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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Work by day, Drupal by night

Last night, I was up late doing some administrative work for my sites as well as writing some posts. This was my attempt to procrastinate working on an osCommerce site that I promised someone would be done by the start of October.

One of those posts I made was Drupal related and available via an RSS feed for Planet Drupal to ingest. Unfortunately, I found that TinyMCE (a WYSIWYG editor) had changed my absolute links to relative links in the post. This caused references to links and images back to my site to not display properly for anyone aggregating from the RSS feed I provide. This particular issue with TinyMCE and associated Drupal module is not so much of a bug as it is a configuration issue that can easily be corrected.

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Proof spammers are no good

Screen shot of Akismet Filter in Wordpress 2.x

A few months ago, I posted that I use Akismet in both Drupal and Wordpress. Akismet is a spam filtering service that can be used in content management systems via plug-ins and modules. The Akismet plugin ships with Wordpress 2, but some setup is required.

While visiting my Wordpress site I noticed the specific number of comment spams the Akismet filter had caught so far and made sure I took a screenshot. The image below was taken by me and I assure you that no altering of the photo was done. I'll let you be the judge whether you agree that spam through site comments represent the evil the number shown implies.

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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.

Evidently there is a hunger for an open source CMS with roots in Microsoft applications because we always draw a large crowd here when we mention mojoPortal. Mentioning mojoPortal here is a lot like mentioning "Denny Crane", William Shatner's character on the show Boston Legal.

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