In the creation of personality a great part is also played by `resistance' to people ... and by attempts to conceal from them something that is ... 'real'.
It's that time again. Time to look back at 2014, and to look forward to 2015. For Drupal in 2014, it was all about Drupal 8. As Drupal 8's development enters its fourth (and hopefully, final) year of development, it's a good time to reflect on all the work achieved by the Drupal 8 team so far, and to talk about Drupal 8's momentum heading into the final stretch to the release.
Drupal 8 will have 200 new features. Among the larger features that I'm excited about are the responsive design, HTML5 support, the native web service support, the much improved multilingual support, the configuration management system, a built-in WYSIWYG editor, in-place editing, streamlined content editing, the improved entity system, and more. The list of improvements is long!
My favorite part of Drupal 8 is that it will make building all types of Drupal sites — both big and small — much easier than with Drupal 7.
Key accomplishments in 2014 include:Drupal 8 beta 1 released
October 1, 2014, amidst the fanfare at DrupalCon Amsterdam, we released Drupal 8 beta 1. This was an important milestone in the project, marking the finalization of major APIs, which enables contributed modules to begin porting in earnest.Total number of Drupal 8 contributors surpasses 2,500
Drupal 8's new object-oriented API represents a significant paradigm shift for developers (there are many benefits to this). To help Drupal 7 pros make the jump to Drupal 8, Acquia funded the Drupal Module Upgrader project. This project will not only scan a Drupal 7 module and generate a report pointing off to the appropriate documentation on how to port it, there is even a mode that automatically re-writes much of your module's code to Drupal 8 to eliminate a huge chunk of the work.Sprints, sprints and more sprints!
We organized dozens of sprints all around the world, and together hundreds of people came together in "real life" to help get Drupal 8 released. Sprints are a key part of momentum-building in Drupal, by laser-focusing on a specific goal, or by pairing both new and experienced contributors together for mentorship. Not only do sprints make solving tough issues easier, they also provide opportunities for building relationships and "leveling up" your skills.Drupal 8 accelerate fund
Though it was launched just a month ago, the Drupal Association's Drupal 8 Accelerate Fund is already helping to add velocity to Drupal 8, by paying key contributors to help fix particularly onerous critical issues.What is in store for 2015? Getting the Drupal 8 release done
Our current focus is resolving the Drupal 8 upgrade path issues, which will allow early adopters of Drupal 8 to upgrade their site data between beta releases, and should result in a further uptick to Drupal 8 development velocity.
Once we reach zero critical issues, we begin the release candidate phase. Among the areas left to polish up after the Drupal 8 upgrade path issues are bringing external libraries up to date, finalizing documentation, and performance.Continuous improvements after Drupal 8
Unlike prior versions of Drupal, Drupal 8 has adopted a new release cycle that will provide backwards-compatible "feature" releases every 6 months. I'm extremely excited about this change, as it means we can innovate on the core platform for years to come after release, versus holding all of the new goodies until Drupal 9.Getting more organizations to contribute
We're now one of the largest Open Source projects in terms of active contributors, if not the largest. That growth requires us to evolve how we work. Over the years, we've grown from a 100% volunteer-driven model to a model where there is a mix of volunteers, contributors who are partially funded by their customers or employers, and contributors who are paid full-time to work on Drupal.
While this shift has big benefits in making Drupal more sustainable, it also means there is increasingly more corporate participation and influence. One of our biggest challenges for 2015 is to figure out how we can get more commercial organizations to step up to take on more of the shared maintenance of Drupal, while at the same time respecting the needs and desires of our entire community.Improving our governance model
There has also been a lot of talk about optimizing the way in which we work, to make it more explicit who is responsible for what, how decisions are made, and so on. This year I plan to work with others in the community to revamp Drupal core's governance model to bring more transparency and appoint additional leadership.Conclusion
Overall, I'm thrilled with the progress that the Drupal core contributors have made in 2014, and want to extend an enormous thanks to each and every one of our 2,500 contributors who have brought us this far. I'm feeling very positive about our momentum going into 2015.
Drupal 8 will set a new standard for ease of use, power and flexibility, and will have something for everyone to love. Without a doubt, Drupal 8 will take our community to new heights. Let's do this!
Hello everyone! At some point the project evolves to the stage, when you start thinking about some new step in its development. It is quite clear, that you put yourself questions like “What is to be done at the website first of all? Better control on quality assurance?”. If so, it is high time to consider implementing CI.Read more
Even though it's still two months away, I know that MidCamp 2015 (March 19 - 22) is going to be special. The venue hosting MidCamp this year is the University of Illinois at Chicago. UIC is both my alma mater and present employer. Student Center East (where the training and conference sessions will take place) may be familiar grounds to me, but these days I am looking at it from the perspective of a visitor who is completely unfamiliar with its layout.UIC Student Center East entrance from Polk and Halsted streetsVenue accessibility
Liz Henry's article Unlocking the Invisible Elevator identifies some of the ways in which conference organizers can be proactive about event accessibility:Some information is great to have in advance. Maps and explanations of access paths work well. It helps if they’re in web-accessible formats, usable by screen readers, and downloadable. Some information has to be embedded in your conference venue. Signs should clearly mark the accessible paths. Maps are very helpful so that people can estimate distances; this is a big deal for those of us who are exhausted and in pain. Put maps next to your signs please!
In late November, I did a preliminary walkthrough of Student Center East. I meandered around the building, photographing the main entrance to Student Center East, the location, interiors and paths to elevators, escalators and stairways, major "landmarks" for points of reference, and the conference area hallways and rooms. It may sound a bit like I was casing the place, but I learned about traffic flow, congestion areas and different points of entry to each floor, whether by escalator and stairs or elevator.
Next, I contacted folks from UIC Office of Facility and Space Planning to obtain floor plans for each of the buildings and floors where MidCamp events are going to take place. They were quick to respond and the floor plans I got are very detailed. I annotated them, marking session rooms, elevators, restrooms and possible traffic flow. The annotations will serve as blueprint for locations of signs, as well as written directions that will be posted to the website.Annotated floor plan of Student Center East ground floor, with photos of elevator #6 and escalator overlaid.
This week, MidCamp organizers and I plan to do another walkthrough at UIC. Together we hope to identify and address any accessibility and navigation pitfalls. Photos, annotated floor plans, and navigation information will be posted to the MidCamp website. We want to make sure that there is good information about the venue available ahead of time, as well as informative signs on the spot when you attend MidCamp.
Of course, floor plans and elevators are not the only aspect of conference accessibility. Childcare, real-time captioning, transcripts and captioning of session videos are some of the other ways in which events are made more accessible to diverse audiences. It's a direction that I hope MidCamp will follow.Anonymized session selection
Another reason why I'm excited about is that MidCamp session submission is now open (it will close on Monday January 19). The session selection committee will pick from anonymized submissions for 20 and 50 minute talks. From the conference website:
- A volunteer who is NOT on the selection team will anonymize and remove gendered pronouns from abstracts/bios.
- The team will make a first round of selections from the anonymized submissions.
- A second round will then make sure we have not selected speakers multiple times (excluding panel participants).
By anonymizing session selection, we hope to give thorough consideration to everyone's proposals without biases ("oh, I know this speaker," or "I've never heard of this speaker"). Having a diverse lineup of speakers from all experience levels is important to us. A few weeks ago, Cathy Theys brainstormed a list of topics spanning social, technical, business, and other aspects of Drupal ecosystem that would be welcome at MidCamp. The list is long, but by no means exhaustive.
Are you on the fence about submitting a proposal? Take a look at the variety of suggestions for topics and fill out the submission form (the deadline is Monday, January 19). I want to see you at MidCamp!References and resources
- Unlocking the Invisible Elevator
- Increasing Diversity at Your Conference
- MidCamp venue information
- MidCamp session submission
- List of session topic ideas