Embedding license data in images

This term I've got a good group of students taking my second open source course. Unlike the first course, which aims to teach the theory and practice of open source, the second course aims to get students engaged with a larger piece of work. During the fall I was chatting…

Avocation

Over the holidays I had a chance to read Gibson's new novel, The Peripheral. I won't discuss the book itself, but instead want to pause over one word. What I enjoy so much about Gibson's style is that his unit of thought is so often the single word, and moving…

Video killed the radio star

One of the personal experiments I'm considering in 2015 is a conscious movement away from video-based participation in open source communities. There are a number of reasons, but the main one is that I have found the preference for "realtime," video-based communication media inevitably leads to ever narrowing…

Minimum Viable Product

This week in class I was discussing the value of thinking in terms of a Minimum Viable Product (MVP), and how open source tends to favour the approach, because it allows one to ship, test things with real users, get feedback quickly, find and fix bugs, and repeat. Structuring your…

How to encourage contributors

One of the techniques I've used over the years in teaching open source is to invite core members of the projects we're working within to come and give guest lectures. I do this for a variety of reasons. First, I find that students are intimidated by the size and complexity…

CDOT Planet Blog Feed Cleanup

In recent days our CDOT Blog Planet has begun having issues. Chris was able to determine that we have many feed URLs that are no longer active. Today I wrote and ran a script to check all of the feeds in the list, and removed any that were not found,…

Introducing MakeDrive

I've been lax in my blogging for the past number of months (apologies). I've had my head down in a project that's required all of my attention. On Friday we reached a major milestone, and I gave a demo of the work on the weekly Webmaker call. Afterward David Ascher…

blog.humphd.org

Last week I finally made some time to rebuild my blog. The server it ran on died in the fall, and I haven't had the time to properly get it back up. From 2006 until the end of 2013, vocamus.net/dave ran on a WordPress instance hosted faithfully by…

An Hour of Code spawns hours of coding

One of the topics my daughters and two of their friends asked me to do this year in our home school is programming.  They call it Code Club, and we have been learning HTML, JavaScript, CSS together.  We've been using Thimble to make things like this visualization of Castles around…

Concept for a Shared Web File System

I wrote previously about some work we're doing on a web file system like node.js' that sits atop modern browser data stores.  Yesterday Alan came to my class and we brainstormed a solution for creating safe, shared web file systems.  I wanted to write down some of the ideas,…