Wednesday, June 13, 2007

The day after the Holland Open Software Conference

Anthere gave the keynote speech in Amsterdam at the Holland Open Software Conference. It was a great speech, it was so great because the speech was wholly dedicated to the Wikimedia organisation and its finances. This was possible because there was nobody at the conference that indicated not to know what Wikipedia was. For me there was little that was new, it was however great to hear it put coherently together. Many avenues of funding are closed to the Wikimedia Foundation because of the real or perceived problems that will result from within the community. Many avenues of funding are still very much closed because there is not sufficient staff to deal with acquiring funding. Anthere did a great job, it was a great opener because it put the sustainability of Open/Free projects as an issue very much on the map of the conference.

It was well published on the Dutch Wikimedia projects that the community was invited to attend the conference. It was cool to see Siebrand, Galwaygirl, Effeietsanders, Brabo. It is however a mystery to me where all the others were. This was a high grade conference with many speeches extremely relevant to what we do and there were so few of us.. A missed opportunity..

For me there were several new connections to make. I liked what Erik Duval said about forms to fill in for meta data like IEEE-LOM. He knows that much of this can be done in an automated way. I liked many of the things Massimo Mauro had to say about the European Union; I hope we will be able to cooperate in OmegaWiki. I loved the presentation of Eliane Metni, she connected the spirit of the open and free community with education in a compelling way; it is great that there is so much but it has to be adaptable in order to be useful in the setting of an educational process. A tool may be great but when it does not fit it is useless. There were many more but these are some of the highlights for me.

Next year the Holland Open? I will do my best to be there again :)

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