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Updated: 3 hours 36 min ago

Five common pitfalls to avoid in open source

13 hours 34 min ago

Open source software, hardware, and methods are gaining popularity and access to them couldn't be more prolific. If you're thinking about starting a new open source project, there are five common pitfalls you should be aware of before you begin.

Don't despair if you've already started your project and are just now reading this! These pointers can be helpful at any stage if things are still running smoothly.

Fail faster and succeed with open source.

5 common pitfalls of a new open source project

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BASIC programming with Gambas for the beginner programmer

15 hours 34 min ago

Scratch is a great tool for teaching programming to young children, but what happens when kids outgrow Scratch? Among Raspberry Pi aficionados, the typical answer is to advance to using Python, which is an excellent choice. However, in honor of the 50th birthday of BASIC, I would like to suggest another programming environment: Gambas.

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US government accelerating development and release of open source

17 hours 34 min ago

I had a chance to catch up with David A. Wheeler, a long-time leader in advising and working with the US government on issues related to open source software. As early as the late 1990s, David was demonstrating why open source software was integral to the US goverment IT architecture, and his personal webpage is a frequently cited source on open standards, open source software, and computer security.

In this interview, we explore the current state of use of open source software by the US government, the challenges of the Federal acquisition system, and what he's excited about as he looks ahead for open source and government.

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An introduction to the School of Open

Wed, 23/04/2014 - 11:00am

Every generation since the beginning of human existence has passed its value system, principles, methodologies, and skillsets on to the next generation. This passing on of information within cultures has been followed by the development of a systematic approach to learning techniques. Formal structures were created throughout the world to learn and apply these skillsets.

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Open source tools allow Project Tango to evolve with speed and agility

Wed, 23/04/2014 - 9:00am

Google's Project Tango is a platform for Android phones and tablets designed to track the full 3-dimensional motion of the device as you hold it, while simultaneously creating a map of the environment around it. The devices track themselves with an Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) and collect 3D points with a built-in depth-sensing camera. Project Tango is progressing at a fast pace thanks to many open source tools that facilitate the use of the 3D data. 

Only 200 of these devices have been made available to early testers and developers, and we had the luck of getting two of them at Kitware.

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TryStack makes OpenStack experimentation easy

Wed, 23/04/2014 - 7:00am

When it comes to software, the best way to learn something new, or even just figure out if it's the right tool for you, is to dig your hands in, get dirty, and try it out. For the OpenStack universe, this is where TryStack comes in.

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Code.org on reaching the next 100 million computer scientists (SIGCSE keynote)

Tue, 22/04/2014 - 11:00am

The following is an adapted transcription from the keynote address given at the 2014 SIGCSE conference by Hadi Partovi, founder of Code.org.

 

Thanks for the warm welcome!

Last year, SIGCSE (Special Interested Group on Computer Science Education) was a week after our launch. It questioned our motives, and existence. We made a video, and that that video got 12 million views, so I built an organization around it.

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7 skills to land your open source dream job

Tue, 22/04/2014 - 9:00am

"Work on stuff that matters" is a famous call to action from founder and CEO of O'Reilly Media, Tim O’Reilly. But, how about working on stuff that matters while getting paid for it? There are an abundance of open source-related jobs out there if you’ve got the right skills.

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Why an open source community beats access to tech support

Tue, 22/04/2014 - 7:00am

I’ve been using Drupal, an open source content management system (CMS), for the websites I manage for over four years now. Though there may be some quirks in working with an open source product, I cannot imagine doing it any other way.

Hesitations people may have when considering whether to use an open source product probably include the fact that you can’t just submit a helpdesk ticket when you run into a problem and expect a response within two business days. Most of the time, no single company or entity exists behind an open source project, like with a proprietary system. Instead open source has communities.

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5 key insights on the transition from Windows to Linux

Mon, 21/04/2014 - 11:00am

When I began my current job at Algoma University as the systems librarian, I really had no idea what I was getting into. Despite a decade in library information technology (IT), I felt nervous over my primary task: to help develop and administer Evergreen, an open source library catalogue system. The problem? My experience was almost totally in the world of Windows.

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The daily mission to spread open data at Open Knowledge

Mon, 21/04/2014 - 9:00am

Beatrice Martini is the Event Manager at Open Knowledge. With a successful event behind her, the Open Knowledge Conference in Geneva (2013), she is now organizing the Open Knowledge Festival in Berlin that will take place July 15 - 17.

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Embedded tech and use of Linux at the 2014 GPU Technology Conference

Mon, 21/04/2014 - 7:00am

This year I attended my first GPU Technology Conference in San Jose, California (it took place the week after the Game Developers Conference). Hosted by NVIDIA, the event featured a range of talks from a large array of market segments including automotive, motion picture, gaming, scientific, cloud, system integrators, and startups. The schedule was a mixture of three main keynotes, 500 technical sessions, hands-on programming labs, demos, and an expo floor with a large number of vendors showing their latest work.

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Oxford University opens up for National Library Week, EFF organizes college activists, and more

Fri, 18/04/2014 - 9:00am
Open source news for your reading pleasure. April 12-18, 2014

In this week's edition of our open source news roundup, we look at Oxford University's (temporarily) open resources, an open source graffiti-spraying drone, and more.

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Digital Public Library of America triples its free collections and more in year one

Fri, 18/04/2014 - 8:00am

When the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) opened last year, Carolyn Fox covered it's progress after one month in her article: Review of the new Digital Public Library of America. In it she explained that the purpose of the Library is "to provide a large-scale, national public digital library of America's archives, libraries, museums, and cultural institutions into one portal." Carolyn also pointed out the DPLA's open attributes, like:

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OpenStack Icehouse brings new features for the enterprise

Fri, 18/04/2014 - 7:00am

Deploying an open source enterprise cloud just got a little bit easier yesterday with the release of the newest version of the OpenStack platform: Icehouse. To quote an email from OpenStack release manager Thierry Carrez announcing the release, "During this cycle we added a new integrated component (Trove), completed more than 350 feature blueprints, and fixed almost 3000 reported bugs in integrated projects alone!"

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The maker movement helps transform our public libraries

Thu, 17/04/2014 - 11:00am

The small town of Bethlehem, New York purchased a 3D printer and started teaching classes at its public library recently—jumpstarting the community's knowledge of advanced manufacturing and building upon a new way of doing things in a world where physical bookstores are dissappearing.

It's true. Public libraries are reinventing themselves. Today they are becoming less of a place that hosts physical books and more of a center where people collaborate, commune, and learn new things.

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Resources for libraries exploring the open source option

Thu, 17/04/2014 - 9:00am

Libraries of all types have the same questions about open source software that are asked by technologists in other fields. Does open source make sense for me? What open source packages mesh well with the skills already in my organization? Where can I go to get training, documentation, hosting, and/or contract software development for a specific open source package?

With funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, we set out to build tools that help libraries answer these questions. These questions and answers may be useful to others as well.

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How to introduce open source to your public library

Thu, 17/04/2014 - 7:00am

I was intrigued to read this recent article in The Guardian about public libraries’ new role as community problem solvers. If you read carefully into this article you’ll notice the author talks about libraries becoming more involved with "proactive community engagement."

This means that libraries are looking to community members as partners to help solve community problems. In the open source community, we’re familiar with how well these methods can work. In open source, different players contribute to group projects according to their own personal strengths. The results can be far greater than anyone originally imagines.

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The story of Koha, the first open source library management system

Wed, 16/04/2014 - 11:00am

A small public library serving a population of 30,000 in New Zealand developed and released the world’s first open source library management system in 2000. Horowhenua Library Trust named the system Koha, which is a New Zealand Māori custom meaning gift or contribution.

This is a story of why we developed Koha and how it has changed the way we, and millions of others, work.

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Giving rise to the cloud with OpenStack Heat

Wed, 16/04/2014 - 9:00am

Setting up an application server in the cloud isn't that hard if you're familiar with the tools and your application's requirements. But what if you needed to do it dozens or hundreds of times, maybe even in one day? Enter Heat, the OpenStack Orchestration project. Heat provides a templating system for rolling out infrastructure within OpenStack to automate the process and attach the right resources to each new instance of your application.

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