Hackathon 3.0, the Halloween Edition

A Hackathon is a day we set aside (usually a Saturday) where all of our software developers pick a small project that they can code, test, and just about launch—all in one day. I say “just about launch” only because we’ve got to thoroughly test everything that we put into production in our beta environment before going live.

We’re currently right in the middle of our Halloween Hackathon. This is going to be the best one ever, by far, as we’ve learned a ton from the first and the second Hackathons about how to make these successful.

Below are the projects that everyone is working on:

Control Panel Logging
Brian L. and Doug are adding logging to the control panel so that email administrators can trace their steps and hold each other accountable when playing with their email settings.

Email Address LinkingTony is making it so that email addresses will be links on the Read Email page. Clicking the link will take you to a Compose Email page.

Date Recognition
Huey is building intelligence into the Read Email page so that dates will now be recognized by the system. When you hover a phrase like: “tomorrow at 6:00″ you will be able to click it, which will pop up an Add Event window with the date and time pre-filled. You will have to hover the date to be able to tell that it is a link because we don’t want the page to look annoying.

Back End Search Improvements
Wenjie and Nguyen are making back end improvements to Search.

Drag and Drop
Mike and Ellen are adding drag and drop functionality to the message listing. This will allow users to move emails between folders by dragging and dropping them.

Preview Pane Print
Nithiwat, our newest member of the team, is making it so that you can print email messages from the preview pane without having to open the message in a new window.

Searching Blacklists and Safelists
Mike T. is building in the ability to search blacklists and safelists.

Colored Flags
Steve is building the ability to choose different colored flags by right clicking to flag an email message.

Multiple Task Lists and Priorities
Ben P. and Brian H. are adding the ability to create multiple Task Lists and prioritize tasks by ordering them using drag and drop.

Alias Error Checking
Korey and Vinny are building intelligence into the way we handle aliases. They’re going to: (a) make it so that our system deletes an email address from an alias when the email account is deleted, and (b) verify that email addresses that the alias address points to do indeed exist. This will lighten load on our servers because we won’t have to process needless bounced messages.

DNS Record Management
Will is providing customers with the ability to manage their DNS records through the control panel.

Mailbox Logins in the Control Panel
Vinny is making it so that email administrators can login to individual mailboxes through a web interface in the Control Panel.

Download Multiple Attachments at Once
Joel is building in the ability to download multiple attachments from an email message at once instead of having to download each one separately.

Group List Enhancements
Matt is making several enhancements to Group Lists.

Customer Care Ticketing Improvements
Kirk and Jon are building enhanced functionality into our Customer Care ticketing system.

Data Migration Efficiency
Jesse is building migration scripts to make migrating data onto our system more efficient.

Sorting Improvements in Webmail
Jing is improving the “sort by user��? functionality. The way it works now is terrible and he’s going to fix that.

I will announce when each one of these new features is available over the coming weeks.

Happy Halloween!

Kirk Averett is the senior director of product for Cloud Office at Rackspace.



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