Last day of OSCOM 4


Apart from my own session, I went to see Danese Cooper's session on Corporate Blogging, which focused on how Sun uses blogs and other collaborative tools to aid in a cluetrainish transformation to a more customer focused and open organization. The related policies and success stories were a good starting point for convincing other companies to do the same.

The session of legal issues of Open Source was also interesting, highlighting the recent German court ruling that upheld GPL and the risks arising from the fact that liability from neglecting potentially harmful issues in the software can't be waived with a license in most European countries.

The Tiki session also provided some interesting ideas, including visually mapping a Wiki using the Graphviz package and rendering location information usingMapServer and its PHP extension.

We're also discussing how to make OSCOM more visible and work better. Some ideas:

  • Loosen the restrictions on getting feeds aggregated on Planet OSCOM and try to get more feeds there. Theoretically all CMS and web related content would be acceptable, but we still don't want any cat pictures
  • Present OSCOM more clearly as a "common specifications" project for CMSs, like does for GNOME, KDE and other desktops
  • Create a "We participate in OSCOM" link button campaign and try to get Open Source CMSs to link there
    Concern: Why would CMS projects want to link to their competitors? Maybe we should remove the CMS matrix and be more a specifications and interop body

To support making Planet OSCOM more active, Chregu installed the software running Planet PHP there. The old net.nemein.rss powered aggregator will be replaced by this after Christian has time to add some features and tweak the CSS to better shape.

The big problem for Planet OSCOM has constantly been how to find more interesting feeds to be aggregated there. One solution there would be to use the relationship mapping features of Frassle to find new relevant feeds. After some planning with Shimon Rura, this could work in the following way:

  • Planet OSCOM sends its list of subscriptions every night to Frassle in OPML format
  • Frassle would download and parse the feeds, and try to find related content (based on common links)
  • Frassle would return a list of new feeds found to Planet OSCOM, which would automatically subscribe to them

This would all require a bit of hacking, both in adding import/export capabilities to Frassle and in ensuring Planet OSCOM gets good feeds, but it would be a very interesting proof-of-concept for mapping related feeds. If it would work out, it could provide a model for all news aggregators on how to find new content.

After the actual conference program we brainstormed with Thorsten Scherler to the OSCOM Wiki about CSS naming conventions that would enable different designs to be used with same XHTML DIV structure.

In the evening we had a nice dinner followed by quite a few beers in El Lokal, a leftist pirates' hideout styled place. Discussion ranged from participatory budgets and other democratic innovations in Brazil, and the state of Bolivian Navy after the Guano wars of late 19th century to Open Source business models and travel in Russia.

El Lokal closed around 2am, and we continued to a party in a creepy 70s styled factory building in the tech area of Zürich. On saturday I'll fly back to Helsinki.

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