Here we go again! It's your monthly summary of all things board meeting at the Drupal Association. This month we covered board governenance (there's a seat opening up), the D8 Accelerate Campaign, and the Association strategic frame. Plus, as a bonus, the board approved the Q2 financials for publication. As always, if you want to catch up on all the details, you can find everything you need to know about the meeting online, including minutes, materials, and a recording. If you're just here for a summary view, read on!
Angie Byron's term on the board is going to be up this fall, and she has expressed her desire not to renew that term. We're going to be very sad to see Angie go, but thrilled that she will have one less hat to talk about when explaining which hat she is wearing at any given point during your next meeting with her. Seriously - she's brought so much thoughfulness and passion to the board. She's not leaving us yet (her term expires 10/31), but our Governance Committee will be working with the Nominations Committee to recruit candidates and help the board make the next selection.
As I write these words there are just 10(!) release blockers standing between us and a release candidate for Drupal 8. Part of the momentum this year has come from Drupal 8 Accelerate. We've made over 40 grants, worth more than $120,000 so far. That's helped us close nearly 100 issues, addressing some really important features, like a beta to beta upgrade, security bugs, and performance. If you're curious about what's getting funded, you can always see the full list. And, we're getting close to reaching our goal - we've raised $223,000. You can help us reach our $250,000 goal by making a donation today!
Drupal Association Strategic Frame
Why are we doing the work we do? Because everyone at the Association wants to have a positive impact for Drupal. The best way for us to have an impact is to pick a few goals that we are going to focus on achieving. The Association board used their January retreat to set some 3-5 year goals for the Association:
- To develop sufficient professionals to meet global demand for Drupal
- To lead the community in focused, efficient, effective development of Drupal
- To ensure the sustainability of the Drupal project and community
- To increase Drupal adoption in target markets
- To increase the strength and resilience of the Drupal Association
We've been working since then to select the right strategies and objectives (1 year to 18 month time frame) for our work. You can see the directions we're headed in the presentation we shared. It's important to note that we expect to revisit our strategies and objectives on a quarterly basis to adjust as we go. The world of Drupal moves fast, and we need to as well. So, although we are setting 12 to 18 month objectives, we will be adjusting the frame much more frequently, and won't be sticking with objectives that we find don't really support the work.
2015 Q2 Financials
And in the most exciting news of all, the second quarter financials were approved by the board. You can always find whatever financials have been released in the public financials folder. If you have never taken a look at the financials before, I recommend it. Although I tease about them being boring, I love financial statements! A while back, I wrote up a post about how to read our financial statements. I also like pointing out that each Con has it's own tab in our financial statements, so you can see exactly how that money coems in, and where it is spent.
See you next time!
And that's it for this summary. But, if you have questions or ideas, you can always reach out to me!
Flickr photo: Joeri Poesen
Last year we conducted a Drupal Job Market survey to better understand the opportunities for those who know Drupal. The survey showed strong demand for Drupal skills and demonstrated why Drupal is a rewarding and potentially lucrative career path. We are conducting another survey this year.
This year we are adding questions about compensation to help Drupal talent and hiring organizations benchmark themselves.
You can expect to see the results from the survey published in late August. Thank you for taking the survey!
Look for links to our Strategic Roadmap highlighting how this work falls into our priorities set by the Drupal Association Board and Drupal.org Working Groups.Drupal.org
Iterative Changes to the Front Page of Drupal.org
The home page of Drupal.org has been changing in several small but important ways. The main focus of our design work in June was to provide new community metrics to replace the less meaningful and somewhat misleading metrics that were removed in the previous home page update.
We also updated the text of the Try Drupal button on Drupal.org, to better clarify the purpose of the feature. Try Drupal allows potential users to evaluate Drupal by using a highly polished demo hosted by our Supporting Partners. This gives Drupal newcomers and learners the chance to see examples of Drupal configured at its best, to encourage evaluators to choose Drupal for their needs. The program supports a core part of the mission of the Drupal Association: helping to promote Drupal and grow Drupal adoption.
Improving Drupal.org Performance with Advanced Aggregator
These configuration changes have been made carefully to ensure they don’t degrade the user experience for any user of the site - and are continuing into July.
The Plan Category for Drupal.org Issues
Another small deployment made in June was the addition of a Plan category to the Drupal.org issue queues.
The Plan category codifies the informal [meta] issues into a category selectable within the Issues UI.
This only scratches the surface of a long-buried issue in the Drupal.org issue queues - a lack of project management and prioritization tools. The larger Content Strategy work that the Drupal Association is beginning to implement will help to address this need further with a new Initiative content type to provide better hierarchy and prioritization tools.Organization and User Profile Improvements
Recent Issue Credits (3 months) now appear on individual and organization profiles.
Expanding upon the work the Association staff has done to create a system for credit and attributions in the Issue queues, the Association has begun displaying information about issue credits on user’s Drupal.org profiles.
Whenever a project maintainer has credited the user in an issue when marking the issue closed - the project will appear on the profile, along with a link to a list of the credited issues.
Additional improvements are planned for the crediting UI to allow credit attribution to users who did not comment directly on the issue. The Association will also begin to backfill historical credit data.
Organizations benefit from this change as well. When a maintainer closes an issue and assigns credit, if any of the users being credited have attributed the work to an organization - that issue credit will be displayed on the organization page. This change rewards those organizations that give their employees time to give back to Drupal.Content Strategy and Visual Design System for Drupal.org
In May, the long-running Content Strategy work culminated the presentation of the Drupal Association’s proposal for a new content model on Drupal.org. In June, after monitoring feedback from the Drupal community and the Working Groups following DrupalCon Los Angeles - we transitioned from planning the new Information Architecture to planning the implementation details to make the new content model a reality on Drupal.org.
Implementation of the new content model and governance plan is going to involve quite a few changes to the modules on Drupal.org, so we want to approach the implementation iteratively and carefully.
Our plan developed in June calls for us to create the new ‘Why Drupal’ section of the site first. In June, we prototyped an implementation of this first section using Organic Groups and Panelizer and prepared a plan for performance profiling.Issue Workflow and Git Improvements
The Association Team is excited to implement our vision for new issue workspaces on Drupal.org - including a new spin on the implementation of pull requests.
Work on the Issue Workspaces is slated to begin once major work on DrupalCI is complete, and we are able to retire the PIFT/PIFR testing system without regressions.
However, we were able to remove a blocker to this work by updating our servers for our Git architecture (more below in sustaining support and maintenance.)Community Initiatives
DrupalCI was a major focus of the Drupal Association staff in June. In June the integration between DrupalCI and Drupal.org was enabled for the first time. DrupalCI is now running in parallel with the PIFT/PIFR testbots to provide us a reference frame to prove out the implementation.
A remaining MVP hit list was codified in June - representing the few remaining issues needed to meet the guidelines set out by the Drupal core developers. (Spoilers: Most of these issues are resolved at the time of this posting in July!).
Going into July the focus will be on providing testing for Contrib through DrupalCI, and then ensuring that there are no regressions in functionality or test result detail as compared to PIFT/PIFR so that the old test bots can be retired.
Once that is achieved, the Assocation’s work on DrupalCI will scale back to maintaining the system’s stability- and more development focus will be provided to our next initiatives.
At the end of June we initiated a final round of community testing for the port of localize.drupal.org from Drupal 6 to Drupal 7.
That testing period has ended as of the first week of June, and we are now working together with the community to resolve the issues uncovered by this final testing before deployment.Revenue-related projects (funding our work)
Registration for DrupalCon Barcelona opened in June, with some small refinements to the registration process from lessons learned in DrupalCon Los Angeles.
Events.Drupal.org did receive one new front-facing feature, an opportunity in the registration process for ticket purchasers to purchase or renew their Individual or Organization memberships with the Drupal Association.
The Drupal Association is also working very closely with the DrupalCon Asia designer in preparation for the full site launch in the coming months.
Better Cart Management on Jobs.drupal.org
On Drupal Jobs we deployed a small update to the checkout workflow to make cart management easier - addressing the top support request that we receive from our users.
Future development for Drupal Jobs continues to be limited to the most high-impact bugs or features identified in the support requests we receive for job postings.
Signature Supporting Partners Page Launched
June also saw the launch of the Signature Supporting Partner program. This required a small update to our supporting partners page to support the new partner category.Sustaining Support and Maintenance
Final work preparing for deployment of our new git servers was completed in June - but for scheduling reasons the maintenance window for replacing our existing Git infrastructure was scheduled to take place on 7/9/2015. (This deployment was successful!)
Our Fastly CDN deployment for updates traffic (updates.drupal.org) was also successful. Updates now use dynamic purging to reduce the number of requests served by our origin servers and decreases the latency between packaging a release and serving the update data from a number of minutes to a few seconds.
As part of the updates deployment with Fastly, we now have a *.drupal.org wildcard TLS/SSL certificate for https://updates.drupal.org and https://ftp.drupal.org. This enables HTTPS support on all of Drupal.org and its’ sub-sites for the first time.
As always, we’d like to say thanks to all volunteers who are working with us and to the Drupal Association Supporters, who made it possible for us to work on these projects.
OSCON, the annual open source conference, brings over 4,000 people together in Portland this July. We are a proud participant again this year and we are excited to talk about Drupal to a wider audience. If you are looking for a reason to attend, you can use the code USRG which will get you 20% off your registration. Or you can use the PCEXPOPLUS code to gain admission to the exhibition hall for free.
Taking Drupal to the larger open source world is a big job, and we need our amazing community's help. Help us spread the word that Drupal is at OSCON! If you're attending, please come by and say hi, let your new friends know they can find us in the nonprofit pavilion at table #6 from Tuesday evening through Thursday afternoon. Or, if you know someone who's in open source who will be at OSCON, please encourage them to come by and say hello! Here's a tweet you can share with your networks to help us spread the word:
Thanks to the Portland Drupal community for helping out and to everyone for volunteering time at OSCON. If you want to help out by volunteering at the table, we'd love your assistance! You can sign up here.
See you at OSCON!Personal blog tags: OSCON
If you are interested in Drupal community and you are coming to Drupalcon, we are looking for your opinions!
For a very long time, community conversations at DrupalCon took place at sessions in the community track, which ran alongside all the other content at DrupalCons. The community track allowed for presentations on topics related to our community. While it was good to be able to raise the topics, there were real concerns that the session format meant that nothing productive came from the conversation. Further, the community track was just much less attended than other sessions, with 25 or so folks in a room that holds 200.
At DrupalCon Prague in 2013, we launched the first Community Summit. Held on the Monday of DrupalCon week, it is a day-long event designed in an un-conference style to bring community members together to tackle the issues that help our community achieve more together. Morten DK, Addison Berry, and others (bless you all - you have been great collaboratrs) ran the program and led a number of very useful conversations.
For the last few DrupalCons we have run these community summits, and have heard a whole new round of feedback, including:
- Work at the Summit does not tend to continue after the Summit, so we lose momentum.
- We don’t always have the right people in the room to really solve some of these problems.
We also did some surveying of our community leaders at the beginning of last year and heard that they are very hungry for skills training that can help them take their camps, meetups, trainings, etc. to the next level. They want to learn about how to manage the finances of a camp, how to recruit sponsors, and how to be better public speakers. The current community summit format does not really allow for this kind of skills training either.
So - we are looking for your feedback about how we might restructure the community content at DrupalCons.
Just so you know, I hit the woods with my family and no internet and no phones for one week a year, and that week is next week. I won’t be able to respond to comments or the survey while I’m gone, but I will do so when I return. If you have feelings, ideas, or feelings about ideas - stick them in the survey! I’ll share the results back out. If you have book recommendations for my trip, hit me up on Twitter.
First things first - an apology. I realize it's been a couple of month since I put up a post about our Board meetings. I definitely apologize, and will try not to let that happen again. However, know that you can always see the meeting minutes, materials, and recordings on our site. And, if you ever have any questions, you can find me on Twitter, D.O, in IRC (drupalhross), or you can send me an email (you know, if you are old school).
The June board meeting covered the month of May at the Association, which was a rather big month. As usual, we had a number of items to cover in our operational upate, and then we dove into updates from the Drupal.org Working Groups.
- Drupal 8 Accelerate had a great month in May, adding $55,000 to the total of over $213,000 now raised to help close D8 release blockers. Huge thanks to Catalyst IT, Open Source Developers Conference Australia, Siteground, Figleaf Software and Duo Consulting for the $1,000+ donations in May. You can see how every dollar is directly impacting Drupal 8.
- We had a DrupalCon! We'll give you a full wrap up in August when all the details, including financials are available.
- Content Strategy is coming to Drupal.org. In an nutshell, we are excited to have completed a content strategy process with Forum One. With the strategy document complete, we can begin implementation. In the next few months we'll be introducing changes to the site to support the new information architecture and content governenace. When everything is in place, you will see a site that is easier to navigate and gives topic owners more flexibility in the types of content and permissioning they can use. You can see all the details in the DrupalCon LA session we hosted.
- As we shared in last week's post, our revenue continues to come in slower than planned. In Executive Session we shared a mid-year adjustment to the plan that we have now begun executing. Although we are not meeting our original goals, we remain excited about the possibilities for the Association - we are still growing. Especially reassuring is that all the Drupal 8 content we release is snapped up quickly.
Working Group Updates
Last quarter the Working Groups met in-person at DrupalCon Los Angeles. During the meeting, the groups discussed their role in producing the Drupal.org roadmap and began the process of re-prioritizing the work. We have definitely discovered a broader need for the Association engineering team across the Drupal ecosystem, and need a better process to allow for unplanned work to be prioritized. A good example is DrupalCI, which morphed from an entirely volunteer-run initiative to work supported heavily by Association staff.
The Working Groups have also proposed charter changes in to the Executive Committee for review. We are looking to expand the number of community members on each group and further clarify the roles.
Thanks and see you next month!
That's all we had for this board meeting, but more is planned for July and beyond. Check out all our upcoming board meetings and register to attend.
Flickr photo: pdjohnson
In the next couple of weeks we'll be launching a new sponsorship opportunity for Drupal Supporters on the homepage of Drupal.org. The following is background information and a proposal for the program. We would like a period of public community feedback. Feedback is open until the 6th of July. At that time, we will incorporate the feedback into the sponsorship program plan.Background
The Drupal Association has been creating advertising programs on Drupal.org in an effort to do more to serve our mission, and to take the pressure off of DrupalCons to perform financially. We’ve been working to develop advertising products that are meaningful for advertisers, deliver value to the community, and are respectful of users contributing to the project.About the Program
The Homepage Sponsorship will highlight partners who support the community through Drupal Supporter Programs. This includes Supporting Partners, Hosting Supporters and Tech Supporters. The sponsorship will display in the 300 x 250 ad block that already exists on the Drupal.org homepage. The creative template is designed and maintained by the Association. The featured supporter will provide a logo, body copy, button copy, and a link to that will direct to their website. We will display the partner’s supporter badge, and eventually, pass in any applicable organization credits.
The idea for the Homepage Sponsorship originates from the rewards mechanism that Dries discussed in his DrupalCon Amsterdam 2014 Keynote. His vision involves building a system that creates an incentive for Drupal companies to contribute to the project by rewarding them with benefits and giving recognition.
There is a larger project in motion which includes the Drupal Association building commit credits for organizations, and developing the algorithm to apply a value to the credits. The Homepage Sponsorship is one potential reward that will eventually feed into the system. Until that larger project is complete, the Homepage Sponsorship will be available for purchase by Drupal Supporters. It will be sold in one week increments, giving the partner 100% of the page views during the campaign. The program will expand recognition for those organizations who already give back, and will encourage more organizations to participate in Supporter Programs.Homepage Sponsorship Mock
Advertising Guidelines for Drupal.org
The Drupal Association interviewed representatives of the Drupal Community to help guide our advertising strategy and ensure a positive advertising experience on Drupal.org. We developed informal guidelines; for example, advertising is not appropriate in issue queues, and when possible, products should monetize users who are logged out and not contributing to the Project. After we received feedback on our most recent program - Try Drupal, we started work on formalizing these guidelines for advertising on Drupal.org.
We created an issue to share a draft advertising policy developed by the Association and Drupal.org Content Working Group. The policy will set guidelines for how we advertise - addressing issues like the labeling of ads, content guidelines, etc. with the aim of providing an advertising experience that complements Drupal.org and supports our community values. Whatever decisions are made in that policy will be applied to existing programs, including the Homepage Sponsorship and Try Drupal program.Talk To Us
We want your input about the Homepage Sponsorship. Please comment on this post, or in the issue, with your questions and insights.
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I want to share today that the Association is implementing a new financial plan to address lower than anticipated revenues in 2015. To align our spending more closely with our revenue, we are implementing expense cuts that I’m very sorry to say include staffing. Regrettably, we are losing three staff people today from operations, engineering and our community teams. This was not a decision we came to lightly, and we’re committed to helping those staff through their transition as best we can. In this post I want to share some information about how we got here, and our revised plan.
A Brief history
This is a really hard post to write because we delivered a plan to the community at the beginning of 2015, and it’s clear that we are not going to be able to fully execute to that plan. I take responsibility for that.
I started at the Association two and half years ago, at a very different time for the organization. At that point in early 2013, the Association was a handful of staff, mostly focused on the DrupalCons. The D7 upgrade of Drupal.org had been halted. Not without some good reason, community trust in the Association was low, and that’s among the people who even knew the Association existed.
When I joined, the message I heard from the board and from the many community members I talked to was that the Association had to learn to implement consistently and communicate more. In other words, we needed to build our credibility in the community by executing our work well and making sure the community knew what we were up to and how to get involved.
One thing that was clear from the outset was that Drupal.org was key to our success. If we could not begin to make visible improvements to Drupal.org with the community, we would fail. With support from the board, we decided to invest our healthy reserve in ourselves and build a team that could improve Drupal.org. As our CTO Josh Mitchel pointed out in his anniversary blog post, we’ve done a LOT on Drupal.org. We’ve also made great strides in DrupalCons, introducing more first-time attendee support, providing more resources to all the sprints, and adding the third Con in global communities that are so eager to have us there. Our marketing team has helped create some key content for Drupal 8 and we’ve even raised over $210,000 to help fund the completion of D8 release blockers, The revenue we generate to do this work has also increased, and diversified. We've grown the Drupal Jobs, and rolled out Try Drupal. You can see, even with our revised expectations for 2015, that things are still growing. One of our key programs, Supporting Partners, is up 26% over this same time period last year, for example. Growth of this program was only 4% in 2014.
So lots of amazing things are happening, but we have to address that we overestimated what was possible for revenue. We have to adjust our plan to meet reality.
Changing the Plan
Addressing our situation is not work we took lightly. We set several goals for the process that guided our thinking throughout:
- Solve for short-term revenue shortfalls while retaining resources we need to succeed long-term
- Minimize staff impact
- Do this once - find the scenario we can truly sustain, and then grow out of
- Retaining credibility with staff and ensuring we communicate how valuable they are for our future
- Maintain community confidence
The strategy we used was two-fold. First, we strove to preserve our core services to the community and our ability to fund our own work. Second, we decided to take action as quickly as possible because the sooner we made changes to the plan, the greater the long-term benefit to the organization. We know that this second strategy makes some of this seem like it's out of the blue, but it means that we impact as few people as possible.
Our leadership team looked at three approaches to addressing our cash flow issues:
- Incremental revenue: Our new forecast extends actuals from the beginning of 2015 out through the end of the year. We believe that it is possible for us to improve upon this forecast slightly because, although our primary mistake was overestimating revenue, we also had some staffing change-ups (a retirement, hiring new reps) on the team at the beginning of the year that adversely affected the numbers. There is some room to modestly improve our revenue from the forecast.
- Non-labor expense: We looked at travel, consulting fees, hardware and software, among other places in the budget where we had built in buffers or non-essential expenses. Eliminating these now, and not carrying them into 2016 was a key part of our process.
- Labor expense: This was the last option we looked at because at the end of the day, not only do all our staff give the community everything they’ve got, we really like each other here. I care deeply for the well-being of everyone at the Association. There is also lot of discussion in the business community about the long-term negative impacts of layoffs on organizations. We looked at lots of ways to reduce labor expense, but were not able to find a solution that did not include some layoffs.
Using this process, we were able to identify $450,000 in non-labor expense savings, and increase revenue projections $250,000 from July 1 2015 through December 31 2016. That was enough to solve our 2015 revenue shortfalls, but it did not address the issues long-term. We needed to reach deeper to ensure our long-term success. We had to consider labor reductions.
Prior to looking at any other staff, the leadership team at the Association decided that the first staff cut had to come from us. As a team, Megan, Joe, Josh, and Matt volunteered a 10% reduction, and I volunteered a 15% reduction. But we still weren’t there. Looking at the remaining labor cuts, we wanted to use our values as our guide. We know that our team believes in our teamwork value above all else, and would want to minimize layoffs as much as possible. With that in mind, we experimented with the model and determined that we could limit layoffs to three if we asked remaining staff to take a 5% pay cut across the board.
All told, here’s what measures look like:
We believe this approach meets our goals and puts us in the best position possible to continue the great work we’ve been doing.
What Happens Next?
On the financial front, we’ll be managing to our cash flow for the next 18 months, as well as modernizing our budgeting and forecasting tools to reflect an Agile methodology. This will let us see further into the future more often, and give us more opportunities to update our plans based on what’s actually happening. And, if we find we are performing favorably to our plan, our first action will be to restore salaries for our staff.
Most importantly, we’re going to be focused on our team. They all got the news earlier today, and we’re taking this time to talk things through all together, in our teams, and one on one. I am here to answer questions and hear concerns for every one of them. We’ll also implement monthly internal review of our progress to the new plan with staff so that they have transparency on a monthly basis about what’s happening. These people are the best thing we have going for us, and I won’t ever be able to make this up to any of them, but I am committed to helping them find the best path forward they can.
Sharing this is not easy. The only thing that makes it better is knowing that the Association, like Drupal itself, has so much potential. I want to thank our Supporters, partners, sponsors, members, and the general community for everything you’ve given us so far. The only way we will realize our potential and move forward is together, and we are so happy that we get to do that with you.
As our community grows, so do our programs. This year in addition to hosting trainings and both the Community Summit and Business Summit, we offered a Higher-Ed Summit at DrupalCon. As soon as it was announced folks clamored to sign up, and the tickets sold out at a rapid pace. We at the Drupal Association feel like this is a great example of how the growing variety of offerings at DrupalCon illustrates the increasing diversity of our community’s interests and skillsets.
The Higher-Ed Summit was a huge hit and that was due largely in part to the efforts of the Summit Leads, Christina and Shawn. They worked hard to understand what the Higher-Ed community wanted and needed from the Summit and strategized to provide it down to the last detail. Their planning and experience were integral to the popularity of the event, and we look forward to working with these awesome volunteers again in the future.
Maybe I’m naive or a wide-eyed optimist, but meeting and speaking to people from all over the world is invigorating and exciting to me. Throughout the course of DrupalCon I had the opportunity to meet with community organizers from near and far. While it’s true that many attendees came from the United States and Canada, there were also organizers who came from as far away as Latin America, Europe, India, and Japan, and talked about how Drupal has affected their communities and their livelihoods. It is always such a pleasure to see Drupal changing lives and bringing opportunities for personal growth and business everywhere.
After an exhausting week of keynotes, and BOFs, and meetings, and dinners, I launched into the sprints on Friday with the purpose of understanding Drupal more. I always enjoy discussing Drupal’s unique qualities with developers, site-builders, and themers, but this DrupalCon I really wanted to engage in more than just conversations. I wanted to experience what it is like to directly develop and work with Drupal. At the Friday sprints, my friend and new mentor Amy agreed to sit down with me and help me put together my own blog, run on a Drupal website. During the process, I realized that there is no better way to start to understand the complexity of Drupal than to use the product myself.
When learning to use Drupal in the sprint, I realized that we really are about fostering a friendly, inclusive, and diverse community. We talk the talk and we walk the walk. Amy sat down with me and patiently showed me step-by-step how to start my site. We picked a hosting site, domain name, downloaded Drupal, and began the process of organizing our modules and features. Finally, I started to really get it, which was incredibly exciting. Both personally and professionally, it meant a lot to me that someone would take the time to help me on my journey. It really brought home the fact that Drupalers genuinely care, are excited and willing to share knowledge, and have fun while doing it.
DrupalCon Los Angeles was a spectacular event. I feel like this blog wouldn’t be a proper message from LShey without some shout-outs and kudos, so please join me in celebrating others. I’d like to say out a big thank you to our talented Events team at the Drupal Association for organizing a seamless and beautiful event. Thank you to our sponsors who help us put on this event with their support. Thank you to our dedicated volunteers: whether you were a sprint-mentor, room-monitor, or speaker, your time and expertise is appreciated and valued. Our volunteers truly make DrupalCon a wonderful event. I’d like to share a special shout-out to the team who keeps us all informed, too: thank you to Alex and Paul for running the @drupalconna twitter handle. Thank you to Emma Jane, who was our MC this DrupalCon, and who engaged our keynote speakers with witty and thoughtful interviews. Lastly, thank you to you all, our community. DrupalCon would not be the same without you. I’m looking forward to seeing you all at the next one!
Community Outreach Coordinator
The Drupal Association is excited to announce that Wunderkraut, a full service European agency and longtime supporter of the Drupal project, is now our first Signature Supporting Partner. A Supporting Partner since March 2014, Wunderkraut's latest contribution deepens its commitment to advancing the Drupal project and empowering the Drupal community.
"Drupal’s community is amazing. We’re very proud to be a part of it," said Wunderkraut CEO Vesa Palmu. "We're an established provider of Drupal services, and enjoy contributing to the Drupal ecosystem however we can, whether through camps or sponsored events, and especially when we can be quirky and fun! This passion is why we're now a Signature Partner—to strengthen our commitment to growing this community and project we love."
The Supporting Partner Program includes more than 60 companies from around the world. All of the funding from the program goes directly to support maintenance and enhancements for Drupal.org. Program contributions have funded many initiatives, such as
- Advancements in security
- Improved development environments
- User-friendly content strategy and design
Partners enjoy enhanced promotional services from the Drupal Association, such as brand visibility on Drupal.org, select access at premier events like DrupalCon, and increased publicity via various online social platforms. For their elevated contributions to the program, Signature Partners will receive upgraded promotional services.
"I’m absolutely thrilled that Wunderkraut is joining us as the first Signature Supporting Partner," said Drupal Association Executive Director Holly Ross. "Their support for the Association and the project is, and has always been, top-notch. This is another great expression of how much Wunderkraut believes in the incredible work our community does."
To join Wunderkraut as one of the Drupal Association's contributing partners, start by learning more about the Supporting Partner Program.
Breaking a Guinness world record is no easy feat, but in 2014, the folks behind Bart’s Bash did just that. With help from Drupal, they coordinated the world’s largest-ever sailing race — a fundraising event in memory of Andrew “Bart” Simpson.
Bart Simpson was a British sailor who won a gold medal at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, a silver medal in the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, and medaled in numerous World and European Championships. After Simpson was killed in a sailing accident in May of 2013 when training for the 2013 America’s Cup, his friends and family went on to found the Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation in his memory.
“Andrew had passed away six months before [we began organizing Bart’s Bash],” said David Bishop, who built the website for Bart’s Bash. David is a sailor and runs NinetyOne Consulting out of Shropshire, England with his wife, who did much of the design work for the Bart’s Bash site. “When we set out initially, our goal was [to reach] only fifty sailing clubs, to raise £10,000, and see 2,000 people on the water."
The Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation exists to inspire personal growth in young people through sailing. According to the Bart’s Bash 2014 website, "Many of our Olympic sailors have described the first time they were given charge of a boat as their moment of clarity – the first instance they felt true responsibility and in command of their destiny. Whether or not children will take up sailing as a pastime, many studies have shown that children who are confident, have self worth and personal resilience do better in every way. They are happier in their personal and family life, they are better able to learn, do better at school and in employment and they are more open to new experiences in life. We aim to provide an avenue to that fulfilment and have global ambitions to spread the attitude, inspiration and personality of Andrew Simpson around the world."
“Initially, there was a Facebook page that had been set up in memory of Bart, and it only had about five thousand followers,” said David. “So we built a one page website for the event, and I put social sharing buttons on it. We were very quickly up to several thousand shares on Facebook, and hundreds on Twitter.
"Within three or four weeks, over 300 sailing clubs had come to us and said, ‘we want to be involved,’” David continued. “So we had to change what the event was going to be. Initially, we were just going to be a dinghy event in the UK, but because of the international interest from yacht clubs, kitesurfing clubs, model yacht clubs... all these people wanted to be a part of it, and we wanted to accommodate them as much as possible.”The perfect platform for breaking records
As it turned out, Drupal was the perfect platform for this rapidly-growing event. “The whole concept of Bart’s Bash was that there’s no overriding governance. It's about engaging sailing clubs and getting someone at each venue to say, 'I’ll hold an event here, I’ll manage it,’” said David. “From that point of view it was a massively volunteer, community driven event. We’ve been as open as possible about making sure clubs can make their own pages and manage their own content, to make the event as successful as possible."
For David, that meant building a platform that sailing clubs around the world could use and make their own.
“I’ve built the system so that each club can create their own page,” David said. "They log in to a control panel, upload their own content, and manage it themselves. With the flexibility of the Simple CCK module, and blocks and views, it was possible for me to do rapid development. I built the whole thing myself. I had a little help from a local web development company — a day’s support, maybe — but other than that, one person built this whole system, and the scale it gives you is phenomenal.
“It’s interesting, because one of the areas that this has shown that the foundation can go into is providing services around the world just as a club web page. A lot of sailing clubs might not have a page that looks as nice as this, or that isn’t mobile responsive. But all of this is. So that’s actually one of the services that the foundation is looking at: we’re thinking of turning this into a ‘Learn to Sail' directory where you can find information about sailing at clubs near you.
“It’s amazing how good Drupal is as a platform — it definitely works for something like this,” David continued. “It’s just so flexible and so scalable. We put up the site for the 2014 event, and translated one of the key pages into eight or nine different languages. As you know, you turn on the international module and add the different variations, and you’re done. Drupal is the only platform out there that does this."“A lovely festival of sailing"
Building a scalable, global website was only the beginning of holding a worldwide race, however.
“One of the biggest challenges was that it was going to be a global race — so how do you rank people racing in different time zones, in different classes?” David said. “We worked with a formula so we could calculate speed — a handicapped speed, if you will — so people in fast boats were adjusted for slow boats. Ultimately it came down to where the wind was in the world on that day. We were fortunate to receive a lot of help from the UK’s Royal Yachting Association with this challenge."
“After the race, we split the results up by age, experience, wind conditions, country, and boat class, which was key,” David continued. “We were able to produce a very nice set of statistics, and that’s something that hasn’t really been done in sailing before. In most sailing races, you just get a very straightforward set of results to see the winners. But it turns out our way was really popular— we saw a lot more traffic to the website after the events and continually for the next few weeks. As more results came in for those few weeks afterwards, seeing how the top 10 has moved up and down, it was great."
But for the sailors, it turns out it wasn’t all about winning. “We thought people were going to be obsessed about the results, and we weren’t sure how we’d validate it,” David said. “But in reality, we had massive boats in the same start lines as a 7-year-old kid in a tiny boat. It turned out people didn’t care about the race so much. Instead, it became this lovely festival of sailing."Breaking world records
With the size of the event, the Bart’s Bash organizers were certain they’d be able to break a world record.
"For Guinness we had to get video of every start and every finish, plus steward and witness statements, and then we had to send each club bundle in. With more than 500 venues around the world participating, we wound up having nearly 10,000 boats qualified as being part of the world record,” said David. In total, the group collected and calculated results for 30,754 sailors across 52 countries around the world.
“It was another great way to get people involved in the event,” he continued. “Telling them that they're going to be a Guinness world record holder."
When it comes to the next year of races, David has high hopes. “For 2015, the Guinness restrictions have been lifted as we want to encourage small clubs who were not large enough to qualify under the rules required by Guinness last year. Also in 2015, we want more non-sailors on the water at more clubs around the world. To help make this happen we have come up with an idea called “Bart’s Buddies” aimed at taking your mates sailing. There will also be a special “Bouy Race” which will make it easier to get all of the wonderful volunteers sailing. To help showcase that, this year’s website is much more geared around showing the photos and the videos taken by each club around the world."
“Ultimately, three things brought the whole event together last year, and are pushing it forward this year, too,” David said. “First, it's a worthy fundraising reason. People want to do something in Andy’s memory. Second, it's a challenge — and sailors love challenges. Lastly, though, it brings a global community together, and Drupal as a platform enabled that to happen. We could create maps showing where people were using Open Layers modules. We could personalize the website for different people, and could drill down data and results.”
“Really, this is the first census for sailing activity done around the world in one day. It hadn’t been done before, which makes this website and event historic from that point of view,” said David. “We’ve been approached by other sailing associations and foundations, saying 'we want to do this, can we use the data you’ve collected.’"
As for what comes next, David is excited for the race coming up in September.
“A big sailing club signed up to participate in Barcelona last year,” David said. “And this year, the race is on 20 September — the day before DrupalCon Barcelona happens. Perhaps we’ll be able to get some Drupalers out there?
“The fact that Drupal exists means that Bart’s Bash happened. It has a lot of thanks to give to Drupal,” David concluded.
If you're interested in participating in Bart's Bash at DrupalCon Barcelona, let us know.
Sailing image credit to Gorazd Božič on Flickr.
This quarter saw a phenomenal turn out for the Drupal Association’s May Global Training Days! 25 training companies from 15 countries participated in hosting Introduction to Drupal sessions. A huge thank you to our community organizers and trainers, you are helping grow Drupal adoption globally!
To see all the action, pictures, and new Drupalers from the May training, check out twitter #DrupalGTD!
Want to host a training for your community? We have two more dates coming up in 2015, so it’s not too late to start give back to your community. If you want to set one up, the upcoming Global Training Days are:
- Friday August 29th - Saturday 30th
- Friday November 14th - Saturday 15th
Look for links to our Strategic Roadmap highlighting how this work falls into our priorities set by the Drupal Association Board and Drupal.org Working Groups.Organization and User Profile Improvements
Explicit Attribution Option for ‘I am A Volunteer’
As a part of our effort to recognize individual contributions to the Drupal ecosystem we’ve slightly adjusted the options available to a user when making an attribution in the issue queues. Instead of simply assuming that a comment made without an attribution to an organization or customer is done by a volunteer - we now allow volunteers to explicitly mark their work as such. Requiring a positive affirmation of the volunteer attribution should improve the accuracy of the data we are gathering about the Drupal ecosystem.
This now means a user can make issue comment attributions in the following ways:
- Without attribution
- As a volunteer
- On behalf of an organization and/or customer
- Both as a volunteer and on behalf of an organization and/or customer.
We are seeing a rate of around 30% of issue comments attributed to an organization, customer or as volunteer work. We hope to see that rate increase steadily.
To date, there have also been over 7,000 issue credits that have been awarded to over 2,300 users and 175 organizations. We are looking forward to displaying these credits on user and organization profiles in the month of June and beginning to find new ways to reward our top contributors.Content Strategy and Visual Design System for Drupal.org
Our collaboration with Forum One on developing content strategy for Drupal.org finished a few weeks ago. While recommendations were published in the issue queues earlier, we decided to use DrupalCon Los Angeles as an opportunity to present the work done and future plans in more detail, and get direct feedback from community members. Check out session slides or video if you want to know more on proposed changes to Drupal.org IA and content strategy.
Right now we are working on a few preparations steps before we can start implementing the changes. The first one of those steps would be a card sort exercise to validate our proposed IA and navigation with Drupal.org users. More blog posts and issues will follow as we move further.Issue Workflow and Git Improvements
The Drupal Association has been preparing a plan for a new issue workflow on Drupal.org - with some very exciting improvements planned to create a workflow that is both familiar to other repository hosts and yet unique to the needs of the Drupal community.
Perhaps the greatest value of the new Git workflow will be the presence of per-issue repositories and pull requests on Drupal.org issues without forking the issue conversations. Drupal.org will use git namespaces to provide every developer working on an issue with their own branch. Developers will be able to pull in the latest changes from HEAD, or changes from other users’ branches. Drupal.org will be able to summarize the commits, take the changeset and run tests, and help maintainers manage the merge process to push changes upstream.
This architecture will make additional features possible as well:
- The patch based workflow will continue to work - behind the scenes Drupal.org will create commits on namespaced branches from these patches so that these code contributions will be first-class citizens with the new git workflow.
- We will be able to provide an inline editor for code in issues - simplifying the workflow for contributions such as code style fixes, documentation, quick typo corrections, etc.
- We can provide the option to compare any two changes in an issue, giving us automated interdiff functionality.
- We can identify merge conflicts across issues - to hopefully prevent conflicts across issues before they become too deeply entangled.
This planning work culminated in a presentation at DrupalCon Los Angeles - where the community provided some great feedback, and dove into help us with some architectural components during the extended sprints.
Implementation of the new Issue Workspaces architecture will certainly take some time - but we’re excited to have a plan to work from as we move forward.Community Initiatives
Two Factor Authentication
May saw the initial roll out of Two-Factor Authentication on Drupal.org. Users with elevated privileges on Drupal.org now have the option of enabling TFA, and this may become required for all elevated roles in future.
Next we want to make two factor available to all authenticated users on Drupal.org. However, before we can allow every user to enable two factor it is important that we create a support policy for resetting accounts with TFA enabled, which is still under discussion.
DrupalCon Los Angeles was a great opportunity to meet with the community and talk about the current state of DrupalCI, and it’s upcoming release.
As of the end of May, DrupalCI is very close to being ready for integration on Drupal.org. All of the environments requested for the MVP deployment are functional, and the Drupal Association staff is getting ready to demo the integration with Drupal.org on a development site - at the same time work is continuing on the results site componenet and the test-runner’s results publishing capabilities.
DrupalCI will be rolled out in parallel with the existing PIFT/PIFR infrastructure for at least a few months following initial deployment as a sanity check.
Click-testing has identified several additional issues going into the end of May, and the Association team continues to work on knocking the issues down as they appear. When the current set of identified issues is resolved, we intend to notify the most active translation groups and ask them to perform a final round of testing on the staging environment.
When any issues from that final round of testing are resolved, we will deploy the D7 version of Localize.drupal.org.Revenue-related projects (funding our work)
DrupalCon Los Angeles was a productive and fun event for the community and the Association staff - in every way a success. At the conference we made several announcements about the upcoming DrupalCons, including 2016 locations.
First, we announced the opening of the call for papers for DrupalCon Barcelona, September 21st-25th. The call for papers for Barcelona closes on June 8th.
We then announced our next two conferences, and launched their websites.
DrupalCon Asia will be held in Mumbai in February of 2016.
And the next DrupalCon North America will be held on May 9th-13th, 2016 in New Orleans!Sustaining Support and Maintenance
The Git servers replacing our existing Git infrastructure are nearly ready for thorough testing and deployment. These servers give us a highly available cluster for git.drupal.org, in addition to increased storage capacity, a newer operating system, and dedicated hardware for Git services on Drupal.org.
Our Fastly CDN deployment for downloads (ftp.drupal.org) was a success, and soon to follow is the same new architecture for updates traffic (updates.drupal.org). This new architecture uses dynamic purging to reduce the number of update requests served by our origin servers. It also decreases the latency between packaging a release and serving the update data from a number of minutes to a few seconds.
As always, we’d like to say thanks to all volunteers who are working with us and to the Drupal Association Supporters, who made it possible for us to work on these projects.
The sky is truly the limit for getting value from attending a DrupalCon. There are so many ways to involve yourself, be a part of different opportunities to give back, and meet many people from all over the world and of all walks of life. At DrupalCon Los Angeles, we saw so many of our wonderful community members coming together to share their experiences and learn from each other -- and one of the places where this happened most was at our Monday summits.
A much anticipated part of my job is to host the Community Summit at DrupalCons. It’s a truly wonderful and humbling experience to stand in is a room filled with like-minded caring people, all of whom are ready to roll up their sleeves and work on some community topics and projects.
This DrupalCon we had some folks working on COD, which stands for Conference Organizing Distribution. COD packages all of the features event organizers need to create a website for their event. One of the coolest features is that they can update their site for multiple events and years. We also had participants discuss Drupal and non-profits. They sprinted on how to incorporate CiviCRM into their work, best practices for site builders to utilize and pro-tips for those in non-profit using Drupal.
Additionally, we had Donna Benjamin come out to represent the Drupal Association board. Donna and her group discussed governance and conflict resolution for the Drupal community. The group learned about the Community Working Group, its goals, and generated some great ideas on how to keep DrupalCon a warm and inviting event.
Other groups sprinted on community topics such as a Campus Ambassador program, International Collaboration and Community building, Large Scale Drupal, and Building local Drupal Communities.
All in all, it was a successful day, with around 60 participants from Australia, North America, South America, Europe, and Asia. However, the fun and networking didn’t stop at the end of the summit.
More on my experiences at DrupalCon Los Angeles next week, until then, cheers!
Community Outreach Coordinator
On March14th 2015, the Chinese Drupal Community gathered in Shanghai for DrupalCampChina 2015. With two keynotes, three one-hour presentations, nine thirty-minute sessions and a great after party, it was a busy day of learning and sharing ideas.
Learn from the best
China is a large country, but on the day of DrupalCampChina 2015, attendees from cities as far away as Beijing and Hong Kong traveled more than 8 hours to the event. One of the top reasons that many Chinese Drupalers were motivated to travel from afar was the keynote speakers, who were funded by Drupal Association. Many Chinese Drupalers appreciated the opportunity to listen and meet some of the top Drupal developers in the world; furthermore, they wanted to learn more about open source culture, the organization of the Drupal Community, and Drupal core development.
This year, we were thrilled to have Ryan Szrama and Clay Shirky as our two keynotes. Ryan’s talk, “Opening Doors with Open Source eCommerce,” was inspiring. His stories charted the path he took that defined his open source career, and how it shaped both Ubercart and Drupal Commerce modules.
Our other keynote, Clay Shirky presented on “Collaborative Technologies.” Analyzing the social aspects around recent technologies, Clay’s talk demonstrated how humans are not only producing the technologies, but how those technologies in turn shape the development, distribution, and community of the future. In a way, Clay’s talk explained how Drupal and its community was born and why they are what they are today.
Both keynotes were exciting and inspiring, and boosted our attendees’ confidence and enthusiasm for Drupal and Open Source.Growing Drupal in China
As Chinese philosopher Confucius once said, “Isn’t it delightful to have a friend coming from afar?” At DrupalCampChina 2015, Adam Malone from Acquia and Felipe Rubim from CI&T travelled to Shanghai from Australia and offered their insights and guidance. I took the opportunity to discuss methods of growing Drupal in China with them based on their experiences both in Asia Pacific and the rest of the world.
Many people at the camp had fun and were inspired watching Adam present “Let's talk about web experience management with Drupal 8”. Later on, while discussing the growth of Drupal in China, Adam mentioned Acquia’s broad interest in helping Drupal grow in Asian markets. His rule of thumb is to organize more local meetups and to encourage social activities for the group where Drupal isn’t the focus. By creating friendships within the community, we make stronger ties between its members. Adam also pointed out that it’s important to learn the decision making process within different business areas. Once the requirements and priorities are better presented, Drupal usually can offer many solutions with the ability for further customization. If we want to increase Drupal adoption from the top down in China, then the developers and site builders have a lot of learning to do, and we can’t wait to get started.
Felipe Rubim has assisted with the organization of this camp over the past six months. He firmly believes in the value of DrupalCamp China, which is why he motivated a whole team of Drupalers at CI&T to travel from Ningbo to Shanghai. Their bold presence gives many newcomers a great impression of Drupal. Felipe believes Chinese developers must see more opportunities related to Drupal before they join, and that businesses may also expect a bigger pool of Drupal shops and developers before they jump in. To try and tackle both at the same time, Felipe and his team suggest that the Drupal community should focus on:
- Localized Drupal marketing (Chinese material on Drupal, locally searchable/reachable);
- The translation of more key documentation, along with support on forums;
- Increasing the number of key advocates (e.g.: D.A., local evangelists, etc), people that can speak up for Drupal across different audiences/prospects
- Implementing and marketing flagship local cases;
In early 2015, CNN claimed that China had 557 million smartphone or tablet users, which was almost double of the entire U.S. population. One thing worth noting is that these 557 million users are 80% of the total number of Chinese internet users. Furthermore, as famous Google Exec Hugo Barra pointed out, Alibaba/Taobao in China sold $5.75 billion online in one single day, comparing to $2 billion for U.S. Cyber Monday. In fact, Barra’s Chinese company Xiaomi also recently won a Guinness record for selling 2.11 million phones in 24 hours.
Given that mobile and eCommerce has exploded in China, many Chinese Drupalers have been working on mobile and eCommerce related projects lately, which made it a popular topic at DrupalCamp. We discussed how two large sets of APIs offer the integration to this massive Chinese eCommerce and mobile world. One is from Alibaba, and the other is from Tencent (WeChat). Drupal and the Commerce module offer the amazing capability to integrate Content, Workflow and Commerce together, making it incredibly easy to develop for Chinese eCommerce sites. Drupal Commerce Kickstart Distribution also lets users open a new simple eCommerce site in hours. Hundreds of thousands of Chinese Taobao shop owners have been dreaming about customized shop displays and the Commerce Kickstart distribution can make their dream come true without writing any code. Clearly, there is a lot of opportunity for Drupal in China. Now what we need to do is begin growing.
The security aspect of Drupal was another popular topic at DrupalCampChina. China experienced a lot of cyber security challenges in the past 6 months, for example the recent man-on-the-side-attack. Most Chinese internet companies gradually learned the importance of cyber security and the advantage of using open source software like Drupal. At the camp, many attendees learned about the work and responsibilities of the Drupal Security Team, and learned about Drupal security advice compared to other popular open source software. Ultimately, we concluded that it will be almost impossible for most proprietary Chinese CMS software to catch up with the security practices that Drupal can offer.
Many small and medium businesses in China were eager to learn about optimization of hosting websites for Chinese markets. Both the technical aspects like bandwidth and connectivity, and political governance of Internet are quite different when the Internet crosses border in China. Some Chinese companies host websites in China, but then must deal with increasing market demand in the rest of the world, while many international companies are uncertain of the best practices to optimize speed for Chinese market. Numerous strategies have been discussed, but thanks to the power of Drupal (e.g. CDN module, Storage API), the implementation of many optimization strategies is only a marginal investment for many companies.Attending DrupalCon LA
DrupalCampChina 2015 was held shortly after the Chinese New Year. We took the opportunity to meet and discuss the plans for the near future. Many Chinese developers had a taste of the fun and value of this camp in Shanghai, and wanted to learn more about Drupal and its community. Therefore, we formed a team to travel to DrupalCon LA. Keith Yau, Jackie Chen, Jerenus Zheng, and Everright Chen had a great time at DrupalCon LA and had lots of exciting new ideas to bring back and share with our community in China. For most, this was both their first DrupalCon and their first trip to the US. They witnessed how well the Drupal community collaborated at Sprints; learned to communicate with many Drupalers both offline and online; and they were shocked to see how many potential career choices were available at DrupalCon. When they talked about this trip after they returned, it was certain that they were amazed and inspired. Nicely done, DrupalCon LA!
The Drupal Association is thrilled to announce the start of two new employees. Many of you may have met Mark and Gener at DrupalCon Los Angeles, but for those of you who were unable to make it, or who didn’t run into them, here’s the info about our newest additions to the team.
Mark Brandstetter, Account Manager for Technology and Hosting, Revenue Team
Mark Brandstetter is helping to take over Don Page's role as one of the new Account Manager's for technology and hosting based out of the Portland office. Mark is originally from the Midwest, but most recently spent 5 years living in Brooklyn, New York. Previously, Mark worked at Yelp and AdRoll, and his background in digital marketing and strategy will prove helpful to the team! In his free time, Mark enjoys cooking, hiking and hopes to one day join his his fellow Portland-Druplers at the DA in owning his very own urban chicken(s). Fingers crossed!!
Gener Umali, Drupal.org Advertising, Revenue Team
Gener Umali will be focused on Drupal.org Advertising, with an emphasis on thoughtfully creating connections between the right people and products. Prior to joining the Drupal Association, Gener worked as a Director of Advertising Sales. In a ten-year advertising career ranging from startups to big-names like CNET, Gener has worked with Mac and Linux Developers, but has never encountered a group as passionate as Drupal developers. He is humbled and inspired by their dedication. In his free time, Gener enjoys tinkering with cars, motorcycles, or anything with a motor. He enjoys travel, and has been to more than thirty countries. He also enjoys snowboarding, skiing, fitness, photography, and collecting old mechanical watches.
Please help us give a warm welcome to Mark and Gener. They’ll be working hard to generate funding for the project we all love, and are already proving to be fantastic additions to the Drupal Association team.
Welcome, Mark and Gener!
This article was submitted by our Premium Hosting Supporter Linode.
We’ve all experienced these before: slooow server hardware; unlimited disk space that is capped once you begin to actually fill it; local directory software installs because you’re not allowed to alter the root system. Managed hosting emerged to help solve these problems. And it did - but sacrificed the true power of a host’s infrastructure. Fortunately, an alternative exists that overcomes the deficiencies of both shared and managed hosting. I call it a “Freedom Host.”What is a Freedom Host?
A Freedom Host respects your needs and creativity. It gives you full root access to the server leaving you with the most powerful processors and lightning-fast, solid-state storage.
Why choose a Freedom Host?
“Getting off the Island.”
This counters a long-standing community practice of exclusively using Drupal. We now see large opportunities in combining Drupal with other powerful auxiliary software. Managed providers have long offered users click-to-deploy for Drupal; but where’s the Node.js button? HA Proxy button? Split-DNS? Magento? These options don’t exist on a managed host.A Freedom Host allows you to run what you want when you want.
Security is a priority when running your Drupal website, right? You verify file permissions, sanitize all site forms and enforce strict password rules to protect against risky Internet traffic. But what about protection from other websites on the same server? What about local containers running on the same private subnet as your own? A Freedom Host, whether dedicated or VPS, offers you greater security than what’s provided through today’s shared-hosting or containers.How do I get Managed comfort with Freedom’s power?
Drush – You can install Drush in seconds with full functionality on any Freedom Host.
Control Panels - While many Freedom Hosts provide you with a remote terminal to get started, you can install and run the GUI you want, not just what you’re limited to.
Backups & Monitoring - Any reputable Freedom Host provides a backup solution but additional options are limitless. Save your Drupal site as a tarball, dump your MariaDB/MySQL database or mirror to an external slave server. You can even image the entire server to backup or test locally in VirtualBox. System metric software, including Longview, New Relic or Piwik, measure, graph and store server traffic.So, what can I do with all this Freedom?
While impossible to compile a full list, some interesting Drupal projects I’ve seen include:
- swapping out “Zen” PHP for Facebook’s HHVM for speed improvements in Drupal 8
- testing Drupal 8 using PHP7
- compiling Nginx to include custom features for Drupal
- custom compiling a kernel for improved performance.
A Freedom Host provides options when choosing what and how you run your Drupal website. Options aside, a Freedom Host is more powerful and less expensive than most managed providers. You can’t lose with Freedom.
This article was written by Ricardo N Feliciano. He is currently a Developer Evangelist for Linode, and is an Information Systems Technician in the U.S. Navy.
Yesterday (May 19), the Louisiana Legislature’s House Civil Law and Procedure Committee voted 10-2 to return HB707 to the calendar, effectively voting it down, at least for the current session. The bill would allow businesses to refuse, in accordance with religious beliefs, to provide goods and services on the basis of a patron’s sexuality.
Described as the protection of “the free exercise of religious beliefs and moral convictions”, were the bill to pass it would preclude the state from taking “any adverse action against a person, wholly or partially, on the basis that such person acts in accordance with a religious belief or moral conviction about the institution of marriage.”
However, hours after the committee’s vote, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal issued an executive order in an attempt to accomplish much of what HB707 is intended to achieve. We’re aware that at least some of the bill’s opponents doubt the executive order may create substantive law. We’re also aware that the U.S. Supreme Court may issue a ruling (before its current term ends in late June) that preempts any contradictory Louisiana law.Why We’re Talking About Louisiana
Earlier this year, we chose New Orleans as the site for DrupalCon North America 2016. Section 86-33 of New Orleans’ municipal code explicitly forbids discrimination by public businesses and stores. In much the same spirit as New Orleans’ code, we want to take this opportunity to unequivocally state that no one at any DrupalCon should be denied service, assistance, or support because of who they are or whom they love.
Community. Collaboration. Openness. These are our ethos. At our core, we’re as committed to these values being principles for how we treat each other as we are for how we do our work.
The very nature of open source means contributions can come from anyone. That means muting voices is inconsistent with our values. That means we believe inclusivity is progress. And that means it’s important we speak when our community asks questions about the risk of discrimination.
Along with logistics—such as available event space, and costs—our DrupalCon site selection process has always considered whether we’d be able to truly celebrate the diversity of the Drupal community and the spirit of the Drupal Code of Conduct. We believe, despite the bill and executive order, that we can still create a safe, diverse, celebratory space for our community in New Orleans next year. We’re happy to bring the diversity of DrupalCon to New Orleans, and we’re confident it’ll be a fantastic event.Talk To Us
We want to hear about your experiences at DrupalCon New Orleans—any and all of them. Tell us your opinions, voice your perspectives, and share what you see. In the meantime, comment on this post, or email us, with your questions and insights.
Look for links to our Strategic Roadmap highlighting how this work falls into our priorities set by the Drupal Association Board and Drupal.org Working Groups.Better account creation
Community User Role Expanded
The community user role which we introduced in March will now be automatically granted to users who reach a certain level of participation on Drupal.org. While the exact activities that can grant this role will not be explicitly published (as we do with other spam prevention measures) the activities are representative of those an engaged community member would take while participating on Drupal.org.
Existing users who have already reached the required level of contribution will receive the role upon their next activity on Drupal.org. As of the end of April the automatic role granting had extended the Community user role to more than 5000 users.
During April the Association staff focused on communicating the results and recommendations of our Content Strategy work with the Working Groups and the Drupal Association Board of Directors.
A deep investigation of the current organization of content on Drupal.org, the workflow provided by Drupal.org for our User Personas, and the governance of content on Drupal.org has brought us to a comprehensive proposal for the future state of Drupal.org.
These proposals involve creating new sections on Drupal.org that better match to common user activities and better content types to support those activities. As we begin organizing Drupal.org into new and updated content types we’ll also be rolling in our initiative to improve search on Drupal.org. As we work on each content type we’ll be assessing the search facets for each type.
The next step to move this proposal forward has been to create issues for the specific proposals that have evolved from the content strategy project to date and the feedback from the Working Groups.
This issue and child issues that follow are based on the findings of the Content Strategy project performed by the Drupal Association staff in partnership with Forum One Communications during December 2014 - April 2015.Community Initiatives (D8 Blockers)
Drupal Association staff and community volunteers have continued pushing hard to get DrupalCI production ready and integrated with Drupal.org.
The community helped tremendously by providing some formal guidance into the minimum viable and ideal state of the test environments.
Association staff has the primary environment successfully running all tests, and will be working on the additional environments as well as the Drupal.org integration in the run up to DrupalCon Los Angeles.
Again - tremendous thanks to our community volunteers who sprinted with us in Portland: Jeremy Thorson, Nick Schuch, Bastian Widmer, Ricardo Amaro, Paul Mitchum, Mike Prasuhn, Karoly Negyesi-- and to Shayamala Rajaram, Angie Byron, and Jonathan Hedstrom who helped us from afar!
In partnership with the community members who have been working on the port of localize.Drupal.org to Drupal 7, association staff have been working to get this migration across the finish line.
We focused fire on the issues found in click-testing, and hope to deploy localize.Drupal.org on Drupal 7 in May.Revenue-related projects (funding our work)
We’ve created Try Drupal with our Premium Hosting Supporters to make it easier for CMS evaluators and Drupal.org newcomers to test and work with a Drupal demo site. The Program will showcase a selection of Hosting Companies where a new user can quickly (in less than 20 minutes) sign up and have a Drupal demo site up and running for them to use for free.
It’s almost time for DrupalCon Los Angeles! In the run up to DrupalCon Los Angeles we’ve been fixing bugs on Events.Drupal.org and preparing for the launch of the DrupalCon Barcelona full site.
We’ve also just started planning out our work for the next Cons to be announced at DrupalCon Los Angeles - more to come there after Los Angeles!Sustaining Support and Maintenance
Pre-Production Infra Rebuild
An issue was reported to the Drupal.org infrastructure team that uncovered an installed rootkit on our pre-production (dev and staging) environment on April 19th. We stopped all services on these servers. The access was gained through an open VNC port on our OpenStack environment that allowed hijacking of an open console session. The attacker was attempting to create a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack on targeted IPs.
There is no evidence that information was taken from our staging database or that user information was compromised.
To ensure site integrity, we rebuilt our staging and development environments. Our infrastructure team took the opportunity during the rebuild to address some best practices and better security configuration options. The majority of these environments are now on Amazon Web Services. Particularly for our development environments, this gives us options for more easily scaling up and down our development needs, and gives us more separation between production and pre-production servers.
As always, we’d like to say thanks to all volunteers who are working with us and to the Drupal Association Supporters, who made it possible for us to work on these projects.
It was just a few weeks ago that we welcomed Addison Berry as our new At-Large board director after a very eventful elections process. Almost as soon as we announced the news, we heard feedback via Twitter and the announcement blog post comments that there was strong interest in seeing the voting data. In our transparent community, it only seemed natural to share the aggregated voting data.
We agreed, but because we had not previously shared any of that data publicly, we decided to take it to the board for discussion before doing so. One thing we did NOT want to do is discourage candidates from further community participation by exposing voting data without their knowledge. So, at the 15 April board meeting, we discussed the requests.
The board members were all in agreement that sharing the data is a good thing. The one concern was that because this issue had not been raised before, we had not asked the candidates or shared with them that voting data would be shared. It was agreed that in future elections, we will inform candidates on the self-nomination page that their data will be shared. For sharing this election's data, we went back and asked candidates to opt-in to share their voting results.
So, what we are sharing this year is a first step toward broader transparency around elections data. This year, we can only share with you an image file with data obscured for candidates who did not opt-in. The file does show you the progression of the IRV voting runoff, but we recognize that an image file is not highly usable.
However, the discussion we had around sharing voting data was really informative and actually fun (I love data!). We have already developed a number of stories for the next iteration of the elections module that we deploy, and these will allow us to potentially track and share a lot more aggregate data. It would be great, for example, to know where the votes came from geographically. It would also be great to release the data in a more usable way, like a CSV file. Feel free to share what you would like to see from future elections in the comments below. Just know that we are committed to only share aggregated data and will never drill down to share how a particular voter voted.
With that, it's time to share the voting data. Remember that we use IRV voting, so the image below shows that process - getting to a candidate with more than 50% of the votes (as opposed to a simple majority). The result is that the candidates with the fewest #1 placements are eliminated in each round until one candidate has a majority. You can see the votes of candidates being transferred in each round. Things become much clearer in the end when you can see the final 5 candidates:
- Ani Gupta
- Michael Schmid (not named, but he is the remaining candidate when the winner is declared)
- Addison Berry (the winner!)
Thank you again for the push to share this data and we look forward to do even more in the next election: