Managing your local Drupal installation with Git

Although Drupal itself provides a central CVS repository for the Drupal core code and contributed projects management, it is well known that people use other tools for their own purposes. There were several ocassions, when private Subversion repositories were used to develop new core functionality (such as Forms API or the multilanguage changes coming up in Drupal 6). Some people also like using BZR to manage their own changes easily.

A very detailed introduction hit my web browser today though, explaining how can you manage and even upgrade your Drupal installation (including contributed modules) using Git, even keeping local modifications.

It is well-known that Git is a distributed version control system that was created by Linus Torvalds to help with the development of Linux kernel. Distributed version control systems, such as Git, are contrasted with centralized version control systems, such as Subversion. Linux kernel development is characterized by hundreds of contributors and several dozens of development sub-projects, all spread out across the Internet. The repositories contain thousands of files and many thousands of revisions.

We show that Git is actually capable of handling much more lightweight problems, without any unnecessary overhead, with only half a dozen of commands to remember.

It is good to see people experimenting with stuff, not because I see Git would be a good fit for the community at large, due to the lack of good and easy tools around it, but because the community gets knowledge on how different tools compare, to use them more effectively. Especially now, when this year's Google Summer of Code sponsors Jakob Petsovits working on making the version control infrastructure system agnostic.

Development Seed redesigns: a professional site to play catch-up with

Development Seed siteDevelopment Seed is one of the (as far as I see) lesser known Drupal solution providers, who mainly concentrate on intranets, mobile stuff, aggregation and all kinds of good causes to use Drupal for. They are working with smart people of whom some are well known in the community.

I just checked their site yesterday and realized they pushed out a complete overhaul with a professional design and quality information organization. Their new site is all web 2.0 ready with a very stylish tag cloud and very personal with the team introductions and real faces appearing all around where content is posted. Blog posts and strategic areas are clearly connected, locally relevant information is shown in sidebars as you browse around. The new site is smart in the graphics design, organization and navigation of content to let them get the most out of what they have.

I was very positively impressed, because their previous site was just one of the common "we are developers not designers" approaches seen on many Drupal solution provider sites. In my humble opinion, their new site sets a high bar, and clearly shows that they are professional communicators. I am also eagerly watching their Disaster Relief Kit designs and more importantly the Managing News developments, as this later tool I would need myself for getting through the high dose of web development news coming through.

Disclosure: Development Seed supported my thesis work (Drupal 6 i18n tools development) with infrastructure as well as helping refine my thesis text for publication. I am guest blogging at the site (where they kindly call me a Drupal superstar, no less) for a short while to communicate my findings with the community.

DrupalCon Barcelona: I'm #200

Dries Knapen just posted about the 200th registration for DrupalCon Barcelona:

We just had our 200th registrant signing up for DrupalCon Barcelona. This is great news, and I'm sure a lot of other people are planning on joining us as well.

Yes, that 200th registrant was me. I was struggling with my bank for more then a month to get my cards (including a virtual MasterCard, which allows me to pay online as securely as possible finally). Then I was away for a week on holiday, so just as I am back, I noticed I can be the 200th registrant which was a good spot to catch :)

The organizers plan for 400 attendees, so 200 registrants a month and a half early seems to be quite fine. The registration is wide open, and session proposals are also accepted. Seems like I'll be involved with at least the following sessions if all end up in the final program:

  • Multilingual Drupal: A big session about how you can make your site multilingual (with both core and contrib functionality) and what changed in Drupal 6. This fits into a pair of session spots with a break, as there are lots of stuff to talk about. I'll co-present this with Jose A Reyero and Ian Ward.
  • Translating Drupal (the new way), where I'll present the results of my Google Summer of Code work: a web based translation system for Drupal project translations; as well as show best practices on how one can make his theme or module translatable.
  • Drupal SoC Showcase, where I'll present a small intro to what I have done and direct listeners to the full featured presentation. There were lots of summer of code projects and so short time to fit all into one session.

Let's make sure that we can meet in Barcelona: register yourself for the conference, if you have not done already, and vote for the above sessions to make the final list.

From English Drupal.hu blog to my personal blog

Last November, I started off Drupal.hu/English with the intention that more Hungarian contributors will join and share their experience with fellow English speaking Drupalers through that channel. As a matter of fact, people like to keep working around their own homes, so there was only one post from Tamás Amon apart from my continued posts.

Localization server project in the works

Dear Drupal interface translators!

Your valuable work helps Drupal to actual world domination, so we try to support you all ways possible to be able to more efficiently organize your time to translate Drupal projects (the Drupal core system itself, as well as contributed modules, themes and install profiles).

There are big changes planned and in development for Drupal project translations. Make sure to read my Drupal Groups post if you are a Drupal translator or you would like to become one, but the current toolset scares you.