Finally ... A Complete Demo for CiviCRM on Joomla!

I'm happy to announce that we've finally gotten our act together and configured a complete public demo for the Joomla! version of CiviCRM 2.1. Joomla! users and integrators will finally be able to try out CiviCRM for Joomla! without going through the process of setting up their own site. We think this will be a good step forward in strengthening the Joomla! part of the CiviCRM community. The front-end demo site includes links to test-drive public-facing features:
  • online contribution page
  • membership signup page
  • event info and registration page

Proposal to merge CiviMail and the send mail feature

Hi, On every new CiviCRM install, I've had the same question about the difference between CiviCRM (the mass mailing module) and the send mail feature (from and individual contact and a search result). The question is when to use one or the other. I understand than historically, these two features comes from both end of the spectrum, CiviCRM was made to send newsletters and bulk emails, and the send email is a replacement of sending a mail from your mail client. However, you can have a mailing list of a handful of contacts, and you can send "individual" emails to several dozen contacts.

Announcing 2.1 Stable

After more than 7 months of design, development and QA - the team is thrilled to announce the release of CiviCRM 2.1 Stable. You can download the release AND / OR try it out on our public demo site. 2.1 features a number of exciting new features, including...
  • Joomla! 1.5 and Drupal 6 compatibility (CiviCRM 2.1 is NOT compatible with Drupal 5.x or Joomla! 1.0.x)
  • Production-ready "standalone" version of CiviCRM (with thanks to U.S. PIRG)
  • Contribution Pledges (back-office and self-service)
  • Multi-language / single site support (with thanks to Google Summer of Code and the Joomla! team)
  • Nesting (hierarchy) for groups (with thanks to U.S. PIRG)
  • Contribution, participant and membership export improvements (with thanks to American Friends Service Committee)
  • CiviCRM Home / Dashboard customization (with thanks to Frontline Defenders)
  • Several usabiilty improvements including basic and quick search improvements (with thanks to CivicActions), and elimination of the annoying page reloads when entering contributions, memberships, and event registrations.
  • FCKEdit and TinyMCE rich text editors
  • Early-bird (date-based) discounts for events
  • Multi-participant event registration
  • Dedupe design and scalability improvements
  • New tools for developers to extend and customize CiviCRM - including form hooks, adding PHP to custom fields, REST support for selected APIs, DB-driven menus and more.
  • .... and 200+ more smaller improvements and bug fixes
You can find Release Highlights here, and check out the resolved issues listing for details on the 570+ improvements and bug fixes. A big round of applause is due to all the folks who downloaded, tested and submitted bug reports during the 2.1 release cycle. The alpha and beta packages were downloaded more than 4,000 times . 250+ bugs and "improvements" were reported by community members and fixed by the team during the release cycle. A special shout-out goes to some of the "heroes" who made significant contributions through both design and testing of this release - Mark Burdett, Chris Burgess, Matt Chapman, Peter Davis, Father Shawn (Duncan), Xavier Dutoit, Tony Guzman, Dave Hansen-Lange, Eileen McNaughton, Wes Morgan, Chris Mott, Brian Shaughnessy, Cynthia Tarascio, Elin Waring. This is another huge increase improvement in community participation in bullet-proofing a release - and should help make this our highest quality release yet.

Last call for CiviCamp (Oct 13/14)

We have 4 more slots available for CiviCamp. CiviCamp will be held at Yahoo!'s San francisco offices (downtown, Sansome street, close to BART/Muni etc). The CiviCamp agenda is on our wiki here: Some other details of the camp in prior blog posts

Possible CiviCRM sessions on BADCamp 2008 – this October!

As most of the core CiviCRM team will be in San Francisco for this year’s Bay Area Drupal Camp, we’ve proposed two CiviCRM sessions: an introductory session on CiviCRM and its components for end-users, evaluators and administrators, and an advanced developer session on CiviCRM’s internal architecture, the use of APIs and general code overview of the project for developers.

2.1 Beta 6 Released

We were planning on pushing out 2.1 stable this week - but a few too many "need to fix" issues surfaced (thanks to some dilegent community testers). So we've released a 6th Beta distribution this week and targeted stable release for next week. You can download 2.1 Beta 6 now on SourceForge.

If you are planning on using new 2.1 features AND / OR upgrading an existing site to 2.1 - NOW is the time to test the upgrade with YOUR DATA and identify any remaining issues with new or existing features. The development team will actively work with you resolve any upgrade issues during this phase of the release cycle. If you submitted bugs to the 2.1 queue and haven't yet confirmed the fixes - PLEASE take the time to retest now.

If you are unable to test the release by downloading it - then the next best thing is to try out the new features, bug fixes, as well as the workflows you use most often by logging in to the public demo.

Contribution Totals Charting using Google Chart API

One of the many cool new features in 2.1 is the ability to view annual and monthly contribution totals in a bar or pie chart format by clicking a link on the CiviContribute dashboard. The charts are rendered by passing the contribution totals to Google's Chart API. We think this is a useful feature (at least for some folks). However, several folks on our team have noted that some organizations may not be comfortable with passing contribution totals to an external service over the internet. Given those concerns, we've added some help text which attempts to make things "transparent" - and including information about removing the link for folks who are concerned...
IMPORTANT: This feature uses Google's public chart-drawing service. Your monthly and annual contribution totals will be sent over the internet to Google's servers. No contributor data is sent - only totals. However, if you are concerned about the privacy of your contribution totals - you should NOT use this feature. You can remove the link by editing the template file at templates/CRM/Contribution/Page/Dashboard.tpl.
It would be helpful to get feedback from the community about how big a concern this is - and whether the explanation we've added to the help text (copied above) is clear.

CiviCamp scheduled for Oct 13-14, 2008

Good news folks, we have a few folks interested in CiviCamp. So CiviCamp is confirmed for Oct 13-14, 2008 in San Francisco. CiviCamp is immediately after BADCamp. If you have not yet registered for BADCamp, please do so now (before it gets full!). We plan on restricting CiviCamp to 10 attendees (for space reasons). If you are interested please contact us soon (send me mail lobo at yahoo dot com, or leave a comment). There will be 6 CiviCRM core developers at CiviCamp! (Kurund, Deepak, Piotr, Yashodha, Dave, Lobo)

Agenda and Goals

The agenda and plans for CiviCamp is maintained here. If you are attending CiviCamp, please edit the agenda and include your goals. We hope to accomplish and add a few cool features and improvements to CiviCRM during CiviCamp. This is not a training event. We expect participants to have some combination of php5 / mysql5 / javascript / CiviCRM / Drupal / Joomla skills.


We will split up total costs incurred with the group participants. The costs are primarily to cover food and location rental (if any). Please post a comment to this post if you are interested and your availability on those dates. Also thoughts on what you'd like to get done in this camp would be appreciated :)


CiviCamp will be held at the Yahoo! San Francisco location (downtown?). We will inform attendees of the address and directions.

Grassroots Power - Vote for CiviCRM Sessions at the 2009 Nonprofit Technology Conference

The Nonprofit Technology Network - NTEN - is holding it's annual conference in San Francisco next April. This is the largest annual gathering of the non-profit tech community in the U.S - and it's a great opportunity for folks in our CiviCRM community to connect and share and help promote CiviCRM. This year NTEN is using a new voting process to decide which sessions get included in the schedule. Three exciting CiviCRM-related sessions are on the "ballot" - thanks to David Geilhufe, Michelle Murrain (Non Profit Open Source Initiative), Sue Gardner (Wikimedia Foundation), Wes Morgan (Fund for the Public Interest), Rick Cohen (National Council of Nonprofit Associations), and Jeff Porter (Foundation for Prader-Willi Research). Even if you're not sure about attending NTC - help get these sessions on the schedule by taking a few minutes to vote for them. All you need to do is go to the linked pages below and click on the "stars": Take a few minutes and VOTE NOW. It's a quick and easy way to "give back" and help CiviCRM grow and thrive.