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What’s happening with Superdesk? A spring development snapshot

A mockup of Superdesk's Desks interface, which the team are working on in the coming months.
A mockup of Superdesk's Desks interface, which the team are working on in the coming months.

As winter fades across Europe, spring brings once more its yearly round of optimism and growth. Superdesk development has also sprung into life in our development hubs in Cluj, Prague and Berlin. We’ve hit a really intensive phase of development and the Superdesk team is growing rapidly (Want to join them? We’re hiring!). The latest roadmap has just received a spring clean and this is the summary of where things are at.

The stabilisation of these frameworks has meant we can now push ahead with feature development. The goal of the Superdesk 0.1 release is to create a working limited-functionality prototype of the Superdesk web publishing app. The prototype will have COPE (create once, publish everywhere) authoring based on these very exciting mock-ups (not fully-functional!).

Superdesk is now following a rolling roadmap. Rolling roadmaps give the community a good idea of our intentions, but without restricting us to definite, perhaps unrealistic, deadlines. The main driver for feature development is our news partners. Superdesk's structure means developing these features should get quicker and quicker as the tool and frameworks evolve.

As it stands, Superdesk releases 0.2, 0.3, 0.4 & 0.5 will concern themselves with the Desks interface (the means by which users can be grouped, given permissions and assigned newsrooms tasks) and should be ready by June 2013.

Here are a few other highlights from the feature roadmap (check out the full thing here).

  • Forward Planning : January 2014 - June 2014
  • Discovery/Content Ingest: April 2013 - October 2013
  • Integrated Asset Repository: December 2012 - August 2013
  • Users (Authors, Community): September 2012 - May 2013
  • Web Publishing Component: February 2013 - November 2013
  • Editorial communication: May 2013 - September 2013
  • Author Payment Management: September 2013 - November 2013
  • Analytics: July 2013 - February 2014
  • Geolocation Component: February 2013 - October 2013
  • Data Component: March 2013 - November 2013

Live Blog status

Live Blog is the first standalone application built on Superdesk technology. It lets you create and update live blogs in seconds, allowing instantaneous reporting on breaking news, events, sports and more. It has its own roadmap independent of core Superdesk development, but will of course be 100% compatible with Superdesk.

Recent development has focused on social sources that can be embedded into your stories. Live Blog supports Google, YouTube, Twitter, Flickr, Instagram and SoundCloud embeds with more on the way (Facebook and SMS coming soon!). Readers can engage directly with these posts, following, retweeting and sharing further.

We're looking forward to announcing our first wave of Live Blog partners soon; it's being tested and evaluated by a host of household news names currently. The current codebase will be extended over the coming months to cater for Citizen Desk, our African News Innovation Contest award-winning project. With this we'll monitor the Mozambican elections with national news partners @Verdade creating in the process an open source, mobile-optimised platform for aggregating, verifying, publishing and rewarding citizen journalism.

Keep up with development!

Whether you want to take in the roadmap, explore the wiki, dive into the GitHub code or chat with us on the forums, there are plenty of ways you can not only follow what we're doing, but shape it too. Plenty of organisations are helping us build this tool, contributing blueprints, bug tickets and development resources.

If you are a news organisation and you are considering upgrading your newsroom systems, then we especially want to talk to you. This is your chance to build the CMS you've always dreamed of. There are plenty of excellent CMSs (including our very own Newscoop), but many are weighed down by a single-medium legacy (e.g. print, broadcast or web). Superdesk is open source, platform-neutral, output-agnostic and scalable to any business vision you or the publishing world can conceive of (as well as those you can't). Join us and help us to shape a tool for newsrooms everywhere.