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O'Reilly Radar: The Executive Briefing

Tuesday, July 24 (All Day)

Portland Ballroom 254

Tim O'ReillyThe 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?

Photo by James Duncan DavidsonAt 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.

Featured Speakers

Matthew Gertner
Matthew Gertner

Matthew Gertner is the chief technology officer of AllPeers. A Brit by birth, an American by upbringing, and a European by choice, he has spent the last 15 years living in Paris and Hamburg ...more

Andrew Huang

Chumby Industries
Andrew "bunnie" Huang is a nocturnal hacker and the hardware lead; his responsibilities include the architecture, design and production of the chumby's electronics, as well as writing drivers for and maintaining the Linux kernel ...more

Doug Cutting

Doug Cutting has worked on search technology for 20 years. This includes five years at Xerox PARC, three years at Apple, and over four years at Excite. In 1998 he wrote Lucene, ...more

Karl Fogel
Karl Fogel is an open source developer and author. After working on CVS and writing "Open Source Development With CVS" (Coriolis, 1999), he went to CollabNet, Inc as a founding developer in the ...more

Phillip Torrone

MAKE Magazine
Phillip Torrone is a New York City based author - he is currently the senior editor for MAKE Magazine and contributing editor to Popular Science. In his spare time he designs open source electronics ...more

Christy Canida

Christy Canida is the Community and Marketing Manager at Instructables. She holds an SB in Biology from MIT, and has worked in academic transgenic mouse labs and set up new biotech production facilities. ...more

Tim O'Reilly

O'Reilly Media, Inc.
Tim O'Reilly is founder and CEO of O'Reilly Media, Inc., thought by many to be the best computer book publisher in the world. In addition to publishing pioneering books like Ed Krol's The Whole ...more

Mårten Mickos

Mårten Mickos, CEO of MySQL, brings a strong track record of leadership in global high-tech companies to MySQL AB. Prior to joining MySQL in 2001, Mickos was CEO at MatchON Sports, which he grew ...more

Matthew Gertner
Matthew Gertner, AllPeers
Andrew Huang
Andrew Huang, Chumby Industries
Doug Cutting
Doug Cutting, Yahoo!
Karl Fogel
Karl Fogel,
Phillip Torrone
Phillip Torrone, MAKE Magazine
Christy Canida
Christy Canida, Instructables
Tim O'Reilly
Tim O'Reilly, O'Reilly Media, Inc.
Mårten Mickos
Mårten Mickos, MySQL AB
Also Speaking:


Tuesday, July 24

Welcome and Opening Remarks: The Cathedral AND the Bazaar
Tim O'Reilly, Founder and CEO, O'Reilly Media, Inc.
Time: 8:30AM - 8:45AM

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.

Open Source and Web 2.0

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.

The Facebook Platform
Dave Morin, Senior Platform Manager, Facebook
Time: 8:45AM - 9:05AM

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.

The Firefox Toolbar Ecosystem
Mike Shaver, Director of Ecosystem Development, Mozilla Corporation
Matthew Gertner, CTO, AllPeers
Time: 9:05AM - 9:30AM

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.

Licensing in the Web 2.0 Era
Eben Moglen, Director, Software Freedom Law Center
Time: 9:30AM - 10:00AM

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.

Break 10:00AM - 10:30AM

How Web 2.0 Changes the Open Source Developer Toolkit

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.

The Architect of Scalability
Brad Fitzpatrick, LiveJournal Founder, Hacker
Time: 10:30AM - 10:45AM

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.

Parallel Programming
Doug Cutting, Yahoo!
Time: 10:45AM - 11:00AM

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
Simon Peyton-Jones, Microsoft
Time: 11:00AM - 11:15AM

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.

Future Programming Roundtable
Time: 11:15AM - 11:30AM

We'll talk with Brad, Doug, and Simon about their perspectives on how programming will continue to change as we move into the future.

Trends in Open Source Adoption
Roger Magoulas, Director Market Research, O'Reilly Media, Inc.
Time: 11:30AM - 11:45AM

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.)

Privacy Isn't Dead -- Let's Not Kill It
Cory Doctorow, Canada-US Fulbright Chair, Annenberg Center on Public Diplomacy, University of Southern California
Time: 11:45AM - 12:00PM Technology can be used to spy on us, but it doesn't have to. The difference is in whether our technology measures our performance for our benefit -- or whether technology spies on us and sells us to the highest bidder.

Lunch 12:00PM - 1:00PM

Open Source Grows Up

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.

Always Better?
Matt Asay, VP, Business Development, Alfresco Software
Michael Olson
Time: 1:00PM - 1:20PM

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.

The Path to IPO
Mårten Mickos, CEO, MySQL AB
Time: 1:20PM - 1:40PM

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.

Managing Linus Torvalds and Other Small Challenges
Jim Zemlin, Executive Director, Linux Foundation
Time: 1:40PM - 1:55PM

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.

Why Free Software Values Work for Business
Mark Shuttleworth, Founder, Ubuntu/Canonical Ltd.
Time: 1:55PM - 2:15PM

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.

Jason Allen, Co-founder and VP of Engineering, Ohloh
Time: 2:15PM - 2:25PM

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.

Showcase: OpenAds
Scott Switzer
Time: 2:25PM - 2:35PM

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.

Showcase: OpenCV
Gary Bradski
Time: 2:35PM - 2:45PM

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".

Break 2:45PM - 3:15PM

Open Source Beyond Software

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 Hardware
Christy Canida, Community and Marketing Manager, Instructables
Brad Carlile, Sun Microsystems
Limor Fried, Adafruit Industries
Andrew Huang, Vice President Hardware, Chumby Industries
Phillip Torrone, Senior Editor, MAKE Magazine
Time: 3:15PM - 4:00PM

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. 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 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.

Why Congress Needs a Revision Control System
Karl Fogel,
Time: 4:00PM - 4:15PM

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.

Open Source Documentation
Andy Oram, Editor, O'Reilly Media, Inc.
Time: 4:15PM - 4:30PM

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.

Showcase: OpenID
David Recordon, Open Platforms Tech Lead, Six Apart
Simon Willison
Time: 4:30PM - 4:50PM

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.