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Looking for writers for Teaching Open Source textbook


Do you want to help us write the next version of the first textbook that teaches open source participation?

We need writers, editors, reviewers, and researchers to find or create content on:

  • Testing code in FOSS communities.
  • Working in open communities.
  • Different types of open source community cultures.
  • Open communities and diversity.
  • Licensing FOSS  code.
  • Threats and risk analysis of FOSS as a technology choice.
  • FOSS business models.
  • Determining program requirements.
  • Designing FOSS programs.

Join the mailing list and let us know what you are interested in, or you can email me directly.

Note: The textbook Practical Open Source Software Exploration is licensed under the CC BY SA 3.0 Unported.  We are very interested in reusing and modifying existing content that is compatibly licensed.  This is especially true if we can use the content as an active downstream.

Tl;dnr version follows …

Earlier this year we released the first usable version of a textbook, “Practical Open Source Software Exploration”.  This book fills a need that we hear about repeatedly from educators — there is no other standard textbook that teaches how to actually participate in a free and open source software (FOSS) project.

Although that first release, 0.8., had some problems, it was pretty solid in terms of having practical material for students to work through to check out code, build code, debug code, submit a patch, and write collaborative documentation.

However, in a meeting earlier this year with Tim Budd and Carlos Jensen of Oregon State University, Dr. Budd noted there was really only enough material in the book to teach a few weeks of classes.  It was so practice heavy that a student, unless they ran in to technical problems, could go through the material relatively quickly.  The book was extremely short on the other material a class needs — the theoretical side.  It was missing material on the history, culture, types of communities, diversity, licensing, business models, and so forth.

Working with the professors who are using or planning to use the textbook, we figured out what the new chapters needed to be.  Much of the material for those chapters probably exists already, some may be under a CC license we can use, so I’m hoping a good portion of this chapter work will be reusing and rewriting existing materials as a downstream.