As we begin our 3rd year - the team took some time to lay out broad goals for 2007. These goals are intended to help us focus on things that will improve the platform, grow the community and sustain the project for the long term. So without further ado, here our the 2007 goals:
- Documentation: Incorporate good detailed documentation in the form of tutorial / manual / podcast / screencast / online help as part of each release.
- Usability: Engage with UX experts to guide us in improving and simplifying the product. Incorporate usability design and testing as part of each release
I'm back in San Francisco after a fantastic couple of weeks exploring New Zealand (Aotearoa in Maori). We spent all our time on the South Island - as there were so many things we wanted to do there, and so we could visit with Lobo and his family in their new home in Nelson. (Check out Lobo's New Zealand blog for updates on their experiences in NZ).
Overall, we found the "kiwis" (New Zealanders) to be incredibly friendly, welcoming and helpful folks... very informal, passionate about their beautiful country, honest and playful. The South Island is incredibly diverse in terms of landscapes and eco-systems - and much of it is protected as parklands and wilderness.
I've spent a fair amount of time in the past two weeks figuring out how we could optimize and improve CiviCRM. Its been an interesting few days and I suspect will become more interesting over the next few days as we start implementing a few things. All this is in preparation for doing a pretty major load test for the Branner project.
Two articles worth mentioning and thinking about, culled from the fairly informative N-TEN Connect
- Evaluating a Community - by Seth Gottlieb. A pretty good read on factors to consider when choosing to adopt/integrate an open source project. CiviCRM does use a fair number of other open source projects and we use quite a few of the factors Seth describes when we choose a project. We also hope CiviCRM comes off in a positive light when folks out there are looking for a relationship management system
CiviCRM 1.6: A Free and Open Source eCRM SolutionWe are pleased to announce the latest release of CiviCRM – version 1.6. Special thanks to the dedicated folks who contributed to this release by testing the alpha and beta revisions – and to everyone in the community who provided new ideas, feedback (especially critical feedback), and patches. CiviCRM is the first open source and freely downloadable constituent relationship management solution. CiviCRM is web-based, internationalised, and designed specifically to meet the needs of advocacy, non-profit and non-governmental groups.
Trying to get our arms around how to load test CiviCRM and it is turning out to be a major issue with quite a few steps. This post is primarily for us to sort things out and make sure we are on the right path. So here are the specific steps and various programs we'll use to test things out:
Fundraising C.O.R.E connects to the CiviCRM data tables as the source of data. CiviCRM in turn gets its data from the PayPal and Moneybookers synchronization engines we manage. Finally, we're using i18n for internationalization.
We also manage the fundraising pages on the Wikimedia Foundation site that feed data in.
Just to set better context, here is our load testing scenario:
Last weekend Rupam Jaiswal, our CiviCRM team developer from India got married. A few of us from the team had gone for the wedding. It was great to see the transition from a developer whose days revolved around putting together code, into a bride who was now busy getting things together for the big day. She looked resplendent in her traditional Indian outfit.