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In Between the Lines: The adjacent sibling selector technique

The simple list is a staple of information presentation on the web. Commonly, items in a list are visually distinguished with separating lines - either horizontal borders or vertical borders. This post describes a simple technique for defining styles in the spaces between list items without reference to the first or last item in the list.
Let me illustrate a simple horizontal list and a simple vertical list of items.

*/

/*-->*/

Vertical - verbose method
Gummy Bears
Dino Riders
Voltron
Thundercats
David the Gnome
Horizontal - verbose method
Goo Goo Dolls
Better Than Ezra
Veruca Salt... More

Drupal 7: Get Real, Get Dirty, and Get It Done

Yesterday I participated in the Drupal 7 code sprint with a host of excellent people. We made good progress and also talked about the state of the Drupal 7 release. Apparently Moshe and I came to a very similar conclusion about what needs to be done and both decided to blog about it; in fact I stole the title of this post from him.
Drupal 7 has been in development for 2.5 years. The good news is that we are finally, finally reaching the end. As I write this, there are only 8... More

Accelerating Drupal Adoption with Distributions

Drupal Commons, Acquia’s new Social Business Software distribution of Drupal, is no doubt getting everyone excited. We’re especially seeing interest in the enterprise and public sector. The community solution is important because its an open source alternative to (social business software products like) Jive and another way to accelerate adoption of Drupal in the marketplace. Drupal Commons evolved because of countless inquiries and interest from organizations who want to use Drupal to build community sites. Not surprisingly, many other Drupal distributions evolved for the same reasons.... More

Acquia Podcast 21: Brian Gilday on Drupal for Government

Drupal has been making great strides in being implemented in national government agencies, but it is also popular with municipal governments. Join me as I talk with Brian Gilday of aHa Consulting about how he uses Drupal for local governments and plans for a Drupal distribution geared towards government use.
More

The "New" New Way to Innovate on McKinsey's Technology Trends

McKinsey’s latest quarterly includes an updated list of top technology trends to watch. The list was first published over two years ago and described eight tech-business trends that were reshaping strategy across industries. Since then, the social web has exploded, creating a quandary for executives on “how to help their companies capitalize on the transformation under way.”
Given what we... More

Details about the new Drupal 6 release process

Ever since Drupal uses major versions for compatibility changes and minor versions for bugfix and security updates (since Drupal 5), it was most often the case that a new minor Drupal release included bugfixes and security fixes packaged into one update.
The process to bundle bugfixes and security fixes into one was so common that the Drupal 6.17 release that did not include security fixes but only covered bugs was a grand surprise to many people. We have even seen "security researchers" who ran automated version detection scripts, and considered... More

Volunteers for a more visual Drupal


Would you like to help make Drupal documentation more visual? Communicating Drupal visually will be a chance to create some good contributions to Drupal.org and the community.
We need a few good people on the day of DrupalCon in Copenhagen to help organize a fun workshop. My co-presenter, Stella Power, had an argument with gravity, and lost! Wish her a get well when you see her :)
The presentation is in two weeks, Wednesday 25. August 2010, Time: 10:00-10:50... More

Drupal 7 code sprint at Acquia on August 17

On Tuesday August 17, Acquia is sponsoring a day-long code sprint at our offices just outside of Boston. During the sprint, we'll concentrate on addressing as many of the core Drupal 7 critical issues as possible.
Moshe Weitzman and Stéphane Corlosquet (scor) have already signed up along with various Acquians including Barry Jaspan, David Rothstein, Peter Wolanin,... More

Beginning Drupal with Jacob Redding - Training & Book

Jacob Redding has a great book, a cool interview and a training with us next week! Sign up here.
Beginning Drupal is a new book out by Jacob Redding, of Chapter Three. The Wrox site has some samples from the book. Jacob is an experienced instructor, and you can see that in the structure of the chapters and the exercises which guide a new learner through Drupal.
If you're an instructor, you may... More

Roadmap, or Roadblock?

I continually marvel at how much better the open source world works than the old proprietary software software world.
Yesterday I encountered an amazingly good illustration. I was discussing Drupal Commons with a team from a large, household-name enterprise that is planning a social business site. And boy, they had lots of questions!
Their business unit leaders, their IT staff, and their web designers all had some version of “Can Drupal Commons do (X)?”
Happily, I could answer either:
Yes, X is built-in to Drupal Commons already;
X can be had by merely installing an existing Drupal module... More

Module authors: In SQL, don't assume INCREMENT(1) == 2

Trivia question: Suppose you execute the MySQL queries
CREATE TABLE t1 (  id INT UNSIGNED NOT NULL AUTO_INCREMENT,  n INT NOT NULL,  PRIMARY KEY (id))INSERT INTO t1 (n) VALUES (100)INSERT INTO t1 (n) VALUES (200)
What are the values for the id column in your two rows? If you said "1 and 2", you are in good company but you are mistaken. If you want your module to be good enough to run on Drupal.org or Acquia Hosting some day, keep reading.
The correct answer is "they could be anything." On Acquia Hosting, the results are:
mysql> SELECT * FROM t1;+----+-----+| id | n   |+----+-----+|  1 |... More

Problem with the Drupal learning curve


What's so wrong with saying "Drupal has a steep learning curve?" Well, it's not the most helpful analogy. And it's one of my pet peeves. I agree, it is a myth. Yes it is.
We have to keep in mind that the curve is not the path, and the initial sensation of difficulty comes from getting one's habits unstuck. Using this tired analogy... More

The web is free; shouldn't your social business software be?

Today is a fun day for me: We’re releasing Drupal Commons as a 1.0 release. Woo hoo! Time - once again - for open source to go blow the doors off another proprietary software cathedral.
Drupal Commons is Acquia’s project to create an open source social business software solution for enterprises deploying a community site - either externally-facing, or for an internal community.
Most Drupalists already know that Drupal has gobs of social capabilities. In fact, Drupal is the most widely used social business platform on the web: most of the hundreds of thousands... More

Acquia Enhances Leadership Team with VP Services

Since the early days of Acquia, we’ve sought to ensure that our team was composed of a good blend of Drupal expertise and execution at all levels in the enterprise. Dries encouraged an outstanding group of both technical and evangelical Drupalists to join the team, a group that has grown substantially since with the addition of both additional senior Drupalists as well as “up and comers”. Our leadership team is flush with experience in companies like IBM, Documentum, webMethods, HP, Lotus, Filenet and more.
We’ve been building out our vision of being the enterprise guide for Drupal... More

Learn by Examples, the module

Budding Drupal developers will be glad to see: there are more contributions are springing out of the Examples project. Examples is a great resource for teaching experienced PHP programmers the capability of Drupal- from how to define a page, to using the Form API. It's also a great way to get familiar with Simpletest.Randy Fay published the project on Drupal.org in April. There's also a Drupal 6 and Drupal 7 demo... More

Connect to the Community

Are you connected to Groups.Drupal.org yet? (Affectionately called g.d.o in the community.)
Did you know on there are 317 geographical Drupal groups? (That's not including language groups.) Of those, 205 are city, regional or provincial groups: possibly a drive away for a meet up. That leaves 112 which are at the level of countries or continents which are capable of coordinating large Drupal events. I counted em!
And it's growing. Hello Ghana! Just added in July.
Going to my first meet up in Galway was a... More

Acquia Podcast 20: Jay Batson on Drupal Commons

Drupal Commons is a new distribution from Acquia that is designed for organizations that want to create community websites with Drupal. Join me as I talk with Jay Batson of Acquia about how Drupal Commons started, how it works, and what the plans are for its release and future development.
Show notes:
Product Info: http://acquia.com/drupalcommons
Demo: http://commons.acquia.com
More

Views for the average Joe

The primary goal of DrupalGardens is to maximize Drupal adoption. Since Drupal adoption amongst developers is taking off like a rocket ship, we’ve focused the majority of our attention on site builders and designers. To succeed at attracting these types, Drupal—and the modules we’ve decided to include—need to be easy to use.
My latest endeavor is to simplify Views. The vast majority of Drupal sites use Views but learning it is a challenge. For designers inexperienced with Drupal (our primary target), Views is just too hard. Simple Views is closer, but unfortunately Simple Views isn’t... More

Where's Drupal's welcome mat?

I was on Skype when my jaw dropped. This wasn't the first time that an acquaintance asked me to take some time so he could "pick my brain" about Drupal. And it wasn't the first time that I realized someone had somehow broke in to Drupal via some sort of window, and missed the welcome mat.

He wasn't the first person I spoke to who had missed CCK & Views. These two modules enable a Drupal user to create unique content types and create custom queries to list selected content on-the-fly. After Drupal... More

Membase and Drupal

Barry and I just met with a team from Northscale -- the startup formed to support and extend Memcached, the popular key-value cache used by the largest web sites. We learned about their new database project, Membase, and talked about how it could help high-volume Drupal sites including our Acquia Hosting customers.
Membase is built on the core Memcached technology and supports the Memcached API. I'm excited about what they've done to extend Memcached:
Persistence: Today, while Membase includes its forerunner's fast in-memory key-value store, it also persists data to disk. If you reboot your... More

Capgemini promoting and using Drupal

This year in my keynote at DrupalCon San Francisco, I mentioned that the elephants are coming. Well, earlier this week Capgemini, one of the world's foremost consulting providers with 95,000 employees, announced a new service, Capgemini Immediate. I'm pleased to say that they're using Drupal as a foundational technology for their new Immediate platform.
Capgemini Immediate is an offering which helps... More

Welcome to Michael Walsh, and our big move to DC!

I'd like to send out a warm welcome to one of our newest hires, Michael Walsh. Michael will be helping the company run, grow and manage our Public Sector business - both Program Management and Business Development. He also is responsible for opening our official field office in Washington, DC on Connecticut Avenue. With this move, and additional hires in the DC area , we feel confident that we will be able to better serve our customers and partners in this domain even more effectively.
So, why has Acquia decided to... More

Reviving your corporate blog with community in mind

All you have to do is google “CEOs and blogging” and you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about: more corporate and executive blogs than you can count. As a marketer, chances are you have your hands into some aspect of your businesses blog (s) or your executive team’s approach to blogging. Also likely is that sometime in the recent past or near future you have or will receive the call to ignite a better blogging campaign for your C... More

Drupal Gardens now in open beta

Today we’ve reached another important milestone at Acquia: Drupal Gardens is now in open beta. No more beta codes. No more waiting to try the service. Now anyone can access Drupal Gardens and create a free Drupal 7 site!
It’s been fun to watch Drupal Gardens grow and mature during the private beta. In addition to building out the feature set, we’ve spent a great deal of time improving the... More

The Importance of User Experience

If you look at successful companies today, you’ll notice they all create novel or truly enjoyable experiences for their users. Apple delights users with incredible user interfaces, easy to use software, and technology that is interactive. Twitter created a new way for users to communicate, follow, and broadcast news. Facebook brought your life and friends online. Foursquare is a new way for store fronts to create loyalty programs while giving users a way to track, rate, and discover new places - socially. Gilt Group makes shopping online exciting and high end fashion a bit more affordable.... More

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