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Texas Support for Open Source Technology Education

ScuttleMonkey posted about 9 years ago | from the but-will-it-catch-on dept.

Education 70

OpenSourceForAll writes "North Lake College in Irving, TX is offering the first Open Source Technology certificate in the U.S. beginning Spring of 2006. The certificate program was made possible through a grant by the Texas Skills Standards Board. As a TSSB-recognized program, open source will finally get the corporate and industrial exposure it deserves. We believe the program is the only one of its kind in the nation at the community college level. Our goal is to promote Open Source as a business philosophy and as a way of life rather than limiting the program to a few token OSS offerings. Among the courses to be offered: The Philosophy of Open Source, a series of LAMP courses, and a capstone course which will focus on OSS development practices. Courses will be offered both on-line and on-campus."

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O.O (1)

the-amazing-blob (917722) | about 9 years ago | (#13698983)

If I were going to North Lake College, I would love to take that course. That sounds like a lot of fun. :P

I agree, but even better... (4, Interesting)

KingSkippus (799657) | about 9 years ago | (#13699008)

I would love to take that course.

I agree, I would too. But even better, I'd like to send some people to that course, especially intermediate manager/technical types at my company. They're the ones, unfortunately, who just don't get it and need to be educated about the principles of Open Source and what makes it worthwhile.

Re:I agree, but even better... (2, Interesting)

TheAdventurer (779556) | about 9 years ago | (#13699139)

The idea that someone who doesn't choose something needs to be "educated" about it until they do choose it is suspicious... kind of Orwellian.

Re:I agree, but even better... (3, Insightful)

mgkimsal2 (200677) | about 9 years ago | (#13699298)

Likewise the person who makes a "decision" without having any knowledge of more than one option - in other words, an uninformed decision - is often doing great harm to the organization they saddle with that decision.

Re:I agree, but even better... (1)

TheAdventurer (779556) | about 9 years ago | (#13699480)

I am speaking of people for whom "an uninformed decision" means "something I don't agree with." which is how the parent's comment sounded to me. And how yours sounded as well.

Too many people define ignorance as "not agreeing with me".

Re:I agree, but even better... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13699569)

I am speaking of people whom "an informed decision" means "something I wasn't told to think" which is how the parent's comment sounded to me.

Too many people define ignorance as "not agreeing with what may daddy and preacher told me to think".

Re:I agree, but even better... (1)

KingSkippus (799657) | about 9 years ago | (#13700301)

No, it's not a matter of agreement, it's a matter of open source alternatives not even being considered. I can't tell you how many times I've had converstaions like this:

Me: Has anyone considered deploying Firefox?
Them: No, IE already comes with Windows and that's what all of our internal sites have been developed for.
Me: So has anyone considered implementing a policy of developing internal sites with cross-browser support so that maybe someday we will have a choice?
Them: No, that would be too expensive. Besides, IE is free and Firefox is free, what's the difference?

Side note: 99% of our internal sites work fine with Firefox. (I run it even though it's not an authorized application, because I often use it for troubleshooting issues.) Of the remaining 1%, most of them are just minor issues with Javascript incompatibilities that could probably be easily fixed within a half hour or so.

I've even had this conversation, which just makes me shake my head in shame at my company:

Me: Has anyone considered using Filezilla instead of paying for WS FTP Pro?
Them: No, that wasn't a consideration.
Me: Why? It's got all of the features of WS FTP Pro and it's free.
Them: Because it's open source.
Me: So?
Them: So, we don't use open source software.

Another side note: Because IBM has made it such a big deal, we are just now getting around to evaluating Linux on some test servers, which is a welcome change of policy. When I started here six years ago, I was told flat-out that if the higher-ups caught you installing Linux on a machine, you would be fired. Who knows? Maybe by 2050, we'll actually (gasp!) start coming to our collective senses.

So I agree, there is definitely an Orwellian feeling to this, but IMHO, it's not from me. And that's why I'd like to send them to this class. That way, maybe they'd know what the hell they were talking about, and if they decided against open source, maybe they'd at least be able to give me some sort of valid reason(s), and not just stuff like, "we didn't consider it for the sole reason that it's open source," as if that somehow magically implies that a piece of software is automatically inferior. >:-(

First OSS Certificate? (0, Redundant)

Agarax (864558) | about 9 years ago | (#13699134)

First open source certificate in the US?

Then what have I been doing for the past year at my colleges Redhat Academy? Training for a nonexistant RHCT?

Redundant ... WTF (1)

Agarax (864558) | about 9 years ago | (#13708951)

Someone please tell me how the hell this is redundant.

Wonder if they will offer classes in Basic? (1)

BrentRJones (68067) | about 9 years ago | (#13699001)

Is Visual Basic open yet or just Open Basic or BASIC BASIC?

Thank you Tom Delay. (-1, Offtopic)

Argonne (913222) | about 9 years ago | (#13699010)

Mahy have been inspired by the Texas representative's "open source" outlook on campaign fundraising. "If there's a source of money, we are open to it."

Re:Thank you Tom Delay. (2, Interesting)

bb5ch39t (786551) | about 9 years ago | (#13699424)

Variation of an old joke from the 1950s (as I was told).

Reporter: Senator, why is there a decrease in personal wealth?

Senator: I blame the Ways and Means comittee!

Reporter: The Ways And Means Comittee?!?

Senator: Yes, you have have Means, they'll find Ways to get it!

Hurray for free software! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13699024)

Free software is great! Keep it up kiddies.. All work and no pay, all for the benefit of society... Keep going, you're doing great.. just don't be late for your $15/hour day job! It's like a vacation at a commune.

Not a BS, MS, or Phd, but... (3, Insightful)

Cerdic (904049) | about 9 years ago | (#13699031)

In my opinion an associates in this holds much more value than a Microsoft Certified Professional certificate.

If universities dish out Bachelor of Science/Art degrees in Madonna Studies (the musician), golf course management, and pig enterprise management, one would hope that they'd jump on this.

Re:Not a BS, MS, or Phd, but... (2, Insightful)

bbrack (842686) | about 9 years ago | (#13699086)

before you knock golf course management, it's a lot more difficult than you might think - every golf course needs a manager, and the revenues of a golf club can swing millions depending on the quality of a manager

things like livestock management involve large amounts of statistics, and the process of maximizing livestock yields is very similar to that of maximizing semiconductor yields

if you want a major to pick on, there's always underwater basketweaving :P

Re:Not a BS, MS, or Phd, but... (1)

Cerdic (904049) | about 9 years ago | (#13699121)

I'd pick on underwater basketweaving, but I'm sure someone would defend it for the difficulty in learning holding your breath long enough to get the weaving done.

Re:Not a BS, MS, or Phd, but... (1)

Joe123456 (846782) | about 9 years ago | (#13699227)

It's for the football team and they get a free pass when that have a game. Underwater basket weaving is only done at game time but football team gets out of class that happen during game time.

Huh? (2, Insightful)

Mr. Underbridge (666784) | about 9 years ago | (#13699054)

Among the courses to be offered: The Philosophy of Open Source, a series of LAMP courses, and a capstone course which will focus on OSS development practices. Courses will be offered both on-line and on-campus."

A class on the philosphy of open source? A whole semester? Yay indoctrination!

MOD PARENT DOWN -- M$ SHILL (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13699129)

Moderators: This poster is a confirmed Microsoft Shill. Please send Microsoft the message that astroturfing isn't tolerated on Slashdot by modding the parent down. Thank You.

Previous comments:

The GPL...will alienate every single corporate user it has...it really will be for hippies living in their parents' basements. [slashdot.org]

I love this with the ad hominem attacks on the guys who switched [to Windows] (you're about the 10th so far). It's evidently been decided a priori that linux can absolutely do no wrong. That's not true. [slashdot.org]

Re:MOD PARENT DOWN -- M$ SHILL (-1, Flamebait)

Mr. Underbridge (666784) | about 9 years ago | (#13699171)

God you're a fucking moron. I use Linux and Apple half time each, wouldn't put Windows on your computer, but because I actually use my brain instead of spouting the typical fanboy crap I'm a shill. Go check the rest of my comments since you care so much. Dipshit.

Re:MOD PARENT DOWN -- M$ SHILL (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13699535)

Linux fanboy!

Re:Huh? (1)

MaestroSartori (146297) | about 9 years ago | (#13699193)

A class on the philosphy of open source? A whole semester? Yay indoctrination!


Perhaps it will be a well-reasoned and balanced class, teaching the good and bad points of the various Open Source / Free Software philosophies and approaches. I don't see why you assume it'll be indoctrination of any particular sort...?

Re:Huh? (1)

Mr. Underbridge (666784) | about 9 years ago | (#13699208)

Cynicism? Experience? Because, as they say, "Our goal is to promote Open Source as a business philosophy and as a way of life" ?

Maybe I'm wrong, but that doesn't scream balance.

Re:Huh? (1)

MaestroSartori (146297) | about 9 years ago | (#13699228)

Dunno man, maybe I'm too optimistic, but even though the aim is to promote those things, I'd *hope* that a University of all places would have a more balanced teaching approach. Even when my lecturers expressed preferences about technologies, processes or approaches during my CS degree, they were always at least trying to be fair minded about it...

Re:Huh? (2, Insightful)

Mr. Underbridge (666784) | about 9 years ago | (#13699279)

Dunno man, maybe I'm too optimistic, but even though the aim is to promote those things, I'd *hope* that a University of all places would have a more balanced teaching approach. Even when my lecturers expressed preferences about technologies, processes or approaches during my CS degree, they were always at least trying to be fair minded about it...

You were lucky. College is generally a bastion of opinionated blowhards.

Regardless, you cannot at the same time promote a philosphy (in the advocacy sense) and be balanced regarding it. One of those will lose out by definition. If their statement were "We seek to present a forum for the discussion of Open Source technology, including advantages and disadvantages..." then that would be different. And a course that should be an elective (or part of an elective course) in any good CS program.

Re:Huh? (1)

An Onerous Coward (222037) | about 9 years ago | (#13700092)

"College is generally a bastion of opinionated blowhards."
No wonder they can't seem to pry me out of the U with a crowbar.

Re:Huh? (2, Interesting)

greginnj (891863) | about 9 years ago | (#13699506)


Dunno man, maybe I'm too optimistic, but even though the aim is to promote those things, I'd *hope* that a University of all places would have a more balanced teaching approach.

Geez, man, you're absolutely right. When, oh when, will some brave community college in the USA like "North Lake College in Irving, TX" exhibit a balanced teaching approach by offering a whole-semester course on MS Windows or MS Office?

We can only dream ...

http://www.northlakecollege.edu/academics/bit/MSce rt.htm [northlakecollege.edu]

http://www.northlakecollege.edu/academics/BIT/MOSc ert.htm [northlakecollege.edu]

Re:Huh? (1)

Otter (3800) | about 9 years ago | (#13699218)

The "indoctrination" issue aside -- that could make for an interesting hour or three of discussion, but would you really want to sit through a semester of it?

Re:Huh? (1)

PunkOfLinux (870955) | about 9 years ago | (#13699827)

What do you think they do in elementary schools? They teach us 'this is the ONLY way to do something! WHY? because I SAID so!'

It's a completely optional course, most likely -- it's not indoctrination if you sign up for the class.

IBM, open source education (4, Informative)

karvind (833059) | about 9 years ago | (#13699056)

There was earlier news story: IBM Donates $5 Million to Open Source Education [technewsworld.com] .

That was for Kansas: Butler Community College, Cowley County Community College, Hutchinson Community College and Wichita Area Technical College.

The 50-Front War (5, Interesting)

c,mma (919672) | about 9 years ago | (#13699069)

Making the study of Open Source software and philosophy available to students as formal curriculum can only help to further establish an already unstoppable momentum. Microsoft must now open yet another front in their battle against open source. From MS's academic "studies" that attack open source as a viable platform for governments and private citizens, to their secret slashdot promoters, to their highly-paid lobbyists in every country, MS must now take the war into the offices of, I hope, what will become thousands of college administrations, and somehow persuade them NOT to offer a view contrary to the official Redmond way. Good luck, MS!

LAMP (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13699082)

I'm not sure it's a great idea to focus much on LAMP. Most people I know just think of it as a cheap way to setup a website, giving crap about stuff such as the license or philosopy.

Re:LAMP (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13699212)

OAPP (OpenBSD/Apache/PostgreSQL/Perl) would be a better focus anyhow. The corporations behind MySQL and PHP sell proprietary software and presumptively don't care about the philosophy of free software, or arguably the ethics (or lack thereof) of proprietary software. And OpenBSD is arguably much more pure in its rejection of proprietary drivers and in its careful license auditing of software in the base system. Of course, in the Linux community Debian has similar purity.

Re:LAMP (1)

CyricZ (887944) | about 9 years ago | (#13699256)

You're looking at the situation more from an moralist/theological perspective. But even from a technical perspective you're quite correct.

OpenBSD does offer a far more secure alternative to Linux most of the time. Of course, you give up some performance and some scalability in order to obtain that performance. But nevertheless, it is often a superior technical solution for smaller websites or business infrastructure.

You're correct again on PostgreSQL. Featurewise, it trumps MySQL. While MySQL may be suitable for small personal websites or blogs, true business users often do want and need the features of PostgreSQL.

And let's not even get started with PHP. It has been proven time and time again to be completely horrible security-wise. Even if you blame the developers of the insecure software that runs on PHP, PHP is still at fault because it does very little to prevent inexperienced developers from writing insecure software. Thankfully we're seeing the rise of Python and Ruby-based web solutions. They allow secure, complex web apps to be developed without having to deal with the mess that is PHP.

Re:LAMP (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13699785)

You're looking at the situation more from an moralist/theological perspective.


Why, of course! Free Software is extremely important to all of us. A course on it without the philosophy aspect would be quite pointless.

I agree OpenBSD would be a better platform, for a website as well as a program on Free Software/Open Source/*nix. You got to love their clean design, documentation and commitment to Freedom.
Another plus about OpenBSD is that it includes the last Free Apache, plus a whole lot of (security) fixes. GNU/Linux distributions don't seem to care and just ship the latest version. Sadly, that includes Debian too.
MySQL seems to be recommended by everyone and their mother, while PostgreSQL is superior technically, financially as well as philosophically. This keeps baffling me every day.
Don't even get me started about PHP. Perl seems OK, but it invites you to write fugly, unmaintainable code (let the flames begin!). I'm sure everyone knows about the merits of Ruby (on Rails) and Python already.

Re:LAMP (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13700111)

You're right, Perl isn't cool anymore. Meanwhile we have Catalyst providing a challenge to Rails, the massive repository of code reuse that is CPAN, and Perl6 becoming ready for production Real Soon Now. Perl gives you the freedom to write both beautiful and unmaintainable code. That's part of its philosophy that won't be changing.

Open source education? (2, Funny)

burtdub (903121) | about 9 years ago | (#13699088)

If the kids know what's good for them, they'll push to make all education open source.

Especially the answer sheet to tests.

LAMP? PHP? Python? Perl? (4, Interesting)

CyricZ (887944) | about 9 years ago | (#13699179)

What sort of "LAMP" are they talking about here? Does the "P" represent Python, PHP, or Perl? Some combination of the three?

What about FAMP (FreeBSD, Apache, MySQL, Python) or NAPRR (NetBSD, Apache, PostgreSQL, Ruby on Rails), and so on?

I don't think it's a good program if it doesn't expose the students to the entire open source community. It's good for such business people to be aware of the alternatives to commercial, closed source software. But it's also important for them to realize that the open source community isn't limited to Linux, MySQL and PHP. There are often far better (ie. more secure, less resource-intensive, etc.) pieces of open source software out there. And if their developers suggest the use of such alternatives, it would be beneficial if they had some knowledge of them.

Re:LAMP? PHP? Python? Perl? (1)

whiteranger99x (235024) | about 9 years ago | (#13699393)

What about FAMP (FreeBSD, Apache, MySQL, Python) or NAPRR (NetBSD, Apache, PostgreSQL, Ruby on Rails), and so on?

Hell, if I really wanted to be an instigator, I would be encouraging a ASP, Windows, IIS Server platorm or AWIS.

I can see it, when students talk about which courses to take, they'll say "Hey, lets take A WIS."

Re:LAMP? PHP? Python? Perl? (1)

stu42j (304634) | about 9 years ago | (#13699887)

Right now it is PHP but other languages may be added in the future.

Re:LAMP? PHP? Python? Perl? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13700510)

I think they only started the course when OSS reached a certain level of mindshare, and the OSS that did reach that level is that which can be considered a buzzword, and right now Linux and LAMP are buzzwords, so this is what they will feature. Perhaps when OSS courses evolve, their content will expand, but you have to start somewhere. Can you make a case for why other OSS should be featured instead of the ones the course focuses on, or how a course which might encompass all OSS could be structured?

Courses on open source professionalism? (4, Insightful)

CyricZ (887944) | about 9 years ago | (#13699210)

Do any educational institutions offer Open Source Professionalism courses? Such a course may be quite beneficial for many open source developers. While many developers are great programmers and designers, they often lack the public relations skills necessary for any serious project. It's not just about the communication skills with users, but also about projecting a solid, professional image.

More often than not we see instances of open source developers damaging the reputation and image of the projects they're involved with. Take the recent case of Novell's servers being vandalized. And then there was the recent incident of a KOffice developer publically insulting [slashdot.org] a KOffice user. Whatever the circumstances, the end result is that the product and community looks bad because of the lack of professionalism from even just a single individual.

That is why I suggest that many open source developers take a course on basic professionalism, if one is offered anywhere. Any large scale project requires developers who are polite, intelligent, respectable and well-spoken. The open source community has the capability to succeed beyond our wildest dreams if we as a group are able to master professionalism.

Re:Courses on open source professionalism? (1)

bogie (31020) | about 9 years ago | (#13699514)

"the end result is that the product and community looks bad because of the lack of professionalism from even just a single individual."

Spot on dude. One person can easily destroy the reputation of a project by acting rudely or especially threatening. When even one person in charge of a project behaves badly it can lead to people avoiding your project due to lack of "professionalism". Its a great way to scare users off from your project who are expecting professional type behavior.

Please OSS developers, take a tip from the professionals out there who know how to act and represent their projects/companies. For example you'll never see a true professional like Steve Balmer get caught acting like a complete raving asshole/lunatic.

Re:Courses on open source professionalism? (1)

CyricZ (887944) | about 9 years ago | (#13699622)

Who suggested that Microsoft executives show true professionalism? I sure did not. Indeed, it would seem that Microsoft suffers from the same problems that certain open source projects do. At least they manage to keep their developers contained, and do not have them going out and insulting their users/customers in public. Rogue developers are what truly cause damage, far more than some exec threatening industry rivals.

Re:Courses on open source professionalism? (1)

Quantum Skyline (600872) | about 9 years ago | (#13699547)

No offense buddy, but I read the thread you linked to.

The KOffice user you refer to wouldn't happen to be...you...would it?

Re:Courses on open source professionalism? (1)

CyricZ (887944) | about 9 years ago | (#13699676)

Yes, it obviously would be.

It sickens me a great deal to see such a lack of professionalism. I want the KDE project to succeed. I want the KOffice project to succeed. But, unfortunately, they will not succeed if they have developers going around throwing out insults at longtime users (myself or otherwise).

Even a two or three hour course would probably be enough to teach such developers proper manners, and how to communicate effectively with customers/users in such a way that the image of the entity they're representing is not damaged in a negative fashion.

But better yet, some lessons on how to publically apologize would be appropriate. While it does not remedy the situation, a public apology for a display of public rudeness is quite necessary. Doing so minimizes damage to one's reputation.

Re:Courses on open source professionalism? (1, Flamebait)

ifwm (687373) | about 9 years ago | (#13699994)

Shut up you fucking crybaby.

I read the whole thread, and you desrved to be talked down to.

I'll let you in on a little secret...

PEOPLE DON'T HAVE TO BE NICE TO BE PROFESSIONAL.

God you're a pathetic whiner.

Have you even entered the real world yet? (1)

CyricZ (887944) | about 9 years ago | (#13700185)

You're obviously not any type of a professional, be it a doctor or a software developer, if you believe that. A professional must not by any means insult his or her users, customers or clients. It doesn't matter if that professional is an individual, an open source projects or a corporation.

Even the cashiers, hamburger flippers and janitors at McDonalds know to not insult their customers in public, especially not directly to those very customers.

I would expect, at the very least, that open source developers could show the same level of courtesy towards the users of their software as McDonalds employees show towards their customers. Of course, my more realistic expectation is that open source developers have a basic sense of professionalism. Thankfully, many do. Now, some might not. And that is why a course is needed. You, for instance, would be the perfect candidate for such a course. You'd learn the basics of professionalism.

Re:Have you even entered the real world yet? (1)

Quantum Skyline (600872) | about 9 years ago | (#13700788)

Please don't flame me for using a religious reference, but... before taking the speck out of ifwm's eye, take the log out of your own. Once people learn that, be it MS developers, OSS developers, users of all kinds of software, THEN the relationship between developers and users will start to harmonize. It is not a matter of professionalism. It is a matter of being able to look through someone else's eyes and seeing what they see. I have entered the real world, and believe me when I say that everyone's perspective on the real world, is radically different.

Re:Have you even entered the real world yet? (1)

CyricZ (887944) | about 9 years ago | (#13701307)

But the basic point still stands: regardless of your business, be it developing open source software or selling fries, you never insult your customers in public.

Re:Have you even entered the real world yet? (2, Insightful)

loqi (754476) | about 9 years ago | (#13700803)

I basically have to agree with the GP here. Burger-flippers have to be polite to people that don't deserve it, because it's their ass on the line. Ditto all the way up the corporate chain.

Please, please explain to me why a KOffice developer has any incentive to lick the boots of the un/misinformed (which, to put it as "professionally" as possible, you were clearly a member of in the linked thread). It's not like you pay his salary.

You can whine and moan all you like that this guy doesn't behave within the choking confines of corporate norms, but that doesn't mean his behavior is at all out of line. I think you need to re-examine the way you expect to be treated. It seems pretty apparent that your first reaction wasn't, "Why did I piss this guy off so much?" but "Oh my god! This guy is pissed off at me! That's not supposed to happen!"

When you're entering the corporate market.. (1)

CyricZ (887944) | about 9 years ago | (#13701348)

The topic at hand was the acceptance of KOffice in the consumer and corporate markets. If they want to be used in the enterprise, then they will need to show a basic degree of formalism.

Even if your Aunt Sally doesn't demand professionalism when it comes to the developer of her office suite, basically everyone in the corporate world does. If the KOffice team wishes for their product to become more widely used, then they cannot have rogue developers going around insulting users.

It isn't about me at all. He's just lucky that I'm not a CTO deciding whether we should go with a Linux and KDE-based solution for our corporate network, or if we should use Windows and Office instead. Many CTOs would not take kindly to being insulted by the developers of the software they're considering using.

If he is unable to show basic professional courtesy, then perhaps he should not be working on a project such as KOffice which strives to be used in an environment where professionalism is the norm.

Re:When you're entering the corporate market.. (1)

loqi (754476) | about 9 years ago | (#13701410)

If the KOffice team wishes for their product to become more widely used, then they cannot have rogue developers going around insulting users.

Actually, I think their idea is to write a kickass office suite and let the software speak for itself. Isn't that the idea here? Richard Stallman isn't very aligned with your concepts of "professionalism", but does that stop corporations from using GCC? Show some perspective, this is about you, and about how some smart-ass dev hurt your feelings.

If he is unable to show basic professional courtesy, then perhaps he should not be working on a project such as KOffice which strives to be used in an environment where professionalism is the norm.

No, I'm sorry, this is ridiculous. If some jackass CTO was posturing like he had a clue and criticizing the project that I volunteer for unfairly, I would not hesitate to be rude. There are lots of CTOs out there, and alienating one possible user because he's irritating is not the end of KOffice. In fact, hell, why would I care if a CTO stupid enough to think that what a programmer says in an offhand /. comment has any real bearing on the product at hand uses my product or not?

You seem to think the onus on the volunteer developer to bend over backwards and accomodate inane, pointless criticism. Maybe that's how things have to work when you're wage-slaving, but the audience of the product seems pretty orthogonal to the behavioral requirements of the devs in this case.

Re:When you're entering the corporate market.. (1)

CyricZ (887944) | about 9 years ago | (#13701455)

There are many in the corporate world who will not use open source software because of personalities like RMS and others. That said, at least Stallman is professional in presenting his opinions, even if they differ from the norm. He does not resort to blatant insults while acting as a representative of the GNU project or the FSF.

Like I've stated time and time again, I don't care about the insults themselves. What bothers me, as a long-time KDE user, is that this developer is ruining the public image of the KDE and KOffice projects. I disagree with KDE-related developers throwing out such insults, whether they are directed at me or others.

It's quite important that the developers put out a professional image. It does, like it or not, reflect on their code quality. A coder who is sloppy in their public image could very well be sloppy when programming. Many CTOs and other such executives will not take that risk when making decisions that could have massive financial ramifications.

Re:When you're entering the corporate market.. (1)

loqi (754476) | about 9 years ago | (#13701927)

There are many in the corporate world who will not use open source software because of personalities like RMS and others.

I don't view this as a problem at all (other than an unfortunate situation for the shareholders). I doubt very much that any organization that would be potentially contributing to or improving GCC for the rest of us would reject it solely on the basis RMS' personality, so what have we lost here exactly? Some profit for a superstitious company? I'm as happy as anyone to hear about OSS spreading, but I'm not disappointed when someone decides not to use it (well, maybe disappointed in them, a little).

A coder who is sloppy in their public image could very well be sloppy when programming.

And a coder who is sloppy in their public image could very well be the next hit soap opera star. In neither case does one necessarily follow from the other.

Many CTOs and other such executives will not take that risk when making decisions that could have massive financial ramifications.

Again, my assertion is that anyone making the connection you're making here doesn't understand what they're dealing with, and the KDE people shouldn't have to waste their time appeasing superstitious CTOs. It's a market, right? The smart guys will catch on anyway.

Principles are more important than popularity. If someone feels you're acting like an idiot and calls you on it, that could very well be a principled thing to do, regardless of how professional the conduct may seem to you. I for one feel that you needed calling out on that thread. No, he didn't need to call you an idiot, and I probably wouldn't have in that situation, but I can certainly understand why he did.

Ultimately, your perception of the damage this could cause to KDE's reputation seems greatly exaggerated to me. Microsoft is a convicted monopolist, which means essentially, that they've been illegally milking their position in the industry at the expense of the user. I don't see too many CTOs worried about the unprofessional behavior (I assume doing anything illegal in public is by definition not professional) of that particular company. Furthermore, a company behaving badly is far, far worse for the public image of the product involved than when some code-jockey does it.

Anyway, as long as they keep improving their software, I could care less how the business world reacts to the personalities in question. I suppose if your hopes are invested in seeing KOffice spread as far as possible, then any action by any developer that could possibly offend a potential user should be condemned.

Any more thoughts, or have we used up all the content of this discussion?

Re:When you're entering the corporate market.. (1)

CyricZ (887944) | about 9 years ago | (#13706665)

There's not much more to be said. The KOffice developer who tossed out the insults has made the project look quite bad. And indeed, it's good that we agree on the fact that many open source developers do need to increase their level of professionalism. If software like KOffice is ever to be widely used by business users, then the developers will need to project a professional and trustworthy image.

Re:Courses on open source professionalism? (1)

Bogtha (906264) | about 9 years ago | (#13699723)

Do any educational institutions offer Open Source Professionalism courses? Such a course may be quite beneficial for many open source developers.

As with many things, the developers that need these skills the most are usually the ones least likely to want them, let alone feel motivated enough to go on a course to pick them up.

Re:Courses on open source professionalism? (1)

ifwm (687373) | about 9 years ago | (#13702918)

"Whatever the circumstances, the end result is that the product and community looks bad because of the lack of professionalism from even just a single individual."

NO, something that it appears you are far too stupid to understand, the INDIVIDUAL looks bad in cases such as this, not "the product and community".

You're an idiot, so I wouldn't expect you to understand the subtle nuances.

Please stopa acting like you getting yelled at has ANY bearing on OSS of KOffice. No one cares about you getting yelled at, and anyone who reads the thread sees you behaved like an imbecile.

So, where's YOUR mea culpa for being a twit? Right.

Do us all a favor and cancel your account here, you disgusting piece of trash. YOU make open source look bad by portraying it's users as a bunch of spineless loudmouth crybabies.

In short, you deserved to get yelled at, and no it wasn't unprofessional. MY OPINION IS JUST AS VALID AS YOURS when it comes to professionalism, so save you'r "You must not work in a..." crap. Professionalism has many faces, your opinion of what it is IS NOT THE ONLY VALID DEFINITION OF WHAT IT IS.

SHUT UP NOW.

Getting Involved... (2, Interesting)

polyp2000 (444682) | about 9 years ago | (#13699254)

I would like to find out more about getting involved in these kind of initiatives , perhaps as a change career direction. I've heard of similar government and local council initiatives in the UK where I live. I've got an excellent background with linux and opensource technologies but want possibly to move away from Web Development and do something where im working with what I love and perhaps branch out and gain some more skills along the way.

Nick ...

I went to North Lake (2, Interesting)

Stonent1 (594886) | about 9 years ago | (#13699321)

We had a computer center that was "donated" to us by Microsoft. There were banners hanging all around it saying stuff like "Welcome to the Microsoft Computer Lab" It was about 1999 or so, and all the PCs were Dell GXa and GXi PCs with removable hard drive trays. I was going to be taking MCSE courses for Windows NT 4.0 at the time. I finished Networking Essentials and Windows NT 4.0, but shortly after took a job where one of the requirements was that the person NOT be an MCSE because they were tired of MCSEs. They said they picked me because I didn't have an MCSE and I knew what I was talking about.

"Open Source" class @ Stevens Institute, NJ (3, Informative)

hubertf (124995) | about 9 years ago | (#13699327)

There's also a class on Open Source this fall term at the Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, NJ. Mail me for more information.

  - Hubert

Re:"Open Source" class @ Stevens Institute, NJ (1)

hubertf (124995) | about 9 years ago | (#13700960)

P.S.: In summer 2006 I'll do the same class again at the University of Applied Sciences in Regensburg, Germany. If someone wants to dump some $XXmio in research grants into this, I'll be more than happy to use it - plenty of ideas available! :)

Open Source has always been the rule in schools... (1)

suitepotato (863945) | about 9 years ago | (#13699727)

...since when have teachers not stolen their students code and claimed it as their own? I wrote a program to compute points on a sphere in high school and when another teacher walked in, mine claimed it as his. Granted, being a single aging geek and the other teacher being a well stacked single lady might have had something to do with it...

Dang it. (1)

hydopower (869406) | about 9 years ago | (#13699815)

It's really bizarre to wake up one morning and see your old community college mentioned on slashdot. Ironic though, that I paid a couple thousand a semester to go there, and then transferred here to NYU, where I am now paying out of my ass, only to have them open up a radical new program of sorts the year after I left. Oh well.

WHAT?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13700690)

WTF???

NTLUG (1)

WgT2 (591074) | about 9 years ago | (#13701175)


I wonder how much the North Texas LUG had to do with this.

I have the course syllabus. (2, Funny)

DraconPern (521756) | about 9 years ago | (#13701183)

I got hold of the course syllabus and I am posting it here.

Chapter 1. RTFM.
That is all.

Re:I have the course syllabus. (1)

dodobh (65811) | about 9 years ago | (#13702792)

You forgot the preface: Google.

Re:I have the course syllabus. (1)

deadlinegrunt (520160) | about 9 years ago | (#13703984)

Damn! That post actually caused me to laugh.
Nice one.

I was an adjunct at Northlake for a few semesters (1)

mgheno (919944) | about 9 years ago | (#13705402)

The pure CS classes there were not very popular for some reason (as opposed to various IT certification programs). Now they have been stripped down to a minimum as the guy formerly in chage of the CS curriculum has taken this on instead. He has a really strong passion for open source - perhaps more than anyone I've ever met and I think this can turn out very well if the administration does not make the mistake of losing him somehow. He has already worked a lot of open source technology into the department before this was even in the making. I'm looking forward to seeing where this will go.
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