Things are coming together

Sorry, it has been far too long since my last blog. There was Christmas/New Year. Then an intense, clarifying week in Moldova (see below), which I wanted to blog about but could not until now because I went straight into an international IofC meeting in India.

The week in Moldova was terrific. Pavel Capcanari, our lead developer, Vitalie Cracan (our outgoing programmer) and I spent hours every day talking through every aspect of the project. We now see much more clearly what has to be done, and the plan for carrying it out is more precise.

What was especially exciting, and encouraging, was to realise that after thinking everything through properly we can see our way to meeting 80%+ of our functional requirements without a single line of PHP! This is a tribute both to the thoroughness of the planning phase, and also to the power and flexibility of Drupal.

The biggest advance was to agree on the solution for our multisite/group/access control requirements. We ended up evaluating six possible solutions. In the end it was Pavel who came up with a solution so simple and powerful that we had trouble understanding why we had not seen it before! The solution bases everything on groups, using the Organic Groups module. The benefits of having only one module controlling access to nodes, rather than two or more, are huge. If you are interested you can read a description of our solution at http://groups.drupal.org/node/7725#comment-25357.

The key concept in our solution is that domains (websites) are in some respects abstract, since the dynamic content visible on them is not actually assigned to a domain at all, but only to one or more groups. The website is thus a view onto the content belonging to a number of groups. This system gives huge flexibility, and reflects the kind of IofC organisation many of us believe in - based on people collaborating together to bring change, rather than on institutional activity.

Now that I am back from India, my focus is almost exclusively on the project again, and we expect to move things along considerably in the next weeks. Meanwhile John and Pavel have spent a lot of time preparing for the migration of data, which is one of the most complex tasks we face.

Well, it looks like you've

Well, it looks like you've come just about one year since this post where you were sorry about delay. Looks like you got alot going since then... Reflecting back, how do you feel like you've progressed? Matt