August 8, 2001
O'Reilly Open Source Convention and Perl 5 Conference Wrap-up
Sebastopol--"The principles of open source work because anyone can come
to the party," said Tim O'Reilly, CEO of O'Reilly & Associates,
speaking from the O'Reilly
Open Source Convention and Perl Conference
5. This year, Craig Mundie, Senior VP of Microsoft, not only
came to the party, but spoke there as well, in the Shared Source vs. Open
Source keynote discussion between Mundie and Michael Tiemann, CTO of
Red Hat. As one attendee said, "The big news is not that they said
anything new or unexpected, but that Microsoft and Red Hat were here,
talking to open source programmers, and to each other...open discussion
prevailed." The Mundie/Tiemann debate was probably the most anticipated
event of the conference. Mundie outlined Microsoft's worldwide concern
with licensing and profitability issues, stressing that, as the need
becomes clearer, Microsoft will adapt licenses to the needs of users
and developers. Tiemann noted that Microsoft had behaved illegally in
using its monopoly, and called for a clear understanding within
Redmond's ranks for the meaning of open source software. The panel
discussion that followed, moderated by Tim O'Reilly, featured Tiemann,
Mundie, and other experts on intellectual property and the software
industry, including Clay Shirky, Ronald Johnston, Brian Behlendorf,
David Stutz, and Mitchell Baker.
Over a five-day period, more than 1800 developers gathered from 48
countries to attend highly technical tutorials and conference sessions,
and self-organized BOFs (Birds of a Feather sessions). The conference
focused on Perl, Linux, Apache, Python, open source business
strategies, Mozilla, PHP as well as other emergent technologies such as
peer-to-peer technology and bioinformatics.
This year's convention theme was "Fueling the Open Source Alternative."
Keynote speaker Fred Baker, Cisco Fellow and former chairman of the
IETF, placed open source software at the top of the food chain, but
appealed to developers to work with commercial vendors. While open
source development is a good way to get the right features quickly, he
explained, it is weak on the features that would make it usable by a
wide consumer and business base.
Keynote speaker W. Phillip Moore, the executive director of enterprise
infrastructure applications at Morgan Stanley Dean Witter, predicted
that Linux systems will be increasingly important to enterprise
operations in the next few years. One great advantage, Moore said, was
that he can modify the software to suit Morgan Stanley's needs, without
having to coerce a corporate vendor to make the changes, at their pace,
and often in conjunction with exorbitant fees.
Several announcements were made at the O'Reilly Open Source Convention,
Sun Microsystems' announcement of its Sun Grid Engine Project, an
initiative to offer the source code for Sun Grid engine software to
users and the developer community;
Hewlett-Packard's launch of Coolbase, an open source software
development platform for creating mobile e-services;
The release of the technical details of The Mono Project, a Linux
version of the .NET platform by Miguel de Icaza, Ximian's CTO and
president of the Gnome Foundation at a session shared by Dave Stutz,
software architect at Microsoft, who discussed Microsoft's work on a
shared source implementation of the common language elements of .NET.
New to this year's convention, the O'Reilly Summit on Open Source
Strategies, looked at open source as a strategic advantage for
businesses. Industry leaders discussed how to standardize collaborative
software development within the enterprise, and with key customers.
The annual White Camel Awards for leadership in the Perl Community were
presented by brian d foy of Perl Mongers. David H. Adler, a founding
member of the first Perl User Group--the New York Perl
Mongers--received the Perl User Groups White Camel award. Ask Bjorn
Hansen received the award for Perl Community in recognition for his
work in hosting Perl-related web sites and mailing lists devoted to
Perl. The final White Camel for Perl Advocacy was awarded to the
YAPC:Europe team for bringing high quality but affordable Perl
conferences to Europe.
Convention Chair Nat Torkington presented the annual Perl Conference
Awards. Winners were Mark-Jason Dominus who received the Larry Wall
Award for Practical Ingenuity; Dan Brian, recipient of the Damian
Conway Award for Technical Excellence; and Brian Ingerson and Neil
Watkiss who shared the award for Best Module.
The O'Reilly Open Source Convention served as host to the annual Open
Source Documentation Summit, uniting twenty-one leaders of
documentation projects for various free or open software projects
together for an all-day meeting on Sunday, July 22. Some of the bigger
issues discussed were how to recruit and motivate writers of free and
open documentation as well as how to make it easier for documentation
writers who are unfamiliar with DocBook to write documentation.
Evening programs included Larry Wall's annual State of the Onion
presentation on the state of the Perl world and Jon Orwant's Internet
Quiz Show (teams of four pitted against each other in a contest of
Internet technology and culture). The "Defending Champs" reclaimed
their title in a victory over the "President's Dog," in a near replay
of last year's match.
For complete O'Reilly Open Source Convention and Perl 5 coverage, go to
Read Tim O'Reilly's take on Freedom Zero, Sun's analysis of the
Microsoft/Open Source debate, weblogs featuring cool stuff emanating from the
O'Reilly Open Source Convention and Perl Conference 5, and check out our
convention photo archive.
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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