Report from FOSTEL 2007

I’ve had the chance to attend the FOSTEL (Free Software/Open Source Telephony) summit last week.

It was a very interesting conference, gathering lots of different projects.

There were people involved in VOIP, protocols, PBx, IM, collaborative applications, porting Linux to various devices (including phones/smarphones, PDAs).

I can’t remember everything, but here are some bits for the record :

Some of the interesting talks I remember is the one of Sean Moss-Pulz from FIC about OpenMoko and the FIC Neo1973. Very interesting ideas like some viral transmission/flashing of phones OS via some phone holding images 😉 Besides the joke, he explained that many companies seem interested in managing the software stack deployed on a fleet of mobile devices inside the company, kinda custom distro for employees phones ? That may make sense, and explain interest of some for libre software phone stacks. All components in OpenMoko will be libre software, and the only part left proprietary should be the GSM driver stuff : guess what, operators/carriers don’t seem to want you and mess with the GSM protocols 😉

Interesting info : the Telenor operator and partners (including Trolltech) apparently want to provide free/gratis access to their GSM network for libre software developers ! Very valuable contribution indeed. More details at the places mentioned in Knut Yrvin’s slides.

We’ve been discussing new user interfaces in a BOF, also, which gave me the oportunity to talk about Internet rabbits (nabaztag/tag) as new kind of devices using new user interface models (RFID tags, voice recognition, etc.). Funny that these folks were not really aware of that wonderful toy.

I will try and update this post when I get pointers to new interesting presentation slides.

Study on improvements to GForge, and implementation, made in the Morfeo project

The Morfeo project in Spain has produced a study report on the improvement of GForge, which compares GForge and other software forges. The document, in english Study of Improvements and New Functionalities for Gforge, is quite interesting to read. It is completed by Improvements in Gforge (copy in PDF), which lists the implementations that have been made accordingly in Morfeo.

The initial version was issued in Spanish as Estudio de Mejoras y nuevas Funcionalidades para G-Forge (attached to the bottom of that page) under GNU FDL, and has been translated for the QualiPSo project.

I should note also that we’ve been informed of this document by discussing with other french speaking people interested by forges on the “forges” list created with the “Overcrowded” project people. I hope that through this open collaboration forum, developpers of GForge will have had the chance to know about the document.

Step by step development of Hello Word application for phpgroupware with hooks and database

I’d just like to emphasize (and help google find it 😉 that my collegue Christian Bac has written a tutorial about how to program a module/application in the phpGroupware framework.

If you’re interested, it’s available here : “Step by step development of Hello Word application for phpgroupware with hooks and database“.

Christian has used it for master’s courses, and is improving it from time to time, so stay tuned 😉

Structuring french R&D activity on libre software in France, and recent governmental policy changes ?

The french minister of industry, Thierry breton has recently received an official report (for abstract in english, and full version in french) on innovation policy and intengible goods, which gives hints of a new understanding of the challenges of value created in new regimes of IP. Among them, libre software (aka open source) is clearly identified as one of the strategic elements towards which the innovation and R&D policy should be targetted.

That’s a very promising evolution of public policy, if it becomes implemented in concrete actions. But I’m a bit doubtful, personnaly that a complete and coherent policy change can just occur now : France is now in presidential pre-campaign state and I think nobody expects much serious action until a new president is elected in May ’07, sadly ;), but it’s still worth noticing.

Anyway, the minister made a declaration which, among other elements, mentions his interest in seeing a coming “pole de comptitivit” on libre software, which means the establishment of a consortium of industrials and academics clustering on a focus point, in the jargon of the french R&D support agency.

And indeed, a lot of actors actively promoting libre software in France have been working for several month in initiatives targeting the creation of such a cluster. It seems one of the such initiatives managed to attract the biggest momentum, and is now responding officially to the expectations of the minister (see press coverage in english here).

I wish this initiative a good success, hoping that it will, among other european initiatives like Morfeo in Spain, be a new way to help promote actors engaged in R&D around libre software.

Update 2006/12/18 : the project now has a name (“Ouverture”) and a website :

Documentaires sur le logiciel libre en tant que bien commun ?

Et oui, mois aussi, je cherche s’il existe des documentaires sur le logiciel libre (comme ThomasPetazzoni)., plus précisément en tant que bien commun.
Le lien qu’il donne vers le docu “La Communauté du libre au service du Bien Commun et d’Internet” n’est pas inintéressant, mais le son est vraiment crade, et on sent que ça n’a pas été écrit par des gens ayant une réelle connaissance du Libre, je trouve ;)… ça sent un peu trop le projet d’étudiant, et pas le truc abouti, pro.

Le premier docu trouvé par Thomas (Nom de code : Linux), c’est quand même autre chose.
Dans la série j’ajouterais bien, mais c’est en anglais, le documentaire “Revolution OS”, dont on peut trouver la bande annonce sur le web (ainsi que le clip de la Free Software song version rock !), que j’ai eu plaisir à regarder en DVD, mais qui nécessite de comprendre l’anglais sans sous-titres.

Sinon, on se souvient de la diffusion d’un “docu” ressemblant beaucoup à un film de fiction : Intelligence superficielle, qui était surtout intéressant, je trouve, pour des interviews de personalités ayant bataillé sur la question du brevet logiciel au parlement européen. Mais un peu trop fumeux à mon goût, dans l’ensemble.
Sinon, pour compléter la liste des confs en ligne donnée par Thomas, il y a les présentations d’Autour du Libre 2002 sur lesquelles je bloguais il y a peu.

J’ajouterai des pointeurs au fil de mes découvertes. Et merci pour vos ajouts 😉

Update 20/02/2006 : j’ai trouvé deux petits clips sur le Web Troterriou des lycées @ Brest (merci à Michel de Brest) :

Update 01/03/2008 : merci à Scurz pour un lien vers une version en ligne de “Nom de code Linux”.