David Nutter

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 http://ossg.bcs.org 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 http://hemswell.lincoln.ac.uk/oldossg/ 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.

New site goes live! 1

The new WordPress site set up to replace the Plone site is now available. There will be period of transition from the Plone-based site to this new WordPress instance. As you can see all the important content has already been migrated, but there are still some tasks left to do. The important dates are listed below:

Friday 23rd June
  • Committee forum shut down, committee discussion moved to ossg-committee@ossg.bcs.org
  • ossg-announcements@ossg.bcs.org and ossg-members@ossg.bcs.org lists repopulated
  • Warning sent out to the announcements lists outlining this migration plan
Friday 30th June
Remaining forums closed to new posts. Discussion moved to ossg-members@ossg.bcs.org
Friday 7th July
Monday 10th July
Ability to register new WordPress accounts enabled.

User Accounts Imported

User accounts have been imported from the Plone site. However, this necessitated resetting the password. When this new site goes live, a mass mailing of users will be performed to distribute the new passwords. If you wish to recover your password in the meantime, please visit the login page and click Forgotten Password

You will then be prompted for the username and email address you used on the old Plone site. Enter these, and your password will be reset and emailed to you.  You can then ignore the mass-mailing when it arrives.

Archived mailing lists

As part of the migration from Plone to WordPress and related pieces of software, the old mailing lists have been extracted from Plone and archived. Hereafter, mailing lists will be organised as follows:

This list is used for discussing committee business. The archives are open but only committee members may join the list.
This is a low-traffic list used for OSSG event announcements. Posting is restricted to committee members.
A members discussion list, though we would prefer members to discuss issues using the blog comment pages.

The old mailing list archives may be found here:

Committee Forum
Committee discussion
Discussion of issues surround business and open source.
Member Forum
Member event announcements
Licensing discussion
eGovernment and Open Source
Discussion of Open Source in eGovernment
Knowledge Management and Open Source
Using open source for knowledge management
Agile Methods and Open Source
Relationship between Agile Methods and Open Source
Legal Issues surrounding Open Source
Discussion of legal issues involvng Open Source
Accessibility and Open Source
Discussion of Accessiblity in Open Source
Education and Open Source
Use of Open Source in Education

Apologies for any duplicate messages etc. The archives were produced by screen-scraping the old Plone site. Not ideal.

The Zen of Free: Why Open Source is not a passing fad 2

The BCS Open Source Specialist Group (OSSG) annouce a combined event with BCS Hants. A presentation by Simon Phipps, Chief Open Source Officer, Sun Microsystems, Inc: “The Zen of Free: Why Open Source is not a passing fad”. This event, as usual, is open to non-members (although non-BCS Hants members cannot vote at the BCS Hants AGM being held prior to the combined event), is CPD assessed, free and requires no booking. Date: 22nd June 2006 Time: 7pm (Finger Buffet 6.30pm) Venue: Chilworth Manor Hotel, Chilworth, Southampton, Hampshire SO16 7PT.

Talk abstract: “With companies like Sun, Novell and IBM switching to Open Source, it’s clearly about more than just “free stuff”. Hear about “social production”, how software gets written, where the money comes from and why this is just the first wave of a series of revolutions that will change society profoundly and permanently.” Simon Phipps, Chief Open Source Officer, Sun Microsystems, has global responsibility for Sun’s Free/Open Source software strategy including OpenOffice.org, OpenSolaris and more. He has a deep interest in the nature and impact of networks and the social change they produce. Prior to his current role, he helped create blogs.sun.com and get Sun’s President blogging, worked at IBM Hursley where he helped introduce Java and XML, and has worked on video conferencing, X.25, run a Windows software business and programmed everything from PDAs to mainframes. Find out more at http://www.webmink.net/

For further information please contact Mark Elkins by email at mark_elkins@bcs.org or phone 023 80 319560

For location details of the Chilworth Manor Hotel please visit: http://www.chilworth-manor.co.uk

OSSG AGM Aftermath: New Committee Elected and Successful Question Time Event

The BCS OSSG Annual General Meeting was held as planned on Tuesday 30th May 2006 in London. A new committee was elected and was followed by an interesting “Question Time” event featuring Alan Cox, Glyn Moody, Mark Taylor and Andrew Katz.

For full details of the panellists, please see the AGM announcement

Points raised in the panel discussion included the enforceability of the GPL; the impact of GPL version 3; the problems and successes of Open Source software in the media; the impact of the Office of Government Commerce gateway reports on the deployment of Open Source in the public sector; issues surrounding the use of the term “Intellectual Property Rights”; the relationship between Open Access (in science and academia) and Open Source plus much more. A recording (podcast?) of this event is available.

From left, Alan Cox, Mark Taylor, Glyn Moody and Andrew Katz

OSSG's own Gang Of Four

The new committee is composed as follows:

Paul Adams
Peter Murray
Malcolm Kendall
Mark Elkins
David Nutter
Without Portfolio
Graham Oakes, Andy Halsall and Conrad Taylor

Unfortunately an Events Coordinator was not elected at this meeting.