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CALC 2013



Cape Town Presentation!
WWT4 attended the CALC conference 2013 in Cape Town. Our presentation, in conjunction with the Isle of Man staff, covered all the latest innovations by WWT4 in the field of legislative publishing and legislative drafting.

Should you need any further details on the iLAWS system, and how it can benefit your jurisdiction, just EMAIL us here.

Open Source Components

The default configuration is built using only Open Source components, which means that there are no on-going and expensive licensing costs, and you have the comfort in knowing that those components are supported by millions of developers world-wide.

Open Source Icons

Open Source by definition refers to any program whose source code is made available for use or modification by users or other developers as they see fit. (Historically, the makers of proprietary software have generally not made source code available.) Open source software is usually developed as a public collaboration and the source code made freely available.

The obvious question that is asked at this point is "how do you make any money doing this?" Well, in the case of iLAWS we developed a component which is built upon Open Source technology, and even though the source code is included with our product, we apply a copyright and re-distribution restriction to our General Purpose (GPL) licence to protect our specialised intellectual property. Therefore our product is not strictly Open Source.

We do this for a number of obvious reasons, but the main reason is not immediately clear. Open Source is a fantastic way for a huge number of developers to collaborate and make a world-class product. In the case of Joomla there are over 40,000 developers world-wide producing the award-winning web-based Content Management System (CMS), around which the web based component of iLAWS is built. As such the project progresses rapidly with little chance of any person (or group of persons) derailing the project by spinning off in a different direction.

However, when you develop a specific component for Joomla with a small number of developers under strict Open Source initiatives, there is always he danger that many "forks" of the project can spring up, which in turn can splinter (derail) the project. The normal result is the initial developer loses interest (especially if the component was for a very specific vertical market), and then the project collapses. The splinter groups will also realise they are "out-of-their-depth" without the initial (experienced) developers to copy from, and they too will eventually fade away.

iLAWS is developed by WWT4 P/L in collaboration with Laws Consolidated Inc., and we want to support the legislative publishing industry for the long term. Therefore to ensure that we can remained focussed on our objectives and continue to support our products, we protect our intellectual property. This does not mean that we do not support the Open Source initiative. We remain part of the Joomla community and others, and invest many hours in the on-going development of the core Open Source applications.

Some of the Open Source Tools/Languages that make up the iLAWS system include:

  • Joomla;
  • Apache;
  • PHP;
  • MySQL;
  • Open Office;
  • Python;
  • Perl; and
  • Ruby.

Synonymous with Open Source is Open Standards. Open Standards (or formats) are standards that are publicly available and have various rights to use associated with them. The standards are published by world bodies such as the IETF, ISO and IEC and include reasonable and non-discriminatory licensing. Open Standards supported by the iLAWS project include:

  • Hypertext Mark-Up Language - HTML;
  • Extensible Mark-Up Language - XML;
  • Portable Document Format - PDF;
  • Structured Query Language - SQL; and
  • Open Document Format - ODF.

Combining Open Source with Open Standards produces an open and flexible system that does not require expensive on-going licensing costs. The flexibility allows the integration with existing proprietary systems such as Microsoft Word if the client so desires. The utilisation of such Open Systems also ensures that there will always be many developers world-wide available to continue the system if any single resource should fail, thereby maintaining a sound risk management policy for anyone adopting our iLAWS product.

 
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