The 6th International Conference on Open Source Systems, May 30 to June 2

OSS 2010, the 6th International Conference on Open Source Systems, will take place on the campus of the University of Notre Dame, South Bend, Indiana, USA, from May 30 to June 2.

From the conference website:

Over the past decade, the Open Source Software (OSS) phenomenon has had a global impact on the way organisations and individuals create, distribute, acquire and use software and software-based services. OSS has challenged the conventional wisdom of the software engineering and software business communities, has been instrumental for educators and researchers, and has become an important aspect of e-government and information society initiatives. OSS is a complex phenomenon and requires a interdisciplinary understanding of its engineering, technical, economic, legal and socio-cultural dynamics. The goal of OSS 2010, the first IFIP WG 2.13 conference to be held in North America, is to provide an international forum where a diverse community of professionals from academia, industry and public administration can come together to share research findings and practical experiences.

Evidently I am on the Program Committee.


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  1. On the other side of the coin, https://event.on24.com/eventRegistration/EventLobbyServlet?target=registration.jsp&eventid=194906 is an upcoming “Webinar” sponsored by the UK Institute of Physics on “Why software fails in scientific research, and how to fix it. ”

    From the invite, “In the 60 years since the invention of the digital computer, millions of lines of code have been developed to support scientific research. Although an increasingly important part of almost all research projects, most research software is barely fit for purpose compared to equivalent systems in the commercial world. The code is hard to understand or maintain, lacking documentation and version control, and is continually ‘re-invented’ as the code writers move on to new jobs. This represents a tremendous waste of the already inadequate resources that are put into its development. We will investigate how this situation has come about, why it is important to the future of research, and what can be done about it.”

    My thoughts are that there is a lot of confusion as to where ‘value’ lies. Clearly, IBM OS/2 saturated its market, and there is no longer significant value in trying to sell more copies of it; http://www.ecomstation.com/ is a ‘niche market’, no more likely to sell in volume than typewriters and card punches.

    So what’s in the future ?

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