[Linux-aus] The case for an established product to replace MemberDB
stewart at flamingspork.com
Wed Jan 28 14:19:55 AEDT 2015
Anthony Towns <aj at erisian.com.au> writes:
> MemberDB's over ten years old now; that's actually pretty good value for
> the couple of thousand (?) that was invested in it, even at retail
> software rates. ($15/mo for civicrm hosting would be about $1800 over
> ten years, too)
Closer to 12+ years actually :)
Initial source checkin seems to have been March 2003, with earlier
things in CVS going back into early 2002 (maybe even before that...)
as something that hasn't had much time or money put into it, it works
pretty well. I know a few other places around the world have used it
too, although there never got a big development community around it.
> I'm not sure what options we would have had if we hadn't written our own
> software back then; it might have just meant maintaining the membership
> list by hand? Certainly that's how elections were conducted up until
> that point (ie, with bits of paper at the AGM).
Yep. I couldn't find anything else that really did any of it. I started
MemberDB because I couldn't find anything else to maintain a membership
list of a student club at university. The alternative was literally a
binder full of paper with handwritten stuff on it. Or an Excel
So, instead, I started a database schema (varying between mysql and
postgresql) to solve my problem with software.
> In any event, using projects with an open source community behind them is
> definitely a win: it means both that we can make our own modifications
> as we see fit (open source), and that we benefit from other users'
> modifications each time we upgrade (community).
Totally agree. The prospect of other people having time and enthusiasm
to maintain a MemberDB like thing would be *excellent*, especially if it
fits into other systems really at all.
> Comparing that to Zookeepr, I think we've got the following choices:
> - keep using zookeepr, despite no one else using it much
> - switch to another open source conference management system like summit
> , pentabarf , etc.
> - switch to a hosted conference system like regonline 
> I think the third option would probably be easier and nicer, but it also
> goes directly against the reasons that I support LA. Swapping zookeepr
> for summit or pentabarf would be possible, but I think you'd lose about
> as much as you'd gain.
I kind of wonder how far away Zookeepr is from something that could be
used more by others with some nicer bits around it... Is it $10,000
away? $20k? $30k? Would this be a decent investment? Could we work with
some other groups around the world to do a big sprint on development of
it to get it to a point where several groups could more easily use it?
It seems a bit odd that Linux Foundation doesn't... perhaps they'd be
interested in a FOSS solution too.
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