Sahanathon launches Sahana Sunflower Community Portal

Over the weekend of March 23-25, the Sahana Software Foundation held its first Sahanathon – a community event that provided an opportunity for contributors to work together on Sahana Eden.  The project we focused on was to set up Sahana Eden as a Community Portal, called The Sahana Sunflower. Basically, we’re (finally) eating our own dog food!

The purpose of this site is to provide a means for the Sahana Software Foundation and its members to better coordinate and communicate their activities in support of the Foundation. This will be used for such things as maintaining profiles of members and contributors, tracking assignments and volunteer roles.  We even used the Task tracking system within Sahana Eden throughout the Sahanathon to manage the tasks that needed to be done!

The event was a huge success with (at least) 34 participants getting involved from India, New Zealand, Portugal, Sri Lanka, Sweden, UK, USA and Vietnam. There was round the clock support from senior Sahana developers to help participants who were new to Sahana Eden complete a number of important tasks.

Some great work was done on theming and other UI enhancements, unifying image handling, adding biographical data to person records, integration into WordPress through a unified controller, and usability testing.  There’s still a lot of work to be done before we officially launch the Sahana Sunflower Community Portal but we’re really happy with the results.

You can test the site at   We’re in the process of readying the production site to go live.  If you’re interested in help move the project forward, we’ll be announcing soon how to access the live open task list. For now, feedback and comments can be director to the Sahana-Eden discussion list.

Tasklist on the Sahana Sunflower

We hope that this project will also demonstrate to other organizations in the disaster, emergency and humanitarian sectors how they can use Sahana Eden to manage their organization’s staff, volunteers and activities. If this sounds like it could be useful for your organization or if you have some suggestions for the the requirements – please get in touch with us via the Sahana-Eden discussion list.

But first and foremost, the Sahanathon was an opportunity for us to all work together as a community and have some fun!  We hope that it will be the first of many!

Sahanathon was a great learning curve. Looking forward to more of such events by the sahana community. It was a fun weekend!

-Ashwyn Sharma

The Sahanathon really was a team effort and the Sahana Software Foundation would like to pass a huge thank you to everyone who participated:

  • Akshay Minocha
  • Alexandra Dammann
  • Antonio Santos
  • Anubhav Aggarwal
  • Ashwyn Sharma
  • Benjamin Rapoport
  • Bhaavan Merchant
  • Daniel Bell
  • Daniel Klischies
  • David Bitner
  • Dominic Koenig
  • Fran Boon
  • Gavin Treadgold
  • Glenn Pearson
  • Graeme Foster
  • Jacob
  • Kalpa Pathum Welivitigoda
  • Kunal Hari
  • Kundan Kumar
  • Mark Prutsalis
  • Michael Bulgakov
  • Michael Howden
  • Nuwan Waidyanatha
  • Om Goeckermann
  • Pat Tressel
  • Praneeth Bodduluri
  • Pratyush Nigam
  • Pulasthi Mahawithana
  • Rabi Shanker Guha
  • Ramindu Deshapriya
  • Sathyanarayanan
  • Sriram Raghu
  • Vijeenrosh P.W.
  • Vivek Hamirwasia

Thank you all.

The Sahana Software Foundation would like to acknowledge the outstanding efforts of Ashwyn Sharma and Anubhav Aggarwal, who made considerable contributions during the event. We have decided to award both of them prizes for the best contributions.  The Sahana Software Foundation will be sending them both a Sahana t-shirt and stickers, along with a copy of the Sahana Eden Essential Guide donated by AidIQ . Congratulations!

I would also like to acknowledge the hard work and contributions of the Eden PMC for helping organize and run the Sahanathon, especially:  Michael Howden, who conceptualized and organized the event (and contributed to the drafting of this article); Fran Boon, for managing the Sahana Sunflower test and production sites, his expert mentoring and management of the code contributions made during the Sahanathon, and Pat Tressel, for her round-the-clock availability to answer questions from newbies and more experienced developers alike while working on important parts of the code.  Thank you and everyone who contributed and participated in this community event.

This event was such as success and good experience for our community that there will definitely be future Sahanathons.  Stay tuned!


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