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Redesign Update: Sprint 2 and 3

September 11th, 2010

The Drupal.org redesign team has made significant progress in the two sprints since our last update. Since beginning work with the contractor team, we have completed over 50 issues related to the Drupal redesign. We’ve also created a volume of documentation and posts related to our community initiatives and the redesign implementers group. We also presented a panel session, held BOF and sprinted at Drupalcon Copenhagen.

If you’re interested in looking at the work that we’ve done, it is all visible in the issue queue tagged with “drupal.org redesign”. You can also view our progress on http://redesign.drupal.org [user:drupal, pass:drupal]. Finally, you can also check out a video showcasing some of our progress.

An Overview

The redesign is entering its 8th week of development with our current team of contractors. We’ve made amazing progress, and this coming sprint (sprint 4) will be the last sprint where we add new features to the minimum viable product (that is, the version of the redesigned drupal.org that we’ll launch with). That’s right, a feature freeze is near. After that, there will be tasks related to testing, theme tweaks, content revisions and QA. We’re close. So close, in fact, that we’re getting a deployment checklist ready and prepping for a launch date announcement. There are just a few more things we need...

So How Can I Help Get A Solid Launch Date?

There are currently three areas where we really need some help:

  • Marketing copy writers / editors / reviewers
  • Screenshot creators (working with the marketing writers)
  • Quality Assurance lead and testers

Right now, we primarily need marketing content created for the redesigned About page. Lisa Rex is coordinating this effort, and needs some good writers to fill in the new parts of our home. Ideally, we’ll have some attractive screenshots to illustrate this copy. All content issues are tagged ‘drupal.org redesign content’. Find yourself an issue to work on, or contact Lisa if you’re interested in helping and have questions.

Soon we’re going to be coordinating a major Quality Assurance effort for all of the new redesign features. We’re looking for someone immediately to help coordinate the QA efforts, and we’ll need several community volunteers to assist us in a couple of weeks when testing begins in earnest. If you’re interested in helping out as a QA lead or just want to do some QA testing, contact Chris Strahl.
Some highlights from the past two sprints:

Project module - 3281d

Derek Wright, Chad Phillips and Michael Prasuhn have been putting out some exceptional code. We currently have the following features ready for release:

  • An amazing and flexible framework for project metrics was completed in sprint 3. The new metrics system will allow us to mine data from drupal.org in ways that we haven’t been able to in the past. Need to grab information about how many comments a day are posted to a random set of 500 nodes? Want to know what the most active days of the week are for code commits to the 10 most active projects? All of this is now possible. Here is a sample of what we’ve got so far.

  • There is now a Maintainers tab within each project, available to project owners, that allows control over different aspects of your project! You can assign individuals access to Edit project, Administer maintainers, Administer releases, Maintain issues and Write to CVS. The best part is, when we move over to Git, we won’t have to rewrite this functionality!

  • Many improvements were also made to Version Control API (with a lot of work from Sam Boyer) and project browsing and filtering. Version Control API is going to help us move forward on the Git migration, while project browsing and filtering enhances the way that we use drupal.org on a daily basis.

Prior to launch, we’ll be fully implementing the metrics system throughout the site and doing some pretty awesome stuff with visualizations and the sparklines system. This lets us create simple browsing features and visualizations for the individual project pages. We want to take the work we’ve done and enhance the way that people browse and view projects on drupal.org.

Search - Achieve Internet

Bill O’Connor has nearly completed all of the objectives set forth for the search / Solr part of the redesign. We’ve gotten through the following:

  • All of the facet blocks and project browsing features that called for use of Solr in the redesign plan are functioning beautifully. This will be visible in the form of those handy navigation blocks that are faceted based on the attributes of the modules, themes or other pieces of content you’re looking for.

Prior to launch, we’re also going to have the ability to search uploaded documents on all of our drupal.org sites using Solr and Tika. We’ll also be rolling out a new search box dubbed “how can we help you” with some advanced searching options for users.

Infrastructure - Tag1 Consulting

Narayan Newton and Rudy Grigar completed the following infrastructure tasks:

  • The site git.drupalcode.org is now fully running and stable. It was used as a part of Randy Fay’s presentation at Drupalcon Copenhagen.
  • A load testing framework for the redesign based on work done on The Examiner project is done. This will be the basis for most of the load testing for all of the new redesign features. This lets us quickly create and run load tests for the complex features we’re about to roll out on the site.
  • An infrastructure plan to move all of the *.drupal.org sites to BZR and get them all set in terms of infrastructure. A public post of this is coming.
  • Search can now be run from a single Solr index across multiple sites. This also allowed us to rework the Solr infrastructure in a more sustainable way.

This sprint will focus on getting the initial load tests going and developing a go-live checklist for the site. We’ll be updating the community when we need QA volunteers.

“The Architect” - Neil Drumm

The following has been done as part of the greater community initiative:

  • Created the “How to get involved” block on the Getting Involved page.
  • The home page is coming together with help from content volunteers, theme developers, and Jon Skulski developing the “Sites We Made with Drupal” slider.

Neil will be continuing to coordinate the completion of the theme and working on the remaining issues associated with the redesign. This sprint, he will be focusing on completing the dashboard and planning for upcoming testing.

Project Management - Kieran Lal, Lisa Rex, Chris Strahl

The PM team has been working to ensure the redesign effort stays on track. In addition to running sprint planning, deliverable reviews, and keeping up with the communication to the community, we’ve accomplished the following:

  • Chris Strahl has been contracted with the Drupal Association to step up his project management involvement for both the redesign and the Git migration.
  • Lisa Rex’s involvement has been supported by Growing Venture Solutions.
  • Weekly theme meetings have been organized for the team leads, architect and some project managers.
  • A new community spotlight forum has been added. Individuals, teams, themes and modules can be written up into a community spotlight. Selected spotlights will be featured on select pages within the new site. You can read more about how to be featured in the community spotlight.
  • Content for the high-level overview of Drupal’s features is being organized, and needs some writers/editors to help. These pages will form a prominent subsection of the About pages.
  • We have deployed a new advertising section on the hosting page. This will help generate revenue for future drupal.org projects.
  • We have recruited additional development resources to assist Neil and the greater redesign effort with some development support.
  • Members of the PM team helped to organize and present sessions at Drupalcon Copenhagen.

As we near the completion of this project, the PM team is busy ensuring that nothing slips through the cracks. We’ve been coordinating with Jacob Redding, the Drupal Association’s managing director, to make sure budgets are in order, and we’ve been working hard to complete a redesign backlog. With this, we’ve been able to define an “end point” for this project’s minimum viable product, and we’re now pushing toward that goal in the current sprint.

Everything Else

This project is complex with a lot of moving parts. Unfortunately, we can’t showcase every feature that we’re going to implement. However, if you’re interested, check out the full list of completed issues to see what else we’ve accomplished.

Bluecheese Theme

The theme has seen some good improvements from Keith Jay, Carl Wiedemann, and others. The remaining issues are in the Bluecheese project queue. The main pages are going well, but as always, there is a lot of detail work as the site functionality and content gets filled out. *.drupal.org has an especially broad range of things to be themed.

What about Git?

Moving forward, Git is going to be managed separately from the rest of the redesign. While in Copenhagen, the Git team met with the Drupal Association and presented a plan for implementing Git Phase 2 for the Drupal community over the next several months. In anticipation of the acceptance of this plan, we’ve separated the Git project from the rest of the redesign efforts. Chris Strahl is going to assist Angie Byron and Sam Boyer as the project manager. Initial planning of the project backlog is visible, and the community can expect an update from that team soon.