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Acquia webinars now support Linux OS

Tomorrow is big day for the Acquia webinar program - the first webinars to offer access to attendees running Linux OS on their local machines. We have two sessions tomorrow with Dries Buytaert and Jeff Noyes on Drupal 7 entitled "Making Drupal 7 Simple to Use for Everyone" - one at 9am EST, 2pm UTC and then a second at 2:30pm EST, 11:30am PST, 7:30pm UTC for people on the West Coast.

Use Apache Solr to search in files

Drupal's file handling capabilities keep getting better. Beyond the core upload module, the filefield module for CCK has enabled us to build sites with all sorts of files; documents, images, music, videos, and so forth. Searching within these docuements, however, has never been a common feature on Drupal sites. Some solutions have existed, particularly for extracting texts from PDFs and common wordprocessing documents. With Apache Solr, the attachments module, and an extension library called Tika, things can be much better. With Tika you can extract texts not only from Microsoft Office, Open Office, and PDF documents, you can also get text and metadata from images, songs, Flash movies and zipped archives. Searching for these texts is done as part of the normal Apache Solr driven site search.

The S-Files: Getting the most out of Comment Notify

Tech Support Case Studies

If Facebook has shown us anything, it's that website users like to get timely notifications via email if there is something new to be seen on the site. Acquia Drupal includes the comment notify module that can help achieve this goal for your site. It sends email messages to content authors and commentators whenever new comments are added to content. There are ample subscription options to suit everyone, and an unsubscribe mechanism so that nobody has to endure unwanted items in their inbox.

Design4Drupal Stanford: User Experience Improvements in Drupal 7 presentation

Yesterday we held the second Design4Drupal event at the Stanford Law School. This was an all day event focused on Design and Drupal. I gave a talk which was a combination of two other presentations. I used:

The S-Files: When node_load won't load, and the anonymous user has vanished

Tech Support Case Studies Use these two SQL commands to repair your Drupal 6 site to restore the anonymous user database record:
INSERT INTO users (name, mail) VALUES ('', '');
UPDATE users SET uid=0 WHERE name='';
The symptoms you'll see that tip you off that this is needed:
  1. node_load() is not loading nodes that you can prove are in the node table.
  2. node_delete() is not deleting nodes that you can prove are in the node table.
  3. The query SELECT * FROM users WHERE uid=0; returns zero rows.

Bipartisan Drupal: Scott Brown elected to the Senate using Drupal

Last night Scott Brown, the republican candidate for Senate in Massachusetts, was elected in a special election to fill Ted Kennedy's seat in the Senate.

Drupal has strong roots in the progressive left, through the Howard Dean campaign, and CivicSpace. This certainly isn't in the first republican Drupal site, but it was a high profile site for an important election that could change the direction of the country.

Try Drupal 7 Alpha on your laptop or desktop

If you aren't a professional Drupal developer, or Drupal system admin you might be challenged to get an early preview of Drupal 7. Content professionals, designers, project managers, Drupal business people may be challenged get a working web infrastructure set-up just to check out Drupal 7.

Here is an easy way to get Drupal 7 running on your laptop or desktop. There is also professional documentation for the Acquia stack installer.

Open Government, a citizen's excitement

How refreshing it is when the US Government does something so right that my chest swells with pride and my heart fills with hope! How exciting it is that Drupal and Acquia can play a role in bringing openness to government. I'm referring to the Open Government Directive (OGD), an instruction from the President of the United States to all federal agencies to drastically change the way that government talks to and shares information with the public.

The OGD is predicated on three principles: transparancy, participation, and collaboration. Here I quote from the President's website:

Transparency promotes accountability by providing the public with information about what the Government is doing. Participation allows members of the public to contribute ideas and expertise so that their government can make policies with the benefit of information that is widely dispersed in society. Collaboration improves the effectiveness of Government by encouraging partnerships and cooperation within the Federal Government, across levels of government, and between the Government and private institutions.

Wake-Up call for media marketers

Last week, I was able to contribute an advice column to Media Posts’ Online Media Daily. In it I talk about what media companies, and specifically media marketers, need to do to take their websites to the next level. At the end of the day it comes down to knowing your audience and building a site that keeps your audience engaged and ultimately serve as your brand’s ambassador. Here are the tips I shared. Comment here to share other best practices and insight.

Features used by 80% of social sites

You might have seen our plans for Drupal Gardens which will be a way to build a Drupal site very quickly. While you'll be able to build any kind of site you need on Drupal Gardens, we're spending a lot of time to make sure that we make it easy for people to build very social sites to promote campaigns, events, products, and businesses. And by social, we mean a site that encourages people to participate and that leverages other social networks.

We'll include a set of social features that most all sites need when we launch:

  • Blogs