We had a Calagator code sprint this weekend at Recent Changes Camp, an unconference about wikis and related topics. Wikis have strongly influenced our design decisions (all events and venues are freely editable by all users, and changes are tracked so you can see what’s been edited), so it’s very cool to hear Wikipedia editor Steven Walling describe how our support for the Universal Edit Button sold him on Calagator. Listen to him talk about this in a short video recorded during RCC09.

We made good progress at Saturday’s sprint. Perhaps the most exciting bit of news is that Igal’s “with_theming” branch has now been merged into the main code. This means that Calagator now has support for other groups using our software in their own communities, with custom text and styling.

Before this, people had to edit out the Portland-specific parts by hand. There are already users in Sweden and Vancouver, BC running their own Calagator instance, and this update makes the process much easier. We’re working on fleshing out the documentation, but take at look at the theming README to get started.

Other documentation on how to install, use, and contribute to Calagator is available on our Google Code wiki.

Seeking Gardeners

October 26, 2008

Regular Calagator users may have noticed a upswing in spam lately. We seem to be a new favorite target for people looking to promote sales of certain medications and photos of female celebrities. The Calagator development team has been working to filter against spam entries, but as anyone with an email address knows, even the best spam filter sometimes lets things slip through.

We often talk about Calagator as a wiki-like collaborative calendar, so we borrowed an idea from the wiki world, and added event and venue versioning. This way, if someone (human or bot) decides the SAO Poker Night really needs a bunch of links to [insert generic spam topic here], anyone can roll back the entry to the previous version, cleaning it up.

Here’s how it works:

Go to the entry you want to fix and click the edit link.

DorkbotPDX Meeting » Calagator_ Portland_s Tech Calendar
Uploaded with plasq‘s Skitch!

Select a different version number, and the edit fields will revert to the content for that version.

Portland's Tech Calendar
Uploaded with plasq‘s Skitch!

Then click the save button, and you’re done. A new version with the reverted content is created, and the spammers are foiled (for now).

How do you find out when there’s an entry that needs some cleanup? Calagator now has a Recent Changes page, with a matching Atom feed you can subscribe to in your favorite newsreader. Help us by keeping an eye on things, and fixing spam as it occurs. If you see a wave of new spam the filters aren’t catching, let us know on our Get Satisfaction page. Filtering works well against predictable bots, but less so with human tampering, so even as our filter gets better, we still need your eyes to make sure Calagator remains a great, useable calendar for the Portland tech community.