May 1, 2017 - Steve is no longer available for freelance work. Thanks for your interest!
We use multi-site installations pretty much exclusively. Moving sites around (from development to production, say) can be a pain, especially when there are a large number of modules in sites/all/modules, relatively few of which are used by a given subsite.
Apt-dater is a relatively new utility that allows easy package management of multiple Debian servers from a central control server. I wrote up the necessary steps below, as the existing instructions (http://www.ibh.de/apt-dater/) are slightly unclear on a couple of things.
OK, so the Connect module has actually been around for a while now, but the first version was painfully difficult to use, and the second version has only just seen an official, albeit beta, release.
Connect arose because we wanted to create a flexible and extensible online campaign platform for Drupal. The goal was to produce a framework that would allow different features to be added as necessary. Thus, a single tool could be used to create a simple petition or a sophisticated online email- or fax-sending campaign.
Setting up the CiviMail return channel is a notorious pain in the ass. The return channel is the mechanism by which email is passed back into the CiviMail system. It's necessary to allow replies and bounces to be handled by CiviCRM, making it fairly essential to the successful use of CiviMail.
The official way of setting things up is unfortunate in a couple of respects: it requires the installation of a customized version of the amavisd-new content-filtering daemon*, and it cannot handle multi-site installs. The "alternative" return channel implementation, although rumoured to not scale as well, requires no additional software, and can be easily adapted for servers hosting multiple domains that use CiviMail.
In recent months we have been transitioning from Fedora Core systems to Debian ones. Our standard install is Debian stable "Etch", and the standard slate of packages serves almost all our needs admirably.
With one exception.
The CiviLingua project was an attempt to build i18n/l10n into CiviCRM core in the late 1.6 / early 1.7 release era. Details are available on the CiviCRM wiki:
I've recently come through a downright purgatorial effort to get some sort of IDE debugger set up for my Drupal work. Hopefully the notes below will help other folks from running into some of these same problems.