[Nottingham] Workshop announcement: Engaging Developers with Open Source Projects

Martin martin at ml1.co.uk
Wed Sep 30 14:20:23 UTC 2009


For any developers and/or tweakers out there:


-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Fwd: [admin] [Feedback] Workshop announcement: Engaging
Developers with Open Source Projects
Date: Wed, 30 Sep 2009 14:50:38 +0100
From: Alan Pope <alan at popey.com>

---------- Forwarded message ----------

OSS Watch Workshop:  Engaging Developers with Open Source Projects

Date:  Friday, 9 October 2009, 09:30 - 16:00
Venue: Oxford University Computing Services, 13 Banbury Road, Oxford

For more information and to register, please visit:

Why should software developers who create local customisations of open
source software take the further step of submitting their changes back
to the main project? Where do people who make contributions fit into an
existing open source project, and why do projects want them?

While it takes more effort initially, having local changes integrated in
a project becomes efficient in the long run: local modifications need
not be re-applied at every upgrade, and the project takes over their
maintenance. Also, by building up a record of useful contributions, one
can gain influence in shaping the project's future. From the project's
point of view, they not only gain by the improvements people submit, but
become more sustainable by building up a larger group of people prepared
to work on the project.

Not contributing back can cause real problems. For example, some
institutions which have customised their Virtual Learning Environments -
but not submitted their changes back to the project - have run into
trouble when they upgraded to a new version which clashed with their
customisations.  Such problems could have been avoided had they been
able to integrate their local changes with the code base of the main

This OSS Watch workshop will present this argument in greater detail,
explaining how developers engaged in customisations of open source
software should make their contributions to a project. Speakers will
present the issue from both sides of the process: that of the open
source projects that look to encourage contributions, and that of
external developers who might want to make them.

The event is free, and open to all.


- 09.30 Registration
- 10.30 Welcome
- 10.40 Presentation: The life of a Wookie (Scott Wilson, University of
- 11.25 Break
- 11.45 Presentation: Be careful what you wish for with Open Source (Dr.
Ian Boston, University of Cambridge)
- 12.30 Lunch
- 13.30 Presentation/Demo: The Line of Code That Could: Contributing to
Moodle (Mark Johnson, Taunton's College)
- 14.15 Break
- 14.35 Plenary session
- 15.20 Conclusions
- 15.50 Close

Attendees are invited afterwards to an informal gathering at a pub, with
members of OSS Watch.

Martin Lomas
martin at ml1.co.uk

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