I’ve been a bit busy and unable to blog. Right now I’m waiting for other people to do stuff so I thought I would write.
Recently I’ve considered taking an in house app I’m working on and making it an open source app to share with the world. I was thinking this would help me in a couple of ways:
- it would improve my code. admittedly it was the first php code i wrote since taking a 2 year hiatus from writing php code. right now i go back and think to myself: “what the heck is that?” hopefully opening up the app to the world would help me improve the code (and the app). i’m one of those crazy people that believe my code shouldn’t be perfect before releasing it.
- it would help other libraries that don’t have a dedicated me to write programs that will collect statistics. there is another app out there called libstats that does something similar, but not on the individual librarian scale. i was even considering merging libstats with my app (of course i will need to speak to the owner of said project before actually doing anything of the kind).
All of this got me thinking about what services I should use to share the development of the app. There are quite a few tools out there that can help me do this. I’m actually considering doing an environmental scan of the different tools that can be used to develop apps via the cloud. Maybe look at some of the big open source projects to see what they use while also keeping an eye out for how smaller projects do the same thing. And just for clarifications sake, I’m not just talking about using AWS or Google App Engine to write the program. I’m talking about BaseCamp, Google Code, github, etc.; you know, the tools that help you develop the app and organize the project.
The idea I have isn’t just born from my head (I’m not that smart). I was reading The Tower and the Cloud and in it Ira H. Fuchs talks about the “Challenges and Opportunities of Open Source in Higher Education“. It seems to me that the inclusion of this article in the book says that the cloud isn’t about just servers without actual hardware, but that its also about how we work together to use the different services available to build open source applications for higher education.
I’ll be sure to share more as I find time to review all the different tools out there. Maybe one day I’ll have a “How to Develop your App in the Cloud” seminar or something (to go along with my fellowship).