User:Esin/FSOSS 09

From CDOT Wiki
< User:Esin
Revision as of 23:59, 9 November 2009 by Esin (talk | contribs)
Jump to: navigation, search


This document recapitulates and examines a portion of the Free Software and Open Source Symposium, FSOSS. There will be a brief introduction of FSOSS followed by a list of topics I have attended. The main focus then centers on two of the presentations, as it will include a detailed summary of key points as well as an analysis of them. Furthermore, there will be a compare and contrast of the two presentations with some of the thoughts I’ve come across to.


The Free Software and Open Source Symposium, FSOSS event aimed at bringing together people from across the world to discuss common open source concerns, learn new open source technologies and to forecast up coming in the open source community. The symposium includes short tutorials and demonstrations along with frank discussions and exchange of ideas presented by Professors, Developers, Graduates all around the world. Fortunately, I learned about the event from the course DPS909, and have an opportunity to be present at such a big event. Here’s the 6 presentations that I went to: 9:00 – 10:00 Creating an Animated Twitter Widget for your Website with Processing.js Alistair MacDondald 10:00 – 11:00 Ranking the Bugs: Predicting Which Bugs Will Get Fixed Diederik van Liere 11:00 – 12:00 A View from the Gallery: a tour of the JVM Alternative Languages Newman Hunter 13:00 – 14:00 Tiki Profiles - An App Store Approach to Enabling Collaboration using the TikiWiki Platform Nelson Ko and Pascal St-Jean 14:00 – 15:00 Open Source for fun and profit: making a career out of FOSS Khalid Baheyeldin 15:00 – 16:00 3D in the browser... more than just Doom Catherine Leung


Tiki Profiles – An App Store Approach to Enabling Collaboration using the TikiWiki Platform

Pascal St-Jean is a Directory, Business Development with Citadel Rock Online Communities. He was the co-founder and Chief Technology Officer of PicSphere Technologies. His has a great passion in engineering in which his goal is to turn them into successful ventures. He is an active member of the TikiWiki community with major interest in creating, growing and promoting Tiki Profiles. He has over 6 years of technology consulting and IT management experiences. He current interests are Open Source business models and Social Media Marketing. TikiWiki is a content management system. It is a powerful web based application created by developers from the CMS and Groupware project. It is a wiki software engine. It allows user to build and maintain web applications, sites, portals, knowledge base such as wiki, groupware, CMS, Forum, Blog, and many others. There are five partners in across Canada using TikiWiki. It is free source software which is using PHP, Smarty, ADOdb, Zend Framework and JQuery. It offers a large number of “out-of-the-box” features. It is highly configurable and all features are administered via a web-based interface. It also supports up to 35+ languages. TikiWiki has been developed since 2002 with over 170 developers. They actively develop on the source code and keep TikiWiki up to date with the new technologies to suit large amount of users. For example, F1 in Mozilla, Firefox is powered by TikiWiki. The largest usage is approximately 16 million visitors per month. Since TikiWiki use large amount of new technologies and allow users to build different web applications, forums, blog, and many more, the problem with that is it adds complexity. It is more suitable for power user. It is harder for adoption because the learning curve is steep. To solve this kind of concern in order to expand the community to average user based, TikiWiki used YAML profile. YAML is a human readable serialization, which the idea is taken from XML. It provides end to end configuration to TikiWiki. The community can create a profile for corporate intranet and personal blogs. The best thing is profile can be added separately, easy to be shared and distributed openly.

Open Source for fun and profit: making a career out of FOSS

Khalid Baheyeldin is the co-founder and managing partner with He provides drupal services to clients and is one of the most active developers for Drupal. Drupal project is an Open Source Content Management System (CMS). His contributions to drupal project involves site offline features, watchdog hooks, implement an automatic whitelist for path alias and others. He provides Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP consulting. He mostly focus on the Drupal web sites includes customization, development, performance tuning and optimization. The biggest difference between corporation and Open source is who the winners are. In corporation, the developers work will not be noticed or appreciated. The sales team will package and present the product to the clients. From the client sides, they will be familiar with the sales or marketing people, may be the owner of the company but they will not notice who developed the code for the product. There is also a common issue in most corporations - the office politics and hierarchy structure. The developer’s creative ideas often need to be approved by management after management level. It is very destructive and antagonist relationship. Open Source on the other hand is a win-win situation. It reduced the capital and ongoing costs. It always contains many difference choices for maintenance, no matter is inhouse, consulting companies, freelancers or the community. There is no office politics, developers are free to express their ideas. There is no need for special permission, fee, or special licenses in customization. It is easier to get notice in which the barrier of entry is low and users are easily marketing out. There are few types of license types. BSD variants, users can do whatever they want. It included closing it off, NetBSD for Apple OS/X. GPL, general public license, it is the most popular and well-known example of strong copyleft license. GPL grants users the rights of free software definitions and uses copyleft to ensure the freedoms are preserved. Mozilla is a weak copyleft, which refers to those license are not all derived works inherit the copyleft license. It is generally used for the creation of software libraries which allow other software to link to that library and redistributed without legal requirement for the work. The business models for the Open Source are: Sell the hardware that uses software, there are many embedded device use Linux. For example, google android, palm premobile, Nokia n900. Linux is an Open Source product, but when the business embedded Linux in their product, they can make a profit with lower the operating cost. Sell hardware with a proprietary applications and the operating system as a commodity., Inc specialized in custom development for web sites, especially based on the Drupal Content Management System and framework. It used PHP and MySQL or PostgreSQL. Drupal as a project is ever evolving and improving. Drupal as a community is the most important asset of Drupal. It collectively are the ones who use, support, promote and improve the project. Three types of symbolizes best represent the Open Source. The first one, mutualism is a biological interaction between two organisms where each individual is getting benefit on either side. Commensalism is the organisms that living along the side where one organism befefits but the other is unaffected. Parasitism is the relationship between organisms of different species where one organism, the parasite benefits at the expense of the host. Drupal has seven principles: 1. Modular and extensible 2. Quality coding 3. Standards-based 4. Low resource demands 5. Open source 6. Ease of use 7. Collaboration Open Source can be fun and profitable. A person can contribute the code, it is better for the developer and also for the clients. In return they will receive bug fixes, features and upgrades. It will also provide documentation, advocacy, marketing, event organizing and fundraising. A person only provides a small portion and in return they receive much more.


Tiki Profiles – An App Store Approach to Enabling Collaboration using the TikiWiki Platform

Open source refers to a software distribution model. Developers design, develop and distribute the software to public. St Jean is an active member of the TikiWiki community. TikiWiki is an Open Source program with over 170 developers. TikiWiki is a platform where developers are constantly updating the code for improvement and new features. As more features and technologies are added into it, the more complex it will get. As it become more complex, the tentative audience will be switch to power user as oppose to average user based. The use of YAML profile to provide end to end configuration for TikiWiki has helped them expand the community to include average user. TikiWiki used another open source program to help improve the community. It is an example of how one open source program can simply integrated and use onto another open source program. There is no complex legal issue they have to deal with. The sharing of code has increase efficiency.

Open Source for fun and profit: making a career out of FOSS

Baheyeldin talks on the drupal project. It is an open source project but they can still be able to make profit out of it. Although open source is free code or software for public, but there are different ways to make a profit out of it. Hardware that uses open source program can lower the operating cost and in result easier to make a revenue. One of the key elements between corporation and open source is freedom. Open source developers can free flow their ideas and make any changes they like to improve the program. But in a corporation, there are many steps before a change to a program to be made. Every idea has to trademark or get a copyright before the program can be release. It is slowing down the efficiency. In the open source world, developers are free to throw out code and ideas. It is easier to share and combine with different ideas. Anyone can contribute a small portion of the program, others can provide bug fixes, documentation and many others. In the open source platform, everyone is in a win-win situation.


Both St Jean and Baheyeldin are senior developers in the Open source platform with many years of experience. The common view on Open source is easy to share and distribute. TikiWiki and durpal project are fully featured open source web applications. They used common web-base and database language such as PHP and MySQL. Both platforms do not contain large operating cost in which they are easier to obtain a profit. Both projects are content management system, but TikiWiki is more focused on built-in features. It allows users to be easily using the product with less customization to the source code. Durpual allows users to add different features via modules, but on the other hand, it allows user to add the model they need.


The FSOSS gathered people around the world to share and discuss different things in the open source community. Each speaker has their own thoughts and opinion on the Open Source platform. But they all are aiming toward the same destination. The most xxx caught my attention is when Baheyeldin mentioned although the developer won’t get return instantly but they can build up their reputation and contribute on the program. These groups of developers is xxx good for the community and gain more audience to the open source platform. According to xxx, the statistics has shown the money the pirates spend is far more than the normal shoppers who purchase copyrighted items. It is because they are willing to purchase something they have good experienced with. Similarly to open source platform, although we are not charge to download the open source software but as Baheyeldin had mentioned earlier, we can use other ways to make profit with the product that use open source software.