Non profits don’t have money to waste. Therefore we aligned our product to major industry supported technology.
Our technology stack as of 2018 is:
Django Web Framework
Python Programming Language
Postgres Database with GIS
For more on The Open Source AMS integration via API visit our AMS API Helpfile or read up on everything Tendenci Works With. Or if you aren’t into open source, there are definitely alternatives to Tendenci.
If you do pick an alternative, we suggest you consider Security FIRST and go from there.
Listening to a client I realized that maybe “geek speak” on my part was part of the challenge. Definitions:
Themes – The “theme” is the visual part of your site that makes you unique. When a major change happens, like the rapid growth in mobile traffic, it is not uncommon to have to purchase or pay to upgrade your theme with WordPress, Drupal or Tendenci.
Software – The “software” stack is all of the functionality below the theme. Open source projects are driven by a community and most modules or add-ons strive to be backwards compatible.
Game changers – sometimes a company like Apple will invent a “game changer” like the iphone. Awesome! Oh, but wait. You can’t write software that works on a device that either didn’t exist or was a tiny fraction of visitors to your site when you first deployed your theme.
LTS Timelines – Who sets the timeline for LTS (Long Term Support) major releases? In Open Source it is driven by the community around a project. Frequently it is a combination of software and “dependencies”.
To use a large open source project as an example, WordPress users (like me – my blog is on wordpress) sometimes need to pay to upgrade a premium theme when WordPress does a major release.
As WordPress makes changes and improvements, sometimes these impact WordPress Themes and their underlying code and use of Template Tags. When a new version is announced, WordPress users are recommended to check the various WordPress Theme Compatibility lists to ensure their WordPress Theme is updated and ready for the new version.
Tendenci, a much smaller but growing open source project, is doing the same thing for the same reasons. You want a unique brand (your theme) and new functionality (the software) and you’d like it to be as low cost as possible. Hence software updates are “usually” free, it’s just when a “game changer” happens that you need to update your theme.
Written specifically for the NPO/Association market, Tendenci has continued to grow and adapt to meet the specific needs of these groups. From building on an open source framework that allows complete freedom – to mobile responsive software design – to online forums and newsletter features that keep the community involved, Tendenci continues to invest in the NPO sector. And the NPO’s have responded!
We are pleased to continue our relationship with the following organizations that have recently released upgraded websites and extend a warm welcome to those that are new to the Tendenci community.
Why Tendenci doesn’t support epub uploadS through the standard ui.
We love knowledge and knowledge sharing. And all of us read a lot – more and more on mobile readers. And yet the Tendenci software doesn’t support uploading epub files. First understand you have TONS of options to achieve your business goal and keep your site secure.
Free ebooks? We recommend you upload the epub to a resource like an Amazon S3 bucket or Dropbox and link to it from your site. That immediately solves the problem – you have a link to the resource on your site, just not “in” your site for safety and security.
Selling ebooks? Look at Amazon or Shopify or google it for tons of options. Even if the books are free, “selling them” on shopify will give you analytics and insight into consumers who are interested in your topic because they are being delivered to people next to other books!
As for the upload restrictions in Tendenci, here is why we are cautious:
While knowledge is great, security is more important. YES – TECHNICALLY YOU CAN PUT EPUB FILES ON YOUR TENDENCI SITE. But to do so your network administrator will need to do it for you for security reasons. The reason is that epub and mobi files can contain viruses or malware just like many other file formats (*cough* “Adobe flash” *cough*).
A book can have a code example. Depending on how your browser or e-reader “reads” that code example it may or may not execute the code. And that may or may not be malware. Typically the code itself would not be infected and would pass a virus scanner. Rather it would call another site and download a virus from that alternate location.
Two screen shots from the epubzone.org site are pasted below.
To be sure I love learning sites that have code that I can use to learn with in my web browser. MOOCs are awesome. But Tendenci is not a MOOC. So our current system is not set up to allow uploads of epubs or mobi given the millions of people who log into hundreds of open source tendenci sites hosted or in the wild. We are just cautious.
And again – there are alternatives.
Upload it to a different location and link to it <– RECOMMENDED!
Sell it with a company like Amazon who takes care of all of it for you <– RECOMMENDED!
Have your Network Administrator upload it if you must. But if this is the case, why not just make it a PDF? <– NOT RECOMMENDED
PS – One part of being a hacker is you are frequently accused of being an “Eeyore.” This is tiring. And incorrect. Caution online is really – well – the teamwork of Q and Bond. Aware of current reality. Curious. The ability to think perhaps a bit deviously. To know what is possible – both good and bad – to protect you.
Why do we point out all of the ways to copy your Tendenci site (or most sites really)? Doesn’t that make it easier to leave?
Yes. Yes it does. BUT people rarely leave. Or if they do, they typically stay on Tendenci and self host. They’re still part of the Tendenci community which helps us all.
Another reason we promote exports and offsite backups is because we know the more freedom you have, realizing you have that freedom especially on the Tendenci open source platform, makes it less likely for clients to leave.
Think about it. Why would anyone who actually understands their product is open, does far more than other options, is lower cost, and they can self host if they want… why would that person make the decision to leave? It’s illogical.
I mean, who wants to be the President of an Association that takes it backwards in time to proprietary technology or an older open source software built on an unpopular programming language? That’s not in the best interests of the association long term.
Popular programming languages means more coders for open source projects written in that language. And more capable people to modify and customize your install if you choose.
One of our goals is FREEDOM from the tyranny of per-user-licensing, proprietary products that want to own YOUR DATA, long term contracts, sites that post your events on THEIR site so if you leave then the history of that event is gone in the blink of an eye. Companies don’t own your data and they shouldn’t trap you.
Note: This blog post is one of several of us playing a bit of catch-up on posting site releases to our blog as well. We are proud of the work our team and our partners do with Tendenci. Open Source is powerful stuff. It’s like Freedom – it’s a good thing.
And Python is the most Popular Coding Language of 2015. A nice winning streak! This matters to people choosing membership software because open source means it can’t be taken away from you. Lots of options to export from Tendenci as well if a better solution for your particular needs comes up.
Given the Django web framework behind Open SourceTendenci is written in Python, and all of Tendenci’s apps are written in Python, we feel pretty good about the future stability of our technology stack.
In other words, the future looks bright and we welcome more developers to join the Tendenci community!
#NGOfacts is an ongoing campaign that highlights statistical data about NGOs, nonprofits and charities worldwide. Committed to building a comprehensive list of facts and stats about the NGO sector, please check back regularly for updates.
1. There are an estimated 10 million (non-governmental organizations) NGOs worldwide. Source: The Global Journal
2. The number of people worldwide donating money to NGOs increased from 1.2 billion in 2011 to 1.4 billion in 2014. By 2030, the number is expected to grow to 2.5 billion. Source: Charities Aid Foundation