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TOS Consortium Discussion

This is a historical page.
The group described by this page is forming at
Please see for the archived version of this page.

The Teaching Open Source track at FSOSS 2008 converged on the idea of a Consortium to further the discussion between Open Source Communities, Educational Institutions, and Businesses. This page is devoted to concrete planning for such a group.

Two primary goals for this group:

  • To provide a place to work out Open Source educational models, support and funding schemes, community relationships, and other issues.
  • To advocate for the changes that are necessary to further the goal of teaching Open Source.

Roll Call

Teaching Open Source? Support the teaching of Open Source? Join the Coalition of the Willing: TOS: Roll Call

E-mail List

Let's use the OSIE-list (, for initial discussion.

Notes from discussion whiteboard

Apprentice and teaching models

  • How do open source projects contribute time, energy
  • Financial models
  • Bringing open source into humanities/social sciences

System Biz model vs. Practice Skill

  • List of "drivers" (modules, software) that need to be written (What has value [to the community]?)
  • Hand holding to point contributors to a useful and good place
  • Application of projects to Google Summer of Code (GSOC) requires additional tasks that need work
  • Profiling of projects
  • Creation of "safe places" where flames are low - newbie lists
  • Welcome forums for things other than code

Professional incentives

  • Skills to teach OS
  • How to embed in a community
  • Offices of technical transfer
  • Tenure, research, training
  • Teach open source culture to students earlier in program
  • Adopt open source software

What can we do together going forward?

  • Academics
  • Business
  • Foundations
  • Open source communities
  • Outline who is out there doing what
  • Consortium of "us" -- people serious about growing teaching model (funding)
  • Identify 1 or 2 new places where open source can be taught
  • How do you educate government?
    • Get serious partners

Key lessons

  • Publications¬†!= open source participation
  • Develop understanding of value
  • No incentive (personal)
  • Sponsors
    • Real contribution
    • Reading of talent
  • Have open source contributors "in residence" at universities
  • Generate confidence by participating
  • Trust and validation
  • Expanding academics involved + business schools
  • How do we evaluate students?
  • How do we get involved?
  • Senior open source people mentored the professor and conveyed reputation
  • What do programs need to competent
  • Community's investment in teaching or helping teaching
  • What's the upper limit of a community/growth?
    • Godfrey
  • How do open source communities structure themselves to be open to participation and scalable?
  • Involve technical writing program
  • Colleges vs. universities == teaching vs. research
  • Focus on campuses not in the value network of proprietary software companies

Proposed Initiatives

  • Create a peer-reviewed Journal of open source development
  • Encourage universities to view Code Development as Research and Open Source as Peer-Reviewed Publication
  • Create a taxonomy of Open Source educational levels