open source… sewing??

I was reading Venus Zine and noticed an ad for Burda, the company that makes sewing patterns. The tagline was “open source sewing”. While, it’s a cute concept for a website (that also has sewpedia section), I don’t think it’s correct. I usually describe open source software as software that is free, with the source code being open so that it can be changed and improved. There are several other criteria that something needs to meet to be truly open source.

I’m not an open source purist, but it makes me slightly cranky that Burda is conflating free with open source as part of a hipster advertising campaign. They do, however, have lots of patterns available for free download.

Jeff Davis, Catherine Howett and I will be doing a session on Friday, April 18th at the BCLA conference introducing and demonstrating lots of open source software including:

  • Ubuntu (operating system, like Windows)
  • Firefox (web browser, like Internet Explorer) and various extensions/plug ins
  • Zotero (citation manager, like RefWorks or EndNote)
  • Open Office (software suite with word processing, spreadsheet, presentation and database programs, like MS Office)
  • Drupal and/or WordPress (content management systems, like…actually I can’t think of a proprietary CMS)
  • Evergreen (integrated library system, like Horizon, Unicorn or Voyager)

Our goal is to introduce a bunch of things that we use and think are neat in an accessible way. Our secret hope is that people will be excited to try out some of these programs on their own and implement them in their libraries.A   I might even sew an “open source” frock to wear.

3 thoughts on “open source… sewing??”

  1. Ugh – Microsoft has produced a couple of content management systems (our university uses the one that dates back to the 90’s, and there’s also SharePoint).

    Sounds like a great session! Are you going to bring some Ubuntu CDs so people can carry some of that open source goodness home with them?

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