Anahita 2.2 Birth release is now available for download

Sleepy faces but we have the Anahita 2.2 Birth release coming up

We have just released the Anahita 2.2 Birth release packages for public to download. The Embryo packages were made available to the Anahita Premium tribes on the New Year’s Eve. This is officially the last release from the year 2012. We are already working on what is going to be the Anahita 3.0 codebase. More updates on that will be posted later. So what’s new in Anahita 2.2?

Masonry Layout API

Anahita Photos Masonry Layout

You can see an example of the Masonry layout in the Anahita Photos app and on my photo feed. Masonry layout has been popularized by Pinterest.com and in comparison to a grid of square thumbnails, the masonry layout is a lot easier on the eye and more user friendly. Anahita is not using the common JQuery plugins written for this purpose and instead provides it’s own native masonry API written in Mootools which is somewhat lighter and takes up less code. Here is an example of how you can use the masonry infinit scroll to your layout:

<div 
data-behavior="InfinitScroll" 
data-infinitscroll-options="{'numColumns':3,'url':'<?= @route('layout=masonry_list') ?>'}" 
class="an-entities masonry">
<?php foreach( $photos as $photo) : ?>
<?= @view('photo')->layout('masonry')->photo($photo)->filter($filter) ?>
<?php endforeach; ?>
</div>

and Anahita renders a responsive masonry layout for you automatically. The example that you see is from the Photos app. This is a new feature in Anahita and in the later releases we will be experimenting more with displaying media nodes in this format.

Updated to Bootstrap 2.2.2

We have updated the core less files to the latest Bootstrap version 2.2.2 and have made all the necessary adjustments. We were glad to see that a lot of custom styling that we had to develop for Anahita in the previous releases are now provided by default by the new Bootstrap library.

Improved Styling of the UIs

All the Anahita LESS files and application layouts have been rewritten to follow a more reusable pattern for displaying the entities. It is now easier than ever to style your UI elements when you develop Anahita apps. We have also taken major steps to make the Anahita template more responsive, because that is one of the many requirements for making Anahita mobile friendly. For the Anahita 2.2 we have switched off the responsive feature until other mobile friendly features of Anahita are implemented.

Anahita Photos responsive mode on iPhone

It is important to realize that in a CMS environment being responsive often equates to being mobile friendly, but in an application environment such as Anahita, being responsive is only one of the many conditions required for a mobile friendly experience. We yet have to develop other requirements in Anahita to reach a truly seamless mobile experience.

More Scalable Profile Composer

Anahita 2.2 Profile Composer

In the previous release of Anahita the profile composers used tabs to display the forms for different apps. Tabs take up a lot of space and that could be problematic if we had many apps enabled on a profile. The new composer is using a drop down list which is not only able to handle more applications, but also function quite well in the responsive mode for mobile devices.

Anahita Profile Composer in Responsive Mode

Anahita Photos Composer in responsive mode

No more dark theme in Anahita Shiraz template

Until Anahita 2.1 release the Shiraz template was providing two styles of Light and Dark theme, but since styling and creating custom themes in Anahita is much easier than before, we have decides to take out the dark theme and stay with the default light theme instead. That saves us time and effort for every new release which can be invested in developing more high priority features in Anahita.

Wrapping Up 2012

Last year has been a very productive year for the Anahita project with 4 major releases of 1.6, 2.0, 2.1, and 2.2. We are already working on the codebase for the Anahita 3.0 and the focus of this release will be adding a global search and taxonomy system. Year 2013, here we come!

Stay Updated

We will be posting more updates as we go. In the mean time do not forget to:

So long Gantry and thank you for the grid

Anahitapolis is now using the Anahita Embryo release 2.1 with her own native template framework and the new release of Shiraz template. That also means that we are no longer using the Gantry framework (by RocketTheme) for Anahita and it has been completely removed from the Anahita 2.1 release. The new Shiraz template is now technically an Anahita app that extends a default base. The base template provides all the default LESS files, main grid, and layouts which can all be overwritten in Shiraz or any custom template that you wish to develop. Anahita 2.1 is now extending the latest Twitter Bootstrap library and did I mention that Anahita comes with it’s own native LessCSS compiler to help you compile a single compressed stylesheet that contains all the bootstrap and anahita styling.

In January 2011 when we released Anahita 1.5 it was mainly a distribution of Joomla! 1.5 with Anahita libraries installed on it. We even had the intention of bringing compatibility between Anahita and the templates and extensions that Rockettheme was distributing. However soon we learned that the best strategy for the Anahita project would be dropping all the Joomla code and rewriting all the required parts using Anahita’s native framework. That also meant the compatibility between Anahita and RocketTheme extensions was going to be broken, because Anahita was no longer a Joomla! distro and she was on her path to become a stand alone technology.

In Anahita 2.0 we were using very little of what Gantry framework was providing us so it was time to completely remove it from Anahita. I must say that Gantry has been a great concept, however it was really built to compensate with the shortcomings of Joomla! as well as creating an environment for the Rockettheme specific extensions.

For the past year the Gantry framework has been providing us a 960 grid system and means to manage it. In fact Gantry provides a lot more that are really useful in a Joomla environment, however we have been removing more and more of what was left of Joomla code from Anahita and writing all the required parts using Anahita’s native libraries. So in Anahita 2.0 very little of Gantry was being used while we were carrying around the entire library and codebase. It was time to build our own native template framework suitable for Anahita and say goodbye to Gantry.

We would like to thank the Rockettheme team for developing Gantry; such a great technology that helped us go through last year. In fact we did get some inspiration from the Gantry while developing the Anahita’s grid management system and bootstrap. We just didn’t need the other 90% of Gantry that we were not using. If you are a Joomla, WordPress, Drupal, or PHPBB3 user, you should really checkout Rockettheme’s products at RocketTheme.com Those people have been building some solid and beautiful templates and extensions and distributing them at very reasonable prices.

As for the Anahita Embryo 2.1 goes, the packages will be available to the Premium Tribe shortly. As soon as we are confident that the code is stable, we will branch out a 2.1 Birth release and make it available for free to public.

 

Anahita Podcast Episode 4

Anahita Podcast Episode 4

This is episode 4 of Anahita Podcast recorded from the Wed. January 11th 2012 Google Hangout session with Scott (from www.BeerLovers.com), Rob Saric and Steve from the Anahita Tribes as well Ash Sanieyan, the co-founder and developer of Anahita. In this podcast we’ve had a bit of sound problem. Rob and Steve were sharing a connection and Scott was actually joining us from a coffee shop, so in certain parts of the podcast the audio quality is not as good as it should be. We apologize for that. These sessions are done using the Google Hangout.

Play

In this session we discussed the following topics:

  1. Developing a composer for Anahita 1.6
  2. When will the Anahita 1.6 Embryo and 1.7 Birth be released ?
  3. What are the changes in the Shiraz template for Anahita 1.6 and how technologies such as Twitter Bootstrap and LessCSS are used in the new release.
  4. The state of Anahita 1.6 framework and whether it is the right time for developers to adopt it.
  5. Migration from Anahita 1.5 to 1.7
  6. The Launch of www.BeerLovers.com using Anahita (You should check it out)
  7. How the Gantry Framework is currently being used in Anahita
  8. How to seed and grow a newly launched social network? Start focused rather than letting everybody in at the beginning
  9. Recommended the following books:
    1. The Art of Community
    2. The Smart Swarm
    3. Emergence
    4. Nexus
    5. Sync
  10. Some round table discussion on how Google+ is integrating social graph (circles) in their search results.
If you know any other good books that you have read about social networking theories and community management please post them here as comments.

The Dark Side of the Anahita

Group Profile

Until now the Anahita Shiraz template only came with a light theme. This month I had some time to develop the dark theme for the Shiraz template as well. Use the dark theme for your gaming, fashion, artistic, or that none-vanilla subculture lifestyle social networking project that you are about to launch and let your members experience the dark side of Anahita.

Person Profile

Photos - Album

Change Log

The following is the change log for the Anahita Shiraz template 1.2 Birth Release:


Legend:

* -> Security Fix
# -> Bug Fix
$ -> Language fix or change
+ -> Addition
^ -> Change
- -> Removed
! -> Note?>

 

===Version 1.1===
^ hardcoded url for the favicon has been removed
^ manifest date, author, and desicription have been updated.
+ style2.css has been added
^ color codes have been moved to the anahita social networking engine and apps to the style1.css file
+ preset2.png icon in the admin/presets has been added
^ The preset2 info has been added to the gantry.config.php as the Dark theme

Do Update Your Shiraz Template

If you are using the default Shiraz template on your Anahita installation do update your Shiraz template. A lot of improvements and changes have been done in the new release that are necessary for the next releases of Anahita ™, Groups, Discussions, Photos, and Connect to render properly. For example all the css color codes have been removed from the Anahita™ and applications and instead they have been added to the Shiraz template. If you don’t upgrade your Shiraz template, the next time that you will be upgrading the Anahita™ and apps a lot of the colors will be missing until you upgrade your template.

To upgrade the Shiraz template, download the most recent copy of Anahita package from here and then go to the administration back-end of your Anahita Installation. Under Extend > Install/Uninstall select and upload your template zip file package.

Do Update Your Anahita Templates

If you have developed you own custom Anahita templates that are perhaps a derivative of Shiraz template, you very likely need to upgrade your css files so the next updates of Anahita social networking engine, Groups, Discussions, Photos, and Connect won’t won’t distort how your pages are rendered.

That is because all the css color codes from the Anahita™ and the existing applications have been moved to the new Shiraz template. To get a list of CSS tags that contained color codes (or styling images) checkout the style1.css and style2.css files in the css directory of the new Shiraz template.

What’s next?

In the upcoming releases of Anahita Shiraz template we would like to experiment with the iPhone friendly features of the Gantry framework so we can have pages that are more user friendly for the iPhone devices.

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.