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Gardens Usability Testing - Rd 1 filled

I wanted to thank everyone who signed up for Drupal Gardens usability testing. I received a lot of requests - unfortunatly I won't be able to accept all of them.

Usability testing focuses on a subset of tasks and requires only 6-10 users to identify problems. Any number greater than 10 merely reveals the same problems over and over again. Thankfully, D7 and Drupal Gardens are both feature rich, so there will be many more tests in the very near future.

Thanks so much,
Jeff Noyes

Apache Solr Excitement at Drupalcon

As of the final Drupalcon Paris code sprint, http://groups.drupal.org was upgraded to Drupal 6, and its site search has also started running on Apache Solr. Since last summer we have used a scrubbed groups.drupal.org database dump which we updated to Drupal 6.x as a test set for Apache Solr Search Integration functionality and screen shots. Having it live on the groups site is great because we've been able to see for months the kind of improved search results that are possible, but frustratingly unable until now to access them in real life.

The groups.drupal.org upgrade was only one of the exciting developments, lively BoFs, or informative presentations around the integration of Apache Solr with Drupal last week. I enjoyed hearing Mike O'Conner's talk about his efforts to integrate Solr search with Ubercart, and several teams discussed their plans to use Apache Solr for existing sites or upcoming projects.

Drupal Gardens usability testing sign up sheet

I received a lot of requests (thank you), but only a few provided email addresses. Trying to aggregate a list and communicate with everyone proved to be a chore. If you're interested in becoming a usability tester, please sign up here:

https://spreadsheets.google.com/viewform?formkey=dFBqdHBlU19wcXhJVm9Xdzh.....

Drupal.org steps up helping localized Drupal installs grow

I just came back from Drupalcon Paris this week. It was an action packed conference with lots discussed and many things done to further Drupal's reach. In my case, I've submitted sessions to teach people to write modules the right way, theme Drupal in minutes and translate Drupal interfaces to multiple languages. Thankfully only this last submission was accepted, but that was about a new service on drupal.org which first needed to launch. Way to get people to advance services on Drupal.org!

Drupal Gardens open for usability testing

As I'm writing this entry, my colleague Barry Jaspan is over my shoulder getting frustrated while attempting to adjust his desk at our new office space. He's using a cleverly designed screwdriver designed to bend at 90 degrees and manipulate screws in hard to reach areas. While the idea of an adjustable, bendable screwdriver sounds like a good idea, based on observing Barry and a few others, I'm certain the inventor failed to observe people trying to use it.

Drupal Gardens preview screencast

Last week at DrupalCon Paris, we demonstrated a pre-alpha version of Drupal Gardens, which will allow non-technical users to go from design to online with a powerful Drupal 7 social publishing website in a matter of hours instead of days. The Acquia engineering team has been hard at work implementing Gardens on top of Drupal 7 and we wanted to show a small taste of things to come.

Stacking up Drupal

Why the Acquia Drupal Stack is now the Drupal development stack of choice. Drupal On-ramp - Personal experiences at Drupal events in recent months and reports from friends and colleagues indicate that the Acquia Drupal Stack Installer is really changing the installation experience for new users. This incredibly fast, painless on-ramp experience - it lets you get right into "Drupalling" without fighting with ports, permissions, or database connections - is winning over new users at Drupal Camps around the world.

Acquia Offers Sneak Peek of Drupal Gardens at Drupalcon Paris 2009

Going from Design to Online with Drupal Has Never Been Easier

Drupalcon, Paris – September 2, 2009-- Acquia, the enterprise guide to social publishing, today gave attendees at Drupalcon Paris 2009 their first look at Drupal Gardens. Previously code-named Acquia Gardens, Drupal Gardens is Acquia’s anticipated software-as-a-service version of Drupal that speeds the design and deployment of Drupal social publishing sites for new, non-technical users including small business owners and web designers.

Survey / contest: Acquia Network Services

Dries & I (well, let's just say "Acquia") are doing a little research and we want you guys to be a part of it. We're looking down the road and evaluating a variety of new things to add to our product offerings. We're interested in your feedback because we want to be sure build what you actually want, vs. what we imagine you want.

So help us get it right by taking our little survey. You should be able to complete it in under 5 minutes.

Now as much as we'd like to think you'd do this because you love Dries, Drupal & Acquia, I'm sure more of you will talk to us if we give away some loot. So as a bonus for taking the survey, you can choose to enter our contest where one lucky duck will receive for FREE their choice of either of two award prizes:

Drupal 7 File System Changes

On July 26 and 27 I participated on behalf of Acquia in a code sprint with a great group of other Drupal contributors at the Zivetch offices in Philadelphia. Aaron Winborn has already written a good summary of the event. I want to focus here on a big piece of the work that progressed but wasn't finished at the sprint: the File API Stream Wrapper Conversion patch (which weighs in at a big 230 kB and changes 54 files).

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