Uncertainty is an uncomfortable position. But certainty is an absurd one.
Today started out bright and early for our Forum One team, setting up for our part in the famous DrupalCon Prenote. This is one of the best-known “secrets” of DrupalCon. As Drupal founder Dries Buytaert puts it, “If you only get up early once during DrupalCon, this is the morning to do it.” In past years we’ve taught the audience how to pour beer (DrupalCon Munich), conducted the crowd in the “Drupal Opera” (DrupalCon Prague), and explored the funny and strange talents of the Drupal community (DrupalCon Portland). Of course, no one could forget our famous Coder/Themer Wonder Twins appearance at the Drupal Superheroes Prenote from DrupalCon Austin!
This year, the Prenote theme was Drupal memories. We heard from many of the famous Drupal core contributors about how they became involved in the community and how it ultimately changed their lives. A beautiful highlight was Nancy Beers sharing the romantic video her husband sent her from Drupal Camp in Seville, shortly after they met at DrupalCon in London. After showing the video, Nancy got down on one knee on stage and proposed!
Adam and I got to re-enact the founding of Acquia, one of Drupal’s biggest service providers. We re-enacted that first partnership between Dries Buytaert and Jay Batson in a great Star Wars-themed parody. “Join me, and together we can rule the Internets as CEO and CTO,” intoned Jay in a Darth Vader mask. The audience loved it, and, of course, Adam and I thoroughly enjoyed our parts as well.
At the end of the reminiscing, we directed the audience to stand up and take “selfies” of themselves with the stage in the background, while the core contributors up front took their own “selfies” to match. Then I took the microphone with my opera singing, Drupalist wife, Bryn Vertesi, to sing a Drupal-lyrics version of “Memories”, from the musical CATS. “Once we’re Beta, you’ll understand what happiness is,” became the catchphrase for the day!
The Dries keynote was exciting as well, mostly because of the announcement that Drupal 8 is going to Beta at the end of the convention! This is great news for developers and clients alike, as the Drupal 8 API brings enormous improvements in flexibility, scalability, and usability. Forum One’s own Kalpana Goel has been hard at work, not just helping to write Drupal 8, but mentoring others as well. She spent her day in the sprint room, where the core contributors mixed celebrating the milestone with planning sessions for the next development phase.
Today I also got to try out a new session, introducing the fundamental layout concepts in Drupal 7 and 8, and teaching people how to combine them for the best effect. Panels, Display Suite, and Context – oh my! ran overtime with a full room, and finally I decided we had to move the discussion to a “Birds of a Feather” workshop, tomorrow. I’m looking forward to it!
This was a long and eventful day for us here at DrupalCon Amsterdam. We’ll finish it off with a well-deserved beer at one of Holland’s famous breweries, hopefully somewhere along one of the many beautiful canals that dot this city. We’ll report back with more tomorrow!
If you’re reading this blog post then you probably know what Drupal is...and I’m pretty sure that you are from the “Drupal world”. But just in case you don’t know - Drupal is an awesome open-source content management system. And for me, the best thing about Drupal is the community! With over 1 million members, and 30,000+ developers, it is one of the largest and most dedicated open-source tech communities in the world. For some people “Drupal community” means their developer friends around the world, for others it’s all about giving back to the Drupal project. No matter what you think - everyone must admit that DrupalCon is one of the main symbols of our community! DrupalCons are the most important conferences of the year for the Drupal community, and an event that Propeople supports as a sponsor year after year.
Unfortunately, DrupalCon is also one of the most expensive Drupal events of the year, specially when compared with small Drupal camps and events (e.g. DevDays in Szeged or a local DrupalCamp). Companies attending the conference will usually be represented by team leads and other senior team members. All the while, there are many, more junior Drupalists that would like to attend, but are not able to. For DrupalCon Amsterdam, we have decided to give some of our younger team members here in Propeople the opportunity to go to the event.
In order to do this, we had the idea of setting up a contest for our team. After all, some friendly competition is always fun! And what’s the most useful, interesting, and honest thing to base a DrupalCon contest around? Contributions to Drupal, of course! Whoever had the most Drupal contributions and patches to their name at the end of the contest would win a ticket to attend their first Con! Actually, our formula was a bit more complex than just a sum total of contributions. We accounted for the final status of the task or issue (if it was committed to Drupal - then max points, if it’s in the “needs review” stage - then no points); kind of project (Drupal core - max points, small sandbox - minimum points); and whether the patch was just a reroll or full of new logic. Other small multipliers were also used to “keep score”. Also we had some ground rules: contributions to documentation did not count, and there was only one month.
Personally, I think that the best and the easiest way to begin contributing is to find an interesting task, grab a laptop and start writing code. Similarly, I also think that the best and easiest way to become familiar with Drupal 8 (the upcoming version of Drupal) is to start contributing to the Drupal 8 core, or to port a module from Drupal 7. And even with tasks as simple as “Replace file_load() with File::load()”(https://www.drupal.org/node/2321969) you could learn a bit about EntityAPI, new FieldAPI, internal storage API, Unit test API and even fix some non-ideal code or remove external dependency to keep the DI pattern!
As a result of our month-long competition, those who competed were involved in 80+ Drupal 8 issues, and many of them have been resolved and committed to the Drupal core! Keep in mind that those who took part in the competition didn’t have any previous experience with Drupal 8.
So here are the results of our top-three contestants, who are in attendance at DrupalCon Amsterdam this week!
Temoor Gilmutdinov (https://www.drupal.org/u/temoor) - 25 issues: 10 were committed
Yaroslav Kharchenko (https://www.drupal.org/user/2312280) 30 issues: 12 were committed
Mike Sokolovskiy (https://www.drupal.org/u/lokeoke) - 23 issues: 12 were committed
These young developers were not alone. Afterall, when you help the community, the community helps you in return. Thank you to the great mentors that helped throughout:
And of course, a big THANK YOU to our core committers:
@Webchick and @alexpott!
Overall, this was a great internal initiative for our team, motivating a number of our developers to contribute to Drupal 8. In addition to the opportunity to attend DrupalCon, they have also earned valuable experience that will be put to good use in the coming months, as we continue to be involved with the development of Drupal 8. When Drupal 8 launches, initiatives such as this will ensure that Propeople will be in a good place to continue to provide the professional Drupal services that we are so proud of!Tags: DrupalCon AmsnterdamService category: TechnologyCheck this option to include this post in Planet Drupal aggregator: planetTopics: Community & Events
Icon fonts are a flexible solution for adding icons to your website. Having the icon contained in the font allows you to switch size and scale, color and add effects easily without having to redraw an image. In addition a font needs to be only loaded once, rather than 1 call per image (unless you are using a sprite like a fancy person, but sprites don't have the previously mentioned font benefits)...
Drush Recipes has come a long way since the project was first announced on planet a month ago.
How do you get to DrupalCon? Well, apparently you just follow the signs!
I’d never thought about it, but nothing makes one happier than official street signs guiding me from the hotel to the venue!
But even with such a welcome, I love the first day of DrupalCon, and I don’t mean trainings, community summit, or sprints, although they are important and valuable. More than all of that I love reconnecting with friends, colleagues, and collaborators.
We discuss the state of Drupal 8, and celebrate recent accomplishments, like the acceptance of the pagination dream markup (https://www.drupal.org/node/1912608) into Drupal 8 core!
This particular issue is one I’ve been working on consistently since Drupal Dev Days last March, but it’s not my victory alone, seven of us worked heavily on the ticket and even more contributed in smaller chunks.
We talk about which sessions we’ll attend and promote our own, namely Campbell’s and my Coder vs. Themer!
We also discuss new challenges and next steps, and in the sprint area we collaborate and problem solve together. Forum One’s Kalpana Goel is immensely passionate about core contribution and sprinting and received a scholarship from Drupal Association to come to Amsterdam and do just that.
Last but not least, we talk about the after parties and the social activities. But ultimately, it’s not about the hippest new nightclub or sushi at a shi-shi restaurant, it’s about people. I vastly prefer collecting colleagues and friends old and new into a semi-spontaneous dinner group, and so that’s what we did.
So that’s completes my recap of Day 1 in Amsterdam. Stay tuned for more updates soon!
Ever been in a situation where you wished your Drupal Commerce installation could operate more like a Point of Sale system? Especially for nonprofits, taking donations and charging admission to events are prime examples of times when swiping a customer's credit card would be a great time saver.
Setting things up is easy:
- Upgrade to Commerce iATS 2.5
- Edit the Commerce iATS credit card payment method by selecting Store, Configuration, then Payment methods from your Drupal admin menu
- Check the "Use encrypted USB card reader" option of the credit card payment method (see screenshot below)
- Select the name of the USB card reader you're using
- Save the changes to the payment method and you're good to go
The USB card reader option is only available to Drupal admin users, not regular customers, so you'll need to create an order manually through the Drupal Commerce admin interface before you can process a payment by swiping a credit card.
The next time you add a credit card payment to an order, you'll see something like this:
That code is the encrypted credit card data fed into Drupal by the USB card reader. Or it might be the Matrix, we're still not entirely sure.
In addition to the convenience of not having to type in credit card details, the USB card readers are fully PCI compliant. All sensitive credit card information is encrypted by the reader before it reaches Drupal, meaning you never need to pass unencrypted card data through your server.
For the developers out there, the USB card readers can hook into three of iATS Payments' API services:
- Process a credit card transaction without storing any data locally.
- Create a customer code without a charge. This is a great way to store a customer's credit card to bill later. Fully PCI compliant as only the iATS Payments customer code is stored on your server, not the credit card information.
- A combination of the above two services, charge a credit card and create a customer code at the same time.
You can see some example card data in iATS Payments' developer documentation. If you're ready to start swiping credit cards, the documentation includes links to sites where you can purchase one of the two encrypted USB card readers supported by iATS Payments.
As a hosting company, we're interested in the hosting needs of the Drupal community. We are doing some infrastructure and software planning at the moment, and we thought it would be great to get some feedback from the Drupal community as a whole.
We are conducting this as an open source survey - that is, we're planning on making the results publicly available after the survey closes. We're planning on leaving the survey up through the end of October, so if you're interested in informing the decisions of hosting companies catering to Drupal, please come fill out the survey.
We truly live in miraculous times. Open Source is at the core of the largest organizations in the world. Open Source is changing lives in emerging countries. Open Source has changed the tide of governments around the world. And yet, Open Source can be really difficult. Open Source can be largely a thankless job. It is hard to find volunteers, it is hard to find organizations to donate time or money, it is hard to organize the community, it is hard to learn, it is hard to attract full-time contributors, and more. As the project lead for Drupal, one of the largest Open Source projects/communities in the world, I live these challenges every day. In this blog post, I will analyze the challenge with scaling Open Source communities and recommend a solution for how to build very large Open Source communities.Open Source projects are public goods
In economic terms, for something to be a "public good", it needs to match two criteria:
- non-excludability - it is impossible to prevent anyone from consuming that good, and
- non-rivalry - consumption of this good by anyone does not reduce the benefits available to others.
Examples of public goods include street lighting, national defense, public parks, basic education, the road system, etc. By that definition, Open Source software is also a "public good": we can't stop anyone from using Open Source software, and one person benefiting from Open Source software does not reduce the benefits available to others.
The realization that Open Source is a public good is a helpful one because there has been a lot of research about how to maintain and scale public goods.Public goods and the free-rider problem
The biggest problem with public goods is the "free rider problem". A free rider is someone who uses a public good but who does not pay anything (or pay enough) towards its cost or production. If the maintainers of a public good do not address the free-rider problem it can lead to the non-production or under-production of a public good. This is generally known as the "Tragedy of the Commons".
In Open Source, a free-rider is someone who uses an Open Source software project without contributing to it. If too few people or organizations contribute to the project, the project can become unhealthy, and ultimately could cease to exist.
The free-rider problem is typical for public goods and does not usually arise with private businesses. For example, community-maintained software like Drupal may have many free riders but proprietary competitors like Adobe or Sitecore have no problem excluding those who will not pay a license fee.
To properly understand the free-rider problem and public good provision, we need to understand both self-interest theory and the theory of collective action. I'll discuss both theories and apply them to Open Source.Self-interest theory
Open Source contributors do amazing things. They contribute to fixing the hardest problems, they volunteer to help others, they share their expertise, and more. Actions like these are often described as altruistic, in contrast to the pursuit of self-interest. In reality, generosity is often driven by some level of self-interest: we provide values to others only on terms that benefit ourselves.
Many reasons exist why people contribute to Open Source projects; people contribute because they enjoy being part of a community of like-minded people, to hone their technical skills, to get recognition, to try and make a difference in the world, because they are paid to, or for different forms of "social capital". Often we contribute because by improving the world we are living in, we are making our world better too.
Modern economics suggest that both individuals and organizations tend to act in their own self-interest, bound by morals, ethics, the well-being of future generations and more. The theory of self-interest goes back to the writings of the old Greeks, is championed by early modern economists, and is still being adhered to by late-modern economists. It follows from the theory of self-interest that we'd see more individuals and organizations contribute if they received more benefits.
While contributing to Open Source clearly has benefits, it is not obvious if the benefits outweigh the cost. If we can increase the benefits, there is no doubt we can can attract more contributors.Collective action theory
The theory of self-interest also applies to groups of individuals. In his seminal work on collective action and public goods, economist Mancur Olson shows that the incentive for group action diminishes as group size increases. Large groups are less able to act in their common interest than small ones because (1) the complexity increases and (2) the benefits diminish.
We see this first hand in Open Source projects. As an Open Source project grows, aspects of the development, maintenance and operation have to be transferred from volunteers to paid workers. Linux is a good example. Without Red Hat, IBM and Dell employing full-time Linux contributors, Linux might not have the strong market share it has today.
The concept of major public goods growing out of volunteer and community-based models is not new to the world. The first trade routes were ancient trackways, which citizens later developed on their own into roads suited for wheeled vehicles in order to improve commerce. Transportation was improved for all citizens, driven by the commercial interest of some. Today, we certainly appreciate that full-time government workers maintain the roads. Ditto for the national defense system, basic education, etc.
The theory of collective action also implies that as an Open Source project grows, we need to evolve how we incent contributors or we won't be able to attract either part-time volunteers or full-time paid contributors.Selective benefits
Solutions for the free-rider problem and collective action problem exist, and this is where Open Source can learn from public goods theory and research. The most common solution for the free-rider problem is taxation; the government mandates all citizens to help pay for the production of the public good. Taxpayers help pay for our basic education system, the road system and national defense for example. Other solutions are privatization, civic duty or legislation. These solutions don't apply to Open Source.
I believe the most promising solution for Open Source is known as "privileged groups". Privileged groups are those who receive "selective benefits". Selective benefits are benefits that can motivate participation because they are available only to those who participate. The study of collective action shows that public goods are still produced when a privileged group benefits more from the public good than it costs them to produce it.
In fact, prominent "privileged groups" examples exist in the Open Source community; Automattic is a privileged group in the WordPress community as it is in a unique position to make many millions of dollars from WordPress.com. Mozilla Corporation, the for-profit subsidiary of the Mozilla Foundation, is a privileged group as it is in a unique position to get paid millions of dollars by Google. As a result, both Automattic and Mozilla Corporation are willing to make significant engineering investments in WordPress and Mozilla, respectively. Millions of people in the world benefit from that every day.
Drupal is different from Automattic and Mozilla in that no single organization benefits uniquely from contributing. For example, my company Acquia currently employs the most full-time contributors to Drupal but does not receive any exclusive benefits in terms of monetizing Drupal. While Acquia does accrue some value from hiring the Drupal contributors that it does, this is something any company can do.Better incentives for Drupal contributors
It's my belief that we should embrace the concept of "privileged groups" and "selective benefits" in the Drupal community to help us grow and maintain the Drupal project. Furthermore, I believe we should provide "selective benefits" in a way that encourages fairness and equality, and doesn't primarily benefit any one particular organization.
From the theory of self-interest it follows that to get more paid core contributors we need to provide more and better benefits to organizations that are willing to let their employees contribute. Drupal agencies are looking for two things: customers and Drupal talent.
Many organizations would be eager to contribute more if, in return, they were able to attract more customers and/or Drupal talent. Hence, the "selective benefits" that we can provide them are things like:
- Organizational profile pages on drupal.org with badges or statistics that prominently showcase their contributions,
- Advertising on the drupal.org in exchange for fixing critical bugs in Drupal 8 (imagine we rewarded each company that helped fix a critical Drupal 8 bug 10,000 ad views on the front page of drupal.org),
- Better visibility on Drupal.org's job board for those trying to hire Drupal developers,
- The ability to sort the marketplace by contributions, rather than just alphabetically
I'm particularly excited about providing ads in exchange for contributing. Contributing to Drupal now becomes a marketing expense; the more you contribute, the more customers you can gain from drupal.org. We can even direct resources; award more ad views in exchange for fixing UX problems early in the development cycle, but award critical bugs and beta blockers later in the development cycle. With some relatively small changes to drupal.org, hiring a full-time core developer becomes a lot more interesting.
By matching the benefits to the needs of Drupal agencies, we candirect more resources towards Drupal development. I also believe this system to be fair; all companies can choose to contribute to Drupal 8 and earn advertising credits, and all participants are rewarded equally. We can turn Drupal.org into a platform that encourages and directs participation from a large number of organizations.
Systems like this are subject to gaming but I believe these challenges can be overcome. Any benefit is better than almost no benefit. In general, it will be interesting to see if fairness and heterogeneity will facilitate or impede contribution compared to Open Source projects like WordPress and Mozilla, where some hold unique benefits. I believe that if all participants benefit equally from their contributions, they have an incentive to match each other's contributions and it will facilitate the agreement and establishment of a contribution norm that fosters both cooperation and coordination, while minimizing gaming of the system. In contrast, when participants benefit very differently, like with WordPress and Mozilla, this decreases the willingness to cooperate, which, in turn, could have detrimental effects on contributions. While not necessarily the easiest path, I believe that making the system fair and heterogeneous is the "Drupal way" and that it will serve us in the long term.Conclusions
There are plenty of technical challenges ahead of us that we need to work on, fun ideas that we should experiment with, and more. With some relatively small changes, we could drastically change the benefits of contributing to Drupal. Better incentives mean more contributors, and more contributors mean that we can try more things and do things better and faster. It means we can scale Drupal development to new heights and with that, increase Open Source's impact on the world.
INTERIOR. RONNIE’S APARTMENT – EVENING
(RONNIE paces, on the phone.)
RONNIE: Jeremy, I have a bit of a problem. My Drupal guru-guy got two million dollars seed capital for his start-up and moved to Palo Alto. But I was thinking, maybe you should send me to DrupalCon Austin... Why? So I can experience the whole Drupal community-thing first-hand... Really?... Awesome!
EXTERIOR. CONVENTION CENTER – ESTABLISHING SHOT – MORNING
(RONNIE enters the massive Neal Kocurek Memorial Austin Convention Center, along with hundreds of enthusiastic Drupalists.)
[TITLE: DRUPALCON. DAY ONE]
INT. CONVENTION CENTER, REGISTRATION AREA
(Ronnie approaches a heavily costumed gentleman and explains that he is interviewing attendees for an article in Drupal Watchdog. HILMAR HALLBJÖRNSSON, a Drupal developer from Iceland, readily agrees to be questioned. Ronnie sets his cellphone to Record.)
RONNIE: Hilmar, why the helmet and horns?
HILMAR: Three days before I came here, I saw Morten DK announcing a big Vikings party and claiming that Vikings came from Denmark.
HILMAR: Well, everyone with a little knowledge of Vikings knows there are as many genuine Vikings in Denmark as there are high mountains. Which is: none.
HILMAR: So I decided to show him who was the boss.
RONNIE: And you showed him?
HILMAR: He was defeated and knelt before me.
INT. CONVENTION CENTER – LATER
(Exiting Exhibit Hall, Ronnie keeps up with a scurrying man-on-a-mission: JASON MOSS, an applications developer for the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill.)
JASON: This is my fourth DrupalCon and what makes it most favorable over the last three is that it’s in a warm place.
RONNIE: Uh-huh. But aside from the weather –
JASON: – I always get a lot of little tidbits and useful tips at Drupalcon. It’s what keeps me coming.
RONNIE: Did you hear Dries’s keynote speech?
The monthly Drupal core bug fix release window is scheduled for this Wednesday. However, due to DrupalCon and other scheduling conflicts, there will be no release on this date.
Upcoming release windows include:
- Wednesday, October 15 (security release window)
- Wednesday, November 5 (bug fix release window)
View modes allow site builders to display the same piece of content in various ways. Drupal ships with a bunch of them out of the box like Teaser, "Full content", RSS and much more. There is even one for the search result page called "Search result". However, the two most prominent are Teaser and "Full content".
The "Full content" view mode is the one used to display content on its "node/123" page. It's the one you'll customise the most. Teaser, on the other hand, is used to display a summarised or trimmed down version of an article.
You can create as many view modes as necessary. But like many things in Drupal, they can be created in a few ways. They can be implemented using code and with a module or two.
Earlier this year the Drupal Association began work on an initiative to launch a redesigned and improved Drupal.org in 2015. The first step of the plan was the Drupal.org user research, which was recently finished. Today we’d like to issue a Request for Proposals (RFP) for the content strategy for Drupal.org, next step of our redesign project.
We’d like to develop the strategy, which will guide ongoing content development work performed by Drupal Association staff and the Drupal community, and inform our ongoing branding and design efforts.
If you or your company is interested in potentially performing the content strategy work, please see the dates and instructions in the RFP document for more detail. Also, if you know of a person or company who would be awesome for this project, please encourage them to participate. Thank you!
It's time for DrupalCon Amsterdam! We're excited to welcome more than 2,000 developers, designers, IT professionals and business executives from all over the world to Drupal’s largest-ever event in Europe.
We're especially excited to celebrate the progress made toward a Drupal 8 release. All critical “beta blocker” issues have been fixed and a beta version of Drupal 8 is the next step. Drupal 8 is full of promising improvements for developers, site builders, themers, IT professionals and marketers, and we can't wait to get it ready for the world.Watch DrupalCon Live
DrupalCon Amsterdam will open this morning with a keynote from Dries Buytaert at 9:00 CEST -- but if you aren't in Amsterdam, don't worry! You can catch a live stream of the keynote (and Prenote!) here, courtesy of Brightcove.
The keynote promises to be fantastic -- Dries will discuss Drupal 8, as well as new ideas for how project contributors can be recognized. The Wednesday keynote will be excellent, as author and activist Cory Doctorow will take the stage to talk about net neutrality, privacy, and security. Doctorow’s keynote will be followed by a book signing.
We’re kicking off DrupalCon Amsterdam this evening, and our day of training and summits has been a huge success. At registration, over 900 badges were picked up, and this evening, the exhibit hall's opening reception promises to be a great bash.
We had more than 150 attendees show up for training, while the community summit and business summit both drew over 115 attendees apiece. The rockstars in our community also built some fantastic DrupalCon apps:
- One Shoe built an app for
Android and iPhone
- Lemberg also built an app for Android and iPhone.
Remember that the fun starts tomorrow bright and early! The prenote will kick off the day of sessions & more at 8 AM— we recommend showing up to the Prenote to get a great seat for Dries’ keynote. (Plus, it’s fun!)
We hope you have a great time here in Amsterdam, and we’re looking forward to seeing you tomorrow.
Drupalcon Amsterdam kicks off on today and it looks like it is going to be a great event, especially with Drupal 8 Beta about to be released! Sadly, we can't all be there. But that doesn't mean we have to miss out entirely.Tags: Drupal CommunityPlanet Drupal
On Friday September 26th, the largest Drupal training worldwide was held in Amsterdam. Over 250 students, teachers and professionals from Belgium and The Netherlands participated in a curriculum of 5 different tracks introducing them with Drupal.
Both Drupal agencies as well as client organisation have serious demand of Drupal talent. The Dutch Drupal Foundation aims to onboard new talent. Drupal is a popular open source content management framework used by Ikea, European governments and Lady Gaga.
Schools and professionals from Belgium and The Netherlands attended the free Drupal Training Day with over 250 people, and 50 more on the waiting list. The workshop was the first attempt by the Dutch Drupal Foundation to create awareness amongst young professionals and universities and to meet increased demand on Drupal in the market. The program included workshops aimed at code development, site building and content strategy as well as one single track for university stakeholders to get Drupal introduced into the curriculum.
The Training Day was carefully prepared by a team of volunteers and 35 trainers. Drupal Training Day was organised on Friday before DrupalCon, the largest Drupal event in the world, which is held in Amsterdam this week.
Credits to Imre Gmelig Meijling for writing this post.
Tags: Planet Drupal Drupal Training Day Community Students
Site building is a hell of a challenge. Like designing from scratch is easier… Or managing dozens of people devoted to the project. Or keeping a 2-floor office in order and cleanness. Gosh, every duty and specialization is a challenge! And we can only thank our teammates for keeping to high standards of their profession! But every professional comes to a point when it is needed not only to use skills in practise but also to share secrets of mastery with the community.Read more
Since 2011, OpenPublic has been transforming government by building government websites and applications which ensure security, mobility, and accessibility. Through our work with numerous government agencies, our teams have developed deep xperts at recognizing and responding to the specific technical challenges faced by public sector organizations.
But that doesn’t mean we couldn’t get better – and we did. As of today, we are proud to introduce the new and improved OpenPublic 1.0. It is the culmination of years of developing content management platforms for federal, state, and local government agencies. With each project, we gained a better understanding of these organizations’ digital needs. From the Department of Homeland Security, to Gerogia.gov, to the recent launch of San Mateo County’s multi-site platform, OpenPublic has evolved to the mature product it is today.What’s New in OpenPublic 1.0?
The 1.0 product version encapsulates all the most important OpenPublic functionality in a clean collection of Apps, simplifying the distribution’s powerful out-of-the-box capabilities. Not only does OpenPublic 1.0 break the mold by “appifying” what was once a wilderness of modules and complicated Drupal configuration, the newly released product is also fully compliant with the Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA).
The conception of OpenPublic 1.0 was based on Phase2’s significant experience building government technology solutions. While working with San Mateo County, we developed the idea of using apps to make the distribution’s functionality simple to configure for site administrators. Instead of wading through Drupal’s confusing configuration settings and modules, admins can now turn features on and off without affecting other parts of the platform. Apps like the Services App, Media Room App, Security App, and Workflow App provide distinct segments of functionality specifically designed to complement agencies’ digital needs. In July, Experience Director Shawn Mole elaborated on our OpenPublic App strategy and its potential to transform content management for the public sector.
Like all distributions maintained by Phase2, OpenPublic is built with open technology, with good reason. Government agencies strive to reduce unnecessary costs for their taxpayers, and avoid the recurring licensing fees of proprietary software is a major benefit to open source solutions. Bypassing proprietary vendor lock-ins allows government to leverage the sustainable innovation of an open community working collaboratively to create, improve, and extend functionality, in addition to utilizing the community’s best practices for development. And because open technology is in the public domain, any agency can download, test drive, and learn about potential content management systems before choosing a provider.
San Mateo County, which worked with Phase2 to implement OpenPublic for the county’s CMS, recognized the value of openness in government technology and opened their code to the GitHub community. We were ecstatic that one of our clients embraced the open practices which are not only inherent in our work but laid the foundation for the development of OpenPublic. By making the innovative technology that went into building San Mateo County’s platform available for wider use, San Mateo County contributed to the government’s objective to foster openness, lower costs, and enhance service delivery. The “Open San Mateo” project demonstrates the power of open source to improve not just one government agency, but hundreds simultaneously by making the code available to other governments.OpenPublic Moving Forward
We are hopeful that OpenPublic 1.0 will continue to advance more open government initiatives. In the meantime, Phase2 has several exciting projects in which we’ll show off some of the product’s enhanced features. Keep an eye open for the launch of the Department of the Interior (among others)!