Category: planetapache.org

Jul 17, 2009 : What I've been doing at SourceForge

If you want to read a good summary of my recent work (and accept my laziness in not writing one myself) please read my team-member Mark's blog on TurboGears on SourceForge. It's a good overview in both general terms and technical, so you don't have to be a programmer to understand all of it :)

And I'm looking forward a lot to SourceForge at OSCON next week! It'll be a lot of fun, and SourceForge is throwing a big party on Thursday night. If you're not going to OSCON, you can still watch it online.

Mar 05, 2009 : Finding good open source software

Even for someone like me, who knows about open source software pretty well, it can be hard to find certain software. And I'm sure it would be harder for other people to find out about good open source software.

At my new job we've been working on a site to do just that: Fossfor.us. FOSS stands for Free Open Source Software, and we actually are making the site for people who don't know what FOSS is at all. There are loads of screenshots, video demos, feature lists, etc to help you know if software is what you want or not. And you can browse and search by function or by alternative (e.g. find me an alternative to AIM, or Microsoft Office).

We've got a lot of features (and some bugs) to still work on, but go check it out and download some awesome free software. You deserve it.

Feel free to post suggestions here, or use the "feedback" link on the bottom of Fossfor.us to send a note to our team.

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Oct 29, 2008 : Backup Day

This Friday is Halloween. And it's this year's backup day. At least, according to Maxell. Two years ago, they inaugurated Fall Backup Day to be the Friday before the United States' "fall back" daylight savings time change. So each year it is the Friday before the first Sunday in November. (Assuming no new legislation is passed to change DST dates)

Just yesterday I was thinking there should be a backup day, where everyone is reminded to burn some CDs/DVDs of their important files, or make sure they have an automated backup to a remote computer or external hard drive. Because it's so easy to keep putting it off and never doing it. One of my hard drives died several weeks ago, and even that painful reminder wasn't enough for me to get backups in place right away for all my other files.

So I searched for a backup day, but I didn't find much. A few random declarations of random days as backup day, and Maxell's declaration seemed to be the most prominent (even their day seems weak, nothing but a few news articles about it). But I, at least, will start celebrating it.

So during a lull in the trick-or-treaters this year, start burning a DVD. Or find some software to do automatic backups of your files to a remote location.

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May 19, 2008 : Drop-down menu without javascript

Some time ago I was looking for a CSS-only (no javascript) cross-browser technique to make a drop-down expanding navigation menu. I found the GRC Menu that did this, but it had a lot of site-specific stuff in there. It was not something I could easily use as a starting point for my own sites.

So I hacked around with Steve's CSS and HTML and developed a minimal version. Here's the minimal version of GRC's script-free pure-css menu.

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Feb 06, 2008 : MS SQL matrix query

If you use Microsoft SQL and you want to do a query to turn some rows into columns, it can be tricky. I don't know what that type of query is called, I think some call it a matrix query or a cross-tab query or a pivot query. Here's how I've been able to write a pivot cross-tab matrix queries for Microsoft SQL Server including an extra variation for SQL Server 2005.

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