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DaDaBIK is ALIVE and need your support!

Hi folks,
yes, I know, long time since the last post and almost three years since the last DaDaBIK release :(

I haven't had enough time for DaDaBIK in the last period and, to be honest, I also haven't had enough reasons to spend my nights and my spare time in coding and testing as I did before.

It's hard to believe but the next year DaDaBIK will turn ten. Ten years! First public release on Sourceforge: November 2001. I can't imagine how many bugs that version contained :))

Many many times during this “sabbathic” period I tried to decide something about the future of DaDaBIK but I didn't manage to do it.
But...after nine years from the first release, almost three years from the last release and more than two years of “silence” I still get e-mail from people who want to thank me, people still download DaDaBIK, people still write on the forum, people still use DaDaBIK: http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&q=%22powered+by%3A+dadabik%22&btnG=Google+Search
so now I'm sure that DaDaBIK is not dead and I WANT TO KEEP IT ALIVE because maybe was one of the most useful things I made.

I used to work as a consultant for a software house but some months ago I decided to quit my job and to dedicate the next year almost entirely to scientific research: I'm doing a PhD on recommender systems (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Recommender_system) and I have to work hard on it now; I won't have so much spare time but I really want to take some time for DaDaBIK...even because I really need some coding activity :)
But this time I really need your support; DaDaBIK is still a GPL software but, after hundreds of hours spent on it for free, now I really would like to have some economic return for the future work. If you think DaDaBIK is useful, I ask you to donate some money to the project; even a few euros/dollars is enough if a lot of people will do it. If you also use DaDaBIK for your business and make money with it, you should perceive the donation as the MOST NORMAL THING TO DO.

Chris Anderson predicted that "free is the future of business"; I instead hope the future will be: users paying small fees (would be great if voluntarily) for good services/software, and I want to experiment this with DaDaBIK.

I still don't know if I will implement a real business model for DaDaBIK, by now I would like to put more emphasis on free donations and see what happens, see if the community will respond to my appeal; then maybe I will try a more structured approach (see for example how the ardour project gets money http://ardour.org/development) or a donation-per-feature approach. I also thought about double licensing and selling a commercial version of DaDaBIK, what do you think? Will someone be interested in paying for a commercial/premium version of DaDaBIK? DON'T WORRY, my ideas is too always keep a GPL version available.

I don't know exactly where to start; the code is a bit old-fashion now but it's clean and it works so for the moment I think it wouldn't be so useful to rewrite DaDaBIK from scratch using some modern paradigm. Maybe it would be better to start implementing the next steps of the road map or including some of the custom features that users added to DaDaBIK during these years.
The Web site too would need an update, but maybe at the moment just for the fourm: the forum system (phorum) is very old and now there are many open source systems with a lot of interesting features like the trust level of each user. What do you thing about this? Any suggestions? I think the second issue in order of importance would be adding a real blog system to the site instead of this home-made announcement system.

Last but not least: I (we) really have to say a big “thank you!” to Debbie, who during these years took care of the support forum, even during my virtual absence. Debbie YOU ARE GREAT!

Ok, long post but many things to say after so long time. Now I would like to read your comment, please let me know what you think.

Ciao,


Eugenio

  1. Mike 10 Sep 2010

    The system was fantastic as far as it went but the biggest issue in my eyes was it's multiuser aspect. I really appreciate all the work you did and yes thanks Debbie! She answered some critical questions in the past for me.

    I'd be interested in donating my time (whatever time I can squeeze in) to help get this new idea up and running and updated including helping you out with your website.) I definitely was scared when I started reading about possibly going commercial because when I started off programming, I couldn't have got 1/100th the knowledge without the open source software. If this project goes commercial and all that remains open is the old code then I have dim lights on it all. After some time searching for a complete free php database system, this was the only thing out there. Without it, I feel bad for anyone who wants to put their fingers on it and expand their realm of knowledge. I did find the commercial establishment of php database generators/editors was quite large so I guess before you jump into this thought, take some time and look around and feel for what is out there, and 'who' is out there that you'd like to satisfy indluding yourself. I hope that made some sense.. and THANKS!!!!

  2. Pedro Gaspar 10 Sep 2010

    I must start with a big thanks to Eugenio as the face of this project that helped me with the creation of some self made dynamic websites.
    At the moment there are a lot of good cms systems out there, but for a quick and simple situation I still keep Dadabik as a top option because it was my first well known platform.
    I loved the simplicity in parameters, and beeing a noob I even started my own pt_PT translation as it was so perfectly made from strings. I tried some code changes popular in the forum, but cant remember any conclusion. I just remember that there were some great unofficial contributions to Dadabik that might be included as a final revision :).
    As I said, from the born of Dadabik until now, appeared a lot of CMS, some very impressive and comunity supported like wordpress. Making a revised version of Dadabik, can make a difference as a simple installation backend for a small website.
    I promisse you that if the project stays alive, I will continue to recommend it!
    Best wishes, overjoyed with the news and very curious with its destin.

    Pedro Gaspar
    Thank You!

  3. Eugenio 10 Sep 2010

    @Mike my idea, for the commercial issue, was not to keep open just the old code, but maybe just offer dual licensing with exactly the same code (some people could prefer a commercial license if the price was not high) or add some premium features to the commercial one, or support. Even publishing the open version release some weeks after the commercial release could be an idea, people that wants it as soon as possible pays some money, the others will wait for the free version.

    I don't know, by now they are just thoughts, I really would like to manage to have a small but regular financial support via free donations, like http://ardour.org/development does, but I have to wait and see during the following days if the community answer to my appeal!

    @Pedro yes there are many amazing CMSs now, but I also think that the strength of DaDaBIK has always been that it's very easy to use and, with a little php knowledge, also to customize. Perfect if you need a very fast solution for a simple backend or want to build in a couple of hours a db application.

  4. Norm Goodkin 16 Sep 2010

    Eugenio -

    Thank you so much for creating DaDaBIK, and continuing to take time to work on it.

    I used DaDaBIK to provide my amateur radio club with on-line access to member information, including the ability for members to change their own information. For years, this was the primary way to share the information with members, but was supplanted by member information in vBulletin.

    I'm also using it to create a mailing list for my school alumni club, to allow multiple people to work on the contact list instead of using off-line spreadsheets.

    In both cases, member use was problematic because I needed a unique username and password for DaDaBIK. I was able to customize the PHP scripts to look at the cookie created by phpBB3, derive a Username from the phpBB3 cookie and use that to log onto DaDaBIK. That sort of integration is critical to my use of DaDaBIK. Perhaps DaDaBIK could use OpenID (openid.net) for authentication?

    I would be interested in a commercial version, and have already recommended DaDaBIK to several clients.

  5. Eugenio 16 Sep 2010

    Hello Norm and thanks for your appreciation.
    DaDaBIK can use a different table (respect to the default one) to handle authentication, so you should be able to directly use the users table of any other applications.

    From the documentation
    "DaDaBIK uses by default the table users_tab to store user information, but you can also use your own users table, changing the $users_table_* parameters in /include/config.php. User passwords are md5 encrypted."

  6. GIUSEPPE CALAMITA 16 Sep 2010

    Hello, when my head office asked me to realize an interface for a mysql database in institute at CNR, I found Dadabik. The features I had to implement are not realizable with Dadabik but some hard coding. After a deep search I found some other GPL web applications: Xataface, My ayax table editor, Fabrik (extension for Joomla) and finally nuBuilder. The choice more compatible with our needs is nuBuilder a great GPL interface for enterprise applications: fast, well supported, well designed, well documented. It is able to manage tables with some millions of records. I writed a review on it on eweek labs I'm a contributor there. Said that in order your product will be competitive has to be enterprise, GPL and from my experience in these kind of apps with a Fabrik paradigm in terms of features. I may contribute in your effort by testing your future release here in our Institute of Plant genetics for not financial apps in order to open another application field and customers. Finally I' willing to review your final release on eweek. Good work.

    g. c.

  7. GWP 16 Sep 2010

    I have only used dadabik for about a year. I would love to help it grow into a more user-friendly system. I would happily donate. The forum is one thing that really does need updating. you cannot enter </code> tags and there is no differential between the various versions of DD.
    I think a new forum would add value to the dadabik name and encourage other ppl to want to use it. I would also like to see more user options integrated into the config, such as date format (1 for usa 2 for European) etc. Thnaks agin for a great product and many mnay thanks to debbie for her help duing my time here.

  8. eugenio 16 Sep 2010

    @Giuseppe Thanks and I will have a look at the applications you tell about

    @GWP Thanks, I also think that the forum software is too old; what do you mean for "no differential between various verions"? Do you think it would help having a forum for each DaDaBIK version? Actually I don't think so, usually people add to the message the version used.
    Any advises from anyone about which forum software to use?

    In general the only negative points after the forum update in my opinion would be:
    - people will need to search in two forum systems (I think I will have to keep the current one in readonly mode)
    - modern forum systems, as far as I see around, cannot be so easily integrated in the web site layout as PHORUM could.

  9. JP 17 Sep 2010

    I have been using DaDaBIK since version 2.1 and I must say this program has been a life saver.

    Several years back I was tasked by my boss to create a website with a database to eliminate a paper trail and have a central location that everyone could access and input information. I found DaDaBIK and went to work, well I never looked back and have been using it ever since.

    I currently maintain three intranet web pages that utilize DaDaBIK (ver. 4.2) one of which has well over 60,000 records and as I expected DaDaBIK runs flawlessly.

    Most of the suggestions I could make for any changes to DaDaBIK can be seen on my demo page.
    http://dadabik.kicks-ass.net

    If I had to pick one change, my favorite would be the javascript date picker mod which I noticed is on on your Road Map features list and is one of the first mods implemented on my page.

    I want to thank you Eugenio for taking the time to create such a great web based database front end. I look forward to it's continued development. A special thank you to Debbie who has been my go to person for a ton of technical support.

  10. eugenio 17 Sep 2010

    Hello JP and thanks for your appreciation.
    I will surely have a look at your hacks!

  11. Dare 17 Sep 2010

    I would have loved to donate, but Paypal does not accept my coutry, maybe you should incluide other payments methods, 2CO or something. I would not mind buying the commercial version as long as it is user friendly and does not require the hack implementations to make features work.

  12. Eugenio 17 Sep 2010

    Hi Dare, where do you come from?

  13. PD 17 Sep 2010

    Great that you are back. Would be interested in donating if DADABIK will be developed further AND actively supported. I am currently using it to develop and test a private genealogical database 40k records which will go live next year and would be happy to see a few more bells and whistles.

  14. V. Neveu 18 Sep 2010

    I am happy to hear that Dadabik is back and will be developed further. In its present version, your software was of a huge help for me, because it answered exactly to my needs (a simple database front end, not a complete CMS), and I found it easy and quick to use.
    I've sent a small donation to thank you for the good job done.

  15. eugenio 18 Sep 2010

    Thanks for the appreciation and for the contribution.

  16. Pac 20 Sep 2010

    Hey Eugenio,

    I was a bit surprised about your mail in my box, but it´s great to hear that you´re at least alive ;-).

    I´m using DaDaBIK as a portal for myself. I´ve integrated a todo function, a calendar, several lists for things I tend to forget, or several things that needs to be managed from time to time. What I like about DaDaBIK is that you can deploy it so fast and easily. The code is very understandable, so it can be easily customized.

    I think you should continue developing it under these assumptions: Easy to deploy, fast and highly customizable. And I think the last point is the one, that can be extended within DaDaBIK (more customization through the user interface f.e.).

    About the business model. I´m not quite sure if it is possible to establish a real business model out of this. I mean - no offense - but there are so many great pieces of open source software out there on the net and I guess DaDaBIK would need a bunch of new features to make people actually pay for it.

    Donations are sure a method, but you shouldn´t expect a huge income on this.

    Maybe you should think about advertising within DaDaBIK. It would be a fair deal for you and for the users, although some may be annoyed by the ads. But if you need the money, that´s a way.

    All the best
    Pac

  17. eugenio 20 Sep 2010

    Hi Pac,
    maybe you are right for the business model, but maybe not :) I mean I know that now there are other software too but if they are so great why people still download and use DaDaBIK after three years of silence? :) Anyway let me know the name of the tools you are talking about, I want to check them out, maybe they are not the same that I know.

    Anyway, at least for the moment, let's go on with donations, people answered to my mail/post surprisingly well.

    About advertising: at the moment I think that adsense still doesn't allow to put ads on a software application but only on a Web site. Do you know other opportunities? I could also leave the advertising optional.