Welcome to nobody cares…

Looking through gapingvoid last night for inspiration for business cards I re-found one of my all time favourites:

should be a caping void cartoon here
And Dennis Howlett also wrote the The “Nobody Cares” Manifesto For Accountants which I liked as well:

* It’s important to remember debits are on the left and credits on the right – nobody cares. Probably because the system was invented in 1494 and hasn’t changed since.

* We work hard to earn letters behind our names – nobody cares. Importance isn’t derived from academic achievement but what you do for others.

* ROI is an important concept – nobody cares. ROI calculations are something you do when you really don’t want to help your client but to demonstrate to him/her how important you are. For which read 2.

* It’s important to keep good records – nobody cares. Clients aren’t in business to be administrators. If you can’t figure out how to help clients then expect to be outsourced. Probably the day after tomorrow.

* A tidy office implies a tidy mind – nobody cares. A tidy mind is often compartmentalised to the point of tunnel vision. You don’t see tidy at the edge of innovation. Which is where you should be when your clients come up with great ideas.

* Professionals should always wear top quality suits – nobody cares. How you look may be important if your name’s Anina but it sure as heck doesn’t matter when you’re traipsing around a pig farm. You do that occasionally don’t you?

* Your professional status among the community demonstrates integrity – nobody believes you. Professional status is over-rated. Those schmuks from KPMG in court on fraud charges sorted that one out once and for all.

* Adding value is the most important thing you have to do – nobody believes you. Clients can read a 1,000 websites and see that same vacuuous statement. Stuff your website with client stories, preferably written by clients and not some PR outfit.

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Wiki Links for FLOSS Business Software

Wikipedia logoGood documentation can separate great software from good software. Documentation is an area where open source often beats proprietary solutions hands down. Often up to date and user friendly documentation for proprietary software does not exist, is not available or is restricted by software vendors or resellers for commercial gain.

Many, but not all, open source solutions have a far more open and collaborative approach to documentation recently highlighted by Compiere’s launch of their wiki.

The definition of a wiki aptly taken from Wikipedia, which of course is the most well know wiki, is as follows:

“A wiki is a collection of web pages designed to enable anyone who accesses it to contribute or modify content, using a simplified markup language.Wikis are often used to create collaborative websites and to power community websites.”

Wiki WednesdayWiki Wednesday’s is a group of people who are interested in Wiki’s and social media. The next London meeting is on 13th August details here.

A have put a list of links to some of the most well know FLOSS business software wiki’s below but of course there are many more.

MediaWikiThere is no shortage of open source wiki software and MediaWiki is the software used and developed for Wikipedia is open source under the GPL. Of the above wiki’s SugarCRM, Alfresco and Openbravo all use Wikimedia.

WordPress 2.6

I have now upgraded to WordPress 2.6 on most of my blogs. Some cool new features, I particular like the new options on images to reduce by a %. Great plugin for automatic upgrades here. The video supplied from WordPress is below showing some of the new features:

SugarCRM CEO John Roberts on Floss Weekly Podcast

431E3D95-5615-4909-BA1B-DC3F9863E673.jpg Floss Weekly is an excellent podcast from The Twit Network and Leo Laporte. Originally co-hosted with Chris DiBona it is now hosted with Randal Shwartz. It covers many different projects from the world of Free Libre Open Source Software but not usually open source business applications for enterprises. Until this week when it had John Roberts the CEO of SugarCRM talking about the Open Source version of SugarCRM. Well worth a listen for anyone interested in SugarCRM or commercial open source business software in general. Link to the podcast here

Open Office – links for 2008-07-15

openofficeOpenoffice.org 3.0 will soon be available (there is a second beta out now). Below is just a couple of quick links that I have come across in the last couple of days. When it is released I will write a piece on crossingplatforms.com as it should be truely compatable with the Mac. Up until now the Mac version has only been available with a work around or by using the Neo Office a mac native version based on openoffice

IPhone (2.0) apps

Finally with the release of the iPhone 2.0 software the much discussed App Store was open for business. If Friendfeed and Twitter are anything to go by the release did not go smoothly for everyone (iBrick jokes were common).

It took me a few attempts with the obviously overworked Apple server (have they not heard of amazon scalable web services) to update my iPhone but once done I could add apps from iTunes or direct from the iPhone. Before today I had a short list of what I wanted. Which were:

  1. ebay client
  2. WordPress app (for blogging)
  3. RSS reader
  4. Todo list (I really wanted a client for Remember the milk)
  5. Delicious app – not sure how it would work
  6. Twitter app

I have not done too badly although I have not found the ebay app yet, no Delicious app and no Remember the Milk app (there us a web app). At least the WordPress app should be here soon.

The apps I have installed are

  1. Twitterrific – great free (with sponsorship) Twitter client
  2. NetNewsWire RSS reader – Looks interesting
  3. ereader client very slick
  4. Facebook client
  5. Paypal
  6. Phonesaber – a must for all iphone owners

I am amazed with the number of games that are availble although it has always been an area neglected by Apple. Monkeyball looks great and also Crash Bandikoot.

Super Monkey Ball on the iPhone! (iPhone SDK)

Crash Bandicoot Nitro Kart Iphone

The one area which I will follow with some interest is business
applications. With the iPhone now supporting Exchange Server I expect
that many units will be shipped to business users. No surprise to see
Salesforce getting an app on there straight away but I was surprised to
see an Oracle app on there. Hopefully we will see many more business
applications on there in the new future.

John Locke – Open Source Solutions For SME’s

Great video with John Locke from Freelock Computing who has now started twittering. John wrote the book ‘Open Source Solutions for Small Business Problems’ and although it is a little out of date now it is still a fantastic book for anyone looking to understand the benefits of open source software. See a link to the book on good reads below.

John has an astounding knowledge of open source software and I hope there will be a new version of the book soon. In the meantine John is writng a great blog covering the latest in open source to accompany the book here.

Happy Birthaday GPL v3

GNUInteresting article over at information week here discussing the 1st anniversary of the GPL v3 (GNU General Public License Version 3). Now although a discussion about Open Source licenses is a bit like naval gazing or in TWIT speak ‘inside baseball’, as with most legal issues what may not be very important today can become essential when things change (like ownership, control, intent etc.).


One of the software projects under the new GPL v3 is SugarCRM which is probably the most high profile commercial open source projects and as such comes in for plenty of praise and plenty of criticism. With the release of version 5 SugarCRM moved from the Sugar Public License (SPL) to GPL V3 (so they were never a user of GPL v2).

I thought it would be interesting have a look at the most well known Open Source Business Enterprise software projects (OK ‘most well known’ being a completely arbitrary list although I did look at the Sourceforge most active projects in the last 7 days ) to see what open source licenses they use. At this point please let me make it clear that I have no legal training and that the information below has been found on the web in various places, although I have tried to take most from the projects own website. Even if the list is 100% correct today it will no doubt become out of date very quickly. So, if the license that a piece of software is using is important to you, which I think it should be, I would confirm with the project directly. If you are thinking of using a piece of software in a ‘mission critical’ or even a mildly important area I would recommend taking professional legal advise from a person with software license knowledge. Anyway, upon researching I found the following (I have also put links to some of the articles I found at the bottom):


SugarCRMSugarCRM or at least the open source version currently known as Sugar Community Edition 5

GPL v3 (from Version 5) prior to Version 5 the Sugar Public License being a version of the Mozilla Public License with an attribution clause. Attribution clauses are explained at the bottom of this post.


Openbravo

Openbravo
Openbravo Public License Version 1.1 being the Mozilla Public License version 1.1 with a permitted attribution clause. A copy of the license is available at http://www.openbravo.com/product/legal/license/.


Postbooks

PostBooks Accounting/CRM/ERP by xTuple http://www.xtuple.com/)-

Common Public Attribution License 1.0 (CPAL) based on the Mozilla Public license with a Attribution clause as explained below.


ADempiere

ADempiere ERP Business Suite (www.adempiere.com) –

GNU General Public License Version 2 (GPLv2).



CompiereCompiere ERP (http://www.compiere.com/) –

GNU General Public License Version 2 (GPLv2)


Jasper ReportsJasperReports – Java Reporting ) –

GNU Library or Lesser General Public License (LGPL). LGPL was designed as a compromise between the strong-copyleft GNU General Public License and other permissive licenses.


Pentaho

Pentaho (http://www.pentaho.org/) –

GNU General Public License Version 2 (GPLv2)


Alfresco


Alfresco CMS – (http://wiki.alfresco.com/wiki/Main_Page) –

GPL v2 + FLOSS Exception. The Floss Exception(http://www.alfresco.com/legal/licensing/floss_exception/ states basically that people using free software licenses noncompliant with the GPL can sill distribute Alfresco with their software without making their software GPL compliant.


MySQL

Mysql (www.mysql.com) –

GPL v2 + FLOSS Exception similar to Alfresco see above.


OpenOffice.org




Openoffice.org

GNU Lesser General Public License v.3 (LGPL) from version 3 onwards



Many companies also offer an alternative commercial licenses including MySQL and Alfresco. Some Project previousley having licences with attribution clauses have moved to GPL V3. Although the GPL V3 is not worded as stronlgy as any attribution clause mentioned here although it does mention ‘The GPL requires all copies to carry an appropriate copyright notice’ this is expeted to be enforced as badgeware but inly time will tell.

Permitted Attribution License or ‘badgeware’ as it is sometimes called requires anyone using the code in a distributed form to show ‘for of attribution’ such as a logo or a badge on the user screens to show the source of the code. The applicable section from the Openbravo license is shown below. In the situation with SugarCRM and Vtiger, as
this clause was not in the license before there was no legal requirement for them to show any such badge and due to this SugarCRM changed their license to include this to stop this happening again.



A
permitted attribution license

II. Openbravo and Logo.

This License does not grant any rights to use the trademarks “Openbravo
” and the “Openbravo ” logos even if such marks are
included in the Original Code or Modifications.

However, in addition to the other notice obligations, all copies of the Covered Code in Executable and Source Code form distributed must, as a form of attribution of the original author, include on each user interface screen and on program start-up or login screen the “Powered by Openbravo” logo, visible to all users. The dimensions of the
“Powered by Openbravo” logo must be at least 89 x 24 pixels. When users click on the “Powered by Openbravo” logo
it must direct them to http://www.openbravo.com.


II.1
The official “Powered by Openbravo” Logos


Powered by Openbravo official logoorPowered by Openbravo official logo

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Stop Motion Workshop

Last Saturday my son Matthew and I attended a Stop Motion Workshop in Stafford. Using a Windows laptop with small camera and a piece of stop motion software Matthew put together a short clip of some Starwars figureses cut out of paper.

The video of all the clips from the workshop was made available on the following website but I have also uploaded it too youtube so I could link and embed it. Matthew’s clip is about half way through. If he ever becomes a famous film maker we can show this clip as his first short film.

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