LiveContent 2 0

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Revision as of 22:49, 15 November 2007 by CCID-tvol (talk | contribs) (Big Ideas)
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We believe that the LiveContent distro can provide a useful platform that allows users to test explore free and open content and test out free, open source software. The LiveContent distro provides information and documentation about Creative Commons, the FOSS movement, and demos to how users can take advantage of the media included to re-create, re-mix and re-share content.

We strongly believe that libraries are a great way to plant seeds in the community to help the FOSS movement expand. This project will help bring more awareness to open source by providing an example of an operating system and free open source applications that could be implemented on library patron terminals. If the ideas can catch on, the long-range effects might be that libraries would begin to implement free open source software on machines permanently, thus providing a wealth of benefits both to patrons in terms of a more free computing environment and severing the long-standing ties between libraries and proprietary software license fees.

Another venue for supporting LiveContent within libraries is to add the LiveContent distro to the library collection. This would allow users to check out the disc and explore on their own on home computers. This is an especially useful option to address the vast differences in library computing environments and amount of technical support library staff can provide to patrons.

Technical Considerations


Applications and Content running on Fedora 7


  • keep most from v1.0 as base
    • OpenOffice
    • Inkscape
    • The Gimp
    • Firefox
    • Totem
    • Evince
    • gThumb
    • Tuxpaint

CC Content

CC is working on developing a system to "autocurate" content from CC-friendly sites such as Flickr. CC tech team will take API infrastructures to be able to pull down CC-licensed content from these sites for inclusion on LiveContent 2.0 DVD. Categories may include, but not limited to:

  • Audio
  • Video
  • Text
  • Image
  • Educational resources
  • Important - how will we be able to mark these works with the appropriate CC license?
    • we'll get a README file generated with the autocurated content
  • How can we bring in other content curators such as Internet Archive, Open Content Alliance, OpenLibrary?
  • How can we work with ccLearn, OER engine?

Other Open Content


Proper documentation about LiveContent is vital to include within the DVD. How to deliver documentation that is informative, draws people in, is not boring or too much to digest?

Bootup page

  • Quick soundbytes
  • short, library focused

What is Creative Commons?

Blurb: Creative Commons provides free tools that allow creators like authors, artists, scientists and educators share their work with the world. Creative Commons let you legally share, remix and reuse creativity!

More: Creative Commons provides free tools that allow you to share your creative works with the world. When you share your creativity, you're enabling people anywhere to use it, learn from it, and be inspired by it. Whenever you create something, like a song, photograph, story, drawing or film, you automatically own an "All Rights Reserved" copyright to the creative work. Copyright gives you, the artist, important rights that allow you to say how others can use the creativity. Sometimes full copyright is too restrictive--it forces others to ask your permission before they can use your creativity. If you want your work to be freely shared, used, and built upon by the rest of the world, Creative Commons is the way. Creative Commons provides free copyright licenses that let you say which parts of your copyright you're willing to give to the public. The process is easy. Go to our website and answer a few questions about how how you'd like others to be able to use your creation, and we'll give you a license that clearly communicates what people can and cannot do with your creativiyy. You don't give up your copyright, you refine it. The world of collaboration rules, and today there are millions of song, pictures, and written works that are free for you to share, reuse, and remix. Creative Commons helps build this world of open content, and you can help.

What is free, open source software (FOSS)?

Blurb: Free, open source software puts users in the driver's seat, providing free and open access to copy, modify and share software with others. It's an important community that empowers innovation and creativity without the lock-in of proprietary software.

More: All the software you see on this LiveContent DVD is free and open source. While everything here looks and feels like other computers running Windows, deep down, there are some fundamental differences. The source code--the guts that make the computer run, is "free." When we speak of free, we mean "free as in free speech," not necessarily free as in price (although this is often the case too!). Free means users have the freedom to copy, the freedom to modify, and the freedom to share their creations with others.

Exploring Creative Commons Content

Blurb: Check out free, open creative content like photos, music, and videos from places like Flickr, Jamendo, and free, all at your fingertips, all ready to share, remix, reuse.

More: Click on the desktop icons to explore content within that category. For example, click on the "Image" icon to open a collection of Flickr images released with Creative Commons licenses.

Where is open content going? There are lots of exciting projects that are working on opening up information to everyone. Help support projects to minimaize barriers to sharing and reusing educational materials, build the open content base by adding your favorite CC-licensed-powered project to the Content Directories on the CC wiki, jump in with supporting access to a huge library of free, open books.

Create your own content

Blurb: Take the open content provided on this disc--rip it, use it, improve it.

More: LiveContent showcases free, open content. Because all the content here is CC-licensed, users can take the material, rip it, use it, improve it. Access the applications by clicking "Applications" in the menu at the bottom left corner of the screen. Create your own flyer using the Gimp and the CC-photos on the desktop. Draw a picture, cut up audio, view videos using free, open players. When you create, you can share it again with Creative Commons. The content is here, the tools are here--all free on the DVD.

Saving What You've Made

Plug in an external storage device like a USB drive to save materials to it.

Quitting out of LiveContent

Quit out of LiveContent by clicking "System" from the menu at the bottom of the screen. Next, click "Shut Down" and choose whether to restart the computer into the default operating system or shut down.

Thank You has provided generous support for the development and distribution of this project. Technical support provided by Fedora.

Share how you use LiveContent


  • icons that match apps, renaming of things like openoffice
  • GNOME accessibility for disabled?
  • sticker or revised packaging documentation for libraries
  • develop LiveContent logo
  • put content icons on the front of packaging?

Library-specific concerns

LiveContent project within library settings

  • public libraries vs academic libraries vs other libraries - public libraries have less resources, less staff time to examine new products and test out - at the same time FOSS might most benefit small public libraries, especially rural - need to target
  • academic libraries are often equipped for more research, and might be better geared towards having the resources for testing and future development
  • what kinds of agreements do libraries have with software providers now, if any?
    • many locked into proprietary software, but not by choice - more a function of ease, what patrons expect, technical experience of staff
  • make the cds very intuitive, well-labeled, good supporting documentation - fedora has a lot of good documentation
  • will we only make spins for i386? - probably the architecture of most library terminal machines, unless some use older macs - ppc
  • how do we distribute LiveContent without spamming?
  • originally we had the idea that we needed to keep the distribution of LiveContent to CDs, since they are the media that is most able to be used across the board, especially at places like libraries, which have vastly different landscape of computing power - but are DVDs possible? - can fit so much more content on a DVD
  • less to do with the software and more to do with presentation and documentation and usefulness
  • different libraries have different budgets which allow for a vast range in hardware and training
  • what about adding the CDs to library collections - ISSN numbers? - might be a good way for people or use at home, but doesn't align too well with the applications and content becoming dated
  • accessibility concerns at libraries

computing environments

San Francisco Public Library

  • at San Francisco Public Library (SFPL) main branch, there are two types of computer terminals:
    • those that are used solely for card catalog lookup - no other features provided
    • those where patrons can access the internet (via internet explorer) and use the Microsoft Office 2003 suite (Word, Excel, Powerpoint) - there are no other applications that are accessible through the tailored, limited-view interface

Ann Arbor District Library (notes from meeting with technology director)

  • thin-client public computing setup throughout the entire public district
  • no disc drives at all
  • still supporting floppy drives
  • support plug-in USB drives
  • $400 base machine running on MS terminal server (most stable environment)
  • nodes are non-writable
  • "commodity" computing - basic internet access, no high end applications, audio works but technically not supported
  • ann arbor is one of the few libraries that are doing it this way--requires lots of up front investment
  • all applications available to patrons are located on the desktop and locked down (acrobat reader, calculator, internet explorer, firefox, excel, powerpoint, word, paint, telnet ssh, wordpad)
  • public terminals are used mostly for internet access, some word processing. the other apps are infrequently used
  • 70% of the people in Ann Arbor have computers at home
  • libraries that have money can set up things like thin clients, so delivery of content through disc drives is not an option
  • libraries that have less resources like smaller rural libraries have standard machines, but less tech help
  • patrons might be confused about how to use the LiveCD/LiveDVD, especially since they are so used to working on windows machines
  • LiveDVD might be good to add to the collection so people can check out and take to home computers
  • suggestion of putting out the LiveDVD as a kit with an instructional/informational booklet


  • Webjunction
  • TechSoup
  • MaintainIT project
  • LITA
  • oss4lib
  • alatechsource
  • "Public Libraries and the Internet 2006: Study Results and findings" report available for download here - may provide some insight to landscape of public library terminal workstation metrics

Library Testing

We'd like to identify approximately 4 libraries in various areas of the country that would like to come on board to becomes testers for LiveContent 2.0. We'd like to do quick iterative versions of 2.0, starting at "Phase 0" to be built ASAP, with revisions being made at a distinct interval afterwards, with the final 2.0 release coming at Phase 3. Geographically, we're looking to involve a library from each of the following areas:


  • New York?


  • possibly Florida?


  • possbily Michigan, Wisconsin, Chicago?

West Coast

  • San Francisco?

Distribution Options

We will investigate options for getting the CDs into the hands of the libraries we wish to target. While we wish to provide a quality LiveContent disc to the most libraries we can, we realize that mass mailing may not be the best way to accomplish this distribution goal, especially since this may be considered a type of spamming. Ideas other than mailing include hosting the contents online and doing outreach to libraries and other interested parties through a widespread press release, listservs, hand out at events, or get an in through professional organizations like the American Library Association.

Future Ideas for LiveContent

Freedom Toaster

  • Freedom Toasters are conveniently located, self-contained, computer-based, 'Bring 'n Burn' facilities.
  • Like vending machines, preloaded to dispense confectionery, Freedom Toasters are preloaded to dispense free digital products, including software, photography, music and literature.
  • The Freedom Toaster project began as a means of overcoming the difficulty in obtaining Linux and Open Source software due to the restrictive telecommunications environment in South Africa, where the easy downloading of large pieces of software is just not possible for everyone.

CC proselytizing and swag

  • have on hand to give out at conferences, meetings
  • ccLearn
  • distribute with other swag like buttons, stickers