2011 Year In Review
Happy Holidays, Seasons Greetings, and an early Happy New Year to all the dedicated CMSMS web professionals out there. The CMSMS dev team would like to take this time to thank you for your continued support of your favorite open source content management system. We thought that since it is almost the end of 2011 that we should take some time to review what has happened in the past year and outline some of the things that are coming up.
In 2011 the CMSMS Dev team began some transitions. Some people have left the dev team, while others have joined. We've formalized our processes a bit more, and worked on having a good, working relationship amongst ourselves. We are developing effective methods of communication. We've learned a great deal more about developing and supporting an industry leading, award winning product with a volunteer team that has diverse schedules and priorities, and (believe it or not) lives. We have formalized our membership and communication processes a great deal in the past year, and dramatically improved our workflow. And, we've made some mistakes along the way. All of this will make for better information flow, less confusion, a better team, and in the end a better content management product.
The goal of many of the decisions that the dev team made this year was to simplify our efforts, improve our communication with the community, and to focus on core needs as much as possible. To that end, we have discontinued any support for the 1.6 series of CMSMS, removed support for Postgres, announced a plan to phase out PHP 5.2 support, and announced that we had ceased efforts on the 2.0 project as it was known. We've firmed up our support policies, strengthened our relationship with our authorized language partners, and significantly improved our marketing and communication techniques. Though some of these decisions were unpopular, they will allow us to better focus on the needs of the vast majority of our user community.
Additionally, the list of stale, empty, abandoned, or non-working projects in our forge was a common concern by our user community. Recognizing that the dev team could not, and would not assume responsibility for these projects we debated what to do; and came up with a policy. That policy led to a project where we removed a large amount of stale projects from the forge. Later this year we formalized our forge project rules with the intent to minimize this problem on an ongoing basis, and will try to make the forge cleanup an annual process. The entire user community will benefit from this project by knowing which addon modules are actively developed, and maintained. Additionally developers will have a firm set of rules to work by.
This year we released numerous patch versions of CMSMS, and one primary functionality release: CMSMS 1.10. The 1.10 version marks a significant step forward in technology. It introduced concepts such as preview and lazy loading for modules, and generated significantly improved performance. Without a doubt most of our releases have met with significant success. This is indicated by the fact that The various packages of CMSMS have been downloaded over 150,000 times this year alone.
As with most functionality releases, the 1.10 release did not come without its problems. There were the expected and announced problems with module compatibility. There were also a few significant issues that were just not detected during the beta process. This is all inspite of the fact that the dev team put extra effort towards announcing the known potential difficulties well in advance, communicating frequently, and by having a longer than normal (and public) beta. We can say that everything didn't work out as well as we had hoped. Theere are important lessons to learn in this, and although we cannot say that we will never again make changes in the core that cause compatibility issues, we will try to adjust how we do things keeping these lessons in mind. It was a great learning experience for us, and we are moving forwards.
Because the majority of the team members are geeks at heart we had ideas for the future. Work CMSMS 1.11 has already started and is well underway. Even in the last few days of the year we have come together to do alot of great planning and great work on CMSMS. This is where we shine, and we are all happy to contribute to CMSMS and proud of our accomplishments.
2011 has been a great year for CMSMS. Not only in the technology, but in the steps we have taken, and the lessons we have learned. We will be applying those lessons in our future endeavors, and we have some great things planned. I am sure that 2012 will bring many fantastic changes to CMSMS and to the development process, and the business of CMS Made Simple.
If you would like to know more about what features and changes are planned for CMSMS 1.11; when it will be released; along with our goals and medium term plans, we encourage you to attend the Northampton Geekmoot from the 8th to 10th of March, 2012. We'll be previewing CMSMS 1.11 there, and reporting some other great news. We can't wait to see you there.
Best wishes for 2012 from the CMS Made Simple dev team.
Have fun with CMSMS!
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