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Die Welt using Drupal

Die Welt (The World), a big German newspaper published by Axel Springer recently started using Drupal at Welt Debatte.

Talking about Bill Gates, their second blog post coincidentally talks about Bill Gates and Drupal -- but in an informative way. They seem proud to be using Drupal.

Die welt

De Morgen interview

On March 15, Flemish newspaper De Morgen published an article about the fact that Drupal is being used by various candidates in the 2008 race for the US presidency.

While that is great information to share, the article is overly sensational, focuses too much on me rather than on the Drupal community, and comes with the seemingly obligatory Bill Gates reference. Sigh!

Credit should be given where credit is due: Drupal's successes should be attributed to the Drupal community, of which I am just one part.

De morgen
De morgen

Datanews interview

Olivier Fabes interviewed me about Drupal for Datanews, a Belgian IT magazine. You can find the article in the January 26 issue. I think the interview came out well.

Ubuntu using Drupal

The popular Linux distribution Ubuntu, is now using Drupal at More information is available at Matt Nazum's blog. I've mailed with Matt about this and he wrote: "Now that we have a good platform, the fun is just beginning". Right on!

Suggestions for Drupal core

From yesterday on until March 24, Google is accepting student applications for the Google Summer of Code 2007. Google pays each successful student 4,500 USD for his work on Drupal during the summer, and we try to assign each student two top-class Drupal mentors to work with.

I'm particular interested in students that want to work on Drupal core, Drupal's main distribution, so I decided to share five ideas that I think are particularly core-worthy:

  1. Improved file handling. Make it possible to mix database and file system storage on a per post basis, further abstract the storage model so we can support distributed storage solutions (like Amazon S3), apply node-level permissions to a node's files through a light-weight file.php layer. Do not implement files as nodes.
  2. Hierarchical page structuring. Remove the "book page" node type, and turn the book module into a module that is specialized at creating hierarchical content trees. The module should automatically extract a menu from the node hierarchy, set the correct breadcrumbs, help you define a hierarchical URL structure with clean URLs, etc. This module will be the de facto standard to structure pages and to create hierarchical navigation schemes in Drupal.
  3. Lightweight image/asset management. Make it easier to embed images in posts: write a lightweight asset manager to make it easy to re-use previously uploaded images, and provide a lightweight WYSIWYG solution to drag-and-drop (position) images into posts. More advanced WYSIWYG editors should be able to overwrite the one in core, and more advanced document management solutions should be able to overwrite or extend the basic asset management solution in core.
  4. Streamlined installation procedure. Remove the Drupal welcome page, and replace it by additional installation steps in the installer. The additional installation steps should query the user for basic site settings (i.e. site name, site slogan), and should provide a dedicated and simpler user interface to create the administrative user account. I'd also like to ship core with an optional install profile optimized at jump starting your installation -- for example, one that sets up a working contact form and creates a dummy about page with a clean and human-readable URL.
  5. Improved data models. If you look around, it's quite obvious that websites are becoming a selection of independent components: OpenID, Amazon S3, etc. If we have well-defined data models in Drupal core, integration with web services (like those build with Adobe's Flex) will become easier. As a first step, we need a data API that we leverage internally, so we can get better at distributed search, import/export functionality, user profiles, custom content types, internationalization, and basic scaffolding. Start with Drupal's form API and massage it into the beginning of a data API. It's crucial for Drupal's future, but the work might not be for the faint hearted.

Keep in mind that each of these ideas need to be fleshed out more before they can be considered to be a solid Google Summer of Code proposal. Also note that this is not an exhaustive list of ideas, so feel free to submit additional ideas for consideration.

Drupal 5 training video

Video2brain sent me a copy of the Drupal 5 training video they recorded with Hagen Graf, author of a German Drupal book. The video is in German so I can't evaluate the quality of the content, but it sure looks professional. If your German is better than mine, you can get some free video samples from their website. And for every copy they sell, 1.25 EUR goes back to the Drupal project. Sehr cool!


Drupal workshop in Antwerp

Two pictures taken at the free Drupal workshop in Antwerp. Hopefully some of the students will start contributing to Drupal once they started kicking ass.

As one of the teachers, I had good fun and actually learned a lot about teaching Drupal. It gave me fresh perspectives on how we can continue to improve the Drupal experience. We have work to do!

Fresh converts

Fresh converts!

Roel de meester

Organizer and co-teacher, Roel De Meester.


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