Getting to Know Simon Phipps and his Thoughts on Open Source
Thursday June 26th 2008, 8:59h
Filed under: ETH Zürich, FLOSS, Politics, Research

Although my night in Zurich’s cheapest hotel wasn’t very relaxing, I got up early enough to meet Simon Phipps, Sun’s Chief Open Source Officer, in his much nicer hotel. We went with the train to Bern where we discussed several interesting issues such as IBM’s deadly weapon to destroy Sun or Google’s absence in own contributions to OSS projects. In Bern we visited the Informatikstrategieorgan Bund where Simon introduced us to Sun’s open source strategy and gave many other interesting statements:

SharePoint: While Microsoft is very open now by e.g. adopting ODF in its products, SharePoint itself seems to become Microsoft’s next layer of locking.
OOXML-ODF: Complete conversion from one file format into another is very difficult and can’t be fully automated as true language translation e.g. from German in French cannot (yet) be done by machines either.
Levels of open source: While releasing pure code is the minimum requirement for being open source, Simon added two more layers of doing open source software - being transparent in the development process and eventually enabling open participation by accepting contributions by external players (admitting e.g. only recently entered stage three).
Evolution of the OSS industry: From 1980’s till 1995 Free Software was mostly community-driven development by volunteers, from about 1995 till 2005 corporations started to use OSS and opening up proprietary software, parting from 2005 firms began to realize the benefits of external contributions thus opening up also the processes of creating OSS
Return on OSS investment: Rule of thumb - When governments buy proprietary software, each Franken creates 7 other Franken for their economy. When governments use open source software, each Franken creates 20 more Franken for its economy. Thus, public administrations should start using more OSS!

Thanks a lot for your interesting insights and great to meet you again at OpenExpo 2009 in Bern (April 1/2, 2009) !

Meeting the open source guru of Sun

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Hola Mathias Stuermer te saluda ferni, tu primer alumno de Dreamweaver del Diego Thomson.
Muchas bendiciones para ti y tu linda familia.

Ferni…ISPPDT Lima-Perú.

Comment by Ferni Vasquez 07.10.08 @ 15:22h

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