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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/9475/mises-org-is-going-open-source-volunteers-wanted/

Mises.org is going open source – volunteers wanted

February 19, 2009 by

I am pleased to announce that the entire Mises.org website is going open source. We are releasing everything you need to run a complete copy of Mises.org. This includes all the books, all the media, all the journals, all the source code, and the complete database behind mises.org.

This is not a one time release – I have created a public repository so you can get the latest version of everything as soon it hits the site.

Furthermore, anyone can submit their own contributions and enhancements the repository.

Obviously, this is quite an undertaking from a technical perspective, so we will not be able to release everything immediately. We are loooking for volunteers familiar with Subversion, change management, Windows/.Net security and open source projects to help with the initial release and provide assistance on an ongoing basis. Please contact the webmaster or comment on the Wiki.

If you want to get your hands dirty right away, the access information is below. We’ll post further updates on this project on the Mises.org Ideas Wiki.

Mises.org media/books/pdfs/journals:

http://media.mises.org/
http://mises.org/books/
http://mises.org/pdf/
http://mises.org/journals/

Mises Torrents Directory:

http://mises.org/services/torrents/

Mises.org Open Source Development Information:

http://groups.google.com/group/misesdev

SVN Access:

Browse: http://code.mises.com/svn/

SVN HTTP Access: https://code.mises.com:8443/svn/MisesWeb/trunk/MisesWeb/
Anonymous login: guest/guest

{ 71 comments }

Cody February 19, 2009 at 4:08 pm

This would be great for those who speak two or more languages and who are willing translate this website into different languages.

You guys are so subversive. Love it.

C [the forgotten man] February 19, 2009 at 4:15 pm

I wish I had the expertise needed for what you are describing.

Perhaps I can help in another way. I would like to see all of the PDF articles and books converted to electronic-reader compatible files, so that Kindle and other devices can download them directly from the site.

Any way I could help with this, converting documents and editing them for readability?

Zach_the_Lizard February 19, 2009 at 4:26 pm

Under what license is the code released? If you haven’t decided, and want a license with no constraints, go with the BSD license. This will allow any to take the source code, do whatever they want, including selling it. They don’t need to include the source code.

If you want to keep the project and all derivatives open source, then I would choose the GPL. The source must be kept available for those who desire access to it in all derivative works.

ehmoran February 19, 2009 at 4:49 pm

This is GREAT!!!!

But why?

Jeffrey Tucker February 19, 2009 at 4:53 pm

Because our reason for existence is to get information out the door.

Cool February 19, 2009 at 4:56 pm

Yes, “why” is the first thing I wondered as well. It’s not like we need mises2.org. ^_^ Still, I guess “why not” is the answer.

Miklos Hollender February 19, 2009 at 5:05 pm

A very interesting move, I also wondered why, Jeff’s answer replied why to *allow* others to take info from here, but the real question is: why do you think it worths the *effort* to invest lots of work into this thing, do you have any reasons to expect that it will get the information to significantly more people?

The question I’m asking is not about opening up but about the amount of work it will require – surely you made some cost-benefit calculations what the likely results of that work will be, if yes, what is your anticipation, what will happen, share it with us pls, I’m curious.

As Cool pointed out, mises2.org is completely pointless – but mises.de, mises.fr, mises.cn, mises.hu would be good ideas, is this the real reason you are doing this, to enable this?

Miklos Hollender February 19, 2009 at 5:17 pm

BTW Jeff what steps will you take to ensure the brand names won’t get diluted?

I mean, say, a guy called J. Random takes a copy takes a copy of Human Action, modifies 10% according to his ideas, leaves 90% of it unchanged, and distributes it.

1) If he distributes it as the Randomian School of Economics, I figure no problem, either you don’t care or just compete the usual ways: debate, refute etc.

2) If he distributes it as the “Random’s contribution to Austrian Economics”: can be a problem, but I guess competition is still a good enough way to handle it.

3) If he distributes it under the name of Mises, as a new edition of HA? Now I think that can be a problem, you shouldn’t allow that.

Paul Vahur February 19, 2009 at 5:24 pm

Very important move, I’m very glad you did it.

We live in interesting (turbulent) times and with the falling economy and society, state’s response to “wrong” ideas might be to ban and confiscate these ideas. In order to ensure the survival of these most important ideas for future generations backups of them must be made in different locations and jurisdictions.

David Veksler February 19, 2009 at 5:37 pm

Well, I speak only for myself, but I have a few reasons:

* We are only going to continue to invest resources in this if people contribute or use our content.
* I’ve seen Mises.org content on Bittorent and other P2P resources. This makes it easier to get more of our stuff in the wild.
* There are already Mises Institutes in other countries: http://www.vonmisesinstitute-europe.org/
* Governments are already stepping up censorship of economic information.
* We get suggestions all the time about featuring out content in different mediums. We don’t have the resources for most of them – but now we have an answer: it’s all free, so you can do it yourself.

Brian February 19, 2009 at 5:44 pm

Exactly Paul Vahur, if Mises.org was put out of business by the government it would be like burning the Library of Alexandria. I download everything I find remotely interesting and buy as many books as I can just in case some day they are no longer available.

Manuel Lora February 19, 2009 at 6:07 pm

HEROIC!

Joe February 19, 2009 at 6:08 pm

I love this idea. The more of the Austrian School that is out there for people to read the better I say.

Deefburger February 19, 2009 at 6:08 pm

My specialty is virtual machine. I’m going to download the system and virtualize it and then make the VM available.

Problem is the Windows. The site would need to be converted to *nix/mono to do this without getting into trouble for copying M$ code….

Anyone interested in the conversion to *nix/mono can reach me directly at deef@deefburger.com.

(8?» February 19, 2009 at 6:10 pm

Wow, this is impressive. I just love the idea of mises.org not only championing the uninhibited spread of ideas, but actively working to do so in order to show that ownership of ideas is not nearly as important as their dissemination.

Any thoughts on moving the codebase out of .Net and into a non-proprietary open-source system? (you know, one that doesn’t rely on lawyers for “security”) Or is that one of the reasons to release the code to the public, so we can do it ourselves?

BTW, (if you don’t know) the certificate for the SVN server is invalid.

As someone who is going to (any day now) get a subversion server running at work to replace our over-priced Starteam server, I would be honored to help out in that area, though I’m not sure what that would entail.

This has been the most uplifting news of my day.

David Veksler February 19, 2009 at 6:19 pm

Deefburger,

The full site is 79GB. That’s quite a download.

“The site would need to be converted to *nix/mono”

It would probably not be hard to run the .Net code on Mono, but it does use a Sql Server database.

Brad Spangler February 19, 2009 at 6:20 pm

HEROIC!

Paul Vahur February 19, 2009 at 6:35 pm

David Veksler, stupid question (I’m not an programmer), but is that 79 GB just the code (probably not) or the content?

I had an impression that the content was close to a 1 TB, but maybe that was just the traffic some while back.

I have 79 GB free on my computer, but I guess it’s another matter to put them up for the whole internet.

I used to download all the audio files and save them on CDs to listen while commuting. Now I just podcast them to my iPhone…

Maybe someone can create a little program/webpage or even a how-to-guide “How to save the world by backing up Mises.org on your computer”. We can worry about distributing later. I can buy another WD My Passport (http://www.wdc.com/en/products/index.asp?cat=9&language=en) or similar product, have the von Mises coat of arms engraved on it and let it hum on my desk backing up wisdom just for the fun of it :-)

Deefburger February 19, 2009 at 6:45 pm

I have 1.3TB of disk space available on my server. If I can download the code, (Certificate IS invalid and the login is giving me grief). I’m currently using OpenSUSE 11.0 and will attempt the installation using MySQL/Apache/Mono provided the SQL databases can be converted.

I can create an 80GB VM to work on that is accessible via the web on a non-standard port using VMWare 1.x. If the VM works OK and doesn’t contain too much in the way of binaries, then it should be compressible using bz2 small enough for a DVD.

I also have Xen and Virtualbox but I’m most familiar with VMWare

Charlie February 19, 2009 at 7:22 pm

This is wonderfull!

Shepard Humphries February 19, 2009 at 7:29 pm

I don’t know this web stuff, but I have a great voice and audio recording capabilities… lemme know! :)

happylee February 19, 2009 at 7:32 pm

Wikipedia only confused me more. Maybe the future announcement will make the importance of this event more clear for the simple-minded (but inquisitive) LvMI supporter.

Deefburger February 19, 2009 at 7:48 pm

I can explain. What this will mean is the de-centralization of the mises.org contentent. Servers around the world will be able to serve the content up from multiple locations on a voluntary basis.

This means that if a central authority decides to censure a website, say in Arkansas, then any of the other sites can still serve up the data, the articles, books, and media, to the Internet.

OpenSource operating systems and software are already freely distributed in this fashion. In a way, by converting the website to OpenSource, and setting up our own “mises” server mirrors around the world, we are increasing the availability of the Austrian Economic Theory to the world at a time when the world most needs it. Sort of Minute Men of the modern age, minus the guns!

Setup a mirror! Become a Mises Minute Man(Woman).

Deefburger February 19, 2009 at 8:27 pm

I just had a thought. (I know, it’s dangerous by I only got a slight sprain)

Perhaps the folks at DynDNS could give us a hand and host mises.org or maybe lvmi.org or whatever is convienient? Then, when a mirror comes online, even if it’s on a dynamic address, it could be easily located via the ddclient on it.

Then, when the VMs are ready and distributed, they could be scripted to supply a unique hostname, but at the DynDNS domain name. They would be available within minutes of booting up…Add the mirror-list to the svn tree and and they would all know of each other in a couple of hours.

Then updates could be posted to any one of them, and the rest would be able to find the updates and update themselves from who ever is closest and newer.

Just a thought.

Conza88 February 19, 2009 at 8:37 pm

@ Miklos Hollender
“A guy called J. Random takes a copy takes a copy of Human Action, modifies 10% according to his ideas, leaves 90% of it unchanged, and distributes it.”

Stephan Kinsella addresses this in his “Re-thinking IP entirely” lecture. There is nothing stopping anyone from taking Aristotle’s work, doing as you describe, hell, taking 100% of it and passing it off as his own.

Why doesn’t anyone do it? Because they’d be seen as a complete idiot. Wouldn’t sell any copies and would tarnish their own name. lol

“If he distributes it under the name of Mises, as a new edition of HA? Now I think that can be a problem, you shouldn’t allow that.”

Fraud comes to mind. :)

Amazing work Mises.org, pre-empting the future attempts of the Government to control the net.

David C February 19, 2009 at 8:43 pm

You know, it always bothered me that a site about freedom and free markets was co-dependent on a proprietary platform (MS windows). As someone who sets up linux boxes and programs php and mysql for a living .., I always wondered what it would take to port the thing and get it off that asp.net stuff. Anyone else feel the same way?

Anyone else feel the same way that has an extra server available on an internet backbone?

Bruce Koerber February 19, 2009 at 9:44 pm

Explain this to me. I have a website. What does ‘the entire Mises.org website is going open source’ mean for me?

How would I be able to fulfill the objectives of the Mises Institute now that the entire Mises.org website is going open source?

Joshua Byers February 19, 2009 at 10:10 pm

I think this is a great idea. Netscape open sourced their browser back in 1998 and through many years of development (Mozilla was a bit painful) we now have one of the best browsers around, Firefox.

Opening up Mises.org has the same potential.

I’m thinking iPhone app?

Freedomforall February 19, 2009 at 10:19 pm

Thank you for all this information!

It should not be lost!

“Governments are already stepping up censorship of economic information. ”

What a horrible scenario! :(

newson February 19, 2009 at 10:28 pm

disclaimer: i’m an i.t. idiot

would someone please suggest an user-friendly, open source word processing package? i’ve got windows xp.

Jordan February 19, 2009 at 10:29 pm

I’m thinking mobile site. Make it so.

MIke February 19, 2009 at 10:52 pm

newson,

Go to openoffice.org. It’s pretty much like MS Office, and I’ve had good luck going between the 2.

Stephan Kinsella February 19, 2009 at 11:17 pm

Jeff et al. — this is one of the most inspired, inspiring, brilliant things I’ve ever seen. In one fell swoop you are demonstrating what your real aims are, and demonstrating integrity to boot. Compare to those other liberty activists who keep their work in effect DRM’d, as if they are afraid to let it see the light of day, as if they do not want everyone reading it. Bravo, bravo.

Deefburger February 19, 2009 at 11:52 pm

@ Newson: OpenOffice.org – free and will do office2007 docx, spreadsheet, database etc.

David C and I are going to attempt creating VMs of the website under Linux, so that they can be distributed as VMs, ready to go, via DVD or Torrent download. We may need help with the asp/.net conversion to mono….

David L Veksler February 20, 2009 at 12:17 am

> C [the forgotten man]:

Sure, you can convert the content and sent it to us or post it on the Community Wiki.

David L Veksler February 20, 2009 at 12:20 am

> Under what license is the code released?

I think we are going to go with BSD.

David L Veksler February 20, 2009 at 12:23 am

> BTW, (if you don’t know) the certificate for the SVN server is invalid.

It’s because we don’t have an SSL cert for the domain yet. It should be fine – just tell your browser/client to proceed anyway – I didn’t have any problems in Chrome or several SVN clients.

Patrick Altman February 20, 2009 at 12:44 am

I would think that point of doing this is less for people create mirrors of the site, and more to get collaborative development to make mises.org better. Features can be added and bugs fixed at a faster and higher quality rate with the right critical mass of contributors.

That being said, I second the comments by “David C” about running on ASP.NET. In my experience, with an array of platforms, you’ll find more help with open source contributors with people familiar with open source stacks.

I have written my fair share of C# based ASP.NET webapps as well as Python/Django sites. I’d be interested to see a port/fork of the site written in Django for the sole purpose of attracting more help with growing the feature set. I would also suggest adopting a distributed source control system like git for more rapid and efficient collaboration.

Would you be against considering a port to a linux based stack?

–Patrick

Patrick Altman February 20, 2009 at 12:46 am

I would think that point of doing this is less for people create mirrors of the site, and more to get collaborative development to make mises.org better. Features can be added and bugs fixed at a faster and higher quality rate with the right critical mass of contributors.

That being said, I second the comments by “David C” about running on ASP.NET. In my experience, with an array of platforms, you’ll find more help with open source contributors with people familiar with open source stacks.

I have written my fair share of C# based ASP.NET webapps as well as Python/Django sites. I’d be interested to see a port/fork of the site written in Django for the sole purpose of attracting more help with growing the feature set. I would also suggest adopting a distributed source control system like git for more rapid and efficient collaboration.

Would you be against considering a port to a linux based stack?

–Patrick

David L Veksler February 20, 2009 at 1:32 am

> As someone who is going to (any day now) get a subversion server running at work to replace our over-priced Starteam server, I would be honored to help out in that area, though I’m not sure what that would entail.

I really need some help switching over from the proprietary SourceGear CVS. I used it within the live Mises.org website, and I need some help doing the same with SVN.

David L Veksler February 20, 2009 at 1:45 am

>David Veksler, stupid question (I’m not an programmer), but is that 79 GB just the code (probably not) or the content?

The code is very small – under 100 KB – I wrote it all myself, after all. The vast majority is the audio and video files.

> I don’t know this web stuff, but I have a great voice and audio recording capabilities… lemme know!

Please email me with your contact info!

> How would I be able to fulfill the objectives of the Mises Institute now that the entire Mises.org website is going open source?

Well, you can host Mises.org content on your website or you can contribute to Mises.org, or you can make a version of Mises.org in Swahili.

> I’m thinking iPhone app?

I’m doing full time iPhone development right now. :-)

> Would you be against considering a port to a linux based stack?

I’ve had this debate too many times before, and I’m not going to do it again. The bottom line is that ASP.Net + Sql Server works for me, and until people start contributing significant amounts of code in other languages (and there’s no reason why Mises.org has to be 100% .Net – it currently runs Perl and PHP), I’m not going to spend tons of time converting code to a language I am less productive in instead of working on new functionality.

Chris February 20, 2009 at 7:59 am

Wonderful idea!

Conza88 February 20, 2009 at 8:35 am

David L Veksler – thanks for your awesomeness. :)

Mises.org + language.

Well… I think I’ll start learning Zimbabwean… They look like they need some help. :p

whittaker February 20, 2009 at 9:13 am

“You know, it always bothered me that a site about freedom and free markets was co-dependent on a proprietary platform (MS windows). As someone who sets up linux boxes and programs php and mysql for a living .., I always wondered what it would take to port the thing and get it off that asp.net stuff. Anyone else feel the same way?”

Yes. Me!

Mises.org should seriously re-think using the Windows/.NET platform. One of the Internet’s premier libertarian and anti-IP websites is using proprietary software from the biggest mercantilist, monopolistic cartel in the history of mankind? When better free software is available?

Helllloooooooooo???

Norbert Haag February 20, 2009 at 10:12 am

I have a German speaking site called freiemarktwirtschaft.org (Free market).

It was thought to be a news site but has not been set up yet.

I would be happy to host a german version of mises.org under that sitename. Though I have to say that I can not run any .Net app. If I can do anything to support the conversion to another format, I would prefer LAMP, let me know.

I worked in the storage business (IT) and have quite a bit of technical background so here is my offer to help in any way I can.

Let me tell you that this is a great idea to preserve the content and push our common goal.

Bruce Koerber February 20, 2009 at 10:12 am

Dear Stephen Kinsella,

Please explain this to me. I have a website. What does ‘the entire Mises.org website is going open source’ mean for me?

How would I be able to fulfill the objectives of the Mises Institute now that the entire Mises.org website is going open source?

I get the sense that we are being encouraged to use this new advance but I am not sure if I can be of service. I just don’t know what exactly we are talking about or how it works.

Sincerely,
Bruce Koerber

J Cortez February 20, 2009 at 10:28 am

This entire project is very impressive and inspiring. Reading the comments has also been inspiring as well. There is, as Hayek said, a spontaneous order.

Christopher Peters February 20, 2009 at 10:51 am

Beautiful beautiful beautiful! I already downloaded “Criticism of Keynesian”! Maybe one day I’ll grow up to be a “robber baron” and return my gratitude 1000 fold!

Félix February 20, 2009 at 10:57 am

Well done!

Guerrilla education.

Let a thousand flowers bloom, when they try to clamp down it will be too late…

David Spellman February 20, 2009 at 11:16 am

The suggestions about getting off Microsoft and on to open source are important. The people who care about helping are already pursuing technological liberty. Microsoft acolytes all support the Federal Reserve and serve Big Brother.

If the code is only 100K, then it would not be a hard job to port it. What you would need is to publicly commit to that direction and get people working on the project and then make the jump.

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