John Graham gave a presentation and demo of Open Source Software for Education and Science at yesterday's meeting of the EOE. I was blown away.
John walked us through a free content management system he'd configured in Zope (more on Zope below; it's a framework for building web applications.) Not coded, but downloaded and installed. We saw an extensible, relational database system. Very flexible. Very cool. Topics can hold documents, images, blogs, webpages, syndicate feeds, etc., etc., etc. John edited images online, put in an ISBN and started a discussion on the book entry that popped up, and more.
Question: What does this run on?
Answer: It's truly interoperable. Linux, Solaris, Windows. As of last week, Zope enterprise objects enables you to replicate into Oracle and other databases.
I drew this graphic nearly two years ago. I think its time is almost here. There is no reason eLearning has to be exorbitantly expensive.
The Open Source movement is an amazing effort. I'm glad to see another example of an innovative, robust product coming out of the environment. I plan to devote some time to getting to know more about Zope and its Open Source brethren.
From The Zope Book
What Is Zope?
Zope is a framework for building web applications. A web application is a computer program that users access with a web browser over the Internet. You can also think of a web application as a dynamic web site that provides not only static information to users but lets them use dynamic tools to work with an application.
From a business perspective, there are three key ideas to understanding what Zope can do for you: powerful collaboration, simple content management, and web components.
In 1996 Jim Fulton, the CTO of Zope Corporation and Python guru, was drafted to teach a class on CGI programming, despite not knowing much about the subject. Jim studied all of the existing documentation on CGI on his way to the class. On the way back from the class, Jim considered what he didn't like about traditional CGI based programming environments: its fragility, lack of object-orientation, and how it exposes web server details. From these initial musings, the core of Zope was written on the plane flight back from the class.
Squishdot is a popular weblog, written in Zope
John Graham is an innovator in the technical field of broadband and wireless collaboration technologies. He is a member of the Board of Directors for Schooltone Alliance, and the director of Project LearningBird. John is one of the founding members of the Ohio Consortium for Advanced Communication Technology who operate NASA's Advanced Communications Technology Satellite (ACTS) for educational events and research. John founded BroadWare Co. to provide solutions that address the demand for audio and video capabilities over the Internet. As the company's chief technologist, John is responsible for the technical vision of the company. Prior to launching BroadWare in 1996, John provided a variety of consulting services to a broad client base on corporate Internet and Intranet architecture and implementation. He spearheaded large consulting projects for Sun Microsystems and Access Media. John was the Technical Coordinator for the 24 Hours in Cyberspace project, the largest international event for interactive communications and publishing on the Internet and was technology advisor for the 3Com Planet Project in 2000, a global poll on a variety of subjects. Prior to his consulting work, John held positions as the Systems Engineer and Scientist for Park Scientific Instruments, where he collaborated on the design of scanning probe microscopes and traveled worldwide to speak on the subject. Graham participated in, managed or launched the following projects:
Scanning Probing Microscopy Industrial Associates Program Laboratory at the Arizona State University
Exploratorium 2002 Belize Bio-diversity Laboratory Visit.
Exploratorium CERN Anti-matter Decelerization Ring Robot Camera
Jet Propulsion Laboratories Deep Space Probe Network Robot Camera
Jet Propulsion Laboratories Marsyard Robot Camera
Goldstone Apple Valley Radio Telescope Robot Camera
AAEM TelePresence Microscopy Site Materials MicroCharacterization Collaboratory
PlanetFest 1997 Mars Pathfinder Landing
PlanetFest 1999 Mars Polar Lander
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