Aral is more than a simple CMS, but a desktop and mobile collaborative tool which allow users to cooperate in real-time thanks to the integration of the XMPP protocol and latest web technologies and frameworks such as HTML5, CSS3, Ext JS and Sencha Touch.
At that time, back in July 2009, it was just released the brand new 3.0 version, so while working fulltime as web and software developer during the day, I’ve lost the count of the nights spent mastering the framework working on this personal side project.
I’ve started working on the backend PHP architecture, working on some REST API that would have allowed users to register and login to several different networks.
Later, I’ve implemented a suitable architecture to create different modules, assign them to users by priviledges, and allow third party developers to create their custom ones.
Some weeks later, it was finally time to create some real modules.
I decided to begin with the one that would have addded more value to the web desktop experience, and would have given users the abiility to customize their workspace, the Desktop Manager module.
At this point, the application needed some more functionalities that would have allowed users to upload and manage files and directories, so I’ve started working on the Disk Manager module and built on the top of it a Windows like user interface.
One year later, Sencha released the first beta version of Sencha Touch (v.0.90) specifically built for the Mobile Web, so the application needed some changes in the architecture to run at best on mobile devices, sharing some core classes between the two frameworks.
After some extra work on the backend with PHP, the Disk Manager module was ready for an upgrade, but not before wrapping up the app in a native iOS enviroment and coding some extra classes inObjective C.
After such hard work, the result was remarkable.
Some months ago, I started implementing the core backend and frontend functionalities, several Ext JS and Sencha Touch custom components (including a set of classes to fully support XMPP protocol), several CSS 3 animations and the application was ready for some real-time users communication within the app.
Some months later, after spending more time developing new functionalities and implementing new REST API, I was mastering both Ext JS and Sencha Touch to a professional level, so I’ve decided to make it a full time job joining the Sencha team as Solution Engineer in November 2011 and travelling around the world to provide professional expertise and best practices advices on both the products, without having much more time to dedicate to the Aral project that was then put in the shadow and not longer updated.