This afternoon, in Denver, Colorado, President Barack Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, also known in US political circles as the "stimulus bill".
The bill provides new spending, tax cuts and aid to state and local governments all totaling almost $800 billion US dollars, making it the largest spending bill in that nation's history. Designed to create jobs and provide a boost to a sagging economy, the bill focuses on green, renewable energy and investments in health care technology.
Of immediate interest to us, however, is the accompanying website, recovery.gov, which -- you guessed it -- is using Drupal!
Drupal is no stranger to the political arena, and has been used for many campaign and government sites before. Recovery.gov, though, is a definite coup for Drupal -- there are not many Drupal sites that have their own post on Whitehouse.gov. Or on the Huffington Post. Or is featured on CNN all day long. Or has its own YouTube promo by the US President. Unbelievable!
Through the wonderful Neil Drumm, Chapter Three learned that I was in the market for a bicycle. Chapter Three -- the company of Drupal overlords Matt Cheney, Josh Koenig and Zack Rosen -- has a fun side project called Mission Bicycles that uses Drupal to sell customizable fixed gear and single speed bikes in San Francisco.
Of course, I was interested in riding around on one of their customized bicycles. Especially one that featured a white seat, white rims, and a particularly familiar shade of blue (#027AC6) for the frame. On top of that, I was promised that, if I wasn't already, I would be the coolest kid on my block. They'd toss in a free Drupal bike jersey to help guarantee the promised result.
I ordered one instantly, and a couple of weeks later, a bike showed up at my front door. After assembling the bike, the tubes still filled with San Francisco air, I'm now ready to ride the European lands in true California style.;
The new Mother Jones launched on Drupal. Wikipedia describes Mother Jones as an independent, non-profit magazine rooted in progressive political values and known for its investigative reporting. It has a paid circulation of 233,000 and it the most widely read progressive publication in the United States. The new site was built by EchoDitto, a Drupal shop in Washington DC. Additional details can be found in the Mother Jones announcement.
This week, twelve of us have gathered in Paris to continue our work on upgrading drupal.org. Sprinters include: Joeri Poesen, Damien Tournoud, Neil Drumm, Mike O'Conner, Gerhard Killesreiter, Klaas Van Waesberghe, Todd Ross Nienkerk, Aaron Stanush, David Stosik, Morten Heide, Gábor Hojtsy and myself. Upgrading and redesigning drupal.org is a big project, and, when implemented, will be an important milestone for our community. We're hopeful that we can push the drupal.org redesign closer to completion this week.
The Boston sprint two weeks ago was dedicated to upgrading drupal.org from Drupal 5 to Drupal 6 in preparation for this week's redesign. We worked hard, putting in 12-14 hour days, fleshing out solutions over breakfast, lunch and dinner and left only a short time for sleep. As a result, we're close to being able to upgrade drupal.org from Drupal 5 to Drupal 6.
This week in Paris, our group is split into two teams. One group will implement the new theme designed by Mark Boulton and Leisa Reichelt with the involvement of many people in our community. The second group will continue where we left off in Boston and will also start implementing some of the new functionality planned for the new drupal.org (e.g. better search, improved project pages, better landing pages, a jobs page, an events page, and more).
These week-long sprints are non-trivial. Although all of the participants invest their own time free of charge, we'd like to cover their airfare, hotel and some of the food required to keep them running. We've only been able to hold these sprints due to your generous contributions in the past; we still need to raise more funds so it is not too late to donate. Please consider using the Chipin widget to contribute if you can.
A number of organizations, including One Laptop Per Child, AF83, Four Kitchens, DrupalTherapy, OpenBand and Looforyoo, Capgemini France, NowPublic, Tag1consulting, and Acquia have already come forward with donations of money and resources to help make these sprints be successful.
At the end of the sprint, we'll update you on our progress, so please stay tuned for details.