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5 th Dec 2005 RAATE 2005 The OATS Project ACE Centre Advisory Trust: Andrew Lysley, Jason Walsh, Stephen Druce Access to Communication and Technology (ACT), Birmingham: Simon Judge In collaboration with: University of Dundee, Dept of Computing DART, Sweden Specialpedagogiska Instituet, Sweden

The OATS Project

Jan 14, 2016




The OATS Project. ACE Centre Advisory Trust : Andrew Lysley, Jason Walsh, Stephen Druce  Access to Communication and Technology (ACT), Birmingham: Simon Judge In collaboration with: University of Dundee , Dept of Computing DART , Sweden Specialpedagogiska Instituet , Sweden. Contents. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

Open Source Software for Assistive Technology Access to Communication and Technology (ACT), Birmingham: Simon Judge
DART, Sweden
What is the OATS project?
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Could be written for any operating system
Well established, over a wide range of applications – from operating systems to mind mapping (e.g. Linux, Apache, OpenOffice, FreeMind, Gimp, …)
Can still charge for distribution, support – lots of business models based on open source
Anyone can change and/or share the software freely
End-users have the right to modify and redistribute the software
Free as in speech, not necessarily as in free beer
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Open Source Development Model
The secret volunteer army: Open source software is often developed by ‘volunteers’
Coders enjoy coding on interesting projects!
Often companies (e.g. Sun, IBM) contribute coders to projects – mutual interest
Some sectors are dominated by Open Source – most of the internet is built on it
Universities frequently open source projects
LOTS: Sourceforge – 1000s projects
Fundamentally different way of doing things
Allows innovation, a closer ‘relationship’ to the user
Allows standardisation to develop – since the fundamentals are published and open.
Growing movement: considered by some to be the future of software (e.g. IBM, Sun, some governments…)
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Research and Innovation – technology transfer from research projects
Customisation – diverse clients require customised software
Standards – have we any?!
User Feedback and BugFixes
Challenging and interesting projects for coders
Does existing method of software development allow innovation to propogate? Is innovation lead by users? How do professionals input?
Alternative/additional model
Forge (Dating agency): tools for developing open source software
The only website dedicated to Open Source Assistive Technology software
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open source
Simple to use (aimed at end users) – 3 or 4 clicks
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Amazon style info (poll and Forum)
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Accesses the same info, different views - aimed at different people
Into to AT for coders – include case studies etc?
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Users can contribute feature requests, discuss on noticeboards, report bugs, vote for software…
Anyone can add/suggest projects
Developers can maintain their own project areas (documentation, bug tracking, wiki, polls, notice boards etc)
Previous incarnations – difficult to maintain – evolve to be self maintaining.
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Unique opportunity to contribute directly to development of software
Opportunity to comment/vote on AT software
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Excellent open source tools
RAATE 2005
OATS :: Professionals
AT professionals have a unique insight into user’s needs and have lots of ideas.
Researchers research into relevant areas to AT (but maybe not called ‘AT’).
OATS offers the opportunity to connect the two.
Allows customisation to meet individual client’s needs
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Comment on the site
Build partnerships with local universities
OATS is a portal for student projects & research projects and provides context for existing projects
Contribute to the site
Encourage innovation and technology transfer
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