In this post I’d like to talk about one of our major projects for 2016, which comes as a follow up to the content strategy project of 2015.
Last year, in honor of long-time Drupal contributor Aaron Winborn, whose battle with Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) (also referred to as Lou Gehrig’s Disease) came to an end, the Community Working Group, with the support of the Drupal Association …
Drupal 8.0.5, a maintenance release with numerous bug fixes (no security fixes), is now available for download.
Download Drupal 8.0.5
We spent a lot of time thinking about how to highlight the organizations in our Marketplace that are actively contributing to the project. There are some awesome Drupal shops and hosting partners out there that are making a huge difference.
Service providers that you see in the marketplace are only part of the story of how Drupal is built.
Last week, we launched a new list of organizations on Drupal.org that shows every profile that has been created for an organization. This includes companies, universities, nonprofits, governments and more. These are our customers and community organizations that use Drupal to power their web experiences. By giving their developers time to contribute code back to the community, they are helping to ensure the project gets the best ideas from the most diverse group of makers and builders.
While the new view shows all organizations, I was able to pull out the top 10 customers—organizations that do not sell Drupal services or hosting—and community organizations (e.g. community from a region).
So who have been most active among this type of organization over the last 90 days?
Check out the full list of every organization with a profile on Drupal.org. Keep in mind, we can only track issue credits when issue participants credit an organization and when maintainers award those credits.
We are all excited to see where this takes us and what we can learn about how organizations that use Drupal are giving back.
If your company or organization wants to give back in ways other than contributing in the code and issue queues, consider becoming an organization member, joining one of our supporter programs, or sponsoring a DrupalCon or camp.
One of the most important lessons of 2015 for the Engineering Team here at the Drupal Association is that we need better ways to engage with you, the community. We realized we need better tools and ways to communicate with you about our current priorities, how you can influence those priorities, and how you can help make Drupal.org and the Drupal project better than ever.
All of the work we do stems from the mission of the Drupal Association. It’s our duty and responsibility to unite a global open source community to build and promote Drupal. As the home of that community, and the codebase, Drupal.org is perhaps the most critical piece of that mission, and at the most basic level all of the initiatives we prioritize must support that goal.
As part of reviewing our work in 2015, and in the interests of being transparent with the Drupal Community, we revamped the Drupal.org Roadmap. As you can see, we chose to focus on the few, most important initiatives that we have the capacity to execute on in the near term. We’re also including upcoming initiatives that we will move into as the active work is completed, but not as many as we had previously displayed. An important lesson of the past year is that we have to be Agile on the macro scale as well as on the micro. The needs of the community can change rapidly and we need to be able to respond.
These are the initiatives the Drupal Association technology staff is focused on now.
These are the initiatives the Drupal Association staff will work on or support once the Current initiatives are completed. The order of these initiatives may change.
We’ve also added some new iconography to indicate where some of these initiatives come from.
Initiatives with the tools ( ) icon represent essential support and maintenance work. This can mean paying down technical debt in the Drupal.org codebase, performing server maintenance, or implementing cost saving measures to help fund the rest of our mission driven work.
Initiatives with the community ( ) icon represent initiatives that were directly proposed by members of the community and/or are being supported by volunteer work from the community.
Don’t all the initiatives come from the community?
Yes, all of our priorities come from the needs of the community – but the community is a loose collective of many different groups of people with many different needs and priorities.
The needs of Drupal newcomers are vastly different from those of the Drupal Core Maintainers. The needs of our documentation editors are different from the needs of those providing support on the forums. And all of these needs must cohere with a larger product and design vision for Drupal.org to make this home of the community a cohesive, efficient, and beautiful place to be.
The Drupal Association Engineering Team can be thought of as the maintainers for Drupal.org and the sub-sites. It’s our duty to synthesize these diverse needs and to prioritize the major initiatives that will have the highest impact for the community. It’s also our job to make the architectural decisions for Drupal.org to ensure that every aspect of the site is functional/useable, consistent, and maintainable.
Most of our priorities, therefore, we set ourselves by bringing all of these factors together and doing the best we can to have the biggest impact, not just on the most vocal parts of the community, but also on those parts that are sometimes siloed or overlooked.
All that said, the community is absolutely a vital part of creating our initiatives. The maintainers for any other project on Drupal.org do not act alone – they accept feedback and contributions from other contributors, while at the same time making key architectural decisions, reviewing patches, and ultimately deploying that work in the form of new releases. We do the same with our initiatives.
Community Volunteers and Community Initiatives
There are two ways that members of the community can have a direct influence on the Roadmap for Drupal.org. These methods have existed informally in the past, but in 2016 we’d like to beta test some new ideas to make these processes more formal, consistent, and transparent.
The first way is to volunteer your expertise to help with one of the existing initiatives we already have prioritized, or even to offer your expertise without a particular contribution in mind. There is a strong record of community volunteers helping to improve Drupal.org, just a few examples from the last year include: u/mlhess and u/nnewton helping with infrastructure; to u/michelle helping to clean up spam; to u/dddave and others in the webmasters queue; or u/mshmsh5000 who helped with Drupal Jobs feature development.
If you have expertise (and not just in code!) and are ready for guidance from the Drupal Association engineering team as to how you can help, you can offer your assistance as a volunteer.
I should also note – we strongly encourage most volunteers to first consider giving back to the Drupal project itself, but we are certainly happy for help with Drupal.org
The second way to influence the Drupal.org roadmap is to develop a community initiative. If you (and perhaps a small team of others in the community) have some expertise in a particular area, and have a particular initiative in mind that you would like to work on, you can propose a community initiative.
Community initiatives come in all shapes in sizes: from documentation audits with the help of u/dead_arm; to adding two factor authentication to Drupal.org with u/coltrane; to a much larger task like building and deploying DrupalCI with the help of u/jthorson, u/nickscuch, u/ricardoamaro, u/bastianwidmer and several others. Some initiatives affect a subset of the community, project maintainers, for example, whereas others may affect almost every user.
Why this new process?
The hard lesson we’ve learned over the course of the past year is that we need to be involved early. Even in cases where the community volunteers driving an initiative forward are experts in their area – if Association staff are not involved early in the architectural and planning decisions then what should be a positive, collaborative effort is often slowed down by architectural refactoring and design decision backtracks. That is not fun for anybody, and our immense respect for our community collaborators requires that we set them up for success by getting involved early.
As such, our new community initiatives process has several steps:
This process is time intensive – and so in general we expect to be able to run only one or maybe two community initiatives at a time, in parallel with our other work. We realize this may be frustrating, but the last year has shown that our most successful initiatives required this close coordination.
This process is new, and will evolve
Finding a good process for working closely with such a diverse and passionate community is not easy—and we aren’t assuming that this new process will be perfect. We’re going to trial this new community initiative process in 2016 with the goal of increasing the transparency of how we prioritize our work, and how the community can help us build a better Drupal.org. We are committed to making this process better.
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.
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:
We’ve also made a few changes to the process based on community feedback from the 2015 election:
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:
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
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.
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).
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?
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.
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.
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.
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!).
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!
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:
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.
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.
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.
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
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!
Veronica 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, 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
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
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
2. First time I met with webchick
3. First time I got a shout-out from webchick on my Drupal contributions 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. 😀
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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:
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, 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
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.
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