Last week I was lucky enough to spend some time at the Googleplex with Tomasz
Dobrzyński bug squad member and Joomla! grand prize winner in the Google Highly Open Participation Contest, his mother, and the students,
parents and mentors from the nine other open source projects that participated in GHOP.
Thursday we had a fun day starting with Ghop at Ihop for breakfast (for non Americans IHOP is a chain of pancake restaurants). Then on Friday, we had the award ceremony and an amazing day of talks about things like Google infrastructure, Android, the Google App Engine and, my personal bug squad favorite, testing.
You can read more about it in Leslie's post at the Google Open Source Program blog
You can see the award ceremony here:
And Tomasz and I hit Youtube here:
IF Google were to run another GHOP Contest this year, we would be smart to be thinking about possible tasks already. If you wanted to see the kinds of tasks we offered last year you could find them here. And, hypothetically, you could even leave ideas in the comments.
And if you are a high school student who would theoretically be interested in participating, you could read some of the tasks and look at the wiki and learn how to set up a development environment, see how to work in the documentation cookie jar, or learn something about translation. Just because some of the students mentioned that doing that kind of thing made the first tasks they did challenging.
July 14, 2008 marks the beginning of year three of Packt's friendly competition between world class free software communities for who earns bragging rights to the much coveted 2008 Best Overall Open Source CMS. Not only is this recognition a great way to encourage, support, and reward the incredible efforts of free software communities, but, there is also a nice cash award shared with those projects fortunate enough to win.
That's a quote from our esteemed project manager Louis Landry, in a forum announcement found here.
I may be biased, but I have long thought our Joomla Extensions Directory was one of the things that makes Joomla! the best CMS on the planet. Joomla has the biggest repository of add-ons that I know of, and I have yet to see a repository that is as well-maintained and complete as the JED.
And so, for that reason alone, I suggest anyone with the inclination to support the Joomla! project goes over to Packt and puts in a nomination for Joomla!, and maybe even nominate a team member you feel is a CMS MVP.
With the launch of community.joomla.org you may have noticed Joomla relying much more heavily on a new partner ... Feedburner.com.
We're now running all RSS feeds in this section of the site through Feedburner. We've also moved the Joomla Extensions Directory's RSS Feed over.
There are four main reasons for doing this:
Better Statistics - We can count how many people are subscribed.
More Features - You can now subscribe by email, send the listings to a friend and even submit them to Digg.
Easier Updating - If needed, we can change the location of your feed without breaking anyone's subscription.
More Secure - We used to provide a full RSS directly from the Extensions Directory. Several sites were taking this and creating their own copies of the JED. The problem was that these copied sites didn't update their listings whereas the JED is constantly monitored for insecure or abandoned extensions. It was becoming normal to see a component with major security holes still being promoted on these scraper sites. Feedburner has measures in place to prevent people from doing this.
Users of the JED may have noticed that the Editor's Picks haven't been changed in a while. When the JED Editor staff was expanded this Spring, one of the changes we wanted to make was to revitalize that section.
There are certain extensions we just won't develop a site without. Our favorite photo gallery, admin tool, menu system, etc. We want to recognize the developers of those extensions for their contribution to the community. So many wonderful extensions have been released since the list was last worked on... it's definitely time to breathe new life into the picks.
I personally was a little discouraged when we added our first new pick (JTS--Joomla Tools Suite by Russ Winter) and it didn't get much notice. The JED itself has grown so much that the featured extensions block where we announce picks is quite a ways down the page. The number of categories has probably quadrupled since that layout was chosen.
With the advent of the new JED Editors blog, I'm hoping the extensions we choose to highlight will get noticed a bit more.
Criteria for becoming an Editor's Pick
What will the picks have in common? They'll be GPL-compatible, Joomla! 1.5 Native, and judged by the editors as one of the top extensions in their niche. We'll take a lot of factors into account, like how frequently the code is improved and how active the support forum is... but the most important factor will be overall quality.
Expect the newest Editor's Pick to come out very shortly. I'm so pleased we'll be able to actually outline why we've picked that extension in a platform like this blog.
Many community members have pointed out an error in 1.5.4 with duplicate titles. This issue affects both content and contact views (article layout, and contact detail layout to be specific). We are aware of the problem and are working on a clean, simple way to rectify it. The plan is to fix this issue and release 1.5.5 in the coming weeks. Until then, you can use a layout override in the template to bypass the issue.