Within weeks of introducing the contribution credit system on Drupal.org we realized we had created something powerful. Like all open source projects, Drupal has a behind-the-scenes economy of contribution in which individuals, organizations, and end users work together to maintain the software as a public good. That behind-the-scenes economy was brought to the fore when we chose to rank the Drupal Marketplace by issue credits. For the first time, Drupal.org gave businesses a direct financial incentive to contribute code.
Being good stewards of these incentives is a sobering responsibility, but also a great opportunity. We can use this system to recognize the selfless effort of our community volunteers, to reward the organizations that sponsor their employees' time to give back to the project, and to connect end-users with the organizations that are the biggest contributors.
But as we often say in this community—contribution is more than code. It is the time provided by dedicated volunteers; the talent of community organizers, documentation maintainers, and developers; and the treasure provided by organizations that sponsor Drupal events and fund the operations and infrastructure that maintain the project.What are we changing?
We’re updating the ranking algorithm for Drupal.org’s Marketplace of service providers and list of all organizations in the Drupal ecosystem. We've expanded on the issue credit system to create a more generic contribution credit system which lets us recognize more types of contribution. Each type of contribution is now weighted to give the organization an overall amount of contribution credit. We've built this system so that we can continuously evolve the incentives it creates by adjusting the weight given to each type of contribution as the project's needs change. To prevent gaming, we will not be publishing the exact weights or total contribution score, but those weights have been reviewed by the Association Board and Community Working Group.
We've carefully chosen a few new types of contribution to factor into the ranking. These were selected because they create incentives to reach specific goals: encouraging organizations to sponsor development of Drupal, gathering more Drupal 8 success stories that can be used to promote Drupal adoption, and recognizing the financial contributions that promote the fiscal health of the Drupal association.
We now calculate the following 4 types of contribution into overall contribution credit:
- Issue credits — helping build the Drupal software happens in the issue queues. Issue credits remain the primary factor in ranking, and continue to be shown prominently. Issue credits on more widely used projects, like Drupal Core, will also receive greater weight in the ranking. Learn how to help in the issue queue
- Drupal 8 case studies — success stories show how Drupal is used across industries and the world, helping effectively introduce Drupal to more people. Learn how to write a case study
- Drupal Association Supporter Programs and Organization Membership — our partners and members help us build and maintain Drupal.org. Learn about supporter programs and organization membership
- Projects supported — the work to maintain a project sometimes happens outside of issues. Project maintainers can credit organizations which help provide time and sponsorship. Learn more about crediting project contributions
Of course, these new factors still don't include all types of contribution. This iteration aims to add measurable factors that reward the behavior of organizations that are good Drupal citizens, and incentivize some of the most important contributions that have a big impact in moving the project forward. But there are other factors we'd like to include in the future! We're keeping track of these additional kinds of contribution, such as sponsoring local user groups, organizing training days, writing documentation, and more, in this issue: #2649100: Improve contribution statistics on user and organization profiles.
There are two factors in particular that we are not yet including that we'd like to address.
The first is project application reviews. These reviews are a critical part of the lifecycle of a new project on Drupal.org, but because we are making the Project Application Revamp a key priority for the first part of 2017, this was not our focus in this initial update. We may revisit this factor as the Project Application Revamp initiative gets underway.
The second is camp organization. We know that there are many individuals and organizations who invest heavily in Drupal Camps, and this has been a critical part of the project's success. However, at this time our data about the individuals and organizations who participate in camp organization is purely self-reported, and therefore too vulnerable to manipulation to include in the algorithm at this time. In the future we hope we can find a responsible way to measure and credit this kind of contribution.
We’ll continue to look for other good factors to add, and do our best to weigh them fairly.How often will the algorithm change? Who governs these changes?
As this is our first major change to the marketplace ranking system since the launch of issue credits, we may need to make some small adjustments in the first weeks following the launch. However, we know that too frequent changes to the incentive structure will be frustrating for the individuals and organizations who are contributing to the project. Therefore, after the initial tuning we intend to update the marketplace ranking system on a roughly 6 month cycle.
While the primary responsibility to manage the contribution credit system is ours, we have committed to vetting these and future changes with members of the Drupal Association Board and Community Working Group.
The Drupal Community Working Group is pleased to announce that nominations for the 2017 Aaron Winborn Award are now open. This annual award recognizes an individual who demonstrates personal integrity, kindness, and above-and-beyond commitment to the Drupal community. It will include a scholarship and stipend to attend DrupalCon and recognition in a plenary session at the event.
Nominations are open to not only well-known Drupal contributors, but also people who have made a big impact in their local or regional community. If you know of someone who has made a big difference to any number of people in our community, we want to hear about it.
This award was created in honor of long-time Drupal contributor Aaron Winborn, whose battle with Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) (also referred to as Lou Gehrig's Disease) came to an end on March 24, 2015. Based on a suggestion by Hans Riemenschneider, the Community Working Group, with the support of the Drupal Association, launched the Aaron Winborn Award.
Nominations are open until March 1, 2017. A committee consisting of the Community Working Group members and past award winners will select a winner from the submissions. Members of this committee and previous winners are exempt from winning the award.
Previous winners of the award are:
* 2015: Cathy Theys
* 2016: Gábor Hojtsy
If you know someone amazing who should benefit from this award please nominate them at https://www.drupal.org/aaron-winborn-award
Nine months ago I wrote about the importance of improving Drupal's content workflow capabilities and how we set out to include a common base layer of workflow-related functionality in Drupal 8 core. That base layer would act as the foundation on which we can build a list of great features like cross-site content staging, content branching, site previews, offline browsing and publishing, content recovery and audit logs. Some of these features are really impactful; 5 out of the top 10 most requested features for content authors are related to workflows (features 3-7 on the image below). We will deliver feature requests 3 and 4 as part of the "content workflow initiative" for Drupal 8. Feature requests 5, 6 and 7 are not in scope of the current content workflow initiative but still stand to benefit significantly from it. Today, I'd like to provide an update on the workflow initiative's progress the past 9 months.
The top 10 requested features for content creators according to the 2016 State of Drupal survey. Features 1 and 2 are part of the media initiative for Drupal 8. Features 3 and 4 are part of the content workflow initiative. Features 5, 6 and 7 benefit from the content workflow initiative.Configurable content workflow states in Drupal 8.2
While Drupal 8.0 and 8.1 shipped with just two workflow states (Published and Unpublished), Drupal 8.2 (with the the experimental Content moderation module) ships with three: Published, Draft, and Archived. Rather than a single 'Unpublished' workflow state, content creators will be able to distinguish between posts to be published later (drafts) and posts that were published before (archived posts).
The 'Draft' workflow state is a long-requested usability improvement, but may seem like a small change. What is more exciting is that the list of workflow states is fully configurable: you can add additional workflow states, or replace them with completely different ones. The three workflow states in Drupal 8.2 are just what we decided to be good defaults.
Let's say you manage a website with content that requires legal sign-off before it can be published. You can now create a new workflow state 'Needs legal sign-off' that is only accessible to people in your organization's legal department. In other words, you can set up content workflows that are simple (like the default one with just three states) or that are very complex (for a large organization with complex content workflows and permissions).
This functionality was already available in Drupal 7 thanks to the contributed modules like the Workbench suite. Moving this functionality into core is useful for two reasons. First, it provides a much-requested feature out of the box – this capability meets the third most important feature request for content authors. Second, it encourages contributed modules to be built with configurable workflows in mind. Both should improve the end-user experience.Support for different workflows in Drupal 8.3
Drupal 8.3 (still in development, planned to be released in April of 2017) goes one step further and introduces the concept of multiple types of workflows in the experimental Workflows module. This provides a more intuitive way to set up different workflows for different content types. For example, blog posts might not need legal sign-off but legal contracts do. To support this use case, you need to be able to setup different workflows assigned to their appropriate content types.
What is also interesting is that the workflow system in Drupal 8.3 can be applied to things other than traditional content. Let's say that our example site happens to be a website for a membership organization. The new workflow system could be the technical foundation to move members through different workflows (e.g. new member, paying member, honorary member). The reusability of Drupal's components has always been a unique strength and is what differentiates an application from a platform. By enabling people to reuse components in interesting ways, we turn Drupal into a powerful platform for building many different applications.
Drupal 8.3 will support multiple different editorial workflows. Each workflow can define its own workflow states as well as the possible transitions between them. Each transition has permissions associated with them to control who can move content from one state to another.Workspace interactions under design
While workflows for individual content items is very powerful, many sites want to publish multiple content items at once as a group. This is reflected in the fourth-most requested feature for content authors, 'Staging of multiple content changes'. For example, a newspaper website might cover the passing of George Michael in a dedicated section on their site. Such a section could include multiple pages covering his professional career and personal life. These pages would have menus and blocks with links to other resources. 'Workspaces' group all these individual elements (pages, blocks and menus) into a logical package, so they can be prepared, previewed and published as a group. And what is great about the support for multiple different workflows is that content workflows can be applied to workspaces as well as to individual pieces of content.
We are still in the early stages of building out the workspace functionality. Work is being done to introduce the concept of workspaces in the developer API and on designing the user interface. A lot remains to be figured out and implemented, but we hope to introduce this feature in Drupal 8.5 (planned to be released in Q2 of 2018). In the mean time, other Drupal 8 solutions are available as contributed modules.
An outside-in design that shows how content creators could work in different workspaces. When you're building out a new section on your site, you want to preview your entire site, and publish all the changes at once. Designed by Jozef Toth at Pfizer.Closing thoughts
We discussed work on content workflows and workspaces. The changes being made will also help with other problems like content recovery, cross-site content staging, content branching, site previews, offline browsing and publishing, and audit logs. Check out the larger roadmap of the workflow initiative and the current priorities. We have an exciting roadmap and are always looking for more individuals and organizations to get involved and accelerate our work. If you want to get involved, don't be afraid to raise your hand in the comments of this post.Thank you
I tried to make a list of all people and organizations to thank for their work on the workflow initiative but couldn't. The Drupal 8 workflow initiative borrows heavily from years of hard work and learnings from many people and organizations. In addition, there are many people actively working on various aspects of the Drupal 8 workflow initiative. Special thanks to Dick Olsson (Pfizer), Jozef Toth (Pfizer), Tim Millwood (Appnovation), Andrei Jechiu (Pfizer), Andrei Mateescu (Pfizer), Alex Pott (Chapter Three), Dave Hall (Pfizer), Ken Rickard (Palantir.net) and Ani Gupta (Pfizer). Also thank you to Gábor Hojtsy (Acquia) for his contributions to this blog post.