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Proposals for CodeZed development

I would like to propose an IRC meeting (or perhaps a real-life meeting for those who can make it to Lusaka) at some stage soon, with the following items on the agenda.

Please make comments regarding these proposals.

  1. Name of organisation
  2. Location of hosting server
  3. Website issues
  4. Mailing list issues
  5. Delegation of other responsibilities
  6. Immediate projects
  7. Deadline


  1. The name Codezed has already been arrived at, and it therefore has the benefit of pre-eminence. Another thought might be OpenZambia. The Zimbabwe people have gone with ZOSS. Any other suggestions? I also believe there should be an “incorporating Zambia LUG” somewhere in the subtitle of the name, but ZLUG (as a name) is probably too restrictive. These issues, and the issue of an emblem to put on a letterhead, become important in the context of applying for server space with Zamnet, and prehaps registering
  2. Zamnet has offered the space (and are quite enthusiastic), and we should probably use it. We just need to put our request in writing, which is in the process of happening; then we need to arrange the transfer.
  3. I strongly feel that the website should be operated as a Wiki. The current choice between forum/book/static page/poll/story/blog confuses me thoroughly, and doesn’t allow for easy collaboration on documents (which would be helpful for things like this very document). I can put a demo online if people want to try it out, but I’m heading for one just like Ubuntu.
  4. What mailing lists are required? Only one? In that case, we make it codezed-general. Later iterations might include codezed-business or some such.
  5. CDs, regular meeting, launch party, library, seeking sponsorships, website, mailing list, business liaison – take your pick of things to do.
  6. Immediate projects: I think there is an urgent need to do OSS evangelism at UNZA, to recruit young enthusiastic people with perhaps a bit of time on their hands and more bandwidth than is good for them.
  7. It would be nice to see the migration to Zamnet, the first open meeting, the mailing list and whatever else up and running by a certain date, in order to start publicising Codezed’s presence to other LUGs and in Linux journals with things already in place. This will be a great help in raising the profile of the community and perhaps furthering the sponsorship, training and business aims of the group.


  1. Leonard Nelson Leonard Nelson October 24, 2005

    1) I believe CodeZed was selected so as to not be very restrictive to being only a LUG so I am definitely for keeping the name as CodeZed.

    2) I’m still a bit confused as to how hosting a site with a local host would make a different, but if the general consensus is that moving the site to a local host will make CodeZed more effective then we definitely need to move on this fast.

    3) I agree with Robert on the confusing content types. Drupal allows you the flexibility of customizing content types. They were left in place to allow for the core members to see what is possible with the Drupal installation. It can be taken out if necessary. Isn’t Ubuntu’s website based on the Drupal platform with the Wiki module add-on?

  2. robert robert October 24, 2005

    Hosting the site locally makes quite a bit of difference, apparently, in terms of speed of loading. I guess it depends on whether you connect via VSAT (and hence your signal goes to the USA before coming back) or one of the local options. Anyone else have opinions as to the speed of local servers versus overseas?

    According to the Ubuntu Wiki credits, it is hosted on the Moinmoin Wiki platform.

  3. Teddy Nyambe Teddy Nyambe October 25, 2005

    The domain name can remain the same but we still need a name to be used for correspondences maybe that we may leave it at the next meeting.

    A wiki looks fine have gone through a few and looks like its easy and quick to update.

    Local presence cannot be further emphasized, it really makes a difference to have a website hosted locally. In fact the idea is to talk to all local ISPs to partner with us so that we could have a mirror of downloadable on their networks. So we will further discuss this at the next meeting.

  4. Teddy Nyambe Teddy Nyambe October 25, 2005

    The current LUG has done proud to all of us so far, but we need to emphasis the fact that there has been little or no activity of the LUG in areas of Open Source advocacy. In this regard a number of enthusiastic people local and abroad are interested in taking this LUG and Opensource activities to another level.

    To avoid duplication of effort I would suggested we use the domain for LUG and Opensource activities and the domain point to the webserver hosting runing a wiki, we shall communicate the dns details when we get the initial staff sorted out.

    There is a lot we can do for the Free and Open Source user community in Zambia through the current efforts and the additional muscle of enthusiasts. The proposed way forward unless there are any issues which would be raised:

    Assuming we have agreed to and we are calling
    our selves “Open Zambia”
    Design the letter head and logo (mainly the tux)
    Write to ISPs for hosting of website and mirror space for hosing downloadables
    Register the domain
    Assign tasks to volunteers who would be organising various activities on behalf of the community eg burning CDs for distribution, running the library, organising monthly meetings, news letter, managing the wiki and mailing list, organise the launch, etc.
    Lets have a final say on this matter so that we get to started.

  5. gvanstam gvanstam October 25, 2005

    Hi, just to say hello. This is my first browse through the site. First comment, what does Codezed mean? I do not reckonize the name. Secondly, “Open Zambia” does not say what is open, sports? So Open Source sounds nice, as it is quite recognizable. The URL tells a (good) story. These are quick replies, I might delete them later when I have spend time on this site. But just to show I am alive, greetings! Gertjan, Macha

  6. gvanstam gvanstam October 27, 2005

    On hosting
    Bandwidth costs in Europe/USA are very low. Currently bandwidth costs about EUR 1 (abt. ZMK 5.000) per Megabit bandwith per month! My friends have got 10 Mb into the house nowadays, and this speed is growing fast. For instance, Dutch soccer is being delivered through the Internet nowadays in the Netherlands, and if you take a subscription (sort of DsTV subscription) you will get a box at home which is effectively connected to the Internet with a 20 Mb connection!

    On the Zambian side many users are connected to different ISPs. These ISPs are not interconnected within Zambia, up to now, I think. Thus they interconnect through the Internet in Europe, behind their expensive satellite connections. Thus, for instance, if we host the site in with Zamnet in Zambia, and you would be a AfriConnect user, then the traffic would pass via Europe, using two expensive and limited satellite hubs into Zambia!

    All to say that hosting the main site ‘in the west’ is a cost effective and worthwhile endeavour at this stage, as it will also alleviate the bandwidth into Zambia. If we would do a big download into Zambia, we will not block two important satellite links, but ‘only’ one..

    I am sure there will be enthousiasts in EU willing to lend bandwidth on their servers (at home) to host the site, for free.

    On mirroring
    I guess it will be inportant to solve the mirroring issues. An idea would be to put all in a mysql database. As soon this one will be updated, both (or more?!) databases will be updated.

    On routing
    The search sites have solved these issues, so we should be able too! We need more input on this one, but it should be possible. I guess it is important that the DNS is run in a setting that we can influence, like we do in Macha where we run our own DNS service right now. More input is needed on this one, and being sollicited.

    On Drupal/Wiki
    Drupal is real Content Management Software. It looks to me that this site ( is running on Drupal? Wiki is an encyclopedia software, and is being used a lot. The choice depends on the needs, and might point towards Wiki. However, the ‘rights’ issues within Wiki are a bit of of a dissatisfier. Everybody can registrer and change settings as far as I know. Thus Wiki is being used quite often to do spamming. More input on this one is sollicited too.

  7. robert robert October 27, 2005

    I guess I’ll use the same format as gvanstam, and comment point by point.

    On hosting
    I am not sure about the Zamnet/Coppernet/AfriConnect/Zamtel interconnect issues, anyone who knows please post. But I do think it is important to make access easier/faster for dial-up users, even if those are mostly in Lusaka.

    On mirroring
    I have been looking at mirroring issues and the problem is technically solvable. But it requires server configuration, which I’m not sure we’ll get from a Zamnet-donated server. But technically it is possible for the same dynamic site to be mirrored on multiple servers with essentially no satellite latency.

    On routing
    The Zambian ISPs operate a split DNS system, so it is quite simple to point international users (and VSAT users in Zambia) to the international webserver and local ISP users to the Zamnet server.

    On Drupal/Wiki
    I have put up a demo MoinMoin wiki site, if anyone wants to compare Drupal with MoinMoin. As to security issues, they can and are handled by many large community sites. Wikispam can be handled. And it really is quite important that everybody can change the site; they way my demo is set up, you don’t even need to register. It makes for a more inclusive community.

  8. Teddy Nyambe Teddy Nyambe October 27, 2005

    On hosting and ISP peering
    Zambian local ISPs have a peering alreay setup only a few 2 or 1 ISPs are not part of this peering.
    Technically this is posible and am sure arrangments can be made to allow us to tiy out the mirroring.

  9. gvanstam gvanstam October 27, 2005

    just some name ideas:

    I do not understand what ‘codezed’ means.

  10. Teddy Nyambe Teddy Nyambe November 1, 2005

    Looks like the has received support, so we are officially writing to or sponsors for the domain registration and hosting.

    Thanks to all those who contributed and continue contributing to the open source movement in Zed!

  11. gmweemba gmweemba November 2, 2005

    Nice reading the discussions so far. I just checked back today after what I can call; a long while.

    Well, to be brief, I think sounds more precise and professional. Unlike CodeZed, you do not need to think what the site is all about. I also think it is easier for people to remember.

    Job well done everybody.

  12. DevilsAdvocate DevilsAdvocate November 11, 2005

    I guess in truth it doesn’t matter what we named the organisation it’s true purpose would be established and evolve with time through the actions and collaborations of it’s members. It’s not like if we get the name wrong we would be limited in what can say and do.

    That said I am fundamentally opposed any name which seems to favor one technology over another. This is after all a forum for the discussion of possible solutions, and to put open source, Linux, Microsoft, adding machine or any other technology in the name is to suggest that the solution architectures are a forgone conclusion and no longer warrant discussion.

    The name in my opinion should reflect the questions for which we seek answers and desired result rather than our operating system preference.

    CodeZed is generic enough to be approachable by anyone from any area for information technology, and while it may not in other’s opinion “sound very professional” this is after all an informal organization and that too should be reflected in the name. Formality is a property of bureaucracy and has no place here.

  13. DevilsAdvocate DevilsAdvocate November 20, 2005

    I’m not sure if the name Open Zambia is really the name we are looking for here. I might be wrong but I don’t think this organisation is about Open source software, even though OSS is an important part of what many of us do. I think a name that reflects the groups focus on IT and the challenges 3rd world and emerging countries face. I think CodeZed does just that. Good choice. Don’t change it.

  14. gvanstam gvanstam November 28, 2005

    OK. What does the name CodeZed mean? It does not ring any bell to me. To me it sound like AcraDaBa, so what does it mean? Or is it ‘just an other name’, like AcraDaBa?

  15. gmweemba gmweemba December 14, 2005

    There is a lot in a name. It gives you a “preview” or an “idea” of what something is. You can’t give a site a name that means something totally opposite to what it is all about. Well, unless it is a personal site, then a name wouldn’t matter of course (to some extent, though). But for something that other people will take part in, there is need for a descriptive name.

    I agree with you that the name should reflect the questions for which we seek answers for and desired results rather than our OS preference.

    Well… I gotta go. Till next time.

  16. Teddy Nyambe Teddy Nyambe March 19, 2006

    Final remark to the above discussion.

    The purpose of codezed should be clearly understood. To me so far looks likes it’s all weather IT website. But what other people are saying here is that we need apart from this website, an “only” open source website to dicuss how to promote the knowledge and the use of open source software, and its just not Linux, it can be any thing as long as its open source, e.g. Open source movies and documentaries, documentation etc is now registered and your contributions as the wiki evolves will be a great thing to do

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