Bryan Ruby


Thoughts, Words, and Deeds

When Personal Schedules Cause Stress

One of the purposes of a personal blog is to leave behind the stress and confines of your professional duties and embrace a new adventure. However, it's easy to fall into a trap of bringing what you do professionally back home with you into your own personal space. I originally had planned to update this blog at a minimum of once a week. Sticking to schedules are a necessary part of my professional life and I was about to repeat that same approach here.

When I looked at my calendar to set some time to blog I began to see more of my free time whither away. I began feeling stress over something I should have complete control over, my personal schedule.

Sticking to a schedule is a great idea for professional blogs, but it's a horrible idea for those that truly want to "break out of the box". Your whole approach for supporting a personal blog needs to be different than your professional blog. If not, what is the point of doing a personal blog?

Join me on this Thursday's CMS Connected Webcast

If you have some free time this Thursday then you might want to tune into the CMS Connected's live webcast. As a periodic guest, I will be reviewing the Magnolia CMS platform in the show's Vendor Spotlight segment. Magnolia is an open source java-based content management system that is used in more than 100 countries across the world, by governments and leading FORTUNE 500 enterprise.

Showtime is set for Thursday, February 27th at 11:30 AM CST. If you plan on watching the webcast live, be sure and register for show at CMS-Connected.com.

The primary focus of the show will be on the shift to "Big Data".

How has Big Data changed your world? This isn’t just an “old dogs, new tricks” shift. Big Data is a massive paradigm shift that opens new doors and creates new possibilities that are an order of magnitude different from what previous generations had at their fingertips. So, how does one embrace the Big Data paradigm shift?

As part of our discussion on Big Data they will welcoming Seth Earley into the studio. Seth is a 25 year veteran of the technology industry and currently heads a consulting firm of which is is the founder and CEO.

Also, joining the show will be regular co-hosts, Scott Liewehr and Butch Stearns. A first, I think, DCG Principal Analyst Jill Finger Gibson will also weighing in on some of our big news stories of the show.

Wrong Turns Matter

Most people regret wrong turns. When my son was 20 months old we visited his grandparents in Kansas City. He was a great little traveler on the way there but on the way back he hit his limit to being "uncomfortable" in the back seat. When we saw a train on the tracks east of the Interstate, I decided to take the next turnoff in hopes the train would distract him for a few minutes. Unfortunately, once committed to the new highway there was no way to turn around for 18 miles. My 5 minute pause delay turned into a much longer detour. Worse, we failed to grab our prize as the train was long gone from our view. Eventually, I yielded to our fate and made another turn for the country roads. 

Sometimes you have to accept wrong turns as part of the journey. My son and I rode the Iowa county roads over rolling hills. We shouted "Up!" when we went up the hill and we shouted "Dooowwwwn!" when we went down the hills. We saw farms, we saw tractors, we saw cows, we saw horses, we saw dogs, and we saw each other laugh. Once we got back on the Interstate, my son lost his patience once again and the remainder of the trip was just as uncomfortable as the first half. But for that brief hour, Dad and son were able to relax and smile. Anyone with a small child, knows that such an hour is more precious than any fast but miserable trip home.

The next time work or life takes a wrong turn, you have a choice to fight it or accept it. Often we believe the heroic thing to do is to fight the wrong turn. Too often or not, heroes lose sight of the value in accepting wrong turns as an unexpected gift of the journey we take each day.

Breaking Out of the Box

Last year, Kevin Drew Davis gave a keynote at CMS Expo titled, "Humanity Before Technology". That speech reminds me each day to be something more tomorrow than I am today. Mr. Davis asked, what would be the endless possibilities for the smartphone we carry in our pocket if we didn't call it a phone? He then went to explain that the names of things can sometimes limit our understanding of such things.

Almost a decade ago and after a few years of blogging, I stumbled on a particular genre of software that interested web developers, marketers, business owners, consultants, and analysts. So I did what any self respecting information technologist would do, I registered the perfect domain name and built me a website. The site became so successful that what I had intended to be my personal blog eventually evolved into a nice side business. Suddenly, I not only had name recognition in the content management industry but I also had sponsors and advertisers knocking on my door. It was and still is the classic story of a blogger not intending success but achieving it nevertheless. 

The irony of running a successful website is that as the site becomes more popular you're compelled and obligated to give the reader and the advertisers what they want. While always grateful for all that I have achieved and have been given, I have found that success also can box someone into a space that is often not big enough. I'm wise enough to know that running from such successes is not the answer. At the same time, I have a fire in my belly to explore additional paths as an individual that are not predetermined by labels. So, for those friends that saw the subtle hints and cared enough to ask why, you now have a vague answer to your question. The names of things can sometimes limit the understanding of ourselves. Unless, of course, that label is our own name.

On this blog you will see an inclusion of "best of" articles from various sources that I view as milestones to the past. From this post forward, you will also find my thoughts, words, and deeds with a style and voice that has often been encouraged but seldom spoken.

Drupal says farewell to PHP 4

Well, this certainly wasn't on my radar. Gábor Hojtsy, Drupal 6 lead maintainer, announced that starting March 1, 2014 support for PHP 4 in Drupal 6 will end. I wasn't surprise to hear about Drupal developers dropping support for PHP 4. Instead, I was in shock to hear that Drupal didn't drop support for this ancient version of PHP sooner.

To put this announcement in perspective, the PHP project developers said their goodbyes to PHP 4 back in 2008 and I personally said my "see ya later" back in 2007. Needless to say, I don't think anyone with merit can complain Drupal is dropping PHP 4 support. In Gábor Hojtsy's words:

Drupal 6.0 was released almost 6 years ago in February 2008. The Drupal community is committed to release Drupal 6 bugfixes until Drupal 8.0 is released and with recent changes provide security fixes much longer.

The hosting and development landscape was very different in 2008 though. PHP has gone a long way since we released Drupal 6. While Drupal 6 is still supported on PHP 4.x, the PHP developer community itself end-of-lifed PHP 4 just half a year after Drupal 6.0 came out. According to public statistics and data available to us about Drupal 6 sites, we estimate that there is a very small number of Drupal sites which may still run on PHP 4. We also don't believe it is in our best interest to support Drupal 6 on a possibly insecure but definitely unsupported base system, so we discussed and decided to drop support for PHP 4 on March 1st 2014.

Typically, Drupal has dropped support for an older versions of Drupal when a new version of Drupal is released. The expectation was Drupal 6 support would be dropped when Drupal 8 becomes an official release. I suspect the delay in dropping Drupal 6 support is postponed partially due to a change in Drupal 8's new site migration approach. There is a new workflow for site migration that has the potential for site owners to migrate their content not only from Drupal 7 to Drupal 8 but also allow Drupal 6 sites to migrate directly into Drupal 8. Until the new migration approach is proven, it is in everyone's interest to continue support for secure Drupal 6 sites. For the "secure" mandate to be supportable no website should be running on PHP 4.