Monthly archives: July 2006

Conference on Free/Libre Open Source Software In Education

The theme of this year’s Conference on Free/Libre Open Source Software
in Education (FLOSSIE) is “Using FLOSS for sustainable and inclusive
educational technologies”.

For details see

Conference and Exhibition
2006-07-20 -2006-07-21
Bolton Technology Innovation Centre
Contact Name
Julie Astbury
Contact Email
Contact Phone
01204 372204

Open Source Software and the Business Context – a survey

Please contribute to a better understanding of the professional use of open source software, through a straightforward, online questionnaire.

The questionnaire will feed into a Westminster University research project, and can be be completed at – thank you in advance!

NB. This survey has also been advertised in the eBCS bulletin dated 12 July 2006, under the title of Open source software – hype or reality? .

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:

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

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:

New site ready for use

Further to the previous post on this subject, the migration from Plone to WordPress continues apace: the new site is now available at as you can see. Account details have been e-mailed to all registered users with active addresses and you should now be able to log on to comment and/or write posts. Please see the Editorial Policy document for contribution guidelines. Above all, if you have any difficulties or suggestions for improvement please contact the webmaster or discuss matters on the ossg-members mailing list.

As promised, the old site is available at for archival purposes. It will remain available for the forseeable future and you will be warned if and when it is deleted.

At present, the feature allowing new users to register themselves with the site and mailing lists is disabled, to allow a short period of time for existing users to recover their accounts. This feature will be re-enabled on Monday 10th July. Thankyou for your patience.

Finally, we hope the new site is useful and hope to see you all at one of the forthcoming OSSG events.

OSS Questionnaire

Alex Lambert requests the group’s help in completing his MSc research by completing a short questionnaire. We received this message from Alex:

I am a student member of the BCS currently studying towards an MSc in Information Systems and Technology. My tutor is Dr Andrew MacFarlane, also a member of the BCS.

I am currently writing my dissertation, which is evaluating open source development and specifically asking the question of whether open source can be the silver bullet of software development. I would really appreciate your responses to my questionnaire as I would like to have some feedback from people with hands-on experience of the concept. The survey should only take a few minutes of your time and I would be very grateful if any responses could be sent to me by 14.07.06.

Many thanks for your time,

Alex Lambert

PS I realise that it’s a little ironic asking questions about open source from a word doc, but I have to work with the tools I have at my disposal ;-)

You can download the questionnaire here. Your help is appreciated.