[Linux-aus] Inflection Point - A Strategic Plan for Linux Australia

David Bell dtbell91 at gmail.com
Wed Jan 6 13:31:33 AEDT 2016

I have nominated many of the contributors to this thread for OCM for the
2016 Council Election and I encourage you to do the same. If I have missed
anyone, feel free to nominate yourself on this basis.

The document prepared by Kathy has created much discussion on this list and
I would like to see a transition from commenting to doing.


On 6 January 2016 at 11:50, Michael Cordover <la at mjec.net> wrote:

> <snip a bunch of discussion about Google Docs vs git>
> FWIW, I think that this is the worst kind of bike-shedding. Before we
> have a discussion about what we should do in future, let's have a long
> discussion about what we should use to have that discussion. Blarg.
> On Wed, Jan 6, 2016, at 10:19, Stewart Smith wrote:
> > Anthony Towns <aj at erisian.com.au> writes:
> > >> The existing Membership management tool, MemberDB is end of life and a
> > >> replacement is sorely needed. Some discussion has occurred towards
> this
> > >> goal, but momentum toward an outcome has not been sustained.
> > >
> > > I would say the momentum that was there was to set some criteria on
> what
> > > the replacement should do, then evaluate alternatives. Proposing
> CiviCRM
> > > as the right solution rather than doing that is exactly what killed the
> > > momentum, from my perspective...
> > >
> > > I think "end of life" is just standing in for a value judgement, not
> > > that there's an actual time limit on how long it can kept being used;
> > > ie it would be more accurate to just write "MemberDB is pretty crap in
> > > the author's opinion". Evaluating it against actual criteria would be
> > > better, of course...
> >
> > or someone starting to make some small incremental improvements. Every
> > attempt at rewriting from scratch has gone nowhere, largely because
> > that's a whole bunch of extra effort.
> Kathy Reid provided a working document to linux-aus on 2 Feb 2015
> outlining enhancements that would be required to MemberDB. That's at
> https://docs.google.com/document/d/1tyTA3Fj5J9XL2D7UTIxw46smXGrLM5J-fI4g6GxK9hM/edit?usp=sharing
> .
> The key functionality of MemberDB that would need to be replicated in
> any other system (aside from everyone-provides things like sign up flow)
> is elections. MemberDB does this quite well, and meets some specific
> needs:
> 1. the ability to run the whole process, including nominations,
> acceptance and candidate statements
> 2. preferential voting
> The latest Launchpad commit to MemberDB
> (https://launchpad.net/memberdb/trunk) was 2011-02-04. Its underlying
> DAL is built on PEAR::DB, which has long since been superseded
> (http://pear.php.net/manual/en/package.database.db.php). A quick look
> indicates it was probably built for PHP 4, which was EOL in August 2008.
> If someone can take on making improvements to MemberDB, that's great.
> But it doesn't have the structure of a modern application, and it won't
> work within a modern development environment. I think it's unlikely
> anyone would want to maintain and improve it without a major refactor,
> or indeed rewrite.
> If we're going to work on that basis, we should consider whether we
> should be using one or more other tools. CiviCRM isn't perfect, and
> requires a Drupal base. It's a bit clunky, in part because it has a lot
> of functionality which is not immediately useful to LA. However, it
> gives all of the new functionality we need, and building in election
> functionality would almost certainly be far less effort than building
> the new functionality (in Kathy's document) into MemberDB. As a bonus,
> we can contribute that back to the existing large community of CiviCRM
> users.
> MemberDB was an excellent tool. It was state of the art when the last
> official release occurred, nearly 10 years ago. That we've been able to
> continue using it is a testament to its quality. However, it does not
> meet the current needs of LA.
> Regards
> Michael
> _______________________________________________
> linux-aus mailing list
> linux-aus at lists.linux.org.au
> http://lists.linux.org.au/mailman/listinfo/linux-aus
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