My next Last Friday of the Month speaker, this coming Friday (April 26) will be Samizdata’s own Rob Fisher, who has emailed me thus:
These are my notes for the ‘introduction’ section of my talk. I think this should give you a flavour of what to expect:
I am going to talk about open source software.
I am calling it “open source” but as we will see there are variations on that theme.
I will talk about the history because it tells us things about the motivations of the people who work on open source software.
I will also talk about the nature of software in general, to put open source in context.
I want to talk about what it is like to develop software, and to develop open source software and proprietary software. I have done a little of the former and a lot of the latter – developing proprietary software is my day job.
And I will tell you about how open source looks today, what kinds of software are open source, who is developing it, who is using it and how an open source project is run.
And I will talk about ways I think open source software is saving the world (from a variety of bad things that would happen without it).
I don’t have a grand thesis to share, no big new idea. What I’m talking about is mostly well known, but my aim is to provide an overview so we can think about what it all means in a broader economic sense, and I’ll share the few thoughts I have about that.
I am looking forward to this a lot, because I expect to learn a lot. I particularly like the sound of that “saving the world” bit.
This stuff is likely to be central to many of the most vexed political and legal arguments of the next few decades. Intellectual property gets ever hotter as a topic, as they continue to lengthen the number of years it lasts. And as “3D printing” gets into its stride, that is adding a whole new dimension of relevance to such arguments. Open Source manufacturing, anyone?
It is already clear from emailed acceptances that there will be a good turnout. There is room for it to be slightly better, but only slightly. Email me soon (go here and click on “Contact”), if you would like to attend.