Flyer for my local FLISOL

This is the flyer we will be posting across town hoping more people can get the chance to stop by, hope you guys enjoy it:

Volantesflisol2k11-cancun

The thought behind this flyer was to encourage a more social and festive image to the whole event. Including women is also something that we want to encourage as this also doesn’t really is more of a cultural event more than a technology event.

I hope with this poster more people will be tempted to come to the event and be more involved.

Cooking for cheap

So I have been wanting to improve my cooking, one thing that I remember thought is the way people eat food. In Mexico we have certain things that we are fixed on. Cooked food is big thing, I mean like eating kekas or soup or different

FLOSS is not only about products but communities

The free software environment consist on several people that put time and efforts into developing a solution that can be efficient and used by people looking for that need. This is an important concept that people coming into free software need to understand.

Many users are well trainned consumers that know how to negotiate with companies and get the best value out of products. However the commercial environment which they are used to is slightly different from the environment in the free software ecosystem. It consist not only of a company and service executives puting time into satisfying a costumer. It’s more about an open group looking for people to help out on the software.

Some people might relate more with a activism movement where each member is a valued part of the whole. However users that come to an open source product from a consumer perspective might result in a bit of out of place behavior. This causes some projects to be seen equally with a company developed product. Not to say that this will be necesarilly bad but usually the demands fall short since they expect a company to go and fix it, as opposed to be more constructive with it.

Community

This is usually result in the Hey I got an idea, as opposed to I submitted a patch to your code. Granted not everyone is a developer and sometimes is not really about code itself. Things like, I fixed some typos on your documentation, might do the trick.

Big projects are usually proud of their work as a whole, so they might usually have sites devoted to the community. Communities like Gnome, Mozilla, KDE, Apache, OpenOffice.org and others, will host sites about their people and their developers. Here is a rather old flyer from the OpenOffice.org community that was done during one of the global conferences.

Meet_nl_l10n_cip_people_part_ii_final

Having a healthy FLOSS environment things like community need to be understood across the board. Communities themselves need to value to a better light than just their product. That way regular users will have a more present sense of who the contributors are and what are the standard way to interact with them. This is a matter of processes as well as transparency so that users understand the shift and can switch from a regular consumer to a potential contributor.

The middle developer manager

The middle manager developer is a position to fill on the FLOSS development stack. Is a developer that knows the project internals however the focus is more consistant with the middle ground. The ground between the rookie development and the outside development and the project internals.

Sometimes the internals represent too much of a learning curve for the more demanding hacker. So having a straight development vision that can recoup on how the development flow gets done in open source projects make the resources more efficient and optmized. When mature code is developed getting to the right documentation source makes the difference between a weekend hack and a month hack.

So for example in a big project like Apache or OpenOffice.org with million of lines of code, a hacker might be a bit lost trying to find a solution to solve a problem or to start a fundamental hack. Most of the times, the developer might find himself lost trying to identify the right development group or branch. Low level developers might be busy trying to fix issues within the core, this makes a gap between the potential new developer who isn’t verse on the code of the project yet his knowledge might help even low level developers to spur a solution.

Codementor

This is where the gap might be cover by developers that understand the code and help new developers to find their right branch and hack on it with little discovery time invested.

One of the things that has point this issue is the GSOC which intends to push the development of code but also on motivating students to become FLOSS developers. In OpenOffice.org there are programs like the Education Project which push developers to get into the source. And also sandbox the development so it can be mentored and also pushed upstream on a controlled environment.

OpenOffice.org Community Supports Victims of the Quake

This is a repost from a fellow OOo community member in Japan giving an update on the restoration efforts and the donations he received by the OOo community.

Today I visited some evacuation centers in Ichinoseki city in Iwate-ken, one of the six prefectures in Tohoku region, Japan, and started to prepare my school, Ichinoseki English Language Institute (IELI), for evacuees from the devastated areas.

I cleaned up the mess.

Hirano_1

I am planning to get tatami-mats or thick carpets, futons or mattresses, sheets, blankets, comforters, pillows, towels, heaters, pots, basins, cups and etc. for this place.

Hirano_2

It has running water and electricity. It has a bathroom but no shower, no bathtub.
Good news is that there is a sento, a public bath, near 🙂

It is close to Ichinoseki train station and a major shopping street.
I am sure that neighbors, shop owners and restaurants will help us.
Then evacuees can relax, take a rest, stay for a while, stay overnight or more, use heaters to keep warm, drink hot water, eat warm food, keep their body clean and sleep well.

I am a member of OpenOffice.org Community, working as Community Contributor Representative Deputy and Marketing Project Coordinator for OpenOffice.org Japanese Language Project.

Alexandro Colorado, OpenOffice.org Español, started a thread proposing to support the victims of the Quake with a donation.

Several friends of mine advised me to get a PayPal account. So did I.
Today I received donations from Peter Junge and oooES (donaciones at openoffice.org). I really appreciate them for their consideration and action.

Hirano_3

How To: Founding an Open Source Software Center at a University

Education_open_university_2

Raising open source awareness in any organization is a very important, and sometimes difficult, task. Particularly important is open source awareness among college students. These are the engineers and computer scientists of the next generation who will be able to usher these modern practices into their workplace. This article discusses the process that was used to form the Rensselaer Center for Open Source (RCOS), a very successful open source center at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI).

The goal of an open source center is to engage students eager to change the world by developing innovations that could lead to next-generation open source platforms. The center should provide a creative, intellectual and entrepreneurial outlet for students to use the latest open source software platforms to develop applications that solve societal problems. Moreover, the center helps to provide a rich undergraduate experience by offering hands-on experience that positions students as tomorrow’s global citizens and leaders.

We have distilled our experience to a list of items that are necessary (but not necessarily sufficient) for the success of such a center:

1) Gather 20-40 eager undergraduate and graduate students committed to practicing and progressing open source software and ideology. This can be done using the normal student club channels, including advertising in the campus newspaper and listing the organization in any available student activities lists.

2) While a student club is better than nothing, they are often not officially recognized by universities. To make the open source center more official, gather a small team (around 3) of dedicated faculty members. They will share the burden of not only keeping the center on track and organized, but will also serve as liaisons to the university. The lead faculty advisor of RCOS reports to the Dean of Undergraduate Education to keep him informed of the activities of the center. With help from the students, the advisors maintain the center website, review project proposals, and facilitate student peer group meetings and discussions. As another example, by cooperating with the Web Technology Group student club, a free and open source digital signage project, Concerto, was born and became widely used at RPI and elsewhere.

3) Write reasonable proposals to funding agencies, alumni, and companies who may be interested in open source. This funding can support some student projects, as well as purchase any necessary
equipment.

4) Get the center’s faculty advisors or local corporate scientists to teach a course each year on open software practices. The course at RPI was featured here. This course should cover more formal aspects of open source, including licensing, meritocracy economics, and other software practices. This course not only provides a formal introduction to open source, but also provides another source of students for the open source center.

5) Interact with the local state and city government and involve students in projects to help the community. This will provide a good source of projects for students as well as good publicity for the center. For example, an RCOS student worked with a local fire department to create a fire department management system to allow them to digitally maintain records they had been maintaining on paper. This in turn allowed the department to focus more on their true responsibilities rather than filling out paper work.

6) Maintain a dashboard of student projects. This allows an outside observer to quickly see the types of projects the group is working on, and the quality of the work they are capable of.

7) Gain support from the university administration, including the registrar, the library, the computing center, and academic departments. This mutually beneficial relationship is exemplified in the cooperation that was necessary to complete the Course Scheduler project. This project pulls the latest course offerings from the university and allows students to create their ideal course schedules within the constraints of the course offering schedule.

8) Students learn most from their peers. To encourage this, we provide a virtual community space (a chat room) where students can ask for help, share their expertise, and bounce ideas off of each other. The immediate responses in this type of setting are always very well-received.

9) Provide opportunities for the students to listen to external speakers. By providing greater exposure, students will begin to network, leading to internships as well as other exciting opportunities like Google Summer of Code.

10 ) Select a small group of senior students to be peer mentors who will provide guidance and feedback to other students. These peer mentors will also come up with new project ideas and provide valuable support to the faculty advisers.

11) Provide some sort of refreshment (pizza, cookies, etc.) during meetings. Like it or not, food attracts students! While we would hope the students would be motivated on their own, if it takes a little bit
of encouragement to get them into the room, that’s OK. Once they are there, the conversation and ideas will start to flow.

We hope that the above items provide a good starting point for other universities to start a similar center to RCOS. We are happy to further share our experience by answering any questions you may have. Just email rpiopensource@gmail.com, and good luck with your new open source center.

Original Source [OpenSource.com]

The appreciation economy

An interesting topic came yesterday almost unconsiously as we navigate between startups, enterpreneurship and the marketing of brands over the actual products. A desbelief that users have the capacity of tell the difference between products so they rely on trust as a major factor to make decision purchases. This is rather simple to understand, yet the concept becomes a bit hard when getting into more complex issues when it comes to a solution negotiations in the IT world or the FUD that providers put on the mind of decision makers.

Learning and studying the thought process of directors added to the context of market pressure and enviromental situations make providers push their product on every button EXCEPT the product. Since rather these factors have a major impact on the decision makers than the last mile of the solution. So now you see that most of the decision maker process is a bit irrational and responsive to a dim picture. Trully you have to recognized the skillful sales people to target these resources to put a killer sales strategy.

On the free software area, we do need more skillful salespeople to be able to recognize sales strategies and marketing plots to break through these scenarios. Beating the appreciation strategy could be a bit too tough for the sales guy. Rather he needs to improve these appreciation with it’s own. That’s where building brands is expected to be surged.