July 22, 2003
2003 O'Reilly Open Source Convention: Community, Creativity, Collaboration
Sebastopol, CA--The annual O'Reilly Open Source Convention (OSCON) drew
over 1800 programmers, developers, strategists, and technical staff, as
well as the open source-curious to vibrant, tech-friendly Portland, OR
from July 7-11. For five days, convention-goers delved into a program
designed to "embrace and extend proprietary software," reflecting open
source technology's long-awaited move into the mainstream. Open source
software "has gone from being a question mark to an exclamation point,"
quipped OSCON program chair and O'Reilly editor Nathan Torkington.
"What really distinguishes open source is not just source, but an
'architecture of participation,'" noted O'Reilly & Associates founder
and CEO Tim O'Reilly. "This architecture of participation allows for a
real free market of ideas, in which anyone can put forward a proposed
solution to a problem. As we move into the era of dynamic, data-backed
applications, and services built out from those applications, the
traditional model of 'open source' being defined by source availability
seems limiting. As the global role for open source software expands, so
do the challenges and rewards for the open source community. It's a
pivotal, exciting time to be a part of it all."
The convention's wide range of participants and corporate
sponsors--ActiveState, Apple Developer Connection (ADC), Hewlett
Packard, IBM, Sun Microsystems, and Ticketmaster, among others--are
just one indication of the breadth of open source technology.
Tutorials, keynote addresses, and conference sessions at OSCON were
presented by the likes of Mitch Kapor, Robert Lefkowitz, Milton Ngan,
Stormy Peters, Paul Buck, Stas Bekman, Damian Conway, Miguel de Icaza,
George Dyson, Myron Hattig, Yukihiro Matsumoto, and David Stutz. The
states of six open source technologies were summarized in a "States of
the Union" address by Larry Wall, Guido van Rossum, Theodore Ts'o, Greg
Stein, Shane Caraveo, Monty Widenius, and David Axmark.
Book signing events, birds of a feather sessions, video game parties,
trips to local sights, and lots of animated hallway discussions at all
hours balanced the formal program. A "meet the authors" event, where
attendees had the chance to chat with over twenty authors speaking at
the convention, was held during the IBM-sponsored exhibit hall
reception. Apple Developers Connection's Rendezvous Lounge, featuring
the latest Mac hardware and software, was jumping throughout the
convention. Portland treasure Powell's Books set up a popular satellite
bookstore on the exhibit floor.
Some of the other open source-related events at OSCON included:
A "geek volunteerism" summit that brought together key players in
technology volunteerism--non-profit organizations, government agencies,
and social entrepreneurs--to boost grassroots technology and IT
infrastructure in developing nations.
OSCAMP held a half-day meeting for Oregon's developers, users, and
supporters to learn about core open source issues from national
Over $4,500 was raised for The Perl Foundation's general development
fund at a party and auction sponsored by DynDNS.org and Onyx Neon.
The Linux Professional Institute administered LPI exams 101 and 201,
vendor-neutral training certification for Linux System Administrators.
OSCON once again was the platform for a number of important
announcements by participating companies and organizations, including:
OSCON also provided the perfect platform to recognize leaders in the
open source community. Awards were bestowed throughout the convention:
Mac Innovators Awards: In the new International category, the
CodingMonkeys from Bavaria won for Hydra. First place winner in the US
category is August Mueller's VooDooPad. A winners' reception was held
in the exhibit hall, courtesy of sponsor ADC.
The 2003 Frank Willison Award for Contributions to the Python
Community, selected by the PythonLabs group at Zope Corporation, was
presented to Fredrik Lundh for his many contributions not only in the
form of code, but also in communicating and educating the Python
community. He is also the creator and maintainer of the Daily
ActiveState honored those individuals who actively contribute to open
source languages and display excellence in their programming efforts.
Programmers' Choice Awards winners are Tim Bunce, Stig Bakken, Mark
Hammond, Uche Ogbuji and Mike Olson; Activators' Choice Awards went to
Ilya Zakharevich, Ilia Alshanetsky, Martin von Lowis, and Ken Holman.
Jarkko Hietaniemi, Andreas Koenig, and Robert Spier received White
Camel Awards from The Perl Foundation for their unflagging efforts on
behalf of the Perl community.
OSI president Eric Raymond and ZDNet editor-in-chief Dan Farber came to
OSCON to announce the creation of the annual "Open Source Awards" to
recognize individuals who have made open source contributions so
significant that they have impacted the technology industry at large.
The first annual Open Source Awards are sponsored by Sun Microsystems,
ActiveState, and US Venture Partners, and will be announced at the 2004
O'Reilly Open Source Convention.
Two convention details are cause for economic optimism. Attendance was
up by nearly 300 people over OSCON 2002. In addition, Torkington noted
that, "Last year, everyone knew someone who had been laid off, whereas
this year everyone knows someone who has landed a job."
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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