Today we have launched a very interesting set of functionality in our 2.0.6 release of Akvo RSR Codenamed “Guava”. With a plethora of features, this action packed code-set has something for everyone.

Showcasing the first instalment in our internationalisation effort, we have the beta version of our multi-lingual interface. As of today, all Partner Sites within Akvo are available in Dutch, English, French and Spanish. You can choose the language you would like to see the user interface in, by selecting your preference in the drop-down box in the top right hand corner of each page.

The language options are encoded into the URLs for each page so you can link directly to any of the languages. For example, the Simavi Partner Site at http://simavi.akvoapp.org can be viewed in Dutch at http://simavi.akvoapp.org/nl/ or in Spanish at http://simavi.akvoapp.org/es/ This means that when you share your content in RSR you can choose the link that matches the language of your target audience. Nifty eh?

…and that’s not all!

We’re now also offering the first of the Partner Site widgets. This widget shows all of the projects that are linked to the Partner Site organisation on a map. The map border can be coloured to taste, and can be embedded in any website of your choice.

To get your hands on one of these exciting new toys, visit a Partner Site, and view one of its projects. The “Tools for this page” box on the right hand side shows a “Get a Widget” link which should fulfil your needs.

In addition to these lovely visual improvements, we’ve also made some very significant changes to the Database in the form of de-normalisation. For those unfamiliar with this term, it is a process to improve performance by adding fixed data fields which would normally be calculated on-the-fly by the system. These changes have had a dramatic effect on many pages within the Akvo system by improving loading and display times. The Akvo.org Homepage for example, is now loading in around 10x faster then before.

So, I hope that these improvements are enough to whet your appetite for now? But don’t worry, we’re not stopping there – there are a lot more exciting features still to come! We’ll keep you informed…

Adrian Collier is product manager for Akvo RSR.