Wednesday, June 3, 2009

ChMS - Day Two of the Arena Developer Roundtable

We started day two by hearing about some of the things that Willow Creek had added to Arena in their implementations of events as well as a few other areas. They built some very nice items that we will pickup and utilize in the next couple of months. It was good to hear from them, and the stuff they built will help us immensely.

After Willow Creek, we had an open "show and tell" in which we presented a web services api we've been working on. We used an iphone app as an example of how this API could be used, but that is only one small use of the tool. There were lots of questions and this is definitely something that we will try to finish up and get out for people to work with asap. We also showed some of the smaller custom modules we've been working on, but you can read about those on the custom modules wiki on the Arena community if you are really interested.

We concluded the conference with some very good discussion with Arena about update strategies, more frequent bug fix releases, better compatibility with webkit browsers (well, any non-IE browsers really), moving away from apps for things like check-in, and how they present data on their issue tracker. By far the longest and most animated discussion was about Arena's proposed development timeline and some of the issues with how they are proposing to spend their time. This lead into a discussion about better documentation of the development API, something that was received well.

Overall this was a really valuable couple of days. More importantly, I was quite impressed by Arena's transparency and their willingness to listen to their developer churches. There are exciting times ahead.


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