Business

Free and open source software is good for a small business

Small organisations and businesses often lack the size and expertise to develop software to satisfy their needs. They are left to purchase proprietary software with supplier lock in, and pay the single supplier for customisation (if available) as they have no rights to do it. FOSS (Free and Open Source Software) provides an alternative with ready developed software that by its licensing is not tied to a single supplier or restricted in modification rights.

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Web

Searching FOSS project management software

I have begun the search for a software application to manage project tracking and collaboration. It will need to be browser based so I can have it used internally and externally for Aura Media. Using PHP as the scripting language is the preference as that is what I am most comfortable with, but I am not against a solution that used Python or Ruby. The last requirement is a free and open source license.

In the past I have been a happy Mantis user for bug and issue tracking. So much that I have installed it in a few client sites. However now I want a broader product that includes time tracking and more collaboration features. Also Mantis is showing its age in a visual sense, and this can put off less technical users. Project tracking is the aim, not project planning with features like gannt charts.

In the past I did look at ActiveCollab, but they changed their license, and Streber, but it was immature and moving in a more wiki direction.

My current investigation list is:

Open to any other suggestions.

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Software Development

But I Still love WordPress

The other day I had a whinge about WP security updates & releases. This post was written after I had just spent valuable time updated a number of WP sites I maintain.
Now I have that out of my system here are the reasons I use WP more and more:

  • Not just a blog tool, but a legitimate small-medium CMS
  • Large and knowledgeable support community
  • A huge and vibrant community of themes and plugins
  • FOSS (Free and Open Source Software) all the way

I have recently moved 2 more sites to WP, and both are better for it:

  • Girraween Athletics from Joomla
  • devReview from custom code

When I next need to put together a site with content management type capabilities I will likely use WP again over alternatives I have tried.

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Software Development

Review of ‘Producing Open Source Software’ by Karl Fogel

Anyone who has searched through the massive list of projects at Sourceforge and other places will know they are full of interesting ideas that never got off the ground, or stall after a couple of releases. And it is not an outrageous statement that a group of developers with all the required technical skills does not necessarily make a successful project, especially when the target audience are not fellow developers. At the same time FOSS (Free and Open Source Software) has the ability to draw on such a diverse range of people in both background and abilities and the potential is enormous when properly harnessed and directed.
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