Linux Conference 2011 (LCA) is being held in Brisbane from January 24-29, and representing SilverStripe will be Shane Weddell from SilverStripe Australia. I was all set to write about our plans for the conference, until it started raining and raining in Brisbane, and the city flooded.
The conference is still happening, but not at its original venue. Instead, it's being held at the Queensland University of Technology - Kelvin Grove campus, which is unfortunately 4km out of the central city, but still has good transportation available. To keep things simple after all the uncertainty of whether or not the conference would still happen, I figured I'd only ask Shane three questions about the conference.
Back in June last year, we asked for help in updating the SilverStripe documentation. We're happy to announce now that those updates have been made.
Overall, you shouldn't find that content has changed drastically, just that it's presented better, and isn’t as easily editable as when we were using a wiki. This new format means that we can keep all content up to date better.
We realise that removing wiki edit rights means that the barriers to contributing are a little higher, so we're imagining we’ll have fewer but more dedicated contributors. We really want to emphasise that we don't want to stop anyone from contributing. The site is open source, all the content is open source, and licensed under Creative Commons. It's as open as we can make it while still maintaining a manageable source that's current. For more information on how you can contribute, please read our contribution guide.
Here are some ideas on how you can help:
We're always interested to see what others are building with the SilverStripe CMS, so we've decided to start a series of profiles on what other companies and developers are doing. Today we talk to Aaron Carlino, who is otherwise known as Uncle Cheese, prolific forum-poster and all around legend.
Back in 2006, I had just started working at Bluehouse Group, and I learned quickly that our content management needs were strongly lacking. We were using a proprietary CMS developed in house, with a codebase like a tumbling snowball, picking up new things with every project, until it finally reached an immobile critical mass where it was unsustainable and impractical to continue using it. We spent a year researching open-source CMSes.
Last Saturday, around a dozen devotees of SilverStripe CMS assembled themselves at the Southern Cross Bar in Wellington. They were lured by the prospect of free drinks, perhaps, but even more so, they came in order to contribute to to the CMS.
We've made some changes to our Community Showcase, and we hope that you'll like them. In fact, we're hoping that not only will you like our changes, but you will also "Like" some of the sites in the showcase.
Now you have the ability to show your appreciation for the hard work and talents of your fellow designers and developers. If you're logged in, you can "like" a showcase in the Community Showcase section by clicking a "Like" button. Once you've liked something, you can click again to "Unlike".
I'm not sure that we've publicly explained the SilverStripe templating system thoroughly yet. It is significantly different from other templating systems out there.
Our goal when designing the template system was to make SilverStripe's deliberately simple templating language tightly integrate with the rest of the system. Here are some of our motivations behind our architectural decisions, and an explanation on why we decided not to reuse conventional approaches and libraries.
We're always interested to see what others are building with the SilverStripe CMS, so we've decided to start doing a series of profiles on what other companies and developers are doing. First up is the digital agency Heyday. They're a company from our own neighbourhood, and we’re huge fans of their Down to the Wire project about the history of the internet in New Zealand. I spoke to their technical director Shane Garelja about what they were up to.
We've been using SilverStripe for at least two years now, and have built quite a variety of sites on it. Our first was a site that, unfortunately, never went live but it was big enough to see the power and flexibility that SilverStripe had to offer.
We're excited to report that SilverStripe CMS has become Microsoft certified today. This is notable because Microsoft has certified a very small number* of web apps, and we're the first ever open source certified web app.
Microsoft's Certified for Windows programme is well known for indicating software and hardware products that have been thoroughly tested and which work well on Microsoft Windows. Of course, much of the innovation in the software world is now happening on the web, and with awareness and adoption of open source software growing fantastically, it makes sense for Microsoft to begin certifying open source web-based software.
We'd like to give members of the SilverStripe CMS community a chance to learn how to contribute back to the project. We've had meet-ups in the past, and will continue to hold them, as they’re very important to us, but right now, the time for talking is done. Let's get our hack on!
There's a big long list of things on the to-do list for the SilverStripe CMS , which are changes requested by the community for the community. We thought a good way to work our way through some of them would be to organise a hackfest in Wellington. We've booked the function room at The Southern Cross on Abel Smith Street from 12pm-4pm, there’ll be some money on the bar, there’s good food and drink available, and clever people will share clever ideas. Now we just need you to come along to make things go. Want to know more? Here’s some questions and answers from the event organiser Will Rossiter.
We picked up a trophy for you last night, so feel free to come into our office to touch it. The New Zealand Open Source Awards were held in Wellington, and the SilverStripe CMS won NZ Open Source Project.
Accepting on behalf of everyone who's worked on SilverStripe CMS, Brian Calhoun has this to say about the win: "This award is all about our amazing open source community. Not just our community of individual developers, but our community of partner and developer network companies spread throughout the planet. We have over 160 companies out there right now (and those are just the ones we know about) developing solutions for their clients on the SilverStripe open source platform. And they're doing more than building commercial sites. They're contributing back to the open source product which benefits everyone. We're extremely honoured to win this award and accept it on behalf of our community."