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Open Source, Automotive Manufacturing & Obscurity

I’m very puzzled by the recent blog by Brian Prentice of Gartner. Comparing just-in-time manufacturing to open source software? Perhaps Brian is thinking of open source components like Apache Tomcat, which is often nestled inside of proprietary software solutions. But comparing an automobile which essentially remains unchanged after manufacturing to a software product that is constantly improved with new releases?... Plus

Open Government Directive and Drupal

On his very first day in office, President Obama directed all federal agencies to break down barriers to transparency, participation, and collaboration between the federal government and the people it is to serve. Last week, the Obama administration published the Open Government Directive (OGD). The directive, sent to the head of every US federal department and agency, instructs the agencies to take specific actions to open their operations to the public. The three principles of transparency, participation, and... Plus

Video demo of new Drupal Gardens theme builder features

Some of you may have seen the first Gardens video posted a couple of months ago that shows a pre-alpha version of Drupal Gardens. This new demo video shows you some of the new features we've added to give you more control over the design of your site theme. We want you to be able to design a site with a home page that looks different from interior pages. It's fine for a blog site to have the same layout on all pages, but other kinds of sites need a home page that looks different. The demo also shows the fine-grained point and click... Plus

Drupal and the Open Government Initiative Directive: Webinar on Thursday

On Tuesday, the Federal CTO, Aneesh Chopra and CIO Vivek Kundra announced the open government initiative directive. The directive has 4 steps: Publish Government Information Online, Improve the quality of government information, create and institutionalize a culture of open government, and create an enabling policy framework for open government.
CTO Chopra and CIO Kundra Launch Open Government Plan
Today at Acquia we are kicking off a webinar series to address the Open Government Directive. Our first Acquia Webinar today is: The Open Government Directive and Open Source Social Publishing... Plus

Social Publishing Panel at Gilbane Boston

Tomorrow I will be joining a number of industry leaders for a panel discussion at Gilbane Boston entitled Social Publishing and WCM, on the intersection of the social software and web content management markets. Moderated by Kathleen Reidy, Senior Analyst at The 451 Group, this certainly won’t be the first time we’ve discussed this crossroads with her, but as we close out 2009 and... Plus

Webinar: Search Engine Optimization for the redesign

Webinar to educate implementers about SEO
Next Wednesday, Dec 9th, at 12PM EST we will be hosting a webinar to help educate the re-design implementers on SEO techniques. All interested members of the Drupal community are welcome to register and attend the webinar.
We received word that people were unable to log into this webinar. We have recorded the webinar and will be posting it shortly for feedback re-design... Plus

Getting the re-design implemented

For the last year the redesign has progressed quietly and steadily. Almost 200 people have participated in the redesign by commenting, discussing, reviewing, testing, designing, theming, or writing code to get it done. We have had 6 re-design sprints (2 in Europe and 4 in the US) and built significant infrastructure to get the redesign development and staging ready for the community to make the final push. We are now asking Drupal consulting shops to step forward and help us implement one section of the redesign.
Many of the most important features are already available such as... Plus

Acquia's Robert Douglass interview: Digital Marketing

On October 22, 2009, I gave a keynote presentation at a digital marketing conference in Brussels. After my speech I was interviewed by the organizers of the conference. Here is the video. Note that my grandmother is actually 88, and really is on Facebook.


Growing by fostering the right culture

Today is a special day at Acquia: customer service day. We grew so quickly that our support team often find themselves working until after midnight to meet customer demands. Everybody in the company, from sales to engineering, including myself, will be helping in support today. Talking to customers, helping them where we can to make sure they are successful with Drupal.
With products like Acquia Hosting, Acquia Search and Drupal Gardens, Acquia is very much a technology start-up. And yet, when we launched the company, the... Plus

Debunking Drupal myths - Part two: Community controls

In installment one of this Debunking Drupal Myths series, I mentioned that the proprietary software companies who are starting to see Drupal on their competitive screen are worried. They're using the classic FUD technique -- trying to raise Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt about Drupal's capabilities. And so I started this series to start to debunk the FUD. Our first case dealt with Content Control.
The vendors raising the most FUD around Drupal sell "... Plus

GOSCON: Drupal rocks 50 national government sites

"GOSCON is the the premier annual government open source conference for government information technology leadership". This Thursday, Acquia will be helping with the Drupal booth at GOSCON. We are going to be joined by Ian Cairns from Development Seed, Kurt Voelker from Forum One, Douglas Morrison from World Zhulu, and Bryan Colligan VP of It's great to have a diverse representation of the Drupal project after we put out a call for volunteers.
We are also going to be... Plus

Building the re-design community infrastructure: Administrators wanted

One of the biggest challenges in working in a large community like the Drupal community is removing bottlenecks. All too often the community can seem to come to a grinding halt on just one issue that can only be managed by one person. On Monday Dries gave a presentation at MIT and talked about how some of the Drupal community’s biggest problems have helped create some of our best solutions. In particular, he cited how our server melt down in 2005 lead to the creation of the Drupal association to proactively manage and plan for our infrastructure growth.
Today the community... Plus

Beyond Social Business Software

Acquia issued a press release today contrasting Social Publishing platforms represented by Drupal and the growing number of Social Business Software products. At first glance it would seem that we don’t like those products, but that’s not the case. The products have some nice capabilities and many organizations are using them daily. What is hard to understand is why businesses are spending hundreds of thousands and sometimes... Plus

Debunking Drupal myths - Part one: Content control

Acquia has quickly become successful in increasing the exposure of Drupal to "CTO-level" conversations at larger enterprises. Despite the fact that there are numerous examples of big companies using it, Drupal is really still pretty unknown in big organizations - at least when you compare it to commercial, closed-source content management systems (the "incumbents").
As Drupal starts to make inroads in these larger organizations, the incumbents are forced to defend why their expensive proprietary software is better than that "little Drupal... Plus

CCK and Views article in PHP User magazine

This month's issue of the print magazine and website PHP User (in German) features an article on Drupal's CCK and Views module. The article was written by Meinolf Droste of MDWP, an Acquia Silver Partner.
There are at least four magazines in Germany that sometimes feature Drupal in print articles. This puts Drupal onto the news stands in kiosks, grocery stores, and train... Plus

Drupal at Digital Marketing First conference in Belgium

Yesterday I gave a keynote presentation at the Digital Marketing First 09 trade show in Brussels, Belgium. Drupal was out in full force with four Belgian companies joining forces to make the conference a special Drupal-themed event. There were also a number of other companies present who are using Drupal.
To prepare for the event I made a micro-site that focuses on Drupal and interactive digital marketing (the theme of the... Plus

Robbie Williams using Drupal

A couple of weeks ago, Robbie Williams made his comeback on
British television music talent show The X Factor, where he performed his new single "Bodies" for the first time live.
With his comeback also comes a website refresh using Drupal: see The site was developed by an Acquia partner based in the UK.


Speaking at MIT

I will be speaking at MIT on Monday, October 26 at 5pm in the Stata Center in Cambridge. I plan to talk about the state of Drupal, Drupal 7 and Open Source development in general. After the presentation, there will be some time for social networking. The event is free so you're all invited to attend!
On a somewhat related note, we have some intern positions open at Acquia to give people the opportunity to come and learn about Drupal -- students from MIT,... Plus

CCK & Fields UI improvements

I've spent a bit of time looking at the CCK UI for D7 and it has some real pain points. For starters, all content types have custom fields, yet upon submitting the basics (title and publishing options), we send users back to the listing of content types vs. port them into fields. I could go on, and gladly will if you call me out on it. For now, I want to focus on how I've tried to make it better. It's lofty, and probably still needs some tweaks, but I think it's a huge improvement.
To begin, I went about tackling this UI with some guiding principles in mind:
Use existing interaction... Plus

Climbing a mountain

The Acquia leadership team in October 2009. From left to right: Kent (support), Jay (co-founder), Bryan (marketing), Warren (sales), Lynne (marketing), Chris (engineering) and myself. Unfortunately, Tom (ceo) is missing from the picture, because he took the picture.

Growing is learning to climb bigger mountains, so at the latest Acquia Leadership Off-site, we decided to climb an actual mountain!

Sneaky Drupal Pagers

See the update at the bottom!
Drupal’s pagers are neat, and when they were first developed, were way ahead of their time. They also have a couple problems. One of them is scalability. When you’ve got 10,000,000 somethings, calculating how many pages there are so that you can skip to the last one is time consuming.
Another limitation is that the pager is designed to page over a database query. The Apache Solr Search module uses Drupal pagers to move through pages of search results that come from Solr. The... Plus

Views 3 + Apache Solr + Acquia Drupal = The Future of Search

For the last six months, Scott Reynolds has been keeping a big juicy secret. As the maintainer of the Apache Solr Views module, he knows just how cool the future of Drupal Search is going to be. His module, based on an idea and code from Thomas Seidl, lets you make custom searches against the Solr index the same way you currently make views against the MySQL database. Want to build a search that just includes videos and MP3s, and renders the results... Plus

The S-Files: Acquia Drupal Stack installer Got packet bigger than max_allowed_packet bytes

Tech Support Case Studies
The S-Files are a taste of the support that you get with a subscription to Acquia Support. Our support team helps you solve technical problems relating to your Drupal sites.
The Acquia Drupal Stack installer is a major productivity booster for getting up and running in the development of your Drupal site. Sometimes, though, Drupal modules like to cache huge data packets in the database. This results in an error in your browser that says this:Got packet bigger than ‘max_allowed_packet’ bytes
This is an... Plus

XDebug, Komodo, and the Acquia Drupal Stack Installer

The Acquia Drupal Stack installer for Mac OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard) has been released, and it’s pretty cool (works on 10.5 Leopard, too, of course). I’m now using it as my primary development environment, replacing MAMP. In this article I show how you can configure the stack installer to use XDebug for step through debugging. I do so using Komodo IDE, but the steps I follow will help you with Eclipse or any other IDE that supports XDebug... Plus

10 usability guidelines

Smashing magazine recently published an article titled "10 useful usability findings & guidelines." There's a lot of good information here for both core committers and themers.
Of the findings, I found myself disagreeing with only one - "Most users do not scroll." In my testing, I've found the opposite - so long as false bottoms are not present. To avoid false bottoms, make sure content or design elements run past the bottom of your browser. See illustration below.
Of particular... Plus