Software Patents: A Replication Study

Title: Software Patents: A Replication Study

Authors: Germán Poo-Caamaño, Daniel M. German (University of Victoria)

Abstract: Previous research has documented the legal and economic aspects of software patents. To study the evolution in the granting of software patents we reproduced and extended part of the empirical study on software patents conducted by Bessen and Hunt. The original study established a criteria to identify software patents, and provided a look at the evolution of patents granted until 2002. We present a simple approach to retrieve patents from the full text database provided by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), which is freely accessible. We also present the evolution of software patents since the original study, and which we also present separated by major technological firms. Our research shows a continuous increase in the number of software patents granted higher, both in number of patents granted (in absolute numbers) and in proportion of overall patents (in relative terms). The relevance of studying the evolution of software patents relies in the challenges to find prior-art, either for practitioners looking for patenting as well as for examiners evaluating granting a new patent.

This contribution to OpenSym 2015 will be made available as part of the OpenSym 2015 proceedings (or companion) on or after August 19, 2015.

A multiple case study of small free software businesses as social entrepreneurships

Title: A multiple case study of small free software businesses as social entrepreneurships

Authors: Ann Barcomb (Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nürnberg)

Abstract: Free/libre and open source software are frequently described as a single community or movement. The difference between free software and open source ideology may influence founders, resulting in different types of companies being created. Specifically, the relationship between free/libre software ideology and social entrepreneurships is investigated. This paper presents seven case studies of businesses, five of which were founded by people who identify with the free/libre software movement. The result is a theory that small businesses founded by free/libre software advocates have three characteristics of social entrepreneurships. First, social benefit is prioritized over wealth creation. Second, the business’s social mission is not incidental but is furthered through its for-profit activities, rather than supported by the company’s profits. Third, the company’s success is defined in part by the success of its social mission. Free/libre software entrepreneurs who recognize their activities as social entrepreneurships can benefit from the existing literature on the unique challenges faced by socially-oriented businesses.

This contribution to OpenSym 2015 will be made available as part of the OpenSym 2015 proceedings (or companion) on or after August 19, 2015.

On the openness of digital platforms/ecosystems

Title: On the openness of digital platforms/ecosystems

Authors: Jose Teixeira, Turku School of Economics (University of Turku)

Abstract: A plenitude of technology is neither developed in-house nor simply outsourced in dyadic relationships. Instead, we are in a new age where technologies are developed by a networked community of actors and organizations, which base their relations dynamically to each other on a common interest. Such dynamic and networked complexity of technology development is often theoretical explored around the concept of platform, and more recently by employing the concept of ecosystem in an analogy to natural ecosystems. Following the success of open-source software, academics have long been examining openness in digital platforms/ecosystems; however most contributions take the perspective of a single stakeholder from the many that constitute a digital platform/ecosystem. Predominantly, they take the sole perspective of platform providers, those bundling hardware and software or more rarely, the perspective of third-party software developers developing valuable software ‘apps’ that add value to the overall platform. In this conceptual article, we grasp openness more holistically, both by acknowledging that openness means different things to different people and involve all stakeholders within the platforms/ecosystems. Towards the development of a theory of openness within digital settings, we propose six novel aspects of openness for enabling a greater understanding of the open-source software movement with a digital platforms/ecosystems perspective. Moreover, we invite scholars to reconsider the more predominating product-dominant logic in open-source software research to a more holistic logic embracing platforms and ecosystem thinking.

This contribution to OpenSym 2015 will be made available as part of the OpenSym 2015 proceedings (or companion) on or after August 19, 2015.

The Vienna History Wiki – a Collaborative Knowledge Platform for the City of Vienna

Title: The Vienna History Wiki – a Collaborative Knowledge Platform for the City of Vienna

Authors: Bernhard Krabina (KDZ – Centre for Public Administration Research)

Abstract: The Vienna City Archive and the Vienna City Library have joined forces with several other institutions in Vienna, Austria to create the “Wien Geschichte Wiki” (Vienna History Wiki), a knowledge platform for the history of Vienna with more than 34,000 articles and 120,000 visits per month. The wiki is powered by Semantic MediaWiki and serves not only as an online encyclopedia, based on a digitized printed publication for everybody to use and contribute to, but also as a central knowledge base for several administrative departments of the city administration. In a peer-review process, wiki edits are checked before they become visible. The paper highlights the unique aspects of the Vienna History Wiki related to content creation, governance structures and technology choices. A usage log analysis and an online survey have been carried out to gain first insights after six months of operation.

This contribution to OpenSym 2015 will be made available as part of the OpenSym 2015 proceedings (or companion) on or after August 19, 2015.

Preliminary OpenSym 2015 Program Announced

Please find the preliminary OpenSym 2015 program in this spreadsheet or in simple format below. In contrast to prior years, we decided this time to create a dense two-day program (still with open space on the second day). This is an experiment and in future years we may go back to the more relaxed three-day schedule. As always, please let us know your thoughts! Also, registration is open!


Continue reading Preliminary OpenSym 2015 Program Announced

Anthony I. Wasserman on Barriers and Pathways to Successful Collaboration at OpenSym 2015

Anthony I. (Tony) Wasserman of CMU (Silicon Valley) will be presenting the following keynote at OpenSym 2015:

Title: Barriers and Pathways to Successful Collaboration

Abstract: Effective collaboration is essential to virtually every human endeavor, since there are relatively few significant tasks that can be accomplished by a single individual. Successful collaboration efforts can be ascribed to a shared vision, strong and charismatic leadership, and the ability to overcome technical, organizational, and personal obstacles to achieving the project’s objective(s). At the same time, there are many barriers that can make these efforts fail. While these barriers can’t always be overcome, the chances of success are greatly improved if people are aware of the various challenges and take steps to anticipate them in advance. This talk addresses these issues, and draws examples from the FLOSS community, from startups, and from other disciplines.

Biography: Anthony I. (Tony) Wasserman is a Professor of Software Management Practice at Carnegie Mellon University Silicon Valley, and the Executive Director of its Center for Open Source Investigation (COSI), focused on evaluation and adoption of open source software. In 1980, as a Professor at UC San Francisco, he released the software for his User Software Engineering research project under a BSD license. Subsequently, as CEO of Interactive Development Environments (IDE), he incorporated some of that software in IDE’s Software through Pictures multiuser modeling environment, released in 1984, making it among the very first commercial products to include open source software. After IDE, Tony was VP of Engineering for a dot-com, and later became VP of Bluestone Software, where Bluestone’s open source Total-e-Mobile toolkit allowed mobile devices to connect to JavaEE web applications. Tony is very active in the international open source research community, and served as General Chair of the 2009 and 2014 Int’l. Conference on Open Source Systems. He is on the Board of Directors of the Open Source Initiative (OSI) and the Board of Advisors of Open Source for America Tony is a Fellow of the ACM and a Life Fellow of the IEEE for his contributions to software engineering and software development environments. He received the 2012 Distinguished Educator Award from the IEEE’s Technical Council on Software Engineering and the 2013 Influential Educator Award from the ACM’s Special Interest Group on Software Engineering. Tony has been to almost 70 countries, including some that no longer exist, and posts his photos on Flickr.

Peter Norvig on Applying Machine Learning to Programs at OpenSym 2015

Peter Norvig of Google Research, will be presenting the following keynote at OpenSym 2015:

Title: Applying Machine Learning to Programs

Abstract: Certain tasks, such as recognizing speech, or correcting spelling errors, are now routinely handled with machine learning algorithms. But most tasks are handled the old fashioned way, with programmers writing code line by line. Machine learning algorithms work by amassing large numbers of examples and extracting patterns from them. We certainly have amassed a large number of examples of code; what can algorithms, and we, learn from them?

Biography: Peter Norvig is a Director of Research at Google Inc. Previously he was head of Google’s core search algorithms group, and of NASA Ames’s Computational Sciences Division, making him NASA’s senior computer scientist. He received the NASA Exceptional Achievement Award in 2001. He has taught at the University of Southern California and the University of California at Berkeley, from which he received a Ph.D. in 1986 and the distinguished alumni award in 2006. He was co-teacher of an Artifical Intelligence class that signed up 160,000 students, helping to kick off the current round of massive open online classes. His publications include the books Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach (the leading textbook in the field), Paradigms of AI Programming: Case Studies in Common Lisp, Verbmobil: A Translation System for Face-to-Face Dialog, and Intelligent Help Systems for UNIX. He is also the author of the Gettysburg Powerpoint Presentation and the world’s longest palindromic sentence. He is a fellow of the AAAI, ACM, California Academy of Science and American Academy of Arts & Sciences.

Robert J. Glushko on Collaborative Authoring, Evolution, and Personalization for a “Transdisciplinary” Textbook at OpenSym 2015

Robert J. Glushko of University of California, Berkeley, will be presenting the following keynote at OpenSym 2015:

Title: Collaborative Authoring, Evolution, and Personalization for a “Transdisciplinary” Textbook

Abstract: This presentation is a case study about a book titled The Discipline of Organizing, which proposes a transdisciplinary synthesis of ideas from library and information science, computer science, informatics, cognitive science, business, and other disciplines that “intentionally arrange collections of resources to enable interactions with them.” This case study discusses the interrelationships between the transdisciplinary goal for the book, the process of collaborative authoring required to write it, the novel architecture of the book’s content, and the innovative reading experiences in print and ebook formats that are enabled. The idea that abstract concepts and methods of organizing define a new discipline that is contextualized by more specific concepts and methods inevitably led to a collaboratively-authored book whose design embodies this intellectual architecture. The book’s content is organized as a transdisciplinary core with supplemental content identified by discipline. This content model creates a “family of books” with thousands of siblings, any of which can be published in print or as an ebook by filtering on the disciplinary attributes. This “design-time” customization was enhanced to enable “reading-time” personalization for ebook formats. In addition, the rich semantic markup that enables customization and personalization is fodder for further experimentation about “smart textbooks” that can be continuously made smarter by dynamic discovery and inclusion of content.

Biography: Robert J. Glushko is an Adjunct Full Professor in the School of Information at the University of California, Berkeley. After receiving his PhD in Cognitive Psychology at UC San Diego in 1979, he spent about ten years working in corporate R&D, about ten years as a Silicon Valley entrepreneur, and now has worked over ten years as an academic. His interests and expertise include information systems and service design, content management, and ebook design and publishing. He founded or co-founded four companies, including Veo Systems in 1997, which pioneered the use of XML for electronic business before its acquisition by Commerce One in 1999. He is a co-author of Document Engineering: Analyzing and Designing Documents for Business Informatics and Web Services, published in 2005. More recently, he is the principal author and editor of The Discipline of Organizing, named an “information science book of the year” in 2014 by the Association of Information Science and Technology.

Richard P. Gabriel on Artificial Sentiment: Using Machines to Manage Public Sentiment on Social Media at OpenSym 2015

Richard P. Gabriel, renowned research scientist at IBM’s Watson Group, will be presenting the following keynote at OpenSym 2015:

Title: Artificial Sentiment: using machines to manage public sentiment on social media

Abstract: Social media is where public opinion is happening: where it’s born, where it grows / matures, and where it dies. In this talk I review techniques and approaches for machine processing of public sentiment on social media: how to analyze and understand it, how to react to it, and how to influence it. The age of artificial intelligence is upon us.