Germany 2011 – Day 1
Symposium 2010, London
After the success of the London meetup of Symphony CMS developers in June 2010, Symposium 2010, there was a lot of excitement about the direction of Symphony.
It’s been an eventful year since that meetup, and a very fruitful one.
- Symphony working groups made up of twenty members across five groups was formed (based on the proposal made during Symposium 2010)
- .net Awards short-listed Symphony as open source application of the year, 2010
- Symphony CMS won the McFarlane Prize for Excellence
- The working groups release Symphony 2.1 in July 2010
- Symphony 2.2 was released in February 2011, featuring a new email API
- In May 2011, management of the Symphony CMS project was officially shifted to a community-led structure
- The Members extension was released June 1, 2011
- The number of Symphony Extensions has risen to over 300
Crafting the Best Tool for the Job
The focus of Symphony has always been toward flexibility and craft. Designers and developers have the freedom to build what they want, with the confidence that they are doing things the right way, since web standards is a foundation to the entire application, including the templating language, XSLT.
While much has been accomplished over the past year, there is always so much to be done. One of the greatest challenges for the working groups and the open source community is finding the right tools to enable collaboration. The Forum and GitHub are the primary platforms for communication.
Nothing beats face-to-face communication, so those of us who can are meeting in Germany for Symposium 2011.
Domain7 is committed to contributing to open source development, as a way of developing our skills, capabilities and tool sets so we can use the right tools for the work that we do for our clients and our own organization.
Open Source Contributions
To explore new solutions, Domain7 is forging ahead with live experiments, such as the integration of new processes and tool sets. That also means contributing back to the open source community.
- Symphony now runs the Domain7 site and intranet
- Domain7 is contributing to one of the core Symphony extensions, Export Ensemble
- We helped develop the HTML5 Doctype extension to aid in creating HTML5 sites with XSLT
- The Domain7 intranet is a test case for using OpenID by integrating Google Apps with the Symphony Members extension
- The intranet is also a test case for the Forum ensemble, using the new Members extension
As the web industry changes to accommodate new devices and new ways of accessing the internet, we need to change our workflows in order to adapt to different approaches to building web sites and applications.
We recently ran the first of a series of Domain7 Workshops: Designing and Building for the Mobile Web. While we have a Mobile Manifesto, we also need processes to accommodate the shift from desktop-centric site design to a mobile first or responsive web design approach.
Responsive Web Design
Again, the Domain7 intranet is a test bed for using a responsive design approach to building web applications. To reach beyond this initial step, we are developing a more formalized approach to front-end development which can leverage existing tools.
Last month, Twitter released Bootstrap.
Bootstrap is a toolkit from Twitter designed to kickstart development of webapps and sites. It includes base CSS and HTML for typography, forms, buttons, tables, grids, navigation, and more.
To me, this represented an excellent opportunity to leverage this tool set for responsive web design. So, I have been testing out the ability to use Bootstrap in combination with some of my own experiments in fluid grid systems to create a responsive version of Bootstrap, available as a fork on GitHub.
I am proposing that this front-end design and development framework can be a common starting point for modular site development using Symphony CMS. So, I am on my way to Germany today, to present my ideas at Symposium 2011 in Cologne. I’ll keep everyone posted about the ideas we discover and the new directions we forge during our three-day meetup.