AUFS and Docker Deployment (Developer Track)

The AUFS file system, part of what gives us C-Groups, now called containers, now called Dockers, etc, but it is the onion-style file system that gives Dockers (we’re gonna just settle on calling them dockers) their magical powers.

AUFS on Ubuntu for Dockers
AUFS FIle System with Dockers. Not your ordinary file system

This can lead to some very unexpected results, for example deleting a file in container “X” will appear to delete it. However let’s presume the previous base box “A” had the file and you want to make an new image and container from “A”. You might presume that file “abc” was deleted from all of the layers. But with AUFS that isn’t how works. You either keep layering up (meaning build your new site as a container from an image of the latest container you were working on.

This layering is a critically important concept to fully understand if you are working with dockers and the aufs file system. Rather than take my amateur explanation of it, I’ll refer you to the full docs on and let you go from there. Just *please* don’t overlook file system layers in AUFs when trouble shooting issues with containers.

UCOA-Unified Chart of Accounts for NPOs

Short version: Unified Chart of Accounts for NPOs

“Hey y’all, let’s all adopt the Unified Chart Chart of Accounts and save time and energy to focus on our causes!

Long version:

Dear Board of Directors, Executive Director, long time accountant, and major donors. Let’s all adopt the Unified Chart Chart of Accounts and save time and energy to focus on our causes!

Wouldn’t it be better if at least reviewing the financials was simplified so you could focus on your cause? Here is a partial solution:

Unified Chart of Accounts for NPOs
National Center for Charitable Statistics UCOA

The big organizations know, but for smaller NGOs, did you know that the National Center for Charitable Statistics has published an open source/free/please-use-it Unified Chart Chart of Accounts JUST FOR YOU!

Like many of the folks reading this blog, living the life of adventure which accompanies working with worldwide NGOs, we serve on a lot of boards and sponsor a lot of activities for the greater good. We love that part of our responsibilities!

OK, maybe we just agree on the need.

A board member must understand their serious and legal responsibility to provide financial stewardship and demonstrate strong fiduciary responsibility to the organization. While not losing site of the goals.  Nothing “returns to your soul” like giving of your time and energy. It comes back to us all big time as long as it is fulfilling.

May your organization never again lose a board member to the tedium of going through financials printed out of Excel that have evolved from double entry accounting as fast as Moore’s law to quantum accounting for no reason at all. Simplify with the Unified Chart of Accounts. Even if the rules are constantly changing on you.

….to think they can change the world

“Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.”

“A Dream” from the step’s of the Lincoln Memorial 1963

On 28 August, 1963, Martin Luther King delivered his magnificent “I have a dream speech” on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington. Below is the full text of his speech.

Written excerpt from Dr. King’s speech from the BBC:

Let us not wallow in the valley of despair. I say to you today, my friends, that in spite of the difficulties and frustrations of the moment, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

The dream

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed – we hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave-owners will be able to sit down together at a table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a desert state, sweltering with the heat of injustice and oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the colour of their skin but by the content of their character.

I have a dream today!

I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification; one day right there in Alabama little black boys and little black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.

I have a dream today!

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.

This is our hope. This is the faith that I will go back to the South with. With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope.

With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.

This will be the day, this will be the day when all of God’s children will be able to sing with a new meaning: “My country, ’tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrim’s pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring.” And if America is to be a great nation, this must become true.

And so let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire.
Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York.
Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania!
Let freedom ring from the snow-capped Rockies of Colorado.
Let freedom ring from the curvaceous peaks of California.
But not only that.
Let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia.
Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee.
Let freedom ring from every hill and every molehill of Mississippi, from every mountainside, let freedom ring!

And when this happens, when we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual: “Free at last! Free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!”

Power Tools for Nonprofits Presentation by Ed Schipul

From my recent talk at Power Tools for Nonprofits at NRG Park on behalf of Tendenci Open Source Membership Management Software

Python still the most popular coding language and growing

Tendenci, the Open Source Membership Management Software, is written in in a programming language named Python. (Named after Monty Python of course!)

python ranks 1 for popular coding languages
Python – the most popular coding language of 2015

And Python is the most Popular Coding Language of 2015. A nice winning streak! This matters to people choosing membership software because open source means it can’t be taken away from you. Lots of options to export from Tendenci as well if a better solution for your particular needs comes up.

The more people who know a given programming language means you have lots of resources to support, extend, upgrade and hopefully also contribute to the tendenci software and get involved.

So let’s be honest, we all like playing on the winning team. We bet on Python very early. We used Python even on the windows platform in the early 2000s. Python has truly hit a critical-mass among developers.

Given the Django web framework behind Open Source Tendenci is written in Python, and all of Tendenci’s apps are written in Python, we feel pretty good about the future stability of our technology stack.

In other words, the future looks bright and we welcome more developers to join the Tendenci community!

(source: )

10 Million NGOs Worldwide (who just might want open source multilingual software)

Let’s start 2016 off with some great news. NGOs are growing internationally and their role in our society is becoming more important.  From the post:

NGO Facts - 10 Million#NGOfacts is an ongoing campaign that highlights statistical data about NGOs, nonprofits and charities worldwide. Committed to building a comprehensive list of facts and stats about the NGO sector, please check back regularly for updates.

1. There are an estimated 10 million (non-governmental organizations) NGOs worldwide.
Source: The Global Journal

2. The number of people worldwide donating money to NGOs increased from 1.2 billion in 2011 to 1.4 billion in 2014. By 2030, the number is expected to grow to 2.5 billion.
Source: Charities Aid Foundation

(those are the first two points of 14 – go read the full post here!)

And yes, we are pretty happy to see greater adoption of Tendenci – an open source software solution for NGOs that is already multilingual. Join us!

RIP Ian Murdock

ian-murdockRIP Ian Murdock,the  founder of Debian Linux. Without Ian’s work in the Open Source Community there could be no Tendenci. This is a sad way to end 2015.

News links below:


Why Use Open Source Software: The Benefits – LinuxIT Europe

This video is one of the best explanations of why people are switching to Open Source solutions like Tendenci,

The video is from LinuxIT Europe so go check them out.

And if you’d like to learn more about Tendenci functionality for non-profits here is a video from us.

Example: Our web site is at with membership management software functionality in addition to high end cms capabilities.

But what about the code? It’s right on github for you to peruse right now because …. well, just watch this video to understand how differentiated open source is!

Django 1.49 EOL drives Tendenci 5 EOL date – time to upgrade

Tendenci 5.x or earlier clients should upgrade to Tendenci 7+ now.

If you are on Tendenci 5 or earlier, you need to upgrade. For open source self installed users the instructions to upgrade tendenci are on readthedocs. For hosted clients please contact us.

Why? What is driving this notice?

Primarily as a safety precaution even if there are no known issues at this time because Django has declared EOL for Django 1.49 which is behind Tendenci 5. (Note: Tendenci 7 uses Django 1.8+ and is not impacted.)

What happens if we don’t upgrade to a newer version of Tendenci?

First – it’s in your best interest because of changes in search engine technology and user’s browsing behavior. But…

In the short term, probably nothing will happen as there are no known issues that I am aware of as I type this. But if the community is not maintaining Django 1.49 then that means nobody is watching on a daily basis and opens the door to possible security issues being undiscovered.

Is there a cost to upgrade from Tendenci 5 to Tendenci 7? Yes.

Earlier this year google changed it’s ranking system to strongly favor mobile web sites. As a result Tendenci 6 and Tendenci 7 use a significantly different template theming based on Bootstrap 3. In the industry this was referred to as “Google’s Mobilegedon”

Is there a cost to upgrade from Tendenci 6 to 7?

No. There is no cost to upgrade from T6 to T7.

It is redoing the layouts to be mobile responsive that causes the need for human intervention to do the upgrades from T5. And this was driven by google and by you, the user, who now browses the web more on their mobile device than their computer.

More mobile web than desktop or mobile apps
How you browse the web now

We strongly recommend you upgrade with the team at Tendenci or with your own developer. The full upgrade instructions are posted on readthedocs.

The good news is we expect future upgrades to be less painful now that we are bootstrap3+ and mobile compatible. Which is why the T6 to T7 upgrade is free for our hosted clients.

We can’t guarantee that all future upgrades after T7 will be free because you never know what Apple, Google, Microsoft, or Samsung are going to do. But we are doing our best to help you control costs and stay safe on this whole crazy Internet thing.