Last month I was honored to be a keynote speaker at the Conference on Software Engineering Education and Training (CSEE&T) annual meeting. Open Source has become a major topic on campuses, not just the enterprise, and I was delighted to meet with some of the leaders in setting the agenda for software engineering education.
When I was a student in the School of Engineering and Applied Science at the University of Pennsylvania, I did not give to much thought about how the faculty chose to teach Sorting and Searching and not DOS for Idiots or why the core curriculum was constructed in one way and not another. At the time it all seemed like useful and exciting stuff to me, and I learned it all (as best I could).
I recently got myself a Flickr Pro account, and have been using Flickr for more of my photos. I find myself more and more annoyed at the rough edges in the Flickr user interface. For example, when you want to delete a tag from something, you click on the [x] to the right of the tag. Flickr asks you "Do you want to delete the tag?" Cancel/Ok:
For the past several years I've printed various documents at home by sending them to my wife Amy with a request "Please print...". And after several years we both know that Adobe Acrobat version 5 for Mac works far, far better than any subsequent release from Apple or Adobe, at least for the pdf documents I create on Linux. But how crazy is it that I don't have my own printer?
We're realizing is that Open Source is more than just free software. Free software is like free rocks. You need rocks, but rocks aren't enough to build a house. You get the Open Source effect only when you have a pyramid of people (roles, actually -- you can still get the Open Source effect if one person fulfills all these roles) associated with the project:
/ Editors \
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/ Contributors \
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This report is a summary of Zak Greant's Open Source Initiative activities for the weeks of March 30th to April 5th and April 6th to 12th, 2008.
... based on an extensive screening of software companies, with more than 700 responses.
Analysis shows that close to 50% of the software industry integrate OSS components into vertical solutions serving all major business sectors.
In addition, more than 30% of the companies using OSS components have over 40% of their income from OSS related services or software.