19 Jan 2005 Ankh   » (Master)

I'm in Brisbane for XML Query Working Group meetings, kindly hosted by DSTC on the Queensland University Campus. I and some colleagues also spoke at a workshop on Friday.

Much more thinking about XML things than open source things of late, although as usual I've been following Mandrake Linux (cooker). We're slowly getting to the point where more and more of users' needs are met, but meeting 80% of everyone's needs is not as good as meeting all of the needs of 80% of people.

Someone wrote to me recently to ask for an office suite and database to help her run her small business. I don't think postgresql or mysql arethe sort of thing she had in mind :-) although OpenOffice will probably meet her needs in practice, perhaps along with gnumeric. We still don't have anything like Quark or InDesign, although scribus is starting to approach an old version of PageMaker, and passportout is also interesting for a more technical user.

The open source world can meet most of the day to day needs of a great number of people, which is a solid and remarkable achievement. It's not clear to me that computers have anywhere reached anything like their full potential, and meeting all of the uses people might ever have for computers is obviously not possible, so the right question is to ask where the growth in computing capability is most aligned with people's needs. That's somewhere that open source does seemto have a clar advantage.

*

steved, I've been interested in the reciprocality project for a while, even though the Web site isn't perhaps as grokkable as I'd wish ;-)

haruspex, well, Bush is now a Kingit seems.

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