Read our Roadmap to understand how this work falls into priorities set by the Drupal Association with direction and collaboration from the Board and community.

Our December update comes to you a bit later than our usual monthly posts, for all the usual practical reasons: holidays, vacations, and our staff retreat in early January. But also, because we've been reflecting on the past year, and planning for the year to come. You'll soon hear about our initiatives for 2017, but for now— let's dive into what we did in December.

Drupal.org updates

DrupalCon Baltimore

DrupalCon Baltimore logo Apr 24-28

At the beginning of December we launched the full site for DrupalCon Baltimore, which is coming up April 24-28. For the first time, we launched the full event site including the call for papers, scholarship applications, and registration all on the same day.

Early bird pricing is available for a limited time, so we encourage you to register today.

Stable release of the Composer Façade

Project Composer logo

Drupal.org's support for Composer has been in development since the beginning of last year. We released the public alpha of our composer endpoints at DrupalCon New Orleans, and then entered beta over the course of this past summer. After a period of feedback, bug fixes, and further refinement with the help of core and contrib developers we announced the stable release of Drupal.org's composer support on December 21st.

We'd like to thank the following community members for their help with this initiative: seldeak, webflo, timmillwood, dixon_, badjava, cweagans, tstoeckler, and mile23. We'd also like to thank Appnovation for sponsoring our initial Composer support work.

Improved messaging for new users

One of the innovations of Drupal.org's online community that we introduced about 2 years ago, is the process by which new users get confirmed by trusted users. As a user of Drupal.org, you know that when you see a new user with a 'confirm' button under their user icon, you can check their recent activity and help confirm for us that they're a real user (not a bot or spammer who managed to slip through).

However, we received some feedback from recently registered users, that this process was too opaque. New users did not have enough guidance to understand that they can only perform a sub-set of site activities until another user confirms them.

After hearing this feedback, we spent some time in December improving the messaging tonew users when they first sign up on Drupal.org— so they can better understand how to become confirmed.

DrupalCI refactored and updated to use composer

DrupalCI logo

In December we also completed a refactor of DrupalCI and updated the testing system to use Composer when testing Drupal. This means we can now test projects with external composer dependencies on Drupal.org. Other new features and bugfixes include: more available test artifacts; dependency changes can now be submitted in patches to composer json; the test runner produces a build file that can be downloaded and run locally to re-execute any test verbatim. There are more added features as well..

This work has continued into January, particularly around making more testing environments available, and adding new test types (such as code sniffer). Look for additional updates in the upcoming January report.

Special thanks to mile23 for collaborating with us on this work.

Jenkins upgraded to better manage our EC2 Instances

The cost of automated testing for the Drupal project is a significant expense for the Drupal Association. In December we updated Jenkins and several of the plugins that are used to orchestrate the creation and management of DrupalCI testbots, and now our enforcement of instance limits is much more reliable. In December this saved us nearly 50% on our testing bill, without a significant increase in testing wait times. In January we are projecting a similar savings.

The work of community member fabianX might also provide similar savings for the project, so we encourage contributors involved in core to help review: #2759197: [D7] Improve WebTestCase performance by 50% and #2747075: [meta] Improve WebTestCase / BrowserTestBase performance by 50%

HTTP/2 Support enabled

HTTP/2 is the next generation network protocol that decreases latency in page loads by using better data compression, pipelining, and server push. In December we enabled HTTP/2 support for Drupal.org, improving performance for all users with modern browsers that support the standard.

Community Initiatives

Preparing for the Project Applications Revamp

In November the Drupal 8 User Guide went live, so in December we prepared for the next community initiative on our roadmap - the Project Application Revamp. Over the course of the last several months we've been doing pre-work around this initiative to ensure that the appropriate signals about security advisory coverage and recommended releases are provided on project pages. This pre-work will help ensure that Drupal users still have good signals to project quality, even as we open up the creation of full projects.

Initiatives need your help

Are you a Drupal.org power user who relies on Dreditor? Markcarver is currently leading the charge to port Dreditor features to Drupal.org, and invites anyone interested in contributing to join him in #dreditor on freenode IRC or the Dreditor GitHub.

Is the written word your domain? Consider putting your skills to use by becoming a maintainer of Drupal documentation. If you are a developer interested in contributing code to the new documentation system, please contact tvn.

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As always, we’d like to say thanks to all the volunteers who work with us, and to the Drupal Association Supporters, who made it possible for us to work on these projects.

If you would like to support our work as an individual or an organization, consider becoming a member of the Drupal Association.

Follow us on Twitter for regular updates: @drupal_org, @drupal_infra