Join your colleagues from the convenience of your desk for a free two-day symposium on sustainable open source practices from the perspective of the software project communities and from the software project adopters. There is no cost for participating in the open symposium. The costs are funded by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Registration links and other details are on this page:
Successful open source projects have support structures where bugs are reported, code enhancements are created and reviewed, documentation provided, and user questions answered. In mainstream open source projects, the core people in those support structures usually come from companies with a vested interest in the ongoing health of the software. (At times, one company will be the primary driver of ongoing support for a project. At other times, a consortium of cooperating companies will provide ongoing support.) In projects from the cultural heritage community -- libraries, archives, museums -- the source of ongoing support varies widely: grant subsidized funding, in-kind donations of staff time to work on a project's community-focused needs, voluntary monetary donations or memberships to non-profit stewards of a project, sales of services by non-profit stewards to cross-subsidize community needs, and often a combination of all of these possibilities.
The purpose of the symposium is to provide managers of open source software projects and organization leaders with details about support practices in use in the field and to further the cooperation of cultural heritage organizations towards common interests in sustainable open source.
The symposium runs from 12:30pm to 3:30pm EDT on September 24 and 25, 2014, and includes two or three 20-minute prepared talks from community leaders and panel question/answer. Colleagues are encouraged to use the public discussion site on FOSS4Lib to ask questions of each other and the panel. Find links to topics on the community discussion site at:
SEPTEMBER 24TH: CREATING THE CONDITIONS FOR COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT
If you build it, will they come? The structure for encouraging and valuing the contributions of those that adopt the code is of equal importance to the functionality of the code itself. Adopters of an open source project come to rely on the software to varying degrees. In the same way, projects rely on adopters to keep the project moving forward. This session looks at what projects can do to encourage community participation.
• Jennie Rose Halperin, Mozilla Foundation
• Megan Forbes, CollectionSpace Organizational Home
• Evviva Weinraub Lajoie, Oregon State University Libraries
• What is the most important thing a project can do to attract or retain community members? What is the most important thing it not do?
• If you had a chance to sit down with an organization considering the adoption of a package you are leading, what would you want them to understand about your community? What would you ask of them if they did decide to adopt the software?
• How has your institution participated in open source development? Describe an experience where you were turned off from contributing to an open source project.
• What role should commercial support providers of open source play in encouraging their customers to join the project's community?
SEPTEMBER 25TH: WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO ADOPT AN OPEN SOURCE PACKAGE
So, whether on your own or through a service provider you've decided to use an open source package to meet an automation need in your organization. You paid nothing for the right to run the software (although you may be paying a service provider for their support of the software), so you have no obligation to the software itself, right? Arguably not. Healthy open source software is supported by a community of users, and the other participants in the open source project are counting on your support -- financial and talent -- to keep the project growing. This session outlines expectations that open source adopters should have when implementing an OSS project.
• John Brice, Meadville Public Library
• Stuart Miller, Univ of Chicago
• How do you overcome the situation where the software doesn't have a helpdesk to call upon for issues?
• How does the needs of the project affect decisions to adopt by organizations?
• What does an adopter look for in an open source community?
• What does an adopter look for in a company or organization that provides support for an open source project?
• What is your role and responsibility for making the software sustainable?
Assistant Director, Technology Services Development
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