OSL 10 logo

Oregon State University Open Source Lab

Build The Future

The Open Source Lab is an organization working for the advancement of open source technologies.

The lab provides hosting for more than 160 projects, including those of worldwide leaders like the Apache Software Foundation, the Linux Foundation and Drupal. Together, the OSL’s hosted sites deliver nearly 430 terabytes of information every month to people around the world.

Google Migration Post-mortem

OSU administration recently approached the OSL asking us to help migrate their email archives to Google. Through contacts with other local universities that had made the switch recently, we discovered that Portland State University had written and published an open source Python app to manage the process. In the name of expedience, we decided to fork that project and use that as our base from which to extend.

Having had time to reflect, I’d like to share a few lessons from the experience:

1. Enterprise means customized. All software comes bundled with biases and assumptions; small teams may be better off adapting their organization to fit those assumptions, but there exists a threshold beyond which it is easier to adjust software to fit the organization's assumptions instead. Despite forking a completed application, we found ourselves making several customizations and undoing several assumptions made by upstream developers.

Read more