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Drupal 7: let's get it done

Despite a great effort from many people, getting Drupal 7 released has proven to be a slow and arduous process. What remains is not trivial. The release of Drupal 7 is important to all of us, our businesses, and growing both adoption and our community, so something more must be done.

Effective today, Acquia is committing one full-time engineer to help to fix critical bugs in Drupal 7. This is in addition to the regular work that our staff does on Drupal 7 as part of the development of Drupal Gardens, and the core work that some of our engineers do as part of their community gardening days (similar to Google's "20-percent time").

The team itself will decide who that engineer will be but it is likely to be one of the following people: Alex Bronstein (effulgentsia), Gábor Hojtsy, Jacob Singh, Peter Wolanin (pwolanin), Katherine Senzee (ksenzee) or David Rothstein. They'll decide that later today as part of the sprint planning. I'll announce it in the comments this afternoon!

As a community, we need to get better at focusing on the critical bugs. There are only about 20 critical bugs left so with the right focus, we're in striking distance of getting Drupal 7 out. Hence, the Acquia engineer will be working on critical issues only. It's all about focus.

And we want you to join us! We could use more companies to step up and contribute a dedicated resource. The deployment and adoption of Drupal 7 will deliver big benefits to all of our businesses.

We're all very much committed to our clients and have daily tasks to perform as part of our livelihood. So we don't always have the time to work on the remaining bugs in Drupal 7. However, if we don't address them, if we don't plan time to work on them, it just won't happen. If you'd be interested in pitching in with this enormous effort by contributing a dedicated resource, but don't know where to go, or where help is needed most, I can help direct you to the right places. Just let me know you're interested in helping.

20,000 Drupal Gardens sites

We hit another milestone today: twenty-thousand sites have been created with Drupal Gardens. It was only two months ago that we hit the 10,000 sites milestone. Who would have thought that we would have doubled that number so quickly? This is really a gratifying moment for us. It means that we’re on the right track, building a product that people value highly.

There has also been an increased interest by enterprise customers in Drupal Gardens. It seems to be filling a need for large organizations, as well as creative agencies that want to build and consistently manage many micro-sites, or that want to build them quickly. If you fit that description, I encourage you to take Drupal Gardens for a spin and to share your feedback with us. We continue to roll out enhancements to Drupal Gardens every three weeks, so your feedback is very important as it influences directly our plans.

I’m proud to have reached this milestone, and would like to thank to all of the Drupal Gardens site owners who have made this possible. While 20,000 sites might sound like a lot, we’re just getting started!

Drupal 7 code sprint at Acquia on August 17

On Tuesday August 17, Acquia is sponsoring a day-long code sprint at our offices just outside of Boston. During the sprint, we'll concentrate on addressing as many of the core Drupal 7 critical issues as possible.

Moshe Weitzman and Stéphane Corlosquet (scor) have already signed up along with various Acquians including Barry Jaspan, David Rothstein, Peter Wolanin, Alex Bronstein (effulgentsia) and Gábor Hojtsy. I will be reviewing, testing, and committing patches throughout the day.

If you're in the Boston area (or can get there) and you know how to fix bugs, write tests, and submit patches, you are more than welcome to join us. Acquia's exact address (along with a Google Map) is available at the bottom of the Acquia contact page. Space is limited, so please leave a comment if you plan to attend. This way we can plan accordingly and start coordinating the sprint ahead of time.

I hope to see many of you there, including plenty of new faces.

Capgemini promoting and using Drupal

This year in my keynote at DrupalCon San Francisco, I mentioned that the elephants are coming. Well, earlier this week Capgemini, one of the world's foremost consulting providers with 95,000 employees, announced a new service, Capgemini Immediate. I'm pleased to say that they're using Drupal as a foundational technology for their new Immediate platform.

Capgemini Immediate is an offering which helps organizations to build and run on-line services. It consists of a number of preferred technologies (i.e., Drupal, MySQL, Salesforce, Lithium, etc.), best practices, and an ecosystem of preferred partners of which Acquia is part.

Capgemini Immediate is already being well received and making news. The Royal Mail, the national postal service of the United Kingdom, has signed a large six-year IT contract with Capgemini to transform their on-line services using Capgemini Immediate. With almost 200,000 employees, Royal Mail is the second biggest employer in the UK. Signing of Royal Mail received significant press coverage, including the Wall Street Journal.

The Capgemini stamp of approval, and the fact that Royal Mail will be using Drupal, is tremendous news for all of us. This could be a very important milestone in the history of Drupal -- similar to when Dell and IBM decided to ship machines with Linux pre-installed in 2007.

Incidentally, Capgemini is using Drupal to power their own 95,000 person intranet.

Drupal Gardens now in open beta

Today we’ve reached another important milestone at Acquia: Drupal Gardens is now in open beta. No more beta codes. No more waiting to try the service. Now anyone can access Drupal Gardens and create a free Drupal 7 site!

It’s been fun to watch Drupal Gardens grow and mature during the private beta. In addition to building out the feature set, we’ve spent a great deal of time improving the stability and underlying performance of the service. And we’ve had a wild ride on Drupal 7 HEAD along the way, as Jacob Singh describes so colorfully:

Running from an Alpha versus HEAD is like the difference between playing Jenga on a sleeping elephant to playing Jenga on a cocaine addled elephant riding a skateboard being jabbed in the [rear] with a hot poker.

We’ve also invested plenty of time with Drupal Gardens users - gathering feedback, performing user tests, discussing potential features. One request that was added in the latest release is site duplication. This is the ability to clone an existing site, including its design, functionality, information architecture and content, to create a new site. It’s one of the first Enterprise Drupal Gardens features, enabling site builders and designers to do rapid prototyping in Drupal Gardens and roll out new sites quickly according to pre-defined templates. Site duplication will evolve into site and theme marketplaces where anyone can share site templates for use by others.

Drupal Gardens continues to advance with great strides. I encourage you to take Drupal Gardens for a test drive and to share your feedback with us.


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