Technical requirements - volunteers & platforms

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Introduction

Vanipedia is produced using a series of Wikis. We use the same software as developed by the creators of Wikipedia. It is a html/javascript/php/mysql environment. This is a very typical set-up for a web site.

To maintain and develop Vanipedia we require volunteers from a range of technical backgrounds, with any level of knowledge, from content managers to web designers, programmers and server administrators. Technical volunteers may have a wide spectrum of individual skills or be specialized in a particular area.

Ideally, we would like experts in multiple areas, as it enables easier integration of the technologies. The shared knowledge will benefit the overall team and the individuals.

At this stage of our development we are still very small, so for now we mainly need a few good people who can perform a wide range of tasks. But, in general anyone with a technical background and the strong desire to learn will be able to assist in the development of our Vani sites.

You may be an expert looking to help a great cause such as the spreading of spiritual knowledge for the benefit of mankind. Or you may be a beginner/medium programmer or designer wanting to expand your knowledge base and expertise in the association of spiritually and intellectually inclined people. We will be more than happy to accept your offering and participation.

Our main goal is the spreading of Krishna consciousness so we don't waste time in building our own models or software but we use what we know is reliable and successful in the world today and "piggy back" ourselves with those who have spent the time and resources to build great systems. The keyword for our success is collaboration and this is the most exciting aspect of Vanipedia.

We take the OpenSource path very seriously because it gives us the opportunity to engage the work of brilliant and expert people in the spreading of the highest philosophy for the betterment and advancement of society. We are very thankful for their work and are convinced that they will be benefited a thousand times for their support and collaboration with this project which is the highest altruism for mankind.

Overall, we invite anyone with the desire and enthusiasm to serve, learn and teach others to contact us for possible involvement. We started from scratch by taxing our brains on how to take current technologies and implement the task we have embarked on. So far we are moving steadily forward. We have learned a lot from this experience, and you can too.

We welcome contact from anyone who has an interest in assisting us to create this dynamic platform to spread Srila Prabhupada’s teachings in a very professional and high tech environment. Do not be afraid to contact us even if you feel you don't fulfil most of the requirements for a specific duty. We are all actually wearing many hats and we enjoy learning and giving others the opportunity to serve and learn with us.

Skills needed

Graphic designers

  • Knowledge of photoshop, web and off line publishing required.
  • Branding is something we are interested on for our project to grow and be very successful.
  • You can design posters, flyers, business cards and anything related to promotion and could help the Web designers on improving our websites' "looks and feel."

Web designers

  • Knowledge of Html/JavaScript/Css would be ideal.
  • The designers are in charge of layout and the "looks" of the sites. (Css preferably)
  • The wikis are very customizable and no specific knowledge of Mediawiki design/programming is necessary.

Web developers/programmers

  • Knowledge of JavaScript (jQuery or Prototype libraries is a plus) and PHP.
  • MySql is a plus for building custom databases/tables for statistics, suggest tables, our future Vanictionary, etc.

Server/Systems Administrators

  • Familiarity with Linux administration: backups, logs, cron jobs, ssh, svn(for developers) and user management.
  • Application servers: Apache, php, mysql databases.
  • Security: Firewalls, tripwire, snort
  • Webmaster duties: Hosting services, dns, domain names. (We are currently using slice host hosting with Linux/Ubuntu OS.)
  • Mediawiki installation and config experience is not required but it will be one of the duties.

Mediawiki

  • The Mediawiki software has been built in PHP and has numerous extensions that can be installed to extend functionality of the sites. We have some of these installed to implement various things as semantics, programming functions, etc.
  • We are currently developing mostly in JavaScript (jQuery) to accomplish most of the dynamic functionality inside the pages e.g.: highlighting, statistics (Ajax), compiling tools, etc.

Other platforms

  • We are not limiting ourselves to the wiki platform as the nature of the different petals of the site are varied thus when looking at the future of the other petals we will use the latest technologies and other platforms depending on the need.


Needs of the different websites of Vanipedia

We also call the different sites - petals

Vanisource

  • Wiki based
  • This site is nearly finished and does not need much more input.

Vaniquotes

  • Wiki based

The needs are:

web developer (javascript or php) to create more interface capabilities for users (linking to other petals, etc) and with time create better systems for compiling and for cataloging and organizing the massive amount of data that will be created in this petal.

Vanipedia

  • Wiki based
  • This site needs a lot of development

The needs are:

web designer who can help give both style and organization of content

web developer (javascript or php) to make the site more interactive and dynamic.

Vanimedia

  • Vanimedia will be an interactive and exciting way to associate with Srila Prabhupada through his audio, video and pictures. For this petal we'll need to implement galleries and media management software and Mediawiki is not designed for such tasks. We are looking into implementing growing and successful CMS's like Drupal to make our development dynamic, current and easy to customize.

The needs are:

web designer/developer who can implement a fast, interactive and appealing interface in gallery style.

Vanictionary

  • Vanictionary will hold a big repository of data extracted from Vanisource and organized as a dictionary and glossary.
  • The interface to interact with this repository should be fast, flexible and very clean for users to be able to find and browse through it.

The needs are:

web developer who can extract this data and create a repository (probably database) and the interface to it.

Vanibooks

  • We are looking at the possibility of some Drupal modules for Vanibooks

The needs are:

web developer to research different platforms/frameworks to find an ideal one for this and the possible future migration of other existing petals.

Vaniversity

  • We do not know as yet how this site will develop technically. We envision a full online mentor/student interaction site with different levels of degrees and intensity. This is a future project once all the other petals are complete since we will use Vanipedia articles, Vaniquotes pages and Vanibooks compendiums as the source of curriculum for this petal.

Needs of the related websites

Vaniseva

  • We need to implement a blog/forum system for our Vaniseva site, in which volunteers will be able to communicate between each other and the rest of the community on the different aspects and stages of the Vanipedia project.

Vanistore

  • We need to develop an online store

Vanimemories

  • We need a webmaster to come forward to develop this site

Physical location

  • devotees offering technical service can serve from a distance, but if anyone is available full time and wants to experience being part of the core team based at our PVRA offices at Radhadesh in Belgium then that is also possible.

contact us

  • To contact us for more information on getting involved, please click here .