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Call for Communication (paper ?) concerning the "Development" topic of the 10th Libre Software Meeting (Nantes, France, july 2009)

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Free/Libre/OpenSource Software (FLOSS) rules on a major part of software development : libre programming languages (Perl, Python, PHP, Java, Ruby, etc.), development tools (Eclipse, Subversion, Git, etc.), collaboration platforms (software forges like GForge, Trac, etc.), libraries or development frameworks, etc.

Does using FLOSS tools to program mean one “participates to FLOSS” ?

Not necessarily : all these FLOSS tools are used to develop software, be it FLOSS or not. And a lonesome FLOSS coder, it’s cool, but having contributors, it’s far better (but harder to manage). So : FLOSS development : where, how ?

In this track, we don’t mean to teach yet another programing course for a FLOSS language (… to make proprietary software), or exhibit the wonders of yet another great libre library (despite how gifted its lone author would be…).

To keep focused on the specific issues of FLOSS, this “development” track will investigate several aspects that characterize the specificity of developments in a FLOSS environment :

  • how to really do collaborative development (techniques, methodologies)
  • how to organize to create momentum in a FLOSS development project (leadership, Quality Control/Assurance)
  • how is quality tracked between projects and distributions
  • which solutions and limits in software forges
  • which major evolutions in a popular FLOSS language or development framework
  • how to do efficient bugtracking in 21st century
  • how to attract and keep contributors in a project
  • how to make a successful fork
  • how to deal with copyright of contributions
  • how to incubate new development projects
  • how to guarantee trust in a vast community
  • do projects have a center or everything may be completely distributed (code, bugs, etc.)

… and all the other ideas that you’ll bring :-)

We hope we made it clear : this track won’t deal with programming courses with free tools, or the development of “linux compatible” software, but with the technical and organisational issues of the collaborative development projects that make the main FLOSS project succesful.

Thanks in advance for all the proposals of communications (presentations on projects, communities, methods, tools, languages) which will help FLOSS developers or interested people to better understand the responses to the questions listed above.

Details for speakers :

English is the expected language for the lectures of the topic, although (if nobody objects in the audience) some talks might be in French with at least the slides in English.

Talks are expected to last 15 minutes (+ 5 minutes of questions). PDF version of the lecture are not mandatory but would be very appreciated (archived online after the event, they are a very appreciated resource for the community as a whole).

If you are considering coming and submitting a talk, please send us as soon as possible an email at the following address : developpement@rmll.info with an English summary of your talk (and a French one if you can, but if not, we will translate the English one). Feel free to send this announcement wherever or to whom you feel it is relevant (but beware of spamming people).

We have very limited funding for the travels (only for speakers that cannot be refunded by the institution they belong to) but there are no registration fees for the conference and very low cost housing is organised on the site.

Volunteer organising the “Development” topic : Olivier Berger