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35 Years of Open Source: From the University lab to Enterprise

2:30pm 16 September 2010

Francois Marier
Francois Marier MNZCS ITCP

Software Developer, Catalyst IT

This talk will take conference attendees on a journey through the last 35 years of computing. It will take them back to the mid seventies when programming editors appeared on the expensive hardware of the time and the practice of writing source code and sharing it with colleagues became widespread.

Using portraits of notable personalities in the Open Source community and the wider industry, the basic tenets of Open Source will be explained through the events that defined this movement from its humble roots in the early computer clubs to the global industry it has spawned.

From the story of Richard Stallman’s printer and Bill Gates’ letter to hobbyists to Linus Torvalds’s 1991 Minix clone and the open sourcing of the Netscape browser, the focus will be on the historical perspective that can be gained by stepping back and looking at the changes of the last decades.

The impact of cloud computing with be discussed along with the birth of related movements such as Laurence Lessig’s Creative Commons and Jimmy Wales’s Wikipedia which were both inspired by Open Source.

About Francois Marier

Francois Marier has been involved in Open Source communities for more than 10 years. Currently a senior software developer at Catalyst IT, he is a long time Debian Developer and has worked on commercial Open Source projects for most of his professional career. He enjoys introducing people to the ideas behind Open Source and discussing the intricacies of Open Source licenses.

One of his most recent contributions to the New Zealand Open Source community was linux.conf.au 2010 where he sat on the organising committee that ran a successful technical conference which brought almost 600 delegates to Wellington.