Open Access Week: Open Source Software

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In celebration of Open Access Week 2012, we wanted to spotlight some of the open source software used every day by students, faculty, and staff here at Florida Tech. When searching the catalog online at the Evans Library you are actually using software developed by Villanova University called VuFind. VuFind is the new front end to our catalog that allows the integration of the university’s universal account system, TRACKS, along with many other cool features. TRACKS  is based on the open source project originally developed by Yale University called CAS. CAS is now being maintained by Jasig, and they are continuing to maintain the project and release it to the open source community. In fact one of the most popular web browsers used today is an open source project, the Mozilla Firefox Web Browser.

Open source software is even being used elsewhere on campus. In the Computer Science department, is currently utilizing Moodle in some of their classes. Moodle is a Learning Management system similar to Angel, which all courses offered at Florida Tech have the option to use as a means of enhancing the learning experience. Information Technology uses Lime Survey in order to find out how users feel their support request was handled. The Florida Tech Blog is run by an open source software called WordPress.

One particular piece of software that is worth being showcased is called KeePass. KeePass is a password vault. It allows the user to protect all of their passwords, in a piece of software, instead of utilizing the Post-it note method of putting passwords, on your desk, on your monitor or even on a piece of paper labeled passwords in your desk drawer.

Now we have talked a lot about different examples of open source software used every day, you may be asking what is Open Source exactly? Open Source software is software with the source code publicly available and thus can be shared, modified, viewed and used for other purposes. For more information about the Open Source Initiative please visit opensource.org.

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