Posts in Category: Community

Kudos for the Amanuens Translation System!

Back in August we tried out what was then a fairly new service, Amanuens, that makes it easy to crowd source translation. We tried it with several translators, but at the time it seemed confusing and difficult to use so we stopped using it for a while. Since then Amanuens has made a lot of improvements to the usability and now we have used it successfully with a small group of translators and it seems very much easier. So if you are interested in translating mojoPortal into a new language or updating an existing translation, let us know on this forum thread and we can see about setting up an account for you to help with translation. The Amanuens service makes it easy to translate the .resx files used for all labels and buttons, and these are the most important files to translate, but there are also message templates and help files that are just plain text files. These files are not supported by Amanuens so we still work by having you send those in a .zip if you translate them.

screen shot of amanuens

mojoPortal is currently translated at least partially in 24 languages, though many of them have not been kept up to date over time. The English resources are always the most up to date, and Italian is also kept very up to date by Diego Mora. Most other languages are only partially complete so we could use some help in getting them updated. Translated files in Amanuens are automatically synced and committed to our source code repository each morning, so it is a very efficient process.

Amanuens provides this excellent service free for open source projects and it is really working out well for us so far, so I thought I should give them a shout of thanks with this blog post. It isn't just a service for .NET applications, they support all kinds of technologies and they integrate with all kinds of source control systems. You can even hire translations directly through their service. Anyone who is working on a project that needs localization should take a look at Amanuens.

Thanks especially to our translators who volunteer their time to keep our translations updated!


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Gravatar Joe Audette is the founder of the mojoPortal project and was the primary developer until February 2017.

Recognition of Community Experts

The holiday season is upon us and Thanksgiving has come and gone but it is still a good time to reflect on the things we are thankful for. I am thankful for so many things, good health, good friends, and being blessed to have a career that is also a creative outlet for me such that I look forward to each day working on mojoPortal which is truly a labor of love for me. While my work has certinly not made me rich (yet), I feel like one of the luckiest people because I know that so many people go to work everyday dreading their job and the time they spend there. I've had a long and diverse work history and have also spent many years doing work that did not make me happy and was not enjoyable, so I know how difficult it is to find one's niche in the world and how lucky I am at this point in my life.

Today I would like to express how thankful I am for the mojoPortal Community and especially those community members who give back to the community by helping others. Throughout the history of the project I have always tried to make sure that we have good support in our forums and over the years I have personally answered many many questions posted in our forums and tried to have short response times especially for people having any difficulty with installation or reporting bugs because I know that first imporessions are very important. As the popularity of mojoPortal has grown over the years it has become more and more challenging to keep up with the volume of questions and I began to worry whether it would just become unmanageable. I think that to some degree, my fast response times in the forums hindered the development of the community itself because others who might have been willing to answer some questions did not get a chance because I answered right away and this discouraged helpful participation to some extent. The bottom line was that people did recieve help so they were happy and more and more people continued to use mojoPortal but it did not encourage others to help and therefore did not contribute to building a community that could sustain itself. There were always a few people who helped in the forums now and then but mostly in the early days it was people asking questions and me answering them and this continued for years.
Then in February 2009, Joe Davis joined the community and soon began helping lots of people in the forums and I was elated because this helped reduce the work load for me in answering questions, but the volume of questions continued to grow. We both worked to improve the documentation and make it easier for people to find the information they were looking for to help reduce the questions but it was becoming obvious that we needed to do more to get other community members involved. Joe Davis agreed to help with that so I appointed him Community Manager. We discussed ideas to help foster the community. One of the things we talked about was making forum improvements so that questions and answers could be identified more easily and users could earn points for answering questions. I think StackOverflow has set the bar on what good forums should be like and ultimately I would still like to evolve our forums to be more like StackOverflow, but it will take a good deal of work to improve our forums that much and there are so many other things to work on it still may be a while before we get there. We did a little work to make it more obvious that people could subscribe to forum notification emails and we changed the notifications to include the text of the post so that people could see right away in their inbox if it was a question they knew the answer to and this has helped quite a bit.
Gradually, it just seemed to happen that we reached a critical mass of active helpful community members and in the last few months I've been very happy because of the number of helpful people and the quality of help they have been providing. So, Joe Davis and I decided we should provide some recognition for these helpful people by giving them a badge for their forum signature that identifies them as a "Community Expert". While we still plan to someday build a point system into the forums to encourage helpful people, for now we know who is helping and we want to give them some recognition for their expertise in working with mojoPortal and their willingness to share their knowledge and help others.
So please join us in thanking the following community members who are true mojoPortal experts and have earned the designation of "Community Expert":
Jamie Eubanks who is both a "Community Expert" and a new member of our Documentation Team.
Jamie Eubanks
Rick Hubka who is both a Community Expert and our Community Liaison from Arvixe Web Hosting.
Rick Hubka
Asad Samarian who is a long time community member and also manages our Persian Language Community and maintains documentation in Persian, has also become more and more helpful in our English forums over the years as his English has improved.
Asad Samarian
German Barbosa who is our newest Community Expert.
German Barbosa
If you've asked questions in our forums lately, chances are that one of these kind folks or Joe Davis or myself have helped you.
If you've become an expert with mojoPortal, why not subscribe to our forums and help out when you can? We'll be on the lookout for more helpful people that deserve recognition as a mojoPortal Community Expert. Maybe you will be our next Community Expert!


Gravatar Joe Audette is the founder of the mojoPortal project and was the primary developer until February 2017.

mojoPortal Released

mojoPortal is now available on our download page.

This is a compatibility update for the changes in ASP.NET that resulted from the security patch recently released by Microsoft and now available from Windows Update. I blogged about this issue previously and provided a workaround for the compatibility issue, this new release eliminates the need for the workaround.

Before the security update, there was a possibility for a System.Security.Cryptography.CryptographicException when decrypting the role cookie if the machine key had changed and the user was already authenticated. We already had error handling for this error, but after the security update the behavior changed and it would throw a more generic HttpException there which we were not handling, and this would cause users who were previously authenticated to experience an error until they cleared the cookie. Even without a machine key change, the same error could happen if a user was authenticated before the windows update was applied, the error could happen for that user after the update was applied (because there were also changes to how cookies are encrypted in the security update) In this release we have added handling for the new more generic exception so the cookie will be reset if this error occurs and the user will not experience an error on your site.

We've also removed the previous workaround for the ASP.NET security issue since it is not needed after the update is applied.

Other Changes

Thanks to Steve Railsback of Colorado State University we have some new CSS that can be used to add images to the Administration menu. It uses some Crystal Icons which are licensed under LGPL. I've updated many of the included skins that ship with mojoPortal to use the new icons, you can easily add them to your skin by adding this to your style.config file:

<file cssvpath="/Data/style/adminmenu/style.css" imagebasevpath="/Data/style/adminmenu/">none</file>

It will transform the admin menu from a plain looking vertical list to a list of images with hover effects like this:

screen shot of admin icons

This release also has:

  • upgrade to CKeditor 3.4.1
  • upgrade to TinyMCE
  • updated Italian resource files thanks to Diego Mora
  • fixed a bug where menu items that were configured as unclickable were still clickable in the breadcrumbs

I'd also like to point out a new article in the skinning documentation written by Steve Land, Using Wireframe Skins. Steve has shared a skin he designed to solve the problem of how to keep your discussions with clients focused on functionality when you need to. It is a very common issue that the customer can easily get side tracked onto colors and other visual aspects which is fine if you are trying to discuss the design but distracting if you are trying to focus the discussion on functionality or other non-design aspects of the site. The wireframe skin can help with this because it is designed to not be distracting and to clearly represent that the design is not what is being shown. Please let Steve know if you find his wireframe skin useful if there is interest he might make more variations.

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Gravatar Joe Audette is the founder of the mojoPortal project and was the primary developer until February 2017.

Nominate mojoPortal for the 2010 CMS Award

Hi mojoPortal friends,

It is that time of year again, the 2010 Packt Publishing CMS Award has begun the nomination phase. Please nominate mojoPortal for the Best Open Source CMS.


Nominate mojoPortal for the 2010 CMS Awards

Nominations end on September 17, 2010, and we need as many nominations as possible in order to make it to the next phase of the contest, so please take a minute and nominate mojoPortal.




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Gravatar Joe Audette is the founder of the mojoPortal project and was the primary developer until February 2017.

Organizing the mojoPortal Community

The mojoPortal community has been gradually growing along with the evolution of the project since late 2004. We have had quite a few contributors over the years such as Dean Brettle, who implemented NeatUpload, Joseph Hill, who implemented the initial version of Feed Manager (later improved by Walter Ferrari) as well as the initial data layers for PostgreSql and Sqlite, Rob Henry, who implemented the Survey, Christian Fredh, who implemented the Poll, and Kevin Needham who implemented the content workflow, and many others who contributed various little improvements over the years. You can find a list of contributors on our developer page for more detail. All the contributions and involvement have been pretty organic, we have never really organized project teams or a holistic strategy to grow and support the community. mojoPortal is now the 3rd most popular CMS on the ASP.NET stack and we are reaching a critical mass of popularity that I think requires us to get a little more organized. We are beginning to see more people helping out in the forums and more and more people are offering to help with development, but it is challenging for me to manage the community all by myself.

Today I would like to announce that Joe Davis will be stepping up to take on new responsibilities in the project as Community Manager. Joe has been a huge help to myself and the community already in the forums. He has helped a lot of people with skinning questions, installation and configuration questions, and lots of implementation tips and tricks to help others achieve their goals with mojoPortal. Joe mentioned to me a long time ago that one of the things that drew him toward mojoPortal was the friendly forums, we don't make people feel stupid for asking questions, there are no stupid questions. This is not to say that every question gets answered, most of them do but not all of them. Sometimes people ask questions for which we don't know the answer, or there isn't a good answer that comes to mind, or the amount of time required to answer it would be too much effort, or what I playfully would describe as "Wizard of Oz" questions. But by and large if people ask reasonable well articulated questions and we are able to help we do help. In his participation in the forums, Joe Davis has been exemplary in putting a friendly face on our forums and making people feel welcome. I mean just look at his mug shot, if you lookup "nice guy" in the dictionary there should be a mug shot of Joe Davis!

Joe Davis i7MEDIA

As Community Manager, Joe Davis will be able to help with forum moderation and logistics of managing the community, and he will collaborate with me on strategy to promote community engagement and how best to organize teams and contribution guidelines to facilitate development help offered by the community. As such we are in the beginning stages of working on the strategy and will be communicating more about that as our ideas begin to take shape. For now I just want to thank and congratulate Joe for stepping up to take on this role as a Core Team member and Community Manager.

Joe's company i7MEDIA provides high quality mojoPortal hosting and design services.

I also want to officially welcome Katherine Moss, who has joined our team as an Accessibility Advisor. Katherine will be instrumental in helping us keep mojoPortal accessible for users who use assistive technology such as screen readers. She will be helping with testing and feedback of various mojoPortal features in terms of their accessibility.


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Gravatar Joe Audette is the founder of the mojoPortal project and was the primary developer until February 2017.