I’m home from another adventure! I’m back from Maastricht, Bonn and Lyon where I’ve been working and playing on various thingamabobbers. In Lyon, I really stepped into a new domain for me, Open Source Software (OSS) development. I was invited by the energetic and creative Stephane Ribas to present at fOSSa2011, a 2.5 day gathering of mostly French and Italian OSS developers and academics, along with a few philosophers and inventors thrown in to spice up the mix.
Conceptually, the discourse on Open Source makes a lot of sense to me. I did get lost when they started talking code. So I decided to sketch the sessions where I could understand “enough” to do a little reflection and sense making. It turns out people seemed to really appreciate the notes based on the feedback on Twitter and from people directly. After the organizers scanned the paper images, we gave each of them their own picture. I sense that this is a unique way to know you have been “heard.” It also helped me get to know people a bit easier.
My talk was a mish-mosh of ideas that relate to supporting communities of developers and related roles in the OSS space. I talked general, not OSS, but with the intent that the ideas were applicable. Slides are also below. I went out on a limb and had them start with the face co-drawing exercise from Johnnie Moore. I sense it pushed some out of their comfort zones, while others seemed to enjoy it. My goal was both to show another “face” of co-creation and collaboration, AND to break out of the traditional academic presentation mode.
As I reflected on the 2.5 days, there were a ton of amazing ideas, but it was challenging to be sitting and listening in schoolroom set up all day. Just imagine these same people using OpenSpace and what additional space for conversation would be available! Next year the fOSSa theme is “archeology” looking back at the open source software movement. I suggested they do a large graphically captured history wall. YES! I hope I can help contribute to that next year, on site or remotely. In the meantime, I’ve been given a lot to reflect on regarding the politics of OSS, the wonderful side conversations with the wonderful Miguel Cornejo, who I finally got to me F2F, and finally, the enticing possibilities of RepRap machines from Adrian Bowyer! Holiday project?
My thanks to all the organizers, hosts, speakers and presenters. I had a wonderful time, including the great wine tasting meal on Thursday. Pictures here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/choconancy/sets/72157628002081730/