History always repeats itself and sometimes that's good. Here's a second chance to be part of it: tmdtc.com

Friday 29 February 2008

Another FOSDEM success

The association "Postgresql Europe" was started during FOSDEM 2008. One more achievement for FOSDEM!

Going freelance or not? That's (one of) the question(s)

My sabbatical year ends in one months. During 10 months it was clear to me I would return as an employee, possibly in a 4/5 regime. But february has brought some opportunities to go full-time freelance. So I'm evaluating the possibility this right now.... It would have been easier if I had had these opportunities one year ago, but here I am now with all those questions....

It's not an easy decision. First impact is the salary of course. Will I be able to get enough contracts to survive? I'm not looking to get rich, but a minimum income is necessary of course. And some costs will be added compared to my employee's situation: car, internet connection, mobile phone, servers housing. All these items will cost more if I go freelance. There'll be some "marketing costs' too, in addition to insurance, social security, etc, etc...
On the other hand, if I get lots of contracts, will I still have the time to live a life?

Also, how will I profile myself to prospects? Web developer, database administrator, system administrator, project manager? I love learning new things, so would there be a market if I want to take projects in a domain I don't know yet, but where the customer doesn't find anyone?

And what are the type of contracts that a freelance can get? I'd prefer to not go work 6 months full-time for a customer in a team of 20 developers, but would rather work on smaller-scale and short projects. Isn't that a wrong approach for a freelancer? Won't that approach put me in a market of small companies that don't have the money to invest in such projects?

Another question: during my sabbatical period, I worked quite a lot, but from home, and organising my time as I wanted. Will it still be possible as a freelance? And will I still have the opportunity to put enough time in those projects?

As you see, it's a lot of questions. If you're working as freelance, and you want to share your experience, I'll be happy to read your comments or your mails (sent to rb at raphinou dot com).

Thursday 28 February 2008

Let's regionalise!

So that we can decide to work together because alone we have no impact.

Recent events show politicians haven't learned the lesson.

But maybe I am dumb, and they're only looking to increase the number of ministers and positions to fill....

Saturday 23 February 2008

FOSDEM: feels like home

Today was FOSDEM. I thought I would be able to see people do the FOSDEM Dance, but that didnt work out at Philip and the team called me on stage to join them in this tradition. Here's a picture:

They made me really laugh with this slide (zoom in to read the text):

I'm happy the organisation team keeps this humor in the event. A big thanks to them! It makes leaving much easier.

As other years, lots of people showed up as can be seen on this photos of the Janson, were the keynotes were held:

I volunteered to take photos this year, and I've taken 187 photos today. I'll upload them in the coming days.

I had a great day. I saw people I appreciate a lot but nearly don't see anymore, and I also saw people I meet only at FOSDEM such as Bruce Momjian, Peter Saint-Andre, Matthias Brossard, people from the Namur Lug, the Jabber booth staff, Mozilla people, etc, etc

It really felt like home.

Friday 22 February 2008

FOSDEM: my first _visit_

I'm going to FOSDEM, the Free and Open Source Software Developers' European Meeting

Of course I'll be at FOSDEM. I wasn't sure how I would handle my retirement from the organisation team, but it has been really easy. I've closed the chapter, turned the page, started other projects and I've never felt the need to even ask how things were going. The fact that I am 100% trusting the organisation team has certainly helped.

What I wonder though is this: what's it like to be a FOSDEM visitor? Will I enjoy it as much as organising it? Verdict will be known really soon now!
So, see you there on saturday and sunday. I'll be happy to discuss about Profoss, MyOwnDB or any other subject and possibly lend a helping hand to the organisation team :-)

Thursday 21 February 2008

imagemagick for image combination

As we're looking to choose the logo for Dedomenon, I needed to print a bunch of propositions, and wanted to put several images on one page. The best solution I found was to combine multiple images in one with imagemagick:

montage -label %f -frame 5 -tile 1x2 -background '#ffffff' -geometry +4+4 *jpg montage.jpg

It's not an optimal composition as if you have a tiny image it will still take half a page, but it was good enough for me. I'm not sure how I could have combined the images and let the software optimise the placement......

MyOwnDB selected for Plugg's Startup Rally

That's great news! We're in the list of 20 startups selected to give a small (2 minutes) presentation about our product. Based on this presentation, 3 finalists will be selected to give a 10 minutes presentation.

Bart will give this talk as I'll be talking at Linuxworld for Profoss that same day, thanks Murphy.....
If you go to Plugg, keep me updated of how good Bart was :-D
If you're still not registered, use the Profoss coupon to get a 25% rebate!

YUI 2.5: impressive feature list

Wow. Just when I'm concerned of Microsoft's bid to acquire Yahoo and the influence it could have if it goes through, the team releases version 2.5 with some really impressive and time saving features. Some features I (should) like, but I still need to test:
Check the complete library to get a better idea of the impressive coverage. Combined with Extjs you get a really good toolkit for your Ajax applications.

Now, let's hope the future of YUI get cleared rapidly....

Wednesday 20 February 2008

Server alias superfluous II

Joining the list:
http://Entreprendre2007.be, http://Entreprendre2008.be, http://Ondernemen2007.be, http://Ondernemen2008.be

Leaving the list:

Plugg.eu coupon

Robin, organising the Plugg.eu conference, was so kind to give Profoss a coupon giving 25% rebate on the registration costs. Early bird discount expires at the end of the week, so hurry and register with the code PROFOSS.

Although I won't be able to be there as I'll be at Linuxworld for Profoss, we have registered MyOwnDB in the start-up rally. If we get through the selection process, Bart will get the opportunity to present MyOwnDB!

Monday 18 February 2008

When you're clueless....

you shut up, or you risk saying stupid things.

Sunday 17 February 2008

Microsoft-Yahoo: what's the real motivation

Since it was announced, I found Microsoft's offer to acquire Yahoo rather strange. What a headache the integration of 2 different cultures would be.

Multiple explanations were proposed. One even said Ms wants to become more open source oriented thanks to the Yahoo acquisition, which I really don't believe.

The best I read until now is Robert X. Cringely's friday column. What if Microsoft didn't really want to acquire Yahoo? What if it was only maneuvering?

And this maneuver has some impact already: I wanted to standardize on YUI for the next release of Myowndb, but I'm not sure it's a good long-term solution. YUI is really a gem, but I don't think Ms would keep that level of quality. It would be more tempted to make it dependent on Silverlight..... And I don't think I'm the only one with these doubts.

Also, what of Zimbra? I did never test it until now, and certainly won't because I imagine this would be one of the first casualties if Microsoft acquires Yahoo.

Also, Would a Microsoft-owned Yahoo still support Hadoop development? Would Yahoo still support multiple a-graded browsers?

Friday 15 February 2008

Open sourcing videos?

I've read some post form people who can't stand open source as a verb.
I wonder what will be their reaction when they read that "R.E.M. open-sources its music videos". Does it really make sense to say a video is open source? Where's the source?

It's ironic that when open source was started to not emphasize the ambiguous word free (as in free beer/as in free speech?), in this case it would have been better to say "REM freed their videos" as it is also a free license.

Anyway, I think I just joined the club against making open source a verb, as I pretty much prefer to say that "R.E.M. published music videos under an open source license".

Wednesday 13 February 2008

Friday 1 February 2008

Fosdem really reaches its goal

So apparently Opengov was started at FOSDEM 2007? Cool!
I'm really happy of what Fosdem has achieved, it has really gone beyond all expectations. It has enabled developers from different projects, big and small, and from different horizons, to meet and push things forward.

Keep the good work, FOSDEM team! I'll be happy to visit FOSDEM and follow conferences for the first time this year :-D