[svlug] a course on managing open source...

Jan Van Bruaene jan.vanbruaene at gmail.com
Thu Jul 14 20:55:17 PDT 2005


Sameer -

It would be highly beneficial to the business target
audience to understand which open source projects have
been successful and why. Your outline, and others on the alias,
already discus licenses. La-li-la - the license is often the headline
grabbing piece, and highly politically charged. But what next?
One still has to create a development community, commit
hierarchy, a test and release group, etc. Just pushing source
with a GPL heading won't cut it. So, take both a successful
open source community (my favorite methodology: Apache)
and a non-successful project.

Jan



On Jul 13, 2005, at 11:38 PM, Richard Sharpe wrote:

> On Wed, 13 Jul 2005, Sameer Verma wrote:
>
>> Dear SVLUG members,
>> I will be teaching a course titled "Managing Open Source" at San
>> Francisco State University. This course is being offered as a
>> graduate/undergraduate cross-listed course by the Information Systems
>> department in the College of Business. As the title suggests, the 
>> focus
>> of the course will be business-oriented for most part. A proposed 
>> course
>> outline is listed at the end of this e-mail.
>
> This seems to me to be a good thing, because I have seen far too many
> cases of people in the business end of the company who do not 
> understand
> the range of open source licences and who insist on frothing at the 
> mouth
> about the "viral" natrure of open source software, when a little clear
> thinking would reveal that there nothing to be afraid of and that you 
> have
> to understand your risks and obligations.
>
>> I would really appreciate feedback from the community.
>>
>> 1) What would you like to see in a course like this?
>
> An overview of common software structures/architectures so that any
> discussion of licences can be done in perspective.
>
> A discussion of the more common open source licence type with an
> indication of what they allow you to do and what they bind you to, ie 
> what
> your obligations are.
>
> A discussion on how to deal ethically with the open source community.
>
> Pointing out that using GNU tools inhouse does not oblige you to make 
> your
> source available if it is all developed by you, and pointing out where 
> in
> the product development process open source might be used ...
>
>> 2) What is the most critically needed area of education that an 
>> analyst
>> or manager should get with respect to open source?
>> 3) Would you expect a course like this to be a "Get the Facts" type or
>> more along the lines of a "We report, you decide" ?
>> 4) What kind of activities would be more suitable: Hands-on, exams,
>> papers, presentations?
>
> Perhaps they should do a business case for a new software product where
> OSS is used both in the development of the product (ie as support 
> tools)
> and where OSS of some sort is actually part of the shipped product.
>
>> 5) Do you expect such a course to fly in a business curriculum?
>
> I think so because I see lots of interest in using OSS but lots of
> confusion.
>
> I wish you luck on this.
>
> Regards
> -----
> Richard Sharpe, rsharpe[at]richardsharpe.com, rsharpe[at]samba.org,
> sharpe[at]ethereal.com, http://www.richardsharpe.com
>
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