Archive for the ‘People’ Category
Hey all, my name is Kalid Azad, I’m the new UI Dev for MindTouch!
I got in touch with the company after a tweet regarding a project of mine, which led to an email/call & trip to San Diego to meet the team. San Diego apparently has name-brand sunshine, vs. the generic packaged stuff we get up in Seattle. The team was smart, friendly, down to earth, and it was cool talking about new technologies (git, no SQL style databases) with an atmosphere of curious experimentation. Not every new tech is the right fit, but it’s important to explore the possibilities and know what’s out there.
I’m a fan of MindTouch for a few reasons. First, it’s open source — I’ve worked inside closed corporations, and did a double-take when my first spec was put on a public site. Really? Other people can… read it? Believe it or not, this is mindblowing in other circumstances :). Being able/allowed/encouraged to engage with a community, in the open, from the getgo is really freeing.
Next, I love blogging about math/programming geekery, and was looking for a way to have readers contribute. I like tinkering around with new platforms (tweaking WordPress, etc.) and being able to contribute to a project I’m experimenting with myself is just awesome. I’m keeping a list of little UX features that might be cool on my user page. Comments/feedback/UX ideas are more than welcome.
Last, I like the idea of separating the data (API) from the presentation layer, in that good ol’ MVC pattern. Theoretically, you can have a web interface, gmail-like interface, desktop interface, iphone interface, command-line interface… and it should just all work. Just having the separation gives you the freedom to experiment, which I’m looking forward to doing.
Back to normal now. Looking forward to working with everyone!
Good morning everybody! I am Ricky, a freshly recruited intern here at MindTouch, Inc. I will be working with the other engineers here to help make MindTouch even better then it already is now. A quick bit about myself; I am a student at UCSD, the only UC that has an inorganic mascot, studying Computational Cognitive Science and Computer Science. While working at MindTouch, I will be under the tutelage of Guerric, who has already tasked me with a fun project to help slowly introduce me to the wonders associated with being a programmer.
My first project has been tentatively named “Download Statistics”. The goal of this project is to create a system that is suited for creating various download metrics in order to make better informed product decisions. The two major sources of information will be from Apache logs generated from repository downloads and a proxy for web downloads. This all gets processed and stored inside a database. This database will then be accessed through use of Dekiscript allowing pretty presentation of the data in meaningful ways such as real time tracking of unique downloads.
An interesting things about this project is that I will be using MonoDevelop as my IDE. So far it has been a fruitful experience and will hopefully lead to more of its use at the company.
And an interesting thing about my experience in the company, everybody uses laptops! It is so weird to see everybody working on laptops, especially 12.1 to 13.3 inch ones! And going along with laptops, the one that I brought to work, an old Dell Inspirion 1410, outright froze on the first day from the strain. Maybe it’s time to get an indestructible Thinkpad T500.
Here at MindTouch Development HQ, we’ve been especially proud of the uptick of activity in the community. Please continue your contributions!
And for those of you on Core who are running into some pretty basic issues, we want to help you.
Normally, our support plans are only offered to commercial customers, but for the summer months only, MindTouch is offering access to our basic support plans for Core deployments. Until July 1st, we are offering Core installs basic support at $995, with 10 tickets for system maintenance and system configuration. These tickets will expire on September 21st, 2009. (Perfect to have for the Minneopa release!) Your purchase of this plan also counts as credits towards a commercial license purchase!
Basic support is offered for the following systems (sorry, Slackware users):
- Operating Systems: Red Hat 5; Fedora 9; Ubuntu 7.04, 8.04, 9.04; Debian Etch, Lenny; CentOS 5; SUSE 10.1; VMware ESX, WorkStation, Server
- Database: mySQL 5
- Webserver: Apache 2
These tickets cover support for installing, upgrading, and configuring MindTouch Core.
Interested? Show your support for MindTouch by dropping by our store and purchasing a plan!
The office has been abuzz with a lot of activity as we put the finishing touches on the Lyons open source release. The team’s down to 20 bugs (but most of them are so trivial they may be pushed off to Lyons+). Pete recently updated wiki.developer.mindtouch.com with the Lyons bits, and I’m quite confident we’ll have the open source version ready by the next week.
Google Summer of Code
We’ll be applying to be a mentor in the Google Summer of Code project. All the developers here are quite passionate about what they do, and I know they’d all make some kick-ass mentors. For those of you who would like to see some open source projects developed around Deki, please contribute to our “Ideas” page for our GSoC submission! A pre-thanks to Craig for driving this process forward for us!
MindTouch Developer Center Relaunch
As we wrap up this release (and all the packaging/marketing work that goes with it), we’ve started to focus our engineering efforts back towards relaunching our MindTouch Developer Center. I speak to various developers outside of MindTouch on a weekly basis about all the custom work they’ve done for Deki, and the one thing I keep hearing is, “How can I contribute back?”
It’s clear from our developer center that barring a few sections (DekiScript and the Deki API documentation are fantastic), we’ve done a very poor job of organizing our content. As is the case with most organically grown documentation, our attempts to over-organize with hierarchies before the content existed painted us in a bit of a corner (now it’s nearly impossible to figure out what goes where!). My two favorite sections to navigate are the DekiScript section and the general FAQ, and we’ll be taking our lessons from those two sections and applying that same ease of navigation throughout all the sections.
There is also not a way to contribute code back to the community: how many DekiScript samples and Deki skins are buried in the forums? While a full-fledged forge will be a bit much to swallow for the initial launch, one of our goals will be work towards a forge where community members can share their work with Deki.
Currently, our developer center is a bunch of pieces of software cobbled together:
- Deki - primary documentation tool
- Mantis - bug tracking
- vBulletin - forums
- WordPress - our developer blog
- Translate – custom-rolled application for updating localization keys
- Deki Social – a custom application for managing social profiles – it’s current purpose is to do account synchronization between all our applications (with the exception of WordPress)
With all the changes inside Lyons (notifications, page properties), there is no reason Deki wouldn’t take the role of Deki Social. Deki should be aggregating all the user information across these various sites, mashing them up, and providing a useful dashboard for activity for any user across all these sites. With our PHP hooks and modules, Deki can also serve as the central repository for keeping all user accounts in sync (passwords, usernames, login cookies).
Sound exciting? I’m pretty pumped – this has been the vision we’ve been incrementally working towards for six months, and now we’re on the cusp of actually achieving this level of close integration between all these developer tools.
Guerric has already started on working on the front-end plug-ins to handle single sign-on and account synchronization as well as some of the use cases I mentioned above.
But for now, what I need to ask from you is to start looking over our ideas for the MDC Relaunch and to start throwing your ideas on there. We’re especially interested in your ideas about how to reorganize the content on the MDC site to better suit your needs, so please … drop on by and let us know your thoughts!
Finished catching up on all the forums posts as of yesterday EOD. So, if you didn’t get a response from me then it was either posted later or it was posted in an area that others on the team are responsible for (e.g. installation and LDAP integration). Don’t hesitate to ping me on twitter or private message me if your post has been ignored for days. We try hard, but sometimes things fall through the cracks, so don’t take it personally.
There are still two threads I’m working on and they should get responses later in the day.
For those who care about programmatic access to RSS feeds from DekiScript, I recommend you take a look at my latest post on the Including recent changes on the home page thread. It details the improvements to feeds in Lyons.
And that wraps up the latest news from the forums front! ;)