When IT changes too quickly

As I have mentioned in the past, besides this site I also run a site called "WebCMS Forum" [now defunct]. The forum is a place I started in hopes of bringing users of various content management systems (CMS) together for exciting discussion. While the number of users participating in actual dicussion have always been low, those people that are posting often write something that makes hosting this underused forum well worth my time.

This week I had a user, Anti, talk about frustrations with rapid changes currently happening with the content management system, Drupal. Don't get her wrong, she likes Drupal. However, for the first time in a long while, she is in need of taking a deep breath before absorbing all the new changes into her routine. At the forum she writes:

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Using Firefox 2 with Content Management Systems

Screenshot of CMSReport.com in Firefox 2 RC1

As you can tell from the screenshot below, I am using a release candidate of Mozilla's Firefox 2 while viewing and editing content in my Drupal site. If you look closely at the image or click on the image to enlarge it, you will also see that I don't always focus my browsing on Drupal. Take a look at the tabs and you'll see me taking a look at a number of other open source projects (such as Joomla and e107). I have been known to have 20 tabs open referencing just as many different portals, forums, and blog applications as I can find. What can I say, I'm obsessed with Web content management systems (CMS).

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Quoting IT: IT Executives

"The best IT execs I've run across are the ones who skip the complaining about management and go in and do a job that seemed impossible in the face of immature technology, indifferent management and throttled budgets."

- Eric Lundquist, "IT success knows no boundaries", eWeek, September 4, 2006

As you may have noticed, we have changed our "IT Quotes of the Week" to "Quoting IT". I found that I do not always come across a good quote worthy of posting here at CMS Report. Also, there are times I just don't have the time to catch up on my trade magazines and the quotes are not really valid this week.

BerkeleyDB support dropped from MySQL 5.1

Although MySQL 5.1 is still in beta, I have a feeling it will be making the headlines this week in many of the IT related publications. MySQL has officially dropped support for the BerkeleyDB engine. The following release notes for MySQL 5.1.12 (beta) may be of interest to BerkeleyDB fans:

Functionality added or changed:

  • Incompatible change: Support for the BerkeleyDB (BDB) engine has been dropped from this release. Any existing tables that are in BDB format will not be readable from within MySQL from 5.1.12 or newer. You should convert your tables to another storage engine before upgrading to 5.1.12.

However, Brian Aker of MySQL has already responded in a few blogs letting users know that the changes do allow for the BerkeleyDB engine to be returned to MySQL through a third party plug-in:

David Baron: New Firefox 2 theme and lessons learned

I just got done reading an interesting and important post by David Baron of Mozilla. Although his initial focus is on the Firefox 2 browser, he makes some valid points that easily carry over to lessons learned involving software development and general project management.

The post in focus from Mr. Baron is "New Theme, Old Problem" and as titled centers to some problems with the new Firefox theme. Mr. Baron states that he doesn't "really care one way or the other about most of the changes". But what does care about are the changes done to the tabs in the new theme. Mainly that the new tabs no longer blend well from the operating system it is running on. He likes the "old way" better where:

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Dougal Campbell: Happy Talk Like a Pirate Day!

In case you missed it, yesterday was Talk Like a Pirate Day. On those days when you feel too much like a geek (in a bad way), you can rest assure that there is someone out there geekier than you. Meet Dougal Campbell, the rambling geek:

Ahoy, me maties! It's Talk Like a Pirate Day once again, and as I'm sure ye've noticed, I've spruced me site up fer th' occassion. Around me office, I've been hearin' a lot o' "yarrr!" and "avast!", as many folks have been gettin' into th' buccaneerin' mood, to be sure. Or maybe 'tis just because they're grumpy -- 'tis hard t' tell on some days.

In any case, I hope ye're enjoyin' this fine holiday. Ye'll be sleepin' with th' fishes! Oho! Aarrr! And if ye ha'nae already, make sure t' install me WordPress pirate filter, by Davy Jones' locker! And hoist th' mainsail! Arrrr!

CiviCRM 1.5 released

I should have put something out about the new version of CivicCRM (1.5) last week, but it got buried with other priorities. My apologies to all the CivicCRM fans out there. I have not loaded CivicCRM myself, but my understanding is that CivicCRM is now based on the Drupal 4.7 code.

For those that do not recognize what CRM stands for, try customer relationship management at Wikipedia. Here is how CivicCRM describes the software in their announcement:

CiviCRM is the first open source and freely downloadable constituent
relationship management solution. CiviCRM is web-based,
internationalized, and designed specifically to meet the needs of
advocacy, non-profit and non-governmental groups.

New features and enhancements you can expect in CivicCRM 1.5 include:

  • A new membership management component
  • Search Builder - a new tool for building complex search queries
  • Significant memory and speed optimizations

Should Microsoft Financially Support Open Source Projects?

A series of posts and questions on the CMS blogs are asking whether Microsoft should help finance the costs of open source projects. I have no opinion to give that would add value to this topic. However, I'm happy to give the rundown so far of the posts that speak the loudest regarding Microsoft and open source projects.

The thread of blog posts seems to originate with a post at Dave's Tech Shop. In that post, Dave talks about the need for Microsoft to better support open source projects. Dave's reasoning:

In my company's commercial application we depend upon DotNetNuke, Nant, log4net, NUnit and other open source tools. Those open source projects help support us. (In fact, without DNN, we would probably be out of business because our developments costs would be too high.) In turn, my company helps support Microsoft (because we purchase licenses and MSDN subscriptions). Yet Microsoft does not complete the circle by financially supporting any of those open source projects. NDoc stands out as an example.

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