I was stood in for Simon Phipps at www2006 in Edinburgh, and paid Edinburgh a visit. I wrote up my notes on my sun/oracle blog. AS with other posts originally made there, I copied them to this blog in March 2016, but in this case, I have merged them into a single post.¬† I The conference was opened by John McConnel, Scotland’s first minister who spoke of a Scotland’s e-University, and was followed by Sir David Browne, (Chairman of Motorola) who told an interesting story about mobility and the network, from movable devices, via luggable laptops to today’s phones, although the fashion for Zoolander style tiny phones was probably on the wane by then. His story provoked the though that the critical technology for mobile computing was the development of the portable (and rechargable) battery.


I quite liked.

“Only long term competitive advantage is the rate at which we learn!”

and I completed my post on the opening session with the following comment.

…two thirds of the world don’t have a phone. Conquering the digital divide means addressing some serious geopolitical problems. City Business School have published research showing the correlation and cause between {mobile} phone adoption and economic growth, imagine the contribution of the 4bn non-connected people to the global economy. I know that at the moment, they’re often more concerned with food and freedom and giving them a phone and a stake in global capitalism isn’t exactly priority number one for these disenfranchised people.

I then had my own session, which was fun, I used Simon Phipps Zen of Free slides , and made the following points. Open source is in the interests of the original author and second adopters and contributors. It is not about altruism, it requires licence, motivation and agreement around governance. Some open source is more open than others! The software market is evolving, to payment at the point of value. The value is no longer right to use, but chosen from the code, education, documentation, access to updates, defect resolution, warranty, indemnity, installability. The unbundling, through the development of new monetisation strategies by software companies allows transparency of costs for software consumers. Unlocking this value, places a new role on standards in order to change the scale of inter-operability and substitutability to protect the investment of both of the past and the future.

I stayed in the room to listen to David Axmark, one of the founders of MySQL who also spoke about opensource, licenses and community. He repeated the centrality of the “Easy Install” to the design goals of MySQL, and that features centrality in its insane popularity.

At lunch, I met up with Elias Torres, the author of “Bookmarks & Bistros” and we compared notes on our views on tags and tagging, my original notes suggest this was an exchange, I suspect in retrospect that I got more out of this than he did. Elias was strongly of the view that the crowd sourced, human spontaneity was crucial in the usefulness of tags, at the time I wanted help based on the current tag cloud in use, but I have never forgotten Elias’ advice. (I wrote a follow up note on this provoked by this conversation. in which I talk about heatmaps and tag clouds and semantic hierarchies and jargon.)


Originally posted on my sun/oracle blog as several articles, republished here in March 2016. I have posted a new picture.

Evangelising Opensource in Edinburgh
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