The Magic of Community Work

Posted by Kerstin Schuman on 2 February 2012

Last week I realised that I am asking you guys quite a bit these days; more pull requests, themes, blog posts, hackfests and meetup presentations. And yeah, every once in a while there is yet another community member who is stuck and needs your help.

I can tell you are getting tired, you have a full time job where you do overtime already, a nagging wife or husband at home and the kids don’t let you sleep either. And then Schuman comes along and wants you to do yet another thing!

My enlightening moment came during a Twitter exchange with Ben Tucker a few days ago.

SilverStripe @silverstripe
Anyone working on a theme for the contest? Anything else we can help with? What does it need to make your entry possible?#themecontest ^KS

Ben Tucker @SticksTucker
@silverstripe The contest needs to do my job, move my house, and eat and sleep for me so I can have time to put something together!#toobusy 

SilverStripe @silverstripe
@stickstucker It is a great CMS, but I am afraid it doesn't have magical powers. Wish it could be the answer to all our problems. ;) ^KS

Ben Tucker @SticksTucker
@silverstripe Fair enough. Keep those things in mind for SS4 though, yeah?

Seriously, I wish I could do magic tricks and get an awesome CMS and Framework 3.0 out for you and solve all your private and professional issues at the same time. All that without you having to move a finger. That would be awesome! I would have a Tooth Fairy tiara, a magic stick and wings on my back.

Well unfortunately our innocent days of Fairy faith are over and we all know that whatever we want in life takes hard work to get it. Now it is all about setting priorities, because each day has only so many hours.

Investing unpaid work into open source is then often not on the top of your priority list. And I don’t blame you. You are not alone; the SilverStripe teams working here in the office have the same prioritisation issue. Paid client work versus free work for the greater good. Sounds like an easy decision when bills and employees need to get paid, right? 

We keep hanging in there, so that SilverStripe 3.0 will see the light of day. We’ve been working on it for two years now. The babe is almost ready. It just needs to grow a little further. We believe it will maybe not change the world, but will be a massive step into the future of web development.

SilverStripe is the tool you use daily to create the most beautiful and useful web applications. You use it every day and you know it inside out, you know its strengths and its weaknesses. You can tweak and model it and make it do whatever you want. (That’s probably more than you can say about any other partner you’ve ever had). And it needs your love to keep shining and working for and with you.

There are a few among us who work very hard to keep this tool alive and kicking. Huge thanks to our friend from Austria; @Zauberfisch. He worked long hours in the recent weeks on a more user friendly upload control for SilverStripe 3. (@Zauberfisch; I wish I knew your name, but you have beautiful scales.)

Here is what Zauberfisch has to say about himself:

I am actually an employee, but the company uses SilverStripe, and I just came to love SS, so now I spend a big part of my spare time on it. Besides the websites I build at work, and private for friends and such, I am always in #silverstripe on IRC to provide support. I helped lx-berlin with the NetefxValidator, which we now maintain together. And I am planning to do a lot more work on SS, and also modules. Coding is my work and my hobby. I guess that’s it, there is not much more I can think of right now. Oh yeah, and people can vote for me at the SS Theme Contest this weekend.

Other top contributors of the last 6 months:

Wolf Vollprecht, Frank Mullenger, Jeremy Thomerson and Dominik Beerbohm.

Huge thanks also to Will Rossiter who moved on from SilverStripe as a company, but didn’t leave the tool or the community behind. He’s still a big contributor to the tool development and the community. Thanks to Simon Welsh who makes great improvements on the framework and never misses a SilverStripe hackfest. Thanks to all the SilverStripe supporters helping out in the forum, the developer mailinglist, on Twitter and Facebook.

More stats on the top Framework contributors and the CMS contributors.

I am sorry if I missed anyone, you are all very important; you make the tool and the community grow and develop. And the more evangelists we have the bigger the community and the more shoulders we have to shift the work.

Don’t give up. You make it work and keep the engine running and if you are stuck then go and ask. I’ll do my best to get you help, if you haven’t find it already in this great community.

Find tickets to work on in our bug tracker - here's a couple marked as "easy". And check out: for more ways to help out.

In the meantime, I put my useless magic dust back into the drawer and wait for your themes, because the Theme Contest is still running!

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  • Hey,

    thanks for mentioning me in your blog-post! that's awesome! :)

    Posted by Wolf, 3 years ago

  • @Ramon; Thanks for all your contributions and SilverCart. That's a great module.

    Posted by Kerstin, 3 years ago @silverstripe

  • Hey Marcus, given that we're working full steam on SS3 internally (with half a dozen devs at least), I find it hard to isolate specific small issues onto the bugtracker because we run the risk of them already being fixed in feature branches somewhere.

    I think even validating old UI issues against 3.0 (and closing them off if no longer applicable) is very valuable to us - we have woefully neglected bug triage in the last months in favour of SS3 feature development.

    By the way, you can keep track of our feature branch work in and

    At the moment, I think the most fruitful mode of collaboration is handing off a medium sized piece of work to a dedicated community dev, where we're fairly certain that it won't get done internally for SS3.

    If you're looking for a place to start, I can recommend fixing up our more common modules to work with SS3 - we haven't started this effort yet, so no risk of overlapping work.

    Posted by chillu, 3 years ago @chillu

  • One thing about the issues in the bug tracker, especially the older ones is are they really relevant for 3.0?
    Some of them are related to the old UI so once again it's the same question.
    Helping out would be alot easier if we knew what issues are the glaring ones that really need attention instead of a list of the easy ones which doesn't look all that relevant.

    Posted by Marcus Dalgren, 3 years ago

  • Hi Kerstin,

    it is great to see how much SilverStripe values the community. I wish me and my team could contribute more to the SilverStripe core than a bugreport (usually with a fix attached) every once in a while.

    Developing and sharing our eCommerce module SilverCart is our way to say thank you and hopefully our tiny share for the success of SilverStripe ;-)


    Posted by Ramon Kupper, 3 years ago @silvercart

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