Easy Beats Open: The Challenge of Growing Open Source

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Accepted Session
Short Form
Beginner
Scheduled: Thursday, June 28, 2012 from 4:45 – 5:30pm in B204

Excerpt

"Open Source, in its majestic equality, guarantees both programmers and non-programmers alike the right to alter and recompile their software."

The battle for Open Source Legitimacy is largely over: in many sectors, it's actually the preferred alternative. In the task-focused world that most casual computer users inhabit, however, "open-ness" is a meaningless abstraction and the walled gardens of closed source competitors offer compelling advantages.

In this session, I'll explore the reasons that people make their choices, point out why "moral arguments" about open source are unlikely to change those choices, and discuss ways that our communities can further the ideals of Open Source without demonizing Grandpa's iPad.

Description

In our quest to provide powerful, free solutions to challenging problems, it’s easy to overlook the obvious. Once the True Believers have left the room, few people care that a solution is ‘open,’ or even understand what that means.

Too often, we treat that view as a product of ignorance — something to be dismissed rather than studied and understood. If we want Open Source to continue growing beyond the world of hobbyists and hackers, we need to understand the reasons many non-developers make their choices — and learn to communicate the value of Open Source to those who may not share our ideologies.

Speaking experience

SXSW 2008, 2010 - CMS Showdown and "Selling the Milk When The Cow is Free" (http://sxsw.com/node/4762)

CMS Expo, 2009-2011 - Drupal technical training, and ROI in a GPL World (http://www.slideshare.net/eaton/roi-in-a-gpl-world)

Do It With Drupal 2009, 2011 - The Dark Art of Drupal Deployment, and Why Open Source Matters (http://drupalize.me/videos/why-open-source-matters)

BADCampl 2011 - Introducing The Snowman Project (http://speakerdeck.com/u/eaton/p/stay-frosty-my-friend)

Drupalcon 2007-2011 - Numerous sessions on community and technical topics including Building APIs That Rock (http://dc2009.drupalcon.org/session/building-apis-rock.html); Product, Framework, or Platform (http://london2011.drupal.org/conference/sessions/product-framework-or-platform-what-they-mean-and-why-you-should-care); The Platypus Problem (http://chicago2011.drupal.org/sessions/platypus-problem), and Baby Got Backend: Administrators are Users, Too (http://chicago2011.drupal.org/sessions/baby-got-backend-content-administrators-are-users-too).

Speaker

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    Jeff Eaton

    Lullabot

    Biography

    Jeff Eaton is a long-time web developer who’s been designing, administering, and implementing web projects since he pieced together his first HTML file in 1996. He’s built ecommerce sites for florists, helped implement enterprise web systems for multinational corporations, and dragged legacy Perl apps kicking and screaming to ASP.Net.

    Jeff joined the the open source world in 2004 after searching for a content management system flexible enough for one of his projects. Resigned to “rolling his own,” he started work on a custom CMS before discovering that the Drupal community had made many of the same design decisions. After a few weeks of investigation, he converted and has been a Drupal evangelist ever since. He’s the author of the popular Voting API, EVA, and Token projects; a prolific speaker at Drupal and general technology events; one of the co-authors of O’Reilly & Associates’ Using Drupal; and an active contributor to the Drupal core project.

    Sessions

      • Title: Easy Beats Open: The Challenge of Growing Open Source
      • Track: Culture
      • Room: B204
      • Time: 4:455:30pm
      • Excerpt:

        “Open Source, in its majestic equality, guarantees both programmers and non-programmers alike the right to alter and recompile their software.”

        The battle for Open Source Legitimacy is largely over: in many sectors, it’s actually the preferred alternative. In the task-focused world that most casual computer users inhabit, however, “open-ness” is a meaningless abstraction and the walled gardens of closed source competitors offer compelling advantages.

        In this session, I’ll explore the reasons that people make their choices, point out why “moral arguments” about open source are unlikely to change those choices, and discuss ways that our communities can further the ideals of Open Source without demonizing Grandpa’s iPad.

      • Speakers: Jeff Eaton