Comp 312-01E/412-001, Open Source Computing, Summer 2018

Peter Dordal, Loyola University Chicago Dept of Computer Science.

The class is scheduled for Tuesdays and Thursdays, 5:30-8:45, in Corboy 323. Most (maybe all) Thursdays we may meet online, possibly in small groups, with small-group meetings likely at the group's convenience and not necessarily on Thursdays at all.

The main goal of the course is to participate in some open-source project, as part of a team. You are encouraged to participate in a "real" project, but I've rounded up a two "private" projects as alternatives. These are at Another interesting possibility is at

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 you chose to contribute something to the linux kernel, and it kept crashing).

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.

In addition to the project, we'll also look at bug finding, bug reporting, and presentations about how projects are put together. There will probably be some kind of final exam, covering the factual material presented. 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:

Course calendar

This table assumes we are meeting only on Tuesdays.

Week 1: July 3
Week 2: July 10
Week 3: July 17
Week 4: July 24
Week 5: July 31
Week 6: Aug 7

Other notes

Overview and History of Open Source


Linux History

bash and LibreOffice