2010 Free Software and Open Source Symposium (FSOSS)
About 1 week ago I attended the Free Software and Open Source Symposium (FSOSS) hosted by Seneca College, along with fellow classmates. FSOSS is a major gathering of North American open source developers, businesses, educators, and users. The goal of the symposium is to explore how open source, open standards, and open content are changing technology, the web, the media and arts, education, and business. Being my first time attending FSOSS, I really didn't know what to expect. During my visit I was able to attend 4 presentations (5 if the Between Free Software and Open Standards: the Business Model presentation was not canceled), 2 of which I'll talk in greater detail. The first presentation of the day I attended was on Scene Creator done by Matthew Postil (a fellow BSD student), the second presentation was on Web Audio by our very own professor David Humphrey, after lunch I attended Spencer Kellys Freebase and the semantic web presentation, and lastly Popcorn.js and Open Video presented Scott Downe. Most of the presentations I attended were fairly done well. The Web Audio and Open Video presentations were my favorite and most interesting to me.
One of the presentations I attended was our very own Open Source professor David Humphrey. David Humphrey is a web technology developer and a professor in the Seneca School of Computer Studies/Centre for Development of Open Technologies. He is also the Educational Liaison for Mozilla, and the lead developer of the Mozilla Firefox Audio Data API. He presented on Web Audio: One of the remaining frontiers for open web standards is advanced audio. Firefox 4 will include a new Web Audio API, and a W3C Audio Incubator Group has been formed to seed the web standards process. This presentation will explain and demonstrate what the web audio API can do.
Daves presentation started off with an introduction to the Firefox 4 Audio Data API, leading into the the evolution of the <audio> tag. From there on, it was demo after demo. Demos were on audio visualization, generating and modifying audio, accessibility, sound effects and games. Lastly concluding his presentation with his view on the future of Open Source -- a Mozilla HTML5 video demo.
As always, Dave was enthusiastic in his presentation as he is when teaching in the classroom. His knowledge and understanding of Web Audio and Open Source undoubtedly shows his love for Open Source. His presentation drew "wows", a lot of the demos he presented even "wow'd" me, even after all the cool demos hes previously shown us in class. Dave definitely went all out on his presentation. I think Daves passion for Open Source was displayed throughout the presentation but I believe it was shown the most during his conclusion on the future of Open Source, he feels very strongly about the path on which open web, video, and audio are being directed.
Popcorn.js and Open Video
A related presentation I attended was former Seneca Student and CDOT developer and researcher, Scott Downe. He presented on Popcorn.js and Open Video: His presentation consisted of an explanation of open video and the community, what he contributed to popcorn.js and mozilla, and HTML5 video vs flash video.
His presentation started off with an introduction about himself and what he's been currently working on. His first demo was on the Flash vs HTML5 battle. He talked about some dude calling out HTML5 developers to make a better Flash button than his in HTML5 -- from there Scott demonstrated how superior HTML5 was by showing one demo after another. his presentation also focused on his work with the Popcorn.js library and sub-project: Web Made Movies (this is where my Candy.js effects were demoed). Popcorn.js time events in video and displays it on the page. He demonstrated cool demos that used Twitter and Flickr API, dynamically translated language subtitles on the fly, and a scrabbled a live video into a puzzle. I believe Scotts main points and highlights in his presentation were to demonstrate:
- Simple <video> syntax (integrated into the HTML)
- FREE! (use codecs, etc.)
- Combining efforts (not just one company working on API, Ex: Flash Player)
- Easy access: Right click > Save As...
Open Source is free, this is something Scott emphasized in his presentation -- "Free as in free beer, Free as in free speech". I believe his view on Open Source is that HTML5 will make things simpler and easier to use.
In the light of the points they made, open source is not only defined as "free" and "collaborative" to me anymore. I personally label Open Source as: innovative, open-ended, and simple. Both speakers demonstrated the open web in similar fashion. They both demonstrated the direction in which HTML5 and open source are going. They both a have positive view for the success of open source in the near future.
* Does the picture of open source you've seen presented in these talks challenge or confirm your own views about what open source is and how it functions?