Drupal Changed Our Lives
It is very rare that something so powerful can change a company overnight. Our long history as a web development company can be defined in single word: "Custom". Custom web designs, custom web programming, and custom web applications. These skills are things that we are most proud to promote. However, a "custom" Website doesn’t have to mean starting from scratch. Today, with the power of the entire contributed Drupal community, things are different. There have been so many advances in Drupal’s open source solutions that it is impossible for any web development company to ignore. The Drupal framework only enhanced our ability to develop custom Websites for our clients. Drupal changed our lives — It opened up new doors for all of us at Nu-Designs and our clients.
What is Drupal?
Drupal is an open source platform for creating a Website. Thousands of web developers world wide use the Drupal platform. Many of these developers have contributed additional functions to the platform. These new functions are contributed to the Drupal community in the form of a Module. A Drupal module is a widget of code that works with the Drupal framework. The module basically plugs into the Website, adds new functionality and can be configured in a variety of ways. Today there is a library of over 8,000 Drupal modules available for any project. As a Drupal developer, Nu-Designs can leverage this module library for the benefit of our customers. We can utilize existing modules or we can make "custom" modules to meet our clients needs. The point is: why do something from scratch when it has already been done before? To find out more information about the Drupal framework, visit the Drupal.org Website.
If you are a Drupal developer be sure to check out our Drupal community site Made With Drupal.
News and Updates from Drupal.org
November 19, 2015
Today we released Drupal 8.0.0, the first fully supported release of Drupal 8! This is the biggest update ever to Drupal, our open source content management platform. Here are just a few of the hundreds of improvements in Drupal 8:
- In-context, what-you-see-is-what-you-get (WYSIWYG) editing and previews
- Comprehensive content modeling out of the box with entities, fields, and views
- Customization of content pages and even forms and administrative pages via the administrative interface
- Full translatability and localization out of the box
- Reliable configuration management for safe and straightforward deployment of changes between environments
- Mobile-first, responsive, HTML5 output
- REST-first native web services
- Enhanced accessibility and WAI-ARIA compliance
- Modern PHP standards and practices, with integration of popular libraries such as Composer, Symfony2, Guzzle, and Twig
- Significantly improved front-end performance out of the box
- Enhanced caching and best-of-class integration with CDNs and reverse proxies
- Full compatibility with PHP7, and the PostgreSQL and SQLite databases
- ...And much more!
Drupal 8 in action
With key modules like Views and Entity Reference fully included in Drupal 8 core, and many contributed projects already available for Drupal 8, you can start building new Drupal 8 sites right now, today. You can also use the crowd-sourced Drupal 8 Contrib Porting Tracker to get updates on the status of your favorite modules and themes, or read how you can help.How do I upgrade my current site?
If you have a Drupal 6 or 7 site you want to upgrade, install or update the Upgrade Status module to get a customized, up-to-date report on the status of your modules and themes in Drupal 8. Once you are ready, Drupal 8 core also includes the Migrate module to update existing Drupal 7 and 6 sites to Drupal 8 directly. Migrate is marked "experimental" in Drupal 8.0.0, but will be fully supported in an upcoming release. Read more about how you can migrate from Drupal 6 or 7.
Drupal 8.0.0 marks several changes for Drupal releases. We will add new features to Drupal 8 every six months in minor releases, with bug fix and security release windows every month. The next bugfix release window is December 2, 2015, and next scheduled minor release (Drupal 8.1.0) is planned for mid-April 2016.
The release of Drupal 8 also means that it's time to say a fond farewell to Drupal 6 after eight great years. Drupal 6 will reach its end-of-life (EOL) on February 24, 2016, meaning that it will no longer receive official community support and you should plan to update Drupal 6 sites soon. Refer to the Drupal 6 end-of-life announcement for more information.
Drupal 7 is still fully supported and will remain so for several more years. Read more about the Drupal core release cycle.Found a bug?
With your help, we can find and fix bugs sooner rather than later. If you find a bug in Drupal 8, search for it in the Drupal 8 issue queue, and if you don't find an existing bug report, file a new one.Celebrating the release
Help share and celebrate this milestone for the Drupal community! The Drupal 8 media kit includes the official Drupal 8 press release which has already been translated into many languages. Share this press release with your community, or use the #Drupal8 hashtag to talk about Drupal 8 on social media. Then, join one of over 200 Drupal 8 release parties on six continents.
Drupal 8 core is the work of more than 3300 contributors in over 16,000 Drupal core commits during nearly five years of development, and it is by far the best release of Drupal yet. There are already more than 50,000 Drupal 8 installations, so start yours today!
Build something amazing, for anyone.Front page news: Drupal NewsDrupal version: Drupal 8.x
November 16, 2015
We are so stoked to announce our partnership with Fastly. Fastly is now serving up all of our traffic from the *.drupal.org domain Drupal sites and related services.Drupal.org is big
Drupal.org and its services handle over 1.5 billion requests per month; this is a massive amount of traffic for an open source project.
Every time cron runs the update service on your Drupal site, it talks to updates.drupal.org. Every time you download a copy of Drupal or any projects on Drupal.org, you talk to ftp.drupal.org. (We see over 400,000 downloads of Drupal core in a typical month—way more around DrupalCons and major community sprints.)
Each month we have over 15 million unique pageviews on Drupal.org—by over 2 million unique visitors.
All of those stats are about to rise significantly with the launch of Drupal 8. Drupal 7 caused a 30% bump in traffic when it was released and we expect even more with the launch of Drupal 8.Fastly is… well… fast
In 2014, we implemented a CDN (content delivery network) for Drupal.org. The impact was immediate. Everything was faster. We met our initial goal of getting Drupal.org sites and services fronted by a CDN.
That CDN solution was a good start, and while it lacked features we didn’t know we needed, it improved our ability to deliver Drupal-generated content as well as packaged projects.
Late in 2014, we were introduced to Fastly. They offered us an opportunity to try out the service for ftp.drupal.org and we haven't looked back.Varnish for the win!
You may already use the open source Varnish for your Drupal sites. Varnish is an HTTP accelerator. Drupal.org began using Varnish in 2009 to reduce load on its web servers. It is a powerful cache that likely sits in front of your web origins. Fastly gives us a globally distributed Varnish cache with all of the features we are familiar with.
Fastly hires maintainers of the Varnish project and are helping move it forward. Drupal 8 cache keys are also a straight correllation to Fastly Surrogate Key purging and Fastly's active involvement is another great example of Fastly working with an open source community (ours!) to build a better experience.
Yay, open source!Open Source Alliance
Speaking of open source, Fastly has an open source alliance that provides free content delivery to projects like Debian, the MIT Media Lab, the W3C, Memcached, Linux Foundation, and more. They have even open sourced some of their technology stack to make it easier for others to build systems with their tools. We love partnering with these sorts of organizations.Supporting Technology Partner
Speaking of partnering, Fastly took their partnership a step further and are helping fund a lot of great work on Drupal.org through commitments to sponsor DrupalCons and even the release of Drupal 8. Look for them at upcoming DrupalCons. Thanks Fastly!How Fastly Works
Fastly’s Global Network consists of Points of Presence (POPs) running Fastly’s custom Varnish software stack. These POPs are spread around the world in strategic locations close to the highest density Internet Exchange Points, ensuring cached content is just a few milliseconds away.
Fastly has a powerful feature that allows us to specify a specific POP as a shield to our origin server. In our case we chose the Seattle POP because of its proximity to our servers at the OSL in Corvallis, Oregon in the United States.
The origin shield configuration means all requests to Drupal.org flow through Fastly’s origin server in Seattle before reaching our Drupal.org origin. If Fastly’s origin server in Seattle has already cached the file, no request to our Drupal.org origin is necessary.
In practice, this allows us to deliver a huge amount of content with an extremely high hit ratio. (See that spike in the GIF below, that's one of those regular times that cron jobs request a ton of content from our updates server. Fastly is just churning along.)
(Fastly made us confident we could put this enormous GIF in our write up.)Faster changes, faster response time
Another advantage to Fastly has been the efficiencies it has given us by allowing us to quickly make changes to how they cache our content. With our previous CDN, changes could take up to 4 hours to propagate through the system. We can now change a Varnish config and reflect those changes in under 5 seconds. That has been a huge help when we need to make a hot fix to production and keep Drupal.org delivering Drupal to the world.Logging and improving our usage stats
Fastly also allows us to stream our logs. This means we can parse those logs and turn them into data. We are already seeing much more reliable project usage statistics with from our new log processing for updates.drupal.org thanks to Fastly’s log streaming.
More accurate logs mean we can provide users with better data to help them to make better decisions about modules, themes and distributions that have the most installations.Next Steps with Fastly
We have been impressed with Fastly, both for their responsiveness and the performance improvements we have seen while using their services. They have given a ton to our community and we can't wait to see where they take Varnish and their open-source-powered service. If you are interested in using Fastly with your own Drupal sites, you can learn more about Fastly on their Drupal.org organization page or sign up for a developer account at Fastly.com—there is even a Fastly module for Drupal7, and one for Drupal8 is on the way!Front page news: Drupal News
November 9, 2015
As announced in the Drupal 6 extended support policy, 3 months after Drupal 8 comes out, Drupal 6 will be end-of-life (EOL).
On February 24th 2016, Drupal 6 will reach end of life and no longer be supported.What this means for you:
- Drupal 6 will no longer be supported by the community at large. The community at large will no longer be creating new projects, fixing bugs in existing projects, writing documentation, etc. around Drupal 6.
- There will be no more core commits on Drupal 6.x to the official tree. (see What if I have a Drupal 6 site still)
- The security team will no longer provide support or Security Advisories for Drupal 6
- All Drupal 6 releases on project pages will be flagged as not supported.
- At some point in the future update status may stop working for Drupal 6 sites.
The version of Drupal you choose for your upgrade will depend on how complex your site is, what contributed modules you need, and other factors. Many modules have been built in to Drupal 8. For example, Views and a WYSIWYG editor come as a part of Drupal 8, which means that some sites can move to Drupal 8 much sooner. Find out more about Drupal 8.
Drupal 8 core also provides a Migration path directly from Drupal 6 as an experimental feature, so sites can update directly to Drupal 8 using either a user interface or with Drush. See Executing a Drupal 6/7 to Drupal 8 upgrade for more details. The Migrate feature will be fully supported in a later minor release of Drupal 8.
Drupal 7 remains fully supported, so Drupal 6 sites can also update to Drupal 7 using the core update feature when that is a better fit. Drupal 7 is estimated to be supported until Drupal 9 is released, or later. For more information follow: [policy, no patch] Drupal 7 (and 8) EOL timing.What if I have a Drupal 6 site still?
You should plan to upgrade your site as soon as possible. For sites not updated before February 24th 2016, the Security Team is working with some vendors who are willing to provide paid support for Drupal 6 sites beyond February 24th, 2016. We will announce the details of this in early January. If you are a vendor that would like to look into doing this, please read D6 LTS Vendors policy.Front page news: Drupal NewsDrupal version: Drupal 6.x
- 1 of 5