Goodbye Thunderbird?

I am saddened by continued reports that support for Mozilla's email client, Thunderbird, continues to diminish. From DesktopLinux:

The Mozilla Foundation's press release focused on the Firefox 2.12 security fixes.
The Foundation also reported, though, in its MFSA (Mozilla Foundation
Security Advisory), that these same bugs had been fixed in the
fictitious Thunderbird 2.12...

...Still, it is upsetting that
Mozilla reports that these problems have been fixed in a version of
Thunderbird that doesn't exist. The latest version of Thunderbird is

Another weekend with Drupal 6

Yesterday evening, I spent about two hours updating my site from Drupal 5 to Drupal 6 RC 4 for another weekend test at my site. About 30 minutes was spent backing up the site and installing Drupal 6. The rest of my time was spent with tweaking things via Drupal's admin menus as well as looking at the contributed modules and themes available for D6. I'm currently using the Salamander theme and only two contributed modules, Image and CAPTCHA. I also spent some time placing snippets of PHP code in my blocks to replace many of the functions I was doing with Views. The end result is that with only two hours of work, I am just fine running on Drupal 6

As I said last week, it's amazing how many people overlook the power of Drupal...even without its contributed modules. Yes, I'll be glad when the Views, Panels, and even the TinyMCE contributed modules are ready to use with Drupal 6. But I've always looked at contributed modules as modules of convenience and not necessity. I'm convinced that most people do not have to wait for Views to move onto Drupal 6. Views only automated a number of SQL tasks that can easily be done with PHP. Some Drupal users are going to object when I say it is "easy" because they are not PHP developers, but you know what, I'm not a PHP developer either. In fact, I'm kind of slow, but I seem to manage along just fine with D6.

As usual during this period of the development process, people are wondering if the new version of Drupal is ready to be released or if there will be another release candidate. Whether this is the last release candidate or not for Drupal 6 I'm not sure anyone can really say. All I will say is Drupal 6 feels ready to me.

LCMS ATutor 1.6 released

Recieved an e-mail a couple days ago from that that there is a new version of ATutor available, version 1.6. ATutor is an open source learning content management system (LCMS or sometimes just LMS). As the project describest, with Atutor "educators can quickly assemble, package, and redistribute Web-based instructional content, easily import prepackaged content, and conduct their courses online. Students learn in an adaptive learning environment."

The two most significant changes with Atutor 1.6 include:

  • Adoption of a single character set, UTF-8, which provides universal language support.
  • A new look-and-feel changes and updates to the default themes

You can visit the ATutor 1.6 Demo to try out new features in 1.6 and download ATutor 1.6 to install a version of your own.

Is the term CMS holding you back?

Jeff WhatCott, Acquia, asked some important and thought provoking questions on his blog, "A Dormant Drupal Opportunity". While the post focuses on Drupal, I think the contents of his post can apply to almost any content management system (CMS) out there.

In the article, Jeff asks whether defining Drupal as a CMS does more harm than good in describing the scope of features Drupal has to offer. In his words, the term CMS is a "20th century term that completely undersells what Drupal is capable of" as social software and a means for collaboration. Considering I really didn't understand what a CMS was until the 21st century, I beg to differ that the term CMS is as ancient as he makes it sound. However, he is entirely correct...many of today's Web applications that we call a CMS, really are not just a CMS.

Jeff asks three questions in his post:

  1. Do you think we should put the CMS term to bed?
  2. Would it be possible to grab some of that team collaboration social software market opportunity for the Drupal community?
  3. Why isn’t there already a billion dollar Drupal services ecosystem for team collaboration? What’s missing?

While I appreciate comments here, please be sure to go over to Jeff's post and respond there too. In fact, if you only want to comment at one site...go there so we don't steal any of Jeff's "thunder". I've already made my comments at his site and I've attached my response to the above questions below.


Development Seed: FeedAPI 1.0 Released

I'm looking forward to evaluating the new FeedAPI module for Drupal. Though one feature I haven't seen in any of the aggregators I've seen so far for Drupal...a way to snip the original RSS feed. Some sites provide you the entire post in the RSS feed with no teaser. This may be great for the reader, but I'm not sure everyone is happy to see their entire post on someone else's site.

From time to time, I've hacked the core to get me closer to how I would like the content from an RSS feed to display at my site. There has to be another way and perhaps FeedAPI could by my solution...

Development Seed: FeedAPI 1.0 Released -

After being in development for about seven months, we released FeedAPI 1.0 nearly two weeks ago! This is really exciting for me and everyone else who has been craving a more flexible aggregator for Drupal.

Parental Controls for Firefox

A complete copy and paste from Asa Dotzler's blog, but given the interest open source parents may have...I don't think he will mind.

Today, my good friends at Glaxstar have released Glubble 1.0 -- the parental control suite for the Firefox web browser.

But it's more than just parental controls; it's the best way to harness the most important social network there is, your family, to bring just the right parts of the web into your household, and it's the peace of mind that comes from knowing that your young ones are using the very latest in safe and secure internet technologies, produced and supported by the largest open source community in the world.

Get Glubble for your family today.

Running Drupal 6 on the weekend

As most Drupal users already know by now, Drupal 6 is currently at a Release Candidate 3 stage of development. For the Drupal community, this is a time when the developers are wanting people to test, report, and help fix any bugs found in these development version of the Drupal software. At this stage of development, still does not recommend Drupal 6 to be ran on the production server.

As with everything still in development, we do not recommend running release candidates on a live site. Also, always be sure to make a backup of your data before performing any upgrade or starting testing.

Although, I started CMS Report with a beta version of Drupal 4.7, I was a little more cautious when it came time to upgrade to Drupal 5. During the past few months, I've been very cautious in running the site live with Drupal 6 as I haven't wanted to distract visitors to this site from their routine due to a Drupal meltdown.

Is your site hot or not?

First, there was HOT or NOT where you could rate the pictures of men and women. A great site to visit if you're single and don't have a date on a lonely Friday night. But life changes and now you have a family. Do what do you do if you're married with nothing to do on a Saturday night?

Yes, you can always watch Curious George with the family, but how do you get back to your old life in a responsible manner? Well, now you have an alternative, Web Hot or Not?

David Sifry (Technorati) explains how came to exist.

How did it come to exist? When I was in Madrid visiting my friend and investor Martin Varsavsky
late last year, we had a fun time brainstorming ideas to help find and
rate interesting web sites, and we came up with the idea. Who knows,
perhaps the ratings might even be useful if people start using the site
- sort of a "prediction market" for web sites. Most of all, we just wanted to create a simple site that was fast-loading and fun to use. We both love Hotornot, so we figured we'd do an homage.

Power of RSS in Ajax and Web 2.0

A very nice article on RSS found at IBM's developerWorks:

Realize the power of RSS in Ajax and Web 2.0 applications - Tap this article's fully functional PHP code snippets that show you how to use PHP-based server-side functions to develop your own customizable RSS feed aggregator. [IBM developerWorks]

I'm still looking for an article that explains to those of the non-IT persuasion what RSS feeds are all about. Everytime I make an attempt to explain RSS feeds to those how don't even know what browser they are using...I get this "deer caught in the headlights" look from them. They then usually turn around shaking their head wondering if I will ever try to speak to them in English. Sigh...

The Content in 1996

Gadgetopia pointed their readers to a site with a number of screen captures for how the Internet looked like in 1996. Almost a year ago, I posted a screen capture of the first site I did in that era. I'm somewhat pleased that the appearance of my site was no worse than the sites of well known companies. The author brings up the point that you have to consider the technology back then to why sites looked the way they did.

In their defense, the technology was different in
1996. Although Internet Explorer 3.0 could run Java applets and
inline media, Netscape Navigator could not, and in any case nobody
felt comfortable doing anything more complicated than making a few
animated GIFs.


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