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What’s new on Drupal.org? – March 2016

Read our Roadmap to understand how this work falls into priorities set by the Drupal Association with direction and collaboration from the Board and community.

Drupal.org updates

Syntax Highlighting

A WYSIWYG editor(CKEditor) is coming to Drupal.org soon to improve the editorial experience- and to take advantage of the same functionality that made CKEditor the choice for Drupal 8 core. However, as a stepping stone to that goal, we need to ensure that the formatting of <code> blocks throughout Drupal.org is preserved.

This has lead us to using Prism.js for syntax highlighting on Drupal.org. You can see this change in any <code> or <?php> block throughout the site, such as this example of function hook_field_info_alter(); below:

function hook_field_info_alter(&$info) {
  // Change the default widget for fields of type 'foo'.
  if (isset($info['foo'])) {
    $info['foo']['default widget'] = 'mymodule_widget';
  }
}

This is the first step, but with a better syntax highlighting library in place, we are pushing hard to make CKEditor itself available on Drupal.org.

Documentation Usability Testing

In March members of the Drupal Association engineering team also spent time doing usability testing with a prototype of our new Documentation content type. This testing, performed with a representative sample of users of different experience levels with Drupal, helped validate our design direction for new Documentation pages and Documentation Guides on Drupal.org, and gave us some valuable feedback for further refining our design as we move into implementation. While we’re not yet ready to share all the details of the new Documentation experience, we’re very excited to share this with the community soon.

Release File Hashes

A file hash can be used to verify the integrity of a file downloaded from a trusted source. Drupal.org provided an md5 hash on the list of a project’s releases (here’s the release listing for Drupal core, for example), but we have expanded the file hash options to include: md5, sha-1, and sha-256.

Because many users do not use file hashes, these hashes are not displayed by default. Any user who does want to access these file hashes can do so from a toggle on the sidebar of a release page. Your preference for what file hash to view will be saved in your browser’s local storage and displayed on all other release pages. The new sha-1 hashes will also be used in upcoming Composer integration.

Communications channels

Taking advantage of the new Sections and Blogs on Drupal.org, we’re gradually working on improving our communication channels. It starts with the Drupal blog, and the Drupal.org blog (which you’re reading now!) – but will soon affect all the ways we communicate about Drupal the software and Drupal.org the site.

You can learn more about communication channels here.

2016 Elections Complete

”Hands

Lastly, but certainly not least – the 2016 election for the Drupal Association At-Large board member ended in March. For the first time, we promoted the voting process to all eligible voters with a targeted banner on Drupal.org. This gave us the broadest reach we’ve ever had when electing a board member, and the most ballots submitted. You can learn more about the elections process and the final vote here.

Congratulations Shayamala Rajaram – and thank you for supporting the community by joining the board!

Sustaining support and maintenance

Drupal.org Outages

Unfortunately our work in March was disrupted on several occasions by a particularly tricky series of outages. Seemingly at random one of the Drupal.org webnodes would experience cache corruption and begin serving 500 errors. The issues did not seem to be related to a recent change, a singular area of the site, or an increase in traffic. After some diligent sleuthing we began to see some patterns in the cache corruption.

In the end, we were able to determine that all the outages were linked to the same bug in Drupal core’s handling of SchemaCache. Drupal.org has been patched and since then no cache corruption incidents have recurred. With a bit more community review (you can help!), hopefully the fix will be committed to core so other affected sites will not encounter the same issue that we did.

More Improvements and Bug Fixes

We made a few other infrastructural improvements and bug fixes in March as well. Not the least of these was deploying dedicated beanstalkd queue servers, to improve the reliability of Drupal.org job queues, especially when recovering from disruption.

We also fixed a regression on groups.drupal.org caused by the upgrade to PHP 5.4 the previous month. A bug in the date chooser caused the date of an event to be reset whenever the event was edited- an issue that we know was frustrating to many in the community who organize local events.

Lastly, we fixed an issue on jobs.drupal.org to make it easier for companies to renew their featured job listings (without having to reach out to us for manual support). We’re seeing a marked increase in the Drupal Jobs interest since the launch of Drupal 8 and we’ll continue to improve the Drupal Jobs platform to foster the Drupal ecosystem.

———

As always, we’d like to say thanks to all the volunteers who work with us, and to the Drupal Association Supporters, who made it possible for us to work on these projects.

Follow us on Twitter for regular updates: @drupal_org, @drupal_infra

Feed Source: Drupal.org
Article Source: What’s new on Drupal.org? – March 2016

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