Prior to week 3, everyone had a homework assignment to research and submit summaries on two open source projects that they would like to work on. The first I chose was Firefox. I liked Firefox as a potential class project because of the extensive documentation the development community provided, and the relative ease of “jumping in” and becoming a contributor. There was also a helpful list of suggested projects that were an appropriate size for an entire class to tackle. The second project I researched was FreeDroid, an open source roleplaying game similar to Diablo. The game is mostly finished at this point, but there was a lot of help needed for bug fixes and game engine optimizations. It would have been harder to get started with than Firefox, but I thought it would have been very cool to work on a video game!
During last week’s IRC exercise in #teachingopensource, we met a developer of an open source cloud platform called Eucalyptus who was lurking in the channel. It turns out that they had just finished developing version 3 of the platform, and were interested in our class helping them by testing it. Professor Wurst wanted us to adopt this as our course project, but decided to be democratic about it and put it up to a vote. We were all asked to rank 6 of the projects that were suggested by our combined research: Eucalyptus, Firefox, LibreOffice (office suite), irrlicht (3d game engine renderer), VLC (media player), and Sage (math software). I personally wanted to see Firefox, LibreOffice, Eucalyptus, or irrlicht as the winning project. Eucalyptus ended up winning, with irrlicht as a close second. After Professor Wurst determined that there was not enough support for a second irrlicht group, it was decided that as a class we would be working exclusively on Eucalyptus.