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2018 has been a big year for Linux. Red Hat is celebrating its 25th anniversary (as well as Slackware!), and we are not the only ones with significant birthdays. This year also marks the 20th anniversary of the Open Source Initiative (OSI) and a touchstone conference in the open source ecosystem: OSCON. And this year's show is celebrating in style, moving back to where many would say it always belonged, Portland, Oregon.

OSCON has always been a unique show in the conference pantheon. It has never been quite as corporate-focused as shows like LinuxWorld, LinuxCon, or Open Source Summit. But nor has it been a pure community event, along the lines of FOSDEM or SCALE. It has, usually, effectively maintained a balance between the business and community goals around free and open source.

I believe this has been a product of the culture in which OSCON has usually resided. Portland is a city where the values of community are particularly strong, and that has contributed to the flavor of this two-decade-old conference.

The longevity and success of OSCON and Open Source will be the focus of our own Deb Bryant's July 19 session "The future is still open: Building on over 20 years of collaboration." In her talk, Deb plans to "detail the history of the Linux ecosystem and its influence on the global adoption of open source software in the enterprise and Oregon’s seminal role in promoting the adoption of open source by government agencies and creating a home for high-impact community projects.

"The story of open source is really the story of this interconnected evolution and how it has taken us from a world where we bought software in boxes to today’s world of hybrid cloud, containerized everything, and a future that is ever more automated," according to the session abstract.

Deb's talk will offer a holistic view of where open source has been, and where it is going. Other talks from Red Hatters on July 18 will focus on specialized topics:

If you are able, hopefully you can attend OSCON live and help celebrate an amazing 20 years of open source history! Keep an eye on the OSCON site in the near future for video recordings of these and other amazing sessions, too!

About the author

Brian Proffitt is a Manager within Red Hat's Open Source Program Office, focusing on content generation, community metrics, and special projects. Brian's experience with community management includes knowledge of community onboarding, community health, and business alignment. Prior to joining Red Hat in 2014, he was a technology journalist with a focus on Linux and open source, and the author of 22 consumer technology books. 

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