We've all been waiting for it! After a year of development, Drupal 6 has finally been released. The general consensus among developers is that once CCK (nearly done) and Views (in progress) are complete, it will be ready for deployment on most sites. A large number of contributed modules depend on these two workhorses, which is why large chunks of CCK have been moved to core, and there is ongoing discussion around moving parts of Views there as well. Meanwhile, with Drupal 6 off their plates, developers are working around the clock to get your favorite modules ready for launch.
Boston DrupalCon is also around the corner. It would probably be enticing enough to attend just to hear Dries Buytaert's highly anticipated State of Drupal address (see last year's). But we have three stellar keynote speakers (Dries Buytaert, the original developer of Drupal; Chris Dibona, the open source program manager at Google; and Brian Aker, the director of architecture for MySQL)this year, and dozens of amazing presentations to choose from to create a rock solid line up.
With nearly a hundred volunteers, the Drupal Newsletter Team is committing itself to continue to bring high quality news and announcements from the world of Drupal. I have recently stepped up as an editor to help organize the effort, and we invite you to be part of this fantastic and dynamic group. March's newsletter is already in progress, so if you want to help contribute to that issue or join on an on-going basis, feel free to join us. We'd love to see your name in the bylines. As a sidenote, the Newsletter Team is also looking for a Druplicon mascot. We have a competition open at http://groups.drupal.org/node/8442, for any aspiring artists!
Note: This post assumes that you are aware of the Google Highly Open Participation Contest. If not, see that link.
UPDATE: Huge congratulations to our GHOP equally-as-awesome winners! Read about it on the Google Open Source Blog!
Also see the official GHOP grand prize winners announcement.
The GHOP contest officially ended on February 4, 2008. This contest was an absolutely amazing success, and resulted in a number of new contributors to the Drupal project. If you're interested in learning more about the contest, there was a recent Lullabot podcast about GHOP, and there will also be a session on GHOP at Drupalcon if you're interested in learning more about the program and what has been achieved in the past two months, and would like to talk to a few of the students face-to-face.
- Peter Cawley (Corsix) was selected as Drupal's GHOP grand prize winner, and will receive a paid travel to Google campus in Mountain View, California in early May, along with the GHOP winners from other projects. Peter completed a whopping 15 tasks, his greatest accomplishment being the creation of the awesome new Flexifilter module, which allows site builders to create custom input filters without having to write code and/or install a new module for each new filter. This module was envisioned by fellow GHOP student cwgordon7, and mentored by a Drupal contributor too young to take part in GHOP, dmitrig01. Way to go, Corsix!!! :D
- Peter will be accompanied on his trip to Google by Adam Light (aclight), who did a tremendous job handling the administration of the GHOP contest, as well as helping students and mentors alike with GHOP tasks.
- We'd also like to extend our congratulations to everyone who participated, including our equally-as-awesome winners, Charlie Gordon (cwgordon7), Edward Z. Yang (ezyang), Jimmy Berry (boombatower), Wilson Lee (kourge), and Dmitri G. (dmitrig01) (who was too young to participate in GHOP, but helped a lot with mentoring and administration, and so was named honorary winner :)).
- A total of 130 tasks were completed, ranging from new and upgraded modules, enhancements to existing modules, much-needed documentation, helpful videocasts, beautiful marketing materials, and more. Almost half of those were completed during the last month of the program.
- We had a total of 54 awesome student participants during the course of GHOP, of which 65% are brand new contributors who came to the Drupal project because of this contest. Amazing!
- The leaders in terms of raw task numbers were Corsix (15), boombatower (12), ezyang (10), cwgordon7 (9), and kourge (9), but we also benefited from several students who took on only a few tasks and knocked them out of the park. Most of our GHOP students are planning on remaining long-term contributors to the Drupal community. :)
- Thanks to everyone for all of the great community support we've received during this contest! Your help made it possible for these students to experience the power of an awesome open source community, and gave the community a big boost in the number of contributors.
What comes next, now that GHOP is over? DROP! Read on to find out more, and also to see a list of the tasks completed since our last status report.
The release of Drupal 6 isn't the only big news in February -- this week also marks the launch of a newly redesigned, Drupal-powered FastCompany.com! Fast Company Magazine has covered cutting edge business and tech industry news since the heady days of the early 90's, and the massive redesign of the magazine's site was a major undertaking for its publisher, Mansueto Digital.
The new site combines the magazine's print content with web-exclusive features, integrates the social features of Fast Company's long-running Company Of Friends business network, and gives members tools to filter through the web's river of news to find business topics they're interested in.
How was it built? Teams from Lullabot, Achieve Internet, Advomatic and Tree House Interactive worked together with Mansueto's internal development team to translate existing specs and wireframes into a working Drupal site. Views, CCK, BuddyList, and Organic Groups form the backbone of the site's structure, and a host of off-the-shelf contrib modules were used to add additional functionality. Examples include Views Fastsearch, used to build customized search screens for specific sections of the site, and the SimpleFeed module, which pulls in the content for each user's customizable news feed.
Download Drupal 6.0 After one year of development we are ready to release Drupal 6.0 to the world. Thanks to the tireless work of the Drupal community, over 1,600 http://drupal.org/project/issues?projects=3060&versions=97368,219510,216... --> issues have been resolved during the Drupal 6.0 release cycle. These changes are evident in Drupal 6's major usability improvements, security and maintainability advancements, friendlier installer, and expanded development framework. Further, from bug fix to feature request, these issues follow-through on the Drupal project's continued commitment to deliver flexibility and power to themers and developers.
Today, Drupal powers sites including the homepages of Warner Brothers Records, The New York Observer, Fast Company, Popular Science, and Amnesty International and project sites by SonyBMG, Forbes, Harvard University, and more. Drupal can be used to create personal weblogs (Tim Berners-Lee), deliver podcasts (TWIT.tv), connect online communities (SpreadFireFox.com), form artist collectives (Terminus 1525) or inform the masses (The Onion).
What will it take for Drupal to break through to be the most popular platform for websites? Drupal needs better marketing. Specifically Drupal needs more showcase sites and case studies to help evaluators understand what can be done with Drupal. We've already got a good list of case studies, success stories, featured sites, and a list of show case sites. To help rally the community, there will be a Drupal site showcase and case study contest at the upcoming Boston Drupalcon.
Even though we are all currently very excited about DrupalCon Boston 2008 the Drupal Association is planning ahead to help coordinate the following DrupalCon for the Fall/Winter of 2008 in Europe. We mention Europe specifically since that has become a bit of a tradition, but if anyone would like to organize a conference in another location please draft and submit a proposal.Request for Proposals
The Drupal Association is currently requesting proposals from aspiring DrupalCon organizers for the 2008 DrupalCon Europe. If you would like to organize a DrupalCon in your country please contact the association and submit a proposal that meets the criteria of the DrupalCon proposal guidelines
An evaluator at the usability lab reviews a site.
Eye tracking technology helps identify points of interest.
Heat maps indicate site usage patterns.
We are pleased to announce that the University of Minnesota Libraries are partnering with the Drupal development community on the first round of formal usability testing for the Drupal open source content management platform, to take place in February 2008.
- Testing will be conducted at the University's Office for Information Technology’s usability lab with the generous support of Usability Services.
- Seven Drupal community members, including project lead Dries Buytaert, will be on-site as members of the usability test team.
- Results will be presented at Drupalcon Boston, where we’ll discuss future directions indicated by the test results as well as next steps for further usability testing.
- To get involved or to learn more, see this post in the Usability Group.
Our goal is to provide the Drupal development community with a baseline picture of Drupal’s usability for common user tasks. In doing so, the University Libraries hope to improve user experience in a new generation of Drupal-based tools for discovering, managing, and sharing information.
Drupal 6 has been in a code freeze for more than 6 months and is almost ready to be released now. We're only a few bug fixes away from the first final Drupal 6.0 release. Therefore, I just created the DRUPAL-6 CVS branch for Drupal core. This means that while Drupal 6 is being finalized and we prepare for the Drupal 6.0 release, we'll also start accepting new features and improvements for Drupal 7, the next major version of Drupal.
For maximum effectiveness, feature requests for Drupal 7, should go in the the list of feature requests. In my State of Drupal presentation in Barcelona I hinted about what would be the killer Drupal 7 release according to a survey I conducted. While that list is not exclusive and nothing but a wishlist (not a deliverable), it might be worth a look if you want to help shape the future of Drupal.
We've lined up some incredible general session speakers. These guys rock, and hearing from them is reason enough by itself to come to Drupalcon.
Monday March 3: Dries Buytaert, Drupal Project Lead and Acquia CTO and his traditional "The State of Drupal" speech
Tuesday March 4: Chris DiBona, Google Open Source Program Manager
Wednesday March 5: Brian Aker, Director of Architecture at MySQL ABIncredible Momentum
Drupalcon Boston 2008 is shaping up to be the biggest and best Drupalcon ever. We crunched some numbers this week to compare the pace of registrations between Boston and Barcelona and found that registrations for Boston are running 50% higher than Barcelona at the equivalent stage of the registration cycle (~225 vs. ~150).ﾠ That's incredible momentum, and as long as we have the expected surge in registrations over the next two weeks we'll be in great shape to hit our goal of 500+ attendees.By Feb 11: Submit Your Session Proposal
Many great sessions have already been submitted. But not enough. So we're setting the session submission deadline for February 11 at 11 p. m. Eastern time (04:00 GMT). If you've been thinking about submitting a session, it's time to put fingers to keyboard and make it happen. And if you are expecting a specific session by a specific person but don't see it on the listings on the site, then please pester the presenter to get the session on the agenda.By Feb 18: Get Registered, Pay, and Book Hotel
If you haven't registered AND paid your fee (need to be logged in), then the time is now. We've reserved a bunch of hotel rooms at discounted rates. But they go away on February 18 - we can't expect the hotel to hold them forever. So if you want to get a great room at a great rate, you need to get moving.
With Drupal 6.0 around the corner and after a 6 month code freeze, it is time for us developers to start talking about the next version of Drupal. If you plan to work on something, or if you are going to contribute to Drupal in one way or another, please share your "personal battle plan" in the comments. A "personal battle plan" is a summary or itemized list of things you are going to work on in the next couple months.Important guidelines
In this thread, we are only interested in what you plan to contribute, and not what you'd like other people to work on. Please, do NOT post personal wishlists and refrain from theorizing or sharing your grand vision. This is not the place to request features, to talk about implementation details or to discuss Drupal's general direction. This thread is meant to be a collection of things people are actually going to work on. If you are not going to contribute, don't post any comments. Comments that violate these guidelines, in part or in full, will be deleted. Thanks for your understanding.
The first beta announcement provided a comprehensive list of high level improvements made since Drupal 5.x, so in this announcement we'll concentrate on how you can help ensure that Drupal 6 is released as soon as possible and is as rock solid as the previous Drupal releases that you've grown to love!
Several Drupal developers are meeting February 4-6, 2008 in Chicago to work on and re-design Drupal's core data architecture. Topics will include data APIs, object modeling, fields in core, and an overlapping swirl of related ideas. Our goal is to have a design proposal for presentation at DrupalCon Boston 2008.
After Drupalcon (March 3-6 at the Boston Convention & Expo Center), the Drupal Association is hosting an all day code sprint at MIT on Friday March 7. All registered attendees are welcome. See below for details.What’s a code sprint
A code sprint is a gathering of a bunch of programmers to complete a short, rapid development project. It allows developers from different countries and companies to work together and learn from each other. Most importantly, it’s a fun event where we can make some impressive advances for Drupal.
We’re all meeting in a big room, where we’ll code and talk smack until we get kicked out. Come chat with long-time Drupalers to learn from their experience.
In their release note, the Joomla! developers remark that
The next phase offers the opportunity to bring together the code created, lessons learned, and momentum gained, to build something truly great. It took us tens of thousands of hours, thousands of revisions, and hundreds of people to get to this point. It has been a remarkable journey filled with fun, discovery, and enlightenment where everyone has something to offer and anyone can contribute.
I don't think we could have said it better ourselves! And, with the release of Drupal 6 right around the corner, I'm sure we all know exactly how proud they are of a job well done.
As our Joomla! friends have said before, we're friends with common goals, and we are all on the same side. We both value PHP, MySQL, GPL licenses, community based collaboration, open standards, accessibility, low-resource requirements, ease of use, and an extensible and modular design. And, ultimately, we all agree that open source matters.
Last year was one of the most exciting years for Drupal. We saw Drupal 5 mature into the powerful engine that it now is, and have spent the last few months anxiously awaiting the release of Drupal 6. The user base of Drupal.org has grown exponentially, to about 250,000 registered members presently, with about a thousand new users registering every day. The Drupal Association is positioning itself as a leader for the Drupal community, and has recently held its first General Assembly. We held the largest Drupalcon to date in Barcelona in the fall, and this spring we have the chance to do even better with Drupalcon Boston.
Contributed modules for Drupal have been phenomenal as well. In addition to the ongoing improvement of the basics such as CCK and Views, we have witnessed such ground-breaking contributions as Embedded Media Field (integrating third party media providers as node fields), Ubercart and a new-and-improved Ecommerce, and the newly released Theme Developer (touted as Firebug for Drupal).
Drupal has also come into its own on the Internet, and we are witnessing a revolution in the works. Drupal is being used for countless blogs, social networking sites, corporate and non-profit sites, ecommerce, and more.
MySQL AB and KernelTrap.org's Jeremy Andrews are partnering up to offer an online presentation titled "Achieving Optimal MySQL Performance For Drupal". Aiming to provide a better understanding of how to properly monitor and tune your MySQL database, the online Webinar will take place on Thursday, January 31st, 2008, at 16:00 UTC (11:00 am EST). The presentation will last 45 minutes, followed by 15 minutes for questions and answers. You can sign up for the free event here.
The presentation will offer insights into understanding your database's current performance. It will start by detailing some recommended methods for monitoring MySQL, measuring performance and isolating bottlenecks. Next, MySQL storage engines will be briefly discussed, offering tips on choosing between MyISAM and InnoDB. Finally, the talk will offer concrete details on how to actually optimize MySQL for improving Drupal performance.
The Boston Drupal conference will have tracks, planned sessions, as well as sessions from the community. We had 31 Drupal sessions at OSCMS, and 93 sessions at Barcelona. While both of these conferences were highly successful, this year the conference organizers are aiming to raise the bar even higher in terms of session quality.
- Business and marketing track
- Design and user experience track
- Site building track
- Community and core
I’ve been showing off this module privately, but it is now time to broadcast the news. Drupal theming has taken a major leap forward. Watch the screencast. Let me be the first to welcome a thousand terrific new designs and designers to our project.
The new module is called Theme developer and it can be downloaded as part of the devel project. We have built Firebug for Drupal Theming. You may now click on any part of the page and a sexy popup display shows which theme function/template outputted the HTML, and what other files could have done so. Armed with this info, a themer may quickly and accurately override the presentation. Further, all the variables passed into the template/function are presented for review.Watch the screencast
- The basic idea of the module is that it uses hook_theme_registry_alter() to make itself receive all theme calls. Thus, it logs all the variables that are received and the templates that could have been called, and were eventually called, and so forth. It finally delegates to the original theme function for generating the HTML. Finally, it takes the generated HTML and wraps it in span tags in order to identify what HTML belongs to what theme call. Those span tags get classes attached for the red border that follows the cursor.
- In order to receive the same drill down behavior as in the screencast for the variables listing, you should install krumo. See the README file.