Open Symposium, September 24-25, 2014

Last updated September 15, 2014.

Join your colleagues from the convenience of your desk for a free two-day symposium on sustainable open source practices from the perspective of the software project communities and from the software project adopters.

There is no cost for participating in the open symposium. The costs are funded by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

About the SCHOSS Symposium

Last updated September 15, 2014.

Successful open source projects have support structures where bugs are reported, code enhancements are created and reviewed, documentation provided, and user questions answered. In mainstream open source projects, the core people in those support structures usually come from companies with a vested interest in the ongoing health of the software. (At times, one company will be the primary driver of ongoing support for a project. At other times, a consortium of cooperating companies will provide ongoing support.) In projects from the cultural heritage community -- libraries, archives, museums -- the source of ongoing support varies widely: grant subsidized funding, in-kind donations of staff time to work on a project's community-focused needs, voluntary monetary donations or memberships to non-profit stewards of a project, sales of services by non-profit stewards to cross-subsidize community needs, and often a combination of all of these possibilities.

The purpose of the symposium is to provide managers of open source software projects and organization leaders with details about support practices in use in the field and to further the cooperation of cultural heritage organizations towards common interests in sustainable open source. Topics include:

  • Successful sustainability models used in cultural heritage open source projects.
  • Importance of adopter and user support -- monetary and in-kind -- for open source projects.
  • Examples of effective community growth and management.

Symposium Schedule, Speakers and Topics

Last updated March 17, 2015.

The symposium was held on September 24 and 25, 2014, and included two or three 20-minute prepared talks from community leaders and panel question/answer. Colleagues were (and still are!) encouraged to use the public discussion site on FOSS4Lib to ask questions of each other and the panel. Links to topics on the community discussion site are included below with each day's agenda.

September 24th: Creating the Conditions for Community Engagement

If you build it, will they come? The structure for encouraging and valuing the contributions of those that adopt the code is of equal importance to the functionality of the code itself. Adopters of an open source project come to rely on the software to varying degrees. In the same way, projects rely on adopters to keep the project moving forward. This session looks at what projects can do to encourage community participation.

Prepared Talks

Seed Questions

September 25th: What Does it Mean to Adopt an Open Source Package

So, whether on your own or through a service provider you've decided to use an open source package to meet an automation need in your organization. You paid nothing for the right to run the software (although you may be paying a service provider for their support of the software), so you have no obligation to the software itself, right? Arguably not. Healthy open source software is supported by a community of users, and the other participants in the open source project are counting on your support -- financial and talent -- to keep the project growing. This session outlines expectations that open source adopters should have when implementing an OSS project.

Prepared Talks

Seed Questions