Why companies must adopt the open source way [June 21, 2012]

Submitted on
Thursday, June 21, 2012
BBC News

Every day I see examples of both large and small, public and private sector, organisations turning to open source technologies to support their business goals and deliver better customer experiences.

Open source's potential for delivering significant savings to the bottom line, resulting from the lack of software licence fees, has become recognised by organisations around the globe and validated by independent research.

Implementations of open source projects can also now be found in a wide range of organisations, from Nasa and the NYSE Euronext to the Cabinet Office and the Brit Awards.

But the lack of license fees is not the only advantage of open source.

How Elastic Load Balancing works in Amazon Web Services [May 31, 2012]

Submitted on
Thursday, May 31, 2012

How Elastic Load Balancing works in Amazon Web Services

Network pain affects every IT manager.

  • Network hardware like load balancers are expensive.
  • Network design is complex, especially sprawling enterprise networks and multi-tenant ISP networks.
  • Expertise is required to keep them running.

Any company that can ease this pain is onto a good thing. Virtualizing network technology is a hot cloud topic that companies like Embrane, Nicira and Big Switch Networks are in the middle of. The next piece of virtual networking technology for me to deal with is a load balancer. Here, I talk about load balancing in general, and later I will use the AWS console to add a virtual load balancer to my new pair of Drupal instances.

Make life easier with Drupal [May 28, 2012]

Submitted on
Monday, May 28, 2012
PC Pro

Mark Newton shows how the open source content management system can make life easier for you and your clients
There are many different ways to build a website these days. When I first started in this business, you wrote HTML files directly onto a local web server and, if it all looked good, then uploaded these files to the live web server.

Later, the introduction of scripting languages made the need for such a staging server all the greater, because links between pages and menus were (and often still are) hand-coded, and so in danger of becoming broken.

Mobile & The Future of Web [April 4, 2012]

Submitted on
Wednesday, April 4, 2012
Digital Bungalow Blog

Digital Bungalow has just returned from DrupalCon, the world’s largest conference for enthusiasts of Drupal, the leading Content Management System. We participated in some fascinating discussions around a number of cutting-edge marketing and technology topics, which we’ll be sharing with you in the coming days and weeks right here on our blog.

The hot topic at DrupalCon this year was Mobile Web. Drupal creator Dries Buyhaart and design visionary Luke Wrobelski held keynotes on the subject. There were numerous educational seminars and many of our informal discussions also centered on mobile.

With nearly 1.5 million mobile devices entering the world every day, it’s important to have high quality mobile websites. The very constraints of mobile present an opportunity for designers: limited space, reduced graphics, and fewer buttons result in a streamlined experience that better serves most users. A mobile-first approach to design allows for sites to be organized so that the most important information will be prominent, resulting in cleaner, more easily navigable websites.

Mobile devices are able to connect to a network literally anywhere, and have rich processing capabilities. But despite their high performance, 40% of web users will leave a site after three seconds, especially if they don’t get what they want or need right away. Thus, clean, tight mobile site design is imperative. In addition, mobile apps, although helpful, are not always put to use, as many mobile users still peruse the web though their phone’s browser. Facebook, for example, has 425 million users; half of them use the mobile app and half of them use regular mobile web.

In conclusion, without well-crafted mobile websites, business will suffer.

At DB, we are incorporating responsive design into our web design for our clients, in order to ensure optimum mobile web performance. We have built sites for clients such as Humana and Showcase Cinemas in this way, and will continue to build sites with a mobile-first approach.

Did you go to DrupalCon? Learn anything exciting that we didn’t mention here? Tell us about it, we’d love to hear from you.

DrupalCon Denver Keynote: Focus on Mobile, Innovation #drupalcon [March 21, 2012]

Submitted on
Wednesday, March 21, 2012
CMS Wire

In his morning keynote, open source CMS Drupal creator Dries Buytaert offered a vision of what to expect at this week's DrupalCon, and explained the expectations for Drupal 8.

Before introducing Buytaert at the morning keynote, Jacob Redding, Executive Director of the Drupal Association, answered the question of who owns Drupal, the popular open source content management system. “You do," he said. "You own Drupal. Whenever you contribute code you become a collective owner." Redding says that the goal of the Drupal Association is to foster the growth of Drupal and its community. One of his slides showed one of the 22 Drupal servers housed at the OSU Open Source Lab. “We want to make you guys rock,” he said.

Keynote Focus

Buytaert took the stage next and said, “What I wanted to talk about today is winning the hearts and minds.” He discussed past products that have won “hearts and minds,” such as Kodak products, and he looked at current innovators, including Facebook and Google. Buytaert says that the difference between innovators of the past and the current companies is continuous innovation. Kodak, he says, invented digital photography but never capitalized on the company's invention by reinventing itself. “This reminds us to continue to embrace big changes,” he says.

According to Buytaert, Drupal 8 is in the development phase, whereas Drupal 7 just reached the maturity phase. Drupal 5 and 6 are now on the decline. In fact, Drupal 7 grew 2.5 times faster than Drupal 6, growth that was measured by how fast Drupal 7 reached 100,000 installations. Because Drupal is just one product, each version must be innovative and better than the previous version to stay relevant. Mobile, according to Buytaert, is a threat to Drupal, so it shouldn't be seen as just an afterthought.

What Keeps Buytaert Up at Night

Buytaert says that the rudimentary authoring system is a weakness for Drupal. In the past, IT departments were involved in the CMS selection process, but now content authors have a strong say in which system gets chosen, so the emphasis needs to be on the authoring experience. He also says that the aging web development framework is a weakness. The small Drupal talent pool is also a problem, but the Drupal Association is making it a priority with outreach efforts, such as Google Summer of Code participation.

An estimated 1.5 million sites are built on Drupal, but Buytaert points out that that's only 6.7% of all CMS sites. Only about 30% of all sites are even built on a CMS. Buytaert says the biggest opportunity for Drupal is in mobile, then he showed a slide that said, “Time to kick ass with Drupal 8.”

What to Expect in Drupal 8

Drupal's creator says that Drupal 8 will focus on three audiences: developers, site visitors and authors. Buytaert says that although Drupal is currently the most powerful CMS, the market is changing and Drupal needs to take this opportunity to reposition and reinvent itself to be a leader of tomorrow.

When it comes to site visitors, “We need to build a great mobile experience,” Buytaert says. "We need to do it before the rest of the world does it,” he adds. “We need to build Drupal so that it's ready by the time the rest of the world wants it.” Although Drupal wins on technical merits, Buytaert says that if you look at the authoring experience, “Frankly, most of the other systems are better.” In-line editing is a particular weakness, he explains.

Buytaert says that content authoring can be easier if more is added to Drupal 8 core, such as more in-line editing, improved content admin tools, better media support, and page and layout building tools. He says that this will make the core bigger, but it needs to remain pluggable. He acknowledges that it's difficult to get consensus on what is good user experience, and what belongs in the core or doesn't.

Drupal 8 is targeted for release in August 2013 at the DrupalCon Europe event. According to Buytaert, Drupal 8 needs to focus on authors, site visitors and developers, which are key to winning hearts and minds.

DrupalCon - coding nerds unite [March 21, 2012]

Submitted on
Friday, March 23, 2012

DENVER - It's a gathering of Drupal proportions, and it's taking place in Denver through Friday.

DrupalCon 2012 bring together businesses and programmers from all over the country to talk about the free, open-source software called Drupal.

Dries Buytaert began the Drupal software as an message board in 1999. It's now gained a lot of momentum, and it's used by businesses of all kinds.

This morning we talked with the CEO of Phase2 Technology about how he's used Drupal to grow his business and how some Colorado companies are doing the same thing.

What are Drupalers and why are they descending on Denver? [March 16, 2012]

Submitted on
Friday, March 16, 2012
The Denver Post

The Mile High City will host about 3,000 “Drupalers” next week for a three-day geekfest.

Though just a mid-sized conference, the so-called DrupalCon will attract attendees from around the world as members of the ultra-passionate Drupal community are slated to visit from as far away as Australia.

Opinion: It’s time to open-source the Big Society [March 2, 2012]

Submitted on
Friday, March 2, 2012

The government’s Big Society initiative has much in common with the philosophy that underpins the open-source community, which has delivered innovative solutions through collaborative working.
This empowerment for the greater good fits perfectly with the government’s agenda to enable individuals, charities and communities to work together to improve society. So it is ironic that the open-source community involvement in the UK public sector is lagging so far behind other European countries, such as France.

Granted, there are some examples of open-source adoption: Drupal is the chosen platform for the Cabinet Office and the london.gov.uk site. But these are still in the minority when compared to the use of proprietary software vendors.
To its credit, the government recently launched the first formal open-source toolkit of guidance and advice to help decision makers weigh up the pros and cons of open-source adoption. This level playing field should enable developers to gain a foothold in delivering public-sector projects and allow them to be evaluated equally against the more traditional software providers.

Read more: http://www.computing.co.uk/ctg/opinion/2156381/opinion-it-s-source-society

Drupal: How a dorm room tech project became a global phenomenon [Feb 15, 2012]

Submitted on
Wednesday, February 15, 2012
Tech Republic

The creator of the CMS Drupal reveals how the platform got started by accident and why being open source is the key to its success.

Drupal Announces Two Community-Elected Board Members [Feb 9, 2012]

Submitted on
Thursday, February 9, 2012
CMS Wire

The Drupal Association held its first election for two at-large board members. Donna Benjamin and Steve Purkiss were elected by Drupal community members and then ratified by the Drupal Association Board.