Well hello there. Funny how the time passes, eh? I blogged a while ago about the release engineering indepedent study I’m teaching at Olin College. Well, it’s been two weeks since. I assigned a number of readings for last week and we talked about concepts that characterize open source commuinties, like the following:
- scratch your own itch
- radical transparency
- with enough eyeballs, all bugs are shallow (also known as Linus’ Law)
- release early and release often
I won’t go into details, but we talked about was how scratch your own itch works with the other things we learn at Olin – like user-oriented collaborative design. Later in that session, we looked into communication methods communities employ, and my students found planets, mailing lists, IRC channels and all the other jazz.
Right this very moment, we’re trying to get them on a planet. I initially chose Planet Fedora and had them create a Fedora account, since we were going to have them do some packaging. Well, as it turns out, they need to be part of another group in FAS2, which they current not are. So since I’d like them to be on a planet so that the communities can overhear what’s going on, they’ll just end up on the teachingopensource.org planet for now. Watch out for more posts to come in over the next week!
This week, we wrapped up the previous conversation and launched into a much longer session & topic: packaging. We talked about the relationship between yum & rpm and the work the package manager does when somebody types, for example, yum install firefox. From there on, we went into a conversation on how we end up with an .rpm file and looked at several example .spec files of varying complexity.
I also got them started using IRC, so we might start having meetings in #teachingopensource soon. Funnily enough, I learned that it’s good to put slack into the class schedule. We were going to package the io language together using etherpad. Kudos to Allen for suggesting that from the 7 Languages in 7 Weeks book. Anyway, we ran overtime (which is alright, since we meet in the evenings and had run under on previous sessions), but I had scheduled some slack in the schedule for next week, so we simply moved the packaging part to the next session and spent the rest of today getting everybody set up on the planet.
I’m curious how the next couple of weeks will go.