Ways to contribute to Open Source

An interesting aspect about open-source software is that it allows you to use your skills where you feel comfortable working with. Open-source helps people to discover that you don’t have to master all levels of computer science to contribute a piece of knowledge.

Personally, the readings have opened my eyes, and I’m glad that writing code is not the only way to contribute to large projects. Having 14 or more different ways to contribute to major projects make newbies want to add something to it.

IRC Activity

IRC activity in-class was enjoyable. It’s been a long time since the last time I chatted for over an hour. IRC is a great way to communicate in real time while working on large projects, especially since most people are looking for answers right away.

IRC is a great tool because it can be easily installed on user’s computers who have access to internet, regardless of the operating system running on the computer. IRC has different features such as chat and data transfer, file sharing, and also allows one to one communication using the private message.

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The Initial Blog

As I thought about my expectations of this course, Software Development Process, undoubtedly hope to have the opportunity to learn the techniques to solve development problems in an effective and efficient manner. Also, I am excited to work on a real and large project. I think it will give me the experience I need within the Computer Science field.

Writing blogs will be challenging because this is something that I did not expect at all. I’m not a blogger, actually this will be my first time writing blogs.

This course could not have had a better start than by reading “Free vs. Open”, along with other readings and the in-class activities.

Free vs. Open

When thinking about Free Software, most people might think about software free of charge. However, the idea is more complex since it promotes user’s respect and freedom, even if one has to pay for such software. Personally, I think that free software it a good way to express our intellectual and to contribute in the improvement or development of new  software.

For software to be considered as “free” must meet four conditions: 1. Users have the freedom to run the program, 2. freedom to study and change the program, 3. freedom to redistribute copies, 4. freedom to distribute  copies of the modified version.

On the other hand, open source licenses are too restrictive; cannot be use it as it is our means, and do not allow the user to install modified versions of executables.

OpenMRS: Health IT

An electronic medical record (EMR) is not only a need of replacing paper with digital technology, but it also provides the opportunity to improve the workflow. Persuading physicians to use information technology (IT) in their practices may result in increased efficiency and reduced costs. OpenMRS is one among many of the different EMR softwares and here are the key points:

  • Accuracy (e.g. can reduce medical errors.)
  • Efficiency (e.g. improve data exchange between health it applications.)
  • Better patient care (e.g. can support decision making by health care professionals)
  • Understanding data about public health (e.g. data captured can be used to monitor public health standards.)
  • Serving as a record of patient care (e.g. historical record of patient care that can be easily transferrable to different locations.)

The information provided in the OpenMRS Guide is a good start for a better understanding of this project.

Git Activity

The Git program is something new for me, but the activity in class gave me a brief idea of the software. Since we are going to work in teams during this semester, this free-open software seems to be easy to learn and appropriate.