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May 23, 2012 / Ben Simon

What’s notable about the new webmaker events platform

Many of you probably saw this yesterday as part of the launch of the Mozilla Webmaker initiative, but we’ve gone live with a new distributed events platform to support webmaker events at

This is the culmination of a process begun several months ago, and it was done in a rather interesting way — and, it should be noted, huge thank yous are due to Chris Appleton, Ross Bruniges, Andrew Hayward, & Matt Patterson for designing, coding, and, you know, actually building it.

The frst thing that’s worth noticing is that it’s pretty freaking beautiful. I mean, check out those event guides!

But it’s also got some neat functionality in there (as well as some features we’re looking to add in the future).

Some of it is pretty close to the off-the-shelf Blue State Digital events module, with some tweaks like extra opt-in/privacy policy checkboxes. To see that path, choose the left-hand column on this page, or see a sample event like so.

What’s really interesting — and potentially very useful to other groups on BSD — is the open, custom app built on top of BSD. We wanted to figure out a way to provide a true big tent, and part of that means not requiring that you create your event on our platform.

So we (well, Team Ross) built an app that also allows you to add an external event — anything with an external URL — but still have it listed on our map & calendar.

To do that, simply choose the right-hand option on the create event page, log in/create an account with browserID/persona (Mozilla’s awesome new identity service), and you’re on your way.

There are some functions that just aren’t supported too well in BSD (ticketing & attendee categorization, to name two), and this feature allows organizers to use another service if it’s better for them, while still getting the benefits of being a part of Mozilla Webmaker. And, of course, that’s not to mention events that already existed, to prevent organizers from having to manage separate RSVP streams.

So, what do you think? Does it make you want to organize a summer code party on June 23rd?

Please take the tools for a spin — if you see any bugs, we welcome reports on Lighthouse, or if you’re adventuresome and want to fork the code (or submit a patch), it’s on Github here.

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