Tuesday, 20 September 2005

Katrina: Contact Loved Ones with LAMP

I just heard of contactlovedones.org, a web site to help Katrina victims get in touch with each other.

It runs on LAMP and Asterisk. Feels good!

Thanks to Yaakov Menken, CEO of capalon.com in Baltimore, for the choice of technology.


  1. [...] There is a fine line defining what is free as in freedom, what is free as in without cost, and what is paid for. We spend a lot of time thinking about and discussing this line with the goal to serve our community and our paying customers the best (and we are keen to hear your advice to us!). We believe there is an optimal balance where the community continues to be passionate about what we provide, and the customers continue to passionately pay us for the unique value-add they receive. If we would not stay on that fine line, we could easily harm our relationship with either group (or, more likely, with both groups). But we think we can stay on that line, and therefore we think we have the opportunity to build a fantastically profitable company without deviating from the founding FOSS principles. Our main contribution to the FOSS world is naturally the source code of the MySQL server. Originally the work of Monty and David (our founders), it today comprises software produced by nearly 100 engineers around the world. We pay those engineers a monthly salary and give them other benefits, so I think it is appropriate to say that it is MySQL AB that contributes this software to the FOSS community. We have more than 6 million installations under GPL worldwide. If we may say so ourselves, this represents a significant contribution to the well-being of planet Earth. Most recently, active community members set up the ContactLovedOnes.org site for victims of the Katrina hurricane. Our contribution was very modest, but we did contribute the database software needed for the application to run. [...]

  2. Kaj,

    I would dispute your statement that your contribution "was very modest." Open-source enabled our growth and function as a company, and provided all of the applications and languages needed to build Contact Loved Ones.

    Without the foundation of LAMP, we couldn't have done it. The same goes for Asterisk, and the folks who volunteered their time and energy to help us do the tricks we hadn't yet done -- not to mention those who donated servers, incoming VoIP lines and DiDs, and even power.

    So everyone who contributed to open source helped make this possible -- and taken as a group, that contribution was far larger than the few scripts we wrote to put all the pieces together in such a beautiful way.


    Yaakov Menken