PlaNetwork 2, Open Source

Mitch Kapor is preparing to speak -- after we solve a few technical glitches. I am disappointed to see that he has given up on wearing loud Hawaiian shirts. Open Source Software Applications. Open software is interesting beyond the software sphere. Desktop Computing: Stasis Which Is not Satisfactory
  • High initial and ongoing costs (Today a couple of hundred bucks for a desktop PC's hardware but $500 for the software -- more if you add in maintenance and updates.) In a corporation, people have a sort of third-world infrastructure. Sometimes it works.
  • The best tool software is very expensive and only found in big firms
  • End-users are disempowered. Grateful for what they've got but compared to how things could be, things are not good.
  • Egregious ease of use problems. Probably billions wasted just waiting for systems to boot. Learning curve probably getting worse, not better.
  • Failures to innovate
Desktop Computing Stakeholders. Big Enterprises ... Dynamics of a Market Failoure
  • Virtually impenetrable barriers to entry. No funding
  • Antitrust action fizzled
We don't know what wouldhave happened if Gore had assumed office... But our regime change in Washington presided over doing nothing to Microsoft even though found guilty of monopoly practices.
Richard Stallman, a flawed genius, truly believed that having access to source code is the sine qua non of programming; it's build by teams and should be shared. Conceived free software, created C compiler and EMACS. Problem was that Stallman saw everything from the programmer's point of view, not the user's. Then came Linus Torvalds.Let's have fun working on this together. This was the transition from free software to open source. Linux has gone from a hobby project to mission-critical software used by zillions of corporations. Mitch's Open Source Applications Foundation (OSAF) is trying to bring openm source apps of uncompromising quality to end users. Chandler
  • Email has become the most important productivity app
  • Tools not defined for email taking such a central role
  • Radically underserved segments
  • Marketplace inertia, opensource maturation
Mitch's wife's 5-person business needed a shared calendar -- and had to install Exchange Server to get it. Overkill. Chandler: modular Outlook. Spirit of Lotus Agenda lives on -- databasesthe way people think. Premium on user experience: power and ease of use. Customizable and extensible. Look at Linux as a model for Chandler. Chandler was named for Raymond Chandler, the mystery writer ("because what it was was a mystery to us"), rather than the character on Friends. Oganizational dynamics: Community/have to keep some out. Transparency/let others see what we're doing. Our IRC is like an open door. This is both liberating and scary. It's as if the team is writing a novel, publishing one page at a time.
PlaNetwork is in ways a "gathering of the tribe." I keep bumping into friends I know from other networks: EOE, bloggerati, Meta-Learning Lab, eLearning Forum, addapt, SRI, Human Landscaping, publicity work from a dozen years ago, Cal Berkeley, the Association of Internet Professionals, and the Internet Users Group. Hi, everyone!! [email protected]
Posted by Jay Cross at June 6, 2003 10:47 AM | TrackBack

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