Randy Fay and DDev-Local

In this episode, we meet with Randy Fay. He has been a longtime member of the Drupal community. He's written about 1,001 modules and has worked with a whole bunch of leading Drupal companies. After a while, he got burned out from excessive commitment to Drupal. We talk about some of his crazier adventures such as cycling from the northern tip of Canada, all the way down to Argentina over the course of several years.

We talk about his involvement in Drupal, and why he left in the end. Then we get to the meat of the conversation, which is his work now with a project called DDEV-Local. Recently, we released a book at OSTraining called "Local Web Development With DDEV Explained".

DDev-Local can give you a much more modern development environment based on Docker containers. We talk with Randy, who's the lead developer for DDEV, and explain why, if you're using MAMP or WAMP, you should consider using DDev instead, as it will greatly speed up your development and make it much more reliable if you're working on multiple projects.

By the way, the DDEV Explained book was recently updated to version 2.0, and now shows how to use DDEV with WordPress.

Follow Randy via his Twitter account at @randyfay and his blog RandyFay.com.

Subscribe to the OSTraining podcast on iTunes, or use the podcast player below. We're also on Stitcher, Overcast, and other popular podcast apps.


The DDEV Explained Book

Local Web Development With DDEV Explained

Local Web Development With DDEV Explained

DDEV-Local is a revolutionary tool for local web development. DDEV-Local has many advantages over WAMP, MAMP and other tools you've used in the past.

DDEV-Local is an open-source local development environment. It is specifically designed for PHP-based projects so it's ideal for Drupal, WordPress, and TYPO3 developers.

Join OSTraining and get this book


Transcript of the Interview with Randy

  • Steve: Hello and welcome to the OSTraining podcast. I'm Steve Burge and this is episode 34. You can find previous episodes at OSTaining.com/podcast. We talk with interesting people from across the open source world.
  • Steve: In this episode, I'm talking with Randy Fay. He has been a longtime member of the Drupal community. He's written, oh, I think, at a conservative estimate, I'd say about 1,001 modules. He's worked with a whole bunch of leading Drupal companies. After a while, he got burned out from excessive commitment to Drupal. We talk about some of his crazier adventures such as cycling from the northern tip of Canada, all the way down to Argentina over the course of several years.
  • Steve: We talk about his involvement in Drupal, and why he left in the end. Then we get to the meat of the conversation, which is his work now with a project called DDev-Local. Recently, we released a book at OSTraining all about DDev-Local, and how it can give you a much more modern development environment based on Docker containers. We talk with Randy, who's the lead developer for DDev, and explain why, if you're using MAMP or WAMP, you should consider using DDev instead, as it will greatly speed up your development and make it much more reliable if you're working on multiple projects.
  • Steve: Hey, and welcome, Randy.
  • Randy: Good to see you, Steve, or talk to you anyway, huh?
  • Steve: Randy, you are joining us from Colorado? You're up in the mountains near Aspen, or the ski areas there?
  • Randy: Not exactly. We're in a little town called Palisade, right near Grand Junction, which is on the very western edge of Colorado. It's more like Utah desert, than it is like the mountains. Although we have the Grand Mesa towering right out of my window. I'm looking at it right now, which is a 10,000 foot mountain. But we're only at 4,600 or something like that.
  • Steve: Oh, okay. So you're close enough to see the mountains, and you can go skiing on the weekends, but you're not actually in the mountains yourself.
  • Randy: That's the case. Yep.
  • Steve: Are you Colorado born and bred?
  • Randy: Yeah, I actually was born in Grand Junction, which is 10 miles from here. I grew up in a little town called Gunnison. We came back here after our big bike trip that we took for two and a half years. We came back here because my parents were getting old. My mom's still alive. She's 92. One of our big deals about being here is to take care of her. She lives in an assisted living, but we see her a couple of times a day. It's a delight to be here, to be able to be close to family and do what we'd like to do with family.
  • Steve: Well, you seem to have left one of the leads in that introduction hanging. You took a two and a half year bike trip?
  • Randy: Yeah, we did. Actually that was the trip of a lifetime, from 2006 to 2009, my wife, Nancy, and I started above the Arctic Circle, near the Arctic Ocean, in a little town called Inuvik up in Northwest Territories in Canada. We rode our bikes over the course of two and a half years, through the Americas, and down to Northern Argentina before we ran out of steam and ended up not ... We wanted to get to the very bottom. We didn't make it to the very bottom. But wow, did we have the trip of a lifetime on our bikes?
  • Steve: Is this one of those things where you have to try and start in the middle of the Canadian summer so you avoid getting snowed in.
  • Randy: Basically, we started June 9th. It was actually a little more complex than that. You actually have to cross a couple of rivers in the first stretch there. Those rivers, in the wintertime, you can go over them on, I think it's an ice bridge. In the summertime, you can go over them on a ferry. But in the in between time, when the rivers are breaking up, you can't get across them any way, period.
  • Randy: We had to time it so that we got out early enough that we would be able to make the seasons work, but late enough that we wouldn't hit the ice breakup, and we'd be able to cross on the ferries. We did come out lucky.
  • Steve: Okay, so for anyone else who's thinking about cycling from the northern tip of Canada to the south of Argentina, then they need to know there's a very narrow window they can launch it?
  • Randy: Well, maybe if they ride faster than we do, then they can start later and not have that problem, but we rode pretty slow. As you can imagine, taking two and a half years. We did volunteering. Is was the trip of a lifetime. It was an amazing opportunity. One of the amazing things is, all that time we rode in Latin America, we never felt that anybody threatened us at all. We never felt uncomfortable. The biggest risk was getting run over by a vehicle, which is the same as cyclists have everywhere.
  • Randy: It just tells you a whole lot about our fears, and what we consume. There's a side element to it. Sure, then we were middle aged. Now, we're probably not anymore, but a middle aged couple on bikes aren't a threat to anybody. But still, if you can spend that long going through such exotic places and not even feel like anybody was out to harm you, then it just gives some perspective on the world. It's not maybe as bad as sometimes we think it is.
  • Steve: It used to be a more common thing to do. I seem to remember reading stories of quite a few people, back in the '60s that would get, say, a Volkswagen van and do the America to South America drive, or perhaps a bike ride. It was not a completely unusual thing to do at one point.
  • Randy: Well, lots of people do it on bikes every year. Because you can think about it as a thing. It's a goal. It's not more important to ride the Americas or to ride from tip to tip than some other ride. But you can just think, when you take on a project like riding from the north to the south, it's a way to think about a project. It's very motivating. Lots of people do it. People do it every year. Lots of people do it every year. I'll bet you that 20 or 30, or even more, do it every year.
  • Steve: Practically, you get through the snows of Canada, the US, I presume, was fairly straightforward apart from, perhaps the highways being a bit too busy. What happens when you get to, say, the Panama Canal. Isn't there an enormous jungle there? When you get to South America, do you have to take an enormous detour around the Amazon?
  • Randy: What we did, was, in the US, we came down the west coast, because that's a famous ride. In Mexico, we went into Mexico south of Tucson. We rode down the inside of the water there. We didn't go down Baja. There's lots of cyclists that do go down Baja, but we want to go that way. Then we went into the very center of Mexico and rode down through the heart of Mexico, down to Mexico City, and then up and over the Pasa de Cortez, the pass between the two volcanoes that Cortez came through to conquer Mexico.
  • Randy: Then we rode down to Oaxaca. When you get to Panama, there isn't actual way to bike or get through the Darien Gap any way you want to pull it off. We took a sailboat, 100 foot sailboat from south of Balboa to Cartagena in Colombia. Then in South America, we rode down through the Andes. We were afraid of malaria and all the diseases that are more prevalent in the low country, and so we wanted to stay high. So we basically wore ourselves out in the mountains of the Andes.
  • Steve: Yeah, I was about to say, that sounds like an enormous amount of work to cycle through the Andes.
  • Randy: There was a lot of up and down there, and you get really high. The elevation in Peru really bothered Nancy. I'm sure we could have gone faster by taking the coastal routes. I'm still very, very glad that we went high, but there's no question that the altitude took a toll on Nancy. And there's no question that it is hard to be doing all that up and down and remote stuff. We did some very interesting stuff in Peru. Those countries are just amazing. They're lovely.
  • Steve: Geographically, it's probably similar to some parts of Colorado? Very mountainous, on average, very high, very dry in a lot of parts.
  • Randy: Yes, steeper and higher. We went over a pass that was 15,000 feet high. Anyway, there's many ways to do it. Many people have done much more exotic things than we did, but it was certainly a trip of a lifetime for us.
  • Steve: You're from Colorado. You've taken at least one crazy trip like this. How did you end up getting involved in the Drupal community, which is, perhaps at the moment, what you're best known for to our listeners.
  • Randy: Well, the real thing, I had worked with Drupal a bit before our trip, but I actually re-implemented our blog, hobobiker.com in Drupal at that point when we were ... It might have been a couple of years before that. We worked really hard at our blog on that trip, because we wanted to record it. It probably started out as a Drupal 4.6 blog. I don't what level it was at. I was probably in Panama turning it into 5.0 or something.
  • Randy: That personal experience with making a blog go and the Drupal technology and everything else, by the time we got done with the trip, and really, we were mentally exhausted by the time we got to northern Argentina. I wanted to do something that used my mind instead of just my body traveling all the time. I thought, "Well, I'll bet you that I could learn something about open source and actually get involved in the Drupal community." We actually bought a little laptop in one of those first cities in Argentina, bought a netbook that we could carry. It was a fair bit of money. But I actually started doing consulting in Argentina in November of 2008, during the height of the financial crisis.
  • Randy: As you can imagine, a couple of middle aged people who's taken a couple of years off of their job, hearing from Northern Argentina that the entire financial system is melting down, and of course, seeing our savings go, like everybody else did, very painful experience. I just started bottom feeding. There was a forum on Drupal.org. I would just tell the people that were posting the most naïve problems there, with how they had destroyed, or whatever they'd done to their site. I'd say, "Well, I'll do that for you. If you like it, pay me. If you don't, then that's fine." Of course, I got some of those jobs.
  • Randy: We're sitting there stopping for a couple of days and working on something. You gradually get jobs that are a little better. But it was an amazing thing to have people paying me by PayPal during a complete financial meltdown when we're on our bikes in Argentina. It was quite something.
  • Randy: Then, of course, after we got done, and we got back in mid-2009, the whole idea of trying to figure out what open source was, what it meant to try to make a contribution in the open source world, and to figure out how to communicate and to get involved in the Drupal world. Figuring out the community is a lot more difficult than writing code.
  • Steve: You come from a background, which, even before you found Drupal was fairly community focused? You said you volunteered a lot when you were on your bike ride? And so was the open source attitude a natural fit for you?
  • Randy: Yeah, it really was. But I had never previously figured out how one actually can make a difference in open source. I'd used Linux for a couple of decades already. I'd used so many things. I was aware of the value of all of these open source communities, but I'd never actually tried to ... Or I don't remember ever trying to actually make a difference in one. I'd probably filed an issue in a project or two. I'd probably learned something from studying the issues in a project or two. But I'd never actually tried to say, "Well, what could I do that would make a difference?"
  • Steve: You've always been around the open source mindset. You've been a longterm Linux user, but it wasn't until you came back from that bike trip that you really started to dive in and take part in the Drupal community?
  • Randy: Right. That was the deal, it was like how could I actually do something useful in the open source community? Could I get invested and involved? That was the question. It's not a very easy thing to do. You try to figure out, well, what do you work on? How do you work on it? How do you get the right people to pay attention?
  • Randy: I remember my first core patch. I had no idea how to get anybody to pay attention to it. It was a problem that I had had to solve for some project that I was working on, probably some contracting project. I discovered a problem with how CSS is aggregated. I was able to figure out how to solve the problem. I was able to figure out how to make a patch, but I didn't know how you get anybody to pay attention to your patch. I didn't know what do you do then?
  • Randy: Just learning through that whole process, how you communicate. I had to learn how to use IRC. More than how to use IRC though is how do you find the person that you need to talk to in IRC and get them to ... busy people to pay attention?
  • Steve: That's always one of the major knocks on open source communities, is they tend to favor people with large amounts of time on their hands, either because their company is generous, or because they're retired. Or for whatever reason, they have lots of free time, that the actual time commitment to figure all these things out is a major barrier to contribution. You dived really deep down the Drupal rabbit hole, right?
  • Steve: I look at your profile on Drupal.org. You contributed to ... I'm just guesstimating here, but 1,001 different modules. You worked for a whole bunch of the different brand name agencies in the Drupal world from Lullabot to Tag One. You worked for Drupal commerce for a while as well. You were really deep inside Drupal for quite some time.
  • Randy: I really was. I kept trying to be deeply involved with fundamental things. I got involved in core development. I maintained some modules. I liked all that, but I found myself, like lots of people in open source, like in Drupal community, trying to solve every problem. You can get so scattered thinking that you can solve every problem, or that you can put a patch up for every bug that you encounter, which I think I was trying to do at one point.
  • Randy: It pretty well used me up over time. At some point, I started to figure out, "Well, hey, I think this might be what burnout is." I actually started studying burnout. I wrote a series on burnout, and what it was. Maybe not even fully realizing that I was in the process of burning out myself.
  • Steve: There was a period, maybe three years ago, when, if you went to DrupalCons or DrupalCamps, there was regularly a session on burnout. I think it was probably towards the release of Drupal 8.0 when everyone was getting tired and frustrated. It had taken five, plus, years. I saw some of your blog posts at the time. Were you also presenting and trying to talk to the community about the dangers of getting burned out?
  • Randy: Yeah, people need to know that their life is more important than the project they're working on. That's the fundamental thing, and trying to adjust priorities to recognize that. Also, to realize that you can't solve every problem. I think that was probably the fundamental thing for me, was I was able to see problems. I was able to solve them. If you give me one problem, I was probably able to solve it. But the complex nature of how you actually solve a problem in Drupal stymied me. The fact that I was trying to do everything stymied me.
  • Randy: But one of the areas that I started to realize as I studied burnout was, I started finding that, especially when you talk about core, the process of trying to solve a problem in Drupal Core, or in the Drupal community is actually so ... I don't know. It's so entrenched, or so difficult. It's improved since then. But back in the day, essentially, if you wanted to make a significant thing happen in Drupal, you had to convince, let's say, five or six key people that you had the right idea of what to do.
  • Randy: If one person said, "Well, I don't like that." That was it. That was it. It was over. You could have one blocker who was valued, and you had no way to go forward. Now, there's been significant reorganization in the intervening years. There's been a little bit better distribution of authority, so it's better than it was. But that was a major thing.
  • Randy: That led me to studying governance in open source communities, and how governance worked, and how we work with a benevolent dictator, the Drupal way, and many open source communities have that. I ended up studying that for a time, and speaking a couple of times, and writing some blog posts on how open source communities govern themselves.
  • Randy: That process of trying to improve governance has been going on in the intervening years, even though I ran out of patience for it. But it's been carried on by some very good people.
  • Steve: Well, it's a fascinating time to hear you talk about it, because the WordPress community is going through something very similar at the moment. They've just done the Gutenberg release. I often compare the release of Gutenberg to the release of Drupal 8.0, in that not only did it take longer than expected, but it was also far more dramatic and badly organized, and full of arguments, and all the typical open source stuff.
  • Steve: You've seen some similar results in the WordPress community. A lot of people talking about burnout, and also a lot of people are starting to talk about governance as well, because a lot of the way the Gutenberg was organized was on Matt's ... I was going to say whim, but that's probably not a fair way to say it. But it became very clear at a certain point in the Gutenberg release schedule, that is was Matt's way or the highway. So people have started to take a step back and say, "WordPress needs a whole better way of governing itself rather than a benevolent dictator for life deciding everything."
  • Steve: It reminds me a lot of that time when Drupal 8.0 was stuck and not getting ready when people wanted it. You spent all this time researching governance, open source projects. Did you have a positive effect in the end, with the blogging in the discussions you had around it?
  • Randy: Well, yeah, I think it started a conversation. I mean it started a conversation. It got Dries' ear. He started making a focus on it. I was at the end of my patience for it. Other people have done a good job carrying it forward. Like almost everything else in the Drupal world, it's been a lot of years. It would have been nice if massive progress had been made in one year or something like that. Just the fact that there's been energy applied is really great.
  • Randy: On governance, I want to mention that Python is going through a massive reorganization, because they lost their BDFL, their benevolent dictator for life. He said, "I'm done." And now they're going through amazing stretches trying to reorganize without him.
  • Steve: I didn't see that story.
  • Randy: Yeah, yeah.
  • Steve: He quit in a huff? Or he left in an organized way?
  • Randy: I don't know whether there was a huff. But he announced on July 12th last year that he was going on permanent vacation.
  • Steve: The next day?
  • Randy: Yeah, I think so. I haven't followed it that closely. But it's a major thing to watch for any community that relies on a single head like that, because benevolent dictators never last forever. Finding a path to a sustainable organization is critical, in general.
  • Randy: Well, and the reality is that any organization needs more than a dictator, right? You have to have a spread of effective governance in general.
  • Steve: Yeah, we can make fun of open source projects and say this is unique to open source, but really it's not. Everyone that works in large companies has similar stories, or works in non-profits, or works in schools. They all have the same mix of politics and bad government.
  • Randy: Well, you could look at the US or UK government right now and have some lessons there as well. There's some serious problems with governance.
  • Steve: Yeah, just before getting on the podcast, I had one eye on the Brexit vote. Oh, man. Open source is easy in comparison.
  • Randy: Yeah, that's right. That's right, and less consequential probably.
  • Steve: You burned out to some extent. What did you do next when you left the Drupal community, when you stepped aside? You turned your attention towards DDev?
  • Randy: No, that's actually ... there's a few years in between there. I did a few things in between. But I had two or three years of a very happy time working for Tag One on the infrastructure side. I did infrastructure and I did some Drupal 8.0 development work for them. But I had a very nice time on a number of projects with Tag One that weren't direct Drupal things. They got me back into my roots in the Linux world. I was building up full development test environments with Puppet, and had a very nice time with that.
  • Randy: That was two or three years. Then I was looking for some work, because Tag One was running out of work for me, and I like projects. Projects motivate me. They just help me quite a lot to ... I don't know, think about my life. I just like project work quite a lot, so I started panicking, "Well, wait a minute. What do I do? I don't know how to just entertain myself all day. I need a project."
  • Randy: I tweeted that I was looking for something. Kevin Bridges at Drud replied right away, and says, "Well, do you like Go?" And I said, "Well, I don't anything about Go. I don't even know what it looks like." I ended up going to work for him, working in Go. DDev was one of the projects that I ended up working on. We also have a hosting product. I worked on that. The first year I worked on both DDev, the local development environment, and the hosting project.
  • Randy: But for the last year and a half, I'm an employee. They've been kind enough to make it so that I could work directly on DDev.
  • Steve: So let me get these names straight quickly for people listening. DRUD is the name of the company?
  • Randy: That's right. Don't ask where it came from, because none of us know.
  • Steve: DDev-Local is the name of the local environment?
  • Randy: Right, for local PHP development environment.
  • Steve: And DDev-Live is a hosting platform connected to DDev-Local that may be launching officially later this year, but it's not quite ready yet?
  • Randy: Yeah, it has existing customers on it, but it's not like we're inviting people to go to a website and turn up their site right now. We have some existing customers, but it's still maturing and getting itself going. We're very excited about it. Lots of good stuff happening with it, but it's not publicly available yet.
  • Steve: What's the nuts and bolts pitch that you would give to a developer who's on MAMP, or some slightly more old fashioned local development environment? Why should developers standardize their work on DDev?
  • Randy: The great thing that DDev does, DDev is docker based. You don't have to do that, but basically what it means is that you don't have to actually do any configuration on your machine at all. You just install docker, and you install DDev, which is just home brew install if you're on Mac or Linux. It's got an installer if you're on Windows.
  • Randy: On all those platforms, you can use DDev, and it will behave the same. But you can have projects that are on any version of PHP. You can have projects that are Ingenix or that are Apache. You can have projects that use different versions of MariaDB, and it doesn't matter. You don't have to do any configuration for it. You just change one word in a config file, or use the command line. There you go.
  • Randy: I'm doing some testing today. I brought up the Drupal 6.0 longterm support project, which now supports PHP 7.2. there I am on Windows 10 Home, using Docker toolbox, and able to bring up D6 LTS, and test it on PHP 7.2. that's not very easy stuff to do if you're on a one size all, traditional environment like setting up your own Apache or Ingenix or whatever. That said, I love doing all that stuff. But DDev makes it so that I don't even have to remember how to do Ingenix configuration. I don't have to have just one Ingenix setup. It literally takes most people less than 10 minutes to have DDev installed and their first project running.
  • Randy: We actually do that at the DrupalCons and the DrupalCamps. We have a setup called quick sprint that gives people an immediate setup to where they can start contributing to Drupal in a few minutes, even if they come with a Windows 10 home machine, and they've never setup a local environment before, and maybe if they don't know what Drupal is. It just solves a bunch of those big problems with having to know too many things to be able to contribute, which is a big problem everywhere in our world, but it solves some of those problems. We hope it solves some of those problems.
  • Steve: Some of the use cases might be, perhaps an agency dev who's working on five or six projects for different customers. One is on PHP, and Apache. One is on .Net. One is a Node.JS project. Each one would have its own container, entirely separate, different configurations. They could all be running smoothly side by side on the same machine?
  • Randy: Yeah, side by side. Or you could have dozens of them. I typically only keep two or three up at a time. But I might have a whole gob of them laying around. In DDev, when you stop it, when you remove it, it doesn't do any damage. The database is stored. The code is there. You just do a DDev start, and it comes right back where it was. You don't even have to have a gazillion resources to use DDev, you can run one at a time if you don't have a lot of resources. They can all be separately configured. When you get back to that one that you were working on with that weird client that still had PHP 5.6, well, it just works. You just DDev start, and there it is.
  • Steve: Are some parts of DDev platform specific? For example, I presume you're pretty heavily into supporting Drupal, perhaps WordPress as well. Are there parts of it that are platform specific to those platforms? Or could you easily bring in, let's say, a Magento site or a Joomla site as well?
  • Randy: That's a great question. Basically we have explicit support for all versions of Drupal, and BackDrop, and TYPO3, and WordPress. But that explicit support mostly just means that we'll write default settings files for them. There are also custom Ingenix configs for Drupal and TYPO3. But for the vast majority of any kind of web development, as long as you know how to write your own settings files, or point to the right database, or whatever, DDev will do fine with it.
  • Randy: We have people doing a number of different things just using ... We have an app type that should be probably called generic, but it's called PHP instead. So a project type called PHP where basically, it just turns off all of the, "Oh, I'm going to fix your settings files stuff for you." So it's really very straightforward to do that.
  • Steve: Are there big communities which are using DDev? Is it big in the Drupal community? Big in the WordPress community? Who's actually getting a lot of use out of DDev at the moment?
  • Randy: The biggest ones are Drupal and TYPO3, so Drupal plus BackDrop and TYPO3. TYPO3 has just embraced it with the whole ha- They have documents in their own docs that say, "Here's how you do a local environment. You do DDev." They're very much like that. So TYPO3 and the larger Drupal community.
  • Randy: We have made an effort, from the very beginning, to support WordPress. I think we do a good job of supporting WordPress, but we have never made the inroads into the community. I think it's just our longterm connections with the Drupal community that have helped us. And then some very nice connections, introductions that were made into the TYPO3 world. But we do have hopes of lots of different stuff, because the DDev environment already supports an enormous amount of flexibility. It's got a web server. It's got a PHP interpreter. It's got lots of packages. It's not MPM built into it, and Yarn, so it's got all that stuff that most people need. It's very much not just a Drupal device.
  • Steve: Okay, so you've done all your local development. You've spun up, say, a Drupal site, or a TYPO3 site. Is there any way to actually get it off your machine and into a shared environment, or a hosting environment? Is there any way to move it to production?
  • Randy: As with most things, your project is developed ... typically, it would be using, git, right? And so pushing the code is an easy problem. We don't currently have a DDev push command. We probably will some day. Most developers don't want a database being pushed to production. Most of the time what they want to do is pull from production to see if their code is working right, and not do database related development on local machine, and then have to take the risk of pushing it to production.
  • Randy: I'd say that most developers don't want a database push capability, but I bet you we'll end up with one anyway.
  • Steve: When it comes to rivals to DDev, I know quite a few people are using Lando. Are there any other companies, projects, that are taking similar approaches to DDev? And how do they compare to what you're doing?
  • Randy: Yeah, so Lando, we learned a lot from Lando. They've done an enormous amount of good work. We probably need to go back and check in with it, and relearn some of the good things they're doing. People are always asking for the Lando power off command in DDev. We should probably ask for their permission to just use power off as a command. The traditional on machine techniques are the one competitor I would say. Lando is the other one that I'm familiar with.
  • Randy: There's actually quite a number of good things, I think, in the WordPress community that are often tied to hosting services. I'm not familiar with a lot of ways. Like I say, my traditional technique was just to configure everything on my own machine.
  • Steve: Yeah, there's quite a few options in the WordPress community that are directly sponsored by individual hosting companies, which leads to quite a bit of fragmentation, unfortunately.
  • Randy: Yeah, yeah.
  • Steve: I think Pantheon has a service, Flywheel, WPEngine are working on their own service, their own local development integrations. Is there anything super cool that we can expect from DDev in 2019?
  • Randy: I think DDev-Live is our big splash, the hosting project is the big splash. What we want with DDev-Local is we want to help people with what they're needing, with what they're encountering as they go along. Our biggest thing is to listen to what the community that's using it is encountering, and try to solve their problems, and try to figure out ways to improve performance, and just to do what they need to do.
  • Randy: It's incremental as far as DDev-Local. We don't have huge things. Like I say, I would be surprised if we don't end up with a DDev push command, at least to our own hosting this year. But DDev-Local is a fairly mature product. Our biggest goals are just to help people with it, not to make huge changes with it. What are your problems? What are you experiencing? Try to help us to understand it? How can we make it better for you? Those are the kind of things that we want to hear from people. It doesn't matter whether it's a bug or a feature request, or just a rethinking of how things are done. We want to hear from the community how to do that. We'll do our best to help them, especially if there's me toos coming from other people.
  • Steve: If someone's listening to this and wants to take DDev for a test drive, what do they do next?
  • Randy: Just search install DDev and you'll land on our docs page. And boom, there you'll be. There's nothing ... It takes basically no time. You install Docker for your environment, and you install DDev. Probably take people less than 10 minutes to get started with a project.
  • Randy: What I recommend to people is start with ... If you're in the Drupal world, start with a plan Drupal tarball download. Untar it, and do a DDev config in it, and start it, and install it. Experiment with a thing that has no consequences, just experiment with just a quick try like that. You get a little familiarity. Then try it on that really important client project you're working on.
  • Steve: People would head the DRUD, D-R-U-D .com to find DDev-Local. How about you Randy? How can people follow what you're working on?
  • Randy: In the Drupal#DDev channel, we always announce everything there. In the TYPO3#DDev channel in Slack. In Slack, in both of those places, we're always there supporting.
  • Steve: This is the official Drupal Slack?
  • Randy: Yeah, if it is official now. I'm not sure whether it's official. But the official Drupal Slack, the #DDev channel, and TYPO3, same thing, #DDev channel. I'm RandyFay on Twitter. And of course, on Titter, we use the #DDev hashtag, and the DRUD, @DRUD is the company. When anything significant happens, or when there's a bug that somebody encounter ... an important bug that somebody's encountered, then I'll tweet it.
  • Steve: Wonderful. You're not planning to get back on your bike again anytime soon?
  • Randy: No. Nancy and I, we took a two week trip on Vancouver Island this year, on our mountain bike tandem, on mostly dirt paths and roads. We had a great time. But we don't have ambitious things on our agenda at this point. We were glad we got out there and did ... We've done a number of rides besides the big one, but nothing on the agenda right now.
  • Steve: Well, not often you get two and a half years to spare to-
  • Randy: Exactly.
  • Steve: -take a trip like that.
  • Randy: That's right.
  • Steve: Wonderful. Thank you so much for joining us, Randy. I wish you all the best with DDev-Local this year.
  • Randy: Thank you so much. It was great talking to you.

About the author

Steve is the founder of OSTraining. Originally from the UK, he now lives in Sarasota in the USA. Steve's work straddles the line between teaching and web development.