Christmas is here early :)! Today, we roll out an alpha release of Ushahidi v3. We know that most of you were expecting a Beta release this month, but we haven't quite gotten there just yet. No need for sadness though, we've made substantial progress over the past month, and have lots of cool stuff added into this Alpha. Ushahidi V3 Alpha

Can I deploy yet?

Much like the developer release made a month ago, v3 isn't quite ready for production, so don't deploy/upgrade just yet ;). At this stage this is still mostly for developers try out V3, and maybe some tech-savvy deployers might want to try it out and experiment.

What to expect

As with the previous release you should be able to get V3 installed, create and delete posts, view a list of posts and drill down to individual post pages. Some of the new functionality in this release include:-
  • Search and edit posts
  • Edit site settings
  • Manage users
  • Pull messages from SMS and turn them in to posts.
One of the simplest but most major improvements: you can log in, register and log out! You can access the public site without logging in at all!
[caption id="attachment_14227" align="aligncenter" width="500"]A mockup of Ushahidi v3 A screenshot of Ushahidi v3[/caption]
There's still a bunch of rough edges but we're now a lot closer to a real functional beta. Here's a break down of the new, the not quite right and what's coming next:
What's new:
  • Post search - You can now search posts by keyword. We're still working on more detailed search (location, category, etc).
  • Posts workspaces - (if you're an admin) you can now view listing of published and unpublished posts.
  • Data sources - You can now pull messages from SMS or Email. You have to configure this is code (UI is on the way), but the backend process works. We've borrowed from PingApp here so we already have support for SMSSync, Twilio and Nexmo. We should be able to share plugins between the 2 platforms in future.
  • Messages UI - Along with support for SMS and Email, messages that come in now show up in the messages UI. You can archive messages and turn them into posts. This UI is pretty rough.
  • Current User API - we now have an API for checking who's logged in, its not connected to anything yet but this will eventually power the user profile in the workspace menu.
  • Login, Register and Logout UI - Simple but hugely important: you can now login and out through the API. There's still an OAuth2 authorization screen but its styled and fits into the process. Eventually this will go away too. Session timeout have been increased to 1 day so you shouldn't have to 'authorize' as often anymore either.
  • Anonymous access - you can view the site and public data without logging in!
  • User Admin UI - You can now create, edit and delete users (assuming your an admin)
  • Settings UI - You can now edit the site name and owner name.
  • Access checks in the UI, aka hiding actions you can't actually use! This is only partly done but we've hidden post edit/delete buttons from users who can't use them. We'll be doing the same throughout the UI soon.
  • Access control is baked in to the API
  • Color themes through SASS
What's not working:
  • User profile in the workspace menu still display dummy content
  • Posts still display dummy images
  • Permission checks in the UI - we check permissions thoroughly throughout the API however this isn't always reflected in the UI. This means you'll sometimes see a UI for editing something (ie. users) but be unable to actually load an data or unable to edit the data.
  • Related posts - always shows the most recent 3 posts
  • Media - We're just using fake images at the moment, there's no way to upload new ones
  • Custom forms - these exist in the API, but there's no UI for managing them.
Next big things:
  • Sets! This is actually partly done already, but we've hidden it since its not complete. All the API is there and the set listing works but we still need to list the posts in a set and allow you to add and remove posts from a set.
  • Upload images on posts
  • Showing custom form field on posts
  • More posts searching. Search by location, by tag and by date.
  • Pull posts from twitter
  • Manage data feeds in the UI. Letting you configure SMSSync, Email accounts etc, or pick which hashtags you'd like to follow.

Thank you!

A special shout out goes out to those of you who grabbed our developer release and shared thoughts/comments on the installation process(John Kulova, Sara Farmer, Tryus Kamau - to mention a few). Your feedback went a long way into streamlining installation.

Take it for a Spin!

Grab the code on github, or download it here, then head over to the install instructions. Alternatively, just head over to the demo site and have a look. (If you want a quick way to spin up your own demo, try out our one-click deploy and install on Pagodabox) For those of you who'd like to get their hands dirty and jump into the code, here's some detailed documentation on how to get involved in the development process.

Your opinions matter to us.

Feel free to get in touch with us via github issues/mailing list with any feedback you may have regarding v3. Got a feature you think would be useful that isn’t on the roadmap? Add it to the 3.0 wishlist and we'll have a look.

Join us for a v3 Q&A Hangout in January!

We're about to down our tools for the holidays, but still plan on hosting a virtual hangout with our lead developers sometime in January, to host any questions you may have. In the meantime, stay tuned on our blogmeetup pagetwitterfacebook page and wiki for more announcements.