I managed to arrive at the JoomlaDag for the pre-festivities on Thursday night. We had the odd beverage or two and I had some great conversations with some of the core team members that were there. While I think about it, thanks Google 😉
Standing in the lobby of the conference Friday morning and its obvious that Henk van Cann and his team have done a great job organizing this Dutch Joomla Day. Henk told me that there have been over 200 attendees both days and the seats are full. I am not sure that its possible to still get places, but maybe you can score one on eBay! The location is in Den Bosch, a small Dutch town with rambling cobbled streets, with the event itself in the Grand Tulip Hotel.
The first day line up (the business day) was full of great speakers talking about Joomla. We have Jo Lahaye of the Foundation Holland Open, Phillipe Chabot of Unric and Leslie Hawthorn of Google. Unfortunately for me, many were in Dutch, but Phillipe Chabot’s presentation on the United Nations site, www.unric.org was in English.
Why did UNRIC choose Joomla?
Typing this I am listening to Phillipe of Unric explained the process how he chose to use Joomla for his project. For a significant project of the UN, he initially examined both commercial and open source content management systems. It explained that it quickly became clear to him that the advantages of an open source solution such as low cost and flexibility easily outweighed the possible disadvantages like lack of consultancy. He found that early on in the development of his project, the community support, particularly from some members of the core team was key in helping launch the project.
Now www.unric.org has seen a significant and steady increase in traffic and Phillipe showed some graphs with up to 8 million hits a day!
Why Does Google Use Open Source?
Leslie Hawthorn of the Google Open Source Office explained some of the reasons that Google uses open source, and they use it more than you might think. Among the many reasons that she gave were:
- Independence – not tied to manufacturer releases
- Adaptability – the ability to modify at the source code level
- Secrecy – they don’t have to tell a manufacturer how many servers they have
- Quality – Google thinks that open source is higher quality than closed, more eyes mean more bugs fixed
She also explained that Google has a rich tradition of supporting open source and that they feel it “part of their DNA”. Google has even released some open source projects themselves.
Interestingly, open source releases of code usually come from the engineer himself/herself. When an engineer wants to release something, they start the process with just a few checks with their boss, and of course the legal team. In almost all cases the code will work its way quickly through the process and end up on the Google Code Site.
At the most basic level, Leslie thinks that Google supports open source “because its the right thing to do”.
Leslie also talked about the Google Summer of Code program. This year with over 600 students in 90 countries, she explained that its an important project to help support the next generation of open source developers. There were several Joomla specific SoC projects, and she was happy to announce that they had a 100% success rate.
This afternoon are many more presentations (in Dutch). Drop me an email (contact[at]compassdesigns.net) if you would like me to drop in on a particular session.