For the ones who don’t know what is FLOSS (I’ll continue to use this term instead of FOSS because is clearly defining what “free” means in this case- free = libre) Wikipedia is explaining it clear:
“Free and open source software, also F/OSS, FOSS, or FLOSS (free/libre/open source software) is software that is liberally licensed to grant the right of users to study, change, and improve its design through the availability of its source code. This approach has gained both momentum and acceptance as the potential benefits have been increasingly recognized by both individuals and corporate players.” …read more on Wikipedia.
Dan, I appreciate your comments and your opinions, and you may be right from some angles. I’ll give you a single example I already gave it a few years ago, when we allowed Microsoft to sponsor the event first time: please take a look at the biggest Open Source conference in the world, OSCON http://www.oscon.com/oscon2009, and tell me what you see on top right? Did the fact they allowed Microsoft to sponsor diluted their message and involvement in promoting FLOSS? No. Is somebody criticizing Tim O’Reilly for it? I don’t think so.
We should understand that both FLOSS and closed source models are going to coexist for many-many years from now. I don’t want eLiberatica to be perceived like an extreme FLOSS event, where we invite only the “pure” FLOSS organizations. eLiberatica should be an event where bright IT professionals with different opinions will come and talk in a civilized mode, exchange ideas and gain value.
I’m not afraid at all that Microsoft speakers will influence FLOSS enthusiast and twist their minds, or they will confuse the neutrals or non-decided ones. Why? Because even if Microsoft is paying big bucks for smart and well-prepared professionals, first – they are not right, and last – these speakers will always lack passion. You cannot buy passion. Besides this, each time we were careful to invite at least a few very bright and exceptional FLOSS representatives that put light there, showing where Microsoft is wrong even if Microsoft speakers pretend they love FLOSS.
I totally agree with you that Microsoft will try hard to slow down FLOSS adoption. But making the rest of the people (I mean the non-FLOSS enthusiast, or the ones that are not aware) thinking that FLOSS is an IT extremist movement, is more dangerous that trying to talk and influence Microsoft. Of course, Microsoft will not change if we talk to them (they will change when their marked will shrink and they will fill the pain in the pockets).
But I know who will change – the undecided. The people who don’t know much about the issue. And even the ones who are Microsoft users. They will see that FLOSS people are open-minded, they are not fanatics, and they are in fact the ones that should be followed. That is my feeling.
Last but not least, please believe me that I would like to have no sponsors if it would be possible. I would like to be rich enough to organize this conference (which is a really expensive one) without the need of any financial support. That is in an ideal world.
Come at eLiberatica; if you will see any favored sponsor or the fact we allow them to manipulate the listeners in any wrong way, then you should let me know and I’ll put ashes in my head.
(PS – I apologies, but I’ll be with limited internet access until first of March, so I might not respond until then to any other comments.)