ApacheCon US 2008 Session

Keynote - Standing on the shoulders of giants

In 1675, in a letter to Robert Hooke, the British mathematician and physicist, Isaac Newton, famously said, "If I have seen farther than others, it is because I was standing on the shoulders of giants."

Today, the spirit of open source has reached across all nations, fueling innovation, making a difference in ways never before thought possible.

Living and working in the small island nation of Sri Lanka, I have been immensely fortunate to have also been drawn in by the magnetic force of open source. I have witnessed the birth of a new global community rising above the depths of despair after a devastating tsunami, I have seen the realization of ambitious dreams and I have experienced the benefits of readily available cutting-edge technology.

All this has been possible because of the "giants" in the world of open source. These giants are the people from around the world who have come together with their hearts, minds and hands - they are the people in the global open source communities. These giants are the people who have responsibly worked together with a great sense of transparent collaboration resulting in projects that have brought forth enormous benefits to the entire world.

This is a collection of real-life stories and first-hand accounts that highlight the significant impact, panoramic change and compelling innovation that these "giants" of the open source world have - possibly unknowingly - unleashed.