Oregon State University Open Source Lab unofficial commemorative logo, celebrating ten years of operation.
This evening Oregon State University Open Source Lab gathered staff, students and friends to celebrate their tenth anniversary. Was great to see the crew, and exciting to hear about their direction for the next decade. Their quiet and critical support of community open source projects continues. Drop in on their web site, and if you’re in the Corvallis, Oregon area, ask for a tour of the OSL; they love to share.
If you’re interested in a light technical overview of OSL’s hosting and network capacity, hosted projects, and growth over the last ten years you can check out OSL director Lance Albertson’s presentation at the Southern California Linux Expo (SCALE) earlier this year.
I recently returned from the Thirteenth International Forum for Free Software (FISL) in Porto Alegre Brazil. With an attendance of about 8,000 this year, it is the largest tech conference in South America and likely the largest free/open source conference in the world. I was fortunate to have attended representing OSI and presented a keynote on free and open source software and its civic and social impact around the world, and a second session on Economic Development.
The Brazilian government – with great grassroots support – was a pioneer in the use of free software as an economic development strategy, and also to bridge the digital divide by lowering the barrier to access to technology. Today the government’s involvement has shifted in some respects, and community leaders from a number of Latin American countries are debating in general the pros and cons of government partnership in their FOSS initiatives.
The “Hacker Bus” project – pictured above behind myself and colleague Paulo Mierelles from the University of Sao Paulo FLOSS Competency Center - really impressed. Getting technology and “Hacktivism” out into undeserved areas makes for a fantastic program.
You can read more about the project on The Next Web published during last year’s conference.