Oct 18 2019
Oct 18

The Promote Drupal team invites you to take part in a 15 minute 1:1 interview contributing to growing our understanding of your needs during the evaluation process. 
 
We have made great strides with the Promote Drupal initiative to provide product and project information resources that highlight the value of Drupal in helping enterprises and agencies leverage an open source CMS platform for their businesses. We want to learn from you in order to continue to deliver a project that offers significant value and that meets organizations’ needs.  

Calling all members of the Drupal Community

The Promote Drupal team invites you to also take part in a 15 minute 1:1 interview contributing to growing our understanding of your marketing needs. From agencies to developers, we value your insight as we work to advance the Promote Drupal initiative. We have made great strides with this initiative, including:

 
Come with your ideas, thoughts on the initiative and where you think our focus should be for the next 12 months!

Oct 03 2019
Oct 03

The Drupal Association collaborated on Automatic Updates, one of the Drupal Core Strategic Initiatives that was funded by the European Commission. We are excited to partner with MTech, Tag1 Consulting, and the European Commission FOSSA program on this new initiative and share information with you about its features.

Automatic Updates has three components.

Public safety messaging

This feature pulls a feed of alerts from Drupal.org directly into Drupal's administrative interface. This helps ensure that critical Public service announcements (PSA) or Security Advisories (SA) from the Drupal security team will be seen directly by site owners. 

  • This provides yet another communication mechanism before an update so site owners can verify they are ready for an upcoming update, before it lands.

  • The feed of alerts comes directly from the feed of PSAs and SAs that the security team and release managers are already producing. 

  • This will vastly increase the ability of the Drupal project to get the word out about critical and highly critical updates - ensuring the community can respond fast. 

Readiness checks, or “Pre-flight” checks

These automated and extensible readiness checks are built into the Automatic Updates system to verify that a site doesn't have any blockers that would prevent it from being updated.

  • These checks are slated to run at least every 6 hours on a site via Drupal Cron and will inform site owners if they are ready to auto update their site.

  • Examples of the readiness checks include:

    • Is the site is running on a read-only file system?

    • Have any files included in the update been modified from what they should be? 

    • Does the site still need to run database updates, etc.? 

There’s about 8 or 9 of these readiness checks and some are warnings (Cron isn’t running frequently enough to automatically update the site in a timely manner) and some are errors (the file system is read-only). Warnings won’t stop automatic updates, but errors will.

In place updates

Finally, the key pillar of the automatic updates feature is the update itself. Drupal.org generates a signed and secure package of files which can be overlaid atop the existing site files in order to apply the update. 

  • This update package is downloaded as a signed zip file from Drupal.org. The automatic updates module on the site then compares the signature of the zip file using drupal/php-signify, which is based on BSD’s Signify and libsodium to verify the package.

  • It then proceeds to backup the files about to be updated and updates the site.

  • If all goes well, the site is upgraded. If something fails, the backup is restored.

  • Many workflows are supported and you can customize how the updates are performed. Updates can flow through your CI/CD system, be staged for review and approval, and or automatically go live.

In the past few weeks, the Drupal Association has been invited to participate in TagTeamTalks, a new recorded talk series about various tech projects supporting the Drupal project. This bi-weekly format provides real-time shared collaboration and informative discussions. 

TagTeamTalk launched its webinar focused on Automatic Updates this week. The group dives deep into the nuts and bolts of Drupal's groundbreaking Automatic Updates feature, and the strategic initiative sponsored by the Drupal Association, MTech, Tag1 Consulting, and the European Commission. Guests include Preston So (prestonso), Contributing Editor at Tag1 and Moderator of the TagTeamTalks; Michael Meyers (michalemeyers), Managing Director of Tag1; Lucas Hedding (heddn), Senior Architect and Data and Application Migration Expert at Tag1; Fabian Franz (Fabianx), Senior Technical Architect and Performance Lead at Tag1; and Tim Lehnen (hestenet) CTO at the Drupal Association. Read the TagTeamTalks blog.

“Content marketing is one of the most effective ways to promote your brand and capabilities - it has been a really powerful approach for the organizations that I’ve worked for,” said Michael. “The goal is to give our team an opportunity to talk about the cool things they’re working on and excited about and to share it with people. It helps get the word out about the latest developments in the open source communities we contribute to, and it promotes Tag1’s expertise - it helps us recruit new hires, and drives new business.” 

Meyers is the Managing Director of Tag1, and has been involved with the Drupal community for over 15 years. He was Founder and CTO of the first venture backed drupal based startup, CTO of the first Top 100 website on Drupal, and VP of Developer Relations at Acquia before joining Tag1.  “The great thing about TagTeamTalks is that it doesn’t take a tremendous amount of effort or energy. Our engineers are subject matter experts. We decide on a topic for the week, spend 15 minutes brainstorming a rough outline as a guide, and then record the talk. We don’t want to be rehearsed. The conversation is what makes it dynamic and enjoyable for us to do, and for people to listen to. And, the team loves it because they want to talk about what they are working on, and this format doesn’t take a lot of time away from what they enjoy doing most - writing code.” 

Hedding is one of the top 20 most active contributors to Drupal 8, and is also the Drupal Core Migrate Sub-system Maintainer, a core contribution mentor, and a D.O. project application reviewer. “Auto Updates has long been one of the most requested Drupal features, it is a capability the platform really needs that will help everyone using Drupal. Now that the alpha is available, we need to early adopters to start using it, we need feedback so we can continue to improve it. We also need to get more people involved in development, and we need to raise more money from organizations to support the project - it might sound like a simple feature, but it is actually really complex and requires a lot of effort. TagTeamTalks are a great way to get the word out and to enlist support from the Drupal community.”

Lucas added, “The European Commission provided generous funding for this initiative. The focus has been exclusively or largely around the European Commission’s features and functionality. The funding is running out very soon. There is a need for other people to help continue to build Automatic Updates by adding the features they need with their developers or by providing funding.”  

“It is critical for us to spread the message and make that call to action; that this is a community-driven effort and that without continued community support, it is not going to be as successful or as robust in the timeframe that we would like,” said Meyers.

The first year of funding from the European Commission provided for readiness checking, delivery of update 'quasi-patches,’ and a robust package signing system. The focus of this first phase of the Automatic Updates initiative has been on support for security updates in particular. 

In the second phase, as yet unfunded, we hope to extend this foundational work in the following ways:

  • Provide more robust composer support. The first phase of the automatic updates project should be compatible with composer-ready sites, but as the site’s composer.json file and vendor directory of a site change from the default, then more controls and though need to be implemented. 

  • Create an A/B front-end controller for the site being updated to further increase our confidence in the success of the update, allow for additional post-update testing and provide an easy mechanism to roll-back the update. This is also when updates will be able to move into Drupal core from the contrib project.

  • Expand to more types of updates (particularly further support for contrib updates), and also handle multiple updates in a row, for sites that are several versions behind. 

To accomplish all of this, we will continue to seek more funding and more partners. 

“I’m looking forward to seeing where this goes now that we have the first release out, ” said Hedding. “ There’s a larger community needed to get this initiative completed.”

The initial alpha version of the Automatic Updates module can be tested by the community right now. The plan is to: demonstrate Automatic Updates at DrupalCon Amsterdam this month, complete the scope of the funded work by the European Commission by the end of this year, and stabilize Automatic Updates by DrupalCon Minneapolis in May 2020. 

“The Automatic Updates initiative is designed to reduce the friction in keeping a Drupal site secure and up-to-date. The team behind the initiative is architecting a robust system, secure by design, and building components that can be shared with the broader PHP community,” said Tim Lehnen.

Many thanks to MTech, Tag1 Consulting, and the European Commission FOSSA program for funding this initiative. The Drupal Association is proud to be a part of this initiative.

Oct 03 2019
Oct 03

The Drupal Association collaborated on Automatic Updates, one of the Drupal Core Strategic Initiatives that was funded by the European Commission. We are excited to partner with MTech, Tag1 Consulting, and the European Commission FOSSA program on this new initiative and share information with you about its features.

Automatic Updates has three components.

Public safety messaging

This feature pulls a feed of alerts from Drupal.org directly into Drupal's administrative interface. This helps ensure that critical Public service announcements (PSA) or Security Advisories (SA) from the Drupal security team will be seen directly by site owners. 

  • This provides yet another communication mechanism before an update so site owners can verify they are ready for an upcoming update, before it lands.

  • The feed of alerts comes directly from the feed of PSAs and SAs that the security team and release managers are already producing. 

  • This will vastly increase the ability of the Drupal project to get the word out about critical and highly critical updates - ensuring the community can respond fast. 

Readiness checks, or “Pre-flight” checks

These automated and extensible readiness checks are built into the Automatic Updates system to verify that a site doesn't have any blockers that would prevent it from being updated.

  • These checks are slated to run at least every 6 hours on a site via Drupal Cron and will inform site owners if they are ready to auto update their site.

  • Examples of the readiness checks include:

    • Is the site is running on a read-only file system?

    • Have any files included in the update been modified from what they should be? 

    • Does the site still need to run database updates, etc.? 

There’s about 8 or 9 of these readiness checks and some are warnings (Cron isn’t running frequently enough to automatically update the site in a timely manner) and some are errors (the file system is read-only). Warnings won’t stop automatic updates, but errors will.

In place updates

Finally, the key pillar of the automatic updates feature is the update itself. Drupal.org generates a signed and secure package of files which can be overlaid atop the existing site files in order to apply the update. 

  • This update package is downloaded as a signed zip file from Drupal.org. The automatic updates module on the site then compares the signature of the zip file using drupal/php-signify, which is based on BSD’s Signify and libsodium to verify the package.

  • It then proceeds to backup the files about to be updated and updates the site.

  • If all goes well, the site is upgraded. If something fails, the backup is restored.

  • Many workflows are supported and you can customize how the updates are performed. Updates can flow through your CI/CD system, be staged for review and approval, and or automatically go live.

In the past few weeks, the Drupal Association has been invited to participate in TagTeamTalks, a new recorded talk series about various tech projects supporting the Drupal project. This bi-weekly format provides real-time shared collaboration and informative discussions. 

TagTeamTalk launched its webinar focused on Automatic Updates this week. The group dives deep into the nuts and bolts of Drupal's groundbreaking Automatic Updates feature, and the strategic initiative sponsored by the Drupal Association, MTech, Tag1 Consulting, and the European Commission. Guests include Preston So (prestonso), Contributing Editor at Tag1 and Moderator of the TagTeamTalks; Michael Meyers (michalemeyers), Managing Director of Tag1; Lucas Hedding (heddn), Senior Architect and Data and Application Migration Expert at Tag1; Fabian Franz (Fabianx), Senior Technical Architect and Performance Lead at Tag1; and Tim Lehnen (hestenet) CTO at the Drupal Association. Read the TagTeamTalks blog.

“Content marketing is one of the most effective ways to promote your brand and capabilities - it has been a really powerful approach for the organizations that I’ve worked for,” said Michael. “The goal is to give our team an opportunity to talk about the cool things they’re working on and excited about and to share it with people. It helps get the word out about the latest developments in the open source communities we contribute to, and it promotes Tag1’s expertise - it helps us recruit new hires, and drives new business.” 

Meyers is the Managing Director of Tag1, and has been involved with the Drupal community for over 15 years. He was Founder and CTO of the first venture backed drupal based startup, CTO of the first Top 100 website on Drupal, and VP of Developer Relations at Acquia before joining Tag1.  “The great thing about TagTeamTalks is that it doesn’t take a tremendous amount of effort or energy. Our engineers are subject matter experts. We decide on a topic for the week, spend 15 minutes brainstorming a rough outline as a guide, and then record the talk. We don’t want to be rehearsed. The conversation is what makes it dynamic and enjoyable for us to do, and for people to listen to. And, the team loves it because they want to talk about what they are working on, and this format doesn’t take a lot of time away from what they enjoy doing most - writing code.” 

Hedding is one of the top 20 most active contributors to Drupal 8, and is also the Drupal Core Migrate Sub-system Maintainer, a core contribution mentor, and a D.O. project application reviewer. “Auto Updates has long been one of the most requested Drupal features, it is a capability the platform really needs that will help everyone using Drupal. Now that the alpha is available, we need to early adopters to start using it, we need feedback so we can continue to improve it. We also need to get more people involved in development, and we need to raise more money from organizations to support the project - it might sound like a simple feature, but it is actually really complex and requires a lot of effort. TagTeamTalks are a great way to get the word out and to enlist support from the Drupal community.”

Lucas added, “The European Commission provided generous funding for this initiative. The focus has been exclusively or largely around the European Commission’s features and functionality. The funding is running out very soon. There is a need for other people to help continue to build Automatic Updates by adding the features they need with their developers or by providing funding.”  

“It is critical for us to spread the message and make that call to action; that this is a community-driven effort and that without continued community support, it is not going to be as successful or as robust in the timeframe that we would like,” said Meyers.

The first year of funding from the European Commission provided for readiness checking, delivery of update 'quasi-patches,’ and a robust package signing system. The focus of this first phase of the Automatic Updates initiative has been on support for security updates in particular. 

In the second phase, as yet unfunded, we hope to extend this foundational work in the following ways:

  • Provide more robust composer support. The first phase of the automatic updates project should be compatible with composer-ready sites, but as the site’s composer.json file and vendor directory of a site change from the default, then more controls and though need to be implemented. 

  • Create an A/B front-end controller for the site being updated to further increase our confidence in the success of the update, allow for additional post-update testing and provide an easy mechanism to roll-back the update. This is also when updates will be able to move into Drupal core from the contrib project.

  • Expand to more types of updates (particularly further support for contrib updates), and also handle multiple updates in a row, for sites that are several versions behind. 

To accomplish all of this, we will continue to seek more funding and more partners. 

“I’m looking forward to seeing where this goes now that we have the first release out, ” said Hedding. “ There’s a larger community needed to get this initiative completed.”

The initial alpha version of the Automatic Updates module can be tested by the community right now. The plan is to: demonstrate Automatic Updates at DrupalCon Amsterdam this month, complete the scope of the funded work by the European Commission by the end of this year, and stabilize Automatic Updates by DrupalCon Minneapolis in May 2020. 

“The Automatic Updates initiative is designed to reduce the friction in keeping a Drupal site secure and up-to-date. The team behind the initiative is architecting a robust system, secure by design, and building components that can be shared with the broader PHP community,” said Tim Lehnen.

Many thanks to MTech, Tag1 Consulting, and the European Commission FOSSA program for funding this initiative. The Drupal Association is proud to be a part of this initiative.

Sep 18 2019
Sep 18

Many thanks to Kaleem Clarkson (kclarkson) and his team for organizing a great DrupalCamp Atlanta. I had a time of learning, connecting and being inspired!

Doug Vann, Carole Bernard, and Rudy Dodier in a selfie

I started my day at DrupalCamp Atlanta by participating in the workshop “Introduction to Drupal,” led by longtime Drupal community member Doug Vann (dougvann). Joining me was Rudy Dodier, from Platform.sh. Doug covered everything from the history of Drupal, to setting up a basic website to how the word “system” in Content Management System can be an acronym for: Saves You Some Time Energy Money.

I took copious notes, as I continue to connect the dots to the power of the Drupal project - to how it is leading a digital transformation across industries. I absorbed it all, and was eager to learn more. I met other developers and individuals who contribute so much to the Drupal project and to the Drupal community. From my conversations with Ray Saltini (rgs) and Mike Anello (ultimike) to Suzanne Dergacheva (pixelite), I was struck by the level of commitment demonstrated by the community. You'll get a sense for this in Suzanne's slides for her Growing the Drupal Community talk.

Suzanne Dergacheva, Heather Rocker, and Carole Bernard standing together

Heather Rocker (hrocker) also attended and presented at the Career Fair. She spoke about the importance of the Association’s initiative on Diversity, Equity & Inclusion and the benefits that come from actively recruiting and welcoming new individuals (especially those from underrepresented communities) to lend their skills to the project.

I realize the extensive number of stories that are within this vast and passionate community, and I am excited to promote and talk about them. I am looking forward to being a communications and marketing advocate for the Drupal community, the Drupal project and the Drupal Association. From the specific needs of developers, to the importance of broadening our audience, to the necessity of career fairs to bring students on the Drupal train, and to the need for marketing to grow Drupal adoption, I heard and learned so much in a short visit to Atlanta. But, what impressed me as much as the day was the contagious enthusiasm for what the community is doing and for what it can accomplish!

Slide showing faces of the 8 Atlanta Camp Leaders - ATL Board Members - Kaleem Clarkson, Brandon Firfer, Sarah Golden, Adam Kirby, Trish Smith, Nikki Smith, Dominic Thomas, and Advisor Dave Terry
The DrupalCamp Atlanta Leadership Team, without whom the event wouldn't have been possible!

ATL team onsite together doing a power pose.

Thanks to everyone who came out for #DCATL this year! We loved meeting y'all. Let's continue to grow and support the @drupal community! pic.twitter.com/q9IgHjVRkA

— DrupalCamp Atlanta (@DrupalCamp_ATL) September 14, 2019

Sep 11 2019
Sep 11

Portland, OR - The Drupal Association, an international nonprofit organization, welcomes its newly appointed board members to help advance its mission to unite a global open source community to build, secure, and promote Drupal. The Association’s Board of Directors ratified the appointment of five new board members in September, including: Grace Francisco, Lo Li, Owen Lansbury, Ryan Szrama and Leslie Glynn, who was elected for the community-at-large seat.

“We are excited to have these amazing individuals join us in our efforts to broaden our reach into diverse communities and to grow Drupal adoption. They bring a wide range of experiences and expertise to the Association that will enhance our opportunities to reach new audiences, support the Drupal community and elevate the Drupal project around the world,” said Adam Goodman, Drupal Association Board Chair. “We welcome Grace’s significant work in developer relations, developer marketing and program management; Leslie’s experience as a developer and project manager long emphasized by her years of contributions as a Drupal community member; Owen’s creative problem-solving, local Drupal association and DrupalCamp experience and business leadership skills; Lo’s extensive work in content management, brand promotion and tech platforms alongside her advocacy for women in technology; and Ryan’s product and service development and business skills coupled with his strong relationships in the Drupal community. We look forward to working with all of our new board members to achieve the Association’s strategic goals.”

grace's headshot photoGrace Francisco joined MongoDB in July as Vice President, Worldwide Developer Relations. Prior to that, she served as Vice President of Developer Relations and Education at gaming platform Roblox where she doubled the size of active developers to 2+ million. A seasoned developer relations leader with over 20 years of experience in software, she has co-authored three patents and led worldwide developer initiatives at Microsoft, Intuit, Yodlee and Atlassian. Francisco graduated cum laude and holds a BBA in Business Management from Golden Gate University.

“I am super excited to join the Drupal Association board,” said Francisco. “I first encountered the Drupal project back in 2010 while I was at Microsoft doing outreach to open source projects - building bridges to open source communities. It’s wonderful now, almost a decade later, to help from the other side to build bridges from Drupal to other tech organizations to broaden Drupal’s adoption.”

leslieg's headshot photoLeslie Glynn has more than thirty years of experience in the tech field as a software developer and project manager. She has been a freelance Drupal Project Manager and Site Builder since 2012. Glynn is very active in the Drupal community as an event organizer (Design 4 Drupal, Boston and NEDCamp), sprint organizer, mentor, trainer and volunteer. She is the winner of the 2019 Aaron Winborn Award. This annual award recognizes an individual who demonstrates personal integrity, kindness, and above-and-beyond commitment to the Drupal community.

“Being a volunteer at numerous Drupal camps and DrupalCons has given me the opportunity to meet and learn from many diverse members of the Drupal community,” said Glynn. “I hope to bring that knowledge and experience to my work on Drupal Association initiatives. One of the things I would like to help with is growing Drupal adoption through new initiatives that reach out to underrepresented and diverse groups through an increased presence at secondary schools and universities and to groups, such as Girls Who Code, in the tech space.”

owen's headshot photoOwen Lansbury is co-founder of PreviousNext, an independent Australian digital design and development company that has been one of the world's most prolific code contributors to the Drupal project. With 25 years’ professional experience and a background in Fine Art, Digital Media and User Experience Design, Lansbury blends creative problem solving with the business skills required to sustain his own company and work successfully with complex customers. He is also an active leader within the Australian and New Zealand Drupal community, bringing DrupalCon to Sydney in 2013, acting as Track Chair at several regional events and chairing the DrupalSouth Steering Committee.

Lansbury said, “As a long-term Drupal community contributor in Australia and New Zealand, I'm excited about the opportunity to bring my grassroots experience to the Association board at a global level. I've always been a bit jealous of our developers contributing code to Drupal, so being able to contribute my own business and community leadership experience to the Association board is a great opportunity for me to give something back at a global level."

lo's headshot photoLo Li is the Senior Vice President, CIO of Global Consumer Solutions at Equifax. She has spent the past two decades leading global multi-billion dollar corporations for some of the world’s most renowned hospitality and retail brands in the world, working with hundreds of teams dispersed in the UK, China, Singapore and India. Some of her work includes the creation for dynamic pricing and predictive analytics engines for global hotels; and scaling big data and Agile to enable business transformation at large retailers including double digit growth plans for digital and international presence. She brings a deep understanding of how to translate corporate visions and strategies into simple, elegant solutions - using her international business acumen and technology background as both a business enabler and a competitive differentiator. Li, who is multilingual - fluent in Mandarin, Portuguese, Spanish and English - is the recipient of several industry accolades and serves on the Board of Directors for several national nonprofit organizations. She received her Bachelor’s and Master’s degree from the University of Georgia.

Li said, “I am thrilled to join the Drupal Association board because of the incredible open source community that has been fostered. The nurturing and growth of communities, like the one we have at Drupal, are the very catalyst to help organizations leap forward and provide an incubator for new ideas and thought leadership amongst digital citizens. It's truly an honor to be able to help shape the future of such a great organization!”

ryan's headshot photoRyan Szrama co-founded Commerce Guys in 2009 to offer Drupal-based eCommerce consulting and development services. He was the project lead of Drupal’s most popular eCommerce framework, Drupal Commerce, from its creation to its eventual use on over 60,000 websites. In 2016, Ryan acquired control of Commerce Guys from his partners, leading the company to rebrand to Centarro and launch new product and support offerings that enable teams to build with confidence on Drupal Commerce.

"My personal goals align perfectly with the mission of the Drupal Association: uniting a global open source community to build Drupal,” said Szrama. “I've been privileged to build a career in this community as a long-time contributor turned business owner, and I'm continually inspired by the members of this board to think bigger and give back more. I hope to apply my knowledge and experience to board initiatives that empower more people to better themselves and their organizations by using and contributing to Drupal."

The newly-elected members will join the following Association board members, continuing their service in the upcoming term: 

  • Baddý Sonja Breidert, 1xINTERNET

  • Dries Buytaert, Acquia

  • Luma Dahlbacka, Charles Schwab & Co

  • Suzanne Dergacheva, Evolving Web

  • Adam Goodman, Northwestern University’s Center for Leadership

  • Mike Lamb, Pfizer

  • Audra Martin-Merrick, Red Backpack Limited

  • George Matthes, Johnson & Johnson

  • Vishal Mehrotra, Tata Consultancy Services

  • Ingo Rübet, BOTLabs GmbH

  • Michel van Velde, One Shoe

About Drupal

Drupal is one of the leading content management software platforms that has been used to create millions of websites around the world. There are 46,000 plus developers with 1.3 million users on Drupal.org, and Drupal has the largest open source community in the world. Drupal has great standard features, easy content authoring, reliable performance and excellent security. What sets it apart is its flexibility; modularity is one of its core principles. Its tools help you build the versatile, structured content that ambitious web experiences need.

About Drupal Association

The Drupal Association is an international non-profit organization that engages a broad audience about Drupal, the leading CMS open source project. The Association promotes  Drupal adoption through the work and initiatives of a worldwide community of dedicated contributors, and support from individual and organizational members. The Drupal Association helps the Drupal community with funding, infrastructure, education, promotion, distribution and online collaboration. For more information, visit Drupal.org.

###

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