What is Quorum ?

Quorum is a calendar system for cooperative events. I guess that's a fancy way of saying that Quorum is designed for group scheduling: who will definitely be at an event, who will definitely not be there, and who doesn’t yet know. I wrote it for my morris dance team, the Pokingbrook Morris Dancers of Albany, New York, so that we could determine if we had enough people available to accept performance gigs; I believe that makes it the first ever open-source application to come out of the morris dance community!

How do I use Quorum ?

Quorum was designed to be a snap to use, and in fact its early users have consistently remarked on how easy and intuitive it is. I hope to have screenshots and documentation available in the near future, but most features were designed to be self-evident.

However, until I have some screenshots available, here's a description. The main interface is based around a list of events, with a control to toggle your own attendance status and a list of who else is and isn't attending. But it doesn't stop there.

I know that verbal descriptions of Web applications leave something to be desired, but I hope that this will give you some idea of Quorum until screenshots are available!

Quorum is a Web-based application, so it can be used from any computer, phone, or PDA with a Web browser. (Browser requirements are deliberately minimal, and all output is valid HTML 4.01, so there should be no surprises. I use Quorum frequently on my BlackBerry!)

What are Quorum 's server requirements?

Quorum is written in Ruby on Rails , so you'll need a server enviroment that supports that. (It's packaged with a local copy of Rails, so the system Rails gem shouldn't matter.) It should run on any Unix-like operating system (BSD, Linux, Mac OS X, ...); it will probably not run on Windows, due to its dependency on the rdiscount gem. (That said, if you do get it running on Windows, please tell me!)

Quorum uses a PostgreSQL database with the PostGIS extensions; it may be possible to use mySQL or some other database, but I have not tried this. (Again, if you do, let me know if it works!)

Currently, my development environment is Mac OS X 10.5.7 (Leopard), with Apple's Ruby 1.8.6 and Mongrel; my deployment server runs Ubuntu Linux 8.10 (Intrepid) with Phusion Passenger and Apache. Quorum runs beautifully on both, with no noticeable environment-specific differences or incompatibilities.

Sounds great! How do I get it?

There are no official releases quite yet, but you can get the source code from the repository. Each more-or-less consistent version has a branch (or, before beta 2.4.5, a tag) to identify it.

Quorum is distributed under the BSD license.

I love Quorum ! How can I help improve it?

Jump right in! If you're a programmer, feel free to get in touch with me at marnen AT marnen DOT org. I'll have a coding standards guide ready shortly; until then, try to match what you see. :)

If you're not a programmer, you can still help! If you see a bug or have a feature request, please report it on our issue tracker; we could also use help in the following areas:

Who are you, anyway?

My name is Marnen Laibow-Koser; I'm a Web developer and musician in Albany, New York. I started the Quorum project not only to create a great piece of software, but also to help improve my Rails skills and explore agile, user-focused development processes.