Report from BIOS seminar October 6th

I'm back home, after flying around Europe last week and ending up in Vaasa on Friday to attend the Open Source seminar arranged by the Vaasa Applied Sciences University and their EU funded Business in Open Source program.

All of the talks are available in some video format, plus everybody's slides, so I won't go into too much detail. I'll post my own talk here right after this, unusually I had decided to write it instead of just standing up and speaking to some slideshow.

The most important aspect of the seminar seemed to be to serve as a gettogether of different European countries Open Source organizations. Petri Räsänen from Finnish COSS was there; as was his enthusiastic counterpart Morten Kjaersgaard from OSL, Denmark; Patrick Sinz from Adullact, France; Elmar Geese from Linux Verband, Germany and Mats Östling from Sweden and the eGovForge project. (The Norwegians were also present, but did not deliver a speech on this day, instead they had been in the spotlight on the previous Asterisk day.)

They all spoke about what they are doing in their respective countries. It seems that the idea of bringing them together to meet each other was a good idea. For instance it seems that almost all countries are currently producing some kind of SourceForge-like platforms for sharing source code between government agencies. Wouldn't it be ironic if all of these people would end up developing their own platforms, instead of sharing the code to do that!

Martin Taylor from the UK and Open Source Consortium had dubbed his talk "The emerging Open Source Consortium in Europe". This is the way to go, Martin! One of the topics at the seminar was that Europe is quite strong in Open Source, but most activities (like lobbying) are often within nationalistic boundaries, whereas internationally we organize ourselves around American hubs, like the FSF and OSDL or Slashdot and LWN.

In addition to these associations, Mikko Puhakka and Lars Larsson gave more business oriented views, and Barbara Held gave insights in the EU IDABC program, which also seems to be working on a code sharing platform btw.

In the back of the room a couple of Finnish companies showcased themselves. Most impressive was the EDGE media center produced by a student project at the university and productised/prototyped by Open Source Partners Johnny Ström and Christer Åkers. Christer introduced himself as "the one wearing the tie" and apparently Johnny then is the guru making everything happen. It was Linux and MythTV inside of course, and the HDTV coming from the Vaasa cable TV network looked just amazing. I realised I had actually never seen MythTV in action before, but at least in Johnny's (and Markus, was it?) hands I'm confident it will be a hit.

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