A few months ago I ran for, and won, a seat on the Drupal Association (DA) Board as an At-Large Director. I'd like to share my journey with everyone, both to provide another look into the work that the board does, and to understand what it's like to be a new board member. I've now attended two board meetings (April and May) and taken part in my first board retreat, the weekend before DrupalCon LA. There's a lot going on, so I'll break this up into several posts.
Wow. That was the first thing I said when I found out that I had been elected to the Drupal Association Board. The next thought was how much trust the Drupal community has put in me. I'm honored to be elected. Thank you. I also want to thank my fellow nominees, who all stepped forward with passion and great ideas. It was a joy to be on the "meet the candidate" discussions with them, and I would have been thrilled had one of them been elected in my place.
The Drupal Association (DA) At-large Board seat is now open for voting. The polls will remain open through March 20th. (Note: I couldn't find this written down, but I believe this means until 11:59pm UTC on the the 20th.) To be eligible to vote, you need to have a Drupal.org account already, and to have logged into it at least once in the last year.
A week ago I stepped up and nominated myself for the Drupal Association (DA) At-large Board position. This wasn't a decision I made lightly, and I'm very excited to see so many other people have nominated themselves as well. There are 24 people up for the vote, which bodes well for a strong community. I think a lot of people in the Drupal community don't actually understand the board and this election process.
So rocktreesky is finally running on Drupal 7. I upgraded the site a few weeks ago and thought I'd share my experience. This is a very simple blog site so my upgrade process was fairly simple and easier than it would be for almost any other site out there, although the overall approach is going to be the same with most sites. I got the site upgraded in a weekend, but even as stripped down as this site is, I had to drop features to complete the upgrade. On the flip side, Drupal 7 provided a bunch of little niceties that meant I could remove some custom code from my theme (and overall I really like theming with Drupal 7). Overall, the upgrade was pretty painless for me, but I wouldn't recommend firing up an upgrade for most sites right now, unless you have the time and resources to put some muscle into it. I'll walk through my process and some decisions I made to see why I come to this conclusion.
In the past few weeks I have been building myself up to get back on track with my role as Doc Lead in the Drupal community. I've been off radar for quite a while now (since last fall) and I'm finally getting my feet under me to tackle the work of docs again. In the time that I was out of it though, it was too obvious that there needed to be some changes in how I (and the Drupal community) approach this whole documentation team thing. There were a few other people out there who had expressed the same concerns to me and so I sat down with them to kick around what we need to change. We came up with two fundamental shifts in how we do things as a team: communication and coordination. I think this will take a lot of pressure off of a number of people, myself included, as well as let the community take even more ownership of documentation and play a role in the steering of the ship, even if the captain sometimes goes AWOL.
It has been a while since I've been on radar, but with Drupal 7 fast approaching and Drupal living in the White House, we need to keep focus on one the keys to Drupal domination: documentation. Here is a little status update on where the Drupal docs world is these days and what's coming up next. (As an aside, I've been distracted from Drupal for a little while due to other things going on in my life, but hope to jump back into the fray by the end of the year.)
The top priority in the Drupal documentation roadmap that was published earlier this summer was to reorganize the information architecture (IA) of the handbooks to make them easier to use and maintain. Becca Scollan volunteered to take the lead and she has been researching and building out a plan of attack. We are now at a good stage to start doing some work that the whole community can engage in. Instead of trying to tackle the whole thing, our first foray will be limited to the Theming Guide handbook only. We are going to begin looking at and tagging our existing content with an eye towards a new way of thinking about it. We have added some new vocabularies to just the pages in the theming handbook and we need folks to go through and assign terms. Instead of just random tagging, we need to keep some overall concepts in mind. There are guidelines that can be referred to, so that the terms we use will be most useful for the following steps in the process.
Drupal 7 is coming and it has a ton of UI changes with the D7UX lovefest that has been going on, in addition to a some very different APIs. This time around it'd be extra nice if we had up-to-date documentation when our beloved Drupal 7 hits the streets. Few want to write it, but many sure bitch when it isn't there. ;-) Drupal 6 was a little, um, lacking out of the gate, and it took us quite a while to get even the basics filled out. We'd like to avoid a repeat of that situation. To that end we have started to organize ourselves to make sure to cover all aspects of Drupal 7 from end user to API. We had the first D7 docs meeting on July 10 and another on July 31. We'll have two more, during August, before code freeze and Drupalcon Paris in September. The plan is to start on work we can tackle now, while in thaw, and plan out what we need to do as soon as freeze hits. We'll have two doc sprint days in Paris and we'd like to take full advantage of them for Drupal 7 by having a game plan already set up.
I've been on the go so much that I haven't had the mental space to sit down and articulate a lot of the cool stuff that is going on. A few weeks ago I took part in a new open source conference, Writing Open Source (WOScon). The conference was born from conversations Emma Jane Hogbin and I had last fall, and she took the ideas and made it a reality in Owen Sound, Ontario. It was very small but packed with awesomeness, from people to ideas to food.