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Top projects of January 2010

This year has taken a good start for us at BeezNest worldwide, and between writing around 3 times more offers than usually and launching new projects, we have been busy on a series of important missions that I’d like to take the opportunity to mention.

Gallery 2 and slow disk accesses

First of all, we’ve been busy trying to debunk a really well hidden flaw in an install of Gallery 2, whereby the “Comments” feature was so quickly getting spammed that the server could just not handle the number of requests sent by the application and a lot of other applications were slowing down.

Trees management

Second, we’ve been working a lot (in terms of development) on a system to manage… trees! What? Yes, trees (and green areas as well). You know, trees are like medical patients after all. Although they tend to fall less ill, there tends to be a whole lot of trees in our cities. Well, we’ve got one great system to do that, that we are working on with one of our partners. Thanks to the system, you can easily plan lifespans of the trees in a city or a larger entity, pinpoint them on a map, and make sure their illnesses and history is stored on something else than an easily lost/stolen/burnt piece of paper. Of course, you can assign tasks, classify trees by street or park, take photos, specify their height, level of danger, or protection put in place. It’s even compatible with Oracle Locator databases! Contact us if you’re looking for something like that.

Chamilo, a fresh e-learning project with experience

Ah well, we’ve decided to drop our support of the Dokeos platform and went on to create a fork, called Chamilo, which will defend a more open approach to e-learning platform development. At first, we thought we would need like half a year to get up and running with the project, but we’ve pretty much been overwhelmed by the overall surge of activity and the massive support and active contributions we’ve already received, while we haven’t setup the bank account for the association defending the project just yet. A great, positive sign for the first month of the project.

Flash stuff

We’ve also been working on a clothing application for a company selling custom t-shirts, whereby the visitor can try its own logos on the shirt he likes most. It was still not ready at the end of January, but we hope you’ll see it soon.

New support lines

We’ve started developing Spanish-based phone support services because a lot of our customers were asking for just that: a way to understand their problems fast and find a way to avoid them. Of course, we’ve also got a whole lot of development-type support coming out of that, but we’re just starting the first line support and it’s taking a good shape. If you are in need if this type of service, just call +51 1 719 51 92 and we’ll quickly deal the contract details with you before you can get access to our support.

Preparing international events

We’re going to be involved in two massive events this year: Expoelearning Lima, a huge e-learning event that will attract a hundred of e-learning companies from around Latinamerica; and the Software Freedom Day, also in Lima, to which we are planning to give a special taste of open knowledge by inviting a hugely famous (still secret) guest of the open knowledge area. We’ve also been dealing with all the graphical design aspect of these events, and our designer has been even more active during the end of January, but we’ll discuss this at the end of February.

Automated tests coverage

A considerable effort has been put into automating tests for Chamilo through SimpleTest, Phing and Xinc. We hope we’ll be able to show you the results very soon.

625 days uptime

We’re always informing our customers that a Linux server that we take time to configure can cut down on future management expenses considerably. One of our customers has just had one of its servers reach 620 days uptime at the end of January. This means the server has been working for almost 2 years (we’ll reach that point in a few months time) without reboot of any kind. This server is used as a web server and has only required a few updates during the last 2 years. This effectively means that this in-house server maintenance costs were brought down to a minimum, while continuing to server its visitors reliably.

Contributing to FLOSS

As usual, the Peruvian offices (Lima, Miraflores) has been hosting meetings from the Python Perú and Drupal Perú groups, and will be hosting additional PHP and Chamilo meetings in March. Of course, we’ve continued working on key open-source projects like Chamilo and OpenC2C

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