Open Source Software (OSS) part1

So I’ve been doing some research on OSS. I’m trying to prepare a presentation on the topic. Originally, I was planning on doing “Open Source Development” (ridiculously ironic considering the amount of OSS development I do…) but before I get into that, I wanted to be clear on what “Open Source” actually was. I’ve had a big interest in OSS and followed it for quite a while, but I’ve never bothered to become familiar with terms and licenses and history. It’s really quite interesting, but pretty overwhelming. I think I may have to change it to “An Introduction to OSS.” Which is fine, I guess.

So far, I’ve got lots of notes on different licenses, examples of software and bits of history about the software. I hope to incorporate some information and history on the figureheads of the “movement,” as it’s really interesting. At least, I find it really interesting. I’d also like to go over culture (goes with licenses), OSS development models, and development tools.

I must say, the Wikipedia entry on ESR (author of “The Cathedral and the Bazaar“) is absolutely hilarious. I’m talking serious LOL-material, here. It’s almost not work-safe. Careful.

Anyways, I’m curious, if you are not terribly familiar with OSS (or even if you are), what are some topics you’d like to see in a presentation about OSS? Anything specific to development? Add your suggestions to the comments on this post.

I’ll end with this amusing quote from


Publishers often refer to prohibited copying as “piracy.” In this way, they imply that illegal copying is ethically equivalent to attacking ships on the high seas, kidnapping and murdering the people on them.

If you don’t believe that illegal copying is just like kidnapping and murder, you might prefer not to use the word “piracy” to describe it. Neutral terms such as “prohibited copying” or “unauthorized copying” are available for use instead. Some of us might even prefer to use a positive term such as “sharing information with your neighbor.”

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4 Comments on “Open Source Software (OSS) part1”

  1. siuyee Says:

    The restrictions of GNU GPL and when not to use it for your open-source project.

  2. popeko Says:

    I have some music to share with you neighbour

  3. Alex Says:

    Information grows when shared. I dream of one day when the software development models are different. Like, a piece of software is paid a lumpsum for development, and then it can be legally copied limitlessly.

  4. » Blog Archive » Open Source Software (OSS) part2 Says:

    […] I blogged previously that I was creating a presentation on OSS. Since then, for various reasons, the direction of the presentation has changed. It has become more focused (a good thing), but I’m still looking for input. The new focus will be on Open Source in Vancouver. (Incidentally, that’s also the title. ) I will be focusing on what OSS people in Vancouver are doing (their projects), what the current state of the OSS community is, and possible ways to improve it. Or, at least, open a discussion on this. […]

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