Web Idol 2006

Musings on the Institutional Web Management Workshop IWMW 2006 in Bath, UK

Thursday, June 15, 2006

What Does Openness Mean to the Web Manager? Speaker: Randy Metcalfe and Brian Kelly

Randy:

What does oss mean for web managers … most people use oss but no-one forced to … pragmatism a good thing but maybe not all the time … osswatch focuses on strategic decision makers … osswatch don’t ‘sell’ oss – is an awareness raising outfit … mentioned various licences e.g gpl and apache characteristics of oss – free distribution, source code, etc… oss about freedoms – four freedoms … oss might require programmer commitment … characterized by rapid change … issue of submitting developments back to the oss project – need to be able to do this legally … policy issues – UK gov’t has an oss policy - only 4 people in room knew this … success of moodle – 56% of FE colleges using moodle – no one told them to use moodle – went from from 0 to 56% - why? Ans: market forces – gap between policy and reality … massive discrepancy between policy and practice … community aspect of moodle positive … and openness is a warm puppy.

Sebastian couldn’t resist saying Open Source 2.0

Brian:

Open standards don’t always work … rss is a great standard – but is it a standard? .. several authors possibly wrote rss … have to recognize the complexities of adopting oss … can’t mandate html standard – most pages don’t meet the standard … creative commons is used for ukoln slides - not just being nice – want to promote use and impact of using the materials … MIT has with opencourseware and open university is about to … we can all contribute – if say everyone in room added a couple of pages to a wiki or wikipedia – this is what openness is all about … Univ Northumbria adopted Google maps mash-up … need to be responsive and user focsussed … some challenges - must own mission critical IT Services? …. Should use OSS? .. Brian thinks we moved on from this … outsourcing no longer a sin … risk management – charles oppenheim copyright formula (check brian’s slides for this) … need to take a risk management to adopting oss .. brian working on these risk assessments .. there is the risk of continuing to do what we’re doing … beware the fundamentalists – vendor, legal, accessibility (we know who they are) ... need to move on from this attitude

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