OSSG Article

OATS Meeting Aftermath 1

On the 8th of August 2006 the BCS Open Source Specialist Group and the BCS Disability Specialist Group welcomed Simon Judge to present the work of the Open Source Assistive Technology Software project (OATSOFT).

Simon discussed the aims of assistive technology in general and demonstrated the state of the art using illustrative videos demonstrating some of the assistive technology devices that he helps to deploy in his work. The OATS project was then introduced and the various facilities offered by the project including the Forge, the academic resources, discussion forums and most importantly the list of Open Source assistive technology systems.

Much of the floor discussion during the presentation revolved around the input problems experienced by users of assistive technology systems. Though innovative systems are available, they are often not widely adopted due to issues such as the initial learning curve, the availablity of support and the cost of any specialist hardware required.

The floor were also interested in the possibilities offered by using commodity hardware such as old mice and commodity computing devices in place of expensive dedicated devices. Coupled with the Open Source assistive technology components offered by OATS, this could provide a new route to better assistive technology.


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 http://www.oss-survey.org/ – 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? .

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.

Linux 2006 – UKUUG Linux Conference & Tutorials

A wide cross-section of the Linux community will gather in Brighton for the annual UKUUG Linux Technical Conference. from Thursday 29th June – Sunday 2nd July 2006. It’s a great way to broaden your knowledge and keep up-to-date with what’s happening in the world of linux. This low-cost event is for anyone with a serious interest in linux including systems administrators, linux professionals, developers and enthusiasts from companies and linux user groups throughout the UK and beyond.

For more information, visit http://www.ukuug.org/events/linux2006/

2006-06-29 09:30 AM to
2006-07-02 03:00 PM
The University of Sussex, Falmer, Brighton BN1 9QU
UKUUG Secretariat
Contact Email
Contact Phone
01763 273475

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