DPS909 & OSD600 Winter 2017 - Lab 1

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Start blogging

Open source often happens via blog posts, with people using their blogs to write, discuss, debate, announce, plan, and learn. Consider some examples from the past week:

Having your own blog will enable you to more easily join the global open source community. A blog gives you a voice, which you can use when and how you want.

You will be required to keep a weekly blog for the duration of the course. We'll use this blog to share what we're learning, discuss open source, submit our labs and releases, etc.

In this lab you will create, configure, and use your blog for the first time.

1. Pick a Blogging Platform

If you already have a blog, you're free to use it (skip to the next section). If you don't, there are a number of free, popular blogging platforms you can use:

Take a look at the different options and choose one you like. Create an account for yourself.

2. Create a tag for "Open Source" posts

Blogging platforms allow you to tag your posts (sometimes called a "category," or a "feed"). This allows you to syndicate posts you've written on a given topic without also including others (e.g., you might want to write about "Open Source" and "Baseball" in the same blog).

Create a blog post that introduces yourself (it can be short), and add an "Open Source" tag/category/feed. Each platform is slightly different in terms of how you do this.

3. Create a Zenit Wiki account

For various aspects of the course, including this lab, you will need to be able to edit this wiki. Make sure you have an account, or request one.

4. Add your "Open Source" RSS feed to the CDOT Planet

We automatically aggregate all the blogs of our students and faculty who are working on open source at Seneca, and publish it to http://zenit.senecac.on.ca/~chris.tyler/planet/ (aka, Planet CDOT). Add your own blog's "open source" feed by following the instructions at the Planet CDOT Feed List.

5. Write a post about an Open Source Project

Pick an open source project that you find interesting and write an introductory post. You can find thousands of projects on Github:

Here are some ideas you can use to research and write about the project you choose:

  • What is it called?
  • What is the project about? What problem does it solve?
  • How old is it? When did it start?
  • Which websites are associated with it (e.g., does it have a separate site beyond Github?)
  • What language(s) is it written in?
  • How many open Issues does it have?
  • How many people have contributed to the code?
  • Who is using the project? What are they doing with it?

Your post doesn't have to be long--a few paragraphs is enough. It should serve as a gentle introduction to the project, and include links to get someone started who wants to learn more.


You will have completed your lab when your blog post from Step 5 appears on the CDOT Planet site. I will mark them as they appear there.

You should complete Lab 1 before the start of week 2.