Posted by: gavinstokes | February 1, 2011

Class Notes

Bare in mind this is written on the fly during a lecture…(I may reorganise it)

Topic: Open Source development and Wikis

Video:Richard Stallman

Richard Stallman, founded the free software foundation.

Software that respects the users freedom has nothing to do with price. Free Software Movement (FSM) is concerned with the effect of proprietary software.

Against letting the developer have power over the user.

  1. Freedom 1 – Run it as you wish
  2. Freedom 2 – Study and change source code
  3. Freedom 3 – Help you neighbour true sharing/copying
  4. Freedom 4 – Help you community

Free Software is an ethical issue not an economical one.

Intellectual property law is a bad collection of different laws. The term is a form of propaganda (Ii think hes going a bit far here).

Copyright law is to do with copying technology. Printing press made copying more efficient, big economy of scale, expensive equipment, required skill set. This led to a centralised system of copying. Brought about copyright.

US constitution gives government right to set up a copyright.


IBM software in the 70s was open source

Why write when no one pays for it.

Altruism, it’s a craft there is a pleasure in creativity
How do you coordinate it. Begins with a problem which is canvassed through a social network and is extended through research, participants change and numbers increase. It is normally bottom up driven.

Agents in the project choose what they work on and hence it aids the modularity of the software.

Proprietary software is less reliable as it does not take in user feedback, its shut off…not sure about that, ever used any open source CMS, can be painful. Also Installing any opensource application bigger than text editor can be a bit of pain in the ass and can be very poorly documented.

Jimmy Wales Video (2005)

Wikipedia,a free encyclopedia to everyone on the planet, can be downloaded copied, changed distributed.

Top 50 website more popular than the new York Times. One full-time staff member (programmer), 90 servers manged by volunteers. 1.4 billion page views per month.

Quality has been tested by independent experts and bench tested against other similar platforms and it comes out on top.

Quality control is manged through a neutral point of view policy. Does not comment on issues. Also has real time review, recent changes are distributed across multiple media channels to many people.

Allows anonymous user edits, but the main stay of edits are done by part of the community. New pages are kept or removed by a voting system, but can be over ridden if one or two admins can find data or references to back up the page.

Also uses the benevolent dictator model or monarchy mode, due to the level of trust and respect given to certain members. Relies heavily on the moral standards and impartiality of the community running it.

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