Building Open Source Communities In Higher Education

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  • Establish credibility Who are we? Jose starts SLOW DOWN.
  • SLOW DOWN
  • SLOW DOWN
  • Justin will continue talking after this slide.
  • Trac is modified BSD version 0.10.4 Elgg is GPL 2 version 0.9.2 All of our new code is GPL2
  • Jose takes over after this slide.
  • Justin will start talking after this slide, finishing the presentation.
  • Friend recommendations Better marketplace support Karma
  • Beaversource is for students by students Combining project management with social networking to help bring out the open source in everyone. Not a competition.
  • Building Open Source Communities In Higher Education

    1. BUILDING OPEN SOURCE COMMUNITIES IN HIGHER EDUCATION Jose Cedeno Justin Gallardo
    2. What you will hear in this talk <ul><li>Online communities
    3. How to build and maintain an open source community in higher education
    4. What challenges college students face when trying to join OSS projects
    5. How we are trying to address some of these problems through Beaversource </li></ul>
    6. What you won't hear in this talk <ul><li>Lots of talk about Facebook, Twitter, Winko and other social networks
    7. A magic solution that will work for all communities
    8. Only a bunch of statistics or technical paper talk </li></ul>
    9. College students get a degree, but most do not possess the skills to successfully join an open source project The problem:
    10. Challenges That Students Face <ul><li>Most likely lack the following basic OSS development skills: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Code repository knowledge
    11. Code review knowledge
    12. Open Source style documentation
    13. Dealing and working with large repository
    14. Filing good bug reports
    15. Collaborating online with other OSS peers
    16. RTFM </li></ul></ul>
    17. Collaboration within OSU <ul><li>At the time that the OSS problem of college students was being worked on at OSU, other people within OSU had similar problems.
    18. Departments around OSU wanted an easy way to share code and make it publicly available for other developers at OSU </li></ul>
    19. Our Solution <ul><li>An open source code hosting solution that also combines some of the common social networking features.
    20. Make it easy for people to find each other and projects they might be interested
    21. Create a safe haven where students do not feel intimidated by feedback. </li></ul>
    22. Our Solution
    23. Features Offered by Other Sites <ul><li>We looked at SourceForge, GitHub, Apache Incubator, and Google Code. They had the features below in common: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>SCM
    24. Wiki
    25. Finding people and other projects
    26. Forums
    27. Mailing lists
    28. Bug Tracker </li></ul></ul>
    29. Sandbox Concept <ul><li>We want to provide a sandbox area where students interested in OSS can play around in a supportive environment while learning
    30. As a CS freshman advances in his or her degree, they start building a portfolio. The various projects that they have worked on are easily available online </li></ul>
    31. What is Beaversource? http://beaversource.oregonstate.edu <ul><li>An open source program that combines Elgg’s social networking features with Trac’s project management tools
    32. A collaboration project between College of Engineering, Central Web Services, University Housing and Dining and Network Engineering at Oregon State University
    33. Funding for the project was also provided by an NSF grant </li></ul>
    34. Trac <ul><li>This is a project management written for developers by developers using Python.
    35. The features it provides are: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Bug tracking
    36. Wiki
    37. SCM
    38. Browsing code online
    39. Statistics </li></ul></ul>
    40. Bug Tracker
    41. Browsing Code
    42. Wiki
    43. Project Statistics
    44. Trac Technical Details <ul><li>Runs on Python
    45. Postgres backend
    46. Multi-project support
    47. Automated project creation and management
    48. Subversion
    49. Using 0.10.x right now, looking to upgrade to 0.11.x </li></ul>
    50. Current Limitations <ul><li>We do not have true multi-project support in Trac </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Lack of aggregation </li><ul><li>Tickets
    51. Changesets
    52. Statistics </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>A new set of users is created when a new project is created
    53. We are running an old version of Trac </li></ul>
    54. Why is the social side important? <ul><li>Makes it easy for students to find each other
    55. People not aware of CS can use the social site and find out more about CS
    56. Projects can communicate with users, have discussions and a more user friendly frontend
    57. The profile page of a student becomes their portfolio after a few years
    58. We can boost student support using things like Karma </li></ul>
    59. Elgg <ul><li>One of the few open source social networking sites that we can use as a framework.
    60. It provides us with the features below </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Friends
    61. Project Profiles
    62. Forums </li></ul></ul>
    63. Promoting Projects
    64. User Profile
    65. Browsing Friends
    66. Project Profile
    67. Forums
    68. Marketplace
    69. Tag Cloud
    70. Elgg Technical Details <ul><li>Runs on PHP5
    71. Supports MySQL database (we’re using postgres)
    72. It provides basic level file caching
    73. We are in the process of upgrading from 0.9.x to 1.5 </li></ul>
    74. Current Limitations <ul><li>We are running an old version of Elgg which gives us many limitations </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Limited functionality for forums
    75. Limited functionality for project profiles
    76. Communities cannot have page
    77. Not very polished code or API </li></ul></ul>
    78. Results so far <ul><li>500+ users
    79. 50+ projects
    80. Lower level classes are using Beaversource
    81. Students are giving us plenty of feedback in the form of bug tickets :) </li></ul>
    82. Giving back to the Community <ul><li>We have provided patches for Elgg in the past
    83. As we find bugs, we file them in Elgg’s bug tracker
    84. We are providing a patch to Elgg1.5 to support postgres databases
    85. We idle and participate in #elgg </li></ul>
    86. Future Plans <ul><li>We are in the process of moving hosts. Beaversource will be hosted by the OSL
    87. We are upgrading to Elgg1.5 which will give us better support for user profiles and communities
    88. We will be doing a homepage redesign and fixing more UI problems
    89. Improve documentation
    90. Track website traffic better </li></ul>
    91. More OSS at OSU <ul><li>OSWALD </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Small device with embedded Linux where students can write and test apps
    92. http://beaversource.oregonstate.edu/social/cspfl </li></ul></ul><ul><li>OSEL </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Help promote open source in classes, organizes events and newsletters
    93. http://osel.oregonstate.edu </li></ul></ul>
    94. More OSS at OSU <ul><li>CWS </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Deploys many websites and tools for the university using open source programs
    95. http://oregonstate.edu/cws </li></ul></ul><ul><li>OSL </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Provides hosting for popular open source projects while providing great work experience to students
    96. http://osuosl.org </li></ul></ul>
    97. Conclusion
    98. Questions? <ul><li>Jose Cedeno </li></ul><ul><ul><li>[email_address]
    99. http://beaversource.oregonstate.edu/social/cedenoj </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Justin Gallardo </li></ul><ul><ul><li>[email_address]
    100. http://beaversource.oregonstate.edu/social/gallardj </li></ul></ul>
    101.  
    102. Educator Point of view <ul><li>You have to make it easy for the teacher
    103. Documentation and instructions are a must
    104. We are not trying to replace the existing tools that the teachers have </li></ul>
    105. Why not just use Facebook? <ul><li>We wanted to integrate the social aspect with the coding
    106. Launchpad and Ubuntu are also trying to combine the social and coding aspect
    107. We are not trying to compete with facebook </li></ul>
    108. Are we taking students from OSS? <ul><li>Short Answer: No
    109. We want to be just a starting point for them
    110. As their project grows and they require a more robust infrastructure they may choose to move on to SourceForge or GoogleCode </li></ul>
    111. Why not use git? <ul><li>Trac comes with built-in support for SVN
    112. Git does not have as robust or user friendly GUI programs for Windows
    113. People can use git-svn </li></ul>

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