Monday, November 7, 2011

Sourceforge and Free Open Source Software



What is it? It is a global free, open source software development community.


Define FOSS: four freedoms, GPL, FDL, CC, shareware, freeware

Teachers & Students

Exploring Sourceforge: Find useful software: long tail, bazaar

Exercise: find projects related to other presentation topics [4-5 minutes]

Example: text to speech (examine espeak file speak_lib.h)

Teachers & Students

Course Design Practices

  • Integrate existing projects (audacity, espeak)

  • Create custom applications

  • Create mini-lessons, learning objects that link to Merlot (GPL or FDL)

Example: audio virtual reality electronic literature (symposia symposia.cpp)


Digital Humanities Assignment Component

  • Create projects related to coursework

  • Evaluate projects for a course task

  • System-level examination of license and copyright notices for FOS compliance


Development (smaller percentage of students have commit rights)

  • programming

  • bug fixes

  • testing


Service Learning opportunities (majority of students document (Yeats))

  • manuals (espeakedit)

  • web sites

  • wikis

  • bug reports (user-centered design)

  • feature requests (user-centered design)


Unrestricted Public Record of Achievement: For portfolios, applications, resumes

Teachers & Students

Raymond, Eric S. The Cathedral and the Bazaar. (Rev. ed.). Sebastopol, Calif.: O'Reilly, 2001.

Stallman, Richard. Free Software, Free Society: Selected Essays of Richard M. Stallman. Boston: GNU Press. 2010.

Yeats, David. “The Role for Technical Communicators in Open-Source Software Development.” Technical Communication 55.1 (February 2008): 38-44.

If there is one takeaway, it is to read Yeats and realize that in most classes only a small percentage will be programmers. And also that paste from Libre Office is flawed.

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