Today, we're releasing the first alpha test code of our Ruby on Rails-based Facebook news community application. We first wrote about the decision to migrate to Rails here.
The code for this project is funded by a December 2009 Knight Foundation grant which has just been announced here. All the code developed for this project will continue to be released via open source license.
This code is not ready for production deployment for an actual publication. The purpose of this alpha test release is to share the progress of our work and invite developers to participate. If you'd like to volunteer to take an active role in development of this application, working closely with our team, please post details about your interests and qualifications here. We're especially looking for developers who want to create new modules for this application. However, anyone is welcome to grab a fork and submit pull requests.
The current codebase provides a prototype of base level functionality from our existing Facebook application for testing purposes e.g. posting stories, commenting, voting, etc. Developers will be able to learn a great deal about our architecture and ongoing approach by reviewing the alpha code release. An initial production-ready code release should be ready in April 2010.
The current codebase provides the ability to publish a prototype application as a Facebook application, as a Web application with Facebook connect and as a simple mobile Web application and has the ability to support multiple languages. Note: the current codebase leverages our old Facebook design, not the new Compass-based grid design coming in the next release.
Some of the plugins we are using for this application include: Facebooker, il8n, Formtastic, VoteFu, Taggable, Restful Authentication, Routing Filter, Friendly_id, Rack, Simple RSS, Will Paginate, Cucumber, rSpec, HopToad, and NewRelic. We are also using Bootstrap, HAML, SASS and soon Compass w/960.gs. It may be helpful to review these plugins and technologies before diving into the code.
The codename for our Ruby on Rails platform is N2. You can download the code for this release at Github here: http://github.com/newscloud/n2. So, grab a fork! You can join our online support discussion about Ruby on Rails here. Constructive criticism, feedback and new ideas are always welcome!
Our goal is to be as transparent and open as possible with our ongoing development roadmap. We invite you to review our upcoming design (created by Eye Level), join our feature wish list discussions and review the next release milestone definition.