October 12, 2003

Novell and Open Source

I was reading Andy Oram's second blog entry about Foo Camp and came across something interesting:

Nat Friedman of Ximian presented his nifty search tool Dashboard, which he had shown at the O'Reilly Open Source conference last July, but which now sports a couple new features like an index for everything on the desktop. He is leaving tomorrow for India, where he will meet with a large number of programmers employed by Novell, the company that bought Ximian recently. He will recruit 30 to 60 of these programmers to work on GNOME and help them learn the social conventions of working in a free software environment.

My first reaction was along the lines of "Damn! I missed the Dashboard presentation." But then I realized, "Holy crap! Novell's throwing a lot of muscle behind Open Source."

It's a shame the O'Reilly blogs don't grok TrackBack.

Posted by jzawodn at 11:04 PM

Foo Camp Wrap-up

I didn't have the time at Foo Camp to blog much about what I was doing, who I was meeting, and what we were discussing. I was too busy and interested to tear myself away. I went to bed each night very tired.

Luckily, a few others provided some on-line notes and such:

I'm sure there will be more as people return home.


The drive to Foo Camp was a pain. I should have known this in advance. I got stuck in traffic on 101 for a while so it took about 3 hours to get there. The return trip was no better. I really need to get that power license to I can fly to stuff like this. On the plus side, I got to watch the Blue Angels flying around San Francisco for Fleet Week.

I arrived unsure of what to expect. I ran into Andy Oram (our editor on the book) at the check-in desk, dropped off my stuff, and headed to the back lawn to find out who was there. I quickly found myself in a sea of interesting people. Chris DiBona brought bread and cheese, others brought wine. Dinner was soon served.

After dinner on Friday night, we were asked to gather upstairs to get things rolling. We did some introductions so that everyone had a [brief] chance to put names with faces. Then they brought in some very large grids (schedules) so that we could start filling in sessions. We had 1-hour time slots on Friday night, Saturday, and Sunday to fill.

Chaos ensued.

It was good chaos.

We managed to self-organize.

The rest of the weekend was an excellent mix of food, interesting people, discussions, impromptu sessions, and hackery. There was music, a natural sound presentation, water bottle rockets, portable showers, and more.

I think that Dori Smith (of Backup Brain) summed it up well:

Most frequently heard comment at Foo Camp: "I have no idea what I'm doing here--everyone here is so much smarter than me."
It's pretty damn cool to be around 200 people who're all thinking that.

I left a bit early (noon) on Sunday to head back, but not before a meeting in which we managed to hammer out some RSS stuff that will be discussed quite soon. More on that later.

I hope I didn't miss much. Was there any sort of closing event?


Here's a partial list of all the people I either got to meet face to face or at least hear speak:

I'm sure I forgot a bunch of others. There were so many that I began jotting down names. I got a few funny looks for pulling out my slip of paper now and then to jot 'em down, but I really don't trust my own memory for stuff like this.

In no particular order:


It's no wonder I was tired every night, huh?

And still, there were a lot of people I did not meet but could have, given more time.


I put some pictures up here. There are some pictures linked fro the Foo Camp Wiki here. Doc's pictures are here.

One of Doc's pictures features me sitting next to Dave Sifry. It was around midnight and we were listening to an excellent presentation about Rendezvous.

Final Word?

Well, okay. Not really. I'll probably have more to say as some of the stuff we discussed at Foo Camp becomes reality.

Posted by jzawodn at 09:04 PM

Some Foo Camp Links

Ben is not sure if he's geek enough to be at Foo Camp.

Derek pisses on Foo Camp.

Tim Bray is here too.

Matt too, blogging about Rendezvous and stuff, including social software, bluetooth security, AMD's Opteron, and more Rendezvous.

The FooCampWiki is back.

So much catching up to do now...

Posted by jzawodn at 06:56 PM