DA Tech Team plan for the first quarter of 2014

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There is never a shortage of things to do on Drupal.org and that’s never been more true than right now. We have D7 upgrade clean up to finish, as well as variety of improvements that were on hold during the upgrade. We want you to know what our tech team is focused on and where we’re spending our time, so here are some of the pieces in our first quarter roadmap.

Overall themes

Drupal 7 Cleanup

We are still putting as much developer time as possible into addressing the issues raised by the D7 upgrade. A team of two people can only do so much, however, so while we are working on the showstoppers, we also have two other themes this quarter.

Empowering Volunteers

Right now, we recognize that it is really difficult to contribute to Drupal.org as a volunteer. We’re working on eliminating some of the technical barriers so that you can help fix what ails you most with much more ease.


Even with an army of amazing volunteers (which all of you are), we simply need more staff to keep the internal workings of Drupal.org up and running well. Rudy Grigar (basic) just joined our team in a DevOps role, and we’ll be adding another Developer and an Issue Queue Support person in this quarter, along with preparing for future hires.

So those are the major themes, but what does the work actually look like? Things change, and our plans might need to change as well, but at this point in time here is our rough to-do list for the next 3 months:


D7 upgrade follow ups

The project is done, but we are still cleaning up follow up issues and bugs. As of this week we have 2 critical and 19 major bugs. They, together with the critical issue related to the issue page UX regressions, are at the top of our priority list.

BDD tests

We did write the whole suite of BDD tests during the D7 upgrade. We now want to set up regular BDD test runs against D7 staging site, and incorporate BDD tests into our deployment process, to ensure the quality of our deployments.

Public Bluecheese

Together with lewisnyman we worked on splitting up Bluecheese theme into public and private repos. We are going to finish this work and adjust our build process to work with these new repos.

Drupal.org changes tool

Drupal.org Software Working Group came up with the idea of a tool to manage all changes on Drupal.org from the idea all the way to deployment. The tool will be located on infrastructure.drupal.org, which is currently being ported to D7.

Setting up OpenStack cluster

We have purchased and begun configuration of a new server aimed at hosting virtual machines for the Drupal.org development and staging environments. This server will help Drupal.org improve its development and staging workflow, as well as consolidate existing virtual machines on faster hardware.

Moving db4 to the new server

We have also purchased new hardware to replace the existing db4 MySQL server. The new hardware has dual Intel E5-2450 processors and 64GB of memory. This hardware will replace the existing db4 server and pair well with db3 to create a high availability MySQL cluster for Drupal.org subsites. The old db4 server will be repurposed to provide PostgreSQL databases for services using Postgres.

Moving devdb to another server

devdb is currently housing the development site databases and is running on aging hardware. The new devdb virtual machine will provide faster hardware along with more disk space to enable hosting of more development environments.

DrupalCon Austin site launch

The site is live! We’re almost done with it by now.

Drupal Store

We did have a simple store on association.drupal.org before. It’s wasn’t very user friendly and had few products in it. Brendan will be building a better version, which will let us sell t-shirts and various Drupal-related souvenirs all year long, not just at DrupalCons.


D7 upgrade follow ups

We expect to be done with criticals completely at this point and concentrate on finishing up major and normal issues.

2 of the 3 ‘quick win’ features DSWG prioritised for Q1:

  • Back-linking commits on issues
    When a commit is made, which is referencing specific issue, a comment will be posted on that issue to notify issue participants about the commit.
  • Show user pictures on D.o

Finish setting up OpenStack cluster

Continuing with the OpenStack configuration we will be creating configuration management and templates for staging and development virtual machines. Testing will begin on vm creation and deletion, private network integration and separation for development and staging environments, and authentication and authorization.

CiviCRM updates

There are some security related and general Drupal integration improvements we need to do on association.drupal.org to ensure our membership system is working well.

Drupal Store

Finish building the store on association.drupal.org.


The 3rd ‘quick win’ feature DSWG prioritised for Q1:

  • Re-design project pages to better display project metrics and statistics

Internal Site Status dashboard

This is another item, which came from the Drupal.org Software Working Group. Internal dashboard will pull together information from all our sub-sites, to let us know at a glance e.g.: which modules on which sites have updates available, which php errors we have in the logs, etc. This should make our day-to-day site maintenance easier and help us catch various problems early.

Migrate staging and dev vms to OpenStack cluster

OpenStack testing should be complete, and we will begin migrating the existing vms to the new cluster. This will give us better performance, more room to grow for our development and staging vms, as well as easier access to manage vms for the community.

CFengine service level configuration to Puppet

We will begin our push to move the remaining CFengine configuration management bits to Puppet configuration management. This will result in Drupal.org configuration residing in the same system and should improve our ability to push out changes quickly.

User Research

Drupal.org Content Working Group is getting ready for a complete website redesign in 2015. First steps are user research and content strategy for Drupal.org. In March we will engage user researcher, who will work with our community through spring, to develop a set of user personas for Drupal.org

Landing pages

As a content improvement and a revenue source on Drupal.org, we want to introduce a few more landing pages this year. We will start working on the first one of those in March. The audience for the page will be determined by the Content Working Group.


Of course, the things above aren’t the only ones we are going to do during these months. There are also ongoing security updates to all sites, general maintenance, answering questions in the issue queue, Drupal.org Working Group meetings, etc.

This is it for us for this quarter. We are bringing back our regular bi-weekly ‘week notes’ posts, and will keep you updated on our progress! You can also expect similar posts at the beginning of each quarter.

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