Archive for category Development

Richard Stallman’s Talk on Free Software: Hosted by HFOSS

On Tuesday June 17, 2008 Richard Stallman, the founder of GNU and the “father” of the Free Software Movement presented a talk on Free Software in front of a audience of about 100 at Trinity College. Mr. Stallman used personal information, humor, factual evidence, hair twirling, and pill popping to engage the audience in his opinion on free software, proprietary software, and the purpose of the Free Software Movement. He discussed the four freedoms of software all while differentiating the use of proprietary software and free software based on the different freedoms.

In the attempt to inform the audience of what proprietary software is all about Mr. Stallman introduced some properties that Windows contain that decrease the actual privacy and or freedom of the actual user. He stressed that the Window’s operating system is not the the only system (i.e MacOS) that consists of features that invade the user’s privacy and freedom. Overall, Mr. Stallman’s opinion is that the user should have the freedom to view the source of the software he or she is using. If the user does not have this freedom, the software being used is not considered “free”.

He ended the talk by donning his Saint iGNUsius garb of the Church of Emacs and blessing the entire audience after explaining that HFOSS (Humanitarian Free Open Source Software) should be renamed to FLOSS(Free/Libre Open Source Software). Here he is with his halo that he states is not a computer disk:

You can see more photos of the lecture @

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China Sahana/VM Deployment Update

The Trinity Sahana team has been on “stand-by” since last Sunday, as the IBM-China development group has taken over the programming and development effort. Gang Chen reports that the Chengdu deployment is currently focused on Sahana’s Victim Registry and Camp Registry modules and that no further bug reports or feature requests have surfaced for the VM module. It is certainly easy to see that the victim and camp registries would be the top priorities at this stage in the recovery effort.

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China Sahana/VM Deployment-Day 8

Gang Chen, our contact at IBM NYC just forwarded the following good news about the Sahana deployment:

Folks, the customized version of Sahana has been deployed to China government site. Cheers. Please register and test the site for the VM module.

It also looks like known VM bugs have been closed. Again, from Gang Chen:

Hi Team, China test team closed the open issue of allowing the same user to register multiple volunteers. So, we’ll drop that fix for now. In the mean while, all the identified bugs have been resolved/closed based on the current SPR system:


Given the overrun of past several weeks, China team gave everyone a break tomorrow:-). So, no work for tomorrow, enjoy the day. For urgent request, please reach myself and Trishan via cell phone.

Yay, a day off…unless more bugs show up!

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China Sahana/VM Deployment–Day 7

This was an intense day. Gang Chen reported that the China team wants to accelerate plans to deploy the VM (Volunteer Management) module in Chengdu. As Xin S, China team project manager, put it, “people management is important…so you can fully speed up on volunteer management.” The priority for now is to finish translation of VM into Chinese.

Gang called us (Trishan, Giovanni, Antonio, and the me) at 11:30 AM with a new list of bug reports and feature requests. He reported that the China team had made changes to Sahana’s Disaster Victim Registry (DVR) that seem to have impacted the VM module. Given the independence between the various modules, the only way that changes in one module should cause bugs in another is if the changes involved some underlying functionality. From Gang’s initial report it sounded like the China team had made changes to the Sahana database. Read the rest of this entry »

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Bowdoin Project Spreads to Savannah

Allen Tucker reports that he just got back from Savannah , Georgia, where he helped install the RMH Homebase system at the Ronald McDonald House there. Here’s a link to the Savannah site.

RMH Homebase is the calendar and scheduling system that Allen and four of his Bowdoin students built as a course project for the Ronald McDonald House in Portland, Maine. This is exactly how we had hoped the HFOSS project would grow and spread. It would be really great to find a team of CS students at a school in Savannah who can help maintain it or otherwise get involved in HFOSS.

Way to go Allen!

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China Sahana/VM Deployment–Day 6

Day 6 was pretty uneventful from our end, as we are still waiting to get access to IBM-China’s code repository. Giovanni completed the final changes to the paging function and four of us (Antonio, Giovanni, Trishan, and I) met in the AM to talk about and prioritize our current bug list. Only one of the bugs involves the paging code:

  • For paging, need to fix the navigation when a page is requested beyond the available pages. Right now, for example, if there are 5 pages and the 6th is requested by manipulating the URL, the last page is correctly displayed, but the navigation shows the wrong page.
  • Question: Wouldn’t this bug require modification to the Sahana paging library–since that is where the requested page is retrieved from the $_REQUEST parameters??
  • Response: It shouldn’t. The Sahana library and DAO::getCurrentPage() return the last page when a page out of the range of maximum pages is given. We just need to modify our navigation template to reflect that when it happens.

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China Sahana/VM Deployment–Day 5

There was no conference call last night. Giovanni spent yesterday working on the paging function and came up with a very nice design. He coded it up last night and posted it to our SVN repository and also posted a demo on the Trinity server. The demo (username:admin and password:test1234) is in English–both so we can understand it and because the CS department server currently isn’t configured to handle internationalization. Trishan is working on that. That will enable us to test localization of the Volunteer Management (VM) module directly before sending changes to China.

This morning Giovanni and I did some testing of the paging function. It looks pretty nice–and it works great:


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