Fixed-price/scope/date and SCRUM

Scrum

We use scrum (agile development) in our larger projects, and recognize this issue: clients demand a fixed price for a project which is based on a fixed scope and fixed date. According to an article in the Automatiserings Gids (Dutch), this is still possible with scrum by dividing the original scope in iterations, but it does have its limitations and challenges. It's not the preferred way, but it's way better than not using an agile approach. In the meantime, we try to convince clients and partners to consider scrum.

See you all in 2012!

2011 was a great year for us at Merge, and we wanted to thank everybody who made this possible, especially everybody at ezCompany and everyone else @villaminoretti. Here is a little video we made with our best wishes!

Merry Christmas, a Happy New Year and see you all in 2012!
Erik, Bernard and Albert.

Integrity constraint violation nightmare

If you search Google for "registry integrity constraint violation class drupal", you will get about 22.000 results of people talking about this fatal error. It only seems to happen if you're working in a multisite environment and are migrating databases a lot between localhost and test, but hey that's what we do all the time when working on big Drupal projects in a team! Thankfully, it is now marked as a critical issue for D7/8.

Open Atrium 1.1 released - status Drupal 7 version

Open Atrium 1.1 was released yesterday, but it's only a maintenance/security update. Phase 2 acquired Atrium from Development last summer, and at that time announced there are no plans to port OA to D7. However, there is activity in this thread regarding a port to D7. One of the biggest blockers seems to be a missing D7 version of casetracker. Casetracker plus also seems to be a candidate but depends on the Driven API which needs porting. Another approach might be the support module which actually does have D7 release.

Wordpress 3.3

Wordpress 3.3

Wordpress 3.3 was released a couple of days ago, and I took it out for a quick spin to see how it compares to Drupal (7) these days. In short: I'm still very much convinced that Drupal is lightyears ahead if you look at it from a technical point of view. Wordpress might have grown towards Drupal but "CCK for Worpress" is still very limited. They do know how to create a solid media library, something which is still messy in Drupal, and Wordpress offers a great out of the box experience but the two still target a very different audience imho.

Drupal 7 image crop modules

Cropping tool

Clients expect to have crop capabilities available when they upload images. And there are several options for Drupal: Imagefield crop may be the most popular, but it certainly isn't the best (imho). After testing, I found manual crop to have a much better approach. But there are others (comparison) and some have really cool experimental features, like auto-focus and cropping images on the most important parts (face detection, awesome!).

When to batch and when to queue?

I was building a Drupal 7 module and needed to implement a way to import/sync thousands of nodes, files and terms through a SOAP connection. The manual sync can be accomplished in the UI using the excellent batch API (example) which was also available in Drupal 6. But when do you use the new queue API in D7? Short answer: when you need to perform large processes through cron. See also the DrupalCon SF video comparing the two methods.

Using subtle textures in webdesign

Using textures for design is nothing new, but using it in a way you can hardly see it's an image is seems to become more popular. Subtle textures are used to make websites feel more real. After all, a piece of paper also has a texture and we seem to prefer these imperfections over a 'perfect' solid color or gradient.

Drupalcamp24x7: drupal video tutorials

Drupalcamp24x7

Drupalcamp24x7.org is new community site launched in August and focusses on quality drupal tutorial video's (a bit like NodeOne's excellent video library) It also tries to help people interested in Drupal to share their ideas with others who are unable to taste the fun of DrupalCamp in any way, and they also have a Twitter account.

2012: The year of Big Data, Cloud Computing and the End of Privacy

2012: The Year of the Dragon

Adjiedj Bakas is a well known Dutch trendwatcher, and at the end of each year he presents trends for the coming year. Here are some trends from the category that interest me most: 'Internet and privacy'. We will see growth of Big Data and cloud computing. The end of privacy and secrets. Hacking and identity theft will become an even bigger problem because everybody and everything is online and connected. Cyberwars may become more important than real wars. An anti-internet movement might arise of people who are tired of social media and children who prefer to play outside again. Some trends are already visible others I'm not so sure. What do you think?

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