Boston Linux & UNIX was originally founded in 1994 as part of The Boston Computer Society. We meet on the third Wednesday of each month at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, in Building E51.

Improving online education and documentation for developers

Date and Time

Wednesday, January 21, 2009 from 6:30 pm to 9:00 pm


MIT Building E-51, Room 325


Andy Oram , Editor , O'Reilly & Associates - andyo oreilly com


Andy talks about Praxagora, an API for Project Educational Tools


Hundreds of new software projects spring up every month. Most are free software and are run by volunteers, but big players such as Google, Yahoo!, and Microsoft are now in the same game.

Not only do these projects rely on online media (forums, chat, wikis) for documentation and support, but much of it is generated by project members on a volunteer basis.

Andy has spent the past several years exploring the strengths and weaknesses of user contributions to software documentation and support. In this informal presentation, he'll show the results of a survey and some research on the quality of mailing lists, followed by suggestions for systems that could make better use of free user contributions. We'll then have a free-wheeling discussion that should interest anyone who cares about free software or the success of online software projects.

Background for this talk can be found at: []


Andy Oram is an editor at O'Reilly Media. He specializes in books on programming, web engineering and design, and free software.


  1. Andy Oram's link page on Community documentation

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