Monthly Archives: July 2005

OSSG meets OSI – London, 18th July 2005

On Monday 18th July 2005 at the BCS London Offices an interesting and informative OSSG Committee meeting took place with Open Source Initiative (OSI).

Present at this informal meeting from OSI were Danese Cooper and Chris DiBona who both serve on the OSI Board of Directors. Also in attendance were Zaheda Bhorat and Simon Phipps who are currently unaffiliated to OSI except by interest. Simon works for Sun Microsystems, and Zaheda works for Google. They are both “Open Source Domain Experts” in their respective companies. Representing OSSG at the meeting were Committee members Patrick Tarpey, Andrew Nicholson, and Mark Elkins.

Danese outlined the purpose of OSI whose website can be found at So far more than 50 licences have been approved by OSI, which owns the Open Source trademark. This means that anyone wishing to call a new Licence Open Source should get it approved by OSI. However OSI is not keen to promote a proliferation of Open Source Licences such as “vanity licences”. Danese explained this is where the main motive of an individual is to try and create a licence for the sole reason of associating their name with it. Please see for a fuller OSI view on Licence proliferation.

Simon Phipps mentioned that roughly 60% of all Open Source Developers are based in Europe. In many parts of the world there is some confusion over the Open Source concept resulting in a total disregard for the ideology behind Open Source Licensing terms. For example OSI members voiced a concern that it was not uncommon for Open Source code to be taken and used without putting the code developed from it back into the Open Source pool.

Chris DiBona and Danese Cooper who are both based in California have recently written a book with Mark Stone entitled Open Sources 2.0 and published by Oreilly & Associates Inc. Zaheda Bhorat who works in London requested to be kept informed of forthcoming OSSG events so we look forward to seeing her again in the next few months. Dependent on other commitments there is a fair chance we will see Simon Phipps, who is a BCS Hampshire member, at our forthcoming Open Source Software Quality in Practice event to be held in Southampton on the 27th October 2005 at Southampton Institute (shortly to become Southampton Solent University from 15th August 2005).

Open Source Software Hardware Requirements and Environmental Waste 2

Several million Pentium PCs currently end up in UK landfill sites each year. At the same time the minimum hardware requirements for much Open Source Software continues to increase. For example in 2002 there were then several current packaged releases of Linux that had no difficulty running on a Pentium II PC or equivalent. Today in 2005 it might be possible to install some of the current releases on such a machine, but only someone who has an interest in slow-motion would appreciate the end result at run-time. Also unlike an older car or computer monitor an older PC generally uses less not more power than a newer one.

Although an older version of Linux is still fairly secure compared to some other operating systems it is not likely to have the level of support enjoyed by more recent versions. It can for example become an extremely time consuming business to get drivers for some hardware using older releases and dependency problems between releases are common. On the plus side it could be argued that because the code is open a user has in theory a chance to overcome such problems. However that kind of user will almost certainly need above average technical skills to do this, which means that most users will go for the easiest option of upgrading the hardware to match or exceed the minimum requirements of the latest software.

In some cases it maybe possible to get a reasonable run-time result using the latest Open Source Software on older hardware by adding more memory. Other upgrades such as adding a more powerful processor to an older board can only be taken so far, but in any event this leaves the environmental problem of what to do with the replaced component.

I might suggest that there is money to be made from a potential market need to develop Open Source Software that successfully tackles minimum hardware requirements in the most environmentally friendly way. There are many who claim that the use of Open Source Software is already extending the life of computer hardware, but in my view there is considerable potential to do more.

Mark Elkins

First International Conference on Open Source Systems

The goal of OSS2005 is be a holistic forum on OSS where to convey people interested in OSS and coming from a widely diverse background. Therefore, OSS2005 will be a forum to discuss theories, practices, experiences, and tools on development and applications of OSS systems, with specific focus on two aspects: * the development of open source systems and the underlying technical, social, and economics issue * the adoption of OSS solutions and the implications of such adoption both in the public and in the private sector. OSS2005 will bring together people from industry, public administration, and academia to share experiences and ideas and to provide an archival source for important papers on open source topics. The conference is also meant to provide information and education to practitioners, identify directions for further research, and to be an ongoing platform for technology transfer. The conference will consist of technical presentations, panels, poster sessions, workshops, tutorials, PhD and an Open Educational Symposium.

For more information, visit

2005-07-11 09:00 AM to
2005-07-15 03:00 PM
Genova, Italy
Paul Adams
Contact Email

Event Recently 1

At event recently I believe Conrad offered to video it did it get done.

As would be interested in seeing it as i work in education sector and at time wasn’t a bcs member etc would like to see what was said etc