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Open source Organizer pondered

Published: 1st Aug 2007, 20:25:53 | Permalink | Printable

Author ready to release popular app for free

Organiser screenshot, no z's hereTop life management software Organizer could be open sourced by author Chris Morison in a bid to kick-start its future development. Chris admitted this week he has been unable to work on the popular shareware program since March 2003 as he has left university, found a real job, stopped using RISC OS and married some lucky woman.

Releasing the blue prints to Organizer will allow third party prgrammers to dive into the code, fix bugs and add new features.

Chris also said his software is "very stable" and he has added all the features he ever hoped to come up with - and now hopes to find people to continue working on the program. If demand for a new version of Organizer is too low or if there are no programmers willing to pick up the baton, Chris will release, presumably, a final version as freeware. If there is enough demand and coders available, he said today he was willing to go down the open source route.

Calling for comments from users and developers, Chris said: "I'm disinclined just to hand over the source code to one individual and leave it in their hands, no matter how talented, committed or helpful to me they've been in the past.

"I would, however, be happy to release the source under some form of open source licence. Care would have to be taken to protect the brand and ensure that there aren't forks with the same name but incompatible file formats - but we can discuss that if we decide it's worthwhile."

Chris added: "I haven't touched the code since March 2003. The reason for this is that since I left University in 2002 I've started full-time employment and got married, which means that I have very little time these days to devote to programming as a hobby."

Organizer is a desktop personal organiser featuring a calendar, diary, anniversary address book, and a simple, user friendly graphical interface. The software's users were this afternoon quick to ask for iCal file import support, mobile phone and PDA synchronisation, as well as other feature suggestions.

Developer Theo Markettos said: "A lot of the developments that have happened, such as people taking over projects or producing upgrades to support 32 bit and new OSes, took place because the source was 'out there' and it was easy for someone to fiddle with, not necessarily with any obvious maintainer.

"Personally for any project I'd be much more likely to 'have a go' to make casual Sunday-afternoon changes if the source was easily downloadable, rather than had to negotiate access beforehand. If there was a maintainer I'd submit these to them."


Organizer website

Previous: AMPlayer source code released
Next: Rick Murray releases his apps' source code


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This is one great piece of software and one that I miss a LOT. I don't know if it's officially classified as a killer app, but to me it always was. If he has no time to develop it himself, I urge the author to fully open-source this. It would be a sad loss if it faded away Vantage style.

 is a RISC OS Userarenaman on 1/8/07 9:00PM
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I used this all the time when I was using RiScOs all the time. I even toyed with the idea for integrating palm data into it. Sadly I went to windros for that and PocketPC recently.

A great app......

cheers bob

 is a RISC OS Usernijinsky on 2/8/07 10:05AM
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Saying Organizer is a killer application is to much honour, although it's a very useful tool. And it is very kind that Chris thinks about releasing the source under some form of open source licence. When Drobe readers will post their comments they should mention what new features, modifications etc. they want. Currently I have no ideas - I don't have v1.57 to be able to make some suggestions.

 is a RISC OS UserGregor on 2/8/07 10:21AM
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Well, nowadays such programs really need synchronisation with mobile devices to be useful. But I really liked it and used it a lot, until I got my first Psion Series 5. I then went on to a Ericsson MC218 (essentially a Psion 5mx). Synchronisation software for these was announced at some stage. I'm not sure if it ever made it to a release, but if it did it was long after these two devices died and were replaced with SonyEricsson P800 and later P910i smartphones, wich sync perfectly with the MacOS X software. My dad now has the P990i, wich I'll probably skip (although it seem very good). Anyway, my point is, that Organizer is very good, but it's even better to always have it with you, wich unfourtunately is not possible. So second best thing is to have the equivalent SymbianOS software always with you. :-)

 is a RISC OS UserJGZimmerle on 2/8/07 1:05PM
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Organizer is great, but I've largely stopped using it in favour of Google calendar, now. However, my mobile device already synchronises with Google Calendar, so if Organizer were to synch with that, that would be enough for me.

Even if it were just able to subscribe to or import iCal files would mean I start using it again, which is surely less work than allowing synchronisation with an endlessly updating list of mobile devices.

 is a RISC OS Userrichcheng on 2/8/07 1:36PM
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My favorite mobile machine is my Psion 5. However, it's gathering dust at the moment because my Palm of similar vintage supports full synchronization with Linux software. It's hard to go back to having all of ones appointments stuck on the desktop or the mobile once you have become used to being able to synchronize.

 is a RISC OS Userkillermike on 2/8/07 5:10PM
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killermike: Not sure if your post was in reply to mine or not, but my point was that if Organizer could synch with Google Calendar, then, it would, effectively be synched with my mobile device. (Calendarwise, at least.)

This would work for any mobile device that supports Google Calendar synching, whereas if Organizer were to synch directly, support would have to be written for many different devices, the ranks of which have a pretty rapid turnover.

 is a RISC OS Userrichcheng on 2/8/07 6:52PM
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Please do this. After the success of Netsurf and the potential of RISC OS Open, I think an increasing culture of open source will be very good for the revitalisation of the RISC OS scene. Let's add Organizer to the open source portfolio an encourage other authors to do the same thing.

 is a RISC OS UserGinger2 on 2/8/07 9:35PM
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Organizer would seem a good candidate for open sourcing. I is a very nice application as it stands and is a permanent fixture on my Icon Bar. However I would really like it to be able to easily synchronize it with my PDA etc.

So Chris I say go for it! give your baby the chance to be all it can be :-)

 is a RISC OS Uservshears on 3/8/07 1:49PM
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I think that Organizer is a wonderful application and hope that this means it can be developed even futher.

 is a RISC OS UserRevin Kevin on 3/8/07 2:53PM
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Is it really necessary to refer to the 'blue prints' - are people really so thick that they can't understand what source code is?

 is a RISC OS UserIvanDobski on 3/8/07 5:29PM
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I don't know if this is the reason drobe used the term 'blue prints' rather than source code, but since Organizer is written in interpreted BASIC, technically the source code has always been available as part of the application anyway. However, it has its variables compressed, making it tricky to follow, and my guess is that 'blue prints' refers to the original BASIC file.

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 3/8/07 6:52PM
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From the News ticker:

"AMPlayer source code released Blue prints for popular MP3 player available online | Posted: 31st Jul 2007, 23:20:20" That's why I noticed it being used in this item as well. I can't help wondering if Drobe are going to use this term with *every* open source release.

 is a RISC OS UserIvanDobski on 4/8/07 9:55AM
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Fair enough. I was probably too quick to rush to drobe's defence in this case! Maybe they just need to invest in a good Thesaurus?! (Although looking just now, there aren't that many to go on for 'Source Code;).

You've also highlighted to some extent how many RISC OS programs are going Open Source at the moment. It's great that the programs can get a new lease of life and won't be lost now that the blue prints ( ;) ) are available. But it's also a shame -- as in this case -- that we're losing some great programmers from the market. Maybe it'll lead to a bit of a resurgence in development?

And to add my voice to the many already saying so: Organizer is a great application that's always on my icon bar. It already has excellent and customisable export functions (you can export vCal/iCal/vCard etc.), but my vote would be to see improved import functions too (especially for the address book).

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 4/8/07 10:49AM
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This is a great program and, at some point in the past, I was looking forward to Pocketbook synchronisation! Alas that didn't quite make it into a realeased product. It's still a useful program (it always reminds me not to forget birthdays) and it would be brilliant to see its facilities extended a little. Good luck to anyone with the time (and skills) to take this on!

 is a RISC OS Userharmsy on 17/8/07 3:44PM
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