For the first part of our series highlighting the contributions of HotWax Media to Apache’s Open For Business (OFBiz) in 2009, we will focus on the following topics:
- Rebranding the Project
- Framework Enhancements
- Platform Stability – Reviewing Code, Unit Testing and Bug Fixing
Rebranding the Project
Following ApacheCon 2008, much of the focus was on steering the project towards greater usability and marketability to compete with the commercial eCommerce and ERP packages. The thoughts were that we may be an open source project, but there are ample amounts of creative people around the project in order to bring another level of professionalism to the product being developed.
Working with project partner Brainfood for art direction and branding collaboration, HotWax Media began the process of updating the presence and branding around all of OFBiz – starting with the design and branding of the OFBiz home page. Once the home page and brand identity were complete, HotWax Media proceeded to integrate this look and feel into other pieces of existing collateral (like the project Wiki) as well as developing new features to house the nightly releases and log files from the days OFBiz demo activity.
While this does not represent all of the framework enhancements that we participated in over the past 11 months, this does give you some insight into the different areas where HotWax Media has made an impact:
- Fixed UEL to support variable name modifiers for an object accessed via a key in a Map.
- Added a utility method to common component (which can be used with any Type entity, to check if a type_1 is a sub type of type_2).
- Secure URL’s fixes and encouraged the use of _index feature of freemarker templates.
- Cleanup for component location (change from location=”org/ofbiz/……… to location=”component://party/script/org/ofbiz……).
- Refactored widget rendering code to be template driven (easily extendable and customizable).
- Created a new CSV output renderer for widgets.
- Implemented database rollbacks for the testing framework allowing for repeated test runs without clearing and reseeding the database.
- Added XPath support to JUEL and MiniLang.
- Added support for child menu items to the Menu Widget.
- Added support for confirmation pop-ups in the Menu Widget.
- Improved performance of the EntityListIterator (which is used extensively throughout the system).
- Added JSONServiceMultiEventHandler to enable AJAX form submission for multi-forms.
- Provide Hindi translations for multiple components.
- … etc …
Platform Stability – Reviewing Code, Unit Testing & Bug Fixing
So far in 2009, HotWax Media has contributed literally tens of thousands of hours to the Apache Open For Business project. Out of this work, over 50% of the time has been spent in reviewing other contributions, cleaning up the unit testing framework, adding additional tests for better code coverage, writing business level review documents to document processes and providing bug fixes for functionality that is not working properly at the time.
This contribution alone has made massive improvements to the stability of the code and we look forward to duplicating, if not increasing, our contribution in this area in 2010.
In my next installment of this series (Part 2), I will discuss our contributions in the area of eCommerce: the frontend, backend, inventory and catalog management, and the marketing of your goods.
Mike Bates founded HotWax Systems in 1997 and is our chief executive. His career in web application sales, marketing, design and development spans two decades, and he is a long time open source software advocate. He has led high-profile web software projects for numerous national and global brands and has taught web development courses at the graduate level. Mike joins other HotWax employees and advisers in periodically posting thoughts here related to HotWax Commerce, OFBiz, digital commerce, and other topics.