Home / Resources / Blog

Thoughts that Count

Recent Posts

Updating modules and themes in Drupal 7

The problem: Updates in Drupal require FTP / SSH and a bit of know how When the average Drupal site owner without ssh, cvs and other geek gadgets wants to update modules on or themes on their Drupal site, they currently have to do the following: Go update status and see the mod is out of date Take the site offline Make a backup (if they can) Know where to find the module on d.o., download the tarball Unzip the tarball Remove the current directory Use FTP to upload the new directory Run update.php We’re trying to provide a way that users can get the same user friendliness of a package... More

Drupal in the .org pavillion at Open Source World

I received word this morning that the Drupal Association has been awarded a booth in the .org pavilion. The Bay Area has a strong Drupal community and we anticipate have a good cross section of support from the local community to help staff the booth. But if you are planning to be at Open Source world, or you would like to help staff the booth, please feel free to sign-up to staff the Drupal booth. More

Living in a free world panel at Gilbane content solutions conference

Last Thursday I was fortunate enough to participate in the living in the free world panel at the Gilbane Content Solution conference. The panel was hosted by Joseph Bachana, the president of DPCI, and Acquia platinum partner. The panel included Jeremiah Owyang, the web content management analyst for Forester Research. I was also joined by Steve Kotrch, Director, Publishing Technology, Simon... More

Screencasts - Install and Update Acquia Drupal from SVN

Watch these videos to see how to install Acquia Drupal from the Subversion repository and then how simple it is to do clean and fast updates to your SVN-enabled Drupal website. More information on installation and use of the Acquia Drupal SVN repository can be found in Acquia's SVN documentation. More

Acquia Documentation Survey - Results - The Way Forward

Acquia Documentation Survey - Results - The Way Forward Many thanks to all who provided feedback in the recent survey about Acquia’s documentation. Here are the results of the survey’s multiple choice questions and some of the conclusions we have drawn from them. Question 1: "Have you ever used Acquia’s documentation?" Just under half the survey respondents said yes. - Acquia’s overarching mission is to improve Drupal and make it accessible to the broadest possible audience. In this vein, the primary goal of Acquia’s freely available ... More

Drupal at San Fransico State University, presentation to students and staff

Last year I met Sameer Verma, a professor of Information Systems at San Francisco State University. I was immediately intrigued by his class which involves giving business students the job of building an online business using Drupal. The students are required to vet and justify each contributed module and how it helps users and the business. A few weeks ago I was asked to present to students, staff, and faculty about the Drupal project. Kieran Lal speaks at SF State from Sameer Verma on... More

Drupal 7 usability: next steps

Improving the usability of Drupal is very important. Yesterday, I wrote about the progress that was made on Drupal 7 usability -- the community has made a ton of incremental improvements, while Mark and Leisa have been preparing mockups and wireframes that provide significant over-arching improvements to Drupal's ease of use. Combined, I believe these efforts could make Drupal 7 a great release. A release that the Drupal project needs since our competitors are catching up in terms of functionality and flexibility. Likewise... More

Drupal 7 usability: status update

Based on a survey that I conducted last year, it was clear that one of the community's key goals is making Drupal easier to use. This is not really all that surprising. An easier to use Drupal means a Drupal that attracts more users, and therefore more potential contributors. It also means existing contributors spend less time doing custom work on their sites or developing training materials to help make Drupal palatable to their clients, and more time on making Drupal rock. And finally, it is strategically important for the future of the Drupal project to make our usability match the prowess... More

Acquia featured in the Boston Globe

Acquia was featured in today's Boston Globe. The article, titled Start-up built on free software, talks about the growing interest in Open Source during tough economic times. The Boston Globe is a daily newspaper based in Boston, owned by The New York Times Company, with an average circulation of 350,000. Nice! More

What shall we do about Themes?

Update - 22 Feb 2010: One of the issues lightly touched on below is the market need for some themes besides those on drupal.org. Acquia has started to collect both themes, as well as links to theme providers, at a new site devoted to the design-aspects of Drupal. See design.acquia.com for more information. (Original post follows.) For almost as long as I've been involved with Drupal, there's been a running complaint – either a (false) perception or (true) reality – that Drupal is "theme-challenged" compared to alternatives like Joomla and WordPress... More

Screencast - Acquia Drupal Stack Installer - Now with multisite support.

Click on the video below to see how simple it is to install multiple, local Acquia Drupal websites, Apache 2, PHP5, and MySQL with the Acquia Drupal stack installer. Deutsche Version: Multisite Acquia Drupal Stack Installer screencast Versione in Italiano: Multisite Acquia Drupal Stack Installer screencast More

Multiple Drupal sites & virtual hosts on Acquia Drupal Stack Installer (DAMP)

A little over a month ago we posted a survey asking what you wanted to see next in the Acquia Drupal Stack Installer (a.k.a. DAMP). According the survey results, the most requested feature was support for multiple virtual hosts so you could easily set up multiple Drupal web sites using any local URL. For example: http://mysite.localhost or http://myclient.theirdomain.com, etc. I am happy to announce we recently released a new version of the Acquia Drupal... More

WoodWing and Acquia: moving from print to the web

A couple of days ago, Acquia announced a technology partnership with WoodWing. WoodWing's Enterprise 6 Content Publishing Platform now ships with Acquia Drupal as the default CMS, as well as a connector module. WoodWing's typical customers are traditional publishers with strong roots in print -- and with names like Time Inc, Cisco, Michelin, Citibank and many more, they have an impressive list of customers at that. For most publishers, print... More

The S-Files: Cron run exceeded the time limit and was aborted.

Tech Support Case Studies Our support team is prepared to deal with any Drupal related problem or question that might arise. Some problems show up more often than others, though, and in those cases it is good to have the solutions at your fingertips. This recently got added to our growing library of Drupal knowledge, and deals with the problem of running cron efficiently. In the effort to tune PHP to perform well while serving normal web pages, it is possible to set some values in php.ini so low that they are insufficient for running cron. Two such values are max_execution_time... More

Drupal.org redesign code sprints: update 3

Ever wanted to see the Media Lab at MIT? An almost mythical place where "...the future is lived, not imagined ... a world where radical technology advances are taken for granted, ..." and technology is designed "... for people to create a better future". I've visited the Media Lab before and it is highly recommended. This is your chance. On Friday, June 12th, we're conducting a one-day Drupal.org redesign sprint at the MIT Media Lab. Designed to bring home our kicking re-design... More

Drupal site crawler project

For years now, people have been asking me how many Drupal sites there are. This is, of course, something of a moving target and I figured that the only way to answer that question was to count all the Drupal sites out there one by one. Three years ago, I was finally motivated enough to write a Drupal site crawler that looks over the millions of websites online to find those powered by Drupal. The crawler initially ran for about 3 months, and it returned a lot of Drupal sites. For each one it found, I then did some data-mining to extract the location of their hosting servers. I made a heatmap... More

Field API: Get mentored and help out!

The Field API is major new functionality in Drupal 7 to provide custom data types just like CCK did for previous versions of Drupal. Field API became part of Drupal 7 February, 2009, but there is still plenty of work to do. We need your help, and we’ll help you learn what you need to know to contribute. The Field API is a great way to get yourself involved directly in Drupal core development. We realize, however, that Field API is a big, new, scary chunk of code that is not the easiest thing to jump into. The Field API team wants to help you get up to speed, so we’ve created the Field API... More

MySQL conference and Expo 2009

This is the third year the Drupal project has had a booth at the MySQL conference. This year we are the only web content management project represented and it is our biggest presence at the conference yet. This year we have four booth volunteers including Joshua Lawrence from Chapter Three, John Faber from AF83, Avi Harsh from Halosys, and myself. The big news is the acquisition of Sun, including MySQL by Oracle. The punditry on the web seems to cover most of the perspectives. But it helps to get a few beers into the long time MySQL employees and then ask them what they think. The feedback is... More

Field API: What would you like to know?

The Field API is major new functionality in Drupal 7 to provide custom data types just like CCK did for previous versions of Drupal. The Field API team has written fairly thorough API documentation but that is more useful as reference material than as a tutorial or HOWTO handbook. So, here’s your chance to tell the Field API team what you want to know how to do. Comment on this post telling us what we should explain. One option is to give us the title of HOWTO pages you’d like to read, such as: What is the difference... More

The DX Files: A voice from the field

This is part five of my series, The DX Files: Improving Drupal Developer Experience. Today I am simply posting, verbatim, a message that a potential new Drupal developer sent me. The point here is just to understand how Drupal's DX influences the way it is perceived and the kind of people that want to work with it. read more More

Buzzr, Acquia Gardens and D7UX

Earlier this week, Lullabot showed a preview of Buzzr (previously announced as "Codename"), a hosted version of Drupal 6 with a new user interface and user experience. Interestingly enough, the new user interface has remarkable similarities with the work that Mark Boulton and Leisa Reichelt have been doing for Drupal 7 (D7UX). It is my guess that the growing momentum around Mark's work encouraged Lullabot to give us a sneak... More

Opinions wanted: how can Acquia's Drupal documentation rock more?

Acquia's documentation team would like to do all we can to help make your Drupal experience a success. We currently provide online documentation and downloadable PDFs. Take this survey and help us improve our existing documentation and meet your future Drupal documentation needs. Click here to take the survey. Thank you for taking the time to help us help you! More

Drupal.org Re-design sprint San Francisco: Day 2

The redesign sprinters met early to discuss what the priorities, and blockers were for launching the re-designed drupal.org. The critical path is documented in the redesign theme implementers group. The base theme, blue cheese, for the redesign is progressing along nicely. The themers are focusing on getting the content for landing pages and theming those top level landing pages. The most important features for the new... More

The S-Files: "A view that displays a user's content"

UPDATE: I think this recipe is deprecated by the Views Attach module which addresses the use case directly: http://drupal.org/project/views_attach Tech Support Case Studies My duties at Acquia include answering the phone when European clients call needing support. Today I helped someone who needed a way for their site users to be able to find the content that they had authored. The recipe I suggested involves making a view that displays all content filtered by a particular user id. By having the view provide a block display you can then put... More

Drupal.org Re-design sprint San Francisco: Day 1

Today was the beginning of the fifth Drupal.org redesign sprint. The prior sprints in order are: Cologne Germany, Cambridge Mass. USA, Paris France, Drupalcon Washington DC USA, and now San Francisco USA. If you've not yet taken the time to contribute to the drupal.org redesign sprint you should join the following two groups: Drupal.org redesign plan for the Drupal Association, and the Redesign theme implementers group which includes the... More

Pages