Page Speed (Google Code) — an open-source project started at Google to help developers optimize their web pages by applying web performance best practices. Page Speed started as an open-source browser extension, and is now deployed in third-party products such as Webpagetest.org, Show Slow and Google Webmaster Tools.
What Commons Do We Wish For? (John Battelle) — trying to understand what the Internet would look like if we don’t pay attention to our core shared values. Excellent piece from jbat, who is thinking and writing in preparation for another book.
The Trouble with Popularity — this blog post on StackOverflow does a great job of explaining why moderators are necessary, and why it’s not in everyone’s interest to give them what they want. Sad to see this come out just as Yahoo! continues to gut and fillet Flickr, which used to be the benchmark for all things community.
The Ongoing Fight Against GPL Enforcement — interesting! Software Freedom Conservancy, who have pursued several cases against manufacturers who ship GPLed code but do not release their source and modifications to it, have used busybox as a fulcrum for their GPL code release lever. Manufacturers may be attempting to replace busybox with non-GPLed code to take away the fulcrum. In other news, engineering metaphors are like a massless body at light speed before the bigbang: unknowable.
Thoughts on Web Application Deployment (OmniTI) — if your web site is your business, this stuff is critical and it’s under-taught. Everyone learns it on the job, and there’s not a lot of standardization between gigs.
Github Enterprise — GitHub Enterprise is delivered in the industry-standard OVF format, which means you’ll be able to run it on virtualization layers like VMware, VirtualBox, and Oracle VM. An increasingly common way to sell web apps, but it’ll trigger GPL-style distribution terms in software licenses.
SparkleShare — open source sharing tool that markets itself as “like Dropbox”. Uses git as a backend, so you can share via github.
Whatever Happened to Programming? — When I was fourteen, I wrote space-invader games in BASIC on a VIC-20. If you were interested in computers back in 1982, I bet you did the same. When I was 18, I wrote multi-user dungeons in C on serial terminals attached to a Sun 3. [...] Today, I mostly paste libraries together. So do you, most likely, if you work in software. Doesn’t that seem anticlimactic? Any time you are in the “someone else’s code is almost right, make the changes to improve it” situation, you’re doing unsatisfying programming. It’s factory assembly of software, not craftsmanship. Welcome to the future: you have been replaced by a machine, and the machine is you.
Fan Feeding Frenzy — Amanda Palmer sells $15k in merch and music in 3m via Bandcamp. Is the record available on iTunes yet? Absolutely not. We have nothing against iTunes, it’ll end up there eventually I’m sure, but it was important for us to do this in as close to a DIY manner as possible. If we were just using iTunes, we couldn’t be doing tie-ins with physical product, monitoring our stats (live), and helping people in real-time when they have a question regarding the service. Being able to do all of those things and having such a transparent format in which to do it has been a dream come true. We all buy stuff on the iTunes store – or AmazonMP3 or whatever – but it’s not THE way artists should be connecting to fans, and it’s certainly not the way someone is going to capture the most revenue on a new release. (via BoingBoing)
Sad State of Open Source in Android Tablets — With the exception of Barnes & Noble’s Nook e-reader, a device that isn’t even really a tablet, I found one tablet manufacturer who was complying with the minimum of their legal open source requirements under GNU GPL. Let alone supporting community development.
GPL WordPress Theme Angst — a podcaster brought together Matt Mullenweg (creator of WordPress), and Chris Pearson (creator of the Thesis theme). Chris doesn’t believe WordPress’s GPL should be inherited by themes. Matt does, and the SFLC and others agree. The conversation is interesting because (a) they and the podcaster do a great job of keeping it civil and on-track and purposeful, and (b) Chris is unswayed. Chris built on GPLed software without realizing it, and is having trouble with the implications. Chris’s experience, and feelings, and thought processes, are replicated all around the world. This is like a usability bug for free software. (via waxpancake on Twitter)
480G SSD Drive — for a mere $1,599.99. If you wonder why everyone’s madly in love with parallel, it’s because of this order-of-magnitude+ difference in price between regular hard drives and the Fast Solution. Right now, the only way to rapidly and affordably crunch a ton of data is to go parallel. (via marcoarment on Twitter)
Pandas and Lobsters: Why Google Cannot Build Social Software — this resonates with me. The primary purpose of a social application is connecting with others, seeing what they’re up to, and maybe even having some small, fun interactions that though not utilitarian are entertaining and help us connect with our own humanity. Google apps are for working and getting things done; social apps are for interacting and having fun. Read it for the lobster analogy, which is gold.
Wayfinder — The majority of all the location and navigation related software developed at Wayfinder Systems, a fully owned Vodafone subsidiary, is made available publicly under a BSD licence. This includes the distributed back-end server, tools to manage the server cluster and map conversion as well as client software for e.g. Android, iPhone and Symbian S60. Technical documentation is available in the wiki and discussions around the software are hosted in the forum. Interesting, and out of the blue. At the very least, there’s some learning to be done by reading the server infrastructure. (via monkchips on Twitter)