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Open Source

  • Move over mobile, what about web apps?

    Apps developers are rushing to mobile en masse yet there is another large market, says Joseph Puopolo, director of marketing at OPENapps, and it's web site applications. "Web site owners need apps for all sorts of functions, such as ticketing, etc. We are offering a marketplace for such apps and a platform that allows those apps to be used on all types of web sites without requiring special plugins." OPENapps moves beyond the "widget"...

  • Why you should choose Drupal

    Developing a website on the Drupal Content Management System (CMS) not only means professional, high-quality online products, but it also addresses some very salient business issues when conducting business online. A website built with Drupal is easily updateable, flexible (both in terms of functionality and aesthetics), expandable and wonderfully portable. If ever there were good reasons for outlaying slightly more money at the beginning of the process of getting an internet presence developed, those would certainly be in the top five. Before we launch into why Drupal would be good for your business, it’s probably a good idea to explain quickly...

  • Open is the new black

    Open is a paradigm shift about how society is organised around simple rules that enable distributed co-operation, which breeds innovation and creates value. Open systems reduce transaction costs, allow interoperability and re-use. But open is opposed by a host of restrictive laws and practices, software patents, digital rights management and anti-circumvention provisions. An ever increasing number of open memes are changing our world. Open Source; Open Access; Open Standards; Open Licences; Open Innovation; Open Business; Open Spectrum; Open Data. What makes something open? A system is open when it uses simple rules to enable self-organisation in place of restrictive commands and controls that disable sharing. I make something, and...

  • WordPress – way more than just a blogging platform!

    Since 2003 WordPress has grown to be the largest self-hosted "blogging tool in the world", with millions of sites being powered by this easy-to-use, extremely flexible, freely available content management system (CMS). The common perception by the vast majority though is that it is limited to being a blogging tool. And a blogging tool to many businesses sounds like something they don’t need and are not interested in. All they want is an online brochure, a simple web presence, a 5-page static website with a contact form. So they approach a web designer, a design agency or an employee's brother-in-law who...

  • Web development: The great convergence myth

    I've always learnt that converged systems are the best way to go. In theory they are: An integrated site should ultimately allow you to do more with your site's content and resources. It should save you time because you are not going backwards and forwards trying to get one Content Management System (CMS)* to speak to another or one paradigm to work within another. There should be a cost saving, because you're now...

  • Open it! Yes, everything!

    I'm a bit late on my post about the Open Everything speed-geeking gig and just general geek-out at Cape Town's Birds Boutique Cafe. I can be forgiven however: I've had a birthday, I'm moving house, moving city, dealing with a new born baby, buying a new car, starting a new job, and palming off my Weimaraner on someone else (sucker! :-))... it's all happening. Even though I was a bit of a Zombie,...

  • Which CMS? WordPress vs Joomla vs Drupal

    It's the big question. I've had the opportunity to work with all three of these Content Management Systems (CMS) in various guises, and in my view -- from a online publishing perspective -- there is a clear winner. Everyone has their favourite and there will no doubt people that vehemently disagree, but hear me out. First on to Joomla and Drupal: Both Joomla and Drupal are complex CMSes, and I've felt that these...

  • Powering your site: Technology choices

    Making the wrong technology choice can cripple your online business. It can mean expensive maintenance and development costs down the line. It could mean downtime for your website and make the simple act of publishing an article a trapeze act. You don’t want this. A site’s Content Management System (CMS) is the engine of your site, and if your engine don’t work, you’re going nowhere. Most major publishing websites are two sites in one:...

  • Shuttleworth returns to the source

    Nothing gets a dedicated techie hotter under the collar than a discussion about Microsoft and its software monopoly. Another subject that will get them talking is the subject of open source software. Open source is in many ways the antithesis of what Microsoft and many software companies have been pursuing over the years. It’s a revolutionary movement and philosophy worldwide that ensures computer programs, such as word processors or spreadsheets, can be...

  • Open source in SA

    Something pretty revolutionary is going down in a dusty patch of Limpopo province. It involves billionaire and Africa’s first Astronaut Mark Shuttleworth, a multi-national technology company and the government. Shuttleworth is so passionate about it, he says it could rocket South Africa into the future: “We are on the cusp of a new era. This is the future of IT.” (more…)