Drupal Sprint Camp Wrapup

On Oct 16/17th we held the Drupal 7 Sprintcamp in Hannover. We met with 40 Drupal Workers of all flavors to give a boost to Drupal 7. Beyond the main focus on D7 we also dived headlong into more general Drupal stuff.

Our beautiful venue was the Coworking Space Hannover. On three floors we had plenty of space. We worked on four topic groups: Coding, Documentation, Marketing and Translation. The official organizer was the Drupal Initiative Germany, which is our local mini-version of the Drupal Association. undpaul did all the practical planning and organizing. We managed to attract quite some sponsors, and thanks to them we could keep the camp completely free for attendants, including drinks, food and a saturday night event in a nearby pub. A big thank you to the sponsors!

We chose coordinators for each topic group to have better organization and to have someone to talk to for the sprinters at all times if they ran into problems or out of work.

Coding and translation

Stefan Borchert (stborchert) was responsible for Coding. The biggest chunk worked on was Views, mostly Views for Drupal 7, of course. As the co-maintainer of Views, Daniel Wehner (dereine) was there, we had fixed over 20 Views issues by the end of the weekend. Karsten Frohwein (Kars-T) did a little introduction to Simpletest so with the help of thus newly-trained people we were able to write some new tests for Views.

Besides Views we worked on some other modules:  Login Destination to Drupal 7 (though the patch is still pending for acceptance).  ThemeKey, which has an Alpha 2 now, and we made some serious progress on Content Access and Scheduler.

To sum up we found out that writing tests gets too little attention; especially for Views a lot of tests are missing. This includes writing Simpletests, but also just manually trying out Views and submitting patches. So anyone who is not a coder but wants to have Views ready with the Drupal 7 release: hop in and go for it. Install Drupal 7 with Views 7.x-3.x, create some content and a few Views, hit a wall and file some issues. This is much more valuable than you might think.

The Translation team used our great existing infrastructure on localize.drupal.org to translate Drupal 7 core and quite a few modules like Admin, Context, Pathauto, Features, Strongarm and more. The team was led by Anja Schirwinski (aschiwi), and besides translating they tested beta.drupal.org and helped improve http://drupal.org/features as well as the new website for the Drupal Initiative, which needed a new design, better structure and some text.

Documentation and Marketing

Floh Klare (SirFiChi) led the Documentation team that chose a very thorough approach with the status of the German documentation, which is hosted on drupalcenter.de. Not pleased with the lack of structure, they started over on tddp.de and rebuilt the thing from the ground up. Starting with a well thought out structure, most of the content is still lacking. But the plan is to migrate all the documentation content over time from drupalcenter.de, which was started on the weekend, as well as creating some great new docs. The main features are advanced filtering, which are found in the doc finder. Instead of relying on building the classical tree structure the team focussed on a user that would be likely to use search instead.

But it was not only the German docs that got some boost, also the English docs for Views 3 were extended, which went directly into the advanced help section of the module.

The Marketing team, led by Thomas Moseler (eigentor), faced a bit of a blank slate: we do not have any marketing for Drupal, especially in Germany. But especially over here it is badly needed, as Drupal is by far not as popular here as in the US. The strategy for the weekend was twofold: on one hand a presentation site, that is to be imagined like an extended drupal.com, that was continued to build. The idea is not new and Sebastian Daniel (s.Daniel) has already created a great design and thought out a basic structure. The site will serve only marketing and information purposes mostly for Drupal newcomers.

Similarly to Acquia's home page, this will be divided by four target audiences: decision maker, designer, coder and end user. These four personas also were the basis for the structuring of content that is going to be put on that site. A smaller group worked on creating and structuring the site, while the major part split into subgroups to collect the major advantages that could convince each of the personas to choose Drupal over another CMS.

There were lots and lots of discussions, sheets and whiteboards full of brainstorming results. In the end we managed to prioritize the results while not being finished. But we could be sure to have thought of really a lot, which is to be found in the sprintcamp forums, which document the progress of the other groups as well. What the marketing group must do now is still better prioritize the results, so we can put them on the presentation site that will hopefully launch in late 2010 or early 2011.

A busy and intense weekend, but we still managed to have nice evening events in the nearby pub "Spandau". The cosy and pleasant Coworking Space helped us enjoy it and not to get too much into a workday mood. From our side - we will definitely do it again :)