Drupal 7 gets new themes - give Corolla a review

Yes it is going to happen (keeping fingers crossed), Drupal 7 will get new shiny front-end themes. Since my latest blog post, we have been working hard on Corolla, most notably Jeff Burnz and certainly Jaroslav Foksa, who made the theme and tweaked the design quite a bit, so now it is cleaner and straighter and more multi-purpose than before.

Bunches of bugs have been fixed, and the theme is running rather smoothly with D7. Now we need you: give the theme a whirl, install it and click through it. At the moment the Demo site is not representing the latest code, so you'll need to put it on you local D7 sandbox.

The theme is taking care of most every aspect of drupal core, also the admin section. To test this it should also be switched on as Admin theme (set Admin theme to "Default Theme" instead of Seven). Forums, books, polls, images: everything should have a nice styling. There are lots of Color Module styles (all core candidate themes are color-module-enabled now), and it is fun to play around by defining custom colors.

Should work with any version of Drupal 7, sure best with latest head or alpha 5. Bugs and comments welcome on the Corolla issue queue. If you have some general findings, leave them in the "Master Issue" Make D7 look shiny and new in every aspect...

The Drupal way

I've been in the streets of Dries for three and a half year now. It feels even daring saying it are Dries' streets because I know he does not like it if people give him too much credit. But it is true. Dries I believe the key factor for Drupal's success is your astounding ability to gather the right people around you. This combined with a mixture of leadership and fostering self-empowerment appears to work pretty well.

Having started with using the system for my diploma (I guess you say bachelor elsewhere), it has been an amazing ride. But the story of drupal is not so much unique as it is a story of open source. Seeing a new youtube star the other day one can feel the upside of the digital revolution and the new channels of communicating and doing things via the internet.

Like in every other social community there are downsides as well. Even at my first drupalcon in Barcelona I was a bit worried about the quasi-religious way Dries keynote was celebrated. This was not much different from Steve Jobs presenting the Iphone. Give us a sign, we will celebrate whatever you say.

Still this does not need to have negative effects. Personally I find it very important to go outside the community from time to time. Yes, there is a life outside of drupal. Take a bit of distance now and then and balance comes back quickly. Also Mr. Buytaert takes care of staying a normal community member as far as this is possible. If you have been inside the project for a while, he will come up to you at a Drupal Camp and have a little chat. Simple, ingenious method. Which does not say there is not a real interest in the person spoken to.

D7 gets new themes - Corolla Theme for Core!

Yes it happens. Drupal 7 will not only rock the world of APIs, but also get a new shiny wrapping. Of three core candidate themes, two have still survived and have gotten pretty far along the road. These are the Bartik theme  and Corolla theme

The news that we - hopefully - get new themes could be very exciting. It all started with removing from core Bluemarine, Pushbutton, Marvin and Chameleon and detecting - there was only Garland left! The idea of having an almost completely rewritten Drupal with still the same theme from Drupal 5 was sufficiently horrible for the designers to start their engines.

Jen Simmons took the leap and boldly put Bartik into the issue qeue. Let's hear it for Jen - this was the crucial step. Motivated by that, Jarosław Foksa (Jarek) also showed some courage and dropped in Corolla.

When you look at the Corolla issue queue and the Bartik issue queue - well, you will notice some difference. Corolla only has three open issues, but Bartik at least thirty. So there is a lot more activity behind Bartik, and I am not worried it will make it into core.

But what about Corolla?

Android App der Woche: Smart Keyboard Pro

Auch einen überzeugten Android-Anhänger lässt es nicht kalt, wenn das andere Lager (Iphone) in irgendeinem Bereich klar vorne liegt. Es begab sich also zu der Zeit, daß bei Saturn ein Eifon 3GS herumlag, und ich mal drauf herumklickte. Neben dem subjektiven Empfinden, daß die Apps alle besser aussahen und schneller starteten, war es vor allem eine Sache, die erheblichen Neidfaktor bei mir auslöste: Die Onscreen-Tastatur - und zwar die im Portrait-Modus (hochkant) liess sich wesentlich schneller und präziser bedienen.

Wie habe ich das Ding gehaßt :) Als Gründe fielen mir einerseits ein, daß der Iphone-Screen minimal breiter ist, und so zwischen den einzelnen Tasten mehr Platz. Obwohl ich mich mittlerweile an die Android-Tastatur gewöhnt habe und einigermassen fehlerfrei darauf schreiben kann: das Erlebnis blieb wie ein Stachel in meinem Herzen stecken :(.

Endlich: Generische User-Profile für Drupal 7

Drupal 7 haut aufs Mett. Unter anderem dank folgender Tatsachen: Faktor 1: die enorm gewachsenen Zahl an Leuten, die am Core mitarbeiten. Faktor 2: das neuen Testing Framework. Es übernimmt die ungeheuer ausbremsende Aufgabe, Patches daraufhin zu überprüfen, ob sie fehlerfrei mit dem Core zusammenarbeiten. Man setzt einfach einen Issue auf "Needs Review" und der Patch wird automatisch getestet.

Eine der grössten Verbesserungen im Drupal 7 Core, deren Reichweite noch gar nicht abzusehen ist, ist Fields in Core. Dies bedeutet, daß jetzt fast alles als CCK Feld behandelt wird. Dadurch werden sämtliche Inhalts-Bausteine und auch z.B Taxonomy Terms atomarer und sauberer ansprechbar (und viel einfacher in Optik und Inhalt anpassbar).

Ein Teil hat es leider nicht in den Drupal 7 Core geschafft: User Profile als Fields. Doch dank Joachim Noreiko wird es ein Contrib-Modul geben, das Quasi-Core-Ansprüchen genügen kann und diese Fähigkeit nachrüstet: Profile 2.

Welches CMS wofür? - Gerrit van Aaaken interviewt sich selbst

Der heilige Gral, das allein seligmachende CMS - das gibt es nicht. Fragt jemand in irgendeinem Forum, welches er nehmen soll, versuchen ihm mindestens sieben Leute ihr Lieblingssystem als das einzig wahre zu verkaufen. Selten sind die Menschen, die viele CMSe kennen und auch mehrere verwenden.

Gerrit van Aaaken nennt sich selbst "bekennenden CMS-Polygamisten". In einem mit leichtem Augenzwinkern interviewt er sich selbst und beleuchtet die Einsatzszenarien verschiedener CMSe. Natürlch wird Gerrit hier erwähnt, weil er auch Drupal-freundlich ist.

Abenteuer auf der Shell - Cygwin mir rxvt aufpeppen

Welche Abenteuer erlebt man im Land des Coding. Der arme Designer will auch Patches schreiben, und so er Windows benutzt, verfällt er irgendwann auf Cygwin. Fantastisch: alle Linux Befehle zur Hand, und trotzdem faul weiterhin Windoof benutzen. Irgendwann kommt dann der Gedanke auf, ob das denn nicht etwas hübscher und praktischer geht. Dunkle Schrift auf hellem Hintergrund liest sich einfach besser. Zudem geht kopieren und einfügen mit der Standard-Konsole, die Cygwin benutzt, schlecht bis gar nicht. Die horizontale Grösse des Fensters verändern? Fehlanzeige. Es stellt sich heraus, daß Cygwin per Default die Windows-Eingabeaufforderungs-Umgebung benutzt. Ja, und die _ist_ einfach so schlecht.

User Testing D7UX - Screencasts and Writeup

Here are the first three user tests that have been performed on D7UX stuff so far. One is about a month old, the others more recent. As implementation is constantly adding new things, the interface changes. Two were real user-tests performed with me as a host, one is done by the user itself. All participants of different skill levels.They have been using Drupal before, but none is an expert. All the current and future videos can also be found on the d7ux vimeo group

How does this differ from my famililar 4.7

The guy in Video 1 runs a big website that interestingly hosts Screencasts largely in the area of Photography and is using Drupal 4.7 (yes) on a daily basis.



Where am I?

The participant in the second video, "User-Testing Admin header Drupal 7" is a rather non-webby person but takes care of the basic content on her Website and makes money off it. 


Crowdsourced User Testing : going for a sustainable strategy

There are a lot UI Improvements under way for Drupal 7. Wouldn't it be wonderful to be sure if these really are improvements and we don't overlook small details that make the entire building crumble? How about ongoing, small-scale, crowdsourced user testing. Leisa Reichelt issued a similar call some time ago to test the admin header. A pleasing number of people tested the header and helped checking the names of the top-level categories and testing (probably confirming) the usefulness of the entire concept.

What this is up to is a sustainable concept that will ideally be an ongoing process. Apart from this mid-term goal there is also a very here-and-now one: we need to urgently test the D7UX stuff before Drupal 7 comes out or before the time even for small changes is over.

You can help by:

  1. do testing and upload the videos
  2. find some participants, if you don't want to do testing yourself
  3. be a testing participant if you don't know Drupal too well

A perfect participant has some web experience, has mastered things like ebay product selling forms and maybe has some experience in other cms's or blogging software. No. 2 of the above list would mean another motivated tester has won some participants and could carry out the tests with them. Personally I am willing to do quite some testing, this can be a lot of fun :) We need interviewers and test participants, so what about building up an infrastructure where we have

Drupal UI Report - Screencast of Admin Overlay latest news

--- Sorry for the missing video. After the upgrade to D7, it must have been lost. I did not find it on my Vimeo nor Youtube channel, but if I'll find it, I'll re-link it. ---