Possibility of having small FOSS projects in introductory CS courses

Manish Goregaokar manishsmail at gmail.com
Fri Aug 1 15:39:34 UTC 2014

Most of those seem to be rather long and/or require a much deeper
understanding of the system than what introductory-level students can pick
up (though that can be resolved locally by TAs and mentors). But I'll go
through the list more thoroughly later and see if I can pick up some C++
bugs that are less lengthy and are understandable.

-Manish Goregaokar

On Fri, Aug 1, 2014 at 1:42 PM, Sebastian Zartner <
sebastianzartner at gmail.com> wrote:

> I guess that these bugs fall into that category:
> https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/buglist.cgi?keywords=student-project&keywords_type=allwords&resolution=---&query_format=advanced&list_id=10882988
> Sebastian
> On 1 August 2014 09:12, Manish Goregaokar <manishsmail at gmail.com> wrote:
>> So this semester some rather interesting things are planned for the CS101
>> course taught by Professor DB Phatak
>> <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deepak_B._Phatak> (a great supporter of
>> FOSS) in my university.
>> One thing that caught my eye was that there were discussions for allowing
>> students to contribute to FOSS as their 30% credit group project. Usually
>> people make terminal-tic-tac-toe or games like minesweeper if graphics was
>> taught, but this seems like a novel idea. Contributing to FOSS isn't
>> *hard*, just intimidating, and the intimidation can be bypassed if you
>> have a framework of professors and TAs around you.
>> As of now, nothing has been planned, but the idea is that students are
>> allowed to form a larger group (perhaps with modular subgroups if the
>> project is complex) and work on a reasonably sized C++ project in open
>> source (the project can also be a set of smaller contributions). Obviously
>> most "student projects" are unsuitable for this; those are usually
>> semester-long projects for experienced students. Most "good first bug" are
>> on the other end of the spectrum -- while they might take a week to solve,
>> they're not really project material.
>> Are there any such (preferably C++) projects/bugs that we have in Firefox
>> that could conceivably be solved by first year students doing an
>> introductory course? Many of these students have learned some C++ (or Java)
>> in school, which might help.
>> If this works here, we might be able to create a better framework for
>> other univs to try the same ("good first student project"? :P ). I love the
>> idea of getting people involved in FOSS early on in the learning process --
>> at this stage students are not yet really that intimidated since everything
>> else is just as new.
>> Thoughts? Bugs?
>> -Manish Goregaokar (Manishearth)
>> _______________________________________________
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>> firefox-dev at mozilla.org
>> https://mail.mozilla.org/listinfo/firefox-dev
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