At OSCON: Why the Government is Turning to Open Source

OSCON 2009I ‘m excited about speaking at O’Reilly’s OSCON next week, and I’ll be joined by fantastic panelists. My session is 4:30pm Wednesday, July 22.

Deborah Bryant (OSU Open Source Lab), Bjorn Freeman-Benson (DemocracyLab), Greg Lund-Chaix (Oregon State University Open Source Lab), Clay Johnson (Sunlight Labs), Aleksandar Totic (Open Source Digital Voting Foundation)
Open source shares critical values with government and public education that make them function in the ideal; meritocracy of ideas, transparency, collaboration. But where is the sweet spot in the confluence of these social, technical, and public policy ideals? And where is the opportunity for the citizen developer to get involved? Read more.


Open Source Voting : An idea of Global Importance

IPA Japan Representatives

IPA Japan Representatives

I just returned from Matsue, Japan, also known famously as “Ruby City” after the programming language whose inventor lives there.

During my stay there I provided the keynote for a Shimane University-sponsored seminar on Open Source Software, Industry and Academic collaboration.  It was an honor to represent some of the institutions and groups in Oregon, the successes and challenges we’ve faced in using, promoting, developing and supporting a full open eco-system in our somewhat unique state.  Key to my message and encouragement to participants from all sectors of their region was this; if you want to demonstrate the value of open source to non-technical constituencies, identify and collaborate on a project with clear public benefit.

One of the panelists was Mr. Hatta from Japan’s Information-Technology Promotion Agency’s (IPA).  He told me later he changed his presentation as I spoke, struck by the proposition of public benefit projects.  I’ll ask for his presentation and share it here soon.

His wrap-up recommendation: create a public benefit project and the suggestion that project might be an Open Source Election system,  apparently an idea with universal appeal/compelling need.

I’ll come back soon to sharing more about my travels to Matsue City, their impressive open source software initiative, the investment their government has made, and the outstanding collaboration between the university, industry and public sectors.

I’d also be remiss in my public benefit duties if I did not provide a final plug for the February 18th Open Source Digital Voting Foundation’s (OSDV.org)  “TrustTheVote” intro in Portland, Oregon (see prior post for agenda).  I’m looking forward to introducing them to my colleagues in Japan soon, and looking forward to hearing from Gregory Miller and John Sebes, the co-founders, even sooner.

osdv_logo

TrustTheVote! intro in Portland, Oregon

Feb 18, 2009, 6:00 – 7:30 p.m.

CubeSpace, 622 SE Grand Ave, Portland

Open Source Voting Systems On the Way

osvd

I’ve recently been asked to join as an adviser to the Open Source Digital Voting Foundation.  In my view, this is one of the most important open source projects around for the US system of democracy.  I was deeply impressed by their open standards specification,  public trust approach and the work they’ve done thus far – with little public fan fare – to establish the non-partisan initiative which has become known as “TrustTheVote!”.

Recognizing a large, active OSS community exists in Oregon, the OSDV is coming to Portland on February 18th to introduce their project.  Although the meeting content is designed for a technical audience, the project overview and progress-to-date would be of interest to many.

Here’s a description of the event.  You can also view details including a map to the event at Portland’s CubeSpace on Yahoo or Calagator.  If you’re in the area, hope to see you there!

TrustTheVote! intro in Portland, Oregon, Feb 18, 2009

Discover this imperative “public digital works project” of the Open Source Digital Voting Foundation. The OSDV Foundation is a Silicon Valley based public benefits corporation whose mission is to work to restore trust in how America votes through the design, development, and demonstration of open source digital voting technology.

Join us to learn details about the “TrustTheVote Project,” a well funded non-profit effort which has been under the radar for 2 years. The OSDV Foundation is now raising public awareness, and expanding efforts including a planned development center in Portland, Oregon.

Our guests are two executives of the Foundation including its Chief Technology Officer. Their presentation will:

  • Introduce the project, its motivation, founding, and development efforts to date;
  • Walk through the TrustTheVote technology road map and review major projects underway;
  • Discuss development philosophies and approaches including experience-driven design and test-driven agile development;
  • Review opportunities for systems architects, software developers, SDQA/test specialists, and user experience designers;
  • Cover plans to expand the volunteer developer teams, future opportunities for senior members of technical staff, and opportunities for you to get involved.

Presenters:
Gregory Miller, Chief Development Officer

E. John Sebes, Chief Technology Officer

event on: Yahoo or Calagator