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Cost cutting: the open source solution? [March 20, 2012]

Submitted on
mardi, le 20 mars 2012h
,
Electronics Sourcing

UK Budget Must Encourage Open Source Adoption to Cut Costs - UK public sector open source adoption falling well behind other major economies.

DrupalCon 2012 Kicks Off in Denver [March 20, 2012]

Submitted on
vendredi, le 23 mars 2012h
,
eWeek

DrupalCon, the conference of users and developers of the open-source Drupal project, kicks off March 20 in Denver.

The Drupal Association, hosts of the biannual DrupalCon conference, announced the opening of its North American DrupalCon in Denver, with more than 3,000 Website designers, developers, site architects and IT managers in attendance.

The first day of full conference events at DrupalCon is March 20. Drupal is an open-source content management platform that powers millions of Websites and applications. Drupal is built, used and supported by a very active community of people from around the world, and that community comes together for DrupalCon.

The theme of DrupalCon Denver, "Collaborative Publishing for Every Device," is the subject of sessions and keynotes over three conference days. Keynote speakers include Dries Buytaert, founder of Drupal; Mitchell Baker, leader of the Mozilla Project; and design guru Luke Wroblewski speaking on mobile.

The Drupal community has grown to more than 16,000 registered developers and nearly 800,000 members around the world in 228 countries, speaking 181 languages.

The latest version of the Drupal project, Drupal 7, released just one year ago, had such a strong adoption rate that it is now the most used version of Drupal. The Drupal project now has more than 15,000 modules and 4,000 code changes per week. The millions of Websites and software applications using Drupal include everything from personal blogs to the largest enterprise applications, including Twitter, eBay, Whitehouse.gov, NASA and universities around the world.

“The Drupal open-source content management platform is going strong, and is alive and well,” said Jacob Redding, executive director of the Drupal Association, in a statement. “We’re very pleased to see the quickest version adoption rate to date for the Drupal project, and the enthusiasm for the future of Drupal is strong at DrupalCon. We have an amazing community, and we look forward to spending the week getting in touch with Drupal communities from around the world, individual developers and contributors, and sponsors that have made their businesses around Drupal because of its incredible growth potential.”

DrupalCon sessions will center on the future of the Drupal project through eight session tracks from nonprofit, government and education, to design and user experience, and business and strategy. There will be many case studies around adoption and enthusiasm for Drupal, from Martha Stewart.com, to the University of Colorado, how Drupal is transforming government, how Zagat.com went from .NET to Drupal, and even a session on using Drupal in the emergency room to improve patient experience.

A co-located event for those evaluating Drupal called "Drupal Means Business," is on Thursday, March 22 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. It will include a full day of business-focused content and is designed for colleges, universities, businesses and government agencies that would like to know more about Drupal.

Code sprints will take place throughout the week on various topics, with Friday being a full day code sprint.

DrupalCon is also the place where companies that build their businesses around Drupal come to meet others within the community, speak at sessions, look for prospective employees and showcase their offerings. Sponsors include Diamond: Acquia; Platinum: Blackmesh, Forum One Communications, Four Kitchens, Lullabot, Phase2 Technology, Trellon, Workhabit; Gold: Aten Design Group, Chapter Three, Commerce Guys and more.

Budget wishlist includes tax changes and more SME support [March 20, 2012]

Submitted on
mardi, le 20 mars 2012h
,
Microscope

With the Budget just a day away the industry has made its wishes clear asking the Chancellor to simplify taxes and provide more support for tech start-ups.

In addition there have also been calls for the greater use of open source to cut costs and to reduce VAT back down to 15%.

Some details of what can be expected tomorrow have already emerged with measures to stop those avoiding stamp duty on the agenda along with a potential cut in the 50p tax rate for the highest earners.

But all eyes will be on the taxation measures and support for smaller firms with calls for the national insurance holiday that has been offered to start-ups to be extended to established firms and a simplification of taxation generally.

"The Budget is a real opportunity to remove the growth barriers for small firms created by the complexity of the tax system. It is clearly one that should not be missed," said Phil Orford, chief executive of the Forum of Private Business.

Others wanted more done to help tech start-ups with more help for entrepreneurs willing to take risks.

"As the Chancellor prepares to announce a Budget aimed at stimulating growth, we are all expecting a great focus on macroeconomic policies. However, given that many of the green shoots we have seen recently have come from smaller businesses, such as the tech start-ups in London's Silicon Roundabout, this should be reflected in the Budget," said David Ballard, CEO of Northdoor.

There has also been a call for more adoption of open source to help government cut its own IT costs.

"The government has made huge strides in enabling a fair hearing form open source providers alongside traditional proprietary software vendors in the public sector procurement process, but much more needs to be done," said Jim Shaw, general manager for Europe at Acquia.

Warner adopts open source Drupal platform for artist websites

Submitted on
lundi, le 19 mars 2012h
,
Music Week

Warner Music Group has signed up to use a new open source platform for its artist websites.

Acquia’s ‘Enterprise Drupal Gardens’ has been created to allow firms to centrally create and manage large numbers of content-rich, social websites.

The platform, dubbed ‘OpenSaas’, allows clients to access and build their websites through a common web browser – without being ‘locked in’ to a proprietary ‘software as a service’ (SaaS) model.

A wide range of artists websites are already on the platform, including Cody Simpson, T.I., B.o.B, Portugal. The Man, Stevie Nicks, Iron & Wine, Surfer Blood, JaneDear girls and Gloriana.

Warner Music taps Acquia to build artists’ social sites [March 19, 2012]

Submitted on
lundi, le 19 mars 2012h
,
Mass High Tech

Acquia Inc. has launched a new enterprise platform for companies to create and manage content-rich social websites and signed on Warner Music Group as its first enterprise customer.

Burlington-based Acquia today announced that it has created an enterprise version of its Drupal Gardens platform, a service that will enable customers to use Acquia’s website hosting, development and security services through a Web browser.

Similar to software-as-a-service (SaaS) models, Drupal’s service is an open content management system which means customers will not have to install any software or manage any servers.

Warner Music Group (WMG) will use Acquia’s enterprise version of Drupal, according to the company. The list of artists’ websites already on the platform include: The Man, Stevie Nicks, Iron & Wine, Surfer Blood, JaneDear girls and Gloriana.

Acquia CEO Tom Erickson said in a statement that “the platform is a “great example of how we are helping enterprises dramatically reduce operational hurdles and costs.” Drupal has seen huge growth since its creator, Acquia co-founder and Dries Buytaert open-sourced Drupal in 2001. The platform now powers more than a million websites and has a community of 775,000 developers and users in 228 countries, according to the company.

Acquia raised $15 million of a $20 million fundraise in July 2011 just months before moving from its location in Worburn to its new digs at 25 Corporate Dr. in Burlington.

58 New APIs: AT&T, goMobi and Social Shopping [March 18, 2012]

Submitted on
Dimanche, le 18 mars 2012h
,
Programmable Web

Acquia Cloud API: Acquia is a commercial open source software company that provides products and services for Drupal. Acquia's cloud based solution lets users create Drupal based web sites. The Acquia Cloud API allows developers to extend and customize Acquia Cloud. The API allows direct control of Acquia Cloud sites and supports developer workflow, database, and backup management. It uses RESTful calls and responses are formatted in JSON.

Distribution packaging now fully supported on Drupal.org [March 15, 2012]

Submitted on
jeudi, le 15 mars 2012h
,
Drupal.org

Distributions provide one of the biggest opportunities for both the Drupal project and its ecosystem. Although there has been support for distribution packaging on Drupal.org since December 2009, there were many restrictions on what could be packaged for technical and legal reasons. By solving the underlying legal, technical, security, and usability problems, these restrictions have been lifted and fully-featured distributions are now enabled on Drupal.org! This move enables thousands of active developers to pursue distribution development with a consistent set of tools for managing version control, releases, issue tracking, collaboration, and documentation.

Funding for the project was generously provided by major distribution developers:
Phase2 Technology

Acquia

NodeOne

Pantheon

Lullabot

New features for distribution packaging

External library support
Feed parsers, alternate versions of jQuery, WYSIWYG editors, etc. can be included with distributions automatically. A packaging whitelist tracks GPL-compatible libraries that can be added to distributions.
Packaging whitelist table, listing GPL-compatible libraries allowed for inclusion in distributions

Patch support
Patches can now be applied to core, contributed modules and themes, and even third-party libraries. Patches will appear on distribution release nodes, resolved to their parent issue.

Table on release nodes shows patches that have been applied to a given distribution

Support for development snapshots
Both development releases and Git clones (either a specific revision or a branch/tag) can now be used in distributions, rather than just official project releases.
Complete technical implementation details can be found at the Distribution Packaging community initiative page.

Changes for distribution maintainers

If you maintain a distribution on Drupal.org (or would like to) be sure to read the following updated documentation:

Packaging a distribution on Drupal.org
Managing Drush make files for an installation profile
Drupal.org distribution packaging requirements
Full example drupal-org.make file
Common Drush Make errors and their solutions
Drupal.org Library Packaging Whitelist

Credits

This initiative was spear-headed, designed, managed, and primarily implemented by Derek Wright (dww) of 3281d Consulting. Chad Phillips (hunmonk) and Michael Prashun (mikey_p) also helped with the design and implementation.

The work was made possible by the generous sponsorship of Phase2 Technology, Acquia, Node One, Pantheon, and Lullabot.

Additional thanks to:

Angela Byron (webchick) for spear-heading initial funding discussions, for performing extensive QA on changes, for authoring major chunks of the documentation, and for providing input throughout the process.
Jeff Walpole (jwalpole) for wrangling funding from multiple sources to make this happen.
Jonathan Hedstrom (jhedstrom) and Moshe Weitzman (moshe weitzman) for maintaining Drush make (which is now part of the core Drush project), the primary tool used by the Drupal.org distribution packaging system.
Jeff Geerling (geerlingguy), Adam Moore (redndahead), Angela Byron (webchick), Alberto Paderno (kiamlaluno), and Greg Knaddison (greggles) for maintaining the library whitelist.
Roy Scholten (yoroy) and Bojhan Somers (bojhan) of the usability team for help reviewing the UI changes.
Ezra Barnett Gildesgame (ezra-g) and Frank Febbraro (febbraro) for feedback on the changes, testing, and reviewing documentation.
Alex Barth (alex_b) for his initial help to identify the problems and flesh out the roadmap for solving them.

Drupal start-up Acquia competes on community [March 15, 2012]

Submitted on
jeudi, le 15 mars 2012h
,
Information Age

Dries Buytaert, founder of open source web content management system Drupal, says his company helps enterprises tap innovation from the Drupal community
Dries Buytaert wrote the first version of Drupal, the open source, PHP-based web content management system, in his university dorm room back in 2001.

Originally a message board system, Buytaert and his fellow volunteer developers used the software itself as a platform to collaborate on the project.

“We built our community on top of our own software,” he says. “We had to be open and transparent in order to build the software together, which meant that we needed it to have features that allowed us to be open and transparent. Those features are now part of the reason that people use Drupal.”

And use it they do. According to Buytaert, 2% of the world’s websites are built on Drupal. These are not just hobbyist developers – Drupal users include US telco Verizon, whose 90,000-user intranet is built on the platform, and the White House.

Until 2007, when Drupal already had many thousands of users, Buytaert did not receive any money for his invention, instead working as an embedded software engineer and later on his computer science PhD. He would stay up all night on conference calls with US end-user organisations “because it was just so much fun”, he recalls.

That year, however, he decided that it was time for a commercial venture based on Drupal. “For Drupal to be successful as a project, I felt that it needed to be successful in the enterprise,” he explains. “And for Drupal to be successful in the enterprise, there needed to be a company that could offer service-level agreements and contractual guarantees.

“Plus, I wanted to have a job,” he adds.

Enterprise guide

The result is Acquia, a venture-backed start-up that describes itself as “your enterprise guide to Drupal". One of Acquia’s business lines is based on the support networks offered by commercial open source suppliers Red Hat and MySQL (now part of Oracle).

Subscribers to the Acquia Network receive technical support, provided by engineers that Acquia has hired from the Drupal community.

“The beauty of having the Drupal community is that I don’t have to interview these people: you can see the quality of their work, and how they work with others,” explains Buytaert, who is Acquia’s chief technology officer.

Where Acquia differs from Red Hat and MySQL is that it does not sell an ‘enterprise’ version of the software. “There is only one Drupal,” Buytaert asserts.

Another business line is Acquia Cloud, a hosting service based on Amazon Web Services that is optimised for Drupal websites. “Organisations building websites will usually have a workflow that includes a development environment, a staging environment and a production environment,” says Buytaert. “Acquia Cloud provides them additional development tools.”

The third is Drupal Gardens. This is a hosted service that allows organisations to design, stage and host Drupal websites using a browser-based graphical interface.

Buytaert describes Drupal Gardens as ‘open SaaS’ (software as a service).

“Most SaaS companies won’t let you export your data, but Drupal Gardens allows you to export a .zip file with the MySQL database dump plus all the source code,” he explains. “This allows you to switch hosting provider if you wish, so there’s no lock-in.”

One of Acquia’s core principles, says Buytaert, is to act in the interests of the Drupal community. “The central investment thesis behind Acquia is that we will not be successful unless Drupal is successful. We’re tied at the hip.

“That means that we always put the community first, because the community is what makes Drupal innovative,” he adds. “The community means that if a popular new social web service is launched tomorrow, some developer somewhere will build a Drupal extension for it. At a conventional software company, it would take months before it would even get on the roadmap.”

There have been cases when putting the community first has cost Acquia time and money. “When we developed Drupal Gardens, we made several usability improvements that we could have kept to ourselves, but instead we submitted them to the latest version of Drupal,” explains Buytaert. “That meant going through the community approval process, which made it three times as expensive.”

Acquia is designed to make money, like any business, but Buytaert plans to do so by respecting the open source ethos, he says. “Open source leads to collaboration, which leads to community, which leads to innovation.”

Drupal start-up Acquia competes on community [March 15, 2012]

Submitted on
jeudi, le 15 mars 2012h
,
Information Age

Dries Buytaert, founder of open source web content management system Drupal, says his company helps enterprises tap innovation from the Drupal community

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