Allison Randal

Allison Randal is Program Chair for O'Reilly's Open Source Convention. Her first geek career was as a research linguist in eastern Africa. But eventually her love of coding drew her away from natural languages to artificial ones. Allison is the architect of Parrot (a virtual machine for dynamic languages), on the board of directors of The Perl Foundation, and founder and president of Onyx Neon. She co-authored Perl 6 and Parrot Essentials, and has edited various O'Reilly books on dynamic languages including Perl Hacks and Programming PHP.

OSCON 2009 Highlights

OSCON 2009 is just around the corner, this year in San Jose, California. When I spoke at the Silicon Valley Linux Users Group last night, they asked me for a few highlights. It's tough to pick from over 200 sessions, all the best-of-the-best out of 800 submissions (and there were at least 100 more I wish I could have fit…

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Linux Kernel Worth $1.4 Billion

The Linux Foundation has released a report estimating the Linux kernel to be worth $1.4 billion, and the Fedora 9 distribution to be worth just over $10 billion. The report is an update of a 2002 report estimating the worth of Red Hat Linux 7.1 (Fedora is the community edition of Red Hat Linux, renamed in 2003). The report doesn't…

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OSCON moves to San Jose

OSCON moves to San Jose

The official word is out, OSCON 2009 will be moving from Portland, Oregon to San Jose, California. We've received significant positive feedback on the move, and messages of welcome from Bay Area open source contacts, but also some messages of disappointment from the local Portland open source community, and from non-local attendees who enjoyed visiting Portland every year. We're also…

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Call For Open Source Awards 2008 Nominations

For the 4th year running, Google and O'Reilly will present a set of Open Source Awards at OSCON 2008. The awards recognize individual contributors who have demonstrated exceptional leadership, creativity, and collaboration in the development of Open Source Software. Past recipients for 2005-2007 include Doc Searls, Jeff Waugh, Gerv Markham, Julian Seward, David Heinemeier Hansson, Karl Fogel, David Recordon, and…

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Free Computers for Local Schools

If you're located in the Bay Area, take a bit of time out this weekend to help the community and the environment. On Saturday, March 1st, the Alameda County Computer Resource Center together with Untangle, are hosting an installfest in 4 locations: San Francisco, Berkeley, San Mateo, and Novato. They'll be installing Ubuntu, Firefox, Open Office, and more on recycled…

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Interview with Linus Torvalds

The second half of the Linux Foundation interview with Linus Torvalds went up today. Several interesting perspectives on patents, competition, innovation, community building, target markets, and the future of Linux. If you're looking for hope that Linux will focus more on the desktop market, look no further: "I have never, ever even run a Linux server and I don’t even…

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Linux and GPLv3

The Linux Foundation published a podcast interview with Linus Torvalds this week, the first in a new series. The interview covers a broad range of topics related to Linux, but towards the end spotlights the subject of licensing. As I suspected, 6 months after the release of GPLv3, Linux shows no signs of adopting the new version of the popular…

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OSCON 2008 Call for Participation

The call for participation for the 2008 O'Reilly Open Source Convention is out. This year marks the 10th anniversary of OSCON, of the Open Source Initiative, of Mozilla, and of the term "Open Source", so a huge celebration is in order. OSCON will be in Portland, Oregon again this year, one of the key Open Source hubs in North America….

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Open Source and Microsoft

At OSCON this summer, I was interviewed by Sam Ramji from Microsoft on the subject of open source and Microsoft's participation in the community. The video is live now on their open source labs site, Port 25….

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Java SE 6 Released

Today Sun announced the release of Java SE version 6. Last week I spoke with Danny Coward (Java SE Platform Lead) about the features and significance of the new release. From my perspective, the most interesting feature is the built-in support for what they're calling "script engines", that is, pluggable alternate syntaxes that run in an interpreted environment on top…

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