2016 Nominations Open for Drupal Association At-Large Director

Overview

It’s a great time to be part of the Drupal Association. We’ve done some amazing work in the last few years, and we’re in a great position to work with the community to continue to improve and grow fully into our mission. As a Drupal Association At-Large Director, you’d be in the center of the action. The At-large Director position is specifically designed to ensure community representation on the Drupal Association board and we strongly encourage anyone with an interest to nominate themselves today.

Nominate Yourself Today

The Board of Directors of the Drupal Association are responsible for financial oversight and setting the strategic direction of the Drupal Association. New board members will contribute to the strategic direction of the Drupal Association. Board members are advised of, but not responsible for matters related to the day to day operations of the Drupal Association, including program execution, staffing, etc. You can learn more about what’s expected of a board member in this post and presentation.

Directors are expected to contribute around five hours per month and attend two in-person meetings per year (financial assistance is available if required). All board members agree to meet the minimum requirements documented in the board member agreement.

Today we are opening the self-nomination form that allows you to throw your hat in the ring. We’re looking to elect one candidate this year to serve a two-year term.

How to Nominate Yourself

To nominate yourself, you should be prepared to answer a few questions:

  • About Me: Tell us about yourself! Your background, how you got into Drupal, etc.
  • Motivation: Why are you applying for a board position? What initiatives do you hope to help drive, or what perspectives are you going to try and represent?
  • Experience: What Drupal community contributions have you taken part in (code, camps, etc.)? Do you have experience in financial oversight, developing business strategies, or organization governance?
  • Availability: I am able to travel to three in-person board meetings per year (either self-funded, or with financial sponsorship)
  • IRC Handle
  • Twitter Handle

We’ve also made a few changes to the process based on community feedback from the 2015 election:

  • We now display your username, not your given name, on your candidate profile to address privacy concerns that had been raised. Nominees should note that given names are required on legal documentation such as our 990 IRS filings, but we will do our best to preserve your privacy where we can. 
  • Updated sidebar block has more information about the elections, making it easier to the information you need. 
  • When you nominate yourself we will ask if you would like to opt-in to share your election results data. Last year was the first time we published full results from the vote data. Candidates that opt-in will have their name displayed next to their vote counts, as in this example from 2015.

We will also need to know that you are available for the next step in the process, meet the candidate sessions. We are hosting 3 sessions: 

Meet the Candidate Web Conferences:

Session One
Tue 23 Feb 2016 at 16:00 UTC

  • 7 AM PST Tue 23 Feb, US and Canada
  • 10 AM EST Tue 23 Feb, US and Canada
  • 1 PM Tue 23 Feb, Sao Paulo Brasil
  • 3 PM Tue 23 Feb, London
  • 11 PM Tue 23 Feb, Beijing

Session Two
Wed 24 Feb 2016 at 21:00 UTC

  • 12 PM PST Wed 24 Feb, US and Canada
  • 3 PM EST Wed 24 Feb, US and Canada
  • 5 PM Wed 24 Feb, Sao Paulo Brasil
  • 8 PM Wed 24 Feb, London
  • 4 AM Thu 26 Feb, Beijing
  • 7 AM Thu 26 Feb, Sydney Australia

Session Three
Thu 25 Feb 2016 at 01:00 UTC

  • 4:00 PM PST Thu 25 Feb, US and Canada
  • 7:00 PM EST Thu 25 Feb, US and Canada
  • 9:00 PM Thu 25 Feb, Sau Paulo Brasil
  • 12:00 AM Fri 26 Feb, London
  • 8:00 AM Fri 26 Feb, Beijing
  • 11:00 AM Fri 26 Feb, Sydney Australia

The nomination form will be open February 1, 2016 through February 20, 2016 at midnight UTC. For a thorough review of the process, please see the elections home page.

If you have any questions, please contact Holly Ross, Drupal Association Executive Director. For the sake of keeping conversational threads in one place, the comments on this news item have been closed. Please comment on the original post on the Drupal Association website.

Flickr photo: Clyde Robinson

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Selecting a client-side framework for Drupal

Republished from buytaert.net

Last month, my blog post about whether a client-side framework is right for Drupal stimulated some excellent insights into how the future of the Drupal front end might look. There was broad agreement that incorporating more JavaScript into Drupal’s administrative interface is important for a future-ready user experience.

I am confident that adopting a client-side framework through progressive decoupling will give us the best of both worlds. Of course, this does not mean I oppose fully decoupling through any other framework; in fact, I believe we should redouble our efforts toward a first-class API-first Drupal. But progressive decoupling means that we will be able to work toward a next-generation user experience without abandoning much of the work we’ve done so far.

With that in mind, I tasked a small team made up of various experts from the Drupal and various JavaScript communities with putting together a list of criteria and a comparison matrix to help us decide on the most appropriate client-side framework for progressive decoupling in Drupal.

JavaScript framework comparison matrix

After a hundred hours of work, we came up with a criteria document and comparison matrix (PDF version):

Special thanks to all of the following experts who provided review and input: Miško Hevery (creator of Angular; Google) and Igor Minar (technical lead for Angular; Google); Ed Faulkner (core maintainer for Ember); Amitai Burstein (Drupal and Elm contributor; Gizra); Sebastian Siemssen (Drupal contributor, Elm and React developer; Zensations); and John Albin Wilkins (Drupal 8 mobile initiative lead), Alex Bronstein (Drupal core maintainer; Acquia), Wim Leers (Drupal core contributor; Acquia), and Preston So (Drupal contributor, Acquia).

Though this is a good starting point that lays the groundwork for a formal adoption process in Drupal core, it is time to open our comparison for review by members of both the Drupal and JavaScript communities. We should also more rigorously evaluate these frameworks’ appropriateness through actual development.

First, have we decided on the right criteria regardless of the frameworks themselves? This is probably the most important at this stage. While many organizations choose to adopt client-side frameworks for fully decoupled implementations, Drupal is the first to consider layering a framework on top to allow both richly dynamic and more traditional modules to coexist gracefully through progressive decoupling. What issues around templates, rendering, and client-side caching should we incorporate into these criteria? Is there anything missing or overemphasized?

Second, have we selected the right frameworks to focus on? Are there other frameworks, libraries, or even compile-to-JavaScript projects (such as Elm) that should be included in the matrix? In my view, it is best for Drupal to adopt a framework with an already large community and ecosystem that would allow us to more quickly bridge the gap and resolve any friction during adoption. To provide a good frame of reference, we’ve also included Backbone, Angular, and Knockout, all three slightly older among client-side frameworks. Others on our shortlist that we didn’t consider due to low levels of adoption and small communities are Mithril, Riot, and Vue. Still other ambitious projects such as the Elm and ClojureScript languages are also candidates, but their adoption will mean more up-front work to support typical features of client-side frameworks, as well as buy-in into an approach where JavaScript is compiled from a different language.

Finally, have we drawn the right conclusions against these criteria? In other words, did we fill out the cells correctly? While they have been reviewed by some of the frameworks’ experts, there might be unexpected gotchas or caveats.

I’m sharing the initial comparison matrix on my blog for maximum reach; I want both the Drupal community and the JavaScript framework communities, as well as the broader front-end community, to take note. After three installments on my blog (“The future of decoupled Drupal”, “Should we decouple Drupal with a client-side framework?”), it’s time to move the technical conversation to drupal.org. There is now an issue in the core issue queue on drupal.org to iterate on the matrix.

Preliminary conclusions

At the moment, the most promising candidates in the comparison matrix appear to be Angular 2, Ember, and React, given their technical robustness, relative suitability for progressively decoupled Drupal, and their strong levels of community support and broader adoption. Given that Backbone is already in core and several modules already rely on it, we have included it too.

What we’ve learned from talking to the different projects is that they are often converging on similar techniques and best practices; they are by and large adding support for Virtual DOM implementations or rehydration (seamless state transfer), and they are all obsessing over small payload size and performance, better testability, etc. Therefore it is important to focus on the fundamental, often philosophical, differences between the projects that will likely be unchanged in time; key architectural differences, their release cadence and stance on backward compatibility, their license, their governance model, their flexibility and learning curve, etc.

From a quick glance at the criteria and our needs, it seems that Ember is currently our best candidate, as it appears to have a slight technical edge overall. Ember 2.0 has an all-new rendering engine named Glimmer, and it has server-side rendering through FastBoot. On the other hand, however, Ember is quite bulky and opinionated (enforcing patterns for code structure) compared to other candidate frameworks. A more fundamental difference is that unlike Angular and React, which have corporate governance and funding, Ember is a community-driven project like Drupal.

While React is lightweight, it needs integration with a variety of other libraries in the React ecosystem to work as a full-fledged implementation, which gives it a steep learning curve from an implementation standpoint. Because React is a relatively young project, best practices are shifting quickly and making it less attractive. The Virtual DOM, among React’s most compelling features, has also seen its core ideas filter into other framework projects. But more importantly, React is licensed with what I believe to be a potentially unacceptable patent clause, which states that an organization can no longer use React once it sues Facebook for any (unrelated) patent infringement. This has already generated some concerted pushback from both WordPress’s Calypso and React contributors.

Angular 2 is a complete rewrite of Angular 1 to address issues with that version of the framework, including performance problems stemming from a large file size. The new version also introduces a new template engine that incorporates both directives familiar to Angular 1 developers and nestable component-based templates. But Angular 2’s Apache 2.0 licensing is incompatible with Drupal’s own GPLv2 license. While Drupal’s PHP code and JavaScript code run in isolated processes, it appears that an Apache 2.0-licensed project can’t be jointly distributed within an umbrella project that uses a GPLv2 license.

In addition to being at a slight technical disadvantage to Ember, the legal concerns with React and Angular make me believe Ember might be our best bet. But I’m not a lawyer nor a JavaScript expert, so I can’t make this decision alone; I’m looking for lots of feedback, particularly from JavaScript experts, to determine the best option for Drupal.

Conclusion

Whatever the result of the debate around which client-side framework to adopt, I believe that Drupal needs to move quickly to embrace a framework that will aid development of a progressively decoupled architecture and corresponding user experience improvements. By providing some baseline criteria and including our accomplished community, I have no doubt we can reach this decision quickly but also intelligently.

Special thanks to Preston So for contributions to this blog post.

Continue the discussion at buytaert.net or at #2645250: [META] Supersede Backbone in core admin UIs with a new client-side framework

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2015 Year in Review for Drupal.org

If your 2015 was anything like mine, it passed by extremely quickly. It was marked by periods of frustration (spammers still love Drupal.org) and elation (Drupal 8 launched, woot!).

Below are a few highlights from our 2015 change logs on Drupal.org. For a more detailed look into each monthly update you can read our “What’s New on Drupal.org?” blog posts.

January

February

  • DrupalCon Latin America
  • Launch of Drupal Events (<a href=”https://events.drupal.org>events.drupal.org) with the site for DrupalCon Los Angeles – all new events sites are hosted from the same installation
  • Account creation improvements including a faster 2-step registration that returns users to the site they initiated registration from
  • Support for the 2015 community elections for board member at large
  • Implementation of Server Density for systems monitoring
  • Centralized logging for Druapl.org infrastructure

March

April

May

June

July

  • Interns from Epicodus join the Drupal.org team for 8 weeks
  • New Git servers configured and deployed to production to replace aging hardware
  • Core patch testing enabled for DrupalCI

August

  • Upgrade of Localize.drupal.org to Drupal 7
  • Apache Solr upgrades
  • Updates to make issues in project queues easier to quickly read and digest
  • Performance profiling on a new integration server leads to site speed improvements

September

  • Drupal.org search improvements
  • First content model update with sections and pages deployed
  • Solr server high availability improvements
  • DrupalCon Barcelona
  • Marketplace updates to order organizations by last 90 days of issue credits and supporter status

October

  • Drupal 8 RC1
  • DrupalCI becomes the primary test platform for Drupal 8 Core; legacy testing is disabled
  • Flag module and administrative views are deployed for a new take on spam fighting
  • Drupal 6 & 7 testing are enabled on DrupalCI
  • Kicked off the first Drupal.org membership drive
  • Breadcrumbs for top level sections to make navigation a bit easier

November

December

  • Published plan for Composer support on Drupal.org
  • Old testbots are disabled and all Drupal testing is now run through DrupalCI
  • Homepage changes to support the membership campaign
  • Presented the new community engagement plan to the board and working groups

That was a lot of work in what was a tumultuous year. Between all the DrupalCon websites, and major updates to some of our existing sub-sites, we launched as many sites as some web development shops—at least the smaller ones.

We made several small but high impact usability improvements to Drupal.org, and built better features to highlight the contributions of individuals and organizations on their profiles. We modernized and hardened our infrastructure. We made Drupal.org a little more beautiful to better promote this amazing software and community that we support to people finding us for the first time. Among all of that…

What was the most important work in 2015?

If I had to call out just one thing the Drupal.org team did this year that was essential to the success of Drupal and the community, I would highlight the great work done to launch DrupalCI and make it a production system that could handle our community’s unique testing needs.

DrupalCI (the CI stands for Continuous Integration) started as a community initiative. It had been in progress for years as work to replace our aging testbot infrastructure. The old testbots required a manual spin up of new testing servers that were hosted on VMs in a cluster at the Open Source Labs. They were proprietary and rigid. If a testbot went down, it would require manual intervention to free up the queue and allow tests to begin again.

By working closely with the community throughout Q2 and Q3 of 2015, we were able to launch a testing infrastructure that supports multiple testing environments—a feature which has already helped support other projects, like PHP 7—dynamically scales to the testing load, and which is tightly integrated with the Drupal.org issue queues. Overall the new system is much more configurable and far more scalable than the previous system.

Why is testing so vital to the community? Because Drupal 8 represents a much larger code base than Drupal 7. A huge proportion of those new lines of code are tests. Every time a patch is submitted to Drupal Core, up to 15,000+ tests are run—with over 100,000 assertions. Core maintainers and initiative leads need those tests to help them understand how the new code introduced will affect Drupal. Contrib developers can also use DrupalCI to ensure their modules will work well with Drupal.

Though the work to get DrupalCI into production and optimized, we were able to give core maintainers faster and more reliable information about code submitted for inclusion in Drupal.

I honestly believe that without DrupalCI, we would not have had Drupal 8 in 2015. It sped the release of Drupal, which makes it the most accomplishment for our team in 2015.

Happy but not satisfied

Larry Garfield (Crell) wrote a blog post shortly after the release of Drupal 8 where he talked about how he was happy that Drupal 8 was released—and feels it is a huge leap forward for the project—but he is not satisfied because he sees how much work is left to be done.

That is the nature of software. It can always be a little better—more performant, more usable, more extendable.

Drupal.org improved in 2015, but the team is far from satisfied. There is so much more work to complete.

At DrupalCon Amsterdam, I outlined the top 7 initiatives that the Drupal.org team would focus on. When I look back on the year, we did not hit all of our goals.

In April, one year into my time at the Drupal Association, I could point back to a lot of accomplishments, but for many, the improvements were not fast enough. By DrupalCon Los Angeles, we had achieved one of our initiative goals, and moved forward many more, but we added four more to our list. In agile project management terms, we burned up (added more work) than we burned down (work completed).

While the fact that more work is requested faster than we could complete it is not unusual, it did make us think, and we learned some lessons. We have to focus on fewer, high impact priorities. We need to plan for the unplannable – we know there will be unforeseen needs from the community and new technology to support that may not exist yet, and we must be flexible enough to respond. We need to build more partnerships and find great solutions with technology providers that are experts in their fields.

We are pretty excited that much of the planning and design work put into 2015 should result in a much more rapid pace of change to Drupal.org in 2016.

What’s next for Drupal.org

So, we are celebrating all the good things from 2015—there were a lot—but we are also closing the book on what was a challenging year.

Our focus shifts now to supporting the community as we all work to make Drupal 8 successful. We’ll be keeping the Drupal.org Roadmap up to date and adding in new initiatives.

As we start the new year, we are still committed to the content strategy work that will make the content creation experience on Drupal.org and sub-sites better. This will improve our documentation as well as make it easier to talk about the benefits of Drupal to decision makers that help choose Drupal as the best content management framework for their organization.

Additionally, we are doing some exciting work to better support Composer on Drupal.org to align us with the rest of the PHP community as well as planning some much needed improvements to our Git workflow and developer tools.

Lastly, we are not done improving how we highlight contributions within the Drupal community. As Dries outlined in Amsterdam, Drupal is a public good. We need to highlight the great work that people around the world are doing in building Drupal and the community that supports it.

We can’t wait to get started on 2016!

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Drupal 8.0.0 released

Today we released Drupal 8.0.0, the first fully supported release of Drupal 8! This is the biggest update ever to Drupal, our open source content management platform. Here are just a few of the hundreds of improvements in Drupal 8:

  • In-context, what-you-see-is-what-you-get (WYSIWYG) editing and previews
  • Comprehensive content modeling out of the box with entities, fields, and views
  • Customization of content pages and even forms and administrative pages via the administrative interface
  • Full translatability and localization out of the box
  • Reliable configuration management for safe and straightforward deployment of changes between environments
  • Mobile-first, responsive, HTML5 output
  • REST-first native web services
  • Enhanced accessibility and WAI-ARIA compliance
  • Modern PHP standards and practices, with integration of popular libraries such as Composer, Symfony2, Guzzle, and Twig
  • Significantly improved front-end performance out of the box
  • Enhanced caching and best-of-class integration with CDNs and reverse proxies
  • Full compatibility with PHP7, and the PostgreSQL and SQLite databases
  • …And much more!

Screenshot of the Drupal 8 Quick Edit feature
Drupal 8 in action

With key modules like Views and Entity Reference fully included in Drupal 8 core, and many contributed projects already available for Drupal 8, you can start building new Drupal 8 sites right now, today. You can also use the crowd-sourced Drupal 8 Contrib Porting Tracker to get updates on the status of your favorite modules and themes, or read how you can help.

How do I upgrade my current site?

If you have a Drupal 6 or 7 site you want to upgrade, install or update the Upgrade Status module to get a customized, up-to-date report on the status of your modules and themes in Drupal 8. Once you are ready, Drupal 8 core also includes the Migrate module to update existing Drupal 7 and 6 sites to Drupal 8 directly. Migrate is marked “experimental” in Drupal 8.0.0, but will be fully supported in an upcoming release. Read more about how you can migrate from Drupal 6 or 7.


The DrupalCon Asia team cheering with Druplicon
Photo credit: pdjohnson

What about other versions of Drupal?

Drupal 8.0.0 marks several changes for Drupal releases. We will add new features to Drupal 8 every six months in minor releases, with bug fix and security release windows every month. The next bugfix release window is December 2, 2015, and next scheduled minor release (Drupal 8.1.0) is planned for mid-April 2016.

The release of Drupal 8 also means that it’s time to say a fond farewell to Drupal 6 after eight great years. Drupal 6 will reach its end-of-life (EOL) on February 24, 2016, meaning that it will no longer receive official community support and you should plan to update Drupal 6 sites soon. Refer to the Drupal 6 end-of-life announcement for more information.

Drupal 7 is still fully supported and will remain so for several more years. Read more about the Drupal core release cycle.

Found a bug?

With your help, we can find and fix bugs sooner rather than later. If you find a bug in Drupal 8, search for it in the Drupal 8 issue queue, and if you don’t find an existing bug report, file a new one.

Celebrating the release

Help share and celebrate this milestone for the Drupal community! The Drupal 8 media kit includes the official Drupal 8 press release which has already been translated into many languages. Share this press release with your community, or use the #Drupal8 hashtag to talk about Drupal 8 on social media. Then, join one of over 200 Drupal 8 release parties on six continents.

Map of Drupal 8 release parties around the world
Source: drupical.com

Drupal 8 core is the work of more than 3300 contributors in over 16,000 Drupal core commits during nearly five years of development, and it is by far the best release of Drupal yet. There are already more than 50,000 Drupal 8 installations, so start yours today!

Build something amazing, for anyone.

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Drupal 8.0.0 will be released on November 19, 2015

Based on our experience with our successful release candidates, we are confident to announce that Drupal 8.0.0 will be released on November 19, 2015! Until then, we will continue publishing Drupal 8 release candidates with the latest fixes. See the first release candidate announcement for more details on the release candidate phase, or download the latest release candidate (RC2) for a preview of the release.


Port your modules/themes and update translations

There is not a lot of time left if you are looking to have your module, theme or translation ready for the big day! Read more about porting your modules and themes and contributing to translations.

Preparing for release promotion

We are working on both the release announcement and the press release in English. However we do need volunteers to help translate it to their language. The final translations will be posted on Drupal.org at time of release.

If you can help promote the release on Twitter on November 19th and 20th in your respective time zones, Paul Johnson is looking for you. When tweeting about Drupal 8, be sure to use the hashtag #drupal8.

Parties around the globe!

We also need you to throw a party! Organize a local meetup on the week (or even better the exact date) with sweets, sessions, shirts, stickers or whatever fits to spice it up. Make sure to let the community know, so it shows up on the world map on Drupical.com We also suggest you follow @celebr8d8 and promote your party and share your party stories with #celebr8d8.

Finally, thanks to the nearly 3,300 people who contributed to the codebase of Drupal 8 as well as hundreds of others who organized events, conducted usability tests, mentored contributors, found sponsors, etc.—in short did all the awesome things that made Drupal 8 happen. Now, let’s go make something amazing, for anyone!

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Community Spotlight: Veronica Vedia (veronicanerak)

Veronica Vedia Profile PictureVeronica Vedia (veronicanerak) organized Women in Drupal at DrupalCamp Bolivia in 2014 alongside Karen Da Cruz and several other women. Veronica shared the story of how she went from anonymous Drupaler to community evangelist over email with the Drupal Association. Parts of this Community Spotlight have been transcribed from a medium.com article that Veronica wrote on her experience coordinating Women in Drupal.

I started using Drupal approximately 4 years ago. At the time, I worked in front-end, and I did my work in multiple different languages and frameworks, like PHP, C#, and Microsoft’s .NET. I really enjoyed working in front-end, but wanted to get more specialized. At one point, a coworker told me about Drupal roles, and the idea of becoming a dedicated “themer” caught my attention. I decided to study Drupal on my own so I could leave that company and find another employer where I could work in Drupal as a themer.

I didn’t become very active in my local community until after Drupal Picchu in 2014 in Cusco, Peru. Before that, I had been a relatively passive participant in the Bolivian Drupal community. But when I heard about Drupal Picchu, I knew I had to go. I admit, the chance to travel to Machu Picchu was my main motivation, but I also knew that attending the Drupal workshops and talks would be very valuable.

When I got to Drupal Picchu, I was amazed at how many passionate people were at the event. There were people with so much experience and talent sharing knowledge from basic to advanced. It really caught my attention how so many people were generously sharing knowledge that they put so much effort into learning. It was a really encouraging experience for me.

The event’s keynote was on Women in Drupal, and was led by Karen Da Cruz, Nancy Contreras, Molly Byrnes, and Holly Ross, all of whom are very inspiring women in the industry. I found their stories very motivating, and wound up talking to Karen afterward. I told her, “I want to do the same thing in my country that you have done here.” So I got together with several other women in my local community, and together we made the Women in Drupal group a reality at DrupalCamp Bolivia 2014 several months later.

At DrupalCamp Bolivia, Karen and I gave a “Women in Drupal in Bolivia” workshop where we taught several women Drupal. The goal was to motivate everyone (but especially girls and women) who are learning Drupal. The workshop was a success and it was amazing how enthusiastic all of our attendees are. It wouldn’t have been possible without all the amazing women who came out to help us conduct the workshop and replicate the Drupal Picchu keynote on Women in Drupal. It was really fun to participate in both the workshop and the the keynote, and I had a great time speaking about my own experiences alongside Nancy Contreras (Peru), Karen (Peru), and Mariana Graf (Brazil).

Organizing an activity like Women in Drupal in Bolivia was really intimidating at first. I was worried that there might not be attendees, or that our activities wouldn’t be well received. But everyone was so encouraging and helped me realize that the important thing is the desire to share knowledge — it’s normal to feel fear, and it’s worth overcoming it in the end. Without help from Karen, Freddy Cahuas, and the other DrupalCamp Bolivia organizers, I wouldn’t have succeeded. It also made me realize that one day, you’re new to the community, and the next day, you’re daring to try something new for the community. It becomes a chain where everyone helps each other and the community grows, and I think it’s really powerful how it breaks across the boundaries of languages and cultures and brings us closer to each other.

In the future, I hope to help grow the community and the “Women in Drupal” events. I want to motivate many other girls and women to learn Drupal. It’s a world of endless opportunities and possibilities! To make this happen, I am always looking for help from the community. If anyone has examples of activities that I could share to help boost, improve, and motivate my local community group, I would love to hear from you.

Thank you to everyone who continues to participate and encourage each other to be part of this big family called “Drupal”!

Drupal 7.40 released

Drupal 7.40, a maintenance release with numerous bug fixes (no security fixes) and several new features, is now available for download. See the Drupal 7.40 release notes for a full listing.

Download Drupal 7.40
Upgrading your existing Drupal 7 sites i…

Community Spotlight: Jibran Ijaz (Jibran)

Jibran Ijaz (jibran) is a Drupal developer, and is the only Drupal Core contributor in Pakistan. A member of Drupal.org since he began building websites in 2010, Jibran has become an important member of both his local community and the greater global Drupal community. The Drupal Association spoke with Jibran over email and asked him a few questions. We’re excited to share the conversation with you.

How did you get involved with Drupal and core contribution?

Back in December 2010, I started working as a freelancer on a Drupal 6 site with a friend. It took me a while to understand all the systems like nodes, cck, views, and themes, but I was finally able to find my way. At the time, Drupal 7 RC versions had only just begun being released, so when Drupal 7.0 came out I had to learn a lot of things all over again. For me, the new built-in Entity API and Field API were difficult concepts to understand. It took me a while to understand the changes in theme layer, learn about html.tpl.php, and understand the Render API. These things were so confusing to me that I wound up submitting my first core issue related to documentation.

After going through this learning curve twice, I thought I might as well start learning Drupal 8 now. So I started hanging out in the core issue queue, and began reading a lot of Drupal 8 blog posts on Drupal planet. One day, I read that they were moving all the Drupal Core files to the Core directory and they needed help in re-rolling a lot of trivial patches. I went and found a documentation novice issue in Drupal 8 and helped fix it both for Drupal 8 and for Drupal 7. After that, I was hooked.

What do you do with Drupal these days?

I’m a senior Drupal developer for PreviousNext, where I work remotely from Lahore, Pakistan. I mostly work on large Drupal 7 sites, but lately I have started working on a Drupal 8 site as well. It’s fun to work with such a great team of front-end developers, back-end developers, and project managers at PreviousNext.

In my free time, I contribute to Drupal. I do a lot of code reviews. Specifically, I love working on Views issues in Drupal 8. I have also been actively involved in a lot of contrib projects and have been helping with porting them to Drupal 8. During the weekends, I enjoy working on dynamic_entity_reference.

You’re involved with quite a variety of projects in the Drupal community and in your national Drupal community as well. Can you describe some of the things you do and why you like them?

Ever since my childhood, computers have fascinated me. Even though my bachelor’s degree is in Telecommunication Engineering, I always loved coding. This means my involvement with Drupal is almost always related to coding. I enjoy solving bugs, writing patches, and performing code reviews. I also like to get involved in technical discussions related to Drupal, and really enjoy helping others understand difficult Drupal concepts, so I mentor people as well.

In Pakistan, we have a very enthusiastic Drupal community. The Drupal Association has helped us with organizing numerous camps, workshops and training opportunities in different cities all over the country. I wasn’t actively involved with local community until about a year ago when I talked to Donna Benjamin (kattekrab), who was the director of community engagement at PreviousNext at the time. Donna encouraged me to participate a lot more in my local Drupal community, so I took part in my first Drupal Camp at Lahore on 3 May 2014. I was the only core developer there, and my fellow attendees were very appreciative and welcoming. At the camp, I talked about Drupal 8, and everybody loved it. So I’ve been attending ever the Drupal Camp I can get to ever since. I was even a keynote speaker at Drupal camp Islamabad back in April.

What’s the coolest project you’ve worked on?

I have worked on a lot of Drupal projects with very complex architecture. It’s always fun whenever I get to use a big module like Domain Access, Services, Commerce, Ubercart, Google Maps, or Organic Groups to build features for our clients. It’s also fun when I get to build a complex architecture using Drupal API. I’d prefer not to name a specific project, though. It would feel like I’m pointing at my favorite kid.

What changes are you most looking forward to in Drupal 8?

Oh! The simple answer is everything. The change form Functional Programming to Object Oriented Programming is the most important thing for me. Personally, I also like the built-in plugins system of Drupal 8 because if you’re familiar with the plugin API, you can easily use it in Blocks, Entities, Fields, Menus, and Views. Even Drupal 8 contrib modules like Rules and Page Manager are doing a lot of amazing things with plugins.

What is your favorite thing about the Drupal community?

I love the Drupal community as whole, and am inspired by the fact that we all share the same enthusiasm towards Drupal. It doesn’t matter who you are or what the scope of your technical knowledge is — anyone and everyone can make a difference in the community. I spend a lot of time with Drupal developers on IRC, at local and international Drupal events, and I haven’t found a single person who isn’t kind and helpful. No matter how many times you ask the same question or a stupid question, everyone always responds very kindly. No one has ever treated me differently because of my religion or region. Every person I have met in the Drupal community has inspired me on some level, irrespective of their contribution in Drupal. That is my favorite thing about the Drupal community.

What is your most meaningful Drupal moment?

Drupal has given me a lot of beautiful moments. It’s very hard to pick one, so I’ve listed several below.

1. First time I attended DrupalCon. Picture by @lsheydrupal
DrupalCon Amsterdam entryway

2. First time I met with webchick
Angie and Jibran at DrupalCon

3. First time I got a shout-out from webchick on my Drupal contributions at DrupalSouth
Webchick at DrupalSouth

And there are countless other moments, like my keynote at Drupal Camp Islamabad, hanging out with VDC team at DrupalCon code sprint, meeting with the whole PreviousNext team for the first time, and dynamic_entity_reference hacking with Lee Rowlands after the DrupalSouth code sprint.

Tell us a little about your background or things that interest you outside Drupal.

Before computers, my first love was math. I like to read, but lately I haven’t been able to read many books. I can speak and understand a bit of Arabic, French, and German. I love to learn new stuff and experiences new things in life. I like watching football and Formula1, and I also watch a lot of English TV series and movies. Now I know why I don’t have time to read anymore. 😀

Secure your account: Two Factor authentication on Drupal.org

Drupal.org users* can now use Two factor authentication to increase the security of their accounts. It can be enabled via Security tab of your user profile page. Read the detailed instructions at Enabling TFA on Drupal.org.
This was made available to D…

Drupal.org Git Server Migration (2015-07-09 20:00-22:30 UTC)

On July 9th 8pm UTC, Drupal.org migrated to a redundant cluster of 2 servers. This provides failover in the event one server fails.

After the migration Host keys will change and your client might give an error message when pushing to Git. Consult your OS’s documentation on how to fix this error.

ssh-keygen -R git.drupal.org  && ssh-keygen -R 140.211.10.43

Should fix the warnings.

If you have any questions please raise an issue in the infrastructure issue queue. https://www.drupal.org/project/issues/infrastructure?categories=All

You can follow the progress of the migration at http://twitter.com/drupal_infra

Update: migration was successful

Host keys have changed and your client might give an error message when pushing to Git. Consult your OS’s documentation on how to fix this error.

Limited email privacy breach on Drupal.org on April 15th

On April 15th, a change to a Drupal.org website permission inadvertently allowed a small segment of users to view a report listing the email addresses of recently logged in users. No passwords were involved. The problem was mitigated within 13 hours of being introduced and within 3 hours of being reported. The problem was completely resolved within 24 hours of introduction. The number of affected email addresses is relatively small – fewer than 500. Those users are being contacted directly if their email was affected. Users with maintainer access or the community role and above were not affected by this incident.

The users with permission to see this report were limited to community members that have shown frequent contribution to Drupal.org. The possible exposure time was also limited to between April 15, 2015 20:53 UTC to April 16, 2015 9:00 UTC. There were approximately 44 IP addresses that accessed the information during that time. These users are mostly administrators of Drupal.org and the community members who first reported the incident.

Even though the exposure of email addresses was limited as described above, we recommend all users to be cautious of any email that asks you for personal information.

We want to thank the community members who moved quickly to alert the Drupal Security and Drupal.org infrastructure teams about the problem.

Front page news: 
Drupal version: 

A new way to welcome newcomers on Drupal.org

The first initiative on the Drupal.org 2015 roadmap is ‘Better account creation and login’. One of the listed goals for that initiative is “Build a user engagement path which will guide users from fresh empty accounts to active contributors, identifying and preventing spammers from moving further.” This is something Drupal Association team has been focusing on in the last few weeks.

The first change we rolled out a few days ago was a ‘new’ indicator on comments from users whose Drupal.org accounts are fewer than 90 days old. The indicator is displayed on their profile page as well. We hope this will help make conversations in the issue queues and forum comments more welcoming, as people will be able to easily see that someone is new, and probably doesn’t know yet a lot about the way community works.

Today we are taking another step towards making Drupal.org more welcoming environment for new users. But first, a bit of background.

New users and spam

It is not a surprise for anyone that a big number of user accounts registering on the site are spam accounts. To fight that and prevent spam content from appearing on Drupal.org, we have a number of different tools in place. Of course, we don’t want these tools to affect all active, honest users of the site, and make their daily experience more difficult. To separate users we are sure about from those we aren’t sure about yet, we have a special ‘confirmed’ user role.

All new users start without such a role. Their content submissions are checked by Honeypot and Mollom, their profiles are not visible to anonymous visitors of the site, and the types of content they may create are limited. Once a user receives a ‘confirmed’ role, his or her submissions will not be checked by spam fighting tools anymore; their profile page will be visible to everyone, and they will be able to create more different types of content on the site.

This system works pretty well, and our main goal is to ensure that valid new users get the ‘confirmed’ role as quickly as possible, to improve their experience and enable them to fully participate on the site.

The best way to identify someone as not a spammer is have another human look at the content they post and confirm they are not spammers. Previously, we had a very limited number of people who could do that– about 50. Because of that, it usually took quite some time for new user to get the role. This was especially noticeable during sprints.

Today we’d like to open a process of granting a ‘confirmed’ role to the thousands of active users on the site.

‘Community’ user role

Today, we are introducing a new ‘Community’ role on the site. It will be granted automatically to users who have been around for some time and reached a certain level of participation on Drupal.org. Users who have this role will be able to ‘confirm’ new users on the site. They will see a small button on comments and user profile of any user who has not yet been confirmed. If you are one of the users with ‘Community’ role, look out for this new Confirm button, and when you see one next to a user – take another look at what the person posted. If their content looks valid, just click ‘confirm’. By doing so, you will empower new users to fully participate on Drupal.org and improve their daily experience on the site.

With expect to have at least 10,000 active users with the ‘Community’ role. With so many people to grant the ‘confirmed’ role, new users should be confirmed faster than ever before.

If you aren’t sure if you have the ‘community’ role or not, don’t worry. We will send an email notification to every user whose account receives the new role. The email will have all the information about the role and how to use it.

Thanks for helping us make Drupal.org a better place!

New Try Drupal Program

One of the Drupal Association’s primary missions is to grow the adoption of Drupal. We are about to launch a new program on April 15th called Try Drupal. The program will make it easy and fast for evaluators to try Drupal and have a simple, great experience while on Drupal.org.

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.

This is part of the Drupal Association’s initiative to develop a new revenue stream through advertising programs on Drupal.org. This revenue will help fund various site initiatives by the Association to improve Drupal.org performance, and make it easier to use and more secure. After interviewing many members of the community, we determined that new advertising products should be useful to Drupal.org visitors, support our mission to grow the adoption of Drupal, and should not interfere with visitors contributing to the project.

To ensure a positive Drupal experience, partners need to adhere to the following guidelines:

  • Users are directed to a self-serve sign up platform
  • Users can create a free account for the demo site that accommodates a trial installation of Drupal 7 or 8
  • Users can create a website in 20 minutes or less
  • The demo site should be available to the user for a minimum of one day upon sign up
  • The partner cannot include a paywall or require a credit card upon sign up

The Try Drupal program will be featured on the homepage of Drupal.org. It will launch with a larger iterative change to the homepage, with an emphasis on helping users move from newcomer, to learner, to skilled Drupal community members.

It’s important that we fund Drupal.org improvements, and that we do so in a responsible way that respects the community. We anticipate rolling out more key advertising programs throughout 2015, stay tuned for more updates. Thanks for taking the time to read about our initiatives, and please tell us your thoughts!

Drupal 7.36 released

Drupal 7.36, a maintenance release with numerous bug fixes (no security fixes) and several new features, is now available for download. See the Drupal 7.36 release notes for a full listing.

Download Drupal 7.36
Upgrading your existing Drupal 7 sites i…

Announcing The Aaron Winborn Award to honor amazing community members

In honor of long-time Drupal contributor Aaron Winborn (see his recent Community Spotlight), whose battle with Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) (also referred to as Lou Gehrig’s Disease) is coming to an end later today, the Community Working Group, with the support of the Drupal Association, would like to announce the establishment of the Aaron Winborn Award.

This will be an annual award recognizing an individual who demonstrates personal integrity, kindness, and above-and-beyond commitment to the Drupal community. It will include a scholarship and stipend to attend DrupalCon and recognition in a plenary session at the event. Part of the award will also be donated to the special needs trust to support Aaron’s family on an annual basis.

Thanks to Hans Riemenschneider for the suggestion, and the Drupal Association executive board for approving this idea and budget so quickly. We feel this award is a fitting honor to someone who gave so much to Drupal both on a technical and personal level.

Thank you so much to Aaron for sharing your personal journey with all of us. It’s been a long journey, and a difficult one. You and your family are all in our thoughts.

Front page news: 

Ready, Set, Drupal 8! D8 Accelerate Fundraiser

Last November we launched Drupal 8 Accelerate, a grant program designed to eliminate Drupal 8 release blockers. Through the progam, we’ve made a small number of grants that have had a huge impact. In fact, we only have about 50 release blockers left between us and release. So now the Association is going to take it to the next level. We’ve already pledged $62,500 of our general operating budget in 2015 as matching funds for you donations. Now we are announcing that the board has partnered with 7 outstanding community supporters to “match the match” and provide another $62,500 of the program, bringing us to $125,000 available for grants.

Now it’s your turn! We’re asking you to help us raise another $125,000 to make the total amount available for these grants $250,000. You can give knowing that every dollar you contribute is already matched by the Association and these anchor donors, doubling your impact. Your donations will allow us to make more grants, faster, increasing our impact and getting D8 out the door!

This is an all-out, everyone-in effort to raise $250,000 to kill the last release blockers in our way.This is our moment – together, we are going to move Drupal 8 from beta to release with the Drupal 8 Accelerate program. We already know it works. Drupal 8 Accelerate grants have already tackled release blockers issues related to menus, entity field validation, and caching. As a donor, you will always know exactly what you’re funding because we’re making it all public

Join us today and make your donation. The sooner we get this done, the sooner we can all enjoy those launch parties!

Special thanks to our anchor donors, Acquia, Appnovation, Lullabot, Palantir.net, Phase2, PreviousNext, and Wunderkraut, for making this matching campaign possible.  These seven organizations stepped up to the plate and made this entire campaign possible. Thank them on Twitter using the #D8Accelerate hashtag.

The D8 Accelerate project is designed to help move Drupal 8 from the initial beta to a full release. This directly relates to the Association’s mission: uniting a global open source community to build and promote Drupal. This is a pilot program from the Drupal Association to put $250,000 of community funds toward accelerating the release of Drupal 8, due to the strategic impact this work has on the entire Drupal ecosystem.


Originally published at https://assoc.drupal.org/blog/holly.ross.drupal/ready-set-drupal-8-d8-ac…

Drupal 7.35 and 6.35 released

Drupal 7.35 and Drupal 6.35, maintenance releases which contain fixes for security vulnerabilities, are now available for download. See the Drupal 7.35 and Drupal 6.35 release notes for further information.

Download Drupal 7.35Download Drupal 6.35
Upg…

Voting is Open for the 2015 At-Large Board Elections

Voting is now open for the 2015 At-Large Board positions for the Drupal Association! If you haven’t yet, check out the candidate profiles and review the Meet the Candidate sessions (we ran three) that we held. Get to know your candidates, and then get …

Provide feedback on the issue credit attribution user interface

With the help of a few key community members, we have been hard at work creating an interface for users to attribute their work in the issue queues to a customer or employer. (#2288727: [meta] Provide credit to organizations / customers who contribute to Drupal issues)

This is an important step in beginning to collect information about the contributions that organizations make in the Drupal ecosystem. Dries has talked about this need in detail in his blog post A method for giving credit to organizations that contribute code to Open Source. Since the original vision laid out in that post, which focused on commit credits, we have expanded the scope to include any contribution in the issue queues.

There will be three parts to the release of this feature on Drupal.org.

Comment Attribution

First, we needed a way that contributors could attribute their work to an organization—either their employer, their customer or both. (#2340363: Add issue comment attribution) We would like to have feedback through the comment on the issue. Here is an animated example of the comment attribution user interface:

Snazzy user interface for attributing a comment to an organization and/or a customer.

This new field on every issue comment lets the user attribute their work to organizations per comment. Our team is also very excited to introduce a new interface framework for inline editing of entity fields on Drupal.org. There are so many great ways we could use this for easier in place editing of metadata.

Once this comment attribution user interface is deployed, we’ll see how it is used, helping us build the next step.

Interface for Maintainers to Award Issue Credits

The next step will be a method for maintainers to award credit for the intended attribution. (#2369159: Extend crediting UI to include organizations & customers) Allowing maintainers to commit or award the credit for the issue accomplishes two important goals: we incentivise completion and we reduce gaming of the credit system.

By placing credits on issues—rather than commit mentions—we opened up the ability to recognize contributions outside of code. Patch reviews, comments on architectural decisions, wireframes and mockups, and general design feedback are all valuable contributions to the issue queues. Maintainers will now be able to reward those helpful behaviors.

Highlighting Organizations that Contribute

After a couple of months of collecting issue credit data, we will be able to begin using that data to highlight contributing organizations—giving them “trust currency” as Dries put it so well.

Issue credits are not the only contribution we will be tracking. We are already tracking how organizations give back financially through our supporting partner and membership programs. We track organizations that sponsor DrupalCons—and we’d like to start tracking how organizations help build camps.

Next Steps

If feedback goes well, our Drupal.org engineering team is planning to release the comment attribution feature on March 12th.

The user interface for maintainers to award credit should be available for comment in the coming week. Work on that issue has already started at #2369159: Extend crediting UI to include organizations & customers.

Let us know what you think!

Front page news: 

Aaron Winborn Community Spotlight

Drupal users around the world know Aaron Winborn (aaron), a long-time community member who has made countless contributions to the project and to the people who use it. From building the Media module to helping organize NYC Camp, Aaron has had a massive impact on our community and our project.

For years, Aaron has contributed valuable code, acted as an advocate for increasing involvement in the Drupal community, and has inspired countless people with his brilliance, humility, and grace. That’s why we’re proud to feature Aaron in our latest Community Spotlight, to extend our thanks and let everyone touched by Aaron’s contribution know how they can do the same.

“I met Aaron through Drupal in 2006,” said Jacob Redding (jredding) , a good friend of Aaron’s. “I was living and working in New York, and he was at Advomatic at the time, where he was working on a lot of different things. In 2007 I wound up moving to China and doing some open source and Drupal work out there. Then in March of 2008 I was at a meet-up in China, and there were these guys talking in Chinese about Aaron’s code, and they were ecstatic about it.

“Aaron wrote a lot of modules around media, like putting videos on Drupal sites. It’s something that we do a lot now, though in 2008 it was hard to put video on your website… but Aaron made it easy. So, at this meet-up, these guys thousands of miles away took Aaron’s work and extended it to fit all the video formats that work in China.

“So I filmed this video for him with these developers in China,” Redding concluded. “I said to him, ‘your code just made it to the other side of the planet and made a huge impact — here it is in Chinese, in a different language, for a different market.’ I don’t know where the video is now, but it was really fun. It just shows the way the community gets together and reinforces all these different relationships.”

A friend and mentor

“When I first decided to do Drupal professionally, I was working hard to learn more,” said Alex Urevick-Ackelsberg (Alex UA). “A friend of mine has a firm called Advomatic, and Aaron was the first employee there. So, I asked Aaron if he would help me learn about Drupal, and in repayment, I offered to help him manage the issue queues for his module — the Embedded Media Field. Aaron really helped me figure out the development side of Drupal and… you know, I say that I offered to help him, but really, he’s one of the most giving people I’ve ever met, and I’m sure he would have helped me for nothing more than the karma.”

“He’s a very warm and thoughtful person, and is a very unique individual,” said Amanda Luker (mndonx), a coworker of his from Advomatic. “Aaron has a lot of interesting things to say — you might not know it right away, since he can be very quiet at first. But he really is very thoughtful and sweet. Advomatic was my first job in a development shop, and I was really nervous, but Aaron was so great to work with. He did a lot to help me feel comfortable, and to help me not feel dumb. It means a lot, especially from someone like him — he was always working on a different level. “

Jonathan DeLaigle (grndlvl), another co-worker from Advomatic, agreed. “I’ve always found Aaron to be very approachable, someone that you wouldn’t have to worry about phrasing the question in such a way as to not get ‘oh, well, that’s a stupid question.’ Even though sometimes I’d ask a question that I probably should have known the answer to, he’s the sort of person where it’s ok. You can ask those stupid questions and you can expect a response that’s conducive to your learning experience.”

“It just pours out of him, this intelligence”

When it comes to qualities in Aaron that his friends and colleagues admire, his brilliance is always one of the first things mentioned — alongside his generosity, humility, and kindness.

“Every time I had a conversation with Aaron it was fantastic,” said Redding. “He’s one of these guys where you know he’s super smart. It’s hard to describe when you’re talking to someone who’s pretty much a genius and they’re very subtle and subdued, not over the top — but when you talk to them, you realize what they’re saying is intense and complex and intricate… and it just pours out of him, this intelligence.”

“I met him though the Drupal community,” said Arthur Foelsche (arthurf), who worked with Aaron on the Media module. “Aaron is someone I’ve been at multiple DrupalCons with, someone who I’ve done media sprints with, someone I’ve always appreciated. My experience of Aaron was that every time he encountered a road-block, he always tried to figure out ways to solve it himself.

“That’s not to say he’d eschew other people,” Foelsche added, “but he’d work to figure out solutions that were interesting and relevant to him and to others. He didn’t approach things from the perspective of, ‘why am I being stopped,’ but rather, ‘I bet I can create a solution to get around this problem.’ I see Aaron as this person who believes on a fundamental level that he can make change — not just in Drupal, but in everything and in his personal life. It’s a very important part of who he is.”

“Fixing problems in elegant ways”

Aaron made a reputation for himself in the Drupal community as someone who was happiest when quietly working to solve difficult problems and make Drupal better.

“At one DrupalCon, we were talking through some of the handling of the files themselves in the Media module,” said Foelsche. “Aaron was going through this rumination of, ‘how can these be useful’ and we talked until late at night. We started up again in the morning pretty early (all things considered), and he came back with this notebook just full of ideas. He was so excited and engaged, and just wanted to be able to fix problems in ways that were elegant and useful to people. His enthusiasm around it, and all the time he had spent just that night — I saw him in that moment as just being so glad to be able to work with people on the same problem.”

As any DrupalCon attendee can tell you, camps, cons and great parties go hand in hand. And while loud parties may not be Aaron’s scene, he still participates in his own way.

“I guess one anecdote,” said Aaron Welch (crunchywelch), the founder of Advomatic, “was when we went to OSCon on the Yahoo campus in 2006 or 2007. It was a general Open Source convention, but basically it was overrun by Drupal shops and agents — we completely eclipsed all of the other projects. In any case, the Advomatic team rented a house, and we had some big, crazy parties. There was Guitar Hero on giant screens, lots of drinks, people barbecuing in the back yard… Anyway, Aaron was staying with us at the house, and in the middle of all of this crazy partying going on, he was coding away on the Media module in the kitchen, happy as a clam.

“He was totally participating in his own funny Aaron way,” Welch continued. “He was really happy to be hanging out with everybody, but was still just coding away, being his quiet Aaron self. And that’s Aaron — he’s a pretty reserved kind of person, and he’s the nicest, most dedicated, hard working guy you’ll ever meet.”

Whether alone or in a group, Aaron’s problem solving has gained him a tremendous amount of respect from his peers in the Drupal community.

“Aaron has always tried to find solutions to problems — not just getting around road-blocks,” said Foelsche. “I’ve always been impressed by his knowing himself as a person, and wanting to find ways to do things in the world when he didn’t know that he could. That disposition is a marvelous one. In my opinion, Aaron has always struck a really graceful balance between the ability to solve things on his own and the willingness to work in a group to solve things together. I’ve always enjoyed his company and work, and appreciated not only his disposition in the community but also as a human being.”

“Aaron has never been the person who would blindly jump in if there was a problem,” said Luker. “Working together, he’s always very thoughtful, very deliberate in how he approached things. I could tell that, with his background in philosophy and his interest in alternative education, that independence influenced how he approached life in general. It made me feel like I was in the right place when I started at Advomatic. Knowing that he was there, believing what he believed, it made me feel like, ok, this is a good fit for me, too.”

“An advocate and activist”

Aaron’s passions extend further than just writing code, though. A strong advocate for involvement in the Drupal community, Aaron often quietly stepped up to help grow the project and facilitate change — in Drupal, and in the greater world.

“I would say that Aaron taught me a whole lot of humility,” said Redding. “I don’t know if a lot of people know, but he was behind the scenes of so much stuff. In October of 2009, Aaron stepped up to serve as the Drupal Association (VZW) financial point person for a few sprints… he just sort of stepped in and said, ‘I’m going to do this.’ And he did. At the time he was also running culturefix.org, he was working in activism, and he was — and even after his diagnosis has continued to be — a strong advocate and an activist. He was behind the scenes in a lot of sprints, meet-ups, camps, and was instrumental in a lot of the foundational work that turned into the Drupal Association as it is today.”

“Aaron is, to me, really inspirational when it comes to open source. He really lives it and gives himself to it,” agreed Urevick-Ackelsberg. ”He needed the work, like everybody else, but whatever he could give he gave freely. I feel like, for all the people whose lives he has touched, the repayment is that they’re here and contributing— and I think the real lesson that I’ve taken from him is to give yourself as freely as you can afford to, and the payback for the community that you’re a part of, it goes on and on.”

“Aaron has taught me that you should enjoy the people and the things around you,” Urevick-Ackelsberg said. “I know that Aaron has and does; he’s very inspirational in that regard. He’s taught me that you have to do good things every day, and to give yourself as freely as you can.”

“Strength and dignity from day one”

In spring of 2011, Aaron was diagnosed with ALS, which he announced in a heart-wrenching post on his blog several months later.

“When Aaron got his diagnosis, he took the news and he tried to find a solution,” said Redding. “He’s used the time he has to the best of his ability: he’s spent it with his family, with the communities around him, and looked towards the future of what he could do for those around him — including those he will never meet.”

“He has been so realistic and matter of fact about it,” said Aaron Welch. “It’s just incredible watching how strong he has been. A lot of people would, I think, give up — but Aaron has always been focused on the next challenge. We wanted to give him every opportunity to keep working,” Welch continued. “We knew it would be important — you have to have something to keep you going, and he was always just so strong and generous about it. He was grateful for any help he received, but he wasn’t necessarily asking for it, either. I think you can see that strength and dignity from day one on. He’s just been incredible through the whole thing.”

About a year after Aaron’s initial diagnosis, he and his wife attended DrupalCon Denver. Though his condition had begun to deteriorate, Aaron did not let it stop him from making the most of the experience.

“I remember, we had a day when the Advomatic team all worked together in the same room — and we’re never all in the same room so that was great,” said Luker. “At that point he was able to use voice commands to do his work, and we were all joking about how he got way more done not even typing than the rest of us in the room. You could tell he was so happy to be at DrupalCon — with his community, with his people — and he was so happy that he could contribute.”

“Since his diagnosis it’s been hard,” said Sam Tresler (Tresler), another friend of Aaron’s. “The way he can muster the ability to still find joy in the various things that he does…the ability to face something like that with dignity is such an inspiring thing to me.

“You kind of assume when that much of yourself is taken away, it would cause some drastic changes to an individual — but he hasn’t changed. He’s just using different tools,” Sam continued. “And that’s the best thing I could say about him — his priorities haven’t changed, his desire to learn didn’t change, and his determination to keep his quality of life and his family’s quality of life is forefront in his mind.”

As part of preserving that quality of life for his daughters and his family, Aaron wrote a short book for his daughters called “Where Did Daddy Go?” The book tells the story of a young girl trying to discover what happened to her father, who died. She asks, as a four-year-old might, her pets, the sun, moon and earth, before finally asking her sister and mother,”Where did Daddy Go?” Aaron plans to make the book available on Amazon in the coming weeks.

“We wouldn’t be what we are without him”

“Aaron has always been an example of the values we hold dear in the Drupal community. His humility, generosity, and enthusiasm have quietly but profoundly helped shape our community into what it is today. Drupal wouldn’t be the same without him,” said Dries Buytaert (dries), speaking to Aaron’s numerous contributions to both the Drupal project and the wider community.

“If you look at Drupal 8, and how much time and energy people spent on it, and all the conferences we’re having on it, he has a big influence in it,” said Redding. “He’s not making a big deal about it… he’s not out there saying, ‘I did this!’ because he’s never been that way. But his work on the Media module is really important to Drupal 8, and this comes back to his lessons in humility: that you should do what you do because you like doing it, work on what you love to work on, and if it becomes a big deal, great— and if it doesn’t, great. You don’t have to get caught up in it.”

“Aaron was the first employee of Advomatic,” said Aaron Welch. “It’s hard to point out just one thing Aaron did — I couldn’t even tell you how many projects we worked on together. But we could always, always count on Aaron to be there and help out when we put in a lot of long hours. For a pretty small team, we were doing big, important stuff— and he was a critical part of building Advomatic and making it what it is today. We wouldn’t be what we are today without the incredible dedication and talent he has shown over the years, and his quiet support and hard work.

“He really, in a way, is one of the founders of the company,” Welch continued. “He made his mark, not just on Advomatic but on the Drupal community in general and it has been amazing watching the outpouring of support. People are always asking, ‘how can we help, what can we do…’ and, in my opinion, the best we can do is support him and give him encouragement. I know he really deeply appreciates it.”

Thank You, Aaron

Aaron has given an incredible amount to Drupal. He has contributed to the project, the community, the Drupal Association, and the wider world in ways measurable and immeasurable. And, as Aaron and his family have found, the world is giving back.

“So many people in the Drupal community have generously given to Aaron’s Special Needs Trust,” said Gwen Pfeifer, Aaron’s wife. “Our family has really appreciated it.”

Aaron, thank you so much for everything you have done for all of us. The Drupal project and the Drupal community would not be the same without you. Your kindness, generosity, humility, and dedication are an inspiration to us all. Thank you for the gift of your friendship and code. Through your hard work, dedication, and your incredible strength of character have made the world a better, brighter place. Thank you for everything.

Updated on March 24, 2015:

The Drupal Association is saddened to announce that Aaron Winborn passed earlier today. We have attached Aaron’s obituary to this community spotlight. He will be deeply missed.

In part of our ongoing work to honor exemplary community members, we have created the Aaron Winborn Award to honor community members who exhibit the incredible kindness, integrity, and above-and-beyond commitment to the community that Aaron loved.