I'm not great at expressing my ideas in writing so hopefully this doesn't sound like rambling...
What operating systems or programming experience do you have?
Used to run Fedora back in college but I've since switched to Ubuntu at home. I am forced to use Windows at work and use it a bit at home for gaming.
More experience with VB than I care to remember. Mostly, used for macros in MS Office. Two years of statistics/reports using SAS and JCL (on a mainframe and positional database, ahhhhH! Talk about a nightmare) and SQL (much more pleasant experience).
How do you wish to contribute to Lernanta? Contribute to the code? Run your own instance? Help with translation?
I would really like to contribute to the code. I've been really wanting to get involved in an open source project for a while now and I think I've finally found one.
Also, how do you define open source? If you have good links, that's great. If you have experience, please share it. What are its strengths and weaknesses? Especially from the viewpoint of someone new?
To me open source doesn't just apply to software, it is a philosophy. It's the idea that quality tools and information should be available to everyone.
Keeping things closed and proprietary just creates problems and extra hassle. Having open standards allow people to work together to make the best product(s).
A strength of open source is most people aren't in it for the money. They are involved because they truly care about what they are doing and there is nothing better than an intrinsically motivated person.
So many people can be involved in project; this can be both a weakness and a strength. Sometimes it can be difficult to coordinate/work with so many people from varying backgrounds but at the same time you can get a wide variety of skills that make the project stronger. Another strength that comes from working with so many people is that standards are higher. If you're working in a 'closed shop', run into an issue and come up with a quick and dirty / improper fix it might be accepted and kept in the project. Things like that don't fly in the open source world. Someone will come along and point it out.
I'm hoping to get some time this weekend to get a dev environment setup, look through the community call notes, start digging!