Wednesday, October 10, 2007 makes the right call

Those of you who follow would have noticed that this year, the conference has done a reboot on its call for papers. The web page now says,
This note is going to catch many people by surprise:

As we had explained, over and over: this is a FOSS developer and contributor conference. We are no longer a FOSS user conference.

As was mentioned last year - in the end FOSS is about Free and Open Source Software, and somebody needs to write that software.

FOSS.IN is about demolishing the contention that India is a land of FOSS consumers, with almost no contributors - that we only take, not give back.

I think it is about time that we stopped being a nation of downloaders and started "uploading." TCS releasing WANem as open source is among the great contributions coming out of India, but we need more contributions going upstream given that we produce almost 20 percent of the software developers in the world. Unless and until we start contributing, we cannot have a say in the development of technology.

A couple of years ago, when I saw in Sri Lanka, Sanjiva Weerawarna told me that the island nation has 25 committers to Apache! If Sri Lanka can contribute so much to open source, so can we. Kudos to Atul Chitnis and the team for taking a bold call. I like it because it reminds me so much of one of my favorite sayings, "Hands that help are holier than lips that pray."

While we are on, as a former journalist, I also admire the well written content on the web site.

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