Let the countdown begin! We’re into the final stretch of the Django rewrite of drumbeat.org, so I thought I’d write a bit about our plans for the next month or so. I’ll be staging the application this week and submitting a ticket for security review and working on a deployment plan so we’ll be ready to flip the switch when the time comes. Depending on these external factors, we hope to launch by the end of the month. I’ll be posting a final list of blockers this week.
The new software that will power drumbeat.org is going to feel different. This isn’t just a technology change, but a new vision and direction for the site as well. The user experience is much more social; content will be generated by people and projects in your network. Instead of a heavy content site, we’re aiming for small pieces loosely joined. Users and projects will be able to add links to external content, and have content from those links show up in the news feeds of people in their network.
What to Expect
We’re aiming to make the transition to the new site as seamless as possible for existing drumbeat.org users. At a minimum, user accounts and projects will be moved over to the new site. You will be able to log in with your existing credentials and your projects will already exist. Contributors to projects on the old site will become followers, and updates from your project will appear in their dashboards.
Project and profile metadata (images, bios, etc) will not be moved over. We will be keeping the old, Drupal site around for a limited time, at an alternative URL, so that people can grab their data that doesn’t get automatically migrated to the new site.
2011 will be a year of rapid iterations on the drumbeat.org website and platform. I’m going to push for us to do releases at a minimum every two weeks with bug fixes and feature enhancements. What we launch later this month will not be perfect and there’ll be a lot of work to do, but we’ll now be in a position to make constant improvements. Our roadmap and goals will be posted to the wiki as we plan each iteration. Some of the stuff I already know will be in scope for Q1 and Q2: l10n/i18n, improvements to the user experience, addressing scalability and performance issues as they arise, etc.
I’m looking forward to an exciting year for drumbeat.org. As always, ping me if you’d like to get involved!