Resources and Downloads

Design Administration Resources

What is the development fund for?

I commissioned Twentyone Degrees to develop a few Campfire Services for me. Until now, I have sort of kept it under wraps as I develop a Design Business Administration system and as I try to wrestle with business models that would help me sustain ongoing development.

This set of campfire services includes:

  • Front End Entry Creation CS
  • Author Registration CS
  • Advanced Access Control CS

The Design Business Adminstration system is something that I needed to help me with my business processes, and it’s definitely a work in progress. So far, the feature set includes:

  • Listings for Clients, Projects and Timesheets with the ability to sort items by column in ascending and descending order
  • Time-tracking with links to automatically populate a front-end entry form with a unique entry number, client, project and project item
  • A calendar with year, month, week and day views
  • It is possible to populate the calendar with xCal XML data
  • The week view of the calendar is able to populate each hour with corresponding timesheet entries
  • A forum with posting available only for members registered through a front-end registration form
  • A front end entry form for new project requests which populates a listing of project items that can be assigned to different team members
  • A repository for brand identity assets, guidelines, and resources to keep track of logos, corporate signature formats, colours and typography
  • The system is styled after the portfolio site I created for my freelance design business, Bauhouse Design. This could easily be added as the front end of the system.

It is by no mean complete, but after several month of testing and building the application, I can say that it is a fully functioning application as it is. All of this can be installed as a Symphony theme by swapping out the workspace directory on a fresh Symphony installation. Or sections can be added to existing installs to replicate the sections and custom fields that are required by the XSL templates used by the Masters and Pages. The front end forms and author registration would not work without the Campfire Services.

I have been wondering how I can recover some of the development costs for these services, and further work will be required to complete the feature set I envision, so I’m opening this up to the community to see what people might consider the best way to continue this work. I would like to be able to offer the XSLT templates I have created to the community as a first possible step toward building an open source community for Symphony, in keeping with the stated goals of the Symphony Development Team to release Symphony as an open source application.

My Proposal

Having come from another open source software community, Textpattern, that found funding in quite a number of interesting ways, including Zem’s plugin ransom and a venture capital effort that spawned a webhost called Textdrive, now Joyent, that is home to such open source favourites as Ruby on Rails, WordPress and the beautifully designed and now open source Joyent Connector, I was wondering about a dropcash campaign.

I think I need about $500 AUD (that is still undetermined) to get to the next level of development, that is, to complete the feature set: front end editing, multiple entry editing and file attachments. Plus, I’ve sunk close to a couple grand into the project so far, not including countless hours of my own time building the DesignAdmin application.

At the same time, I’m moving in the direction of open source software that frees people from dependencies on expensive solutions that deplete resources that could be directed to making the world a better place.

Several people working together could build this application a lot faster, and allow for the building of a much better product, with the aggregated knowledge base gathering in this little community here. So, I’d rather release these Campfire Services to the wild and get some feedback on how well they are working for people.

While designers and developers are testing out their sites and applications, and providing feedback to the Symphony Team about what could be improved, or bug fixes that might be needed, a dropcash campaign could be generating revenue for the continuing development of these resources.

So, here’s what I propose: I release these Campfire Services now. You all get to play with the new toys. If you like the toys, but think they could be better, you donate to the dropcash campaign. If no one likes these toys, they all get shoved back under the bed, and life goes on. But if people do like them, then they get nice new shiny toys soon after the release of Symphony 2.0, if everyone shares (knowledge and other sundry resources).

28 August 2007 by Stephen Bau