by Ruth Suehle
This week Red Hat Magazine is in San Francisco to bring you to JavaOne. (Or to join you if you’re here too!) I call it day -1 because JavaOne itself hasn’t officially started yet. Today things kicked off with CommunityOne, the “free and open developer conference,” featuring a good variety of sessions and representations from across the open source spectrum. It also included beanbags in front of Star Wars on continuous loop and human hamster balls–never let it be said that developers don’t like to have fun.
I started the day with Benjamin Mako Hill’s talk “Advancing a Definition of Free Culture.” It was a great introduction to the history and ideals behind free software. At the time, I was a little surprised that such a basic level talk would find an audience at a developer community event. But later in the day, a speaker asked the room how many had contributed to a free software project. Very few hands went up. I think it would be really interesting to see a breakdown of the backgrounds and experience of the average CommunityOne attendee.
Mako talked a bit about how the free software and free culture movements are made up of a lot of groups who don’t necessarily agree. But those people can work together because they agree on this broad definition of the same ideals. “Many definers, one definition,” as he put it. And that’s exactly what CommunityOne was. For example, in the same room, one after another, there were sessions about Ubuntu, openSUSE, and Fedora, followed by the Distro Panel in which those presenters gathered as one group. We’re not all on the same cable car, but we are all headed to the same place.
If you’re interested in seeing what things look like here (or what I look like inside a giant hamster ball), check out our Flickr set for the event. And check back here the rest of the week to hear more about what’s going on at JavaOne.