Open Source Management
A quick way to lecture materials is here (will be available after lectures).
The course is delivered as a part of the IMKE international
Master's programme, thus the working language is English. In case of only Estonians participating,
switching to Estonian is possible (materials will still be in English).
OSM in short:
- Duration: autumn term, auditory work concentrated to September and November (see the schedule below).
- Weekly workload: varies; 12 1,5-hour (2 academic hours; combines lectures, discussions and labs as needed) in September, one more in November. In between, there will be substantial amount of independent work
- Location: Tallinn University, main building, T-510 computer lab room
- Credits: 4.0 ECTS credits
- Code: MII7136
- Assessment: exam, but the grade will be based on the work throughout the term
- Main web page: this one
NB! THIS MAY CHANGE A LITTLE DURING THE WORK, ACCORDING TO THE ACTUAL CONDITIONS!
Monday, September 19, T-510, 16.15 - 19.45
- Course intro - what is going to happen
- Lecture: FLOSS definition, history, differences from proprietary models. Free Software vs Open Source vs Freeware. FSF vs OSI
- Lecture/demonstration/practice: Battle for Wesnoth as our playground. Main ideas of the game, overview of the wesnoth/data directory. Creating a scenario and a campaign. WML.
- Homework: Read the arguments of both schools (FSF and OSI):
- and write a comparison (can be blogged or e-mailed; up to 5 points). Due: Monday, September 26.
Wednesday, September 21. T-510, 16.15 - 19.45
- Lecture: legal framework of FLOSS. Licenses, patents etc.
- Lecture: FLOSS as business: different models
- Wesnoth: Q&A
- Homework: installing and playing Wesnoth. Write a game review (can be blogged or e-mailed; up to 5 points). Due: Monday, September 26.
- Homework:Study the principle of copyleft and write an analysis about its three variants (strong, weak, none) with real-life examples (up to 5 points). Due: Monday, October 3
- Homework: Write a case study about three IT companies using Open Source as a part of their business strategy (one of them could do it a its main business, e.g. Red Hat; (up to 5 points). Due: Monday, October 10
Monday, September 26. T-510, 16.15 - 19.45
INDEPENDENT WORK PERIOD (OCTOBER)
- Lecture: FLOSS development: environments, tools and methods. Trac (wiki, tickets, versioning) and Subversion (with possible tools).
- Wesnoth lab, formation of the teams, accounts for Trac and Subversion
- Team homework: the first draft of the campaign, milestones, team member roles etc (up to 5 points to all members). Due: Monday, October 3
Monday, November 14, T-510, 16.15 - 19.45
- Lecture: community building and management
- Wesnoth and tools lab.
- Homework: readings, analysis of the Wesnoth community (based on the forum), ideastorming on better campaign building (up to 5 points). Due: Monday, November 21
Tuesday, November 15, T-510, 16.15 - 19.45
- Lecture: Free Culture: the wider social impact of FLOSS
- Homework: Study the case of Cory Doctorow (Cory Doctorow @ Wikipedia, personal website)
and analyse the validity of his business model as a writer (up to 5 points). Due: Monday, November 28.
See also the official timetable
Monday, December 12, T-510, 16.15 - 17.45
- Presentation of team campaigns
- NB! The review of another team's work can probably be postponed for a couple of more days, as submission of the grades is required by the end of the week. THUS, THE LAST DAY FOR POSTING THE REVIEW IS FRIDAY, DECEMBER 16.
The main point: using open source development methods and tools, develop a new campaign for The Battle for Wesnoth open-source
strategy game (at least 2-3 linked scenarios).
- Campaign project - story outline, main characters, rough overview of scenarios - should be put up to the team's Trac page. Due: Monday, October 3 (the end of the lectures)
- Beta milestone - Monday, December 5 (a week before presentation; should be ready/playable with minor omissions)
- Final milestone - Monday, December 12 (a week before the end of the course). The campaign should be finished and the final version made available for download (in order to let others review it).
- Playtesting another team's campaign. Write a review (can be blogged or e-mailed). During the final week - due Friday, December 16 (the final day of the term)
Tips for campaign building
These are not absolute requirements but may help you keep the outcome interesting. If you create a good campaign, you might also consider
uploading it to the official servers - but a threat factor in open source is that publishing a lousy work will get you lots of laughs and
finger-pointing (just as in science). Thus, some points to consider:
- before starting to work, it is advised to play through a major campaign (e.g. the "father of campaigns" Heir to the Throne - but it is long,
Northern Rebirth or Liberty are shorter but still quite challenging). You may get some ideas to implement on your own.
- you may have a couple of main characters (losing whom would lose the scenario), but use others as well.
- consider adding story-only, intermission-type scenarios - they are easy to do technically, but can contribute significantly to the overall
depth of the story.
- vary the terrain. E.g. one scenario could take place underground - it is considered constant night in game terms, so chaotic units prevail
and illuminating Mages of Light are very important for lawful humans, elves suck and trolls and dwarves rule (note: the opposite happens in Elven
forests during daytime). All this requires strong cooperation between story, map and unit managers.
- do at least one big battle with large map and more than one enemy (could use computer-controlled allies as well). This could be a final battle -
in this case it becomes an important part of strategy to train up enough Level 3 units in previous scenarios in order to win - freshly recruited
Level 1 units will be eaten alive.
- one of the main characters might go away for a scenario (e.g. to go scouting) and be available again later.
- the game has a lot of rock-scissors-paper element (i.e. a unit can be strong vs one unit and weak vs another - many units have got distinct
vulnerabilities) - lawful vs chaotic, ranged vs melee, different types of damage. Try to make use of it (after all, the team's unit manager
must have something to do - actually, this role can seem to be deceivingly simple, but can actually determine the success of campaign)
- using unit's special abilities (healing, backstab, ambush, illuminating...) can add a lot.
- you can use magic artifacts (e.g. the Sceptre of Fire in the Heir to the Throne campaign), but don't overuse them.
- if you plan to use mages, introduce them early in the campaign - they have slow buildup and are weak at the beginning, but mages can have
5 levels and are really strong at the end (see Delfador in HttT!).
- positioning villages on the map is important - while their number determines possible income, placement counts a lot too - they are possible
healing stations and places to build up strong defenses.
- consider the scenario's replayability - if I play it next time knowing my way around, could it still be interesting?
- ... (may add something later)
... is Trac at Kakupesa.
- Wesnoth campaign (participation in team; everyone writes a short report about his/her role and contribution) - 50%
- Campaign testing/review (for another team's work) - 15%
- Written reviews/reflections/case studies 35%
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