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).
I’ve been scouring academia for cloud computing projects and came across one that I myself am looking to get involved in (and not because its cloud computing).
NITLE hosts a Moodle Exchange (NME).
For faculty, technologists, and librarians at participating campuses that use or are interested in using Moodle. Participants in this collaborative user community focus on the use of Moodle at smaller, independent colleges and universities, sharing ideas and best practices and helping each other troubleshoot technical or use issues specific to liberal education and undergraduate colleges and universities. In the NME, Moodle-using or Moodle-interested campuses share strategies and ask and answer questions about implementation, evaluation, migration, customization, and other Moodle-related topics.
NME also works together to develop a Liberal Arts Edition of Moodle as well as plugins specifically focused on the needs of Liberal Arts Colleges. So how does this get cloudy? Well they use Google Code to distribute their developments. This allows everyone involved in the project to access or share code that has been developed for the community.
If you’re doing something similar let me know about it. I’m very interested in how different academic institutions are using the cloud to develop systems and applications.
No not a boy fellow, but a Fellow as in “I am learned” (supposedly). Specifically I’m a NITLE Technology Fellow
First you’re probably wondering who is NITLE. Well besides being a great organization to work with, NITLE is:
a community-based, non-profit initiative that provides tools and resources for collaboration, professional development programs, and information services to undergraduate-centered colleges, universities, and educational organizations. NITLE (pronounced “nightly”) is also known as the National Institute for Technology and Liberal Education. NITLE is an initiative of Ithaka, a non-profit organization that seeks to accelerate the productive uses of information technologies for the benefit of higher education around the world.
That is of course straight from their website. And so the next question is: what is this all about? Well the Technology Fellows are:
- a professional development opportunity designed specifically for selected Fellows, in the areas about which they will teach/consult
- a commitment on the part of selected Fellows to offer three days of workshops or consultation at other NITLE participating institutions within 15 months of completing their professional development experiences with NITLE
- an honorarium of $500/day, paid to the Fellow’s institution, for each workshop/consultation day provided by the Fellow
So now you’re probably wondering what I’ll be researching and teaching. Well that’s simple…Cloud Computing.
Ok well cloud computing isn’t really simple. In fact people are arguing all over the place what the heck it is. But that’s besides the point. The point is I get to learn something new and then train people on it.
Anyway, its all very exciting so wish me luck and stay tuned for more later.