3281d Consulting was founded by Derek Wright and specializes in building Drupal-based solutions for project management, issue tracking, release management, revision control integration and more. Find out more about us.
The history of how we killed "subscribe" comments on Drupal.org
In case you haven't heard the news, I just posted Stop subscribing, start following to the front page of Drupal.org. What a happy day! One week shy of 6 years after it was originally posted, #34496: [meta] Add Flag module to allow users to subscribe/unsubscribe without posting a comment is now fixed and deployed live...
Once again, I'd like to thank the sponsors that made this possible:
The 88 members of the community that contributed to the 2 chip-ins to raise a total of $2777.27 towards the original goal of $7,000.
The front page news story I wrote ended up being a bit long to include some of the other details of the story, so I wanted to post those here in case people an interested.
History of this project
A while ago, I spear-headed an effort to figure out how to fix this mess. We wrote up a plan and an appeal for community funds to be able to implement the plan. Although there was an initial flurry of donations (mostly small, but a few larger ones), momentum tapered off and the funding goal seemed unreachable. I got discouraged that crowd-funding just doesn't work, and was sad that such an obvious win that everyone complained about was so hard to raise funds for. Although the occasional donation still trickled in, it seemed like it was going to take forever to actually meet the goal. I tried to sneak this feature in as part of the work I did around the Drupal.org redesign, but that attempt was shot-down by the project managers who rightfully argued this wasn't actually critical for the launch of the redesign itself. My crazy life and the need to pay rent with paid gigs kept me from having the focused time I needed to get this done. Those were dark times...
But times have changed! The Drupal Association has started funding improvements to Drupal.org that aren't just hardware for the servers (for example, the Drupal.org redesign and the Git migration). A few weeks ago Jacob Redding (jredding) of the Drupal Association pinged me to say that the Association wanted to go in 50/50 with the community to fund the end to +1 subscribes.
I was thrilled! At the time, the community funding was only about 1/3 of the original goal, but I figured this was the best chance to actually get it done. I started reviewing plans and patches, and writing code—planning to just donate the rest of the labor myself. This functionality has been so broken for so long that I was willing to eat a pretty big loss just to fix it.
I shifted into high gear, wrangled issues, updated issue summaries, got UI and accessibility reviews, cranked out the code, reviewed patches, came up with deployment plans, data migration paths, coordinated volunteers, worked with the rest of the Infrastructure Team on the staging server, and all the other numerous tasks required to actually get this done. And here we are today at the dawn of a new era. Subscribe is dead—long live issue following!