Open Source

An Opportunity to Contribute Translations to Ushahidi

This semester, we are using Ushahidi as a platform in section one of CSC 207. Ushahidi is an open-source crowdmapping program that was originally designed for monitoring election violence in Kenya. Its design allows anonymous posting of geolocated events (with optional pictures), using Web, SMS, and more. Since its original design, Ushahidi has been used for a wide range of things, from mapping potholes in LA to burger joints in Germany to emergency response needs during some recent floods in Canada. We've even started a few soon-to-be-announced projects on campus using Ushahidi.

The folks at Ushahidi want to make sure that it's available to anyone. And so they are working on making sure that translations of the platform are available in most languages. Information on the translation project is available at The list of languages and their status can be found at

Grinnell College CS has a strong commitment to free and open source software (FOSS), and we encourage our students to help with FOSS projects as they are able. If you have the knowledge to contribute to this translation project, please consider doing so.

Thursday Extra: "Free software and open source software"

On Thursday, February 16, Martin Dluhos 2012 will give an overview of the history of free software:

I will talk about the ideas behind the free software movement and open source movement, tell a little bit about the history and evolution of those movements, and mention some of the organizations that are involved in promoting free software. I will conclude with describing the accomplishments of the free software movement, particularly the GNU project.

Refreshments will be served at 4:15 p.m. in the Computer Science Commons (Noyce 3817). The talk, "Free software and open source software," will follow at 4:30 p.m. in Noyce 3821. Everyone is welcome to attend!

CS Table, Friday, 13 November 2009: The Economics of Open Source

At CS Table on Friday, 13 November 2009, we will consider economics of Open-Source software. Our primary reading will be a short piece from Joel on Software and an optional piece by Bruce Perens. However, participants are welcome to bring other pertinent readings.

Spolsky, Joel (2002, June 12). Strategy Letter V. Joel on Software. Web page at
Perens, Bruce (2005). The Emerging Economic Paradigm of Open Source Software. Web page at

Grinnell College's CS Table is a weekly gathering of folks on campus (students, faculty, staff, alums, etc.) to talk about issues relating to computer science. CS Table meets each Friday at noon in JRC 224A, the Day Public Dining Room (PDR) in the Joe Rosenfeld '25 Center (JRC). All are welcome, although computer science students and faculty are particularly encouraged to attend.

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