Drupal

Quoting IT: Addison Berry

There are some people blessed with the rare skill of saying something of value under 140 characters or less. One of those people is Addison Berry. Addi is an active contributor to the Drupal open source project, Lullabot team member, and former civil servant . Two tweets from Twitter by Addison Berry that made me smile when I first read them can be found below.

"I find the kinder and gentler I am to myself, the kinder and gentler I am to others."

-Addison Berry, @add1sun, Twitter,


"Being a jack of all trades, master of none, gets old after a while. Just kind of means I can do lots of things half-ass."

-Addison Berry, @add1sun, Twitter,

 


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CMS Report looking for a Drupal 6 theme

Original 2006 CMS Report themeIt has been a couple years since I changed the look and feel here at CMSReport.com. While my current theme, LiteJazz from RoopleTheme, has served me well the past couple years, it's time for a change.

As of today, I'm looking for a Drupal 6 theme that is appropriate for a site that serves as both a blog and news site.  This theme can be free, reasonably priced, or bartered for some link acknowledgement back to the designer. This theme can be your theme or someone elses theme, free or available at a price, available at drupal.org or at a commercial site. I just want to find a good theme for CMSReport.com.

If you have a great suggestion for a Drupal 6 theme, please leave your suggestion as a comment below or through our contact page.

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Expect significant usability improvements in Drupal 7

When I recommend to someone that they should use Drupal for a project it is not uncommon for them to question my wisdom on the subject. Those new to Drupal are often shocked by Drupal's initial learning curve, no rich text editor in the core, and a user interface with a longer workflow than it really should be. As powerful and functional as Drupal can be it historically has had usability issues.

Luckily, Drupal's developers have recognized these usability issues and over the past couple years have made great effort to group together and improve Drupal's user interface. In fact, last year I was able to meet a few of the developers in one of Drupal's first usability exercises. The Drupal community is serious about improving Drupal for Drupal's non-tech users. In the past year, Drupal developers have focused improving the Drupal user experience and roll those improvements into Drupal 7.

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You know you're getting old when...

You know you're getting old when...

...younger people discover the benefits of paper.

The printed pages were better then just looking at the digital versions, since we could code on our laptops while looking at the printouts, compare different pages, sit around pages and discuss and have all this goodness at our fingertips.

My respects to Drupal developer Gábor Hojtsy for his good reminder on the benefits of non-technology in the things that we do.

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Testing the water with Acquia Search for Drupal

Acquia used the first day of DrupalCon DC as well as their corporate site to announce the availability of their new service via a public beta program, Acquia Search. Acquia Search is "based on the powerful Lucene and Solr technologies from the Apache project" and "creates a rich index of your site content".  While Apache Lucene and Apache Solr are "free" and open source, the implementation and maintenance of these products can be rather daunting.  Acquia wishes to solve this complexity problem by offering Solr search as a service in their Acquia Network.

Acquia Search Status on Acquia NetworkBefore the beta was available to the public, CMSReport.com was invited by Jacob Singh to join the private beta program to test and review Acquia Search. I have only been using Acquia Search for a week so I still have some learning to do in order to take full advantage of the advanced configuration options in Apache Solr.  Although I'm new to Apache Solr,  I have to say that from a website owner's perspective the implementation of Apache Search was extremely easy.  After I signed up for the service on the network, implementing Acquia Search within the Acquia Drupal CMS was just a matter of activating the appropriate modules and waiting for my content to be indexed by the server.  Acquia Search works straight "out of the box" and I couldn't have asked for anything simpler.

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Drupal on a Budget II

I have never had good luck hosting my Drupal sites on shared hosting plans.  My last venture into budget hosting was a disaster with the hosting company locking me out of my own account due to too many requests to the remote database.  The truth is that I've only been happy with running my personal Drupal sites on virtual private servers (VPS).  However, I'm having a difficult time justifying my yearly costs of using a VPS to host my sites.

The problem is that I'm finally realizing one of the goals I set for 2007, a resolution to reduce my workload outside of work.  Specifically, I've spent the last year getting rid of most of my freelance work not related to my day job or CMS Report.  So now that I have less sites to host it has become less cost effective to run my remaining Drupal sites on the VPS.  With my yearly VPS contract up this month, I decided to give cheaper shared hosting another chance.

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