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Acquia Podcast 19: Stephanie Pakrul on Skinr And Fusion

Join us as we talk with Stephanie Pakrul (aka stephthegeek) about Skinr, Fusion, and some new services from Top Notch Themes that allow people to implement, share, and test custom Fusion themes.
Show notes:
Block Class module - http://drupal.org/project/block_class
Skinr module - http://drupal.org/project/skinr
Fusion module - http://drupal.org/project/fusion
Top Notch Themes - http://www.topnotchthemes.com... More

Pipe Dream: Geographically Distributed Drupal

The speed of light is, unfortunately, still a constant. If your Drupal site has users in San Francisco, New York, London, Tokyo, Delhi, and Australia (and whose doesn't?), you've had no good way to give all of them fast access to your site. No matter where you put your master database server, most people have to cross an ocean to access it. Perhaps you can put read-only slave databases with local web servers in locations around the world, but then the remote users still have a long haul when they want to log in and create content---which is, after all, what your Drupal site is for.
I am... More

Recent Acquia Hosting Updates

The hosting team at Acquia has been busy! While we continue to focus on making Acquia Hosting the most reliable and scalable Drupal hosting service anywhere, we've recently made significant enhancements to its usability and to the data we provide our customers.
First up are several improvements to our Acquia Hosting UI. We've added a new tab to show statistics at several points in the hosting stack including before and after the front end cache and well as a count of total Drupal requests. For more detail, please read Kurt Gray's... More

The future of multimedia in D7 or "You don't want me to kill the monkey do you?"

Hey folks,
Did you know that Drupal 7 will have a amazing multimedia capabilities due in large part to the Media module?
Hi, my name is Jacob Singh.
You may remember me from such kick-ass projects as Acquia Search (ApacheSolr), Drupal Gardens or GUI updates in core.  You may also just be dying to know what's going to happen to the monkey.  Either way, I'm here to tell you about what I've been up to along with many of my colleagues and Drupal buddies.
The Media module provides a rich interface for:
Managing files
Uploading new files or adding... More

Acquia Podcast 18: Bill Fitzgerald on the Mailhandler and MIME Router modules

Wouldn't it be great to have an easy and inexpensive way to upload content to your Drupal site via email or from your handheld device without a phone app? Join us as we talk with Bill Fitzgerald of Funny Monkey about the Mailhandler and MIME Handler modules that allow you to do exactly that.
Show notes
Funny Monkey post - http://www.funnymonkey.com/mailhandler-and-mimerouter
MIME Router module - http://drupal.org/project/mimerouter
Mailhandler module -... More

Drupal training in Belgium, Texas and Dulles!

Chapter Three have just completed the first public Acquia Drupal training in DC at the end of June. Acquia is rolling out content developed with Chapter Three covering the basics and essentials of Drupal.
By working with our partners, we can reach a broader audience. We can enable these subject matter experts to deliver high quality learning experiences with greater reach. If you'd like a Drupal training nearby you, we'd love to help out.
Dataflow launching first Acquia authorized Drupal training in Belgium
Wim Mostrey, working for Dataflow, will be... More

Drupal 7, the cocoon and the butterfly

There exists an interesting story about a man and a butterfly cocoon. It is about a man that found a cocoon, and brought it home to watch it turn into a butterfly. As the butterfly inside matured, it struggled to get out of its cocoon, but couldn't quite get free of it. One day, the man became tired of waiting and decided to help the butterfly. He removed the remaining bit of the cocoon. The butterfly was pleased, but it had a swollen body and small, wrinkled wings. As a result, the butterfly never succeeded in flying and spent its entire life crawling around.
What the man didn't... More

Depth and Breadth of Drupal customers

We recently completed an Acquia customer case study on the New York Senate. The New York Senate is a great example of a Government agency that's using Drupal to keep it's constituents engaged and involved in happenings at the State Senate. Open Government and transparency at its best with Drupal. They use Microsites for various members of the Senate with their own messaging.
It struck me that as I review the story of the NY State Senate, and as I meet and have experience with more and more of Acquia's... More

Improved SEO, Media, CSS-view and more in Drupal Gardens' June 30 update

In addition to the rush the Drupal Gardens team gets when adding cool new features, we like to get things right, striking a good balance between power and simplicity.  In the last sprint, we spent a bunch of time polishing the powerful XML Sitemap and Media modules with a focus on simplifying the UX and providing smart defaults so they work immediately after site creation.  Out of the box, these modules are highly customizable with many configuration settings.  Our goal was to reduce complexity... More

What I want for my website

I really only want two things for my website: (1) I want the software that runs my website to be high-quality and (2) I want my website's content to be high-quality. It sounds easy and straight-forward but I assure you it isn't.
I want the software that runs my website to be stable, efficient at handling my website's traffic, and flexible. Good content management systems meet these requirements, but it took years to get where we are today, and we still have a really long way to go. Fortunately, all my websites run Drupal, so the first part of my requirements... More

Acquia Podcast 17: Interview with Todd Tomlinson, author of "Beginning Drupal 7"

In this episode, we talk with Todd Tomlinson about his new book "Beginning Drupal 7", which is a book geared towards new Drupal users.
Show notes:
Apress book page - http://apress.com/book/view/1430228598

Introducing Acquia Hosting stats

We've been hard at work putting together web traffic reporting for all sites on Acquia Hosting, and it's now available in the Acquia Network subscription interface. These statistics provide a level of traffic detail across our hosting stack that is not available from other sources such as Google Analytics or log file analyzers like awstats, particularly, how many requests are being served from each layer of the Drupal and LAMP stack. We're also making available the fully expanded data behind these numbers as a CSV file download ready for import into your reporting tool of choice.... More

Acquia Search: an update after one year

About 20 months ago, at Acquia, we began working on a hosted offering for Apache Solr, an open source enterprise search platform from the Apache Lucene project. Exactly one year ago, we launched it commercially as Acquia Search. Time and the public reaction have proven that we made the right choice. In the past year, Apache Solr has received a tremendous amount of traction in the... More

Acquia Search release features

We have marked the one year anniversary of the our hosted search service by rolling out a significant update with new features and some fixes. This was released Wednesday night (June 30).
Changes for all subscribers:
Attachment indexing
To index file attachments, you need to be able to use an application that will extract the text. Acquia Search can now provide remote text extraction for the Apache Solr Attachments module. This means that any site using Acquia Search can index attachments - even on shared hosting or with no... More

Acquia Podcast 16: Robert Douglass on Apache Solr and other Search Back Ends

Apache Solr is a powerful and flexible mechanism for performing site search on a Drupal site. Join us as we talk with Robert Douglass about all things Solr in Drupal, including new features and functionality and future development plans. Also, as a bonus, you will hear Robert use the word "de-baconify" in the context of Solr and Drupal.
Show notes:
Apache Solr home - http://lucene.apache.org/solr/
Drupal Solr module - http://drupal.org/project/apachesolr
Thomas Seidl's GSOC project -... More

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