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PHP Programming

Community, OSL and Sun Jump to Drupal's Rescue 175

Robert Douglass writes "Drupal asked for help and received a major dose of it. Sun Microsystems has stepped up and donated a Sun Fire V20z server which will be the backbone of Drupal's new server architecture at the Open Source Lab. Furthermore, over $10,000 in donations were collected in a matter of a couple days (thanks to all the people who responded to the previous /. post!), plus thousands more in pledges from groups like Apress and CivicSpaceLabs... looks like the community loves Drupal!"
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Community, OSL and Sun Jump to Drupal's Rescue

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  • I've got pictures!!! (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 15, 2005 @09:35AM (#13072240)
    Pictures [nyud.net] of the Sun equipment. Coral Cahed to boot.

    Damn I'm a nice guy!
  • New /. Feature? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Remind me what Drupal is again given there isn't an obvious link to a "What is Drupal?" page.

    Maybe Slashcode should adopt a system that automatically links to topics that the story poster does not define.
  • not only is it good they got support but it's good advertisement too. I was looking for a site system like that but was unsatified with those I had found even the commercial ones.
  • Opinions on Drupal (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Dakrin1 ( 220684 ) on Friday July 15, 2005 @09:37AM (#13072262)
    Does anyone have any opinions on Drupal? How does it compare to other Content Management Systems like LCMS, Rainbow, DotNetNuke, and PHPNuke.
    • Oh, and I know people will probably say "It's better than DotNetNuke cause it will run on non-windows based servers" but mainly I'm just curious about the functionality, stability, and security of drupal itself and I could care less what I run it on. (yes, my windows servers are just as stable and secure as my linux servers).

      I just want a pure comparison between CMS's, not the underlying architecture.
      • Check out http://www.opensourcecms.com/ [opensourcecms.com] I really dig Mambo.. they take the firefox approach and make a solid CMS infrastructure with the basic features most people need and the community creates components/modules to extend that functionality... some free, some not.
      • Me too!. I've set a community web site with mambo and it was really easy. The best thing about mambo is that once setup everything can be done from the web browser. I was put off from Drupal when I read that modules required to be compiled . (Is that right?)

        I have heard however that Drupal is faster due to its page cacheing mechanism. I've also tried XOOP but I did not like the themes upload mechanism. Again with mambo its pretty easy. With XOOP you have to manually copy files.

        The only thing I do not like
      • by yelvington ( 8169 )
        I've built several sites on a Drupal foundation, including one significant community newspaper site that provides free blogs and photo galleries to thousands of community members. I'm very impressed with Drupal. Here are the major strengths and weaknesses as I see them.


        * Stability.
        * Scalability. Configurable page caching is in the core feature set. Session data is in the database, so if you need to serve to the whole planet, you can deploy an array of web servers.
        * Extensibility. There's a very
    • by garcia ( 6573 ) * on Friday July 15, 2005 @09:43AM (#13072320)
      Well, considering that it is being backed so heavily by the community and is used on larger sites (i.e. mozilla.org) I would say that it has its place among the others...

      I haven't tried all of the above but I did examine PHPNuke for a short time because of Gallery's ability to easily integrate with it. I gave up on PHPNuke and went w/Drupal instead because of word-of-mouth even though Gallery v1 doesn't support Drupal integration.

      I came up with my own way to integrate my existing Gallery v1 setup into Drupal because their "blocks" allow you to run custom PHP code (or any code via external calls) in them.

      I have been quite pleased with Drupal and am looking forward to the new directions all the donations by the community, Sun, and OSL will bring.
      • by garcia ( 6573 )
        See here [lazylightning.org] for how I used a Bash script to integrate a random Gallery v1 image into Drupal.

        Slashdot won't let me post it anonymously, sorry.
    • by SolusSD ( 680489 )
      I threw together a personal Drupal site in a matter of minutes: www.uwcreations.com straight forward/easy to use, but very powerful. I also use mambo.. but while it seems more flexible, it can be a nightmare compared to drupal.
      • My problem with Drupal is that every CMS lets me throw together a personal site in a matter of minutes, but none of them let me, in a matter of hours or even days, make things truly 'personal' with a format other than the "static pages, forums, calendars, and blogs" philosophy that most CMSes seem to share and a style that is uniquely my own.
    • by drewzhrodague ( 606182 ) <drew@zhrod a g u e . n et> on Friday July 15, 2005 @09:51AM (#13072410) Homepage Journal
      Drupal seems to be a far better CMS than PHPNuke was, I had created a whole bunch of websites using PHPNuke.

      PHPNuke [phpnuke.org] was great at the beginning, until kiddies started using the thing to send SPAM, post SPAM, and generally piss me off. Manual process to deal with that kind of crap.

      Drupal seems to have a couple of modules that let you deal with SPAM, though I haven't investigated it enough yet.

      I like how modular the code is, and I haven't needed to edit the Drupal code to make it do what I want, like I had to with PHPNuke.

      We're working on changing WiFiMaps.com [wifimaps.com] over to Drupal, and I've alrealdy converted Recruiter-Rater [zhrodague.net] over, using a nuke2drupal conversion script -- quite painless!
    • by dnadig ( 414126 )
      So, I've run/am running sites on mambo, drupal, Postnuke, Xoops, and Wordpress.

      WP is superior for simple blogging

      Mambo is superior for running a "newsy" kind of site

      Postnuke is superior for running a "fanboy" kind of site with lots of galleries, downloads, and discussion boards

      I find Drupal interesting - if only because of the wierd taxonomy/node system. I think it's best used for non-traditional creative group writing, but it falls short of the others in their respective categories for numerous reason
    • by afinn ( 467407 )
      Drupal is an excellent piece of software. Compared to other CMSs it is fast, modular, has a clean codebase and a gentle learning curve. I recently started using it after messing around with various other CMS systems over the last couple of years.

      To be honest its the first one that has really impressed me. I looked at slashcode [slashcode.com], scoop [kuro5hin.org], zope [zope.org], plone [plone.org], postnuke [postnuke.com], mambo [mamboserver.com].

      When I started using drupal I got the same feeling as when I started using Mac OS X. To continue the OS analogy postnuke and phpnuke are more l

    • by blazerw11 ( 68928 ) <blazerw&bigfoot,com> on Friday July 15, 2005 @10:15AM (#13072637) Homepage
      Drupal is very easy to customize. We turned it into a really cool location based community [earthcomber.com] now complete with Google Maps [earthcomber.com]. A place where you can share cool [earthcomber.com] (or interesting [earthcomber.com], or weird [earthcomber.com]) locations related to almost any interest [earthcomber.com].

      Then, you can take them with you on your handheld.
      • I was checking out your site ... very cool! I'm curious how much you had to customize and what you did in fact customize. We're looking for software that has a lot of the features you have on your site, and was thinking of Drupal, and if it wasn't too much, maybe that will instill the confidence I have to go forward with it (and no, our site has absolutely nothing to do with maps :) ).
    • by rho ( 6063 )
      It's very easy to set up and use. It's very MySQL specific--if you want to use PostgreSQL, you'll spend some time removing MySQL-specific DB calls both from the core and from contributed modules. In order to work around the fundamental brokenness of older MySQL installations, Drupal does things itself that normally you would rely on the database to do for you. Foreign keys, for example. Sometimes the contributors do stupid things. One of the basic modules, search, requires a particularly up-to-date version
    • I've got a bunch of sites based on Drupal, and have been using it for quite a while, I've upgraded through 3 versions so far.

      The upgrades haven't always gone smoothly, but it's always been worth the hassle.

      I've got sites at http://www.libertylost.org/ [libertylost.org] and sites like http://genome.eutechtics.com/ [eutechtics.com] -- the eutechtics sites are about 25 different "news" sites that I've been toying with to see what will generate traffic. It's really nice to be able to run a huge slew of sites off of one codebase, using virtualh
    • I started using Drupal about a month ago to totally revamp my site. [electric-escape.net] It's still under construction, but the bulk of the work has been adding my existing content more than anything else. I wrote a few PHP modules to add some functions I wanted that didn't already exist, and tweaked some of the existing modules to my taste, but there was nothing there a decent coder would find troublesome.

      It's a bit confusing to learn at first, especially wrapping my head around how the taxonomy system works. But aside fro
    • The URL listed as my homepage runs it. I have really liked it. I didn't have to do a lot of home work to install it and all the little customizations I have done to it have worked well.

      Can't actually say I have had any problems with it at all so haven't tried any of the others you have listed.
  • Solaris (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Zweideutig ( 900045 )
    Is Drupal going to be running Solaris, or are they going to install Linux (SPARC) instead?
    • A Sun Fire V20z is an opteron server, so that's just normal x86 linux

      • Having just had one of these *incredibly noisy* things to test, I can quite happily confirm they run Solaris... I'm not sure where you're getting your info from but it sure as hell isn't Sun..
        • ack.. i just realised that you meant x86 Linux rather than.. oh... god the shame of failing to understand a short post on /. on a Friday afternoon. Apologies to parent, I just totally misread what you wrote :$
        • Even a 15K is going to be running whatever you want it to once you take ownership of it. What it comes preloaded with really isn't all that relevant.
    • Re:Solaris (Score:2, Informative)

      by tu_holmes ( 744001 )
      It doesn't really matter, but I can say it won't be Sparc linux...

      The V20z is an AMD Opteron server.

      It will either run Solaris x86 or Linux (the non-sparc version).
      • Re:Solaris (Score:3, Interesting)

        by mrm677 ( 456727 )
        I have experience with a cluster of Sunfire V20z's running 64-bit Linux. It is not stable and we see kernel panics all the time. Fortunately this is a compute-cluster and we can deal with the crashes.

        A Sun rep said we are one of their few customers he knows of that is using 64-bit Linux because of the known stability problems in the kernel. The hardware tests out fine and the reps say that 32-bit Linux and 64-bit Solaris are both rock solid.

        I wonder if this is Sun-specific, or if 64-bit Linux on a
        • I am also running a large compute cluster of v20z's and v40z's and have no such problems.

          We had a couple of machines panic to begin with, but these were manufacturing problems rather than software and they have been replaced.

          64bit Linux runs perfectly well on v20z's and v40z's. I suspect the "known stability problems in the kernel" that your Sun rep are talking about are most likely Sun FUD or the Sun rep's lack of knowledge about Linux x86_64 support.
          • We have an Opteron compute cluster, based on HP 1U 2 cpu nodes. Runs just fine with 64-bit Linux. We use the rocks cluster distribution, which is based on RHEL 3 (the newest rocks relase is based on centos 4 which in turn is based on rhel 4, due to trademark issues).
        • Re:Solaris (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Zemplar ( 764598 )
          I agree with Breezly. 64-bit Linux can be stable, given the right distribution. I ran testing on several major Linux distros in 32-bit and 64-bit and Solaris before finalizing my choice on my dual Opteron W2100z.

          Summary of results: All 32-bit Linux good, some 64-bit Linux okay, 64-bit Solaris superb. In the end, I found the Solaris kernel better at SMP and more responsive with 32-bit Linux pretty good. 64-bit Linux on the distros I tried simply were not polished at the time (1st quarter 2005. Solaris
        • I wonder if this is Sun-specific, or if 64-bit Linux on any Opteron is flaky?

          It's probably distribution-specific. You haven't said what distro you're using, and I hate to say it regardless, but you're probably best off using a RHEL clone like CentOS or Scientific Linux.
    • My big question is not if it will run Linux or Solaris but will it run Postgres or MySQL?
      From what I read they are going to use the Sun to run the database server.
      I would try Solaris myself just so I could learn it.

  • As you can tell from the way the drupal.org site is (not) responding, it is still being run from the old server.
  • Server overkill? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by afinn ( 467407 ) on Friday July 15, 2005 @09:43AM (#13072325) Homepage
    So the old server was a Pentium Xeon 3Ghz with 1 GB of RAM. This server wasn't even dedicated to drupal - I believe it was shared with approximately 20 other sites.

    Now sun have donated a server with dual Opteron and 4G RAM. This alone would probably have been enough to host the drupal site wiht a serious improvement in performance. But they've also purchased 3 Dell 1850s with dual Xeons and 2G RAM.

    Given what was serving the site before, do they really need all this horsepower? With the unexpected server donation from Sun, could the money raised have been better spent on something other than more servers?

    • But now they can dedicate the other boxes to the gaming servers that all IT people run in the background! Err... Yeah, it does seem odd that they went all out, but at least they shouldn't need any server upgrades for a while.
    • Re:Server overkill? (Score:4, Informative)

      by garcia ( 6573 ) * on Friday July 15, 2005 @09:51AM (#13072405)
      With the unexpected server donation from Sun, could the money raised have been better spent on something other than more servers?

      If you had read the linked information from the blurb you would have found out that the Drupal team decided that putting all the money towards server/backend stuff is what the community would want.

      The community thought that they money they were donating was for a server to host Drupal at the OSL. When the donations went *way* over what Drupal originally needed the staff still felt that it should remain w/the server side.

      They also mentioned that they might have used some of that money to start up the Drupal Foundation but decided that additional money, already promised to them by various sources, would go to that instead (i.e. Summer of Code by Google).

      • When the donations went *way* over what Drupal originally needed the staff still felt that it should remain w/the server side.

        Silly bunnies, they should have just celebrated and given free ipods to everyone with the money.
    • Let me tell this - paying people to work on open source often has bad results .. No I'm not talking about employing someone to work on OSS , just about invoicing OSS work.

      It so easily drops into a how much does it pay ? from it's cool, that's why I do it !. Speaking as someone who got paid a couple of thousand bucks to work on OSS, I just didn't feel like I was working for that rush anymore. The change was very shocking to me at first, then I realized WHY open source is popular - because it lets peop

      • It so easily drops into a how much does it pay ? from it's cool, that's why I do it !. Speaking as someone who got paid a couple of thousand bucks to work on OSS, I just didn't feel like I was working for that rush anymore. The change was very shocking to me at first, then I realized WHY open source is popular - because it lets people work on what they like (want is ambigous because people might want a bounty job).

        You are completely right, but this is not necessarily a bad thing. Most of the fun in pro

      • But yeah, SUN's just showing off !. Sort of like a PR stunt - but it's good for drupal , so we don't mind.

        Ha. Sun could invent a cure for death, give it for free to slashdot readers, and they'd still be bad. Am I right guys?!?!?
    • Who is to say that Drupal, if they get a foundation together, might not use some of their newly found horsepower to support/host other projects that are getting off the ground, or need their help?

      Personally, i'd love to see them use their new stuff for the betterment of their project and a few others. Also, it'd be great to see them take the excess money and invest it in such a way that it can continually pay for their operating costs ... or summer internships for a few kids ... or something useful like
    • Now sun have donated a server with dual Opteron and 4G RAM.

      I wonder how the anti-Sun slashbots will spin this one? Is big, bad, evil Sun out to squash open source now? Perhaps they are going to put a timebomb in the server so that it will fail miserably and take an entire open source project down with it...

      All joking aside, I wish that people would recognize the good things Sun has done for open source rather than nitpicking over small details that are really insignificant.

  • "Drupal?" Well, that name caught me off guard! On reading the introduction, I thought Drupal is some famous [Indian] "computer" person. How wrong I was. But again, http://www.sourceforge.net/ [sourceforge.net] does not list Drupal among the top 10 most active Content Management Systems! I used "CMS" as the search string.

    So, is the statement: "Drupal is the leading open-source (written in PHP) content management system and is used to power tens of thousands of websites, blogs, community sites, etc." really accurate?

    • by f-bomb ( 101901 ) on Friday July 15, 2005 @10:00AM (#13072505) Homepage Journal
      That's because drupal has their own development infrastructure and does not use sourceforge's services. Just because a project isn't hosted on sourceforge doesn't mean its not relevant. I switched to drupal from Post-Nuke about 6 months ago and will never go back.
    • So, is the statement: "Drupal is the leading open-source (written in PHP) content management system and is used to power tens of thousands of websites, blogs, community sites, etc." really accurate?

      I'd say so; I looked into open-source CMS solutions for work a while back, and Drupal was one name that kept cropping up. I was taken a bit aback by your comment about sourceforge, and repeated your search - I couldn't see Drupal in the top 20! Same on freshmeat, though I guess they'd overlap. I suppose Dr

      • Measuring open source projects based on their ranking on Sourceforge only makes sense if those projects host their development files and release files through Sourceforge! Drupal doesn't.
        • Measuring open source projects based on their ranking on Sourceforge only makes sense if those projects host their development files and release files through Sourceforge! Drupal doesn't.

          You have no idea (alright, perhaps you do) how stupid I feel right now! It's been a while since I looked at Drupal; is that an excuse?!

  • by Anonymous Coward
    ... fix the vulnerabilities in Drupal. http://www.kdedevelopers.org/ [kdedevelopers.org] was running Drupal and was hacked into.
    • It was fixed earlier this week with the help of the drupal team. The biggest problem with drupal is that it requires so little babysitting to keep running it can get easy to ignore it when you are busy. Note that I am a KDE developer and not a web monkey, so I have bigger fish to fry than dorking with a server. The install that was present there was over 1 year old, and was missing a security patch that was issued the day before (the xmlrpc bug).

      Knowing this the drupal guys are working on a more automate
  • Drupal (Score:2, Interesting)

    by certel ( 849946 )
    Good for Drupal. Glad to see that people still care about others projects.
  • Drupal Info (Score:5, Informative)

    by Dakrin1 ( 220684 ) on Friday July 15, 2005 @09:50AM (#13072395)
    Oh, and I was curious what drupal was too, the slashdot link doesn't give much more info than that it's a CMS, and drupal.org is down (looks like they haven't installed the new hardware in time for slashdot).

    Here's the wikipedia with link:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drupal [wikipedia.org] [wikipedia.org]

    Drupal is a content management framework, content management system and blogging engine which was originally written by Dries Buytaert and is the software used to power Debian Planet [1], Terminus1525 [2], Spread Firefox [3] and Kernel Trap [4], among others. Drupal is written in PHP using strict coding standards.

    Drupal is the English spelling for the Dutch word 'druppel' which means 'drop'.

    Though it started as a small bulletin board system, Drupal has become much more than just a news portal, thanks to its flexible architecture. Drupal has a basic layer, or core, which supports pluggable modules that enable additional behaviors. The modules available for Drupal provide a wide assortment of features, including e-commerce systems, workflow, photo galleries, mailing list management, and CVS integration. Drupal's taxonomy/classification module is especially interesting, in that it allows any content to be classified with a flexible tagging system.

    Some of the more special roles that Drupal has filled include company intranets, online classrooms, art communities and project management. Many feel that Drupal's focus on user communities is what makes it stand out from its competition.
  • either the new horsepower hasn't been put in place yet, or they need more money to buy better machines ;) (or optimise the software, duh)
  • They should have gone with/asked for the v40z... As I mentioned before [slashdot.org]

    dual opterons are nice, but quad (with dual core = 8CPUs) with up to 32Gb makes for a (more) nice database server.


  • Tim Bray (Score:4, Interesting)

    by zocle ( 755618 ) on Friday July 15, 2005 @10:11AM (#13072603)
    Its worth noting this entry from Tim Bray:
    http://tbray.org/ongoing/When/200x/2005/07/14/Drup al-Server [tbray.org]
    It seems that he deserves some credit for starting the ball rolling.
    A nice comment in the article:
    What we have here is an ecosystem. Drupal has a problem, the community notices, Slashdot broadcasts, we help them out, a nice piece of infrastructure is strengthened, the tide rises and all our boats float a little higher.
  • NASA World Wind (Score:2, Interesting)

    by fourtyfive ( 862341 )
    How come when a project like this asks for donations they get tens of thousandths of dollars and hardware to boot, but when a project like NASA World Wind, that uses probably 100x the resources with at least 5x the user base asks for donations, we can barely make up a measly 300$ a month for the one community server. http://worldwind.arc.nasa.gov/ [nasa.gov]
  • I was just reading [zdnet.com] that SpreadFirefox.com was cracked. Apparently they were using Drupal.

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