After London I flew down to Stuttgart for ApacheCon Europe 2005 where I was the second keynote speaker. I gave a talk called "Strategic Commons: Open Source in the Developing World". The slides should be up on the ApacheCon website real soon now.
This is getting to be a very popular topic (which is gratifying after spending years feeling like the only one who was doing talks about anything outside of Europe or North America). My fellow OSI Board member, Sanjiva Weerawarana is giving a similar talk at OSCON next week, and then I'll be doing my version of the talk again at EuroOSCON .
Anyway, while at ApacheConEU I was asked to give a lightning talk on "Women in Open Source" and many, many conference attendees wanted to talk with me afterwards about it. Interesting to have such a short talk garner so many comments. I guess I should be used to it by now. Its evidently a controversial topic. I'd moderated a panel at Grace Hopper last year on the subject (see notes here by an attendee at that panel, Sarah Allen), and I'm moderating one at OSCON by the same name.
When working on pulling together the OSCON panel, I spoke with many of the women I know about their experience. That meant contemplation about whether there is a "female experience" of open source and whether the question is one we need to ask. My former OpenSolaris boss, Claire Giordano, wrote some yesterday about what one of those conversations brought up for her and it really maps to my own journey in thinking about the topic. I hate it that I have to identify myself as a woman in a field where gender bias should not exist...but it does.
As a result of the response I got from the lightning talk at ApacheCon EU, I got to meet Jean T. Anderson, a woman committer on the Apache Derby project. Jean and I formally suggested creation of an Apache-Women mail list to improve on the number of women who try to join and actually end up sticking around Apache.
Whether the mail list is approved by Apache board is still in debate, but I'm encouraged by the results the Debian-Women list seems to be having. I'll keep you all posted.