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Whither FrOSCon?

While I was having a weekend meeting — over a week ago now in Frankfurt — there was FrOSCon going on just one or two ICE stops down the line. The overall programme seems (seemed?) pretty interesting, and Michael had a good time (you mean Rainer will let people try to drive his car!?), but there seems to have been very little report out of the conference.

From a research point of view (i.e. the hat I put down when I left the university) I’m somewhat curious about the PHP Quality Assurance Tools and The State of Test in Open Source talks. Writing enough tests is always tough, unless the culture of a project really encourages it; that’s basically where discipline and a desire to write the very best code have to win out over “let’s get it out there quick.” (Note that this is a use of “Open Source” that I’m not going to complain about: it’s about a development model which offers source for viewing — which enables the creation of tests, but does not necessarily enable any of the other Freedoms.) Of course, within a quality measurement framework (yes, I’m talking about the EBN which is in dire need of some hobby-time love from me) processing large amounts of data is important, so I suppose large scale analysis tools would be interesting as well.

Turning to legal issues (my work hat), I’m pleased to see a Free Software conference with an explicit legal track. One of the more interesting talks (from a licensing perspective) wasn’t filed under legal, though: Freie Software und SaaS, which seems to have talked about the AGPL. That’s interesting because the AGPL tries to close the “distribution” loophole in the GPL — for those authors who feel that that is a loophole that they do not want their code to pass through. Patents and e-mail regulation show up in the legal track as well — remember that business communication needs to be stored and tracked. The most intriguing talk of them all is the Opensource in der Praxis talk, where Open Source as a term is used badly, but let’s let that go.

I’ve got to admire a talk with slides made in TeX. Absolutely.

Unfortunately, my German isn’t good enough to construct a coherent talk based on just the slides, and the talk seems to have touched on a couple of potential issues when it comes to the applicability of Free Software licenses in Germany; that’s a topic I like to think is well-understood, so I’m curious if anyone who attended the talk can give me a summary — or put me in touch with the author (yay lazyweb!).

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