Archive for July 2006

Going to OSCON!

July 25, 2006

In a couple of hours I am taking a plane first to Vancouver and from there to Portland. I will report again from there.



Open Source Software will Gain Momentum in US Government Entities

July 24, 2006

From the LinuxInsider, we have that:

“Government entities around the world are not only increasing their use of free and open source software, they are actually sharing, collaborating and coordinating in open source fashion to meet federal, state and local government IT needs, recent data suggests. IDC’s government IT research company Government Insights predicts open source software will gain momentum faster in the government sector than in any other market segment over the next five to ten years, earning a 30 percent compound annual growth rate through 2009.”

The complete report is available here

Information Technology Bill in Venezuela. If you are pro-free software, we need your help

July 23, 2006

I promised some friends in Canada that I will post a brief summary on the current status of the IT Bill discussions.

At this time, the Bill is in the hands of the Science and Technology Committee of the Venezuelan National Assembly. Articles are being removed, modified, and combined which makes it really hard to keep account of what is the content of the draft that will go for discussion at the Venezuelan National Assembly sometime in the next two weeks. The key points that seem to stick in the Bill are:

  • the protection of the personal information of persons having any type of interaction with the Government, and
  • the creation of a National Committee on Information Technology to rule about the standards and software platforms to be used in Government.

There have been some heated discussions as to whether giving priority to Free Software is good for the Government and the National Software Industry. This is why SOLVE (Free Software Venezuela) is working hard to educate the members of our National Assembly and the general public about the importance of Free and Open Source Software for the technological independence of our Country.

If you have links to success stories or have writings supporting the importance of Free and Open Source for developing countries, drop me line so we can use that information to help us educate our people.


Related Posts:

Four Big Ideas About Open Source

July 22, 2006

From the O’Reilly Radar we have the following article in which Tim O’Reilly talks about the Future of Open Source Software:


In my O’Reilly Radar Executive Briefing next week at OSCON, I’m focusing on four big ideas about open source:

  1. The architecture of participation beyond software. Software development was the canary in the coalmine, one of the first areas to show the power of self-organizing systems leveraging the power of the internet to transform markets. But it didn’t stop there. What we’re now calling Web 2.0 is a direct outgrowth of the core principles that made open source software successful, but in my opinion, many of the projects and companies that make up the Web 2.0 movement have gone far beyond open source in their understanding of how to build systems that leverage what I call the architecture of participation.
  2. Asymmetric Competition. One of the most powerful things about open source is its potential to reset the rules of the game, to compete in a way that undercuts all of the advantages of incumbent players. Yet what we see in open source is that the leading companies have in many ways abandoned this advantage, becoming increasingly like the companies with which they compete. I have no concerns about the ultimate health of the open source development model or the vibrant creativity of the open source community, but I do question whether open source companies really grasp the implications of the new model. I think that if they did, they’d be Web 2.0 companies.
  3. How Software As a Service Changes The Points of Business Leverage. Operations and scalability lead to powerful cost advantages; increasing returns from network effects lead to new kinds of lock-in. The net effect is that even when running open source software, vendors will have lock-in opportunities just as powerful as those from the previous generation of proprietary software.
  4. Open Data. One day soon, tomorrow’s Richard Stallman will wake up and realize that all the software distributed in the world is free and open source, but that he still has no control to improve or change the computer tools that he relies on every day. They are services backed by collective databases too large (and controlled by their service providers) to be easily modified. Even data portability initiatives such as those starting today merely scratch the surface, because taking your own data out of the pool may let you move it somewhere else, but much of its value depends on its original context, now lost.

In short, you can see that I believe that there are serious challenges to the open source model. For all its success (and that success has been world-changing), it’s important not to get complacent. The world is changing under our feet! The pendulum always swings between open and proprietary, and despite the apparent progress of open source and open standards, right now the pendulum is swinging the other way.
I have always felt most passionate in preaching to the open source community. It is one that I love and esteem most highly. But it is also one that is in great danger of increasing irrelevance, because some of the premises on which it has based its thinking are wrong. I’ve always had a perspective a bit at variance from those of other open source advocates, and as the future unfolds, I continue to feel that that perspective is essential for open source strategists to understand and embrace.

(For a succinct recap of the evolution of that perspective, see my 1998 essay, Hardware, Software and Infoware, my 2003 essay, The Open Source Paradigm Shift, and my 2004 essay, What is Web 2.0? Also, see my previous entry about the Radar Open Source briefing session.

A session you would not want to miss at OSCON 2006: Software Libre: FOSS in Venezuela

July 21, 2006

I was invited to participate on the Panel discussion about the new IT Bill in Venezuela that aims to promote the use of Free and Open Source Software in government. If you have been reading my Blog, you would have an idea of the sort of things I am going to present. However, be ready for a couple of surprises as I take you on a trip behind the scenes of what it takes to promote real change in a society that got used to Proprietary Software.

See you next week!


ITK 2.8 was released

July 20, 2006

This month the version 2.8 of ITK (a toolkit for medical image processing, registration, and segmentation) was released. I already tested the new version on my Ubuntu Dapper box and everything works just fine, as expected.

You can download this release from the Download page

or through CVS (see the download page for instructions) by using the tag :


The manifesto of changes in this release can be found in the ITK community Wiki page


OSCAMP: Free as in Freedom! at OSCON 2006

July 19, 2006

Next week, I will be participating in a panel discussion about Free Software in Venezuela at OSCON 2006. I also decided to register for OSCAMP 2006, an event that is happening in parallel with OSCON. OSCAMP seems to be like a lot of fun, this is why I am posting below the invitation to the event in case you wanted to know more about it.




OSCAMP 2006: Free as in Freedom! — Portland July 24-28, 2006 at OSCON

Please join us for OSCAMP 2006, a free (as in freedom) un-conference of, for, and by folks who are part of the Free/Libre/Open movement. You are reading this invitation because someone wants to see you at the bazaar!

A grassroots cooperative effort with O’Reilly, OSCAMP seeks to organize the fringe of activity that has grown up around OSCON during the last several years so that the entire shindig can rock even more! We are coming together to network, write code, have fun and learn about the cool things that are afoot in the movement. Bring your friends and join a good party that’s growing even better!

When: July 24-28, 2006

Where: PortlandOregon at the Oregon Convention Center (part of OSCON 2006)

Format: OpenSpace

Cost: Free … but you can call it “Open” if that’s your thang