Open Source - Drupal and Beyond

John Newton's picture
John Newton
 
 

I recently attended an inspirational Open Source event. This was kindly hosted by Brighton company Omnis Systems. It was really inspiring to see the range of Open Source systems available as alternatives to the usual proprietary offerings.

A central theme of the day was privacy - despite all the recent revelations over the past couple of years, I think we're still unable to grasp the full meaning of the shift towards proprietary systems on the cloud and what this means for privacy.

Of course, besides the ethical issues, Open Source offers really compelling financial savings and there were some great case studies showing plenty of real world examples of  large public sector organisations making huge savings by adopting Open Source solutions. What's more, the quality of the software was considerably better than the old products they were over-paying for. I only wish there had been more attendees from the public sector to learn from the day.

An exception was John Jackson @johnjackson1066 from Camden Council . He gave an insipirational presentation on the use of open data and the need for more Open Source in government. We're seeing this startiing to come through in public sector procurement here now but this lags behind other countries in the EU. On which note, we're supporting Open Forum Europe at the 2014 Plugfest hosted by the UK's Cabinet Office http://plugfest.opendocumentformat.org/

Finally, I can't miss the opportunity for a quick plug for Drupal. Paul Stevens @pstevens99 of Catalyst gave a great overview of the extent of Catalyst's use of Drupal, especially in the publishing domain. It's extraordinary to see the range and reach of Drupal in Australia and New Zealand. Plus an amazing case study of Moodle scaling to two million users!