Elgg is a low-cost solution

April 18, 2005 | Leave a comment

I’ve been bad and not kept this weblog updated. (My personal weblog is over here on Apcala, another installation of the Elgg software we set up.)

A week or two ago Dave posted a draft diagram of what the Elgg software will look like in the future. People have been talking about it across weblogland, and a number of system developers have suggested that they’re working to incorporate those features into their own software. We’re flattered, and look forward to seeing these; however, we suggest anyone looking at learning landscape software examines what this system can do (and what it’s going to do).

Because Elgg is free software that runs on a free software platform, all you need to try it out is a computer. It doesn’t even need to be connected to the Internet; with a small amount of technical knowledge you can install Apache, MySQL and Elgg on your desktop machine and try it out either just on that one computer or on your home network.

Because it’s open source and written in PHP, it’s usually simple for a web programmer to take the code and adjust it to fit in with your existing systems. Want single sign-on across your campus? Not a problem. Want to interface with open source wiki, discussion forum, classroom or content management software? Not a problem. These are customisations that any web programmer can do in a matter of hours (including the time to examine Elgg’s system architecture), and we’re looking at including out-of-the-box hooks for systems like Moodle and technologies like LDAP.

This week we’re massively enhancing the outgoing syndication feeds; any user will be able to host their own podcasts and you’ll be able to limit feeds by both tags and users (so that you can subscribe only to items marked “archaeology 101″ by “Professor Smith”, for example). Soon we’ll have incoming syndicated feeds, which we’re taking further than any web system we’ve seen …

Keep watching.