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Hey! Andrew again, and I'm going to recap the news.


Archived Comments from first show

(used to pick winners)

Posted by LucasAnderson on Jun 25th, 2010Who's doing the Julio dance later?

Posted by MSneor on Jun 25th, 2010Will we be able to create Mobile Websites one day?

Posted by LucasAnderson on Jun 25th, 2010Are there plans from the core team to make the form block better so we can template it easily? I know the community is working on this.


concrete5 Support Available to Everyone

Open Source CMS concrete5 Now Offers Incident Support

Portland, OR June 22, 2010 -- Two years after going open source, concrete5 now powers over 50,000 websites, only a small handful of which are actually hosted by the project's core team. Now concrete5 site owners can easily get support on a per instance basis regardless of where their site is being hosted.


Ever wanted to see how a conversation REALLY goes around the concrete5 offices?

Well this is your big chance.

This Friday the 25th we'll be doing two live video shows from our offices, one at 2pm Pacific in English, one at 8pm Pacific in Japanese. Join us on uStream for these exciting events!

http://www.ustream.tv/channel/concrete5japan

Here's a thread in the forums discussing questions for the shows.

Just to provide some added incentive, we'll be giving away over $1,000 worth of add-on licenses during these shows.

Winners announced!


This package provides a complete real-estate solution for realtors wanting to offer searchable property listings on their websites.

This package includes:


We think Six Revisions is an awesome blog with great content, if you don't read it, you're missing out.

We've been working with them recently to help drive awareness about concrete5, and we're having them do a fairly sizable giveaway of our stuff now:

"concrete5, an open source content management system created for the end-user (e.g. your non-technical clients) teamed up with Six Revisions to give away a one-year Commercial account (worth $300), free set-up, and $155 in credits on their marketplace for themes and add-ons. Read on to see how you can be the lucky winner of this awesome prize."

View Post >>


Totally Random Episode 6 from concrete5 on Vimeo.

Hey!Andrewagain, and I'm going to recap the news.

This Week's News

How we assign your karma raffle numbers

We have three databases - one for each type of contribution (Promotion, Helping People, and Developing). For each Karma point a user has in a silo they get a number of tickets assigned to their name so we end up with 1,000,000 total tickets. Then to build random numbers from toys in the Kidd's Toy Museum.

TheWinners, and What They Got

Watch the video to see who won what.


Hey! Andrew again, and I'm going to recap the news.

This Week's News

How we assign your karma raffle numbers

We have three databases - one for each type of contribution (Promotion, Helping People, and Developing). For each Karma point a user has in a silo they get a number of tickets assigned to their name so we end up with 1,000,000 total tickets. Then to build random numbers from toys in the Kidd's Toy Museum.

The Winners, and What They Got

Watch the video to see who won what.


Most of what I've learned from going open source are just good life lessons I probably could/should have picked up anyway, and this one's certainly in that camp. I've always idolized the renaissance man. I'm a big believer in knowing a little about a lot of things vs. knowing a lot about a little. I respect the need for specialists, but even then I think they tend to be better when they've put in the work to stretch their intellect across more than one silo of information. It builds empathy and humility to not always be the expert at what you're interested in.

Going open source has provided me the opportunity to run into any number of people who are very very bright at one thing, don't foster that fundamental curiosity about topics they have no expertise in, and yet seem to think their impressive intellect makes their opinion right on all topics regardless. Just because you're amazing at the 100 yard dash doesn't mean you know dick all about water polo.

I actually had one person complain about their in-ability to do something in concrete5 with the line "look, I /am/ a rocket scientist at such and such university.. I should be able to XYZ." Strangely I am not a rocket scientist and I dropped out of college, but I can do XYZ quite easily. Go figure.

I was reminded of this just now when a thread on slashdot came up. Some fellow is chastising Apple for calling their new iPhone screen technology "Retina Display." Apparently this "marketing drivel" has so offended this guy he feels the need to rant about it on slashdot:

"Again though, why the use of meaningless words? Couldn't he have just said "the resolution/DPI is so dense that your eyes won't be able to distinguish individual pixels"? What, does the average Apple customer really seek the need of some special word to wrap up the device's capabilities in? And if they do, what does that say about their average customer?

I think it's insulting to the people that buy Apple's products, regardless of whether people seek it out or not."

from slashdot.org

Holy crap dude! For real?? Yes. This is what we have language for. You use words and phrases to sum up larger concepts so a conversation can happen at an acceptable pace. Words do create some ambiguity as definitions tend to be subjective, but without some consolidation it's difficult for anyone to get beyond facts and into useful concepts in a real world situation. I mean clearly this individual is smart enough to understand what a pixel is, how DPI might work, etc… But the basic purpose of language (were not even talking about marketing yet!) seems to not only escape them, but insult them as well.

I take two lessons from this:

1) I am a moron. This one shows up a lot in my life lessons from open source. So far I find the dumber I assume myself to be, the more pleasantly surprised I am when I get something right. If I am hearing about something that others think is awesome and my geek-gland says "that's stupid marketing drivel," chances are they're right and I'm wrong.

2) Just because you're talking to someone "smart," doesn't mean they have a clue what they're talking about.


When we were commercial software things we're, quite frankly, easier in a lot of ways. We had a few dozen clients we had active relationships with, and we worked on about half a dozen projects at a time. In those days it was pretty easy to try out a new idea with the CMS because we would simply put it on the latest clients setup and see what happened. We didn't really worry too much about keeping everyone on the latest version of the platform, and subsequently we didn't have to spend a lot of time worried about backwards compatibility.

We also didn't see a tremendous amount of intentional abuse of our systems. While we did build some large, active, and successful sites, the code behind them was only open to people who had worked with us in the past. To break one of our sites in the commercial days, you'd simply have to guess at vulnerabilities instead of being able to scour code for them first.

Now things have changed. Every feature idea we have is more and more tempered by "what will this do to existing sites or old versions." We've learned about (and quickly addressed) any number of vulnerabilities that some guy in his basement found for free – when paid consultants had found none for five years before. You quickly learn that even the most well intentioned work can cause havoc.

For example, there are two blocks in concrete5 that are commonly used to build navigations: the Auto-Nav block and the Page List block. The Auto-Nav block had been built to honor a certain variable you can set at a page level to hide that page from the navigation. The Page List did not honor the same attribute, and someone from the community pointed out that it really would make more sense if it did. We agreed and "fixed" it as part of some other version changes. Weeks later, people started complaining that their sites we're missing pages. After some frustration we realized "duh" of course people had built sites that worked around the way the blocks behaved in the past and the simple "fix" to the Page List block actually broke their sites.

We spend a lot of our time trying to manage issues that could mature like this now. I tend to take much longer to release something than I used to. I tend to be more thoughtful about the reasons and needs behind any feature changes. The temptation to "fix" something that could have been better implemented in the first place is very strong. Learning to first resist and then very delicately architect not necessarily the perfect, but rather the lowest impact solution, has been a new adventure for me. Once you go open source it is safe to assume that someone somewhere who is smarter than you and has all the time in the world, is finding the mistakes, finding the holes, and making up their own weird work-arounds which will impact you later. Be careful what you touch because no good deed goes unpunished.