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Fashoto Stephen Profile

Dr. Stephen Gbenga Fashoto is presently a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Computer Science, University of Swaziland, Kwaluseni, Swaziland. He was formerly the Director of ICT in Kampala International University, Kampala, Uganda. He was a Post-Doctoral fellow in the Department of Decision Sciences, University of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa. He was a Lecturer in Department of Computer Science, Redeemer's University, Ede, Nigeria between 2007 and 2014. The Chair of the Computational Intelligence and Health Informatics Research Group, Department of Computer Science, University of Swaziland. I hold a Ph.D. in Computer Science from University of Ilorin, Nigeria, M.Sc. in Computer Science from University of Port harcourt, Nigeria and B.Sc. [Hons.] in Computer Science and mathematics from University of Port Harcourt, Nigeria.


My interest in Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) stems from the belief that instructors and students cannot survive in software development and programming generally without the support of Open Source Software community especially in developing countries. I confirmed the above statement to be true having lecture programming languages in four different countries in Africa (Nigeria, Uganda, Rwanda and South Africa).


The present significant opportunities by Professors of Open Source Software Experience(POSSE) on the different activities we have been working on for the past three weeks as an instructor has exposed me to so many new things in the area of teaching open source software which will enable me to contribute to academic development in the area of teaching programming languages using open source software.

My interest in HFOSS project is in OpenMRS because my key research interest is in Health Informatics and I have applied Computing and mathematical modelling to different areas of human endeavour especially to health related issues in Africa.

From 2017/2018 Academic session I will introduce my year one students to LINUX/UNIX operating system instead of the usual windows operating system used in the past in my course titled "Introduction to Computer Science" and I will introduce my year two students to C++ using open source software on LINUX/Unix OS. And lastly, I will emphasise on the HFOSS project as a case study in our programming courses and in our departmental research group. And finally, I will ensure my Head of Department improve four of our courses curriculum on the HFOSS project (Introduction to Data Mining, Data Structure, Programming languages and Database Management System) and I will also emphasise on the HFOSS project to our final year students on their project work as the Research Coordinator.

HFOSS project on OpenMRS

The OpenMRS means open Medical Record System and started in the 1990’s. It is free software that is used for storing and tracking patients’ medical case record or information electronically. The OpenMRS is a web-based application that makes use of open architecture that is standardised for information systems in health. OpenMRS is flexible, scalable, re-usable and the features are prioritized for end-users. The customization of OpenMRS to improve the treatment of HIV in Africa was initiated by Paul and Burke in 2004. The application was first deployed and tested on HIV patients in Eldoret in Kenya in February 2006. Five months later, it was deployed in Rwanda. After the success story of the application in the first two countries, it was later deployed to about 24 countries mostly in Sub-Sahara Africa. The application can be customize because it is developed using Java based application. I gain a lot from this application based on the explanation by Paul and Burke on the development phases especially on the database design, decision support system, the security measures, the customization features and so on. The largest challenge I see is how to incorporate some instructors into the development team without having knowledge about some technologies that are not coming used in the classroom especially in developing countries such as hibernate, dwr and dojo where the OpenMRS is commonly used. I have not heard about some of the technologies mentioned in the Google Tech talk video such as dwr, dojo, and hibernate even the technologies they are trying to integrate to improve on the existing system such as BIRT and Pentaho for statistical analysis and analysis of large data respectively. The technologies used presently for the development of the OpenMRS are as follows Python Java MySQL Hibernate DWR Dojo Javascript

Introduction to copyright and Licensing

The U-tube lecture on copyright and licensing from business perspective is interesting. Most license on opensource software are under general public license. OpenMRS license is the Mozilla general public license. The Mozilla General public license version 2 and the Apache license version 2 give room for the licenses to be used for commercial purpose, to be modify, distribute, sublicense for private use, patent claims and place warranty. My interest in HFOSS projects is to contribute to OpenMRS since the license is free and Open.

FOSS in Course 1

I will engage my project students on how we can improve or contribute to the OpenMRS project. This first semester I will introduce my year one students to the use of IRC, wiki , Teaching Open Source Community and finally to the article by Ellis et al. on “Team project experiences in HFOSS” in Introduction to Computer Science. I believed that the earlier the students of Computer Science are introduced to the concept open source the better. I will also introduce my year two students to Sahana-Eden project in introduction to programming II. Project evaluation on OpenMRS The evaluation factors used for the project evaluation on OpenMRS are licensing, language, level of activity, number of contributors, product size, issue tracker, standard and user base. The evaluation factors in level 2 are as follows 1) Licensing: The licensing for OpenMRS is public and open. 2) Language: the common programming languages used for development of OpenMRS are Python, javascript and Java. 3) Level of activity: the level of the activity on OpenMRS has been active since 2004 4) Number of Contributor: The number of contributors has increase from 2 to 262 contributors till date 5) Issue tracker 6) New contributor: the new contributors are excepted to be openminded and be ready to collaborate with existing developers and designers on the OPenMRS project to enable them to be able to contribute their quota. 7) User Base: the openMRS is developed to help in the management of health record mostly in sub-sahara Africa for HIV patients. The evaluation factor in level 1 is the product size. This is classify to level 1 because it is not as important as those factors in level 2. The total score is 15.

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