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I recently extracted some data from the Drupal project's CVS and Git logs to see how the number of code contributors and total contributions have changed over time. If there was any doubt of our continual growth, the resulting charts demolish it.
Aggregated results from core and contributed modules.
Aggregated results from core and contributed modules.
As can be seen from the graphs, there is a pretty big spike in commit activity post-Git migration.
The Drupal project has a policy of fixing bugs in the development release (currently, Drupal 8) and then backporting to stable releases (currently, Drupal 7 and Drupal 6). This policy is important, because it helps to prevent regressions from being introduced in future versions of Drupal.
However, the size of our project and our community has reached the point where a single maintainer of the development release (currently, me) doesn't scale at times. I've been very focused on setting the vision for Drupal and launching the Drupal 8 initiative. As a result, we have a growing backlog of bug reports that needs to be looked at and that is holding back the stabilization process of Drupal 7.
To fix this, I am going to be granting Angela "webchick" Byron, my Drupal 7 co-maintainer, commit rights for bug fixes in Drupal 8, in order to help ease maintenance of Drupal 7 and speed along the stabilization process.
This is something that a number of prominent core developers have been asking for, and will allow me to keep my focus on setting the strategic direction for Drupal 8, appointing and working with Drupal 8 core initiative owners, and prioritizing incorporation of new features. The goal is to help Drupal to scale, and to increase the momentum of core development for both Drupal 7 and Drupal 8.
IKEA is everywhere. With over 300 megastores in dozens of countries, it's one of the world's most recognizable brands. Chances are you have some IKEA furniture in your home -- I certainly do.
With the help of Swedish Drupal consultancy NodeOne and the ad agency Futurniture, one of the company's websites, http://livethemma.ikea.se/play, is now on Drupal. This video-rich site makes heavy use of Apache Solr and Panels Everywhere; the theme is based on Precision, while Varnish and Memcached speeds everything up.
But don't think for a moment that Drupal's losing any ground in other areas. I was in NYC recently, the mecca of the media and entertainment industry, and Drupal is about to get really big there -- that's food for another blog post that I'm planning to write.
In the entertainment industry, comedian Chris Rock recently moved his website to Drupal and Acquia Dev Cloud with the help of SuperStar Media. We have a post with more details on the Acquia.com blog at http://acquia.com/blog/acquia-dev-cloud-rocks.
HTML5 is about to rock our world. There are books written about why that is the case, but simply put, it can provide a much better user experience on both desktop and mobile devices, and could lead to a convergence between native applications and the mobile web.
I believe in HTML5 enough that I wanted to make it one of the top 5 initiatives for Drupal 8; and switch Drupal's default doctype from XHTML to HTML5. This is the fifth official Drupal 8 initiative after the Configuration Management, Design, Web Services and Multilingual initiatives.
I have asked Jacine Luisi to be the Initiative Owner for the Drupal 8 HTML5 Initiative. Jacine is a prolific themer and contributor known to be a markup/CSS nut. I'd also like to recognize Jen Simmons for all her evangelism work on HTML5 in Drupal. I hope that work continues as it can feed into the HTML5 Core Initiative.
The way we'll approach this initiative is by starting off with some of the low-hanging fruit, and gradually work our way up to more advanced parts of the specification. In her announcement blog post, Jacine provides a plan for what that means.
While English is the lingua franca for business these days, only about five percent of the world's population speaks it as their first language, and more than 70 percent doesn't speak it at all. Even in Europe, where English is widely known, people value tools in their own language. I saw this first hand a few weeks ago when I was there to give some presentations about Drupal. Most of the questions I got were about localization (l10n) and internationalization (i18n). Language is both an accessibility issue and a user experience issue; strength in this area is crucial to Drupal's success. That's why I decided to make multilingual access an official initiative for Drupal 8, with Gábor Hojtsy as its Initiative Owner.
We've already come a long way with i18n and l10n in Drupal 7, but I know we can do much better. Creating Drupal sites in multiple languages still requires too many contributed modules, and the interface isn't intuitive enough. My dream is that Drupal becomes the indisputable choice for anyone who wants to build a multilingual site. With Gábor in charge, I have confidence we'll make another giant step forward with Drupal 8.
Experienced Drupalists will immediately recognize Gábor as a prolific developer on both Drupal's core and the 70-plus modules he's worked on since joining the Drupal community eight years ago. He is my co-maintainer for Drupal 6, a contributor to Drupal 7 with a focus on issues of internationalization and localization, a driving force behind localize.drupal.org and more. In short, Gábor is a big reason Drupal's multilanguage features are already incredibly robust, and I'm very pleased that he's agreed to continue this work.
Gábor's involvement brings the number of active Drupal 8 initiatives to four, joining Jeff Burnz (design), Greg Dunlap and David Strauss (configuration management), and Larry Garfield (web services). They all have outstanding Drupal résumes, and they're already doing great work to guide and focus the community's efforts to make Drupal 8 amazing.
Acquia already gives 15% community time to engineers to work on their Drupal community projects. Gábor is going to use this time and will be able to consult with Acquia's design and user experience team in specific questions.
There are two things that I need most; (a) a hair cut and (b) more time. A hair cut I just got last weekend so that leaves me with finding more time.
I need more time because things continue to grow: Acquia now has more than 100 people and a product portfolio with multiple product lines; we're growing the Drupal Association so we can organize more and bigger events and keep improving our website and infrastructure; I'm bootstrapping Drupal 8 development; and more.
While I have many people helping me, I need to continue to scale myself as things grow. There are things I want to do that I'm not currently doing, and there are things I need to do more of. Thus, as a next step in scaling my Acquia and Drupal related work, I'm establishing an "Office of the CTO" at Acquia.
My plan is to hire a select number of people into the Office of the CTO to help me with the many things I do; from working with the Drupal community, to helping with Acquia's product strategy, to researching Drupal competition, business development, and building proof-of-concepts and incubating new ideas. I'm looking for people that want to live part of my life, who can represent me and work directly with me on a day-to-day basis.
The past years I've focused a lot on Acquia's products and product strategy, as well as getting Drupal 7 released. Right now, I feel I need to focus on kicking off Drupal 8 development, streamlining the Drupal Association, and looking for new product ideas for Acquia. If I hire well, I expect to be able to develop both these interests and also develop the people in the office of the CTO. More details to follow.