[TOS] What makes a "good" open source project for Academic involvement?

Dr. Jody Paul jody at acm.org
Mon Mar 5 22:32:34 UTC 2018


We've used a derivation of the *Project Evaluation* activity from the
foss2serve.org site.


A quick aside about a recent experience highlighting something to avoid (if
possible): an open source community with schisms, such as key developers
having strained relationships.

Several weeks ago, a team of students attempted to become involved in an
open source project that satisfied our criteria and had been previously
identified by others in the community as a good candidate for student
participation.  However, students received peculiar responses to contacts
made with a key developer.  Unbeknownst to us, the project was in the
aftermath of disagreements among key developers that resulted in a
non-harmonious split within the project.  Fortunately, outreach to another
developer shed sufficient light on the current situation for us to decide
that switching to a different open source project was the best course of
action.  We discussed this experience during a retrospective, resulting in
few viable solutions to identifying such situations earlier in the
evaluation process.

Wishing you the best,
--Jody

Dr. Jody Paul
Department of Mathematical and Computer Sciences
Metropolitan State University of Denver

On Mon, Mar 5, 2018 at 1:00 PM, Tom Callaway <tcallawa at redhat.com> wrote:

> Obviously, no teacher, class, or academic institution are the same, but
> I'm curious to know what aspects of an open source community make it
> "good" for you to connect your students with it.
>
> Not looking to make a list of "good" communities, but rather, interested
> in hearing what things that they do that made them a "good" fit. Are
> there things that you wish open source communities would do more often
> (or at all) to help make them more student/academic friendly?
>
> I've got my own ideas here, but I'm interested in hearing this from an
> academic perspective first. :)
>
> Thanks in advance,
>
> ~tom
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