This past weekend I attended the Toronto Code Camp. A free conference organized by people active in the .NET community in Toronto.
I had a great time and here is why: The conference was well organized, The venue was quite appropriate, The topics where relevant and the speakers top notch presenters; and most importantly, no sales pitches, just good information and code.
There was one aspect in particular that caught my attention: There were a lot of references to Free an Open Source Software and Open Standards; and all of them praising them.
Up until a couple of years ago the only references I heard in this kind of conferences were pejorative or about not-so-open "standards".
This time, all the presenters I saw were using either Chrome or Firefox.
I attended a presentation on HTML5 where the presenter showed how the FLOSS browsers were more compliant with standards compared to IE8/9; and another presentation about JQuery where the scripts were debugged using Firebug.
Most of the presentations were focused on Microsoft's proprietary technologies but there were also presentations about HTML5, Jquery, Open Data, IronPython and DotNetNuke (See foot note).
To me, this indicates that the hard work of all the people that participate in Free and Open Source initiatives is paying off and paving the way for main stream developers to realize the benefits of open source and, eventually, of Free software.
So the laughing part seems over. They are still fighting but now they are also embracing. Eventually they will fully realize that the FLOSS model is better.
Note: I am sure we can have a good discussion about what is open and what is not, but at least I see things going slowly in the right direction.