On ZDNet, the recession and optimism

ZDNet screenshotI really should ‘egosurf‘ more. It was only because I was testing a seach engine yesterday that I stumbled across this post on ZDNet’s Linux and Open Source blog. In it, Dana Blankenhorn argues that social media make this recession different from previous ones, and that releasing open source software can help advertise your abilities as a media professional. And he does so by taking me as an example.

While it is true that WP-Cumulus has brought me some modest fame in the WordPress community, I wonder why Dana didn’t contact me to confirm some of the details in the story.
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Introducing Photo widget, floating thumbnails for your website

Photo widgetLots of people have contacted me, asking for a version of my Flickr widget that they could use on their website, without having to use Flickr (or Picasa). Doing such a version was easy enough, but I was hesitant to release it. The DIY version of WP-Cumulus has yielded more support requests than the actual WordPress plugin, and answering all the email has been taking a lot of my time.

One thing I could have done was to simply release the sources for the Flickr widget. But there’s a lot of Flickr/Picasa specific stuff in there that you would need to take out before being able to hook the movie up to another data source. So that would have made things harder for everyone.
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Six Windows versions bad? Try hundreds!

penguinsTwo stories caught my eye this week. On tuesday, and to the horror of most of its users, Microsoft announced that Windows 7 will ship in six different versions. Most of which have pesky little limitations.

A day earlier, Linus Torvalds said in an interview with Distrowatch that having ‘hundreds’ of different Linux distributions is ‘absolutely required’. So where most Windows users would have greatly preferred a single version of ‘their’ OS, Linux’s founding father sees no problem with having hundreds. I have to admit that I tend to agree with the Windows community on this one.
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Which WordPress plugins should I donate to?

With the recent success of this blog, I’ve been thinking about making a donation to some of my favorite WordPress plugins. Being a plugin developer myself, I know how even a small donation can be a real pat on the back.

Open Source software isn’t about money, but many developers spend countless hours perfecting their software and answering support emails. I’d like to thank some of them, and I thought I’d let you help me decide which ones. Please read on for my ‘nominations’, and post a comment to let me know which ones you think I should support.
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WP-Cumulus is now open source

open source

This is a first for me. Even though I’ve always been a firm believer in the open source licensing model, I’ve never actually released anything as free software. Up until now. As of ten minutes ago, WP-Cumulus is open source. From now on the plugin will be hosted on WordPress.org, and I will no longer offer it for download here on my own website. But that’s just the start of it.

Because it’s now open source, the source files for the Flash movie are also available for download for you to tinker with. This means you’ll be able to change the font, embed your language’s character set and change anything else you feel beneficial for your blog. If you improve on the plugin’s functionality, please let me know so I can consider adding your changes.

Have fun!