The “sharing first” sentiment is gaining momentum across academia…
The Economist recently ran an article about commercial applications of code from higher education. While LATIS Labs isn’t exactly planning to churn out million-dollar software to help monetize eyeballs or synergize business practices, we do want to be sharing software.
We believe that sharing software is a part of our responsibility as developers at a public institution. Of course we’ll be releasing code – we’re in higher education. This “sharing first” sentiment is also gaining momentum in other parts of academia, from open textbooks, to open access journals, to open data (see some related links below).
We also believe that releasing code makes for better code. At a big institution like the University of Minnesota, it’s easy to cut corners on software development by relying on private access to databases or by making assumptions about your users. Writing with an eye towards open source forces you to design software the right way, it forces to you document your code, and it forces you to write software you’re proud of.
As we work on things in LATIS Labs, you’ll find them at github.com/umn-latis. Clone them, fork them, file issues on them. We’ll keep sharing.
Resources & references
- “Software engineering: Of more than academic interest”. (26 March 2016). The Economist. http://www.economist.com/news/science-and-technology/21695377-professors-unprofessional-programs-have-created-new-profession-more
- Weber, S. (2005). The Success of Open Source. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. http://www.hup.harvard.edu/catalog.php?isbn=9780674018587
- Willinsky, J. (2005). “The unacknowledged convergence of open source, open access, and open science”. First Monday Vol 10, No. 8-1. http://ojphi.org/ojs/index.php/fm/article/view/1265/1185
- Willinsky, J. (2009). The Access Principle: The Case for Open Access to Research and Scholarship. Boston, MA: MIT Press. https://mitpress.mit.edu/books/access-principle
- Open Textbook Library. University of Minnesota Center for Open Education. https://open.umn.edu/opentextbooks/
- Open Data Management. UMN Libraries. https://www.lib.umn.edu/datamanagement/opendata