Some column!—that’s what waddler one said

Honesty…let us work on it with all our malice and love.


Articles, weblogs, and related pieces by Andy Oram:

Most significant articles

Gnutella and Freenet Represent True Technological Innovation and The Value of Gnutella and Freenet

These twin articles explore the technical and policy implications of the technologies that led to a crystalization of new concepts under the term Peer to Peer (May 12, 2000).

The Evolving Role of the Data Engineer: Change and Continuity in Data Practices

The first published explanation of the data engineer’s responsibilities and how they are supported by modern tools and processes (April 14, 2020).

Getting Started with InnerSource

A very popular overview that broadened awareness and discussion of the topic of InnerSource.

The Sap and the Syrup of the Information Age: Coping with Database Protection Laws

Some of my most in-depth research, published by three law journals and widely cited (February 2000).

From Unix to Linux: Key Trends in the Evolution of Operating Systems

A spunky history citing participants over several decades, where I recover oft-forgotten lessons and offer some opinionated views of how modern computing came into being (November 13, 2020).

A Primer on the Open Source Movement from a Health Care Perspective

History and significance of free and open source software from several angles, with reference to the main literature in the field (February 24, 2016).

The Ghosts of Internet Time

Mostly fun, but also inspirational and cautionary (December 17, 1999), translated into about 25 different languages. Still currently available are an Indonesian translation by ChameleonJohn, a Russian translation, a Romanian translation by Irina Vasilescu, a Dutch translation by Avice Robitaille, a Croatian translation, an Estonian translation, and a French translation by

The Meaning of Independence Day

A short story containing an important literary message about free speech as well as a review of case law in the area (Web Review, June 29 and July 6, 2001).

Promoting Open Source Software in Government: The Challenges of Motivation and Follow-Through

Advice on the deployment of free software in government agencies, backed up with some history in the state of Massachusetts that I closely followed.

Trends Shaping the London Tech Scene

A wide-ranging report investigating the computing scene in businesses, educational opportunities, community, government, and more (August 25, 2016, requires an O’Reilly account)

Open Source in Brazil: Growing Despite Barriers
A look at the various factors affecting the successes and problems of free software in this important country, including community, business building, government, and education (September 16, 2016, requires an O’Reilly account)

What Do Intellectual Property Owners Want?

Here by popular demand, a look at the stresses the Internet places on content developers and specifically some battles around Digital Rights Management (or Digital Restrictions Management). Many years after it was published, readers are still thanking me for it (December 20, 2002; also available in a Portuguese translation by homeyou, an Urdu translation by Samuel Badree, and an Italian translation by CouponToaster).

Key Policy Issues To Watch In Telecom

A widely-circulated summary of issues in telephony and communications of interest to Internet users and professionals (January 14, 2000).

Questions on government participation

Also in a Spanish translation by James Galea.

A compressed but extensive list of fundamental problems and challenges facing efforts at making government more transparent and fostering citizen participation (originally posted March 1, 2009).

Technical drivers of cloud centralization and megacorporate domination

Centralized computing will continue to thrive and call our privacy and autonomy into question, despite current resentment among the public. This article (related to a conference presentation explains why computer technology leads to centralization, and possible remedies. (March 14, 2019).

The long view of identity

An overview of current trends in online identity, offering various contexts and philosophical models for defining and judging identity. (June 29, 2006).

Reputation: where the personal and the participatory meet up

A summary of the legal, business, and technological state of reputation, identity, and privacy (December 16, 2007).

Characteristics of new media in the Internet age

A speculative essay on new media emerging in the early 21st century, and their effect on society (October 8, 2006, later revised in light of public comments).

Being online: identity, anonymity, and all things in between

An examination of identity and privacy on the Internet in the light of leading writings in the field of identity (a series of eight postings starting December 17, 2009).

From P2P to Web Services: Addressing and coordination and From P2P to Web Services: Trust

A two-part article explaining the underlying needs shared by a range of modern applications, including Web Services, wireless networks, and instant messaging (April 7 and 14, 2004).

WTO + SDMI = NWO (New World Order)—And That Spells Trouble

A broad critique of the interaction between regulation and technology, widely circulated (November 30, 1999).

Where articles have appeared

Most of the articles were originally published in one of the following forums:

Finally, I have compiled a bibliography of my other articles on technical writing and training, most of which are not available electronically.

Overview articles on health information technology

List of articles (from most recent to least recent)

Author’s home page