Why Tendenci doesn’t support epub uploadS through the standard ui.
We love knowledge and knowledge sharing. And all of us read a lot – more and more on mobile readers. And yet the Tendenci software doesn’t support uploading epub files. First understand you have TONS of options to achieve your business goal and keep your site secure.
Free ebooks? We recommend you upload the epub to a resource like an Amazon S3 bucket or Dropbox and link to it from your site. That immediately solves the problem – you have a link to the resource on your site, just not “in” your site for safety and security.
Selling ebooks? Look at Amazon or Shopify or google it for tons of options. Even if the books are free, “selling them” on shopify will give you analytics and insight into consumers who are interested in your topic because they are being delivered to people next to other books!
As for the upload restrictions in Tendenci, here is why we are cautious:
While knowledge is great, security is more important. YES – TECHNICALLY YOU CAN PUT EPUB FILES ON YOUR TENDENCI SITE. But to do so your network administrator will need to do it for you for security reasons. The reason is that epub and mobi files can contain viruses or malware just like many other file formats (*cough* “Adobe flash” *cough*).
A book can have a code example. Depending on how your browser or e-reader “reads” that code example it may or may not execute the code. And that may or may not be malware. Typically the code itself would not be infected and would pass a virus scanner. Rather it would call another site and download a virus from that alternate location.
Two screen shots from the epubzone.org site are pasted below.
To be sure I love learning sites that have code that I can use to learn with in my web browser. MOOCs are awesome. But Tendenci is not a MOOC. So our current system is not set up to allow uploads of epubs or mobi given the millions of people who log into hundreds of open source tendenci sites hosted or in the wild. We are just cautious.
And again – there are alternatives.
Upload it to a different location and link to it <– RECOMMENDED!
Sell it with a company like Amazon who takes care of all of it for you <– RECOMMENDED!
Have your Network Administrator upload it if you must. But if this is the case, why not just make it a PDF? <– NOT RECOMMENDED
PS – One part of being a hacker is you are frequently accused of being an “Eeyore.” This is tiring. And incorrect. Caution online is really – well – the teamwork of Q and Bond. Aware of current reality. Curious. The ability to think perhaps a bit deviously. To know what is possible – both good and bad – to protect you.
Why do we point out all of the ways to copy your Tendenci site (or most sites really)? Doesn’t that make it easier to leave?
Yes. Yes it does. BUT people rarely leave. Or if they do, they typically stay on Tendenci and self host. They’re still part of the Tendenci community which helps us all.
Another reason we promote exports and offsite backups is because we know the more freedom you have, realizing you have that freedom especially on the Tendenci open source platform, makes it less likely for clients to leave.
Think about it. Why would anyone who actually understands their product is open, does far more than other options, is lower cost, and they can self host if they want… why would that person make the decision to leave? It’s illogical.
I mean, who wants to be the President of an Association that takes it backwards in time to proprietary technology or an older open source software built on an unpopular programming language? That’s not in the best interests of the association long term.
Popular programming languages means more coders for open source projects written in that language. And more capable people to modify and customize your install if you choose.
One of our goals is FREEDOM from the tyranny of per-user-licensing, proprietary products that want to own YOUR DATA, long term contracts, sites that post your events on THEIR site so if you leave then the history of that event is gone in the blink of an eye. Companies don’t own your data and they shouldn’t trap you.
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.
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.
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.
Given the Django web framework behind Open SourceTendenci 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!
#NET2Houston will host the City of Houston and Houston’s Civic Hackers on May 14th for our monthly meetup at Stag’s Head Pub. RSVP on the Netsquared Houston meetup group.
Houston’s City Data Goes Open Source
I’m really excited about our upcoming event, where we’ll learn about the City of Houston Hackathon to kick-off the City of Houston’s Open Data Initiative.
Bruce Haupt, from the City of Houston’s Finance Department, will share the vision of Mayor Annise Parker and Council Member Ed Gonzalez for utilizing Houston’s Open Data Initiative to improve our city.
Bruce will show you some examples of how initiatives like this have benefitted other cites, and tell you about some of his favorite projects. You can view a few ideas the Mayor’s office has developed on the HoustonHackathon.com Projects page.
We’re going to also be brainstorming our own ideas about how open City data sets can help advance civic-minded causes in Houston!
Learn More about Open Data and Your City
Open source data sets are rapidly being released by local, state and Federal governments regularly now, and thanks to newer technology frameworks, like Django and Rails, it’s easier than ever to connect to different databases and sync or share data sets.
Here’s 3 awesome links to get quick facts and juicy details about the City of Houston and Code for America’s Open Data and Innovation projects:
1) The Code for America App database aims to be the “most complete and up-to-date database of government and civic software”, according to their website: (http://commons.codeforamerica.org/apps/), and some of the apps they have listed are really incredible and they’re open source.
2) The open data portal software that Houston’s data portal will utilize is called CKAN. CKAN provides the tools needed to enable and manage file and data sharing between two databases. Learn more about Code for America’s open source data portal platform: http://commons.codeforamerica.org/apps/ckan.
Tuesday May 14th – Join us for Netsquared at Stag’s Head Pub
Come share your ideas for using the city’s data with Bruce and other civic-minded hackers and techies. Your ideas on how to use these data sets can dramatically improve our community by providing us with more accurate, real time data about our city’s resources and how they’re utilized.
The City of Houston will Kick-Off the Open Data Initiative with a weekend long Houston Hackathon.
Ed and I will be sharing Tendenci t-shirts and stickers at the Hackathon, and we’re available to help with your project if you need an extra geek. If you’re interested in using Tendenci’s open source platform for building a city data app, come find me because I have a few ideas about how nonprofits and associations might want to use public city data with their websites and membership databases.
Join Us Tuesday, and Bring a Friend!
Leave your comments below if you have ideas to share, and follow the conversations on Facebook, too!
[Photo by Eloy Zuniga Jr.][audience-link]
### You’d like it
For those of you who love to tinker with things or reverse engineer them (destroy them) to figure out how they work, [this is your place][pycon-url].
It’s always great to see the latest and greatest being invented by **2500** of your closest friends. When services and features are extremely undervalued and success is at it’s infancy.
Have doubts about the size of this annual event? [Check out the sponsors][sponsors].
I’ve been a programmer now for more than 10 years and a Python developer for over 3 and I can sincerely say I may never grow old of this stuff. It keeps me young, can I say that? Just did.
### What you’ll see and maybe learn
What to expect when your “[Excepting][exceptions],” little bit of nerd humour there, don’t mind if I do. But seriously, what should you expect if you come on down?
[Photo by Ed Schipul][guido]
1. Well we have lightning talks with rapping programmers. [Listen to this intro][lightning-talks].
2. We have the benevolent dictator which only [speaks genius][keynote]. One of these days I’ll be able to understand his entire talk. AKA the creator of Python.
3. [The creator][keynote2] of the [Raspberry Pi][raspberry-pi]. A less-expensive computer that’s providing for those on the other side of the digital divide.
4. People sporting the latest technology such as [Teslas][tesla] and [Google Glasses][glass]. Maybe the car had more to do with the fact we were in California.
[Photo by Ed Schipul][tesla]
### Tell me more about these “Lightning Talks”
Anyone attending PyCon can have 5 minutes to talk about anything that is *remotely* associated to Python. Bright minds are sitting in the audience, they could be sitting next to you … you could be one. So why not let them speak.
For 5 minutes you can talk to one of the widest Python audiences you’ll probably ever encounter. Talk about a pet project, do a little venting, bring a community together and promote your conference.
Just be careful, developers tend to be highly sensitive to the ole sales-pitch.
### See you next year
We had a great time — I hope this is obvious — we did a lot of learning, and we hope to see you next year.
[Photo by Ed Schipul][group]
1. [Full List of PyCon US 2013 Videos][pycon-videos]
2. [Photos taken by Ed Schipul][pycon-photos]
3. [PyCon 2011 Blog Post][pycon-2011-blogpost]
We did it. Django Dash for our second year in a row. A little different, but still memorable.
This year we spent the majority working from the comfort of our own homes.
Thanks to Schipul and our decision to move toward a remote work lifestyle we were able to easily face this year’s competiton in style aka in our jammies.
If anything this saved us valuable travel and setup time.
I said this last year, but I’ll say it again this year; because apparently we did not learn our lesson.
Make as many decisions as possible before the competition. Think roadmap or dare I say clipboard of fun.
One of our greatest strengths is our team. We work together every workday, this competition was no different. I can only imagine the stop-and-go speed of competing on a team that doesn’t know each other.
Competition time is definitely not the time to learn new things. It’s just so hard not to. You find yourself inspired and when inspiration strikes all you want to do is strive, learn new things and create.
In the case of Google authentication, it had to be learned. Our project was dependent on it, as always; it’s amazing what you can do when you have to.
I don’t foresee this habit waning any time soon. If anything I look forward to it. I learned a lot of useful things this weekend and I’m left wanting more. Give me that feeling anyday.
Veering from the original mission
Early Sunday morning we found ourselves having to make a choice. A choice between accumilating more points by submitting more commits and focusing on specific code requirements such as standards and creating tests. Or making a product that might actually provide some value to many in the near future.
We chose the latter. The idea of our project actually being useful at more than just collecting points is an honor. With this in mind we refocused and put effort into submitting a finished product that’s worth demoing.
We’ll be demoing our finished 48 hour project to the office and get our first ouside perspective. No matter what people say I’m not-so-secretly wishing we can keep up this momentum and continue improving our project.
What did you build, tell me already!?
Without getting into too much detail – at this point in time – it’s best summarized here. http://theoldmail.com
You can sign up for the site now and take it for a spin. Keep in mind that this was 48 hours of code. You might find some quirks and so-called missing features.
What about the competition?
It’s been said that we get our results some time this week; but as I mentioned before we’re more excited about the project itself and what it can bring to others.
It’s open sourced
One of the rules of the Django Dash competition is that the project itself must remain open sourced. So feel free to take a glance at our code on github.com and fork the code if you’d like to start contributing.
The Django Dash is a 48 hour code marathon starting tonight at 7pm CST where teams compete to produce the best app they can in 48 hours! The winners get prizes from the sponsors (including Tendenci)! We’re supplying $100 gift cards to the top three teams.
Majority in Django
Nothing Gets Built Ahead Of Time
48 Hours To Build
Max Team Of 3
Your Choice Of Git Or Mercurial
Your Entry Is Open Source
Any Third Party Code Is Fine (But Affects Your Score)
You Must Use Pip Requirements Or Buildout
Our experience last year
We competed last year, our first year ever; with a team made up of Glen, Luke, and myself (Eloy). We built a blogging platform specifically for coders. The niche idea being that we can easily reference github.com code blocks using short codes. This means we spend less time writing blog posts, and more time sharing anecdotal code discoveries.
It’s hard to believe that the project Codrspace.com has lasted the full year and is still receiving updates regularly.
Last year’s experience could best be summed up as fast and fun. Imagine developing but without the meetings, without constant interruptions, and without having the roadblock of approval. Ideas flowing and tangible features being created in minutes. It’s this for 48 hours straight with the occasional break for eating, sleeping, and … other things.
What you come out with, is a product; ideally mostly finished. Not just a conversation, or a thought, but an actual product. That in itself is worth celebrating. A weekend that can easily be filed under productive.
The freedom of developing for fun and not to pay to the bills. The reason you originally started developing; you remember when all you wanted to do was create.