Elgg 0.3

Dave and I have now been collaborating on Elgg for what seems like forever – unbelievably, it’s only been around 18 months. However, the amount of work we’ve put into it, the thought and time, designs and redesigns, ideas and conversations have basically been our worlds since we started.

One of my big regrets is the version numbering. When we released Elgg as an open source product in March, we decided to go with version 0.1 alpha, as internally we hadn’t really used distinctly numbered versions – however, it had been under development since July. Hence while the release coming out on Monday might be called 0.3, in fact it’s closer to 0.8. It’s been a few months since 0.2, and we really believe the product has come on in leaps and bounds.

I’ve previously talked a little about the navigation system, but probably the biggest change is the introduction of gettext for internationalisation. If you don’t have gettext on your server, not to worry, you’ll still get English text – if you do, we’ll be releasing the dictionary file and building up a database of different languages you’ll be able to plug in.

Another is the admin panel. You’ll be able to manage users in ways not really possible without direct access to the back-end database before. If you need to increase file quotas, ban a user or change someone’s username, you’ll be able to do those things. You’ll also be able to bulk add users to a system. (If anyone has any file formats they’d really like to see us support for this, please let us know – you may be too late for this release, but there will be a 3.1 to follow.)

You’ll be seeing changes to elgg.net on Monday or Tuesday to reflect the new navigation structure. We think you’ll agree that it’s a colossal stride forwards, and we’ve got some exciting announcements lined up for the next couple of months.

I keep thinking to myself how different this is to the two of us sitting in Edinburgh, in a damp office with a window that didn’t close and the constant smell of chips wafting upwards from the canteen below, chatting about e-learning and web applications (amongst other things). It’s been fantastic working with Dave on this, and there are very exciting times ahead; I’m very much looking forward to the future. I hope you’ll look at the new release and agree we make a good team.

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