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?

CiviCRM download stats ..

We recently moved our downloads from our server in Poland to Sourceforge.net. The main reasons for this move was to make the download faster and reliable. A side benefit was saving bandwidth and hence costs. One of the unforeseen benefits of this move was we get pretty good download stats from the service and a few surprising results. You can see the stats here.

Some interesting things to note ..

1.7 Progress...

The team is making excellent progress on the 1.7 release. We've got 19 issues resolved of the approximately 50 issues posted for this release - and the new CiviEvent component is starting to take shape.

We are targeting code-freeze / alpha release for the end of February, and there's still quite a lot to do. Hence, our plates are getting pretty full in terms of additions for 1.7. That said, if you have critical requirements or fixes that aren't already on the list, speak up! If you're able to pitch in with some code, and engineering resource and/or detailed specifications - that's a big plus.

CiviCRM Goals for 2007 ...

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

Dave's Adventures in New Zealand

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.

Optimizing CiviCRM ...

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.

A few good articles on open source ..

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