From the LibreFoodPantry, I have chosen for this blog post to talk about the 16 FOSSisms all educators should know. Hedi Ellis, the inventor of “FOSSisms”, came up with this idea to try and convey the idea that engaging computer science students in open-source communities can engage them more than what can be achieved in other classes. This idea was conveyed to a group of 20 faculty members from colleges from all around the United States. The 16 FOSSims are “It’s all about community, be productively lost, give back, if it isn’t public, it didn’t happen, embrace radical transparency, ask forgiveness not permission, branches are free, keep a history, begin with finishing touches, it’s not the work you know; It’s what you want to learn, release early release often, push to upstream, show me the code, remember shallow bugs, and avoid uncommunicated work”. (Heidi Ellis)
This community-building free, which is called “Libre Food Pantry” is also an open-source software for food pantries. This source also will be the project that I and my other classmates will be working on during this semester on CS- 448. I found this project interesting and I am just waiting for working with this source. Some of the items that are linked with “Libre Food Pantry” are Mission, Values, Code of Conduct, Licensing, Acknowledgement, and Coordinating Committee. All these items are interesting, very important, and explain the role of the source really well. But the item that I will specify about this source, is Mission.
I really like and support at the same time the mission that the construction of this source has, about students and professors. It is a very good opportunity for students to face an open-source and which is free and above all to prepare about the major and the work we will be working on. The mission that this software has is a very good opportunity for us as students, and I am sure it will help us a lot.
Libre Food Pantry was created to help and support local food pantries. Its mission is simple that to bring computer science and its software to enhance and support local needs. This is what I found interesting about Libre Food Pantry. For every piece of software today, the main reason is to profit its developers and organizations rather than to support the community necessity. It’s critical to think of software that created is to assists the needs of the community, not the need of the pocket. As software developers nowadays focus so much on the cash and paybacks that we sometimes forget what our initial intention and mission is. I chose to write about the mission of Libre Food Pantry because I hope that they would keep doing what they’re doing, let aside the business and help expand the community and support the people.
One thing I found interesting from the reading was the Agile values and principles, and the Twelve Principles of Agile Software. I found this interesting because it puts people and teams before the product, encouraging communication and teamwork over raw productivity. I found this interesting because I would have thought that everything would be based around getting the most productivity, but instead it emphasizes the process and making interaction within the team as smooth as possible. I really like the policy of responding to change rather than following a plan, because even though having a plan is great, sticking with a failing plan is most often a bad idea. I chose to write about this because this stuck out to me as good, common-sense practices that it seems often aren’t used.
For my capstone project in CS-448, we are working on the libre food pantry which I have taken a look into the mission, values, code of conduct, etc. I have read about the FOSSisms which provided good information about the opened sourced culture into sixteen parts. Such as, respecting the community and to get in-depth with the community purpose and guideline and whatever to dig up into the project you are interested in. The steps give me more insight on how to go about the open source world. And how to go about it. In step 3, to give community back intrigued me because when we are in a field working on a project we make as much positive contribution as possible to gather answers from others or give answers to others, where it is a positive two communication to continually improve your community.
As I’ve been engaged with the internet for most of my life, I’m not entirely surprised, but I’m little unsettled by the Code of Conduct/Our Standards of the site. I didn’t realize with such a helpful type of engagement that standards such as these are as important as they seem to be. I suppose I wish this this type of medium was not as aggressive, as it would encourage a better attitude towards the people involved, but I’m familiar with the type of rhetoric people use on the web, and I am disappointed as it is needed to specify a certain type of behavior. I hope it is a failsafe rather than a direct shutdown of awful things that people say, but I understand the logic in case some awful people feel the need to post on the thread.
The mission statement by Libre food pantry is very similar to my personal life goals. I as well hope to use my computer science knowledge and skills I have obtained towards the betterment of not just humans, but also human society, our standard of living, environment, and planet earth in general.
There is also a false belief among the common masses that people in computer science just have to write their part of code and move on. Therefore, they do not work well with other people or just don’t have to work with other people. Mission statement of Libre food pantry states right from the start that they are a “vibrant, welcoming community of clients, users, and developers” working together as an unit and team to achieve their goals.
After reading several sections on the LibreFoodPantry website, I found the Code of Conduct to be rather useful. It provides a very clear picture of what is expected and how things are handled in a simple, straightforward way. The page explains in detail what the goal is, what the community standards are, where they apply, how they are enforced, and how the violations are handled. I think it’s very important to understand and be familiar with the culture, values, and standards of the community before being a contributing member. I will try to visit this section every once in awhile to remind myself of what values and practices I should uphold when working on this project.
When reading through the LibreFoodPantry main page looking at the values, specifically the FOSSims, I saw something that intrigued which was Linus’s law and the saying “given enough eyeballs, all bugs are shallow”. This phrase indicates that you should not shy away from help when encountering bugs so that they can be fixed easier and quicker and to not end up like those who just bang their head on the wall for hours on end stuck. I chose this since I can relate to have been typically working on fixing bugs myself and spend hours stuck instead of seeking help in certain situations. This is useful to think about and to hopefully convince other people to seek help.
Something from the LibreFoodPantry’s website that I found interesting was the mission that is listed. This page states that LibreFoodPantry’s mission is to “expand a community of students and faculty across multiple institutions who believe software can be used to help society.” I really like that this mission is centered around bettering our community. I think a lot of modern software projects are focused on comercialization and proffit, and I don’t like that. A software can be a very powerful tool for any cause; I believe that softwares should be designed to help people. I appreciate the oppurtinity to work on a project that has a real impact on the community.
From the blog CS@Worcester – Ciampa's Computer Science Blog by robiciampa and used with permission of the author. All other rights reserved by the author.