woensdag 13 juni 2007

HOSC 2007

Yesterday, I went to the Holland Open Source Conference in Amsterdam (hosc.nl). On Tuesday, they had an education track that was particularly interesting to me, as were the keynotes in the morning.

Hans Pronk of VKA made a comparison between open source and green energy during his presentation: "If we all use “green energy” without seeing the difference, why should we not use “open source” software?"
To me, the most interesting part of his presentation was about the reusability of data. We should focus on data, not the application; that's of relevance for the user. I could immediately apply this to my experiences with the Websitemaker (Kennisnet): the Websitemaker 1 is now slowly being taken down, and we advice users to make their websites with the Websitemaker 2. But there's one annoying thing about this: the user can't simply import their data from the Websitemaker 1 to Websitemaker 2. They have to copy their texts and images and build their website anew... If they even make the effort to do that.
At the moment, we're making plans for the Websitemaker 3 and fortunately, this move will go smoothly. It's more like an software update where the user only sees that the Websitemaker has had some upgrades; and his/her data stays the same, in the same system.
Hans mentioned that it was easy to move from blog to blog, but I wonder if that's true. I think it will be quite a hassle to move my blog on Blogger to another blogaccount, like Wordpress: I fear that I have to copy all texts and post them over there anew. Fortunately, I have no such plans! But I totally agree with Hans that it should be easier to move your data from one application to the other.

Another interesting (and fun!) presentation was done by Steve Coast of Open Street Map.
What interested me mostly - concerning my job - is the concept of mapping parties. People come together to make maps of a particular city, like of Amsterdam or Utrecht. By walking or cycling around with their gps systems, they make roadmaps. And those roadmaps are then shared (for free!) online. Their work is far from done. As you can see on the picture on the left, the world seems to end beyond the borders of a city (in this case, Utrecht).
Anyways, you can also do this on your own, but somehow I didn't see myself cycling through my village, looking for every street and corner (and pub!) and make a map of that. It would be so... lonely! It's more fun to do this with more people.
I will remember this concept, perhaps I can do something with it for Kennisnet. Making people meet on a particular day and hour, even virtually, could make it possible to move forward at a quicker pace. This could be of use for several Kennisnet communities and forums.

So, yes, even if open source itself isn't of major importance to my job as a web editor, it's good to know of what's happening out there... And get inspired. :)

Geen opmerkingen: