APC's free software provides the basis for the new European Social Forum website, in five languages
LONDON, UK, 08 August 2004
GreenNet is excited to announce the launch of the website of the European Social Forum (ESF) which will take place in London in October.
At the end of May 2004, GreenNet, APC member in London, secured a contract to build the ESF website. The event is billed by the organisers as a unique opportunity where social movements, trade unions, non-profits, refugees, peace and anti-imperialist groups, anti-racist and environmental movements, networks of the excluded and community campaigns from Europe and the world can come together to discuss how to achieve global social justice for all and debate ways of making ‘another world possible’.
For GreenNet, a cooperative providing technology services to non-profits in the UK and worldwide since the late 1980s, the task was to create a site that could be used as the central registration system for an estimated 40,000 participants. It also needed to take users’ proposals for workshops, seminars, and cultural events – and to process these into searchable listings on the site, for each day of the ESF. And of course it needed to make space for a range of information on other practicalities including accommodation, travel, venues, etc.
With a time-frame of less than six weeks for project completion, the web team had to hit the ground running with their project plan. They used APC’s free content management system the APC ActionApps and configured it into a multilingual system that could handle publication of content in five languages. With an expectation that the limited resources available would not be able to provide translation of all content into all languages, GreenNet designed a site which would display documents in their original language if no translation was available. In this way, no matter which language version of the site you are in, and how few documents exist in that language, you can always see all relevant documents.
GreenNet opted to work with WorldPay (WP) for processing online registration fees, and successfully dove-tailed the ActionApps registration slice with the WP system, so that data could be passed on through from the site’s own submission forms, to WP for secure payment. This has been a particularly exciting aspect of the development work and opens up a new range of possibilities for ActionApps in the future.
GreenNet has had re-cycling in mind from the outset with this project, prioritising a design that would re-usable for the developers of next year’s ESF in Greece. "With the final testing now over, we are cautiously proud to share news of a site, powered by an open source software system that is both robust and elegant," says web designer, Anna Feldman. "The simplicity of the interface that content workers use masks an amazingly elaborate content management system which we hope will make the Forum site a space that thrives and grows and supports a vibrant event for all the participants in 12 weeks’ time."