DPS909/OSD600 Fall 2017 Lab 1
The "open" in "Open Source" means more than just that the code is available. Real open source is open in terms of its process, too: open source is about working in the open. A big part of working in the open is writing about that work, teaching one another things we discover as we go, and helping to draw attention to important ideas. Blogging is a major part of open source, and we'll use our blogs to write, discuss, debate, announce, plan, and learn.
Open source also values writing like this for the historical perspective it gives. Long after project or code decisions are made, we often need and want to go back and understand why things happened as they did. Blogging contributes to the historical record.
Finally, blogging provides a way to capture our hard word and contributions. When students are applying for jobs, it's helpful to have something they can point to, in order to showcase their previous work. By keeping a blog now, you help build a record of your abilities, experience, and contributions.
Consider some example blog posts from the past few weeks:
- Steps to Better Code: a guide for beginners
- The sudden death and eternal life of Solaris
- How I replicated an $86 million project in 57 lines of code
- HSBC is killing my business, piece by piece — How to plan for your bank screwing up
- All Hands On Deck – How you can use your skills to contribute to Firefox 57 success
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.
Please add a line for your blog in the following table: