PHP4 is dead ... or maybe not

It is 08/08/08 today. The day they took PHP4 behind the barn and shot it through the head. The date of the official discontinuation of PHP4 -- even for security issues.

Unfortunately, as I predicted in April 2007, PHP4 is still more widely used than PHP5 is. According to the latest Nexen data, PHP5 has only a 33% install base after more than four years.

Drupal's success depends on that of PHP, and PHP5's slow adoption rate has certainly been annoying. Hopefully, we can all move forward together now. Drupal is ready for it.

If you still haven't upgraded to PHP5, today would be a good day.

Mollom t-shirts

Ben and I printed some Mollom t-shirts and we're going to ship some to people that contributed a Mollom plugin or that took advantage of the Mollom API in new or clever ways.

We've just sent some t-shirts to Mattias (Wordpress plugin), Tijs (PHP5 class), Markus (Joomla extension), Jan (Ruby library), Andy (Python library), Wim (summer intern) and more. Let us know if you integrated Mollom in your favorite tool or service!

We also set aside some t-shirts for people that write the best Mollom reviews or otherwise help us spread the word in new, clever or interesting ways ...

Tshirt design

Google insights on Drupal

Recently, Google launched Google Insights. Like with Google Trends, you can just type in a search term to see search volume patterns over time, as well as the top related and rising searches. You’ll also have the ability to compare search volume trends across multiple search terms, categories (commonly referred to as verticals), geographic regions, or specific time ranges. Great for marketing people.

Below are some examples specific to Drupal ...

Google Insights - Search volume for Drupal in the world

The numbers on the graph reflect how many searches have been done for a particular term, relative to the total number of searches done on Google over time. See <a href="http://www.google.com/insights/search/#cat=&q=Drupal%2CJoomla%2CWordpres... Insights results for Drupal</a>.

Google Insights - Search volume in China

In China, Wordpress is winning hands down. See <a href="http://www.google.com/insights/search/#cat=&q=Drupal%2CJoomla%2CWordpres... Insights results for Drupal</a>.

Google Insights - Search volume for Belgium

In my home country, Belgium, Drupal is almost as strong as Wordpress but not nearly as strong as Joomla. See <a href="http://www.google.com/insights/search/#cat=&q=Drupal%2CJoomla%2CWordpres... Insights results for Drupal</a>.

Google Insights - Regional Drupal interest by country

Regional Drupal interest by country. Google uses the term 'search volume index' for these heatmaps, meaning that they normalized the data by the total traffic from each respective region. In other words, just because two regions show the same percentage for a particular term doesn't mean that their absolute search volumes are the same. See <a href="http://www.google.com/insights/search/#cat=&q=Drupal%2CJoomla%2CWordpres... Insights results for Drupal</a>.

Google Insights - Regional Drupal interest in USA

In the US, the west coast beats the east coast. Based on 'search volume index'. See <a href="http://www.google.com/insights/search/#cat=&q=Drupal%2CJoomla%2CWordpres... Insights results for Drupal</a>.

Google Insights - Regional Drupal interest by city

Regional Drupal interest by city. Based on 'search volume index'. See <a href="http://www.google.com/insights/search/#cat=&q=Drupal%2CJoomla%2CWordpres... Insights results for Drupal</a>.

Google Insights - Drupal search terms

The top search on Drupal -- great for marketing people. Breakout means that the search term has experienced a change in growth greater than 5000%. See <a href="http://www.google.com/insights/search/#cat=&q=Drupal%2CJoomla%2CWordpres... Insights results for Drupal</a>.

Axl in mid air

Axl in mid air

Drupal.org status update

Last night, I was up until after midnight studying the submitted bids for the Drupal.org redesign. This morning I continued my evaluation at 6:00am. Why? Because tonight the Drupal Association will select the design firm that will be responsible for a redesign of Drupal.org.

Originally launched in 2001, and last redesigned in 2005, we have outgrown the current Drupal.org website. Based on the results of last year's State of Drupal survey (see also Drupal.org wishlist), the Drupal Association has made the Drupal.org redesign one of its top priorities. The goal of the redesign is to better serve the existing Drupal community, but also to better communicate Drupal's strengths and benefits for users that are new to Drupal. By improving the navigation, the design and the organization of the site, we hope to further expand Drupal's reach and to provide us better tools to communicate and collaborate.

Tiffany Farriss of Palantir, a Drupal shop in Chicago, did an excellent job leading the RFP process on behalf of the Drupal Association. She posted the RFP on drupal.org and reached out to world-class design firms, evaluated all bids based on 9 evaluation criteria, connected with some of the design firms by phone, reference checked portfolio clients, wrote a 7 page report for the Drupal Association, and more.

Tonight, the Drupal Association's Board of Directors will meet and Tiffany will present a summary and analysis of the proposals with a recommendation. If all goes well, a vendor will be selected and we can kick of the next phase of the Drupal.org redesign. The winning design firm will be invited to present their (preliminary) plans at Drupalcon Szeged. Attending DrupalCon Szeged will allow them to interview Drupal.org users and to get additional insight in our community.

Hopefully, we can also start making rapid progress with the Drupal.org upgrade to Drupal 6. That upgrade is currently blocked by modules such as the project module, used to power the bug and patch tracking functionality on Drupal.org. As a community we need to step in to help fix that problem or the Drupal.org upgrade will soon be in the critical path of the Drupal.org redesign. Not good. Nothing should stand in the way of a Drupal.org upgrade at this point. (Yes, I made the mistake to release Drupal 6 before Drupal.org was upgraded.)

Once we upgraded Drupal.org to Drupal 6, we should also start work on the Drupal.org wishlist items that are not covered by the Drupal.org redesign. Personally, I'm really excited about the idea of having a new and improved Drupal.org. Hopefully enough people step up to help -- either by offering their technical skills or by donating money to the Drupal Association. Just help!

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Dries Buytaert is the original creator and project lead of Drupal and the co-founder and CTO of Acquia. He writes about Drupal, startups, business, photography and building the world we want to exist in.

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