Speaker and Session Details

by Amir Nettler on 18 December 2008


Ross Gardler

10:00 - 11:00 Fundamentals of Free and Open Source Software


This talk will discuss the origins and basics of free and open source licensing, and cover the important features of a group of commonly used licences.


Ross Gardler is the manager of OSS Watch, the JISC funded open source advisory service to UK HE and FE. Ross has a long history of engagement with open source, both as a consumer and a developer. He is a member of The Apache Software Foundation, a position of merit given in recognition of significant contributions to the success of the Foundation. Prior to taking up his post in OSS Watch Ross was an independent contractor assisting companies engaging with open source products.

Rowan Wilson

11:20 - 12:20 Free and Open Source Business and Sustainability Models


This talk will examine the most common strategies for sustaining and/or monetising free and open source code, drawing on examples from academia and business. It will also draw links between these strategies and the licensing and community models that support them.


Rowan has worked for OSS Watch since it began back in 2003, and these days deals specifically with queries around licensing and open source exploitation techniques.

Dr. Rhys Newman

13:20 - 14:00 Commercialising Free and Open Source Software - an Oxymoron?


It is often thought that releasing one’s source code as open source (most often GPL), means the commercial interest will evaporate. Although this was once true, in fact the world is moving rapidly to a place where open source will be the predominant type of licence. This talk will outline the different value proposition which comes out of an open source distribution model and how commercial return can be generated from this. I will also outline why the industry is moving towards this model, especially in the context of Cloud and Grid computing, and why this is a good outcome for (almost) everyone.


Rhys Newman has worked in both academia and industry for over a decade in a variety of high-tech technical roles. He built a prototype vision tracking system which turned into seeingmachines.com, led the technical development of Speed-trap.com for 3 years and recently joined to Oxford University in 2004 after working briefly in an investment bank and hedge fund. His latest position, R+D into computer grid technology, has resulted recently in a successful commercial licence from Oxford - of otherwise open source (GPL 2.0) software. He is currently pursuing a number of commercial spin-out opportunities all resulting from GPL software.

David Wood

14:00 - 14:40 Running a Foundation to Contain Your Code


This talk gives an insider’s view of the real-world concerns and analysis that lie behind Symbian’s recent decision to move 40 million lines of smartphone platform code into open source. It reviews issues over perceived risks and benefits of open source, choice of licence, avoidance of destabilising fragmentation, financial models, and the governance and operating principles of the Foundation that is being set up to contain the source code. It also forecasts how use of open source will impact the mobile phone industry in the years ahead.


David Wood has been a member of the senior management team at Symbian since its formation, in 1998, and was one of the architects for Symbian OS when it was created (inside the PDA manufacturer Psion) under the initial name “EPOC32”. Since 2004 David has been Executive VP of Research for Symbian, where he is responsible for understanding and guiding Symbian’s response to disruptive trends in technology, business, and society. Since open source is a disruptive trend par excellence, David has been tracking it closely since the earliest days of Symbian.