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ERIC Number: EJ801065
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Nov
Pages: 17
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1492-3831
The Emergence of Open-Source Software in North America
Pan, Guohua; Bonk, Curtis J.
International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, v8 n3 p1-17 Nov 2007
Unlike conventional models of software development, the open source model is based on the collaborative efforts of users who are also co-developers of the software. Interest in open source software has grown exponentially in recent years. A "Google" search for the phrase open source in early 2005 returned 28.8 million webpage hits, while less than two years later that number had jumped to 376 million. This paper discusses the origin of the term open source and the key tenets of the open source software development model. In addition, it analyzes the merits and drawbacks of using this model and discusses the advantages and disadvantages of applying the model in higher education. Importantly, examples are provided of computer software, and course management systems in particular, developed using the open source model. Also included are brief analyses of the "Linux" operating system, and two open source course management systems, "Sakai" and "Moodle," as well as the "uPortal." A timeline of major open source projects of significance in North America is provided. The paper concludes with a discussion of the potential for applying the open source software development model to open and distance education. (Contains 2 tables.)
Athabasca University. 1200, 10011 - 109 Street, Edmonton, AB T5J 3S8, Canada. Tel: 780-421-2536; Fax: 780-497-3416; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: North America