Help us upgrade to Drupal 6 to get to the redesign!

Update: The final design iteration is online! Check it out! Added screenshot to the post.

About five weeks ago, I blogged about that the redesign process is coming to an end soon, and that it is our job to take over and actually implement what was designed.

The first steps to get to a better is (1) to see what we have, (2) keep what we are going to use forward, (3) implement migration paths for whatever we drop and (4) start adding functionality afterwards. In my previous blog post I referenced my report titled Where we are with modules vs. Drupal 6? which covered some of (1), and provided some ideas for cleaning up for decisions in (2).

At the start of the redesign, ideas of single sign on for subsites, splitting out project management to its own subsite or merging all subsites into one were tossed around. A single unified node id space among subsites was discussed but more concrete implementation details were not made up. So there are lots of bigger scale infrastructure questions, and we need dedicated people to deal with these, drive the directions, make up solutions.

To facilitate teamwork, I decided to bring findings in my report to a wiki page and encourage all of you to come and sign up for tasks. The to Drupal 6 upgrade collaboration page is a wiki page which lists major module sets on and calls out some ideas / directions we might/should take in each area. There is place for people to sign up and for relevant issues to be posted to have an overview of all the items needed.

While the focus of the page is to update modules to Drupal 6 (some of which lag behind considerably, especially project handling related modules), the upgrade itself poses some questions. Some of the functionality is not meaningful to update given new plans. Two examples:

  • The drupal.module based distributed authentication model for is planned to be OpenID going forward, and we will drop the old drupal.module based authentication scheme. This needs action on to set up an OpenID server and provide migration for those using their names on sites such as for example.
  • The xapian and search modules now hosting the search functionality are target of much criticism. Jacob Singh, Robert Douglass and Peter Wolanin have a better proposal for based on ApacheSolr, which will offer faceted search as well: So why would we update the xapian module then?

While there are some questions, there are clearly required modules, such as the project module family, without which will not live as happy as it is planned to be. There are numerous smaller modules in the drupalorg.module, or items like comment_upload which need attention if you can help out.

As Kieran Lal writes, today is the day when we will see the last design interation from Mark Boulton Design, and from there we are left with designs we need to build actual working functionality behind. With the risk of repeating myself from my previous post, I'd say again, that there is nothing like building a website for more then 300,000 users and 720,000 unique visitors per month. You might not catch such a project soon, if you miss this one! So get on and work with us in this exciting redesign!

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