Skip to main content

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

Sun Bloggers

Posted by webmink on June 24, 2003 at 8:47 AM PDT

For a while now I've wanted a reference list of people at Sun who maintain weblogs (first called out by Timothy Appnel). I've not found one, so decided to throw one together - Sun Bloggers. If there is a list I missed, or there are bloggers I've not encountered, let me know.

Solving the Patent Problem

Posted by webmink on June 21, 2003 at 4:38 PM PDT

Responding to my earlier posting, Glen Martin comments that:

To my mind, patents in software add no value, and really only serve to subject software development to the less than scrupulous (lawyers, that is).


F/OSS on Patents

Posted by webmink on June 20, 2003 at 9:05 AM PDT

Just sitting in the final session at F/OSS at Harvard, largely on software patents.

The Dog that Didn't Bark

Posted by webmink on June 19, 2003 at 11:36 AM PDT

I really like the report on Corante about but it raises for me the question of why none of the other sources I respect in the blogging community have even mentioned the launch of blogs and wikis on, let alone come in with a critique (positive or negative).


Posted by webmink on June 19, 2003 at 11:00 AM PDT

I am (unexpectedly) at the MIT/HBS Free/Open Source Software conference at Harvard. The first session included a paper comparing Apache, Mozilla and a commercial software project. The results suggested open source development does indeed deliver higher productivity levels and lower defect counts than closed team development.


Posted by webmink on June 14, 2003 at 9:36 PM PDT

Heading out of town today, I met Mark Thomas from IBM at the Hertz office. Seems he too needs a break after JavaOne. We're both (independently) heading to Yosemite for the weekend - in fact, I am writing this from the 'Happy Burger' in Mariposa ("if it's not perfect, don't serve it" ).


Posted by webmink on June 13, 2003 at 1:07 AM PDT

I've seen a few people commenting on the new URLs - Paul and Bertrand, for example.

Roundtable report

Posted by webmink on June 12, 2003 at 9:59 AM PDT

FTPOnline has a report on the J2EE Roundtable held on Monday.


Posted by webmink on June 11, 2003 at 9:56 AM PDT

Alan Williamson wasn't too impressed with Jonathan Schwartz's keynote yesterday, it seems (complete with IDE demos - I hope he's enjoying the Project Rave demo I am watching now!). I'm very interested in his comments on the desire to expand the Java developer base from 3 million to 10 million.


Posted by webmink on June 10, 2003 at 11:20 AM PDT

I'm taking the chance to roam the exhibit hall today and just bumped into my friend Neil Bauman of GeekCruises, who is here promoting events like his Java Jam. I've been a speaker at a couple of his events, and both times have been memorable.