Sunday, September 29, 2013

OpenHatch open source software event in Morris

This weekend, I was excited to participate in an OpenHatch open source software event at my campus, the University of Minnesota Morris. Thanks to Shauna and Asheesh for providing a very engaging day with everyone, and to Nic, Elena, and KK for hosting the event.

I didn't do a specific headcount, but I'd guess we had more than 25 people in attendance, most of them students.

The purpose of the workshop was to help students get engaged in open source software. It was a very full day. We started by discussing communication tools common in most open source software projects (IRC and email), tools used in open source software (such as Git), and how to pick an open source software project you'd like to work with. Several of us also participated in a panel discussion about open source software, and answered questions about how folks can make a living in open source software.

In the afternoon, we divided into groups of interested students to actually contribute to an open source software project. I was fortunate to work with a student who helped me with Simple Senet, a simulation of the ancient Egyptian boardgame Senet. (Since there are two accepted by competing rulesets, we worked on a method to allow users to tweak the gameplay rules of Senet to the version they prefer. This solution allows the user to specify command line options that turn on or off certain options, including "ruleset groups" of common play options.) We got most of the way towards a solution during the afternoon session; I can take it from there and code the final implementation in a future version of Simple Senet.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks a ton for helping out – we really appreciated your support and assistance! Looking forward to self-hosting the next year :-)