Open Source Comes to Campus/Curriculum/Saturday/Ethics and history
(General note: At Penn, the way we structured this was as a conversation between two of the teachers, as a full group.)
Structure: All students are in one room. Asheesh lectures initially; then teachers self-describe; then Q&A.
Asheesh's lecture outline:
- TOM variant
- 1980s and creation of free software notion
- Richard M. Stallman at MIT was thinking about these issues in the 1980s. Early history of free software:
- It starts with a printer
- This clarifies his understanding of computing freedom
- He realizes the computing tools he's been using, and that a generation of programmers have been raised on, do not come with essential freedoms.
- Four freedoms, and GNU.
- Copyright, and copyleft
- All rights reserved, by default
- Copyleft is
- 1991: First release of Linux: "just a hobby, won't be big and professional like gnu"
- 1995: "Apache is a public collaborative effort, where the users determine what happens next."
- Early on, users of software frequently thought of themselves as system administrators.
- Importance of software transparency (example: Skype)
- Importance of customizability (example: Dance Dance Immolation)
- History of "free software" movement...
- ...simultaneous to Linux pioneering a world of actual collaboration
- History of the "open source" fracture, and how it dominates
- Explanation of a few different business models around open source, and how the finances work out (individual consulting; huge support organizations like Red Hat; hosting a service like WordPress.com; Debian, where the "center" has no business model)
- Teachers re-introduce themselves briefly, and explain in 4 minutes or fewer how they initially got involved in contributing (in any way: documentation, code, design, etc.) to an open source project; what their motivations are; and how they are paid (if at all) for open source work.
- To avoid a catastrophe of slow talking, we might require slides from teachers for this.
- Student Q&A.