Second day report from the upgrade sprint

A couple weeks ago, Dries posted a call for sponsors for efforts to upgrade the site with its existing functionality and design to Drupal 6 and then start work on the redesign, new features and theme implementation. We are on the first phase at the moment, and sitting at the boardroom of One Laptop Per Child in Cambridge, Massachusetts. We are getting to second day's close, and already achieved an impressive amount of progress. Here are some of the most exciting items.

Sun donated an x4200 server with 4 cores and 16 GB of RAM, which we use to run continual tests of the upgrade. We started off with core upgrades, and made it possible to update the whole database dump with some clever database and system settings in 10 minutes, so we can run updates from time to time as we add more items onto the upgraded site. Hints: we swapped the 32bit MySQL server with the 64bit one, dropped watchdog data, use MyISAM tables and turned off binary logging. We've found inconsistent data, which we fixed, been assigning new permissions, fixing issues with the upgraded theme, and so on. We are grateful for the snapshot making capability of OpenSolaris running on the server, since we can roll back to the Drupal 5 database in a matter of seconds to rerun upgrades. That helped a lot.

Project module and friends got probably the most attention at the sprint so far. The maintainers are hard at work to finish up project browsing and releases, while the Views based issue queue listing already works nicely. There is a new autocomplete project lookup in place of the black-box project search as we have now on

Care is being taken to work out remaining issues with upgrades of the custom drupalorg.module and other smaller modules we run: comment_upload and comment_alter_taxonomy. We just did upgrades of some of them yesterday or were fixing issues with their upgrade path, so we need to work out the kinks there.

Another exciting thing we were discussing a lot was a maintainable system for handling the module versions and occasional patches to Drupal core and contributed modules we use. A vendor branch based solution is being implemented in the infrastructure subversion repository; also documenting the use of it for team members.

Good news is that subsite upgrades are progressing nicely. The API browser site was just upgraded to Drupal 6 yesterday and runs live. The required modules are upgraded to Drupal 6 for the infrastructure team site and we are working on upgrading the association site as well.

Now if we look at where we are now, the homepage is pretty nifty (see picture on the side). Of course there is a lot more to then just the homepage. We did not work on image module upgrade/migration yet, discussed migrating away from simplenews and standardizing on mailman (as we do with most of the mailing lists) - but did not implement this just yet. More critical reviews on performance are still ahead of us, and we have no search system in place yet.

So while there is a lot of work for us for the rest of the week, we are progressing nicely. If you've donated, your money is put into good use. If you did not, there is still an opportunity to help us fund the sprints. We will move to doing the actual redesign and still need funding to cover costs there.

In addition to the many individual contributors who have donated raw dollars already, various companies have stepped up to donate human resources. Kudos go to One Laptop Per Child (OLPC), AF83, Four Kitchens, DrupalTherapy, OpenBand, Looforyoo, NowPublic, Tag1 Consulting and Acquia.


Matt Petrowsky's picture

Gábor, thanks so much for providing the information about what's going on behind the scenes. I'll assume that many people who use simply expect it to be working within a short period of time and flawlessly - and likely don't account for all the details that need to be addressed.

The work you guys are doing for the benefit of the community is simply awesome. I owe much of my personal living to Drupal and you guys, and I'm very thankful for it. I would love to be in the room just absorbing the mental possibilities when you guys are brainstorming.

If you or anyone else in the management of this project needs instructional screencasts created then I'm offering my skills.

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