What is a good way to respond to this RFP? Right here?--Jason Felice
- Yes, this works, although dialog via wiki seems awkward to me as I understand it. --John W.
To give a sense of my reaction to the RFP, I'm pretty excited seeing a way I can contribute to NVC, and also excited seeing recognition of this need for online connection. At the same time, seeing reference to Drupal, and to having a lot of functionality spelled out up front, I'm a bit anxious--while I have worked with Drupal and could implement it, I am aware of other ways to develop this site which I predict would better serve the needs of CNVC.
- I'm curious what other ways you envision. What seems attractive about CivicSpace is that it's a selection of some great Drupal modules that have been pretty much tested to work together, with a fairly user-friendly front end configuration menu. We could probably have it up and ready for use within a month, and add features and modules later if desired. Are you thinking of another open source product? If so, does it have similar features and semi-automated front end? --John W.
- To me the RFP might be useful as an overview of the database needs, even though it is probably somewhat outdated now. -JW
In any case, reading "we could probably have it up and ready for use within a month, and add features and modules later if desired," it looks like ease in getting started is important to you.
- Yes, the current webmaster is very concerned about the stability of the "InsideCNVC" parts of the site because they're built with ASP.net and MS Access. Also, the fundraising people desperately need CRM and it looks like CiviCRM 1.4 will meet most of those needs. -JW
I was more focused on adapting quickly to needs and involving the community in the development process - so I had concluded that the agile development philosophy would be a win. I had presumed starting from scratch because of that, but I now wonder if that assumption can be usefully challenged.
The agile techniques I would incorporate would mean that the system could have very sort iterations (one or two weeks), each one showing new functionality and going "live" quickly. This enables quick responses to community and other stakeholder feedback on what works, what doesn't, and typically elicits new possibilities for value which weren't previously seen. Hence the term "agile."
- Thanks for the link. The description there is attractive to me, because I like ideas such as flexibility and self-organizing teams. I'm guessing that because so many things are needed, it would take a long time to get the sort of features already developed in CS. Also, because CS has evolved over time in a way similar to what you describe it will probably bring a degree of order. That is, other nonprofits have already collectively invested many hours identifying what's needed. Adopting their solution will provide a structure the office can use to adapt their practices. Then over time they would identify different needs or features. Could those then be developed with an agile approach, and still be suitable for offering back to CS and Drupal as modules? -JW
Over all, this would be a shift from thinking about this as a site or software package, to thinking about this as a process for enabling and meeting community needs.
- Having now read the Agile intro, this makes more sense to me. So are you saying that you'd like an approach that emphasizes identifying and meeting specific needs rather than installing a package like CS and adapting it to meet additional needs that emerge as it is implemented?
At this point, noticing that this approach is likely much different from what you were expecting, I'm feeling a little worried owing to my desire to anticipate how I'm received. Would you (and anyone else, too!) be willing to let me know what needs are met or unmet by this?
- I'm intrigued by your suggestions and wanting to better understand what the implications would be for CNVC. My impression right now is that an agile approach would mean that tools developed that way might not be compatible with CS as part of the package. Instead they would be free-standing applets that could be called from CS. Is this correct? So my feelings are curiosity, interest and appreciation. The needs met for me right now are community, exploration and contribution. -JW
Thanks --Jason Felice
Jason, do you like to have community envolved ?
- I love to have the community involved - I'd like to contribute in such a way as to best meet needs - to meet my need to contribute to others.
And also like to be careful about providing to much functions for startup ?
- I deeply value simplicity in systems - as a sort of beauty first of all, and as a pragmatic need for effectiveness when working with code. I can think of times I've seen unused features when adding functionality to a package, imagined I could be breaking something in there because of the feature I'm adding, and felt frustrated because of a need to have a sort of pride in my work.
So that the system has the neccessary functions and easy to handle ?
- Yes. :)
And the community has the chance to be part of the process and can grow with the system ?
- Absolutely. :)
I am interested in your thoughts and waiting for response. Probably its more effective and fast if me make an appointment in irc ?
- I regret that I haven't had the chance recently, and I'm hoping to connect soon. I'm curious how you are reacting to what I wrote above... --JF
-- Markus Pallo
I updated the agile manifesto link above.
I'm thinking using agile techniques with civic space might work, and also thinking that maybe some pieces could become their own project.
- I'm wondering if agile could contribute by helping us pare down the CS install. Right now we seem to be considering a custom install starting with the latest Drupal and adding CS modules. Maybe we could take an agile approach by only installing modules we are confident of using. For instance, CS seems to have many features that are almost identical (Forums, Blogs, Books, etc.). If each of those uses a distinct module, we could probably choose one or two and install only those. Maybe another approach could be to install everything and then remove modules we don't identify a need for after we've had some time to tune the site. -JW