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Sep 12 2015
Sep 12

The "Prenote" is a time-honored DrupalCon tradition; it is the first session of the conference, directly before the Driesnote, and it is loads of fun. This year, everyone has a chance to participate in the Prenote, even if you're not coming to Barcelona. Here are 8.0.0 reasons how you can pitch in and make this Prenote totalmente excelente.

1.0.0, Come to the show: If you're attending DrupalCon Barcelona, come to the show! It's at 8:00am on Tuesday, Sept. 22, in the same room as the Driesnote, so you get good seats to see Dries. You also have a good motivation not to drink yourself into oblivion Monday night, and start the DrupalCon bright and early.

2.0.0, Watch the livestream: This is for those of you who won't be there in person. Thankfully, you can watch the live stream and be with us in spirit. 8:00am is 2:00am Eastern Standard, so it's just right for you night owls on the East Coast.

3.0.0, Make a video cameo: We wil be incorporating video volunteers into the show. Sign up below and indicate that you want to be a "video volunteer" and you'll get a set of instructions to follow to make a few very short, very easy videos that we can use. No et preocupis, és molt fàcil!

4.0.0, Be an offstage volunteer: We need a few people who will be at the session who can help us run some critical systems offstage. You get to be part of the show but you don't have to memorise any lines.

Onstage volunteers: We need people who can rehearse with us on Monday (and possibly Sunday) and actually be part of the show. We've got big roles and small roles, so if it sounds like fun, let us know by filling out the form below, and we'll do our best to work you in. In particular, we definitely need people who can be the following:

  • 5.0.0. Spanish language and cultural guides
  • 6.0.0. Catalan language and cultural guides
  • 7.0.0. Musicians and dancers of all sorts

8.0.0. Send us photos of yourself:
That's right, we're going to make a cool photo montage that has special meaning in the show, and you can be part of it by taking pictures of yourselves in these poses and sending them to us. Detailed instructions are below, but let's just say that it's significant that this is point 8.0.0. =)

Photo instructions: Take all four photos with a white wall behind you, ideally as devoid of visual features as possible.

  • Photo 1: Stand with your left arm to the wall, look forward (not at the camera), cupping your hands together, as if you're expecting a present from Dries. Who knows.... maybe you are?
  • Photo 2: Stand with your left side to the wall, look forward (not at the camera). Right leg forward, left leg back, bend at the knees. Right arm forward, fist facing up. Left arm back fist facing down.

Here are the poses for Photos 1 & 2.

  • Photo 3: Stand with your left side to the wall, look forward (not at the camera). Put both arms forward and git push. Important, make sure to stick out your bum towards the rear!
  • Photo 4: Stand with your left side to the wall, look at the camera and grin like a fool. In a half squat, pump both fists, elbows in at your sides, and think Drupal 8.0.0. ROCKS!.

Here are the poses for Photos 3 & 4.

Oct 05 2014
Oct 05

Rob, Jam, and guests tell the history of DrupalCon, from Antwerp to Amsterdam, from the point of view of those whose lives were changed by them. This video includes "Oh, and one time, at Drupal Camp", "The Drupal 8 Bug Elimination Challenge", a guest appearance by Captain Drupal, a performance of "The Drupal Song", a re-enactment of the genesis of Acquia, a "Never Marry Me" proposal, and a stunning performance of "Memories" by Bryn and Campbell Vertesi.

It also concludes with the inaugural instance of "Selfieception", the culmination of the underlying metaphor behind this show. Inspired by Daniel Kahneman's TED Talk about "the future as anticipated memories", Rob and Jam set about to create a show that ties our collective experience to "the experiencing self that lives in the present, the remembering self that maintains the story of your life", and to use "storytelling as a function of what we remember from our experiences".

As we tell the stories of our DrupalCons, and how they defined us (remembering self), we engage in a dialog with the audience, who has to pay close attention to capture every moment (experiencing self), as indeed we'll have to do through the coming days of sessions, meetings, chance encounters, and business opportunities. But in a tip-of-the-hat to our remembering selves, we decide to take selfies to remember the moment by. However, to frame the shot in an optimal way, we must all turn our backs on each other, and thus the conflict between experiencing self and remembering self is embodied: the remembering self demands that the experiencing self sacrifices the performer-audience dialog, and turns the back to the present in anticipation of a future memory.

Thanks to the Drupal Association for supporting our ongoing tradition of the DrupalCon Prenote, thanks to the 1,500 people who got out of bed to be at our show at 8:00 in the morning, and thanks to everyone who stood up to tell their story.

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Oct 01 2014
Oct 01

Submitted by Robert Douglass

on Wed, 10/01/2014 - 05:31

In the style of the ALS Ice Bucket challenge, we'll lick those bugs, one at a time! The three people I nominate to also take the challenge are Tom Erickson, Dries Buytaert, and Josh Koenig. You've got 24 hours!

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Prior to the DrupalCon Amsterdam Prenote (where this video was shown), I had captured a few reactions from some of my friends (a sort of market testing, if you will).

Jam and friends react.

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Shannon reacts.

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Mike reacts.

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Sep 24 2014
Sep 24

Campbell Vertesi and Adam Juran are at the top of their game when it comes to coding and theming Drupal. They're also deeply involved in and shaped by their study of martial arts. That's what makes this DrupalCon trailer so very good: they make an analogy for working with Drupal that pits the coder vs the themer, and it becomes the basis of their whole DrupalCon session. This trailer (which is meant to get butts into seats next week in Amsterdam), is a tribute to B-grade Kung Fu movies, and is true to Drupal's tradition of approaching technology with a good dose of levity and humor. I, for one, really enjoyed working with Campbell and Adam while shooting this, and am looking forward to their session.

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Sep 06 2014
Sep 06

DrupalCon is the heart and soul of the Drupal Community. Thousands of us have attended over the past 9 years. Many of us, myself included, have had life-changing experiences at DrupalCon. How did DrupalCon change your life? Now is the time to share your story with thousands of your closest friends! ... or the Drupal community.

Collage of DrupalCon related pictures

What is this for? It's for the "Prenote" session at DrupalCon Amsterdam. Every DrupalCon, Jam and I collaborate to show some aspect of the Drupal experience through humor, drama, song, cheesy costumes, and famous Drupal guest stars. We'd like to include some of these stories in Amsterdam!

Thanks for sharing!

Aug 25 2014
Aug 25

Submitted by Robert Douglass

on Mon, 08/25/2014 - 18:23

Baris Wanschers called me out, and here it is, my ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.

Thank you to the Drupal Community for 10 years of prosperity: I hope you take this challenge too, and find it in your heart to give to ALSA.org or a charitable organizations of your choice.

This video is dedicated to Aaron Winborn. Aaron's family could also use your donations, as he is suffering from ALS.

Finally, I expect to see Dries Buytaert, Kieran Lal, and Jeffrey "jam" McGuire complete this challenge within 24 hours!

[embedded content]

Feb 05 2013
Feb 05

Our mission at Commerce Guys is that you succeed in eCommerce using Drupal. Over the past year and a half since we released Drupal Commerce 1.0, we've seen many successful Commerce sites launched, and it has become the most popular platform for doing eCommerce with Drupal. With over 400 new Commerce sites coming online every week, we know that there are a lot of people trying Commerce for the first time. The natural places for newcomers to start looking for help are the Drupal.org issue queues, and DrupalCommerce.org - the community site for Drupal Commerce. We've also seen a lot of people seeking help with Commerce on Facebook, Reddit, LinkedIn, Quora, Stack Overflow, and many other sites. Unfortunately, many of the questions asked on those sites go unanswered, which led us to believe that there should be one place to get guaranteed help.

Now there is a place to go to get developer help from experts whenever you run into a Drupal Commerce question that has you stuck. Turbo Tickets gives you a guaranteed response and a meaningful answer from the people who created Drupal Commerce. It costs around $100 per ticket (varies by currency and location), and if we don't think we can give you a good answer to your question we'll give you your money back.

This is a perfect solution to get you past the handful of bumps in the road that you might run into while developing your Commerce Site. For more comprehensive enterprise support that covers all of your Drupal and Drupal Commerce needs, both for development and production sites, see our joint offering with Acquia.

Have a Drupal Commerce question? Try Turbo Tickets now!

Try a Turbo Ticket now!

Dec 21 2012
Dec 21

This is the final installation in a four-part series on building a sustainable Drupal distribution using Commerce Kickstart 2.0 as an example. Also see Part 1Part 2, and Part 3 in the series.

A sustainable distribution needs a hosting solution that is capable of running it optimally, and someone to call for support when you need help. Finding a host that is either specialized in Drupal (or better yet, the particular distribution you're using), is highly recommended. If merchants were to have a hard time deploying or scaling their Commerce Kickstart stores, the distribution won't succeed.

That is why Commerce Guys will be offering a Commerce specific Platform-as-a-Service solution in 2013. Sign up for a beta invite if you want to be among the first to try it.


Building a hosting platform with specific software in mind has some distinct advantages:

  • Commerce Platform will have all of the specific libraries and software versions recommended for running Drupal Commerce and Commerce Kickstart.
  • Commerce Platform will have the appropriate hardware and memory resources that the software is known to need.
  • There will be benchmarks against the distribution to know exactly what performance is possible with each resource level.
  • Commerce Platform will be able to offer direct integration with 3rd party tools that are important to a specific distribution or use case. For example, special eCommerce requirements around SSL certificates and transactional email can be provided for.
  • Everybody needs the ability to scale, either as a site grows or in response to seasonal or event driven demand. Commerce Platform has the underlying power of cloud technologies to scale nearly infinitely.

Excellent developer experience

As Drupal developers ourselves, Commerce Guys knows a lot about how to develop and launch a Commerce Kickstart based store. We understand how teams will branch the code to work on specific features or test a particular upgrade. We know what steps it takes to prepare an incremental deployment on a live site.

The success of a Drupal distribution like Commerce Kickstart depends greatly on how well these tools work. Merchants just want to run their store. The more the development environment does for them the better. With Commerce Platform we're focusing heavily on the developer experience, using Commerce Kickstart and its needs as the basis for everything we do.

Kickstart as a benchmark

Performance and scalability are also critical to merchants. You don't want your potential customers to get frustrated and abandon checkout just because the website is taking a long time to respond. That's why Commerce Guys is benchmarking Commerce Platform against Kickstart. We'll be able to tell you exactly how many Commerce Kickstart transactions you should expect to handle at each service level we offer. With that information, merchants can plan for the busiest days of the year in peace, leaving the guesswork needed with other hosts out of the equation.

Acquia Dev Cloud, Pantheon, and the Microsoft Web Gallery

Of course there are other great places to host Commerce Kickstart. Our friends at Microsoft, Pantheon, and Acquia all have excellent cloud hosting offerings, and each will soon have Kickstart 2.0 ready as a 1-click deployment. We suggest you try them out while you're waiting for Commerce Platform to become available next year.

Enterprise support

No hosting solution will solve all of the challenges or answer all of the questions that a merchant will have while deploying and running their store. That is why it is important to secure the availability of expert help and support to get you through the tough decisions and problem solving that may come up. Commerce Guys offers Enterprise Support in conjunction with Acquia, thus covering every aspect of Drupal + Drupal Commerce. Having Acquia and Commerce Guys helping you out will guarantee that you get online faster and avoid interruptions to your selling once you’re online.


Drupal distributions often have specific and demanding requirements when it comes to web hosting. You're better off choosing a host that specializes in your distribution, or at least in hosting Drupal. Starting in 2013, Commerce Platform will be available for hosting Drupal Commerce and the Commerce Kickstart distribution.

Dec 19 2012
Dec 19

This is the third in a four-part series on building a sustainable Drupal distribution using Commerce Kickstart 2.0 as an example. Also see Part 1 and Part 2 in the series.

A sustainable Drupal distribution implies an ongoing relationship between the software vendor and the site owner. Software updates, bug fixes, and security patches represent the bare minimum contact. However, the relationship can and should go deeper. The world of eCommerce is constantly changing, with factors like mobile, multi-channel, and social commerce introducing new opportunities and challenges at a blazing pace. The only constant is change, and traditional retailers are not the only ones left scrambling to keep up.

With this background, Commerce Guys is in a unique position to shine a light on important trends and bring clarity to complicated challenges. From our work with eCommerce merchants around the world we have a wealth of knowledge to share with people building and running their online stores.

But it's not only Commerce Guys who have knowledge to offer. Every add-on in the Commerce Marketplace has a smart team of experts behind it who are adept at solving one type of eCommerce problem. Our Technical Partners are responsible for some of the most innovative and interesting eCommerce tools, and our Integration Partners build fantastic commerce websites. These partners have a wealth of knowledge and information to share.

This body of knowledge is currently on offer in a number of ways, usually outside of the Commerce Kickstart distribution (though Kickstart does have online help and a Getting Started Guide):

But how does a Kickstart site owner stay up-to-date with this information once Kickstart has been downloaded and installed? One way is to sign up for the Commerce Guys newsletter. Are there other ways? Yes, and I'll describe them in a moment.

Making Kickstart better

Merchants aren't the only ones who need knowledge, however. The people writing the software need to know things, too. How are merchants using the software? Are some features more popular than others? Do merchants seem to get stuck on any critical part of the configuration? These are hard questions to answer if your software is a Drupal distribution. With the right information about how Commerce Kickstart is being used, Commerce Guys can work in a very focused way to make it even better. Everyone benefits from this: customers shop on a better store, merchants reach a wider audience, and Drupal Commerce is adopted by more and more people, benefitting Commerce Guys and its Partners.

Getting the right information, where you need it, when you need it

But how to actually get that information? And how to be more effective at communication with merchants about solutions, tips and tricks, interesting upcoming events, newly written case studies, and the latest training videos?

The answer to these questions is the upcoming content network that Commerce Guys intends to launch with direct integration into Commerce Kickstart. As a merchant/site-owner uses Kickstart, we will provide new and helpful content in the administration areas of the site. This content is intended to be in the right place at the right time to help you make great eCommerce websites.

For example, while you're installing Kickstart, there are 2-4 minutes where you're staring at a progress bar on a white screen. That's the right time to show information about first steps to take and how to solve important upcoming problems like uploading your products or finding an email provider with good reputation tools.

In the Getting Started Guide and Help sections we can update the sections that list extensions not necessarily packaged in Kickstart. For example, if a new discounts or stock management module is released, you may want to try it out.

Or, take the case of visiting the shipping solution configuration page. Assuming no shipping providers are configured, that's the right place and time to show a list of available integrated services, including any special offers that they might have at that moment.

Finally, you might be interested to know when there are Drupal or Drupal Commerce events happening, or when a new marketing tool is available so you can experiment with it and see if it improves your bottom line in sales.

The mechanism that we have in mind for this is a dynamic system for pushing content, such as Google's DFP for small business (this system was also chosen by Drupal.org). The content that we aim to provide should be helpful, timely, and not interrupt your work or devalue the overall software experience. Furthermore, the whole thing is going to be packaged into one module that can be turned off if you don't need it.

In addition to the value that this content will bring to merchants, Commerce Guys will be able to answer some of those tough questions about how Kickstart is being used, and thus work in a focused way to make it even better.


Establishing a strong relationship between the software vendor and the merchants who use the product is an important step in making Commerce Kickstart a sustainable distribution. With the right knowledge at the right time, we can help you succeed with online sales, and you can help us succeed in building world-class eCommerce software.

Dec 18 2012
Dec 18

This is the second in a four-part series on building a sustainable Drupal distribution using Commerce Kickstart 2.0 as an example.

A sustainable distribution is one that displays the following software attributes: High quality, Extensible, Well Maintained, and Evolving.

Furthermore, for an eCommerce distribution, all of the stakeholders need to benefit: the customers, the merchant (site-owner), the primary software vendor, secondary software vendors.

(See yesterday’s post describing the main criteria to look for when evaluating a distribution.)

In this article I show how Commerce Kickstart 2.0 is sustainable for all of the parties involved.

Commerce Guys is the software vendor that writes and maintains Drupal Commerce and Commerce Kickstart. For our work on this software to be sustainable, we’ve had to find ways to generate revenue from the distribution, otherwise we wouldn’t be able to keep investing in it. 

The following revenue models support the development of Commerce Kickstart while also leading to software that has all of the traits of a sustainable distribution. Each one has the goal of providing you with the software you need when choosing Commerce Kickstart.

1. The Commerce Marketplace and Technical Partner Program

The heart of the commercial model of Kickstart is the Commerce Marketplace. It's a growing set of resources that help merchants build great eCommerce experiences. In addition to learning materials, Marketplace is home to the add-ons from our Technical Partners. Nearly every eCommerce site needs to integrate with service providers for payment, shipping and fulfillment, email marketing, analytics, and compliance tools (tax calculation, PCI compliance).

Commerce Guys is in the process of building a repository of the best partners in each of these categories and making the modules directly accessible from within Kickstart. Early adopters of this program include Jirafe, Skrill, Payleap, Yottaa, and HostedPCI (coming soon) with many more are in the pipeline. This helps the various stakeholders in the following ways:

Merchants benefit from easy access to the best-of-breed solutions. This will eventually include the ability to download and install the modules directly into Kickstart, including instant product activation and configuration. Imagine being able to configure your payment gateway in just a few clicks instead of the days to weeks that it typically takes now.

Merchants may also benefit from special deals offered by our Technical Partners. For example, some partners are willing to lower their prices for Drupal Commerce users or offer other incentives that aren’t publicly available.

Customers benefit by shopping from superior eCommerce sites. For example, many site owners don't know how important it is for eCommerce to have a transactional email provider that protects sender reputation. They learn the hard way that sales and conversions suffer when important emails end up in their customers' spam boxes. The Commerce Marketplace not only provides solutions to such common problems, it also serves to educate merchants about available tools, helping them avoid pitfalls and provide the best customer experience possible.

Commerce Guys benefit from the partnerships formed with third party solution providers by engaging in affiliate and reseller relationships that let us benefit from the adoption by our merchants. We also offer module development and maintenance services to these partners so they can quickly get their Drupal Commerce integration module written by the experts and listed on the Marketplace. We provide bug and security fix updates to the modules as well as major Drupal version upgrades. In short, we help our partners address the Drupal Commerce market.

Our Technology Partners benefit by knowing that their integration module is well written and well maintained. They are instantly ready to do business with the more than 21,000 merchants who have already chosen Drupal Commerce.

2. Custom Module Development

Beyond the Marketplace and the Technical Partner Program, Commerce Guys sustains the development of Commerce Kickstart by providing custom module development. If a merchant is building an eCommerce site and needs a special commerce feature or integration with ERP/CRM/BI software, Commerce Guys is happy to build those special components or modules. As often as possible we look for ways to contribute those components back to the community to strengthen the Drupal Commerce software platform, paving the way for even further investment from others in the future.

3. Kickstart Mobile Application

We've also invested in a base mobile application for iOS and Android that integrates out-of-the-box with Commerce Kickstart. It provides a full catalogue, search, cart, and purchase workflow. If you have a Commerce Kickstart site and want a dedicated mobile application for your customers, we've got the solution for you. Here are some screenshots, contact us if you need something similar.



Through Commerce Marketplace and a Technical Partner Program, Commerce Guys has taken steps to guarantee that Commerce Kickstart development is sustainable. This is good for merchants and their customers as well as for Commerce Guys and our Partners. By offering custom component and mobile application development services, Commerce Guys makes sure that you can undertake the most ambitious projects with Commerce Kickstart knowing all of the software needed for success is available, both now and in the future.

Dec 17 2012
Dec 17

This is Part 1 of a four-part blog series discussing the sustainability of Drupal distributions and the release of Commerce Kickstart 2.0.

A great Drupal distribution can save you time and money and open new markets to Drupal. Open Atrium, Drupal Commons, and Commerce Kickstart are all examples of distributions that shifted the way that people use Drupal (see the video tour of Kickstart).

When you choose a distribution as a starting point for your development project, it is wise to look at how sustainable that distribution is. What are the chances of it being actively developed in 1 year? In 3 years? Is it likely that there will be an upgrade opportunity to the next Drupal version? Will the distribution vendor be helpful in managing bug fixes and security releases? Will new features become available that might interest you? Can you find commercial support, consulting, and development should you need it?

In other words, is the distribution a sustainable distribution? Use these criteria to determine whether a specific distribution is sustainable:

Software attributes:

  • High quality: The architecture should be sound, the code well written. It should be as highly polished and bug-free as possible.
  • Extensible: The distribution should accelerate your progress to your goal, but it shouldn't lock you into one way of doing things or get in your way if you dare to venture outside of the initial design goals.
  • Well Maintained: The distribution will need bug fixes, security updates, and should be relatively future-safe for when new versions of Drupal are released.
  • Evolving: You should be able to look forward to new features and capabilities in the future as the distribution team continues to improve the product.

Commercial attributes:

A great Drupal distribution is treated as its own software product. Software products take a lot of effort and resources to develop. They also require a central leader, whether this is an individual, a group, or a company, to set the vision, perform product and project management, and take care of the evolution of the product.

Commerce Guys has developed Commerce Kickstart from the ground up to be sustainable. As a piece of eCommerce software, Kickstart is clearly intended for commercial purposes, and we've taken care to address the four major stakeholders who are typically involved in any eCommerce deployment:

  • The customers
  • The merchant (site owner)
  • The primary software vendor (Commerce Guys)
  • Secondary software vendors (Payment, shipping, marketing, taxes, email, etc.)

This is the first post in a blog series that will examine the newly released Commerce Kickstart 2.0 and discuss the many ways that sustainability is built in by design. The series is divided into three subsequent parts. Each part will not only show one way in which the Commerce Kickstart 2.0 distribution is sustainable, it will also show how the four stakeholders (customer, merchant, vendor, partners) in an eCommerce site benefit. Here is the series:

1. Sustainable Drupal Distributions (this post)

This post covers:

  • The Commerce Marketplace and Technical Partner Program
  • Custom Module Development
  • The Kickstart Mobile Application

This post covers:

  • Talking with the Commerce Guys
  • Resources such as consulting, training, and case studies
  • Making Kickstart better
  • Getting the right information, where you need it, when you need it

This post covers:

  • Commerce Platform - scalable hosting for Drupal Commerce
  • Excellent developer experience
  • Using Kickstart as a benchmark
  • Other solutions, such as Acquia Dev Cloud, Pantheon, and the Microsoft Web Gallery
Aug 16 2012
Aug 16

©2012 Commerce Guys. All Rights Reserved.

Aug 10 2012
Aug 10

We’ve been writing a lot about Commerce Kickstart 2, because so much is happening. In June, Bojan laid out most of the big features we planned, then a month later I talked about why it’s great for site builders. Commerce Kickstart product page Today we released Beta 1: You can get 7.x-2.0-beta1 from the list of releases on the Commerce Kickstart project page, or see a full list of packaging options and release notes from the release page. With DrupalCon Munich only about ten days away, I want you to know how much has happened in the last month... and will drop a few hints about what we’ll have at DrupalCon.

Commerce Kickstart is off to a running start

But first, some statistics. Even though it’s only been available in -dev and -alpha versions, over 250 sites are using Commerce Kickstart 2 already. To me, that’s a sign that we’re on to something big. In addition, we’ve made over 450 commits to the project, and closed over 250 issues since starting work on the 2.x branch. So what’s changed? First, we’ve further streamlined the installation process so you can make a lot of decisions up front, and ultimately save time building stores. Take a look: Commerce Kickstart Installation

It’s looking better and better

Mike Anello raved about it on the latest DrupalEasy podcast, saying “I was blown away... It's probably the nicest installer I've seen on a Drupal distribution to date”. The installer is just one example of user interface changes to make Drupal Commerce sites better for both customers and administrators. Here’s another: The Orders page now lets you search on a variety of criteria, and perform bulk operations on the found set. Commerce Kickstart Order Management Along those lines, we’ve engaged Jake Strawn to create a new Drupal Commerce-optimized base theme that is powered by his responsive Omega theme. The result is a site that looks as good (and works as well) on mobile devices as it does on a traditional computer. Commerce Kickstart on iPhone

At DrupalCon...

This is an incredibly busy time for us. First, we’re hoping to have a Release Candidate (RC) available at DrupalCon... and I think we’ll make it. Second, we’re going to announce something that means opportunity to everyone who develops sites using Commerce Kickstart, or who’s created a service or technology that works well with it. We’ll be actively seeking partners, so be sure to stop by the booth and see what we have. I look forward to seeing you there!

Jul 15 2012
Jul 15

©2012 Commerce Guys. All Rights Reserved.

Jul 10 2010
Jul 10

Drupal’s multilingual capabilities are essential to it’s success. Most of the people who use Drupal need to do so in a language other than English. While Drupal offers great capabilities for internationalization and localization, it’s a bit of work to set up, and several key concepts come into play. Here are the sessions for DrupalCon Copenhagen that deal with language, i18n, and l10n. It’s appropriate that the European DrupalCon have a strong focus on these topics. Please go vote for them!

Jul 07 2010
Jul 07

Drupal is in love with Solr, as can be seen by the absolutely great session proposals that have been submitted for DrupalCon Copenhagen, in August. If you want to see a healthy dose of search goodness happening in Denmark, here are the links to go vote.

    Dec 13 2009
    Dec 13

    Edit: I totally had the dates wrong for the Drupal Developer Days in Munich - they’re May 5-7 :P

    The Drupal-Initiative e.V. is a German non-profit organization dedicated to driving the growth of Drupal in German speaking countries. Yesterday was an important milestone for this group as we had our first ever planning sprint that was open to the public. The sprint was in Essen, in a neat location called the Unperfekthaus (the imperfect house), and we had 17 people from across Germany who came to help us plan, divide the work, take on responsibility, and breathe life into an organization which has until this point been the work of 5-6 individuals.

    The history of the Drupal-Initiative starts in mid 2008 when members of the Cologne-Bonn Drupal Users Group decided to host a DrupalCamp in Cologne. We knew that we’d need some structures in place, such as a bank account, a website, and so forth. We also had our eyes on a bid to host the international DrupalCon in Germany at some point, so we thought that building a strong, formal entity, such as a non-profit organization, was the best way to achieve these goals.

    Some months later, in January, 2009, we hosted DrupalCamp Cologne which saw over 200 people show up - a great success. Shortly after that we actually finished the legal proceedings, including becoming an e.V. (eingetragener Verein), and securing a license from Dries Buytaert to use the word “Drupal” in our name. Eventually we launched a membership program and have been quietly growing, with both individual and corporate memberships, ever since.

    The planning sprint in Essen was the first time that we’d set out to involve our current members beyond the founding core, and to raise the level of awareness about what we do, and most importantly, how people can help. Some of the results of the sprint include:

    1. We’re going to redesign the hastily created Drupal-Initiative.de website. We have a “Feuerwehr” team (Fire department) to attack the most obvious and easily fixed problems, and a long term team to do a proper needs assessment, design, and implementation of a comprehensive site.
    2. We’re going to be involved in more national events. There are two events immediately on the horizon: DrupalCamp Essen in February 2010, and Drupal Developer Days Munich, in May 2010. Both of these events are now officially Drupal-Initiative events, which shows an unprecedented amount of cooperation amongst the German Drupal community.
    3. We’re going to organize an effort to write a series of articles for the TN3 magazine to promote the launch of Drupal 7.
    4. We’re going to start sending newsletter issues about Drupal and Drupal-Initiative activities. Sign up here if you’d like to get these.
    5. We’re going to launch a site WarumDrupal.de (Why Drupal?) which will, similar to Drupal.com, be a shiny landing page and dispatcher for people looking for places to start.
    6. We’re in the process of moving our sites and infrastructure from private servers to a server rented by the Drupal-Initiative, and to build a redundant and empowered team of sysadmins and developers who can maintain our current and future sites in a structured and sustainable way.
    7. If Berlin is selected to host DrupalCon 2011, the Drupal-Initiative and it’s members will likely have a large role to play. We’re ready!

    Special thanks to Daniel Niehaus for taking the lead with organizing the sprint. When you meet Daniel, make sure to ask him why his nickname is Jack Plain - it’s a worthy story =)

    Nov 21 2009
    Nov 21

    Drush and Drush Make belong in every Drupal developer's toolkit. This is a make file that will build the following:

    1. Drupal 6.14 (or latest)
    2. ApacheSolr module
    3. Acquia Connector module (from Drupal.org)

    This demonstrates four different methods for downloading code, from three different sources.

    To execute, install Drush, install Drush Make, then run the attached file like this:

    drush make search.make

    To specify an output directory, add the path as an extra parameter:

    drush make search.make /var/log/www

    To see what's going on, use the -v flag for verbose output:

    drush -v make search.make

    Here's the content of the make file:

    core = "6.x" 
    projects[] = "drupal" 
    projects[] = "acquia_connector"
    projects[apachesolr][download][type] = "cvs"
    projects[apachesolr][download][module] = "contributions/modules/apachesolr"
    projects[apachesolr][download][revision] = "DRUPAL-6--2"
    projects[acquia_search][type] = "module"
    projects[acquia_search][download][type] = "svn"
    projects[acquia_search][download][url] = "https://svn.acquia.com/drupal/branches/1.x-6.x/modules/acquia/acquia_search/"
    libraries[SolrPhpClient][download][type] = "get"
    libraries[SolrPhpClient][download][url] = "http://solr-php-client.googlecode.com/files/SolrPhpClient.r22.2009-11-09.tgz"
    libraries[SolrPhpClient][destination] = "modules/apachesolr"
    AttachmentSize 692 bytes
    Sep 24 2009
    Sep 24

    Today was a big milestone for the Drupal Association and for the future of European DrupalCons. Over 70 people met in IRC for over two hours to discuss and ratify two documents which lay out the process by which we will select DrupalCon locations going forward, and how the production teams to run DrupalCon will be managed. These are the two documents:

    If you belong to a local group somewhere in Europe and you want to see DrupalCon happen in your city, region, or country, read both of these documents carefully. The time for nominating locations is now open, you can read the exact details of how it is done via the links provided above. Nominations must be submitted before October 1. That means there are only six full days to work on proposals. Nominations are being taken for both 2010 and 2011. The nominations will be evaluated, as per the plans in the documents, by October 15. They then get submitted to the Drupal Association Board of Directors, who have to meet and ratify the suggestions.

    The important point in all of this is the level of openness and transparancy that is being brought to the system. The Drupal Association is working hard to involve the community in decisions, and to have well defined proceses for making important decisions, like where DrupalCon is held. Today we had a great discourse, thoroughly discussed all of the points that were important to people, and came to nearly unanimous agreements about how things will be done. That is what makes Drupal a nice community to live in.

    Sep 22 2009
    Sep 22

    Help us decide how DrupalCons in Europe are planned and produced. The draft organizational document is open for feedback and discussion. We’re having an IRC meeting for live discussion in #drupalcon on either Wednesday Sept. 23 or Thursday Sept. 24. If you want to attend please note your availability so that we can schedule the best time for the most people.

    Sep 14 2009
    Sep 14

    Among the notable celebrities to appear at DrupalCon Paris was the one and only Nice Lobster. The epic tale of DrupalLobsterCon has been recorded and told graphically by Jam (aka HornCologne), and is included below for your amusement.

    Aug 18 2009
    Aug 18

    Some time ago I wrote an article that looks deeply at the Drupal path system and shows how easy it is for new developers to hook into a running Drupal system. I explore the idea that this openness and extensibility is a key factor in winning large numbers of developers to work on Drupal, and that this is one of the reasons the project is succeeding. The paper is now available at Acquia, beautifully formatted as a technical whitepaper. I’m very happy with this article and am excited to finally have it available. It’s well worth the short survey you’ll be asked to complete before you can download.

    Jul 24 2009
    Jul 24

    The Drupal Initiative* and the DrupalCon Paris team are offering three scholarships to DrupalCon in September. Applications are open to Germans who are willing to lend a hand with running the show during the conference. We’ll be there as the “Drupal Initiative Team” to show support for the great work being done, and to help DrupalCon rock a little bit more. The scholarships include a complimentary entry ticket for all 5 days of the conference, and a 50 Euro stipend to help offset travel costs. Apply here by the end of the day, August 2nd.

    *The Drupal Initiative, e.V., is Germany’s non-profit organization dedicated to the growth of Drupal in Germany.

    Jul 17 2009
    Jul 17

    If you are interested in being the branch maintainer for the Apache Solr project, please contact me. There are a number of open issues and a proper 1.0 version has never been released. The usage statistics show 87 sites depend on the D5 version of the module. The module is a significant fork from the DRUPAL-6 branch.

    About Drupal Sun

    Drupal Sun is an Evolving Web project. It allows you to:

    • Do full-text search on all the articles in Drupal Planet (thanks to Apache Solr)
    • Facet based on tags, author, or feed
    • Flip through articles quickly (with j/k or arrow keys) to find what you're interested in
    • View the entire article text inline, or in the context of the site where it was created

    See the blog post at Evolving Web

    Evolving Web