2008-08 Joomla! Community Magazine
Joomla! Community Magazine - Community
Events: Greetings from Wikimania 2008
OLPC, FSF, Wikimedia, OpenStreet Maps, Semantic Web fun
Wikimania is a conference held annually by the Wikimedia foundation and this year it was hosted by the marvelous bibliotheca Alexandrina (Alexandria, Egypt). Possibly one of the largest geek parties to be ever held in Egypt, the topics varied widely. I was introduced to many distinguished geeks and hackers from different walks of Open Source, OLPC, FSF, Wikimedia, OpenStreet Maps, Semantic Wikimedia, Wikitravel, and alot more.
Unfortunately sessions were held on parallel so one had to choose which to attend and which to drop.
Among the sessions I attended was one titled “Free Network Services” by Benjamin Mako Hill (4th picture from the left) from FSF (who loves Joomla!, by the way). The session tackled a very interesting software-freedom issue which is Freedom of Network “or more loosely (Web)” services, e.g. social networking, Freedom of network services becomes an issue because the software that provides the service "e.g. Facebook" is not actually "distributed" so the code can remain closed away from the users even if it uses Free software e.g. GPL'd code. A group "partially supported by the FSF" called “Autonomo.us” is currently working on a framework that would define free network services to enable more freedom of such services.
Another interesting and very informative session was given by the Semantic Mediawiki guys “Yaron Koren, Denny Vrandečić, Markus Krötzsch” (3rd picture from the left) where they explained the need for Semantic web and showcased the capabilities of Semantic Mediawiki which was quite amazing.
The smell of WiFi packets floating in the air was stimulating, you just walk up to anybody and talk geeky and you’ll be understood, that was awesome.