Magnolia Conference 2009 Report

This is a lightly tweaked version of the report I submitted to the University after returning from Magnolia’s first-ever conference, in Basel, Switzerland. I realize I need to write up a more general-interest trip report, but have been dreadfully short on time since our return. I have, however, recounted our adventures often enough now that it should be a straightforward bit of writing; I’ll do it soon!

In September, my friend and coworker Jeff Snider and I attended the 1st conference for the Magnolia CMS, on which our Gato system is based, in Basel, Switzerland.

We presented two talks at the conference: Case Study: Magnolia at Texas State University (mostly Jeff’s work) and Surfacing External Data through Magnolia (mostly my work). Our talks were well received; people seemed to particularly enjoy the window into our implementation experiences.

Other presentations covered various open-source Magnolia modules that may be of use to us, Apache Sling (which looks like a great foundation for building web-service-based content applications), some basic details on clustered instances that will serve as a good starting pointing for setting up a clustered editing environment, and the new UI and architecture for the upcoming Magnolia 5. (We were unable to attend the last, since it was opposite our own, but the slides cover the information fairly well.)

The most valuable thing for us, however, was to get to meet the Magnolia staff and community. We were able to put faces to many of the names that pass across the user support list, and to discuss lots of aspects of Magnolia with the folks who are directly responsible for implementing it. (And one of them saved Sean during his presentation when he made a mistake in my data entry — thanks, Philipp!)

While the conference itself was not without the occasional hiccup — to be expected, given that this was the first time it had been held — the chance to build relationships within the community, learn from the other presentations, and to present Texas State’s experiences made the trip a worthwhile one.