On 2 Nov 2007, the Free Software Foundation Europe held an event in London, UK called "Free Software as a Social Innovation" to which I was fortunate to be invited. Run jointly with M6-IT CIC and described as an event to “help people learn more about Free Software and provide opportunities for hands-on experience with the technology”, it was aimed at those in the European not-for-profit and non-governmental sectors (hereafter referred to as the third sector).
July 6 and 7, 2007. Italy discovers “The most advanced open-source database” with the first PostgreSQL Day ever to be held in Italy. On behalf of Free Software Magazine I have interviewed some of the most active members of the organising committee. The event is one of the most important in Europe for the current year as far as relational database management systems are concerned, with conferences, talks and presentations on the usage of PostgreSQL. Entry to PGDay 2007 is free.
Well, I didn't quite make it to all of day 3 of PyCON, but I got a good piece of it, starting with some very nice presentations of scientific software from Enthought and finishing with some questions about the future of Python packaging for GNU/Linux distributions.
I’ve come back from day two of PyCON, exhausted and red-eyed, but also really excited. I’ve learned about several different ways to integrate C libraries into Python, including ctypes which, though an old library, has only entered the standard library in Python 2.5 (released earlier this year). I’ve heard the story of modern cyberpunk heros braving the wrath of the information police, patching code on the fly to evade the notice of the oppressive governments they are exposing for their censorship practices (that is so cool).
This year’s Python Convention , being held this weekend in Dallas Texas, started off with an inspiring presentation by an engineer from the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) project  (Ivan Krstić) , showing off the hardware features of the new “OLPC XO 1” prototype, as well as some “dangerous ideas” about its software design: a large part of the user space code for the laptops will be implemented in Python, mainly because of the ease of manipulating the source code. The OLPC laptop software will be 100% free software, not just in principle, but in spirit as well—the assumption of open source design is literally built into the hardware.
To me, Python represents the quintessential free software programming language: its central design values are the ones that are most import for the free software community—clarity and pragmatism. Yes, I’m sure other people have their own pet languages, but Python is definitely my favorite.
So here I am at DEMO ’07 in Palm Desert, California. I expected to find sunshine in the desert, but so far it’s cloudy and could rain; but that will certainly not dampen my enthusiasm for this trade show. This year the theme of Demo 07 is the Age of Empowerment, according to DEMO CEO and organizer Chris Shipley, “Yes, that’s right. You have become incredibly powerful because of the technology you and others use everyday, and you may not even realize it”.
FAVE is an event in the UK for people who are interested in free audio and video software on Linux and other platforms. I'm helping to put together the second annual event, which will feature talks, workshops and performances by free software artists and developers.
Entry costs £5 and registration in advance is required, via the FAVE website at www.fave.org.uk This is just to help us cover the venue costs, and give us an idea of the number of people coming.
If any FSM readers would like to help out with publicity, or on the day itself, they would be most welcome.
Hello world, Sakai a well-known learning management system and framework for tool building has had its first European Congress in the beautiful town of Lübeck in Germany. A relatively small campus town Leubeck is well known for its churches and marzipan and related confectionary. I personally enjoyed looking at the two main churches back lit from outside in the dark with good beer and solid traditionally German food inside my nicely warmed stomach.
While at LinuxWorld, I was contemplating how IBM's multi-billion dollar investment in free software has born fruit in the form of their hard sought after two inch rubber tux, when I met up with Robin Miller who interviewed me on the quality of this year's swag. Officially, this year's theme was mobile computing, although virtualization also predominated.