Technical Note: How Does It Work?
Update - visit the Activism Network Developer's Site for current information on the project development.

We're using PHP and MySQL. We use PHP, a programming language, to generate HTML and we use MySQL to run the database. Both are available under open source licenses. We are currently hosted at JaguarPC, where we get 25 GB of disk space and 300 gigabytes/month (at least in theory) of file transfers for $30/month. We have a project page at Sourceforge (a website that hosts thousands of open source projects for free), but aren't currently using it.

The website uses a relational database. The basic tables are people, groups, schools, issues, resources, resource categories (useful for sorting resources), events, email lists, files, and users. Networks are a subset of groups. Most objects (campaigns, people, groups, resources, events, and email lists) can be related to one or more issues. And thus you can search for them by issue. Also many objects (people, groups, schools, and events) include a location and can be searched for based on their longitude/latitude, city, state, or country.

For managing resources we use a relational database that has two primary tables: resources and categories (the categories are ways of sorting resources). In addition, we use bridge tables between resources and categories, and between issues and resources.

Our project is around 500kb of source code - perhaps 20000 lines (not including packages other people wrote). We made a dramatic change from the first version to the second, as we started using object oriented programming techniques and the overwhelming majority of the functions are now contained in objects. The third version seperated it into two parts - server and client, and refactored the code.

Our Open Source License
The code for this project is available under the GNU General Public License. You can download the source code from our sourceforge project site. Things that are not covered under this license include the javascript menu (which is copyrighted by SmartMenus), our database of zip codes with longitudes and latitudes (which is freely available from the US Census Bureau), our database of 760,000 Canadian postal codes with longitudes and latitudes (which we purchased and may only use on this website), and our database of universities and colleges, and high schools which is freely available from the US Dept of Education.

So You Want to Copy This Site?
We hope that activists will install the software on their own website, and create a network of dozens of activist websites sharing information -- in a similar fashion to the way sites have sprung up everywhere. If you are interested, contact us to get involved in programming, suggesting features, outreach, testing, or anything else. We want to develop a community of users and developers around this software!

Essential Software Tools
This project would have been a nightmare if we didn't use the following free software tools: