Drupal for Publishers notes

This week I attended the Drupal for Publishers event that was held at the Sun Microsystems office in central London. As the name suggests, the event was aimed squarely at publishers. I work for the UK's biggest magazine publisher, so I thought I should attend! I was not disappointed.

There were some great presentations and I got some good tips. My only reservation about these sorts of events is that they are often aimed at those that are looking into Drupal as an option, rather then those that are already using it extensively. Although a good suggestion was made at the end for future events, which was to split it into two streams, one for the more technically minded and one for novices. That would certainly help.

Here are my notes from the event. They certainly do not cover everything and maybe not be totally coherent.

Nicolas Borda - Freelance Drupal Themer

Edipresse has 200 newspaper and magazine websites worldwide. In the past 18 months, they have converted 11 websites to Drupal. They have cut IT costs by 75% and traffic has grown by 220% as a result of using Drupal.

Useful modules/techniques:

Use a node reference module to reference other nodes. Create a front page node and then select the nodes that you want to include on the home page. Node Queue module - Group, order and queue nodes


prosepoint.org is a newspaper system built using Drupal. "The morning after" is a good theme for newspaper sites.

Newspaper sites that use Drupal:

Aegar is a great multi sites manager. Open Atrium is a Intranet system built by Development Seed using Drupal.

Simon Worthington - Metamute.org

Innovation News installation profile Moreismore.net - network of interested parties. Uses organic groups. tinka.cc - installation profile OPen ERP (non Drupal) - business process, inventory, sales system Scribbers - opensource desktop apps

Stewart Robinson - The Economist

Why Drupal?

  • Being in a community is better for your quality
  • Innovation at less cost
  • Drupal is socially based, whereas the old site is publishing based
  • Drupal is open and social aspects are better then competitors.

Also looked at Escenic, Nstein, Joomla etc.

Test Driven Development (TDD)

  • Hudson cl (Java tool to monitor source control, run auto updates, runs Simpletest though Drush etc) on Amazon EC2
  • Unit test - Simpletest
  • Browser test - Selenium (firefox plugin)
  • Load test - JMeter

Install API CCK &
Views done in code to allow updating of live sites/databases


  • 7 with +2 or -2 in a team
  • 3 week sprints
  • UX work in current ahead of next sprints
  • Go live at end of sprint
  • Dev branch has to be clean


  • Use swatch to collate errors
  • Use ELOG to make production changes
  • Acquia support
  • Managed service hosting
  • ITIL - Problem management & Incident management


Hired from presenting at DrupalCon or work at Drupal.org (ie module developers)


2 mySQL servers and 2 apache servers



Django Beatty - IPC

Django is an independent consultant - adub.com

IPC Ignite built a Content Management Application (CMA) It has a Drupal backend which pushes data to a legacy database Site delivery appliction reads from the legacy database.

Content Management (Drupal) -> Legacy database -> Site delivery


  • The legacy database must be unchanged
  • Phased delivery
  • TimeWarner security policy


  • Copy basic content into Drupal nodes
  • There is a connector table which acts as a bridge between Drupal and the legcacy database
  • Custom module built for each content type
  • Can integrate legacy and Drupal-native data. For example, can extend the data by using Drupal Taxonomy to tag it. Other Drupal functionality can be used


  • Voting API via services - AJAX callto backend
  • Views accessed via services


  • Custom image cropping tool built enabling editorial to crop images in the browser
  • Did not use the Image Crop module because that relies on CCK
  • Image Field and IPC used the Image module instead

Rich Text Editor:

YUI and FCKEditor tested. FCKEditor was considered to be more robust.


Video of the event

You just need to skip through the first bit because they seemed to start recording too early!