marten Mickos, Neelan Choksi from SpringSource and Ian Murdoch from Sun talked of open source business models. Amongst other things Marten talked of how open source businesses had to talk differently with the community and to customers who don’t quite understand free and open source. This he said had often led to MySQL communications being misinterpreted as the community debated MySQL communications meant for corporate customers.
On being asked about how open source businesses were working out in the developing world where cost was more of a concern and piracy an issue. They did not seem very excited about open source based business in the developing world. They felt that piracy as a big problem. Marten told of how he gets questioned about why businesses should use free and open MySQL when they were anyway using Oracle DB for free. So large communities for open source software are being built in the developing world, there doesn’t seem to be much of a open source business in existence there.
JavaOne opens tomorrow. Looking forward to it.
– Harshad Oak