About ROSI and eLiberatica – past, present and future Good morning! Welcome everybody! I intend to talk in Romanian, because I would like to address my Romanian fellows, especially. But before doing so, I would like to say “thank you”, first of all to my dear friend Zak, because without him this conference wouldn’t have happened. Also, I would like to thank to all our local and international guests and keynote speakers who have given special value to this conference, making it one of the most important IT events this year in our country.In addition, my greetings go to Agora, to all our sponsors, partners and volunteers, and to you, our dear guests.Last but not least, I will say “thank you” to my wife who has bared my long late nights and weekends I spent to make this initiative happen.And now, in Romanian, about ROSI and eLiberatica:I do not intend to present the benefits of Open Source and Free Software, or to talk about building a reputation or a career; the other speakers will do this far better than me. What I want is to share with you a few experiences.When I first came to Canada, I first had to go to the Customs Office in Vancouver, to fill out some forms… The lady there – very kind otherwise – while checking through the forms I had filled out, remarked: “Oh, Romania, Nadia Comaneci, she is the one who put that country on the map.” I thought then, though I didn’t want to say it loud, as I did not want to be rude: “Romania has long been on the map, only you didn’t know…”A couple of weeks ago, I was reading on a forum something similar, regarding eLiberatica; that this event will finally put our country on the map – obviously it was about the FLOSS world map. When I read this article, a feeling came over me very similar to what I felt when I first traveled to Canada – I felt offended. Then I started to think “are those people to be condemned for their ignorance, or is the fault on us Romanians, because we don’t know how to promote our initiatives, our values, and our deeds… because we don’t communicate enough with the rest of the world.”Many asked me about how I see the future of ROSI. Many were and still are suspicious; leaving, under the impression that ROSI is trying (or will try) to become an entity to lead the FLOSS movement in our country. A movement we all hope will soon be born.But to come back to the idea I started with: when people speak of Open Source and Free Software, why do they generally not take us into consideration? Why don’t they know anything about us? I think the answer is obvious: because we simply don’t make ourselves known enough.When I started to gather the ROSI group, I didn’t know anyone related to Open Source or Free Software in our country. I looked for information on the internet and I didn’t find much: some small communities, some enthusiasts and supporters of the Linux operating system or disparate information of some events with FLOSS tendencies, the most important of which had happened years ago. And here I refer to the ROSE conferences and the program “Free Unix for Romania” of which I learnt of many months after the establishment of ROSI, and only when Professor Jalobeanu contacted me.Another problem: most of the information found was in Romanian. If a foreigner is looking for information about possible involvement in the FLOSS movement in Romania, they will find practically nothing. Of the scarce information found, 90% is in a language difficult to understand for those who don’t speak it.In my opinion, ROSI has to be a mirror, a show room, a panel of information where anyone can find data connected to anything that has something to do with the FLOSS phenomenon in our country. Because contrary to first impressions, we have many communities, events and people who have adopted OS/FS concepts and technologies and who are trying to promote it as well. We have companies that produce Open Source software… There is everything needed to give birth to a grassroots movement with national connotations, Free/Libre Open Source Software!Through eLiberatica we make ourselves known to the whole world. We have proven that it is possible, and bring to a good end, what we put in our minds to. We have created the bridge and opened the door to the world FLOSS community.Until now, eLiberatica meant ROSI and ROSI meant eLiberatica. It is time ROSI continued its evolution and obtained an identity. But all this cannot happen over night. There is need for patience, work and most of all involvement and commitment. Mahatma Gandhi said years before:“Almost everything you do will seem insignificant, but is important to do it” … and he changed the world.Now coming back to practical aspects – because in the end the facts and results are important; we want, first of all to build up a ROSI portal. A portal, where every organization, initiative, and community that has something to do with FLOSS can register. We will structure this information and translate it into English, so that anyone who wants to find out about FLOSS groups in our country can easily do so.Then, we will add a news section where we will encourage the publishing of every Romanian event connected to FLOSS. We will translate this news. Everything will be bilingual and thus we will be addressing the whole world. We will add a forum where members of different communities will be encouraged to exchange information on a neutral field. We then plan to add a job board and many other things. We do not want to lead anyone or to take upon us accomplishments which are not ours. We want to help you. We want to make communication easy and we cannot do this alone. We need the help and the involvement of you all. Only by knowing others exist, that we have a common cause, and then by communicating, will make a huge step forward. ROSI will find its way and its identity in time.ROSI is truly born now, right at this very moment. Many times I was asked who the ROSI members are. Probably most of you have already read the articles published or the information on our website; until now ROSI have been all those who have helped and participated in organizing this conference. These are the Romanian Open Source and Free Software Initiative members.On Basecamp, where I coordinated the project, forty people are already registered. Of them, some preferred only to watch. On the other hand, many people who have helped this initiative a lot, didn’t want a Basecamp account, preferring to communicate directly with me. So theoretically, they are not a part of ROSI.This is why I personally believe that the ROSI group consists of all those people who participated and made eLiberatica. The core group was formed, but next to them there are so many belonging to this initiative that, should I go on and name them, all those present would have to stand up. Because all those present here this very moment and many others not present, here have made eLiberatica happen. WE ALL represent the Romanian Open Source and Free Software Initiative.ROSI is born with eLiberatica! As my speech nears completion, I would like to now name those who have sacrificed their time and helped greatly to organize this event. However before I begin, with your permission, I leave off with a well known quote: “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil, is for good men to do nothing”.To rephrase, I would say that: “The only condition needed for evolution is for good people to become involved”.I thank you for your attention and for your time. I ask now, for them to stand here next to me because you have to know them, and they deserve your applause:
Adrian Florea, Adriana Nan, Alex Brie, Alexandru Lapusan, Andrei Bocan, Andrei Maxim, Aurelian Oancea, Bogomil Shopov,Carmen Holotescu, Carmen Moise, Daniel Tudor, Dave Macleod, Dan Mutescu, Felix Enescu, Filip Chereches-Tosa, Gabriela Bartic,Gabriel Radic, Ionut Popa, Jennifer Zickerman, Laurentiu Buzdugan, Laurentiu Fogoros, Leontin Birsan, Lucian Savluc, Mihai Bucuroiu,Mircea Dragoi, Mircea Sarbu, Raluca Borca, Remus Cazacu, Roberto Gerola, Romulus Maier, Sabin Corneliu Buraga, Stefan Petre,Tiberiu Turbureanu, Traian Anghel, Yovko Labrev and Zak Greant. Not in the above picture: Adrian Pop, Ciprian Alexandru and Mihai Gheza.
eLiberatica 2007 main international keynote speakers and the Romanian organizers From left to right:
- Adrian Pop, Executive Director of Agora Media
- Kurt von Finck, member of the GNOME Foundation, Senior Ubuntu Systems Support Analyst at Canonical and dedicated FLOSS advocate
- Monty Widenius, the main engineer, initiator and supervisor of MySQL
- Lucian Savluc, the initiator and coordinator of eLiberatica conference and the ROSI group (Romanian Open Source and Free Software Initiative)
- Romulus Maier, General Manger of Agora Media
- Gabriela Bartic, Public Relation (conference administrative manager and supervisor), Agora Media
- Jim Willis, former Director of eGovernment and Information Technology for the Rhode Island Office of the Secretary of State
- Aleksander Farstad, the co-founder and CEO of eZ systems
- Brian Behlendorf, board member of the Mozilla Foundation and one of the Apache Project initiators
- Zak Greant, Floss advocate and an evangelist, member of Mozilla Foundation and volunteer for the Free Software Foundation Compliance Lab
- Georg Greve – missing from this picture (he left a day before) – initiator and president of the Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE).