On 6/25/06, Angela <beesley(a)gmail.com> wrote:
I'm not buying into the arguments Brad and his
friends are putting
forward for Wikimedia to turn away from it's reliance on open source
software. Especially when that decision is being taken by some unknown
group of people with no community or Board consultation about possible
So, I'm asking if people can suggest to Brad some open source (fully
open source, not "can be open source if you don't need the security
package") CRM software
no doubt that people on this list have contacts in the free/OS
software world, so I'm hoping you can now use those contacts to help
Will you also be removing MacOS from Jimmy's laptop, from Brion's G5?
Will we be replacing IOS in our Cisco routers with Linux PCs running
XORP? The folding at home client that consumes large amounts of the
CPU time on our servers is proprietary as well
The hard disks which store our data in our servers have proprietary
firmware too... Much of our donations come through Pay-pal... Yet no
one outside of paypal has access to paypal's source! I could go on
all day and make hundreds of examples. They'd all by stupid, but so is
an objection about some internal piece of web based management
The fact is that none of these things where we currently use
proprietary software are in the critical path for creating or serving
Wikipedia content, they are infrastructure.
For the same reasons that most of the world should prefer Free
infrastructure we should too, however, we should not forget that the
purpose of the Wikimedia Foundation is not "to be an example of Free
Software at all costs". The use of a quasi-free CRM would not harm
our neighbors, it would increase the prevalence of proprietary file
formats, it would not cause our readers, donors, editors, or even
employees to need to run any more proprietary software on their system
(SugarCRM is web based, like Paypal).
SugarCRM is also, by far, the most open of all the available CRM
packages... Were we not interested in using open software we would be
using something like Blackbaud's The Raiser's Edge which is software
targeted at funddrive management... It's very powerful stuff with the
right tools to operate multi-million-dollar fundraisers. However, it
also would require building a parallel Microsoft infrastructure.
1) We already use proprietary web based software for critical
infrastructure which impacts our donors (we force them to use the
remote proprietary software as well).
2) We already installed and run proprietary software on our servers
(folding at home for example)
3) But you're making a fuss over running a single piece of non-free
web based internal software which will not touch our readers, donors,
or editors... and only touch the staff and perhaps some volunteers in
the same manner that Paypal does. When we already run proprietary
software on our servers.
So why is it that you are making a big deal about CRM, delaying a
critical part of our infrastructure which I suspect we desperately
need, when instead we could be calling out for a better alternative to
Paypal (which not only is non-free but has a public history of
unethical behavior and which costs us a lot of money)? Or why not
first ask Tim to remove the proprietary electrical power sucking code
he is running on our cluster?
With comments like "Brad and his friends" and non-reality based claims
"Wikimedia to turn away from it's reliance on open source software"
you end up looking as contemptuous towards Brad as I am towards
Erik... Now *that* is shameful.
In any case, if the stupid politics continue on this I'm sure I can
find someone to run SugarCRM on their own equipment and sell Wikimedia
Foundation webbased access to it for a small premium. Doing so would
make it less open and more costly but when does reality have anything
to do with rhetoric?