Presented by

  • Bradley M. Kuhn

    Bradley M. Kuhn
    http://ebb.org/bkuhn/

    Bradley M. Kuhn is the Policy Fellow and Hacker-in-Residence at Software Freedom Conservancy and editor-in-chief of copyleft.org. Kuhn began his work in the software freedom movement as a volunteer in 1992, when he became an early adopter of Linux-based systems, and began contributing to various Free Software projects. He worked during the 1990s as a system administrator and software developer for various companies, and taught AP Computer Science at Walnut Hills High School in Cincinnati. Kuhn's non-profit career began in 2000, when he was hired by the FSF. As FSF's Executive Director from 2001–2005, Kuhn led FSF's GPL enforcement, launched its Associate Member program, and invented the Affero GPL. Kuhn began as Conservancy's primary volunteer from 2006–2010, and became its first staff person in 2011. Kuhn holds a summa cum laude B.S. in Computer Science from Loyola University in Maryland, and an M.S. in Computer Science from the University of Cincinnati. Kuhn's Master's thesis discussed methods for dynamic interoperability of Free Software programming languages. Kuhn received the O'Reilly Open Source Award in 2012, in recognition for his lifelong policy work on copyleft licensing. Kuhn has a blog and co-hosts the audcast, Free as in Freedom.

Abstract

PokerSource, a now-defunct project, was AGPL'd/GPL'd end-to-end online poker system that was deployed for play-money games. The server was written in Python and its most popular client, jPoker, was written in pure Javascript using jQuery, and was the very first deployed online poker system with a functioning pure Javascript client. The project had a long hobbyist lifespan, dating back to the base C fast hand-evaluator library begun in the late 1980s. During a brief period in the late 2000s, many developers were funded both full and part-time to work on the system, and the system was deployed and widely used on a major Facebook-competitor site. The history of the PokerSource project is an interesting case study to analyze how proprietary software technologies, particularly for interactive online systems, readily and handily beat FOSS: even when FOSS was early to market and when the proprietariness of the software actually directly hindered trust in the userbase. This talk will tell the history of this project, how a team of developers worked together to make a successful business out of of FOSS online poker. The talk will unabashedly analyze both the successes and failures of our effort. Attendees can learn what we did absolutely right in trying to build a FOSS business ecosystem for poker, and also the mistakes we also made along the way that assured FOSS demise in the world of online poker. Attendees can learn from the successes and mistakes to assure your FOSS project isn't ultimately made obsolete by proprietary technology.