On Tuesday (Drupal's 7th anniversary), we held the very first meeting of the "General Assembly" (all of the Drupal Association permanent members) in order to elect a new Board of Directors and additional permanent members.
Addison Berry and I had the opportunity to speak on a Google podcast with several women from other projects who are all helping to manage the Google Highly Open Participation Contest from their respective communities.
It was really interesting to talk to women behind other projects like Joomla! and Apache and see what their thoughts were about the program, about why they thought so many of us were involved, and so on.
Just a reminder for all those in Drupal-land that on January 15th we'll be holding the very first General Assembly, where the Drupal Association permanent members will vote in a new round of permanent members and a new board of directors will be selected. This is the first time we're going to be admitting new members beyond the initial folks who helped review the statutes, so it's a pretty exciting and important event.
Wow, look at me with my first non-Drupal related post. ;)
I recently upgraded to Leopard and since then, Mail.app hasn't worked properly with my crappy e-mail provider, so I decided to give Thunderbird another shot. I like a lot of features in Thunderbird, including the fact that it's open source, it has useful extensions like Enigmail, and it doesn't take forever and a week to retrieve my list of new messages like Mail.app does (or did under Tiger, anyway).
Of course, the one major problem Thunderbird has is that it sometimes takes forever to load a message body. Or at least it did, until I literally Googled for thunderbird takes forever to load a message body, and came across this gem in the comments of a lifehacker story:
Keith's mission for the past year or so has been to clean up user-facing text in Drupal core. People installing the next beta/RC of Drupal 6 should be pleasantly surprised by all of the improvements, which probably number in the hundreds by now.
Here's one example. In Drupal 5.x, the description for book pages is:
A book is a collaborative writing effort: users can collaborate writing the pages of the book, positioning the pages in the right order, and reviewing or modifying pages previously written. So when you have some information to share or when you read a page of the book and you didn't like it, or if you think a certain page could have been written better, you can do something about it.
Er. A book is an effort? :)
In Drupal 6.x, it's now:
A book page is a page of content, organized into a collection of related entries collectively known as a book. A book page automatically displays links to adjacent pages, providing a simple navigation system for organizing and reviewing structured content.
Simple, descriptive, and consistent with other type descriptions. This is why we love Keith.
These types of improvements are especially important to get hammered out now, because very soon (once Drupal 6 Release Candidate 1 hits) we'll be in "string freeze," which means that this type of text can't change anymore until Drupal 7, in order to allow translators to come in and do their thing. Since one of the killer features in Drupal 6 is the new internationalization stuff, this will be especially important this release. So don't delay; help with string fixes today! ;) If you're looking for a place to start, try the list of documentation issues in Drupal core.
I asked Keith some questions and here's what he had to say:
So I've been pretty busy the past few weeks coordinating efforts for Drupal's participation in the Google Highly Open Participation Contest (GHOP). This is a contest which gives pre-university students (age 13-18) tasks to work on from various open source projects, both to get them "real world" experience in the open source community, and to win prizes such as t-shirts, cash, or even a trip to Google Campus.
So far the contest has been going on for about a week, and it's been quite a blast hanging in #drupal-ghop and the GHOP group, getting to know some of the students.
Some of the highlights include...
I did a recent interview that talked a bit about the upcoming Drupal O'Reilly book (code-named the "Lullabook"), how I got my start in the Drupal community, and how I went about surmounting the Drupal learning curve.
The short version is that, in my opinion, getting involved in the community is, hands down, the fastest way to ratchet up your Drupal knowledge. It was the only way I was able to make the leap from "total newbie" (who hadn't even installed Drupal at the time) to "contributing my first module" in 2 very short months (I started out my Drupal career as a Google Summer of Code student back in 2005).
It was a lot of fun to reflect back on my first couple months in the Drupal community, which included some of the following highlights. *cue the flashback wipe*
By popular demand, here are the slides from the Google Tech Talk I gave with Geoff Butterfield of the George Lucas Educational Foundation back in October.
This talk consists of an overview of Drupal, who uses it, how it works, and what some of its killer modules are, and then specifics about how it's implemented in the site Edutopia.org.
Here's the video:
And here are the slides: http://webchick.net/files/presentations/2007-10-08-google-implementing-drupal.odp
I've created a post to solicit community feedback for the 2008 Drupal Association Marketing/Communications budget at groups.drupal.org. If you're interested in providing ideas on what types of things you'd like to see the Drupal Association focus on in terms of marketing/communication efforts, and/or you happen to be knowledgeable of costs, benefits, etc.