Early in 2007, I was discussing the possibility of being the Drupal 6 maintainer with Dries. Dries was just collecting candidates at that time and it was not for some months after work on Drupal 6 started, that he selected me as a maintainer. Through the discussions, we reiterated the point multiple times, that core maintainership requires a significant dedication and time from the maintainer. I never thought I will be able to work this much on Drupal 6 though.
In mid-April, when Dries announced me as the selected core committer, I was still at university, completing my MSc thesis, and that my thesis was focused on internationalization features for Drupal 6 helped my involvement a great deal. It was a perfect match. Then after finishing university, I went on to work in Google Summer of Code 2007, where my application was accepted earlier. In part, I continued the multilanguage improvements for Drupal 6 (with localization advancements) and taken over Localization Server from Bruno Massa to take it to new heights and eventually make it an official tool for Drupal translators.
A few hours after I blogged about graduating, I was approached by Dries and Jay Batson to work for Acquia full time as a Drupal core developer. Being an open source contributor for at least 7 years, I was amazed by the possibility. While it was a lifetime opportunity for me, Drupal 6 benefited most with this offer. I have been working on Drupal 6 full time after finishing Google Summer of Code, right from the next business day, August 21st (months before Acquia was even announced).
I just checked out the data about the volume of my involvement in Drupal 6, and it is fantastic to see that how this all made possible to enable the community to contribute with a higher pace then ever. My commits reflect all your combined work, multiple contributors working on each improvement or fix to Drupal 6. If Acquia's priority would not be to contribute to Drupal 6 and help me enable the improvements and fixes to land in core, we would not be here with a release of this quality in this timeframe. The difference between the parts of this commit graph when I was working on Drupal 6 in my spare time and full time really shows the difference.
So while there are lots of thanks coming my way, let me pass on some to Acquia. Let's meet in the Drupal 7 issue queue as well, we have fun stuff to do in the next release as well!
Just one week before DrupalCon Boston, some well known faces from the Drupal community will gather in Brussels, to host a Drupal Developer Room as part of the FOSDEM conference.
On February 24, Sunday, the developer room offers a great program with well known names. Talks include "What's new in Drupal 6" by Dries and myself, Drupal theming, usability and integration with web services and the ApacheSolr project, the Asset module, Drupal and MySQL high availability, just to name a few.
FOSDEM offers a great program otherwise as well, with Andrei Zmievski talking about Unicoding in PHP 6, Mark Finkle talking about Mozilla Prism (desktop web apps!) and Rogan Dawes talking about OWASP WebScarab-NG (HTTPS interception), just to name a few of my picks.
What can a Drupal 6 maintainer do, if he would like to gain more confidence that Drupal 6 is indeed fine and ready for a 6.0 stable release? Well, pick a well used site and upgrade. This is what I started to prepare for this Monday night for drupal.hu, the Hungarian Drupal community site. It helped that we readied the Hungarian translation earlier, so that it was complete and ready to import.
One of the rules with Drupal.org hosted projects is to not introduce radical API changes (or depending on your understanding even new features) in point releases of stable branches of contributed modules, so you are supposed to open a new branch. The hell starts to break loose however, if you don't have an eye on what is actually happening in your branches. This happened to me and it affected the Drupal 6 translation efforts so it was just the right time yesterday to finally clean it up. Here's the story.