"Software-Patents" in Europe: The threat prevails
Soon the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers will again decide about the legalisation and adoption of so-called "software patents" in Europe, which are already used by large companies in other countries to put competitors out of business. This can lead to the termination of many software projects such as PHProjekt, at least within Europe, because the holders of the over 30,000 already granted "software patents" (currently without a legal foundation) can claim exclusive rights and collect license fees for trivial things like "progress bars", "mouseclicks on online order forms", "scrolling within a window" and similar. That way, software developers will have to pay the "software-patentholders" for using these features, even in their own, completely self-developed applications, which can completely stall the development of innovative software for small and medium companies. Apart from this, the expense for patent inquiries and legal assistence is high, for even trying to find out if the self-developed software is possibly violating "software-patents", if you want to continue to market your software. Contrary to real patents, "software-patents" are, in the draft proposed by the commission, monopolization of business ideas and methods, even without any tangible technical implementation.
PHProjekt is a great collaboration tool that helps to coordinate projects with a group of people. By default, PHProjekt is delivered with a rather simple yet straightforward user interface.
With the release of PHProjekt 5.0, creating skins has become a lot easier than it used to be in earlier versions. As a result of that improvement and many e-mails I received requesting a port of Phish-Skin to PHProjekt 5.0, I am proud to announce that an updated version is now available for download. The new Phish-Skin (based on a great set of icons drawn by Matthew McClintock and available under the Design Science License) is now available.
The following screenshots give a first impression of Phish-Skin. Click on an image for a bigger version of the screenshot:
Summary page with overview of various modules
Contact manager, importing external contacts
Fully booked calendar, with accepted, conflicting, and tentative appointments.
Notes module with list of two existing notes
Q: What is Phish-Skin?
A: Phish-Skin is a way to change the look (skin) of a great web-based collaboration platform: PHProjekt. It consists of a set of icons for the different modules of PHProjekt, as well as some modifications in other files. Other skins are also available.
Q: Is Phish-Skin really for free?
Q: For what versions of PHProjekt can I use Phish-Skin?
A: Phish-Skin can currently be used with the most major recent versions of PHProjekt: version 3.2a (and up), version 4.0 (and up) and of course the latest version 5.0.
Q: Does Phish-Skin work with all browsers?
A: It should work with all standard-compliant browsers, such as Opera, Safari, and Mozilla Firefox. Of particular importance is the support for transparency in PNG images, which is one of the reasons why I recommend Mozilla Firefox for all your browsing needs. Microsoft Internet Explorer is not supported.
Q: Where can I download Phish-Skin, and how do I install it?
A: You can download the Phish-Skin archive for PHProjekt 5.0 at phish-skin.tgz from http://www.latz.cc/phprojekt/5.0/phish-skin.tgz. Downloads for PHProjekt 3.2a+ can be found at http://www.latz.cc/phprojekt/3.3/, and downloads for PHProjekt 4.0+ can be found at http://www.latz.cc/phprojekt/4.0/.
Installation instructions can be found in the README file that is also contained in the archive.
Q: Phish-Skin is quite a weird name, isn't it?
A: True. It is derived from two big inspirations for this projekt, PHP and fishies. On a side-note, I think it would be quite arrogant to just call it "the skin" - hence the name ;)
Achim J. Latz, firstname.lastname@example.org , 01.12.2008