Earlier this year we celebrated the 10th birthday of Calagator, an open source project I started with members of Portland’s tech community to make user groups and other events more discoverable. In the process we found we created a platform for that community to grow, succeeding beyond my dreams. Keeping something like this alive for so long has often been challenging. The last Calagator project release, which powers the Portland tech calendar at calagator.org, was in 2016.

I want to get things rolling again. Calagator’s utility hasn’t diminished: communities benefit from having a place to find and share their events, one that they can control and not a corporate silo. Portland’s calagator.org has four things happening today, six tomorrow, and a steady pace listed for coming weeks. I’ve talked to many people who tell me this is how they learned their way around the community, figured out what to do with an open evening, and grew their ideas into new community spaces.

We have work to do if we want to make this easy for people outside of the original community to use. There are a number of deployment platforms that someone might pick, and we could create the tooling so that you don’t have to understand the particulars of deploying a Rails app to get started. Some communities are global, even online-only, and we could add the time and date features they need. The software project itself needs a tune-up: security updates and UX improvements. We’ve also grown our knowledge of project management and I would like the things new contributors encounter to reflect that.

To make this happen, I need for my own contribution to the project to move from volunteer-only to community-supported. I have the time and energy to do the maintainance and updates, but only if it doesn’t take me away from other paying work. Our volunteer roots helped us learn what we needed to do, but it’s been a pain point for a while that people only work on the project in their spare time, which we seem to have less and less of these days. If you’d like to help make this work happen, become a backer on Patreon.

Here’s what I’m going to do next, with your support:

  • update dependencies for the Calagator gem that have security warnings to the next stable version
  • make the small remaining changes needed to release a final 1.0 version
  • triage our current list of issues and assign them to milestones
  • update the about page and other docs for users of calagator.org to better explain how the site works and how to use it
  • audit the documentation for contributors and people who deploy Calagator to start planning improvements
  • create a plan for a 1.1 release

What else would you like to see? Let me know on Twitter, Mastodon, or send an email.

Posted 24 Oct 2018