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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.
This week many of us at Acquia will be on an epic trip to the Caribbean.
Venture backed start-ups set aggressive goals. At Acquia, our goal for 2010 was to increase 2009 revenue by 250%. No small goal, no small feat. In the beginning of 2010, most people in the company were skeptical that we would make the goal. Jokingly, we set a "stretch goal": if we increased revenues by more than 450%, we'd do something crazy. We decided that we would fly the entire staff and their significant others to some place warm.
The passion, drive and energy on the team was unprecedented. People worked weekends and nights to beat our wildest dreams. Twelve months later, we not only beat our realistic goal, we beat the stretch goal!
This week we'll be flying everyone in the whole company who were with us in 2010, as well as their significant others (or someone of their choice) to Puerto Rico in the Caribbean. We'll be there from Thursday to Sunday this week to celebrate an incredible year. It is going to be an epic trip. Oh, how dizzying is the start-up life. Stay tuned for pictures!
Attracting more designers to Drupal is an important goal in our quest to create a well-rounded ecosystem and to attract more users to Drupal. While we made some great improvements in Drupal 7, we need to do more of the same with Drupal 8, and then some. After conversations with various Drupal designers and front-end developers, I decided that adding a new theme to Drupal 8 core is a great way to attract more designers, both as end-users of Drupal but hopefully also as contributors to the project.
I wanted to kick this off early in the Drupal 8 development cycle, and have asked Jeff Burnz to be the Initiative Owner for the Drupal 8 Design Initiative. This is the third official Drupal 8 initiative after the Configuration Management Initiative and the Web Services Initiative.
Jeff will guide the community through a design process with the goal of producing a beautiful theme that can be added to Drupal 8. The emphasis of this theme will be on design to show the world that Drupal can be used to create delightful experiences.
As important as a new theme for Drupal 8 is, so is the process of selecting the design and building the theme itself. Another goal of the the Design Initiative is to define and execute a new process for the selection and development of new core themes. Jeff has gathered a small team of Drupal UX-ers, designers and front-end developers to drive this process forward. You will be hearing a lot more about this in the coming weeks and months and your input will be sought -- this will be an entirely open process, with full community collaboration an important part of the process.
Last but not least, hopefully we can continue to improve Drupal's mark-up, CSS and theming capabilities along the way, as well as further educate the Drupal community about the importance of design.
Long story short, this should be a great initiative for Drupal 8. If all goes well, not only will we get a new theme for Drupal 8, but hopefully we'll raise the bar for design for Drupal in a significant way. If you want to learn more about this initiative, you can find additional information in Jeff's announcement blog post.
If you want to get involved please see this discussion on drupal.org.