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Acquia out of beta

After months of hard work, Acquia is now open for business! Starting today, everyone can connect their Drupal 6 site to the Acquia Network to take advantage of our services. Oh my!

The Acquia Network (previously code-named Spokes) is a hosted service that helps you with site management (update notifications, spam blocking, cron service, modification detection, etc) and provides real-time visibility into the health and usage of all your Drupal sites that are connected to the Acquia Network.

Second, the Acquia Network gives you access to Acquia's technical support team. Whether it is an installation question, a development question or a configuration question, our Drupal experts are ready to provide you with technical support. The kicker? Acquia Network subscriptions are available for every budget -- including a free community version. Give it a try!

Third, we are also releasing Acquia Drupal today. Acquia Drupal (previously code-named Carbon) is our Drupal distribution that bundles some of the best, most essential Drupal modules for building social publishing sites. Acquia Drupal is available for free, and all our bug fixes and improvements go straight to the module maintainers on drupal.org. Acquia Drupal defines the collection of modules that you can get technical support for.

Starting Acquia wasn't straightforward. To setup Acquia for success, it required hiring world-class people smarter than me, but that often lacked Drupal background, or even Open Source experience. It took a while before we hit our stride, but it is truly amazing to see how everyone got hooked on Drupal, and how much we have come together as a team. Thank goodness I didn't take that job at the bank, because I couldn't be happier. Everyone in the company is determined to contribute to Drupal's growing success, and with Acquia's offering, I think we can get Drupal into a lot of new and interesting places.

Going forward, you can expect us to help port more modules to Drupal 6 and to add more modules to Acquia Drupal to expand our support offering. You can also expect us to extend the existing network services in the Acquia Network and to see us add new network services that extend what we've started with update notifications, spam-blocking, and uptime monitoring. Details are available on our Acquia Drupal roadmap page (registration required) and on our Acquia Network roadmap page (registration required) respectively. And last but not least, you will continue to see Acquia employees be very active in the community. So buckle up, because this is only a glimpse of what is to come, and we're on the fast track now.

NowPublic Drupal Scan

NowPublic launched an interesting new feature called Scan. First, they aggregate data from sites like Twitter, identi.ca and Pownce in near real-time. Then they aggregate the information, filter it by keywords, geo-locate it, and conveniently present it on a dashboard. Like that, you can see what is happening in different places around the world.

Being the sucker for statistics that I am, I asked Michael Meyers (CTO, NowPublic) to setup a special NowPublic Drupal Channel so that we can have our very own NowPublic Drupal Scan. Michael did, so check out the Drupal Scan at http://www.nowpublic.com/tags/drupal/scan. It is a great showcase of what can be done with activity streams or lifestreams, and with Twitter data specifically. What is not to like?

Nowpublic drupal scan

(Disclosure: I am an advisor to NowPublic.)

Mollom launch coverage

It is now five days after Mollom came out of beta and some of the dust has settled, so I figured I'd give you an update on what people wrote. Here is a selected subset of some of the coverage we got:

  • Peter Hagopian at InformationWeek: Mollom Comment Spam Solution Emerges From Beta. Mollom is currently supported by Drupal, WordPress, and Joomla, as well as the recent additions Radiant (a CMS built on the Ruby On Rails framework) and DaliCMS. Mollom seems to be getting better and better and it's nice to see it come out of beta.
  • Mikkel Høgh: My six months with Mollom. Before Mollom, I’ve been using spam.module and Akismet with varying degrees of success, and when Mollom first came out, I wondered why we needed another Akismet, but decided to try it out to support Dries. The answer to that question is that Mollom is in fact not just another Akismet. Spam blocking is just one of the things it does. That does not mean that Mollom is not good at blocking spam. My experience is that Mollom is more effective than Akismet and spam.module combined.
  • Growing Venture Solutions: Mollom - Out of Beta and Ready to Eat Your Spam (without bothering your normal visitors). The service is now out of Beta and available to large sites that need redundancy and volume analysis for 30 euros/month. That seems like a great deal and they've even got a better deal: most sites with limited needs who are willing to accept occasional server downtime can still get the service for free. Wonderful news.
  • Jan Polzer at Maxiorel: Mollom: komentářový antispam a zkušenosti z praxe. (Czech article)
  • Justin Miller at Code Sorcery: Mollom anti-spam service is out of beta. I've been using Mollom for a few months and have been very happy with it. If you run a blog, even one that isn't in Drupal, I would encourage you to check it out. It's free for many uses, so you lose nothing by at least giving it a shot.
  • Josiah Ritchie: Mollom - The Bullet Proof Vest. All this means, the content on the site is pure, not diluted by the evils of this world. Pure, meaningful and trustworthy content means more activity from your visitors. If their experience in pleasant, not inhibited by spam checking devices or spent filtering spam themselves, they are much more likely to return.
  • Robin Wauters at The Next Web: Mollom drops beta tag in quest to challenge Akismet. In the six months that the Belgium-based company has been beta-testing Mollom, they said to have blocked almost 9 million spam messages on thousands of sites.
  • Glenn Paulley at Sybase: Fighting spam with Mollom. I’ve been using Mollom (as a beta customer) for several months for one of the websites that I manage and the effectiveness of Mollom’s techniques are impressive.
  • Patrick Teglia: It's Best if You Don't See This. So, what makes Mollom different, from an end-user's point of view, than the other spam solutions I have tried (Akismet, Spam Karma, etc.)? Nothing, or rather, you have to do nothing, which is a whole lot less than what you do with the others. In fact, you don't have to deal with queues, moderation, constant attention and emails about all of the above. In other words you don't have to do anything. Oh, yeah, and the fact that it just plain works. I have yet to see a spam on my site.
  • Robin Wauters at Tijd.be: Mollom niet langer in beta, krijgt er een betalend broertje bij. (Dutch article)

Thanks for the positive feedback, and I'm glad you like our service.

MIT's Emerging Technologies Conference

Funny anecdote: I was waiting backstage to go on stage for my TR35 elevator pitch on Drupal at MIT's Emerging Technologies Conference, scheduled to be directly after Craig Mundie's keynote presentation. (Craig is one of the two people that replace Bill Gates now he is retired.) When he walked off the stage, he stopped and jokingly said "Good luck, I warmed up the audience for you.". He probably didn't know that I was going to talk about Open Source software. ;-)

Either way, it is a great testament for all of us who work on Drupal that MIT recognizes Drupal as an important emerging technology, and that we are now on the radar of even more great technology leaders. Rock on!

Cloud computing panel
From left to right: Dan Farber (Editor in Chief, CNET), David P. Anderson (Professor, University of Berkeley, SETI@home), Matthew Glotzbach (Product Management Director, Google), Parker Harris (Executive Vice President Technology, Salesforce.com), Mendel Rosenblum, (Chief Scientist and Cofounder, VMware), and Werner Vogels (Chief Technology Officer, Amazon).
Future of mobile panel
From left to right: Erika Jonietz (Senior Editor, Technology Review), Elizabeth Altman (Vice President of Strategy and Business Development, Motorola Mobile Devices), Kevin Lynch (Chief Technology Officer, Adobe Systems), Masaaki Maeda (President and CEO, DoCoMo), and Rich Miner (Group Manager, Mobile Platforms and Android, Google).
Craig Mundie
Craig Mundie, Microsoft's Chief Research and Strategy Officer.
Tr35
MIT
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

CMIS

In the spring of 2007, I first heard rumors about IBM and Microsoft working together on a specification that could change the content management landscape. Last week, EMC, IBM and Microsoft (with support from Oracle, SAP, Alfresco and OpenText) announced that they will be collaborating on CMIS, a standard to enable interoperability among content management systems. CMIS stands for Content Management Interoperability Services and promises improved content unification, better content aggregation and mashups, cross-silo federation, and better integration with desktop publishing.

Various people blogged about CMIS, including John Newton (CTO Alfresco), Craig Randall (software architect for EMC), Kas Thomas (analyst for CMSWatch), Brian Huff, Andrew Chapman (Senior Director EMC) and more. If you want to learn more, you can also check http://community.emc.com/community/labs/cmis for video presentations and additional technical materials.

It will probably take years before this becomes an actual standard and before it gets widely adopted, but it is interesting for at least two reasons:

  1. CMIS can use Atom in its REST model. This makes me want to push even harder for adding Atom as one of the default output formats for Drupal nodes (see also refactor node rendering and pluggable renders for JSON, XML, etc). Looks like Drupal was already heading in similar directions, so we might as well keep an eye on CMIS.
  2. The specification solves a real problem and the big boys are backing it. If EMC, IBM and Microsoft put code behind their words, CMIS might become part of Microsoft Office, SharePoint, Documentum, FileNet, etc. I'd love to see Microsoft Office users to be able to save documents into Drupal. Pushing for standards is always a good thing.

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