Weekly wrap-up: Picking an open source hardware license, mom writes programming teacher, and more

open source news and highlights
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Open source news this week: September 9 - 13, 2013

What other open source-related news stories did you read about this week? Share them with us in the comments section. Follow us on Twitter where we share these stories in real time.

  • The whale, the jungle, and the turtle. Soloman Hykes is hoping the whale metaphor for his company’s open source software project, Docker, doesn’t turn out to be a fail whale. Hykes and his 18-person company dotCloud are attempting to build a computer the size of the entire Internet, which is really an oversimplification of what the Docker project is attempting to do. Wired.com has the full story on the project, which aims "to foster a world where anyone can treat any pool of machines in much the same way Google treats its private data centers." Writer Cade Metz does a wonderful job of telling the story behind dotCloud and Docker, weaving together the whale on Hykes’ T-shirt, the jungle-like environment Hykes works in, and even the dotCloud turtle (yes, a real life turtle named Gordon). This is a great read if you’ve got some time for a longer piece.
  • Open source outer space. If you dream of sending something into space, your dreams are much more likely to come true if open source technology continues to make a dent in rocket building. The Pasadena Star-News takes a look at the start-ups and space enthusiasts that are developing DIY, open source spaceflight technology. From DIYRockets to a recent 3D-printed rocket engine challenge to efforts to loosen International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), this post will open your eyes to all the open source space advocates out there.
  • Choosing an open hardware license. There's been a lot of talk in open source software circles about licensing lately, especially with the recent launch of GitHub's ChooseALicense.com site. But what about licensing for open source hardware? Open Source Electronics has an in-depth post this week explaining everything you’ll want to consider before selecting a license for your open hardware project. If you want to see some examples of open source hardware and design projects that are setting new standards, Open Source Electronics is featuring some amazing projects.
  • Mom defends daughter, commenters go wild. A blog post written by a mother who was appalled at the sexism her daughter faced in a high school computer programming class has been generating some buzz online this week. In the post, the mom shares a letter she sent to her daughter's teacher at the end of the school year outlining seven suggestions for teaching high school computer programming. The suggestions include creating a classroom environment that embraces women and diversity while also teaching in a way that’s not a snooze. As you might imagine, this post has caused quite a stir. The comments are all over the place, and are as interesting as the post itself. If you decide to read this one, skip the updates at the top and start with "Dear Sir." Then go back and read the updates when you’re done.
  • You can’t learn this in school. If you've ever been on the job and said to yourself: "I wish they would have taught us that in school," then you’ll probably appreciate the newly-launched Open Education Alliance. The new alliance is designed to close the gap between what students learn in the classrooms and what they’ll need to know when they actually start their careers in technology. The alliance was announced this week by Udacity's CEO Sebastian Thrun and California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsome during the TechCrunch Disrupt conference. GeekWire has details on the announcement, and the alliance’s website is already live. Hat tip to Opensource.com community member Robin Muilwijk who passed this story along. Thanks for sharing, Robin!


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holmja's picture
Open Source Champion

A few years back, I wrote a paper, for a graduate class on the foundations of education, about women in CS education, so I'm not surprised by what happened to that high schooler. It is far too common in CS education. The mother's advice was pretty good, I thought. I'm not going to read the comments, my blood pressure couldn't take it. Based on the updates, I'm sure there are plenty of charming folks trying to justify what the teacher & principal did (well, didn't do) and blaming the victim.

Ada Lovelace Day is next month (October 15th). I hope people take the opportunity to make things better for women in the STEM disciplines.

robinmuilwijk's picture
Open Source Sensei

I had the same experience after reading, had to stop at the comments. I hope the girl still follows up on her interest in programming.

robinmuilwijk's picture
Open Source Sensei

I'd like to add some interesting news to the wrap-up. Google is migrating from MySQL to MariaDB. See http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/09/12/google_mariadb_mysql_migration/.

Google had already left Webkit, and forked it to it's own Blink where QT followed: http://blog.qt.digia.com/blog/2013/09/12/introducing-the-qt-webengine/

Some interesting moves going in the Google world.