OSBC2004 Wrap-Up


With OSBC2004 drawing to a close, I've got a few thoughts:

  • First, Matt Asay and crew did a great job, especially considering this is the first of its kind. There were a few minor things that could be improved in overall conference organization, but the conference was great and so was the location.
  • I found most of the presentations by company reps to be just that. They were, for the most part unimaginative descriptions of why that company was so great. The exceptions were Steve Korn from EDS (since he wasn't there to talk about EDS, but rather their clients) and Martin Fink from HP. Maybe companies trying to figure out a business model found them more useful that I did.
  • On the other hand, there were some excellent speakers including Clayton Christensen, Tim O'Reilly, Ray Lane, and Larry Lessig. They were all outstanding and offered real value.
  • While I didn't attend any of the legal tracks, there are about 200 lawyers at the conference. Open source seems to be getting quite a bit of attention from the legal community. Maybe that's a side effect of the SCO lawsuits. There are a number of cynical comments about lawyers one could make here, I'll refrain. :-)
  • The attendee list included quite a few people I know and I enjoyed getting together with them and having a chance to catch up.

I wonder, as I imagine this conference next year, how it will evolve. Will there be significant changes in the open source world that will change the primary message of the conference or will it be the same message, more or less, presented to a new, and perhaps larger, set of attendees?

I guess this question comes from a feeling I've had at this conference that it lacks the energy of the O'Reilly Open Source conference (OSCON). That's a not a dig at OSBC, its just an observation that people who are creating new things tend to be excited and every year there's lots of new developments to report at OSCON. You can feel it. OSBC has lots of suits in attendance and they tend to be a lot less exciting. What will Redhat report here next year? Another profitable quarter? That's important, but its not exciting. I look forward to seeing the agenda for next year.