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From "Alexei Fedotov" <alexei.fedo...@gmail.com>
Subject [ot] Open Source session @ Interop Moscow 2007
Date Mon, 25 Jun 2007 15:49:19 GMT

I'd like to share my experience when visiting the open source session
of Interop Moscow 2007 [1]. This event was hosted by the Russian
software development association [2] and brought together people
interested in open source development.

I liked how organizers diversified communication making the happening
far from boring. Activities ranged from presentations and Q/A sessions
of open source celebrities to a round table between international
corporate proprietary software vendors and local open source adepts.
The busy day started with performance given by exotic dancers and
ended with live music, snacks and thirst quenchers included and
participants involved in open source community building process.

-- Presenters --

The key note from Sun's top IT guy was devoted to new expectations of
a new generation, namely, his teenage children. Speaking technically,
this was about gradual replacement of Intranet with Internet, mobile
networking and composite IT solutions on the top of external service
providers as an alternative to a corporate IT department. I decided
not to ask him about Geir's letter.

The following informational part was presented by Brian Behlendorf [3]
from Apache, Louis Suarez-Potts [4] from OpenOffice.org, Eric Allman
[5] from Sendmail and Alexey Smirnov from Alt Linux [7]. There is no
need to say that all foils were originally prepared using OpenDocument
format and I found the current release of the Open Office quite
reliable compared to a three year old version. Here [1] you can find
the presentations converted to PDF, and I will concentrate on my

Brian's talk was fun. For example, while talking about Apache's
community on the slide 12, he mentioned that one guy there was a
commercial pilot who made his coding between take-offs and safe
landings while robotic pilot did the job.

Louis who managed OpenOffice.org community and studied culture in his
spare time was different. It might be that elements of Apache's
culture became a part of me so Brian's talk's ideology seemed close to
my own. While both presenters encouraged people to join the open
source development model, I would call the Apache model more reactive:
if you'd come and do something, the community acknowledges your
contribution. Contrary to that Louis demonstrated a proactive model
combining deep reasoning and incentives, and it worked for me: I
started to use Open Office and used it for a week.

For a whole day, I also thought about possibilities of improving our
process around documentation, which was reported to be the weakest
point of Open Source software. Would it be interesting for students
who study technical writing to participate? Or is it possible to take
advantage of automatic translation tools and wiki-like systems?

Eric's talk was more about new authentication technology than about
open source, so let me omit detail here. Alexey supported an idea how
good FLOSS is for government organizations providing both independence
from a foreign vendor and local investment opportunities.

-- Q/A --

There was a number of questions on how to become paid for working in
open source, how to attract developers, how to get patches committed
and struggle community arrogance which comes with mind potential, why
open source products follow, but not advance, about OpenOffice.org and
httpd plans, open standards,

I believe that many of the answers are already in the Open Source
Bible [6], or "creative commons" will add them in the nearest future.
Nevertheless, the gurus made the answers sound fun. For example,
answering the question about a threat from the recent Microsoft's
proposal on OpenDocument format, Brian said that the threat is hidden
somewhere between 80 pages of the proposal. Advice on how to create a
community around my first open source project was "Don't do it". It's
better to help an existing one to gain a critical mass than to spilt

-- Round Table --

Round table participants come mostly from Microsoft and Alt Linux [7]
companies. Proprietary software advocates fairly used their chance
among people who come to talk about open source software and supported
Alt Linux by all means. I was really impressed by the professionalism
of speakers from both sides whose communication abilities influence
audience much more than truth and numbers.

-- Links --

[1] Presentations @ Interop, http://interop.ru/?page=conferences&language=eng
[2] Russoft, http://www.russoft.org
[3] Brian Behlendorf, http://www.behlendorf.com/~brian/
[4] Louis Suarez-Potts, http://ooo-speak.blogspot.com/
[5] Eric Allman, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eric_Allman
[6] Karl Fogel, Producing Open Source Software,
[7] Alt Linux (Russian Linux) distribution,

-- Photos --

The place

Open source gurus

A round table Open source against proprietary source (Microsoft to the
left, Alt Linux to the right)

Your humble servant
  "Riverbed" guys need someone to listen them at the early morning

  Waiting for speaker

  Listening Brian

  My orange back

With best regards,
ESSD, Intel

P.S. Let me express my gratitude to Nadya for editoral input.

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