Archives mensuelles : juillet 2006

Comparatif des services de développements photo en ligne

Voici quelques liens pour qui cherche à comparer les différents services de tirage photo via le Web, pour la France:

Il ne reste plus qu’à en essayer et se faire un avis par soi-même… :(

WikiCalc: Web 2.0 spreadsheets wikified

WikiCalc is a nice piece of GPLed software that pusblishes wiki pages that are structured like Excel spreadsheets are: one can view and edit tables, modify calculation formulas in cells, manage their formatting through the web browser, etc. It brings to spreadsheets the inherent advantages of many wikis: ease of use for Web publications, ease of modification, revisions track for undoing unwanted changes by other users, RSS views on recent changes made to the page. It brings to wikis the inherent advantages of spreadsheets: live calculations, nice formatting, compliance with corporate way of thinking and managing things (will we see a WikiSlides with bulletpoints and animations in some future?). More than this, WikiCalc lets spreadsheets grab input data from external web sites and do live calculations from it: some formulas generate HTTP requests to web services in order to retrieve the latest value for a stock quote, weather forecasts, and so on. Last but not least, the flexible architecture of WikiCalc allows an offline use still via the user’s browser and a synchronization mechanism will let the online version get updated once the connection is restored.

A nice 10 min long WikiCalc screencast with audio is available here.

In a former life, I was managing a team of web project managers in a multinational industrial corporation. As my boss wanted to get simple-to-update weekly/monthly status report about every project, we had tried using a wiki page per project in order to publish and update those reports. It was tedious and not nicely formatted for a corporate environment. I imagine that a nice immediate use of WikiCalc would be to let small project teams update project status reports on an intranet, including nicely formatted timelines and budget indicators. It would still maintain the update effort at a minimal and convenient level and would preserve the wiki flexibility of linking to the project documentation and resources.

We knew structured wiki pages for managing forms or category schemes. WikiCalc introduces spreadsheet structures while preserving the open and unstructured spirit of wikis. Next steps for future wikis would be to allow semantic structures to be managed the wiki-way, like in some early semantic wiki prototypes. [update: see Danny Ayers blog entries on how WikiCalc could relate to the Semantic Web vision]

Le modèle open source

Voici quelques articles de référence pour qui veut comprendre comment les principes de fonctionnement des communautés open source.

How to video-record what’s happening on your screen? (screencasting)

Here is a nice piece of software for creating screencasts (video recordings of what you can see and do on your screen, for instance for demonstration or training purposes): pyvnc2swf. It is an open source package, running on both Linux and Windows. It requires that you first install:

You then install pyvnc2swf and launch it with a command line such as: c:\Python24\python.exe -o test.swf localhost:0 This will launch a nice small GUI from which you can start and stop your recording. This package also provides edition utilities so that you can edit or convert the video file that is created. Several video formats are supported.

In order to protect your machine and prevent any hacker to use your VNC server to take control of your computer, go to VNC options (tightvnc: right click on the tray icon, then « properties » and « Advanced » button for advanced options) and make sure that:

  • you setup a secure password (long enough, with letters, numbers and special characters)
  • you allow loopback connections (connections from your local machine)
  • you ONLY allow loopback connections (refuse any connection coming from anywhere else)
  • you select « query console for incoming connection » so that a popup window will ask for your confirmation everyonce someone (maybe yourself using pyvnc2swf) tries to connect to your VNC server to see (and maybe control) what’s happening on your screen

Internet Actu fait le point sur le « crowd-sourcing »

Moi, j’avais tendance à appeler ça l’open sourcing: le fait de déléguer des tâches à une communauté ouverte de contributeurs, dans l’esprit de la wikipedia ou du cliquage de cratères pour la NASA. Le terme plus général qui s’impose semble maintenant être le « crowd-sourcing », notamment pour englober les cas où le résultat fourni par la communauté n’est pas partagé ouvertement mais réservé à l’initiateur/propriétaire du projet. Ainsi, le « crowd-sourcing fermé » (non libre) a-t-il besoin du micropaiement comme source de motivation. Le concept me paraît particulièrement prometteur si l’on adhère à la vision de l’intelligence collective. Mais le modèle libre (open sourcing) me semble supérieur et plus durable que celui qui s’appuie sur le micro-paiement.