Ottawa Valley SAGE

Providing a forum since 1998

Apr 1, 2007 - 2 minute read - Comments

Barcamp 3 - impressions

I was dragged to Barcamp 3 yesterday. It seems Carleton U has been granted some provincial money to “foster open source” so one of their contributions was to host Barcamp.

Barcamp seems to be a once-in-a-while (every month-and-a half? every two months?) event. I think the Ottawa event was started by some vulture/venture capitalists who wanted to meet techies to slave, I mean work in their startups. But, this time they seem to have attracted some actual techies.

I have to say it was weird to go to an event that is funded (they provided lunch - about twice or three times as much food as was required (!) - includling large fresh-fruit platters - and also morning and afternoon coffee and snacks), after being treated as a pariah by proprietary software interests and everyone the proprietary camp can brainwash (being labelled pirates, communists, criminals, etc. and having some free software classified as munitions). So I wanted to find out who was doing the funding and what they wanted for their money.

After talking to a couple of the profs at Carleton who were instrumental in obtaining the grants, I found the gov’t of Ontario is funding it as part of their Industry portfolio. I guess they want to stimulate business - and they already know that helping small businesses actually works in stimulating the economy. I don’t know who convinced them that open source can help small business. I smell something funny there - if the gov’t won’t use open source themselves, I don’t know why they think it might work for small business.

But … I guess this is our chance to take their money and show them.

I’m just afraid that their metric for success is number of patents obtained, or the number of companies that can slap a license on their proprietary stuff built on a free platform, or something destructive like that.