Drupal 6.16 and 5.22 released

Drupal 6.16 and 5.22, maintenance releases which fix issues reported through the bug tracking system, as well as security vulnerabilities, are now available for download. Drupal 6.16 also fixes other smaller issues.

Upgrading your existing Drupal 5 and 6 sites is strongly recommended. There are no new features in these releases. For more information about the Drupal 6.x release series, consult the Drupal 6.0 release announcement, more information on the 5.x releases can be found in the Drupal 5.0 release announcement. Drupal 5 will no longer be maintained when Drupal 7 is released. Upgrading to Drupal 6 is recommended.

New Drupal Book - Drupal 6 Attachment Views

Drupal 6 Attachment Views, by me, J. Ayen Green, is my second title from Packt Publishing. It is aimed at Drupal web site developers who want to build more functionality and interaction into their views, but aren’t ready quite yet to take on panels. As a reader of drupal.org, you can receive a 15% discount (see below) and benefit the Drupal Association!

I wrote this to be a fun, informative, hands-on learning guide. It uses actual case study that was developed in parallel with the book’s writing. This guide presents purposeful and interactive examples that build on each other. Clear, concise instructions and practical examples help you to learn quickly to use this exciting feature of views.

Case Study: Augusta Chronicle

The Augusta Chronicle, the flagship newspaper of Morris Publishing Group, recently relaunched its website on the outstanding Drupal framework.

Morris first began using Drupal in 2005 with the launch of BlufftonToday.com, a blog-centric community website coupled with a free daily newspaper. In 2006 it adopted Drupal for both news and blogs at SavannahNow.com, the website of the Savannah Morning News. Both newspapers won Digital Edge awards for innovation in user participation.

Since then, the digital media arm of Morris Communications, Morris DigitalWorks, has developed a robust digital newspaper platform built on Drupal 6, to eventually power all 13 of its daily newspapers. Morris also uses Drupal for its radio stations and Skirt.com, a national specialty site for women.

Reader Participation

Morris has made a commitment to make their online platform a dynamic arena for reader participation and contributions. Readers are encouraged to comment on stories and blogs, and, on some papers, are encouraged to create their own blogs on the site. Journalists are expected to post news online immediately and to interact with the public, and they need to be able to do it without learning HTML or tools such as FTP. These requirements made Drupal a natural choice.

Drupal 7 status update and release plan

Drupal 7 is moving along nicely, and is becoming increasingly stable. We just released a second alpha release, fixing a number of critical bugs, following our initial alpha release in January. Alpha releases are to give Drupalistas something to download and test, so they can report and help fix bugs.

When will we switch to betas? We will switch to betas when the upgrade path from Drupal 6 to Drupal 7 is working. Once we hit beta, we will become increasingly strict about accepting any more changes and we'll also commit to making HEAD to HEAD upgrades work.

Finally, we'll start rolling release candidates once the number of critical bugs is zero (or close to zero). To help us focus on critical bugs, we're working on adding a 'major' severity level to our ticketing system, making the options 'critical', 'major', 'normal' and 'minor'. 'Major' bugs would be really bad, but not necessarily block a release. For example, bugs that don't prevent Drupal from working, or that only affect a fraction of the Drupal population would be prioritized for fixing in follow-up releases. Critical bugs are those that badly break Drupal, or that are a major regression compared to Drupal 6.

Archdiocese of Saint Louis Migrates to Drupal

In early 2009, the Archdiocese of Saint Louis determined that it needed to upgrade its website, mostly for security concerns. After investigating a move from Joomla! 1.0.x to Joomla! 1.5.x, the Archdiocese determined it would be more cost effective and a more future-proof decision to migrate the over 49 individual Joomla! sites that comprised www.archstl.org into a single Drupal installation.

This upgrade/migration provides many benefits, not the least of which are a better end-user experience, a better administrative experience, and much improved page load and search indexing performance. In addition, Drupal's structure and content presentation provide much greater flexibility in design and information structure, as well as SEO (search engine optimization) than other popular CMS frameworks that were investigated.

Drupal 7.0 Alpha 2 released

Update: Drupal 7.0 Alpha 3 is available now!

Our first Drupal 7 alpha version was released just over a month ago. Today, we're proud to announce the release of the second alpha version of Drupal 7.x for your further testing and feedback. The first alpha announcement provided a comprehensive list of improvements made since Drupal 6.x, so in this announcement we'll concentrate on how you can help ensure that Drupal 7 is released as soon as possible and is as rock solid as the previous Drupal releases that you've grown to love!

The most notable change for developers is moving $form['#field'] to $form_state. This makes field forms more resilient to form_alters and debugging became a lot less tedious. Comment body became a field and new fields can be added to comments through the field UI module. And congratulations to the docs team and associated helpers for their outstanding work in enhancing and correcting lots of API documentation this release.

We've also fixed a number of issues since the previous alpha, most importantly one that caused all files to be deleted after six hours. Oops. :P This is a great time to reiterate...

It is important to note that this alpha version should not be used for production sites. We've resolved most errors reported so far, but there are outstanding known issues (including security issues) and most likely some problems that have not been reported as of yet. It is expected that there will be at least one more alpha version followed by a few beta versions and at least one release candidate before Drupal 7.0 is finalized. You can help us reach the final release date sooner by testing this alpha and providing feedback.

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