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Category Archives: Writing

A checklist for organizing a community


This is something that The Open Source Way has needed for a while, some checklists to follow when seeing where you are in implementing the various principles. Since the principles meld the narrative a bit, there may be a few checklist items in one principle. Also, a short checklist is just plain easier to follow, […]

Roadmap and communications plan for “The Open Source Way”


Having an open roadmap (and a communications plan is part of that) is a pretty integral part of running a community the open source way. Just as the idiom about the carpenter’s leaking roof, we have been going without a collaboratively written, working roadmap for “The Open Source Way“. To start that off, I am […]

Looking for writers for Teaching Open Source textbook


Hey! 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  […]

Exchanging seeds


This is a post to gather some ideas around an article for on seed exchanges.  We’ll use this post and the comments to keep track of the article ideas.  Think of this as a pre-pre-pre-draft — like the whiteboard/corkboard of ideas in a newsroom. The modern seed exchange movement has a lot of history […]

Death to the postmortem, long live …


Every release cycle in Fedora I see folks use the term postmortem to refer to discussions after the release that focus on analysing what happened during the release, with a focus on fixing mistakes and repeating successes.  This is a neologism borrowed from domains such as business. Humans are wordy people, and the effects of […]

Textbook released – Practical Open Source Software Exploration


After months of work and a last-weekend rush of conversion from MediaWiki to DocBook+Publican, the Teaching Open Source writing team has released version 0.8 of “Practical Open Source Software Exploration: How to Be Productively Lost the Open Source Way“.  (HTML single-page and PDF.) This week, Dr. Tim Budd at Oregon State University (and member of […]

More on Publican


When writing about the Practical Open Source Software Exploration textbook release, I had a bunch of extra thoughts about Publican that I wanted to separate out to its own post. My sense is that Publican is in good shape for groups to adopt and extend.1  For example, there was a recent discussion in a MeeGo […]

Observe the operating room – wiki2xml sprint for FOSS textbook


There is a work sprint you might be interested in observing or participating in if you … Use MediaWiki for writing long works and want to see how it is to convert to DocBook XML. Want to know more about using DocBook XML and the Publican publishing toolchain. Enjoy watching people edit XML like mad. […]

Confused aka not entirely an Ada Lovelace Day tribute but thanks anyway Lana


As soon as I decided to write an Ada Lovelace Day tribute to a woman in computing, I almost immediately stumbled across Lana Brindley’s post on computer engineer Barbie.  It was a nice serendipity.  This week Lana’s posts on technical writing were both inspiring and directly helpful in terms of supplying content to a textbook […]

Licensing my blog content as CC BY SA 3.0 Unported


I am licensing all of my blog content past, present, and ongoing under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported (CC BY SA) free content license.  This includes my content published by the excellent WordPress engine at, and my content at (deprecated). This has been on my mind for a while, and in […]