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OLR Open Learning Resources. OLR. Freedom to access copy modify redistribute Foote 2005, Doyle 2005. Conditions? Attribution Share-Alike Non-commercial No-modify Educational Other?. Matter more in conditions of scarcity, not abundance. What resources?. Not just courseware….

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  • Freedom to
  • access
  • copy
  • modify
  • redistribute

Foote 2005, Doyle 2005








Matter more in conditions of scarcity, not abundance

what resources
What resources?

Not just courseware…






More than just cost…

  • we need to consider:
    • usability
    • durability
    • accessibility
    • effectiveness
  • Alternate objective: free as in freedom
funding models
Funding Models

Numerous funding models…

these vary mostly by source

but models have other implications

who authors (whose point of view)?

who controls (funds, resources)

who distributes?

endowment model
Endowment Model
  • Single large grant
  • Managed by fund-holder
  • Funding via interest

Eg. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

$US 3 to 4 million fund

$190,000 budget

membership model
Membership Model
  • Organizations join consortium
  • Members pay fees
  • Projects managed collectively

Eg. Sakai


Eg. OCW Consortium

donations model
Donations Model
  • Donations solicited from public
  • May involve project membership

(by individuals)

  • Project manged by a board

Eg. Wikipedia foundation Apache foundation

conversion model
Conversion Model

"In the Conversion model, you give something away for free and then convert the consumer of the freebie to a paying customer."

Sterne and Herring (2005)

contributor pay
Contributor Pay
  • Creators of resources pay for ‘publication’
  • Resources are managed by the publisher

charges for this process will be met by funding bodies, such as the Wellcome Trust - 1% of their annual spend.

Eg. Public Library of Science

But also

Think about YouTube, Blogger, Flickr (pro)

sponsorship model
Sponsorship Model
  • The ‘public television’ model
  • Resources are ‘sponsored’ by donors
  • Usually in return for sponsorship spot



MIT iCampus Outreach Initiative (Microsoft) (CORE, 2005)

Stanford on iTunes project (Apple)

institutional model
Institutional Model

Examples: OpenCourseWare

Open Knowledge Initiative


All from MIT

  • Sponsoring organization pays costs
  • Considered part of its ‘mandate’

It usually manages it, too… and there may be side-benefits

government funding model
Government Funding Model
  • Government funds
  • Usually managed by arms-length board (but not always)
  • Intended to serve government objectives…


OLPC (again)

Canada SchoolNet

Universities, colleges, schools


Most of the barriers to the sustainability of OERs have nothing to do with money

There are billions of free resources out there


The problem is control…

… and ownership

the new model
The New Model
  • Adobe: “we want to be the toolmaker”
  • Google: open source tools

OERs today are about giving people the means to create

And then stepping out of the way

Flickr Facebook YouTube Blogger MySpace Yahoo-Groups Revver Writely Wikipedia LiveJournal WordPress Drupal PHP


OECD Report…

‘Giving Knowledge for Free’ ….?

So long as we think of OERs as charity…

as something we create

and that we give to the indigent

OERs will never be sustainable

what is free open source software development
What is free/open source software development?
  • Free (as in “freedom”) vs. open source
    • Freedom to access, browse/view, study, modify and redistribute the source code
    • Free is always open, but open is not always free
  • F/OSSD is not “software engineering”
    • Different: F/OSSD can be faster, better, and cheaper than SE
  • F/OSSD involves more software development tools, Web resources, and personal computing resources, compared to traditional SE methods.
redhat linux s business model

Use volunteer programmers to create the software; make source code open and available to all users

Give Linux operating system away free of charge to those who download it (charge a small fee to users who want a copy on CD)

Make money by employing a cadre of technical support personnel who provide technical support to users for a fee

Redhat Linux’s Business Model
microsoft s business model

Employ a cadre of highly skilled programmers to develop proprietary code; keep source code hidden from users

Sell resulting operating system and software packages to PC makers and users at relatively attractive prices and achieve large unit sales

Most costs arise in developing the software; variable costs are small—once breakeven volume is reached, revenues from additional sales are almost pure profit.

Provide technical support to users at no cost

Microsoft’s Business Model
who is investing in f ossd
Who is investing in F/OSSD?
  • Large corporations: (IT and Financial)
    • IBM-Eclipse, Sun-NetBeans and OpenOffice, HP-Gelato, Apple-Darwin, Microsoft Research-Rotor, SAP-SAPDB/MySQL, etc.
    • Barclays Global Investors, Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein
  • Mid-size corporations:
    • RedHat, Novell
  • Small (start-up) companies:
    • ActiveState, Collab.Net, Jabber, Ximian, JBoss, Compiere, etc.
findings from f oss studies
Findings from F/OSS Studies
  • CIO 2002-2003:
    • OSS primarily for new system deployments
    • OSS benefits
      • lower capital investment
      • greater reliability
    • OSS weaknesses:
      • lack of in-house skills or skills in labor market,
      • lack of vendor support or vendor viability
      • switching costs
findings from f ossd studies
Findings from F/OSSD Studies
  • Madey, et al. 2003:
    • <5% of OSS projects on SourceForge.net sustained; >90% have only one contributor (i.e., Power Law)
  • Nichols and Twidale 2003:
    • Usability of F/OSS systems generally neglected
  • Scacchi 2002-2004:
    • Largest F/OSSD projects sustain exponential growth; most F/OSSD projects fail to grow to any sustainable effort
motivation for open source processes
Motivation for open source processes
  • Closed source processes:
    • opaque or tacit, difficult to improve, subject to inappropriate automation by vendors
  • Open source processes:
    • Enables continuous process improvement and organizational learning through open access to the “source code” of enterprise processes
configuration management and work coordination
Configuration management and work coordination
  • Use CM to coordinate and control who gets to update what part of the system/online artifacts
    • Many F/OSSD projects use CVS (single centralized code repository with update locks) and frequent releases (daily releases on active projects)
    • Linux Kernel: BitKeeper (multiple parallel builds and release repositories)
    • Collab.Net and Tigris.org: Subversion (CVS++)
    • Apache: Single major release, with frequent “patch” releases (e.g., “A patchy server”)
    • GNU arch seeks to develop Free CM unification
evolutionary redevelopment reinvention and redistribution
Evolutionary redevelopment, reinvention, and redistribution
  • Overall evolutionary dynamic of F/OSSD is reinvention
    • Reinvention enables continuous improvement
  • F/OSS evolve through minor mutations
    • Expressed, recombined, redistributed via incremental releases
  • F/OSS systems co-evolve with their development community
    • Success of one depends on the success of the other
  • Closed legacy systems may be revitalized via opening and redistribution of their source
    • When enthusiastic user-developers want their cultural experience with such systems to be maintained.
software technology transfer and licensing
Software technology transfer and licensing
  • F/OSS technology transfer from existing Web sites is a community and team building process
    • Not (yet) an engineering process
    • Enables unanticipated applications and uses
    • Enables F/OSSD to persist without centrally planned and managed corporate software development centers
free oss licenses
Free/OSS licenses

Reiterate and institutionalize F/OSS culture (values, norms, and beliefs)

  • GNU Public License (GPL) for free software
  • More than 40 other open source licenses (http://opensource.org)
  • “Creative Commons” Project at Stanford Law School developing public license framework (http://creativecommons.org/about/licenses/)
  • F/OSSD is a community building process
    • not just a technical development process
    • F/OSS peer review creates a community of peers
  • F/OSSD processes often iterate daily versus infrequent singular (milestone) Software Life Cycle Engineering events
    • F/OSSD: frequent, rapid cycle time (easier to improve) vs.
    • SLC: infrequent, slow cycle time (harder to improve)
  • Developing F/OSS is different than software engineering
    • not better, not worse, but different and new
    • more social, more accessible, more convivial
  • F/OSS systems don’t need and probably won’t benefit from classic software engineering.