So my blog's been offline for a while now. I think there was a security issue sometime around 8.2.2 because I just upgraded the public version of the site from 8.2.1 directly to 8.8.1. I actually did an upgrade to 8.8.0 alpha-something that I used to bootstrap the upgrade to 8.8.1, but public-facing the site made a pretty big jump. Some of this is due to laziness on my part, but a pretty significant portion of my disappearance has been due to a new (to this blog) position within Acquia.
In my last blog, I talked a bunch about some of the basics of our development efforts around Acquia ContentHub 2.x. There's a lot more I'd like to discuss about that module and the efforts our team has put into it, but one of the comments I got on twitter specifically asked about the Drush commands we packaged with 2.x, how they're used, and what you can do with them, so in an effort to both continue discussing the good work of the team, and the capabilities of the product, I'm going to dedicate this blog to that topic.
I like things that work. I think most technicians do, but as a web developer I have a very serious problem. My most effective environment for doing web development is the one that exists on my own personal box. It can also be a rather impractical place to develop because most of my customers (current and historic) are on rather customized server stacks. Typically, the host has customized the environment to their own specifications. It's not uncommon to find additional services like solr or maybe a memcache server in the mix.
Drupal 8 has been out for over a year at this point. I worked extensively on helping to improve portions of core during the Drupal 8 cycle, but maintaining your own site is radically different from trying to develop the platform that site(s) will reside upon. Upgrading my blog is especially exciting for me because I was still on Drupal 6. Getting to jump directly from Drupal 6 to Drupal 8 is a pretty big win and the fact that Drupal 8 supports this out of the box was amazing. Now granted this is just my blog, it's not even 100 nodes, but still...
To say I've spent a lot of time working on Drupal 8 over the last 21 months would be a bit of an understatement. The Plugin System & the Blocks & Layouts Initiative have consumed much of my professional and personal time over that period, and we've worked on a lot of really awesome and interesting stuff. That being said, the vast vast majority of that work was still really "Drupal" and certain aspects of the underlying architecture that we were building on I didn't have the time to learn in detail.
In early February a gathering of developers came together in Acquia’s offices to decide the fate of the Drupal 8 initiative known as WSCCI (Web Services and Core Context Initiative).
You may have noticed the nice little g+ icon on the site, I've started using a Google+ Page to deliver and organize information about the Contextual Administration module I maintain. This is an interesting new use scenario for me, and I wanted to share what I'm doing and why.
For the past 2 seasons of camps and cons, I've been proposing some material that has taken a lot of its cues from page_manager and ctools. This has been a really hard road to follow because of the complexity inherent in these tools, and as a consequence, only the camps have really given me any real traction on my sessions. This has been encouraging in the sense that my camp sessions have been very well attended and have gone extraordinarily well, and discouraging in the sense that Drupalcon attendees have missed out on these sessions.
Page Manager (and family... i.e. Panels) is starting to get some more traction within our community. New users are finding it, using it, and asking awesome questions about it every day. I've done my part both from a development side as well as a teaching front to try to help that along as much as I can, and I'm very pleased with the fact that the community is beginning to find these tools and really appreciate what they can do. With that being said, I want to pedal some of my own page_manager based wares on those of you who might listen.
Well, today was technically my second official day back in the office. I moved out quite some time ago now due to a number of different factors. Home just became a better environment in which to get things done. However, the demands on my time at the office have become greater and greater, and it just seemed impractical to stay at home any longer. I'm back in the room with "the guys" by which I mean the development team. I haven't been in the same room as them in probably 2+ years. It's a nice change of pace being around people to get work done. Even when I was in the office I wasn't really near other developers and I'm enjoying it.