OLITA Digital Odyssey Presentation on Open Source (with Randy Metcalfe)


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Digital Odyssey 2014 : Code, the Most Important Language in the World
Friday June 6th, 2014
9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Oakham House, Ryerson University
55 Gould St
Toronto, ON M5B 1E9

Open Source software projects and communities

Panel Speakers: Randy Metcalfe, Kirsta Stapelfeldt,

Published in: Software, Technology
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  • And relax . . .
  • FOSS is not a self-certification scheme.
  • Now with added animation for freshness!
  • Make the point that normally you won’t have to select licenses. This is a good resource for reviewing “flavours” of OSS licensing.
  • Curiously, it isn’t the fork of the software that is significant. It is only the fork of the software development community that matters.
  • Digital Asset Management Software installed in any institution with a data stewardship requirement - used for institutional repositories, digital collections, and to support collaborative research & the creation of diverse data sets
  • Developers and Librarians at UPEI familiar with OS communities, because the university uses an OS LIS.
  • Licensing was complicated (or perhaps made easier) by the dominance of very open licenses in our base systems (FedoraCommons is Apache and Drupal in GPL - 2 or later)
    This also makes for an interesting overlapping community, since developers work across the cultures of multiple open source software projects
    University administrations and private sector groups both found the open source model challenging. I must have spent 20% of my time explaining things or trying to get round pegs into square holes.
  • A clearly articulated governance model informs potential contributors how their contributions will be received, decided upon, and accepted.
  • Where does the project that you are looking at fit? Has the project shifted its position on the square of openness over time?

    benevolent dictator
  • difference between an open source project like VLC Media player, and an open source project like Islandora
    One is commonly used by an individual for a common need (playing media) and is installed on a desktop, and one is commonly a server-based installation adopted by an institution for digital archiving
    The latter type of project can rarely be sustained by developers alone building something for their own use and sharing it.
  • Many roles in community management and development - and vibrant, large community is essential.
  • Although they can be for developers
  • 8 roles that I saw come up - not discreet. You belong to the community from the moment you start using the software. A Critical mass required for the success of any OS community, so being present is important.
  • Always the first to install a release candidate on a non-standard platform, and write a bug report that includes screenshots, details of the base system, and all steps needed to reproduce the issue.
  • Teachers start answering questions on the listserv as soon as possible and are always happy to share what they’ve learned.
  • These people have a visual sense. They design and provide feedback on interfaces and websites and create artwork/Graphics (icons, logos, banners, labels, team t-shirts)
  • Organizes the meet-up at any conference so that everybody gets a chance to meet in real life - shares a story and experiences by tweeting, blogging, and otherwise talking about the software and acknowledging its contributors. These people listen to the community; work within it, and contribute to its norms, and generally improve connections between people.
  • They might not have time to develop or write documentation, but the bankroller finds a way to sponsor the time of others, and writes grants in such a way to make space for OS project development.
  • The responsible manager fosters a team that develops with the OS community in mind, and provides time for developers to publish back to the codebase.
  • OLITA Digital Odyssey Presentation on Open Source (with Randy Metcalfe)

    1. 1. Open Source software projects and communities Randy Metcalfe Kirsta Stapelfeldt
    2. 2. This morning: ❖ licences ❖ communities ❖ projects
    3. 3. And relax . . .
    4. 4. It’s all about the licence.
    5. 5. It’s all about the licence. If it doesn’t have a FOSS licence, it isn’t FOSS.
    6. 6. What is FOSS? A clunky way of avoiding the difference between free software and open source software.
    7. 7. Free Software Foundation https://www.gnu.org/licenses/license-list.html Open Source Initiative http://opensource.org/licenses
    8. 8. It starts with the licence because: ❖ software begins as text ❖ text is copyright ❖ a copyright licence sets out the conditions of use ❖ a permissive licence can be crafted to promote the freedom to run, study, adapt, redistribute, and modify the original text or source code
    9. 9. Four Freedoms 1. freedom to run the program for any purpose 2. freedom to study how the program works and adapt it to your needs 3. freedom to redistribute copies so that you can help your neighbour 4. freedom to improve the program and release your improvements to the public so that the whole community benefits https://www.gnu.org/philosophy/free-sw.html Open Source Criteria 1. free redistribution 2. source code 3. derived work 4. integrity of the author’s source code 5. no discrimination against persons or groups 6. no discrimination against fields of endeavour 7. distribution of licence 8. licence must not be specific to a product 9. licence must not restrict other software 10.licence must be technology neutral http://opensource.org/osd
    10. 10. The significance of FOSS: ❖ Access to the source code enables us to learn from the work of others ❖ Freedom to modify the code enables us to build on the work of others ❖ Freedom to distribute our modified code allows the process of learning and growth to be iterative ❖ Natural tendency toward communal development to leverage efficiency from shared goals
    11. 11. It’s all about the licence. But which licence?
    12. 12. Kuali OLE - Educational Community License NewGenLib - GPL OPALS - GPL Fedora Repository - Apache EPrints - GPL Open Harvester Systems - GPL Lucene - Apache VuFind - GPL Moodle - GPL Drupal - GPL SubjectsPlus - GPL CUFTS - GPL
    13. 13. It doesn’t need to be scary: http://choosealicense.com/
    14. 14. It’s not all about the licence.
    15. 15. It’s not all about the licence. Once the software is released, the pressure is on to create some form of open development community. Because of the permanent possibility of a fork.
    16. 16. It’s all about the community.
    17. 17. Islandora http://islandora.ca/
    18. 18. History ● Began life @ UPEI in 2006 (librarians + developers working to meet the needs of researchers while following best-practices for data stewardship) ● Designed to meet the diverse needs of digital asset management in all areas ● Key requirements: o Interoperability and open standards o Change over time in keeping with emerging best practice
    19. 19. History Atlantic Innovation Fund grant from 2010- 2013 funded development and staff for the project, ending in Summer 2013. Small local team to an international community
    20. 20. Growing the Community ❖ documentation, releases, and presentations at conferences ❖ helping others implementing the software (multiple projects) ❖ created opportunities for communication between implementers (two-way communication channels) ❖ private services company (discoverygarden inc)
    21. 21. Present Day Islandora Foundation A soliciting non-profit founded in July, 2013 to steward the Islandora project and future development of both the software and the community. Member supported: ❖ Partners - $10,000 ❖ Collaborators - $4000 ❖ Members - $2000
    22. 22. Islandora Community ❖ Foundation Board ➢ Staff ❖ User groups ➢ Google Groups ■ Users - 471 members ■ Devs - 172 members ➢ Camps ➢ Interest Groups ❖ Committees ➢ Committers ➢ Roadmap ❖ Volunteers ➢ Code Reviewers ➢ Release Managers ➢ Testers ➢ Developers
    23. 23. Volunteers ❖ Code Reviewers ➢ Release Manager ➢ Component Manager ➢ Reviewer ❖ Testers ➢ Any user who wants to download RC code/VMs to try out. Aimed at end users. ❖ Developers ➢ Anyone who contributes modules, tools, forms, or any other code back to the community. ➢ CLA to accept contributions under a GNU license. ➢ Software Acceptance Procedure to define the steps. Continuous Integration Server (Travis)
    24. 24. It’s all about the community. Development communities come in all shapes and sizes.
    25. 25. Get your shoes on . . .
    26. 26. It’s all about the community. When you first encounter and begin learning about some FOSS project you are already coming to grips with its particular community.
    27. 27. square of openness more open to participatory governance
    28. 28. Roles in FOSS communities.
    29. 29. One community model does not fit all open source projects.
    30. 30. Code is not the most important language in the world.
    31. 31. “I’m not a developer.” Common non-developer roles in FOSS communities.
    32. 32. Bonus Points: ● Joins the mailing lists ● Always in IRC channel ● Happy to work with tickets user
    33. 33. ● Writes & edits docs ● Translates ● Reports Typos doc guru
    34. 34. ● Installs new releases ● Reports & verifies bugs QA helper
    35. 35. teacher● answers questions on listserv ● always happy to share what they’ve learned
    36. 36. artist● provide feedback on interface websites ● create artwork/graphics (icons, logos, etc)
    37. 37. promoter● tweets, blogs and talks about experience ● meets up IRL
    38. 38. bankroll● sponsors time of others ● writes grants that make space for generalized development
    39. 39. ● keep OS community in mind ● budgets time and resources to contribute back good manager
    40. 40. It’s not all about the community.
    41. 41. It’s not all about the community. ❖ your time is finite ❖ your work is not always your own ❖ you have specific goals
    42. 42. square of engagement more use of the software
    43. 43. Reasons for selecting a FOSS project: ❖ it’s what my friends are doing ❖ it seems really popular and well run ❖ its proposed functionality and development roadmap make it the ideal choice for my institution even if it is some years away even from a beta release ❖ my boss told me I had to ❖ I just like this kind of thing ❖ lots more . . .
    44. 44. Does it matter why you get involved?
    45. 45. Does it matter why you get involved? No.
    46. 46. Things to remember.
    47. 47. Ah . . .
    48. 48. Things to remember: ❖ you are joining an ongoing conversation ❖ you are engaging with the current version of an open development community ❖ communities change over time ❖ your participation in the community will change it
    49. 49. Thanks!
    50. 50. Acknowledgements ● All photos copyright Randy Metcalfe ● The “square of engagement” first discussed in a blog post (Dec., 2008) by Randy Metcalfe, http://www.eifl.net/news/square-engagement ● The “square of openness” was used in a briefing note on “Governance Models” (Feb., 2010) by Ross Gardler and Gabriel Hanganu of OSS Watch, http://oss- watch.ac.uk/resources/governancemodels ● many thanks to pinterest user utehil for locating a lego minifigure template! http://www.pinterest.com/utehil/birthday-party-lego/