Some of our good members specially those who are coming from the Joomla community are under the impression that Anahita is a Joomla extension or an extension developed for Joomla. We even had a couple of people who paid a membership fee expecting to download an installable Joomla extension from Anahitapolis. That is despite that fact that nowhere on our website is presented in that context. Look on this page for instance. In fact you have found any, please let us know and we will remove it. So if we haven’t been clear enough here is another announcement:
The Anahita™ social networking engine is not a Joomla extension! nor distributed as a Joomla extension.
What are the building blocks of Anahita™?
The truth is that 2 years ago, we did build the early releases of Anahita as a Joomla extension. We even released the alpha1 as an installable extension. It was only over time that we have developed a through framework specialized for developing social apps (over 7000 code commits) and Anahita evolved to become a stand alone platform and framework as a social networking solution.
Today Anahita™ is the collection of 3 powerful frameworks (Anahita, Nooku, and Gantry) that are shipped in a container called Joomla!. In this context Joomla is only used as a web platform and stepping stone for developing the first releases of Anahita technology. In fact 99% of Anahita code is developed using the Anahita and Nooku Frameworks where:
- Anahita™ Framework: provides the software framework and API specialized for developing Social Apps.
- Nooku Framework: provides the basic MVC agile software development framework.
- Gantry Framework: provides a superb themeing framework
For the Anahita™ we are using a stripped down version of Joomla! 1.5, because the platform aspects of Joomla such as it’s extension management, menu management, and user authentication did the job quite nicely and there was no point for us to rebuild those from scratch. We have also made some upgrades to the Joomla so it can better accommodates Anahita social networking engine and Apps.
For the later releases we have a keen interest to use the Nooku Server as a much lighter web platform for building Anahita which could provide some really neat features such as multisite-social networks!
If you think this is odd, consider this: Joomla! itself has been developed using many other open source technologies. Same goes for technologies such as Mac OSX, Aptana, or Ubuntu.
The fact that Joomla! is used as the web platform, it also provides some other perks too. For example it comes with a basic CMS that is shipped with Joomla. A lot of Joomla extensions can be installed on the Anahita™ as well. That is something that you need to test and find out. We are not married to the concept of making sure that all Joomla extensions should work on with Anahita. They certainly do not suddenly become social applications either!
A CMS is a CMS
A social network is 2 generations ahead of a Content Management System. Here is the evolution path:
- CMS: few people publish, many people read
- Read/Write Web (web2.0): many people publish and many people read.
- Social Web: all the aspects of read/write web, except that information is propagated and shared in small bits (stories, status updates, micro posts, tweets!) based on the directions and relationships defined by the social graph.
Joomla is a great CMS! We love Joomla for that purpose. However our goal for the Anahita project is to build next generation technologies that help people connect and collaborate in highly effective and efficient ways. Our goal is not to build and nurture CMS technologies. That responsibility is left to projects such as Joomla, WordPress, or Drupal.
We also do not think that attaching social networking to a CMS will work out quite well. It is like trying to attach wings to a car and make it fly. It will be a lot more sensible to help the passengers get out of the car and get on an airplane!
Having said that Anahita is still a commercial GPL project. Which means you can always check out the Anahita™ libraries and extension from the svn http://svn.anahitapolis.com (only Anahitapolis paid members can do that) and try to install them on your Joomla installation. If you take that approach, that will be your codebase and you will be responsible to maintain it the Joomla way.
We are going to develop automated tools that will help you easily update the Anahita social networking engine and apps right from your administration panel. Most likely these tools will not be functioning with your Joomla installation.
So how about people who already have a Joomla! powered website?
People who are using Joomla have 2 options available. We can invest some time in building Joomla to Anahita migration tools for you. Or you can also start building your social networking project from ground up using the Anahita framework and platform.
Let’s clear up the miscommunication
It is stated on our Terms of Services that that all sales are final and no refunds will be made once you sign up as a member.
However for all of you who have signed up and paid us only on January 31st and Feb. 1st 2011 under the impression that Anahita was a Joomla extension, we will gladly refund your fees and change your account to basic free account. And please make sure you read the TOS and website content before you sign up for a service to prevent these sort of misunderstandings. To get a refund please contact us with your name and information.
If you are happy to use Anahita as it is, we will be glad to be working with you for the next 12 months. Let’s build the next generations of social web technologies together and make a difference.