Archive:Software garden

Revision as of 21:02, 20 January 2005 by Ericbailey (talk | contribs) (CoEd)
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Information about the Free Culture Garden (or Zoo, or Labs, or what have you) project discussed on the 2005-01-16 conference call.

What Is It?

Produces software for internal use

Develops software that FC.o needs to operate

Produces software for our circle

Develops software for students and academia. Ties in with "Free Culture Campuses" (Local_projects), to link to (and help create) OSS replacements/alternatives to programs students & academia use

Recruits programmers to OSS

A front door to free software development for CS students, programmers, hackers.

  • How to get involved with an OSS project
  • How to open-source your code

Campaigns to open closed source

Push to open the source of closed source programs. Examples:

  • Blender - source code bought from defunct company with donations from open source community
  • Netscape --> Mozilla --> Firefox
  • StarOffice --> OpenOffice
  • Has IBM does this with some of their software? What other examples are there?



Firas' WordPress CC plugin, WP-CC, which makes it simple to tag WordPress blogs with Creative Commons licenses


CoEd, collaborative text-editing software (replaces SubEthaEdit)

  • Nelson has some role in this -- what's the story?
  • | Julan is the developer. CoEd will be a cross-platform, open-source, collaborative editor to replace (or work along side, | the Coding Monkeys have said that they'll be willing to help with compatibility once a more final version is ready. CoEd is being written in Python and uses the | twistd library.

Open Fiction

Open fiction writing software (specialized wiki software adapted for fiction writing: adaptation & enhancement of MediaWiki)

Open Dissertations & Theses

Open dissertation/thesis Web site: Develop and implement the software to host public domain and CC dissertations, theses, research

Video Project X

Someone mentioned some video software project they're involved with?

CC Gnutella

Gnutella 2 server that distributes CC/public domain content

Open Patent Repository

Repository of "prior art."

  • Lots of people have good ideas for inventions, but not the time or money to develop or enforce them.
  • It is possible to take a collaborative approach, a la free software, to patentable work?
  • The problem with taking a copyleft-type approach -- i.e. create something, patent it, license it under an open license -- is that, unlike copyright, which is gratis and happens at the moment you create something copyrightable, patents need to be applied for and are expensive.
  • Once something is out in the open it's not patentable anymore.
    • Heinlein wrote about water beds Stranger in a Strange Land before water beds existed. When someone attempted to patent them, the novel was held up as prior art and the patent refused.
  • Creating a central repository of prior art could, hypothetically, prevent these ideas from being patented. Also, is there some way to provide metadata for ideas so that they are easy to find, making it more likely the patent office would encounter your idea when searching for prior art?
    • This doesn't work if the patent office doesn't look thoroughly for prior art.
    • If the patent office doesn't find it before the patent is approved, but later the patent is brought before court, it might be hard to prove that material online pre-dated the patent. There needs to be good documentation, preferably printed.

Campus CC Collectives

To host term papers, films, photos, writings, etc.

At Colby, a project exists to make student/staff produced material easily available for sharing. The goal is to have a system similar to MIT's DSpace or something that would allow people to see content created by other members of the school community. Right now, we've created Imagine, which is a photo sharing system that allows the users to choose from several copyrights including creative commons. The current goal is to get the Digital Photography class to upload their works to the system. The current system is poorly documented at the time of writing and is in an early stage of developement.