Published
Wednesday, November 1, 2006 - 22:14
Written by

So this week, our focus has been on getting some cool new features into CiviCRM v1.6. We figured that we'd take some baby steps into the wide world of web 2.0 and ajax and use Dojo as our toolkit of choice.

Yes we do know that Drupal chose JQuery and Joomla v1.5 has a combination of a few different ajax utilities. However, we did like the direction Dojo was moving in with a fairly nice large community along with some of the big names in the industry (IBM, Sun etc). We also did meet Alex Russell, one of the lead developers/architects and its always a good practice to use tools from folks you know :) (since u can then pester them if you need help at some stage)

So far it seems we've made a reasonably good decision. Dojo seems to be moving at as fast a pace as CiviCRM, so i suspect that helps things quite a bit. We've added dojo in a few places like auto-completion in contact search, a progress bar meter for import, a tabbed view for contact information and breaking up the advanced search mega-form into a bunch of smaller dynamically loadable forms

The project reminds me quite a bit of where CiviCRM is at today :) There is a helpful and supportive community around you, the documentation is sparse and scattered. To make effective use of the package, you need to be able to go through the unit tests and figure stuff out, and sometime even go through the source code to figure out why things are not working as you'd expect. The code is clean and well structured and follow a standard coding convention. Variables are named quite appropriately in most places and there are a fair number of comments in the source code. Getting upto speed on yet another language (javascript) is not as painful as i had expected :)

We hope to get an alpha version of 1.6 out to the community by mid-november and a sandbox with the trunk code a bit before that probably.