I think the problem really is that Fox and other news sources are primary "factual" sources of information for a vast percentage of the American population, and they come out with a piece that is ignorant enough that it feels like it is belittling everyone who programs. It's not that they "don't get what we do," it's that there was clearly no effort to try. It feels like a "I don't know what this is, so I'll trivialize it move on" attitude.
I mean comon.... all they would have had to do was email IT and ask what GitHub does. Surely someone there could have made a layman's explanation for the news that didn't involve the phrase "reciprocity or a big chunk of software."
I concur. See my other comment. It's surprisingly very difficult to explain open source (what do you mean you share code with people for free?), forking (wait, you let people change what you wrote???) to non developers.
I personally encountered this issue when explaining Fork the Cookbook to people. But what made this video cringeworthy is the total lack of research the journos seem to have put in.
I somewhat disagree. I think what you wrote in your parenthesis would work as an explanation of open source to plenty of my non-programming friends and they would have an idea of what you're talking about.
Question to friend: You have an idea that computer software is written with code?
[Typical person who has used a computer will respond with something like, Yes, I've heard of computer code.]
Follow-up: Open Source is what we call sharing your computer code with anyone for free. Generally, nowadays, programmers can put their code online for other people to play around with.
Sure, there's more to it than that, but that will give a non-technical person an idea of what you're talking about, and probably makes more sense than what Fox presented. All they needed to add for Github is that it's a company which makes this code sharing easier and more organized and there is business opportunity in making software development easier.
I don't agree. It's perfectly feasible to properly research the topics you're covering, lots of newspapers do this, and they get it right. Getting a complex technical concept slightly wrong is fine (pull to edit), but 'reposotory', 'e-note'? That's one Google search away from being corrected. This is really just telling your readers/viewers you just don't give a damn.
Why put up a box with terms if you're not willing in the slightest to get them right? Probably just to to keep up the impression of actual journalism - you're not doing journalism, your viewers don't really care anyway, but they kind of feel informed and you found a really cheap way to fill another 10 minutes of screen time.
Apart from crazy spelling mistakes (reposotory?!), it's always funny when mainstream media covers stuff I actually know something about. It usually comes off as if they have no idea what they're talking about. Which makes me seriously question all the other stuff they cover.
This is why I view 'mainstream' media more as an aggregator. It can show me things I would not have thought to (or known to) look for, and provide a good enough explanation for me to know if I should look into it. At that point, if I am interested, I look for more niche sources which are more likely to be written by people who actually know what they are talking about.
Obviously, Fox News isn't a technical news source so we can't expect them to get every little thing correct. But, why did she continually say that Kleiner Perkins invested $100m in Github, when it was in fact Andreessen Horowitz? Why did the screen say they had 400m users, to later say they had 3.4m users? These sound like very obvious, non-technical mistakes that someone should have corrected.
Watching this reminds me how difficult it was trying to explain Fork the Cookbook to normal non-programmers. In fact, trying to explain to programmers who do not know what git is was difficult as well.
Is there a way open source and git and forking could be explained easier? Mojombo didn't explain it well either
The cookbook metaphor is actually really apt. The trick is not to introduce the terminology until it actually is important (which is much later than most people assume):
"So you've got this giant book with a bunch of recipes for all kinds of dishes. You see one for shrimp scampi and you make a photocopy of it, because you love shrimp scampi (who doesn't!?). But halfway through making the dish, you realize the scampi would be way better with a bit more cumin. You contact the person who originally made the recipe and let him know. Chances are, he'll agree with you, and update his original recipe: suddenly everyone making that dish gets a lot happier, because they have a better recipe."
Interesting -- I didn't realize until reading your bio that you were actually in charge of FtB, in which case the people for which you'd be using the metaphor hold the idea of recipes as personal property pretty close to the chest (just like how you wouldn't use the metaphor of amorphous screenwriting to describe GitHub to a novelist.)
Maybe a body of law is a better analogy? More or less decentralized, changes (both semantic and otherwise) over time that are proposed by an independent body and go through a review process, etc.
I'm a little amused by how you guys in the 'community' are so agitated because, as I see it, Fox is the only tv outlet that has given a damn to profile those of us who do what we do. props to the newscaster for at least trying. And the fact that we're all talking about it? proof that they've made an impact.