Yesterday was one of those days where nothing seemed to go right! I was scheduled to address the OW2 Technology Council at the France Telecom HQ at 9am, so I set out from my hotel at 7:30 to make sure that I arrived with plenty of time to spare. The taxi dropped me at the address I’d obtained from the OW2 website at 8am, but I had a nagging feeling that France Telecom’s HQ probably wasn’t an abandoned building on a suburban street in Paris. We finally tracked down the correct address for the meeting just minutes before I was scheduled to speak. Arriving in a panic almost half an hour late, the fact that the projector wasn’t working was the icing on the cake! I had to do the presentation without slides, which for me was like singing a-cappella – not for the faint of heart! I topped off the day by spilling a glass of wine over my dinner – duck in red wine is highly recommended!
Thankfully there were some positives during the day for example I met Nick Barcet from Ubuntu who has promised to put us in touch with someone within Ubuntu who can work through the directory structure issues that prevent us shipping on Ubuntu and Debian. The panel discussion on global trends in open source was even better than expected; each panelist represented a different open source perspective so it led to a rounded and insightful discussion. Topics covered included the importance of addressing usability issues and adopting a holistic approach to delivering consumer ready open source products, the economic downturn being a double-edged sword for open source, the digital divide, closed source companies buying open source innovation and Google’s contribution to and consumption of open source.
Open source and the digital divide is a topic that I’m going to cover in a future blog. As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic! And finally, if you hadn’t previously heard of it, I’d like to invite you to visit the One Laptop Per Child website.