Archive for the ‘ Open Source’ Category

Installing NODE.js on Ubuntu Linux.

I sometimes describe dynamic web applications (PHP or ASP.NET) as 1 ½ tier applications.

Really all the application logic runs on one server (sometimes the database lives on a separate server with some logic in Stored Procedures) and the browser is the “client”. But in those applications the “client” is really not a client in the client server sense. It’s the TERMINAL.

The more we federate logic in our web applications to the user’s machine (inside or outside of the browser) the more we take load responsibility away from our server infrastructure.

I think NODE.js is a great potential alternative for the server side piece of a real web based client / server scenario.

However, in searching the web you find lots of posts about how to install NODE.js that are pretty intimidating.

I found it very easy to set up on Ubuntu so I thought I’d share the steps in case anyone would find them useful.

You can do the install on Ubuntu 11.10 using the Synaptic Package Manager.

On the Ubuntu Unity tool bar, click on the “Dash home” icon at the top of the bar.

Start typing “Synaptic” to search for the package manager and when it appears, click to fire up the Synaptic Package Manager.

In the Synaptic Package Manager enter node.js into the package search box.

As you see above, select NODE.js (I also selected the developer and debug packages) and then click on the “Apply” button.

When you’re done the Package Manager Dialog should look something like the one above.

Then open up text editor (in the image below, I’m using Geany)

Enter just the seven lines of code shown above which will serve as a test to confirm that NODE.js is installed correctly.

var http = require('http');

http.createServer(function (req, res) {
  res.writeHead(200, {'Content-Type': 'text/plain'});
  res.end('NOTICE : Node.js is Running !!!\n');
}).listen(8100, "");

console.log('Server running at');

Now save the file where you want to execute it from.

I saved mine in the default directory for web content (/var/www/hello_node.js)

Once you have saved the file, open up a terminal window and go to the directory where you saved the file.

(Type “cd /var/www” and hit return.)

Then list the directory to make sure you newly created file is there.

(Type “ls” and then hit return.

Assuming all has gone well up to this point, type in the following command and hit return.

“node hello_node.js”

You should see the “Server Running” console trace message from our hello_node.js file as you see in the screenshot below.

Now open your browser ( and navigate to http://localhost:8100

8100 is the port we told our little app to listen on.

And there you go. We’re ready to start digging in to NODE.js

I’ll try to add instructions for Mac and Windows in the near future.

Join the Open Source Un-Contest and Get a Free eBook from O’Reilly

A little while back I posted about the DEVELOPERS UN CONTEST !

Contribute a theme, module, or package for any Open Source .NET project – or an Open Source NuGet package and now you can get a free eBook (JanJune 2011)

Just send me your email and a link to information about your contribution.

Orchard 1.0 – We’re ready for production !


If you’re like me you’ve been waiting with anticipation for this Orchard 1.0  !

Well, we’re LIVE.

The primary differences between 0.8 and 1.0 is bug fixes but the milestone is that we’re production ready so we can starting building sites, modules, and themes with confidence.

Get the RTW version [ HERE ]

… and if you build a Module of Theme, make sure you let me know so I can blog about it !!

Orchard Project 0.8 released–it’s time to dig in.

The Orchard Team has been hard at work and has just released 0.8.

This is an exciting milestone because it means that both the extensibility and theming infrastructures are now in place.

That means we can start building on Orchard and expect minimal changes when Orchard goes v1.

From Bradley Millington’s announcement……

The Orchard Project team is pleased to announce the availability of the Orchard 0.8 release, which provides essential features that designers need to tailor the look-and-feel of Orchard sites. The release can be downloaded from

The Orchard 0.8 release includes a theme engine based on the new Razor syntax in ASP.NET MVC, which is an extensible object model for defining “shapes”, as well as a flexible template system for rendering those shapes. The theme engine includes support for multiple layouts and zones, a script and style sheet registration API, and more. It also includes a new default theme, “The Theme Machine”, which leverages these features and can be adapted to fit the needs of different site designs.

As if a Theme Machine isn’t cool enough, the 0.8 release also includes support for widgets – in this case, configurable UI elements, such as a tag cloud or search input, which can be easily mapped to different regions in the site (for example, a sidebar). The configuration of individual widgets and the rules about where they appear in the site are configurable from the Orchard admin panel.

For designers, this offers the flexibility to either brand individual sites or create reusable themes to be shared with others. Orchard 0.8 also includes support for packaging themes and publishing them to an online gallery feed where other users can discover and download them.

Download the updated version HERE !!!

IronPython and IronRuby are two dynamic language implementations for the .NET Framework that Microsoft has incubated internally over the last few years .

Several versions of both language environments, and all of the source code, have been released under open source licenses.

Thursday, October 21, new components and project leaders were announced for IronPython and IronRuby, in an effort to increase the opportunity for community members to contribute their own code and actively participate in these projects to advance them even further.

New Components of IronPython and IronRuby

Changes have been made to the CodePlex projects for IronPython and IronRuby to make it easier for the community to be involved.

For both IronPython and IronRuby, we’ve made changes to the CodePlex projects to allow community members to make contributions without Microsoft’s involvement or sponsorship by a Microsoft employee.

We also have enabled a full release work flow to produce builds and releases straight from the CodePlex projects. (Previously, these only could easily be done from Microsoft’s own source depots. )

The community now can make source contributions to any component of IronPython and IronRuby.

In addition, we have fixed a lot of infrastructure so the community should be able to regression test all language updates using our tests.

IronRuby Tools for Visual Studio

Microsoft has already released the IronPython Tools for Visual Studio that were developed under Apache 2.0 and on Thursday, October 21, we released the prototype code for IronRuby Tools for Visual Studio.

Microsoft has received great early feedback on the IronPython language service for Visual Studio, and we expect similar feedback for the IronRuby tools.

Releasing these components under the Apache 2.0 license allows community members to use the functionality and also contribute to the IronPython and IronRuby language services.

Looking forward, Microsoft has done a lot of ground work for the next version of IronPython (v2.7) and IronRuby (v1.9).

Project Leaders of IronPython and IronRuby

New project leaders external to Microsoft will take over the IronPython and IronRuby projects and provide leadership going forward.

The IronPython project will have Miguel de Icaza, Michael Foord, Jeff Hardy, and Jimmy Schementi as Coordinators. Miguel de Icaza and Jimmy Schementi will be the Coordinators of IronRuby. 

All of them have worked with or on the Iron projects since their inception.

Additional Information

The CLR has always been a great environment for dynamic languages and over the last several years Microsoft has built out additional dynamic language support for the .NET Framework through efforts like the Dynamic Language Runtime (DLR) and language implementations on top of the DLR. The DLR shipped earlier this year as a built-in component of .NET Framework 4, and there are now have several great language implementations built on top of it. 

The IronPython and IronRuby projects began as an effort to improve support for dynamic languages in the .NET Framework and to diversify Microsoft’s portfolio of programming languages.

These language projects have helped thousands of people since they began, and they have added value to the .NET Framework. 

They helped create the Dynamic Language Runtime in the .NET Framework 4, on which we have also built C#s new ‘dynamic’ keyword and improved Visual Basic’s late-binding support.  

Microsoft will continue to invest in making the .NET Framework a great runtime environment for dynamic languages going forward.


Updating the Tailspin Spyworks Tutorial Application.

I’m planning an overdue update to the Tailspin Spyworks Tutorial and applicaiton.

[ Click HERE for the Tailspin Spyworks Home Page ]

I intend there to be two phases.

1.) Bug fixes

And then in a subsequent release….

2.) A few feature enhancements.

I’ll be reviewing all the comments and re-editing the .pdf.

If you have any additional requests / suggestions please send them to me.

[ Click HERE for my contact form. ]


Microsoft Launches an Independent, Non Profit Open Source Foundation

The headlines this morning suggested hell is freezing over and pigs have begun taking flight 🙂

From the NEW …..

The CodePlex Foundation, a non-profit foundation formed with the mission of enabling the exchange of code and understanding among software companies and open source communities, launched today, September 10, 2009.

Keep your eyes on !!!

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The Microsoft Live Services Plug-in for Moodle


I thought this was cool – a new way to integrate Live@edu into a Moodle virtual learning environment!

This plug-in is a free download that provides integrated access to Live@edu services such as e-mail, calendar, instant messaging and search within the Moodle environment.

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Microsoft Contributing to PHP Open Source Projects – Weird ?


Though I do a lot of PHP development work, I still think ASP.NET is the best option for new web development.

Still, it “feels” a bit weird that Microsoft is contributing to these PHP efforts.

Did you know that Microsoft is contributing to the PHP Engine ?

I wonder if we have more 5.3 submissions than Zend yet 🙂 ?


What about WordPress ?  WordPress is a great, great blogging application and probably the most used on the web.

We recently submitted code to WordPress to support URL Rewriting on IIS 7

Weird, but very cool !

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DotNetNuke Moves to Microsoft Codeplex !

 Peter Galli on Port 25 fills us in that DotNetNuke has moved to Microsoft CodePlex !

It’s great to see the growing vibrancy to CodePlex and the Open Source ASP.NET Community.

Check it out here:

If I ever get time to write code again I wanna to qa CodePlex project !

Splendid CRM turns 3 – Adds Microsoft WindowsWorkflow Foundation Support

SplendidCRM Software, Inc., a  provider of Microsoft-centric Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solutions for open-source use, announced the launch of Version 3.0 of SplendidCRM.

The release of Version 3.0 marks a milestone as it introduces the SplendidCRM Workflow Engine as a flagship feature in the new SplendidCRM Enterprise product.

“For many companies, workflow is a critical feature and we are pleased to be able to tightly integrate SplendidCRM with Microsoft Windows Workflow Foundation,” said Paul Rony, President of SplendidCRM.

The Community version is FREE !

Download Oxite – the Code we use to run the MIX Web site.

Oxite is an open source, standards compliant, and highly extensible content management platform that can run anything from blogs to big web sites.

We know this because it runs MIX Online.

You can download it from here (

Mono 2.0 Released

Huge congrats to Miguel De Icaza and his team on the release Mono version 2.0

You can read all about it here –

nAML – .NET Application Language, another cool project on CodeGallery !

From their description …..

nAML (.NET Application Language, pronounced as “namel”) is a visual modeling semantics to model .net applications with wide range of specific details. It contains extremely powerful visual notations and semantics to illustrate complex application components, processes and operations easily.

The primary objectives of nAML can be considered as follows:

• Provides a single space to visually describe one or more application systems with structural and behavioral components.
• Provides a single space to visually describe one or more application systems with logical and physical components.
• Provides a single space to visually describe one or more application systems from top to low level.
• Provides a single space to visually describe a part or whole of one or more application systems.
• Extremely simple and easy understand and learn from readers and designers perspective.
• Concentrates on .NET applications, with its related logical and physical entities (user interface, application logic, business logic, database etc).

Work on a CodePlex Project and WIN !

Create an Open Source ASP.NET AJAX server control on CodePlex and win a book !

[ Click HERE for all the details. ]

The flip side of Open Source ?

There is a reason they call me the Misfit Geek 🙂

I’ve been doing PHP work for almost 10 years and I’ve worked at Microsoft for 7 of them.

When I talk about Open Source, it’s not form a “religions” perspective. I’m interested in the applications, the people and the business model.

A PHP friend, Wez Furlong,  share a passion for making things that were necessarily designed to work together do exactly that. Wez is a pretty big figure in the PHP world and we did a panel together a few years ago at MIX in which Wez brilliantly described Open Source as “Itch Driven Development”.

The point is, it’s the community need that drive the success of an Open Source project, no matter what the underlying technology.

This one died.

Check out my next blog post for a not on a COOL project that is alive and well !

Scriptloader at SourceForge

 OK you AJAX Masters !

Check out ScriptLoader

ScriptLoader is a framework to manage your and third-part javascript libraries.

It will make you easier to call any script library(your or third-part) without injecting any dirty code.for that,you just configure some info in a configuration file.

SplendedCRM – The Open Source ASP.NET CRM Product gets a new version.

Silverlight, AJAX and PDF Invoices Cement SplendidCRM as the Ideal CRM Platform for Companies that have Standardized on the Microsoft Technology Stack

RALEIGH, N.C.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–SplendidCRM Software, Inc., a pioneering provider of Microsoft-centric Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solutions for open-source use, today announced the launch of Version 2.1 of its flagship platform SplendidCRM. The new Silverlight graphs provide SplendidCRM developers with unprecedented ability to create and customize graphs. Extended AJAX support provides the CRM user with a more natural experience.

“Integration of the latest Microsoft technologies into SplendidCRM continue to make it the ideal back-office platform,” said Paul Rony, President of SplendidCRM. “Our decision to standardize on the Microsoft Report Definition Language (RDL) allowed us to create an Invoice using Microsoft’s Report Designer and import it into SplendidCRM. The end result is the ability to generate PDF invoices at the click of a button.”

New Features

In addition to the technology enhancements, the SplendidCRM query system has been optimized to focus on retrieving active fields. This optimization dramatically increases the performance of SplendidCRM when managing tables with more than 100,000 records.

User Interface Enhancements

Credit Card management and processing using the popular .netCHARGE component (licensed separately) allows SplendidCRM to become your primary order-management system.

PayPal Instant Payment Notification is now supported, thereby ensuring that sales are automatically and instantly tracked by the CRM.

Built-in Language Support has been added for 24 languages, including English, French, Italian, German, Spanish, Japanese, Arabic, Bulgarian, Czech, Danish, Greek, Finnish, Hindi, Croatian, Korean, Norwegian, Dutch, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Swedish, Simplified Chinese and Traditional Chinese.

Incorporation of AJAX into sub panels enables the list to be sorted and paginated without the full page refresh.

Developer Enhancements

SplendidCRM continues to be the ideal platform for .NET back-office applications with the deep penetration of Microsoft technologies. When put together, these technologies help developers achieve Rapid Application Development (RAD).

PDF Generation of Invoices, Orders and Quotes is enabled via a combination of Dynamic Buttons, imported RDL reports and the Microsoft Report View.

Dynamic Buttons further extend the data-driven foundation of SplendidCRM. By dynamically rendering the buttons, you get to add field data to the buttons. This is important because it allows you to add a Print Invoice button that references a specific report.

Silverlight graphs replace the old flash-based graphs and allow you to customize the XAML output in the same way that you customize an ASP.NET page to produce HTML. This approach also allows you to embed more business logic into a graph.

Regular Expression Validation of the EditViews give your users immediate feedback when they type an invalid email address or phone number

Migration to ASP.NET themes and skins simplifies the code and makes it easier for developers to create their own themes and skins.


SplendidCRM introduces new administrative features for tracking usage and problems.

Persistent System Log helps you track the overall health of the system. Administrators can view warnings and errors with sufficient information to help developers pinpoint the problem.

User Login tracking helps administrators track the usage of the system.

In-place migration of a SugarCRM MS SQL database dramatically reduces the effort to migrate to SplendidCRM.

To see this new functionality, please visit To sign-up for a free trail of SplendidCRM 2.1, please visit

About SplendidCRM Software, Inc.

Founded in 2005, SplendidCRM Software provides a Microsoft-centric open-source Customer Relationship Management (CRM) application that, unlike most open-source solutions built for a Linux environment, enables users to leverage their existing Microsoft infrastructure. The company is located in the Research Triangle of Raleigh, North Carolina, and is privately held.

To learn more about SplendidCRM, email or visit

Critical Security Fix for

Today, while sitting in a discussion about the new Microsoft MVC Framework at the Microsoft MVP summit, I got an email (reading on my phone) from Kevin Karasinski, a developer at Sandcastle Interactive.

The subject line of the email was my blog password !

Kevin sure knows how to get a guys attention 🙂

Kevin, good guy that he is, was taking the time to let me know about a newly discovered (and already fixed) security defect in, which is the blogging engine that I use here at 

Thanks Kevin, you gave me a freakin’ heart attack !!!!

Needless to say, my blog has been patched to remove the defect.

Kevin pointed me to Danny Douglass’ blog entry HERE.

And [ HERE ] is the official patch announcement.

Kudos to Danny, and the guys for fixing this so quickly.

And thanks to Kevin for taking the time to let me know, though maybe next time you can just call my cell phone 🙂

Graffiti CMS First Impressions.

I love CMS applications!

I’ve played with more than a hundred free and commercial CMSs written in VB, C#, PHP, Python, Perl, Ruby, you name it !

It’s taken me a while to put Graffiti through it’s paces, but I did so last weekend.

Here is a quick list of my first impressions.


  • Install is a SNAP.
  • The BlogML import facility imported my hundreds of posts flawlessly.
  • The administrative user interface is intuitive.
  • It’s FAST
  • The FREE version is not crippled (just limited authors and a couple advanced features off.)
  • Widgets are EASY !


  • Some of the downloadable themes I found were not “seamless” (community provided code varies in quality.)
  • I missed the ability to create a completely standalone .aspx page that inherits nothing but the theme, (Plan to try this manually.) 

All in all, this has been one of the best “first impression” experiences I’ve had with a 3rd part ASP.NET application.

Since the free version is REAL and doesn’t even require registration to download and install, CLICK HERE and give it a try !

Mono – Miguel made me feel bad.

 I’m still at the Lang.NET Symposium.

I cornered Miguel today to ask him a question about Novell’s Distos.

He said “Joe !!, You always &^%-slap me in your blog.”

I felt bad. My negative opinions about Mono have only been about the IP issues and never about the technology or Miguel.

If you don’t know Miguel, he’s the genius behind The Mono Project, and when I say genius, I mean he’s a friggin’ genius. (Not to mention he’s a super nice guy, the kind you want to come to your dinner party.)

What he was referring to is that I’ve comment in the past about mono as it equates to my personal opinions about Microsoft’s Intellectual Property.

I have been harsh, but Microsoft LIKES Miguel. (I don’t know specifically but I’m sure that Miguel would be working for Microsoft if he choose to.)

In fact, Miguel is one of those rare people in the Open Source community that is an advocate without being a zealot.

What Miguel and a few of his very clever friends have accomplished is truly amazing.

Mono is cool enough. C#, ASP.NET, Winforms in a Cross Platform Way.

More recently, Miguel and Friends and built Moonlight.  Moonlight is an implementation of Microsoft’s SIlverlight for Linux.

So Miguel, at this very moment, I’m downloading the VM on your site for Moonlight.

I’m going to try to confirm with Tomas that Phalanger will run on Mono and build a Phalanger demo, complete with Silverlight that runs on both .NET AND MONO !

…. and I will SHOW both in my spring Open Source Conference Presentations.


If there is a hatchet to be buried, dinner and drinks are on me one night at Mix !

SplendidCRM 2.0 Free, Open Source, CRM

The collection of free, and commercial open source applications built with ASP.NET continues to grow.

SplendidCRM just released new version. You can modify it using Visual Studio 2005 or 2008 and they have downloads with Visual Studio Express projects too !!

Click HERE to check it out.

Want a free ASP.NET based CRM ?

SplendidCRM was written in C# using the Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0 and Microsoft SQL Server 2000.


SplendidCRM supports the following features:

  • Account Relationships
  • Contact Management
  • Case Management
  • Project Management
  • Lead Tracking
  • Bug Tracking
  • Activities and Tasks
  • Employee Directory

There is a free ASP.NET Open Source Version and a “Pro” version for ISVs, etc.

Check it out at

The NEW 2.0 version is in Beta and will probably be released by the end of next month.

Open Source does NOT exclude Windows ! has publoished an article / slide show: 10 Things You Should Know About Open Source.

Especially check out slide 5 and 7 !!!!

BlogEngine.NET 1.2 Released

I’ve been a Subtext and DasBlog user for a long time and been happy with both, so I haven’t tried anything but those and CommunityServer for a lobg time.

I keep hearing good things about BlogEngine.NET so I thought I’d give it a try.

It ROCKS. Installation is SIMPLE. (Remember to change the AppPool to Classic and edit the users.xml file before you run it the first time.)

It’s FAST, slick looking and fully featured.

See the new features list here:

Give it a try and email me your impressions !

You gotta give Miguel de Icaza credit.

As a Microsoft shareholder I’ve been opposed to Mono.

Not as technology, but as theft of Microsoft’s Technology. [Personal opinion, not a statement of Microsoft’s Position.]

Now, before the attack start – just Google Me. I’m as active in Open Source Developer Technologies as I am in Closed Source.

For developers who seek to actively avoid Microsoft technology, I respect their choice, so (and ESPECIALLY where Mono is concerned.)

  1. Stop being mad at Microsoft for choosing not to ship products on Linux.
  2. Do YOUR OWN thing on Linux or cross-platform, but don’t try to do OUR thing on Linux.

So, philosophically, I think Mono is both theft and hypocritical.

(Ok, NOW you can attack.)

But, politics aside – you really gotta give Miguel de Icaza big credit. He’s keeps doing really significant stuff.

Gnome (of which he’s the co-founder) kicks butt and has surpassed KDE as the popular Linux Desktop, Mono, whatever one thinks of the politics, is significant (and amazing when you consider the size of the development team), and NOW………


Quite an accomplishment.

Dilbert on Open Source

If you read my blog you’ll know there is allot about open source that I dig !

But, I also think CIO types have a tendency to make decision based on what was on the cover of their favorite trade rag last week.

Which, is made even more troublesome by the sensationalistic pseudo-journalists that write for most of the IT News Mags out there.

So…..  I thought this was funny.

John Lam (The RubyCLR Guy) Joins Microsoft

John Says…

“I’ve decided to stage a friendly takeover of Microsoft. As of January, 2007 my new work address will be Building 42 at Microsoft. I’ll be working in the CLR team to help bring the love of dynamic languages out to the statically typed heathens :)”

Check his post out at: