FOSS in Design: An introduction27 Mar, 2018 — 3 min
This project stems from an in-depth discussion (explained here about the lack of FOSS being used within RIT’s design programs. More specifically, this project will be aimed at students, who have a very short time frame for work and already have some base knowledge of relevant concepts. I intend for this project to be applicable outside of students but when making priorities the student audience will be the most important consideration (when relevant). I feel that trying to bridge the gap is the most effective way to beget usage, as opposed to trying to completely retrain users or rewrite software.
What this project WILL (attempt to) do:
- Centralize/aggregate existing information about how to use FOSS software
- Create resources to bridge the gap in understanding between traditional/“industry standard” software/workflows with FOSS ones
- Focus on what’s available now rather than saying to come back in a year [or any other distant amount of time] (as a student, a couple months is most often a really long time (the scope of assignments is often a week and for many projects still less than a month); the luxury to wait is not something easily viable)
- Explanation of basic FOSS concepts, limited to what’s directly relevant for target audience (who is expected to have little/no familiarity with FOSS)
- Attempt to build a reasonable expectation for how the software will work compared to the nearest traditional/“industry standard” software
What this project will NOT be:
- A comprehensive training manual for the everything relating to a given field; some base knowledge of concepts is assumed
- A moral/ethical manifesto; I’ll explain why FOSS is good, but I’m not going to force you to use it, nor force you to accept other’s morals/ethics (although you’re welcome to choose to do so)
- An explanation for why you can’t do your homework; you might have a specific feature that isn’t supported, and you might need to revert to Photoshop (or another piece of software) to do that; it happens occasionally
What does success look like?
A successful outcome would be having a readily-available resource to allow users familiar with traditional/“industry standard” software to be able to be able to pick up and use FOSS software with minimal adjustments to their workflow beyond some initial setup. Over time, familiarity with the toolchain will create the ability to go outside what they’re familiar with, but this project will aim specifically for a “grab & go”-style approach on the part of the end users.
What is the desired outcome?
Greater access to FOSS and open standards as acceptable methods of making and submitting work, or where that is not possible that ability to use FOSS and open standards to the fullest extent within a preexisting ecosystem.
What would I like to see in 3-5 years?
I would like to see FOSS & open standards to be accepted as a valid method of doing student work. Additionally, I would like to see it accepted in “the industry” if development is capable of making it industry-ready. For this project it’ll just mean that my work is easier and this project gets cleaner instructions.
2019/07/28: Content reflow