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Open Source Design in risk?

Hemos posted more than 8 years ago | from the oh-noes! dept.

184

Stylissimo writes "OSWD.org, the biggest source for free open source web templates, has been offline for several weeks, which has caused a dilemma for the large number of webmasters who rely on open source design. While some of the OSWD.org designers are doing their best to keep the open source design scene alive, others are worried that the absence of OSWD.org will hit the internet hard and maybe even kill the scene. Aaron Nikula, administrator of OSWD.org, has published a statement about the situation and the site may be back again."

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184 comments

For once (4, Funny)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 8 years ago | (#13969899)

... its NOT the slashdot effect
OSWD will be back shortly. We are experiencing technical difficulties.

Re:For once (4, Funny)

Will2k_is_here (675262) | more than 8 years ago | (#13970255)

Oh, the site is down. Here's a google cache [64.233.161.104]

Re:For once (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13970648)

Nice try, Google's updated the cache...it's got 'back soon' page now.

Re:For once (2, Funny)

Will2k_is_here (675262) | more than 8 years ago | (#13970725)

Good Lord! Somebody stripped out your humor module?

Re:For once (1)

EDOX25 (679378) | more than 8 years ago | (#13971080)

Mine is still there. That was funny!

OUTGOING (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13969901)

HELLO WORLD
91152 91152
HELLO WORLD
89449 89449 86576 86576 81444 81444 98359 98359 51061 51061
99039 99039 74226 74226 30191 30191 42732 42732 53853 53853
57959 57959 96601 96601 30604 30604 60252 60252 59176 59176
56939 56939 09928 09928 45202 45202 94513 94513 74389 74389
53556 53556 59482 59482 13305 13305 63938 63938 31581 31581
87766 87766 98699 98699 29283 29283 57194 57194 10048 10048
03314 03314 33191 33191 90728 90728 57459 57459 35808 35808
41612 41612 71591 71591 65776 65776 80284 80284 52929 52929
98635 98635 31335 31335 22493 22493 38141 38141 74506 74506
12132 12132 95945 95945 04476 04476 65042 65042 51070 51070
81695 81695 98344 98344 50708 50708 14522 14522 67185 67185
07645 07645 49845 49845 59679 59679 77351 77351 69441 69441
91247 91247 65304 65304 30743 30743 47996 47996 01917 01917
42319 42319 25174 25174 62212 62212 54466 54466 63455 63455
69727 69727 61616 61616 91130 91130 24839 24839 42687 42687
02792 02792 81157 81157 35339 35339 89627 89627 51655 51655
54136 54136 87083 87083 69893 69893 61144 61144 41236 41236
42484 42484 26412 26412 94672 94672 89273 89273 78099 78099
22279 22279 77396 77396 11320 11320 54019 54019 77332 77332
66826 66826 01337 01337 16007 16007 72945 72945 24959 24959
90498 90498 41681 41681 99897 99897 35772 35772 27223 27223
26106 26106 18428 18428 67639 67639 23682 23682 46267 46267
83606 83606 39137 39137 60405 60405 43438 43438 93550 93550
82370 82370 24966 24966 84821 84821 29596 29596 65576 65576
65258 65258 51301 51301 83670 83670 86827 86827 10847 10847
82821 82821 15154 15154 50497 50497 63332 63332 69614 69614
76089 76089 88512 88512 74545 74545 81886 81886 96548 96548
83426 83426 26369 26369 12180 12180
K-BYE

I can't believe this (4, Funny)

RootsLINUX (854452) | more than 8 years ago | (#13969907)

They're already having trouble getting their site back up, and then you decide to go and slashdot them? Good lord, have you no sense of decency???

Re:I can't believe this (1, Flamebait)

Overly Critical Guy (663429) | more than 8 years ago | (#13970082)

This is the site that has the capability to cache links and not destroy people's bandwidth fees but just won't do it. Decency? Ha, you're asking the wrong people.

Re:I can't believe this (5, Informative)

IamLarryboy (176442) | more than 8 years ago | (#13970089)

Their server is going down hard. Here is the text.

***

Hello everyone, I'm Aaron "MonkeyMan" Nikula, I've been running OSWD for the past 3 years, so here's your authoritative explanation.

On Oct 13th our site was displaying a "Forbidden" error. We tried to contact our host (phpwebhosting.com), but despite our "emergency" support ticket it took them a week to reply to it and they do not have a phone support number. Turns out they had attempted to contact us through an email address that Frank used to create an account years ago. After all that was sorted out it turns out they disabled our account because the website was crashing their server. They have 196 users on that machine, 92 mysqld threads, and 33 apache threads, so I think we just used up too many resources for a shared (and cheap) host.

Regardless, none of that has anything to do with the problems we're having now. A little bit of OSWD history first. OSWD was started by Frank Skettino about 4 years ago. I joined 1 month after the project was created (before we even had the OSWD.org domain) and that's when I started writing PHP code for the project. After a while (months) Frank started doing less and less and I started picking up slack. I think I've written 95% of the code that was running the website. I also maintained the website. About 50% of the designs were approved by me, 45% by various volunteers (Josh, Josh, Locke, and Skatters to name a few), and 5% were done by Frank in the early days. In fact, when I had to take a trip and was away from the internet for about 4 months, nobody maintained the site. There were hundreds of designs in the queue and nobody approved them until I got back. I also started the OSWD design contests, in fact (as Josh mentioned) we were in the middle of one when the site went down.

After OSWD started to gain some steam Frank decided to add our first commercial venture. He added the template monster affiliate program to the website. It has been criticized in the past by our members because it's not open source and people confused them with our free designs. I think it's worth noting that he never told anyone how much money he made and he didn't share the money. He was paying for the hosting, so I was fine with that (although our hosting cost was $10/month, I can assure you he was making more than that).

So, back to the present: all these things were making me upset. When the site went down I thought it would be a nice time to ask Frank to pass the website to me for the benefit of the project. He hasn't talked to me since. Also, I don't have access to OSWD or access to my email account. OSWD DOES have new hosting, the transfer was done 2 weeks ago. The problem is that Frank won't do the work to bring it back up. There are no technical problems anymore, he's just sitting on it. Also, he won't give the project to anyone else to do it for him, I think because he wants to keep as much control on the website as possible.

So that's what's happening guys. I really appreciate all the offers of hosting, but that's not the issue here. And really, unless Frank gives up the website, there's not a whole lot I can do help. Hope that clears things up!

Then fork (5, Insightful)

suso (153703) | more than 8 years ago | (#13970232)

If a project is useful, and the people in control of the project won't help the project evolve in some direction or just sit on it and do nothing, you fork the code. In this case, you might not have access to the website source code, but I would think there would be an archive somewhere.

This is the reason why there should be at least two independent people in charge of open source projects.

Re:Then fork (1)

jmony (245233) | more than 8 years ago | (#13970816)

This is exactly what I believe should be done: fork. It's open source we are talking about. The domain name doesn't matter; the content does.

#include (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13970408)

#include <obligatory-seth-finkelstein-rant-about-michael-si ms-and-censorware-dot-org.h>

Hosting (1)

queenb**ch (446380) | more than 8 years ago | (#13970732)

I'm certain that many of us who have benefited from you would be willing to drop you some cash via PayPal. I use a very responsive hosting company and have had no complaints so far. If you like, I'd be happy to help you get back up and running with a new URL. Just sign in and leave a private message on blog (URL above) and we'll get cracking.

2 cents,

Queen B

Re:I can't believe this (1)

autophile (640621) | more than 8 years ago | (#13971236)

Wouldn't this be an appropriate time to tell Frank to "fork you"?

--Rob

Seems like survival of the fittest. (2, Insightful)

chroot_james (833654) | more than 8 years ago | (#13969909)

I suspect they're in trouble because they're not performing a valuable enough service. Linux never has trouble finding funding because it's so valuable to people that Linux stay in healthy shape. I've taken a look through OSWD before and found most of the sites were ugly. Not only that, they wouldn't adapt well to a site design I have in mind.

So it goes.

Re:Seems like survival of the fittest. (3, Insightful)

Karma_fucker_sucker (898393) | more than 8 years ago | (#13969934)

I suspect they're in trouble because they're not performing a valuable enough service.

I've never even heard of them until today. Maybe it's an exposure problem i.e. Not enough?

Re:Seems like survival of the fittest. (2, Informative)

OverlordQ (264228) | more than 8 years ago | (#13970095)

If you Google for "Web Design [google.com] " they come up as #4 for me.

Re:Seems like survival of the fittest. (1)

robertjw (728654) | more than 8 years ago | (#13970897)

If you Google for "Web Design" they come up as #4 for me.

Thing is, every time I look for templates I search for 'web templates', 'css templates' or something of that nature. I wouldn't search 'Web Design' unless I was actually looking for a web designer, thus I've never heard of them either, until today.

Re:Seems like survival of the fittest. (1)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 8 years ago | (#13970108)

If you had read the article, you'd have seen that apparently, the guy who registered the domain a few years ago, and is now out of the picture, doesn't want to turn over the domain to the people who have been doing the heavy lifting for the last while.

Moral of the story - if you're doing a lot of work on something, make sure the contact info is up to date, or you can end up having your work "hijacked".

Re:Seems like survival of the fittest. (2, Insightful)

ergo98 (9391) | more than 8 years ago | (#13969942)

I suspect they're in trouble because they're not performing a valuable enough service.

Is it really a funding problems? Sounds more like a lame technical screw up soap opera.

Why is this on Slashdot? Some random site has some problems, and that gets a Slashdot front-page story? The fact that they have "open source" in their name doesn't quite merit it. And I love the popup-prevention-circumvention popups at the forum link included in the submission. Nice.

Re:Seems like survival of the fittest. (0)

Karma_fucker_sucker (898393) | more than 8 years ago | (#13969960)

Why is this on Slashdot?

The editors needed an article so that they can keep'em coming every 30 minutes or so.

Re:Seems like survival of the fittest. (1)

Wornstrom (920197) | more than 8 years ago | (#13970018)

from the statement:
After OSWD started to gain some steam Frank decided to add our first commercial venture. He added the template monster affiliate program to the website. It has been criticized in the past by our members because it's not open source and people confused them with our free designs. I think it's worth noting that he never told anyone how much money he made and he didn't share the money. He was paying for the hosting, so I was fine with that (although our hosting cost was $10/month, I can assure you he was making more than that). So, back to the present: all these things were making me upset. When the site went down I thought it would be a nice time to ask Frank to pass the website to me for the benefit of the project. He hasn't talked to me since. Also, I don't have access to OSWD or access to my email account. OSWD DOES have new hosting, the transfer was done 2 weeks ago. The problem is that Frank won't do the work to bring it back up. There are no technical problems anymore, he's just sitting on it. Also, he won't give the project to anyone else to do it for him, I think because he wants to keep as much control on the website as possible. So that's what's happening guys. I really appreciate all the offers of hosting, but that's not the issue here. And really, unless Frank gives up the website, there's not a whole lot I can do help. Hope that clears things up!

sounds like the one guy Frank is being greedy and lazy, doesn't want to lose his affiliate cash, or do the work to get the site back up.

Re:Seems like survival of the fittest. (1)

Jon Peterson (1443) | more than 8 years ago | (#13970076)

Well, it sounds to me like someone wants to retain control of their website that they paid for. Big deal.

Re:Seems like survival of the fittest. (1)

Omestes (471991) | more than 8 years ago | (#13970917)

Usually when I want to maintain control of something, I actively develop and/or manage it. I'm sure Aaron[?] would be okay with the site just going back up, since it seems he was happy doing all the work with none of the material pay-off before.

I agree with the parent, Frank seems to just be being rather lazy and negligent, being that he refuses to fork over the (OS) project to Aaron but also refuses to do any work on his own. He should give a catagorical "NO!", and then DO SOMETHING, or cede all costs and reponsibilities to Aaron while keeping his for profit project for himself. By doing nothing we can draw no conclusions, but it also impedes a decent resource from everyone for no reason, when it could be up, albeit under someone else.

My question is why doesn't he just fork it to his new host, if he has been maintaining it he should have some form of backup or previous version stored locally (if not, shame on him!), and for the code itself, he shouldn't have much of a problem securing from other sources again, and/or asking for donations. And if Frank brings the original site up, then he will (from the sound of it) be in a bad place being that he does no actual work.

Re:Seems like survival of the fittest. (1)

hackwrench (573697) | more than 8 years ago | (#13971244)

But they didn't pay for all of it. A website is composed of three things:
1. Domain Name
2. Hosting
3. Content

He paid for the first two, but he didn't pay for the latter, and it is the latter that makes the first one valuable. Legally he may have obligations to the providers of the content regarding the domain name.

I am not a lawyer, but I am basing my statement on what I learned in a Business Law class that was taught by a prosecuting attorney.

Re:Seems like survival of the fittest. (1)

Threni (635302) | more than 8 years ago | (#13970817)

>Why is this on Slashdot? Some random site has some problems, and that gets a Slashdot
>front-page story?

Every story on Slashdot is a front-page story, isn't it? It *is* news for nerds, and I'm sure it'll get more comments than a lot of stories that I'd agree are more worthy. But Cheggers can't be boozers...

Re:Seems like survival of the fittest. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13970875)

Every story on Slashdot is a front-page story, isn't it?

No. Take a look at any of the sections (they are listed under 'Sections' in the left hand navigation bar). You'll see plenty of stories which didn't make it onto the front page.

Re:Seems like survival of the fittest. (1, Insightful)

hobo sapiens (893427) | more than 8 years ago | (#13969970)

I will agree. Web site templates SUCK big time. I mean, if you cannot design a web site, then what are you doing trying to produce one? Also, isn't designing them the fun part? Worst of all, these idiotic templates are often full of bloated code and bad stock photos that lend nothing to the product except to make it look "professional". Good riddance. Replace it with a website on how to design usable web sites. And tutorials on how to never use a stock photo again.

Re:Seems like survival of the fittest. (2, Insightful)

hobo sapiens (893427) | more than 8 years ago | (#13970284)

Whomever just modded me down as flamebait -- you probably did that because on your last consulting job where you got PAID to design a website, you went to this site and grabbed a nifty template. It worked out too, since executives don't care about bad code and they just LOVE stock photos, especially ones of second rate models in corporate attire giving a laptop a steely stare. Plus the website probably plays sounds and all kinds of "kewl" stuff. I have seen it too many times in my professional experience.

Website templates are bad. I do not use generalities like this too often, but in this case it is merited. If you cannot design a website, or know enough to hire someone who can, then "resources" like this one will not cover your ineptitude. If you are a good programmer but cannot design well, ask for help. Learn how. Don't take a template and use it. By the time you make it fit your needs, you could have learned something. Better yet, let form follow function. Google should prove to everyone that if it works fast and well, it doesn't gotta be pretty.

There, that felt good.

Now THAT'S quality flamebait. Fire away, hosers.

Re:Seems like survival of the fittest. (1)

Omestes (471991) | more than 8 years ago | (#13971029)

I mostly agree with you, so no flame here, perhaps its just how you originally put it.

I have used templates before, but going with the OS model, I HEAVILY modify them for my own ends, until they are pretty much nothing like what they started as. And actually that is how I cut my teeth on HTML/design is finding the design I wanted, looking at the source, and ripping it apart until it does what I want. Only after that did I develop an aesthetic and style for myself.

Its like art classes, first you study art learn about it, only then can you create it. Same thing with lit, first you must read, and the more you read, the better you can write. (ditto with my area, philosophy).

Right now I'm working on a new personal/porfolio page, and wouldn't mind grabbing a template for it, if only as the spark of inspiration from which I can shape it, and modify it, or even throw it out because I can do better.

To claim that templates are worthless is a bit flame-baity in that sense, being that plenty of people can get use from them, without being creatively bankrupt, but only if they don't let it sit as is.

Re:Seems like survival of the fittest. (1)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 8 years ago | (#13971280)

Need inspiration?

Go or [dezwozhere.com] here [dezwozhere.com]

Lots of css goodness, examples, downloadable stuff, etc.

Re:Seems like survival of the fittest. (1)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 8 years ago | (#13971448)

Frig - I screwed up the first link. My bad http://www.csszengarden.com/ [csszengarden.com]

Re:Seems like survival of the fittest. (1)

Maestro4k (707634) | more than 8 years ago | (#13971451)

If you cannot design a website, or know enough to hire someone who can, then "resources" like this one will not cover your ineptitude. If you are a good programmer but cannot design well, ask for help. Learn how. Don't take a template and use it. By the time you make it fit your needs, you could have learned something.
As someone who just had to make a new website for my employer in a rather short time period (3 weeks) using software I'd never used before (Joomla, used to be called Mambo) I can tell you that there are indeed times where taking an existing template and modifying it is quite necessary. Of course I wasn't hired as a web designer and the last time I designed a site was well before cascading style sheets were around.

As for learning something, well yes I did, and I did it by going through the template's PHP and CSS files and methodically figuring out what sections affected the site's look. Mostly this was done with the CSS file since the PHP file was short and sweet. I picked a template with the basic layout we wanted for the site to start with, that saved some time. After I was done I had a far better understanding of CSS and PHP (I've not had cause to use PHP before either). I probably _could_ design a new site from scratch now, but not before.

Frankly I learn much faster using a real working example and modifying it. Not only does the template fit our needs I learned quite a lot. It also prepared me for the task of making the ExtCalendar component and Mini-Cal module match the site. Those use seperate style sheets of their own and had minimal documentation (or meaningful element names) for what styles modified what. It took me 6 hours of trial and error on each one simply to find out what each element modified and then change it. I also commented up the style sheet as I went and will be contributing it back to the project since it's open source. (It's also still a beta which is likely why the style sheets aren't easy to modify yet. In fact the Mini-Cal used an inline style sheet originally, now it uses an external one.)

So there you go, a case where using a template was not only necessary, using it lead to my learning quite a bit and even a contribution to an open source project. I had to modify the PHP code for the mini-cal a bit as well and more needs to be done. I'll be taking some time at work over the next few weeks to make some more substantial mods (basically allowing finer control over the appearance of the mini-cal, this will help make modifying its appearance far easier in the future) and contributing that as well.

But yeah, Website templates are bad right?

Re:Seems like survival of the fittest. (3, Informative)

knipknap (769880) | more than 8 years ago | (#13970039)

You might want to RTFA. The problem is not about the funding or technical issues, it is about a webmaster who does not want to give up control:
The problem is that Frank won't do the work to bring it back up. There are no technical problems anymore, he's just sitting on it. Also, he won't give the project to anyone else to do it for him, I think because he wants to keep as much control on the website as possible.

Re:Seems like survival of the fittest. (1)

chroot_james (833654) | more than 8 years ago | (#13970060)

If people cared enough, a replacement would pop up. That was my point.

Re:Seems like survival of the fittest. (2, Insightful)

Maestro4k (707634) | more than 8 years ago | (#13970164)

If people cared enough, a replacement would pop up. That was my point.
It probably will, but at this time no one but the guy holding OSWD in stasis has access to any of the files. It'll take a while to recreate the site from scratch so a replacement can't just "pop up" in this case. I'm sure the rest of the OSWD community will build a new site but it won't have as many templates as the old site for quite some time.

Re:Seems like survival of the fittest. (1)

Paradise Pete (33184) | more than 8 years ago | (#13970427)

It probably will, but at this time no one but the guy holding OSWD in stasis has access to any of the files.

You don't think there's an off-site copy anywhere?

Re:Seems like survival of the fittest. (1)

Maestro4k (707634) | more than 8 years ago | (#13971225)

You don't think there's an off-site copy anywhere?
The post by Aaron Nikula linked from the /. summary doesn't seem to indicate there is one, or if there is only Frank (the guy holding things in stasis) is the only one with access to it. His message is pretty clear: OSWD won't be coming back up until Frank either does the necessary work or allows someone else to do so.

Now all the individual contributors likely have copies of their templates and many people may have at least a handful they downloaded but it would still take a while to rebuild that way.

Re:Seems like survival of the fittest. (3, Informative)

poot_rootbeer (188613) | more than 8 years ago | (#13970174)

I suspect they're in trouble because they're not performing a valuable enough service.

The cut-n-pasted statement in an above comment seems to suggest that they're in trouble because they're using more than their fair share of the shared hosting resources (according to the hosting company). This would seem to contraindicate the idea that not enough people are finding value in what they offer.

Re:Seems like survival of the fittest. (1)

HeyBob! (111243) | more than 8 years ago | (#13971144)

Websites based on templates!?! No wonder most of the internet looks similar...

Never heard of it. Have you? (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13969913)

I doubt it will affect the "open source design scene" whatever that is. Are we just talking about free web layouts or actual code? Seems there are many alternative sites that will continue to provide such goodies.

Re:Never heard of it. Have you? (2, Informative)

waterwheel (599833) | more than 8 years ago | (#13970083)

Calling this an OSS project is misleading at best. Yes they have some free/opensource templates. But the biggest push on that site, and certainly any of their decent looking templates are NOT opensource. You gotta pay to play, no distribution rights, etc. In short, it's a commercial site that's trying to make money with an OS front. (to clarify, they're not making money off of OSS, they're calling their site OS, but offering primarily commerical products). And guess what....now they've got their knickers in a knot over who's making the cash!

Reprint of the forum post from the original article:

Hello everyone, I'm Aaron "MonkeyMan" Nikula, I've been running OSWD for the past 3 years, so here's your authoritative explanation.

On Oct 13th our site was displaying a "Forbidden" error. We tried to contact our host (phpwebhosting.com), but despite our "emergency" support ticket it took them a week to reply to it and they do not have a phone support number. Turns out they had attempted to contact us through an email address that Frank used to create an account years ago. After all that was sorted out it turns out they disabled our account because the website was crashing their server. They have 196 users on that machine, 92 mysqld threads, and 33 apache threads, so I think we just used up too many resources for a shared (and cheap) host.

Regardless, none of that has anything to do with the problems we're having now. A little bit of OSWD history first. OSWD was started by Frank Skettino about 4 years ago. I joined 1 month after the project was created (before we even had the OSWD.org domain) and that's when I started writing PHP code for the project. After a while (months) Frank started doing less and less and I started picking up slack. I think I've written 95% of the code that was running the website. I also maintained the website. About 50% of the designs were approved by me, 45% by various volunteers (Josh, Josh, Locke, and Skatters to name a few), and 5% were done by Frank in the early days. In fact, when I had to take a trip and was away from the internet for about 4 months, nobody maintained the site. There were hundreds of designs in the queue and nobody approved them until I got back. I also started the OSWD design contests, in fact (as Josh mentioned) we were in the middle of one when the site went down.

After OSWD started to gain some steam Frank decided to add our first commercial venture. He added the template monster affiliate program to the website. It has been criticized in the past by our members because it's not open source and people confused them with our free designs. I think it's worth noting that he never told anyone how much money he made and he didn't share the money. He was paying for the hosting, so I was fine with that (although our hosting cost was $10/month, I can assure you he was making more than that).

So, back to the present: all these things were making me upset. When the site went down I thought it would be a nice time to ask Frank to pass the website to me for the benefit of the project. He hasn't talked to me since. Also, I don't have access to OSWD or access to my email account. OSWD DOES have new hosting, the transfer was done 2 weeks ago. The problem is that Frank won't do the work to bring it back up. There are no technical problems anymore, he's just sitting on it. Also, he won't give the project to anyone else to do it for him, I think because he wants to keep as much control on the website as possible.

So that's what's happening guys. I really appreciate all the offers of hosting, but that's not the issue here. And really, unless Frank gives up the website, there's not a whole lot I can do help. Hope that clears things up!

Re:Never heard of it. Have you? (1)

smallguy78 (775828) | more than 8 years ago | (#13970251)

From the looks of their templates, the public isn't missing much. Verdana with blocky table like templates. Maybe I'm just use to paying a designer.

the beauty of geekness (2, Insightful)

Turn-X Alphonse (789240) | more than 8 years ago | (#13969914)

If someone did died (permantly or not) it will be replaced as soon as it needs to be. Geeks tend to like to have tools ready when they need them. So if one is missing theopen source geeks will start to work on it. No matter the name or brand everything will return from it's death in some form.

Re:the beauty of geekness (1)

khoury.brazil (882366) | more than 8 years ago | (#13970532)

My god, I think the parent post just gave me an aneurysm.

If they are so important. (0)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 8 years ago | (#13969936)

If they are so important why doesn't Slashdots parent company host them?

Re:If they are so important. (2, Informative)

eclectro (227083) | more than 8 years ago | (#13969986)

If you RTFA hosting is not the issue. It's the guy who owns the domain OSWD.org that wants to disenfranchise everyone, though he really has done nothing to provide content for the site.

Re:If they are so important. (1)

kmmatthews (779425) | more than 8 years ago | (#13970188)

A. They aren't.
B. They don't need hosting.
C. Why don't you try reading the article once or twice?

Re:If they are so important. (1)

eno2001 (527078) | more than 8 years ago | (#13970867)

Come on dude! This is Slashdot! Where's the fun in reading an article before posting uninformed flambait/trolls? Where's your sense of community? ;P

Hit the Internet hard? Oh, come on... (0)

madman101 (571954) | more than 8 years ago | (#13969946)

others are worried that the absence of OSWD.org will hit the internet hard

I doubt anyone will really notice.

Re:Hit the Internet hard? Oh, come on... (1)

xanadu113 (657977) | more than 8 years ago | (#13970142)

Being as I hadn't noticed it before, will anyone notice? I've been using open source software for web design for years, without OSWD.org..

If anyone is curious as to what WAS there, you can go to this address and see all the previous versions of it by entering it's URL:

Internet Archives [archive.org]

Open Source Melodrama... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13969965)

Catch it here, at Slashdot.

At least we have an explaination now.... (3, Insightful)

haplo21112 (184264) | more than 8 years ago | (#13969976)

...I've been wondering. The site has been very valuable to me for several months now...infact it had become part of my daily, check this site for new stuff rotation. Hopefully they can resolve whatever dispute is keeping them offline soon, or the remaining interested parties will start a new site to replace it.

Unfortunately its sounding rather like greed has reared up in the wake of the disaster...

Re:At least we have an explaination now.... (4, Insightful)

kmmatthews (779425) | more than 8 years ago | (#13970209)

I wouldn't say greed has reared up - the greed has _always_ been there. This prick (Frank) has always been making money from everyone elses work; now that the site needs to be moved to a different host, the guy is just plain too fucking lazy to do it, and too controlling to let anyone else do it.

IMO, something new needs to be started from scratch, without Frank being involved AT ALL.

Re:At least we have an explaination now.... (1)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 8 years ago | (#13971224)

Why not just go here [csszengarden.com] instead?

Really nice shit!

It isn't about lack of hosting it is about greed (2, Informative)

JaseOne (579683) | more than 8 years ago | (#13969992)

If you actually read the linked article (yeah I know that is a lot to expect around here and all that) then you will find out the problem isn't the lack of hosting it is that the founder seems to be holding the site ransom without actually posting a ransom but it seems like he wishes to make the site more comercial.

But open source means... (4, Insightful)

Phoenix (2762) | more than 8 years ago | (#13970006)

If it is an open source movement and the web site is dead with the possibility of it never going up again, is it not in the realm of possibility that others will pick up the pieces and do another one?

Isn't that the point of Open Source? The ability that others can take the source and do with it as they wish as long as the results are also open source?

The death of a web site doesn't mean the death of the OSWD community...unless no one cares and they all let it die.

Phoenix

Re:But open source means... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13970056)

I agree. If it was worthwhile, someone will make it happen in some form again. As for your interpretation of "Open Source", it's incredibly narrow.

Re:But open source means... (2, Insightful)

_Sprocket_ (42527) | more than 8 years ago | (#13970664)



If it is an open source movement and the web site is dead with the possibility of it never going up again, is it not in the realm of possibility that others will pick up the pieces and do another one?


It seems that it should be possible. But it won't be easy without cooperation. And since the site owner doesn't seem keen to help create a site to supplant his, that cooperation is not forthcoming. This leaves those who wish to "pick up the pieces" with two distinct challenges.

The first challenge is replicating the content. This is certainly possible to do - a vast majority of the content seems to have come from the community. The site designs are probably sitting on hard drives of the developers and users right now. The problem is getting those who currently have copies to get around to resubmitting them. And that leads to the greatest challenge; network effect.

The users of OSWD all know about OSWD. It serves as a focus point for those who wish to publish works and those interested in finding those works. The more people who use this site, the more effective (and valuable) it becomes. More users means a larger audience to publish to and more publishers means a larger pool of content to select from. Anyone wishing to create a replacement will have to get the word out about their new site and convince people to begin using it instead of OSWD. Most of these types of sites gain popularity over time so a new replacement will likely have to wait some time before it's built up the same network effect value as OSWD.

That's not to say it can't happen, or shouldn't be done. There are quite a lot of examples of forked projects. And it helps if a significant portion of the community agrees on the fork and follows on to the replacement. A "good", or otherwise popular, fork will tend to form with a significantly larger network effect than those who begin from scratch. Which, in turn, helps get the word out and leads to a faster recovery (even if the original project remains and leads to a somewhat fractured community).

Nice advertisement (1)

Idaho (12907) | more than 8 years ago | (#13970047)

Wow, someone managed to mention 'oswd.org' four times in as little as three sentences and still get it posted to slashdot!

Good marketing job, I must admit :)

OK so this is offtopic, but honestly...what exactly is 'news' about some site that I doubt many people here have even heard of being offline for a few weeks?

Re:Nice advertisement (1)

jafiwam (310805) | more than 8 years ago | (#13971219)

Did you click on the link retard?

It says right there in the article summary the site is down and has been a while. That's not advertising.... it's something else... dunno.. maybe NEWS?

Wiping your ass is a conspiracy of the paper-making industry too. It has nothing to do with not smelling like shiat all the time.

Clearing up some misconceptions (5, Informative)

AnomalyConcept (656699) | more than 8 years ago | (#13970053)

I know this is Slashdot, where no one bothers to read the articles, but after reading roughly 10 comments that were speculation (and completely incorrect based on the information presented in the links), I decided I had to steer the discussion back on track. Mod me down if you want.

The reason (as stated in the articles) why OSWD.org is down is because the person that started the OSWD.org site, Frank, is trying to keep control over the site, although he isn't doing the majority of the work behind mantaining the site.

Sure, OSWD.org had some hosting issues, but that's not why the site isn't back up; the (seems to me) Second in Command, Aaron, who is dedicating a lot of time and effort into maintaining the site wants to migrate the site to a new host (and has already had everthing set up), except for the content/backups, which Frank refuses to provide.

There are some controversial issues:
After OSWD.org gained some popularity in the beginnings, Frank added a "commercial venture" to the site, the 'templat e monster affiliate program', which was non-free. Aaron's concerns is that it was confusing people and because it was non-free.

I think the issue here is more of "what happens if the project leader is unwilling to provide the content (or source code) for a project, and wants to maintain it tightly within their grasp?" I know the common first reaction would be to say "Fork it!", but how can you fork if you don't have the content or source? OSWD.org (presumably) has has a lot of templates submitted, for which a second backup copy may or may not exist. // If there's already another response like this, I apologize. It took me a while to write this.

DISCLAIMER: I am not affiliated with OSWD.org, nor do I remember having visited them in the past. I may have, but all information above is from the articles linked, namely http://www.sitepoint.com/forums/showpost.php?p=226 5475&postcount=40 [sitepoint.com] .

It's a geek fight (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13970119)

How long until someone starts crying?

Re:Clearing up some misconceptions (1)

chriseyre2000 (603088) | more than 8 years ago | (#13970178)

The ability (and right) to fork a project is almost part of the definition of an open-source project. If you can't get at the content start over somewhere else and ask for donations again. The more popular ones must have been downloaded somewhere.

Re:Clearing up some misconceptions (2)

Anthony Boyd (242971) | more than 8 years ago | (#13970243)

The reason (as stated in the articles) why OSWD.org is down is because the person that started the OSWD.org site, Frank, is trying to keep control over the site, although he isn't doing the majority of the work behind mantaining the site.

I run a few sites that get "maintained" by other people. It is bizarre to me that some /. readers apparently think it is reasonable that someone else would eventually have rights to my site simply because they maintained the data for a while. Is that some kind of unspoken agreement that site owners have unknowingly entered into? Is every forum in the world eventually going to be owned by the moderators? Is every code repository going to be owned by patch submitters? Should we have rights to /. because we've posted comments?

I haven't been able to read the article -- the links I've clicked on have been Slashdotted. However, I've not clicked them all, and I'm hopeful that there is more to it than just "OMG! The guy who created it won't cede it to the guy who works on it!"

I'm not saying I don't believe in sweat equity. That's a very real, legitimate thing. But both sides have to agree to what that is worth. If Frank felt the sweat equity was worth nothing, and Aaron didn't bother to find that out until now, then I'd say shame on Aaron, not shame on Frank.

Re:Clearing up some misconceptions (4, Interesting)

slackmaster2000 (820067) | more than 8 years ago | (#13971395)

I've been in this position before.

I was the only administrative-level moderator at a very popular website for several years. I also produced two successful commercial products for the site, and helped work on many new ideas.

There was a problem, though. The site owner was a frequent no show. In fact, for the last couple years I was there he was virtually invisible...only popping up from time time to restart the server. He wouldn't respond to emails, even from me. He wouldn't respond to user requests or ideas, even when they were filtered through myself or other moderators. He wouldn't back up moderator decisions and the whole site turned very chaotic. He basically just disappeared.

So there was a dilema. Yes, he owned the site and it was his to do with as he pleased. However, the vast majority of the content was produced by volunteers and users.

The solution?

I got in touch with another guy from the site who I felt was trustworthy and we started a small business partnership and started our own website dealing with the same exact subject matter. Since we were members of the original site since its beginning (or nearly), we ended up "stealing" a ton of its users. There were of course big moral debates and a lot of hot heads but it cooled off after six months or so. We just recently passed our two year mark and while the original site has like 30,000 members and millions of forum posts, we only have about 3,000 members and a quarter million posts...but that's ok because it's operating the way we want it to, and that's what it's all about. Our business model is successful too in that we haven't had to pay our high server fees out of pocket since the second month of operation. The original site didn't have a successful model of operation, it all depends on that one invisible guy to fund it with donations and advertising, neither of which are reliable sources of income.

So one lesson learned: if you're willing to volunteer a huge amount of time for a project you believe in when somebody else is going to reap the tangible benefits, and then the project turns to shit.... maybe it's YOUR turn to go for it. You've already got the know-how and the drive after all. You don't need a terribly "unique" idea for a website either, there is a lot of room for good competition out there, which benefits everyone (as long as you're not doing anything slimey).

Another lesson I didn't expect to learn: about a year ago I went through a very unexpected divorce, and suddenly my priorities shifted drastically. I went from putting probably 30-40 hours a week into my project to putting maybe a few hours a month into it. I suddenly understood things a lot better from that other owner's perspective...I didn't want to respond to emails...I didn't want to fix things...I didn't want to take care of anything, it just felt like a burden, but one that I couldn't let go of because it was my baby. Anyhow, the last couple months have been much better and I'm not sure I learned any specific lesson except perhaps some tolerance and understanding.

Re:Clearing up some misconceptions (2)

Artful Codger (245847) | more than 8 years ago | (#13970781)

...Sure, OSWD.org had some hosting issues, but that's not why the site isn't back up; the (seems to me) Second in Command, Aaron, who is dedicating a lot of time and effort into maintaining the site wants to migrate the site to a new host (and has already had everthing set up), except for the content/backups, which Frank refuses to provide.

Speaking personally, for any project that I was #2 on AND for which I was doing most of the maintenance... I'd have a complete local set of files, and/or my own set of backup files. Just sayin'.

Another Site Down Because of Bickering (2, Informative)

Katia22 (929167) | more than 8 years ago | (#13970099)

If you guys read the statement, you will understand that the site is not down because of technical difficulties, but of because of "A Lazy Owner" and bickering between the volunteers, If they don't want to bother bringing the site back down, the least they could do is to distribute the content, so that other people can host it themselves. After the all the website belongs to them, but the content doesnt.

Re:Another Site Down Because of Bickering (1)

MooUK (905450) | more than 8 years ago | (#13970711)

The same person sitting there doing nothing and preventing them from restarting the site by hanging on to the backups... well, he's got the backups. Little difficult for anyone else to get the content from them. Interesting, really, that the response to your comment comes from exactly the same article that you were berating people from not reading.

Raises an interesting question (2, Interesting)

linuxwrangler (582055) | more than 8 years ago | (#13970121)

What open-source information and reference site(s) would you find it most difficult to live without? What if freshmeat just disappeared? Or osnews? Or Slashdot or SourceForge?

Just curious.

just keep on the 'open-source' topic, posters! (1)

fantomas (94850) | more than 8 years ago | (#13970186)

It's lucky you made you clear you were interested in which open-source information and reference site(s) slashdotters couldn't live without. I'm really not sure I'd like to know about some of the other sites people here visit on a regular basis ....

Re:Raises an interesting question (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13970193)

"Or Slashdot"

My bosses would wonder about my sudden productivity increase..

Re:Raises an interesting question (2, Interesting)

trollable (928694) | more than 8 years ago | (#13970253)

SF is the most important one for me, but it is not an information or reference site. So here is my list: freshmeat, slashdot, linuxfr [linuxfr.org] , gnu.org, java.net, osnews, jesuislibre [jesuislibre.org] .
Now let's not forget music: Jamendo [jamendo.com] .

Maybe I'm not reading this correctly, but... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13970143)

IN risk, or AT risk... Hmm.

Re:Maybe I'm not reading this correctly, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13970201)

sounds to me like Frank is being a money grubbing noob, and only wanted to reap the benefits of having the server online. i think its about time he gave it up. obviously his coding skills SUCK, otherwise the site would already be back online.

In Risk, At Risk... (-1, Offtopic)

Nun, Mouse, Cowherd (887798) | more than 8 years ago | (#13970177)

Potato, Potahtoe.

Re:In Risk, At Risk... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13970220)

Fries or Chips

Markets Adapt (3, Insightful)

Sweep The Leg (925950) | more than 8 years ago | (#13970204)

I think the article is making a pretty bold claim. Most of these situations tend to resolve themselves eventually and something as trivial as a website doesn't cause death. This reminds me of the days when a major local warez bbs got busted and the scene was declared "dead." Yeah right.

What especially strikes me is about the part "webmasters who rely on open source design." If you're a real designer, you shouldn't have to rely on anything like this except your own talent. Things like this site are certainly a great help and can speed things along, but I do not see how anyone can attach "designer" to their name and then feel the world is over when a website they use is down. Furthermore, there are other websites out there that may be smaller, but do a good job catering to this audience.

Forgive my ignorance, but design sites were around before this site and will be after. Apparently their design didn't accomodate actually hosting content reliably -- perhaps that should be included in their next template.

We Can Rebuild It (2, Insightful)

Bugmaster (227959) | more than 8 years ago | (#13970236)

Surely, someone has the relevant OSWD content cached somewhere ? If the site truly does die (as seems likely), how hard would it be to simply rebuild it from cached content, using Slashcode or Scoop or whatever lightweight CMS it was originally using ?

I find it kind of ridiculous that one man appears to have the power to eliminate a valuable resource used by thousands of users. That just can't be right.

Re:We Can Rebuild It (1)

MooUK (905450) | more than 8 years ago | (#13970579)

Not right, no. But believe it; that's what happens surprisingly often.

Yeah.. wow... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13970267)

worried that the absence of OSWD.org will hit the internet hard and maybe even kill the scene.

I will have to stop writing open source when some crappy servlet site dies? ... Wow.. I must be surfing slashdot again...

What's OSWD? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13970269)

What does that stand for? I've been a Linux developer for just over 10 years and I've never heard of this site.

I know frank. (4, Informative)

hatrisc (555862) | more than 8 years ago | (#13970293)

I work with him, and he is currently re-coding the site and it should be up soon.

I do not know anything about the 'political' drama that Aaron claims, nor do I know if it will be resolved.

Re:I know frank. (3, Insightful)

CaptainPinko (753849) | more than 8 years ago | (#13971276)

if you know frank why don't you ask him to post a statement to inform the community or at least make some of templates available on an ftp server for the meantime.

Why was this modded funny?

OSWD.org (0, Offtopic)

jlebrech (810586) | more than 8 years ago | (#13970296)

OSWD Who?

Real Shame... (2, Interesting)

CaptainPinko (753849) | more than 8 years ago | (#13970392)

Looking at the site in the http://www.oswd.org/ [archive.org] ">WaybackMachine it looks like I could have really used that site in the past. Apparently it was a collection of website designs with the HTML/CSS/JS posted. I love doing web-development (especially the back-end XML processing etc) but I'm not the most creative person out there so having a an entire collection of designs I could flip through all in one play wwould be handy for me to slap-together a oook of my own when I need to. I'm book marking that site just incase it comes back. Heres to hoping.

OSS makes no sense for this. (0, Flamebait)

kuzb (724081) | more than 8 years ago | (#13970449)

F/OSS principles say that the advantage of having an open product is that you can fix problems in it if you need to. You're free to do this because the source code is available for you to work on. HTML is a lousy example of something that should *need* to be opensourced. It's *distributed* in source form. Ergo, anyone using it can modify and edit the html as they see fit. I don't see what the point of making a few people do a lot of work so the lazy can profit is. That's all this encourages, is a bunch of people who get to sell YOUR work for nothing. The only time this might make sense is with images, where the final product, and the raw photoshop image are different. I think a site like this is a mistake, and will only aim to create a bunch more clueless webmasters who don't need to understand anything, because the good people at oswd.com are doing it all for you. Thanks guys.

The biggest complaint I hear from freelance designers (who are very good at what they do, unlike the clueless masses of people who think they are web design gods) is that they lose contracts on a regular basis to people who either a) rip sites, or b) use sites like this for their designs. These people have no talent, no skill and no ability. They haven't worked at perfecting any kind of art. They simply take free things and copy/paste them together, and then sell them as their own to people who would otherwise be clients of people who do it for real, and produce a superior product.

I know what you're thinking, that it's a free market, and that people should have the right to choose, but often times what happens is the client only sees the bid value. Of course, the people who use sites like oswd will charge a lot less mostly because after they throw up their stock site, with their stock images, and their stock PHP code, it has taken them less than a few hours of work. On the other hand, it takes a professional a week or more to do something original and worth having.

So, excuse me if I don't shed a tear for oswd. Truth be told, I'd rather see them shut down. They help facilitate the mutilation of an industry that many independants rely on. I'm not talking about large corporations either, but people like you and me, living paycheque to paycheque on their talents and abilities.

Re:OSS makes no sense for this. (1)

Chrononium (925164) | more than 8 years ago | (#13970652)

Same argument given for lots of protectionist schemes, especially against outsourcing. If a client decides to go with a cheaper bid, then it's because the client wants to pay less for the same perceived value. If you're a really good designer, then you should be able to create a package with greater perceived value. If you can't, then you're falling behind the times. You will lose the contract. After all, website designers are still people who write software and sell it. A big software company like Microsoft faces the same problem. More value = more clients. Open source will always take care of the baseline and every now and then, it will raise the bar.

Re:OSS makes no sense for this. (1)

psyborg (36251) | more than 8 years ago | (#13970812)

You're missing the point about an important aspect of oswd: Education. Think of the templates as an extension of basic HTML tutorials. A lot of people use oswd to get practical experience with HTML and CSS, "I wonder how he achieved this effect? Let's have a look"... This is also evident in the associated forums where the designers hang out to help beginners.

You may object that you can do this with every website already. Granted, but it's hell of a lot more difficult. some sites have really obfuscated code, sometimes deliberately so, sometimes because a CMS engine doesn't care. At oswd, everything is conveniently bundled (ok, ideally) in one or two neatly formatted and commented files.

Finally, think of situations like this: You're the poor webmaster for your workgroup or department. You're really a scientist/student, but you've familarized yourself with HTML enough to be picked by the PHB to do it. Now you can either put out a crappy site, or you can at least use a decent oswd design and customize it to your needs. Never will you have the option to hire an expensive freelance webdesigner!

Re:OSS makes no sense for this. (0, Flamebait)

kuzb (724081) | more than 8 years ago | (#13971360)

*sigh*. It's hard to change an opinion on slashdot, many have their own opinions and views as to how things should be, and nobody, but *nobody* can change that. Except in a few rare instances where someone produces a really good argument, as you've done now.

I hate the freeloading bastards who make it hard for my friends to find work (I should mention, I'm not a designer, I'm a backend developer, but many people I know are *that good* at design. As a result of it getting too hard to freelance, I now work for a corporation, as do some of these people), but on the other hand, I'm a big supporter of education, and teaching people. I actively participate as a moderator in ##php on freenode. Before that, I was active (as a moderator) in many channels on EFNet helping people with HTML and Javascript related issues. I know, I just said I wasn't a designer. However, there is a big difference between understanding the mechanics of something, and being able to add an overall artistic vision to it. I have a great deal of respect for designers who can grasp both the mechanics, and the vision at the same time.

Perhaps you're right. Maybe I do have it all wrong. Perhaps what we need here is a provision that says you can't use a template (or site theme pack, or whatever you'd like to call it) for a commercial endevour. My goal with my initial post was not to take a learning resource away from people with a genuine interest in trying to figure it all out, but to make people aware that sites like oswd get *abused*. The end result of that abuse is less work for people who really need it. Good HTML/CSS design is not something that it's easy to find a professional course for. Many take to trial and error, and finding people who have 'been around the block', so to speak. Sifting the good information from the bad takes a significant amount of time, effort and energy. Especially considering how browsers have a tendancy to differ. On the other hand, what good is teaching these people how to do it right when they'll face the same problems professional designers do now? If I were to hazard an educated guess, I'd say for every 1 person who really wanted to learn something, there are at least 5 more who will take it for straight profit. Ignoring in the process all the intrinsic value the package has to teach them to do it themselves.

I'll always have a special place in my heart for those who struggle to learn something they didn't know yesterday, and a growing hate for those who try to live off the sweat of others who paid their dues.

Re:OSS makes no sense for this. (1)

Bogtha (906264) | more than 8 years ago | (#13971086)

F/OSS principles say that the advantage of having an open product is that you can fix problems in it if you need to.

No, it says that's one of the advantages. Another is having a group of people working on the same thing is more productive than having them work on identical, private projects. An open-source web design project has the advantage that people can improve a design (e.g. work around obscure browser bugs, speed things up with AJAX, etc), and everybody using that design benefits.

This doesn't apply to oswd.org though, or at least it didn't last time I checked. It was basically a place where (and I don't mean any disrespect here) a bunch of amateurs cooked up a bunch of mock-ups that they thought looked half decent, and posted them for anybody to use. There was essentially no collaboration on projects, which is why it doesn't get any of the real advantages of open-source.

There was a real quality problem too. For the majority of its existence, it didn't even allow images to be used, which had the effect (in my opinion) of encouraging only beginner designers to submit their own templates. There was no quality barrier to my knowledge, as long as it worked in Internet Explorer and Netscape, it was let in. Consequently, you had to wade through 99 awful designs, that looked like a five year-old had used every crayon in the box, to find a single decent-looking design. Since then, I believe they've started allowing images, so perhaps the quality is rising. Still no Javascript though.

The site was essentially dead for months previously too, as no designs were being approved. Obviously with only one person approving the designs, it was a single point of failure. This hasn't been solved.

What needs to change for a real open-source web design website to work properly, is a few things:

  • Allow images, Javascript, server-side code,
  • Allow community voting to approve designs, Kuro5hin-style,
  • Allow collaboration on designs - e.g. the ability to comment on designs, post patches, etc.
  • An Atom/RSS feed to let people know when a design has been updated,
  • Version control and public access to check out the latest version.

These changes remove the bottlenecks, encourage collaboration, and allow people to use the designs in the most efficient way.

The biggest complaint I hear from freelance designers (who are very good at what they do, unlike the clueless masses of people who think they are web design gods) is that they lose contracts on a regular basis to people who either a) rip sites, or b) use sites like this for their designs. These people have no talent, no skill and no ability. They haven't worked at perfecting any kind of art. They simply take free things and copy/paste them together, and then sell them as their own to people who would otherwise be clients of people who do it for real, and produce a superior product.

Essentially, those freelance designers are whining that the value they add isn't important to many people. Like it or not, many small businesses can't justify the expense of bespoke design work, and so they won't pay for it. If your freelance designer friends don't like that, then maybe they should offer a service that caters to these businesses instead of pretending that they are somehow wronged by other people offering a more appropriate service to their potential customers.

Of course, that doesn't apply to people copying non-open designs, just the people using sites like this instead of designing something original.

Re:OSS makes no sense for this. (1)

Cyphertube (62291) | more than 8 years ago | (#13971334)

OSS makes a lot of sense when you think about reuse of underlying code. If you only think about the pure visual design, yeah, ripping off a template is a really dumb idea.

When it comes to working out the underlying functionality, or finding the latest workaround for some IE broken aspect, or basically ANYTHING code-wise there are only a few legitimate ways to go about it.

  1. Work on it for hours and come upon it by yourself.
  2. Read a published article on it and follow the advice.
  3. Grab a template for which you have permission to use it, and go wild on figuring out how to modify that for yourself.

Do I think the GPL is the way to go for templates? Probably not. Creative Commons Licensing is probably a MUCH better way to go.

If people still think they should be able to make money by simply putting together something pretty for their client, then they're not really helping. A lot of what goes into good web design is a combination of marketing skills and information architecture. If you aren't providing those skills to your client, then they are honestly just as well off using pre-fab templates in the end.

The biggest what? (0, Offtopic)

/dev/trash (182850) | more than 8 years ago | (#13970523)

Never heard of it.

Re:The biggest what? (1)

trash eighty (457611) | more than 8 years ago | (#13971186)

nor me, must be a trash thing heh

"hit the internet hard" (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13970582)

...others are worried that the absence of OSWD.org will hit the internet hard and maybe even kill the scene.

Experts say that apart from the hundreds of ugly website templates OSWD.org was known for, it also maintained secret codes vital to the functioning of the TCP/IP protocol stack, which are now inaccessible. It is believed that their absence could bring the internet as we know it to a grinding halt. Engineers at the IETF and W3C are reportedly hard at work developing an alternative protocol stack that could replace TCP/IP, should such an catastrophe occur.

Meanwhile, U.S. President George W. Bush has stated that he is willing to use military force to liberate TCP/IP from the oppression of OSWD.org, in keeping with America's historic role as protector of the internet.

Eh, plenty of other similar sites (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13970974)

http://www.freewebtemplates.com/ [freewebtemplates.com]
http://www.4layouts.com/ [4layouts.com]
http://www.freelayouts.com/ [freelayouts.com]

etc. etc.

Pretty mixed bag in terms of quality but they all have quite a few, and they're all "Open Source".

Domains are cheap (3, Insightful)

Ofenza (928943) | more than 8 years ago | (#13970989)

I'd say, buy a new domain and start fresh, Aaron. Do your thing.

You Fa1l It (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13971136)

Same )3orthless

Never heard of them (1)

tyrione (134248) | more than 8 years ago | (#13971282)

The FOSS movement will manage to survive, without them.
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