Open Source

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...
By Mike Gifford on 11/06/2012
Following our work on analyzing federal sites with Ben Balter's Site Investor script, we surveyed over 111 Ontario Government domains using this tool and found some more interesting findings. The Government of Ontario isn't as large as the Federal government, but it is the most comparable level of government in Canada and also is the province where OpenConcept is based. Our collective tax dollars have paid for these sites and I believe that they need to be built to be accessible to its citizens. Because Ontario doesn't yet have an Open Data portal, where I could simply download a list of...
By Mike Gifford on 01/06/2012
I just got back from a quick trip to New York and visited a number of impressive museums. Not surprisingly, one of the most amazing was the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), in which I was fortunate enough to spend a whole day. One of the exhibits used QR Codes and walking around the museum I really got to thinking about the Virtual/Physical opportunities that modern museums can now take advantage of.  The MoMA did lots of stuff right, but it's clear that they are still trying to figure out how to integrate online content in their physical exhibits.  With the prevalence of smart phones and other...
By Mike Gifford on 13/05/2012
We were happy to have supported 10 Years from GOSLING to GOOSE event earlier this month. We've been coming on/off for a long while now and have always found the conversations encouraging.  It's been a long, long struggle to get the right individuals in government thinking about how the public sector values of participation, cooperation & standards can be reflected in software.
Government has evolved a risk averse culture and so it is much easier to adopt new ideas when others inside government have tried (and succeeded), than to feel like you are breaking new ground. Having a network of...
By Mike Gifford on 28/11/2011
I was pointed to this great resource on Plains Cree (nêhiyawêwin) links but it still doesn't have much information about presenting this language on the web.
Since hearing the story about the creation of Cree & Inuit syllabics, I've been interested in how colonization introduced written language to an oral culture. Since working on several Arabic/Hebrew/Farsi sites over the years, I've been curious as to how this applies to the web.  Being a unilingual person, I can't do more than look at the characters in any of these languages and I certainly have no education in linguistics.  However,...