In this fascinating interview, UNC’s professor Paul Jones explains that the concept of “free and open source” was a part of our culture long before there were computers, or even electronic technology, and that it’s actually a rich part of our heritage. As for FOSS, he makes the case that it’s now an ingrained part of the digital infrastructure.
The FOSS Force Video Interview
“Paul Jones,” according to the University of North Carolina, “is the director of ibiblio, a contributor-run, digital library of public domain and creative commons media in the Office of Information Technology Service at UNC. He is also a clinical professor in the UNC School of Information and Library Science.” He’s also been known to write erotic poetry, but we didn’t discuss that in this interview — which isn’t so much an “interview” in the traditional sense as it is a 24 minute soliloquy by professor “call me Paul” Jones on the nature of free/libre and open source software (FLOSS; his preferred term) and its relationship with other forms of human intellectual endeavor ranging from academic research to folk music.
Think of this as an online class taught by a respected professor who has both theoretical and practical knowledge about this subject matter. Dare we call him a “world-leading expert?” Yes, we do. Because he is. So please sit back and watch (or listen, if that’s your preference) and learn. We always learn from professor Jones, and we’re glad we can share this learning opportunity with you.
Robin “Roblimo” Miller is a freelance writer and former editor-in-chief at Open Source Technology Group, the company that owned SourceForge, freshmeat, Linux.com, NewsForge, ThinkGeek and Slashdot, and until recently served as a video editor at Slashdot. Now he’s mostly retired, but still works part-time as an editorial consultant for Grid Dynamics, and (obviously) writes for FOSS Force.