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Rethinking use of h2 tags in Core

SEO is a critical component of a succesful website.  It isn't a hack or a black art of the nefarious.  Instead, it's a vital business consideration. If your content is hard to find, no one is going to give it any notice. Today I read a post that briefly tauts the use of h2 tags in Core as a way to organize the content of the page. The post is great and I recommend it to learn a solid technique in Drupal to maintain accessibility when you need to visually substitue images for content. But the one... More

Acquia Podcast 15: Continuous Integration with Hudson and Simpletest

Have you ever wanted to automate the process of staging code updates to your server? Steven Merrill from Treehouse Agency talks about using Hudson to automate your build process from source control to server and then automatically run Simpletest. We also touch on how to monitor the process and create build artifacts with GraphViz and XDebug for each build. Steven Jones' Post: http://www.computerminds.co.uk/hudson-and-simpletest David Strauss's cron post:... More

Removing the mittens in Drupal Gardens' June 10 update

When we started planning Drupal Gardens 18 months ago one of our goals was to help break down the barriers to creating stunning Drupal web sites. To that end we developed the Drupal Gardens' ThemeBuilder -- to allow people to point and click to create uniquely designed web sites, even if they don't know what CSS is or don't have the time to learn Drupal 7's powerful theme system. While the early beta versions of the ThemeBuilder went a long way, our beta testers asked for more, and rightly so.  At the time it was difficult or impossible to add custom image borders and backgrounds around some... More

A quick intro to Drupal Gardens themes

There's a lot to say about the technical details of the Drupal Gardens themes.  But before I geek out I want to take a moment to discuss what the goals are that drive our themes' structures.  There are numerous approaches to generic themes in the Drupal community - most of them spectacular efforts (mothership, Zen, Bartik, NineSixty).  Drupal Gardens themes adopt techniques from these themes although... More

Giving our customers the gift of Ham: Mollom provisioning API

Well, Sprint 39 just finished up at Acquia Engineering and we've got a number of new exciting features and bug fixes releasing to Drupal Gardens in the next week.  One of these is Mollom - the best spam protection service on the internet - for all Drupal Gardens site owners.  For those not in the know, Mollom protects your site from spam by analyzing the contents of comments or other content that is contributed by users and presenting Captcha challenges if the content is... More

Drupal training comes to DC!

Our CEO, Tom Erickson, announced right around the time of Drupalcon, that I was joining Acquia to fulfill a goal of ours - to provide Drupal education on a scalable, global basis. We're very excited to announce an offering that we've been working on for some time now with our partners at Chapter Three and Carahsoft - Drupal Training in the Washington, DC area.... More

Are you thinking like a marketer? If not, you should be!

If there’s one thing I’ve learned it’s that traditional notions of “marketer” are long gone. Ten years ago you’d pretty much be able to categorize marketers into one or a few main buckets. We hung out at tradeshows, we had a handful of tools at our disposal to measure customer acquisition, engagement and ROI. For the most part we all worked in the same department- the marketing department. I was at Lotus at the time. It was a great little club and to all my fellow marketers who can actually remember what it was like back then, you know what I’m talking about. Unfortunately this post ISN’T... More

Who is Hosting This?

I just found a cool service that identifies the hosting provider for any particular web site: www.WhoIsHostingThis.com. Although there are a few similar services out there, WhoIsHostingThis digs a little deeper to find the actual provider even if they're built on another cloud provider's infrastructure. Check it out using some of the Acquia Hosted websites:www.drupalgardens.comwww.nysenate.gov... More

Drupal in Italy

I recently did an interview about Acquia and Drupal with one of the leading IT magazines in Italy, Data Manager. The interview is running in the current print edition. Below you can find an English version of the interview. The interview was arranged by one of Acquia's Italian partners, SinerVis, as part of a larger Drupal awareness campaign that culminated last week in the Do You Drupal? event that was held in Milan. Jam (Acquia's Senior Writer) and... More

Moving to Boston for two years

I pretty much spent my entire life in Antwerp -- 31 years to date. However, in just a few weeks, my family and I will be moving to Boston. Why? Primarily, it allows me to reduce my travel and spend more time with my family. I flew 65,000 miles the first five months of this year, and 100,000 miles in total last year. Being away from home that much isn't fun; neither is having a permanent jetlag. My wife has accepted a research position at... More

Page, wrappers, stacks and columns in Drupal Gardens themes

This post is the first in a series of deep technical dives into the Drupal Gardens themes. Check out this post if you're looking for a generalist discussion of DG themes. If you're the type of person who has Firebug open all the time "just because", do read on. */ Drupal Gardens themes are normal Drupal themes. They are also optimized to work with our ThemeBuilder. We endeavor to make our default styles point-and-click simple to theme with the style editor while at the same time not limiting you... More

Google Fonts API - time to Drupal market - one day

When Google announced their new Font API and Font Directory, they gave the web publishing world a great new tool that is ready to add real business value right now. The directory is a bid to close the gap between the rich visual possibilities of print media and the typographically impoverished World Wide Web. In Google's words: "The Google Font API provides a simple, cross-browser method for using any font in the Google Font Directory on your web page. The fonts have all the advantages of normal... More

US Departments of Commerce, Education, and Veteran Affairs present introduction to government social publishing with Drupal

This morning, at 9AM, I am excited to co-present with 5 Drupalers from the Departments of Commerce, Education, and Veteran Affairs. Introduction to Government Social Publishing Americans are interacting online with Government increasing numbers. Unfortunately, most of that online interaction is a one-way conversation. Americans are getting information, or submitting transactions through government sites. Instead, Americans are turning to online policy groups, social networks, and micro blogs to talk about government, away from government web sites. In this introductory session, we will... More

Drupal Gardens adds blog template, analytics, pseudo-class styling & more

Last week the Acquia engineering team finished its first post-DrupalCon sprint and upgraded nearly 9,500 Drupal Gardens sites to a new release. For an invitation-only beta, that is a lot of sites. Considering that this effort is combined with running on recent daily builds of the Drupal 7 alpha, the team has no shortage of challenges. While a significant chunk of our time is spent working on advancing and testing Drupal 7 core, key contributor modules and Drupal 7 HEAD to HEAD upgrades, the team also introduced some cool new features that... More

Gov 2.0 Expo: Introduction to Government Social Publishing with Drupal

On Tuesday, May 25th, 2009 from 9AM to 10:30AM I will presenting a session on Introduction to Government Social Publishing with Drupal. I'll be covering the basics of the rise of social publishing from commenting through micro-blogging. This session is targeted at both new Drupal users and experienced Drupal users who want to learn how Drupal is being used across several US government agencies. I will also address the adoption of Drupal for national government websites as demonstrated in this slide show. I will... More

Tom Erickson on Gov 2.0

Government: Of the People, By the People, For the People Tom Erickson, Acquia's CEO provides context for his Gov 2.0 Expo session: Drupal and Social Publishing Strategies for Meeting the Open Government Directive. Tom will be serving on a panel with 3 other Drupal in Government experts: - Andrew Hoppin, CIO New York State Senate - Kirsten Burgard, Department of Veterans Affairs - Rob Klause, Siteworkx, Inc. In this session, Thomas Erickson, CEO of Acquia, will... More

Extraordinary glimpse of Acquia Client Advisors in action

Working at Acquia often means taking on the hard problems, the big challenges, and making the difference between success and failure for our customers. To highlight just how flexible our Client Advisory Team needs to be on a daily basis, I want to share with you this extraordinary glimpse into the inner workings of a real life customer who was dealing with a Drupal problem they never even imagined could exist. Please be warned, this is a real screenshot of a real "support incident" - nothing has been held back, except the customer's name (for their own... More

Creating Successful Support Engagements

It’s 4:00 AM, local time. You’ve been awoken by the angry sound of your iPhone’s SMS notification to tell you that the website you manage is totally offline. You’ve got a worldwide business and being operational 24/7 is critical. You call your support hotline (in Europe) which at this time has a long queue. You’re sweating, waiting. The rep finally comes on the phone and proclaims, “Hi there, Mr. Snuffleupagus, how can we help you?” Something you may not realize about engaging with a support team member is this: Every piece of information you provide is a possible path for them to follow. So... More

Top 10 Reasons for Marketers to build Microsites

You have heard us talk a lot about the benefits of Drupal, specifically Drupal Gardens, when it comes to speeding the creation of building microsites. But I get asked a lot by fellow marketers “what is it that I can really gain from microsites that I’m not already getting from my other web marketing tactics?” In fact I get asked that question so much, that I’ve come up with my Top Ten on why marketers will be (and should be) building more microsites. For those of you who are building microsites, what do you think? 1- Traditional, vendor-driven... More

Drupal Commons is growing

At the start of DrupalCon San Francisco, we let folks know that we were working on a new Drupal Distribution called Drupal Commons. As a reminder, Drupal Commons is integrating groups, discussion forums, blogs, wikis, documents, and events into a single packaged solution. It is designed to meet the business needs of enterprises who are looking at solutions like Jive. At the time, I made a screencast to give people a quick look at what it's... More

On business models for Drupal distributions

The fact that thousands of developers use Drupal to make money building websites for their customers has resulted in thousands of modules being created and hundreds of events being organized around the world. When I started Drupal, I wasn't aware of the importance of such a commercial ecosystem. Looking back at 10 years of working on Drupal, it is an important lesson learned. If I were to start a new Open Source project (I'm not!), the ability to build out a large commercial ecosystem would be one of the criteria that I'd look for. Disruptive innovations... More

DrupalCon SF Impressions

Recapping my thoughts after a wonderful week at DrupalCon San Francisco 2010. More

Acquia Hosting: an update after 8 months of Drupal hosting

Roughly 8 months ago at DrupalCon Paris, we launched Acquia Hosting. In this blog post, I wanted to give a quick update on where we are after 8 months. Current status For those who don't know, Acquia Hosting is a highly-available cloud-based hosting platform tuned for Drupal performance and scalability. From a technology point of view, we've built tools to automatically launch multi-server hosting environments optimized... More

Enterprise Drupal Gardens

Early last year, shortly after I had officially joined Acquia as an employee, I was thinking about critical issues that enterprises face when confronting the interactive web. Acquia had heard from several corners of the market about their headaches with current technologies. The head of NBC digital had spoken at a conference in Boston, and talked about their number one issue: creating micro sites. We had some conversations with a large university, who has over 400 web sites. Each professor, every department, individual libraries, etc. all had their own sites. The vast majority of... More

Venti Drupalccino coming right up! Acquia Hosting's automated provisioning system

Acquia Hosting is designed to be a high performance, high reliability, highly scalable, and highly manageable Drupal hosting infrastructure. Our goal was to be able to quickly provision small and large sites, meet the enormous requirements of Drupal Gardens, and keep all of it running reliably, with a small engineering and operations team. It is easy to say that "the cloud solves all of that," and indeed cloud technology provides a substantial number of benefits. However, in my recent talk at Drupalcon,... More

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