I believe that software, and in fact entire companies, should be run in a way that assumes that the sum of the talent of people outside your walls is greater than the sum of the few you have inside. None of us are as smart as all of us. Given the right environment — one that leverages the marginal cost of distributing software and ideas — independent actors can work toward something that benefits them, while also increasing the capability of the entire community.
This is where open source gets really interesting: it’s not just about the legal wonkery around software licensing, but what effect open sourced software has on people using it. In the proprietary world, those people are typically called “users,” a strange term that connotes dependence and addiction. In the open source world, they’re more rightly called a community.
The Four Freedoms | Matt Mullenweg
Matt posted this a few weeks ago. This blog is hosted on WordPress.com, and prior to that on wordpress.org deployments across several hosting providers. Matt’s post is worth mentioning here, not because of that WordPress connection, rather, the post is probably the best rationale I’ve seen for the value of open source software. Read the post via the link.
There is some buzz around the announcement of Prologue, Automattic’s – the makers of WordPress – new ‘group twitter’ application. It seems to be more of a presence tool than anything else:
We’re fans of Twitter around here, in fact many Automatticians have accounts, but while the format appealed to us it really just whetted our appetite for something more, like a way for each of us to share short messages about what we’re doing or working on internally, or private messages between groups of folks.
As you can see on my blog below, I do use twitter from time to time, but I haven’t really found it to be too useful for a business setting. Prologue, however, may open up the possibilities to improve group interaction when dealing with people in disparate settings. There are more than a few people who have already compared Prologue to 37Signals’ Basecamp. I think Basecamp is a more rigid, traditional project management application, but I can see some similarities here.
Read more here.
The update to WordPress 2.2.1 is complete. Comments are back, and luckily, it looks like the old comments weren’t lost. Sorry for those who were looking to get the Grand Central invites.
It looks like most of the plugins are working normally, except the sideblog plugin. I’ve deactivated that one.
Back to normal blogging…
With comments down, I figure this is the best time to attempt an upgrade. The site will be transitioning over to WP 2.2.1 today, so pardon the broken links, etc.
Update: The upgrade seems to have gone without a hitch, and commenting is back as well.
Toni Schneider, CEO of Automattic (makers of WordPress, Akismet, etc.), recently posted on his blog about his desire to have a ‘Firefox computer’:
I run a PC at home and a Mac on the road. Their respective operating systems just don’t get me very excited these days. The only thing I care [sic] about is that they run Firefox. That’s because my digital day is currently spent in the following apps: WordPress, Yahoo Mail, Bloglines, 30boxes and Google.
I couldn’t agree more with Toni. I’m beginning to rely less and less on any particular machine, and more on a solid browser for my computing needs. His application roll above is similar to mine (I prefer Gmail, Google Reader, and Google Calendar). I’ve even begun to move core computing work – word processing, spreadsheets, diagramming – online. This is clearly where Office 2.0 is headed, and I’m hoping to make that transition permanent sometime this year. Toni adds:
This leads me to the following conclusion: I want a Firefox computer. A nice, sleek, solid state notebook with a big screen that you open up and it just runs Firefox.
I’d have to agree, for the most part, that a mobile device that runs Firefox would be a true ‘killer’ device. While Toni talks about a big screen portable internet terminal, there is a smaller screen contender that I’ve been testing over the last few weeks, the Nokia N800. I’ve been running the N800 through its paces (watch for a full review soon), and can tell you that the biggest software miss on the device is the choice of Opera instead of Firefox as the browser. Since Nokia had the wisdom to build an open device – on Linux no less – the chances of a Firefox browser being ported over are high. With the addition of a built-in keyboard – and maybe a larger screen – Toni’s Firefox computer is not as far away is we may think.
It goes without saying that I believe WordPress is the best blogging application available today. This week Automattic, the company founded by Matthew Mullenweg – developer of WordPress, annouced it had received “a little funding“. That’s great news for all WordPress fans, especially those who use Automattic’s WordPress.com. Like most open source applications, not all of the credit for WordPress can go to Matt, however like most successful open source applications, Matt should get some financial rewards for his efforts to build WP into the great piece of software it is today. Automattic has a lot of other great applications on its plate, and this intial funding should help to secure the future of those as well. Congratulations Matt!
Well, I shouldn’t say that with such excitement, since I put a lot of time into customizing Squible for this blog. Overall I like the look of this theme, but as it stands today, it is awfully flaky on some browsers….especially the beta Microsoft IE 7. I know that is more the fault of the big M than of the Squible developers, but what an I say. My statistics show a growing number of visitors are coming in via IE 7, so I guess I should be ready to handle that. When I first kicked off this blog, I was using a very, very simple theme. I’m looking for a new theme that replicates that simplicity. Since my last theme update, the WordPress community has expanded the number of themes, increased the quality of those themes, and generally been humming with activity. So, I’ll be off on a hunt to find another workable theme over the next week or so. Wish me luck!
UPDATE: I just found this great Ambiru single column theme over at the If..Else Blog. I did a little bit of editing, removing the standard category approach by opting for a tag cloud, and added a feed link in the title. I like the look of this theme a lot. I think I’m going to stick with this for a while.