Open Source

  • OTW Events Calendar for June 2013

    By Curtis Jefferson on Sobota, 1 June 2013 - 5:16 odpoledne
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    Welcome to our Events Calendar roundup for the month of June! The Events Calendar can be found on the OTW website and is open to submissions by anyone with news of an event. These can be viewed by event type, such as Academic Events, Fan Gatherings, Legal Events, OTW Events, or Technology Events taking place around the world.

    • Slash fans in Australia are gathering in Sydney this weekend for the annual Sinpozium. Sinpozium is a laid-back fan gathering where what happens is up to those who attend. Activities include discussions, fandom pimping, games, vid watching, and more.
      Read and Share about Sinpozium on Fanlore
    • The Ada Initiative, an organization dedicated to supporting the participation of women in open technology and culture, will be holding AdaCamp San Francisco on June 8 & 9. The camp brings women together to build community and to discuss issues women face across open technology and culture and ways to address them.
    • Starfury Conventions is hosting a three-day celebration of Matt Smith's tenure as the Eleventh Doctor on Doctor Who at the Hilton Metropole Hotel, Birmingham from June 28 to June 30. Return to the 11th Hour will feature special guests, panels, photo opportunities, autograph sessions and more.
      Read and Share about Return to the 11th Hour on Fanlore

    We have two calls for papers this month.

    The first comes from the Children and Childhood Studies Area of the Mid-Atlantic Popular and American Culture Association. The call is for proposals for paper presentations, panels, round tables, and alternative format presentations for the annual MAPACA conference in November 2013. The area is looking for topics related to the impact of popular culture on children and the role of children and young adults in creating and impacting American culture. Studies involving adult fans of work that is considered "for children" are also very welcome. Proposals consisting of 300-word abstracts should be submitted via the MAPACA website no later than 14 June 2013. Proposals in other areas of popular culture are also welcome.

    The second call is for a special issue of New Media & Society focusing on crowdfunding. The issue seeks to explore a variety of issues and perspectives surrounding crowdfunding, ranging from the practice itself to the role of funders and fans (the audience) and producers of crowdfunded content. Proposals are invited on topics including, but not limited to:

    - Case studies of crowdfunding campaigns
    - Fandom
    - Unsuccessful crowdfunding efforts
    - The role of the internet and social media in crowdfunding
    - Producer/funder relationships
    - Crowd funding in the music, film, television and games industries
    - Anti-fandom
    - The role of auteurs and cult names/media in attracting backers
    - Fan exploitation and labour
    - Rewards and producer accountability

    Abstract proposals (400 words) are due, along with an author biography, 20 June 2013. Proposals should be sent to bennettlucyk[at], bertha.chin[at], and bethanvjones[at] Selected articles will be due on January 2014.

    The OTW encourages anyone to submit an event that's not already listed, and to check out the calendar throughout the year!

  • OTW Events Calendar for October

    By Curtis Jefferson on Pondělí, 1 October 2012 - 3:55 odpoledne
    Message type:

    Welcome to our Events Calendar roundup for the month of October! The Events Calendar can be found on the OTW website and is open to submissions by anyone with news of an event. These can be viewed by event-type, such as Academic Events, Fan Gatherings, Legal Events, OTW Events, or Technology Events taking place around the world.

    • The multimedia, multi-fandom slash convention Connotations will be held for the tenth time from 5 October to 7 October in Durham, England. Unique features of Connotations include the large on-site zine library and the fact that all panels are voted on and selected by fans.
      More information about Connotations on Fanlore
    • Celebrate the achievements of women in science and technology in honor of Ada Lovelace Day on 16 October. Lovelace was a 19th-century writer and mathematician whose writings inspired the development of modern computers. The day is marked by thousands of individuals blogging about women the admire in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
    • The opportunity to further support women in open technology and culture is always available with the Ada Initiative. The international nonprofit sponsors AdaCamp, a series of technology camps for young women, in addition to events and conferences that support and engage women in open source work. The Ada Initiative is currently holding one of their annual fundraisers through 31 October with a goal of 1000 donors to help sustain their work.
    • Join chemists around the world in honoring Mole Day on 23 October with this year's theme of 'Molar Eclipse'. The celebration occurs annually on this date from 6:02 AM to 6:02 PM and is derived from Avogrado's number - ~6.02x1023 - which defines the number of particles in one mole of substance. Commonly celebrated in high schools to get students interested in chemistry, the holiday is also supported by the U.S.-based National Mole Day Foundation.

    A Call for Submissions this month comes from the Australian Law Reform Commission in response to the issues paper Copyright and the Digital Economy.

    "This Issues Paper is the first formal publication of the Inquiry, intended to help frame discussion and encourage public consultation at an early stage. It provides background information about copyright in the digital environment, highlights the issues so far identified in preliminary research and consultations, and outlines the principles that will shape the ALRC’s proposals for reform."

    Responses are due via the online submission form no later than 16 November 2012.

    The OTW encourages anyone to submit an event that's not already listed, and to check out the calendar throughout the year!

  • AD&T Coding Open House - Learn All About It!

    By .allison morris on Neděle, 21 August 2011 - 11:53dop.
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    Do you code for the Archive of Our Own or would you like to do so? Now is the time to learn how! Jenny, Training lead for the OTW's Accessibility, Design, & Technology committee, will lead a chat on coding for the OTW and the AO3, and also cover challenge moderation and challenge code. If you're a current coder, a new coder, or interested and curious about coding, this is the chat for you! If you've run a challenge on AO3 or want to learn more about how that works, this is the chat for you, too!

    All are welcome! The chat will be held on Saturday, 27 August at 04:00 UTC (what time is it in my timezone?) in OTW's public chatroom on Campfire. The chatroom can be accessed at

    Accessibility, Design, & Technology is the guiding body that coordinates software design and development on behalf of the Organization for Transformative Works.

  • AD&T Tester Training and Open House - Learn All About It!

    By .allison morris on Středa, 27 July 2011 - 1:40dop.
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    Do you test for the Archive of Our Own or would you like to do so? Now is the time to learn how! The OTW's Accessibility, Design, & Technology committee will host an introductory chat on testing for the OTW and the AO3. The chat is aimed at current testers, new testers, and anyone who thinks they might be interested and wants to find out what testing's all about.

    The chat will be held on Saturday 30 July at 21:00 UTC (what time is it in my timezone?) in OTW's public chatroom on Campfire. The chatroom can be accessed at

    Accessibility, Design, & Technology is the guiding body that coordinates software design and development on behalf of the Organization for Transformative Works.

  • Links Roundup for 17 March 2011

    By .allison morris on Čtvrtek, 17 March 2011 - 6:28 odpoledne
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    We're highlighting two recent news items that are of interest to fans — one encouraging, and one less so.

    • White House wants new copyright law crackdown
    • The White House has issued a white paper from the office of the U.S. Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator, Victoria Espinel, proposing new digital intellectual property laws. Included in the proposals is making "illegal streaming" of audio or video a federal felony, paired with an expansion of wiretapping powers that would allow enforcement agencies to eavesdrop on private communications in order to investigate suspected copyright violations, something previously only allowed for serious crimes, such as suspected terrorism and use of weapons of mass destruction.

      The report also advocates for new U.S. law that would "clarify that infringement by streaming, or by means of other similar new technology, is a felony in appropriate circumstances," a broad directive, the future implications of which are difficult to predict. As CNet noted, "The term 'fair use' does not appear anywhere in the report."

      If you'd like to read the entire 20-page report, it can be viewed as a pdf here.

    • The Ada Initiative
    • The Ada Initiative, named for Ada Lovelace, considered the world's first computer programmer, is a new non-profit organization to encourage women’s participation in FOSS, the free culture movement, and related initiatives. OTW Board member Francesca Coppa has joined their advisory board.

      As one of its first actions, the Initiative is conducting the Ada Initiative Census of women in open technology and culture. OTW members and supporters include a high ratio of women who are participants in open communities and are actively working to build those communities — including administrators of fannish wikis, OTW volunteers in all our projects, Dreamwidth developers, unconference organizers, and others. If you think this might be you, we encourage taking a moment to fill out the census to help guide the Initiative's work.

    We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, event, or link you think we should know about you can submit it in three easy ways: comment on the most recent Link Roundup on, LJ, or DW, tag a link with "for:otw_news" on Delicious or give @OTW_News a shoutout on Twitter. Links are welcome in all languages!

    Submitting a link doesn't guarantee that it will be included in a roundup post, and inclusion of a link doesn't mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

  • October Drive - Celebrating the Archive of Our Own

    By .allison morris on Středa, 20 October 2010 - 3:27dop.
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    The Archive of Our Own has had an exciting year. We bought shiny, shiny servers (of our own!) in September 2009, allowing us to move out of closed beta and share the wonderful fruits of our coders' and testers' labor with the rest of fandom! Since entering Open Beta on 15 November 2009, we've had a dizzying succession of exciting achievements!

    To list just a few...

    • We've introduced tons of awesome features, both big and small: the ability to backdate a work, new options for bookmarking and reccing, skins, mobile downloads, tools for running collections and challenges, and many, many more!
    • We saw two successful challenges run as test cases for our collections code - Yuletide Treasure in December 2009 and Remix Redux in March 2010 - and saw many more wonderful challenges and collections set up home on the Archive, including the Final Fantasy fanworks exchange, the House M.D. Big Bang Challenge, and the LGBT fest.
    • We celebrated the first birthday of the servers of our own with a party, cake and lots of fannish creativity!
    • We helped set up two new committees in the OTW - Tag Wranglers and Support - who joined Accessibility, Design & Technology in managing the day-to-day work on the Archive!
    • On 20 August 2010 we hit 100,000 works on the Archive!
    • On 10 October 2010 (10/10/10!) we hit 10,000 registered Archive users!
    • We add approximately 150 new users per week (and we have more requests that that - we have to add people slowly so the site can cope).

    We have so many more exciting things planned, including art and vid hosting, subscriptions, improved challenge code, more options for bookmarking and reccing, private messages, and better commenting features.

    All of this cool stuff is made possible by the collective contribution of fandom, which has come together to code, test, run systems, tag wrangle, provide user support, offer legal advice to help protect the fannish mission of the Archive, and support the AO3 financially through donations to the OTW. Our user numbers grow every day, and the servers of our own are already creaking under the weight of all that fannish passion and creativity. Thanks to the support of our members, we're already able to commit to buying new, more powerful servers (our Systems committee are choosing them RIGHT NOW) - but we need your continuing financial support going forward to keep on extending our infrastructure, and to pay for bandwidth and hosting costs.

    Make sure fandom can continue to own our own servers! Donate to the OTW now!

  • Karen Hellekson Explains What's So Great About TWC

    By .fcoppa on Pátek, 20 August 2010 - 3:53dop.
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    TWC editor Karen Hellekson explains in Breaking the primacy of print, her post to TWC's new Symposium Blog, exactly what's so awesome about the OTW's online, peer reviewed journal Transformative Works and Cultures, and why traditional academia needs to adopt more of our values: high quality peer-reviewed multimedia content presented to all, for free, under an open access, Creative Commons license. (And that's just the beginning!)

  • "Educational and creative purposes?" or "Hacking and other threats?"

    By .fcoppa on Pátek, 21 May 2010 - 3:26 odpoledne
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    The OTW has been told that laptops in the UK distributed to lower income people by Comet through the Home Access scheme come with site-blocking software that adult users can't turn off. Categories of blocked sites include: "Social Networking, Drug/Violant natured [sic] and Adult content websites": in practice, this means no LiveJournal, Facebook, Twitter, or (you can still get to the AO3 though!); sites like the EFF (blocked as "hacking and other threats") as well as many feminist and GLBTQ sites ("adult") are also blocked.

    Ironically, the UK government's own Digital Inclusion report recommends public initiatives to encourage the use of social networking software among the poor and disadvantaged, including elderly and disabled persons. Home Access laptops are supposed to be used for educational and creative purposes: a knee-jerk ban on social networking ignores the degree to which these sites can keep isolated individuals--stay at home moms, the elderly and disabled--connected and informed. These sites are also important for political activism, coalition-building, and creativity.

    Home Access should investigate the practices of distributors like Comet, who are getting government money and distributing a broken product. "Net nanny" software should be customizable by adult users, but moreover, the "threat" of social networking, open source, gender and sexuality, and fanfiction sites should be re-evaluated. Giving the public access to the internet should mean giving the public access to the internet without discriminating against or patronizing users.

  • Happy Ada Lovelace Day from Accessibility, Design and Technology

    By .Lucy Pearson on Středa, 24 March 2010 - 4:19 odpoledne
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    Accessibility, Design and Technology would like to wish you a happy Ada Lovelace Day!

    As the committee responsible for designing and building the Archive of Our Own, one of the largest female majority open source projects on the web, we're thrilled to have the opportunity to celebrate women in technology.

    The first code for the Archive of Our Own was committed in January 2008. Some stats for the lifetime of the project:

    • 73669 lines of code
    • 30 different people committing code
    • 2238 code commits
    • 276 people involved with the Archive in some capacity (as coders, testers, tag wranglers, or support team members) - not all of these people are active at the same time, but we think this is still pretty impressive!

    We polled our volunteers to find out a little more about them before Ada Lovelace Day, and the charts below give a picture of some of their responses:

    Bar chart showing gender distribution among contribtors to the Archive of Our Own

    Bar chart showing the range of roles undertaken by volunteers for the Archive of Our Own

    Approximately 97% of the people contributing code to the project and 93% of all Archive volunteers identify as female - this is a dramatic difference to the majority of open source projects on the web, and we think it's well-worth celebrating! Our sense of achievement doesn't arise from the fact that we're a female-dominated organisation, however, but from the fact that we've been able to share skills and enable people to become involved in things which they might otherwise have been excluded from.

    Twenty-nine percent of our volunteers describe themselves as having no experience of working on technology projects before they joined us, and forty-eight percent say they only had a small amount of experience. Among our coders, a third had NO knowledge of coding before they joined, and very few people had worked extensively in Ruby on Rails, the core framework on which the Archive is built. Contributors to the project have learnt Ruby on Rails, CSS, systems administration, documentation skills, project management, quality assurance, information management skills, and much, much more. We've been able to develop a strong female-majority team because of a culture of encouraging the new and inexperienced - this benefits women, who are less likely to have experience of working on technology projects, but we hope that it also makes our project a more welcoming one for everyone.

    One of the most exciting things about seeing this project from the inside is the fact that it is truly collaborative. The work of our 30 code committers takes place in the context of a massive amount of other work: designs are worked out collaboratively, documentations people help us keep track of all the things we're working on, testers ensure that the code does what it's supposed to, tag wranglers organise the content on the Archive, and the support team work incredibly hard to make sure our users have a great experience. Whereas in some open-source projects, the work of non-coders is seen as less important, we enjoy an atmosphere of shared endeavour in which everybody's contribution is celebrated. By working closely together, we also enjoy lots of cross-pollination, and we've seen many people move from testing to coding, or coding to support, developing new skills in the process. About 41% of volunteers on the project serve in more than one role - we believe that by providing space for people who want to specialise while allowing those who like diversity to branch out, the whole project is enriched.

    We're proud of our enthusiastic, skillful, supportive team of volunteers, of all genders, and we believe that Ada Lovelace is a great time to celebrate a culture which welcomes everyone. In that spirit of inclusiveness, we'd like to close this post with some comments from the people from our teams:

    The sense of community, inclusive of the most occasional tester and casual reader to the most dedicated coder and systems-person, is just so wonderful.

    [One thing I'm excited about learning:] Learning how to test in general & regression testing in specific, and learning how to use the issues tracker for google code. It's fun! Testing has a great mentor, Eylul, it's easy to pick up and learn, and it's really satisfying when you see a fix for a bug you've discovered or tested make its way onto the archive.

    [One thing I'm excited about learning:] Acquiring new skills (which I'm still doing): Ruby on Rails. It gives me great satisfaction, especially as I am out of work.

    The development of the Archive of our Own is just a phenomenal thing to see. This big undergoing with every deploy, how everyone comes together to get this new release on its way. How many people with different jobs it takes to build this software and how people step up and pitch in and help out, regardless of if it is in their "job description", is really inspiring to me.

    I really love that we're all working as a team (even people I don't see or know as they're on different parts of the project) to create something that's being used by thousands of people. It adds to a part of my life that until now, I've only really been an observer in, not a participant.

    I'm really excited that I managed to leap in and work with a bunch of people I'd never met before, and am having a great time doing it. And I've learnt how to use a lot of tools, like google code [coders' bug management system], campfire [the OTW's chatroom] and 16bugs [AO3 Support's bug management system] that I'd never even heard of before.

    Okay, and one more thing -- even though my part in the whole is tiny, I feel a great sense of accomplishment every time an update is deployed to the archive. I'm continually delighted by the fact that there can be so very many fingers in the pie, and it still ends up being a *pie* (that's tasty and delicious!)

    We're happy to be sharing our pie with fandom at large! Happy Ada Lovelace Day!

    This post is mirrored from an original post on the Archive of Our Own, where you can comment with or without an Archive account.

  • Happy Ada Lovelace Day 2010!

    By .fcoppa on Středa, 24 March 2010 - 3:38 odpoledne
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    The OTW wants to wish you Happy Ada Lovelace Day!

    The OTW is an overwhelmingly female organization whose major projects include the design and development of the Archive Of Our Own, which may be the largest, majority female open source software project on the web. (They'll be making their own post later today!) We also administer and maintain a number of production servers, content management systems, and other software packages, including MediaWiki, the software that runs Fanlore, OJS, the open source journal software we use to run Transformative Works and Cultures, CiviCRM, the constituent relationship management system we use to manage our Development and Membership drives, Request Tracker (RT), our current ticketing system, and our Drupal-based website. Our staff is made up largely of female coders, sysadmins, webmasters, designers, and others of considerable technical skill.

    Thoughts from committees & links roundup beneath the cut!

    A word from our Board:

    The OTW Board - which has never been in the same room at the same time; our corporate headquarters are digital - celebrates all our technical women today and every day. We are proud to have a big, healthy open source project – the Archive of Our Own/AO3 – which is designed, coded, documented, supported, and maintained almost entirely by women (and that's not even counting our fabulous sysadmins and webmasters, and the teams that work with MediaWiki, OJS, CiviCRM…)

    A few relevant statistics:

    Number of AO3 users: 6,038.

    Number of A03 fandoms: 5,485.

    Number of fanworks: 67, 858.

    Lines of code in Archive of Our Own (2007): 0.

    Lines of code in Archive of Our Own (2010): 73, 757.

    Estimated AO3 project cost: (from ): $989,259.

    Value of our amazing team: Priceless.

    A word from our Accessibility, Design, & Technology Committee:

    [ADT will be making their own post later today! Stay tuned!]

    A word from our Webmasters:

    The Webmasters (a.k.a. the Charlottes) are the team that keeps up and running. Since the Charlottes were formed, all of our members have been women. We work primarily with Drupal, an open-source content management system, and with CiviCRM, an open-source constituent management system for nonprofits. This year on-the-job training is a big focus for us, because we have some new members for the first time in the committee’s history. One of the wonderful things about teaching is that you end up learning at the same time — not only are we training the newest members of our team, but the veteran members are learning new things from each other and from the process of teaching. We’re asking each other insightful questions, updating old assumptions, and considering our work in new ways, thus making the committee and the website stronger. We’re glad of this opportunity to work and learn in a collaborative space for the benefit of our fannish communities.

    Links Roundup: (will be updated throughout the day!)

    * Post by juniperphoenix

    * Post by Zooey Glass

    * Post at Geek Girls Allowed

    * Post by samvara

    * Post by watersword


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