Tuesday, July 24 (All Day)
Portland Ballroom 254
The hackers were right. Open source is a great way to develop and distribute software, and to move value up the IT stack. The CIOs were right, too. To meet the demands of enterprise IT, open source must evolve and adapt. Five years ago, few would have predicted open source's current place in the software ecosystem. Where are we headed next?
At the OSCON O'Reilly Radar Executive Briefing, Tim O'Reilly and the Radar team suss out the shape of the future of open source. Join us as we explore trends, companies, and projects that matter today and point to what you'll need to know in the near future. Intimate by design, the Executive Briefing is more about conversation than formal presentation.
Seating for the Executive Briefing is limited, so register now.
O'Reilly Media, Inc.
Tim O'Reilly, O'Reilly Media, Inc.
Doug Cutting, Yahoo!
Andrew Huang, Chumby Industries
Matt Asay, Alfresco Software
Mark Shuttleworth, Ubuntu/Canonical Ltd.
Karl Fogel, QuestionCopyright.org
Dave Morin, Facebook
Open source is often presented as an either/or proposition, but in fact, any study of open source and other movements that have sprung from the new social dynamics of internet-connected communities, such as Web 2.0 collective intelligence applications, shows us that the story is far more complex. Some projects are open source by license, but cathedral-like in their development practices, while others are closed source by license but create new participatory layers that are open and re-usable. Eric Raymond titled his seminal paper on open source The Cathedral and the Bazaar but he didn't realize the extent to which the most successful projects rely on the connection between the cathedral and the bazaar being a logical AND. In my opening remarks, I'll provide a framework for thinking about three axes of open source success. In particular, I'll focus on the way that successful open source projects optimize along one or more of these axes, but not all of them.
My thinking about Web 2.0 evolved directly from my thinking about open source. Web 2.0 shares many of the same dynamics as open source with regard to user contribution but is often agnostic with regard to the fierce licensing debates that gave shape to the open source movement. We'll open by looking at two Web 2.0 platform plays that mix open and closed source, Facebook, and the Firefox plugin ecosystem.
We'll talk with Facebook senior platform evangelist Dave Morin about how Facebook was built on open source, how they give back to open source (and where they don't), and how they are building a participatory developer platform.
Along with Linux and Apache, Firefox is one of the great open source success stories. But Firefox extensions have effectively created a marketplace for add-ins that work just like binary installs. You no longer download and compile. You just install and upgrade dynamically--they can "ride along" with the user while they're browsing. And the value of an extension is rarely in the ability to modify its code. It's in the network-effect driven database that the plugin creates. We'll talk with Mike Shaver of Mozilla, Garrett Camp of Stumbleupon (just acquired by eBay), and Matt Gertner of AllPeers about the curious scion of open source that is growing out of Firefox.
How does open source licensing need to adapt to the realities of software delivered as a service? We'll talk with Eben Moglen about GPLv3's and the AGPLv3's attempt to deal with this issue.
In our second session, we'll focus on the impact of Web 2.0 on the tools that developers use and need to know about. Note: While this session is more technical than the rest of the program, we believe that understanding the changes in the programming challenges facing developers is essential for managers, investors, and entrepreneurs.
We'll talk with Brad Fitzpatrick of SixApart, architect of such tools as memcached, perlbal, MogileFS, and OpenID about what he learned about open source at LiveJournal, how he's continuing to push the envelope of web based applications at SixApart, and how he sees the role of open source changing in the Web 2.0 world.
Doug Cutting, creator of Lucene and Nutch, has turned his attention to creating hadoop, a framework for running applications on large clusters of commodity hardware that is commonly described as the open source equivalent of Google's map/reduce toolset.
Functional languages such as Haskell and Erlang are often seen as possible solutions to the increased complexity of parallel programming. Simon Peyton-Jones, key contributor to the design of Haskell, and the lead designer of the widely-used Glasgow Haskell Compiler (GHC) will tell us why functional languages are a big part of our future.
We'll talk with Brad, Doug, and Simon about their perspectives on how programming will continue to change as we move into the future.
O'Reilly Research monitors faint signals including book sales, online job postings, blog postings, and other data to identify trends in technology adoption, and in particular, to identify surging technologies via our "Rate of Change" methodology. Roger Magoulas, the director of O'Reilly Research, will present the latest trends in open source adoption (plus stats for competing technologies including Microsoft Vista.)
Mark Twain once said, "When I was a boy of 14, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be 21, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years." It's a lot easier to be a sassy teenager than a responsible adult. As open source has become mainstream, many of its proponents have adapted their licenses, their business practices -- and some say, their principles -- in order to fit in. In this session, we'll explore the growing pains of open source in the enterprise.
Matt Asay of Alfresco believes all software should be open source. It's the best way to build it, and the best way to distribute it. Mike Olson of Oracle (formerly Sleepycat) believes that it's going to be a mixed license world. There will be opportunities to build proprietary software in niches before open source moves in. We'll get these guys going head to head.
Marten Mickos, the CEO of MySQL, has asserted that MySQL "will be part of a bigger company, and that company will be called MySQL." He's also stated that "our dream is to grow to a billion in revenues." He's made no secret of his hopes for a MySQL IPO. We'll talk to Marten about the state of MySQL, and what it takes to prep a company for the big time.
At the Free Standards Group, Jim Zemlin led the fight to keep Linux from fragmenting as Unix had done before it. Now the Executive Director of the Linux Foundation, created earlier this year from a merger of the FSG and the Open Source Development Labs, an industry consortium, he has the even bigger job of keeping his corporate sponsors in line and providing a neutral haven for key Linux developers, most notably Linus Torvalds. We'll explore with Jim how he sees the challenges ahead, and his game plan for world domination.
While other open major Linux distributions have come to include proprietary components and services, splitting off "community versions" that remain completely open source, Ubuntu has clung fiercely to free software principles. Yet it has become both the fastest growing and most user-friendly of Linux distributions, with breakthrough OEM distribution from Dell and others. Canonical CEO Mark Shuttleworth will explain how Ubuntu has seemingly found the secret of commercial success in the very freedoms that once seemed antithetical to business.
Demos from projects that ought to be on your radar.
Often, there are multiple open source projects performing similar functions. How can you tell which is the right one to use? Ohloh provides metrics on project activity -- how many contributors, how recent their contributions, how many lines of code and man years of development were involved -- that can provide insight into the best tool for a given task. We'll talk with co-founder Jason Allen.
Online advertising is the killer business model for Web 2.0. Google just gobbled up DoubleClick for $3 Billion, and that's a drop in the bucket considering its own ad-fueled market cap. Meanwhile, under the radar, open source ad server OpenAds has quietly built a network of thousands of publishers, more than all other ad servers combined. Scott Switzer, founder of OpenAds, will talk to us about how the open approach to online advertising is poised to shake up the online ad business.
Computer vision is in our future. Everyone's in the tech world has likely heard of the DARPA Grand Challenge, which was won last year by an autonomous vehicle from Stanford named Stanley. But few people realize that the robotic car's vision system was based on an open source computer vision library named OpenCV. Gary Bradski, one of the core developers of OpenCV, will talk with us about open source and the "rise of the machines".
The principles of open source can be applied beyond software development. In this session, we'll explore four frontiers for open source: open source hardware, open source government, open source documentation, and open source identity.
Open source advocates have often been happy to leave hardware alone. There's an assumption that hardware has real fixed costs, and somehow shouldn't be subject to the possibility of free redistribution that come with open source licenses. Besides, hardware is, well, hard. And we don't have the kinds of tools -- version control, free design tools (equivalent to editors, compilers and debuggers for software) that exist in the software world. But a set of bold pioneers are forging forward anyway. We'll hear from three of them.
Instructables.com is a collaborative site for sharing instructions about how to build absolutely everything. It's not restricted to hardware, but a great many of the projects are hardware related. Christy Canida, Instructables' community manager, will show us the site, and talk to us about the cutting edge of lightweight hardware open source projects and community.
Chumby Industries is building what can best be described as an internet-connected, widget-enabled clock radio. Realizing that any hardware design is likely to be cloned in Asia, they rode the horse in the direction it's going, open sourcing all their designs and inviting people to copy them. They look to make no money on the hardware, but instead to control the platform for the widgets that run on it. Bunnie Huang (famous for cracking the Xbox) will show us the Chumby and talk about their open source strategy.
Adafruit Industries is a small company that sell kits and parts for original, open source electronics projects featured on www.ladyada.net. All the kits are redesigned specifically to make it easy for soldering beginners to build: nicely silkscreened circuit boards, through-hole parts whenever possible, extra large solder pads, etc. Limor Fried, its founder and chief designer, may well be one of the only people with a completely open source hardware business.
Following the company presentations, Phil Torrone of Make: magazine will host a roundtable with Christy, Bunnie, and Limor to talk about the challenges of open source hardware.
Revision control has always seemed to me to be one of the most important, yet under-appreciated drivers of open source success. It's an essential part of the software developer's toolkit, and a foundation of Wikipedia as well. When I invited Karl Fogel, one of the founding developers of Subversion, to come talk to us about the importance of version control, he proposed this thought-provoking discussion topic. The title says it all.
Given the importance of good documentation to the adoption and success of open source, why aren't there more good open source technical books and software projects? O'Reilly editor Andy Oram, who has worked on open source documentation as well as conventional technical books, will explore with us the challenges and opportunities of open source and community documentation.
It's clear that we need standards and interoperability for identity on the Internet. Yet despite numerous high profile consortia and commercial projects, no one has succeeded. It's starting to look like open source is here to save the day, as OpenID is taking the world by storm. We'll talk with David Recordon and Simon Willison, two of the most outspoken and articulate developers and advocates for OpenID about what it is, why the project is working, and why it matters to you.