Tech Insider					     Technology and Trends

From uug-list@uug.byu.edu  Wed Mar 26 02:51:14 2003
From: uug-list@uug.byu.edu (Michael Halcrow)
Date: Tue, 25 Mar 2003 19:51:14 -0700
Subject: [uug] Promoting Open Source Development
Message-ID: <20030326025114.GA26586@cs.byu.edu>

Okay, so we've been doing a pretty good job of promoting the *use* of
Open Source software among the student body here at BYU. Over the last
little while, I've been thinking about all of the *development* talent
that we have floating around in the EE and the CS department (okay,
and the Physics department too, but the EE and CS folks tend to write
more code...). Students have plenty of opportunity to work on cool
class projects, but very few of those projects actually get
distributed under the GPL. In reality, a lot of these projects are
great ideas, but they don't make it much farther than a meager report
and a grade in a class. I think that one reason why this is so is
because few students bother to think about releasing their code under
the GPL, or they don't know where to start in order to get their code
``out there'' into the world.

We need to be doing more to help these students understand the world
of Open Source software, and we should be encouraging them to
contribute to the pool of Open Source software wherever
possible. Maybe we could start with a page on the UUG site that
details Open Source contributions by students at BYU. We can get
posters on the walls of the stairwells featuring student projects that
are released under the GPL (and where to go to download them). We
could even have a club meeting on ``Open Source Development'' where we
talk about autoconf, README's, licensing, SourceForge, Freshmeat,
creating and applying patches, development mailing lists, and the
whole sha-bang.

We can also encourage professors to cover Open Source development and
the GPL in their classes, suggesting to students that they release
their code for their projects under the GPL, to involve the worldwide
Open Source development community in their efforts. I can't see how
this can do anything other than enhance the image of our university
and give our students broader exposure to the real world of software
development, while contributing to the pool of Free Software in
existence.

Mike
--=20
---------------------------------------- | ------------------------
Michael Halcrow                          | mhalcrow@cs.byu.edu   =20
Internet Security Research Lab           | Dept. of Comp. Science =20
                                         | Brigham Young University
Most people aren't thought about after   |
they're gone. "I wonder where Mike got   |
the plutonium" is better than what most  |
get.                                     |
---------------------------------------- | ------------------------
GnuPG Keyprint:  05B5 08A8 713A 64C1 D35D  2371 2D3C FDDA 3EB6 601D

From uug-list@uug.byu.edu  Wed Mar 26 02:56:22 2003
From: uug-list@uug.byu.edu (Stuart Jansen)
Date: Tue, 25 Mar 2003 19:56:22 -0700
Subject: [uug] Promoting Open Source Development
In-Reply-To: <20030326025114.GA26586@cs.byu.edu>
References: <20030326025114.GA26586@cs.byu.edu>
Message-ID: <1048647381.1009.4.camel@patience>

On Tue, 2003-03-25 at 19:51, Michael Halcrow wrote:
*Some stuff about encouraging OOS/FS at BYU.

I fully support you. Let me know if there's anything I can do to help.
My one question: is this more appropriate for the UUG or another club?
It seems more like balancing Devhood that supporting the users of *nix.

--=20
Stuart Jansen <sjansen@byu.edu>

#define FALSE 0 /* This is the naked Truth */
#define TRUE  1 /* and this is the Light   */ -- mailto.c

From uug-list@uug.byu.edu  Wed Mar 26 04:25:31 2003
From: uug-list@uug.byu.edu (Michael Halcrow)
Date: Tue, 25 Mar 2003 21:25:31 -0700
Subject: [uug] Promoting Open Source Development
In-Reply-To: <1048647381.1009.4.camel@patience>
References: <20030326025114.GA26586@cs.byu.edu> <1048647381.1009.4.camel@patience>
Message-ID: <20030326042531.GA26699@cs.byu.edu>

DISCLAIMER: I intend to rile up some emotions with this post. If all
you want to read on this list are questions and answers about obscure
sendmail config file options, start ignoring this thread now.

On Tue, Mar 25, 2003 at 07:56:22PM -0700, Stuart Jansen wrote:=20
> On Tue, 2003-03-25 at 19:51, Michael Halcrow wrote:
> *Some stuff about encouraging OOS/FS at BYU.
>=20
> I fully support you. Let me know if there's anything I can do to help.
> My one question: is this more appropriate for the UUG or another club?
> It seems more like balancing Devhood that supporting the users of *nix.

Thanks, Stuart. I appreciate your support. But I'm starting to lose my
patience with this whole ``But this is the *UNIX* Users Group!!'' I
feel like, at this point, it is a pointless and counter-productive
argument. It's like this whole list is in collective denial. Everyone,
look around yourselves for a second here...

WE ARE ALL USING *LINUX*, DAMMIT!=20

Okay, so Jon is using BSD (which everyone knows is dying anyway ;-),
and there are a couple of Mac OS X guys around (and I'm sure that the
few I missed will be quick to let us all know), and we would never
exclude them from the list just for changing the name (unless they
want to feel excluded), but the OVERWHELMING MAJORITY of this list is
comprised of Linux users. It is Linux that is drawing new members to
this list. All the CS majors are exposed to Linux in the labs. The
CAEDM and SPICE guys are installing Debian Linux machines in the labs,
and they are making HP-UX look like Linux with Gnome and what
not. Many on this list are Free Software and Open Source software
advocates. The demographics of this list tips heavily on the side of
Linux. And I feel that keeping ``Linux'' out of our name is causing us
real harm in terms of investigators to the club. People are seeing
``Linux'' on the cover of BusinessWeek Magazine, not ``Unix.''  That
is why a name change is overdue.

``Unix'' is esoteric. It is a bunch of old guys with beards hacking
away on mainframe terminals. ``Linux'' is now mainstream. Open Source
is a much more familiar term than HP-UX.=20

We hold Linux Install Fests. We give out and promote Linux and Open
Source software. We have used Tux as our web site mascott. I do not
remember the last time I read a technical question on this list by
someone who wanted to know the answer for use on HP-UX, AIX, Solaris,
etc. The people posting questions are all using Linux. Nearly all the
screenshots on our web site are of Linux window managers. When was the
last time we covered something at a group meeting that didn't work on
Linux? In fact, how often have we even *talked* about operating
systems other than Linux at a group meeting?  Face it: This is the BYU
Linux Users Group. It's time our name reflect our activities and what
our members are actually using.

The argument to maintain ``Unix'' in the name of the group is purely
idealogical. It just feels good to maintain some air of tradition. But
I am not talking about what the list started out as. I am talking now
about what the list has *become*. And I am also looking ahead to see
what the list will be. Some say that ``Linux'' is just a flash in the
pan, and that ``Unix'' is more entrenched and universal, and so we
should keep ``Linux'' out of our name. Frankly, while I appreciate all
that ``Unix'' has done for GNU and Linux, the time is past for paying
lip service to the phenomenon. I feel that ``Unix'' is now a stagnant
dinosaur, and it is becoming largely irrelevant in light of the Open
Source movement and Linux. Solaris, HP-UX, AIX, and all other
proprietary Unices are giving way to Linux. They will *never* ... I
repeat, *NEVER* be able to compete on the same level as Linux (they
will have some niche markets, but they will remain niche, and become
even more niche as time passes), because Linux is Open Source. IBM
executives have labeled Linux as the ``natural successor'' to AIX and
are pumping a BILLION dollars into Linux development. Analysts have
been pointing out how Sun is facing serious competition from Linux,
and it is losing server market share to Linux just as fast as Windows
NT is losing market share to Linux. Even if one of the proprietary
Unices were to open its source, it would not gain significant market
share because attributes of that system design would simply be
incorporated into the Linux kernel. While we can appreciate the
history and culture, the old ``Unix'' as we used to know it is quickly
becoming irrelevant in today's technology trends.

It's time we shed Unix from our name, and shed along with it the image
of a stagnant group of esoteric Unix geebers. We are the BYU Linux
Users Group.

Mike

From uug-list@uug.byu.edu  Wed Mar 26 03:25:04 2003
From: uug-list@uug.byu.edu (Andrew Jorgensen)
Date: Tue, 25 Mar 2003 20:25:04 -0700
Subject: [uug] Promoting Open Source Development
In-Reply-To: <20030326025114.GA26586@cs.byu.edu>
References: <20030326025114.GA26586@cs.byu.edu>
Message-ID: <3E811D90.2080101@ajorge.org>

Michael Halcrow wrote:
> okay, and the Physics department too, but the EE and CS folks tend to write
> more code...)

Physics code is kind of scary sometimes anyway. ;)

> Maybe we could start with a page on the UUG site that
> details Open Source contributions by students at BYU.

This is an excelent idea.

> We could even have a club meeting on ``Open Source Development'' where we
> talk about autoconf, README's, licensing, SourceForge, Freshmeat,
> creating and applying patches, development mailing lists, and the
> whole sha-bang.

I agree. The Open Source concept can't survive if people only /use/ 
the software. I also agree that there's a lot of talent here.

> 
> We can also encourage professors to cover Open Source development and
> the GPL in their classes, suggesting to students that they release
> their code for their projects under the GPL

I wish this were possible, but I don't think it can happen. We had a 
discussion about this (half joking, half very serious) over Art's art.

http://uug.byu.edu/pipermail/uug-list/2003-February/000850.html

There was some suggestion that you could let BYU own the copyright and 
still license it under the GPL (maybe), but I don't think that a 
professor could /advocate/ open sourcing a project done for school. 
It's unfortunate, but true, that there are legal implications.

http://techtransfer.byu.edu/documents/ippolicy.htm#_IV.E._Student_Ownership

If, on the other hand, you can show (hard to do) that you didn't use 
school resources to build your project you might be safe.

Maybe another option would be a BSD style license. Then the school can 
make money off it if they want to try, and you can release it.

Personally I'm in favor of open sourcing anything you do that's worth 
while, school related or not. I think BYU's policies reach further 
than they should.

I have a friend who hates proprietary software (with a passion) but 
even though he writes useful code for personal projects all the time 
he hasn't even considered open source. That makes me sad.

From uug-list@uug.byu.edu  Wed Mar 26 04:54:23 2003
From: uug-list@uug.byu.edu (Michael Halcrow)
Date: Tue, 25 Mar 2003 21:54:23 -0700
Subject: [uug] Promoting Open Source Development
In-Reply-To: <3E811D90.2080101@ajorge.org>
References: <20030326025114.GA26586@cs.byu.edu> <3E811D90.2080101@ajorge.org>
Message-ID: <20030326045423.GA26824@cs.byu.edu>

On Tue, Mar 25, 2003 at 08:25:04PM -0700, Andrew Jorgensen wrote:
> Michael Halcrow wrote:
> There was some suggestion that you could let BYU own the copyright and=20
> still license it under the GPL (maybe), but I don't think that a=20
> professor could /advocate/ open sourcing a project done for school.=20
> It's unfortunate, but true, that there are legal implications.

So, let me get this straight... I *PAY* to take a class at a
university, conceive of a project, use my own equipment to develop the
software, use my own time and efforts to write it, and then my school
claims to own the copyright for the software I write? I don't think
so. My school doesn't own me. If the school funds the development of
the software by paying me to write the software, I can understand
that. If it's on my own time, on my own equipment, whether it is in
conjunction with a class project or not, as far as I'm concerned, *I*
am the one who owns the copyright, not BYU.

I will not release code under the BSD license, so some other entity
can take advantage of my work without returning it to the community;
GPL is the only acceptable license for code that I write and release
to the community, to ensure that the community receives maximum
benefit from my work.

Mike
--=20
---------------------------------------- | ------------------------
Michael Halcrow                          | mhalcrow@cs.byu.edu   =20
Internet Security Research Lab           | Dept. of Comp. Science =20
                                         | Brigham Young University
For a man to truly understand rejection, |
he must first be ignored by a cat.       |
---------------------------------------- | ------------------------
GnuPG Keyprint:  05B5 08A8 713A 64C1 D35D  2371 2D3C FDDA 3EB6 601D

From uug-list@uug.byu.edu  Thu Mar 27 09:01:56 2003
From: uug-list@uug.byu.edu (Frank Sorenson)
Date: Thu, 27 Mar 2003 02:01:56 -0700 (MST)
Subject: [uug] What's in a Name?
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.44.0303262347150.7535-100000@asterix.cs.byu.edu>

Okay.  All this discussion about what the UUG should be called has caused
me to think again (second time this month).  It hurts, so I ask everyone
to stop right away, and never bring it up again :)

Personally, I don't like the idea of changing the name of the group.  
True, most of us do run Linux (when my 22 month old comes into my office,
he shouts TUX, grabs my penguin off my desk, and puts him in my fridge!).  
It's true that even after changing the name, we probably would still allow
heathen users of other *nix varieties to still associate with the group.  
It's true that with a new name, we may entice a different crowd.  It may
even be true that all those other *nix flavors will go away soon, never to
return.

I think that the name of the group really needs to be simple, and should
fit with the purpose of our club (see club charter at
http://uug.byu.edu/mission.php).  The purpose is currently to "Provide a
forum and means for discussion, discovery and development of Unix and
Linux."  To change the name of the group to include Free software or Open
Source, or to limit the group (even in name) changes the purpose of the
club.  If that's really what we want to do (change our purpose), I think
that should be the issue, not using a name change to change our purpose.

I think that despite all the other issues, the purpose of the club hasn't
changed.  We're still Discussing, Discovering, and Developing (hereafter
D^3) Unix and Linux.  Linux is a kernel (operating system), not all the
applications (though I do think that referring to everything as Linux
makes sense most of the time).  Looking back at our old discussions, I
think that fewer of our mail threads deal with D^3 the kernel than D^3
Unix applications that happen to run under Linux.

I agree that there are also a number of Free/Open threads (and other
interesting topics) on the list.  In the past, this has been handled in a
number of ways:
1 - A good old-fashioned flame-war!
2 - Great discussions that tragically never end with either side giving in 
3 - Deletions of entire email threads, or hurried calls of "man 
procmailex" for filtering suggestions
4 - Calls for Club name changes
5 - Creation of side lists that are probably under-utilized
6 - List members taking offense and unsubscribing (some return, some 
don't)
7 - Long emails from Frank that nobody reads anyway, since he's in 
everyone's .procmailrc file with a delivering recipe to /dev/null [1] :)
8 - ...

If the UUG is no longer serving its purpose, then we should look into
creating a new group with a charter tuned to what we want to do and focus
on.  If we still have a purpose, lets fill that need.  Many of us still 
like the original purposes, and don't want to see our beloved club go away 
because some people want to change our club purpose.  Get your own club 
(group, that is--not stout heavy stick)!

If the threads that are unrelated to our main purpose begin to crowd out
the threads that are related to D^3 (see above) Unix and Linux, something
needs to be done (see Jacob 5:37 - http://scriptures.lds.org/jacob/5#37).  
That _may_ be one of the following (or something completely different):

- The Club is no longer needed as presently constituted (verse 49)
- Club leadership needs to help everyone stay focused (verse 54)
- Those who want to change the purpose to something different need to 
start their own club with their own purposes (I'll leave this as an 
exercise to the reader :)

The name of the club should reflect the stated club purposes, and should 
be meaningful to both members and not-yet-members (Microsoft users? :).  I 
believe our current name (UUG in case you forgot) does that well enough.  
If most people believe that the name needs to be changed, but that our 
club purpose should remain approximately the same, we should consider 
something like the BYU Linux/Unix Group (LUG).  When I was in Portland, 
our Linux Users Group (the _other_ PLUG - www.pdxlinux.org) changed names 
to the Portland Linux/Unix Group, since the group served more than just 
Linux (http://www.pdxlinux.org/articles/plug-history.html).

In summary (don't you all love summaries that come at the end of 
something?):
I like the current purpose of the club, and I don't think the purpose has
changed or needs to change.  I think the current name reflects the main
points well enough.  If people want to discuss side issues, that's fine,
but to a point.  Instead of changing our reason for existing, create a new 
club with new purposes.  If you act quickly enough, you might be able to 
get the old Phantom before I make someone get it out of the office :)

"And thank you for your support."
(http://www.tvacres.com/admascots_bartles.htm)

Frank
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
Frank Sorenson - KD7TZK
CSR Computer Science Department
Brigham Young University
frank@byu.net


[1]
:O
* ^From.*sorenson@byu.edu
/dev/null

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