Speaker and session details for Open Source Junction, 29-30 March 2011

by Elena Blanco on 15 February 2011 , last updated



Open innovation collaboration - Roland Harwood, slides

Open innovation combines internal and external ideas, as well as internal and external paths to market, to advance the development of new technologies. In this session delegates will become familiar with key open innovation concepts and models relevant to mobile open source software. The different ways in which open innovation is understood across various subject fields and organizational cultures will be discussed in connection with the different industry/academia interests and mindsets. This information will provide the general background for understanding open source development as an example of open innovation in software.

The open source mobile apps context - Rowan Wilson, slides

As mobile devices become more complex and more popular, educational institutions are under increasing pressure to create software and mobile web content that helps their students and staff get the information and functionality they need, on the move. At the same time, mobile manufacturers, network operators, content providers and other industry players are interested in leveraging the potential of open source mobile applications developed in these academic projects. This session will present an overview of the mobile open source development landscape. Rowan will discuss some of the general trends in open source software distribution, and the specific implications of distributing mobile applications through app stores.

Open source mobile apps case studies

These sessions will showcase a selection of highly innovative open source mobile application projects interested in exploring collaboration opportunities with academic and industry partners. The presentations will highlight the distinctive elements of each project and its potential to influence the existing mobile apps landscape.

Webinos (slides ) is an EU-funded project aiming to deliver a platform for web applications across mobile, PC, home media (TV) and in-car devices. The webinos project will define and deliver an open source platform and software components for the Future Internet in the form of web runtime extensions, to enable web applications and services to be used and shared consistently and securely over a broad spectrum of converged and connected devices, including mobile, PC, home media (TV) and in-car units.

Mobile Campus Assistant (slides ) is a JISC-funded Rapid Innovation project that makes time and location sensitive information available to students via their mobiles and location-aware smart phones. The source code, available under an open source licence, continues to be developed for the MyMobileBristol project and provides a ‘beta’ service at m.bristol.ac.uk.

Molly and Mobile Oxford (slides ) build on the outputs of another JISC-funded project, Erewhon. Molly is one of the most significant open source mobile frameworks for higher education institutions which allows the fast deployment of a range of mobile web services with little effort. Mobile Oxford provides students on campus with a mobile guide helping them with their day-to-day tasks. Whether it’s finding a library book, checking the next bus, or finding what time the nearest post box is collected, Mobile Oxford is always at hand to assist them. A device with a web browser is all they need to use the basic features, while those lucky enough to own a smartphone can use the more advanced features like GPS.

Wookie (slides on Slideshare) is a Java server application that allow users to upload and deploy widgets for their applications. Widgets can not only include all the usual kinds of mini-applications, badges, and gadgets, but also fully-collaborative applications such as chats, quizzes, and games. Wookie is based on the W3C Widgets specification, but widgets can also be included that use extended APIs such as Google Wave and OpenSocial. Wookie is currently undergoing Incubation at the Apache Software Foundation.

Transit (slides on Slideshare) is an English-Bengali translation app for teachers to improve teacher-parent communication that was designed by 14-17 year old Bengali girls at Central Foundation Girls School in Tower Hamlets, East London as part of the Apps for Good (http://appsforgood.org) course. During the course students identify problems they experience in their lives and local communities and then investigate and design mobile apps solutions that help tackling these problems. The team recently successfully pitched their work at the Apps for Good Dragons’ Den and is now working with a developer to launch it to Android Market by May. The talk will cover the Apps for Good user-driven approach to mobile app design, our key learnings of young people and developers working together based on Transit as a case-study.

Mobile apps open development community - Ross Gardler, slides

An active and supportive community is the heart of an open source project. An open source licence is not enough to attract new users and developers to a project. This presentation will show what steps are necessary for building a successful open source community, and how this knowledge applies to open source mobile app projects. Ross will discuss how to get an open source project community organized by providing detailed information about member roles and the contribution process, and will explain why a governance model is necessary and how to encapsulate it in a governance document.

Open Source Junction self-pitch

In this interactive session the delegates will have the opportunity to pitch their mobile apps interests to the other participants, and get feedback on the level of interest their presentations raised. This session will allow them to identify ‘kindred spirits’ and potential collaboration partners for the workshop and beyond.

Software open innovation case studies - Roland Harwood, slides

In this presentation a series of case studies of open innovation in software will illustrate the complexity of the open innovation landscape and the wide range of issues associated with the collaboration between partners with different mindsets and interests. McLaren, IBM, Oracle, Orange, Hulu are some of the projects Roland was involved in at NESTA and 100% Open. Roland will show how, if properly managed, collaboration between partners from apparently unrelated fields may result in unexpected, highly innovative solutions.

Building an Open Source Junction community - Gabriel Hanganu, slides

Industry-academia collaborations are notoriously difficult to set up, partly due to the different mindsets associated with their organizational cultures. These partnerships are even more challenging to manage when collaboration concerns open source software. However, challenges bring new opportunities. Gabriel will discuss some of these opportunities, and their relevance for an industry-academia community interested in open source mobile technologies.

The Context for Open Source and Mobile Business Models - Stephen Walli, slides

The quickly changing landscape of mobile technologies, products and services requires a continuous adjustment of the business models built around them. The open source solutions used in some of these products and services bring along with them business models inspired from open source software exploitation. In this talk Stephen will provide an overview of the business models used in open development, with specific reference to open source software foundations, and will discuss from this perspective the case of the Symbian Foundation.

Collaborating to make money from mobile open source - Nick Allott, slides

How do you make money from products when you are giving the code away for free? When does it make sense to co-operate with your competitors in order to increase market size? How and where do you structure these co-operations? Application development today requires balancing cloud vs local development strategies and choosing between native (Windows, Android, iPhone) and multi-platform development tools and web-based application frameworks. One also needs to be able to decide on device types (mobiles, tablets, in car, home media PC), and to understand the market implications of these choices. In this session Nick will talk about creating revenue form open source mobile technologies in the context of industry-academia partnerships.

Processes and tools for open development collaboration - Sander van der Waal, slides

A key feature of open source projects is that software produced is released early and often. In order to do this, well-defined processes for managing communication and software contribution are needed. A number of tools are essential, including mailing lists for project communication, issue trackers for release-planning, and version control systems for tracking the released code. However, managing code and team communication is only part of the open source recipe for success. Projects need to make themselves known to the world if they want to attract new users and contributors. This session will provide an overview of the processes and tools useful for the management of open source mobile app projects. Sander will also introduce delegates to the OSS Watch project registry, a web application for the management of RDF/XML project descriptors that can help mobile apps projects enhance their discoverability, and thus increase their chances of attracting new contributors.

Open development IPR for appstores and beyond - Rowan Wilson, slides

Writing software often results in more than one piece of property: program source code is property, as is the preparatory design material, the general organization, or user interface. When working as part of a group of multiple employers, contractors or individuals, or when some parties are based outside the UK, then the ownership of the resulting property can be complex. In order to be safe, one should make sure that agreements or contracts specify who will own the intellectual property that results from any collaboration, consortium or contract work. In this presentation Rowan will discuss open development IPR and licensing issues relevant to producing and distributing software through app stores and other forms of mobile apps co-development.

Mobile apps and open source business models - Ross Gardler, slides

Only a few years ago, mentioning the words ‘business’ and ‘open source’ in the same sentence solicited strange remarks from audiences unaware that large business economies exist  around open source software. Indeed, over the last few years many different business models have evolved around open source, so it has become important for both open source producers and vendors to consider what business model may be appropriate for addressing the target market in question. This talk will present an overview of the various components of open source business models. Ross will also discuss a number of sustainability issues associated with building business models for the increasingly crowded mobile app market.

Open Source Junction speed-date

In this interactive session delegates will have an opportunity to select partners from among the other participants and discuss with them the most important issues associated with co-developing and monetizing open source mobile apps.

Open Source Junction community: next steps - Gabriel Hanganu, slides

This final session will review the most important issues likely to affect the creation of a mobile tech industry-academia open source community. Using the knowledge accumulated during the workshop, the delegates will identify the next steps necessary to start building this community.


Nick Allott

Nick is the founder of NquiringMinds Ltd, which delivers strategic and technical consultancy to internet and mobile companies and research institutes. Nick has influenced the mobile industry as the CTO of Open Mobile Terminal Platform Ltd and Interim CTO for Wholesale Application Community Ltd (WAC), where he helped shape and deliver over 40+ collaborative technology projects including the Universal Charging Solution. Previously Nick was Strategy Director and CTO for the VC invested fastmobile, later acquired by RIM, and Technical Director for Motorola’s European Internet division. He has had a number of other executive and consultancy positions with companies as diverse as Shell, Pearson Group, Dorling Kindersley and Neural Computer Sciences.

Tim Fernando

Tim is the technical project manager behind ‘Mobile Oxford’ (http://m.ox.ac.uk) and a driver behind the open source Molly Project community (http://mollyproject.org). In addition to Mobile Oxford, he and his team of agile developers specialise in delivering geo-spatial and mobile software applications for external clients and have worked on varied projects from individual tracking systems to elephant tracking systems. Tim’s background comes from studying Computer Science at the University of Bristol and an absurd love of gadgets and how we, the humans, interact with them.

Ross Gardler

Ross is Vice President of Community Development at The Apache Software Foundation (ASF) and manager of JISC OSS Watch. Ross engages with and advises on community management in a wide range of projects, from newly funded short-term research and development projects, international educational and research collaborations, and open source spin-outs. Ross is also chair of TransferSummit, an open innovation conference focussing on the collaborative exploitation of intellectual property in software.

Gabriel Hanganu

Gabriel is a social scientist with an interest in the social dynamics of open communities. In this capacity he coordinates OSS Watch’s project support and provides consultancy on the community-building aspects of open source development. After a Masters in France and PhD research at Oxford, Gabriel worked on various projects funded by JISC and the UK Research Councils. More recently he started a series of video interviews with open source leaders from open source software foundations and open source businesses.

Roland Harwood

Roland co-founded 100%Open, coming from NESTA where he was Director of Open Innovation. With a PhD in Physics from Edinburgh University, he has held senior innovation roles in the utilities and media industries and in addition has worked with hundreds of  start-ups to raise venture capital and commercialize technology. In addition he has worked as a TV and film music producer for SonyBMG.

Mike Jones

Mike is a Senior Technical Researcher at the Institute for Learning and Research Technology (ILRT), University of Bristol. Mike works in the Web Futures group at ILRT, which undertakes R&D projects in the areas of social software, data visualisation, semantic web, linked data and mobile technologies.

Iris Lapinski

Iris runs CDI Europe (http://cdieurope.eu) and Apps for Good (http://appsforgood.org), an award-winning programme where young people learn to create apps that change their world. She has a background in commercial digital media and telecoms consulting working for Ovum and Farncombe Technology. During that time Iris managed a range of due diligence, business planning and strategy projects especially in Sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East.

John Lyle

John is a researcher in the Oxford University Computing Laboratory working on the Webinos project. His interests are in security challenges such as project encounters: how personal privacy can be maintained, and how applications and data can be protected against malware and other threats. John spent the last three years studying for his doctorate at the University of Oxford and has an MEng degree in Computing from Imperial College London.

Sander van der Waal

As one of the most technical members of the OSS Watch team, Sander has presented at technical workshops on best practices in open development. He uses his extensive hands-on experience as a Java Software Engineer in the private sector to advise open source software projects on how to make best use of the key tools in open development. Sander has a specific interest in the fields of green IT, big data and linked data. He contributes to the development of the open source project registry framework, Simal, which uses semantic web technologies to catalogue open source software projects of interest to the academic sector.

Stephen Walli

Stephen is the technical director for the Outercurve Foundation (formerly the Codeplex Foundation). He is an advisor at Bitrock, Continuent, Ohloh, Zentyal and TargetSource, each of which represents unique opportunities in the FOSS world. Previously Stephen consulted on software business development and open source strategy, often working with partners like Initmarketing and InteropSystems. He was Vice-president, Open Source Development Strategy at Optaros, Inc. through its initial 19 months. Prior to that Stephen was a business development manager in the Windows Platform team at Microsoft working in the space between community development, standards, and intellectual property concerns. He blogs at Once More unto the Breach (http://stephesblog.blogs.com).

Rowan Wilson

Rowan has been involved in web development using a variety of CGI languages since 1996. He was the co-creator of the earliest fully automatic domain-name ordering, DNS setup and virtual-server allocation software deployed by a UK ISP (FDD), using a combination of Apache-SSL, Sendmail, Perl and Bind. Since then he has developed web-based internal product management systems for the ISP Netscalibur, again using open source software (Postgres, Perl, Apache). He now works within the Research Technologies Service of Oxford University Computing Services.

Scott Wilson

Scott is Assistant Director of CETIS, the JISC’s innovation support centre for interoperability and standards in the UK Higher and Further Education sectors. As well as working on Apache Wookie (Incubating), Scott is a contributor to W3C, the Open Web Foundation, CEN and other standards organisations. Prior to working in CETIS, Scott worked in the commercial software sector, in areas such as CRM, business intelligence and criminal intelligence.