Well, the classwork from last time was certainly more than the usual busy-work that most first-classes tend to be. Granted, given how rarely this class is planned to meet, such a thing is pretty much understandable. All in all, it’s a shame that we couldn’t finish everything during the class time, as I’m still not completely sure how the Git and IRC things are going to work. I’m pretty sure I either missed something or got lost in the Git activity, as while I could make it work on the online (GUI?) interface, I never got it downloaded to the program on my laptop. Was planning on going through everything again on my own time, to find what I missed, but I never saw the activity document posted… The fact we never got to the IRC part didn’t help my understanding of that, either.
The readings were interesting, if almost predictable, in content. I myself am fully aware that I can tend to overlook things, and it’s a great help to have more people pointing out problems and solutions to you (Cathedral and Bazaar). Heck, even outside of programming, this is a proven concept. I can’t count the number of times the attendant in charge of the shift before mine at my part-time job could not for the life of them find what was making their drawer off, only to have myself (or the next person coming in after me, should I get the first shift) take a look and point out something either misread/misused, or even unaccounted entirely. It was certainly nice to see how such things began evolving and was taken to the extreme with some computer programming. It’s long been known that, where the Internet is concerned, there is little to no privacy and information gets hacked all the time, but to see it used to create such a large project, then turn around and say ‘hey, rather than going to look for information to rip out and use, why don’t we all just open it up and work on it together?’, and turn things around to the point that innovation happens so quickly and so often….. It really is a whole new age that this sort of idea has brought about.
On the second reading, on Free vs Open……. Well, to be honest, it’s really not the type of argument that I generally get in to. From my own understanding, the main difference between the two terms stems from a difference in understanding the intended meanings of the terms. There have been numerous times in my life where I, personally, have had instances where I say or possibly do something and have my meaning be misunderstood. To me, misunderstandings are something that happens pretty much all the time, and are the reason why things should be taken with a ‘grain of salt’, as it were. From my own understanding of the reading, the biggest differences between the two terms are the ‘ideas’ and ‘philosophies’ behind them. Sure, there are some issues about ‘open software’ being restricting in the sense that ‘you can’t freely modify, use, and redistribute it’, but that seems to be a more minor justification to the argument that was presented. The real ‘argument’ is about the ‘freedom’ aspect of both, where people say that ‘open’ software isn’t truly ‘free’ software; and maybe in some cases, they’re actually right, but from what I understood of what I read, they’re also complaining about ‘free’ software that is labeled as ‘open’ and claiming it shouldn’t be called as such, even though the software in question still falls under the qualifications of ‘open’ software. I’m the type who cares more of the results rather than the ‘spirit’, as it were, so the whole thing starts coming off as pointless squabbling when there are other, better things to be doing with one’s time and energy.
As for our final reading work, the OpenMRS Developers Guide, well, it kinda reads like a brochure, but it’s nice to know just what we’re going to be working on. Having some background and information on just what you are helping to accomplish can be a rather great motivator. Now let’s see if we can’t start making differences in the world at large while getting some real life, practical experience in there as well.