Drupal 7 code freeze: status update and next steps

It was a close race to the finish -- or rather the beginning -- of the Drupal 7 code freeze process a couple of weeks ago. Now that we're in the middle of the code freeze, I wanted to update everyone on the current status of the freeze, and provide some guidance about where we go from here.

First and foremost, I know that both Angie (my Drupal 7 co-maintainer) and I want to express how excited we are about how everyone really pulled together as a team at the end, and who, by working together, got a lot of great stuff in before the deadline for the "code slush" passed. Of the exceptions we had previously noted (see slides for details), eight of the ten made it in. The two stated exceptions that didn't are (1) allowing user profiles to use the field API, and (2) the administrative overlay. Since the overlays patch got incredibly close, Angie and I are committed to having this as part of the final release. There is now a further exception for getting overlays in, and I encourage everyone to keep working on it as fast as possible.

Other than changes necessary for the overlay, and a few left-over patches that were ready by the 10/15 deadline, we have now entered the next phase of the code freeze: no more API changes and no additional features. At this point, we focus exclusively on usability, accessibility, and performance. (If a performance, accessibility, or usability patch requires an API change, webchick and I will make a decision on a patch by patch basis.) This current phase was originally said to be four weeks from API freeze, but we're extending it to six weeks instead. The new deadline is December 1st, instead of November 15th.

My guidance at this point: depending on your strengths, and how involved you've been with the various issues in the past, please devote some time to the overlay patch, to D7UX issues and Usability issues, to accessibility issues, or to performance-related issues. For the remaining five weeks, that's where the action is. Get involved now!

Do It With Drupal 2009

Lullabot is pleased to announce the second annual Do It With Drupal Seminar. This 3-day event is focused on the configuration, architecture, and processes behind building successful Drupal websites and communities.

The event is geared at attendees with a wide range of Drupal experience. For new site-builders and decision-makers, DIWD will offer a great introduction to Drupal and the Drupal community. For more experienced Drupalers, DIWD will offer a great chance to pick up tips and tricks straight from the module developers themselves and a chance to connect and socialize with other Drupal professionals.

The Do It With Drupal Seminar will feature the following highlights:

  • Examine and dissect successful Drupal sites
  • Discover new site-building strategies
  • Learn from Drupal's top developers
  • Hear from social media and social networking experts
  • Connect with other Drupal professionals
  • Expand your Drupal knowledge

This commercially produced event takes place at the Marriott Hotel in New Orleans' French Quarter, December 9, 10, 11, 2009 and features sessions by many "big names" from both inside and outside of the Drupal community (see list of current speaker list below).

The current list of speakers includes...

GoTwitr - Twitter Automation Site Built with Drupal

Whether it's for pleasure or business, or both, Twitter automation is a must for anyone who wants to use Twitter effectively. GoTwitr is a new site whose primary goal is to make it easy for people to grow and manage their Twitter communities.

New Book! Drupal 6 Search Engine Optimization

Drupal 6 Search Engine OptimizationDrupal 6 Search Engine Optimization is a new Drupal book authored by Ben Finklea and published by Packt Publishing. It’s a practical, step-by-step guide that takes the mystery out of Drupal search engine optimization (SEO) by showing you the tricks of today's top marketing pros to achieve top ranking in the search engines.

Packt Publishing is generously offering a 15% discount to any Drupal.org readers. To purchase Drupal 6 Search Engine Optimization with this discount, visit www.packtpub.com/drupal-6-search-engine-optimization-seo/book and provide the code DrupalSEO15 (case sensitive) at check out. Also, keep in mind that Packt contributes a portion of every book sale right back to Drupal!

Support Drupal by Voting in Packt Publishing's Open Source CMS Award Competition

2009 Open Source CMS AwardPackt Publishing, the company behind many well-known Drupal books, holds an annual Open Source CMS Award that recognizes open source content management platforms and their communities. In addition to bragging rights, winners also receive financial support for their projects in the form of cash prizes. Drupal has historically done very well in this competition, winning the overall award for the last two years running, as well as Best PHP Open Source Content Management System in last year's competition. This record of success is a tribute to the strength and passion of the Drupal community, as the awards are partially decided by popular vote.

In fact, Drupal has done so well in past years that the organizers of this year's award have retired it from eligibility for the overall award, instead pitting it against Joomla! in an all-new Hall of Fame category. In addition, they've created a Drupal Award to allow community members to vote fortheir favorite modules and themes. And if that wasn't enough, Drupal is also eligible for the Best Open Source PHP CMS award. All told, around $6,000 in prize money is at stake.

How can you help Drupal win again this year? Just go to Packt Publishing's Open Source CMS Award Web site before October 30 and cast your vote in the following categories:

And to provide a little extra incentive, three voters who go to the site and fill out a brief survey will also win a free iPod Touch.

Show your support for Drupal and vote today!

Install Profiles Packing on Drupal.org - Funding obtained, feedback welcome

Note: this has now been deployed on drupal.org. See the announcement post: Fully packaged Drupal distributions now deployed on drupal.org.

Since the 5.0 release, Drupal core has included an installer that supports installation profiles to setup and configure a site for a certain use-case. In theory this allows for people to create a better "out of the box" solution by configuring Drupal like a wiki, a conference, or a publishing site. If done right, installation profiles have the potential to help end-users get sites done faster and accelerate the adoption of Drupal. However, this promise has yet to be realized, and this core Drupal feature is currently being vastly underutilized.

As part of their grants from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Deproduction and Quiddities want to help realize the benefit that install profiles have to offer. The Drupal Association, with the support of individual and corporate sponsors, has put forth a matching grant to help see that it meets its mission of supporting the Drupal project. The potential to help address the usability problems of people trying to get started with Drupal is truly enormous.

Read on for details on how installation profiles work, why they are important, how packaging them will help, and the technical decisions behind the way the packaging scripts will work. Now is the chance to provide feedback which might make it into the code before it goes live by the end of November.

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