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Showing posts from 2009

CiviCRM Import: Advanced Techniques

I'm almost finished a big new CiviCRM import/installation that I've been working on for longer that I'd planned. That's pretty normal, and of course there were a number of things that should have been warnings: it's a huge mass of data from an established non-profit: more than 5000 constituents, more than 50,000 contributions, from more than 10 years. it's being imported from Raiser's Edge, the cadillac of desktop fundraising software. the clients are very attached to the detailed minutae they have accumulated about their constituents, all of which were faithfully entered into Raiser's Edge. After a round of a sample import and looking at what the data might look like in CiviCRM, we were able to whittle it down a little bit, but the last month I've been working on the big final import and have developed some techniques that I expect would be generally useful with big CiviCRM imports. Two Scripting Techniques For my first test import, I pulle

Open Source Showcase for Non-Profits in Toronto

On Monday October 26th, I'll be at the "Open Source Showcase for Non-Profits" at the Centre for Social Innovation here in Toronto. The showcase is a low-cost event where members of the non-profit sector can learn about open source projects relevant to their work. I'm helping organize and will do some presentations as well. The idea came from Julian Egelstaff about a month ago, and he, Jane Zhang, Joe Murray, Reema Tarzi, and I met just a couple of weeks ago and have put it all together with remarkably little work. That's a tribute to the viability of the idea, the excellent organizing tools that are now available for such events, and the quality of the organizing committee. My own contribution was to set up a CiviCRM install with CiviEvents to do registration, which was impressively easier that I expected - part of my motivation was that I'd never set up a CiviEvents page, and now I'm not afraid of it anymore. So, visit the information page and registe

Toronto CiviCRM Coaching Sessions for Mozilla Week

For the Mozilla Service Week , I'll be at the Centre for Social Innovation on Wednesday morning, to provide 1-1 coaching for anyone interested in using CiviCRM . Yes, that's now tomorrow, Wednesday September 16, 2009, starting at 10 am, I hope you can come. You're supposed to sign up, as early as 9:30 for 15 minute sessions, but if you want to just drop by, you can join whoever's there. Details about where and more details about what are here.

Toronto Drupalcamp 2009

I'm sad to say that Toronto's Drupal Camp [which I helped organize for it's first 3 years] is happening while I'm out of town. It's kind of a good thing, since I had decided to take a little sabbatical from the organizing anyway. But in case you're breathlessly wondering, check out the 2009 toronto drupal camp site . It's not ready yet, but hopefully will be by the time you read this. The dates are set for the weekend of Aug 15.

The Tyee: Bricolage and Drupal Integration

The Tyee is a site I've been involved with since 2006 when I wrote the first, 4.7 version of a Drupal module to integrate Drupal content into a static site that was being generated from bricolage. About a year ago, I met with Dawn Buie and Phillip Smith and we mapped out a number of ways to improve the Drupal integration on the site, including upgrading the Drupal to version 5 from 4.7. Various parts of that grand plan have been slowly incorporated into the site, but as of next week, there'll be a big leap forward that coincides with a new design [implemented in Bricolage by David Wheeler who wrote and maintains Bricolage] as well as a new Drupal release of the Bricolage integration module . Plans Application integration is tricky, and my first time round had quite a few issues. Here's a list of the improvements in the latest version: File space separation. Before, Drupal was installed in the apache document root, which is where bricolage was publishing it's co

CentOS4 and CiviCRM 2.1

With the new year, a new resolution to upgrade some sites to the new CiviCRM 2.1. CiviCRM 2.1 is particularly special because it requires Drupal 6 and it's the first version that supports Drupal 6. So upgrades of existing Drupal 5 sites are difficult, particularly if any custom modules or themes involved. As it turned out, my procrastination was justified. I asked my friend Rob Ellis to help with Maquila Solidarity Network , who I've been working with for a few months , and who decided that the new features in 2.1 were too good to postpone any longer. Rob did the upgrade and discovered two issues on my CentOS 4 server: The CiviCRM installer insists on PHP 5.2.x CiviCRM requires a version of PCRE with unicode None of this sounds very interesting, and I wouldn't post about it, except that I would have thought it wouldn't be as hard to fix as it was. So here's what I did, in case there's someone else out there with CentOS4 (or RHEL4) trying to run CiviCRM 2.1