Set up

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  • The exercise webpage: exercise and tutorials we need for the course (
  • Web Browser
  • Python: the essential tool for programming. This is the language in which we code.
  • Jupyter: Like Python, it is a coding tool.
  • sFTP Client: will allow to exchange files and establish a communication with the ULB server (sFTP server).
  • BonitaSoft: allows the creation and simulation of processes.
  • The class Questions Interface : allows to ask questions about the course to other students with a ticket system
  • And of course : The class wiki

Other recommendations : DBBrowser (to visualize a data base) and Postman API (to check what you receive if you browse the engine and look at the relevant way to from your querries).

Open Source

FLOSS = Free / Libre and Open-Source Software. The introductory part defines the concepts of modularity and version control systems.

Today, the biggest contributors to Open Source software are big tech companies such as Microsoft.

Free as in free speech

It is common to call it "Free software" but actually we should say "Libre Software" instead of Free software as it is not exactly free monetary speaking. It only means that a third party does not limit it. You can say what you want. There are rules advocated by the Free Software Foundation to be called a Free / Libre Software:

  • The freedom to run the program as you wish and for any purpose.
  • The freedom to study how the program works and change it to your convenience. Access to the source code is a precondition for this
  • The freedom to redistribute copies to help each other.
  • The freedom to distribute copies of your modified versions to others.

Open Source means that there are licenses making it possible or mandatory to share the source-code. The most famous Open Source License is the MIT License. Licenses are designed to protect software and prevent companies from using Open Source software as a commercial tool.

MacOS and Windows are two OS and software commonly used nowadays, but in fact, most computers in the world run some sort of Open-Source operating system, a variant of Linux version. Since FLOSS operating systems tend to create ecosystems of FLOSS around them, many of the programs used to run today’s internet infrastructure are primarily developed with Linux or some open-source operating system.


The open-source movement raises many questions, as it is the first time people on a large scale contribute to a project without any hierarchy and financial incentives. They use decentralized governance (to define who does what and when) and version control tools as their information systems. Version control systems are a category of software tools that record changes to files by keeping track of modifications done to the code. What differentiates Git from other social construct is the culture of consensus. As a matter of fact, Git enables to 'fork'. Forking allows users to freely change the project without changing the original one.


It is linked with the concept of modularity. Modularity might be conceived as a measure of ease of recombination of the components of a system. An archetypal example of a modular system is the Lego system. Every “brick” presents the same interface (holes and plastic plugs). This makes the system highly reconfigurable. This concept is increasingly presented in the business context. It creates good economic applications, too, as the marginal cost of replicating software is near 0.

As the use of libraries is important in the programmer’s job, it makes it simple to assemble functions and a structure.


A software is a piece of code that allows interaction with the hardware, also called CPU. The creation of software or a piece of software is made possible via programming. The programmer creates software with the intention to develop a suite of instructions that will be used by the hardware to provide a solution.

There are two types of software:

  • Operating systems: it is the piece of software allowing an interaction between the hardware and the user.
  • Application software: it is a program designed for the end-user. It helps the user by doing something useful.

If we look at the history of software, the first piece of the program was written by Ada Lovelace in 1843.

Today, the market's main actors usually do not provide the source of the program because it is a trade secret. They usually offer what is called the object program.


It is a collaborative website to gather collective intelligence/knowledge.

Markup language

  • HTML (HyperText Markup Language)
  • Latex

Software that enables you to easily format a work or a document.

Link to the assistant web page

Where to go?

Main page Exercises - Next Session Python