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Groups.Drupal.org Update: New maintainers and plans for Drupal 7

ma, 04/16/2012 - 20:35

Back in 2009, Groups.Drupal.Org (GDO) went through a major transition including upgrading from Drupal 5 to Drupal 6, a redesign, and adding new maintainers. We are currently in the process of a similar transition. The site has already gone through a redesign, and as we make plans to transition to Drupal 7, we will also be moving to new maintainers for the next year.

Making it easier to contribute to GDO

Between the Drupal Association’s initiative to improve *.drupal.org, the community brainstorming on site improvements, and feature requests in the Groups.Drupal.Org issue queue, there is clearly a lot of interest in making improvements to GDO. However, for folks who want to roll up their sleeves and help by filing a patch, the path to replicating GDO for development purposes hasn’t always been clear. As a strategy for making it easier for anyone in the Drupal community to file a patch and streamlining maintenance efforts for the site, we have proposed that GDO will run the Commons distribution of Drupal for Drupal 7. Of course, this means that improvements made to GDO benefit sites powered by Drupal Commons and vice-versa, that generic improvements to Commons will benefit GDO.

New maintainers: Meet Ezra, Scott, and Justin

Helping with this transition, Ezra Gildesgame (ezra-g), maintainer of Drupal Commons, is also now a maintainer of groups.drupal.org. Ezra is the technical lead for Drupal distributions at Acquia, has been contributing to Drupal for over 5 years, and also maintains the Conference Organizing Distribution (COD).

Our other new Groups.Drupal.Org maintainers are Scott Reynen (sreynen) and Justin Toupin (justin2pin) from Aten Design Group. Scott is Lead Developer at Aten and has been contributing to Drupal for over 5 years, including helping to organize the Denver group on GDO. Justin Toupin is CEO at Aten, and has been leading the organization’s involvement in Drupal since version 4.7.

Getting involved: How you can make GDO better

This process of upgrading Groups.Drupal.Org is an especially good time to get involved by joining a few different groups and queues:

Note that Ezra, Scott, and Justin have agreed to work on the site for at least a year. If you think you might want to take over in a year, the best way to do that is to get involved working on the site in these issue queues.

Thanks, Greg & Josh!

This is also a great opportunity to thank Greg Knaddison (greggles) and Josh Koenig for their help maintaining Groups.Drupal.Org over the past few years. Josh and Greg found they were too busy with other projects unrelated to community site building which made it harder to find time for GDO (Josh building Pantheon and Greg working with Acquia’s Profesional Services Security Group and the Drupal Security Team). Greg and Josh hope that transitioning to people who spend more of their lives working on community sites will help GDO be an even more valuable collaboration platform for our community.

Groups.Drupal.org Update: New maintainers and plans for Drupal 7

ma, 04/16/2012 - 20:35

Back in 2009, Groups.Drupal.Org (GDO) went through a major transition including upgrading from Drupal 5 to Drupal 6, a redesign, and adding new maintainers. We are currently in the process of a similar transition. The site has already gone through a redesign, and as we make plans to transition to Drupal 7, we will also be moving to new maintainers for the next year.

Making it easier to contribute to GDO

Between the Drupal Association’s initiative to improve *.drupal.org, the community brainstorming on site improvements, and feature requests in the Groups.Drupal.Org issue queue, there is clearly a lot of interest in making improvements to GDO. However, for folks who want to roll up their sleeves and help by filing a patch, the path to replicating GDO for development purposes hasn’t always been clear. As a strategy for making it easier for anyone in the Drupal community to file a patch and streamlining maintenance efforts for the site, we have proposed that GDO will run the Commons distribution of Drupal for Drupal 7. Of course, this means that improvements made to GDO benefit sites powered by Drupal Commons and vice-versa, that generic improvements to Commons will benefit GDO.

New maintainers: Meet Ezra, Scott, and Justin

Helping with this transition, Ezra Gildesgame (ezra-g), maintainer of Drupal Commons, is also now a maintainer of groups.drupal.org. Ezra is the technical lead for Drupal distributions at Acquia, has been contributing to Drupal for over 5 years, and also maintains the Conference Organizing Distribution (COD).

Our other new Groups.Drupal.Org maintainers are Scott Reynen (sreynen) and Justin Toupin (justin2pin) from Aten Design Group. Scott is Lead Developer at Aten and has been contributing to Drupal for over 5 years, including helping to organize the Denver group on GDO. Justin Toupin is CEO at Aten, and has been leading the organization’s involvement in Drupal since version 4.7.

Getting involved: How you can make GDO better

This process of upgrading Groups.Drupal.Org is an especially good time to get involved by joining a few different groups and queues:

Note that Ezra, Scott, and Justin have agreed to work on the site for at least a year. If you think you might want to take over in a year, the best way to do that is to get involved working on the site in these issue queues.

Thanks, Greg & Josh!

This is also a great opportunity to thank Greg Knaddison (greggles) and Josh Koenig for their help maintaining Groups.Drupal.Org over the past few years. Josh and Greg found they were too busy with other projects unrelated to community site building which made it harder to find time for GDO (Josh building Pantheon and Greg working with Acquia’s Profesional Services Security Group and the Drupal Security Team). Greg and Josh hope that transitioning to people who spend more of their lives working on community sites will help GDO be an even more valuable collaboration platform for our community.

/drupalgive initiative

ma, 04/09/2012 - 15:35

Hi friends. I'm hoping that you'll support another Drupal community initiative that I've recently dreamed up. All you have to do is add a /drupalgive page to your organization's web site.

Two organizations have published already at http://www.acquia.com/drupalgive and http://www.chapterthree.com/drupalgive. These pages are based on a design by Nica Lorber of Chapter Three. Feel free to reuse this design or just publish a plain listing page. It is better to publish a plain page than none at all. Or use the Feature at http://drupal.org/project/drupalgive.

A /drupalgive page highlights the great work that your organization is doing for the Drupal project. Not only does your organization receive credit for the work you do, but we also nudge other organizations to give back as well. I expect that employees and potential hires from non-contributing organizations will start demanding to give back. This initiative gives those folks something to point to when advocating and educating inside their organization.

Here are examples of appropriate and inappropriate items for a /drupalgive page:

  1. A podcast educating folks about great Contrib modules.
  2. A link to a significant patch review or commit on drupal.org.
  3. A blog post about Drupalish wireframe templates that anyone can use.
  1. An announcement about your latest site launch (even whitehouse.gov).
  2. A new video was added to your commercial video subscription service.
  3. New features for your paid Drupal hosting service.

Your /drupalgive page should also emit an RSS feed at /drupalgive/rss. We'll add your feed to the new Planet Drupalgive (page, RSS). To get added to the feed, follow the Drupal Planet process. Lastly, please include a link to http://drupal.org/project/drupalgive so that folks can learn more about the initiative.

One simple way to build a /drupalgive page is to add a 'drupalgive' term to your site taxonomy and tag posts with it. Alias the term detail page to /drupalgive and you are done. An alternative is to create a dedicated content type for these entries and a simple View at /drupalgive will show the listing.

Please comment below and lend your support or provide other input.

UX Team Q1 2012 update

di, 04/03/2012 - 21:29

Bojhan Somers and Roy Scholten are the Drupal UX Team leads.

We believe that Drupal 8 User Experience needs a lot of work to truly make all users of Drupal love what they are working with. We believe that by improving core, we improve the entire Drupal experience for everyone.

How are we doing this? By working with core initiatives, providing ideas, sketches, wireframes, detailed designs, and actively engaging in discussion. D7UX taught us a lot of hard lessons, we now know how to communicate our design rationale more clearly, maintain a UX vision throughout the maze of issues, and empower developers.

What are we working on? We are working on a few initiatives; mobile, blocks & layouts, multilingual and leading a lot of smaller efforts around improving our content authoring and site building experiences.

Drupal 8 design progress so far Content creation

Our content creation experience is still far from being great, but we have been improving the content creation experience from all angles. We have received lots of feedback on our proposals, and iterated with the community on various parts of this experience.

We have now finalized most of our research activities and we want to start implementing a few of our major ideas. For this to happen, we need developers who want to improve this part of core.

There are two very actionable issues at #1510532: Implement the new create content page design and #1510544: Actual preview of content for you to help out on!

Blocks & Layouts

The blocks & layout initiative started by EclipseGC focuses on solving the messy experience of placing parts (blocks, views, panes) on the page. We believe this can be fundamentally better if we tackle it in core. This initiative will allow us to arrange and organize blocks into flexible layouts through a drag and drop interface. This initiative has many UX components, from finding the right blocks, to selecting the context, to creating mobile layouts.

We have done a lot of research the past few months to understand the space we are designing for. It’s incredibly complex, but will be a huge win if we can provide a great solution straight out of the box.

We will need help from everyone; developers, designers, user researchers, end users and business owners! Become part of the discussion in the Drupal 8 Blocks & Layouts everywhere initiative group.

UX team activities

UX team bi-weekly office hours

We started to hold bi-weekly UX "office hours" (next one will take place 16 April, 20:00 UTC, 4PM NYC, 4 AM Tuesday Singapore/Shanghai), where we will discuss recent activities of the team but also review contributed modules. This has resulted in modules such as Taxonomy Acces Control making major improvements.

UX team activity

The team has been busy in Q1 2012:

  • Becky Gessler, Garen Checkly and Jen Lampton conducted a usability study at the Google offices, resulting in a detailed findings report and Drupalcon Denver core conversation talk on how to solve it.
  • Lisa Rex, Dharmesh Mistry (dcmistry), Erik Stielstra (sutha), Alexander Ross (bleen18) have done a total of 22 interviews about how people use the module page.
  • Lewis Nyman has been working hard on designing Drupal’s mobile interface, resulting in interesting discussions around navigation, principles and actual implementation of ideas in the mobile issue queue.
  • Roy Scholten (yoroy) has presented on Core product: 3 is the magic number and organised several sprints around UX at Drupalcon. There was also a BoF.
  • Jared Ponchot has been contributing design proposals, to our effort to redesign the content creation page.
  • Kristjan Jansen (kika), Jeff Noyes (Noyz) and Kevin O'Leary (tkoleary), Michael Keara (UserAdvocate) have put out various ideas around media UX, creating UI standards for add/edit flows, optimizing the content listing and research for the Blocks & layout initiative.

We have also released our ideas around redesigning the module page, adding a project browser to core, adding search everywhere, draft revisions and much more in the usability issue queue!

We need your help!

We need volunteers:

  • Developers who can help us with the PHP, CSS or JS parts of these changes.
  • New and experienced UX designers to work on the new features that we want to introduce in Drupal 8.
  • A project manager who can help break down tasks, coordinate contributors, update blog posts and issues, and help the UX team & leads focus more on UX.

If you're interested in becoming a contributor to the UX Team in one of the roles above, contact Bojhan Somers and/or Roy Scholten.

You can find us in in the usability group, contact us directly by e-mail (or drupal.org contact form), join us on IRC in #drupal-usability, or find us in person at Frontend United.

The cool stuff we're working on

Still not sure? We we love a lot more help to pursue all these crazy ideas within the next 7 months:

  • Improving the content creation experience. Discussion take place in our design proposal, and implementation is taking place in #1510532: Implement the new create content page design
  • Layouts & Blocks initiative, building a drag & drop editor where you can place components, build layouts and manage pages. Discussions take place in the Layouts & Blocks group.
  • Mobile administration, Drupal 8 should be great to use on any phone help us in making the administration mobile friendly. Discussions are taking place in the Mobile group


- Bojhan and Roy

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Documentation Team 1st Quarter 2012 Update

do, 03/29/2012 - 18:39

Hello from Jennifer, your friendly Drupal Documentation Team leader! It’s time for a quarterly update on what’s happening in the Documentation team.

First off, I just want to remind everyone that I’m still planning to step down as Documentation Team Leader at the end of 2012. If you’re interested in becoming the co-leader or assistant leader now, and taking over at the end of 2012 as the main team leader, see http://groups.drupal.org/node/203258 for more information. It would be good to find someone soon!

  • The Documentation Team is currently holding weekly "Documentation Office Hours"—one-hour IRC meetings on Tuesday afternoon (North American time), open to anyone for questions and discussions about contributing to documentation. This schedule is likely to change soon; join the discussion about a new time for office hours.
  • The API documentation cleanup sprint from last quarter has continued into this quarter. The goal is to bring the Drupal 7 and 8 core API documentation much more in line with our documentation standards. To join in, visit the issue page.
Milestones and Accomplishments
  • Lots of content was updated on Drupal.org this quarter. Of particular note:
    • There used to be a "Community and Support" link in the top navigation of Drupal.org; now there are separate Community and Support links, and the Support page has been completely redone (a redesign of the Community page is also in the plans). Hopefully this will help people new to Drupal connect with the help they need to get started. Thanks to Lisa Rex, David Hernandez, and others for making this happen!
    • The Omega theme project organized a group to update the Omega section of the Community Documentation.
    • The Media module project organized a group to update the Media documentation.
    • An effort is underway to create a Mobile section in the documentation.
    • We started a New Contributor Tasks section on Drupal.org. This is a place where people new to contributing to Drupal can go to find meaningful and doable tasks to start with. If you have ideas for the section, there’s a page describing how to add to it (with templates), and a suggestions page too.
    • 712 different contributors made a total of 3976 revisions to documentation pages on Drupal.org. Wow! (I have a new statistics page that totals this up). Apologies if your project didn't make it into the list above -- there's a lot going on and I can't keep track of it all!
  • Neil Drumm and I (with the help of other patch contributors) are continuing to make updates to the software for http://api.drupal.org. This quarter, there were major improvements to the linking and references features of the site -- check it out if you haven't been there lately! If you would like to work on the API module, check out the issue queue (http://drupal.org/project/issues/api) or find jhodgdon in IRC to get oriented.
  • I was given permission to commit Drupal Core 7/8 documentation and coding standards patches in February, and to help out in case of "Core Is Broken!!" emergencies. Hopefully this will lessen the burden on Angie, Nat, and Dries, freeing them up to concentrate on bugs that improve the Drupal software functionality.
Docs Infrastructure

Last year, the Docs Team (or at least its leadership) got a bit discouraged about Documentation infrastructure improvements taking quite a while to get deployed to Drupal.org. But now there's a new process for getting improvements deployed, and Neil Drumm is working on them with hours funded by the Drupal Association. So, I'd like to get us working on improvements to "docs infrastructure" (tools, navigation, etc. for Drupal documentation writers and users) again.

I started working on that this quarter, and several small things were deployed. That went well, so there are now more in progress. Two that we hope to get done soon are a Docs Team effort to have better navigation for Community Docs, and LoMo's project to replace the Books page with a content type/View. Join in the discussion and/or help out!

And as a preview, this summer I would like to really get working on the "curated docs" we've been talking about for a year or more... Watch http://groups.drupal.org/documentation-team for updates!

Next Steps

If you're interested in helping with Drupal documentation:

ioby.org - microfinance site powered by Drupal Commerce

vr, 03/23/2012 - 18:59
Why Drupal was chosen:  Ioby worked with New Signature to develop the new site, using Drupal 7 as the platform. The previous site, while Drupal-based, was extremely limited in scope and functionality, and needed to be reworked. Drupal 7 provided a powerful and flexible platform that answered ioby’s need for a robust e-commerce and collaborative social community solution. New Signature developed the ioby Drupal 7 website to be fast, responsive and handle huge amounts of traffic. Completed Drupal site or project URL:  http://ioby.org/

ioby — short for "In Our Backyards" — is a social microfunding web service that connects people and money to site-based environmental projects (presently only in the New York City area). All of the projects funded through ioby are conceived, designed, and run by neighbors.

Describe the project (goals, requirements and outcome):  The new site provides a five step process to empower visitors to help make a difference: <ol> <li>pick a project</li> <li>nurture it through funding</li> <li>follow the results</li> <li>get your hands dirty and inspire others</li> <li>prepare for great things</li> </ol> The optional sixth step is “rinse and repeat.” Modules Key modules used:  Drupal Commerce Google Maps v3 Why these modules were chosen:  The ioby website heavily leverages Drupal Commerce. New Signature utilized Drupal Commerce to present a simplified and streamlined donation process to the visitor, empowering users to easily move from project selection through checkout and payment. We further extended the Drupal platform through the use of contributed and custom modules, such as the Google Maps tool to provide visualization of projects on the site. Community contributions: 

A few key parts of the application built for ioby hadn’t been tried using Drupal 7 or, more importantly, Drupal Commerce previously. Because the site is donation-centric and needed to accept donations of any amount, the first challenge was to make a product to place in the cart that didn’t have a set price associated with it. In order to do this, the systems created the product "on the fly" as the donation is placed into the cart. The second challenge was to create a system that allowed users to also give a 20% gratuity directly to ioby. The third challenge was to enable sponsors to match the donation amount as part of a campaign for matching funds for a project.

The first challenge was handled by using a simple form that allows the user to enter the amount of the donation they want to give to a project. This form submit creates a new commerce product using the Entity API system. The product is instantiated and customized with the donation amount, and then placed into the cart. Each product in the Commerce module requires a unique SKU, so the system generates one based on the user's name, the project title, and a date reference to assure no products are duplicated.

For the second challenge, gratuity was at first going to be a tax type in the Commerce system. However, one of the requirements was to also give the user the ability to remove the gratuity if they felt that they didn’t want to cover the costs for it — a feature Commerce doesn't support with tax (for obvious reasons). To enable that ability, the gratuity is a line item (re)calculated every time the cart is updated. Once again we used the Entity API to generate a new product, and this time the gratuity type that has an individual SKU, and a price that is a percentage of the order total. Another custom feature we added was to show a popup message when a user removes the gratuity, explaining to them the importance of gratuity for ioby. Since the view doesn’t discriminate between the different line items, it was necessary to use some jQuery to handle this feature.

For the third challenge - giving corporations and sponsors the ability to match the donation amount – we couldn’t just add line items to the donation (like how user-submitted donations are handled) as this would change the donor information. Instead, we had to add a new panel to the checkout process that let the donator know that the sponsor was helping the cause as well. The sponsor was tied to the project by campaign node, using the new Drupal 7 database API to make direct calls to the database and tie the sponsor, campaign, project and donation together. Once the bond is created, a donation match is created and funds are applied to the project without charging the user.

Organizations involved:  New Signature Commerce Guys

DrupalCon Munich is around the corner: call for papers and registration open

do, 03/22/2012 - 22:03

As announced on stage at DrupalCon Denver, we have just opened the Call for Papers for DrupalCon Munich 2012, as well as keynotes, call for trainings, scholarships, and registration. The Drupal Association and the Munich DrupalCon committee have been preparing for the next DrupalCon for months now. Things will move into high gear once DrupalCon Denver closes its doors, later this week.

Announcing ...

Keynote speakers

DrupalCon Munich announces three keynotes by open source and industry visionaries, including Dries Buytaert - the founder of the Drupal project talking about the future of Drupal on Tuesday, August 21; Anke Domscheit-Berg, a renowned expert in open government and open data, speaking on Tuesday, August 22; and Fabien Potencier, CEO of SensioLabs and founder of the Symfony project speaking on Wednesday, August 23.

Call for papers

Your contribution is needed! Come to Munich and share your expertise with the most amazing open source community in the world. Submit your session ideas at http://munich2012.drupal.org/call-for-papers

Early Bird registration opens today!

Registration for DrupalCon Munich is now open. The special early-bird rate is €350 for the first 300 tickets, after that the price is €400 until June 15, and 475 until July 31. Late registration after this date until August 17 will be €525. On-site registration will be €575. The is a limited number of tickets available at a rate of €200 for students and non profit organisations (all prices inclusive of VAT). Register now at http://munich2012.drupal.org/register.

Call for trainings

The Drupal project needs more contributors, site builders, users, and developers. We’re looking to cover the gamut from beginner to highly advanced trainings. Trainers and training companies, submit your trainings now! http://munich2012.drupal.org

Scholarship applications are now open

Drupal is for everyone and everyone can enrich the project. If you would like to come to DrupalCon Munich but cannot afford the cost, a limited number of scholarships will be available. Submit your application at http://munich2012.drupal.org/

Keep up-to-date with all things Drupalcon Munich; follow @DrupalCon on Twitter.

-- Florian Lorétan (floretan) and Karsten Frohwein (kars-t), co-chairs of DrupalCon Munich

The Google Summer of Code is Back for 2012!

di, 03/20/2012 - 18:18

Some of Drupal's Summer of Code success stories include:

Angela Byron (webchick) the Drupal 7 co-maintainer, Director of Community Development at Acquia, a Google-O'Reilly Open Source Hall of Famer and a Drupal Association board member. She originally got her start in Drupal writing Quiz module for GSoC 2005. Sumit Kataria, started as a GSoC student back in 2009 working on OAuth module, and now not only is one of the foremost experts in the Drupal community on mobile (look for his mobile apps for DrupalCon Denver in an app store near you!), but co-manages Drupal's involvement in GSoC. He works as a Drupal consultant with companies like CivicActions and Lullabot. Bojan Zivanovic (bojanz) became a preeminent contributor to views and contributed to EntityFieldQuery for Drupal 7. Gábor Hojtsy, the co-maintainer of Drupal 6, and the Initiative Lead for the Drupal 8 Multilingual Initiative worked over GSoC in 2006 to get i18n in Drupal core in Drupal 6. He is now an engineer for Acquia. Jimmy Berry (boombatower) was instrumental in the development of Drupal's automated testing framework, and he and his father Jim Berry (solotandem) were the first Google Summer of Code father/son team! :) They both offer testing-related services at http://boombatower.com. Lin Clark (linclark) created SPARQL Views, making it possible to query SPARQL endpoints from Views, as part of GSoC 2010. Her demonstrations of Linked Data capabilities in Drupal have been published on IBM Developer Works. She is now an independent consultant working data publishing and consumption using Drupal.

So if you're:

  • a post-secondary student looking for an exciting project with a thriving development community and tons of smart people you can work with
  • an existing Drupal contributor who happens to be attending college/university and would love a chance to get paid over the summer to work on the "Next Big Drupal Thing"
  • a seasoned Drupal developer with some time over the summer, who'd truly enjoy mentoring and helping the next generation of contributors make Drupal the best that it can be
  • a Drupal community member who might not have the time or coding experience to mentor, but knows where to find resources and enjoys helping others find them.
  • someone with a great project idea for an improvement in Drupal that would be perfect for a student to work on over the summer
  • a Drupal evangelist who wants to help grow the community by actively engaging students

...then there's something for you in Summer of Code! Read on to find out more.

Prospective Students

If you have enthusiasm the drive to work on something great, now is the time for you to get started! Subscribe to the Google Summer of Code group, look over the developer's guide and API reference, stop by Core Office hours and take on some new contributor tasks, find a Drupal event near you to get to know Drupal's amazing community, and take on a few bite-sized tasks in the Novice Issue Queue.

Most importantly, start thinking about your project proposal! Prior to submitting your application, stop by #drupal on irc.freenode.net or post your project ideas to the Summer of Code 2012 group to get community feedback. Your chances of getting into Summer of Code increase if the community has the opportunity to review your ideas and offer feedback to help you in improving your project idea.

We have already started accepting applications. For more tips, students should check out the Student Template Page.


Please sign up to be a mentor if you have either experience with Drupal development or expertise in a particular area of interest (for example, newspapers, education...) and have some free time from now until the end of August.

To become a mentor,  join the Drupal SoC-2012 group and the sign up on Google's SoC mentor web app (now known as Melange). Please describe who you are, what your level of Drupal experience is, and your motivation for being a mentor. Your application will be reviewed by SoC admins (Chx, SumitK).

You can go through Advice for mentors page to find more tips on mentoring students.

The more mentors we have, the more students we can get in, and the more exciting projects of varying types we can accept.

Community members

Great project ideas are vital to attracting both great students and great mentors. If you've ever thought "if Drupal could be...", now is the time to turn it into a project idea. The project should be feasible for a Drupal-novice developer student to achieve in a 3-month time frame. Suggest a SoC project idea in the SoC 2012 group or help elaborating already proposed ideas

In addition, you can help review the existing SoC project ideas by providing students and other community members with feedback. Community members are in the best position to help students understand the finer intricacies of existing modules, and help their energies to meet the the priorities of the Drupal project.

To help the new Drupal family members, we need some existing community members to be active in #drupal-contribute on irc.freenode.net to answer student questions, point them to the correct resources, and people with expertise.

If you think this sounds like fun, be sure to get on to IRC!

Symantec Connect Case Study

di, 03/20/2012 - 05:39
Why Drupal was chosen: 

After considering the landscape of both proprietary and open-source solutions, Symantec decided to use Drupal as a foundation for their community initiative. Symantec recognized Drupal to be offering:

  • a wealth of out of the box CMS and social media features and functionality
  • the ability to scale for high usage sites
  • the theme and development flexibility to customize the user experience quickly without the typical lag they had experienced requesting new features from proprietary vendors
  • a recognized developer community from which to draw quality development talent

Symantec’s internal UX team even installed and configured rough prototypes in Drupal leveraging the vast library of existing contrib modules to experiment with various use cases for the upcoming project. This ability to rapidly create functional prototypes further cemented the choice of Drupal as the platform for development.

Completed Drupal site or project URL:  http://www.symantec.com/connect/

Symantec Connect is an enterprise class, community-driven, social business support and information portal for Symantec products, offering users of Symantec’s deep catalog of applications and services a platform to interact with one another and Symantec employees through rich web-based tools. Connect enables the rapid publishing of information about the day-to-day use of Symantec products through key community-centric features which facilitate the customer’s ability to:

  • Ask the community for help with issues and flag solutions when they are posted for easy discovery in the forums
  • Suggest and vote on product enhancements
  • Publish helper applications and scripts as community downloads
  • Publish user-submitted screencast videos for enhanced knowledge sharing
  • Build online/offline product centric user groups with events, private content publishing and messaging in the groups
  • Keep up with content on a variety of topics within the IT and security-related fields through articles and blog entries
  • Enjoy a highly qualified community experience enabled by a suite of Symantec employee moderation, organization, and publishing controls.

All of these features also empower Symantec employees to quickly publish official versions of forum discussions, blog entries, articles, events, downloads, and videos while moderating and vetting content, helping steer the community in the right direction.

Describe the project (goals, requirements and outcome): 

A Brief History

Symantec, founded in 1982, is one of the world's largest software companies with more than 17,500 employees in more than 40 countries. The company provides both security and storage and systems management solutions. Their customer base includes consumers, small businesses, and some of the world's largest global organizations. The company's phenomenal growth can be attributed to a combination of market acceptance and strategic acquisitions.

In early 2008, Symantec's Customer Experience team began crafting a roadmap designed to consolidate several existing support and discussion sites into a consistent, best-of-breed community offering. The goals of this consolidation were to:

Give Symantec customers a single point of contact where they could engage with the company's support, marketing, and product management teams,
Draw on other customers experience and expertise,
Reduce the support and licensing costs of maintaining a collection of disparate community offerings.

Modules Key modules used:  Content Construction Kit (CCK) Views Apache Solr Search Integration Why these modules were chosen:  Solr allowed faceted searching of forum results to indicate their state in the search results. Community contributions: 


Team members:  jeffrey.dalton Project team: 

The project was structured to allow Symantec Customer Experience team to provide input on the design and planning of the site while collaborating with a group of Drupal experts. Symantec’s internal team is augmented with Drupal expertise in the key areas needed for successful Drupal development.

  • WebWise Solutions Inc. leads Connect’s project development and is the principle contact on the project providing long-standing expertise in Drupal-centric project management and user community development. WebWise handles all day-to-day operations and oversight of everything from server deployment to administering the rewards system and offering a first line of customer support for the site’s users, all of which enables Symantec to focus on utilizing Connect to serve their customers instead of having to worry about maintaining the platform.
  • Tabs & Spaces Inc. brings the heavy lifting of custom module development creating upwards of 50 custom modules to augment and extend Drupal to meet the unique needs of building a customer support community around a deep catalog of products and services.
  • Jeffrey Dalton Design Inc. adds the “hot sauce” of user experience centered design and theme work leveraging Drupal’s powerful theme system to tailor the interface to the specific needs of the community. After the initial launch the redesign process allowed Jeffrey Dalton Design to fully invest in re-visioning the theme and leveraging user feedback collected throughout the initial months of Connects operation. During this process the Symantec Corporation even went through a brand change of their own which was easily rolled into the new theme.
  • Tag1 Consulting delivers the performance and scalability tuning that is essential for Drupal sites with millions of users. With multiple layers of content caching in multi-server configurations, world class scalability expertise allows Symantec Connect to continue it’s rapid growth in a high demand environment.

This augmented team approach allows for rapid expansion of area-specific development expertise when new features and functionality are requested while minimizing Symantec’s development overhead.

Popular Science Magazine (PopSci.com) Case Study

ma, 03/19/2012 - 20:08
Why Drupal was chosen: 

Made with Drupal 5 this site is still an awesome example of successful implementation. The owners of this site are not going to upgrade it until D8 is in production. We are looking forward to "the migration" case study then!

Completed Drupal site or project URL:  http://www.popsci.com/

In February 2008, Popular Science, the fifth-oldest continually-published monthly magazine, relaunched its online presence with an enterprise-level website developed by pingVision, powered by Drupal.

Describe the project (goals, requirements and outcome): 

Until the year of relaunch, Popular Science's online presence was dominated by proprietary web content management solutions. With this relaunch, the Popular Science team wanted to take the online presence of the magazine into the open source world.

Website Goals and Challenges

Prior to its relaunch, the Popular Science website used various different systems to deliver content. One of the goals for the new site was to bring these disparate sites together into a unified user interface while increasing usability and functionality. Drupal's inherent flexibility and extensibility afforded the delivery of Popular Science's usability and functional requirements. One of the big challenges, however, was converting and importing several years' worth of content from a Vignette 7 CMS and several TypePad blogs.

Another challenge was the integration of several third-party services, including a fantasy stock trading system, video conversion and hosting services, and advertising.

In approaching the development of the new PopSci.com, we took advantage of various contributed modules, and created a number of custom modules, including the Drupal Markup Engine for content placement within nodes and Node Carousel for displaying content.

Finally, scalability was a primary concern, as PopSci already had a large and active user base. By specifying a load-balanced multi-server cluster to serve up the site, combined with the use of Memcache, PopSci.com post-relaunch was able to weather an average load of 60 pages per second with a spike of over 1.1 million page views in 24 hours -- a new record for Popular Science.

Content Types

It was important to the PopSci.com editors that they have complete control over the placement of media and supporting content not only in full node view but also in teaser view. They wanted the ability to paginate long articles and place any number of images or even related blocks into the content of a node. The media placement also needed to be intelligent enough to work with legacy content imported from Vignette and Typepad. Most of this was accomplished with the creation of a new module called the Drupal Markup Engine, or DME. The DME works in conjunction with the content-types that were created for this project with the Content Construction Kit (CCK) by providing a custom, extensible input filter.


Articles are the main content-type on the site. All blog posts from TypePad and articles from Vignette were consolidated as articles in Drupal.

The article content-type uses the DME extensively. Referenced images can be placed anywhere in an article using the DME. If a referenced image node isn't specifically placed within the content body by the DME, it is automatically displayed at the top of the article and in the article's teaser view.

Images may also be placed directly in the teaser using the DME. This approach provides maximum flexibility with images entered through Drupal and with images from legacy content, which required no human intervention to make the latter work.

The DME is also used to place a related content block (containing links to nodes in Node Reference fields or nodes with similar taxonomy terms) into the content and to set pagination for the article.

Article Structure
  • Article Images -- Node Reference to images used in the article.
  • Associated Photo Gallery -- Node Reference to an Photo Gallery.
  • Body -- The article's body.
  • Category Badge -- A taxonomy image that will apply a graphical badge to the article.
  • Credit -- The credit is the contributor of the article.
  • DEK -- A brief description of the article.
  • Primary Category -- The primary taxonomy for the site represented by the main navigation areas.
  • Related Articles -- Node Reference field to relate other articles.
  • Tags -- An auto-fill taxonomy field.
  • Title -- Core title field.
  • V7id -- The Vignette 7 ID of the original article so that it can be cross-referenced. This was useful for redirecting old urls to new Drupal content. [See discussion about imports below]
  • Video Link -- Node Reference to related videos.
Current Issue

The "current issue" node type represents an issue of the magazine. It is used to store images of the magazines cover associated with dates. This node type is used in various promotional content throughout the site.

Current Issue Structure

  • Cover -- An image representing the magazine cover.
  • Issue Date -- Publication date of the issue.
  • Title -- Core title field.
Featured Tout

The Featured tout is a node type created to be used solely in a Node Carousel driven by a Node Queue. The featured touts simply require the Popular Science editors to create graphics that are of the appropriate dimensions. These can be seen on the front page of http://popsci.com/.

Featured Tout Structure

  • Associated Article -- Node Reference to the article being touted.
  • DEK -- A brief description of the article being touted.
  • Index Display Link -- The word used as the link in the tout.
  • Title -- Core title field.

Images are used extensively on the site and needed to be invoked in a number of ways. Images are used in different forms in articles, teaser widgets, and photo galleries. If an image has related content, links to that content are shown in all but teaser views. Images are not served as stand alone images on the site but are invoked in Articles and Photo Galleries.

Image Structure

  • Credit -- The contributor of the image.
  • DEK -- A brief description of the image.
  • Photo Gallery Link -- Node Reference to Photo Galleries. If an image references a gallery it shows up in that Photo Gallery.
  • Photo Gallery Weights -- This field contains a series of number pairs with each pair representing the photo gallery and the image's weight in that photo gallery.
  • Primary Category -- The primary taxonomy for the site represented by the main navigation areas.
  • Title -- Core title field.
  • V7id -- The Vignette 7 ID of the original image so that it can be cross-referenced. This was useful for redirecting old urls to new Drupal content.
  • Video Link -- Node Reference to related videos.
Photo Gallery

A Photo Gallery is a node type serving to collect image nodes and content to be displayed to the end user as a photo gallery. The images are designated for a photo gallery by editing the image and entering the gallery title in the appropriate Node Reference field. Galleries are presented as Node Carousels to give them a slick, interactive feel.

Photo Gallery Structure

  • Category Badge -- A taxonomy image that will apply a graphical badge to the image.
  • Credit -- The contributor of the image.
  • DEK -- A brief description of the image.
  • Icon -- A Node Reference field to the image to use when viewing the gallery in teaser view.
  • Primary Category -- The primary taxonomy for the site represented by the main navigation areas.
  • Tags -- An auto-fill taxonomy field.
  • Title -- Core title field.
  • V7id -- The Vignette 7 ID of the original image so that it can be cross-referenced. This was useful for redirecting old urls to new Drupal content.
User Video

The Video node enables posting of video to either YouTube or OnStream. We developed a custom media module, which creates a custom Media Profile CCK field that can be attached to any node, allowing editors and admins to restrict the services used on a per-content-type basis.

The custom media module differs from the existing emfield module by offering greater flexibility -- such as allowing users to upload videos to the services straight from Drupal.

Video Structure

  • Category Badge -- A taxonomy image that will apply a graphical badge to the video.
  • Credit -- The contributor of the video.
  • DEK -- A brief description of the video.
  • Primary Category -- The primary taxonomy for the site represented by the main navigation areas.
  • Tags -- An auto-fill taxonomy field.
  • Title -- Core title field.
  • Video Link -- A hosted video handled by an extension to the media module.
Data Import

Part of the motivation to move the existing content over to Drupal was to escape the rigid complexity and cost associated with the Vignette CMS. The Vignette dataset was a 1.66GB Oracle database -- and that didn't include the more than 15,000 images referenced in the Vignette data which also had to be imported into the new site.

The first step in the migration process was to use the MySQL Migration Toolkit to transfer the data to MySQL. We wrote a custom module that used cron to feed the Oracle data through Drupal's APIs in manageable chunks. And finally, we imported the images by extracting their locations from the Oracle data and, via shell script, executing a series of wget commands to download the images.

As each piece of content was created in Drupal it was tagged with the Yahoo Terms module, which despite some odd results provided a good start on tagging the immense amount of un-tagged Vignette data.

Once the preparations were in place, the entire import process took approximately two solid days of execution time to complete.

A portion of the import process centered around how to deal with the urls that had been generated by Vignette, so that an article called up by its old Vignette address could be found in the new Drupal architecture. In order to accomplish this, during the import we took the associated Vignette ID for each unit of information imported from Vignette into Drupal and placed it into a CCK field in its destination node in Drupal. To actually find those articles in Drupal, a hook was written that works with the Custom Error module to look for the old Vignette ID in the url when a 404 occurs and issues the correct redirect code. Not only were we able to handle the redirects while historic links were used, but in a very short time Google had updated their search results showing the new paths.


The design of the PopSci search results required the search results to be grouped by content type, with tabs allowing re-sorting of the results by Most Relevant, Most Recent, Most Viewed, Top Rated, and Most Commented. On top of that, users needed to be able to subscribe to rss feeds of the results.

We achieved this functionality by developing an extended version of Drupal's core search, displaying the various results in blocks of paginated content, with AJAX tabsets to access other sortings of the results.

Each search is also cached, given a hashed id, and associated with the user performing the search to allow the saving the searches for future reference.


In many instances the design comps we received required a nested set of tabs that could function to filter the content being displayed on a particular page. This was largely handled by the Tabs component of the Javascript Tools module. However, the large tabbed datasets displayed on each of the main category pages and in searches needed to be a custom coded solution to be able to work in a responsive fashion with larger amounts of data.


Naturally, there is a hefty selection of hardware powering the Popular Science website, but the true performance winner of this project was the Memcache module which integrates Drupal with Memcached and the PECL Memcache library. Out of the box, this module worked extremely well for us, with the exception of path aliases: A full page load was generating as many as 700 queries to determine path aliases. Pulling these queries through Memcache gave us the speed we needed to maintain an initial average load of approximately 60-70 page views per second.

Modules Key modules used:  abuse Avatar Approval Custom Error jQuery Update Pathauto Update Status URL list Account reminder LoginToboggan Content Construction Kit (CCK) Date Fivestar ImageField Link AdSense API Coder dba views Devel Javascript Tools SimpleTest Filter by node type HTML corrector ImageCache Taxonomy Image CAPTCHA Import Typepad / MoveableType Memcache API and Integration Omniture Integration Service links XML sitemap Yahoo Terms Mime Mail Send Nodecarousel Nodequeue Sitemap Views Views Bookmark Meta tags Scheduler SimpleMenu Token Voting API Why these modules were chosen:  These modules were chosen to be able to reach demanded functionality. All of them are stable and proven by the community. Community contributions: 

Unknown. Some of the customizations and adjustments would (were?) be contributed as modules for Drupal 6.

Organizations involved:  PINGV Team members:  AjK alasda cyberswat coltrane ezra-g greggles gregnostic jcfiala laura s matthews skywalker2208 3goose Zarabadoo Project team: 

Katherine Lawrence http://drupal.org/user/42890 - unfindable with autocomplete

Distribution packaging now fully supported on Drupal.org

do, 03/15/2012 - 15:06

Distributions provide one of the biggest opportunities for both the Drupal project and its ecosystem. Although there has been support for distribution packaging on Drupal.org since December 2009, there were many restrictions on what could be packaged for technical and legal reasons. By solving the underlying legal, technical, security, and usability problems, these restrictions have been lifted and fully-featured distributions are now enabled on Drupal.org! This move enables thousands of active developers to pursue distribution development with a consistent set of tools for managing version control, releases, issue tracking, collaboration, and documentation.

Funding for the project was generously provided by major distribution developers:

New features for distribution packaging
External library support
Feed parsers, alternate versions of jQuery, WYSIWYG editors, etc. can be included with distributions automatically. A packaging whitelist tracks GPL-compatible libraries that can be added to distributions.

Patch support
Patches can now be applied to core, contributed modules and themes, and even third-party libraries. Patches will appear on distribution release nodes, resolved to their parent issue.
Support for development snapshots
Both development releases and Git clones (either a specific revision or a branch/tag) can now be used in distributions, rather than just official project releases.

Complete technical implementation details can be found at the Distribution Packaging community initiative page.

Changes for distribution maintainers

If you maintain a distribution on Drupal.org (or would like to) be sure to read the following updated documentation:


This initiative was spear-headed, designed, managed, and primarily implemented by Derek Wright (dww) of 3281d Consulting. Chad Phillips (hunmonk) and Michael Prashun (mikey_p) also helped with the design and implementation.

The work was made possible by the generous sponsorship of Phase2 Technology, Acquia, Node One, Pantheon, and Lullabot.

Additional thanks to:

  • Angela Byron (webchick) for spear-heading initial funding discussions, for performing extensive QA on changes, for authoring major chunks of the documentation, and for providing input throughout the process.
  • Jeff Walpole (jwalpole) for wrangling funding from multiple sources to make this happen.
  • Jonathan Hedstrom (jhedstrom) and Moshe Weitzman (moshe weitzman) for maintaining Drush make (which is now part of the core Drush project), the primary tool used by the Drupal.org distribution packaging system.
  • Jeff Geerling (geerlingguy), Adam Moore (redndahead), Angela Byron (webchick), Alberto Paderno (kiamlaluno), and Greg Knaddison (greggles) for maintaining the library whitelist.
  • Roy Scholten (yoroy) and Bojhan Somers (bojhan) of the usability team for help reviewing the UI changes.
  • Ezra Barnett Gildesgame (ezra-g) and Frank Febbraro (febbraro) for feedback on the changes, testing, and reviewing documentation.
  • Alex Barth (alex_b) for his initial help to identify the problems and flesh out the roadmap for solving them.

Ebizon builds world's fastest growing Drupal site - TweenTribune

di, 03/13/2012 - 15:20


TweenTribune,TeenTribuneand TTEspañol deliver the teen and tween audience with compelling stories kids won’t find anywhere else. Stories chosen for TweenTribune are selected by tweens working closely with professional journalists. Tweens can submit links to stories they'd like to share, submit their own stories and photos, and comment on the stories they read.

    More than 53,000 teachers across the U.S use Tween Tribune in their classrooms.

      Generates more than 5 million page views per month.

        10,000 nodes are added every day


        Brief History - From WordPress to Drupal

        TweenTribune and its sister site, TeenTribune, work through schoolteachers across the U.S. Registered students log onto the site and post comments on selected stories of the day, and teachers review the responses for approval before making them “live” for other students to see.

        During Christmas in 2008, Founder of Tweentribune, Mr. Alan Jacobson, decided to move its website from Wordpress to a more capable and flexible Content Management System Drupal. He contacted us in December 24th 2008 and worked with us to develop the application that would allow Tweens of ages 8 to 14 to read a variety of interesting content as well as comment on news for other Kids to see. Teachers can easily use Tween Tribune as a teaching tool. First, the site uses high-interest reading material to engage students with the news.

        Teachers can register their classes on the site, which allows them access to special features like custom generated pages that show students comments or stories the class has commented on. Teachers can print out reports by student; these reports allow them to see which articles students have read and to access to individual student’s comments. In this way, teachers can easily grade or comment on students’ writing. There’s even a Faculty Lounge where teachers can interact with each other, sharing ideas and lesson plans.

        Using Drupal 6 and a variety of excellent contributed modules, the site Tweentribune.com was launched in March, 2009. Modules used include Views, CCK (both core and imagefield), and Imagecache.

        Codes were written for all the custom features of TweenTribune. This custom code was integrated into a Drupal Content Management System in the form of Drupal Modules.  

        Tweentribune is now a success story that has been featured in LAtimes, YPulse.com, KillerStartups, WeMedia, GoodHouseKeeping and getting

        • more than 5 million page views a month.
        • more than 16 million add impressions per month.
        • more than 3000 comments and 6000 quizzes



        Tweentribune.com had couple of unique challenges. The traffic used to pick during US school hours with most users logged in and hence, creating making maximum connections to the database. The webserver and database were separated on 2 different machines in the same network (LAN).

        Further Following measures were taken to improve drupal performance:

        1. Optimize database queries and modules
        2. Use Memcache for all database cache.
        3. Sessions which are typically stored in database in Drupal were also stored in memcache.
        4. Boost module to serve html content for anonymous users
        5. Using Lighttpd to serve static files like css, js, images.
        6. APC as the PHP accelerator was used.
        7. Using Linux shell, Munin and Nagios for monitoring.

        Memcache - way better than cash

        Memcache, Squid, APC, etc were used to make Drupal scale. Memcache, APC and Squid were installed and configured on the server. Memcache was monitored and configuration of Memcache was changed with time as traffic improved and RAM of the server was changed.


        Lighttpd is a web server that was used to serve static files (images, javascripts, css) to reduce burden on Apache webserver as lighttpd is faster at static contents.

        Apache Solr vs DSS

        Drupal Search Sucks as it doesn't deal with large amount of content, it doesn't scale and gets bogged down.Drupal Search is integrated - it runs and searches on the same database thus, slowing down the system. Apache Solr's advantage for Drupal is that it indexes nodes, not pages. This means it can have access to attributes of the node that are not readily parsable from the rendered page. These attributes can be used to filter the results. Apache Solr provides faster search experience than default Drupal search.

        Varnish or Squid

         But either is better than getting shellacked, and both are better than Boost.

        InnoDB, instead MyISAM. - Who wants to get locked under a table?

        • InnoDB implements row-level lock for inserting and updating while MyISAM implements table-level lock.
        • InnoDB inherently takes care of data integrity by the help of relationship constraints and transactions.
        • InnoDB is faster in write-intensive (inserts, updates) tables as it utilizes row-level locking and only hold up changes to the same row that’s being inserted or updated

        InnoDB buffer pool. How big is too big? We know. .

        The larger the buffer pool, the more InnoDB acts like an in-memory database, reading data from disk once and then accessing the data from memory during subsequent reads. The buffer pool even caches data changed by insert and update operations, so that disk writes can be grouped together for better performance.

        KeepAlive on or off?Contact us and we'll tell you.


        THE TEAM
        • Ebizon NetInfo: Ebizon builds World's fastest growing Drupal site and is the backbone of the project with the expertise in performance and scalability tuning that is essential for Drupal sites with millions of nodes and users. Ebizon supports Tweentribune's rapid growth of almost 10,000 nodes addition everyday through multiple layers of content caching in multi-server environment. Ebizon extends Drupal to meet the unique needs of the site to handle traffic of more than 1 million authenticated users during school peak hours.
        • BrassTacksDesign: The BrassTacksDesign Team were responsible for project conceptualization and use cases. All day-to-day operations are managed and administered by them.
        • Rackspace: The website is hosted on Rackspace.


        HARDWARE The underlying hardware included 2 machines on the same Gigabit network:

        One with apache webserver and memcache with following configuration:
        1. Quad Socket Quad Core Intel Xeon E7440 2.4GHz
        2. 64GB Memory
        3. Operating System: Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 - 64 bit

        Database server has following configuration:

        1. RAID 5
        2. 12 GB DELL RAM
        3. Single Socket Quad Core Intel Xeon L5520 2.26GHz


        • Challenge: Drupal is both resource intensive and database intensive. Its strength is ease of development, extensibility through modules and faster development time. Its downside is that it requires more CPU and RAM than other CMSs.

        Solution: With our experience we found that couple of Drupal contributed modules are resource intensive and their optimization is necessary in order to scale the system. We monitored SQL queries using devel module and identified the queries that consumed most resources. Then we optimized those queries and monitored their performance and load on the system for couple of days. The results and improvements were captured in a performance report that was published for client’s review.

        • Challenge: Busted Page issue which was causing page to break. The busted page was a much trickier issue solely due to its intermittent nature.

        Solution: The Busted Page Issue was THE MOST important issue since the site had scaled to 2 million page views a month and we couldn’t risk this problem to survive any longer. Initial attempt was to disable BOOST module but to our surprise disabling Boost did not solve the problem. After 24 hours of rigours effort and monitoring it looked like menu paths were restructuring during CRON that was running every hour. The best of teams in the world were thinking on it but no one could get to the root. Finally, one of our best technical leads made the cron to run instead of every hour only at night at 12 am. This resolved the Busted page problem and was a GREAT success for us and Alan.

        • Challenge: Location based advertisement and headers implementation in Drupal 6.

        Solution: Drupal ad geoip module were customized to implement the feature whereby advertisements and headers can be displayed based on users location.

        • Challenge: Only teachers of a classroom should be able to moderate the comments and comment should be published only after they have been approved.

        Solution: Drupal moderate module was customized and an interface was designed where teaches could see all the comments in a classroom and can approve or disapprove them.

        • Challenge: Blocking inappropriate words that student puts in their comments.

        Solution: Initially Watchlist module was recommended which automatically flags a node or comment if it contains any questionable content (these can be set in the Watchlist settings by adding regular expressions of words that are considered bad). But it flags the word and notifies admin AFTER the comment is posted, which is TOO LATE. Therefore Spam module was utilized to resolve this problem.

        • Challenge: Alan needed a way for the teacher to send every student’s comments to the printer with one click, instead of sending them one at a time with one click per student.

        Solution: It was not feasible to put restriction on users to have an email to sign up on Tweentribune.com therefore team found a way for not letting users create their email and instead having system create their email automatically from their Full name. The contrib module that was modified for this purpose was “Localemail” and was made to create email ids automatically for each user and let them register directly on Tweentribune.

        • Challenge: A new workflow for teachers registration was required where teachers could register themselves without requiring Alan to personally verify each registration as in the previous workflow.

        Solution: Team worked on a new workflow where:

          1. Teacher can submit information on webform, which is almost identical to existing webform with very minor change. This new form replaced the existing form.
          2. Drupal generates 9 classrooms for teacher, but does NOT use classroom taxonomy. Instead, user profile contains username and classrooms only. Classroom names use teacher's school email address + taxonomy ID. Example: mary.jones@collierschools.com-151365
          3. Drupal generates new usename = teacher's school email address. Role = teacher_private. This role is a clone of existing role = teacher.
          4. Drupal sends 2 welcome emails with username and password generated by Drupal to 2 email addresses: home email address and school email address. Email includes link to "dashboard" page where teacher can register students. See screenshot, attached. The dashboard is 600px wide, so it fits in the main content area of the current pages.
          5. Teacher logs in and is redirected to /teacher_landing_page or uses link provided in welcome email.
          6. Teacher can do the following on the dashboard:
            • register students
            • see usernames and passwords of students previously registered
            • delete students
            • print out student usernames and passwords
            • change classroom name



        Tweentribune.com is a news site for Tweens and following are the cores around which it was built:

          • CCK
          • Views
          • Webform
          • Taxonomy
          • Imagecache
        • Custom AJAX-based drop down select developed as a replacement of hierarchical select module (http://drupal.org/project/hierarchical_select) when selecting classroom during registration or posting of stories.
        • Custom module was used to allow non-email based registration on the site, since; Tweens usually do not have email addresses.
        • Also, custom functionalities like allowing administrator to register teacher’s requests easily from an interface that are received from webforms were also developed. Comment moderation by teachers was also integrated into the site using Modr8 module.
        Content Types
        • Stories: This is the main content type around which whole Tweentribune.com stories are built.
        • Profile:  This content type carries the student and teacher profile information like classroom.
        • Your-stories: Using this content type, teachers can post their own news into their classrooms.
        • Quiz: With this content type, teachers can post quiz on the website for their classroom.
        • Your Entry: This content type allows student to submit short stories and essays.


        • Topics for tween: This vocabulary is used to define category of the story posted on Tweentribune.com.
        • Classroom: This vocabulary allows users to be assigned to the classroom. Classroom is based on parent-child hierarchy with country, state, city, school and then classroom following parent child relationship. Certain stories can also be optionally put in some classroom/school.
        • Spanish: This vocabulary is used to post stories in spanish
        • Your town: This vocabulary is used to post stories from affiliate partners

        Submit and vote on your Drupal.org ideas!

        do, 03/01/2012 - 23:45

        Two of the Drupal Association's 2012 priorities are to make Drupal.org awesome: both for site builders and for developers. We want to hear from you about what improvements you'd most like to see on Drupal.org.

        Please let us know your thoughts at http://drupal-association.ideascale.com/. You can propose new ideas, vote on existing ideas, and also leave comments. When we have the more discrete list of things we plan to cover in 2012 and when, we'll share it with the community for feedback.

        Important things to note:

        1. Please don't limit yourself only to big things. The more high-impact, "low hanging fruit" we can fix, the better! :) All suggestions must have a correlating URL on *.drupal.org with more information.
        2. Voting on an idea here does **not** necessarily mean it will get implemented, even if it's one of the highest (or even *the* highest) thing in the list. We are using this tool as a barometer to find out more about what our contributor community thinks is important, so we can factor this into our prioritization process.
        3. That prioritization process will include needs of the Drupal Association itself (e.g. DrupalCon & membership-related tasks so we can perform our other necessary functions), the needs of the Drupal.org infrastructure team (keeps the servers humming), and the needs of the DA's sponsors (keeps the money flowing so we can fund more improvements!).
        4. Unfortunately, no, this is not a Drupal site. If this fact appalls you, there is an idea in there that you can up-vote. :) It does allow data export capabilities though, so yay!

        HUGE kudos to tvn for a tremendous amount of research on existing ideas that are out there, and jredding and kattekrab for several hours of brainstorming. :)

        Cross-post of http://groups.drupal.org/node/213898 — please leave comments over there.

        Drupal 6.25 released

        wo, 02/29/2012 - 17:58

        Drupal 6.25, a maintenance release fixing issues reported through the bug tracking system, is now available for download. There are no security fixes in this release. Upgrading your existing Drupal 6 sites is recommended, especially if you skipped Drupal 6.24 due to update issues.

        Download Drupal 6.25

        Drupal 6.25 builds on top of Drupal 6.24 and includes all the previous bugfixes and security improvements. Changes in this release only fix issues introduced with the previous bugfix release (Drupal 6.24). The list of all fixes included is:

        1. Rollback for issue #12274 given that it does not consider email domain names with hyphens valid after the first component of the domain name.
        2. #1425868 by ELC, lort, greg.harvey, David_Rothstein: Fixed duplicate entry of theme primary key in system table on Drupal 6.24 when updating using drush.
        3. #1425260 by mgifford: Fixed 'Call to undefined function locale_inc_callback()' during 6.22 -> 6.24 upgrade if locale module was previously enabled but is not currently enabled.

        A complete list of all bug fixes in the stable 6.x branch can be found in the git commit log. There are no new features in this release. More information on the 6.x releases can be found in the Drupal 6.0 release announcement. Drupal 5 is no longer maintained, upgrading to Drupal 6 is recommended.

        Given enough bug fixes (not just bug reports) more maintenance releases will be made available, according to our monthly release cycle

        Update notes

        There are no database schema changes in this update and the robots.txt, .htaccess and (default.)settings.php files were not changed either, so you can keep local modifications easily.

        Known issues #

        None at this time.

        Announcing Jennifer Hodgdon as Drupal core committer!

        di, 02/28/2012 - 21:21

        As the Documentation Team lead, Jennifer "jhodgdon" Hodgdon has done a fantastic job of not only keeping Drupal core's API documentation high-quality and consistent, but also of on-boarding new Drupal core contributors through the "Novice" issue queue.

        Since documentation improvement patches are always welcome, and since they are unlikely to break other parts of the system, I'm happy to announce the promotion of Jennifer as a Drupal core co-maintainer for version 7 and 8. Her responsibility will be solely around documentation and code style patches, plus occasional help on "emergency" commits such as a required rollback of an accidental patch commit in order to get our automated test suite passing again.

        The hope is that delegating responsibility for documentation and code style patches to Jennifer will help increase the velocity of Drupal 8 development. Not only will documentation changes go in faster, it also allows catch, webchick and myself to focus our time on bigger patches.

        Welcome to the core committer team, Jennifer! :-)

        (Cross-posted from http://buytaert.net/jennifer-hodgdon)

        Vote NOW for Drupal Association at large directors

        vr, 02/03/2012 - 05:20

        Voting is now open for the 2012 election of at large directors of the Drupal Association. Two directors will be elected from among the ten candidates.

        About the Drupal Association elections

        When we designed a new governance structure for the Drupal Association last year, we decided that most of the board is selected through a nominating committee with the goal to carefully balance many factors like needed skills and geographical and sector representation. However, it was also deemed important that we have directors chosen directly by the Drupal community to make sure that the community is always well-represented.

        We're holding our first open community elections! Two community "at large" directors will be elected to the Drupal Association Board of Directors, and YOU can get to say who they are!

        Where to find out about candidates Who can vote?

        Voting is open to all individuals who registered an account on drupal.org prior to January 18, 2012 and who have logged into that account at least once in the one-year period prior to February 3, 2012.

        There is no need to register to vote. The voting system has been set up and prepopulated with the list of eligible voters.

        How to vote
        • Log in to this site.
        • Visit the https://association.drupal.org/2012-vote page. After clicking through, you will be asked to rank each of the eligible voters, from 1st (top choice) to 10th (last choice). You also need to check a box confirming you're an eligible voter. Make your selections and save the form. That's it!
        How does voting work?

        The voting is done using the "Instant Runoff" voting method, powered by Decisions module. For more about this method of voting, please see this helpful YouTube video which explains it with post-it notes: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wA3_t-08Vr0

        Can I change my mind after I've voted?

        Yes! Before the close of voting, you can return to the voting form, cancel your previous vote, and submit a new vote.

        When will voting close?

        Voting will close at midnight UTC on Tuesday, February 7, 2012.

        How will results be determined and announced?

        When voting closes, a four-member elections team will review the results and post them to this site (association.drupal.org). Results will then be forwarded to the Drupal Association board for ratification.

        The election team includes Angela Byron, DA board member; Cary Gordon, DA board member; Nedjo Rogers, DA advisory board member; and Thomas Svenson, Drupal community member who participated in the community process of planning the elections.

        Why was voting delayed?

        We had focused a bit too much on organizing the elections and left finalizing the actual voting system till the last minute. After several community members and Drupal Association staff pitched in, we got the elections system up about 3 hours after the planned opening of voting.

        Wait. Only XXX eligible voters? What gives?

        Despite the fact that the voting form lists far fewer, there are actually 270K Drupal.org accounts that fit the voter eligibility criteria. Valid accounts are added to the electorate list when they visit the Association website. These shenanigans are due to the Bakery module, our single-sign on solution, and the requirement to reconcile peoples' Association.drupal.org user IDs and their Drupal.org user IDs.

        Problems and solutions

        If you believe you are eligible to vote and try to vote and cannot or encounter some error, please post an issue to the Drupal Association issue queue, selecting "elections" as the component.

        More about the elections

        Drupal 7.12 and 6.24 released

        wo, 02/01/2012 - 19:23

        Drupal 7.11 and 6.23, maintenance releases which fix security vulnerabilities are now available for download.

        Drupal 7.12 and 6.24 also fix other issues reported through the bug tracking system.

        Download Drupal 7.12
        Download Drupal 6.24

        Upgrading your existing Drupal 7 and 6 sites is strongly recommended. There are no new features in these releases. For more information about the Drupal 7.x release series, consult the Drupal 7.0 release announcement, more information on the 6.x releases can be found in the Drupal 6.0 release announcement. Drupal 5 is no longer maintained, upgrading to Drupal 6 is recommended.

        Security information

        We have a security announcement mailing list, a history of all security advisories, and an RSS feed with the most recent security advisories. We strongly advise Drupal administrators to sign up for the list.

        Drupal 7 and 6 include the built-in Update status module, which informs you about important updates to your modules and themes.

        Bug reports

        Both Drupal 7.x and 6.x branches are being maintained, so given enough bug fixes (not just bug reports) more maintenance releases will be made available, according to our monthly release cycle.


        Drupal 7.11 only includes fixes for security issues. Drupal 7.12 also includes bugfixes. The full list of changes between the 7.10 and 7.12 releases can be found by reading the 7.12 release notes. A complete list of all bug fixes in the stable 7.x branch can be found in the git commit log.

        Drupal 6.23 only includes fixes for security issues. Drupal 6.24 also includes bugfixes. The full list of changes between the 6.22 and 6.24 releases can be found by reading the 6.24 release notes. A complete list of all bug fixes in the stable 6.x branch can be found at git commit log.

        Security vulnerabilities

        Drupal 7.11 and 6.23 were released in response to the discovery of security vulnerabilities. Details can be found in the official security advisory:

        To fix the security problem, please upgrade Drupal.

        What is included with each release?

        We made two versions of both Drupal 7 and 6 available, so you can choose to only include security fixes (Drupal 7.11 and 6.23 respectively) or security fixes and bugfixes (Drupal 7.12 and 6.24). You can choose your preferred version. We are trying to make it easier and quicker to roll out security updates by making security-only releases available as well as ones with bugfixes included. We hope this helps you roll out the fixes as soon as possible. Read more details in the handbook.

        Update notes

        The default.settings.php file was changed in Drupal 7.12, to add documentation about PDO attribute override capabilities that were added as a result of #1309278: Make PDO connection options configurable.

        The robots.txt file was changed in Drupal 6.24 to block filter tips from search engines. The .htaccess and (default.)settings.php files were not changed in Drupal 6. Additionally, indexes were added to the node_comment_statistics and comment tables, for performance.

        Known issues

        Bug fixes in 7.12 release cause problems with the Internationalization (i18n) module. i18n users are encouraged to update to 7.11 to get the security fixes, and hold off on the 7.12 upgrade until #1351678: Follow menu_link_get_preferred active trail handling for custom menus and #1050466: The taxonomy index should be maintained in a node hook, not a field hook are resolved. (Note: Help here would be greatly appreciated!)

        Drupal elections this week: all candidates meetings and when to vote

        wo, 02/01/2012 - 03:51

        Elections for at large Drupal Association elections are kicking into high gear with two all candidates meetings this week before voting opens Friday.

        Election candidates will participate in all candidates meetings are scheduled over the next two days (Wed., Thurs. or Fri., depending on your location). The first meeting, intended to work for people in the Asia and the Pacific, is scheduled for 01:00 UTC on Thursday. That's 5 PM PST on Wednesday for those in the US and Canada.

        The second all candidates meeting at 17:00 UTC Thursday is timed for participants in Europe, Africa, and the Americas.

        Then on Friday voting will open. Details on voting will be posted to association.drupal.org.

        See the elections announcement for more on how to learn about the candidates.

        DrupalCon Denver Final Sessions Are Posted

        do, 01/26/2012 - 18:03

        The final session selections for DrupalCon Denver were announced this week. DrupalCon will take place March 19-23, 2012. Get your tickets soon so that you don't miss out on over 100 sessions across 8 tracks! This year we have added tracks specifically for Non-profit, Government & Education, in addition to Community, Commerce, Mobile, Design & User Experience, Business & Strategy, Coding & Development, Site Building, and Core Conversations.

        Conference Dates:
        March 19 - Pre-conference trainings -- over 16 from beginners to advanced + API Hack-a-thon

        March 20 - 22 - Three complete days of 104 sessions starting with Keynotes: Dries Buytaert, Founder of Drupal and Drupal Project lead, Mitchell Baker, chairperson for the Mozilla Foundation, and Luke Wroblewski, digital product leader coming to talk about mobile.

        March 22 - Drupal Means Business - included with conference registration to learn how to integrate Drupal into your business.

        March 23 - All-day Contribution Sprint -- one of the largest anywhere!

        Plus, parties, ski trips, networking, contests and more, all for the $350 conference fee! Thank you to our wonderful sponsors for helping this to remain one of the lowest cost open source conferences around.

        Get your ticket to DrupalCon Denver today. What are you waiting for? We want to see you in Denver!

        P.S. Conference registration is $350 until February 21 or when tickets are gone! Early registration helps us to plan the conference and keep our costs low by only ordering what is needed. A limited number of 1/2-priced student tickets are still available.

        Follow @drupalcon on Twitter or find us on Facebook.

        Getting Involved in the Drupal Community: Survey Results

        ma, 01/23/2012 - 17:52

        Drupal.org has over 725,000 registered members in 228 countries. However, only a very small percentage of this members contribute back to the project. Why is this? How can we attract more contributors? What can we do to make it easier for people to contribute? Which areas of the Drupal project would people want to contribute?

        To get answers to these questions, two surveys were conducted in 2011 by the community to understand the experience of contributing or considering to contribute to the Drupal project.

        This is a combined report of 358 respondents’ responses to the surveys.


        The first survey focused on the Drupal contribution experience for the Prairie initiative and received 303 responses. It was written and conducted by Leisa Reichelt (leisareichelt) that ran from April 25, 2011 to September 20, 2011.

        The second, the Getting Involved survey, [list of questions] received 55 responses. It was written and conducted by Heather James (heather), Dharmesh Mistry (dcmistry) and Lisa Rex (lisarex) from October 21, 2011 to November 9, 2011. This survey focused on the respondent’s Drupal profile; their expectations, roadblocks, motivations; and Drupal areas that need most contributors, among many other things.

        Profile of the respondents Prairie Survey

        Of the 303 respondents, 64% were non-coders and 31% were non-active contributors.
        A big majority (71%) of the respondents from the survey identified themselves as “an established, active member of the community”. The majority of the respondents regularly contribute (41%) and a good amount stated that they contribute occasionally (36%). The majority of the non-active contributors (36%) have never contributed to the project.

        Getting Involved Survey

        The majority of the respondents identified themselves as Site Builder (68%), and/or Developer (59%). A significant portion of respondents identified themselves as Themer (34%) and/or Project Manager (29%). It is also worth noting that 73% of the respondents cited Drupal as their source of income.

        Note: Each of the surveys focused on different aspects of Drupal contributions.

        Executive Summary

        The findings from both surveys are summarized below, but also see:

        The contributing experience

        From the Getting Involved survey, it was found that the big motivator for people to contribute was simply to improve Drupal and support its community (40%). The other motivator was to grow their knowledge and network (25%). However, when the Getting Involved survey asked about their opinion about the existing community structure, a majority of the respondents (48.9%) had a negative reaction. They thought it was fragmented, chaotic, not great and could use improvements.

        The majority of respondents of the Prairie survey thought the experience of contributing was:

        • “Very much” rewarding and collaborative: Majority of the respondents of the Prairie survey thought the experience of contributing to the Drupal project was “very much” collaborative (47%) and rewarding (46%). However, the non-coders and the non-active contributors either stayed with “somewhat” or swayed between “very much” and “somewhat” with no statistical significance.
        • “Not really” to “somewhat” efficient: Majority thought the process of contribution was “not really” efficient (43%) or “somewhat” efficient (40%) with no significant statistical difference between the responses. Non coders shared the same feeling.
        • “Somewhat” intimidating, confusing, unwieldy and supportive: The respondents of the second survey thought the experience of contributing to the Drupal project was “somewhat” intimidating (46%), confusing (49%), unwieldy (43%) and supportive (52%).
        • Split between “Very much” and “Somewhat” inspiring, exciting and friendly: When asked about the experience of contributing in terms of inspiration, excitement and friendliness, the majority swayed between “very much” and “somewhat” responses with no significant statistical difference. It is worth noting that in all the four categories (Rewarding, Inspiring, Excitement and Friendly), the majority of non-coders and non-active contributors stuck to “somewhat”.
        What do people want to contribute?

        Respondents of the Getting Involved survey mostly want to contribute on Documentation/technical writing and PHP development/LAMP (54% each). The next area with the most interest is training (46%) and Mentoring/Support (32%).

        What areas need the most contributions?

        The respondents thought documentation (12 respondents), Drupal.org. (7 respondents) and Design/UX/Usability (6 respondents) needed the most attention from other contributors.

        What areas of Drupal community do you think need the most contributions?

        Although the respondents from the second survey thought the contributing experience was “very much” collaborative, majority (47%) thought “Redesign the issue page to make it easier to collaborative effectively” as a “very important” initiative. Besides that, the respondents (overall, non coders and non active contributors) agreed (47%) that “Redesigning parts of Drupal.org to help newbies find ways to start contributing” as “very important”. This number was higher for non active contributors (55%) than the others.

        Other Findings

        Across profiles (of the second survey), “Creating ‘team’ pages to aggregate activities and people interested in a topic” (48%) and “Designing better tools for planning large initiatives” (41%) were deemed as “quite important”.

        For “Designing a reputation system to show what different people are expert in and how well they are known by the Drupal community” majority of respondents swayed between quite important (32%) to less important (39%). This was also true for non coders and non active contributors.

        Roadblocks to contributing

        The major roadblock from they getting involved was lack of information on how to get involved (and whom to contact) (42%). This issue of getting started (48%) was also found in the Prairie survey.

        • Lack of information on how to contribute, what to work on or whom to contact (42%)
        • Don’t have time (18%)
        • “I don’t know enough technically” (16%)
        • Intimidation factor (13%)
        • Want to talk/need guidance from mentors (13%)
        • Slow turn around time to get feedback/or to get committed (7%)
        ‘Get Involved’ pages and Drupal.org

        Only 16% of the respondents of the Prairie survey visit the ‘Get Involved’ pages on Drupal.org. 46% of Prairie survey respondents took the opportunity to complain about Drupal.org. They wanted a better Drupal.org. (24%), better tools to collaborate (5%), and an efficient issue queue (5%). For Drupal.org., they particularly wanted to find information easily (4%).

        How could we improve the experience?

        To make the experience of contributing better, non-contributors wanted better information to get started. And the contributors reiterated this when asked what would have been helpful when they started contributing. Besides that, the second most important thing that mattered was the human aspect. The personal touch would have been helpful to the contributors while they were starting and the non contributors want to work with experienced contributors. It is worth noting here that a significant number of respondents are interested in helping with this (Training - 46%, Mentoring/Support - 32%). (Responses from the Getting Involved survey)

        Other noteworthy things
        • Designers and non-programmers who responded (11) to open-ended question in the Prairie survey complained that contributing to the project was heavily code focused, that designers did not get the credit they deserved, and that they did not know how the non-coders could contribute to the project. Like the respondents from the Getting Involved survey, the non-programmers also reiterated that they did not know where they were needed.
        • A small but considerate amount of Prairie survey respondents were discouraged by other community members and slow turn around time (8% each)
        • The Getting Involved survey also asked as to what do they expect from a community leader, and they wanted someone who could moderate discussions/issues, offer guidance, and carve a plan for the community.
        What do you think about the existing community structure?


        We hope the findings from the survey will be helpful to the Drupal Association and the community on the next big priorities for Drupal.org. It is evident from the findings that a significant effort is required to provide effective, easy-to-find information on how to get started with contributing to the Drupal community. However, help from other community members is needed to keep the momentum going.

        Next steps

        Some conversations/efforts have begun toward this goal of improving the contributor experience, such as redesigning the Community, Support and Getting started landing pages, redesigning the issue queue and more.

        We need to identify areas that need leaders, and areas that need contributors. Contributors are in demand for documentation especially.

        If you are interested to contribute to this effort to provide better documentation for getting started with contributing, great! There are several open issues on improving Getting Involved content, including the Getting Involved landing page and Getting Involved Guide. Please visit this link to read about other community initiatives that might be of interest to you. If you are unsure where you can best help, please contact Lisa Rex (lisarex), who can point you in the right direction.

        If you have any questions about the survey/findings, please feel free to contact Dharmesh Mistry (dcmistry).