So what is new in Anahita 2.0

Planning the upcoming  #Anahita 2.* releases

 

Just over a day ago we started distributing the Anahita 2.0 Birth release package as well as 2 additional free social apps: Anahita Groups and Topics. We also have the Anahita 2.0 API documentation available for the hackers and developers out there who would like to learn what goes on inside the Anahita framework. It was 4:30 AM that we announced the availability of the 2.0 Birth release and I promised to do another blog post describing all the new aspects of the Anahita 2.0, so here we go:

 

Completely Rewritten Framework

We have taken all the knowledge and experience that we had gained from the Anahita 1.5 release and rewritten a lot of the framework code to be more reusable and efficient. Anahita now provides one of the most comprehensive APIs specialized for developing custom social apps and services. You can take a look at the Anahita API documentation for yourself.

 

It is faster

Anahita 2.0 is about 30% faster now due to the improvements that we have done all the way from the low level system calls and database queries up to the user interfaces where pages are loaded and rendered. For those of you who are more technical:

  1. we are using the latest release of Nooku Framework which renders the layouts faster with APC on.
  2. Using technologies such as Twitter Bootstrap and LessCSS, Anahita now has a single compact CSS file which downloads very quickly and pages render quite fast.
  3. Stream paginations on the dashboard and profiles have been optimized to load and pre-load faster which results into a instantaneous and seamless user experience.

Lighter and leaner social apps

All the Anahita social apps have been rewritten using the new framework code and now contain on average 48% less code and that is while they perform faster and smoother than before.

That means the custom social apps that you wil be developing require less code than before.

Anahita 2.0 apps are on average %48 smaller in comparisons with the 1.5 ones

How much smaller are the Anahita 2.0 apps in comparison with the 1.5 ones?

  • Anahita Pages: 39%
  • Anahita Todos: 39%
  • Anahita Photos: 37%
  • Anahita Groups: 84%
  • Anahita Topics: 66%
  • Anahita Connect: 22%

Improved Story Feeds

The logic in the story feed has been greatly improved in comparison with the 1.5 release also a lot of the data grouping and preparation that used to happen at the application level are now happening at the database query level.

 

Improved Composers

Until now, the composers on the dashboards and profiles could only be used for posting stories. In the Anahita 2.0, the composers can be used for posting all types of media such as photos, topics, pages, etc. The Anahita framework also provides a very easy to use API for you to create your own custom composer for the social apps that you are developing.

Anahita composers

 

Improved Actor Profiles

The actor profile layout has been redesigned to be less cluttered and it provides more room for additional applications and modules.

Anahita Actor Profile
The Edit Profile user interface has also been completely redesigned so all the profile administration task can be done in one place. Anahita framework provides the necessary APIs for your custom app to include additional tabs into the edit profile area.

 

Notifications System

Anahita now has a notification system to alert the viewer about all the new comments, likes, and other events that they should be notified about.

 

Twitter Bootstrap & LessCSS

We have used and extended the Twitter Bootstrap 2.0 library with the Anahita set of styling libraries in order to construct and style the user interfaces. Anahita 2.0 also comes with a built-in LessCSS compiler so let’s say if you wanted to customize the Anahita Shiraz template, just switch on the debug mode, modify the Less files or include new ones, then refresh the browser and Anahita will compile a single compact css file that contains all the Boostrap library as well as Anahita libraries.

Important Note: We are still using the grid system provided by the Gantry Framework rather than using the fluid grid system provided by the Bootstrap. We will soon be discarding the Gantry framework and use the native Anahita template engine which will be using the Bootstrap responsive grid. As soon as we are done, the update will be available for free.

What’s next?

The 2.0 Birth release has opened a new chapter for the Anahita project and we have a whole new journey ahead of us. Our main focus for the upcoming 2.* releases will be: Search, content curation, and mobile accessibility.

Anahita Podcast – Episode 3

Anahita Podcast

This is the episode 3 of Anahita podcast from Friday December the 16th. On this week’s podcast we had Mr. Bob Bloom (from www.southlasallemedia.com), Zach, and Bent, who are all Anahita tribe members, as guests on our hangout session. During this 1 hour session we answered questions regarding:

  1. Building alternative distributions of Anahita
  2. What makes Anahita is viable option in comparisons to other alternatives
  3. Skill sets required to develop Anahita apps and extensions
  4. Different approaches on developing distributed networks
  5. How utilizing the Nooku Framework enables us to change the behaviour of Anahita apps and extensions
  6. What are some of the best options to host Anahita powered social networks

To subscribe to our podcast feed: go here

Play

Please tell us what you think about this episode on Twitter (@anahitapolis), posting comments on this blog post, or if you are already an Anahita Tribe member, in the group specified to Anahita Hangout Session in Anahitapolis.

Status of Anahita in the first quarter of 2011

I love vanocuver

Vancouver, BC, Canada

We would like to share with you what we have accomplished during the first 3 months of 2011 and what will be coming next for the 2nd quarter of this year.

Four Birth Releases

That’s right we’ve had 4 birth releases since the beginning of the 2011. The first one was the Anahita 1.5 which was made available for download on January 18th. To the surprise of many who were expecting to download just a Joomla component, Anahita was in fact a distro made out of 3 powerful frameworks (Anahita, Nooku, and Gantry) packaged in a stripped down version of Joomla as the container. (Please Read: Anahita is not a joomla extension).

The other 3 birth releases are Anahita Groups, Discussions, and Photos that we consider the essential apps. In fact right now we have all the stable building blocks for launching a simple but powerful social network that follows the correct NGS (Nodes-Graphs-Stories) architecture.

Launch of Anahitapolis

Anahitapolis.com is the home of Anahita project. Some people by mistake use Anahita and Anahitapolis interchangeably. Anahitapolis is the mother ship where the Anahita software is developed, distributed, and supported.

The Anahitapolis website used to be a Joomla Powered information website plus an Anahita powered social network in the background which we have been seeding with the very first community members. People and companies who were interested in the Anahita project were contacting us, expecting to see a demo, and in exchange they were given actual accounts on a young and thriving social network were all the profiles were real people and organizations.

Then we decided to merge the information website and the social network. The idea was to power everything with Anahita only. From late December last year and early January we launched the unified Anahitapolis website in 3 stages. On January 18th when Anahita 1.5 birth release was made available, we officially started selling premium memberships plans.

Would you trust a company that isn’t using their own software? We are very proud to say that Anahitapolis is fully powered by the Anahita software (except this blog that is powered by WordPress). That’s right, we are giving you the  very same software that we are using ourselves to manage Anahita projects and offer support to our premium members.

The First Tribe

In the early days of working on the Anahita project we have been keeping a low profile for a while. Despite that some people and companies who were interested in our project found their way through using our network of clients, friends, partners, email or just adding us on Skype! By the suggestion of Mr. Johan Janssens (Joomla co-founder, Nooku founder) we created the Anahita Partner’s Program which essentially granted code and information access to these companies and people for a period of one year in exchange for a fee. They could observe the project as it was going on, ask us questions, provide feedback, etc. The price of the partner’s plan was only $500 however the financial contributions from the Anahita partners grew to the point that almost half of the 2600 development hours were funded by the tribe of partners.

To show our appreciations to the Anahita partners we started their membership period from the official launch date of Anahita on Jan 15th 2011 and doubled their period of membership (2 years). The partners who publicly announced their support for the Anahita project by having their names listed on our website received 2.5 years of free membership. We also renamed the Anahita Partners tribe to The First Tribe. These people and companies are our heroes and we must say the Anahita project couldn’t have reached where it is today if it wasn’t because of their support.

We have created this permanent page for the First Tribe members who have publicly supported the Anahita project.

Integration with the RocketTheme templates and extensions

In December 2010 we started using the Gantry Framework for the Anahita social networking engine and released the Shiraz template as a blueprint for the Anahita developers and template designers. On Feb. 1st we collaborated with the RocketTheme.com team to make sure their new social template called Tachyon was compatible with the Anahita and current social apps.

RocketTheme Tachyon Template and Anahita Groups

RocketTheme is truly the best template club in the world. They are always pushing the limits in what improvements can be done in user interface design, themes, and templates. Their team is so much fun to work with and our collaboration with them has been such a great experience.

We are also big fans of RocketTheme extensions and a number of them such as RokStories, RokTabs, RokNavMenu, and RokBox are quite compatible with the Anahita and some of them are currently being used on the Anahitapolis website. We would like to continue collaborating with the RT team and make sure that many of their great templates and extensions that can be used within a social networking website remain compatible with Anahita.

Plans for the 2nd Q this year

After having 4 birth releases our immediate plan is to invest some time in improving the Anahita templates (Shiraz, Tachyon, etc.) as well as making sure that our other existing embryo (pre-stable) social apps such as Anahita Connect, Subscriptions, and Projects become birth releases.

We are in preparation to discard Joomla! as the web platform and use the Nooku Server instead. Nooku Server provides a leaner and more efficient architecture suited for building next generation technologies such as Anahita.

We are also improving and further developing the Anahita’s core so our new collection of social apps and features can be developed.

As user generated content is growing fast on Anahitapolis website, there is a need for decent folksonomy and content search infrastructure. After the 2nd Q of this year we would like to be able to share, tag, or vote on Anahita story and media nodes as well as having the ability to associate them with geographical locations.

As always Anahita Premium members are often the first to be notified about the details of all the upcoming projects. We’ve always tried to maintain the culture of “Build first, Brag later” in this project. As we are building and innovating forward, the public will be informed about them as well.

 

 

Anahita is going GPLv3

GPLv3 Logo

Following the announcement on the Nooku Blog regarding their adoption of GPL3 license for the Nooku Framework, we also would like to announce that all the Anahita ™ code that is also developed using the Nooku Framework version 0.7 and later will be distributed under the GPL3 license. That would be Anahita ™ 1.0 alpha1 and later releases.

According to the Nooku blog:

“The latest incarnation of the GPL license, GPLv3 is designed to better suit the needs of Free Software in the 21st Century. We recommend you take the time to read this guide on the GPLv3 so as to gain a clearer understanding of both your rights and your obligations under this license.”

We would like to remind everyone that the term free in Free Software, actually means free as liberty not free as free beer. Anahita code will still be distributed via paid membership plans to our partners and clients.