Tim O'Reilly, Mitchell Baker, Jonathan Schwartz

Can Open Source Stay Open?
48 minutes, 22.4mb, recorded 2005-10-06
Tim O'Reilly, Mitchell Baker, Jonathan Schwartz
Tim O'Reilly says the title of this program is misleading. "The real question we want to ask and answer here is: What is the relationship of open source to this whole idea of Web 2.0." Thus begins a provocative Q&A with O'Reilly, Mitchell Baker, and Jonathan Schwartz.

The wide-ranging discussion covers how the collision between open source software and Web 2.0 is changing the economics of computer, software, and internet businesses. The decline of tight, centralized control over software and computing resources is producing a surge in innovation as new ideas are released, tested, and improved rapidly by the avid communities surrounding new web and desktop applications.

The panel discusses the shifting balance of power between proprietary operating systems and code and the communities of developers and users that unite around open source software like Linux or Firefox and Web 2.0 applications. Add access to fast, wide distribution over the network, and you have a new model for getting products and services onto users' devices.

People and corporations are more comfortable than ever with accessing services, software, and grid computing resources over the internet. The new level of comfort presents opportunities with low barriers to entry that should provide us with interesting innovations ahead.

Tim O'Reilly is founder and CEO of O'Reilly Media, Inc., thought by many to be the best computer book publisher in the world. Tim O'Reilly has been an activist for internet standards and open source software. He has led successful public relations campaigns on behalf of key internet technologies, helping to block Microsoft's 1996 limits on TCP/IP in NT Workstation, organizing the summit of key free software leaders where the phrase "open source" was first widely agreed upon, and, most recently, organizing a series of protests against frivolous software patents. He received the InfoWorld Industry Achievement Award in 1998 for his advocacy on behalf of the open source community.

O'Reilly continues to pioneer new content developments on the web via its O'Reilly Network affiliate, which also manages sites such as Perl.com and XML.com. O'Reilly's conference arm runs the popular Perl Conference - now part of the O'Reilly Open Source Convention - and the O'Reilly Emerging Technology Conference, as well as co-presenting the Web 2.0 Conference.

Mitchell Baker is the president and general manager of the Mozilla project. Mozilla strives to create great software, maintain choice, and foster innovation in key internet applications, such as the Mozilla Firefox and Thunderbird products. It is one of the largest open source software development projects in existence. The Mozilla project combines dedicated volunteers, a set of paid contributors, and some engineering management. Baker is responsible for making sure all these pieces work together.

Jonathan Schwartz is the president and COO of Sun Microsystems, Inc. In this role he is responsible for operations and the execution of Sun's day-to-day business, including systems, software, global sales operations, worldwide manufacturing and purchasing, customer advocacy, and worldwide marketing. Prior to this position, he served as EVP of Sun's software group, where he was responsible for the company's software technologies and business. He is also one of the most high-profile corporate bloggers around.


This free podcast is from our Web 2.0 Conference series.

For The Conversations Network:

  • Post-production audio engineer: Paul Figgiani
  • Website editor: Kris Obertas
  • Series producer: George Hawthorne