15. February 2011 12:26
My contribution to the opensource world is somewhat limited but I like it as an idea and if I had the time I'd contribute more. In recent years I have however created two opensource projects, as if the world needed any more. The impetus for them came from a direct need for them in office hours, they aren't the most exciting things in the world nor the most active of OSS projects. Infact, if anyone has used them outside of twentysix, I'm unaware of it.
They are two very specific libraries, the first, CSE.NET, is a wrapper around Google's Custom Search and it's enterprise level brother, Google Site Search.
I've successfully used this to implement a fully featured search form on a client's site which I'll to go into the details of in another post.
The CSE.NET project has been fairly dormant as the initial implementation achieved everything I needed but I'd be happy to accept patches and add some more owners and committers to the project.
The second is another wrapper, but this time it's a port/upgrade of some existing code for that wrapper. GeoIPSharp is an extension of the API library supplied by MaxMind for thier GeoIP line of products.
The original API is available here http://www.maxmind.com/app/csharp but is a direct port of the Java API. My intention with GeoIPSharp was to refator this code to give a more C#-like feel, using C# idioms such as properties rather than get/set methods.
GeoIPSharp is pretty dormant as well, probably because the code supplied by MaxMind does the job, it's just not that nice. I plan on expanding the source with examples of common uses of the library.
10. February 2011 14:06
I was shocked today when a guy I know who is an SEO analyst sent me a link to the PHP bug tracker (http://bugs.php.net) asking what I knew about it. At first I wondered why he was interested, I know he knows a bit of PHP, enough to get WordPress up and running and change a bit of HTML around to "optimize" it for SEO, but I couldn't imagine him having found an actual bug that would warrant him submitting a ticket on the bug tracker so I enquired for why he was interested. His reply both amazed and appalled me...
He said he had seen some evidence of bug trackers being used for SEO purposes, that bugs were filed, complete with bogus code samples and links back to an original issue which was in fact a site being promoted through this (very black-hat) SEO method.
When questioned about if he was thinking of employing such a deplorable tactic he said he might have to if "the competition" began using it to any benefit. I promptly told him it was a terrible subversion of an important part of a software community such as PHP and that he ought to be ashamed for even entertaining the idea, and that it was tactics like this that gets SEO a bad name.
I guess this rings doubly as loud as I'm a software developer myself and for someone to use an invaluable tool such as a bug tracker for their own capital purposes, especially within an industry such as SEO which is renowned for it's lack of morals. Then again, I can't say I'm entirely surprised.
I worry that by publicising this here I might help spread the word of this deplorable practice, however, if one developer who runs a bug tracker and starts seeing loads of bugs spammy bugs can be forewarned I would feel justified in my post.