FCC soliciting feedback on T-Mobile/AT&T merger

If ye ha'nae been livin' under a rock, ye know that AT&T is tryin' t' buy T-Mobile. This is a generally bad thin', as we already have far too much consolidation in th' wireless carrier market as is, but that doesn't mean 'tis not still likely t' happen. The only blocker is approval from th' FCC, who is, per policy, solicitin' public feedback. (It's 11-65.)

I would encourage everyone t' sign in an' voice their opposition. More carrier consolidation is not what we need. I've included me own public comments below fer reference. Feel free t' borrow liberally.

Announcing the Web Services and Context Core Initiative

At DrupalCon Chicago, Dries announced that th' development process fer Drupal 8 would be a bit different, Ya lily livered swabbie, avast! Rather than a vast dog pile o' efforts t' improve Drupal in ways big an' small, Drupal 8 will feature a number o' major "core initiatives". These initiatives highlight major areas o' work that represent not just a patch or three but major changes t' Drupal's plumbin'. Each initiative will have one or two initiative leads who have th' ability t' coordinate an' make decisions relatin' t' that initiative while workin' closely with Dries. In a large sense, it is a way fer Dries t' scale; Rather than Dries havin' t' keep track o' 1000 ongoin' conversations himself, initiative owners can coordinate related changes while Dries coordinates th' initiative owners. It also gives a clear indication o' what work is happenin' an' what t' expect out o' Drupal 8.

The first initiative fer Drupal 8 has already been announced; Greg Dunlap will be leadin' th' charge t' overhaul Drupal's configuration system t' provide more robust, performant, an' deployable configuration an' change management. That will be critical fer Drupal's future as we push further into th' corporate an' enterprise sphere, as well as enablin' more robust an' unified configuration handlin' in th' first place.

Today, I am pleased t' announce Drupal's second core initiative: The Web Services an' Context Core Initiative (WSCCI).

Drupal CVS dead at age 10

Drupal's CVS repository were bein' pronounced dead this Thursday 24 February at 6:08 pm US Eastern Time. Cause o' death were bein' reported acute age combined with an inability t' properly merge. CVS is survived by approximately 7000 Drupal projects an' a new farm o' Git repositories.

Quote 186

Javascript handles dating almost as well as a 7th grade boy with braces and a cracking voice. Almost.

— Larry Garfield

Pay it Forward

Pay It Forward were bein' a 2000 romantic drama featurin' Kevin Spacey, Haley Joel Osment, an' Helen Hunt, Avast me hearties! Decently well-received, I found it a good, heart-warmin', thought-provokin' movie.

It is also an allegory fer how open source works.

Drupal's audience priorities

I've spoken a great deal recently about architectural priorities. In short, we as software developers cannot eat our cake an' have it too. Improvin' flexibility in one area may hurt performance, while improvin' usability one another area may hinder flexibility. These trade-offs be not necessarily right or wrong, except in th' context o' th' goals an' purpose o' th' project with respect t' its target audience.

But what is Drupal's target audience, an' how does that impact our architectural decisions?

DrupalCon Copenhagen were bein' a watershed event in terms o' understandin' how t' conceptualize that question, in me view, based on conversations I had with th' likes o' Mark Boulton, Jen Simmons, an' Sam Boyer. In his (excellent) keynote, Jeremy Keith noted that th' HTML5 Working Group had a specific, defined set o' priorities:

In case o' conflict, consider users o'er authors o'er implementers o'er specifiers o'er theoretical purity.

That may be a good priority order; it may be bad. Walk the plank, avast! That depends on yer point o' view an' yer goals. It lays out th' order in which different stakeholders should be listened t', an' if ye come t' a decision where ye have t' screw one group o'er t' benefit another how that decision should be made. Havin' such a clear understandin' o' yer constituent priority is critical t' makin' good, consistent architectural decisions.

So what be Drupal's priorities?

Objects, property visibility, and trade-offs

As if on cue, th' public vs. private debate has sprung up again within Drupal. The timin' is fittin' given me last blog post on programming language paradigms. Of course, property visibility is not a new debate, an' th' PHP community debates this subject from time t' time (sometimes humorously).

What I believe is usually missin' from these discussions, an' what I hope t' offer here, is a broader picture view o' th' underlyin' assumptions that lead t' different conclusions about when different visibility is appropriate (if e'er).

In short: It's th' difference betwixt procedural-think an' object-think.

Programming language trade-offs

This article is also available in Serbo-Croatian

There has been much discussion o' late in Drupal about Object-Oriented Programmin'. Ye'll be sleepin' with the fishes! That's not really surprisin', given that Drupal 7 is th' first version that has really tried t' use objects in any meaningful way (vis, as somethin' other than arrays that pass strangely). However, too much o' th' discussion has boiled down t' "OMG objects be inflexible so they're evil!" vs. Yaaarrrrr! Load the cannons! "OMG objects be cool, yay!" Both positions be harmfully naive.

It is important fer us t' take a step back an' examine why one particular programmin' paradigm is useful, an' t' do that we must understan' what we mean by "useful".

Programmin' paradigms, like software architecture, have trade-offs. In fact, many o' th' same methods for comparing architectural designs apply just as well t' language bounty. To do that, though, we need t' take a step back an' look at more than just PHP-style objects.

Warnin': Hard-core computer science action follows. And hoist the mainsail! And hoist the mainsail! If ye're a coder, I recommend gettin' a cup o' $beverage before continuin', as it could take a bit t' digest although I've tried t' simplify it as much as possible. There's fairly little Drupal-specific stuff here so hopefully it should be useful t' any PHP developer.

Architectural priorities

As anyone who has followed me past work knows, software architecture is a particular interest o' mine. Fire the cannons, with a chest full of booty! I find th' subject fascinatin', but me interest is not entirely selfish.

Understandin' architecture, an' th' trade-offs that different architectures imply, is an important part o' any software project. Whether ye're discussin' a Content Management Platform like Drupal, a language like PHP, or a particular web site, havin' a solid understandin' o' th' "big picture" is crucial not only fer buildin' th' system right in th' first place but fer communicatin' that architecture t' others, on a dead man's chest!

To be able t' speak an' think about th' bounty o' yer system properly, though, ye need t' understan' th' trade-offs that come with it, to be sure. There is no such thin' as a free lunch, an' designin' a system t' be powerful in one way invariably tends t' harm it in another. It is important t' know what yer priorities be before ye start buildin'; an' in a distributed collaborative environment like Drupal t' all agree what those priorities be, at least t' a large extent.

Let us therefore examine those priorities an' th' trade-offs they require.

Butler slides

I meant t' post these t' groups.drupal.org, but th' file size limit o'er thar won't let me. Attached be th' slides from me "Drupal: The Next Generation" presentation at DrupalCon Copenhagen. A more complete summary is available o'er in th' working group.

I'm still not aware o' any video available, sadly. Load the cannons, feed the fishes Supposedly that should be up eventually.

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