[TOS] a FOSS development textbook?

Chris Tyler chris at tylers.info
Tue May 5 11:44:38 UTC 2009

On Tue, 2009-05-05 at 14:34 +1000, tridge at samba.org wrote:
> Hi All,
> Has anyone looked at the possibility of creating a textbook for
> teaching FOSS development? The 'Producing OSS' book by Karl Fogel is
> good, but I didn't find it to be sufficient as a textbook for the ANU
> course. It was a little too focussed on starting a project for what
> Bob and I wanted to do.
> One possibility is for us to collaborate via a site like
> http://cnx.org/, which has a reasonable structure for creating a
> creative commons textbook. It also has the advantage of being linked
> to a print on demand system, so lecturers can ask the university
> bookshop to pre-order a sufficient number of cheap hard copies before
> a course starts (on the assumption that many students will prefer a
> hard copy).
> Perhaps this has been discussed already?
> Cheers, Tridge

The teachingopensource.org domain was originally owned by Brian
Behlendorf, and Karl Fogel operated a corresponding mailing list -- as I
understand it, they and some others intended to write a text (or course
materials) along the lines of what you're proposing, but the project
didn't gain critical mass.  They kindly transferred the domain to this

The main discussion about teaching materials here has focused on
cataloging existing materials with an eye towards mixing-and-matching
the best for various contexts. If you start the ball rolling on a CC
textbook, I suspect you'll find some willing collaborators :-)

(I honestly don't know if students still prefer hard copy these days,
though! In these days of light netbooks with long battery life and fast
wireless, many of my students are using the electronic version of my
books when given the choice).


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