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Open Spaces Learning
Lessons (2011 . 2012 . 2013)
Reflecting Forward

The following represents our thinking for the opening session. In practice, one improvises.


Heinz (5 minutes)

<keep it simple>

  • Welcome the the Java Specialists' Symposium
    • Thanks for coming :-) - some from afar ...
  • Orientation: location of loos, rooms, in case of emergency go to rendez-vous point (?), exits, ...
    • Announcements - point out the "News Space"
  • Be considerate of second language speakers
    • Non-native English speakers: please slow us down - we may get a little excited from time to time
  • The disorganisers
    • Dmitry: catalyst: if your group gets stuck, call Dmitry.
    • John: the excursions dude
    • Kirk: Captain Coding
    • Dmitry: a disorganiser from Switzerland (!*?) (is up next)

Focus the Group

Dmitry (10 mins)

  • Welcome to Open Space
  • By way of introduction, we'll do a quick round the room: name and a word or phrase (max 3 words) you hope to hear again this week:
    • Heinz - distributed productivity
    • Kirk - ask the code
    • John - design patterns
    • Dmitry - fun
    • ...
    • ...

Dmitry: "Has every voice been heard?" ... "Good!" :-)


Dmitry (5 mins)

Spectogram - Java is free ............... no it's not.

Our purpose here is to share our collective knowledge and experience of programming in Java and all the surrounding technologies - frameworks, architectural/design patterns, ....

In all of your discussions, think about freedom and make a "freedom note" in your report.

Proceedings and Tangible Outputs

Dmitry (5 mins)

N.B. We create them - on-the-fly. The Convenor of any group is to ensure that a report is produced.

For some of us, our bosses require this. I happen to be my own boss, and I do require it :-).

The main reason for generating outputs is to share with those who could or did not make the session and with the broader Java/software development community.

It is also for future reference to be able to look back on where we came from (if anything is taken further).

Please link any of your outputs to and from this page.

We will also sync the space-time matrix on the wiki with the actual sessions as the table of contents of the proceedings. So, feel free to link from there too:


(see the "Quick links" on the wiki).

Outputs may include: wiki pages (discussion summaries, tutorials), mindmaps, diagrams, rich pictures, photos, audio/video clips, screen casts, patterns, anti-patterns, tweets, blog postings, ...


Outline the Process

Posting a Topic (demo)

<With a participant's hat on, I propose:>

<one at a time, while posting each onto the launchpad>

  1. Discuss the theme: How does libre software make Java successful?

Dmitry (5 mins)

Explain to participants how the conference will unfold:

  • Find out who has attended OS before
  • Briefly explain process
  • Dmitry to demonstrate posting of 1 or 2 topics (box right)
  • Refer to poster and explain the 4 principles and the 1 law


  • Day One, broad topics
  • Day Two, going deeper
  • Day Three, more going deeper
  • Day Four, Action planning and report backs (if required and scheduled by the participants)

Tea/coffee should roll in about now

Start the Process

Dmitry (30 mins)

Build the space-time matrix and develop the topics for days 1 - 3:

  • Remind the participants to expect some chaos this morning.
  • Give participants a few minutes to jot topics onto post-its (remind them again what to put on each - above).
  • When some are ready, start collecting them one at a time as each proposer in turn reads out their title and type of activity.
  • Hand post-its to Dmitry (still in the circle) who will hand them to Kirk and Heinz (outside the circle at launchpad), ... to loosely cluster according to topic and level of detail (broad discussions for day 1 near the top ... detailed discussions later lower down). Also arrange into two columns: left: requires projector/screen, right: no screen or projector required (e.g. library is suitable).
  • When participants start to dry out of topics - i.e. we have a good collection of clustered topics on the launchpad:
  • Start migrating them to the space-time matrix.
    • If you are very lucky, a clear set of tracks will emerge that will flow nicely onto the space-time matrix.
    • If not, or if in doubt about clusters etc., just get the post-its onto the space-time matrix at least with attention to suitable venue (the first three rooms have projectors or large screens), and
      • let the conveners come up and arrange the sessions: eliminate duplicate post-its (repeat sessions may be requested later), put some together, split some, move post-its around etc.
  • Result: a schedule to start with.

Move on to Session 1