- Your Community is Your Best Feature — Gina Trapani’s CodeConf talk: useful, true, and moving. There’s not much in this world that has all three of those attributes.
- Metrics Everywhere — another CodeConf talk, this time explaining Yammer’s use of metrics to quantify the actual state of their operations. Nice philosophical guide to the different ways you want to measure things (gauges, counters, meters, histograms, and timers). I agree with the first half, but must say that it will always be an uphill battle to craft a panegyric that will make hearts and minds soar at the mention of “business value”. Such an ugly phrase for such an important idea. (via Bryce Roberts)
- On Earthquakes in Tokyo (Bunnie Huang) — Personal earthquake alarms are quite popular in Tokyo. Just as lightning precedes thunder, these alarms give you a few seconds warning to an incoming tremor. The alarm has a distinct sound, and this leads to a kind of pavlovian conditioning. All conversation stops, and everyone just waits in a state of heightened awareness, since the alarm can’t tell you how big it is—it just tells you one is coming. You can see the fight or flight gears turning in everyone’s heads. Some people cry; some people laugh; some people start texting furiously; others just sit and wait. Information won’t provoke the same reaction in everyone: for some it’s impending doom, for others another day at the office. Data is not neutral; it requires interpretation and context.
- AccentuateUs — Firefox plugin to Unicodify text (so if you type “cafe”, the software turns it into “café”). The math behind it is explained on the dataists blog. There’s an API and other interfaces, even a vim plugin.
ENTRIES TAGGED "open source software"
A review of my discussion with Free Software Foundation's Zak Rogoff.
Developers can make money writing code that makes patients safer.
Working on software that addresses patient safety issues is one of the few ways that a software developer can impact quality of life rather than convenience of life. Health contests are fun enough that you might even forget that you're changing the world.
The VA VistA EHR resists version control systems, which prevents open collaboration.
Veteran Affairs' VistA electronic health record system is famously resistant to being managed by version control. That needs to improve if VistA development is to be run as a meritocracy.
Veterans Affairs launches its electronic health record system as an open-source project.
Veterans Affairs is taking the bold step of making governance of the VistA system open source. If you care about healthcare software, the new Open Source Electronic Health Record Agent (OSEHRA) is worth your involvement.
The GOSCON conference shows that open source is making headway in DC.
Packed halls at the 2011 Government Open Source Conference (GOSCON) confirmed that strong interest in open source runs throughout the federal IT community.
Drupal and open source technology power the new Energy.gov.
The new Energy.gov, using a combination of open source technology and cloud computing, will save an estimated $10 million annually.