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Acquia raises $30 million series E

Today, we announced that Acquia raised $30 million, our single largest financing we have done to date. The investors include Investor Growth Capital, Goldman Sachs, Accolade Partners and our existing investors; North Bridge Venture Partners, Sigma Partners and Tenaya Capital. The new funding will bring Acquia’s total fund-raising to $68.5 million.

It's a lot of money but we're on a big mission. We believe that Drupal is uniquely positioned to provide a single, unified platform for content, community and commerce applications. We believe an Open Source platform like Drupal is the best way to keep up with the evolving web. We believe we can take on a large variety of proprietary competitors across different industries. We know it is true because we've seen Drupal invade enterprises and overturn their established web technologies. We believe Acquia is breaking new ground with our combination of cloud products and business models.

We've made good strides towards this mission. Drupal continues to grow faster than proprietary competitors. And as Acquia, we have grown to 250 employees and are well on our way to posting around $44 million in annual revenue this year on $60 million in bookings. Specifically, Acquia's revenue has grown at 250% CAGR over the past 3 years, making us the fastest growing software company in the US according to Inc. We added more than 100 employees in the past 12 months. We've seen some incredible growth across the board.

But we also believe we are just getting started. We are in the middle of a big technological and economic shift in how large organizations build and maintain web sites. We believe that Drupal and Acquia are poised to come out as the dominant player.

We'll use the additional funding to continue to go after our mission. We're set out to build a successful, high-margin, highly defensible software company. Expect to see us use the money to accelerate our sales and marketing efforts, to continue our international expansion across Europe and Asia Pacific, to grow each of our product teams, and even to build more products. Part of our funding is also to make Drupal more relevant and easier to use by digital marketers and site builders - and things like Project Spark are a critical element of this. As Acquia builds products, we're committed to contributing to the Drupal project - to drive adoption of Drupal and make it more competitive with proprietary CMS players.

Press coverage:

Drupal 8 feature freeze extended

Note: some of the information on this page is out of date.  For the latest information about how Drupal releases are managed, see http://drupal.org/core/release-cycle.

Since Drupal 8 opened for development in March of 2011, the Drupal core team has been hard at work, marching towards a feature freeze of December 1, 2012, just a few short days away!

In that time, we've managed to commit a number of compelling features to Drupal 8: revamped core internals based on the Symfony framework, a new configuration management system, HTML5 form elements and responsive markup, a mobile-friendly administrative toolbar, built-in support for translation, a Twig-based templating system, the Views module, and countless under-the-hood improvements.

The momentum within the Drupal core queue right now is truly staggering, as embodied by this graph:

Drupal core monthly patch volume

Momentum around Drupal core has increased from around 400 patch contributions per month in March of 2011 to over 4,000 in October of 2012.

There are still incredible features for Drupal 8 that are heavily in progress, but not quite there yet, including blocks and layouts, WYSIWYG and inline editing, several more "contributed module to core" projects such as Date, Pathauto, Profile2, and Entity Reference, native web services support, improvements to the entity and field systems, and much. I'm truly impressed by all of the great efforts I see happening in the queue right now.

Given these factors, I have decided -- along with my Drupal 8 co-maintainers Nathaniel Catchpole and Angela Byron -- to introduce a new phase into the Drupal core development cycle: "Feature Completion Phase", from December 1, 2012 until February 18, 2013 (to hit DrupalCon Sydney).

The purpose of this phase will be to provide dedicated time to tie up loose ends on any features that have either been committed already, or features still in the queue that have demonstrated substantial progress before December 1, but are not quite "there" yet. While hard-and-fast rules around "substantial progress" are difficult to define, generally it means patches should be well underway, with a recent patch posted in the past two weeks, ideally with several community reviews, tests passing or nearly passing, and a clear path to getting the feature completed within the timeframe of Feature Completion Phase. Almost-working patches posted for the first time at 11:59pm on November 30 unfortunately won't cut it. :-) Neither will brand new initiatives starting on December 2 or later. Though ultimately, it will be up to the core committers to decide on any "borderline" issues. We also understand that there is some ambiguity around what constitutes a "feature" or not, and will work on a separate blog post to discuss that.

The hope is that this new release phase will both give the folks working so hard on various major strategic initiatives a bit more time in which to complete their work, and also help narrow the scope of overall development efforts in order to help us focus more as a team as we begin preparing for Drupal 8's release.

Here is a diagram showing an overview of the overall Drupal core release cycle, and where Feature Completion Phase fits in. Initiative owners and others who have already achieved their Drupal 8 feature goals are encouraged to use Feature Completion Phase to get started on their Clean-Up Phase tasks early.

Release funnel

Phases of development, represented as a funnel gradually getting smaller as fewer and fewer patches are accepted. In Development Phase, anything goes: major new APIs, new features, etc. Feature Completion Phase allows for tying up loose ends on features that are already committed, or significantly in progress. Clean-Up Phase is for stabilization, better consistency, and completing conversions to new APIs. Polish Phase moves to focus on the upgrade path, performance optimization, and improving docs. Finally, during Release Phase, we crank on critical bugs until we release!

Of course, it's not possible to provide more time to complete Drupal 8 features without also impacting the remainder of the release timeline. Therefore, Code Freeze will be moved out 3 months as well to July 1, 2013. Drupal 8 will be released when there are no release-critical issues remaining.

I want to thank each and every one of Drupal 8's 960+ contributors for all of your astounding efforts so far. Keep up the great work!

Draft for Drupal Community Working Group charter

(This blog post is cross-posted in the governance issue queue; see http://drupal.org/node/1822314. I disabled the comments on this blog post so that we can centralize all feedback in one place.)

In the summer, we organized the very first Drupal Governance Sprint. We sat down and discussed how to evolve Drupal's governance structure to support the Drupal community's continued growth. The result of that meeting was a proposal on how to evolve our governance.

As a first step towards implementing this proposed governance structure, we set out to charter the "Community Working Group" (CWG), one of different groups we'd like to set up. Inspired by the Fedora Community Working Group, the mission of Drupal Community Working Group would be to maintain a friendly and welcoming community for the Drupal project on the different drupal.org websites, official IRC channels, and mailing lists. Specifically, the Community Working Group's purpose is to defuse tense situations, to keep discussions productive, and to act as a point of escalation and final arbitration for intractable conflicts within the Drupal community.

With the help of Randy Fay, Greg Dunlap, David Strauss, George DeMet, Donna Benjamin, Jeremy Thorson, Jennifer Hodgdon, Angela Byron and others, we drafted a charter for the Community Working Group. Before we officially launch this group, I would like to get your feedback. We'll iterate on the draft charter based on all your feedback. Thanks!


Community Working Group Charter (DRAFT)

Mission

The mission of the Community Working Group (CWG) is to maintain a friendly and welcoming community for the Drupal project on the different drupal.org websites, official IRC channels, and mailing lists.

The CWG acts as a group to defuse tense situations, to keep discussions productive, and to act as a point of escalation and final arbitration for intractable conflicts within the Drupal community.

Scope / duties / responsibilities

The goal of of the CWG is to facilitate discussion, provide conflict mediation assistance, and (if all else fails) punitive action against individuals/groups who are not able to resolve conflicts by themselves. Its scope extends to Drupal community members, regardless of medium (e.g. Drupal.org, IRC, Twitter) or location (e.g. local meetup, DrupalCon).

Specific duties of the CWG include:

  1. Facilitation: Enable community members to resolve their own conflicts in most cases, by maintaining conflict resolution process, the Drupal Code of Conduct, and other documentation.
  2. Mediation: When presented with a conflict that cannot be resolved using the conflict resolution process, the CWG may provide mediation resources either for individuals to resolve conflicts directly or with a mediator provided by the group.
  3. Arbitration: In the event that conflict mediation breaks down, the CWG is empowered to perform binding arbitration. For example, the group may enforce a temporary ban or “time out” on drupal.org websites, official IRC channels, and mailing lists if conflict resolution between community members fails.
  4. Escalation: Alerting law enforcement and/or other appropriate bodies in the case of extreme conflict that is beyond the CWG's ability to handle (e.g., harassment, stalking).

The following items are not within the scope of the CWG’s charter:

  • The CWG does not get involved with conflicts until members have tried and failed to resolve the conflicts themselves using the Community Conflict Resolution Process.
  • Barring extreme cases, the CWG does not respond to requests to ban someone. All conflicts must go through the conflict mediation process first.
  • Individual members of the CWG cannot arbitrate conflicts on their own unless empowered to do so by the group as a whole.
  • The CWG cannot make technical policy decisions (this is the responsibility of the Technical Working Group) or community-wide governance decisions (this is the responsibility of the Governance Working Group)
  • The CWG cannot change or extend its own charter; at present that authority lies solely with Dries Buytaert.

Process

To bring a matter before the CWG, send an e-mail to community@drupal.org. The CWG will respond with its decision within two weeks. The CWG may also evaluate requests and choose to redirect the involved parties to a more appropriate resolution method if a request has not gone through the conflict resolution process, or is deemed by the group to be frivolous.

The CWG aims to be as transparent as possible by documenting its decisions publicly when possible. In sensitive situations, however, the group may omit details out of respect for the privacy of involved individuals.

If any of the involved parties feels a decision of the CWG is unreasonable, they can escalate it to Dries Buytaert, who will review the decision and can choose to either uphold or change it. In the meantime, the decision of the CWG stands.

Only Dries Buytaert can make changes to the CWG's charter, and he can make changes at any time. At least once a year, the charter for the CWG meets with Dries Buytaert to review the charter.

Membership

For now, Dries Buytaert will appoint and remove members to this group as needed. In the future, the charter may be revised to adopt a more formal process.

Update on Drupal Association Executive Director search

In June, Jacob Redding, our Executive Director at the Drupal Association, decided that it was time for him to transition out of the Executive Director role to pursue new challenges. Hence, the Drupal Association Board of Directors started a search for a new Executive Director. We have had some very promising conversations, which we feel will lead to a strong placement that will strengthen and grow the Drupal Association and the community.

The Board understands the importance of the Executive Director search and is conducting it with diligence and thoroughness. Since that means there is a chance that the next Executive Director will not be secured by Jacob's departure, the Board has worked with the Association staff to implement a continuity and transition plan for the organization. For the next four months, Megan Sanicki, former Director of Sales & Business Development at the Drupal Association, and Jacob Redding will both serve as Managing Directors of the Association. Megan has already worked closely with Jacob over the last two years to build the Drupal Association and set direction. In the event that there is a gap of time between Executive Directors, Megan will be well prepared to bridge that gap and ensure operations continue without missing a beat. And, in this new role, she will focus on optimizing Drupal Association operations, so we will be positioned for the new Executive Director to start strong on his or her first day.

Please welcome Megan to her new position at the Drupal Association.

Views in Drupal 8

Views is the #1 most-used contributed module, installed on nearly 70% of all Drupal websites. The ability for non-developers to create listings for pages, blocks, calendars, photo galleries, and more through a web interface, complete with developer-friendly features such as caching, is one of the primary differentiating factors that makes Drupal shine.

While Views has excelled as a contributed module, bringing Views into Drupal core is now a clear strategic decision. Having Views in core will present many advantages:

  • Consistency: Many disparate, legacy solutions are currently used for data listings in core modules. Converting these listings to Views will both improve the Drupal developer experience and make it easier for site builders to customize their sites.
  • Learnability: First-time users of Drupal often don't realize what is possible with contributed modules. Having Views in core will mean that new site builders can more quickly understand Drupal's capabilities out-of-the-box.
  • Release cycle: The stability of Views has in the past been an indicator of when the community considers a release of Drupal "ready". Drupal 7 usage did not start to increase until a development version of Views was available for D7, and it did not pass Drupal 6 usage until Views was stable.
  • Contributor experience: Hundreds of contributed modules rely on the Views API, so these modules are blocked on Views for each release.
  • Stability: If Views is in core, changes that cause Views regressions will be core release blockers, and Views bugs will be treated as core bugs.

A grassroots Views in Drupal Core initiative (VDC) was announced back in May. In the meantime, the team has been very busy with getting the necessary pre-requisites into place. These include various dependencies from the CTools project, as well as a Drupal 8 port of the Views module in contrib.

In this post, I’d like to make Views in Core an official initiative for Drupal 8, alongside initiatives such as Configuration Management, Web Services, and Mobile.

Unlike previous initiatives, Views in Core has an initiative team, rather than a single initiative lead. That team consists of:

  • Earl Miles (merlinofchaos) -- Views creator, VDC chief architect
  • Daniel Wehner (dawehner) -- Views maintainer, VDC technical lead
  • Jess M. (xjm) -- top D8 core developer, VDC patch review & QA, contribution facilitator
  • Tim Plunkett (tim.plunkett) -- top D8 core developer and Views contributor, senior VDC developer
  • Damian Lee (damiankloip) -- top Views contributor, senior VDC developer

In addition to these people, over a dozen other developers have also contributed to the initiative with the team's coordination and guidance.

For more information about the Views in Core initiative, check out Earl's report on VDC. It provides a detailed roadmap on what needs to be done to get Views in Drupal 8, and information about how you can help.

How does it feel to sell your company?

I've acquired other companies, but the sale of Mollom to Acquia, was the first time I sold a company of my own. Being the seller felt quite different. It's a interesting mixture of satisfaction tinged with loss. During the negotiation phase you feel joy and excitement. Then you feel frustration as you go through the due diligence process. It's a lot of work. Eventually, the day you hand over the keys you feel like you sold your baby. At the same time, you feel a sense of achievement.

Selling Mollom was a life-changing moment. Not because it was a big financial transaction (it wasn't), but because it proves that I was able to bootstrap and grow a company, steer it to profitability, and successfully exit. It was a great experience, because I know that at some point, I'll have the desire to do that again.

Second Drupal Association community elections

Earlier this year, I posted about our first Drupal Association community elections. We introduced the community elections with the goal to make sure that the Drupal community is always well-represented on the Drupal Association's Board of Directors.

Well, the time has come to run our elections again. Nominations opened on 1 September and were open for two weeks. 18 people from the Drupal community put themselves forward as candidates. Please have a look at the election candidates. Voting will be open from September 24 to October 7 but now is the time to engage with the candidates.

Who can vote?

You are eligible to vote if you have an account on drupal.org, logged in during the past 12 months, and created your account before August 31 this year when the election was announced. Once voting opens, you can login at http://association.drupal.org and rank the candidates in order of preference.

How does voting work?

Voting uses the 'instant runoff' method powered by Drupal's own decisions module. For more information about this method of voting, watch this helpful YouTube video which explains it with post-it notes!

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