Eyes Above The Waves

Robert O'Callahan. Christian. Repatriate Kiwi. Hacker.

Sunday 14 February 2010

Post Foo Camp

This weekend's Foo Camp (NZ) was, once again, fantastic.

One of the most fun parts for me was a long conversation with Nigel Parker (Microsoft) and Glen Murphy (Chrome). During that conversation I realized that this is the first time ever that the consumer software industry has had three powerful, yet similarly matched, competitors --- Google, Microsoft, and Apple --- fighting over some important platform turf (mobile, online content, browsers). That's really wonderful. Although it'd probably be more fun to watch if we, Mozilla, weren't in the ring with them.

There was a lot of talk about evangelizing the merits of open source, building communities around open source, and stuff like that. It seemed mostly framed around the idea of open source as the upstart, radical, misunderstood challenger, which I guess it still is for many domains or projects, but I don't relate to that as well as I used to because Mozilla has clearly passed that stage --- and even our competitors are often open source with their own communities.

I wonder if we're all doing enough to leverage Firefox's success to add credibility to other free software efforts. I hope that at least other projects benefit from being able to point to Firefox and say "look, free software with a real volunteer development community, and you're using it".

We're not supposed to talk too much about what was discussed, but I will say that the sessions on food, psychopaths, and climate change blogging were very interesting!


Chris Double
"We're not supposed to talk too much about what was discussed"
So not a particularly open camp then :)
Robert O'Callahan
To be fair, there were a lot of people from different, large, competing organizations being very open with each other. If they were only as open as they normally are to the public, Foo Camp wouldn't have much value.
Te Taka Keegan
Kia ora Robert,
Waikato University would like to invite you to speak on Kīngatanga Day.
Are you able to send me your email address so that I can arrange an invitation to be sent to you?
Thanks a lot
Te Taka
Matthew Holloway
Yeah Kiwifoo operates under Chatham House Rules (AKA FriendDA)
I love your first paragraph, it's so true. It even made me laugh by hte end: "it'd probably be more fun to watch if we, Mozilla, weren't in the ring with them.
What about Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo competing in console gaming?
Robert O'Callahan
I guess that's a good example too, although somehow it feels less important to me. Maybe because it's proved harder to leverage dominance in game consoles into dominance in other areas.