Comp 312-01E/412-001, Open Source Computing, Spring 2020

Peter Dordal, Loyola University Chicago Dept of Computer Science.

The class is scheduled for MWF 1:40, in Mundelein 605. Some (maybe most) Fridays we won't meet, however, though I may meet with your project groups.

The main goal of the course is to participate in some open-source project, as part of a team. We will divide into teams the first week.

You will have to be prepared to meet with your team regularly. However, you do not have to meet face-to-face. Almost no "real" open-source project does that! I'm aware that some of you have less background in software development, but there is plenty to do in terms of documentation, architecture planning, use-case development, and testing.

This is not a software-engineering course; grading will be based more on effort than results. That said, results matter, and if you don't achieve them then there should be some legitimate reason (like your project was just a little too ambitious).

Here are links to two open textbooks we will use:

My general course groundrules are here. Do not submit as your own work content that you did not create. You may, of course, quote or include other sources provided there is clear attribution. You are, of course, submitting a project that originated elsewhere; the important thing is to make it clear to me -- in the code -- what features your team added.

In addition to the project, we'll also look at bug finding, bug reporting, and presentations about how projects are put together. There will be some kind of final exam, covering the factual material presented; the exam will most likely be on Sakai. The project counts most, but if that doesn't quite work out as planned then the other things (like the exam) will be used to bring your grade up. 

Starter Open-Source Projects

I'll begin with a list of sites that suggest good open-source projects for getting started. You are also free to create your own project.

Finally, here are some projects that have been successful in the past.

Course calendar

The date shown is that of the Monday, unless Monday is a holiday.

Week 1: Jan 13
Week 2: Jan 22 (Wed)
Week 3: Jan 27 Week 4: Feb 3
Week 5: Feb 10
Week 6: Feb 17
Week 7: Feb 24
Week 8: Mar 9
Week 9: Mar 16
Week 10: Mar 23
Week 11: Mar 30
Week 12: Apr 6
Week 13: Apr 15 (Wed)
Week 14: Apr 20

Other notes

Overview and History of Open Source


Linux History

bash and LibreOffice

The Cathedral v the Bazaar

Open Source Security


Open Source Management

Making Money with Open Source