Connecting at Beaver BarCamp 12

More than 160 students, community members and educators gathered in the Kelley Engineering Center at Oregon State to share ideas, make connections and learn together at the Open Source Lab’s Beaver BarCamp 12 on Saturday, October 12. An informal conference hosted twice each year by the Open Source Lab, Beaver BarCamp encourages attendees to participate by both presenting sessions and participating in discussions. Throughout the day, 50 sessions were presented, with topics ranging from Python programming to starting a business to creating a universe.

At Beaver BarCamp, sessions are scheduled the morning of the event: everyone writes the session they are interested in presenting on a Post-It note. Interest in sessions is gauged by having participants place dot stickers on their favorite sessions. Next, OSL staff arrange the schedule according to the needs of the presenters and popularity of sessions. Wendy Kincade, a master’s student at the University of Oregon, has attended Beaver BarCamp since it began in 2008 and enjoys the freedom this aspect of BarCamp provides.

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Top 10 Projects Impacting the Open Source Community

The Open Source Lab serves as a trusted third-party home to some of the largest open source projects. By promoting collaboration, accessibility and transparency, these projects are advancing the open source mission. The following (in no particular order) are 10 projects that make a significant impact on the open source community.

  1. Apache Software Foundation

    The Apache Software Foundation manages the development of many open source software packages, most notably the Apache Web server. The ASF was one of the OSL’s first hosted projects, coming aboard in 2003. The OSL provides hosting for the ASF's operational infrastructure.

  2. Linux Foundation

    The Linux Foundation promotes, protects and advances Linux. To achieve these tasks, the Linux Foundation provides legal services to Linux developers, collaborates on the Linux Standards Base, hosts events for the Linux community and provides public relations regarding Linux. The OSL hosts the Linux Foundation's infrastructure including websites, email and development machines.

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Top 10 Milestones

The Open Source Lab is celebrating 10 years of open source hosting, development and education. Here is a look back at some of our most important accomplishments.

  1. 2003 Domain name

    The domain name osuosl.org was created on October 11 at 17:25:06 UTC.

  2. 2003/04 Mozilla Firefox

    The OSL began hosting the Mozilla Foundation in 2003. In 2004, the lab began facilitating downloads of the Mozilla web browser Firefox 1.0, using Bouncer. The OSL specifically created Bouncer to help facilitate the high number of Firefox downloads: over 1 million on the first day of its release. Learn more

  3. 2005 Google and TDS

    In 2005, TDS donated 600 megabits of Internet bandwidth, enabling the OSL to improve its FTP mirroring services. Google also began donating to the Lab on a regular basis, ensuring the Lab’s success in contributing to the open source community. Learn more

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A look back at Beaver BarCamp 1

A session during the first Beaver BarCamp (Photo by Timothy Budd)

After attending BarCamp Portland, Alex Polvi was inspired to create a similar opportunity for Corvallis. At the time, Polvi was a computer science student at Oregon State University, and he approached Associate Professor Timothy Budd about creating a BarCamp on campus. After driving up to Portland with some students in order to see a how a BarCamp is organized, Budd began creating the first Beaver BarCamp, with the help of his students and Corvallis community members from the Software Association of Oregon. The first Beaver BarCamp was held on March 1, 2008.

Timing is everything, and it just so happened that Budd had recently received a grant from IBM to promote open source technology. With those funds, the group was able to pay for food, t-shirts, and the rental fee for the Kelley Engineering Center, all essential elements of holding a BarCamp.

“It was nice to not have to worry about fundraising as we were figuring everything else out,” Budd says.

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OSL Announces 10 year Celebration; Attends OSCON

The Open Source Lab (OSL) recently kicked off its 10 year celebration at the O’Reilly Open Source Conference in Portland July 23 - 26.

Over the last decade, the OSL has contributed much to the recent growth of the open source community and is using this milestone to reflect on its past accomplishments and to create goals for the future. By focusing to ‘Build The Future’ in three key areas: education, outreach, and research and infrastructure, the lab will strengthen its position as an open source leader.

“It’s an important milestone," says OSL Director Lance Albertson. "We’re not just a small group of people anymore but a maturing organization with a smart staff of both students and non-students."

Build The Future icons
Icons used to represent the three key areas of the Build The Future initiative: education, outreach and research & infrastructure.

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Open Source Bridge Promotes Community

Attendees at Open Source Bridge 2013Attendees at Open Source Bridge 2013 preparing for the conference.

With the open source conference season well underway, OSL students and staff were excited to attend Open Source Bridge at the Eliot Center in downtown Portland from June 18-21. Now in its fifth year, the conference provided a unique opportunity for the open source community to connect and share with each other.

Besides great vegetarian food, one of the ways conference organizers promoted a feeling of community was with the hacker lounge, sponsored by Intel. Comfortable seating, plenty of power strips and wifi, a 3-D printer and a Lego table added to the atmosphere of creativity. For OSL Director Lance Albertson, the hacker lounge was the most important part of Open Source Bridge.

“It provides a place to start a conversation, work together and find out other cool projects people are doing,” Albertson says.

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