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:

Wikipedia on ABC Nightline

As I was heading for bed, I just saw ABC's Nightline story on Wikipedia. Wikipedia uses the wiki application MediaWiki for its content management system. The Nightline story was as close to a fair and balance story on an IT subject you can find on a non-technical program. The story focused not so much on technology as it did the people of Wikipedia, mainly the founder of Wikipedia, Jimmy Wales, and the community of wiki users.

mojoPortal.com sports a new look

William Shatner as Denny CraneJust saw a post from Joe Audette that mojoPortal.com has a new look. A Jasmin Savard created the new theme (skin). We agree with Audette, the old theme was showing its age and we wish mojoPortal the best of luck on its new look.

mojoPortal is one of the few non-PHP CMS that we keep on our radar scope. mojoPortal is written in C# and runs under ASP.NET on Windows or under mono on Linux or Mac.

osCommerce 3.0 to deliver new features

For the first time, an alpha version of osCommerce 3.0, an e-commerce application written in PHP, was released to the public for testing. While this third alpha was made available to the general public, the first two alpha releases were made only available to osCommerce's community sponsors.

According to osCommerce, the "alpha releases are made to showcase the new features being worked on and to generalize a version specific for testing to help fix and improve subsequent alpha releases for a final, stable, secure, and production ready 3.0 release".

Some of the new features that are made available in this release include:

ISEdb: Is your Website Search Engine Friendly?

We all have seen our share of articles on how to make your site friendly to search engines, but this article is probably one of the best I've seen online. The article is written by Ross Dunn and is titled, "Is Your Website Search Engine Friendly? Your Personal Checklist":

The following is checklist designed to help you gauge the search engine friendliness of your website and, if you are in the midst of planning a website this checklist will help you avoid the common pitfalls of unfriendly designs. Complete Story