Name: nigel kerr
Member since: 2000-08-28 15:09:02
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Recent blog entries by nigelk

the true type font i've compiled, lhude sing, is more prepared for prime time, with some documentation and notes, along with the interim license (GPL, pending some clarification from Roman Czyborra. w3rd!

jstor however also uses some non-OSS software:

  • filemaker pro, such that j. random staffer can make a "database" to track or store data (usually progress or contact information) about their area of work. just about everybody on staff has access to licensed fmp, and it gets a lot of usage.
  • act is used heavily at one of the three offices, act is a desktop database jobbie designed expressly for contact management. the one office with the most diverse functional units uses this heavily to keep track of who we've ever talked to about what, when, and what the status of our relations with them and their organizations. for reasons that i am still plumbing the depths of, act didn't catch on anywhere else.

for these sorts of tasks, i think that these tools are fine: win32 and mac support are important, as these are the platforms of the people using these tools; the ability to use the same database and interface from any machine is important, so that people at different locations can see the same thing; the lightweight-ness of creating things with filemaker pro works out for a lot of folks.

not that i am considering switching everybody to something new, but are there OSS-ish tools that people have used for similar sets of requirements, or in similar situations? i'm sure we could write a program that would generate random strings of "php", "zope", "mysql", "perl", "-o-rama" and the like to describe one way of doing all this: web interface to a database. that however removes (whether actually or just in folks' minds) the lightweight-ness advantage: people need to know more details than they do with fmp, for instance, to put a simple collection of data together for their on-going use and the edification of others in the organization. or is it unfair to say that? are there OSS-ish options that retain the lightweight flavor?

working at the princeton university office of jstor over the next two weeks (ordinarily i am in ann arbor, mi), as one of the technical staff here is on paternity leave, leaving just one person to handle the ranch here. there are a lot of things that i will do while here: they are largely similar to what i do at the ann arbor office, but for the benefit of a different group of people, with a different set of wants and desires, proclivities and knowledge. that the two offices are in frequent communication (and i mean frequent, i'll warrant that one phone call or another is always open between the two locations during business hours) doesn't change that the two offices differ greatly.

does the location of a programmer, and the location of the audience of a programmer change what gets designed and implemented? does the OSS developer/documentarian/advocate differ region to region in culture and approach? it is a very connected community, does that stop it from being diverse? i think not...

jstor uses a lot of oss and oss-ish equipage:

  • apache to serve the public and the staff in many different ways
  • perl, natch, for some web stuff and lots of data processing
  • modules of perl from all walks of module-hood
  • packages of java from all walks of package-hood
  • a glorious jobbie called TtH for latex to html

i don't think we are typical for a non-profit whose activity is completely on the internet... or perhaps we are? what non-profits are there, the activities of which are completely on the internet?

28 Aug 2000 (updated 8 Nov 2000 at 13:03 UTC) »


the thing i've done so far is make a gpl'd 34,000-odd glyph truetype font based on Roman Czyborra's UniFont. i've dorked around with software left, right, and sideways, and i work as a descriptive markup specialist and programmer at jstor. werd.

i think i'm a wand'ring minstrel eye just yet.

drop me a line.


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