Posts Tagged ‘open source

Dear Google Code,

A few months ago I suggested allowing projects hosted on Google code to display advertising in order to collect revenue and support their project. One of the problems I saw in this model was that it could encourage project forking just so individuals could collect advertising revenue.

While collecting advertising revenue might work with projects with just a single developer, full-community projects with multiple developers would make it difficult to decide how to divide up the money among many developers.

What I might suggest instead, is that projects hosted on Google Code can display advertising, but rather than collecting the revenue themselves, they can decide to donate the money a non-profit organization that supports open source software. Google can pre-approve and generate a list of these non-profits groups, such that the open source project can simply select their favorite organization to receive the profits.

This is a win for everyone. Google can increase (maybe only insignificantly) its advertising market share. The non-profit groups receive extra financing, allowing them to further open source software development. Developers don’t win anything directly other than satisfaction for helping a non-profit (although considering many open source developers write software purely for satisfaction, this is not a small bonus), but developers will benefit from the overall strengthening of the open-source community. Google can also win on its taxes by being able to write-off the financial donations to the non-profits.

Please, Google, consider Google Code advertising that can help provide financing for open-source non-profits.

Gdocsuploader

Posted in Technicalon Apr 22, 2008

A while ago, I found myself needing to upload many document files into Google Docs. I saw that Google had a new API for doing such, so I decided to write a quick little app for the Mac to do just that. Just drag and drop documents onto the icon, and away their uploaded.

I had never written any sort of real Mac application, so I just kind of glued something together out of Python, applescript, and a couple of helper apps. I threw the source up at Google Project Hosting, which has been good, because otherwise I would have been supporting the thousands of downloads.

Recently, my little droplet app became more famous. It was featured on lifehacker.com as a featured Mac Download. My favorite line from their post was, “Gdocsuploader is still new and a bit unpolished.” I think it should be considered more than just a bit unpolished. They should have said, “this thing might work, and is about as unpolished as lava rock.”

There have been a multitude of other posts about my little project:

Thanks to everyone who wrote something nice about it.

Advertising on Google code

Posted in Technicalon Apr 9, 2008

Google should provide an option to allow projects hosted at Google Code to display and profit from Google Ads. Project owners who would opt into the ads would benefit from the revenue they collect. Google would benefit as well by collecting their share of the advertising revenue. Users might benefit because they can perhaps find other advertised services similar to the project they might be currently looking at.

Recently I’ve decide to open source some more code and templates that I’ve written. I could either share that code from my own website, or I could share it on Google Code, being able to make use of some of the other features they have there. The biggest advantage to providing the code from my website is that I’m able to collect on any advertising revenue, which in the past has been around a dollar or two per thousand views. If Google could provide me a way to generate similar revenue by hosting my code on their site, not only would I consider hosting my code their, but I would find more incentive to write open source code projects.

The only major problem with this might be abuse. If I wanted to make a few extra bucks, what is stopping me from “forking” someone elses project just to host their code under a slightly different name on Google code and profit from the visitors I would have stolen from the more legitimate site.

SCO goes private

Posted in Businesson Feb 14, 2008

According to a story on Slashdot today, The SCO Group received $100 million of investment to get themselves out of bankruptcy and back in the forward business direction.

SCO has been in loosing in law suits it brought against Novell and IBM.

I couldn’t think of better news. I mean, from the people perspective, any good engineers still left at SCO might not loose their job. From another people perspective, now SCO has money to pay Novell, so they don’t have to lay off people.

All in all, I think all this means is there is a bigger turkey to roast and cut up.

Today I discovered that a link to a post on my blog is included in the source to JBoss Richfaces. The blog post that was referenced was a small note I made about bug in the Safari web browser. They provided a workaround in Javascript code for a suggestion box, and they referenced my post in a comment in the source code.

It makes me feel good when I see things that I’ve written appear in real-world applications. It is also nice that the source code is open, which means that anyone can look at it and appreciate my website address.

OSCON 2007

Posted in Technicalon Jul 26, 2007

Well, OSCON 2007, the open source conference of the year, is over, and like two previous years, I walked through the exhibit hall and attended a few of the free lectures. I thought this years even wasn’t quite as great as last years even, but still pretty good.
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Octave from the web

Posted in Technicalon May 18, 2007

For one of my classes, I’ve been playing around with GNU Octave. Octave is a free and open source program very similar to Matlab. From the Octave web site:

GNU Octave is a high-level language, primarily intended for numerical computations. It provides a convenient command line interface for solving linear and nonlinear problems numerically, and for performing other numerical experiments using a language that is mostly compatible with Matlab. It may also be used as a batch-oriented language.

Sometimes, I’m away from one of my own computers, but I still want to do a little bit of Octave work. I’ve written just a tad bit of PHP code that allows me to access Octave over the web. You can type in your Octave code, and it will return the output results and output graph.

Because I would rather not hammer my server with octave requests, I won’t be showing a demo, but I’m making all the source code available, and you can put it on your own server and try it yourself. I’m hosting the project at Google Code: http://code.google.com/p/web-octave/


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