Can somebody please enlighten me to this FlickrFan thing that Winer and Scoble are all over?
Tell me it’s more than just some proprietary screensaver that downloads some photos from Flickr?
Best quote so far…

“Anyway, what does Dave Winer’s new software do? It puts pictures up on my HDTV. “Huh, that’s the lamest thing I’ve ever heard,”? I can hear you saying. But didn’t you also say that about Twitter? About IM? About the PC itself back in 1977? Yeah, yeah, you did, own up to it.” – Scoble

Um, no I didn’t. IM has a really obvious use, as does the PC. In fact, I doubt anyone said this.
Twitter – I’m not so sure what the point of Twitter is, but people seem to be using it a lot. Good on them.
So, I have two questions:-

  1. Why is this so amazing?
  2. No, seriously. Why?

Flickr needs to provide me with a way to offer up an alternative image for people using this.

Publishing will set us free!

I have long longed for my dream publishing tool for the web. With the release of Movable Type under the GPL, I took another chance to evaluate it – I have a long and unhealthy relationship with it. It was
my tool of choice, but like many, moved to WordPress when Six Apart fucked with the license. The free software release of Movable Type, or MTOS, as they’re agonisingly calling, is a lot prettier than the last
MT I used – it’s still a clusterfuck of Perl scripts, but either I’m better at installing it now, or the installation has gotten better. For years, I longed for it to come and be set free, and now it’s here, I want so much more.
I spent today working on a website using Wikidot. Wikidot, for the uninitiated is a hosted wiki that does some other cool stuff. It’s a bit Web 2.0, and uses a lot of Javascript, and is entirely web based,
and so it involves a lot of messing around in textareas to get any real work done, but it’s actually simple, and more important, hackable.
In places, at least.
You can’t change the page template. You can change the navigation, the sidebar, the content (of course), but for whatever reason you can’t break out of this fixed construct. It’s also proprietary, but
very soon will be released under the GNU Affero GPL, which wins a few points from me.
But it’s not what I want.
Here’s the rub with all of these systems – I have to learn new tools. As anyone who knows me will tell you, I don’t take to new habits very easily. I still use GNU Emacs, and badly, when the rest of
the world moved to IDEs and GUI editors. I don’t even handle my Emacs sessions properly, so at any one time, I have 11 copies of Emacs open and no idea what’s going on in 9 of them. They also fail to have
version control – a latecomer to the merits of version control, I am now a fully qualified Subversion lover. I don’t get distributed version control, so git and bzr people, you need to try harder to sell
your idea to me, cause I’m not smart and I don’t quite get it.
Now, before you start emailing me with your suggestions, let me say this. I’ve heard of Ikiwiki. In fact, I use Ikiwiki every day, all day, for my Campaign Manager job at the FSF. It’s alright, it serves its purpose as a wiki, but it doesn’t quite fill my requirements.
I’m not even sure they’re even implemented.
I’m looking for something with the ease of installation of WordPress, that uses SVN as its back end, lets me maintain users in a simple text file or similar, and most importantly, will publish, via a templating system, to one or more locations on the file system, in static HTML. And I want to write things in WordPress, but my colleagues might want to use a textarea, or a WYSIWYG editor.
I love static HTML.
Oh, and I want proper URLs – none of this cgi-bin crap or WiKiNaMeS nonsense.
I’m sure this tool exists. I really am. Without the SVN stuff and Emacs stuff, that tool is probably Movable Type, with some hacking.
Does the tool of my dreams exist? Will publishing set me free?
This tool will probably be the system that runs some day. It’ll be the tool that runs as soon as it exists and it’ll run all my other sites as well.

  • Can I write ‘articles’ in GNU Emacs on my local machine?
  • Can I check them into Subversion?
  • Can they appear on one, or more locations on my web server?
  • As static HTML on the file system?
  • Via a templating system?

One installation will set me free.

Google Highly Open Participation Contest (just call me GHOP)

Following on from the success of the Google Summer of Code program, Google is pleased to announce this new effort to get young people involved in free software development.

If you’re a student age 13 or older who has not yet begun university studies, we’d love to see you help out these projects. In return, you’ll learn more about all aspects of developing software – not just programming – and you’ll be eligible to win cash prizes and the all important t-shirt! You will, of course, need your parent or guardian’s permission to participate where applicable.

Free Software Foundation – Fall 2007 Bulletin

The latest issue of the FSF bulletin is available now, for your viewing, downloading and printing pleasure.
Articles in this issue include:-

I’m quite excited – this is my first issue with an article in it, and it’s an interview with Rob Myers about DRM, ebooks, Free Culture and of course, Free Software.Rob Myers, yesterday
Also, I managed to get a headshot of Rob included, so please don’t tease him about it.
Remember, the FSF needs your support, so please consider becoming an associate member today.
Also, if you’d like to be interviewed by me for the next issue, or you’d like to suggest someone who should be, please drop me a line at mattl at fsf dot org

Anarchy^WStartup Essentials in the UK

“…Solaris and a whole bunch of development tools are now in the wild as well, albeit only free in the sense of a child wearing reins near an interesting looking cliff.”

Paul on the CDDL license that currently prevents OpenSolaris from being that little bit extra special.

“It requires that all attribution notices be maintained, while the GPL only requires certain types of notices. Also, it terminates in retaliation for certain aggressive uses of patents. So, a module covered by the GPL and a module covered by the CDDL cannot legally be linked together. We urge you not to use the CDDL for this reason.” – Common Development and Distribution License
“Also unfortunate in the CDDL is its use of the term “intellectual property”.

Best of all though, is Paul’s email to me about this – “Look how I referred to Sun’s license when I blogged it earlier… words like the ones you would use coming out of my mouth. Is your name Tyler Durden?”
In related OpenSolaris news, my pals at Joyent are doing some crazy low pricing on their Accellerators right now. Facebook application developers can still get a free-of-charge account, too.

Join us now and share the software”¦

So, we’re having a fundraising drive at the FSF right now.
Join the FSFSome of my good friends have joined, so if you’d like to support them, go to their blogs and sign up via their referral link. You just might earn them a t-shirt or more.

Of course, the real reason to join is if you’d like to continue to support the Free Software Foundation, Defective By Design, BadVista, PlayOgg, GPLv3, Free Software Directory or the GPL Compliance Lab.
In the next 12 months, we’re going to be working heavily on the issue of software patents in the US, and your money will be greatly received to help us fight this important battle to protect essential freedoms for computer users, the world over.
Plus, as Graham points out – the dollar is a bit crap right now, so if you’re outside the US, it’s even cheaper for you.