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O'Reilly's Tenth Annual OSCON Explores Open Source's Dynamic Future

August 27, 2008

O'Reilly's Tenth Annual OSCON Explores Open Source's Dynamic Future-
Open Source Community Prepares for Challenges and Opportunities Ahead

Sebastopol, CA--More than 3,000 developers, entrepreneurs, and visionaries attended the 10th annual OSCON in Portland, on July 21-25, and they left knowing that the open source community is stronger than ever.

Program chairs Allison Randal, Edd Dumbill, and the OSCON program committee chose from more than 700 proposals and produced five full days of stirring talks and practical demonstrations at the cutting edge of technological and commercial innovation. Rich in content and inspiration, the convention featured the key players and issues influencing open source today, and it explored the greatest potential for open source tomorrow.

Through sessions, tutorials, and other activities, conference-goers had hundreds of opportunities to evaluate the new projects, tools, services, platforms, languages, software, and standards sweeping through the open source community. They chose among tracks in administration, business, databases, desktop applications, emerging topics, fundamentals, Java, Linux, Perl, PHP, products and services, programming, Python, Ruby, and web applications.

With so much buzz focused on mobile, OSCON 2008 pioneered the first Open Mobile Exchange (OMX), devoted to exploring the nexus of where mobile meets business, technology, the Web, and open source. OMX was a day of insightful conversations, demos, technical presentations, and panel discussions for everyone involved in building out the open source mobile space. "If one thing is clear, it's that the future is mobile," Robert Strohmeyer observed for PC World on the first day of the conference.

The ways in which business is embracing open source provided another major theme this year. "The open-source community is no longer the sole province of technology geeks. The mood is shifting," wrote Esther Schindler at CIO. "Instead of open source trying to figure out its place in the enterprise, today the enterprise is seeking its place in open source."

OSCON offered participants multiple ways to engage, including a vibrant "hallway track" for attendees, speakers, journalists, and vendors to debate and discuss important issues; OSCamp, an "unconference" open to all, where the participants created the program; Birds of a Feather networking sessions; and several awards programs, such as the Google-O'Reilly Open Source Awards, the White Camel Awards,the Frank Willison Award, and the SourceForge.Net 2008 Community Choice Awards.

Headlining the conference were 20 keynote speakers, including:

  • Damian Conway (Thoughtstream), "Temporally Quaquaversal Virtual Nanomachine Programming In Multiple Topologically Connected Quantum-Relativistic Parallel Timespaces...Made Easy!"
  • Danese Cooper (Open Source Initiative and Intel Corporation), "Why Whining Doesn't Work"
  • Paul Fenwick (Perl Training Australia), "An Illustrated History of Failure"
  • Benjamin Mako Hill (MIT Center for Future Civic Media), "Advocating Software Freedom by Revealing Errors"
  • Dirk Hohndel (Intel Corporation), "Moblin, Linux for Next Generation Mobile Internet"
  • Tim O'Reilly (O'Reilly Media, Inc.) interviewed Michael Widenius (MySQL) and Brian Aker (MySQL)
  • Mark R. Shuttleworth (Canonical Ltd.) explored how free software drives innovation.
  • Jim Zemlin (The Linux Foundation), Keith Bergelt (Open Invention Network), Karen Sandler (Software Freedom Law Center), Phil Robb (Hewlett Packard), "Open Voices"
  • David Recordon also announced the creation of the Open Web Foundation, an organization that will help the creation and acceptance of Open Web.

OSCON 2008 was sponsored by Intel, Microsoft, Google, Sun Microsystems, BT, IBM, Yahoo! Developer Network, Zimbra, Atlassian, Walt Disney Internet Group, EnterpriseDB, Etelos, Ingres, JasperSoft, Kablink, Linagora Groupe, MindTouch, Mozilla, Novell, Open Invention Network, OpSource, RightScale, Silicon Mechanics, Tenth Planet, Ticketmaster, Voiceroute, White Oak Technologies, and XAware.

OSCON's exhibit hall featured the latest offerings from companies at the leading edge of open source, providing attendees with the opportunity to network while learning about new products and approaches. A full roster of sponsors and partners demonstrated real-world opportunities to conference-goers and made several important product announcements during OSCON week.

  • Voiceroute announced version 1.3 of Druid, an open source unified communications platform for IP telephony, mobile, IM desktop, and web application integration.
  • RightScale, Inc. announced a partnership with EnterpriseDB that will allow RightScale to integrate EnterpriseDB Postgres Plus and Postgres Plus Advanced Server database templates with its cloud management platform for extremely scalable, high performance database applications for Amazon Web Services customers.
  • Jaspersoft Corporation announced its new JasperForge, a next-generation community platform that will support the open source BI community with tools that meet the evolving needs of all community stakeholders--from developers to business users.
  • Zimbra announced the release of Yahoo! Zimbra Desktop Beta, which gives everyone access to a simple, centralized place to manage work, school, and personal e-mail even when they are not connected to the Internet.
  • WSO2 demonstrated extended service-oriented architecture (SOA) interoperability with the Microsoft .NET Framework, featuring a StockTrader 2.0 composite application that highlights new .NET interoperability with Ruby, Spring, and Perl.
  • Intel announced a substantial upgrade to Intel Threading Building Blocks (TBB), a C++ template library available on Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux. TBB 2.1 makes it easier for developers to apply TBB to new uses in their software including graphical user interfaces, artificial intelligence, network input/output, and more.
  • Grameen Foundation unveiled Mifos 1.1, a new release of the open source platform with enhanced configuration capabilities, reporting, internationalization, and support for social measurement.
  • ICEcore announced it has changed its name to KablinkTM and is adding new workflow functionality to automate and streamline collaboration processes.

Also announced were the winners of the 2008 Google-O'Reilly Open Source Awards:

  • Best Community Amplifier: Chris Messina (BarCamp, Microformats, and Spread Firefox)
  • Best Contributor: Angela Byron (Drupal)
  • Best Education Enabler: Martin Dougiamas (Moodle)
  • Best Interoperator: Andrew Tridgell (Samba and Rsync)
  • Defender of Rights: Harald Welte (gplviolations.org)

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O’Reilly Media spreads the knowledge of innovators through its books, online services, magazines, and conferences. Since 1978, O’Reilly Media has been a chronicler and catalyst of cutting-edge development, homing in on the technology trends that really matter and spurring their adoption by amplifying “faint signals” from the alpha geeks who are creating the future. An active participant in the technology community, the company has a long history of advocacy, meme-making, and evangelism.

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