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Riccardo

Riccardo

June 11 2011

Questions on: level of difficulty, interface, documentation and privileges.

Hi there! Just some quick questions:

1- Unfortunately I have no real coding abilities so I was wondering how hard is to setup and maintain Anahita. A while ago I came across a post that said something similar to “ Anahita is a made by developers for developers” and not really something for the inexperienced users. Is something changed on that regard? If not, will it ever? There are competitors products out there that are fairly easy to setup (jomsocial/joomla comes to mind), but in my opinion Anahita just crushes it in most aspects, so for me it would be great if Anahita could be easy to setup and maintained (I’m sure your client base would exponentially increase). I would probably jump on the train, but one of the things that are preventing me to be part of the Anahita tribe is that I have no ability to change (or explore/understand) the code.

2- So as a following to the previous point: does Anahita have any backend interface where you can set options or is it something that has to be done all via code? And if it’s done via code is it difficult (naturally “difficult” is a relative term, but what I mean is difficult to one that it’s not familiar in creating code)?

3- Is there any documentation on Anahita? (ad example: how to install, setup, upgrade, etc…)

4- Can the “admin/staff” of a project based on anahita set the default minimum privilege for all the community? If ad example a project is closed and invite only: can the admin set all the site’s content to be viewed only by “registered users” and higher, and make it so that each registered users can’t override these settings (to be set as public)?

Thank you very much for your time. #anahita #social #development

Hi Riccardo,

1)
It is not difficult to start up, and I can tell as I am not a developer.
I am however sure it could take a lifetime to master - just like chess :)

If you have tried to install and play just a little with Joomla it is quite familiar.

When signing up as a premium member, there is immediate access to a very friendly, noble and informative community. Topics have been covered from basic installation to discussion among experts in the field.

Anahita is not only a remarkable social engine, but the people of the Anahita Team and Anahita as an emerging project is also remarkable - it is actually amazing to follow the development of the “engine, concept and tribe".

I will most likely end up with a need to get some developer assistance at a point - because I have some rather strange ideas sometimes on what to do, and the basic idea have been to make a premium platform for developers to make a customised solution. There is however already plenty enough applications ready to make an easy seamless integration of the most needed functions without being a developer.

2)
Yes there is a backend - if used to Joomla you would not feel lost at all.

3)
The best documentation is in the member’s area in the live community.

4)
Most people in this community would be a lot better to explain this than me, but there is probably no restrictions of what you could do in this respect. I do however understand it as part of the philosophy is based on a believe in the power that could emerge in a community, if things are not being restricted by too much top down control, but rather encourage knowledge creating by not making the information hierarchy too ridged.

Regards
Bent Rune
Riccardo
Riccardo
June 13 2011 Permalink
Thank you very much for the reply Bent! I really appreciate it!

What I also like of Anahita (beside obviously the software and the concept behind it) is that I sense a really good, friendly and cooperative atmosphere every time I read anything about it (discussions and messages on the dashboard, etc..), so this is a really big plus.

I know how to "move" in Joomla so that's good. It looks like I won't be totally lost and that's reassuring. ;)
My pleasure - and I am sure you won’t be lost.

The only danger with Anahita that I have experienced so far, is that it is seems to be so potential and interesting that it easily becomes rather addictive and time consuming :)
Thank you so much @Bent it is so great when one of the Anahitapolis members helps another :)
@Riccardo

QUESTION 1

I was wondering how hard is to setup and maintain Anahita?
If you know how to setup a Joomla, wordpress, or dupal installation not using any sort of 1-click-install service, you should know just about enough to setup an Anahita installation.

Anahita is a made by developers for developers” and not really something for the inexperienced users. Is something changed on that regard ? If not, will it ever?
There are 3 aspects:

Anahita is made by developers for developers, because developers have very little options to customize and develop apps using other alternative options in the market. Anahita provides a framework specialized for developing not just for developing software, but for developing social software.

The quote "build by developers for developers" came from the fact that in over 1000 emails that I got many developers mentioned that they have been using software X but they found it very difficult to customize. That was because:

1. Not many alternatives out there provide a software framework especially once specialized for for social software

2. Anahita is the only available option in the open source world that provides the correct Nodes-Graphs-Stories architecture of a social network. Therefore it can evolve and scale up like a social network does. A lot of other options on the web provides features copied from websites such as facebook that are developed on very naiv architecture or no architecture at all. You can quickly setup a site that behaves like a social network with a long feature list, but then you stay where you are. You don't grow, you don't keep up with the changes because the underlying architecture to support it does not exist.

So you can setup an Anahita website if you are none-technical, but having some technical skills you can accomplish much much more!

There are competitors products out there that are fairly easy to setup ... I would probably jump on the train, but one of the things that are preventing me to be part of the Anahita tribe is that I have no ability to change (or explore/understand) the code.

Anahita is as simple to setup too, however where Anahita differs is the fact that it is not a point-and-click product. A lot of customization in Anahita is currently done by code. We will be introducing more customization options via user interfaces and point-and-click fashion, but we won't get carried away. Here is why:

Point-and-click products do not scale up well and they are often bloated. you will get a lot of features and only use some of them, while you have to maintain all of them.

Something that can be done with 10, 20, or 50 lines of code, takes hundres and thousands of lines of code to be done the point-and-click way. That is why the point-and-click products do not make ideal infrastructure solutions.

So Anahita is not a feature product or point-and-click products. It is an infrastructure solution with ability to grow, scale, and evolve over time.

QUESTION 2

does Anahita have any backend interface where you can set options or is it something that has to be done all via code?

Yes, very similar to the Joomla back-end, except that most of Anahita administration happens in the front. In general in a social network setup options and administration is available to all members who are maintaining their own profiles. That is due to the democratic nature of social networks in comparison to the top-down model of content management systems that Admins get to make all the decisions.

QUESTION 3

Is there any documentation on Anahita? (ad example: how to install, setup, upgrade, etc…)

Not currently. You will be learning how to setup or develop using Anahita by constant interaction with the other tribe members, which is a much more engaging and effective way of learning a new technology. We will however provide more documentation. I am currently developing the Anahita ™ Pages social app which enables all of us to collaborate on documents within the groups and our profiles.

QUESTION 4

Can the “admin/staff” of a project based on anahita set the default minimum privilege for all the community? If ad example a project ...

Not much the point-and-click way, but with some plugins and custom coding you can get any behaviour done and your overal installation will be much lighter and leaner than the system that operate the point-and-click way.


My final advice is that consider Anahitapolis.com as a learning environment to enhance your technical and community management skills. It is ok if you don't know much about coding, it is not ok if you are not willing to learn. Those are necessary skills that a social network guardian must poses. You will be responsible to maintain many people's accounts, information, and content and therefore you need to sharpen up your knowledge and skills in both technology and community management. If not, consider using a hosted solution such as Ning where a professional company takes responsibility of taking care of all the people's accounts and content.
This is a lot of good information, and the question posed is very much like the ones I have. I am *definitely* on board with learning and sharpening my skills to be a better community manager!

One thing my community very much needs is a custom profile, and quite a detailed one with a lot of fields. Is this something that has to be done in the code, or can profile fields and field groups be added and modified from the back end?

Also, I don't see any kind of people search other than a single field. I am guessing this is code based too?

And last one - what kind of coding does one need to learn to start understanding this stuff? I am capable of learning code, but am not currently experienced with it. I am much more of a functional process person.
@Bethany there are lots of information available regarding custom profiles and search on the Atrium. This topic has been discussed many times here. If you do a search you can find them.

Regarding the development skill lever. If you know how to develop extensions for Joomla and you are familiar with the MVC patterns and frameworks in general, you should be able to learn Anahita framework very quickly. In fact using the Anahita framework you will be writing way less code than what's required for Joomla extensions.
Riccardo
Riccardo
June 18 2011 Permalink
Wow, thank you so much for the detailed reply Rastin (and sorry for my late reply)!

I’m not afraid of learning, in fact one of my strong beliefs is that once we stop learning we basically stop enhancing ourselves as persons and that might be as well as saying that we stop living in some sort of way.

This being said I still have to assess the fact that I can’t learn everything and even if I did (yeah, I wish :P ) I won’t be a master in every field, so I have to manage and intelligently decide what to learn in my limited amount of daily time to make the most out of it.

P.S. I also liked your blog entry "Busting 5 Myths About The Anahita", it looked like it was made for me! :P (just kidding)

Thanks again for your precious time. Much appreciated.
http://blog.anahitapolis.com/2011/06/busting-5-myths-about-the-anahita/
You're most welcome @Riccardo! I'm glad that you found the information useful. It's true it takes more than just a software and instruction manual to plan, launch, and nurture a community. Maybe a book on this subject someday! But for the time being our goals is that people who launch a social network also develop their programming, community management, and business skills in the environment provided to you in Anahitapolis while you will be building your own word liberation plan using the building blocks that we give you.

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