Ubercart Announcing Its Candidacy

<img align="right" src="http://www.bywombats.com/files/uberbadge.gif" style="margin: 0em 0em 1em 1em;">After a lot of work from the development team and community, <a href="http://www.ubercart.org">Ubercart</a> has decided to stand on its own two feet and <a href="http://www.ubercart.org/news/apr-02-2008/ubercart_moving_release_candida... its candidacy</a> for a 1.0 release. We're excited about Ubercart's non-partisan politics and history of improved e-commerce sites, but several pundits are worried about his lack foreign policy experience. Don't let them dissuade you! There was a time when Ubercart survived a DDoS attack as fierce as any sniper fire when deploying on a non-profit website in Bosnia.

Yes, Ubercart wants you to believe in the fierce urgency of now. <em>Now</em> is the time to update your existing sites to the <a href="http://drupal.org/project/ubercart">latest release</a>. <em>Now</em> is the time to <a href="http://www.ubercart.org/forum">post</a> your feedback and <a href="http://drupal.org/project/issues/ubercart">bug reports</a>. <em>Now</em> is the time to polish up this release so we can dream of a better future on Drupal 6 and beyond.

Feel free to read more if you want some of the details.

Thanks for reading, and Ubercart for President. <img src="http://www.bywombats.com/sites/all/modules/smileys/packs/example/smile.png" />
Our initial alpha release was made over a year ago, and the switch into betas was long in coming. We started posting betas on January 7th, and through the help of a very responsive, knowledgeable, and excited community, we're finally at a state where we feel confident putting up a release candidate.

This does not mean Ubercart is feature complete for everyone... as we've learned through the process, there's just so much people expect from an e-commerce suite that you can't do everything! Sadly, a release candidate doesn't even mean the features there don't have a few bugs left to be massaged out. Fortunately, that's where you and our large and growing user base come in. You are essential to helping us isolate problem areas, apply fixes, and make Ubercart even easier to use.

Furthermore, we'll be posting a roadmap in the near future outlining our plans for future versions and Drupal version updates. The sooner we get to 1.0, the sooner we can update for Drupal 6 and bring e-commerce on Drupal into uncharted territory. I'm as excited as anyone about all the improvements D6 brings to the table, so let's work together to get to the 1.0 release as fast as we can. 8)

Knight Foundation Recognizes the Value of Drupal Development

I'm always a little ashamed to answer Drupal surveys on third party sites, so a while ago I prepared and submitted a proposal to the Knight News Challenge to develop a beefed up survey module that would start getting some use. As part of the challenge, the module's specification included connecting survey results into geographical locations, allowing localized sites to create chart and map based presentations of the survey responses. I had fun dreaming it up and proposing it, and it didn't cost me any more than a few hours' time.

The proposal was denied. Cool However, it did receive recognition through Knight's site as a top proposal for 2008. I'm sure other Drupallers have submitted applications, and I wouldn't be surprised to see a few of them be chosen for funding. The Knight Foundation has shown in the past that it has no qualms investing in Drupal as a news and community publishing system, so keep an eye out for the announced grants in May and consider what you might do to apply for a grant next year!

A Wonderful Surprise

Well, my wife laid plans for March 31, 2008 and told me not to plan anything. I believe she told me almost a month in advance, and today I finally got to enjoy the surprise... she bought us tickets to go see Michael Card play a show in an intimate setting at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. As he's one of our favorite Christian musicians, we thoroughly enjoyed the show and had a quick chance to catch him before the show to give him a thank you card.

For those who don't know, Michael Card has been doing music for quite some time. He has the particular distinctions of being an excellent musician and an excellent theologian, and his songs often teach you more about Jesus than you'll learn in a book. I highly recommend him to you!

Catch him on his radio show via his website: http://www.michaelcard.com/archives.html

Quick Updates on Reading and Easter

The weeks since the Drupalcon have been a blur, but now I'm fairly well without an excuse for not posting to the blog. I've kept quite busy with work, church, and home related activities, and I think I've started at least a couple blog posts that never saw the light of day. Perhaps for now I'll simply say a blurb about two books I'm reading, post a short poem I wrote for my pastor while he studied for tomorrow's sermon in the same coffee shop as Christina and me, and write a summary thought related to Easter.

First, I'm reading (and recommend) The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism by Tim Keller. He's a pastor in NYC, and the book is essentially an apology for the Christian faith that urges readers of all dispositions (Christians and atheists alike) to examine the claims their beliefs make (whether for or against Christianity) and hold them up to equal scrutiny. I'll post further on this book once I'm finished.

I'm also reading The Cross and Christian Ministry: Leadership Lessons from 1 Corinthians on the recommendation of one of my pastors. It's an incredible book that I'd skimmed before but never really dove into. It's essentially an exposition of 1 Corinthians that is comprehensive and rich, showing without a doubt that Christian ministry ought to be centered around the cross of Jesus Christ. Here in the cross, the wisdom of God and the power of God are clearly displayed through Jesus when he seems at his weakest and most foolish before men. However, God used and continues to use this event to transform men and women's lives, and it's a joy to have a part in such ministry.

The poem I wrote is inspired by the reading I've done and also by 2 Corinthians 2:14-17. It's in lymeric form, but it hardly qualifies as a lymeric beyond rhyme and meter:

A preacher's a man with a story to tell,
And he preaches best who knows the tale well.
So read oft the story,
The gospel of glory,
And spread it in Christ with a heavenly smell.

You'll have to read the referenced passage to make sense of the last line. Wink

Finally, Easter. It was a wonderful time, my first ever actually spent in my home church. I've been in the habit the last several years of driving to my grandparents' in Abingdon, VA to celebrate the day. This year, Christina and I stayed home and enjoyed a wonderful service here at Immanuel. I'll post a link to the sermon as soon as it gets posted on our church's website!

I was reminded of Psalm 22 and the particularly ministry that passage had to me in a time of depression. Here I met Jesus as a tortured soul, someone who could feel and share in the deepest hurts any of us feel. I was intending to write a full post strictly related to this remembrance, but I never got the chance. Suffice it to say that it was very satisfying and healing for me to know in my trouble the fellowship of Jesus as a suffering savior... not feeling at all like he ever looked down on me for the inferiority of my suffering. Instead, it is the suffering, bruised reed that Jesus will not break until he leads justice to victory. We see a foretaste of that in the cross and will have our healing consummated in heaven.