Forking Encouraged: Folk Programming, Open Source, and Social Software Development

A session at OSCON 2009

  • jason douglas

Friday 24th July, 2009

10:45am to 10:45am (PST)

For decades people have been learning to program by copying and modifying other people’s code.

How did you first learn to program? For us, it was by copying and tweaking simple BASIC programs on ZX Spectrums and Commodore 64s.

Folk Computing (a term coined by an MIT project which encouraged children to learn programming in exactly this way) has been a common factor in programming environments from LambdaMOO to Yahoo Pipes, the OLPC, Second Life, and more.

We look at the history of folk programming from the 80s to today, and then examine some modern folk programming platforms.

Some topics we’ll explore include:

  • Open Source licensing: the right to fork as a fundamental of folk programming
  • Programming in the cloud: how hosted development platforms lower barriers to entry
  • What other features are common to folk programming environments, and how can you spot one in the wild?
  • Case studies of modern platforms and their relationship to folk programming: GitHub, Ning, Second Life, and Freebase Acre to name just a few.
  • The issues, challenges, and lessons learned from building a folk programming platform.

About the speakers

This person is speaking at this event.
Yoz Grahame

Join me: @yoz@mastodon.social. A small yoz-type object. Work @18F but views are mine. Passive Londoner, active San Franciscan. He/him/oh. Header: @BrianGlick. bio from Twitter

This person is speaking at this event.
jason douglas
This person is speaking at this event.

Community organiser and nerd. Founder @growstufforg @geekfeminism and various other stuff.

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Time 10:45am10:45am PST

Date Fri 24th July 2009

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