13 October, 2010
Filed under Documentation

A quick look the book CiviCRM a comprehensive guide: how we got here, and our plans for the future


We recently got fifty copies of CiviCRM: a comprehensive guide printed on demand for some training events in the UK.  Being able to hand out a 300 page book as a supplement to the training went down really well with participants: holding something in your hands in a world which is predominantly online world is quite reassuring, it seems!

Getting hold of hard copies of the book at short notice was quick and painless. Objavi (Flossmanuals new and impressive publishing engine) just worked, creating a great looking PDF that we sent to Imprint, a local printer.  Imprint were a recommendation from the Flossmanuals list and I would definitely recommend them to others that need books printed in the UK - they turned the PDF into 50 books in less than 24 hours at the price of £6 ($10) per book and were helpful, fast and professional....

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03 May, 2010

I have shared the slides ( and video ) from my ignite session at CiviCon, which describes a case study of my use of CiviCRM for a synagogue, including invoicing and non-Western calendars. Everything is at my blog.


29 April, 2010
By lobo

The past 8 days have been an amazing period for the CiviCRM community and core team members. Its been incredibly intense, extremely fulfilling and mind-blowing. A huge thank you and tip of the hat to the members of the community who participated in the event and came together from various parts of the world (asia, europe, north america) to push the project to greater heights, from a usability, documentation and localization viewpoint.

Thank you to Jimmy H, Erik B, Goran G, Matheiu L, Mathieu P for working on improving CiviCRM's localization and internationalization features. Thank you to Michael M, Xavier D, Adam H, Sarah G, Mari T, Alice G, Jack A, Josue G, Kyle J for burning the midnight oil to update, improve and extend the CiviCRM: A comprehensive guide. Thank you to OSI and our program officer: Janet Haven, Chintu Gudiya Foundation, Yellow Dog Foundation and ...

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28 April, 2010
By xavier
Filed under Documentation
It is midnight, we are busy finishing proof-reading the last chapters, after having been spoiled one more time with a scrumptious dinner cooked by an amazing Jill. After 4 days, time to put some numbers on this sprint:
  • 5 squirrels,
  • 8 chipmunks,
  • dozen of blue jays
  • 2 coyotes, and
  • 1 bernese mountain dog,
tough job to guard a herd of writers and
  • 11 000 words, spread around a lot of new chapters both aiming the users of CiviCRM and the developers.
Beside all the new content, pretty much all the existing chapters have been updated, improved or rewritten. All in all, that's been an amazing experience and a great opportunity to spend time with a... Read more
27 April, 2010
Filed under CiviCRM, Documentation

Everyone is continuing to produce an incredible amount of content for the book, plus rework and update areas that were showing some age. The new set of chapters for developers and people who want to extend CiviCRM is really fantastic. Everyone who has been wanting to extend CiviCRM, but didn't know where to start should be able to dive in. Everyone is increasing their knowledge of CiviCRM, getting ideas for new features and improving existing features. I overheard someone comment that they have learned more about CiviCRM working on this book than they did at the DrupalCon CiviCRM sessions.

We all went for a much-needed walk around the lake in the afternoon. The dinner prepared by Jill was once again a treat. Jill explained how she made everything, but I don't think I stand a chance of being able to prepare any of the dishes.

Hats off to Tim Homewood who was at CiviCon last week and today was on the irc channel at:...

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26 April, 2010
Filed under Documentation

It's 5 to midnight and we're just wrapping up. Mr Kurund says that I can't go to bed until I've written this post, so...

Participating in the second book sprint is just as fascinating as it was the first time around, but the dynamic is definitely different. Having a book in place already makes a big difference - there's no panicking that we'll end up with the sections half finished, and it is easier to cover components when a lot of the design decisions have already been made. Having already written sections on the components is especially helpful when covering new components.

Today we reached some pretty huge milestones - we have full draft coverage of CiviCRM's two newest components: CiviCase and CiviReport, and also of the new Drupal module for CiviCRM: CiviEngage.

And if that weren't enough, we've also have a comprehensive draft of a new section 'Developing with CiviCRM' that covers best practice for extending Civi. Developer documenation is often...

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24 April, 2010
Filed under Documentation
It's 11pm in beautiful Truckee, CA, and the CiviCRM Book Sprint crew of twelve dedicated souls is still hard at work after a 10am start. We've come from across the US and around the globe to help update and improve the existing book, making it more useful for CiviCRM users, developers, implementers, and administrators. We're being guided through the process by Adam Hyde of FLOSS Manuals, a collection of manuals about free and open source software and the very cool tools that let communities collaborate to create the manuals. Adam has helped us learn the tools and, more importantly, learn the philosophies and processes that drive FLOSS Manuals book sprints. It's been impressive to see an efficient and skillfully structured process come together with true collaboration, open communication, and respect for individual working styles, energy levels, and personal interests and investments. Today's... Read more
23 March, 2010
Filed under Documentation

Exactly one month from now, a team of CiviCRM developers, implementors and users will sprint to update 'Understanding CiviCRM: A Guide for Non-profits'. We've heard from lots of folks that to have this free online book as a learning resource is really important. And we're pretty excited about this sprint, especially given the amount we achieved last time.

There is lots to update and improve and we'd like your input to make the new version of the book as useful as possible to you. There are a few ways in which you can help now.

  • Feedback to us on the current book. What did you like and what wasn't so good. What bits were missing, and what was unnecessary or confusing? Please add your comments on the book sprint wiki page.
  • Volunteer to help remotely during the sprint. If you can't join us for the sprint, there are still ways...
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15 May, 2009
Filed under Documentation

Lunch time of day two stands out as a high point of the book sprint. We'd spent the first day working relatively independently - brain-dumping the chapters about areas of CiviCRM that we knew the best and by Tuesday, it was clear the chapters making up our introductory section needed a re-think.

Trying to get co-herence on five chapters written by five people sounded pretty daunting at the time, and I wasn't sure how we were going to get there. But after 15 minutes or so of intense talking over what we'd written, our experiences, and what we were trying to acheive, the answer came down from the ether. We realised we could split the section nicely down the lines of 'before you chose CiviCRM' and 'after you choose CiviCRM'. Armed with this, restructuring was a relative breeze.

These 'meetings' happened again and again during the sprint, and although the the outcomes might sound obvious in retrospect, I'm sure they wouldn't have been as easily come by (if they were...

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14 May, 2009
By lcdweb
Filed under Documentation

Last week I had the privilege of joining 10 other CiviCRM enthusiasts, along with a facilitator (Adam Hyde from FLOSS Manuals) for the CiviCRM Book Sprint. It was a fantastic experience on many different levels. More than anything else, it was great to meet in person and interact face-to-face with members of the core team and active members in the community—many of whom I’ve had forum-based contact with for several years.

In between (and often during) the writing, I had great opportunity to talk through how people have used and implemented CiviCRM, enriching my own understanding of the software and the possible capabilities it provides.

Both those discussions and the writing process itself made me appreciate even more how robust and flexible CiviCRM can be in meeting the diverse needs of non-profit organizations. As each chapter went through revisions, each reviewer brought their experience of how the software...

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