It was a few months ago that on a lazy Sunday afternoon I found myself to be in Brussels at the FOSDEM conference, where François organized a very successful Alt-OS development room, filled with all sorts of presentations on the world of the alternative operating systems. As probably the only non-computer science person, I got a slot as well and I decided to give a presentation with this same title. Now just imagine, I was scheduled on the last day, nearing the end of the conference (around four or five in the afternoon) and knowing the visitor group, I did not expect much. As such, I decided to prepare a discussion session for the ten or so people to show up. Now about five minutes before I was scheduled to go, people started trickling in. And to my pleasant dismay – if ever such a thing is possible – I ended up having a full house. Now why would a large number of computer geeks or – more nicely put – Open Source fanatics be interested in what a silly humanities guy has to say? I started to think about that, and I realize that this is in fact a very central question to everybody that donates time or money to these projects: what will be its future? Or put in another way, how can we, as actors in the always changing, always new information technology sector determine a path? That is the problem I would like to give a stab at in the coming twenty minutes.
This contains the text and the slides of a presentation I gave on the 11th of April 2010, at BeGeistert 022 in Düsseldorf. Attached you can find the slides and a printer-friendly version of this text.