CORVALLIS, Ore. – With popularity of open-source software applications steadily increasing around the globe, organizers of the third-annual Government Open Source Conference, set for Oct. 15-16 in Portland, Ore., expect their biggest crowd yet of attendees focused on open source for public institutions.
GOSCON ’07’s focus is open standards and “interoperability” – the ability of software and hardware systems to exchange and use information. Standards and interoperability have become major concerns in recent years as the need for government agencies to share information across jurisdictions becomes critical in areas such as health and human services, public safety, transit and transportation, environment and regulatory agencies.
“Over the past two conferences, GOSCON has been a great place for early adopters and open source pioneers to collaborate on projects aimed at solving problems that governments face,” said Deborah Bryant, director of the conference. “Efforts such as the Open Health Information Project were conceptualized at GOSCON, and we’re hoping this year’s event will provide fertile ground for even more projects to take root. “ Also sure to draw attention at the 2007 conference; a panel of industry experts will take on one of the more controversial standards debates dominating industry headlines, the Open Document Format, or ODF.
The conference will include core track sessions on open source management “101”; standards, architecture and organization; open source technology; and real-world experiences of public agencies. Presentations in the last will include representatives from the Vermont Department of Taxes, the Nebraska Portal Project, and the City of Portland’s Tri-Met public transit system.
GOSCON has attracted some of the most influential names in software and systems development over the past two years. Among the 18 speakers scheduled this year are:
• Jim Zemlin, executive director of Linux Foundation;
• Dan Frye, IBM vice president of Open Systems Development and director of Linux Technology Center;
• Andrea Di Maio, vice president and distinguished researcher from Gartner Research;
• Peter Kronowitt, Linux and open-source strategist for the Intel Corporation;
• Naima Khan, tools and utilities expert for Pakistan’s Open Source Resource Center, a division of the Ministry of Information Technology;
• Andrew Gold, vice president and general manager of Open Source Business for the Unisys Corporation;
• Shuichi Tashiro, general manager of Japan’s Open Source Software Center;
• Douglas Johnson, director of corporate standards, Sun Microsystems.
“IBM has long been an active supporter of both open standards and open source software. The flexibility and interoperability that these enable are particularly valuable to governments by improving their ability to share data, applications, and experiences across organizational boundaries.” said IBM’s Frye. “GOSCON has proven to be an effective forum for initiating collaborations among government organizations. I look forward to participating in this year's conference.”
Produced each year by Oregon State University’s Open Source Lab, the conference is sponsored by IBM, Unisys, Novell and a growing list of supporters. Last year’s conference drew some 250 participants from around the United States and several other nations.