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Simson Garfinkel

A View from Simson Garfinkel

No Open Source for Open Courseware?

I’m actively trying to get more details, but Philip Greenspun reported yesterday in his weblog that MIT’s illustrious OpenCourseware program is not itself based on open source software. According to Greenspun, “The more sophisticated portion of ocw.mit.edu is a 100…

  • December 3, 2003

I’m actively trying to get more details, but Philip Greenspun
reported yesterday in his weblog that MIT’s illustrious OpenCourseware program is not itself based on open source software. According to Greenspun, “The more sophisticated portion of ocw.mit.edu is a 100 percent Microsoft show. A student asks the speakers why they chose Microsoft Content Management Server, expecting to hear a story about careful in-house technical evaluation done by people sort of like them. The answer: ‘We read a Gartner Group report that said the Microsoft system was the simplest to use among the commercial vendors and that open-source toolkits weren’t worth considering.’

Even better — the programming was “done in India, either by Sapient, MIT’s main contractor for the project, or by a handful of Microsoft India employees who helped set up the Content Management Server.”

Greenspun concludes: “Thus did students who are within months of graduating with their $160,000 computer science degrees learn how modern information systems are actually built, even by institutions that earn much of their revenue from educating American software developers.”

Philip learned this at a 6.171 lecture he attended this year.

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