Insight: what does the Open Source Technologist at the OER Foundation do?
A few weeks ago, I got an unexpected (but very flattering!) request from a friend and colleague's son, Felix. He wanted to interview me about my work (at 11, he thinks he might want to become a software developer, too, when he's older) as material he could present at an up-coming PechaKucha session at his school... Wow, we didn't do PechaKucha when I was a kid :)
Installing NextCloud and Collabora Office Online with Docker on Ubuntu 16.04
Update 2021-11-08: this post is now getting a bit long-in-the-tooth, and I need to update it to use up-to-date components. It might still be useful to folks, but use it with caution. Also, please note, we're using NextCloud with OnlyOffice (the open source community edition) these days.
Installing LimeSurvey with Docker on Ubuntu 16.04 with Nginx and Mariadb
LimeSurvey is an open source survery tool, functionally similar to far more heavily marketed proprietary tools like SurveyMonkey and Google Forms. It's a very mature, fully-featured system. You can either use the reasonably priced hosted service available on the LimeSurvey site, or you can host your own, holding your own data and collecting your own analytics if you prefer. The only cost of hosting your own is your time to set it up and any costs associated with your hosting environment (which, today, can be negligible).
WikiEducator Notes: OERu's course feed aggregation and messaging system
Here at the OERu, we provide a service, attached to all of our online courses (and available to all of our partners - or anyone else for that matter) which allows anyone involved in those courses to communicate with their peers from any one of a dazzling array of online "places" with WikiEducator Notes (aka WEnotes). The entire system is free and open source software (FOSS).
OERu MediaWiki to WordPress Snapshot Toolchain
One of the OERu's most compelling technological capabilities is the set of internally developed open source tools that allow us to automatically transform and inject a collection of MediaWiki content on WikiEducator (usually in form of micro-courses) making up a course into a mobile-friendly, easy-to-navigate WordPress site, usually situated on OERu's Course WordPress Multisite implementation.
Installing Mastodon with Docker-Compose on Ubuntu 16.04
Not long ago, Mastodon, an open source, federated alternative to the proprietary network-effect wunderkind, Twitter, came out of no where.
Docker Compose: A better way to deploy Rocketchat, Wekan, and MongoDB
A few months back, I posted instructions on deploying Rocket.Chat and Wekan instances (and their mutual dependency, MongoDB) individually. Since then, I've spent some time with Docker Compose, a set of scripts which help you to define, build, and manage a set of Docker containers. Docker Compose is a thing of beauty. This is the way I now deploy Rocket.Chat, Wekan, and MongoDB together.
Many simple tools, loosely coupled
Our approach to technology here at the OERu is inspired by the UNIX tool philosophy which can be summarised as follows:
"create simple tools that do one job well, and make it easy to combine them to work together"
Multiple Discourse Forums on the same server
At the OERu we have two separate instances of market category leading Discourse Forum: one for OER partner and contributor collaborators and the other for learners. These days, online forums are seen as a bit old-school: fuddy-duddy. From my point of view, however, Discourse is "Forum-NG" (a Next Generation forum).