Sunday, 2 March 2008

Virtual workspaces

Sessions I haven’t mentioned so far included one on Immersive Education – a 3D virtual reality tool similar to Second Life with real time discussion rooms, and blended with audio, video and web pages. It had been created using Project Wonderland, an open source 3D engine written in java. Some good applications demonstrated, including a virtual workplace for Sun employees, as on any given day 50% of them can be working remotely, and this gives them a place to meet and interact with colleagues. Perhaps something for our collaboration project to look at?

Scott McNealy
– co founder of Sun, formerly CEO and now Chairman, always gives a presentation at this conference – it’s always highly anticipated, and heavily attended. His web page describes him as a human quote machine, and over the years I’ve certainly heard him come up with a few! This year his theme was open source – and why software should be open sourced wherever possible. His 5 reasons to use open source were:

It lowers barriers to entry – ie it’s free!
Interoperability is increased
Research and development costs are lower – the community doing much of it
It’s more secure – how many java viruses have you heard of? There are no secrets, as everyone can see the code so there’s nothing to exploit
It lowers the barriers to exit – is it doesn’t work you haven’t spent a fortune on it.

Overall a good talk – he finishes with asking us to think of what other industries could be open sourced, and suggested that the drug development companies would be a good start!

I’m now home, still slightly jet lagged, but a good long walk round Monsal Dale and Millers Dale yesterday blew a lot of cobwebs away!


Brennig said...

Christine, how do you feel about Sun buying MySQL out?

There are a number of people saying that they fear for the futured continuation of MySQL in the hands of an Oracle strategic business partner.

Chris Sexton said...

Sun certainly put a very positive spin on it last week at the conference. It fits well with their other open offerings - opensolaris, opensparc etc - they can now offer an open source database as well. One of the senior mySQL guys presented at the conference, and there was certainly no sign that it would disappear. Only time will tell I suppose!