We would like to inform you about the following:
Back in December, as part of our ongoing efforts to improve Drupal.org, we kicked off a content strategy project with Forum One. Drupal Association engineering and marketing/communication staff partnered with the Drupal.org Content Working Group and met for a two-day workshop to help get the project team from Forum One (content strategists and user experience designers) up to speed on Drupal.org and the ecosystem of sites and services that our community uses to build and use Drupal.
Over the past month, we have pulled together many detailed documents to help guide our work. While we are only about halfway through this project, we wanted to share a bit of the work-in-progress that will influence Drupal.org’s content strategy in the coming months.
What is Content Strategy
Content strategy is the practice and process of planning content creation, delivery, and governance. Its purpose is to create a repeatable system that defines the entire editorial content development process for a website.
Drupal.org is a very unique website. It serves many purposes:
With so many purposes and competing objectives, a cohesive content strategy that takes in input from many contributors and users of Drupal.org is critcal.
Setting a Content Strategy Vision
To keep us aligned, we outlined three major areas to keep measuring our work against: the big ideas, key messages, and our objectives for content on the site.
Content Strategy Objectives
Identifying Content Types and Gaps in our Content
We have 17 active content types and over 1.2 million pieces of content on Drupal.org. (Really, this is just nodes, we have even more taxonomy terms and views that also represent displays of data.) That’s a lot of content. It’s more than 29,000 projects (modules, themes, distributions, etc.) and over 789,000 issues posted to those projects. We also have over 330,000 forum topics being discussed.
The Curious Case of the Book
With all of that content, 17 types does not quite give us the flexibility or degree of classification that we need to provide truly structured content. We have some content types that are used for so many different kinds of content that they’re virtually meaningless. We have over 12,000 nodes in our “book page” content type. Our book pages can be anything from documentation to landing pages to resource guides to topical pages to module comparisons… really we use them for just about everything.
During the content strategy project, we will explore ways to break our book pages into more meaningful content types that help new users find what they need.
What’s in a Forum
Another content type that gets used for more than it should is the forum topic. We use forums to post news, security announcements, discussions and even support requests. Yet at the same time, it is clear that forums are used far less now than several years ago. We had over 50,000 forum posts in 2008. We had only 11,000 in 2014.
For support and questions, our forums do not have comparable functionality to systems like Drupal Answers—powered by Stack Exchange. Many community members that provide support have already moved to that site to answer questions. Drupal.org is still a starting point for many newcomers to Drupal. One goal of the content strategy project is to make some decisions about where we can best direct newcomers for support.
Where are the Marketing Materials to Help People Choose Drupal?
A key classification of content that we are missing in our information architecture on Drupal.org is marketing materials. We create tons of documentation and handbooks, but we do not have a ton of great materials that tell business evaluators (CIOs, CTOs, managers, and decision makers) why they should choose Drupal. We have a good start with content created to promote Drupal 8, but there is a lot more we can do to help sell the qualities of Drupal.
Auditing What We Have and Mapping What We Want
We took the time to map our community’s content production over time and the totals were amazing.
The height of our community’s content creation was in 2012, when we created more than 195,000 nodes on Drupal.org and Drupal Groups. As Drupal 7 has matured, we have slowed down a bit. In 2014, we created 116,514 nodes on those two sites. That is still a huge amount of content.
Nearly 39% of all of the content on Drupal.org and Drupal Groups was created before 2010. More specifically, 55% of all book pages were created prior to the launch of Drupal 7 in 2011—that’s 5,665 book pages. Only 32% of those book pages have been updated since. That gap of 23% of all book content is a good place to begin an audit.
We are working now to finalize a process for identifying what content could be archived or removed and what content needs to be updated. The community has done admirable job of classifying our documentation by page status, but there is more work to be done. We need an automated process for regularly auditing our content.
We need a better map of related content—content we have and content we need—that can be used to build a better information architecture for new users.
One of the key deliverables for our content strategy project is a site map of what we want the site to look like in 3 months, 6 months and 1 year.
Creating a Governance Plan to Better Support our Community of Creators
We are hard at work reviewing and documenting community processes for maintaining content on Drupal.org. If users have been around for a while, they might have found their way into the content issue queue and wondered at the process and how to start helping. They may also have jumped in and helped edit a documentation page in one of our numerous books. (6,452 of community members have edited 12,326 book pages over 92,000 times.)
The problem is that these processes are not well known and not built into our tools at a level that helps users know what they should and should not do in the system. Learning the “right way” to contribute requires finding policy documentation that is often difficult to get to, and sometimes out of date. Therefore, along with our new content types, we are assessing and testing the user experience for creating, curating and maintaining all of the content on Drupal.org.
As we document the existing rules that govern how contributions are made, it’s become clear that one of the greatest barriers to contribution, especially for new users, is the sheer difficulty of learning the “right way” to make a contribution. We want to change the way these users interact with the site, so that the correct process and procedure for each type of contribution is baked right into the workflow.
Making our Communications Count
The last key deliverable that is being finalized as part of our content strategy is our communications plan. We have 50+ channels that are used by Drupal Association, working groups, social media volunteers, and maintainers to communicate with the community—everything from Twitter to newsletters to the Drupal.org homepage. We do not want to flood you with too much information, but we would like to be able to give you the information you want to see when you want to see it.
Right now, Drupal Association staff and the Drupal.org Content Working Group are mapping our messages to our audiences, our message to our channels and our channels to our audiences. It will be easier than ever to subscribe to the information you want—both email and on the site itself—in the coming year.
We will be wrapping up our content strategy work as March comes to a close.
We will publish more findings along the way. Stay tuned for new content types on Drupal.org—including news, posts, topic-based taxonomy term pages, and better ways to access and help write documentation.
Joomla! 3.4 is almost ready!
We have revised the launch timeline slightly to ensure we can get everything up to the quality levels we all would like, and to ensure thorough testing on as many environments as possible.
The schedule is now as follows:
The Joomla! Project is pleased to announce the availability of Joomla! 3.4 Beta 3. Community members are asked to download and install the package in order to provide quality assurance for the forthcoming 3.4 release.
Joomla! 3 is the latest major release of the Joomla! CMS, with 3.4 the fifth standard-term support release in this series. Please note that going from 3.3 to 3.4 is a one-click upgrade and is NOT a migration. The same is true is for any subsequent versions in the 3 series of the CMS. That being said, please do not upgrade any of your production sites to the beta version as beta is ONLY intended for testing and there is no upgrade path from Beta.
The Wine development release 1.7.36 is now available.
Some preliminary 64-bit support for Mac OS X.
Software Freedom Conservancy and the GNOME Foundation together announce that the Free and Open Source Software Outreach Program is moving from GNOME to Conservancy. As Karen Sandler, Executive Director of Conservancy and co-organizer of the Outreach Program, announced in her keynote at FOSDEM this weekend, the program will be rebranding as part of the transition under the new name “Outreachy”.
Outreachy helps people from groups underrepresented in free and open source software get involved by providing a supportive community for newcomers to contribute to throughout the year, and by offering focused internship opportunities twice a year with many free software organizations. To date, the program has had 214 interns with 35 different free software organizations, including the Linux Kernel, Wikimedia, GNOME, Mozilla, Twisted (a Conservancy member project), and OpenStack. Marina Zhurakhinskaya, Community Engagement Lead at Red Hat and co-organizer of the program said, “It’s amazing that the program we started four years ago with eight GNOME interns has grown to enable hundreds of women become established free software contributors across a broad spectrum of projects. I vividly remember the call in which Karen proposed the idea of inviting other organizations to participate, and I’m excited to continue working closely with her in growing the reach of the program.”
The GNOME Foundation, previous nonprofit home of the program, remains a core partner of Outreachy, providing infrastructure support. “The GNOME board is unified in its enthusiasm for Outreach to join Conservancy,” said Jean-François Fortin Tam, President of the GNOME Foundation. “We’re proud to have launched the program and seen it grow beyond our wildest expectations. We look forward to remaining a partner, supporting and participating in the program in its new home as it continues to grow.”
Over the next few months, Outreachy will complete its transition to Conservancy, the non-profit home of over 30 free and open source software projects. “Outreachy is a natural fit for Conservancy,” said Sandler. “Conservancy is organized to support many free software projects — and to promote software freedom in general. This program has become an essential way for free software projects to improve their communities. I am honored to keep working with Marina, Sarah Sharp and all of the other volunteers who keep Outreachy going.”
The next round of Outreachy internships will have an application deadline on March 24, 2015, and internship dates from May 25 to August 25. Coding, design, documentation and other projects will be available. Applicants will be asked to select a project with one of the participating organizations and collaborate with a mentor listed for that project to make a relevant contribution to the project during the application process. Accepted participants will work remotely, while being guided by their mentor, and will receive a $5,500 stipend.
Outreachy is the successor of the Outreach Program for Women (OPW). OPW was inspired by Google Summer of Code and by how few women applied for it. The GNOME Foundation first started OPW with one round in 2006, and then resumed the effort in 2010 with rounds organized twice a year. In the May 2012 round, Software Freedom Conservancy joined OPW with one internship with the Twisted project. In the January 2013 round, many other free and open source organizations joined the program. For the May 2015 round, the program was renamed to Outreachy with the goal of expanding to engage people from various underrepresented groups and is transitioning to Conservancy as its organizational home.
This program is a welcoming link that connects talented and passionate newcomers with people working in free and open source software and guides them through their first contribution. Through Outreachy, participants learn how exciting and valuable work on software freedom can be, while helping us to build a more inclusive community. The organizational partners of the program are the GNOME Foundation, Red Hat and Software Freedom Conservancy.
About the GNOME Foundation
GNOME was started in 1997 by two then-university students, Miguel de Icaza and Federico Mena Quintero. Their aim: to produce a free (as in freedom) desktop environment. Since then, GNOME has grown into a hugely successful enterprise. Used by millions of people around the world, it is one of the most popular environments for GNU/Linux and UNIX-type operating systems. GNOME’s software has been utilized in successful, large-scale enterprise and public deployments.
The GNOME community is made up of hundreds of contributors from all over the world, many of whom are volunteers. This community is supported by the GNOME Foundation, an independent non-profit organization that provides financial, organizational and legal assistance. The Foundation is a democratic institution that is directed by its members, who are all active GNOME contributors. GNOME and its Foundation work to promote software freedom through the creation of innovative, accessible, and beautiful user experiences.
About Software Freedom Conservancy
Software Freedom Conservancy is a public charity that promotes, improves, develops and defends Free, Libre and Open Source software projects. Conservancy is home more than thirty software projects — including Git, Inkscape, Samba, Wine, Selenium, the Linux Compliance project, PyPy, and Sugar Labs — each supported by a dedicated community of volunteers, developers and users. Conservancy’s projects include some of the most widely used software systems in the world across many application areas, including educational software deployed in schools around the globe, embedded software systems deployed in most consumer electronic devices, distributed version control developer tools, integrated library services systems, and widely used graphics and art programs. A full list of Conservancy’s member projects is available. Conservancy provides these projects with the necessary infrastructure and not-for-profit support services to enable each project’s communities to focus on what they do best: creating innovative software and advancing computing for the public’s benefit.
2014 saw the rise of Docker, and ended with appropriately inflated hype and hysteria around a related container technology: Rocket. Immediately, discussions of uncertainty and doubt, and the familiar fear of forking unfolded. Was it only a matter of time before some developers or organizations splintered off from the Docker community with their own container technology?
It’s time for another community spotlight, and this month, we’re highlighting a community member who has made huge contributions to the success of the Drupal project and of DrupalCon — and not only through code.
Paul Johnson (pdjohnson) of Manchester is currently the Drupal Director of CTI Digital, and is the social media lead for most DrupalCons. He also maintains the @Drupal Twitter account. Paul has grown the DrupalCon social media program from a small following on twitter to a set of huge, engaged channels. (Image credit to Frank Crijns on Flickr. Thanks, Frank!)
The Drupal Association sat down with Paul in late January to talk about some of his accomplishments and passions.
DA: How did you get involved with Drupal and volunteering with DrupalCon?
Paul: I got involved in 2005 or 2006 by accident when I found it on Google, though I don’t really remember the exact moment. The company I worked for at the time wanted to move from their own homegrown CMS to something else, so I was looking for other solutions. While doing research I came across Drupal, and before I knew it I’d gone to DrupalCon Barcelona [in 2007].
Not long after that, I got really in to twitter. I was going to DrupalCon London in 2011 and I was fiercely excited about going, and I was expressing it on Twitter. Out of the blue, Isabel Schulz — a nice woman who worked for the Drupal Association at the time — reached out to me. She said, “it sounds like you want to get more involved.” It was like lighting a touch paper. Before I knew it they’d given me the username and password to the DrupalCon account and said “right, get on with it.”
DA: That’s a big responsibility!
Paul: At that time social media wasn’t so prevalent, and I don’t think anyone in the Drupal community realised how it could make a big contribution to the success of the conference— how it could reach a wider audience and get help in executing the conference.
I had no rules, and I made mistakes… I was really quite daunted by the prospect. Looking back, I might have destroyed my reputation with Drupal but thankfully I didn’t! I grew and learned, and then in Portland the social media aspect started to grow more quickly. I began writing formal processes to help myself, but it became apparent that as DrupalCon was growing, the success of the social media was perhaps leading towards other people getting involved.
I suppose I’m an unusual person — I find it difficult to find my place in the Drupal community. There are a lot of people out there who are better developers than I am, and I have this thing in my head that held me back from getting involved. I suppose it was quite a long time before I realised I had something valuable to contribute to the community. There has been this idea that contributing modules or contributing to core is cool, but there are lots of us who fall outside that immediate group of people, and who have– until recently– felt orphaned from contribution.
I’ve always thought about when the Association reached out to me. It was a small bit of recognition, but it felt very empowering. It had a big influence on me, and because of it, I’ve always tried to shout for these people who have enthusiasm, and try to ignite it.
DA: Do you have any good examples of that?
Paul: Sure. DrupalCon Portland took place at the same time as that awful Oklahoma tornado. Before it happened, I had always wanted to use social media to watch out for these kinds of things, because… with a very large audience, we can do things and help people very quickly by using the broadcast mechanism.
When the tornado hit, I saw guys in our coder lounge hacking together a solution to help people on the ground, and I used social media to draw attention to it. It snowballed, and before we knew it, FEMA was involved, and that sends shivers down my spine. I love it when social media translates from something that’s just a conversation on the internet to something with a positive, real-world impact.
DA: Switching tracks a little bit, can you tell us about some of the challenges you’ve faced when working on the DrupalCon social media?
Paul: I’ve grown up with the Drupal Association and the project, but in many respects, the biggest attraction is also one of the biggest challenges. The diversity of the Drupal community is… well, in being responsible for representing the Drupal Association and the project and the community, you have to be quite careful. You’re an ambassador, and you have to have to have the highest level of conduct. You can’t always speak your mind.
Sometimes I’ve gotten upset. It’s a big part of my life, Drupal, and people will say things to the official accounts that are upsetting, and you have to rise above that. And sometimes, people will say things from within or without the community that can be quite cutting, and I suppose that’s one of the hardest things. But, ultimately you can draw many positives from that because it becomes a question of, how do you work towards enhancing the minds of people who think like that.
Another challenge was that, in the early days, nobody knew it was me behind the accounts. It does take a reasonable amount of my time — a half an hour or more a day every day, oftentimes more. I didn’t mind [not being known] necessarily, but it’s really nice to get recognition — and, if anyone writes anything valuable I try to give them credit on social media, to encourage and celebrate people who make the effort, and put them on a pedestal so that it spurs others to do the same.
Along those lines, I so often hear, “I don’t go to local meet-ups,” or “I’m not good enough,” or “people will think I’m not clever enough or that my contribution isn’t sufficient.” I think it’s really important that people appreciate that, no matter where you are in your Drupal journey, you know more than the person who just started. You don’t have to be chx or morten or webchick– they all started at nothing, too, but they started a long time ago.
DA: What’s your favorite thing about the Drupal community?
Paul: When our community gets behind an idea, stuff really happens, and it happens really fast. Whether that’s code, or whether it would be to crowd source some funding for a blind man who lives in Italy and wants to go to DrupalCon Portland, it is just magnificent how fast things can happen if the will of the community is drawn.
And, you know, the Drupal community gives me the opportunity to meet or converse with people I would never imagine having the chance to do so with otherwise. It makes my life so much richer. It’s not about the code, Drupal is providing me with the most unimaginable opportunities. It has allowed me — in my career and my personal life — to take on challenges that would never have been available to me before.
Drupal has allowed me to be brave and to take a few risks, like interviewing Dries at the end of his keynote. I like to hide behind social media.. but then I’m projecting it onto a stage. And another thing about the community is, rarely do you meet someone who’s not nice.
DA: What’s your favorite thing about volunteering?
Paul: The thing that I enjoy the very most of volunteering is making a difference. There have been a few things where, I don’t know, I’ve seen a small smoldering fire and I’ve been able to ignite it into a bigger thing.
I was given the keys to DrupalCon, and then in the last few years I’ve taken ownership of the Drupal twitter account. Previously, it had become an abandoned channel, but under my stewardship it has gone from 30k followers to over 55k. And, you know, there are lots of people in media who are watching Drupal and who might be loosely interested. The Drupal twitter has so much opportunity to reach a wider audience with big achievements. So I love to use social media to show that Drupal is more than just America, more than just Europe — there’s a lot going on in India and in Africa and elsewhere.
I welcome anyone to approach me with news of things that they are doing in their local community that we can celebrate on official channels. I love to help grow something that’s a great idea into something that’s really big, because I think we’ve succeeded in growing the community in the USA and Australia and Europe. For me, the next big thing is to support the community in those regions that are about to flourish. How can we help them to make things happen more quickly?
DA: Who are you when you aren’t online?
Paul: I do seek solitude, and I really have a strong appreciation of wilderness. I’m a dad, and I love kids, and I suppose most of my time is spent cycling with my family. We go to The Lake District quite often in the UK, which is a beautiful and mountainous area.
I am passionately into road cycling on my bike, and mountaineering too. I like challenging myself — in everything I do, I always like to push myself. I’m always trying to climb higher or go faster. I’m no happier than when I’m in a mountaintop in the snow, even — especially — if it’s in a blizzard. I love being in a hostile environment where perhaps other people wouldn’t be able to cope. I love to explore places and trek the untrodden path. So even if I go back to the same place, I’ll take a different road.
DA: Do you have any final thoughts to share with us today?
Paul: With Drupal 8 on the way, I started a twitter account called @drupal8iscoming. It’s starting to grow and grow and grow now: it celebrates all things Drupal 8 on the internet — you know, articles, tutorials, events, and also how to help to get the word out to organisations about Drupal. Please check it out!
The Joomla! Project is pleased to announce the availability of Joomla! 3.4 Beta 2. Community members are asked to download and install the package in order to provide quality assurance for the forthcoming 3.4 release.
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 three 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.
Log in first and…
To nominate yourself, you should be prepared to answer a few questions:
We will also need to know that you are available for the next step in the process, meet the candidate sessions. We are hosting 2 sessions:
The nomination form will be open February 1, 2015 through February 20, 2015 at midnight UTC. For a thorough review of the process, please see our announcement blog post.
If you have any questions, please contact Holly Ross, Drupal Association Executive Director.
Flickr photo: Kodak Views
Front page news:
Open source is sitting at the head of the class in a growing number of schools with all levels of education. Its no-cost starting point and use-it-your-way flexibility gives open source technology an advantage over proprietary solutions with its no-license and no-fee lesson plan. Don’t think so? LinuxInsider spoke with several technology administrators around the country who gave their open source experiences a solid A+.
WWN Issue 384 was released today.
Wine64 on OS X
The user interface has been improved in a significant way Interoperability with OOXML file formats has been extended Improved source code quality based on Coverity Scan analysis Berlin, January 29, 2015 – The Document Foundation is pleased to announce LibreOffice 4.4, the ninth major release of the free office suite, with a significant number of […]
Patches for GHOST, a critical vulnerability in glibc, the Linux GNU C Library, now are available through vendor communities for a variety of Linux server and desktop distributions. Qualys earlier this week reported its discovery of GHOST, a vulnerability that allows attackers to remotely take control of an entire system without having any prior knowledge of system credentials.
KDE will be at Europe’s largest gathering of free software developering this weekend, taking over the city of Brussels for FOSDEM. We start with the traditional beer event on the Friday, sampling 100 flavours of beer while we mingle with old friends …
This weekend GNOME will be present at FOSDEM, one of the largest gatherings for Free Software contributors and enthusiasts taking place in Brussels, Belgium January 31 – February 01.
GNOME is hosting a booth where attendees can test the latest GNOME version, get promotion material, talk to contributors and learn more about how to get involved in the community. In addition to the booth GNOME will share the H.1308 (Rolin) devroom with other free desktop environments.
The Joomla! Project is pleased to announce the availability of Joomla! 3.4 Beta 1. Community members are asked to download and install the package in order to provide quality assurance for the forthcoming 3.4 release.
Christian stated in a comment “The overwhelming support of the community is both heartwarming and inspiring. I’m excited to get to continue working on a project that I think is critical to the future of our platform.”
Updates about the progress the project are making is frequently posted on the @GNOMEBuilder twitter account. It’s also possible to view git.gnome.org/Builder/log for real-time source updates. As with any GNOME project the project welcomes community contributions.
Christian will present his work with Builder at the South California Linux Fest (SCALE 13x), taking place February 19-22 in LA.
*The builder logo was done by Jakub Steiner
I was hired by the Drupal Association in October 2014 to develop a new revenue stream from advertising on Drupal.org. For some time we’ve been trying to diversify revenue streams away from DrupalCon, both to make the Association more sustainable and to ensure that DrupalCons can serve community needs, not just our funding needs. We’ve introduced the Drupal Jobs program already and now, after conversations with the community, we want to put more work into Drupal.org advertising initiatives.
This new revenue stream will help fund various Drupal.org initiatives and improvements including better account creation and login, organization and user profile improvements, a responsive redesign of Drupal.org, issue workflow and Git improvements, making Drupal.org search usable, improving tools to find and select projects, and the Groups migration to Drupal 7.
We spent time interviewing members of the Drupal Association board, representatives of the Drupal Community, Working Groups, Supporting Partners, and Drupal Businesses, both large and small to help develop our strategy and guidelines. Our biggest takeaways are:
There are already advertising banners on Drupal.org, however we need to expand their reach to hit our goals. We’re trying to address challenges for our current advertisers, including a relatively low amount of views on pages with ads, which makes it difficult for them to reach their goals.
We’re also facing industry-wide challenges in Digital Advertising. Advertisers are looking for larger, more intrusive ads that get the users’ attention, or at the very least use standard Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) ad sizes, which are larger than the ads we offer on Drupal.org.
We came up with a new line of products that we feel will help us reach our goals, but not disrupt the Drupal.org experience, or the Drupal Association Engineering Team roadmap. We want our Engineering Team to fix search on Drupal.org, not spend time developing and supporting major advertising platforms.
2015 Advertising Initiatives:
I wanted to spend most of my time explaining Audience Extension, since its unlike anything we’ve done in the past, and it may prompt questions. This product makes sense because it addresses all of the challenges we’re facing:
How does Audience Extension Work?
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 these new products throughout the year, starting with Audience Extension on February 5th. Thanks for taking the time to read about our initiatives, and please tell us your thoughts!
Today KDE releases Plasma 5.2. This release adds a number of new components, many new features and many more bugfixes.
KScreen dual monitor setup