Reviewed – The Zen of Free: Why open source is not just a passing fad. Presentation given by Simon Phipps, Chief Open Source Officer, Sun Microsystems, Inc for BCS Hants and Open Source Specialist Group (OSSG) on Thursday 22nd June 2006 1


There was a capacity crowd in attendance at this BCS Hants AGM and OSSG supported event with several people forced to stand in the aisles at the historic Chilworth Manor Hotel located next door to the state-of-the-art Chilworth Science Park, Hampshire. Simon Phipps gave an excellent presentation in support of the argument that open source is not just a passing fad. To find out why I would recommend in the first instance a visit to his slides for the event at:

http://mediacast.sun.com/share/webmink/0625-BCS-Hampshire.pdf

In the second instance I would visit Simon’s webmink website, which is packed with a wealth of information at:

http://www.webmink.net/

There are some interesting additional points that stick in my mind from the event that are not covered in the presentation slides. The first of these is that there is now an official fork of the OpenOffice project called NeoOffice dedicated to the Apple Mac operating system. Also Google are now offering a desktop that amongst other things will read the relatively new .odt and .ods open document formats found within OpenOffice 2 for Word Processor and Spreadsheet documents. Sun no longer use any Microsoft Desktop software thus OpenOffice has clearly taken up some of this vacated space.

To save any confusion about exactly what part of Sun he works for British born Simon explained early on in his presentation that although he lives in Hampshire, UK he actually works in Silicon Valley, USA for Sun Microsystems, Inc. Now that’s what you call commuting!

Mark Elkins

News Item Update See Simon’s comment to this news item. An audio recording of his presentation is now available at: http://blogs.sun.com/roller/page/webmink?entry=zen_audio


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