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We are live from BarCamp South East!

Here I am blogging away at BarCamp South East. It’s been a great day so far. My talk was scheduled for 10:50am which was a relief to get out of the way. Feedback has been positive too and horrors of horrors, I actually enjoyed the talk! Video and podcasts will be online eventually and I’ll update this post when they’re available. Elly left Bernie’s dictaphone on the seat next to me, Joe and Conor had video cameras so I’m sure you’ll get to hear or watch me talk about WordPress one way or another if you’re interested!

Thank you all for the comments on yesterday’s post. I’m hopeful that things will return to normal sooner or later on!

Now, I’m off to look around and mingle with the rest of the attendees!

Just spotted on Lifehacker, is How to manage kids in the home office, a topic brushed upon in my talk.

I’m sitting in the Drupal talk now by Alan Burke and Stephane Corlosquet on the laptop. John Handelaar is showing off his voter site written in Drupal. It’s a great presentation on the power of Drupal and it’s plugins.

Ken McGuire has a review of the day, and apart from everything else, and it was great to talk to Justin Mason finally.

Great day. I think everyone’s looking forward to the next one in May!

Conor O’Neill has posted videos of my talk on his blog. I could embed them here, but he went to all the trouble of uploading them, so go visit his blog and check them out. There are bits there about scaling WPMU by hashing blog_ids and partitioning databases, as well as how to get past the 32,000 file limit of ext2/ext3 in the blogs.dir files directory. Also, if you work from home I discuss my experiences doing the same, and communicating within a virtual company.

Bernie has posted the first podcast of my talk. He’s posting the second half tomorrow about working from home and in a virtual company.

The second part of Bernie’s podcast is online today! In this part I talk about working from home and balancing work and home life. Should be of interest to everyone working from home!

Apple Linux Open-Source

More Linux eye candy: CGWD Themes

If you’ve seen my desktop machine at home you’ll realise I’m a big fan of the Xgl and compiz stuff and now thanks to a Linux Journal article I’ve discovered the CGWD Themer.

Installing it in Ubuntu is as easy as adding a new site to your apt-get repository list and firing up apt-get in the usual way and grabbing the binaries from their repository. Then either launch it from the command line using the command “gcompizthemer” or go to System->Preferences where a new menu item called “CGWD Themer” can be found. The themer does nice things to the borders of and bars of your windows. I love the glow of the min/max/close buttons that spills over the side of the window!
Oh, and just because I bought a Mac laptop doesn’t mean I’m abandoning Linux. I fell in love with my Gnome+Xgl desktop once again when I came home from San Francisco!

Later – two articles features on digg and delicious which might be of interest:

  1. An Overview of modern fancy Unix desktops – good summary of the competing technologies that make the 3d and special visual effects possible
  2. The Linux Desktop Myth – a long essay on one man’s experience with switching to Linux and GPLed software.
  3. Suse Compiz page – has lots more info and lists all the options and configurable bits! (via)

"The Myth of Open-Source"

JBoss founder Marc Fleury explains in this interview how his open-source startup makes money!
Great interview, and lots of good points for those who think the giving away the code always means other developers will work for free on your product!


ESR: "We Don't Need the GPL Anymore"

I don’t agree with ESR in this interview but it’s always good to take on different view-points. They cover a lot more GPL related topics too, so enjoy! πŸ™‚


The EU Software Patents Debate

Niall Walsh is transcribing yesterday’s debate in the EU parliament. Unfortunately his post to the ILUG hasn’t appeared in the archive yet, but Justin Mason’s reply includes Niall’s email.
Niall transcribed Brian Crowley’s speech in favour of patents. It’s a good read, and unfortunately ill-advised as he seems to think the patent system provides protection for small business. Who’s to say that large foreign companies don’t come into Europe and patent everything in sight? They already have the IP lawyers! Ciaran O’Riordan met Mr. Crowley later and explained one of the ammendments to him and he said he’d support it so perhaps it’s a case of explaining the issues properly to them.
Kathy Sinnott’s reply is much better and reasoned. She urged, “deputies to support every amendment that retains freedom from
“How much innovation do you think will occur if that lone programmer needs to contract a team of patent lawyers.”

I’m glad I voted for her now.

Update! Looks like this round of s/ware patent reform has been defeated! πŸ™‚

Linux Open-Source

Software Patents Adopted in EU

It appears from this write-up that software patents are legal in the EU now, and came into being in a very undemocratic way. More: BBC

Open-Source Web

What is Trust?

Tom Chi has a great article on What is Trust?

The problem is that human intention will always feedthrough in human designed systems, and we have no technology that will ever make all humans trustworthy.

Heh. I like the oil rig comment below that post! πŸ™‚


How HCI Killed Open Source

Great article and comic from usability guy, Tom Chi.
Brilliant comments too and so many quotables you should just read through them yourself. In an optimistic mood, I like to think there’s some way this could be solved:

OSS programmers are often just hacking in their free time because their day-jobs aren’t satisfying their desire to write strong code. So for those people, they’re coding as a hobby, not as a job, which makes it difficult to impose un-fun constraints on them like listening to a non-programmer (oh the humiliation) as to why their software isn’t usable. The trick here is to find a way that good HCI can mesh with the OSS mentality and development model. Any suggestions?

Like most things done “in their spare time”, things are far from perfect. When was the last time you cut the hedge so it was exactly straight, or washed and polished the car until it gleamed so much you could see your reflection in it – from 10 feet away? We need the hedge cutting and car washing professionals to join us in our spare time hobbies. Such a collaboration can only benefit both groups!
And if that site had permalinks to the comments I’d probably be linking to several of them. oh well, more usability work to be done! πŸ™‚


Mozilla Thunderbird 0.6 Out!

Yay! Mozilla Thunderbird 0.6 is out and has several new features and bugs fixed. I’m downloading it as we speak..


Open source 'too costly' for Irish e-gov

According to this report the Irish Government has found that using “only open source software could, in the long run, be more expensive.”
The announcement came from “Mary Hanafin, Ireland’s Minister for State with responsibility for the Information Society, who was speaking at the Irish Software Association’s 16th annual conference, sponsored by Microsoft, O’Donnell Sweeney and ACT Venture Capital.”
Draw your own conclusions about who’s influencing government policy these days..
Padraig Brady has started a thread on the ILUG about this so no doubt we’ll get plenty of opinions as the day draws on.