DrupalCon Munich Accepting Session Submissions

The call for papers is still open for DrupalCon Munich — but only until May 11!  Trainings too! The DrupalCon content team is looking for sessions that cover pushing the boundaries of Drupal and its increasing use as a cross platform system. Help shape what is presented at DrupalCon with this year’s theme, “Open Up! Connecting systems and people.”

Any proposals for sessions should fit within one of the following tracks:

  • Coding and Development
  • Community
  • Design and Theming
  • Business and Strategy
  • Site building
  • DevOps

To learn more about each topic, view the Session Track page. Here you can find out the anticipated audience and the topic focus, as set forward by each track chair. Selected Sessions and Trainings will be announced May 29.

Curious to learn how sessions are selected at DrupalCon? Learn more about the session selection process.

Core conversations will open for submissions on May 29, read more about Core Conversations on our website.

We are also inviting all organizations with training experience to submit proposals for the Pre-Conference Trainings, to be held on Monday, 20th August 2012.

Open Up – submit your session before May 11!  We look forward to seeing you in Munich August 20-24. Join the Drupal community in Europe this summer and register now for early-bird pricing.

Google announces Summer of Code results for 2012 – Drupal gets 13 projects!!

We are thrilled to announce that Google will be sponsoring 13 Drupal projects for Summer of Code 2012. We would like to extend our sincere thanks to Google, who are investing over $72,000 in the Drupal project.
As always, we had many more projects tha…

Groups.Drupal.org Update: New maintainers and plans for Drupal 7

Back in 2009, Groups.Drupal.Org (GDO) went through a major transition including upgrading from Drupal 5 to Drupal 6, a redesign, and adding new maintainers. We are currently in the process of a similar transition. The site has already gone through a redesign, and as we make plans to transition to Drupal 7, we will also be moving to new maintainers for the next year.

Making it easier to contribute to GDO

Between the Drupal Association’s initiative to improve *.drupal.org, the community brainstorming on site improvements, and feature requests in the Groups.Drupal.Org issue queue, there is clearly a lot of interest in making improvements to GDO. However, for folks who want to roll up their sleeves and help by filing a patch, the path to replicating GDO for development purposes hasn’t always been clear. As a strategy for making it easier for anyone in the Drupal community to file a patch and streamlining maintenance efforts for the site, we have proposed that GDO will run the Commons distribution of Drupal for Drupal 7. Of course, this means that improvements made to GDO benefit sites powered by Drupal Commons and vice-versa, that generic improvements to Commons will benefit GDO.

New maintainers: Meet Ezra, Scott, and Justin

Ezra Gildesgame
Scott Reynen
Justin Toupin

Helping with this transition, Ezra Gildesgame (ezra-g), maintainer of Drupal Commons, is also now a maintainer of groups.drupal.org. Ezra is the technical lead for Drupal distributions at Acquia, has been contributing to Drupal for over 5 years, and also maintains the Conference Organizing Distribution (COD).

Our other new Groups.Drupal.Org maintainers are Scott Reynen (sreynen) and Justin Toupin (justin2pin) from Aten Design Group. Scott is Lead Developer at Aten and has been contributing to Drupal for over 5 years, including helping to organize the Denver group on GDO. Justin Toupin is CEO at Aten, and has been leading the organization’s involvement in Drupal since version 4.7.

Getting involved: How you can make GDO better

This process of upgrading Groups.Drupal.Org is an especially good time to get involved by joining a few different groups and queues:

Note that Ezra, Scott, and Justin have agreed to work on the site for at least a year. If you think you might want to take over in a year, the best way to do that is to get involved working on the site in these issue queues.

Thanks, Greg & Josh!

This is also a great opportunity to thank Greg Knaddison (greggles) and Josh Koenig for their help maintaining Groups.Drupal.Org over the past few years. Josh and Greg found they were too busy with other projects unrelated to community site building which made it harder to find time for GDO (Josh building Pantheon and Greg working with Acquia’s Profesional Services Security Group and the Drupal Security Team). Greg and Josh hope that transitioning to people who spend more of their lives working on community sites will help GDO be an even more valuable collaboration platform for our community.

/drupalgive initiative

Hi friends. I’m hoping that you’ll support another Drupal community initiative that I’ve recently dreamed up. All you have to do is add a /drupalgive page to your organization’s web site.
Two organizations have published already at http://www.acquia.c…

UX Team Q1 2012 update

Bojhan Somers and Roy Scholten are the Drupal UX Team leads.

We believe that Drupal 8 User Experience needs a lot of work to truly make all users of Drupal love what they are working with. We believe that by improving core, we improve the entire Drupal experience for everyone.

How are we doing this? By working with core initiatives, providing ideas, sketches, wireframes, detailed designs, and actively engaging in discussion. D7UX taught us a lot of hard lessons, we now know how to communicate our design rationale more clearly, maintain a UX vision throughout the maze of issues, and empower developers.

What are we working on? We are working on a few initiatives; mobile, blocks & layouts, multilingual and leading a lot of smaller efforts around improving our content authoring and site building experiences.

Drupal 8 design progress so far

Content creation

Our content creation experience is still far from being great, but we have been improving the content creation experience from all angles. We have received lots of feedback on our proposals, and iterated with the community on various parts of this experience.

We have now finalized most of our research activities and we want to start implementing a few of our major ideas. For this to happen, we need developers who want to improve this part of core.

There are two very actionable issues at #1510532: [META] Implement the new create content page design and #1510544: Allow to preview content in an actual live environment for you to help out on!

Blocks & Layouts

The blocks & layout initiative started by EclipseGC focuses on solving the messy experience of placing parts (blocks, views, panes) on the page. We believe this can be fundamentally better if we tackle it in core. This initiative will allow us to arrange and organize blocks into flexible layouts through a drag and drop interface. This initiative has many UX components, from finding the right blocks, to selecting the context, to creating mobile layouts.

We have done a lot of research the past few months to understand the space we are designing for. It’s incredibly complex, but will be a huge win if we can provide a great solution straight out of the box.

We will need help from everyone; developers, designers, user researchers, end users and business owners! Become part of the discussion in the Drupal 8 Blocks & Layouts everywhere initiative group.

UX team activities

ux_sprinting.jpg

UX team bi-weekly office hours

We started to hold bi-weekly UX “office hours” (next one will take place 16 April, 20:00 UTC, 4PM NYC, 4 AM Tuesday Singapore/Shanghai), where we will discuss recent activities of the team but also review contributed modules. This has resulted in modules such as Taxonomy Acces Control making major improvements.

UX team activity

The team has been busy in Q1 2012:

  • Becky Gessler, Garen Checkly and Jen Lampton conducted a usability study at the Google offices, resulting in a detailed findings report and Drupalcon Denver core conversation talk on how to solve it.
  • Lisa Rex, Dharmesh Mistry (dcmistry), Erik Stielstra (sutha), Alexander Ross (bleen18) have done a total of 22 interviews about how people use the module page.
  • Lewis Nyman has been working hard on designing Drupal’s mobile interface, resulting in interesting discussions around navigation, principles and actual implementation of ideas in the mobile issue queue.
  • Roy Scholten (yoroy) has presented on Core product: 3 is the magic number and organised several sprints around UX at Drupalcon. There was also a BoF.
  • Jared Ponchot has been contributing design proposals, to our effort to redesign the content creation page.
  • Kristjan Jansen (kika), Jeff Noyes (Noyz) and Kevin O’Leary (tkoleary), Michael Keara (UserAdvocate) have put out various ideas around media UX, creating UI standards for add/edit flows, optimizing the content listing and research for the Blocks & layout initiative.

We have also released our ideas around redesigning the module page, adding a project browser to core, adding search everywhere, draft revisions and much more in the usability issue queue!

We need your help!

We need volunteers:

  • Developers who can help us with the PHP, CSS or JS parts of these changes.
  • New and experienced UX designers to work on the new features that we want to introduce in Drupal 8.
  • A project manager who can help break down tasks, coordinate contributors, update blog posts and issues, and help the UX team & leads focus more on UX.

If you’re interested in becoming a contributor to the UX Team in one of the roles above, contact Bojhan Somers and/or Roy Scholten.

You can find us in in the usability group, contact us directly by e-mail (or drupal.org contact form), join us on IRC in #drupal-usability, or find us in person at Frontend United.

The cool stuff we’re working on

Still not sure? We we love a lot more help to pursue all these crazy ideas within the next 7 months:

Thanks!

- Bojhan and Roy

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Documentation Team 1st Quarter 2012 Update

Hello from Jennifer, your friendly Drupal Documentation Team leader! It’s time for a quarterly update on what’s happening in the Documentation team.

First off, I just want to remind everyone that I’m still planning to step down as Documentation Team Leader at the end of 2012. If you’re interested in becoming the co-leader or assistant leader now, and taking over at the end of 2012 as the main team leader, see http://groups.drupal.org/node/203258 for more information. It would be good to find someone soon!

Events

  • The Documentation Team is currently holding weekly “Documentation Office Hours”—one-hour IRC meetings on Tuesday afternoon (North American time), open to anyone for questions and discussions about contributing to documentation. This schedule is likely to change soon; join the discussion about a new time for office hours.
  • The API documentation cleanup sprint from last quarter has continued into this quarter. The goal is to bring the Drupal 7 and 8 core API documentation much more in line with our documentation standards. To join in, visit the issue page.

Milestones and Accomplishments

  • Lots of content was updated on Drupal.org this quarter. Of particular note:
    • There used to be a “Community and Support” link in the top navigation of Drupal.org; now there are separate Community and Support links, and the Support page has been completely redone (a redesign of the Community page is also in the plans). Hopefully this will help people new to Drupal connect with the help they need to get started. Thanks to Lisa Rex, David Hernandez, and others for making this happen!
    • The Omega theme project organized a group to update the Omega section of the Community Documentation.
    • The Media module project organized a group to update the Media documentation.
    • An effort is underway to create a Mobile section in the documentation.
    • We started a New Contributor Tasks section on Drupal.org. This is a place where people new to contributing to Drupal can go to find meaningful and doable tasks to start with. If you have ideas for the section, there’s a page describing how to add to it (with templates), and a suggestions page too.
    • 712 different contributors made a total of 3976 revisions to documentation pages on Drupal.org. Wow! (I have a new statistics page that totals this up). Apologies if your project didn’t make it into the list above — there’s a lot going on and I can’t keep track of it all!
  • Neil Drumm and I (with the help of other patch contributors) are continuing to make updates to the software for http://api.drupal.org. This quarter, there were major improvements to the linking and references features of the site — check it out if you haven’t been there lately! If you would like to work on the API module, check out the issue queue (http://drupal.org/project/issues/api) or find jhodgdon in IRC to get oriented.
  • I was given permission to commit Drupal Core 7/8 documentation and coding standards patches in February, and to help out in case of “Core Is Broken!!” emergencies. Hopefully this will lessen the burden on Angie, Nat, and Dries, freeing them up to concentrate on bugs that improve the Drupal software functionality.

Docs Infrastructure

Last year, the Docs Team (or at least its leadership) got a bit discouraged about Documentation infrastructure improvements taking quite a while to get deployed to Drupal.org. But now there’s a new process for getting improvements deployed, and Neil Drumm is working on them with hours funded by the Drupal Association. So, I’d like to get us working on improvements to “docs infrastructure” (tools, navigation, etc. for Drupal documentation writers and users) again.

I started working on that this quarter, and several small things were deployed. That went well, so there are now more in progress. Two that we hope to get done soon are a Docs Team effort to have better navigation for Community Docs, and LoMo’s project to replace the Books page with a content type/View. Join in the discussion and/or help out!

And as a preview, this summer I would like to really get working on the “curated docs” we’ve been talking about for a year or more… Watch http://groups.drupal.org/documentation-team for updates!

Next Steps

If you’re interested in helping with Drupal documentation:

DrupalCon Munich is around the corner: call for papers and registration open

As announced on stage at DrupalCon Denver, we have just opened the Call for Papers for DrupalCon Munich 2012, as well as keynotes, call for trainings, scholarships, and registration. The Drupal Association and the Munich DrupalCon committee have been preparing for the next DrupalCon for months now. Things will move into high gear once DrupalCon Denver closes its doors, later this week.

Announcing …

Keynote speakers

DrupalCon Munich announces three keynotes by open source and industry visionaries, including Dries Buytaert – the founder of the Drupal project talking about the future of Drupal on Tuesday, August 21; Anke Domscheit-Berg, a renowned expert in open government and open data, speaking on Tuesday, August 22; and Fabien Potencier, CEO of SensioLabs and founder of the Symfony project speaking on Wednesday, August 23.

Call for papers

Your contribution is needed! Come to Munich and share your expertise with the most amazing open source community in the world. Submit your session ideas at http://munich2012.drupal.org/call-for-papers

Early Bird registration opens today!

Registration for DrupalCon Munich is now open. The special early-bird rate is €350 for the first 300 tickets, after that the price is €400 until June 15, and 475 until July 31. Late registration after this date until August 17 will be €525. On-site registration will be €575. The is a limited number of tickets available at a rate of €200 for students and non profit organisations (all prices inclusive of VAT). Register now at http://munich2012.drupal.org/register.

Call for trainings

The Drupal project needs more contributors, site builders, users, and developers. We’re looking to cover the gamut from beginner to highly advanced trainings. Trainers and training companies, submit your trainings now! http://munich2012.drupal.org

Scholarship applications are now open

Drupal is for everyone and everyone can enrich the project. If you would like to come to DrupalCon Munich but cannot afford the cost, a limited number of scholarships will be available. Submit your application at http://munich2012.drupal.org/community/scholarships

Keep up-to-date with all things Drupalcon Munich; follow @DrupalCon on Twitter.

– Florian Lorétan (floretan) and Karsten Frohwein (kars-t), co-chairs of DrupalCon Munich

The Google Summer of Code is Back for 2012!

Some of Drupal’s Summer of Code success stories include:

Angela ByronAngela Byron (webchick) the Drupal 7 co-maintainer, Director of Community Development at Acquia, a Google-O’Reilly Open Source Hall of Famer and a Drupal Association board member. She originally got her start in Drupal writing Quiz module for GSoC 2005. Sumit KatariaSumit Kataria, started as a GSoC student back in 2009 working on OAuth module, and now not only is one of the foremost experts in the Drupal community on mobile (look for his mobile apps for DrupalCon Denver in an app store near you!), but co-manages Drupal’s involvement in GSoC. He works as a Drupal consultant with companies like CivicActions and Lullabot.
Bojan ZivanovicBojan Zivanovic (bojanz) became a preeminent contributor to views and contributed to EntityFieldQuery for Drupal 7. Gábor HojtsyGábor Hojtsy, the co-maintainer of Drupal 6, and the Initiative Lead for the Drupal 8 Multilingual Initiative worked over GSoC in 2006 to get i18n in Drupal core in Drupal 6. He is now an engineer for Acquia.
Jimmy BerryJimmy Berry (boombatower) was instrumental in the development of Drupal’s automated testing framework, and he and his father Jim Berry (solotandem) were the first Google Summer of Code father/son team! :) They both offer testing-related services at http://boombatower.com. Lin ClarkLin Clark (linclark) created SPARQL Views, making it possible to query SPARQL endpoints from Views, as part of GSoC 2010. Her demonstrations of Linked Data capabilities in Drupal have been published on IBM Developer Works. She is now an independent consultant working data publishing and consumption using Drupal.

So if you’re:

  • a post-secondary student looking for an exciting project with a thriving development community and tons of smart people you can work with
  • an existing Drupal contributor who happens to be attending college/university and would love a chance to get paid over the summer to work on the “Next Big Drupal Thing”
  • a seasoned Drupal developer with some time over the summer, who’d truly enjoy mentoring and helping the next generation of contributors make Drupal the best that it can be
  • a Drupal community member who might not have the time or coding experience to mentor, but knows where to find resources and enjoys helping others find them.
  • someone with a great project idea for an improvement in Drupal that would be perfect for a student to work on over the summer
  • a Drupal evangelist who wants to help grow the community by actively engaging students

…then there’s something for you in Summer of Code! Read on to find out more.

Prospective Students

If you have enthusiasm the drive to work on something great, now is the time for you to get started! Subscribe to the Google Summer of Code group, look over the developer’s guide and API reference, stop by Core Office hours and take on some new contributor tasks, find a Drupal event near you to get to know Drupal’s amazing community, and take on a few bite-sized tasks in the Novice Issue Queue.

Most importantly, start thinking about your project proposal! Prior to submitting your application, stop by #drupal on irc.freenode.net or post your project ideas to the Summer of Code 2012 group to get community feedback. Your chances of getting into Summer of Code increase if the community has the opportunity to review your ideas and offer feedback to help you in improving your project idea.

We have already started accepting applications. For more tips, students should check out the Student Template Page.

Mentors

Please sign up to be a mentor if you have either experience with Drupal development or expertise in a particular area of interest (for example, newspapers, education…) and have some free time from now until the end of August.

To become a mentor,  join the Drupal SoC-2012 group and the sign up on Google’s SoC mentor web app (now known as Melange). Please describe who you are, what your level of Drupal experience is, and your motivation for being a mentor. Your application will be reviewed by SoC admins (Chx, SumitK).

You can go through Advice for mentors page to find more tips on mentoring students.

The more mentors we have, the more students we can get in, and the more exciting projects of varying types we can accept.

Community members

Great project ideas are vital to attracting both great students and great mentors. If you’ve ever thought “if Drupal could be…”, now is the time to turn it into a project idea. The project should be feasible for a Drupal-novice developer student to achieve in a 3-month time frame. Suggest a SoC project idea in the SoC 2012 group or help elaborating already proposed ideas

In addition, you can help review the existing SoC project ideas by providing students and other community members with feedback. Community members are in the best position to help students understand the finer intricacies of existing modules, and help their energies to meet the the priorities of the Drupal project.

To help the new Drupal family members, we need some existing community members to be active in #drupal-contribute on irc.freenode.net to answer student questions, point them to the correct resources, and people with expertise.

If you think this sounds like fun, be sure to get on to IRC!

Symantec Connect Case Study

Why Drupal was chosen: 

After considering the landscape of both proprietary and open-source solutions, Symantec decided to use Drupal as a found…

Popular Science Magazine (PopSci.com) Case Study

Why Drupal was chosen: 

Made with Drupal 5 this site is still an awesome example of successful implementation. The owners of this site are not g…

Distribution packaging now fully supported on Drupal.org

Distributions provide one of the biggest opportunities for both the Drupal project and its ecosystem. Although there has been support for distribution packaging on Drupal.org since December 2009, there were many restrictions on what could be packaged f…

Ebizon builds world’s fastest growing Drupal site – TweenTribune

Introduction

 

TweenTribune,TeenTribuneand TTEspañol deliver the teen and tween audience with compelling stories kids won’t find anywhere else. Stories chosen for TweenTribune are selected by tweens working closely with professional journalists. Tweens can submit links to stories they’d like to share, submit their own stories and photos, and comment on the stories they read.

    More than 53,000 teachers across the U.S use Tween Tribune in their classrooms.

      Generates more than 5 million page views per month.

        10,000 nodes are added every day

         

        Brief History – From WordPress to Drupal

        TweenTribune and its sister site, TeenTribune, work through schoolteachers across the U.S. Registered students log onto the site and post comments on selected stories of the day, and teachers review the responses for approval before making them “live” for other students to see.

        During Christmas in 2008, Founder of Tweentribune, Mr. Alan Jacobson, decided to move its website from Wordpress to a more capable and flexible Content Management System Drupal. He contacted us in December 24th 2008 and worked with us to develop the application that would allow Tweens of ages 8 to 14 to read a variety of interesting content as well as comment on news for other Kids to see. Teachers can easily use Tween Tribune as a teaching tool. First, the site uses high-interest reading material to engage students with the news.

        Teachers can register their classes on the site, which allows them access to special features like custom generated pages that show students comments or stories the class has commented on. Teachers can print out reports by student; these reports allow them to see which articles students have read and to access to individual student’s comments. In this way, teachers can easily grade or comment on students’ writing. There’s even a Faculty Lounge where teachers can interact with each other, sharing ideas and lesson plans.

        Using Drupal 6 and a variety of excellent contributed modules, the site Tweentribune.com was launched in March, 2009. Modules used include Views, CCK (both core and imagefield), and Imagecache.

        Codes were written for all the custom features of TweenTribune. This custom code was integrated into a Drupal Content Management System in the form of Drupal Modules.  

        Tweentribune is now a success story that has been featured in LAtimes, YPulse.com, KillerStartups, WeMedia, GoodHouseKeeping and getting

        • more than 5 million page views a month.
        • more than 16 million add impressions per month.
        • more than 3000 comments and 6000 quizzes

         

        SCALING WITH CONFIDENCE

        Tweentribune.com had couple of unique challenges. The traffic used to pick during US school hours with most users logged in and hence, creating making maximum connections to the database. The webserver and database were separated on 2 different machines in the same network (LAN).

        Further Following measures were taken to improve drupal performance:

        1. Optimize database queries and modules
        2. Use Memcache for all database cache.
        3. Sessions which are typically stored in database in Drupal were also stored in memcache.
        4. Boost module to serve html content for anonymous users
        5. Using Lighttpd to serve static files like css, js, images.
        6. APC as the PHP accelerator was used.
        7. Using Linux shell, Munin and Nagios for monitoring.

        Memcache – way better than cash

        Memcache, Squid, APC, etc were used to make Drupal scale. Memcache, APC and Squid were installed and configured on the server. Memcache was monitored and configuration of Memcache was changed with time as traffic improved and RAM of the server was changed.

        Lighttpd

        Lighttpd is a web server that was used to serve static files (images, javascripts, css) to reduce burden on Apache webserver as lighttpd is faster at static contents.

        Apache Solr vs DSS

        Drupal Search Sucks as it doesn’t deal with large amount of content, it doesn’t scale and gets bogged down.Drupal Search is integrated – it runs and searches on the same database thus, slowing down the system. Apache Solr’s advantage for Drupal is that it indexes nodes, not pages. This means it can have access to attributes of the node that are not readily parsable from the rendered page. These attributes can be used to filter the results. Apache Solr provides faster search experience than default Drupal search.

        Varnish or Squid

         But either is better than getting shellacked, and both are better than Boost.

        InnoDB, instead MyISAM. - Who wants to get locked under a table?

        • InnoDB implements row-level lock for inserting and updating while MyISAM implements table-level lock.
        • InnoDB inherently takes care of data integrity by the help of relationship constraints and transactions.
        • InnoDB is faster in write-intensive (inserts, updates) tables as it utilizes row-level locking and only hold up changes to the same row that’s being inserted or updated

        InnoDB buffer pool. How big is too big? We know. .

        The larger the buffer pool, the more InnoDB acts like an in-memory database, reading data from disk once and then accessing the data from memory during subsequent reads. The buffer pool even caches data changed by insert and update operations, so that disk writes can be grouped together for better performance.

        KeepAlive on or off?Contact us and we’ll tell you.

         

        THE TEAM

        • Ebizon NetInfo: Ebizon builds World’s fastest growing Drupal site and is the backbone of the project with the expertise in performance and scalability tuning that is essential for Drupal sites with millions of nodes and users. Ebizon supports Tweentribune’s rapid growth of almost 10,000 nodes addition everyday through multiple layers of content caching in multi-server environment. Ebizon extends Drupal to meet the unique needs of the site to handle traffic of more than 1 million authenticated users during school peak hours.
        • BrassTacksDesign: The BrassTacksDesign Team were responsible for project conceptualization and use cases. All day-to-day operations are managed and administered by them.
        • Rackspace: The website is hosted on Rackspace.

         

        HARDWARE

        The underlying hardware included 2 machines on the same Gigabit network:

        One with apache webserver and memcache with following configuration:

        1. Quad Socket Quad Core Intel Xeon E7440 2.4GHz
        2. 64GB Memory
        3. Operating System: Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 – 64 bit

        Database server has following configuration:

        1. RAID 5
        2. 12 GB DELL RAM
        3. Single Socket Quad Core Intel Xeon L5520 2.26GHz

         

        HOW THE CHALLENGES WERE MET?

        • Challenge: Drupal is both resource intensive and database intensive. Its strength is ease of development, extensibility through modules and faster development time. Its downside is that it requires more CPU and RAM than other CMSs.

        Solution: With our experience we found that couple of Drupal contributed modules are resource intensive and their optimization is necessary in order to scale the system. We monitored SQL queries using devel module and identified the queries that consumed most resources. Then we optimized those queries and monitored their performance and load on the system for couple of days. The results and improvements were captured in a performance report that was published for client’s review.

        • Challenge: Busted Page issue which was causing page to break. The busted page was a much trickier issue solely due to its intermittent nature.

        Solution: The Busted Page Issue was THE MOST important issue since the site had scaled to 2 million page views a month and we couldn’t risk this problem to survive any longer. Initial attempt was to disable BOOST module but to our surprise disabling Boost did not solve the problem. After 24 hours of rigours effort and monitoring it looked like menu paths were restructuring during CRON that was running every hour. The best of teams in the world were thinking on it but no one could get to the root. Finally, one of our best technical leads made the cron to run instead of every hour only at night at 12 am. This resolved the Busted page problem and was a GREAT success for us and Alan.

        • Challenge: Location based advertisement and headers implementation in Drupal 6.

        Solution: Drupal ad geoip module were customized to implement the feature whereby advertisements and headers can be displayed based on users location.

        • Challenge: Only teachers of a classroom should be able to moderate the comments and comment should be published only after they have been approved.

        Solution: Drupal moderate module was customized and an interface was designed where teaches could see all the comments in a classroom and can approve or disapprove them.

        • Challenge: Blocking inappropriate words that student puts in their comments.

        Solution: Initially Watchlist module was recommended which automatically flags a node or comment if it contains any questionable content (these can be set in the Watchlist settings by adding regular expressions of words that are considered bad). But it flags the word and notifies admin AFTER the comment is posted, which is TOO LATE. Therefore Spam module was utilized to resolve this problem.

        • Challenge: Alan needed a way for the teacher to send every student’s comments to the printer with one click, instead of sending them one at a time with one click per student.

        Solution: It was not feasible to put restriction on users to have an email to sign up on Tweentribune.com therefore team found a way for not letting users create their email and instead having system create their email automatically from their Full name. The contrib module that was modified for this purpose was “Localemail” and was made to create email ids automatically for each user and let them register directly on Tweentribune.

        • Challenge: A new workflow for teachers registration was required where teachers could register themselves without requiring Alan to personally verify each registration as in the previous workflow.

        Solution: Team worked on a new workflow where:

          1. Teacher can submit information on webform, which is almost identical to existing webform with very minor change. This new form replaced the existing form.
          2. Drupal generates 9 classrooms for teacher, but does NOT use classroom taxonomy. Instead, user profile contains username and classrooms only. Classroom names use teacher’s school email address + taxonomy ID. Example: mary.jones@collierschools.com-151365
          3. Drupal generates new usename = teacher’s school email address. Role = teacher_private. This role is a clone of existing role = teacher.
          4. Drupal sends 2 welcome emails with username and password generated by Drupal to 2 email addresses: home email address and school email address. Email includes link to “dashboard” page where teacher can register students. See screenshot, attached. The dashboard is 600px wide, so it fits in the main content area of the current pages.
          5. Teacher logs in and is redirected to /teacher_landing_page or uses link provided in welcome email.
          6. Teacher can do the following on the dashboard:
            • register students
            • see usernames and passwords of students previously registered
            • delete students
            • print out student usernames and passwords
            • change classroom name

         

        TWEEN TRIBUNE APPLICATION AND DATABASE ARCHITECTURE

        Tweentribune.com is a news site for Tweens and following are the cores around which it was built:

          • CCK
          • Views
          • Webform
          • Taxonomy
          • Imagecache
        • Custom AJAX-based drop down select developed as a replacement of hierarchical select module (http://drupal.org/project/hierarchical_select) when selecting classroom during registration or posting of stories.
        • Custom module was used to allow non-email based registration on the site, since; Tweens usually do not have email addresses.
        • Also, custom functionalities like allowing administrator to register teacher’s requests easily from an interface that are received from webforms were also developed. Comment moderation by teachers was also integrated into the site using Modr8 module.

        Content Types

        • Stories: This is the main content type around which whole Tweentribune.com stories are built.
        • Profile:  This content type carries the student and teacher profile information like classroom.
        • Your-stories: Using this content type, teachers can post their own news into their classrooms.
        • Quiz: With this content type, teachers can post quiz on the website for their classroom.
        • Your Entry: This content type allows student to submit short stories and essays.

        content types

         

        Taxonomy

        • Topics for tween: This vocabulary is used to define category of the story posted on Tweentribune.com.
        • Classroom: This vocabulary allows users to be assigned to the classroom. Classroom is based on parent-child hierarchy with country, state, city, school and then classroom following parent child relationship. Certain stories can also be optionally put in some classroom/school.
        • Spanish: This vocabulary is used to post stories in spanish
        • Your town: This vocabulary is used to post stories from affiliate partners

        taxonomy

        Submit and vote on your Drupal.org ideas!

        Two of the Drupal Association’s 2012 priorities are to make Drupal.org awesome: both for site builders and for developers. We want to hear from you about what improvements you’d most like to see on Drupal.org.

        Please let us know your thoughts at http://drupal-association.ideascale.com/. You can propose new ideas, vote on existing ideas, and also leave comments. When we have the more discrete list of things we plan to cover in 2012 and when, we’ll share it with the community for feedback.

        Important things to note:

        1. Please don’t limit yourself only to big things. The more high-impact, “low hanging fruit” we can fix, the better! :) All suggestions must have a correlating URL on *.drupal.org with more information.
        2. Voting on an idea here does **not** necessarily mean it will get implemented, even if it’s one of the highest (or even *the* highest) thing in the list. We are using this tool as a barometer to find out more about what our contributor community thinks is important, so we can factor this into our prioritization process.
        3. That prioritization process will include needs of the Drupal Association itself (e.g. DrupalCon & membership-related tasks so we can perform our other necessary functions), the needs of the Drupal.org infrastructure team (keeps the servers humming), and the needs of the DA’s sponsors (keeps the money flowing so we can fund more improvements!).
        4. Unfortunately, no, this is not a Drupal site. If this fact appalls you, there is an idea in there that you can up-vote. :) It does allow data export capabilities though, so yay!

        HUGE kudos to tvn for a tremendous amount of research on existing ideas that are out there, and jredding and kattekrab for several hours of brainstorming. :)

        Cross-post of http://groups.drupal.org/node/213898 — please leave comments over there.

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