Eureka! Science News

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A new website called <a href="http://esciencenews.com">Eureka! Science News</a> uses Drupal to serve up late breaking news stories in various categories, including <a href="http://esciencenews.com/topics/astronomy.space">Space</a>. <img src="http://www.bywombats.com/sites/all/modules/smileys/packs/example/smile.png" />

The site is impressive in its presentation and in its technical implementation. The best part? It's <em>all</em> automated. Not a single story is found, added, categorized, or otherwise edited by a human at Eureka!

The <a href="http://drupal.org/node/261340">write-up on how the site was put together</a> is inspiring. This site is a polished testament to the power of Drupal and ingenuity of the developers taking advantage of Drupal to build their web applications. I'd recommend reading the write-up and possibly bookmarking your new <a href="http://esciencenews.com">source for science news</a>.

Bought a Drupal Theme Lately?

If so, you might have used Ubercart unknowingly. Or maybe you did know it and didn't really care. <img src="http://www.bywombats.com/sites/all/modules/smileys/packs/example/smile.png" />

While Ubercart has plenty of blemishes, it's encouraging to see that both <a href="http://www.topnotchthemes.com">Top Notch Themes</a> and the new <a href="http://themeartists.com/">Theme Artists</a> sites have found Ubercart to be a workable solution for peddling their wares. Lyle and I will readily confess our lack of theme mojo, and there are plenty of forum threads pointing out our mistakes to prove it. Now after many months of development and patience from the themers patrolling the forums, Ubercart is at a point where Steph et al from Top Notch are actually comfortable enough to offer <a href="http://www.topnotchthemes.com/browse?filter0%5B%5D=16&filter3=">Drupal themes designed for Ubercart sites</a>. Very cool. <img src="http://www.bywombats.com/sites/all/modules/smileys/packs/example/cool.png" />
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(And believe me, they're not the only ones churning out <a href="http://www.rifftrax.com/rifftrax">great</a> <a href="http://fr.gastronomie.kalys.com/en">looking</a> <a href="http://www.yanickfee.com/shop">Drupal</a> <a href="http://www.transformetrics.com">+</a> <a href="http://www.hjlynn.com/">Ubercart</a> <a href="http://www.samuelowengallery.com/">sites</a>!)

While I know it's not the only way for us to improve (there's plenty of self-learning to do as well), developing an economy around Ubercart where professionals are scrutinizing the code and submitting feedback/patches so they can make better use of Ubercart is a sure plus for the project. At least it's been working well for a little dorm-room diversion we all love called Drupal.

(Another way to improve that I dare not leave out is to reap the benefits of a devoted user community. Many thanks go to <a href="http://freestylesystems.co.uk/">Rich</a> and <a href="http://www.ubercart.org/forum/ubercartorg/4541/new_theme_ubercartorg">ot... donating their time through the forums and IRC to debug our latest look. If you're not aware, Rich also hosts a <a href="http://api.freestylesystems.co.uk/">contributions API</a> running the API module on a wide selection of Drupal contrib modules that you might find handy.)

Transformetrics, a hot new Drupal/Ubercart site

Aside from getting messages <a href="http://www.ubercart.org/forum/general_discussion/4425/awesome_ecommerce_... these</a> from a very supportive community, one of the coolest things about working with Drupal and Ubercart is seeing the end result of someone else's job well done. He hasn't been tooting his own horn, but I can't let his work pass by unnoticed. As such, I'll happily advise you to check out the <a href="http://www.ubercart.org/site/4410">latest beauty</a> from JaceRider and give him some <a href="http://www.ubercart.org/forum/live_sites/4411/transformetricscom_launch"... or a pat on the back.

<img src="http://www.bywombats.com/files/transformetrics.jpg" style="border: 1px solid rgb(204, 204, 204); padding: 4px;" alt="Transformetrics" />

The site is called <a href="http://www.transformetrics.com">Transformetrics</a> and includes quite a bit of solid content, a sharp looking store/custom catalog (powered by <a href="http://www.ubercart.org">Ubercart</a> but much prettier than anything I could ever come up with), and a nice little SMF integration. This is all packaged up in a very sharp theme with plenty of polish and pizazz. It's quite a testament to the developer's ingenuity and the flexibility of <a href="http://drupal.org">Drupal</a> in making it all possible. So, my hat's off to folks like JaceRider who can take all the pieces floating around drupal.org, add some personal flair, and churn out such incredible sites. :)

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" />
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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)

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