Monday, October 27, 2008

Casey Bisson kicks off with an Introduction and Overview

Casey Bisson will kick off our series with an Introduction and Overview of Open-Source in Libraries .

In fact he wrote the book on Open-Source Software for Libraries and here's the ALA TechSource link:
Open-Source Software for Libraries
and here's the direct link to a CC-licensed version of the Library Technology Report of the same name
You might want some information on his work on Scriblio at Plymouth State University

Here's the blurb on Casey from the ALA TechSource web page:
Casey Bisson, named among Library Journal's Movers & Shakers for 2007 and recipient of a 2006 Mellon Award for Technology Collaboration for developing Scriblio (formerly WPopac), is an information architect at Plymouth State University. He is a frequent presenter at library and technology conferences and blogs about his passion for libraries, roadside oddities, and hiking in New Hampshire's White Mountains at

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

What Is Open Source Software?

Software is considered open source if it meets certain conditions or criteria. Among them:
– The software can be freely given away or sold.
– The source code must be included or freely obtainable.
– Redistribution of modifications must be allowed.

What is “source code”?
• When a piece of software is developed, a programmer writes it in a human‐readable language. The software in this form is called source code.
• Most software is distributed in a form computers can “understand”, sometimes called object code, and no source code is provided. This is called proprietary software.
• If no source code is provided, the software cannot be modified by the user.

Contrast This With Open Source Software (OSS)
• Source code is provided.
• So, OSS can be modified and maintained by the user.
• OSS is never a trade secret, because the source code is never secret, by definition.

We will be looking at two type of OSS:
• Library Specific, in this series of seminars an open source ILS called Evergreen.
• Other OSS applications that may be of use to libraries.