Posts tagged "drupal"

TopNotchThemes unveils new Fusion-powered Drupal theme store

TopNotchThemes, whose themes are used by nearly one in ten of all Drupal sites, has just released their new "Fusion" line of premium Drupal themes at Fusion Drupal Themes.

More than 25,000 business owners, developers, and site builders--as well as Acquia--rely on Drupal themes from TopNotchThemes, and feedback from this large user base has been instrumental in shaping the Fusion theming system. The goal for the new themes was to deliver more of Drupal’s power and advanced features, without needing a coder or designer.

For instance, Fusion themes address the need for easier layout with point-and-click page design on a new "Easy-Grid" that supports both fixed and fluid width web designs without editing files. The new styling system also provides a variety of pre-configured styles that can be easily applied to a variety of page elements without having to modify any CSS. All Fusion Drupal themes also come standard with built-in support and styling for the popular ecommerce module, Ubercart.

The Fusion base theme is GPL, available on drupal.org, and is already being used and improved upon by more than 4,000 people.

Fusion Drupal Themes also adds professional support for users and developers. The staff have created a large and growing library of documentation to help customers learn about their new themes and assist with more advanced tasks, including modifying and creating themes. The new themes are also backed up by lifetime free updates and 120-day satisfaction guarantee.

Another support option is Fusion PRO, a theme consulting service for development shops, solo developers, and advanced users. Developers can get one-on-one consulting on advanced theming questions from a staff of professionals. Fusion PRO also provides developers with a substantial discount on multiple licenses for themes they purchase.

Drupal CMS versions 6.16 and 5.22 are now available

Two new releases of Drupal are available for download. Version 6.16 and 5.22 can be attained from the Drupal.org website.

The full list of changes between the 6.15 and 6.16 releases can be found by reading the 6.16 release notes. The full list of changes between the 5.21 and 5.22 releases can be found by reading the 5.22 release notes.

Drupal 5.22 and 6.16 were released in response to the discovery of security vulnerabilities. Details can be found in the official security advisory:

To fix the security problem, you can either (1) upgrade Drupal or (2) patch Drupal.

More info: Drupal.org

2010 CODiE Award Finalists Include Bridgeline, CrownPeak for Best CMS

Awards season rolls on and some familiar names are lined up in the many categories for the CODiEs (site), now in their 25th year.

 

The Golden Envelope

With three sections covering software, education and content, the CODiEs have to be one of the best-established and most comprehensive technology awards. This year there are nearly 70 categories covering everything from Best Database Management Solution to Best Online Government Information Service. 

Last year, Salesforce.com, Adobe and Novell were the recipients of multiple awards. This year, the cloud makes its appearance in a couple of new categories and there are many familiar — and some newer — names aiming for the biggest awards.

The content category winners have already been announced here, with Alacra Pulse winning Best Online Business Information Service and Reuters Insider picking up the Best Video Content Aggregation Service.

And The Nominees Are…

The much sought after Content Management Solution award is between iAPPS Content Manager from BridgeLine, CisionPoint and Crownpeak.com. The award for Collaboration Solution will go to either AngelSoft, U.K. firm Mimecast for Unified Email Solution or Wimba.

The Open Source Solution award is where Drupal is in with a shout, the Social Networking Solution award sees Salesforce.com up for another gong and the Mobile Experience Solution award is between WebEx, NetSuite CRM+ and Salesforce.com

Among other categories of interest to our readers are:

  • Application Integration Solution which sees Boomi Atmosphere taking on Cast Iron Integration Solution and Persuasive Software Integration Business Unit.
  • Asset Management Solution which sees BDNA Insight 6.0 up against Express Software Manager and K2 KeyAuditor and KeyServer.
  • BI/KM Solution sees PivotLink, Luxid and NetCharts in with a shout.
  • Cloud Infrstructure Platform is up between JasperSoft, Force.com and Zetta Enterprise Cloud Storage.

To get to the nominee stage, companies and products have already been through several phases of judging, with more to come before the winners are decided — those announcements are to be made on May 25.

You can read the full list of categories and nominees here. Winners get to use the CODiEs logo on their products.

Drupal 6 Performance Tips From Packt

Packt Publishing (site), one of our favorite providers of IT books for professionals, has just kicked out a book to help you boost Drupal 6 performance.

The book is aimed at users of all experience levels—that includes you, beginners!—as well as, designers, themers and webmasters.

Once you get your Drupal site and up and running, this book will help you to implement performance modules and solutions for keeping track of site performance as well as kicking overall speed up a notch. 

The book starts off easy by covering introductory topics such as upgrading and maintaining your site, and enabling core Drupal page compression and caching. Afterward, a shift in the advanced direction for a look at contributed modules for helping speed up performance. Lastly, you'll learn how best to implement and run a Drupal multisite environment.

Here's a breakdown of the topics covered:

  • Upgrade your Drupal 5 site to Drupal 6 using best practice upgrade paths
  • Back up and maintain your Drupal 6 site using core and contributed modules and utilities
  • Configure the Drupal core and contributed modules for high traffic
  • Run core Drupal page compression, CSS and JS compression, and use Drupal page caching
  • Run scheduled cron tasks to perform crucial garbage-collection processes
  • Use the Development (Devel) module to monitor page loads and queries
  • Use the Boost module for anonymous page caching, tweak Boost settings, and use Boost blocks and advanced Boost settings to monitor site performance
  • Install and use Memcache API and Integration module, and Authcache and Advanced Cached modules to enhance and monitor site performance
  • Configure a Drupal multisite environment for best performance

Normally it'll cost you about US$ 39.99, but there are currently some discounts available. Check it out.

Interview - Drupal, WoodWing and How Web Publishers Can Survive

As we watch the many drama's in the media, the drama of the media itself trying to survive and the many micro dramas of competition and collaboration in the content management space, it's fun to get points of view from different seats at the table.

Recently we had a chance to discuss the web publishing business, Drupal partnerships, new revenue models for publishers and the quality of modern journalism with Erik Schut, the President of WoodWing Software.

As a provider of Web Publishing technologies and a company that has integrated with the likes of Alfresco, Drupal and most recently eZ Publish, the company is in the thick of the modernizing efforts of publishers. Erik had some interesting ideas to share.

CMSWire: What do you think is the most technically innovative thing happening for digital publishers today?

Erik Schut:
See how capable Smartphones like the iPhone, the upcoming Palm Pre or many others are today. You can imagine, that these devices will become one of the most important new channels in the mid future. Publishers all kind need to develop strategies to address this challenge and ways to monetize them.

CW: How do you see products like Drupal fitting into the future of digital publishing?

ES:
Regardless, if it’s print or online - publishing has been and will be about attracting communities. Drupal is one of the most powerful systems to develop Web 2.0 platforms and to support communities. So, in a nutshell, it is a perfect fit.

CW: Do products like Drupal threaten to take market share from vendors like Woodwing, why or why not?

ES:
We don´t think so. Our products focus on the entire Publishing process — from conception to publication — for all required types of media and channels. Although there are some Web CMS's trying to move into the earlier phases of the publishing process, their structures are not designed to do so and therefore they fail or require endless customizations. Drupal (like other Web CMS's) is focused on delivering the best Web enabling functionality hence very complementary to our products.

CW: What do you see as the most important concern for digital publishers in 2009 (more specifically than generating revenue)?

ES:

That depends where you come from. Being a start-up digital only publisher, having found a new business model, even today you are still looking at great opportunities. Being a well know publisher from the print days and moving into a digital only publishing environment you will have tough times seeking comparable revenues than you have had in the print-days, cost cutting is unavoidable since the online revenue usually does not even come close to the printed revenue - at least, when they continue to think just about ads as the major source of revenue.

CW: What new sources of income do you think are most promising for publishers?

ES:
Well, I see all the "Pay per"-models as most promising — Pay per Sale or Lead, Pay per Download, Pay per Service.

You can see already, that the classic full page ad is more or less a thing of the past — cross media strategies including all the models I mentioned open up new business chances both for the publishers as well as their customers.

CW: Some people say new technologies like twitter and blogs are eroding the quality of journalism. Can you share some thoughts on how you view the relationship between publishing technologies and journalism?

ES:
Our products do not influence the informational value of content, and as a vendor we are probably not the right institution to comment on these more philosophical issues.

Let me give you my personal view — it depends, on what you call quality. If quality means non-biased, based on in-depth research, written by a professional journalist, published only based on facts and after hearing all parties involved — yes quality will drop.

If quality means on-the-spot, instantly, covered by a larger number of writers, juiced with opinions and emotions, I'd say quality improves. Probably both forms will coexist with different pricing models in future.

About WoodWing

WoodWing was founded in 2000 and started life as the first company to fully commit to the Adobe InDesign and InCopy platform. Their core product, Enterprise — the Publishing Platform, is focused on what the company calls Editorial Content Management.

Open Atrium: A Drupal Based Intranet Ecosystem

Development Seed, a communication shop dedicated to creating handy Drupal-based solutions, today announced the availability of a whole kit and caboodle of open source intranet wonder.

Open Atrium, now officially in its public Beta phase, is an open source starter intranet package that includes popular tools like blogs, wikis, a calendar, to-do lists, a ticketing system and microblogging.

The Seedling

The Development Seed team has been exercising their communication expertise for roughly six years. With an underlying mission to provide technological solutions for world-changing organizations, the brains behind the operation have devised ways to help the UN and the World Bank, among many others, further their impact.

Open source from the very start, Development Seed chose Drupal to help build their tools because "it’s powerful, it’s stable, and it has a great community supporting it." Five years later and for the very same reasons, they've again gone with Drupal for their first packaged, separate distribution. 

The Atrium

A team intranet, Open Atrium allows users to coordinate on projects with their co-workers.

OpenAtrium_GrpDashbrd.jpg

Open Atrium - Group Dashboard

With a point and click setup, there is out-of-the-box functionality for creating different spaces for different projects, adding people to each space, and 6 tools: a dashboard, a blog, a wiki, a calendar, a casetracker and a micro-blog.

OpenAtrium_ShoutBox.jpg
Open Atrium - Shoutbox

Have a look at this out of the box capability:


A Strong Drupal Backend

In addition to all the the built-in functionality, developers can create their own features, themes and modules as well. This extensible core is built on the Drupal Features System. Features can be built using Drupal.org site building modules (Views, CCK, Context, etc.), or you can  leverage other modules like FeedAPI, Faceted Search, etc.

But it's not going to stop there. Development Seed strongly believes in the idea of sharing your features. "The development paradigm adds the concept of usable features to Drupal — rather than just modules to be used as building blocks - so that more novice users can enable new plugins quickly."

There are plans to create a decentralized network of Feature Servers — servers that store third party features and their updates. You can learn more about their plans from this post on their blog.

Open Atrium is also being translated into a number of different languages, which adds to its appeal.

Why Open Source

With Drupal as the backbone to Open Atrium, it is open sourced under GPL v. 2 b. Anything that isn't specifically Drupal, such as themes is open sourced under BSD. To keep all thing code safe, sane and public, Open Atrium source code is all stored on GIThub.

Development Seed believes that crowdsourcing new features will take Open Atrium to levels many other solutions haven't reached. Says the Open Atrium team: "We open sourced Open Atrium because we see it as a seed for something much larger — a community that makes great team communications tools. And it's working. Open Atrium is being translated in more than a dozen languages and several hundred people are growing its base of features."

The Roadmap

Open Atrium has an official roadmap that shows you where the company plans to take the solution. Version 1.0 stable shows the functionality they are working towards. Version 1.1 includes iPhone/mobile support, calendar enhancements and notifications. 

Other Shrubbery

Development Seed's solution sounds promising, but they're certainly not the only gang with their hands in the Drupal jar.

Pressflow from Four Kitchens is also a free, open source solution derived from the Drupal core. The tool is designed to enhance performance, scalability and data integrity. They have recently introduced direct download capability which should entice many more users to Pressflow 6.

And let's not forget Acquia, a member of the global Drupal community that provides all kinds of razzle dazzle for the web content management system. Most recently, they released the Drupal Stack (DAMP) Installer, a package that allows users to easily install the necessary components to get a Web CMS up and running.

Given that Open Atrium was downloaded 3,300 times in the first day alone, it looks like the solution is going to be a pretty viable alternative. Get your copy here.

What do you think? Will a big new solution from a relatively small guy be able to hold its own?

Drupal vs Joomla: Which CMS is Best?

Anyone trying to evaluate open source content management systems is aware that there aren't a lot of recent, useful comparative reviews. What's surprising is that this issue is true even for such popular solutions as Drupal and Joomla.

Stating in January that, "most comparisons of Drupal (site) and Joomla (site) conclude that you should select the one that best suits your needs. However, they give too little guidance about how to do that," Webology eBusiness Solutions set out to quantify the pros and cons of each by releasing a survey.

The Survey

The survey divided questions into five categories:

  1. Developers
  2. Documentation
  3. Performance/Functional Aspects
  4. Appearance
  5. Ease of Use/Learning

Users were classified by their response to "CMS most experienced with," with those answering "Not Applicable/Don't Know" to this question being removed from the analysis.

In general, the respondents were slanted a bit more toward Joomla users than Drupal users. Their roles when working with their respective CMS's break down to the largest group being Project Managers, and other large groups including Programmers and Designers. The Drupal users were, somewhat unsurprisingly, more experienced, with a median of 7 years experience in web development, while Joomla users claimed 5.

The Results

In general, there were a lot of responses that fit expectations.

Drupal Users Love Drupal, Joomla Users Love Joomla

Drupal users list the highest client satisfaction with Drupal, and Joomla users list the highest satisfaction of their clients with Joomla. Drupal developers feel that Drupal is easier for developers to learn, and Joomla users feel that Joomla is easier to learn. After all, if you already chose Drupal or Joomla, there was probably a reason you chose it at the time.

Drupal Better for Extensibility and Large Sites

Once you get down to slightly less biased issues, it gets more interesting.

Drupal users rate their CMS higher than Joomla users rated theirs in areas such as documentation (especially core and module documentation) and bugs (core and modules). Drupal users apparently feel that their add-ons integrate better with the core, and their framework makes it easier to extend their CMS's capabilities.

Drupal users also rated Drupal higher than Joomla users rated Joomla for their support of multimedia, social networking, SSL, forums, event calenders, blogging, document management, SSL, internationalization, user management and permission features (a huge gap of 40%), ease of external integration, the ease of developing large, complex web sites, and the quality of add-ons for enhancing functionality.

Joomla Easier for the Non-Geeks

However, Drupal didn't win in every aspect. Joomla users rated Joomla higher than Drupal users rated Drupal when it came to the ability for non-technical people to learn the CMS interface (another large gap), maintenance and upgrading, the ability to create a new and functioning site quickly, the ability to teach clients to use their CMS effectively, and their willingness to put time and money into improving poorly performing extensions.

Which Web CMS is Better?

Sorry, there's still no cut and dried answer, and for that matter, we don't even believe in the question.

If this survey proves anything, it's that the choice of Web CMS depends on what you're trying to do —  which is what we've been saying all along. At least now folks have a more quantifiable set of opinions to look at.

For the complete list of questions and responses, along with all of the numbers, see the Webology eBusiness Solutions blog

Drupal vs eZ Publish vs WordPress vs CMS Made Simple

As nearly every article we publish on the topic attests, there is no best CMS — there's only best fit given the context, if that. At the recent DrupalCamp in Helsinki Exove, a Finnish technical consulting company focused on open source solutions, presented their take on how to choose the best CMS given the client's project context.

They looked at 4 web content management systems: Drupal, WordPress, eZ Publish and CMS Made Simple.

Given the context, it's no surprise that their point of reference was Drupal. But what convinced us to mention the presentation was their concise yet useful take on how the 4 products differed and in what circumstances they encouraged the use of one versus another. Let's have a look.

Drupal vs. WordPress

WordPress has its strengths and Exove acknowledges this. What they point out is that the product excels in blogging scenarios and fares OK in the community and UGC areas.

WordPress, as they point out, is not meant for sophisticated or large corporate websites, nor is it terribly strong on the caching side. Lower implementation costs and simplicity were boons they noted for this option.

Drupal vs. CMS Made Simple

Simplicity is not what Drupal is best known for. CMS Made Simple obviously attempts to lay claim to this domain, and it does. The key themes for CMS Made Simple were low cost, ease of administration and ease of implementation.

It's not a product you want to extend much and it is not a good fit for multi-lingual environments. When requirements fit the CMS Made Simple features list well, this is when Exove goes with this option.

There are probably a number of well known Web CMS options that fit in at this level — barrier to entry is low, competition is healthy.

Drupal vs. eZ Publish

eZ Publish is a sophisticated content management system that is backed by a commercial entity, eZ Systems. When we look at the line-up that Exove has chosen, it's eZ and Drupal who we consider most competitive with one another.

eZ Publish Strengths

The strengths for eZ Publish include sophisticated caching, a flexible admin — either a simple toolbar approach to content management or a fully featured and extensible administrative back office, commercial support and the ability to more easily implement complex workflows (this is also an area of active development for eZ Publish).

A strong point for eZ Publish is the web publishing space. They company has invested considerable effort to meet the needs of online publishers and also has the eZ Flow add-on which gives sophisticated content controls to newsroom managers.

The downsides to eZ which Exove points out are that it is not as strong as Drupal with UCG or community features, that the product can be harder to extend and that the last release cycle was a bit slow.

For the most part, I'd say that these are fair criticisms. Though I know from my many conversations with eZ Systems that 2008 was a restructuring year for them, and they have now changed their release process such that it's locked on a 2x per year schedule.

Drupal Strengths

When does Exove choose Drupal over eZ Publish? The say often this is a client request — Drupal has better brand awareness. Other deciding factors are the level of UGC or community features required — Drupal is strong here — and the amount of customization required. On the customization side Drupal can win for 2 reasons.

For one, the huge body of contributed modules means rapid prototyping and/or implementation of new production ready features tends to be faster than with products that have a less energetic community. The second reason is just familiarity. If you have a dev team that knows one product or the other better, then customization is going to be faster with the better understood product and API.

Automated testing 2.1 deployed - contributed projects

After a lot of work, waiting, staging, and such I am proud to announce the addition of contributed projects to the automated testing system. Contributed projects may now take advantage of the same system that Drupal core developers have been using for over a year with great success. The deployment comes quickly after the recent 2.0 launch in late November of 2009. In addition to adding support for contributed project testing a number of other features have been added, most notably:

  • Coder and Coder Tough Love review support.
  • General e-mail notifications - the devlist mailing list will get an e-mail when Drupal core breaks.
  • A number of UI/workflow improvments on drupal.org.
  • Grouping of reviews by type or plugin to make room for a cleaner multiple database testing workflow.
  • Additional administrative tools for qa.drupal.org and testing clients.
  • Views RSS feed plugin for aggregation of test events and results.

For an example of the test results, please take a look at the current Drupal 7 (HEAD) results or one of our beta contributed project results, such as poormanscron.

What this means for contrib project maintainers

If you choose to enable automated testing on your project(s), you may take advantage of the system in a variety of ways. For those project maintainers that simply make commits without issues, the automated testing system will queue testing of the related branch after each commit. The results will be available on qa.drupal.org; in the future, they will be displayed on project pages. If maintainers choose to use a patch-based workflow and/or receive patches for their project(s), the patches will also be automatically tested.

Since the automated testing system checks for common problems like a patch failing to apply, PHP syntax errors, Drupal installation failure, or test failures, it makes it much quicker to weed out the bad patches from the good ones which, in turn, saves maintainers time. In addition, having the automated testing system helps ensure that any tests written for a project are run and thus increases the value of tests. By increasing the value of tests, we hope this will motivate developers to write tests for their projects.

Call to action

With the upcoming Drupal 7 release and the subsequent porting of projects to the new API, there is a great opportunity to write tests for modules as they are being ported to ensure that they remain functional. Since the automated testing system also supports testing in Drupal 6, tests can be written before a project is ported and then the same tests can be run in Drupal 7 until they pass, signifying that all functionality works again.

In the future, there are a number of enhancements planned for the system which will increase the benefits of writing tests. We hope the community as a whole sees the value in writing tests for contributed projects and takes advantage of the automated testing system to improve the overall quality of the Drupal codebase.

Beta stage

To ensure that everything is working well, the system will be restricted to selected contrib projects. During this beta stage, we will ensure that everything functions properly and that the test client network can handle the additional load. After making any necessary adjustments, we will open up the option to all contrib project maintainers. If you would like to have your project included in the beta stage, please comment on #689990: Contrib projects to be included in beta stage.

System limitations

In order to test all contrib projects, the system must determine the dependencies of each project in order to checkout that code when testing. Using the Drupal 6.x style .info files, this cannot be done with a 100% accuracy since no version information is included. As such, the current system will attempt to choose the "best release" for each dependency. The system will use the most recent development release with an accompanying stable release. This limiation does not exist with the Drupal 7.x API as the .info files can specify version restrictions, such as >=2.0.

Due to this limitation, certain projects with dependencies may not be tested properly for the time being.

To provide a common example of a dependency that will cause the system to fail, let's look at the current state of the Views project. The majority of projects will depend on the 2.xVviews API, but since there is now a stable views 3.x release (the alpha), the 3.x development release will be used for testing purposes. Consequently, any modules that depends on Views cannot be tested until this has been resolved.

The solution will most likely be a format for specifying version limitations as in Drupal 7 that does not break Drupal 6 compatibility. Once we have decided on the exact format and implemented the version checking into the dependency resolving algorithm, this problem should be fixed.

Donating test clients

Donating a test client has never been easier thanks to the AMI provided by Chapter Three. Simply deploy the AMI, request an account on qa.drupal.org, add the generated API key to the test client, and you're set. The system will automatically be tested to ensure everything is functioning properly, request tests from the testing master (qa.drupal.org), and report the results of each test.

With the addition of contributed projects, we will most likely require a few extra testing clients to keep up with the increased demand. Any donations of time or machines are appreciated. Please use the contact form on qa.drupal.org if you have any questions or concerns.

The Drupal.org Redesign Progress

Just a few years ago Drupal.org was maintained by a small team of insiders. Now, we are making major changes to the site using the community's many developers and themers.

This update provides the Drupal community our implementation redesign progress, where we've run into challenges, and provide information about our future plans.

The following update provides insight into:

  1. Our progress so far
  2. The present focus of the implementation and management team
  3. Where help is needed from the community

1. A Redesign Progress Report

The Drupal.org redesign is an effort started in 2007 to make Drupal.org meet the needs of the growing Drupal community and showcase the power of the Drupal software. In 2008, an exciting and visionary new design for Drupal.org was completed by Mark Boulton Design and the community.

In 2008 and 2009, members of the Drupal community participated in six redesign sprints in North America and Europe. As major features of the redesign began to take shape, we needed to work on more granular details of the implementation. Recreating staging environments locally for development teams is a serious challenge, so we created a hosted infrastructure for developers and themers. In late 2009, we began to seek companies from the Drupal community to sponsor individual sections of the redesign. We've now recruited over twenty volunteer organizations to help implement sections of the redesign built on top of the features developed by the Drupal.org infrastructure team.

There is a lot of visible progress on the Drupal.org redesign:

  • Site is fully upgraded to Drupal 6, making customizations easier.
  • Single sign-on for all drupal.org sites has been implemented.
  • Significant improvements to project module, with statistics, are complete.
  • New features like module recommendations and related discussions are now available.
  • The site now utilizes faceted search with the Solr search engine.

Additionally, much of the work associated with the base theme and the dashboard system has been completed.

Much of the back-end infrastructure that supports development is in place. This includes:

  • Ten staging sites for development are set-up.
  • Central authentication for SVN access for designers and developers to contribute their code has been built.
  • Automated deployment of themes and modules to staging sites for development and debugging is live.

The project management team is shaping up:

  • Kieran Lal (Amazon) continues to be Lead Manager, assisted by project managers Lisa Rex (lisarex), and Chris Strahl (chrisstrahl), who has recently joined the redesign team.
  • Dries Buytaert (dries), Drupal creator and project lead, is involved to review our progress and provide additional direction.
  • Damien Tournoud (DamZ) is providing technical assistance for the project, specifically with regards to search results and the Download and Extend pages that rely on Solr search results.
  • Todd Ross Nienkerk (toddross) and Aaron Stanush (astanush) are the base theme implementation leads. They are assisting in theme development and maintaining consistency in the overall style.
  • Bill O'Connor (csevb10) is now leading the Search results sections. He has already implemented the theme search results section.
  • Randy Fay (rfay) is the Lead Redesign System Admin and Jonathan Wagener (theamoeba) is the newest Redesign System Admin

Finally, the Project Management team has been busy:

  • We've identified a Minimum Viable Product (MVP), which consists of 22 major sections, to be implemented as the first phase of the redesign. The redesign project is a big undertaking, and we need to focus on we can realistically accomplish within a reasonable timeframe.
  • Drupal.org Redesign has it's own project and issue queue
  • Blue Cheese (the new base theme) has it's own project and issue queue
  • The redesign project managers and some community volunteers have spent the last week evaluating the implementation progress by assessing each section.
  • A communication plan has been introduced to complement the existing documentation.
  • There are a lot of new contributors on the implementation team. To address this, we are providing development infrastructure, granting access to new contributors, documenting tools and training materials, providing project management, and recruiting more technical leadership to help train these new contributors.

2. The Present Focus

The current plan is to implement the redesign with community volunteers and sponsoring companies. Implementers are hard-working volunteers that are dedicating time and energy to this process; taking time out of their already busy work schedules. The Drupal.org redesign project managers will continue to monitor progress on this approach and assist the implementers as we're able.

Participation and section status in the redesign is being tracked at Assignments and Contact Info. Progress on the implementation can be viewed by clicking on the section status links:

Weekly IRC sprints will start on Friday, Feb 12th from 11AM-11PM GMT in the #drupal-redesign channel until the MVP is ready. Everyone who is actively engaged in the redesign implementation should join in. The agenda is to focus on implementing the search results and Download and Extend sections.

Several sections only require modifications to their themes or content to be considered complete. In order to better facilitate reviewing and finalizing sections that near completion, the redesign infrastructure administrators will merge all of the code and theme work from the sponsored sections to a single site. This will allow progress to be assessed by the community and a dedicated quality assurance team. The merging will begin this week.

The project managers are engaged in the following:

  • Consolidating information from g.d.o., issue queues, domain experts, redesign documents, and email as the implementation teams provide feedback. This will be used to improve the documentation (how to implement the redesign and what the redesign will accomplish).
  • Chris and Damien will introduce an architecture document to explain how Drupal.org is built from Drupal core, project modules, Solr and custom modules, and a custom site specific drupal_org module.
  • Focusing our technical resources on two key areas: Search results, and Download and Extend sections. We believe that when the first Download and Extend section is implemented the other six sections which rely on the same search infrastructure can be completed quickly.
  • Duplicate issues will be consolidated and non-MVP issues will be postponed in the Redesign or base theme issue queues.

While not everything we want will be delivered by the first phase, we will have a solid framework in place and can incorporate additional community contributions and refinements after MVP completion.

3. Where Help is Needed

The Drupal.org redesign is a great opportunity for organizations and individuals to gain experience working on a large Drupal project, work with Drupal experts, and give back to the Drupal community. The redesign project needs volunteers with a willingness to dedicate themselves to the redesign, familiarity of the Drupal.org site and an understanding of how to work within the community.

Some tasks are more difficult than others. General difficulty of each area:

+++ = difficult
++ = medium
+ = easy

We need volunteers in specific areas. Contact us via the Drupal association contact form. Use the Volunteer to help with the Drupal.org redesign category. The project managers will match your skills, and availability to the project:

Develop Drupal search filters with Solr +++

  • We are looking for experienced developers who have written search filters for Drupal using Solr. Damien has implemented the core filters, but we need other experienced developers to assist the implementation teams.
  • Time commitment: 5+ hours per week.

Section Technical Leaders +++

  • Leaders for Download & Extend and Documentation sections needed.
  • Ideally, this person is already a redesign implementer. Skills needed are good written/spoken English, a willingness to work with a diverse group of people, excellent technical skills, experience leading a development team, and the ability to maintain organization of multiple teams working on multiple projects.
  • As a lead, you would become the point person for your section and monitor the section's issue queue. You need to understand all of the technical areas of your section to coordinate your implementation teams and see the section to completion.
  • Time commitment: 10+ hours per week.

General Project Managers ++

  • We need cat herders to help the general management of the project.
  • Skills needed are good written/spoken English, a willingness to work with a diverse group of people, excellent organizational and analytical skills, availability to meet with various project teams and experience creating project documentation.
  • Time commitment: 10+ hours per week.

Coders, themers and reviewers ++

  • Individuals can work on issues in the Redesign or Blue Cheese issue queues. Many of these issues require knowledge of the redesign, but there are also a lot where work can begin immediately.
  • Skills needed are good written/spoken English, a willingness to work with a diverse group of people, and an understanding of how to contribute within the Drupal community.
  • To contribute CSS or code patches, you'll need to read about how to obtain SVN access. Once you have worked on a Blue Cheese issue you can request access to the theme repository.
  • Time commitment: Varies (it's up to you!)

SEO ++

  • Skills needed include good written English, a good knowledge of HTML, and a keen eye for detail.
  • Please review the SEO Best Practices wiki before signing up. The tasks for this position are outlined there.
  • Time commitment: 5+ hours per week.

QA ++

  • Skills needed are good written English, a keen eye for detail, experience QAing front-end and back-end functionality of sites, taking screenshots and a willingness to work in the issue queues.
  • Please review the Redesign QA Volunteers wiki before signing up. The responsibilities of this position are outlined there.
  • Time commitment: 5+ hours per week.

Content Migration +

  • Skills needed are good written English and a keen eye for detail. Experience with managing and maintaining content on a Drupal site is also important.
  • Read the Content Migration Guidelines for an outline of what this position entails.
  • Time commitment: Varies

The Next Step

The new Drupal.org is an exciting new design, but also an exciting new way that the community can collaborate together to show the beauty and power of Drupal. We invite members of the Drupal community to learn more about their home, and get involved in improving it.

Sign up to volunteer via the Drupal association contact form.

Thank you,

On behalf of the redesign Project Team

Kieran, Lisa, Chris