Life

What open source projects are best for beginners?

Open thread

While Opensource.com is preparing for our upcoming Beginners in Open Source Week starting February 17, we want to hear from our readers about which open source projects are best for beginners. After you've responded to the poll, mark your calendars for: » Read more

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The participatory nature of the Internet strengthens fan communities

media remix

Whether the big media producers like it or not, digital technologies have made it easier than ever for popular culture fans to create remixes or derivative works from their favorite movies, TV shows, books, and other media. And the participatory nature of the Internet has arguably helped broaden the popular definition of a "fan community" from something exclusive to comic and sci-fi fans to being inclusive of many genres and people. This includes giving wider exposure to a vast and yet often overlooked demographic in pop fandom—women—and their influence on mainstream media stories. » Read more

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Got questions on open hardware? Ask this engineer

open source why

One of my favorite quotes is "We are what we celebrate." Dean Kamen, founder of FIRST Robotics, says this and it comes up on an almost daily basis one way or another in my work in open source hardware and education. One of the challenges of getting more young people into engineering and computer programming is that we're collectively competing with the high profile status that becoming a famous, professional athlete or musician, or reality show star, promises. I don't expect the mass media to change, because change happens from small groups of motivated people. And, this is where the maker, hacker, and open source software and hardware communities are making great progress. » Read more

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5 tips: Leverage user-centered design in your open source project

open source projects

When I first started working at the Open Technology Institute (OTI), I was consistently challenged with the question: "Why would a UX designer want to work at an open source organization?" The truth, in my opinion, is almost all design and usability work is by its nature open source. » Read more

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What I learned while editing Wikipedia

share knowledge

I was introduced to the Wikimedia movement primarily as a communications consultant for Wikimedia Foundation’s first Global South project that began in India in 2011. My work with the Wikimedia Foundation and editing Wikipedia has helped me take a hard look at myself as a woman of colour from India in technology. » Read more

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Tracking NYC rats with open data, keeping the Internet of Things open, and more

open source news and highlights

Open source news for your reading pleasure.

January 20-24, 2014

In this week's edition of our open source news roundup, we'll show you the power of open data, a cool new tool for programmers, and more.

» Read more

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Women in Open Source Week

open here

Welcome to Opensource.com's Women in Open Source Week

Opensource.com will highlight the efforts of women in open source from January 27 through February 7. We will be focusing some of our content specifically on women working in free and open source software fields and collaborating on projects ranging from open knowledge to open hardware. » Read more

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How to get your conference talk submission accepted

you are a leader

Michael Davies, a part of the Linux.conf.au (LCA) conference talk review committee, spent a session at this year's conference talking about how they review talk submissions and choose which ones to accept for this large Australian open source conference. While he spoke specifically about LCA, his tips are largely applicable to those interested in submitting a talk proposal to any conference.

The LCA papers committee consists of experienced LCA attendees and volunteers who are both active in their communities and familiar with the conference. They try to keep a balance from year to year of fresh voices with experienced reviewers. The repeat reviewers help ensure that the conference maintains the same feel from year to year, so they use the previous year's papers committee with a few new members. They also consider the balance of the committee members. » Read more

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How to evaluate the sustainability of an open source project

Tools for evaluating project sustainability

Sustainable open source projects are those that are capable of supporting themselves. Simply put, they are able to meet their ongoing costs.

However, from the viewpoint of selection and procurement, sustainability also means that the project is capable of delivering improvements and fixing problems with its products in a timely manner, and that the project itself has a reasonable prospect of continuing into the future.

Elsewhere on our site you can find articles describing some of the many formal approaches to evaluating open source software as part of the Software Sustainability Maturity Model. » Read more

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Linux Foundation takes one giant step forward with the AllSeen Alliance and the Internet of Things

the Internet of Things

If you read the technology press lately, odds are you already know about the launching of the AllSeen Alliance (a Google News search I just did produced 412 results in a wide range of languages). That's not a surprise, because this is an important and ambitious project. But there's a story behind the story that likely won't get the attention that it deserves, and that's what this blog post is about. (Disclosure: the AllSeen Alliance is a Linux Collaboration Project—the 11th so far—and I assisted in its structuring and launch.) » Read more

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