Drupal empowered US presidential candidate Howard Dean

Greetings,

We at, hack4dean.org, a working group of professional software engineers, graphical artists, students, and other miscellaneous innovators are in the beginnings of a monumental web development project. Our goal is to create and support extensible inter-operating content-sharing web community tools for all interest-based and regional groups who are participating in the Howard Dean’s grassroots campaign. The first set of tools we will release to run on the network will be based off of Drupal.

Here is a Wired article about the project.

Drupal 4.2.0 code freeze: status update

The past month we have been hard at work getting ready for the Drupal 4.2.0 release; we have been squashing bugs and made small improvements all over the map. We are now in the final phase of the code freeze which means we are down to a few remaining issues that need to be resolved. If you haven't already, please help us test. Report back your findings in the comments below or, if you found a bug, file a bug report.

The release candidate is available at:

http://www.drupal.org/drupal/drupal-4.2.0-rc.tgz

Drupal-user: a new list for improving the Drupal user experience

Dries has approved a new Drupal mail list to be used for working on ways to improve the Drupal user experience. As his email to the Drupal-develop list explains:

Everything that has to do with "user experience" is considered relevant, including (but not limited to) usability, documentation, and localization. . . . The drupal-user mailing list will be less technical and offers a home for non-programmers willing to contribute to Drupal development.

Note that support questions should still go to the Drupal-support list.

Documentation writing

Charlie Lowe announced that he assembled a group of writing teachers interested in using Drupal in education. The group is mostly comprised of PhD students and faculty in Computers and Writing, a subfield of Rhetoric and Composition studies. They plan to commit themselves to improve and extend the existing Drupal documentation. Read on for the full announcement.

usability http://drupal.org/ start page

First a site I like:http://www.debianplanet.org/
It is very clear what is what and easy on the eye.

For some reason I am always confused when I use the drupal.org site.
Some points:

- Font color of links is hard to read, light blue on white or sometimes lightblue on blue.
Not everyone has eagle eyesight. At age 65 you get only 1/3 of the light you see on the age of 20. That is why pilots are not allowed to fly anymore after age 65.

Taxonomy upgrade extras: 

Poor database usage for user data / profile module

In testing 4.2 today, I was using the user profile module. Then I decided to write my own custom user data module, and stop using the Drupal supplied profile module. That worked fine, but in testing it, I was examing the database. I noticed that all of the old data for the now-unused profile module is still in the "data" column of the "users" table.

So I spent some time thinking about this design, and why it makes it hard to get rid of data stored in a multi-element column like "data" in the "users" table. In a sense, it is serialized data, like that used by PHP sessions and by lots of other applications. The advantage to using this method for storing data is it makes it easy for the programmer to add new data fields because no database change is required. it also makes upgrading or installing patches a little bit easier, for the same reason.

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