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The emergence of open-source software in North America
Pan, Guohua and Bonk, Curtis

PublishedNovember 2007
JournalThe International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning
Volume 8, Issue 3, Pages 1-17
Original PublicationInternational Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning
EditorsMcGreal, Rory and Conrad, Dianne
RegionNorth America

ABSTRACT
Unlike conventional models of software development, the open source model is based on the collaborative efforts of users who are also co-developers of the software. Interest in open source software has grown exponentially in recent years. A Google search for the phrase open source in early 2005 returned 28.8 million webpage hits, while less than two years later that number had jumped to 376 million. This paper discusses the origin of the term open source and the key tenets of the open source software development model. In addition, it analyzes the merits and drawbacks of using this model and discusses the advantages and disadvantages of applying the model in higher education. Importantly, examples are provided of computer software, and course management systems in particular, developed using the open source model. Also included are brief analyses of the Linux operating system, and two open source course management systems, Sakai and Moodle, as well as the uPortal. A timeline of major open source projects of significance in North America is provided. The paper concludes with a discussion of the potential for applying the open source software development model to open and distance education.

Keywords Bazaar model · gift culture · open source · redistribution · untapped resources

ISSN1492-3831
Other number3
RefereedYes
Rightsby/4.0
URLhttp://www.irrodl.org/index.php/irrodl/article/view/496
Export optionsBibTex · EndNote · Tagged XML · Google Scholar



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