Archive for January, 2008

PICnet launches into test-driven development

test driven developmentI must admit, when it comes to development processes, I’m an old fashioned pseudo waterfall procedure kind of guy. I know what you’re thinking: this guy needs to drink the agile programming, extreme programming, pair programming Kool-Aid.

Well, with the help of our development department, I’m in full test-driven development therapy (thanks Chris and Mark). Even better, I’m dragging one of our project managers, Pradeep, along for the ride.

From our friends at Wikipedia: “Test-Driven Development (TDD) is a software development technique consisting of short iterations where new test cases covering the desired improvement or new functionality are written first, then the production code necessary to pass the tests is implemented, and finally the software is refactored to accommodate changes.”

Gulp. Can management and test-driven development live in harmony? Read more »


Soapbox launch: USA Engage

USA*EngageWith our roots in international policy, we’re excited at the opportunity to work with groups focusing on US international relations. We’re pleased to announce the launch of the USA*Engage Web site, an organization representing individuals across the US who are concerned about the proliferation of unilateral foreign policy sanctions at the federal, state, and local levels.

“Ten years ago, U.S. foreign policy seemed to turn frequently to unilateral sanctions,” said USA*Engage Co-Chair Bill Reinsch. “Today, the pendulum seems to be swinging back in the same direction. This new Web site will be an excellent tool as we seek to reinforce the benefits of U.S. engagement and diplomacy in the world.”

Many thanks go out to our design partner Free Range Studios on their design work on this new Web site.


The joys of invoicing – can Freshbooks help?

FreshbooksAs Non-Profit Soapbox continues to grow in popularity, our hours spent doing invoicing each month continues to grow as well. Our joy of working with QuickBooks seems to decrease proportionally with the swelling number of clients.

Being a company steeped in the Web, I began wondering recently if there’s a better way of managing our invoices. Currently, we have to manually use QuickBooks to create invoices and receipts, then PDF them, then email them. This ends up adding up to about 5 hours a month, which I’d rather have spent on new Soapbox innovations.

About 6 months ago I signed us up for Freshbooks, an online invoicing system well accepted by the Web 2.0 world. Freshbooks seems made for people just starting out with invoicing, and those that might not already be using QuickBooks. For instance, QuickBooks is our master accounting records, and where we record active clients. With Freshbooks, it seems like we’d need to duplicate our efforts by posting invoices in both our QuickBooks and Freshbooks. Read more »


Soapbox launch: Thousand Kites

Thousand KitesOver 7 million people, or one in every 32 American adults, are behind bars, on probation or on parole. Thousand Kites is a national dialogue project by Appalshop addressing the criminal justice system.

With assistance from our design partner Free Range Studios, the Thousand Kites site launched with links to a variety of social networks that the project connects individuals, video and audio, and other multimedia links.


Joomla 1.5 goes stable!

It’s early in the morning here in NYC, and just as I’m getting to board the train back to PICnet for my annual address to the company, I see the following good news on the Joomla! Web site:  Joomla 1.5 is stable!

What an effort it’s been.  With a complete rewrite of the code base, making it sleeker and more elegant for developers and users alike, Joomla! 1.5 comes out of the door with a bang today.

While I’ve got to run to the train station this morning, I’m expecting a long day of celebrations ahead for everyone in the community.  Congratulations everyone, especially Louis and Johan, whose vision helped propel the code base to be what it is today.  Also, big thanks to PICnetter Kevin Devine, who’s work in the past few months in bug squashing has lead to many great strides forward in the 1.5 trunk. More details coming soon!