open source software (OSS)

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A Breakdown Of FOSS For Students And Researchers In Academia

This article provides an overview of free and open source software (FOSS) that may be of use to students and researchers in academia, based on my own experience in psychology studies. I use Ubuntu Linux, which is a FOSS operating system, but the software discussed in this article is multi-platform; in other words, it will also run on Apple Mac OSX or Microsoft Windows. There is so much FOSS available that this article only scratches the surface, but hopefully it will give some initial pointers to readers with an academic background but no previous experience of FOSS...

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A Call To Policy Makers: Open Source Is Where Innovation Is Happening

The impact of technology on society and the economy continues to excite and challenge all of us. Policy makers are no exception. Their objective—writ large—is to put in place policies that encourage the development and deployment of beneficial technologies in order to drive growth, prosperity, and the general welfare of their citizens. Where should policy makers focus? The best place is where the future is happening. In other words, the best place is where innovation is happening...

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A Consulting Firm Transition to Open Source Health Software (Part 2 of 2)

Andy Oram | EMR and HIPPA | September 7, 2016

The best hope for sustaining HLN as an open source vendor is the customization model: when an agency needs a new feature or a customized clinical decision support rule, it contracts with HLN to develop it. Naturally, the agency could contract with anyone it wants to upgrade open source software, but HLN would be the first place to look because they are familiar with software they built originally. Other popular models include offering support as a paid service, and building proprietary tools on top of the basic open source version (“open core”). The temptation to skim off the cream of the product and profit by it is so compelling that one of the most vocal stalwarts of the open source process, MariaDB (based on the popular MySQL database) recently broke radically from its tradition and announced a proprietary license for its primary distinguishing extension.

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A Deadly Equation Of Acronyms: NHS+IT=FUBAR

Nicholas H.Tollervey | ntoll.org | September 28, 2012

I've recently had the pleasure of taking part in two hacker events organised within the context of healthcare and, specifically, the UK's National Health Service.[...] To be clear (and more seriously), I am using the term "hacker" in the way it is used within Information Technology circles: a hacker is a person with a passion for exploring and solving problems through writing and sharing software. Read More »

A Doctor Leverages Open Source to Learn How to Code And Improve Medical Care in Africa

Judy Gichoya is a medical doctor from Kenya who became a software developer after joining the open source medical records project, OpenMRS. The open source project creates medical informatics software that helps health professionals collect and present data to improve patient care in developing countries. After seeing how effective the open medical records system was at increasing efficiency and lowering costs for clinics in impoverished areas of Africa, she began hacking on the software herself to help improve it. Then she set up her own implementation in the slums outside Nairobi, and has done the same for dozens of clinics since. This is a classic story of open source contributors, who join in order to scratch an itch. But Gichoya was a doctor, not a programmer. How did she make the leap?

A Free, Open Resource to Solve Our Third World Problems

Corruption, poverty, war, hunger, healthcare, education, safety. These are only a few of the problems faced by people in developing countries. Many of these problems are caused by exclusion, fear, intimidation, broken infrastructure, and lack of money, resources, access to information, and tools. These are hard problems to solve but, as Theodore Roosevelt said: "Nothing in this world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty." At the core of open source are communities. Communities of like-minded individuals, working together, openly and freely sharing ideas and solutions for the benefit of others...

A Fresh Look at the U.S. Draft Policy on 'Federal Sourcing'

In a recent article in Government Computer News, I looked at the challenge of reshaping federal IT with open source without go-it-alone government-off-the-shelf approaches to open source software. In that article, I noted that the growing use of open source software by governments has shifted from "whether to use" to "how to deploy." The latest evidence for this is a draft Federal Sourcing Policy announced by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB), which drives U.S. government (USG) procurement and IT policy...

A Guide to Bootstrapping Your Open Source Project with GitHub

There's much more to managing a project with git beyond just committing code and working with branches. GitHub-Driven Development is a process that will help you organize and manage the progression of a project on GitHub, although much of this could be applied to other systems, such as GitLab, as well. This concept isn't only for developers; it can be used for project managers or anyone involved in the development of a project—it could even be applied to non-code projects...

A Left-Handed Software User's Plea

Left-handed people face many challenges in a right-hand dominated world. For the 10% of us who live under their oppression, it can be maddening. In the early 20th century, my left-handed grandfather was forced to write with his right hand in school, making his handwriting completely illegible. What would great lefties like George H.W. Bush, Bart Simpson, Lt. Cmdr. Data, Barack Obama, or Bill Gates think? At least we have advanced a little... but not enough...

A List of Open Source Tools for College

I've used Linux now for 3 1/2 years, which to me is a substantial period of time. In that time, I have gone from only using LibreOffice to expanding into a purely Linux and open source workflow. I have built my workflow around only using open source software if at all possible, although I am required to use a couple of proprietary tools sparingly. I'd like to share my own philosophy regarding open source. I was first introduced to Linux by my programming teacher; he is a passionate believer in FLOSS and he converted me. I have a passionate belief in the technical superiority of open source tools over proprietary ones because they allow me the freedom to use them however I wish...

A Look At Integration Between Mi-Forms And OpenClinica

Staff Writer | Mi-Co | July 3, 2013

For those of you who work in the clinical research industry, you have probably already heard of OpenClinica, the world’s leading open source software for data capture and management in clinical trials. Read More »

A Mature API for an Electronic Health Record: the OpenMRS Process

Andy Oram | EMR & EHR | August 14, 2015

By some measures, OpenMRS may be the most successful of the open source EHRs, widely deployed around the world. It also has a long experience with its API, which has been developed and refined over the last several years. I talked to OpenMRS developer Wyclif Luyima recently and looked at OpenMRS’s REST API documentation to see what the API offers...

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A New Android App for Teaching Kids How to Read

Have you been looking for software to help your child to read? Well, your quest may be over. Phoenicia is a new literacy application for Android developed by Michael Hall, an open source software developer, community manager, and technology evangelist currently working at Canonical, maker of Ubuntu. In this interview, he talks about the diagnosis of his oldest child with an Autism Spectrum Disorder, his learning curve of Android development, and why user testing matters more than you think...

A Pilot Site for NHS VistA in the UK

Ewan Davis | Woodcote Consulting | July 14, 2013

Moving the open source agenda require that NHS Trust submit Expressions of Interests (EoI) for open source projects under NHS England’s £260 million Technology Fund  by the deadline on 31th July. Over recent weeks I’ve been persuaded that there would be real value for the patients, the NHS and the UK health informatics industry in the creation of a UK version of an open-source EHR, and VistA would be a good place to start. Read More »

A Pledge That Promises To Keep Seeds Free For All To Use

Zoe Loftus-Farren | Earth Island Journal | July 22, 2014

...Inspired by the concept of open source software, a group of plant scientists and food activists, led by the University of Wisconsin, have launched the Open Source Seed Initiative – a campaign to protect the right of farmers, plant breeders and gardeners to share seeds freely...

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