Commanding Chaos for Coworking, Open Source and Creative Communities

August 2007 Posts

What a Week!

Fri, 08/31/2007 - 05:52 -- rprice
  • The Florida Creatives Wiki and the group in general is going so well (recent changes & feed)
  • Petentials is getting ever closer to launch, we have a bunch of new features coming out really soon (email me if you want in)
  • The Orlando Fringe site is (buit in Drupal and) looking better all the time. We have something very neat planned for this, but just wait until we unveil it.
  • For the curious, I love my girlfriend very much. We're working out how we're going to last another 10 months on just phone contact and a few weeks of visits. She's awesome.
  • I'm excited about getting my very own apartment soon, but not excited about going deeper into debt. No sir.
  • A really interesting development on the Orlando Coworking front (and not just because of blog posts). Some people who I was sure I'd told about the idea heard about Coworking the other day and got their gears a-spinning... I love the sound of the wheels of progress when they're made by indie, hippie, planet-loving types. If anyone can bring us closer to a "green" and fun coworking space, it will be Mandy and Jim.
  • Things are going really well with Cervo Systems too. We're in the midst of designing a major marketing campaign for a friend of Charlie's that should prove to be our first serious opportunity to grow as a company. It's exciting.
  • Charlie will also be starting an Illinois Creatives sometime very soon in Chicago, so check out their page in a few weeks to see when the event is happening.
  • Anything I'm forgetting? Well, obviously one can't forget a super-cool talk about Podcasting I'll be giving at BlogOrlando, or the awesome stuff that will be going down at BarCamp Orlando as well. I think I'll be talking Drupal, since I know and love it so well.

Exciting stuff, and I'm sure there's more, like new podcasts with awesome interviews and awesome Internet TV too. There must be more getting tangled up in all the excitement. If you'd like to hear more about any of these endeavors, I'd be happy to chat. There are a dozen ways to contact me mentioned on my blog, so just pick one.


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More OpenLaszlo

Mon, 08/27/2007 - 18:52 -- rprice

"Some conference that wants to sell me stuff" has a webcasted talk by David Temkin, Founder and CTO of the Laszlo corporation. For a majority of the time, he talks about why they chose to develop the Laszlo Webtop. It is a philosophy, and like all great arguments in computing, it comes down to philosophy, not technology.

I found said webcast after reading about it on Antun’s Blog, and he found me after my "really positive post" last week.

All this webtop vs. desktop is actually really interesting. I think some remarkable points from David's talk are:

  1. Desktop makes it really hard to share data between more than one machine. I would add especially if they're not on the same LAN/WAN.
  2. The fundamental GUI for desktops hasn't changed at all in 20 years. This point is so much a part of the fabric of the desktop experience that it will take years to turn over.
  3. Downloadable and local apps with web enablement are something cool, but phishers and virus makers have forced us to be untrusting of anything we have to download. Even Apollo has warnings for installing 3rd party apps.
  4. There are still certain apps we need a full-fledged desktop for, like CD/DVD playing, ripping, burning. If we gave that functionality to the browser (with proper permisssion, of course), desktop apps could be replaced by web apps.
  5. Some enterprises are installing full-fledged versions of their intranet/portal/CRM on every employees laptop so they always have a full working copy of the app. This happens because business logic is not currently transportable in downloadable apps. Yes, not even with Apollo.

I guess I just summarized the whole thing for you, and you don't really need to watch it any longer, but he says a lot more that I felt like I knew, and maybe you guys don't know. Check out Antun’s Blog for info about how to access the webcast (you need to give them your name/email), then watch and learn.


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Dries Buytaert on Drupal | on the luck of seven

Mon, 08/27/2007 - 11:28 -- rprice

Noel Hidalgo is running around the world sleeping on couches, twittering, docu-vlogging and digging up a layer of the new open-source Earth bedrock. By the way, he's accepting donations (I've donated), in the spirit of the movement, just to help him get where he's going. His most recent video introduces us to the accidental general of a powerful army of Drupal fanboys - and I'm one of them. (link)

Recoded: 26 July 2007

Locations: Antwerp, Belgium

Tags: drupal, open source, linus torvalds, angela byron, history of drupal, kernel trap, inspiration, empowerment

Music: ana (captain planet remix), vieux farka touré and captainplanet

About: after much wrangling and rescheduling, dries and i finally caught up to talk about the history of drupal, his inspiration, and most importantly the empowerment of community.

important links to note...








on a side note, thank you OpenCraft for giving me a home to edit this video!

also, i'd like to thank dries and karlijn on their new boy and omar for his hospitality in cairo.


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FLCreatives Wiki, Hack Weekends

Sat, 08/25/2007 - 20:58 -- rprice

We have our own Wiki. It looks just like wikipedia (for now). It has 4 5 pages (for now).

  1. Main page
  2. Orlando networking
  3. Orlando resources
  4. Orlando wifi
  5. Orlando companies

If you're going to add a new page, please preface it with Orlando or Jacksonville or Tampa, etc. if it is geo-specific, and almost every page should be.

I'm trying to keep the names extremely relevant and short and semantic, hence Orlando_networking, Orlando_resources, Orlando_wifi

If you don't understand editing wiki pages, here are some not-so-nice guides that are way too nerdy.
Filling the page
Starting a new page

Please thank Geoff (SomaCow) and Larry (ORUG) for making me set this up. It's a long time overdue.

Ideas for pages: schools, colleges, tutors, bands, galleries, theatres, radio shows on WPRK, cowking-ish spaces, neighborhoods friendly to creatives, sections of town, restaurants we want to support, things to blog about, blogrolls, skill directories, stuff...

I was so glad to see so many of you come out this month. If you haven't brought anyone new in a while, please consider inviting 5 friends to September/October, about 20% of them should be able to show up! :)

Had some great talks with Mike G (CFPHP) and Larry about brown-bag lunch group discussions (tutoring) to start downtown once a week (or when we have something to discuss). Alex (Emurse) and Josh (BlogOrlando, Hyku) were I think the ones to mention this last week.

I am also definitely planning to go to Stardust next Saturday to make plans for a PHP/whatever mash-up and hack day sometime in the fall. The basic idea would be to set up a simple Linux server in someone's living room and hack for several hours/days - we must launch the project at the end of the hack session, and we must document it and present it to people who weren't at the weekend. Everything will get Creative Commons / GPL and version controlled so the next group of people can build on it or re-use resources as needed.

Ideas for hacks: downtown parking map, theme park attraction ratings/map/photos, wifi hotspots, things not involving maps.

Thanks for reading this long post. I've been awake for 21 hours today and going non-stop. Hope to catch up with all of you soon.


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Forget Flex, Go OpenLaszlo

Fri, 08/24/2007 - 06:18 -- rprice

Note: Mike G. from Central Florida PHP is giving a talk about Flex this Saturday at DeVry @ Millenia.

A good friend of mine, Jake, recently visited Orlando raving about Adobe’s Flex, and how it was going to make Flash development for people who think in HTML and Object-Oriented programming much simpler and faster. I went looking into Flex and discovered OpenLaszlo. Laszlo used to be a Flash-only framework, but it can now publish DHTML just as easily, and with a few added bonuses you don’t get with Flash, like including an iFrame.

After watching the OpenLaszlo 4 Programming Tutorial Screencast, I’m convinced that Laszlo is more capable than Flex, and there is less proprietary code to learn since you use Javascript instead of Actionscript. It’s all ECMA, XML and xPath, so I guess at some point it becomes 6 vs. a half dozen, but I will mention one small caveat: iPhone compatible. Oh yes, I’ve seen the first iPhone app in Laszlo, and it’s pretty and touch-screen happy. (I think it goes without saying that if it works on iPhone, it can work with all major browsers)

Am I raving? I’m not allowed to rave, because I haven’t tried both systems, but from where I’m sitting this is another situation where an equal amount of training and no expensive development tools are going to get your job done in the same amount of time, and end up being more flexible, easily extended and powerful. You can convince any boss of that if you’ve got all the information.

Under the hood from Wikipedia:

Laszlo applications can be deployed as traditional Java servlets, which are compiled and returned to the browser dynamically. This method requires that the web server be running the OpenLaszlo server.

Alternatively, Laszlo applications can be compiled from LZX into a binary SWF file, and loaded statically into an existing web page. This method is known as SOLO deployment. Applications deployed in the manner lack some functionality of servlet-contained files, such as the ability to consume SOAP web services and XML remote procedure calls.

Hear that? Static! One score for Flex is the ability to run as a desktop app (using AIR/Apollo), but that requires a download, and that’s a no-no on the internet.

Do you know Pandora uses Laszlo? That’s a pretty app, and yes it runs in Flash, but I bet it doesn’t have to. The Behr ColorSmart app is pretty nice too, and no hand-keyframed Flash? Love it. Wikipedia says Yahoo!, Earthlink and the Internet Archive are known to use Laszlo as well. I like those websites too.

Last but not least, it’s open source! Published under IBM’s Common Public License, which is a less-lawsuit inspiring type of GPL. Flex is supposed to be published under the Mozilla licensing, but that version is still in beta. Laszlo has been open source for 3 years now. Eat it, Adobe. I’m not giving you guys another penny.

I’ll be very proud to integrate some Laszlo apps into Petentials, which is built entirely on open source software - Drupal, PHP, MySQL, Apache and Linux.


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Drupal vs. Movable Type

Sun, 08/19/2007 - 05:44 -- rprice

Lighter Footstep is a community site to learn about reducing your impact on the planet, and I recently noticed on their Twitter feed that they’re considering switching to Movable Type from Joomla. This was the email I wrote back to Chris after his query about Drupal:

I don’t know much bout Movable Type, but I’ve watched some screencasts and heard lots of good things. As a blogging platform goes, they have one of the tightest and richest experiences you’re going to find anywhere. Six Apart does a great job on user experience. One downside is finding Perl programmers to do any custom stuff for you if you don’t already know any.

Drupal is fantastic for, but not limited to, publishing a community site with multiple user accounts, forums, rich media, and just about anything you can think of. Drupal is designed to be 100% extensible, so there is nothing on the web today you can’t do with drupal, it’s more a question of whether you have the vision, resources and expertise to pull it off.

Admittedly, I’d want a lot of customizations to make Drupal into a great day-to-day blogging platform - I’m currently using Wordpress almost everywhere I blog or podcast because it is just so streamlined - I imagine Movable Type is a similar experience. Using Drupal is like graduating from middle school to your first full-time job, where you are now responsible for lots of things you didn’t know you needed to manage, because someone was glossing over the grim details before. However, that also means you get more control. Still, once you get set up, the experience is very similar to any CMS platform.

As a personal plug for myself, I’d like to say I’m an extremely competent Drupal developer and theme guru. I’ve been working with drupal 25+ hours a week since January.

I hope this helps you in making your decision.

Addendum: Movable Type is not free for more than one user, or for commercial purposes. I see this as a very big issue, as there is an ongoing cost associated with your otherwise free-to-maintain website. Anyone considering getting into web publishing should consider the cost of “going pro” should the opportunity present itself.


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I'm a BlogOrlando Podcasting Session Leader

Thu, 08/16/2007 - 05:22 -- rprice

In an unconference like BlogOrlando (September 27-29, 2007 Rollins College), there aren't attendees and speakers, but simply participants and discussion leaders. This means that collectively, the people sitting in the audience, or even just one person from the audience, might know more about podcasting than myself. My session on podcasting falls into the "technology track". The other sessions include PR/Marketing, Media, Life/Local, and a keynote by Shel Israel. This is one of the most significant tech, media and PR events in the SouthEast, and it's very cheap and easy to attend. Don't miss out on the Thursday night dinner or the Saturday excursion to EPCOT.

BlogOrlando Technology Sessions Track

Leader -John Rife, Orlando, FL - Finding America
John knows a thing or two about videoblogging. He and his wife traveled across the U.S. and documented their entire journey via a video blog. John will talk about how to get started with video blogging and the latest developments in the Vlogosphere.

Leader - Ryan Price, Orlando, FL - Ryan Price Media
If you want to talk podcasting in Orlando there is one name, Ryan Price. Ryan runs a few podcasts of his own and assists organizations with their podcasting needs.

Blogging Basics
Leader - Chris Scott, Orlando, FL - I Am Zed
Just looking to get started with a blog? Local developer/geek/triathlete Chris Scott will cover some of the basics to blogging.

Design on a Dime
Leader - Jeremy Harrington, Des Moines, IA - Crawl Space Media
Former Florida resident Jeremy Harrington is coming back to Orlando to talk about design. As a leading web and blog designer Jeremy will address some tools/tips/tricks that non-designers can use to spruce up their sites.

Leader - Mark Jaquith, Brandon, FL -
Florida is very fortunate that one of the leading WordPress developers lives in the area. Mark Jaquith heads up WordPress development for B5 Media and also contributes frequently to the WordPress community. If you have WordPress questions, Mark has the answers.

Blogging Tools
Leader - Judson Collier, Jacksonville, FL - Macteens
Local teen-blogger-geek Judson Collier will review some of the blogging tools that are available to help you post quicker, incorporate multimedia, and other work-flow related tips. The goal is to make you a better/faster blogger.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Leader - Mark Jaquith, Brandon, FL -
Yes some SEO or Search Engine Optimization is evil and un-ethical, but Mark will be talking about some of the good stuff you can easily do to help with your search rankings.


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Startups, Don't Count on So-Called Customer Interest

Thu, 08/16/2007 - 05:00 -- rprice

So says Dan Rua in his recent post on Florida Venture Blog:

Demonstrating customer interest jumps an entrepreneur ahead of all the idea-on-a-napkin entrepreneurs who just assume customers will flock to their big idea. However, when institutional investors ask questions about the size of the opportunity, including market size and scalability, referring to current customer interest really doesn't address the question.

This is very interesting, because while I agree with this idea (as far as raising capital, making a great business), I think that building the community around your product is equally as important as the business plan, the branding and the viability of the idea. I've seen the power of communities to let the powers that be know what they're doing wrong, in content consumption and creation both.

I'd like to write more, but I've got to get back to my content creating.


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Blogbait for Dan Rua

Thu, 08/09/2007 - 17:53 -- rprice

If you don't know Dan Rua, know that he is a Venture Capitalist who invested in PayPerPost, an Orlando-based business. He's a Managing Partner of Inflexion Partners, "Florida's Venture Fund", and a part-time blogger. In addition to geeky stuff, he also posts about biotech and UF/Gainesville (his alma mater) quite often.

In light of John Rife's blog today about Central Florida's Early-stage Venture Needs, I got to thinking about how we can further encourage such an event. I'd like to nominate Dan to be on the planning committee for the first Florida Creatives Summit, which I would love to happen some time in the next 6-9 months, sooner if possible. He should definitely attend a Florida Creatives Happy Hour like the one on August 20th or Sept 17th. I'll accept BarCamp Orlando or BlogOrlando as well. Mostly, I'd like to speak to a real live VC guy from Florida.

Dan, I'd just like to have you as a contact more than over MyBlogLog. How's that sound?

Here are some events we're holding in the near future, but they happen each 3rd week of the month.

Friday, August 17th
8:00 - 11:00 AM
B & S Daily Market
47 E Robinson St
Orlando, FL

Florida Creatives Happy Hour
Monday, August 20th
6:00 - 9:00 PM
Crooked Bayou
50 E Central Blvd
Orlando, FL


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