David Mercer has written a Drupal book: Drupal: creating blogs, forums, portals, and community websites. The book is published by Packt, who mailed me a number of free copies to give away at future Drupal events.
It looks like a thorough book with clear and useful examples. The book is geared towards people who are new to Drupal and that want practical advice on how to get a Drupal site up and running. It won't make you a Drupal expert, but it will give you a solid base from which to build. More information, including a free chapter on how to install Drupal, can be found at the publisher's website.
Rumor has it that Google will sponsor 14 Drupal developer stipends in this year's Summer of Code program (SoC). To inspire young developers to work on FOSS projects during the summer, Google will provide a stipend of 5,000 USD to each student developer, of which 4,500 USD goes to the student and 500 USD goes to Drupal project (or to the mentors). With 14 accepted applications this adds up to a 70,000 USD investment over a three-month period.
We're still waiting for an official announcement from Google, but the screenshot below shows that 14 projects appear to have been approved.
A screenshot of Google's mentor administration panel which shows the accepted applications.
Thanks to Google, Drupal's SoC organizers and the 36 Drupal mentors to bring on board a range of fresh talents.
I created a topics page that uses several tag clouds to monitor how people are using this site. By comparing the tag clouds on the topics page I can figure out what people are most interested in, and how that corresponds with my own interests. In addition, the tag clouds show what makes people interact or link to my posts.
Comparing different tag clouds makes it easier to digest website traffic, and could be useful to improve visitor conversion rates, to guide search engine advertising, or to speed up the bootstrap process of interactive websites.
Recently a reporter asked me to comment on the Open Source Lab (OSL). The OSL provides free hosting and support for the Mozilla Foundation, Debian, Gentoo Linux, Drupal, and many other FOSS projects. My comment made it into an interview with Scott Kveton, associate director of OSL, published at NewsForge:
Drupal founder Dries Buytaert says his project's hardware -- two dedicated Web servers, one dedicated database server, and another email/CVS server -- was provided by Drupal and set up with the help of the OSL, which provides bandwidth and power. "OSL helped us architect the setup, and installed all the machines," Buytaert says. "In addition, and this is invaluable on its own, they help us with the day-to-day maintenance of the Drupal infrastructure (e.g. backups, upgrades, troubleshooting). You know, it is still hard to believe that they give us such a remarkable service ... for free. It isn't very often that one gets offered a deal like this. It is safe to say that OSL is one of the Drupal project's key contributors."