Open Source communities are awesome ...

As some of you are aware, I'm currently living in Nelson, NZ. We've been moving quite often in our quest to find a long term furnished rental (which was surprisingly difficult and cumbersome in a small town). We did manage to find a pretty good place in Tahunanui, Nelson and moved in this weekend. Unfortunately our good friends at Telecom NZ, worthy recipients indeed of the Supreme Ass awards, could not switch on broadband at the new place till later this week.

Hurtling Towards 1.7 and Keeping Balls in the Air

The team is continuing to chip away at the big list of issues posted for 1.7 while we do our best at keeping some other balls in the air.

Activity on the mailing lists has picked up quite a bit over the past few weeks - with posts ranging from installation problems to "how do I..." to feedback on improvements and additions. Fortunately, Peter Hirst of Open Social Sites has done an incredible job chipping in and answering quite a few of the support questions. This has really helped the team stay focused on development efforts - major kudos to Peter!

We are also working hard on two consulting engagements - one for QuestBridge's 2007 Colllege Prep Scholarship program, and another for Selection Phase of The McConnell Foundation's Scholarship programs (in conjunction with CivicActions). Both of these projects give us the opportunity to improve the extensibility of CiviCRM for specific vertical markets/applications.

CiviCRM Localisation

CiviCRM is localised into several languages and used by people all around the world. All of the CiviCRM translations are provided by volunteers; this blog post explains how to participate in the community of translators and make CiviCRM usable for people who prefer to use software in their language.

General Informations

How you can help CiviCRM ....

I originally wrote this in an email to the civicrm-dev list, but figured putting it on the blog for the record would be a good idea.

Community support and input is super important to us in all respects. It lets everyone know how folks are using the product for their organization / business / group. A lot of the features and direction that CiviCRM has gone in has been heavily influenced by the needs and comments of the community on the mailing list and forum.

Please continue sending us your thoughts / reviews and critique. Please take the time to make CiviCRM a better product by:

    CiviCRM for Undoing Unemployment

    During last few months Piotr and I have been working on preparing the deployment of CiviCRM for Polish organisation called Foundation for Social and Economic Initiatives (FISE). The long term goal of the project was to deploy our software to support and improve FISE's internal operations in contact management domain, and the short term goal was to use it for "Searching for a Polish model of the social economy" initiative, as the first testing field of the long term strategy.

    FISE's first initiative to use CiviCRM is a project aiming to support non-governmental organisations working in unemployment area. Large group of selected consultants and researchers will be working with more than 300 target organisations on improving their effectiveness, training their workers and providing opportunities to extend their activities. CiviCRM will be used to monitor these interactions, provide the ability to share the contact information between project stakeholders and improve final reporting upon project's end. A series of trainings will be conveyed as one of the initiative's components and CiviCRM will be playing significant role here as well. We want it to provide the ability to manage the database of thousands of workshop attendees and support running the evaluation of their job situation improvement 6 months after the workshop.

    2006 Year-end Review

    This past year was an exciting one for CiviCRM. We experienced an exponential increase in the number of downloads, and a strengthening and diversification of our active community members. International adoption and translation activity also increased - although we like to see more growth for this in 2007.

    David Geilhufe has created an excellent "year in review" document which covers the highlights. I've attached it here - feel free to share it around with folks who might be interested in using or contributing to the project!

    Convio buys GetActive and more ..

    Earlier today Convio announced that they will acquire GetActive. I wont bother speculating too much on what this does to Open API's et al. I suspect the two orgs will be quite busy munging two large closed systems into an even larger closed system (speaking a bit from experience here!)

    Mark Shuttleworth from Ubuntu recently had an article titled Keeping it Free. This article to a large extent summarizes what we at CiviCRM think and feel. From his blog entry a couple of paragraphs that really put things in context for us (and hopefully for you):

    Two more cool projects using or considering CiviCRM ...

    From our regular scraping / rss feeds of the web in an attempt to get a rough idea of what folks are using CiviCRM and why, here are two interesting projects that we came across:

    Notes from Attending dojo Developer Days

    dojo is an open-source Javascript Toolkit which is designed to facilitate integration of advanced Ajax and DHTML features into web applications. CiviCRM has started incorporating Dojo widgets as of 1.6 - including:

    • Auto-completion on Quick Contact Search block.
    • Tab containers for more efficient handling of Contact Summary tabs (doesn't reload the entire page when switching between tabs).
    • Mouseover Tooltips for inline help.
    • ... and we are planning on adding more features in 1.7 as we work on streamlining the user interface and creating more desk-top like work-flows.

    Response to NTEN's questionnaire on Open API's...

    NTEN (Non-profit Technology Enterprise Network) recently posed a series of questions to software vendors serving the non-profit community. Here's a draft of our response. We will be revising this entry over the next few days. Would be great for the community to comment and/or contribute to our response. The questions are in bold type.

    Does your product have APIs that allow other applications to access data from your application?