Lunch with Jim and Rasmus

During lunch today I was joined at my table by Rasmus Lerdof (the creator of PHP) and Jim
Zemlin the executive director of FSG (Free Standards Group). Jim is the guy who
pushes the Linux Standards Base and tries to ensure that Linux doesn’t fragment
the way that Unix did.

Both Rasmus and Jim were enjoying their stay in Colombo and Jim was
really into the Sri Lankan culinary, he was going for seconds as well which is
quite rare given how spicy Sri Lankan food generally is.

The session following lunch was taken by the lively Danese Cooper from
Intel. Danese has a funky unofficial title as the Open Source Diva and one of
her key achievements was to lobby Sun into open sourcing Open Office during the
time she was employed there.

The session that is currently in progress is by Hugo Wisidagama, the director
of MNet. MNet is a local software service
company that is focused on providing services based on open source service.
Their unique business model is built on selling their expertise on various open
source software stacks to companies.

Lunch with Jim and Rasmus

FOSS: Keynote

I was able find a power socket at the end of the room where I was able to get
my notebook charged again and guess what Dr. Ruwan from the Colombo University
too was running around trying to get his notebook charged too.

The Prime Minister who was supposed to be the Chief Guest was a no show due
to his presidential campaign (and don’t let me get started on yesterdays fiasco
where all the roads were blocked, it took me fours hours to get home!) instead
Prof. Tissa Witharana the Minister of Science and Technology turned up and read
out from a scripted note. The other speakers included Prof. Samaranayake and
Manju Hathotuwa of the ICT Agency who spoke
about what ICTA is doing to take ICT to the masses. I must say that I’m pretty
impressed with how far reaching these were.

After a tea break the CXO conference kicked off with Dr. Sanjiva‘s Welcome
Note where he gave an introduction to FOSS and what it was all about. Dr.
Sanjiva though iterated the fact that Free software does not mean free as in
‘Free of Cost’.

I’m right now listening to the Manager of the Open Source Lab from IBM, India
who’s going into detail on all the open source projects that IBM has been
contributing to.

FOSS: Keynote

Merill Takes The Red Pill

That’s right folks, I’ve taken the Red Pill and boy does it
feel good. Although I’ve been here for just one day, I’m mightily impressed with
how things are organised. It’s turning out to be fun, exciting and
exhilarating!

My role here at Microsoft is, as a Developer Evangelist and one of the
first projects that I’m working on is Tech Ed, Sri Lanka. This event is going to
be BIG with a whole heap of exciting stuff planned for. We’re getting down over
15 world class speakers the likes this island has never seen before and I’m
pretty sure that we’re going to be all sold out before the event
starts.

Merill Takes The Red Pill