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The first Teaching Open Source Summit was held on October 29, 2009, as a pre-conference activity to the Free Software and Open Source Symposium at Seneca College, Seneca@York campus, Toronto.


Registration for TOSS09 includes:

  • the Teaching Open Source Summit on Thursday, October 29
  • the Free Software and Open Source Symposium (FSOSS2009) on Friday, October 30
  • lunch both days, the Teaching Open Source Dinner on Thursday, and a reception Friday afternoon

Registration rates are very reasonable:

  • $75 before September 30
  • $120 from September 30 through October 15
  • $135 at the door

Online registration is now open.

Who Should Attend

The Teaching Open Source Summit is for everyone involved with, supportive of, or interested in the teaching of community-based Open Source, including:

  • Professors
  • Open Source community leaders and participants
  • Open Source companies
  • Government organizations
  • Open source and educational foundations and non-profit organizations

To the greatest extent possible, we want to gather everyone working in this field at the Summit.


This is the preliminary schedule:

Time Session(s)
9:00-10:00 am Welcome and Keynote
10:00-10:20 am Coffee Break
10:20-11:05 am Panels Session A (multiple panels or group discussions)
11:15-12:00 am Panels Session B (multiple panels or group discussions)
12:00-1:00 pm Lunch
1:00-3:00 pm Unconference/Barcamp
3:00-4:00 pm Wrap-up Session

Watch for additional details in the weeks ahead.


TOSS09 will be held at Seneca College, Toronto, on the Seneca@York campus. Maps and accommodation information are available on the FSOSS web site.

Related Events

TOSS2009 and FSOSS2009 are part of the Toronto Open Source Week. (Watch for further details...)

Travel Assistance

Several sponsors have offered to help fund travel for interested faculty and community members who would not otherwise be able to attend TOSS09. Further details will be available by the end of June.

Watch this page for more information. Registration for this event will open in June.



Partial notes from IRC logs are available here: morning and afternoon. High level notes from these logs follow. Whiteboard pictures generated during all meetings are available here thanks to Karlie Robinson.


  • Dru Lavigne (BSD, Carleton)
  • David Humphrey (Mozilla, Seneca)
  • Frank Hecker (Mozilla)
  • Greg DeKoenigsberg (Red Hat)
  • Karlie Robinson (Fedora, Sugar)
  • Steve Jacobs (RIT)
  • Michael Adeyeye ({UCT, CPUT} Cape Town)
  • Chris Tyler (Fedora, Seneca)
  • Mel Chua (Red Hat)
  • Gabor Laszlo (Budapest Tech)
  • Andrew Smith (Seneca)
  • Luis Ibanez (Kitware / RPI)
  • Fardad Soleimanloo (Seneca)
  • David Kitzanc (pls fix spelling? sorry, didn't catch)

Morning session notes

Need picture of whiteboard.

  • HFOSS is progressing
  • Sugar development in RIT classes
  • Cape Town: Mozilla talks, asking students to reproduce software for other OSs, extending smaller projects, such as Mobicent, PJSIP.
  • Translation a significant barrier for teaching open source in non-English speaking countries
  • Not everyone has free time to work on FOSS; the benefit of making it a school assignment is that it frees up time for those kids to participate as well
  • BSD certificate exam
  • RPI project classes
  • We may want to teach business students how they can build their small company's IT infrastructure with all FOSS tools (and open web designs, etc)
  • Small Investment: introduce VCS - Big Payoff: easy grading because you can see, with a fine grain, exactly what an individual student did.
  • Seneca's program - teach them the open source skillset (VCS, etc.) in a sandbox (Fardad's class), then feed them into a course focused on getting students into open source development (Chris and Dave's class).
  • mindshift: "teach what you know" --> "let's get people involved in an area we don't know!" (ex: Dave doesn't know gcc hacking, but his students are doing it)
  • Teachable moments: students often think "lines of code" or "number of features implemented" is the most important metric; show them that good design and an open feedback process may look slower but often result in ultimately better work.

Afternoon session notes

Needed: what is #12 on the whiteboard? Picture cut off.

  • We put up a list of needs (which turned into a list of projects to fulfill those needs) up on the whiteboard
  • Dave points out there is a scarcity mentality among schools - "you get resources" means "I don't"
  • Luis points out that a lot of software is written for research, but not released alongside the research paper being published
  • Analogy: we've created an experimental branch from the main trunk (of CS education) and it works (at Seneca, etc.) How do we merge back into mainline?
  • Community members tend not to care about research papers, but they do care about status dashboards, and researchers can make them.
  • POSSE program continuing its 2nd run in Singapore, and growing
  • The Tagging Process (Below is a list of what we think we need to put in place.)
  1. Exercises that will teach students "basic FOSS skills" (currently: textbook) (IN-PROGRESS)
  2. Professor training (currently: POSSE) (IN-PROGRESS)
  3. Hooks to profs' interests
  4. Ways to reach beyond CS/CSEE into design, docs, business
  5. Ways for students to explain and showcase their FOSS work to potential employers (portfolios, CVs)
  6. Pitching things like #2 above (teaching-capacity building) at academic conferences
  7. School-project bridges, a.k.a. "clone Dave [Humphrey]" (currently: funding for release of time)
  8. "Catalyst people", a.k.a. "clone Karlie [Robinson]"
  9. Ambassadors program to represent TOS at academic conferences, etc. (NEW)
  10. A way to "sell up" to admins (currently: The Provost's Guide to Open Source)
  11. OSS speakers for classes (currently: clone
  12. Sell the skills of open source even outside that context
  13. Job pipeline (see also #5, #12)
  14. A way to find project mentors for students (IN-PROGRESS)
  15. Enable technical anthropology (currenty: "help people build dashboards")
  16. Get [authors of] research papers to release the code they based the research on in an open-licensed easily-grabbable/buildable manner (currently: ACM SourceForge")
  17. Prepare the projects/communities to accept students as new contributors


FSOSS whiteboards <- (Ambassadors)

  • We want a TOS ambassador presenting their TOS work at every academic conference in every field we can get away with everywhere.
  • <yet more inclusive statement here>
  • </lofty goal>