This is an appropriate week for DrupalRadar to return, as it’s been a week of big discussions - on the future development of Drupal 8, and on commercialisation of Drupal development with an appstore, It’s also the week that the first Drupal Sprint bus was announced, and how could we not report on that?
Drupal 7 was released in January, just before Drupal’s 10th birthday, and the launch was marked by parties across the world. A few weeks on and developers and site builders are beginning to get a grip with the new release.
When it comes to learning the new version, NodeOne have produced a series of free screencasts on how to learn Drupal 7. Meanwhile the two commercial video training sites for Drupal launched their collections of videos for the new version. Lullabot’s Drupalize.me has 5 in-depth videos on Drupal 7, including Karen Stephenson on ‘Fields in Drupal 7 Core’. Chris Shattuck has launched 10 new screencasts in his large series of short Drupal 7 video tutorials on buildamodule.com.
And both Dries and Angie Byron (Webchick), went on tour to celebrate the new release, and Drupal’s 10th birthday. Dries travelled to Australia, while Webchick went on tour in the US. There’s still time to catch the tour in New York, Washington DC and Atlanta.
Have you already released a site on Drupal 7? Please tell us all about it by emailing editor [at] drupalradar [dot] com and we’ll feature the best in a forthcoming article.
Meanwhile, we’ll be publishing a post tomorrow looking at the D7CX initiative - which got contrib maintainers to pledge that a full release of their project would be ready when Drupal 7 launched. Did the initiative work? How many maintainers that signed up actually fulfilled the pledge? Did it result in a better range of contrib modules being ready than for the launch of Drupal 6. Read our special report and analysis tomorrow on Drupal Radar.
The Drupal community doesn’t rest for long, and no sooner was 7 out the door than talk turned to Drupal 8.
Dries began a discussion looking back at the Drupal 7 development process to look at what we could do better in future. The comments raise some interesting discussion points - and some strong debates. Should Drupal 8 be targeted for release in 6 months or two years? What authority should the sub-system maintainers have? What should be the policy on the code freeze? And should there be more of the organised sprints? The idea was also floated that there could be a “Drupal 8 Features Roadmap”, so it’s clear what new features will be in the release - then when those are in, and there are 0 critical issues, it’s clear that it’s ready.
All the comments are well worth a read, but In particular it’s well worth reading Catch’s thoughtful insights about halfway down, and Sun’s comment about three-quarters of the way down.
Then Dries posts this idea in a comment, which opens up further discussion:
Here is a possible approach. What if I selected 5 to 10 special initiatives (a la DBTNG, Field API, D7UX in Drupal 7). I’d pick these initiatives based on feedback from everyone in the community.
For each of those initiatives, I would appoint an official “initiative owner”. Then, I schedule a weekly or bi-weekly meeting with the “initiative owner” – other participants working on the initiative can participate in the meeting. We’d use that meeting to discuss progress, to define next steps, and to coordinate who is going to work on what.
This would provide more structure and communication for a select number of special initiatives, and could make it easier to tackle big and important problems. It provides a “partial roadmap”, and the initiative owners would feel much more empowered because of the constant communication.
At the same time, it would not prevent the traditional grassroots development from happening.
Dries, Sun, Catch, Crell and HeyRocker then discuss this concept. The whole post gives an interesting insight into the thoughts of those closest to core development, and an idea of the way things may go for the next major release of Drupal.
It’s also worth revisiting Dries’ post from last November, 8 Steps for Drupal 8.
As well as contributing to the discussions on Dries’ blog, Jeff Eaton wrote a long and considered blog post of his own - Drupal 8: The Road Ahead. The comments read like a Who’s Who of Drupal, and are well worth reading, as well as the main post.
Leisa Reichelt suggests a Drupal Community Model for Design in order to maintain the momentum started by the D7UX initiative, and arianek began a discussion on what could change in core, and the development process, to make documentation better. Cweagens also started a documentation discussion, suggesting documentation should be required for patches to be accepted - similar to the concept of ‘Done Done’ in Agile Development.
The Move To Git
The big move to Git for contributing to Drupal core and contrib is approaching, and Sam Bowyer - the Git project lead - has a very important post on what CVS contributors need to do to ensure they get full credit for their past and future contributions.
Randy Fay, always a great source of tutorials and clear explanations, has a post on Avoiding Git Disasters. He sets out two things that can go badly wrong with the traditional merge workflow - and suggests two alternatives. One of those is widely used with the Linux Core project - and so fits in with the way Dries would like to see development on Drupal 8 go now that we’ll be using Git. Randy writes:
In that scenario, you don’t let more than one maintainer push to the important branches on the authoritative repository. Users can clone the authoritative repository, but when they have changes to be made they request that the maintainer pull their changes from the contributor’s own repository. This is called a “pull request”. The end result is that you have one person controlling what goes into the repository. That one person can require correct merging behavior from contributors, or can sort it out herself. If a contribution comes in on a pull request that isn’t rebased on top of head as a single commit, the maintainer can clean it up before committing it.
So many delegates have now registered for the next Drupalcon that organisers ran out of space in the enormous Sheraton hotel, and had to start booking delegates into the nearby Intercontinental too. It looks set to be another record-breaking event - and Drupa Radar will be there to cover it if you’re unable to go.
And if you’re a Chief Officer of a Drupal Shop focused on enterprise clients, sign up for the Drupal CxO Exchange.
All Drupalcons feature code sprints - but I think this one will be the first to have a Sprint Bus!
Drupal App Store
Robert Douglas started the big discussion of the week by tweeting:
Your Drupal homework: write a thoughtful blog post on why this would or wouldn’t be good for Drupal: http://is.gd/198sUM #drupalappstore
The link was to the WP Plugins site - the AppStore for Wordpress Plugins. Robert then presented a talk on this at Drupal Dev Days in Brussels this weekend, and his slides are here.
It’s a provocative discussion for an open source community, and homework submissions came in thick and fast. The Lullabot podcast discussed it, as did: Ronald Ashri, Merlin of Chaos (which also has some good comments on it), Ryan Szrama, MortenDK, and a roundup by Chuck Dantonio.
We’ll look at this idea in more detail in a future post.
The X-Prize Foundation’s site has relaunched on Drupal, and Turner Broadcasting unveiled a Drupal site for Team Coco - the new late night chat show that’s become a ht in the US.
Karen Borchert of Phase2 Techonology, writes about the US Government’s move to Open Source, and the ‘Code for America’ initiative.
A print magazine for Drupal has been launched. Drupal Watchdog will be published twice a year and a subscription costs just $10 in the US or $15 internationally. The publishers (the team behind Tag1 Consulting) say:
Issue #1 is full of articles about the recently released Drupal 7, with content for beginners, intermediate users and advanced developers.
The first issue will also be provided free to delegates at Drupalcon - and we’ll review it here then.
And Development Seed proudly announced that Packt Publishing has released the first book about Open Atrium.
Finally, we wrote last year that Acquia was planning to launch a European Office, and they’ve made the next step towards this by hiring Jakub Suchy as Director of Professional Services for Europe, with more jobs advertised on their site.