Open Source

By Mike Gifford on 06/09/2014
New Office Wall with Values
I didn't start OpenConcept because I was interested in business, I started this company because I saw the Internet as being a vehicle of much needed change in our world. So when thinking about the future of my business, I had pretty non-traditional way of looking at growth. 
My initial inspirations about OpenConcept as a business started around a kitchen table over 15 years ago, and in much of this time has been spent around a kitchen table. What I knew was that progressive organizations needed to be better at collaborating with each other and that open source web tools were one way to...
By Mike Gifford on 03/09/2014
Old Zenith Monitor
I was a relatively early adopter of the Internet, having gotten a Bitnet account at the University of Calgary through the Shad Valley program. Of course I'd been involved in BBS's & Fidonet before this, but that branch of computer networking died when the Internet started to take off. 
It was exciting to see the range of conversations on Usenet newsgroups, mailing lists and of course through email.  I became very involved in exploring what could be done with this technology and in 1990 began approaching non-profits, encouraging them to invest in this technology to help them accompish...
By Mike Gifford on 10/07/2014
Slide from presentation
I am presenting at Ottawa's first Accessibility Summit. It's a 20 minute presentation on Fixing Accessibility Problems at the Source which I am using to talk about Drupal's experience trying to meet WCAG 2.0 AA.
The slides from this event are available on, a neat service that works nicely using the open source library reveal.js. I totally loved that I could both edit the HTML directly in the interface and also import/export and host my files wherever I wanted to.For my Accessibility Summit Slides.
I am including my notes here as part of this. Hopefully people will be tweeting using...
By Mike Mallett on 10/04/2014
Heartbleed Logo
What is "Heartbleed"?
"Heartbleed" is the common name being used to refer to a critical security vulnerability found in the OpenSSL TLS Heartbeat system. OpenSSL is a very popular encryption library in widespread use across the Internet. It is considered to be a critical piece of software infrastructure to countless organizations worldwide. It is the library in use on most Open Source systems to enable encryption, such as with HTTPS.
The nature of the vulnerability allowed anyone to retrieve chunks of system memory from a web server with an affected OpenSSL package. This did not require any...
By Mike Gifford on 25/09/2013
We've been doing a lot of work recently building a best practice guide on security and wanted to be able to send our clients a simple list of principles that are written in plain language. 
There is Safety in the Herd: Leverage large, well maintained open source libraries (packages) with a critical mass of users and developers. Use compiled packages and check data integrity of downloaded code. Start with OpenBSD, Debian/Ubuntu or RedHat/CentOS WITHOUT cPanel.
Order Matters: Don’t open up services to the Internet before your server is properly secured.
Limit Exposure: Only install and maintain...
By Mike Gifford on 25/06/2013
There are lots of ways to set up a enterprise server environment for Drupal, but in dealing with IT folks who are coming from other Content Management Systems (CMS) or worse static sites, there is an asumption that for an organization to have control, that they need to have a completely isolated server.
Many organizations historically have not had a CMS which had the workflow structure and level of interactivity that Drupal comes with. Historically, the staging server has been used as the final Quality Assurance (QA) environment for new content. It was also used as a barrier between the...
By Mike Gifford on 21/06/2013
OpenConcept believes in the importance of community & the power of open source. Drupal is a great software product, but the community behind it is bigger and better than the software itself. Open source approaches are really disruptive when they are applied properly because they can disrupt the producer/consumer mindset which has been drilled into our heads over the last 50 years.  When we realize that we can contribute something which helps others and by making the community stronger also helps ourselves.
Sadly there are a few process in place which really hinder that participation....
By Mike Mallett on 04/06/2013
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By Mike Gifford on 25/03/2013
We really enjoyed the opportunity to be part of organizing Ottawa's first DrupalCamp. It was a great success, and as a platinum sponsor we were happy to see it take place.  There were a lot of good presentations, but we'd like to highlight a few of them here on our site.  The first is a great talk by Tom Erickson, CEO of Acquia talking about Drupal & government around the world. As an Acquia Partner, OpenConcept was really happy that so many of their team was able to come in to participate in this event.
It was also a pleasure to have Andrew Hoppin, CEO of New Amsterdam Ideas involved in...
By Dylan Shields on 12/11/2012
In mid-September 2012, we at OC heard about an upcoming Drupal event at the University of California at Berkeley called Bay Area Drupal Camp (or BADCamp). I'd been to the Bay Area the previous summer to attend the wedding of a long-time friend and my wife and I just fell in love with the area, so when the opportunity to travel back to that part of the world arose, I jumped at it. I quickly contacted my friends (who live right in the heart of San Francisco) and offered to buy them dinner. When they accepted, I quietly mentioned I'd need a ride from the airport and a place to crash for 5 or 6...