Glenn Vanderburg, Independent Consultant
Track: Operating Systems and Applications
Date: Tuesday, July 23
Time: 1:45pm - 5:15pm
Location: Sea Breeze II
One of the most common arguments for open
source software is that the source code is
valuable and useful. If you need support,
bug fixing, or new features, having the
source means that you can do it yourself,
or pay someone else to do it for you.
Many companies and organizations, however,
have difficulty understanding the value.
And many that use open source software
never take full advantage of the source
code, treating open source systems as black
boxes very similar to proprietary products.
One big reason for this is that most
people, even many experienced programmers,
find the source code daunting. Studying a
large package of someone else's code is
difficult, and learning it well enough to
find problems, fix bugs, and add features
with confidence seems like a big challenge.
In truth, though, it's not as hard as it
may seem. This talk will present techniques
for *reading* software and quickly learning
about an existing body of code so that you
can change it safely and quickly. The talk
will focus primarily on Java-based systems,
but there will be discussion of other
languages. A case study and demonstration
of the techniques will pull the concepts
together and show them in practice.