fOSSa - Free Open Source Software for Academia


What is fOSSa?

The Free Open Source Software for Academia is a conference about Free/Libre Open Source and beyond: Open education, open collaboration, open data, open standard, open hardware & … open-ness.

Let’s share some thoughts

Free/Libre Open Source (FLOSS) can be seen as a development, collaboration, distribution, marketing and disruptive innovation model that has gradually fostered the built up of a new collaborative way of working in the R&D domain, often evolving towards the creation of an organised community. The increasing connections at the international level raise a need for remote collaboration around the world that emphasises the need to organise the creation, promotion and sustainability of such projects. FLOSS model has proved its efficiency to address this new way of working.Nevertheless, successfully launching, developing and maintaining a FLOSS project is not always a spontaneous action, since it relies on a structured approach and requires good knowledge and practice of the FLOSS culture.

The history of FLOSS can be traced back to academic origins…

Distributing source code under a permissive license was the de facto rule in academia in the 70s. In 1969, the first connection was between the University of California Los Angeles and the Stanford Research Institute.


On October 29th, 1969, two distant ARPANET computers exchanged a message for the first time: it was all of two letters “lo.” (by Leonard Kleinrock) and it crashed the entire system! This work laid the groundwork for what we call today the Internet.




Since then, the Internet has become ubiquitous, faster and increasingly accessible to non-technical communities. Social networking and collaborative services have grown rapidly, enabling people to communicate and share interests in many other ways.


Let’s face it, 40 years ago, Academia met the Open Source, Open System and Open Standards. But… FLOSS has changed in time.

FLOSS was born in a context of hackers, many of them working at universities, an IT generation interested in technology and ethical values. FLOSS is currently a wide spread paradigm throughout the software industry, even if its alignment with academic goals tends to be forgotten.

Nevertheless, many times proprietary driven models have prevailed…

  • Will new business models & apps (SaaS, Cloud, Mobility, IoT) actually grant openness?
  • Will the “digital native” generation care again for ethical values rather than just focusing on “service consumption”?
  • Is the Bazaar vs Cathedral paradigm dead?
  • Is the development of open source Malls the new strategy?
  • Which are the new dangers challenging open collaboration on the internet?

It’s time to meet again and discuss together in an opne-minded context about…

  • What’s happening in the open domain?
  • What tech people are actually doing?
  • Which are the upcoming issues & challenges with the respect to open development, collaboration, knowledge sharing beneficial to academia, education & industry ?
fOSSa 2013 - Free Open Source Software for Academia