Some exciting changes have happened at OSS Watch this week, when Scott Wilson and Mark Johnson joined our team. This is wonderful news, since both Scott and Mark have great in-depth experience with open source in the sector.
I am very pleased to hand over the management of OSS Watch to Scott. Through his work, Scott has demonstrated time and again how to successfully apply open development to software projects in the Higher Education sector, with Wookie, Rave and more recently projects like Edukapp. Furthermore, he has great insights in the sector and the JISC community, through all of his experience via CETIS and other services. Similarly, Mark has some great practical experience by working in projects such as Moodle and within the Ubuntu UK community. His presentation ‘the line of code that could’, about how his first contribution to Moodle propelled him into the Moodle community, is truly an OSS Watch classic. It’s wonderful to have both of them on board.
With them joining the team, my own role at OSS Watch has changed, although I am not gone completely. A major reason for me to step down as manager of OSS Watch was related to my personal decision to leave Oxford, where our offices are based, to go and live in London. However, I will continue to work with OSS Watch and related projects in the coming months, when most of my time will be devoted to the JACSoN project with JISC Advance. We will develop and pilot a collaboration and communication portal based on Apache Rave and OpenSocial gadgets, building on the OpenConext middleware software that SURFnet in the Netherlands has developed to support federation across institutions. This is a very exciting project that will provide opportunities for researchers to use collaboration tools in groups across institutions, while using the credentials of their home institutions. I will blog more about that in the coming weeks.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank the university of Oxford and specifically the IT Services department, formally known as OUCS, for being such a wonderful host. I loved my time at the office and while I will continue coming in now and then, I will miss not being there every day. I also want to wish Scott and Mark a great time at OSS Watch and I’m confident that there is a excellent future for the service ahead with this refreshed team.