O’Reilly OSCON keynote highlights

[Not really liveblogging here – just some nuggets from Tim’s talk. Took a long time to post because the wireless is overloaded. ]

Degrees of Freedom, Open Source in the Web 2.0 Era

How do we preserve freedom when:
– Running the program requires a hundred thousand cpus and terabytes of data
– When open source software increasingly uses services based on proprietary algorithms and proprietary data
– When redistribution is no longer necessary for everyone to have access to the program?
– When “improving the program” is less important than “improving the shared data”?

What Eben [Moglen in yesterday’s interview with O’Reilly] was trying to tell me was to pay attention to freedom and not just the success of businesses. But it is important to remember that businesses shape our culture – but it is important to say that the open source movement has shaped how businesses think about these issues and that needs to be recognized as well.

Influence of the freedoms of open source outside the “pure source code” realm
– Wikipedia
– Freebase
– DabbleDB
– Swivel
– Many Eyes

Web 2.0 – I know people argue about the name but it is a good handle to a group of issues. What’s going to be owned online.

There is a race on to see who will own various aspects of the online experience – therefore there needs to be a corresponding race to keep these things open.

We need to think about the things that need to be open, that need to be free that need to be in the commons – and we need to build software that enables this.

Open Source Success Factors

1. Frictionless software distribution10
– Free as in beer, or SaaS gets you this to
– Source code not needed
– Redistribution matter

2. Collab development

3. Freedom to build on, adapt, or extend
– Source code helps, but not essential [really?]

4. Freedom to fork
– Source code needed

The consumer-reports table – free redistribution, extensibility, network effects, “platform” more important than source code?

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