Firstly some background, I work for an Irish company who use the Open ACS tools, when I heard about this development I thought I’d share it with others. OpenACS (Open Architecture Community System) is an advanced toolkit for building scalable, enterprise-level web applications. It is also the foundation for the e-learning platform .LRN. The system is used by many organisations worldwide, including:
- Greenpeace International
- Pharmaceuticals International Network
- Project Open ]po[
- Young Americas Business Trust
- Galileo University, Guatemala
- Harvard, JFK School of Government, USA
- Massachusetts General Hospital, USA
- Quest Computing, Ireland
- Arts Council England, UK
- Los Angeles Unified School District, USA
- Ministério do Desenvolvimento Indústria e Comércio Exterior, Brazil
- Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration, Austria
- University of Heidelberg, Germany
- University of Valencia, Spain
- Spanish National University for Distance Education (UNED), Spain
- DigitalOne, Hong Kong
- Bir Zeit University, Palestine
- Elearning Network of Australasia (ElNet)
OpenACS features a collection of pre-built applications and services that you can build on to create a custom web-site or application. OpenACS uses a built-in, simple, string-oriented, scripting language, efficient multi-threading, simple and abstracted database access and connection pooling. OpenACS is derived from the ArsDigita Community System (ACS), developed by ArsDigita (now part of Red Hat). Since going open source in 1999, the OpenACS community has developed packages for user/groups management, content management, e-commerce, news, FAQs, calendar, forums, bug tracking, full-text searching and many more.
A vibrant and productive community has sprung up around OpenACS and there are many volunteer contributors as well as commercial companies able to provide support, hosting, and custom development. Extensive documentation and a Wiki, complemented by a “Getting Started” Tutorial are available. Many of the production users are actively funding and contributing work back to the project. Formal, consensus driven governance has been established (with semi-annual elections) which ensures the project serves the needs of its constituents.
Install OpenACS on Ubuntu from the community repository. OpenACS will be available as an official Ubuntu package in the middle of February.
Very sad, it’s the last day, and it’s been an amazing week. I really feel I got more out of UDS this time. Definitely more braver in saying I’ll take on tasks knowing if I get stuck or have an issue there is someone I can poke and ask. The participation levels have been amazing both in the room and remotely. It’s been great having the IRC displayed on the screen in the room. We can see participants points and can include them in the discussion, which is what it;s all about.
Taking into account everyones opinion and helping to shape Lucid. It’s also been great to hear about what other LoCos are doing, it’s given me some ideas and I encourage other LoCos to try new events out. Doing the same talk/demo handing out a leafet can get boring and hard to get people involved. Doing something new encourages more activity, making it fun!
The big session that stood out for me today, was Ubuntu Women, our 3rd session. We did need 3 sessions to get a lot of things out in the open and be able to tackle some of the issues. It’s been interesting hearing the opinions of people taking part. Many of the men said they wanted to learn more and felt they could do this by sitting back and listening, but wanted to know how to get their female members involved or how they can help. Again, please pretty please show them the #ubuntu-women channel, or the mailing list, poke me! and I’ll talk to them, or Amber she’ll happily talk to the wall! We want to make sure as many people take part and enjoy working on the channel.
From our 3 sessions, we have clear defined and attainable goals we can achieve during Lucid. I hope many people join and take part in this great team and make these goals happen!
I’ve no idea where this week is going, feckin’ hell second last day already is upon us. Getting to meet and talk to even more people this time at UDS as I’m not as shy this time and just jumping two feet in where I can.
Team Leadership Workshop – I’d been helping Amber out with brain storming a while back and she’s made massive improvements, leaps and bounds in the document. The idea behind it is to help a loco leader, encourage them, and help them with getting set up and run a LoCo. Yes sometimes you might think it’s common sense, and some of it is, but you often forget about the easiest things until someone points them out to you. Also, sometimes the help is spread out over different wiki pages, and my most annoying gripe with wikis is they are case sensitive, so you may even miss reading the helpful document if you’ve searched using Upper case.
Progress was made in this session, the learning team are going to help get the document set up so more people can access it and help contribute to it, this will help get it going, and in the end, make it easier to be translated!
Launchpad Upstream Improvements -I sat in this as I hadn’t a clue and quiet frankly it was rather interesting and it’s great to know about these other community issues. Bugs sitting there and not being worked on due to perhaps upstream not knowing they were there, which isn’t really going to help anyone The main idea is how can the charming folks over at Launchpad help make Launchpad even more effective for upstream projects. I’ll definitely be keeping more of an eye on this as I found it rather interesting.
Lucid Governance Changes Roadmap - This session was mainly clearing up and documenting all the councils that existed and listing all the members and the expiration date of members, when a call for new members should be announced and then when an announcement should be issued. Standardising the process.
Social outing, well this one was slightly unplanned, but rather eye opening. I got to ride in a BIG RED AMBULANCE! To clarify actually, I was the passenger in the front seat, poor Grant was in the rear as he had fainted during one of the sessions and best to get checked out took a short spin up to the Trauma Hospital nearby. I used to work in the Mid Western Regional Hospital in Limerick before I moved to Dublin. I’m used to Irish Hospitals. I moved to Dublin and saw Dublin hospitals at 2am when my back had thrown a wobbly and needed to get an injection into my spine, you get to see some interesting people at that hour. Nothing prepared me to having to walk through a metal detector or having armed guards on patrol in the wards. The staff were very helpful and pleasant, but I still found it odd to see a prisoner being treated on a trolley nearby, I know from seeing prisoners treated in Limerick, they get brought in plain clothes, handcuffs are very discrete,to the point where you actually cannot tell who’s the prisoner or who’s the guard.
The hospital and medical staff were very pleasant and helpful, and a quick call to the hotel afterwards had a car come and collect us which was great, and Grant was able to go get some well needed rest.