WordPress rides the open source juggernaut

Eight years after it was started by a 19-year-old college freshman as a blogging software, WordPress now powers 14.7 percent of the world’s top one million websites. It is used in 55 million websites.

In his annual State of The Word address last week, WordPress founder Matt Mullenweg also said the open source content management system (CMS) now runs 22 out of every 100 new websites created in the US.

The velocity in WordPress adoption and its dominance illustrate the strength of the open source model, where the community is involved in the development of the software. It is not a coincidence that the top open source CMS packages today, WordPress and Drupal, also have the most active developer and user communities.

Matt Mullenweg giving his State of the Word 2011 address

Matt Mullenweg giving his State of the Word 2011 address.

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CE-GNU-LUG talks about Meego during a meetup last July 29 in TechBar at the Asiatown It Park.

CE-GNU-LUG keeps, spreads the faith

LITTLE John looms large in the Cebu open source community. In installfests, he towers.

My first encounter with John Clark “Little John” Naldoza and his merry band of local open source advocates was in an installfest, a gathering hosted by a Linux users’ group (LUG) where people can bring their computers for installation of a Linux operating system (OS), in about 2000.

CE-GNU-LUG talks about Meego during a meetup last July 29 in TechBar at the Asiatown It Park.

CE-GNU-LUG talks about Meego during a meetup last July 29 in TechBar at the Asiatown It Park. (PHOTO BY JONEL ALBACETE AGUTAYA)

Back then, open source wasn’t as widely accepted by people or businesses.

I had arranged, via e-mail, to meet Little John and looked around one of the trade halls in SM City Cebu with level eyes, only to be approached by a giant of a man with an expansive knowledge of everything tech. Little John is a man you look up to, literally and figuratively.

In 1999, Naldoza, Emmanuel William Yu and Ryan Go discussed in Plug (Philippine Linux Users’ Group) the setting up of a Cebu Linux Users’ Group. They decided to name the group phonetically after the festival that helped make Cebu known worldwide.

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Copyright? Try copyleft

STOP the “culture of copying” among Filipinos, Intellectual Property Office (IPO) Philippines Director General Ricardo Blancaflor said in his speech during the Cebu Creative Industries Summit on June 21.

Blancaflor pressed on the need to respect copyrights, saying creative industries rely on intellectual property.

Creative industries, he said, posted a yearly growth of 14 percent from 2002 to 2008. Blancaflor said the Philippines can compete with more developed countries through creative industries, which make full use of skills and talent.

Blancaflor makes a very important point. Software piracy, for example, is estimated at 69 percent in the country, accounting for $278 million in financial losses in 2010.

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Showing Windows the door: the case for open source

THE warnings are ominous. The Pilipinas Anti-Piracy Team (PAPT) is strengthening its campaign against pirated software and cautioning businesses that refuse to have their software inspected that they will “face legal sanctions unless they show proof that they are using licensed software.”

All Open Source. Editing my blog post in WordPress in my Linux work station.

ALL OPEN SOURCE. Editing my blog post on WordPress, a powerful open source content management system, in my Ubuntu Linux workstation.

The warnings come even as PAPT found rural banks, universities and hospitals using unlicensed software in a recent series of raids in Iloilo City. PAPT said they are set to hold more raids in other parts of the country.

In 2010, the Philippines’ PC software piracy rate stood at 69 percent, the fourth consecutive year that it stayed unchanged. The Business Software Alliance (BSA) pegged losses caused by software piracy in the Philippines at $278 million, a staggering amount from the $141.7 million recorded in 2007.

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Turning into a fandroid

HOW long does your initial fascination with a new phone last? Two weeks? A month?

In my case, it used to take about two weeks before the novelty of a new unit started to wear off.

But not with my LG P500, a device that has Android 2.2 or Froyo as operating system. Two months after buying it, I’m more fascinated and attached to it today than in the day after I unboxed the unit.

Before Android, I wouldn’t have considered buying either a Samsung or an LG unit. I was a Sony Ericsson and, later, a Nokia person. It was such a hassle having to transition to another mobile phone brand and relearn everything—from quirks in the keypad to the way other software components worked.

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Cebu needs to work to keep IT talents: Damarillo

CEBU has the potential to be the next Silicon Valley but it must deal with the movement of its talented workers to Manila and abroad and improve its marketing as a technology hub, an information technology entrepreneur said Friday.

Winston Damarillo, one of the founders of G2iX and its chief executive officer, said that because of its geography, weather and quality of life, Cebu has the makings of a technology center.

Damarillo also said local companies are cooperative with industry undertakings and there is a good partnership with the academe through such initiatives as the Cebu Educational Development Foundation for IT (Cedfit).

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Despite existence of open source products, many still use pirated software: CICT secretary

THE Philippines still lacks awareness of and support for free and open source software (FOSS), Commission on Information and Communications Technology (CICT) Secretary Ray Anthony Roxas-Chua III said yesterday.

Chua, in his speech during the opening of the Philippine Open Source Summit at the Cebu International Convention Center (CICC) early today, said that despite the existence of FOSS products, many Filipinos still use pirated software.

Philippine Open Source Summit OPEN SOURCE SUMMIT. The Philippine Open Source Summit at the Cebu International Convention Center. Click on photo to enlarge image.

“Regrettably, however, the more common option for many users is the purchase of pirated copies of proprietary software. There is, therefore, a need to bring open source to the awareness of users as a legitimate option and to provide the required support for its implementation,” Chua said.

Open source software are those released under a license that legalizes sharing of the application and building up on it. It got its name from the requirement of making the source code available with the software.

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Philippine Open Source Summit opens

Blogger’s note: Hit refresh to read updates. I’m live-blogging event.

The Philippine Open Source Summit is now open at the Cebu International Convention Center in Mandaue City. The two-day summit is

Vice Mayor Michael Rama, speaking for Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmena, told the delegates that information and communications technology (ICT) should always be guided by the fact that technology is a human creation and should be usd for the betterment of humanity.

He said technology should be used as a tool for nation-building. He urged those in the ICT industry to use technology to be the answer “to what we call global misery.”

In giving an overview of the summit, Cebu Educational Development Foundation for Information Technology (Cedfit) executive director Bonifacio Belen talked about how open source has taken the world by storm.

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Joomla users schedule Cebu meeting

Users, developers, and supporters of the open source content management system (CMS) Joomla will be meeting in Cebu next Saturday, June 7 at the Lepiten & Bojos Law Office on Don Pedro Rodriguez St. in Capitol Site, Cebu City (see map below).

The meeting is preparatory to the Joomla Day that will be held in UP Diliman on June 14. During the meeting, members of the Joomla community in Cebu are scheduled to plan activities for a year and consider participation in a coming Open Source summit in Cebu on June 23 to 24 at the Cebu International Convention Center. The Open Source summit will have a track on Drupal, another popular open source CMS.

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Going to school—Drupal school

I’ve been studying Drupal these past months. Drupal is a highly-regarded open source content management system (CMS) that can run anything from a single-person website to a community portal. There’s even a Newspapers on Drupal group for people using the CMS for their news websites.

Drupal school NOW SHOWING. I’ve downloaded Elliott Rothman’s video tutorial series on Drupal. Rothman’s tutorials are really helpful for newbies who want to learn how to use Drupal as content management system. Click on photo to enlarge.

Drupal, unlike many other open source CMS, seems to be much more technically challenging to use, especially for non-geeks like me who can’t program.

It took me a couple of months of studying and experimenting with WordPress to be able to confidently make it work for a project the way I wanted it to work. WordPress can be used to run a news or magazine website and I’ve done this for several projects. I am also currently writing a new article on how to use WordPress to run a news website and will be releasing a new theme for it. It’s for a personal project that I was supposed to launch this weekend but got delayed by work deadlines.

While I love WordPress and have been using it for most of my personal projects, I want to learn how to use Drupal extensively because I see it as the better CMS for larger, more complex, and community-oriented web projects. Some of the sites running Drupal are The Onion, MTV UK, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s Exposure, and The New York Observer.

The New York Observer’s use of Drupal is particularly noteworthy because its development team discussed how they did it in this article on the relaunch of the newspaper site using Drupal.

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