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Posts Tagged ‘open-source’

More free software and open source good news from Europe

October 16, 2012 Leave a comment

On the line of my latest post about Linagora, a European data researcher recently published the results of a study concluding in that the European Community is saving 450 billion euros per year thanks to Open Source software.

In the same orientation, the APRIL (French Association for digital freedom) published a study reporting the substantial savings of the French Government thanks to Open Source and Free Software.

These are all good news that have taken too many years and financial crisis to come, but let’s rejoyce in their presence at this point.

Herramientas de software libre para pymes

October 11, 2010 Leave a comment

Con el objetivo de recopilar herramientas de software libre para pymes, la Junta de la Comunidad de Castilla-La Mancha, a través del Centro de Excelencia de Software Libre de Castilla la-Mancha (CESLCAM) con fondos del Plan Avanza 2, publicaron la web  Aplicaciones para pymes.

Son 39 herramientas de software libre, clasificados por los rubros de: empresariales, oficina, comunicaciones, seguridad y utilidades.

Cabe mencionar que estas herramientas no solo son utiles para las pymes, si no también para las empresas  medianas y grandes, también para las instituciones públicas y en general para cualquier entidad que desea reducir costos y aumentar beneficios utilizando herramientas de software libre en sus procesos y si necesitan algún proveedor especializado que los ayude y de soporte para implementar correctamente las mismas los pueden conseguir sin problemas con toda la garantía y certificación del caso.

En el primer rubro “Herramientas empresariales” encontramos, la siguiente clasificación:

ERP (Gestión integrada),  CRM (Seguimiento clientes), Comercio Electrónico, Gestor de tareas, Herramientas Colaborativas, Gestión de proyectos, Gestor de contenidos y Gestor documental.

 

 

 

A esta clasificación en nuestra opinión agregaríamos:

  • Herramientas Gestor de contenidos: Drupal
  • Herramientas de Gestión de conocimiento: Chamilo

 

En el segundo rubro “oficina” encontramos, la siguiente clasificación:

En el tercer rubro “comunicación” encontramos, la siguiente clasificación:

En el cuarto rubro “seguridad” encontramos, la siguiente clasificación:

En el quinto rubro “utilidades” encontramos, la siguiente clasificación:

Application Packaging Standard (APS) explicado

July 28, 2010 1 comment

La Application Packaging Standard (APS) es una organización sin fines de lucro, el cual propone un estándar que provee una serie de especificaciones para el manejo de Aplicaciones web (Drupal, Joomla, phpBB, etc) en un webhosting.

Estas especificaciones son realizadas tanto en las Aplicaciones web como en los Proveedores de hosting. El resultado de estas especificaciones es el Software as a Service (SaaS) un modelo de negocio diferente al modelo capitalista.

¿
Qué es el SaaS?

El SaaS es un modelo de distribución de software (Software-Distribution-Model) donde las Aplicaciones están disponibles como un servicio de un Webhosting y accedidos por usuarios finales vía un navegador. Algo similar a una herramienta utilizada por CPanel llamado Fantastico.

Este modelo difiere del modelo tradicional (donde el usuario final compra un sofware y lo instala por su cuenta) pues ofrece un catálogo de software disponible a instalar para el usuario final. El usuario ahora debe pensar en su negocio y no en la herramienta que utilizará.

Este estándar es bastante atractivo para desarrolladores de Aplicaciones Open Source pues:

  1. Al tener el Software certificado por APS podemos agregarlo a su catálogo.
  2. Al estar dentro de este catálogo. Los Proveedores de hosting pueden ofrecer nuestro Software a sus clientes tan solo agregando nuestro paquete a la lista que ellos ofrecen.
  3. El Software se vuelve más popular, puede llegar a más gente!
  4. Existe también un Plugin para Eclipse para facilitar la integración de nuestro Software con los estándares de APS.

A su vez también beneficia a los Proveedores de hosting:

  1. Al implementar las especificaciones se puede obtener no 1 si no todos los paquetes que han sido certificados por APS.
  2. El Proveedor se diferencia de la competencia indicando que también está certificado por APS y ofrece todo el catálogo a los usuarios (si así lo desea).

Lo usuarios finales por su parte:

  1. Se benefician de una instalación rápida y sin complicaciones.
  2. Tienen a su disposición todo un catálogo de software a usar rápidamente.
  3. Tendrán todas sus aplicaciones en un solo Data Center.

Existen ya paquetes certificados como: Drupal, Magento, Joomla, phpBB, WordPress, phplist, etc.

Para más información visiten: http://www.apsstandard.org

We love open standards, knowledge and sources

Today I just saw one of the most beautiful examples of what our efforts (as a community of free software, standards, formats and knowledge evangelists) are all leading to.

In short, I’m talking about the Wikipedia page in English for the OGG standard, which I’m publishing a capture of below.

“So, what’s so special?” you say…

Well, in short, it’s a free knowledge page about an open standard showing an example of open media designed with free software, which I am viewing using exclusively free/libre open-source software. The little rabbit picture on the right side is actually a video… playing at the time of the screenshot. Contrarily to Flash (using 45%), it just uses about 1% of my CPU power to play it in streaming.

Yes, the page is giving me free knowledge I can contribute to, redistribute and use freely. It discusses OGG, an open format to encode videos. It shows me the short film “Big Buck Bunny” which has been designed by the Blender foundation using and composing free media (can re-use, distribute, modify). I’m opening the page using Firefox on my Ubuntu GNU/Linux system, running a native video player (I’m not even sure which but I’m sure it’s not the proprietary software Adobe Flash Player), into my webpage itself.

This all means we have finally reached a step where information *can* flow freely, in any form of media. I’m definitely in love with all that.

Installing Squid on ZFS

March 24, 2010 1 comment

The recommended filesystem for Squid on OpenSolaris is ZFS: http://wiki.squid-cache.org/BestOsForSquid

It is also recommended to disable the atime property on the filesystem holding the cache, and you may want to avoid using any type of RAID.

To achieve this on Nexenta (or OpenSolaris, whatever), first create the ZFS filesystem:

# zfs create -o atime=off -o mountpoint=/var/spool/squid3 syspool/squidcache

Then install Squid (here for version 3.x, as you might have noticed from the command). On Nexenta Core Platform 3 (NCP3):

# apt-get install squid3

To further improve the setup, use the aufs storage. To do this, just enable and update option cache_dir in /etc/squid3/squid.conf to read aufs instead of ufs (and further modify that line to best suit your real cache usage).

Reasons to (not) setup swap on GNU/Linux

February 5, 2010 Leave a comment

Disclaimer: this article does not pretend to be a complete picture of using swap on UNIX.

Most of the time, recent GNU/Linux distributions insist on creating a swap area.

Swap is generally used to temporarily store memory used by running(/sleeping) applications, but might as well be used to store a copy of RAM to disk for hibernation. As disks are still many times slower than RAM, it always comes with huge performances impact.

Historically, RAM was so expensive that UNIX users bought only a fraction of actually used memory, and relied on swap for 2/3 of it (number still found in many advices today, while it is certainly outdated).

Today, you can buy quite a huge amount of RAM (even ECC) for almost nothing, it is not uncommon to be able to buy more than 4GB for less than 100€. So today, you buy RAM based on the total memory used by all the applications that might ever run at the same time. Of course, you probably don’t need then to allocate three times that amount to swap, especially when you know applications won’t use it.

The main danger of allocating much swap is that some application goes mad, eats up all memory, then swap and starts slowing down the whole machine (because it brings I/O in the dance), then (and only then) eventually get killed by the Linux OOM Killer, which is rather basic (just kills the running application taking currently the more memory, so might even miss the real guilty). Without swap (or reasonable amount), in contrast, the kill would happen far earlier, and not generate incredible I/O usage levels.

Of course, I/O impact is even worst in virtualized environments.

HOWTO Enable temporary swap file on GNU/Linux

February 5, 2010 1 comment

GNU/Linux supports swapping to a file on any filesystem, with reasonable performance impact since kernel 2.4. This might be useful whenever needing a temporary increase in available memory, I’m writing this article with that goal in mind.

Create a zero-filled regular file (following example would create a 1024x1M=1G swap size):

dd if=/dev/zero of=/.swapfile bs=1024 count=1M

Setup a swap area in it:

mkswap /.swapfile

Activate swap to this file (would not survive a reboot):

swapon /.swapfile

To check it did it:

swapon -s

Disable swap to this file:

swapoff /.swapfile

Of course, the file is not deleted on reboot, and you might reuse it several times.

Descubriendo OpenLayers

January 29, 2010 2 comments

OpenLayers permite poner un mapa dinámico en cualquier página web.
Puede mostrar bloques de mapas y marcadores desde cualquier fuente, fue desarrollado inicialmente por MetaCarta y se lo dio al público para promover el uso de la información geográfica de todo tipo.
OpenLayers es totalmente gratuito, de código abierto de JavaScript (OpenSource), liberado bajo una licencia tipo BSD.

Qué es OpenLayers?

  • Es un API para construir Mapas en aplicaciones web’s
  • Ejecución desde el Cliente a travez JavaScript
  • Ajax
  • Licencia BSD (Berkeley Software Distribution)
  • v 2.8 estable

Ventajas

  • OpenLayers no es una solicitud. (no requiere instalación)
  • Menor procesamiento en el servidor.
  • Puede ampliar fácilmente el código para su aplicación en particular.
  • Puede utilizar múltiples Servidores de datos.

“Desventajas” mejor dicho Requisitos

  • Usted necesita saber JavaScript, CSS y HTML

¿Dónde se utiliza OpenLayers?

  • Sistema de Inventario de Desastres
  • Plantación de árboles
  • Seguimiento de peces

Para desarrolladores

OpenLayers es una librería JavaScript puro para la visualización de los datos del mapa en la mayoría de navegadores modernos, con ningún servidor de las dependencias lado. OpenLayers implementa un (aún en desarrollo) API de JavaScript para la construcción de web ricas aplicaciones basadas geográfica, similar a la de Google Maps y MSN Virtual Earth API, con una diferencia importante – OpenLayers es el Software Libre, desarrollado por y para la comunidad Open Source software.

esto es una breve introducción a esta potente librería, a continuación otros ejemplos de su uso:

Tambien les dejo la presentación que hice para el equipo de desarrolladores de Dokeos.

Howto reset network device after swapping disks from one PC to another

January 24, 2010 1 comment

I had a problem with a very old Compaq PC not detecting the keyboard anymore. I used the PC as a local server, not a real problem, except that the BIOS didn’t allow the PC to boot when the keyboard was not plugged in. One solution there might have been to use some USB keyboard (I didn’t get a chance to try that – didn’t have any USB keyboard lying around).

Luckily enough, I happened to have a clone of this computer, so I just swapped the disks from one PC to the other, and booted. This one detected the keyboard without a problem and started booting Debian.

Now the problem was that Debian (which was on the disk which I swapped from one PC to another, thus changing all the devices IDs and stuff) wouldn’t find my network device (at least where I expected it to), so I was left with a working local server without network… pretty useless.

So I called my resourceful brother (Jérôme), and he quickly explained to me that Debian’s udev stored its NIC MAC address in /etc/udev/rules.d/*persistent-net*. Clearly, that was true. Then I didn’t know how to get the real MAC (I could probably have found it in /proc/ somewhere), but the thing is that, he said, you can just delete the file, reboot, and Debian will rebuild it.

So, one delete and reboot later, I had network on my local server! Thanks Jérôme!

The free software activist game – draft

November 29, 2009 Leave a comment

If you are a free software activist like me and want people you expose free software to in conference, large meetings and other gatherings like that (preferably developer-oriented) to understand what the value of free software is, here is a game proposal for you to try out (please report on the success of this method if you do implement it). It is inspired from a recent SCRUM course we took here at BeezNest Latino.

General considerations

  • You will probably need 30 minutes at a minimum to implement the game
  • This should work for 30 to 150 people, which should all be in the same room
  • You will have to explain the rules to each teams category separately (they can already start working one you’re done explaining, but they will have to stop exactly 10 minutes after starting)

Material

  • 1 sheet of paper for each participant (can be a quarter of A4, or even smaller)
  • 1 pen for each participant (this might be costly, so you can depend on each participant having one or having minimum 2 pens per team)

Preparations

  • Try to use maximum 10 minutes for the whole preparation process, so max 2 minutes to get team leaders to line up in front of you, max 2 minutes for you to explain the rules to all categories, and max 2 minutes for them to get back to their seats and start working.
  • Try to plan for enough space to give each team its own round-circle
  • Plan to distribute pens and papers quickly and efficiently
  • Assistants will have to form teams of 5 (minimum 5 per team, can be up to 8 but you’d better ask for 5)
  • Teams will be split in three “types”: type A, type B, type C
  • Give one paper and one pen to each participant
  • In each team, there will be: 1 team leader, 1 salesman, 1 developer, 1 designer, 1 quality assurance guy (software tester)
  • You (and ideally a few other guys) will represent the Product Owner: that is, you will receive the work done by each team, through the salesmen, and decide which is best for your company. The price is considered equal for each feature.
  • If there are more people than what makes an equal number of teams in the three categories, assign more teams to category C

Rules

You will have to explain the rules to each category of teams at a time: first, teams A*, second, teams B*, third, teams C*. Try to give each team a number (A1, B5, C3, …)

The following rules are true for all teams, but there are a few rules specific to each team category:

All

  • Will have 10 minutes to complete the game (develop one feature – you can imagine something appropriate to the circumstances here, or you can use the list of features suggestions below)
  • The salesman will have to present his product to all product owner in 30 seconds
  • The product owner will decide (secretely) which team won for each category, and will ask the other categories to vote as well (on the back of their paper, or by folding the paper in a specific way)
  • All members of the group must write something on his paper
  • Team leaders help the other members of the team who are having difficulties (they are the scrummasters)
  • Salesmen make sure they understand the product and all its goodness (including quality and design)
  • Developers make sure they describe the feature in many details
  • Designers make sure they draw a set of screenshots for the salesmen to present at the end
  • Testers make sure they test every detail of the system (including the user interface) and confirm with the developer and designer that every feature works
  • Teams can choose whether to sell their software or the fruit of their work

Teams A

  • Will be considered as representing companies being located in the same city, so they will actually compete very closely with the other teams in category A
  • All of A teams will develop the *same*, proprietary, feature
  • Team leaders and salesmen can “spy” on other teams

Teams B

  • Will be considered as representing companies being located in different countries/states of your continent, so they will have to compete if they have a very competitive product
  • All of B teams will develop different, proprietary, features
  • Team leaders and salesmen can “spy” on other teams

Teams C

  • Will be considered as representing companies worldwide which already have a competitive product based on open-source software
  • All of C teams can decide to work with other teams in order to get several features back to their customer
  • They can only sell what they developed directly, they are forced to “give away” the rest

Features list suggestion

  • Store contacts
  • Send an e-mail to a contacts
  • Store an invoice
  • Request the status of a stock of products
  • Request information about a company
  • Chat
  • Find an address
  • Show a street on a map
  • Show a translation
  • Find an image
  • Find the definition of a word

Ending the game

The assistants have to put their sheets in the hands of the salesmen and the salesmen will stand-up and go line-up in front of the stage, once the time is up for their category. Teams not sending their salesmen in line will be eliminated (they delivered behind schedule).

Each salesman comes in a line to present his product (30 seconds max). He says his team number (e.g. A3) and starts describing his solution. He stays on stage until all salesmen have given their description (should be 2.5 minutes max for 5 teams)

At the end of each category, the other categories vote for the best team. You count the vote (“Put your hand in the air, all people voting for team A3”) and declare the winner.

Note that categories A and B should not know that category C was able to share their work. This is why categories A and B will actually understand better the point of free software.

Conclusions

Whatever the results are, they should always tend to these conclusions

  • a majority of teams of category C have performed better, because they were allowed to share, and they made an effort to learn from each other, while concentrating on its own customer’s satisfaction
  • the salesmen are necessary because they are the ones through which the work of the team is presented. The best salesmen give a considerable advantage to its team
  • sharing, in the same environment (which is a competitive international market), leads to better solutions than the equivalent non-sharing mode
  • all assistants will have spent a good time

These rules are to be considered licensed as Creative Commons BY-SA (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/)

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