Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Brainstorming -- class project

I've decided that working on an "open source" project and creating documentation for a piece of software is the way to go. Not only can we contribute our documentation to a team when we are done with the course, but we can put on our resumes that wrote documentation and it's out there for the world to see; it's a publication!

A great place to look for open source software is:


Updates I'm writing this on Wednesday evening (Jan 9) 2 days later (I've been researching)

I have three ideas for this project. To ensure that everyone has access to the software, my requirement when searching was that the software was open and free. Open is hard concept to define here so I defer to wikipedia or opensource.org. I also don't want to pay for it, but legally. I also wanted to brainstorm about software that everyone would be familiar with and that they've seen before. The categories of software I state in this modest list should be familiar with everyone in our class -- so the basic concepts of how to use this won't be too difficult to grasp.

  1. Instant messaging software
  2. Blogging software
  3. Photo management software
Let me give some examples of software we can work on for the project, going through each idea above.

  1. Instant messaging software
The IM clients Pidgin and Miranda have FAQ and some documentation already, but we could improve on it or we could reorganize some of the information. We can also contribute to these projects -- they are continuously being developed.

2. Blogging software

I don't have any other ideas other than Wordpress. It's an open project, not owned by a company and anyone can use it.

3. Picture management software

We could document Picasa, but it's owned by Google. I don't know if we would be able to publish our documentation when we finish this course.


Kate said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kate said...

Wow - that stuff looks really technical. So if we use "open source" software, we would first have to learn how to use it and then create documentation for it? I think my overall understanding of this project is fuzzy at best. :S

laulan said...

In response to Kate: These pieces of software can (for the most part) be very narrow in their subject scope, but some software, such as media (music) and paint software are not that complicated.

"Open source" is a philosophy where the person who creates it (generally) does not profit from it and makes the code to build that piece of software available to the world to modify and change.

I'll be looking into some more viable options for our project, but this is a good site to get an idea of what software is out there.

Maybe I can call some people tonight (some tech people) to further brainstorm. I'm not having much luck on my end, but I'll post anything I come up with tonight.