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Simon Phipps

Currently CEO of open source management consulting firm Meshed Insights, computer industry veteran Simon Phipps has engaged at a strategic level in the world’s leading technology companies. He has worked in roles such as field engineer, programmer and systems analyst, as well as run a software publishing company. He worked with OSI standards in the 80s, on collaborative conferencing software in the 90s, and helped introduce both Java and XML at IBM. President of the global Open Source Initiative and a director of the UK's Open Rights Group, he takes an active interest in digital liberty and software freedom and is a widely read thought-leader with a regular column on ComputerWorldUK.

He spent a decade at Sun Microsystems where he helped pioneer Sun’s employee blogging, social media and community engagement programmes. In 2005 he was appointed Chief Open Source Officer at Sun Microsystems, co-ordinating Sun’s extensive participation in Free and Open Source software communities until he left in 2010. In that role he oversaw the conversion to Free software of the Java platform, Solaris UNIX, the SPARC architecture and the rest of Sun’s portfolio, all under open source licenses. An outspoken advocate of the value of Open Document Format (ODF) for businesses and governments, he has been an advisor to local and national government agencies across Europe, the Pacific Rim and Latin America as they have devised and implemented strategies around Free and Open Source software.

He holds a degree in electronic engineering and is a Fellow of the British Computer Society. His personal home page and blog is


webmink's blog

NeoOffice/J 0.7 Released

Posted by webmink on October 13, 2003 at 2:29 PM PDT

While we're celebrating the third birthday of, I'd like to pass huge congratulations to Patrick Luby on the release of v0.7 of NeoOffice/J for Mac OS X.

Monoculture Considered Harmful

Posted by webmink on September 26, 2003 at 4:45 PM PDT

I commented recently that, while we can each take steps to prevent virus and worm attacks on our computer systems, the biggest threat we actually face is the fact that we have a computer monoculture.

An Open Spirit

Posted by webmink on September 14, 2003 at 9:36 AM PDT

In the first posting in her new weblog, Anne Thomas Manes talks about the idea of porting Jakarta to Mono, the project to implement C# and the core of the CLI from .NET on Linux.

Borg and the Penguin

Posted by webmink on August 30, 2003 at 3:05 AM PDT

It was interesting at LinuxWorld (back near the start of August) to see how many people from Microsoft were attending. Indeed, at both my session and the one with Sterling Ball, a show of hands revealed a row or more of Microsoft employees (sticking together for mutual protection?).

Sun and Open Source - Development, not Deployment

Posted by webmink on July 29, 2003 at 10:00 PM PDT

In his recent posting on Alan Williamson asks how open source software can ever be profitable. I believe his thinking confuses two different issues - how software is developed and how it is deployed. In some contexts they are the same thing, but in a growing number they are completely different.

Getting ready for the big bang

Posted by webmink on July 6, 2003 at 1:02 PM PDT

Supernova is part of what The Register calls "a giddy social whirl of conferences and and other airmile aggregation opportunities". As most of the speakers have weblogs, we have the opportunity to peek inside and perhaps get a preview of some of the content.

Open Design

Posted by webmink on July 2, 2003 at 8:33 PM PDT

I have commented to a few people that Blogging is a Big Deal.

Sun has an Open Source Info Site

Posted by webmink on July 1, 2003 at 2:44 PM PDT

One link I've been surprised not to see yet on is a link to the web site run by Sun's Open Source Project Office, It's not exactly a 'must visit daily' site but it is so packed with projects that I do wonder why folk insist on trying to paint a fundamental conflict between Sun and open source.

Storm in a Soup Bowl

Posted by webmink on July 1, 2003 at 10:10 AM PDT

While totally invisible to the bulk of humanity, there's been a storm in a soup bowl of late as the Great and Good of blog-tech have been focussed into a Wiki to design a successor to RSS and the Blogger API - the name 'Echo' has been mooted as a placeholder.


Posted by webmink on June 26, 2003 at 6:21 AM PDT

I just signed up to deliver one of the industry perspective talks at Supernova in Washington DC.