June 25, 2007

Joomla! gets owned by the GPL...

Joomla recently took the right and appropriate action of enforcing the GPL according to the wording in the license. Their doing so puts an end to a large portion of the CMS's popularity: abundantly available 3rd party commercial add-ons. Those add-ons under a properly enforced GPL can't exist. It may also, on further analysis, mean that all previously released commercial add-ons are now GPL'ed due to their being distributed containing GPL'ed code. Not only does that mean that commercial add-on developers are out any future income form their work, they may also lose their investment by it becoming freely available under the terms of the GPL.

The Joomla! community has taken the right stance in enforcing the GPL. The problem is not with their decision. The problem is inherit in the GPL itself. It is a viral license, and so will infect any code it touches. That fact also prevents the Joomla! team from relicensing Joomla! under any other license.

The GPL is a dead end for projects that use it. If you ever think that there will ever be a reason to use a different license (even a more open license than the GPL), don't use the GPL (or LGPL for that matter).

If you are concerned with copy-lefting your code (requiring a portion of it to always be open to the public), use a license like the Apache License 2.0, the Mozilla Public License, or the Eclipse Public License. If your primary interest is in making your code publicly available and you just want credit, use something like the BSD or MIT/X license (as many AJAX frameworks have). And if you're really generous, release your code to the public domain as the author of SQLite did. All of these licenses are used by healthy projects with sustainable futures.

Open source can advance innovation, but the virtues copy-lefting are debatable and the risks very apparent. If you're choosing a license for your project, choose carefully and once you've chosen, enforce it appropriately.


Posted by TheIdeaMan at 01:44 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

June 21, 2007

In case you get lost online, here's a map...

With a Tolkienian look to it, this Online Communities Map will help users find their way around the ever expanding web world.

Hope you find it helpful.

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Posted by TheIdeaMan at 11:54 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

June 15, 2007

MyNotes Eclipse plugin...

This morning I needed a way to see a site map while working on the code in Eclipse. After a very brief Google session I cam across the MyNotes Eclipse plugin. It's a wonderfully handy and free plugin for keeping notes on projects.

MyNotes is basically a general purpose note keeper for Eclipse. The same company, Ronxsoft, also makes an editor called Rene that sells for $25 and is available as a free trial. It allows you to keep project specific notes as well as several other features related to the organization of notes.

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Posted by TheIdeaMan at 09:12 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 14, 2007

Facebook and Privacy

If you add a Facebook application, you are giving the owners of that application access to the following information (obviously Facebook already has access to all this data to use as they may):

The Facebook Site Information may include, without limitation, the following information, to the extent visible on the Facebook Site:
  • your name
  • your profile picture
  • your gender
  • your birthday
  • your hometown location (city/state/country)
  • your current location (city/state/country)
  • your political view
  • your activities
  • your interests
  • your musical preferences
  • television shows in which you are interested
  • movies in which you are interested
  • books in which you are interested
  • your favorite quotes
  • the text of your "About Me" section
  • your relationship status
  • your dating interests
  • your relationship interests
  • your summer plans
  • your Facebook user network affiliations
  • your education history
  • your work history
  • your course information
  • copies of photos in your Facebook Site photo albums
  • metadata associated with your Facebook Site photo albums (e.g., time of upload, album name, comments on your photos, etc.)
  • the total number of messages sent and/or received by you
  • the total number of unread messages in your Facebook in-box
  • the total number of "pokes" you have sent and/or received
  • the total number of wall posts on your Wallâ„¢
  • a list of user IDs mapped to your Facebook friends
  • your social timeline
  • and events associated with your Facebook profile.

That information is from the Facebook Platform Application Terms of Use.

Most of the information in that list isn't something you'd reveal to
recent acquintances and some of us have even hid it from other Facebook
users whom we know by using the "Limited Profile" choice (which is
oddly unavailable for apps).

By posting this, I am not saying that using a Facebook App is a bad thing or that you should avoid them, but rather that you should certainly be aware of the choice you are making and what you are offering to total strangers under their "privacy policy" (whatever that may be for the specific app you want to use).

Just think, and make your own decision.

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Posted by TheIdeaMan at 09:04 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

SC License Plate voting...

If you're a South Carolina resident, you may want to cast your vote for the design of the new license plate. There are three designs available.

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Posted by TheIdeaMan at 08:40 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

June 12, 2007

"No thanks, we have a web site..."

I just got a phone call on our business land line from a company in Nassau, NY (thank you Caller ID). Nothing wrong with that, per se. However, they were calling to sell us a 5 page business web site. :)

"Do you have a web site currently?"

"Yes. We're actually a web design company."

"Oh." (chuckle) "Sorry. Please have a nice day."

"You too."

For companies who do cold calling, please give your agents access to the Internet and require them to do research on who their calling prior to their actually making the call. It will make for better conversations with the person on the other end, and it's less embaracing for your company.

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Posted by TheIdeaMan at 03:17 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

June 04, 2007

Microsoft Surface Computing Platform

It's like a giant iPhone-style multi-touch interface that also holds coffee. :) That's over simplifying it a bit.

I discovered this via SwampFox.ws. It's certainly inspiring and a bit scary. Words that come to mind include: Tron, 1984, and Big Brother. I'm sure there are others.

How do you feel about ubiquitous computing? Good idea?

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Posted by TheIdeaMan at 09:30 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 01, 2007

Wixpy: linux-based iPod?

I suppose this was bound to happen. Nearly everything digital has a Linux OS put on it as some point. It's sort of a communal proof of concept. It's certainly amusing to watch, but this time, it seems potentially very profitable.

TurboLinux has announced Wizpy a Linux-based iPod equivalent (and then some). Not only does it have the basic media functionality of the iPod, it also includes the ability to run Linux on any PC you connect the Wizpy to without having to restart, reinstall, or reformat anything.

At first blush, it reminds me of the Black Dog, but with a screen and debatably better marketing. I hope it takes off. It certainly seems to have promise, and it also comes with a lower price point than even the rather inexpensive iPods (depending on what you want of course).

Idea: Now, if they were to add Wi-fi and VoIP capability, they might have something of an iPhone competitor on their hands...maybe.

Side Note: If you've got a USB drive and Wizpy's got you thinking, then you might want to check out QEMU-Puppy. It's QEMU emulator + PuppyLinux (a very small linux distro). I've got it on my thumbdrive, but have only just dabbled with it.

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Posted by TheIdeaMan at 10:52 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack