Hundreds flock to open source software conference

Hundreds of technology enthusiasts from around the world will attend a week-long open source software conference that began in Wellington today.

More than 700 delegates are expected to attend the Linux conference, which will discuss the future and viability of open source software and its implications for governments and businesses.

The conference is one of the largest in the world held on the subject and has been running for 11 years. Usually the conference is held in Australia, this is the second time New Zealand has hosted the event.

Around 40% of delegates are from Wellington and other parts of New Zealand, 40% are from Australia with the remaining coming from various countries around the world.

Open Source Society president Don Christie said a variety of topics would be discussed at the conference with a focus on technical development and raising the profile of open source software.

Mr Christie said it was hard to tell whether the up take of open source software was due to the global economic crisis or not but businesses and governments globally were taken notice of the software and adopting it.

Mr Christie said there were many benefits of using open source software such as greater agility, much smaller capital investments and the fact businesses are not restricted by licenses when rolling out programmes.

“ companies are much more agile. Many are building everything from open source,” he said.

The conference ends on Saturday. During the day members of the public are able to go and learn more about open source software and how it can work for them from a home use perspective.