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Open source in its true form is totally based on Indian religious value, I believe that old Indian traditional values are the source code of open source. So the concept is quite huge, vague and beyond words just like historical values that can be learn from Indian history and traditions. Now I have introduced you with the scope of open source so don’t get overwhelmed by this fact, as said earlier go step by step and you will learn to be with the open source world.
Let’s move step by step,
What is open source: In open source the developer who has knowledge of the software world contributes to an open source project through coding. The code that he writes is made available for all the users. Thus when software is created as open source that means its source code is also available to any user who wants to see it; he is free to modify it as per his wish. This is an optional feature, it is not mandatory to have knowledge about the source code and one can use the software without any interaction with the open source world too. That means in case an individual wants to modify any content of the software as per his need, he is allowed to do so. This entire exercise is done for improving the quality of the software and to bring out the best possible solution to a problem. There is no shade of ego in this world here technology and ethics are more important than people`s self esteem. Have you ever worked without thinking your role in it? being selfless? try it, its more fun than being selfish.
Other motive which is coined by jimmy weles founder of Wikipedia as, “imagine a world in which every single person on the planet is given free access to the sum of all human knowledge.” Today Wikipedia is one of the biggest open source project serving all sorts of information for all mankind. That is power of open source, constructive use of technology. This is other aspect of Open source, not just software but the logic and intellectual knowledge require for doing an activity is also shared. The web is the platform used for doing these activities and any site, any forum that is sharing such knowledge is part of open source.
With all these features and efforts one stunning feature of open source is that, it is absolutely free of cost. It is just like ‘daan’ in the religious value, one who knows virtues of the open source contributes to the technology in his possible way to enhance it and to make it available seamlessly to other needy people. So open source is not just about the software coding it is more about the ethics and professionalism. The open source philosophy says “one should get what he deserves”
The open source project involves highest level of team work, coordination and commitments. Often the project work is distributed across the world, people from various countries contribute to the running project yet the project is carried out in highly systematic way. These are the professional skill we need to develop in the today’s youth.
All of this is nothing but the old Indian saying, ||सर्वेपि सुखिनः संतु|| (may all be happy). We have forgotten these things and the western world is flying with these values. We need to wake up and identify our true assets.
The open source projects to start with:
1. Google: do I need to say anything about Google? Everything you need is just a click away just enter a correct searching string and you will get result. Try to master the skills of searching on Google, best source learn about this and many more concepts related to web is a book called “rough guide to the internet”(look for latest edition) (might be available in the library).
2.Wikipedia.org: the free and open encyclopedia, as said earlier it is developed on simple philosophy as “imagine a world in which every single person on the planet is given free access to the sum of all human knowledge”.
Don’t use the articles of Wikipedia as only reference source, if any article efeatures title as citation needed then most of the time its content can be ambiguous so just beware of these facts. While Reading the article from wikipeida, it is not necessary to read the whole article, sometimes just by reading the first introduction (part of article before content list) you get the idea about the technology so in such case you can skip the rest article and return to your text book. After that you should relate that concepts with your textbook matter, if any doubts take help of your subject teacher. Don’t hesitate to ask questions, as a student it’s your authority to ask questions and get knowledge.
3. Howstuffworks.com: this site is very much reliable as it is maintained by experts. Unlike Wikipedia the contents are not open for editing. You can learn live working of technology here.
4. Youtube.com: you must be knowing YouTube for all sort of fun stuff but yes YouTube can be used for educational purposes also. Plain English tutorials explains technology in very simple language.
5. Blogs: there are various important blogs like this blog; the college faculty can also have his/her own blog. You should be aware about these blogs and should read good article from these blogs. Smashingmagazine.com is also a good source as blog.
6. Forums: these are the best place to solve your queries and satisfy your queries. Whatever question you have, you are supposed to find a relative forum using Google and post your question on that forum. The experts from that forum gives answer to your queries.
Some interesting forums to begin with,
Interaction on these forums is easy
Last part about his all activity is development of temper for cooperation. This step is very important, you should discuss the new technology with your friends, teachers. This will also help you in strengthening your own concepts.
In all these activities a lot of English reading is required, and this is also very important skills that 21st century demands. So it is very important to be skilled in soft skills. To deal with jargon language of text books you should start reading technical magazine like digit. Not entire magazine but the part which you will find interesting.
That’s all friends, if you start studding by keeping touch with the web, you will learn many more things to make your learning process more interesting and effortless. After four years of course you will emerge as an engineer of your era which will defiantly benefit you in the job interview and while actual field work.
In the next part of this article, bridging the digital divide I am going to discuss various problems of students and possible solutions on them, also I will also try to burst few myths.