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FLOSSCom Workshop Greece


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This is a presentation from the team of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki who conducted a workshop on open source principles in education.

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FLOSSCom Workshop Greece

  1. 1. Workshop Event : Learning with/in FLOSS Website: Speaker : Sulayman K Sowe Email: [email_address] Place : Aristotle University Date : Thursday, May 31, 2007                       
  2. 2. Topic & Contents <ul><li>The Definition and Working Framework Of FLOSS Environments </li></ul><ul><li>What is FLOSS </li></ul><ul><li>What are FLOSS Communities </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Members, Roles, and Transition </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Learning & Knowledge Sharing in FLOSS </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Group learning in FLOSS </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Bridging the Learning Context, FLOSS Style ( Mark Jewell ) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>How to contribute in FLOSS </li></ul>
  3. 3. What is FLOSS (ELLAK) <ul><li>Many meanings </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Free Software (FS) – Free Software GNU Foundation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Open Source Software (OSS) – Open Source Initiative. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Free and Open Source Software (F/OSS) - Sweng. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Libre Software (LS) - Spain </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Free/Libre/Open Source Software (FLOSS) – Flosscom. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Concept </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Source code is free and accessible to all. People Software </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Download/use binaries, executables from Internet. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Freedom to use, modify, distribute, or even sell the software with little obligations. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>No copyright. Copyleft licenses (GPL) grants you the right to do so. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Bazaar model with hacker ethos NOT Cathedral </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Anyone can participate ( Volunteerism ) in projects, no contracts, flexible work schedules, position must be earned through contribution. </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. What are FLOSS Communities <ul><li>Special kind of online communities/Communities of practice (CoPs) </li></ul><ul><li>Main Focus: Software development, maintenance, and support. </li></ul><ul><li>Learn new coding techniques, acquire skills, share knowledge. </li></ul><ul><li>Communication & Coordination Tools </li></ul><ul><li>Frequent channels: Mailing Lists, Forums, IRC, Newsgroups. </li></ul><ul><li>Software Development: CVS, SVN, Bug trackers/Databases (bugzilla). </li></ul>
  5. 5. What are FLOSS Communities? Early communities, e.g. Linux A great babbling bazaar of differing agendas out of which a coherent and stable system (e.g. Linux OS) emerged (E. S. Raymond. 1999)
  6. 6. What are FLOSS Communities? <ul><ul><li>Members, Roles, and Transition </li></ul></ul><ul><li>In FLOSS projects all users are potential developers. Individuals volunteer to carry out project’s tasks. </li></ul><ul><li>Depending on contribution anyone can assume any role. </li></ul><ul><li>Community Structure described by “Onion” (Crowston, 2004) or “Concentric” (Sowe, 2007) model. </li></ul>
  7. 7. What are FLOSS Communities? <ul><li>(1) Core Team : Usually small (15 people), Project leader and active developers. Decision makers through consultation, contribute most of the project’s code. </li></ul><ul><li>(2) Significant/Sporadic Contributors: Peripheral & co- developers. Occasionally submit patches, contribute functionality and new features. Work reviewed by core team. More people than in (1). </li></ul><ul><li>(3) Active Users : Use software, report bugs, understands how the software works. More people than in (2). </li></ul><ul><li>(4) Passive Users-”Silent majority”: 99% of FLOSS community. Do not contribute to project activities. Just use software, lurk and ask a lot of questions. Potential active contributors to FLOSS. </li></ul>Floss community members and roles
  8. 8. What are FLOSS Communities? Role transition/migration FLOSS communities are permeable. Roles are not fixed
  9. 9. Group Learning in FLOSS Knowledge Base Community Community You want to learn something? I can’t install this software Learn Learn Learn Learn Learn I have seen how it is done! I will do it later
  10. 10. Learning & Knowledge Sharing in FLOSS What is there to help someone learn? Because of the wide variety of people participating in FLOSS, knowledge is constructed from a multiplicity of viewpoints and experiences. Motivation <ul><li>Reputation among peers </li></ul><ul><li>Extrinsic Monetary rewards </li></ul><ul><li>Future career benefits </li></ul><ul><li>Learning </li></ul>Extrinsic <ul><li>Creative pleasure (Fun to program) </li></ul><ul><li>Intrinsic Altruism </li></ul><ul><li>Sense of belonging to the community </li></ul><ul><li>Fight against proprietary software </li></ul><ul><li>Learning </li></ul>Intrinsic Description Motivation Type
  11. 11. What is there to help someone learn? <ul><li>Source code is open and free: </li></ul><ul><li>Access to large code base. </li></ul><ul><li>Access to professional programmers. </li></ul><ul><li>Leading/Latest software. “Release early and release often” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Large, Vibrant, and diverse Communities </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>There is more than one community to learn from. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Many Linux distributions are similar. Users can access many communities. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Communication and coordination: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Almost everything happen in the mailing lists. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>FLOSS projects “do not sleep” (24/7 help). But don’t sleep! </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Archives of past and present knowledge. You can revisit and re-learn. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>- More than one means of communication. You don’t like mailing lists, go to IRC </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Some Problems: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>- Too many projects and communities </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>- How to find which community or project interests you </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>- Skill barriers. Do you have to be a good programmer? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>- “Noise”, Flame-wars, feuds, RTFM </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Bridging the Learning Context, FLOSS Style Learning Content Informal Formal Context Filters Expertise Experience Interests Role Org Position Affiliations Politics Objectives Location Culture Learner FLOSS Community Group Individual Contextual Gap
  13. 13. Bridging the Gap Learner Context Filters Expertise Experience Interests Role Org Position Affiliations Politics Objectives Location Culture Contextual Gap Learning Content Informal Formal FLOSS Community Group Individual Expertise Experience Interests Role Org Position Affiliations Politics Objectives Location Culture
  14. 14. How to contribute in FLOSS <ul><li>Contribute quality: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Submit bug reports. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Suggest new features and options. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Submit some artwork (icons, backgrounds, logos) to use in the program </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Contribute documentation: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Help write and make correction in project documents. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Translate documents, program text, Website, etc into Greek. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Contribute support: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Answer questions on forums, mailing lists or IRC channels. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Help other people learn how to use the program . </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Write HOWTOs or your experience in using the software and post them in related forums. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Contribute publicity: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Write reviews and publications about FLOSS projects. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Attend seminars and workshops. </li></ul></ul>
  15. 15. FLOSScome is here for you all Thank you for your attention! Reference Sulayman K Sowe. (2007). An Empirical Study of Knowledge Sharing in Free/Open Source Software Projects. Doctoral Thesis, Department of Informatics, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece. May, 2007.