For branding purposes we have changed the domain name of our website from Anahitapolis.com to GetAnahita.com while we still refer to this place as Anahitapolis (City of Anahita).
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Ever since we released the first version of Anahita, we and other developers had to deal with the lack of proper tools for efficient development, testing, and distributing our code. We were constantly testing different solutions such as JDEV, Ruby GEMs, Capistrano, Custom Command Line component and Bazaar to optimize our development and distribution process. About few weeks ago, we realized the problem was that we were trying to find a solution within the constraint of a legacy mindset of Joomla, so we decided to completely let go of that and start our own path.
Proper Code Distribution
Up until now we were distributing our code with zip packages that were installed either through Bazaar or Joomla legacy package manager, however starting Anahita 3.0, we will removed the Bazaar and the extension manager and no longer distribute Anahita and extension using legacy zip packages and instead rely on the Composer Dependency Manager for PHP for distributing Anahita and its extensions. Composer is a brilliant dependency manager for the PHP developers to distribute, share and manage their codes.
Reliable Code Update
In the previous versions we used to offer one-click updates for Anahita and its extensions using Bazaar. However since Bazaar itself was built on top of the Joomla extension manager, it was facing the same shortcomings. There was no real dependency and proper version checking between extensions and Anahita and since the updates were applied through browser we often faced server timeouts especially if the size of the packages or migrated data were larger. Also since building, testing and distributing packages would often take a considerable amount of time it would have delayed our releases even further.
All those issues are now solved using the Composer tool. With one single command, Composer can update Anahita, its extensions all of their dependencies properly without ever timing out. Since the Composer works with Git repositories out of box, there’s no more need to package our code for distribution anymore. You just tell Composer which version of Anahita you need and Composer will magically installs Anahita with all of its required dependencies.
Reliable Data Migration
In almost every release we’ve had quite a lot of data migrations. We used to apply these migrations through Bazaar and they sometimes timed out and resulted in corrupting the data. However now we are providing command line tools for proper database migration without the risk of database corruption happening.
What does this mean to you ?
At this time all the above features are only available through command line. If you are a developer and familiar with modern development tools and frameworks then you should not have any problems adopting this new approach as it provides better tools for you to develop and distribute your code.
If you are not a developer or uncomfortable using the shell command line, we are working to offer a web interface that would provides some of the necessary features such installing and updating Anahita in the future. Until we figure that out, you need to start learning a few commands that will help you install and manage your Anahita installations.
Migrate to the new Version from an older Version
If you have an older version of Anahita and would like to migrate to the new version we have prepared a guideline on how to do it for you.
We want to know your opinion
This is a big change and whether you love it, don’t mind it, or hate it we would like to know your concerns and opinions. Please leave us a comment!
We are no longer using our SVN repository and from now on the Anahita code will be hosted on the GitHub. You can checkout the code from https://github.com/anahitasocial and if you are a hacker and developer you may want to use this page https://github.com/anahitasocial/anahita-standard which contains the instruction for you to get started.
Three weeks ago during our WebFWD graduation we updated Anahitapolis with the 3.0 Embryo codebase. As for every embryo release update goes, a lot of bugs get introduced to the system and due to some fundamental changes on how content are presented our navigation and a lot of links were broken. A lot of those issues are fixed now. In this release we have decided to make very little use of the legacy content management and module features provided by Joomla in Anahita, because they will be removed eventually. Instead we have developed a native Anahita component to develop many of the landing pages on our site. Homepage included.
This release provides some fundamental changes and features for example we now have a global search capable of searching all types of Anahita nodes (notes, topics, pages, photos, people, groups, etc.). You heard that right I said notes. That Anahita stories are now only pointers to different types of medium nodes and what used to be known as “story update” is now a “posted note” which is the most basic form of Anahita medium node.
We have also taken out the legacy joomla com_user from Anahita and use our own native authentication system. The native Anahita authentication also provides RESTful authentication which comes really handy especially if you are building a mobile app that uses Anahita as the server side infrastructure and requires user authentication.
Overall the Anahita 3.0 makes very little use of legacy joomla code in the frontend. We will be taking out more of Joomla code in the upcoming releases until we have a completely lean and light platform using native Anahita code.
We are currently in the process of migrating all the Anahita code to our Github repository and rewriting our development tools and scripts to work with Git. As as soon as the Github migration is done, then we will get started on fixing all the existing bugs towards a stable 3.0 birth release. Please don’t ask when the 3.0 Birth release will be ready, because your answer is clear: when it is ready and not a moment before.
In the meantime the Anahita tribe members are doing a wonderful job reporting the bugs to us. We are so thankful for their contribution! This is great help for us.
We would like to thank VentureBeat for the great article who wrote about the Anahita and WebFWD accelerator program. You can read the article here: Mozilla’s WebFWD accelerator helping Anahita become ‘the Linux of social’