Breathing new life into the Tridion power tools
A week or so ago we had the second Tridion MVP retreat. SDL's Tridion MVP programme is intended to encourage and inspire people to build a community among people who use the Tridion range of products. People who contribute visibly to building the community are recognised by the Most Valued Professional award. As one of this year's recipients, I was invited to spend a few days as Tridion's guest at a "retreat" in Portugal, also attended by the Community Builders (which is how Tridion extends the same recognition to it's own people who are active in the community).
It was an intense few days. The MVPs and Community Builders are social, driven and experts in their field; you couldn't wish for a more stimulating group of people to bounce ideas off, and the discussions ranged far and wide. These are real in-the-trenches practitioners, and it was great to hear the different ways people approach similar problems. Most of the attendees gave technical presentations, all of which were interesting both in themselves, and in the discussions they generated. The highlight though was our "technical assignment". The Power Tools will be familiar to most Tridion specialists as a set of custom pages which use the API to make some common tasks more manageable. Now that GUI extensibility is a first class citizen, it makes sense to review the old power tools and re-implement them in the new idiom. Chris Summers had prepared the ground before the retreat, and once he had led us through his analysis, the team began on a re-implementation of the batch image uploader.
The new power tools are now hosted on Google Code, and in addition to beginning the work of re-vitalisation, the MVPs and Community Builders also spent time to set up the basis of an open-source development team to continue the work once we all got back home.
I'd like to thank Tridion** for having invited me, not only for their splendid hospitality, but for the opportunity to spend some time off-line working with such stimulating people. As always - thanks to Nuno for pulling it all together, and thanks to the guys for being who they are!
** Yes - I know that I can't thank "Tridion", and that I should say "SDL Web Content Management Solutions", but everyone knows what I mean.