Wagtail Space 2018

If you're not already familiar with it, Wagtail is a popular open source CMS, built on Django, with a beautiful admin UI, powering sites for Google, NASA, the NHS, Oxfam, Mozilla, governments, universities, corporations, schools, startups and bloggers around the world.

Wagtail 2.0 launched only four weeks ago, and hot off the heels of the latest release Wagtail enthusiasts from across four continents converged on the town of Arnhem in the Netherlands for Wagtail Space.

Wagtail Space is the first full-scale conference for Wagtail, and once again it's proved to be the finest place to see the Wagtail community at work and at play.

What work happened?

We laid important groundwork on larger-scale developments like content internationalisation and StreamField optimisation, and there were plenty of exciting developments outside of the Wagtail codebase too: improved integration with the Divio Cloud platform making it possible to spin up a Wagtail demo site at the click of a button; wagtail-app-pages an add-on package offering a new approach to embedding Django application logic into pages; and on the more bizarre end of the spectrum, a "haunted wagtail" easter egg to liven up the Wagtail admin with some spooky 3D effects!

It was exciting to see so many first-time contributors getting set up with the Wagtail codebase and immediately diving into the open issues list as part of the "ticket destroyers" team - a total of 27 pull requests were made over the course of the event including:

  • Enhancements to the new Draftail rich text editor
  • Fixes to the login and password reset workflow
  • A new approach to icons within the admin which promises to greatly improve accessibility
  • And some entirely new features: the ability to add help panels to the page editing interface, and an impressive new upload widget to ease the process of adding image galleries to a page.

This is how we play

After a day of hard graft, Thursday's schedule included the annual 'State Of Wagtail' meeting to celebrate our achievements over the last year and decide on the next big challenges to tackle. In the evening we gathered for drinks at the Four Digits bar (not many offices can boast a brewery in the cellar...) accompanied by a jam session showcasing the many and varied musical talents of the Wagtail community - spanning everything from lounge classics and 80s pop to opera.

The final day Friday, was a whirlwind tour of activity within the thriving Wagtail community. The big news was the launch of Wagtail's First Hatch NoriPyt's crowdfunding campaign to fund core team member Bertrand Bordage to work on Wagtail on a full-time basis. Numerous exciting features are lined up, including UI improvements to StreamField, a new form builder, and content internationalisation.

wagtail 2.0

The credits and dates for your diary

The sprints provide a rare opportunity for our geographically-scattered core team to meet in person. Thanks to our hosts Four Digits who gave us the run of their offices and kept us well fed and caffeinated. 

The dates for next year's event are already set for 13th-15th March 2019 - if you love Wagtail, why not join us?  


Further reading:

Write-up from Tony Yates at VIX - part 1 part 2 part 3

Talks on YouTube