Group Work

We have been asked to create a chain reaction project as a group. I have to confess I am not that enthusiastic about the idea, I do find in the university environment quiet unsuitable for that kind of assignment.  Every times I had a group assignment I faced very distinctive individual. Inside a group we always end up with

·     A bossy

·     A lazy

·     A moody (who generally stress everybody, but does not participate)

·      Finally, it is very hard to have a “moderator”. 

I know, I should not generalised, but it happen all the time and unfortunately or notI am one of them: The bossy one, I will take quickly leadership….



Physical Computing

I found this French website, which give a very good and clear overview of what are the multimedia tools out there, and what we can do with them. (I suppose you have to translate the page)


Our Tutor is very keen on the Arduino Microcontroller, first of course is a very affordable little one, but the real advantage is the numbers of tutorial, open source code available on line is ..Huge.

Return to the basic…with Arduino

The Cathedral and the Bazaar

The Cathedral and the Bazaar by Eric S. Raymond

 Or should we say cathedral versus bazaar

The cathedral and the Bazaar 


Eric Raymond is widely regarded as the anthropologist of the hacker community. In 1999, he published this very famous essay comparing/contrasting two method of software development.


  • The cathedral method in which roles are clearly defined in terms of programmers, architects and testers, and of course the source code are not available to the public.


  • The Bazaar method is the complete opposite, is concept is based on:


Users should be treated as code-developers, where they have access to source code and have the means to fix them.

Early releases of software versions, so co-developers can be found quickly.

Frequent integration, to avoid the overhead of fixing large numbers of bugs at the end of a project life-cycle, and integration that can be done almost daily.

Several versions are made available, one including a buggier version, the other the more stable version. In this way, the users can continue to act as co-developers, fixing bugs and enhancing the systems, while the stable version provides less features and bugs.

High modularization that allows parallel development of  the software.

Dynamic decision-making structure, a forum is making decisions, based on changing user requirements and other factors. Linux is the best example ever.


Obviously there is the pro and con, but the open source community is growing everyday, making incredible tools, source code and support available for everyone, and sometime even better compares big companies such as Microsoft.


 Few months ago, when Microsoft office 2007 was released, a group of people refused openly to pay the ridiculous amount of money required to get the licence and they decide to work on how to hack it, not because they could not afford it, but because they believed that this software should be on open source one, or at least at a reasonable price.

Even IBM few months ago opted for a Linux operating system as part of their package. Obviously not everything should be free, but non commercial use or even fair use should be…..


Why do they do it?


Well I think this website answer that question quiet well…..


As an individual, not being part of company, that would be a fantastic learning opportunity, or even a way get some outside input to develop a project/software, and the best of all recognition….





Open source

Open Source


During our first lecture we mainly talked about open sources tool such as processing.


What is an open source software?


I found it quiet amazing to find a guideline, which has been based (I will say re-arranged) from the DFSG (Debian free software guidelines published in 1997).


1. Free Redistribution: the software can be freely given away or sold. (This was intended to expand sharing and use of the software on a legal basis.)

2. Source Code: the source code must either be included or freely obtainable. (Without source code, making changes or modifications can be impossible.)

3. Derived Works: redistribution of modifications must be allowed. (To allow legal sharing and to permit new features or repairs.)

4. Integrity of The Author’s Source Code: licenses may require that modifications are redistributed only as patches.

5. No Discrimination Against Persons or Groups: no one can be locked out.

6. No Discrimination Against Fields of Endeavor: commercial users cannot be excluded.

7. Distribution of License: The rights attached to the program must apply to all to whom the program is redistributed without the need for execution of an additional license by those parties.

8. License Must Not Be Specific to a Product: the program cannot be licensed only as part of a larger distribution.

9. License Must Not Restrict Other Software: the license cannot insist that any other software it is distributed with must also be open source.

10. License Must Be Technology-Neutral: no click-wrap licenses or other medium-specific ways of accepting the license must be required.



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