Archive | Open Source

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Startups powered by Seagull:

Posted on 22 January 2008 by Demian Turner

Thanks to Fabio Bacigalupo for the following article, part of an upcoming mini-series about successful startups built on the Seagull platform.

Running a successful website is a constant balancing act between achieving good performance and scaling smoothly. Read how we have used the Seagull framework to build our portal As a start-up we provide a web-based service to find, comment, play and recommend audio and video podcasts. At the moment the service is intended for a German speaking audience only but we are prepared for internationalisation thanks to Seagull.

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Can Anyone Suggest a Good Open Source Email Ticketing System?

Posted on 10 January 2008 by Demian Turner

We’re getting overwhelmed by support requests from our latest project and are looking for an open source customer support solution, does anyone have any suggestions?  The main functionality required is to be able to divert emails sent to a support address to a ticketing system.  We also need the following:

  • Allow emails from more than one account to be diverted to the system and converted into tickets which can be assigned to team members according to language.
  • Have predefined responses stored in a database which can easily be included as a basis for an email
  • Allow specific emails from specific accounts to be automatically assigned to individuals
  • Have various levels of importance for support requests
  • Should allow the creation of different groups with various role capabilities

If you have any suggestions or experience to share please let me know in the comments.

VERDICT: Thanks again for the suggestions guys, we tried pretty much everything suggested and ended up going with Kayako, which is NOT open source, but has great features and solid internationalization support, the rest were quite weak in this area.  We’ve been using the system for several months now and are quite happy with it, it’s been able to handle quite a large volume of tickets being logged in around 10 languages and automatically assigned to the relevant country managers.

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Safari / WordPress fix

Posted on 09 January 2008 by Demian Turner

Continuing on the themes of Safari superiority (at least on a Mac) and WordPress, anyone who wants to use this browser for wysiwyg editing of the latest WordPress release (2.3.2) should check out this fix:

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Using WordPress

Posted on 01 October 2007 by Demian Turner

Quite an interesting thread on the PHP London mailing list about folks’ experience using WordPress. The final comment seemed to be the most indepth and informative, and confirms previous comments I’ve heard.

We did using WordPress, and speaking as someone who’s actually had to wade through pretty much the whole codebase, let me tell you it seriously sucks. A few highlights:

1. It tries to detect magic_quotes_gpc, un-quotes the superglobal arrays and then re-quotes them so it’s impossible to get access to the raw querystring or post data

2. I’ve had function chains up to eight calls long with each function in a different file.

3. I still have nightmares about a function called wpautop(). If you ever think about editing it… don’t.

4. I’ve lost count of the number of code blocks that have comments such as “This probably isn’t needed anymore”. Probably!?

And yes, my own blog runs WordPress. It’s just so damned easy to install 🙂

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The Importance of Beards in Software

Posted on 29 August 2007 by Demian Turner

We had never really met or spent any time together. So I called him up, we had lunch. He had a beard, I had a beard; he had three kids, I had three kids; he refereed soccer, I refereed soccer. We hit it off. I made him a job offer which he accepted […].

Charles Geschke, cofounder of Adobe Systems, speaking about hiring John Warnock at Xerox PARC. Again, from "Founders at Work".

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OSS Camp in New Delhi, September 8-9, 2007

Posted on 14 July 2007 by Demian Turner

I’ve been contacted by the organisers of the upcoming OSS Camp
event in India, looks set to be quite interesting with the focus for
the PHP section clearly set on frameworks, my favourite subject 😉

There is already a talk planned by Rakesh Kumar
comparing the major PHP framework players, I’m glad to see Seagull in
the list. If any Seagull devs can easily get to New Delhi in the first
week of September and would like to present something I encourage you
to contact the organisers .

Here’s the official release for OSS Camp:

India’s biggest Open Source Unconference "OSS Camp" has been scheduled for
September 8 – 9, 2007 in New Delhi.

Embedded in the OSS Camp is India’s first community-driven PHP Camp. PHP
Camp will bring together the PHP community in a distinctly "unconference"
setting. It is an intense event with discussions, demos, and interaction
from all participants. Participation is free of cost!.

Some of the tracks for PHP camps are Frameworks, Unit Testing, PHP
Security, Performance Management, High Availability beside product specific
themes like Joomla, Drupal, EZ, Dot Project camps.

Participants can add up their sessions on
. You should
restrict your sessions to 40 minutes (90 minutes in case of workshop). Your
sessions should be hardcore PHP specific sessions.

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Realtime Teenage Angst Meter

Posted on 02 July 2007 by Demian Turner

This is one of the best uses of technology I’ve seen in a long time:

Brings new gravity to the familiar theme, "it’s all about me" 😉

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Firefox is great but …

Posted on 25 May 2007 by Demian Turner

… it sure is one fat bastard of a web browser! I’ve just been in the habit of using it but Thomas convinced me the other day to drop the browser like a bad habit and switch to, of course, Safari. In fact, the trick is to avoid launching Firefox at all, which after a few days practice I’ve been able to achieve.

The bottom line is Firefox is very un-Mac-like. It’s dead slow, takes ages to launch, is memory ravenous and even with no extensions installed, crashes all the time. For the record I’m using on a Mac Book Pro with 2GB RAM and 2.16Ghz cpu. To be fair I use a few browser-heavy apps, like Google Reader, Geni and Google Calendar. Well all these work perfectly in Safari, and if you use WebKit and the WebKitDeveloperExtras you don’t even miss Firebug and the Web Developer extension.

Is switching worth it? I think so. Since the changeover it’s like having a new, comfy pair of shoes, or losing 10kgs – great feeling!  The speedup is immense, I’d estimate Safari is between 2 and 5 times faster then Firefox in terms of launching, opening new tabs, switching tabs, viewing src, etc.

Ironically I had to use Firefox to write this entry, HtmlArea used by Serendipity does not work in Safari 🙁  And apologies to PC users who of course can’t use Safari, but they can switch to a Mac 😉

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Open Source Reporting for developers – Web Seminar

Posted on 23 May 2007 by Demian Turner

Actuate are holding a technical web seminar tomorrow which will outline how to quickly deploy BIRT Reports and deliver flexible end user reporting on the Actuate iPortal and iServer.

By the way for those who don’t know, BIRT is a flexible 100% pure Java Open Source reporting tool for generating and publishing paginated report output from a wide variety of data sources and there is a recorded seminar available on the technical benefits of Open source BIRT for ISVs and developers. For more info or to watch either seminar check out

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Many new features in latest 0.6.2 release of Seagull Framework

Posted on 27 April 2007 by Demian Turner

Okay … it took a bit of time to get this release
out, 4 months to be exact which broke our monthly release cycle that
has been maintained for several years now. What’s up you ask? Have been
very busy working on a startup venture with some clever guys, more info
to come.

The main focus of 0.6.2
has been managing module resources so that they are completely
independent from the core framework and are easy to install. To that
end, everything a module might need can now be bundled in a single
archive which can be unzipped in the modules directory, and Seagull
will take care of everything else during the install process. Modules
can now additionally contain any template or data resources, which
include HTML, CSS, js and a range of data files. With the possibility
of adding additional include paths, and config or setup files on a
per-module basis, it’s much easier to incorporate advanced features
into your projects without touching the core.

Having said that, now the the 0.6 branch is quite
stable and feature complete we’ll be moving back to trunk and
developing new features that have been in the pipeline for several
months. The main focus will be on further decoupling the core framework
(everything in seagull/lib/SGL) from the bundled modules, and in future
releases all non-core features will be installable on-demand only. The
result will be a much smaller, more manageable core, therefore more
frequent releases, and better choice in terms of extra components for
framework users.

Back in 0.6.2 there has been a lot of work going on
behind the scenes, here are a few highlights from a quick look at the

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