lubuntu.net new website with Drupal 7

The goal of the upgrade of the lubuntu website was to keep all previous content and screencasts of Leszek and to continue the site with the latest version of Drupal 7, respectively the speed optimized distribution Pressflow 7. The way we did the upgrade: We got the latest dump of the site and database from Osuosl (the great folks of Open Source Lab hosting our site - Thank you!) and upgraded it locally. I got a lot of help from Thanh Nguyen from the Drupal Community, who is also working in my company.

WHAT WAS UPGRADED: The Drupal system was upgraded from version 6 to version 7. All modules were upgraded. Many modules had to be substituted with other modules. A new theme was set up. The new site is merging the proposal of Kanliot with the old site.

DESIGN AND THEME: The new site is using a slightly customized "Superclean theme" provided by the Drupal community. The icons for the lubuntu links and screenshots for the slideshow on the frontpage are made by Rafael Laguna (also known as 礁湖神癒).


screenshot lubuntu.net website 2012

CONTENT AND PARTICIPATION IN LUBUNTU WEB PRESENCE: There are three goals for the lubuntu site.

#1 The intention of the lubuntu website is to direct people to the right resources to find answers, e.g. a download page, forum, wiki or help pages.

#2 On the site we want to provide a basic idea about the lubuntu project.

#3 The site should show 'updates' from the community on the net.

For #1: We are providing links to the most common resources like the lubuntu tag page on the ubuntuforums and help pages.

For #2: We are offering an introduction to lubuntu on the front page and a slideshow (which substitutes the previous screenshots page).

For #3: We are collecting feeds from blogs of contributors and news sites like twitter and google news.

Since the beginning of the project the idea was to keep the participation as open as possible and to focus on lubuntu as a community project rather than "only" a lightweight Linux system. While marketing is important, we also did not want to use marketing language that might "promise too much" or compare to other systems and desktops in a negative way. Lubuntu is more lightweight than many others, but different systems have different advantages and other distributions more features for instance. In the end we are all in the same race for free software :-)

Rather than creating a website that can only be handled by a limited group of people, we also decided to use existing collaboration tools that offer a wide degree of openness . For example, as a newbie or as an established contributor it is much easier to get involved contributing in the existing Ubuntu wiki and Ubuntuforums than becoming active in a team that manages a new content management system.

We are using existing channels as much as possible. In the proposal of Kanliot there were some additional pages with excellent in-depth information. In order to facilitate the process of content updates and to let more people participate, however, I suggest to collect this information in the wiki and other community resources (where there is an established path of getting involved). As far as I can see this actually works out well most of the time and some of the content of pages in the proposal already made it into the wiki and documentation pages.

screenshot lubuntu wiki 2012

screenshot of lubuntuforums

WEBSITE TEAM: Nevertheless, as updates on the website became a bit slow, especially during the last year, we need to think, how to bring a team of contributors together to update the most important information here. We need to form a team to keep the site running with up to date links and information, especially during new releases. The level of access to critical community resources like a server usually depends on the personal level of trust. At the moment our hoster is taking care of the server and many admin tasks, but they will also offer access  to the server ot the lubuntu web team in the upcoming months. So, we need to think about how to establish a team. This is probably a discussion during a UDS or meet up at a lubuntu community weekend.

Let's also take the opportunity to say THANK YOU TO OSUOSL FOR HOSTING LUBUNTU.NET: Osuosl stands for Open Source Lab of Oregan State University. The advantage of hosting with Osuosl is that we do not need to worry about server maintenance and that the site is hosted with a community resource. There are tons of FOSS projects hosted by Osuosl we are sharing resources with. Thank you Osuosl for hosting us and in particular Michael and Rudy for your support!

.. Lastly, still the question: WHY DID IT TAKE SO LONG TO BRING UP THE NEW SITE: One point was, there were a few obstacles to overcome in the upgrade process. Another point was, that the central administration of the server infrastructure of several projects means we need to coordinate with others and it means that there are more parties involved. Thus taking up more time.  Also, as we are co-working across continents (Europe, Asia, North America) and time zones, sometimes having to wait for a day for a reply if something does not work out right away. For the future things are also improving here step by step as Osuosl will soon provide a way for us to take care of CMS installations ourselves.

If you are interested below you find information about the major upgrade tasks and process.

Lubuntu-drupal 7 Upgrade Notes

1. Some important changes:

1.1. Drupal core: 6.22 -> 7.12

1.2. Theme

- Custom Superclean theme: http://drupal.org/project/superclean
- New logo

1.3. Modules

List of modules, which do not work on Drupal 7 anymore:

a) Akismet
- Link: http://drupal.org/project/akismet
- Similar modules include Antispam (which includes Akismet protection), Mollom
http://drupal.org/project/antispam
http://drupal.org/project/mollom

b) customcssjs
- Link: http://drupal.org/project/customcssjs

c) Image (integrated to the core)
- Link: http://drupal.org/project/image
- From Drupal 6 to 7: Image node data may be converted to Image fields using Field convert module; the image_legacy module (in this project's git repository's 7.x-1.x branch) provides the necessary field conversion information.

d) img_assist
- Link: http://drupal.org/project/img_assist

e) supercron (integrated to the core)
- Link: http://drupal.org/project/supercron

f) udcountdown, udheader, udplanet
- Link:
+ http://drupal.org/project/udcountdown
+ http://drupal.org/project/udheader
+ http://drupal.org/project/udplanet
- We need to find solutions to keep these features.

g) oauth_common (for post twitter feature)
- Link: http://drupal.org/project/oauth_common
- OAuth Common has moved to it's new home at http://drupal.org/project/oauth

2. Upgrade process:

2.1. Backup current website.

2.2. Upgrade current website to latest drupal 6 (6.25) and also all active modules.

2.3. Check all modules to find new versions for drupal 7 or look for alternative solution to implement the features.

2.4. Disable all non-core/optional modules and change the theme to basic theme.

2.5. Download the drupal 7 and all module(for drupal 7).

2.6. Upgrade the website and check for errors (we will correct these error before going to next step).

2.7. Enable modules one by one to check and corect the errors.

2.8. Migrate cck fields to drupal 7 fields.

3. Upgrade difficulties:

3.1. Find alternative modules or solution to implement features.

3.2. The White Screen of Death (Completely Blank Page) when enabling a module.

4. New Features:

4.1. A sildeshow on frontpage for showing lubuntu screenshot

4.2. Some block to display new feed items, blog posts,...

Comments

It looks horrible. I have to scroll a VERY long distance to move from the banner to the first article.

We will look at the issue for the following upgrades of the theme. Thank you for your feedback.

Clean. Attractive. Good choice of font and colour. Unfussy. Well done. It would be a good example of design even if the rest of the net wasn't filled with badly designed dross.

Nice new look. Keep the good job lubuntu team!

Hello. New site is very good, but please fix small problem in css. In .node-links a:hover, please use border-radius properties. You use border-radius on node-links menu, but don't use in when users move the mouse on li tag. As a result users see square area over area with round corners. It look messy. And thank you for awesome lubuntu))) P.S. sorry for my English. It's not my first language.

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