FOSS Categories: Culture/Intellectual Property | Use & Evaluate |
Tags: project evaluation |
|Overview of Activity:||The learner will examine a community/project and deduce how the community is organized.|
|Pre-requisite Knowledge:||Broad understanding of open source concepts such as contributor, maintainer, bugs, etc.|
|Learning Objectives: Upon completion of this activity, the student should be able to:||Upon completion of this activity, the student should be able to identify contributors and maintainers of the project, describe the decision-making structure of the project and discuss the forward direction of the project.|
- Work in teams of 2-3.
- Use Ohloh and OpenHatch to collect general information on open source projects.
- Select one active software project about which to write. H
- ave an alternative handy if you find that you cannot get much information about your first choice.
- Use the project’s IRC logs, git repo, mail list history, open IRC channels, an any other communication channel you find, to get the answers to the following questions:
- Describe software project, its purpose and goals.
- Give a brief history of the project.
- Look at the version control repository, mailing lists, developer blogs, and ticket trackers, and ask the following questions:
- Who approves patches? How many people?
- Who has commit access? & how many people have commit access?
- Who is involved in the history of the project?
- Who are the principal contributors, and have they changed over time?
- Who are the maintainers?
- Who is on the front and back end?
- What have been some of the major bugs/problems/issues that have arisen during development? Who is responsible for quality control and bug repair?
- How is the project’s participation trending and why?
- Based on these answers, how would you describe the decision making structure/process of this group? Is it hierarchical, consensus building, ruled by a small group, barely contained chaos, or ruled by a single or pair of individuals?
- Is this the kind of structure you would enjoy working in? Why or why not?
Write up a set of answers to these questions including how you arrived at your conclusions (links or conversation quotes, etc.).
Optional/Extra Credit: Based on your notes, write up your research results in a brief slide deck, and film or screencast yourself giving a 5-10 minute talk on the community. You have two options.
If you decide this community is one you would like to work in for the semester: your audience is the other students in your class, and your objective is to persuade them to join a project team with you to work within the community.
If you decide this community is not one you would like to work in for the semester, for whatever reason: your audience is the development mailing list (or some other appropriate mailing list – a “getting newcomers started” group is also appropriate, etc) and your objective is to persuade them to improve their getting-started scaffolding to make the project easier to access and more appealing to new contributors.
|Knowledge Area/Unit:||SP - Social Issues and Professional Practice|
|Level of Difficulty:||Medium|
|Estimated Time to Complete:||90-120 minutes|
|Source:||Dave Shein, RIT|