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Seminar Title: Involvement in Open Source
Presenter: Luke Myers
Brief Description: An introduction to student involvement in the open source community. Will cover joining a project, beginning a new project, and spreading the 'open' philosophy in local businesses and schools.
Equipment/Supplies Needed: None.

Description and Outline of Topic: Involvement in Open Source
I. Open Source Explained
A. The difference between open and closed (proprietary) software
B. Myths
1. Open software is inferior
2. Closed software is inferior
3. Anyone can contribute and, therefore, there are likely to be holes or bugs in the code
4. It is impossible to make a profit with free software
C. Why FLOSS (Free/Libre/Open Source Software) is viable in the businesses environment
1. Free as in freedom
a. Companies can charge for software
b. Consulting and other subscription-based charges
2. Developer success stories
a. Red Hat (Fedora Core, RH Enterprise Linux)
b. Novell (SuSE, Novell Enterprise Linux)
c. IBM (Anything you can imagine, honestly)
d. Sun Microsystems (
e. Apple (OpenDarwin)
3. End-User success stories
a. Casas Bahia
b. Orbitz
c. Fox SportsLine
d. Government
i. Munich, Chicago, other cities
ii. Brazil (yes, the whole country)
D. How all this applies to students
II. Becoming familiar with the community
A. Wealth of choices
B. Finding the right project
1. Interests
2. Abilities
a. Current abilities
b. Mentors, developing new abilities
3. Time
4. My own experiences with choosing an open source project to contribute to
a. The Lingucomponent of
b. How I found Lingucomponent
C. Joining the project
1. Joining a mailing list
a. Introducing yourself
b. Becoming a regular
c. Professionalism
D. Contributing to the project
1. Offering patches/new code
2. Helping other new members to the community
III. When current projects do not fit your needs
A. When to start your own project
1. If there is a clear need for something that is not present in a current project
2. Asking for support in your current project first
3. My own experiences with beginning the ConjuGNU project
B. Starting your own project
1. Finding a home for your project
a. Choosing between Savanah, SourceForge, etc.
b. The application
c. Tips for acceptance
2. Encouraging growth
a. Making a website
b. Starting an email list or forum
c. Friends, etc.
C. Continuing with your project
IV. “Marketing”
A. Find something that needs to be done in your school or in a local business that could be done more effectively with FLOSS
B. Showing the benefits of the open product
1. Demonstrations
2. When to stop, what not to do
C. Convincing the administration
D. Deploying the solution
E. Examples
1. QEMU in schools
2. for neighbors/relatives
3. Club demonstrations/discussions
a. LiveCD Linux distributions
b. Starting a discussion on FLOSS
V. Questions

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