Category Archives: Open Source

8 Innovative Ideas for Open Source Beyond Software

Do you agree that Open Source just can’t be applied on software only? Open source philosophy can be applied to any given domain. Over the years open source has proved its potential and there is no brainer that open source model CANNOT work(Off course some dopeheaded VCs still think there is no money in open source! – Who cares!).

But overall, open source is much much beyond just software field. Its more about sharing things. Sharing innovative stuff with you colleagues. I always think about RMS’ words that building a good software is like making a delicious dish. And there are always fellow cooks around to share the recipies.

In another article by Sonali K. Shah and Danese Cooper they say

If you did not share… [others] would not be able to keep up with you. To do or experience something new and fantastic or go another step faster isn’t much fun when you shout ‘Wow! Did you see that!’ and nobody is there to hear you..

I’d like my readers to discuss with me innovative ideas where open source can be used beyond software.

Here are some of my thoughts:

1. Open Source in Space : Space technology can be really more innovative if scientist would use an open source model. The technology could be open so that private groups could fund and adopt

2. Open Source in Retail: I know of a system where the suppliers and retailer would disclose all their profits to their customers. Customers get an advantage of not getting cheated by unknown profit percentage and on the other hand retailers would form a community and sell products.

3. Open source in Mechanics: I am not sure if you guys have heard about MultiMachine: Its an open source all purpose machine which can be built by any semi skilled mechanic. Surprised? Read more about it here: http://opensourcemachine.org/the-multimachine

4. Open source Beer Project: Wow! Sounds fun: Yes, its true… These guys share their beer recipe to the world! More about it at : http://www.opensourcebeerproject.com/

5. Open Source Toys Project: The LLUG (Ladies’ Linux Users Group (in Japan)) started with this concept. They have released paper patterns (they dub this: “source code”) and recipes (“documents”) for four toys by now, and two of them have been distributed as “hand-made kits” (“distributions”). Catch more of it here

6. Open source in Hardware: “Morphy One” is an open source hardware development project in Japan.It claimed to be the first IBM PC/AT compatible- architecture-based palmtop PC produced only by users. The project aims to put out all the data on its development process and specifications under GPL.

7. Open Source in Agriculture: Ever thought of open-source DNA? Could that be the key to agricultural innovation and feeding an ever-growing population? Currently many companies hold patents on crucial agricultural biotechnologies: However, Richard Jefferson believes that those few companies could be using those patents to dominate then destroy an industry. Typically when a company makes an invention, it files for a patent and does not freely share the invention! Could there be something like open source patents?

8. Open source in Politics: How about  a politician disclosing all his moves? Sounds crazy! But there are groups which can form such a model. There is already a concept of Professional Parties where a bunch of professionals form a political party and stand for an election. Who knows if Open source Politics could take this one step further?

Marketcetera : Open Source Trading Platform

Most stock trading systems these days are mostly on Solaris, but the trend is changing. Stock broking companies are wanting effective low cost solution. Most companies I know of are moving towards .Net platform or Linux platform. .NET is far cheaper than Solaris solution, but it takes you down over the years with M$ extrating money out of you year after year! So financial companies are also looking at open solutions like Linux.

Adding to this trend, Lets welcome Marketcetera(http://www.marketcetera.org) – Open Source software for automated trading systems. Marketcetera’s platform lets brokers and traders build effective automated trading systems, develop proprietary algorithms, create order management solutions and manage risk faster, easier and at much lower cost than with closed platforms.

Here’s a Quick Overview of the system

Some special features of Marketcetera

  • Process orders through FIX protocol in the exchange. This is good for DMA(Direct Market Access) Clients.
  • Order Routing – You can route your orders. Its an interesting feature which I might discuss it over in another post.
  • Exchange Simulators to test your stuff. You definitely need them, But not quite sure how many exchanges can they simulate? Exchanges in Asia-Pacific markets are like way too different.
  • Order statuses: They kind of flow the orders from Front office to back office, Again this is quite interesting, I will try to blog on it some other day, But yes, those who are familiar with stock broking side will know what Trade Flow is all about.
  • MySQL/Postgres or Oracle can be used as a back-end database. Really cool!
  • It uses the Spring framework with ActiveMQ as the messaging queue – I guess JMS has become heart and soul for all stock brokers these days with Tibco and Webmethods pushing their sales guys hard on this domain. Again a good way to test out the scalability of ActiveMQ with respect to other platforms in the closed source group.
  • It uses various GUI’s – For entering orders it uses Photon, for others,it also uses RoR – Not quite sure if RoR will scale up?! Big question, We’ll see.. I really wonder how much of Web 2.0 are they using!
  • This is not it, there are plenty of features , particularly to hardcore stock broking side like algorithms etc, which I feel you may get an insight at their own site.

I haven’t got enough time to actually put my hands on and try it out , but it seems promising. A few more years of hardcore development and it could be the best! Just needs some experts on the business side which I think their team already has.

But the question is, Will Marketcetera be able to survive when the markets are falling. Offcourse they need a huge investment, I don’t quite know who’s funding them. The one great thing that I like about them is that they are following everything that an open source product needs: Wiki, Mailing list, releases etc. Its really good to see Trading platforms in Open Source. Hat’s off to Marketcetera Inc.

Most popular windows – linux equivalent softwares

0) Windows – Linux

1) uTorrent  – rTorrent

If you like uTorrent, you will definitely like rTorrent. Its much simpler and easier to use!

2) Remote Desktop – rDesktop/VNC

If you want to share desktops, use VNC. If you want to Remote desktop to a windows machine from a linux system, use rDesktop

3) Yahoo/MSN – Pidgin

Your all in one instant messenger. Gives you better features: Major one being, you can login with multiple accounts on the same system! Isn’t that cool?!

4) IE – Firefox

Ok, we all know how good firefox is!

5) Outlook – Thunderbird

DONT USE OUTLOOK unless you want to screw your system up with hackers around! Use Thunderbird for windows and linux both!

6) Photoshop – Gimp

Gimp is quite matured now! It gives  you better brushes than photoshop..

7) Dreamweaver – Quanta Plus

Used dreamweaver since long and cant use it in linux? Try Quanta..

8 ) MS Office – OpenOffice.org

I’ve personally stopped using MS Office on windows too ( Ok, Ive stopped using windows too)

9) VMWare – Virtual Box

Virtual box is still a bit buggy, but you’ll not get to know unless you’re a hacker.

10) Notepad – GEdit/VI

We all know this!

11) Media Player – VLC Player

VLC is not in looks, but neither is Media Player.

12) WSFTP – Filezilla

Use filezilla for both , windows and Linux

Life without Apache : Meritocracy in Action.

I am obsessed with Apache. Yes! I am and I am proud that I am!

I was just wondering how life would be WITHOUT Apache!

  • We would still be doing ASP. Many of us would have gone into ASPX and C#

  • CGI and PHP wouldn’t have come out..

  • Total no. of websites in the world would be less. I don’t know how much % but yes, it would surely be less.

  • There would all be Windows Hosting Services everywhere and the prices would be higher and higher…

  • Who can forget the popular Tomcat. Java wasn’t open source before, other app servers were not that comfortable interms of price, simplicity and ease of use. Every newbie in JSP/Servlet starts with Tomcat. People crib that Tomcat doesn’t have EJB, who needs EJB these days?

  • No Java projects would compile using Make, so Ant came it. Imagine how difficult life would be without ANT scripts.

  • MVC the most popular design pattern: Struts is the name you think of. If it weren’t there, you’d still be writing your own servlets and JSP and controller logic.

  • Almost 80-90% of GOOD Java EE developers would use Apache Commons. I mean who doesn’t use it?

  • Logging your application for debug and support, What would you do without Apache Logging Sevices

  • Forget all programming, there is still no comparision with Xerces for XML. I challenge.

  • Make your code as Webservice? No words about Axis, yet again apache product!

  • You want a middleware java messaging framework for your JMS? Use ActiveMQ

  • Object relation model: Try iBatis, you wont leave it again.


All in all, If there was no Apache, Life wouldn’t have stopped but would have been SO SO damn difficult. My many many thanks to Apache…

Barcamp Kolkata : Why Kolkata still doesn’t have a Barcamp

Why Kolkata still doesn’t have a Barcamp

October 2007, I went to Kolkata for a conference called WebOSS ’07 and I can probably make out why there’s no way Kolkata can have a barcamp in near future. I tried to carry out a Barcamp in Kolkata. My sympathies to the wonderful city where I grew up.

1. What is BarCamp? A ‘Drinking Bar’ may be…I’m not interested.
2. People don’t know what a WIKI is. They don’t know how to edit it despite the instructions.
3. No one willing to take the effort. They have all the time to sleep.
4. The so called ‘open source’ community sucks big time. The so called HEAD of LUG group look out for publicity more than helping to get a job done. I am not afraid to take the name of Krishnendu Paul who promised and suddenly disappeared.
5. The student community is suppressed by the colleges.
6. The colleges are more interested in Placements rather than knowledge sharing.
7. College professors are trying to get some freelance projects all the time.
8. Big shots like IBM, TCS etc. are least bothered to even have a look.
9. Free T-shirts = Bring in all your friends and leave in next 1 hour.
10. Free food = hog as much as you want.
11. The IT dept of the government want to just hold on conferences and publicity stunts to make their place in the newspaper. I am again not afraid to blame the minister for not checking his Mailbox which is always full. And also to be not available to common people without a PROTOCOL!
11. What is sponsorship? What will I gain. How many people are going to come? This is the question which all news/publicity media ask!
12. Lastly, Who’s wanting to spoil their weekend!

Way to go Kolkata, I don’t see a Barcamp Kolkata until some revolutionary thing happen!
Dear City of Joy, I left you some time back and I don’t feel like returning!

Gnunify 2008 Ajax Workshop

I attended GNUnify today took a 3 hour workshop on PHP and Ajax. The session was jam packed with people. Here are some pictures.


Gnunify 2008 Banner


With Volunteers


Schedule

Workshop that I took


Me, conducting the workshop


Workshop scene.

More pictures to come soon..