open source - Page number 56

Student participation in open source projects (A professor's perspective)

I must start by thanking Mel Chua for visiting us in Connecticut and for prompting/prodding me to think more deeply about how open source and academia work together to accomplish education. I believe I now have a better picture of student and academic participation in open source projects.

» Read more

11 Comments

Herding cats for social equity

It seems that no matter how often you do it, organizing nearly one hundred right-brained people is a little like herding cats.

They came from all walks of life. Some studied at prestigious art schools. Others are self-taught. Some are already retired from careers in publishing, or as curators of large galleries; others are still in high school. An eclectic mix of » Read more

0 Comments

Can rapid prototying work for your creative project?

The open source community has a phrase for the principle of rapid prototyping: “Release early, release often.” The theory is sound: Don’t wait until a project is perfect to share it. Instead, keep producing work so more people can experience it, react to it, find bugs, and improve it.

But does the principle also work in a creative environment? Ideas are fragile. Their merit is judged not just on the idea, but the quality of the execution. Often they need to be protected just to get that far. All it takes is one naysayer to sweep the legs out from under your idea.
» Read more

4 Comments

Telling the open source story - Part 1

As open source software becomes more mainstream, it's easy to forget how amazing it is. Countless individuals, donating their time and sharing their brainpower, work to build a shared infrastructure on which the world's computing is done. Amazing. Even more amazing, in survey after survey, the big reason open source contributors give for their participation is that it's "fun." Even more amazing than that is the rate at which this technology improves because people are having fun building it.

Wikipedia, the free internet encyclopedia that anyone can write or edit, is no less amazing. Yet as it gains legitimacy, the exciting story of how it is created and renewed--daily, perpetually--is de-emphasized. Yes, Wikipedia is imperfect. By design, it will always be a work in progress. But because there is a collective human impulse to share knowledge, the fact that anyone can improve it any time they want, means that someone always will.

» Read more

6 Comments

Open standards policy in India: A long, but successful journey

Last week, India became another major country to join the growing, global open standards movement. After three years of intense debate and discussion, India's Department of IT in India finalized its Policy on Open Standards for e-Governance, joining the ranks of emerging economies like Brazil, South Africa and others. » Read more

3 Comments

Open thread: How do you describe open source to the uninitiated?

It happens all the time. You're at a party, someone asks about your work, and yet again, you have about 45 seconds to describe one of the greatest innovations in human history.

There's the public utility metaphor. The shared infrastructure "like a bridge or a road" idea. Waterworks. Rural electric co-op's.The car with the hood welded shut. The Wikipedia analogy. The scholarly tradition. Libraries. The scientific method. Bucket brigades, quilting bees, and barn raisings. Seed banks and sustainable agriculture.

When we try to explain open source ideas to people » Read more

7 Comments

Frontiers in Education: A recap

A number of folks from the Teaching Open Source community had a panel at the Frontiers in Education 2010 conference, which is attended by college and university professors interested in improving engineering education.
1 Comment

Ben Brown on open source journalism, PeoplePods, and parties

Build a community by throwing a big party. Straight-up advice from Ben Brown, cofounder of the product design firm, XOXCO, Inc. And that's just one little nugget of information about online community-building that Ben is sharing. He's got 15 years of experience doing this, so get ready to take notes.

Brown is a software designer and a veteran of many online communities. He's been building websites since the mid-1990's and mixing it up with social media since before it was called social media. You could say he's a pioneer in community-building. Now he's using his experience to build a toolkit called Peoplepods--that might just redefine the future of community sites.

Do you want to know what the future of online community looks like? Me too. We asked Ben for his thoughts. » Read more

0 Comments

Three unspoken blockers that prevent professors from teaching open source community participation

One of the hardest things about trying to bridge two worlds--for instance, open source communities and academic institutions--is all the stuff you don't hear on a daily basis when you're working remotely. Sometimes it takes several rounds of garlic bread and pasta for people to begin articulating what's blocking them from teaching their students how to participate in FOSS communities. Sebastian Dziallas and I sat down last weekend at the 2010 Frontiers in Education conference with a group of professors from the Teaching Open Source community. "What are the biggest blockers that you're facing in doing this," we asked, "that people in the open source world just don't know about or understand?" Here are their answers.

» Read more

17 Comments

Poll: Where do we live?

Global map

The opensouce.com community is growing fast, and we're trying to figure out who we are and what we care about. The more we know about ourselves, the more relevant our content and discussions will be.

These polls aren't scientific, but they will give us a useful snapshot of of our growing community, so we can plan better for the future.

Feel free to tell us more about you in the comments.

1 Comment