Home / Resources / Blog

Thoughts that Count

Recent Posts

Minding the gaps

Several people in the Drupal Gardens forums have asked how they can eliminate the vertical gaps between major sections of their themes.  Here's an illustration of these gaps.

To get rid of these gaps, look for top margin and top padding, usually on the elements with very distinct and descriptive ID's.  For example, the banner.

In the example above, the top padding of the #banner element is set to 27px.
And the navigation.

In the example above, the top margin of the... More

Stock options and employee equity

To my surprise, a lot of people that I interview at Acquia don’t understand stock options or have never heard of it. This blog post explains what stock options are about. It is a very technical topic but for the sake of this post, I am going to keep it really simple and make some over-simplifications.
In essence, a stock option is a right given to an employee to purchase stock at some point in the future at a set price.
When a company is founded, the founders own 100% of the company. When they raise money from investors, they give them a share of the company... More

Is it mouthwash or hand soap?

Last week in a restroom in New York city, I washed my hands inadvertently with mouthwash. It sounds silly, but it looked like the soap to me. The bathroom was so posh and the container it came in was deceptive: who expects to find mouthwash in a restroom? But, this wasn't a normal restroom.
I was at the Yale Club of NYC representing Drupal and Acquia, as well as trying to make the point that Drupal fits in the enterprise world.
The Yale Club of NYC with its... More

Drupal - Have it YOUR Way (Or, the Constraints of Social Business Software)

One of the most common complaints that we hear from our prospects & customers when in the market for Community Software and/or Social Business Software is that the licensing models of the proprietary vendors are very inflexible. They often end up charging their customers on a per user basis, annually, - and on top of that, bundle in typical proprietary software maintenance costs. In the end of the day, the customer ends up with a very expensive, annually recurring, inflexible licensing situation, - and on top of that, the customer pays additional dollars each time they request a new... More

Movember

Each year, the 'Mo' (slang for moustache) and November come together for Mo-vember.
At the beginning of the month, I joined the growing club of modern gentlemen who believe in the virtues of fine moustachery, immaculate grooming and growing a moustache for Movember. Along with me, about 20 other Acquians.
Movember is about raising funds and awareness for men's health, specifically for prostate and testicular cancer. One in two men will be diagnosed with cancer in his lifetime, and one out of... More

Acquia Hosting Now Available in EU

Acquia Hosting just got faster for our European users! Our customers asked for it and we can now deploy our high-availability, Drupal-tuned hosting stack in the EU. A closer web server means faster, more responsive web site.
Acquia's new EU data center markedly improves performance for European users. Compared to hosting in our US data center, we've measured network performance that's consistently three times faster with roundtrip times improving from over 100ms to 30-40ms. In the UK, they're even faster -- a 20ms roundtrip!
Acquia's EU hosting still features our same 24x7 monitoring and... More

Down On the Street at the New York Drupal Business Summit

We kicked-off the first of our multi-city Drupal Business Summit events in the Big Apple yesterday and it was a rousing success. For me, every Drupal event is a learning experience, and yesterday’s event was no exception.
Speakers including Bob Kerner, VP of Technology at NYSE Euronext, Jamie Clark from Zagat and Andrew Hoppin, CIO of the New York State Senate, shared great stories about how they are using Drupal as a platform for... More

Impossible to Catch

Rasmus Lerdorf, the creator of PHP, commented in an interview with France's leading newspaper Le Monde, that "it will be practically impossible to create today a proprietary alternative to Drupal". The remarks were in the context of the evolution of open source in the market.
Lerdorf backs this up by highlighting that in the server infrastructure layer today, open source dominates. "There are several server... More

203 people tell What I wish I knew when I started Drupal

We had 226 respondents to a survey about roles in the Drupal community. Though we pilot tested the survey and honed down the questions, the findings were inconclusive, though we could draw one result. Apparently we use terms like "themer" or "module developer" yet these platonic ideals seem to only exist in our heads. In reality, a person on a team will find themselves handling many roles. In the context of a larger organization, Drupal is one tool in a larger set to be integrated with. In a smaller dev shop, Drupal is again, one tool of many which are used. Slicing up Drupal developers into... More

Acquia Partner Strategy

When I joined Acquia 18 months ago, one of our top priorities was communicating our partner strategy. As a priority, it’s still right up there, an indication that, while we have made progress, we need to be more transparent, more communicative than we have been.
Having a strong and diverse ecosystem around Drupal is vital for the continued health and growth of Drupal. Code contributors are key of course, but so are other roles from documentation to marketing to organization of conferences and camps. Acquia has an express goal of facilitating and growing this ecosystem, through... More

Drupal Gardens adds drop-down menus, reset site, and more

Last week we pushed out a new Drupal Gardens update containing several very popular requests that we are thrilled to deliver!  In addition, we are now in the home stretch towards a Drupal 7 release candidate, with only 5 critical bugs left as of this post.  The Acquia engineering team has been spending 30% of its time working with the community directly on Drupal 7 core and contrib module efforts, and we are all counting down the days until release.  Exciting times!We just released a new version of Drupal Gardens with the following new features:
Drupal... More

Delivering the "Right" Search Results

The Apache Solr search server that powers Acquia Search has many powerful features. One of the less appreciated ones is the ability to specify at query time that documents matching certain criteria should get an extra "boost" in their relevancy score. This means that they appear higher in the search results.
Imagine that you are maintaining a site and you have recently added Acquia Search. Your boss, Bob, is not pleased, however. He says "I thought you told me this new search would do a better job of finding the most relevant results - but... More

Join the Social Business Revolution

The social web is dramatically changing the way we work and play. Organizations are gaining substantial productivity improvements from what the inventor of the term web 2.0, Tim O’Reilly, describes as “harnessing the collective intelligence.”
But harnessing the massive amounts of content being created in the social web is a great challenge in itself. According to Google CEO Eric Schmidt, “... More

Acquia raises $8.5 million series C

Exciting news today! We are announcing that Acquia closed $8.5 million in Series C funding. Combined with our Series A funding and our Series B funding, this brings our total funding to $23.5 million USD.
In the last year, our business grew by more than 300% and we went from 30 to 70 full-time employees. Drupal Gardens grew from 0 to 25,000 sites, we added 100 enterprise customers to Acquia Hosting, and our support business has... More

LAMP stack Halloween cake

Barry Jaspan and his wife Heather spent 20 hours creating this incredible cake for Acquia's Halloween party. Creative duo! Not only did it look great, it was yummy. Trick or treat!

More

OpenPublish Gaining Momentum, Version 2.3 Released

We’ve been working hard with the Phase2 Technology team to bring a managed OpenPublish solution to market, offering Phase2’s site implementation services along with Acquia’s hosting, support, and remote administration. This powerful Drupal distribution for the online publishing industry is one of the many different distributions that is gaining momentum and one of one of three that are part of our software publishing program and now on our “Solutions” tab. (We’ll... More

Why Varnish Rocks (and details on Boston training)

We are big fans of Varnish Cache, the incredibly fast and flexible open-source, caching software. Varnish delivers a significant fraction of the content for our Acquia Hosting and Drupal Gardens users.
Traffic spikes often occur when a widely read site links to a page on your site. Varnish shines in this scenario. Since those page requests are usually anonymous and limited to just a few URLs, Varnish can deliver these pages directly and the requests are never passed through to the back-end web server and database. Of course, there are a few Drupal... More

Social business software gets common


A few of days ago I blogged about a conversation I had with an industry analyst. A key quote I heard from him that conversation was this: "The feature set for social business software is now pretty well known." And again today I heard from another well-known social business software consultant that he thinks "There's not much IP (intellectual property) in social business software; it's not hard software to create."

If I were an analyst today (I was one at Forrester in the mid 1990's), I'd say... More

Acquia Expanding to Europe

Ever since Dries co-founded Acquia, having a commercial presence in Europe has been an oft discussed topic inside the company. We do have European customers today, and we have Europe based team members in our technical teams, but we have not had multi-language sales and support teams based in Europe.
That’s all about to change.
We announced at Drupalcon Copenhagen that we were expanding to Europe in 2011. I recently returned from a 10 day trip across the pond to finalize more pieces of our plan. I spent a couple days with a number of other open source execs in Barcelona, discussing... More

Cool Ninja SEO tricks on the Drupal Dojo

Yesterday, I listened as Tom gave a quick introduction of the suite of modules maintained by LevelTen. I left like I was watching some mad ninja SEO tricks. I got educated!

Maybe you all already knew about this stuff. To me, this is like magic. I suppose there's a little librarian in me getting excited about making information more easy to find. I had no idea there was that level of keyword analysis available, and on-the-fly assistance to help you write your content better. And you can install this sweet suite in Drupal, thanks to these guys. ... More

Drupal Gardens site design contest winners

The Drupal Gardens sites submitted for our recent contest were fantastic and it was really hard to pick just one winner. The site designs were judged on their creativity, attractiveness, and complexity. The winner is Susan MacPhee who built Ipswich Ale Brewery, the website for a New England craft brewer. Congratulations Susan - enjoy your new iPad!

Here's why Susan and the Ipswich Ale Brewery crew picked Drupal Gardens:
"We decided that Drupal Gardens fit our... More

RestoreTheGulf.gov using Drupal in the cloud

The U.S. government recently launched a new Drupal website,RestoreTheGulf.gov, to provide information about the environmental catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico from the oil spill earlier this year and announced plans to phase out the current disaster response.
The site runs on a fully managed Acquia Hosting cluster that is FISMA compliant, running on Amazon EC2. That is a... More

How to learn Drupal

Though it's not always a linear process, hopefully with training, we can make the learning process a bit smoother for you, by connecting you to development expertise.

Especially for those who are new to it, learning Drupal is also a series of evaluations. Does Drupal have the right features? Does it integrate with our existing services? Most of this is discovered through site building. I drafted the minimum steps and evaluations in a "How to learn Drupal" guide posted on the course at P2PU. It's not a... More

Drupal Commons isn't dependent on using Drupal

Ok, so yes - the title is a bit misleading in one sense; but in another it's totally true. Let me explain.
While briefing an industry analyst yesterday, I realized that the analyst was presuming that an organization needed to have adopted Drupal in some way before they would could use Drupal Commons. This is not the case.
Drupal Commons is a ready-to-use application. It is constructed to fit into the social business software category. That is, software that lets businesses have websites of their own that provide capabilities similar to popular consumer social software... More

Acquia Hosting adds memcache support

On our quest to offer the best possible hosting solution for large-scale Drupal sites here at Acquia, we recently added support for memcache to our Acquia Hosting platform.
For those that don't know memcache, it is a high-performance memory object caching system. Oftentimes it's used to speed up database-driven websites by caching data and objects in RAM. This is very effective in managing the load on your database, which for most web applications including... More

Pages