The Basic Meeting List Toolbox

Root Server 2.0 Is Officially Alpha

That means “Feature Complete, All Known Bugs Fixed, but Rigorous Testing Has Not Yet Been Done.”

I have merged the 2.0 branch back into the “master” branch, and that is where all subsequent development will occur (the 2.0 branch is retired):

https://github.com/MAGSHARE/BMLT-Root-Server/tree/master

However, this is “ALPHA” code. That means that you are being reckless if you apply this to your “live” database!

The current stable release is available on the “release” branch:

https://github.com/MAGSHARE/BMLT-Root-Server/

That version is still 1.10.3.

My target for “beta” (UI Frozen, All Known Bugs Fixed, Rigorous Testing Complete, And Ready for Field Testing) is March 22, at the Florida Service Symposium IT Track BMLT session.

Looks like I won’t have much trouble making that milestone.

Now, if you guys want to test this (and I very much recommend that you do), then you should make a copy of your BMLT database. No changes need to be made to it. Create a copy of your /server/config/auto-config.inc.php file, and place this at the same level as the “main_server” directory (This is a different location from the old version).

IMPORTANT: Make sure that you modify the copy in the 2.0 test implementation to point to your copy database! If not, then the 2.0 implementation will be working on the live database!

Currently, the install wizard does not work on the 2.0 root server. I will be working on a new version. You have to manually copy your auto-config file.

Please let me know of any bugs or UI difficulties that you encounter. It still needs cross-browser testing. It has been tested on Mac Safari and Chrome. I will be testing Windows Vista/Internet Explorer 8, Windows 7/Internet Explorer 9, and Windows 7/Internet Explorer 10. I will also test Mozilla Firefox on Windows and Mac. It should work on all of these.

Now, another important detail: You cannot use the the 2.X versions of the satellite clients with this! They won’t work! If you install the 2.0 version root server, then you MUST have the 3.X versions of the satellites! That was why I created those satellites first.

Now, I’ll say this again, and fully expect folks to completely ignore me, which means that May 19th is gonna suck, as everyone will suddenly realize that their installation no longer works, and my mailbox will melt down with hate mail:

If your entire installation has not had its root server upgraded to to 2.0 and the clients all upgraded to 3.X before May 19, then your BMLT instances are likely to suddenly stop working!

That’s not my decision. That’s Google. They are discontinuing support and operation of Maps API Version 2, which is the version used by the current releases.

However, I’m sure that I will still be held responsible for Google’s decision, in classic NA Service fashion. I’m really looking forward to this.

I just want to make sure that I have an answer for folks that is solid, tested and ready for immediate deployment, when they find that the rug has been pulled out from under them; regardless of whether or not they blame me for it.

If I did not have something ready, then I would deserve to be excoriated.

The BMLT is a mature, solid and active open source project. I have not changed the basic user experience for the default implementation or the root server since it was released about 4 years ago. It’s due for a facelift.

I am quite sure that folks will really, really like what I have done, after they get over the “ARGH! It’s Different!” shock.

2.0 is merely a baseline reset release. I plan to implement a lot more functionality as the project matures, but I needed to make sure that there was a completely functional, solid release that will address the May 19 deadline issue before moving towards fancier implementations.

That means that I need to have something ready for public testing at least a month in advance. I am aiming for 2 months in advance.

NOTE FOR INTERNATIONAL FOLKS!

The localizations that you have provided for the 1.X versions are no longer applicable! They need to be redone (Germany and Sweden, I mean you). I am sorry about that, as I know that it is a pain in the ass to localize. However, I had no choice. The good news is, that the localization is probably going to be even easier to do than last time.

I would also love it if I could get someone to localize in Spanish. We have a “half localization” in Spanish, but it is not complete.

Again, thanks for all your support and help.

As always, this is a completely open-source project that is open to other folks to participate. I am not guarding a fiefdom here, but I do have to exert a certain amount of control over things to ensure that we deliver a consistent quality level.

I would like to mention that we have FINALLY spun off our first subproject. Dex, from Australia, is now in complete control of the Joomla plugin project:

http://extensions.joomla.org/extensions/miscellaneous/misc-bridges/16771

https://github.com/kiyosa/bmlt-joomla

That’s a major step. He will be working on a Joomla 3.0 version of the plugin.

There are dozens of ways that folks can get involved without having to take over subprojects. Things like localization, support and documentation are perfect examples.

You can also choose to write independent BMLT projects. For example, Jack S., from Florida, has written an outstanding WordPress plugin that implements some very cool UI:

http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/bmlt-tabbed-ui/

In the near future, I will be:

1) Testing the 2.0 root server
2) Writing a new install wizard for it
3) Writing new documentation for the 2.0 root server
4) Making new training videos for it
5) Adding functionality to the 2.0 server, like:
5.1) Ability to revert history items (The initial release will simply display history), and restore deleted meetings
5.2) Additional data-mining and report functionality
5.3) etc.

However, every time I count myself, I come up with “1,” so these will all come in their own time. My first priority is to see the 2.0 root server released in time for the Googlepocalypse, on May 19.

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