This weekend I finally launched Mezzanine 1.0 after two years in development. Rather than talk about Mezzanine itself and the lead up to 1.0, I thought it would be fun to look at the online reach of the release announcement, as well as some of the growth that has occurred over the last 18 months since I first made Mezzanine available. For more detail on Mezzanine and the release itself, check out the 1.0 announcement to the wider Django community, as well as the discussion leading up to the 1.0 release.
At the end of 2010 I wrote my annual year in review post, where I talked about Mezzanine and the activity that had occurred in its first 6 months. With the new 1.0 release, I thought it would be interesting to take a fresh look at some of the statistics I talked about back then. We can see below that growth has continued all the way through at a steady pace.
|Version 0.9.16 months||Version 1.0.02 years|
|Mailing list subscribers||60||190|
|Mailing list messages||300||1,800|
Combined follower/fork count for GitHub and Bitbucket brought to you by One True Repo
The launch party we held for the release was a raging success. Just to be clear, by we I mean me, and by party I mean sitting at my computer all day with several browser tabs open, feverishly refreshing them with the hope of some good exposure and interest around the release. And there was plenty!
After first announcing the release to the django-users mailing list, I then posted it to a handful of popular channels in the programming community. All around the responses were positive, ranging from congratulation and praise, to all sorts of questions from curious people in the Django space who hadn’t heard of Mezzanine before.
As mentioned, I made the initial announcement to the django-users mailing list. Here I gave a general overview of Mezzanine and Cartridge, and went through their core features. The follow-up responses were positive, and included some questions about how Cartridge compares to other more popular ecommerce Django apps. I then gave a short version of my original post from when I first made Cartridge available, which covers that area in more detail.
I’ve posted a few articles to Hacker News before, but they’ve never been promoted to the front page, which occurs after receiving enough votes from the community. So I was delighted when 10 minutes or so after posting the announcement to Hacker News, it had reached enough votes to hit the front page. After that the votes came pouring through, with the announcement eventually making its way to 4th place on the front page, where it remained for most of the day.
When I woke up the next day, the article had reached over 90 votes, and a good range of questions had been posted, from looking for help getting started, to comparisons against other CMS projects. By then the news of the latest Rails exploit had flooded the front page, and the Mezzanine release had been pushed down into oblivion.
At the same time, I posted the announcement to Reddit. It also reached the front page of proggit, the programming sub-reddit I posted it to. Again there were a good number of comments with praise and questions. What was interesting about Reddit is that the number of votes both for and against the article are visibly displayed.
It was amusing to think about what would cause people to vote it down. Perhaps they were fanatical supporters of another language, framework or CMS. I’ll never know! I think it’s a safe bet though that it had nothing to do with Mezzanine itself, based on the actual comments posted there and elsewhere.
Of course I tweeted the announcement once it was made. After a handful of direct and indirect retweets, the tweets started coming through with a lot of lovely praise, particularly for the responsive layout of Mezzanine’s new project homepage, something that all credit goes to the Bootstrap team for. The most humbling moment though was when a tweet came through from Antonio Rodriguez, the former CTO of HP of all people!
This looks like it may be Django’s killer app
After the announcement had hit the front pages of Hacker News and proggit, an army of Twitter bots that are connected to those sites then tweeted links to the announcement, resulting in hundreds of tweets and thousands of new visitors. The final assault was then triggered by Smashing Magazine, who tweeted Mezzanine to their half a million followers.
While GitHub wasn’t somewhere I explicitly made the announcement to, like the channels above, the reaction on there was probably the most important. Mezzanine and Cartridge received over 100 new developers following the projects.
This resulted in Mezzanine being the most watched Python project on GitHub for both the day and the week! For the first time it also entered into the top 100 Python projects on GitHub of all time.
A quick burst of small contributions followed, from spelling corrections in the documentation, to patches for getting things running smoothly on Windows. I then released version 1.0.1, and 1.0 became history.
It’s been a hard slog over the last two years. With a full-time job and a family to take care of, the biggest challenge has always been finding the time to build new features and work with the community to ensure Mezzanine stays on the right track for its users. In that regard, Mezzanine wouldn’t be what it is today without the contribution of all the developers who have written features, fixed bugs, and most importantly, helped out new-comers on the mailing list. A special thanks goes out to all of you:
|Lex Hider||Van Lindberg||Timur Bobrus|
|Toby White||Eric Floehr||Tom von Schwerdtner|
|Brad Montgomery||Andrew Fisher||Carlos David Marrero|
|Lee Matos||Josh de Blank||Dominique Guardiola Falco|
|Michał Oleniec||John Campbell||Andrew Grigorev|
|Audrey Roy||Josh Cartmell||Osiloke Emoekpere|
|Eduardo Gutierrez||Rich Atkinson||Brett Clouser|
|Brent Hoover||Owen Nelson||Zeke Harris|
|Ken Bolton||Eli Spizzichino||Michael Delaney|
|David Prusaczyk||Alexey Makarenya||Sebastián Magrí|
|Kevin Levenstein||Josh Batchelor||John Barham|
|Luke Plant||Zdeněk Softič||Alvin Mites|
|Jason Kowaleski||Nicola Larosa||Anders Hofstee|
|Chris Trengove||Chris Smith||Tommy Wolber|
Here’s looking forward to the next two years, and keeping Mezzanine and Cartridge a lean, mean, site building machine.