CloudEngine at Dev8D 2011


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CloudEngine is free and open-source software. Install it on a server and create an instant social website structured around Clouds, Cloudscapes and CloudStreams. CloudEngine powers Cloudworks.

Get CloudEngine,

Presented: DevCSI developer day, 17 February 2011. |

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  • License: Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike-NonCommercial License - except photos/logos slide 4/ 'Who?'   Other links:   Dev8D, Project blog: Mailing list... OULDI blog: Nick's twitter:    NOTE, CloudEngine and Cloudworks are not related to cloud computing!
  • Screen shot of a CloudEngine home page. Aurora theme, by Stephen Turvey / Yep Design,
  • A formal 'mission' would be: Develop software to make creating social web sites easier Keep the essence of Cloudworks Keep it small and lightweight Make it flexible, extensible, usable, accessible.   What CloudEngine is not: Not a 'Swiss army knife', eg. a general purpose Content Management System/ CMS. Not a desktop tool!
  • Top photo: Copyright Juliette Culver, of J.Culver.   People: Juliette Culver collaborated with Gráinne Conole on initial devlopment. Prof. Gráinne Conole is the academic lead on Cloudworks and the OULDI project. Juliette was lead developer until November 2010 - she's now on maternity leave. Mum & baby doing well! Rebecca Galley helps build the Cloudworks community Nick Freear is acting lead developer on Cloudworks and CloudEngine. Richard Lovelock is a welcome addition to the development team, working on Direct Messaging among other things.   Other contributors:   Stephen Turvey / Yep Design - graphic design, Cloudworks & Aurora themes. Martha Vasilidou - Greek translation. 3rd party developers - CodeIgniter, TinyMCE...! Tools - Funders: The Open University JISC via OULDI project EU via EUPT3 project  
  • Notes: Direct-private messaging is new in CloudEngine 1.1.0-beta - the work of Richard Lovelock. Internationalization - Danish coming soon! CloudEngine/ Cloudworks - built with accessibility in mind. Cloudworks - 4000 registered users, 160+ countries...       Clouds - one person starts, others collaborate with extra content, comments, embeds, links... Cloudscapes - group Clouds around a theme or event. We think of this as a social site, centred around objects, not people(!)
  • Currently CloudEngine prefers Apache. We're keen to support Microsoft IIS etc. Also, other database systems... API currently provides JSON/XML responses - currently GET.   Mercurial repository, on
  • A lot of the current roadmap was 'set' at an away day we went on, 20 Sep 2010,   Other things: An 'extensions' / contributed-code repository Pluggable authentication - eg. OpenID, single signon Integration - consume feeds, etc. Moodle...?
  • Screen shot of Direct messaging - inbox page, on Cloudworks   Direct messaging - new feature in CloudEngine 1.1-beta Private, multi-recipient By Richard Lovelock
  • This slide is a bit rough...! Some of the big potential gains from open-sourcing: Internationalization Photo - CC-by-nc-sa, by Ethelred the Unusual/ Simon Petts,
  • Ideas for integration - consume feeds, data etc. Eg. integrate with Moodle....? Pluggable authentication. Extensions...
  • License: Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike-NonCommercial License - except photos/logos slide 4/ 'Who?'   Other links:   Dev8D, Project blog: Mailing list - Google Groups... OULDI blog: Nick's twitter: Project mailbox:
  • CloudEngine at Dev8D 2011

    1. 1. Get Cloud Engine Cloudworks, open-sourced www.   Nick Freear, The Open University Dev8D 2011  
    2. 2.   <ul><li>  </li></ul>
    3. 3. What? <ul><li>Cloud Engine is an easy way to create a social web site - using 'Clouds' and 'Cloudscapes'. Ideal for events & discussion. </li></ul><ul><li>Cloud Engine is lightweight, fast & well-featured. </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Cloud Engine powers Cloudworks, </li></ul><ul><li>And it's free & open source software, licensed under the GPL! </li></ul>
    4. 4. Who? <ul><li>Cloudworks - Juliette Culver, Gráinne Conole, Rebecca Galley </li></ul><ul><li>Institute of Educational Technology The Open University </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Nick Freear & Richard Lovelock </li></ul><ul><li>JISC/ EU/ OU funding </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>... </li></ul>
    5. 5. Features <ul><ul><li>Clouds, Cloudscapes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>** Direct messaging - NEW ** </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Host & archive events - workshops etc. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Tags, search, user profiles, Cloudstreams </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Favourite & follow </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Embed video, slides, Twitter ... (oEmbed) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>RSS feeds, API </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Internationalized - currently in English and Greek!  </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Admin: statistics </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Accessible, extensible, themable </li></ul></ul>
    6. 6. Technical <ul><ul><li>Uses PHP 5 and MySQL </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Built on CodeIgniter MVC framework - lightweight, easy to learn </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Prefer Apache and mod_rewrite </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Clean URLs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Uses jQuery, Tiny MCE editor, Mollom anti-spam </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>oEmbed for embedding </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>GNU Gettext for localization </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Configurable REST API, internationalization, moderation... </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Built with accessibility & standards in mind </li></ul></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>hg clone </li></ul>
    7. 7. Roadmap <ul><ul><li>New features </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Direct messaging - done </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>HTML5 forms... - started </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Installer/ admin improvements </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>More embedding (LAMS, Prezi...) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Extensions? More API? RDFa? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>You decide...! </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Communication </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>A self-hosted, social project site </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Videos, screencasts... </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Benefits to the community, Cloudworks & CloudEngine </li></ul></ul>
    8. 8. Direct Messaging - new! <ul><li>  </li></ul>
    9. 9. Open-sourcing... <ul><li>Challenges </li></ul><ul><ul><li>It's a big open-source world... </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Finding your niche </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Communicating </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Tools? Mercurial, Git </li></ul></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Why open-source? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Sustainability </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Growth </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Collaboration </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Internationalization </li></ul></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>     </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
    10. 10. Get involved <ul><ul><li>Contribute feedback , publicity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Contribute documentation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Contribute code </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Contribute translations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ideas for integration  </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Try out Cloudworks... </li></ul>
    11. 11. Get Cloud Engine Cloudworks, open-sourced www.   Nick Freear, The Open University Twitter: @nfreear n.d.freear AT