Diary of a Network Geek

The trials and tribulations of a Certified Novell Engineer who's been stranded in Houston, Texas.

8/29/2013

Moveable Type Changes License

Filed under: Criticism, Marginalia, and Notes,Deep Thoughts,Fun Work,Geek Work,News and Current Events,PERL,The Network Geek at Home — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Snake which is just before lunchtime or 11:43 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is a Third Quarter Moon

And becomes completely irrelevant.

Apparently, I missed this last month, but Six Apart is changing their license so that Movable Type will no longer have a free version.  Now, when it was Ben and Mena Trott running Six Apart, when they made a mistake with licensing, which I think they did back in 2004, you can understand and forgive.
Ben and Mena were like us, just two fellow geeks out there coding and blogging.  They came up with a great idea and everyone loved it.  But, then, money got involved and things got complicated.  They did things to make money, and, honestly, I probably would have done the exact same things.  When they first changed things to make the license more restrictive back in 2004, I was, I admit, outraged.  How could they betray us like that?  They were like us!  How could they throw this all over to just make money!  In retrospect, the question is, how could they NOT?

But, then there was WordPress.  Many of us made the jump, including me.  WordPress was a new way of doing things.  This Open Source thing was new to many of us and it was exciting!  Software that was mostly free that the community built!  People who were just like us!  Code geeks and blog geeks and graphics geeks all coming together to make cool things happen.  What could be better?  And, from my perspective, WordPress was easier to extend and develop for in many, many ways.  Also, it seemed to have fewer resource issues than the Perl-based Movable Type.  Better still, as I understood the license, WordPress would always be free and if it stopped being free, we could fork the code and make it free again.

Somewhere back in there, after the 2004 license debacle, Movable Type added an Open Source version.  They tried to get us back, but, frankly, for most of us, it was too little, too late.  After one license change like that, how could we be sure that it wouldn’t happen again?  And what about charging money to be part of the developer’s group who had access to the documentation you really needed to understand Movable Type enough to develop for it?  I know I couldn’t afford that!  Besides, as Six Apart got more and more corporate, I just felt like something else bad was coming, if not soon, then eventually.

Now this.
Well, it actually happened in July, but I just read about it on Mark Jaquith’s blog.
So, finally, after nine years, that other shoe has finally dropped.  Of course, a lot has changed in those nine years.  For one thing, I’ve gotten both married and divorced and am getting ready to be married again.  Interestingly, to me, Ben and Mena who started Six Apart have gotten divorced, too.  Ben still seems to be involved in the day-to-day development of Movable Type and related stuff, but Mena seems less involved.  I can’t imagine the toll their meteoric rise took on their relationship.  It must have gotten truly unbearable after a while.
You know, I hope they made out well.  Sure, this latest license thing is, I think, a final nail in the coffin of Movable Type, but, damnit, Movable Type also launched the blogging era in many ways, and paved the way for WordPress.  And, it was two people who started it.  Just two.  Two good people.

So, it’s sad, to me, to see how things have gone.  I’m sad to have been right about Movable Type all those years ago.  I wish they had proven me wrong.
But, with this, I think they proved me right not to trust the Movable Type license any more.  And, honestly, they taught me something about how to treat my audience and my customers.
And, yes, it makes me sad.  It’s the end of an era, of sorts.
I’m sorry to see you go, old friend.

3/30/2012

Social Media Monster

Filed under: Art,Fun,Red Herrings — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Tiger which is terribly early in the morning or 5:02 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is a First Quarter Moon

I love me some infographics!

No, seriously, infographics are fun.
Now, I’m not a guy who has to track and record and quantify every aspect of his life.  I know people like that, but I’m not really one of them.  On the other hand, I am one of those guys who likes to look at log files and statistics and trends.  It’s kind of a contradiction, I’ll admit, but, well, there it is.    And, I’ll tell you what else, I’m very aware of all the information, all the data points, that I leave behind as a consequence of being on the internet, especially on social media sites, like Facebook.  So, have you ever wondered, like I have, what that data, that information, looks like?
Well, wonder no more!  Now, you, too, can get your very own Facebook Monster infographic!
All you have to do is go to the site, sign into Facebook via their application, and let the app go to work.  The result will be a personalized, fun, funny, monster-based, Facebook-driven infographic of your very own.  I’d share mine, but, well, I’ll be honest, my social media data-footprint kind of sucks for this particular application.  I’m just too low-profile, frankly, to generate a good example data set.

But, hey, this is about you and your data, not me and mine.  So, it’s Friday and you’re slacking anyway, you might as well hit the link and see how your social data looks.  And, y’all have a great weekend!

3/9/2012

Social Media Papers

Filed under: Art,Deep Thoughts,Fun,News and Current Events — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Tiger which is terribly early in the morning or 5:36 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waning Gibbous

Soon, you’ll need a passport to enter Facebook.

No, not really.  Well, probably not, but I’m sure Zuckerberg wouldn’t mind issuing passports and currency!
Regardless, in this case, I’m talking about an art project with a social consciousness that I read about on Gizmodo; Facebook ID Cards.
Those of you who know me, know how obsessed I can become over realistic, but fake, marginalia, like stamps, currency, government documents, and, of course, identification cards just like these.  Things like passports and driver’s licenses are the ephemera of our lives that we often use to define who we are and identify us to strangers, especially those in authority.  We tend to take them for granted, but someone designed them and they serve some purpose, whether it’s to tell a police officer that we are certified to drive or Facebook’s security goons that we’re allowed to access our friendlist.
So, no, it hasn’t happened, yet, but I suspect it will one day.

And, did you notice that they astutely included a QR Code in their design?  Remember that article I linked to earlier in the week?  Might want to read that again…

8/25/2010

WordPress Promotion

Filed under: Art,Fun,News and Current Events,Personal,The Network Geek at Home — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Snake which is just before lunchtime or 11:34 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waning Gibbous

It’s no secret that I love WordPress.

WPCertificate I mean, seriously, I really, really love WordPress as a blogging platform and as an easy-to-understand Content Management System.  But, did you know that I’m one of the three most important people in WordPress? No, for real! And, I have a certificate from Matt Mullenweg himself to prove it!

Okay, so, yeah, I know, I’m not really one of the most important people in WordPress, outside of being one of millions of users who do, in fact, make WordPress a force to be reckoned with. But, we only manage that as a group, as a community. No, that certificate is a joke. Literally. It’s a joke from Matt Mullenweg, founding developer of WordPress, regarding an incident some weeks back involving a theme developer who didn’t want to use the GPL, which is the software license that WordPress uses and all theme developers are required to use. I know people will disagree, but, based on my understanding of the GPL, any derivative works of a product that uses the GPL must also use the GPL.  So, really, for most of their code, theme developers are required to use the GPL.  Honestly, I’ve never worried about it.  I mean, mostly, it’s a bunch of legal speak that means very little to the average end-user.
One of the things that this theme developer claimed, erroneously, was that he was one of the “three most important people in WordPress” because he felt that so many people used his theme.  I think he may have been surprised at how many of those folks jumped ship when they found out there was something wrong with that theme and its license.

WPFreebies In any case, what does matter to us about all this is that Matt took that attention and made a marketing opportunity out of it.  For starters, he started buying people premium themes that didn’t violate the GPL as a kind of protest and a way to draw attention to how serious he is about supporting the GPL.  And lots of people took him up on the offer.  But, apparently, someone griped about not wanting a premium theme or something and so, instead, Matt made a second offer to those of us who didn’t want, or couldn’t decide on, a premium theme.  He offered us free t-shirts.

Well, I’m always up for a free t-shirt, especially one that advertises something I believe in and use, so I was on this offer like white on rice.  Now, I can only imagine how many people also took advantage of this, too, but I went to his website, and filled out the form and sent off my e-mail like a kid sending in his box-tops for his toy surprise.  And, then I forgot about it.  I try to do that, frankly, when I enter contests and such.  Like casting my bread upon the water, I do what I need to do to enter and then forget it.  That way, if something does arrive, I’m pleasantly surprised.  That’s just what I was this past Friday when I found the package from Matt in my mailbox; pleasantly surprised!

As you can see from the picture, the t-shirt came with a few other things.
First of all, there were all kinds of stickers, which I love.  It reminds me of the old days when you got swag at the conventions and covered your laptop in stickers.  But, there was also an iPhone skin and pencils and, of course, the certificate, which made me laugh out loud.
I’ve already worn the t-shirt, which, as you can see, says “Code is poetry” on the front.  What you can’t tell from the photograph is that the t-shirt reads “WordPress.org” and has the official WordPress logo on the back.  Frankly, that’s the part I love.

Now, all I need to do is actually read all those books I’ve gotten on WordPress theme design and get working on it…
Anyway, thanks for all the stuff, Matt!

8/5/2006

Too Little, Too Late

Filed under: Criticism, Marginalia, and Notes,News and Current Events,Personal — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Horse which is around lunchtime or 12:37 pm for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waxing Gibbous

For me, at least.

So, I’ve been helping a friend with her blog, right?  Helping stamp out spam, blah, blah, blah.  Anyway, she uses Movable Type for her blog, which I used to use.  I mean, it wasn’t like there were a lot of options out there when I first started this blog, what, six years ago?  MT was it, so that’s what I used.  But, a couple years back they started jacking around with the license agreement and what you could legally run with their blog software before you were in violation of the agreement.  When they first released it, before they got big, the promise was that MT would always be free, at least for the personal, home user.  Then, things changed due to pressure from investors and the market.  So I changed systems to WordPress, which I love for a lot of reasons.  For one thing, I find it easier to write additonal components for WP.  It’s also easier to use, in my opinion.

But, all that aside, when I was in her blog, clearing out the massive comment spam, I saw an announcement from Six Apart regarding the MT license.  It’s free.  Again.  I laughed out loud when I read that.  Sort of closing the barn door after the customer has escaped, don’t you think?

4/27/2003

Blog Bloat

Filed under: Criticism, Marginalia, and Notes,News and Current Events,Personal — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Dog which is in the evening time or 8:31 pm for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waning Crescent

There’s more than 100 entries here now.

It just struck me, as I was signing in to the blog software, that I have more than 100 entries in this blog now. That’s pretty amazing, to me, anyway. Of course, I’m not sure how many people really read this blog, besides me, my wife, my daughter and my mother-in-law. And, I’m not quite convinced about my mother-in-law, either. But, as always, I conduct myself as if I’m always being watched. After all, since I appled to federal service once, I could, in fact, be under surveilance. Well, in theory anyway. Hey! Work with me on this one!

Anyway, it’s pretty cool, to me, that I’ve had that much to say. And, it’s cool that blog software has come so far since I started doing all this.
To start your own blog, check out MovableType.org.


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