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Custom Distributions on Acquia Cloud: Part 1 -- Drush Make

Every developer has a slightly different approach to building their Drupal sites. I’ve tried just about every approach, and they all have their merits, but my favorite is Drush Make. Before joining Acquia, I didn’t realize Acquia Cloud supported Drush Make, but I was delighted to discover that I was wrong. Assuming I’m not the only person who had missed this fact, I wanted to spend a little time highlighting where this exists and how I’m using it.

Evolving product: Drupal Commons

The Drupal Commons 3.x interactive demo was posted recently, and we’d love your feedback.

But in the meantime, I'll go into the reasons Drupal Commons software was redesigned, our approach and some of the tough challenges we faced. In a future post, I'll get into the details of the design process.

Mission statement: Drupal Commons empowers communities with easy-to-use collaboration tools so that they can answer questions, share solutions and self-organize.

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

Submitted on
Thursday, March 15, 2012
,
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.

Distributions Summit in San Diego

The year is winding down and it was such a great year for Drupal! This was my first year with Acquia however it was not my first with Drupal. I worked with Drupal at OpenProj back in 2007 – it was a very active site with downloads exceeding 2 million. It has been a new and wonderful experience getting involved in the Drupal community through Acquia. In 2012, I look forward to actively contributing to the community and making an impact with Drupal Distributions. With that, my wish list for Distros in 2012 is quite long!

White paper: Assembling a Next Generation Enterprise Web Infrastructure with Drupal and Acquia

Undefined

In this paper we describe how the open-source social publishing platform Drupal, together with Acquia, gives you the tools you need to regain control of your web content infrastructure and web applications -- and deliver the service you require.

Read full article »

Using OpenScholar for Collaborative Research

Open source is not only a growing movement in the software industry. Open source philosophies are being adopted in many other verticals such as education, government, and scientific research. One recent example is in collaborative drug research.

Drupal Software Publishing

Acquia announced a new program at Drupalcon last week, Drupal Software Publishing. I thought it might be useful to provide some of the thinking that went into establishing this program.

Acquia’s core mission is to establish Drupal as the dominant social publishing platform. If we’re successful at this, there will be a thriving ecosystem around Drupal offering a broad variety of services and solutions.