Professors Work Together To Create Open Source Software
April 27, 2007 12:36 PM
If two SF State professors have their way, you might be able to write your essay in the same window you check your e-mail.
Computer science professor Arno Puder and information systems professor Leigh Jin are working together to make an open-source software that will do just that.
The software, called XML11, will make it easier for developers to make innovative Web features, such as the ability to run applications inside a Web browser.
“The distinction between the desktop [application] and browser becomes blurred,” Puder said about the program's potential use.
According to Puder, with the help of the program, a developer can easily implement feature-rich applications for the Internet. The program helps developers create Web sites, such as MySpace and Wikipedia, which allow users to contribute to site content with ease.
“I’m very much excited about the inter-college collaboration,” Puder said about working with Jin.
Jin added they are currently developing a business model to attract more open source developers to the project.
“Hopefully that will, in turn, attract more open-source developers to contribute to the XML11 project,” Jin said.
The project is an open-source software that potentially can change the way the Internet is used.
Puder said he came upon creating the program while doing research in 2004 and said it evolved over a period of time.
“Here we’re completely free of economic pressures, constraints and can focus on long-term research projects,” Puder said about creating the software at SF State.
SF State is also the only university to be a part of the OpenAjax alliance, an organization of vendors, open-source projects and companies using Ajax — a Web scripting tool — and successfully adopting it into Web applications. In the past, Puder has given presentations at Google and Sun Microsystems concerning the program.
“My hope is that it turns into a thriving open-source project that gathers a community of developers around this project,” Puder said.
Jin said she started paying attention to open-source projects and became interested in it. Jin said she met Puder at a seminar, and that’s when he told her about the project.
“I thought it was a wonderful opportunity for me to actually participate and contribute to a real open-source project,” Jin said.
Jin is creating a business model for the project where it can be profitable as an open-source software.
“Most open-source projects struggle with business models, because the software itself is free,” Jin said.
Jin began to introduce XML11 to Bay Area Linux, an open-source operating system, user groups to draw attention to the project. She also contacted open-source activists, lawyers on how to attract attention to XML11 for developers to contribute codes.
Jin said Puder is inspiring and visionary and said the collaboration is a wonderful model for SF State.
“I feel like I’m really a part of the team,” Jin said.
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