This is a tale of Mahara told in two parts.
One of the great things of the past months is our latest release of Mahara. We are up to version 1.7 and the 6-monthly release cycle is tough. However, it is also fantastic because we are making new features available very quickly that way and give them to the community to try out and use.
So yesterday evening, we hit all the buttons for this release. There is a lot of things to do to get it done and not just one button to press. And we have already been working on the 1.8 release.
We have a number of fantastic features in this release including:
- license metadata on content
- the logging of masquerading sessions and notifications about them to users for more transparency
- retractable blocks allowing users to just show a block heading and not the entire block content
Back in January, six high school students who participated in the third Catalyst Open Source Academy fixed a number of bugs and also created new features. Altogether they have 20 commits in this release. Whoopie. Some of them even use Mahara at school in the form of MyPortfolio.school.nz. Once we upgrade this site mid-year, their classmates and also teachers will be using the improvements they have made to the software.
But what would the last few months have been without our fantastic designer? Evonne did not only create awesome profile pictures for the fictional characters in the user manual, but also came up with the designers for our gear / merchandise that is available on Cafepress.
Fancy a T-shirt, stickers or flip flops? Now you can get them to show your support for the project. SInce our software project lives from its various contributors who do not have to be developers, but who fulfil a series of other jobs like translating the software, testing it, reporting bugs and making feature suggestions, we wanted to make something special for them as well. Thus, besides the logo T-shirts etc., they can also have their gear showing how they contribute to the Mahara project. Imagine a Mahara event where contributors wear “their” T-shirt and you can easily see who is a core developer, who tests the software, who translates it etc.
We got our first stickers with the new designs and I am stoked about them. The characters are awesome and show that Mahara is a collaboration between many people who make it happen.
Which character are you?