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Magento User Guide Available Now

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We are pleased to announce the availability of the Magento User Guide, the definitive source for tutorials and information on configuring and managing your Magento store.

The Magento User Guide provides detailed instructions on the flexible and powerful functionality in Magento, from setting up tax rates to creating promotions.

The User Guide is available now as an ebook and will provide numerous benefits and will quickly provide additional ROI for your Magento store.

Don’t forget to use coupon code: eBook_Pr0m0 at checkout. 

Update on Community QA Day #1

Hello Everyone!

Due to some rather unfortunate personal circumstances, I had to postpone last week’s Community QA Day at the last minute.  It was a tough decision to make, and the fact that it was last minute so testify to the fact that it was urgent.  I had to make family my priority.  Anyway, now I am back to my Magento family!  wink

I would like to reschedule our Community QA Day to this Thursday, 30 April.  The times will remain the same, 6:00 Pacific Time and 13:00 GMT.  Check your own local time zone and sync with those time.  We will gather in the Magento chat space which can be reached by visiting the site and hitting the “Community Tab” and then “Chat” or hitting this link.  You can also use any Internet Relay Chat application and connect to #Magento on the Freenode IRC Network.  Once in the chat, we will work out the logistics.  Remember, the goal of the day is to work through the bug tracker and try and clear out anything old or which is a duplicate.  Everyone involved will get a token of appreciation for helping out as well.

I was working on some infrastructure adjustments to make our QA Day possible and also some enhancements to the Bug Tracker which will help us along our way.  I hope to have these done for this week.  If you had emailed me about participating in the Community QA day, I will be getting back to you as I sort through my Inbox within the next 24 hours.

Thanks and I hope to see you there.

Koby smile

P.S. Look for another update soon regarding work to our infrastructure to alleviate some of the problems people have told us about and also about another Community Advisory Board Meeting.

Magento’s First Community QA Day - Postponed

We are sorry to inform that due to personal reasons the Magento’s First Community QA Day has to be postponed to a new date.

Koby will announce the new date within 48 to 72 hours.

Thank you for your understanding.

Magento’s First Community QA Day!

The CAB has been hard at work behind the scenes, planning some new initiatives for the community.  Today, I am glad to announce that next Thursday, 23 April will be our first Community QA Day.  Many community members who have contacted us over the last few weeks have been eager to get involved and most seem to have expressed an interest in helping contribute to quality assurance, since thats something that even a newbie can participate in and have an immediate effect.  After many discussions and some tweaking on the backend, we have something planned--A Field Trip!! 

We are going hunting--Bug Hunting!

Our first QA Day is going to be centered around working on the bug tracker and bugs themselves.  A large part of the development bottleneck revolves around the bug tracking system, and finding, verifying and fixing bugs.  Many bugs come in as duplicate and require much time to close, others require even more time to verify.  As our first community QA effort we thought there would be nothing easier and more valuable to contribute time and effort to amongst the other activities taking place that day.

If you are interested in being involved, please with a subject line of “Community QA Day #1”, so that we can start organizing ourselves.  The schedule calls for us to get started at a bright and early 6AM Pacific Time, which is 9AM on the east coast and 1PM/13:00 if youre in Europe/UTC.  More details will be forthcoming, probably over the weekend, when our plans and (online) gathering spot are finalized.  Until then, save the date, mark your calendars and synchronize watches!

Koby smile

Community Advisory Board’s First Meeting and New Initiatives

Last week was the first meeting of the Magento Community Advisory Board.  Many important issues were discussed and some solutions and ideas going forward were proposed.  Over all, there was input from all parties all around, and it was great to see everyone from all sides of the fence cooperating and collaborating, exchanging ideas and defining a path forward.  Particularly was everyone’s attitude, reaffirming our collective commitment to Open Source and make sure that the community has what it needs to become strong and successful.  Below is a full synopsis of the meeting, including a complete CAB member list and the issues that were discussed.

Roy Rubin - Founder and CEO of Varien
Yoav kutner - CTO of Varien **NOTE: Yoav could not attend due to the Magento release that day
Koby Oz - Magento Community Coordinator
Philippe Humeau - Philippe is from France and has been an advocate of Magento.  He is also a Varien Partner.  His site is http://www.nbs-system.com
Guido Jansen - Guido is the Magento Dutch Community Manager
Sebastien Lepers - Sebastien is the French Community Manager **NOTE: Sebastien could not attend due to his wife having a baby! CONGRATULATIONS!
Rico Neitzel - Rico is the German Community Manager
Lee Saferite - Lee is a well respected member of the Magento Community. He is located in Lake City, FL in the US
Vinai Kopp - Vinai is a well respected member of the Magento Community
Francois Ziserman - Francois is a popular French eCommerce blogger.  His site is http://www.ziserman.com

An agenda was put together to discuss relevant issues which were well known as well as topics which were posted as comments in the previous post.  Thank you to all those who provided us with feedback, its is your feedback which helps shape the future of the community!

I will not go through the agenda in order, but will give a brief overview of the topics and then discuss each item in order of importance and what we on the Community Advisory Board perceived to be BIG items.  Overall we spoke about the broad goals which we would all like for the future of the community, namely, whether it would be possible to publish a development road map, how to facilitate code contributions, how to enable community members to contribute documentation, changes to Magento Connect, improvements to the forums, bug tracker and QA. 
We went back and forth, and came up with the following ideas.

Overall, the #1 issue which seemed to share a common lining between everything else, was the need for infrastructure changes.  Specifically, some additonal infrastructure would benefit the community in a number of ways.  As of right now, there is no public road map, not because it is kept secret, but simply because there is no iron-clad definitive roadmap.  Varien does not want to commit to features which might stir a lot of anticipation and then not end up in a release and in doing so disappointing the community.  The preference is just to work piecemeal and make available what is stable and ready.  Work is being done to modularize Magento in a way that will open it up to more atomic changes. As an effect of this, it will become easier to track changes being made in upstream development and to manage community contributed extensions to the code.

To facilitate much of the above, the CAB proposed that we investigate some infrastructure which we can use for project hosting.  This will allow the community more transparency into core Magento development, make it simpler to contribute code to the main tree and allow us to offer project hosting as an option to all those contributors who work on extensions.  Additionally, this will also give us enhanced functionality when it comes to the Bug Tracker, such as RSS feeds, better communication with developers, improved search and custom filters and other notifications, as well as potential integration with Magento Connect.  We also proposed that we develop an account dashboard which will allow community members a one-stop quick overview of the activity that is important to them.  The CAB was unanimous in its decision that this is an excellent idea and should be moved forward with.  This is a priority.  I will work with Lee Saferite and other members of the CAB to decide on what infrastructure best fits the needs of the community and we should have a decision in place within the next month, with action being taken to put that in place shortly thereafter.

With regards to documentations, we would like to make the barriers to entry much lower.  We proposed finding a wiki master from within the community, and allow him to develop a team of contributors from within the community.  One great idea was that currently, it is very easy to create screencasts and we would be more than glad to accept any submissions from the community.  Rico Neitzel is currently working on a screencast on how to make a screencast.

There was also discussion of the creation of two teams, one to focus on enhancing Magento Security and one to specialize in general QA.  The leads of those teams are going to be Koby Oz and Vinai Kopp for QA and Phillipe Humeau for security.  If you are interested in joining either of these teams, please submit requests to either myself, oz@varien.com or Philippe, philippe.humeau@nbs-system.com.  I plan to announce our plans for our first ever community QA event tomorrow, so please stay tuned.  The event will take place sometime during the week of the 19th.

We all took away a great sense of accomplishment from the meeting and everyone’s concerns were equally listened and repsonded to.  We are try our best, during this formative period to analyze and choose the solutions which will helps facilitate community interaction and maximize success.  A lot was discussed and as you see we have chosen to prioritize and focus on what will provide most valuable to the community in the long run.  Please leave feedback below, and myself and other CAB members will be glad to respond.  Thanks for making the Magento community the place we all call home!

Koby smile

Introducing the Magento Community Advisory Board and First Meeting!

After a couple of weeks of hard work, I am glad to finally be able to announce the formation of the Community Advisory.  The Community Advisory Board is here to discuss issues that are meaningful to the community, to analyze all angles of relevance and to define the policies and practices that will enable purposeful community interaction and engagement.  We are here to help the community thrive, to hear your comments and concerns and to act as your voice.  We are here to make sure that all interest are kept aligned and in sync, and by doing that set solid foundations for the continued healthy growth and success of the community, of Magento itself and of Varien.

The Community Advisory Board is:

Philippe Humeau - Philippe is from France and has been an advocate of Magento.  He is also a Varien Partner.  His site is http://www.nbs-system.com
Guido Jansen - Guido is the Magento Dutch Community Manager
Yoav Kutner - Yoav is the CTO of Varien.
Sebastien Lepers - Sebastien is the French Community Manager
Rico Neitzel - Rico is the German Community Manager
Roy Rubin - Roy is the Founder and CEO of Varien
Lee Saferite - Lee is a well respected of the Magento Community. He is located in Lake City, FL in the US.
Francois Zisserman - Francois is a popular French eCommerce blogger.  His site is http://www.araok.fr and his blog is located at http://www.araok.fr/categorie/e-commerce
and myself of course!!!

In order for this meeting to be a success, we need your help!

Our first meeting will be this upcoming Monday morning, the 30th of March 2009 at 9AM PDT.  Expect a full summary of the proceedings and a follow up on here and in the forums as well.  I have been involved in many conversations over the last two weeks with many members of the community, about many different topics, and I have enjoyed it tremendously.  The goal of the community board is to bring up issues relevant to the community and as such I would like people to comment to this post about what you think we should discuss.  I will keep a running list and at 6AM PDT on Monday, I will finalize a list and hope to post an agenda on here for everyone to see what topics we will be talking about.

The future’s looking bright.

Koby smile

@Ask_Magento Twitter Service Now Live!

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Exciting News!!

We’ve been hard at work the past week working on putting together some really great community initiatives and putting the pieces together for the community advisory board, amongst other things.  We are now ready to announce the first of these initiatives, aimed at letting the voice of the community be heard—in 140 characters or less!

What’s all the buzz about you ask?  I am proud to announce that as of today, we are going live with our @ask_magento twitter service.  You can find us at http://twitter.com/ask_magento This is going to be a great service to facilitate dialogue within the community through community questions and community answers.  We will have some folks monitoring the feed as well, so feel free to start following us and get in on the action.  Oh, and don’t be shy, if you see a question you know the answer to, jump in!  It’s all about helping each other!

There only one rule—no forum reposts.  This isn’t meant to replace the forums, which are thriving, its meant to augment, enhance and act as an auxiliary to them.

Happy Tweeting!

Videos from the Paris eCommerce Conference

At the Paris eCommerce Conference this week, we had the pleasure of speaking with Smile, a Magento Gold Partner and the leading open source consultancy in France. Smile presented a session on open source eCommerce evaluating a number of solutions which drew a big crowd. Long story short, Magento took the top honors and came out as the standout product. Following this session, Daniel Broche, CEO of Discounteo.com (one of the largest eCommerce sites in France) and SQLI, a Magento platinum partner, presented a session that explored Discounteo.com's decision to use Magento for their next generation eCommerce site (expected to launch in Nov. 2008). Short Interview with Smile (English)
Yoram Elalouf (Varien) and Frédéric de Gombert (Smile)



Short Interview with Smile (French)
Yoram Elalouf (Varien) and Frédéric de Gombert (Smile)




We also took a few minutes to speak with none other then Magento's French Commmunity Moderator, Sebastian L. (AKA SeL). SeL has been an instrumental part of the community and we are truly grateful for his efforts.



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