Apr 05 2018
Apr 05
April 5th, 2018

DrupalCon Nashville has lifted the veil on sessions at this year’s event and we’re thrilled to be a part of it! Our Web Chefs will be giving talks, facilitating the Business Summit, and running BOFs, so keep an eye out for our green jackets. We’re always happy to have a conversation!


Michal Minecki
Director of Technology at Four Kitchens


Patrick Coffey
Senior JavaScript Engineer at Four Kitchens

Recently there have been strides in web-based VR which enable producers to publish VR experiences via the web. Four Kitchens has been keeping an eye on these technologies and we want to share our experiences building real WebVR applications.


Joel Travieso
Senior Drupal Engineer at Four Kitchens

Any amount of automation is worth it, as long as it is effective. From simple things like manipulating pull request labels and ticket statuses, or using your CI engine to build your changelogs, to strategic operations like removing obsolete Pantheon environments or ensuring you always pick the right database for your build, little chunks of automation can substantially improve your workflow.


Adam Erickson
Senior Drupal Engineer


Jeff Tomlinson
Architect

Drupal’s core search can only take you so far. In this session, we will talk about what it takes to ramp up the search functionality of your site by using Search API and Solr. We can achieve this with the addition of a few modules, configuration adjustments, and the set-up of a view. We will take you from with getting a plan in place all the way through to monitoring your site’s search usage and looking for ways to make improvements.


Randy Oest
Senior Designer and Frontend Engineer

With the growing shift towards a decoupled future a company’s presence is going to be represented by an ever-expanding collection of websites, apps, and talking speakers.

Maintaining design and tone consistency across those channels will be challenging but if done right, it can allow you to enter markets more quickly while keeping the style and tone of your company aligned.

Business Summit


Elia Albarran
Director of Operations

Elia will be co-leading the Business Summit, gathering and confirming speakers, giving feedback on the programming and schedule and emceeing the event.


Trasi Judd
Director of Support and Continuous Improvement

Trasi is speaking at the Summit with one of our South American partners, Alejandro Oses from Rootstack, on how to have a good partnership with near-shore vendors.

Four Kitchens

The place to read all about Four Kitchens news, announcements, sports, and weather.

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Events

Blog posts about ephemeral news, events, parties, conferences, talks—anything with a date attached to it.

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Jan 08 2018
Jan 08
The 2017 DrupalCamp Atlanta was held in Buckhead neighborhood in Atlanta

DrupalCamp Atlanta is upon us again as we continue to inch closer to the finishing touches to the camp. The Atlanta Drupal Users Group (ADUG) team has been fast at work on getting the camp together, the website updated, the leadership team together to discuss programming and logistics… You would think we have it automated at this point! Well, some of the items are, such as some trusted vendors and some of the process, but every year we try to do something different to provide a better and fulfilling experience for our camp go-ers.

This year is no exception, with us changing our venue (much to the appreciation of the community, we’re sure!) to the Buckhead area and reverting to our 2015-style of camp that we found to be the best format (Friday and Saturday tracks AND training). With the new venue comes its own challenges, such as the layout of the facility to the positioning of sponsors. All these things need to be planned out way in advance. We need to understand the return on investment with an event like this, being we are a non-profit and have very limited resources.

In talking about resources, we wanted to put together some new “in-kind” contributions this year that can help us put on an event like this. These contributions are focused around the tangible things we need to pay for every year: t-shirts, bags, badges, lanyards, A/V, event catering, the location, the after-party, the speaker coordination and expenses, websites, graphic design, and the countless man-hours it takes to get all of this set up, delivered, and managed. We also decided to open the door to the community to really see how much an event like this costs. Below are some of the expenses we have this year that must be met:

  • Catering: $13,394.70
  • Video Recording: $1,800.00
  • A/V Onsite: $4,055.00
  • Keynote Speaker Travel: $1,200.00

These charges don’t include all of the event merchandise, website fees, documentation, or additional costs for random event items like signage and photography.

Historically, there have been many people involved in this effort. Since ADUG has been managing the event, there have been 5 or less people actually planning and executing on all of this with the help of day-of volunteers. This year, we are fortunate enough to have 7 people who have dedicated time and energy out of their normal lives to put this event on. So, how do we do it? How do we make this happen this year…a bigger, more expensive event?

By being fortunate enough to have so many people come from all over to attend the event. It makes it all worth it. We have so many people from so many backgrounds, cultures, and professions come to Atlanta to learn. The congregation of all of these folks for two days, sharing knowledge and helping the community is worth it all in the end. With the attendance comes registrations, a contribution to the community to put on this event. With us moving from Kennesaw State, where we called home for the past 3 years, our costs have almost doubled. Our hope this year is that we will have a much better attendance while also attracting more sponsors, which would help out tremendously.

Speaking of sponsors…they have been amazing. We can’t thank them enough for the help they give us in throwing these events. Mediacurrent, Sevaa Group, Paramount Software, Celebrate Drupal. They have been amazing in getting us up and running again this year by donating early. We definitely need more this year, and hope that we can reach more with lower cost sponsorships so it’s not always the largest companies that can get their names out there. We want the community to be involved so that they can contribute to hosting this event, getting their names out there, and being able to increase their networks as well. So, these in-kind contributions help with this gap while also being able to directly affect the outcome of the camp.

Want your company name on the lanyards everyone is wearing? What about your logo on the side of our bags? How about donating some cool stuff for our raffle and get a shout out?

These are some easy ways to get involved, get some great advertising to the community you serve, and to get involved in making this an amazing event.

ADUG

Nov 14 2017
Nov 14

Christmas is almost here!

In our last post you saw our call for venues. Europe answered the call and we received 13 venue submissions from 7 countries, including Australia. We are now working through the submissions and we will send out a more detailed question list to all submitters.

Get involved

So far a lot of work has been done in norming and storming and the team continues to build great momentum and is strengthened almost every day. We believe that “Many hands make light work” and we’d like you to get involved. Even helping with small tasks will help to make this great event happen. So if you want to participate then now is the time to take action and get involved! Sign up on our OpenSocial website and spread the word by tweeting and sharing on Facebook about this great community-driven event.

The proposed event model

The current consensus is to start with a minimum viable conference model:

  • Two days of sessions (Thursday and Friday)
  • General Contribution Day (Saturday)
Schema

If possible, this could be expanded with two days beforehand for trainings and a community day. This also means a contributor can contribute for 5 days.

This is still at the planning stage and any ideas you may have would be greatly received.

To make this event sustainable, we may not be providing food which will significantly cut down the cost for this event. We’ll make the final decision based on what is possible with the budget. Best effort will be made to invite food trucks and find good restaurants in the area if needed.

Wifi is under heavy debate and depends on what the location is charging. We are hoping that we can come up with a cost effective solution. It is the next tier in this growing conference model. Followed by coffee and snacks.

If we get the main community event funding model correct, then we might be able to also facilitate food in the training and community days. In summary we are looking at budget items in priority order and not as a given.

Conference costs for Dublin 2016

This might be confusing to read but is in fact very logical if we look at the thumb figures from Dublin. In a blog post from the Drupal Association, the financial problem of DrupalCon Europe was explained.

Around ⅔ of the income comes from ticket sale and the rest comes from sponsorships and other sources. If we look at the expenses, roughly 50% of the expenses are for the catering and the facility cost. For more detailed information you can look at the Profit & Loss statement from the blogpost.

What do these numbers tell us? It helps us to understand what are the largest expenses of an event of this size. We are using this information to help us to find ways to cut down costs. For example, we can:

  • Cut down on the floor space needed by having a smaller auditorium and streaming the keynote to other rooms at the venue.
  • Use a venue that is close to local food outlets which could make supplying food optional
  • Aim for locations that allow us to cut down on staff costs by means of volunteers

If we do this, then this could become a viable, even profitable event. Any profits generated could be used in supporting camps in the region as well as flow back into the project.

Going out of the comfort zone

In 2017 we had over 50 Drupal camps in Europe. Almost all of them were within the Drupal camp comfort zone of 500 attendees maximum, with a budget between 50k and 80k euros. So in order to be successful we need to experiment and consult or even hire some professionals.

Drawing by Baddy

What is next?

The venue is very important for any conference but we are not losing sight of what is ahead. We have many steps that we still have to cover in order to bring you, your friends and colleagues a great event:

  • Define sponsor benefits and packages
  • Decide how to handle talk/session proposal and selection process
  • Marketing and Promotion — in the community and outside
  • Volunteer coordination — can some tasks be crowdsourced?
  • Create an event website — we are still looking for some design help here!

But before we dive too deep into any of those tasks, the venue needs to be in place — we will be reaching out to those that have submitted proposal with some additional questions (if all goes as planned those will be sent out Monday) and we expect to be able to confirm the venue mid-December.

If you can provide some insights, advice or want to help collaborate getting this event further on its way, please do not hesitate reaching out to us! Either on twitter or [email protected]

May 10 2017
May 10
May 9th, 2017

DrupalCon is many things to many people. For me, this year’s North America DrupalCon in Baltimore was a chance to connect with my remote co-workers in the same place, help share knowledge while learning things myself, and celebrate all the things that Drupal makes possible.

The Drupal 8 with React.js and Waterwheel Training

Our first big event was “API First Drupal 8 with React.js and Waterwheel Training”, where Web Chef Luke Herrington took a canonical JavaScript application—a todo list built with React—and hooked it up to Drupal 8 through a new JavaScript library called Waterwheel.js. Todos were stored in a headless Drupal site via the JSON API module, and we even provided a login page and a `like` button for todos. Although we had a small army of Web Chefs available to help, Luke had created such a great training that our extra support wasn’t needed, and the attendees were really able to dive deep into how everything worked.

Future of the CMS: Decoupled

“I’ve completely rewritten my talk,” said Todd, the Four Kitchens CEO, at the team dinner on Monday night. I’ve seen him give this talk before but this declaration really piqued my curiosity.

There were a lot of talks at DrupalCon about the “how” of decoupling, but Todd’s revised talk is a great summary of the “why”. In it, Todd talks about the differences between CMSes being “content management systems” versus “website management systems” and about how that content can be managed so that it is reuseable on all categories of devices. Because the technology is always changing, it’s a talk he rewrites at least once a year, and I’m glad I got to see this version of the 2017 talk when I did.

Supercharge Your Next Web App with Electron

To show off his work in Electron, Web Chef James Todd brought two drawing robots to DrupalCon that he set up in our booth. Each machine was powered by RoboPaint, a packaged-up web app. I’ve been curious about Electron for a while, and when I learned that James was giving a talk on the subject I immediately reached out to help him build his slide deck so that I could learn more. His presentation was thorough and entertaining, and he encouraged people to “experiment and play with it, it’ll be fun”.

Drinks with a Mission

The Drupal community believes that open source technology has the power to improve the lives of others, so instead of the usual DrupalCon party, this year, Four Kitchens teamed up with Kalamuna and Manatí to host “Drinks with a Mission”.

We started the night by asking, “If you had a magic wand that would fix a problem, what problems would you fix?” Answers were written down on post-it notes, which were then sorted into groupings, and finally assigned to teams. Each team took their topic, such as How to Better Connect with Nature, and had to come up with solutions to the topic problem. Great ideas can begin in unexpected places, and the ensuing solutions were as thoughtful as they were hilarious.

Watch the recorded stream of the event: Part 1, Part 2

Taking the Train Home

In the last few years I’ve started to become enamored with the concept of “taking the train”. So at the end of DrupalCon I got my wish, and instead of flying, I spent an entire day traveling by rail: from Baltimore, through Philadelphia’s gorgeous train station, and then on to home in the middle of Pennsylvania.

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Randy Oest
Randy Oest

Randy Oest is an avid Star Trek fan, plays too many board games, and bought his mother an iPad so that he wouldn't have to fix her computer anymore.

Apr 24 2017
Apr 24
April 24th, 2017

Making Huge Strides Back to Desktop

So what is this Electron thing everyone keeps talking about? Even if you haven’t heard of it, you may have used it! With over 4 millions daily users on Slack’s business oriented chat system, their cross-platform desktop application helps them reach their users outside of browsers, but these systems are in fact part of the same thing.

Back in May 2014, prolific bastions of open source and $2b valuated company, GitHub, took the custom application wrapper it originally created for its Atom code editor and released into the world—and Electron was born. Rebranded from “Atom Shell” in 2015, Electron began to take off almost immediately, allowing regular web developers the ability to make native-like, high performance desktop applications using the exact same HTML, CSS, and JavaScript technologies they use to make the rest of the web.

Piggybacking on the huge wave of API first work in Drupal 8 utilized via the Waterwheel client wrapper, building with Electron allows you to create nearly native desktop experiences using frameworks like React, Redux, Angular, or anything else that your team can construct to run in a web browser. Beyond even that, Electron gives JavaScript direct access to low level Node.js and operating system APIs, allowing your application direct file access, running custom binaries for data processing, execution of alternative scripting languages, serial port or hardware access, and tons more.

Supercharge Your Next Web App

This year at DrupalCon Baltimore, we present “Supercharge Your Next Web App with Electron”, a session that digs deep and covers everything you need in order to dip into the waters of Electron. We’ll talk about what big companies have already taken the plunge and even provide a checklist for when not to move from the web to a desktop app.

Though an Electron app may not be the right choice for your next application, knowing what tools are available to you—and understanding their incredible possibilities—is going to serve you anytime you’re  considering user-oriented frameworks. Don’t miss out on this interesting view into a future of low-energy/high-return desktop applications in the DrupalCon Horizons track this year.

And, during active exposition hours, make sure to come over to the Four Kitchens booth to see a live demo of an Electron app powered by JavaScript—we build a robot artist!

Four Kitchens: We make content go

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Events

Blog posts about ephemeral news, events, parties, conferences, talks—anything with a date attached to it.

Read more Events
Apr 18 2017
Apr 18
April 18th, 2017

Fun & Games

DrupalCon Baltimore is next week and we’re so excited to get back together in Baltimore! As the official Drupal Games sponsors, we take fun very seriously and this year you can be sure to find some exciting things to do at our booth—we won’t spoil the surprise but let’s just say you’ll get to see some of us IRL and IVRL.

And if you visited us last year, you know we are all about that Free Throw game. Our undefeated Web Chef, Brian Lewis, will be there to take on any challenger. We’ve all been practicing and we are READY. Are you?

We’ll also have some of our widely-enjoyed Lightning Talks during lunch intervals right at our booth! Learn something new in just a few minutes, howbowdat? Stop by our booth to check out the schedule.

Web Chef Talks

It’s been an exciting year and the Web Chefs are ready to drop some knowledge, including:

Future of the CMS: Decoupled, Multichannel, and Content-as-a-Service, presented by Four Kitchens Co-Founder and CEO, Todd Ross Nienkerk.

Supercharge Your Next Web App with Electron, presented by Web Chef engineer, James Todd.

Why Klingon Matters for Content: The Secret Power of Language, presented by our content specialist, Douglas Bigham.

Training: API First Drupal 8 with React.js and Waterwheel, a training with JavaScript engineer, Luke Herrington.

Party with a Purpose

Last—but definitely not least—you’re cordially invited to our official DrupalCon gathering, Drinks with a Mission, hosted by Four Kitchens and our friends at Kalamuna and Manatí.

Join us on April 25th at Peter’s Pour House from 6-9pm for lively conversation, free-flowing libations, and a structured forum for hashing out ideas on how to use Drupal to overcome the challenges many of our communities face in today’s national and global political climate.

RSVP here!

See you in BMD!

Oh! The kittens are coming along to Baltimore as well—four of them to be exact—and we can’t wait to reveal this year’s DrupalCon t-shirt design. We’re not kitten around. We wish we could show you right meow.

P.S. Check out the 10-day Baltimore weather forecast.

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Lucy Weinmeister
Lucy Weinmeister

Lucy Weinmeister is the marketing coordinator at Four Kitchens. She loves to share all the new and exciting things the Web Chefs are cooking up at 4K. She is forever reading a book.

Events

Blog posts about ephemeral news, events, parties, conferences, talks—anything with a date attached to it.

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Feb 27 2017
Feb 27
February 27th, 2017

Drupal at the Beach.
(The Very Windy Beach)

Every year in February, Drupalers from across the country travel to San Diego to get away from the harsh winter and enjoy the perfect 72 degree California weather. Attendees visit Pacific Beach, walk down the boardwalk, and sometimes even go sailing.

Picture of former Web Chefs sailing.Former Web Chefs Matt Grill and Dustin Younse sail through Mission Bay after a weekend at SANDCamp 2016.

This year, however, attendees were met with … a little weather.

San Diegans, like myself, always find weather surprising and novel to the point where any time it rains for more than 10 minutes, we describe it as “really coming down”. But this time it really was pouring. 75 mph gusts of wind, cloudy skies, and a strong atmospheric river causing record rainfall. Drupal was not at the beach this year.

Weather map showing storms over San Diego.SANDCamp 2017: A little weather.

Drupal Near the Beach

Falling in mid-February every year, SANDCamp affords many speakers the opportunity to field test trainings and sessions before they’re given at DrupalCon.

Drupal 8 with React.js and Waterwheel.js

With the help of my fellow Web Chefs, I presented the first iteration of my training API First Drupal 8 with React.js and Waterwheel.js which I’m happy to announce will also be given at Drupalcon Baltimore! In the training, we took the canonical JavaScript application, a todo list built with React, and hooked it up to Drupal 8 through a new JavaScript library called Waterwheel.js. Todos were stored in a headless Drupal site via the JSON API module and we even provided a login page, and a like button for todos. Overall, the feedback on the training was excellent. People enjoyed learning how to turn Drupal 8 into a world class content API while also getting their feet wet with a frontend JavaScript framework like React. I’m looking forward to improving the training and giving it at Drupalcon Baltimore this year.

Every Project is a Story

One notable session was Dwayne McDaniel’s talk Every project is a story: Applying storytelling to your client interactions in which he explained how the patterns that form good stories, form good projects, budgets, and discoveries. Dwayne explored these story structures and how they can help translate clients’ and stakeholders’ dreams into real plans.

Kalastatic

The session that caught my interest the most was From Prototype to Drupal Site with Kalastatic. Through a case study, Crispin explained the benefits of component driven design and showed off an open-source framework Kalamuna built called Kalastatic. It’s a kss-node driven static site framework for building prototypes and living style guides that integrate with Drupal. It’s a tool very similar to Emulsify, Four Kitchens’ component-driven prototyping tool and Drupal 8 theme. It is great to see the Drupal community converge on component driven development as a solid pattern for building frontends.

Keynote Surprise!

Due to the inclement weather California was experiencing that week, the scheduled keynote speaker, Darin Andersens, had his flight cancelled and couldn’t be there. Luckily Todd, Four Kitchen’s CEO and Co-Founder, always has a keynote in his back pocket. He fired up his laptop and gave his talk on The Future of The CMS, pontificating on where the web is going and what CMSes like Drupal must do to stay relevant.

Always Be Keynoting. https://t.co/OIqmOBur3L

— Four Kitchens (@FourKitchens) February 17, 2017

Thanks, SANDcamp!

Maybe I’ll see you at SANDcamp next year! Also, if you’ll be at DrupalCon Baltimore, sign up for my training API First Drupal 8 with React.js and Waterwheel.js, and check out the other Four Kitchens Web Chefs, too!

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Luke Herrington
Luke Herrington

Luke Herrington writes JavaScript for work and for fun; he enjoys hacking on new technology and reading about the ethics of artificial intelligence.

Jan 17 2017
Jan 17

The weekend of Saturday 28th January is the Drupal Global Sprint. It’s a worldwide event to help Drupal and its community improve; an opportunity for anyone who loves Drupal to contribute to core or contrib modules; while non-technical people can get involved with testing, reviewing, documentation or translations.

With sprints taking place in over 20 cities around the globe we wanted to get involved, but surprisingly couldn’t find a local sprint in London. So we’ve made our own.

We’re opening our studio to anyone in the Drupal Community who wants to participate in the Drupal Global Sprint. Everyone is welcome; if you have built a site in Drupal, you can contribute. We will split into groups and work on Drupal core issues. Bring your laptop. For new folks: you can get a head start by making an account on Drupal.org and getting some contribution tools. Developers can install git before coming and git clone Drupal 8 core.

We’ll be throwing on some pizzas and refreshments to keep brains nourished and agile.

Where and when

Manifesto, 1st Floor, 141-143 Shoreditch High Street, London E1 6JE (Map)

Saturday 28th January, 10:30 am – 5:00 pm

Sign up

Please register via Eventbrite, selecting the ticket type (Beginner, Intermediate, Experienced) which best reflects your skill level so that we’re able to better organise the sprint teams.

If you have any questions at all, drop us a line: [email protected]

Dec 13 2016
Dec 13
December 13th, 2016

WordPress is growing. It currently runs more than one quarter of all websites on the Internet, including Four Kitchens’ own website). I’ve been immersed in Drupal for the last five years or so, but I’m curious what is going on with WordPress and its community. And so I bought a ticket to WordCamp US, dusted off my WordPress skills (that I haven’t used in over a quinquennium), and drove to Philadelphia.

What is WordCamp US?

WordCamp US (WCUS) is a conference that focuses on everything WordPress. People from around the world attend—casual users to core developers— to participate, share ideas, and get to know each other.

Community

The first thing that I noticed about WCUS is that WordPress has a huge umbrella—international travelers were plentiful, there were a lot of women, and there was a wide range of diversity. There was even a 10 year old boy in a hallway, face in his laptop, working on his WordPress blog for Minecraft.

The sessions were setup to be accessible to everyone. Each presenter’s slide deck had a space at the top for closed captioning that was done live at the event. And for those who couldn’t make it to the event, every session was recorded and live-streamed in real time.

Everyone was welcoming, questions were encouraged, and conversation flowed. I was upfront with everyone that I was a Drupal developer exploring a foreign land and I got a lot of good information about the WordPress ecosystem.

Comparing Modules and Plugins

Drupal and WordPress both share a love for being open source. Both communities strongly encourage contributing back to the project. But there is one place where Drupal and WordPress have very different opinions—paid modules and plugins.

Drupal modules generally provide building blocks for developers to use as they implement custom solutions for clients. In WordPress, this is sometimes the case, but usually WordPress plugins are complete solutions for a need. For example, to implement a custom intranet with user groups and a Facebook-style feed, a Drupal dev would install a few modules, build some views, and style the new theme elements—and that would all take time and expertise to put together. To accomplish the same thing on WordPress, a user (who doesn’t even have to be a developer) would simply install BuddyPress.org and fill out some administration choices.

I believe that because of this difference between modules and plugins, the WordPress community welcomes paid plugins. And just because they are paid doesn’t mean that they get to be proprietary. The expectation for paid plugins is that they still be open source and what you are paying for is a license for upgrades and support. A lot of the people who I talked to either have their own plugins that they sell as part of their own business or make generous use of paid plugins. Why not pay $100 for a full featured calendar plugin that saves you hours (or weeks) of work?

Looking Forward to WordPress

I enjoyed my trip to WCUS and exploring WordPress. It is a great community and I’m looking forward to continuing to explore it more. Right now I’m looking into development workflows, so if you have any advice, I’d love to hear it in the comments.

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Randy Oest
Randy Oest

Randy Oest is an avid Star Trek fan, plays too many board games, and bought his mother an iPad so that he wouldn't have to fix her computer anymore.

Nov 01 2016
Nov 01

Trip Report: BADcamp 2016I've just returned from my first big Drupal camp and I'd like to tell you about my experience.

The post Trip Report: BADcamp 2016 — Teaching, Learning, and Bonding appeared first on Four Kitchens.

Aug 17 2016
Aug 17

Last week Drupalaton 2016 took place. With about 150 registrations this was the largest Drupalaton so far. The organizers did an amazing job in coping with this mass. There were two session threads and a sprint room. Of the many interesting presentations I would like to mention Fabian Bircher’s “Configuration Management: theory and practice” (a must for everyone who gets lost while trying to work in a team on a Drupal8 project) , Pieter Frenssen’s “Working with REST APIs”  (it was good to see how simple it is in Drupal8) and “Drupal 8 Media” from Pónya Péter, Szanyi Tamás and Rubén Teijeiro (seems we have a huge step forward in media handling since Drupal7!). I held a session on caching in Drupal 8 which was the shortened version the one I did on Drupal Developer Days in Milan.

Liip was a silver sponsor of the event.

Finally, some pictures on the Friday ship cruise. Thanks to Brainsum for sponsoring it!

Mar 31 2016
Mar 31

Stanford Drupal Camp 2016: 10 Sessions You Won’t Want to Miss

CivicActions is excited to be both attending and presenting at Stanford Drupal Camp 2016 for the first time on April 1-2, 2016 in Stanford, California. We’ve prepared a list of sessions that we think will be exceptional and you won’t want to miss!

Presentations by CivicActioneers include:

Other presentations that look equally compelling:

Will you be at Stanford this weekend? Feel free to reach out to team members Dan Gurin and Heather Rodriguez!

Share This Story, Choose Your Platform!

Jun 29 2015
Jun 29

Time flies – it’s already summer, and I hope yours is going well! Seems like just yesterday I was at DrupalCon in Los Angeles, the famous city of movie-making – to make it sound more like a dream… at least my own dream, one that was made true. Because part of our team was invited to LA by an extraordinary company – X-Team.

(Side note: I must say that combining work with travel is a greatly recommended experience, as it brings a breath of fresh air to your usual working process.)

IMG_3092

DrupalCon brings together thousands of people from across the globe who use, develop, design, and support Drupal.

Such an IT event sounds loud. Combined with California and Silicon Valley – sounds even louder. Like a promise that can be hard to deliver on. But it totally was, and with an impressive style. There were a lot of attendees, talks, trainings, huge conference halls and a lot of social events. There was a little something for everyone.

Although it can be pricey to get to one of these, I would definitely attend another, as the value you get from one is incredible. Here’s why:

DrupalCon is inspiring

For me, it’s more about getting inspired, and you certainly get that from the core team’s keynotes (by Dries, Whitney Hess, Matt Assay). Those serve as an example that show how influential people involved in Open Source can be. During such keynotes (but not only!), you can hear a crucial word or two that will have a direct impact on your Drupal research, and will push you forward. And, of course, the future plans for the technology you use will be revealed before you! Learning from strong, inspiring leaders gives you yet another advantage as a Drupal developer.

But getting inspired isn’t limited to just the keynotes – all community collaboration that happens also counts, as it gives you a strong motivation to write high-quality code, work on interesting projects and, of course, share knowledge and contribute to the Open Source movement. And it’s great to see so many people around you who want work with, use and improve technology for the common good.

Drupal already has a really huge and awesome community – one that continuously keeps growing! And conferences certainly play one of the key roles here: every attendee that happens to be putting their very first steps in Drupal’s world can always find support during trainings and even social events like the First time Attendee social. And that works just great, thanks to such a positive atmosphere where people feel very comfortable. So basically, no one should ever be afraid to attend their very first conference!

DrupalCon helps you meet colleagues

Personally, this conference will be remembered also as an opportunity to meet with my teammates (Ardi, Kuba, Sven) in-person. Since we all work remotely, conferences, meetups, camps etc. create a unique occasion to hang out together, get to know each other better, and strengthen bonds.

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And the very same applies to business partners – many of them often attend such events as well, and it’s always great to do a real handshake with them. Not to mention participating in a daily scrum meeting with people from five different countries, sitting at one table…

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If you’re going to DrupalCon, be ready to meet people from all over the world, have a lot of fun, discuss advantages and disadvantages of Drupal and any other web novelty, find people for collaboration/research, work partners, and sometimes even a job. And last but not least – you’re bound to make new friends.

Unleash at your next DrupalCon and become part of the community. See you in Barcelona!

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Jun 29 2015
Jun 29

drupalgovcon logoWe’re excited for Drupal GovCon hosted in the DC area July 22nd through the 24th! We can’t wait to spend time with the Drupal4Gov community and meet fellow Drupalers from all over! Forum One will be presenting sessions in all four tracks: Site Building, Business and Strategy, Code & DevOps, and Front-end, User Experience and Design! Check out our sessions to learn more about Drupal 8 and other topics!

Here our are sessions at a glance…

Nervous about providing support for a new Drupal site? A comprehensive audit will prepare you to take on Drupal sites that weren’t built by you. Join this session and learn from Forum One’s John Brandenburg as he reviews the audit checklist the our team uses before we take over support work for any Drupal site.

Drupal 8’s getting close to launching – do you feel like you need a crash course in what this means? Join Forum One’s Chaz Chumley as he demystifies Drupal 8 for you and teaches you all that you need to know about the world of developers.

If you’re wondering how to prepare your organization for upgrading your sites to Drupal 8, join WETA’s Jess Snyder, along with Forum One’s Andrew Cohen and Chaz Chumley as they answer questions about the available talent, budgets, goals, and more in regards to Drupal 8.

The building blocks of Drupal have changed and now’s the unique time to rethink how to build themes in Drupal 8. Join Chaz Chumley as he dissects a theme and exposes the best practices that we should all be adopting for Drupal 8.

Drupal 8’s first class REST interface opens up a world of opportunities to build interactive applications. Come learn how to connect a Node application to Drupal to create dynamic updates from Forum One’s William Hurley as he demonstrates the capabilities of both JavaScript and Node.js using Drupal, AngularJS, and Sails.js!

Are you excited to launch your new website, but getting held down by all the steps it takes for your code to make it online? On top of that, each change requires the same long process all over again… what a nail biting experience! Join William Hurley as he demonstrates the power of Jenkins and Capistrano for managing continuous integration and deployment using your git repository.

If you’re a beginner who has found the Views module confusing, come check out this session and learn important features of this popular module from Leanne Duca and Forum One’s Onaje Johnston. They’ll also highlight some additional modules that extend the power of Views.

Have you ever felt that Panels, Panelizer and Panopoly were a bit overwhelming? Well, come to our session from Forum One’s Keenan Holloway. He will go over the best features of each one and how they are invaluable tools. Keenan will also give out a handy cheat sheet to remember it all, so make sure to stop by!

Data visualization is the go to right now! Maps, charts, interactive presentations – what tools do you use to build your visual data story? We feel that D3.js is the best tool, so come listen to Keenan Holloway explain why you should be using D3, how to use D3’s visualization techniques, and more.

Implementing modular design early on in any Drupal project will improve your team’s workflow and efficiency! Attend our session to learn from our very own Daniel Ferro on how to use styleguide/prototyping tools like Pattern Lab to increase collaboration between designers, themers, developers, and your organization on Drupal projects.

Are you hoping to mentor new contributors? Check out this session where Forum One’s Kalpana Goel and Cathy Theys from BlackMesh will talk about how to integrate mentoring into all the layers of an open source project and how to develop mentoring into a habit. They’ll be using the Drupal community as an example!

If you’re a beginner looking to set up an image gallery, attend this session! Leanne Duca and Onaje Johnston will guide you in how to set up a gallery in Drupal 8 and how to overcome any challenges you may encounter!

Attend this session and learn how to design and theme Drupal sites using Atomic Design and the Drupal 8 CSS architecture guidelines from our very own Dan Mouyard! He’ll go over our Gesso theme and our version of Pattern Lab and how they allow us to quickly design and prototype reusable design components, layouts, and pages.

Can’t make it to all of the sessions? Don’t worry, you’ll be able to catch us outside of our scheduled sessions! If you want to connect, stop by our table or check us out on Twitter (@ForumOne). We can’t wait to see you at DrupalGovCon!

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May 14 2015
May 14

Drupal left the island.

Larry Garfield brought us an awesome speech about Drupal 8, which you can see here.

Dries explained to us why Drupal 8 had to change. Larry showed us those changes, and everybody loved his demo, but the important thing came after that. The inline editor, content management improvements, rendering HTML5 are awesome improvements, but in the end, these are just details compared to the big message: Drupal finally left the island.

Until version 7, Drupal was built “the Drupal way”. Hooks, nodes, the Form API, all built using its own methods and vocabulary. Everything was in-house solutions. It worked great so far, but no matter how big your community is, you’re limited to your own workforce and concepts, and it has its limitations:

“We need enough humility to accept that there are way better ideas floating around out there than exist in Drupal, and we should be open-minded enough to learn from them or adopt them wholesale.”

This quote is not from his speech, but from his blog, as the need to look “beyond the fence” is a message he tries to spread quite often.

And he’s not talking just about code, but about the ideas and even the attitude, because opening the codebase and introducing other projects into Drupal core is not just about adopting better solutions from the outside. These are practical reasons, but there’s something more important behind this way of thinking. It means accepting other communities’ ideas, and being ready to contribute to them the same way we contribute to Drupal.

It’s not about trying to make Drupal win. It’s about trying to make other projects win with us. And this is important because of this “push paradigm future” Dries talked about. This future is already here for a handful of megacorporations: Amazon, Apple, Google, Facebook. They have an astronomical amount of data and the muscle to process it to their advantage.

How can small companies make their own space in this future without the massive resources they don’t have? Such companies, and the systems backing them, have to collaborate, because this new future can be overwhelming for any community, no matter its size, if it tries to face it on its own. Drupal was about people joining forces. Now it’s about entire communities joining forces.

Because “We are smarter than me”.

That’s cool… for new projects, but what about old projects in D6 or D7? How do we move forward?

Moving forward is in our core. Migrating into Drupal 8.

This was a more technical speech by Ryan Weal and Novella Chiechi from Kafei Interactive, Montreal, and you can see it here.

The major key point of their presentation was: Migrate is in core and it’s the preferred path. What does it have to offer and what would be your first steps.

A huge effort has been put on this migration tool, trying to overcome one of the major drawbacks of Drupal: its compromise for quality and improvement sometimes meant breaking with the old and embracing new and better ways to do things… leaving a lot of users behind, trapped in an old version with no clear update path.

While Migrate for D8 is not a magical solution, it opens the way and greatly simplifies the process, not only for D7 users, but for D6 also. And this is nothing short of amazing. There is still a gap, but the gap is closing every day a little.

As usual, this means very little for large companies with enough cash to pay for upgrades, but it lowers the bar for smaller groups with limited budgets, letting them keep their websites at a lower cost and jumping less technological barriers.

The human factor is not a “resource.” Creating a Culture of Empowerment

And last, a presentation by an extraordinary speaker: Todd Nienkerk from Four Kitchens.

Todd brought us a presentation with no code, no Drupal, no web, no technology and no processes. It was amazing, and you can find the video here.

This was a speech about management ideas that actually matter if you truly value your people. And this is a subject we’re very interested here at X-Team, where we don’t talk about “human resources”, but about “human beings”.

He started with a personal experience that is a total mind-opener: how a small detail, “bean-counter style” detail from management screwed the whole culture of a company. I won’t spoil you, but invite you to listen to it instead, starting at 2’05” of his presentation. This is probably the most interesting part of his chat.

After that, he went deep into the main subject following a structure suited for a scientific article: firstly, define the subject. What does culture and empowerment mean. Secondly, why is this a relevant subject. Thirdly, how do they try to create and maintain this culture of empowerment; and fourthly, the use of language to communicate all this, and how it makes a difference to companies that say one thing while doing another.

The use of language is a very interesting topic, as it’s a very powerful tool to create culture, even in the most subtle details. An example he used: the word “employee” creates a hierarchical structure the moment you use it. It propagates its meaning beyond its particular use case, as using it has a lot of implications: if you have an employee, you have an employer. If there’s an employer, there’s a “my employees”, and suddenly, people is not working with you because they want to. They became “your employees”, they’re “yours”. And all that comes from a single word… and the culture that generated that single word.

Todd clearly sees the language issue in a very Orwellian way: “The limits of my language means the limits of my world.” Language doesn’t express thought. It is thought.

But in the end, most of what he says is applied common sense in large quantities, and it can be tracked down to a single, very simple idea that you can’t fake: either you respect and trust the people who work with you, or you don’t. Everything else comes from this.

And it’s an issue of top relevance. Culture is the invisible glue that keeps a human group together. Quoting Nilofer Merchant: “Culture trumps strategy. Every time”.

Extra. Acquia.

In Colombia I could meet some Acquia folks, which we collaborate with on Fox. Mariano demoed Acquia Cloud for me. By a crazy coincidence, we have a common friend in Barcelona.

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Conclusion

What an experience. To be honest, I expected to be the only European participant at the conference, but I was not.

Drupal 8 could have been named Drupal 11, considering the amount of changes. It’s refreshing to see the project backed by such a strong community, and see the heads keeping an eye on the future and working long-term. Drupal is healthy and strong, and it will be stronger in the future.

But sometimes I think this is becoming too corporate. Maybe Backdrop’s founders were right: how much space is there for the small fish? I don’t know.

Don’t get me wrong, I think Drupal 8 is a huge jump forward, but this doesn’t mean it is the right solution for every situation. What about smaller, more focused solutions based on Drupal?

Maybe other systems have their point.

Maybe we should have a look over the fence.

Addendum

This is me. This is Giorgio de Chirico, part of Fernando Botero’s personal collection. This photo was taken at the Botero Museum, which has an amazing collection of modern art. If you ever go to Bogotá, you have to go to the museum. I will say no more.

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May 14 2015
May 14

My colleague Adam Juran and I just finished with our session, Zero to MVP in 40 minutes: Coder and Themer Get Rich Quick in Silicon Valley, at DrupalCon LA. This one was a real journey to prepare, and through it we learned a lot of dirty truths about Drupal 8, Javascript frameworks, and the use cases where the two make sense together.

The live coding challenge in our session proposal seemed simple: create a web application that ingests content from an external API, performs content management tasks (data modelling, relationships, etc.) through the Drupal 8 interface, and deliver it all to an AngularJS front-end. This is exactly the “headless Drupal” stuff that everyone has been so excited about for the last year, so doing it in a 40 minute head-to-head code battle seemed like an entertaining session.

Ingesting content from an external API

The first hard truth we discovered was the limitations of the still-nascent Drupal 8. Every monthly release of a new Drupal 8 beta includes a series of “change records,” defining all the system-wide changes that will have to be accounted for everywhere else. For example, one change record notes that a variable we often use in Drupal forms is now a different kind of object. This change breaks every single form, everywhere in Drupal.

The frequency of this kind of change record is a problem for anyone who tries to maintain a contributed module. No one can keep up with their code breaking every month, so most don’t. The module works when they publish it as “stable”, but two or three months later, it’s fundamentally broken. changes like this currently happen 10-15 times every month. Any module we were hoping to use as a part of this requirement – Twitter, Oauth, Facebook – were broken when we started testing.

We finally settled on using Drupal’s robust Migrate module to bring in external content. After all, Drupal 7 Migrate can import content from almost any format! Turns out that this isn’t the case with Drupal 8 core’s Migrate module. It’s limited to the basic framework you need for all migrations. Importers for various file types and sources simply haven’t been written yet.

No matter which direction we turned, we were faced with the fact that Drupal 8 needed work to perform the first requirement in our challenge. We chose to create a CSV Source plugin ourselves (with much help from mikeryan and chx) just to be able to meet this requirement. This was not something we could show in the presentation; it was only a prerequisite. Phew!

Displaying it All in Angular

Building an AngularJS based front end for this presentation involved making decisions about architecture, which ended up as the critical focus of our talk. AngularJS is a complete framework, which normally handles the entire application: data ingestion, manipulation, and display. Why would you stick Drupal in there? And what would an Angular application look like architecturally, with Drupal 8 inside?

You always have a choice of what to do and where to do it. Either system can ingest data, and either system can do data manipulation. Your decision should be based on which tool does each job the best, in your particular use case: a catch-all phrase that includes factors like scalability and depth of functionality, but also subtler elements like the expertise of your team. If you have a shop full of AngularJS people and a simple use case, you should probably build the entire app in Angular!

Given that perspective, Drupal really stands out as a data ingestion and processing engine. Even when you have to write a new Migration source plugin, the Entity model, Drupal’s “plug-ability”, and Views make data crunching extremely easy. This is a strong contrast to data work in Angular, where you have to write everything from scratch.

We feel that the best combination of Drupal and Angular is with Drupal ingesting content, manipulating it, and spitting it out in a ready-to-go format for AngularJS to consume. This limits the Angular application to its strengths: layout, with data from a REST back-end, and only simple logic.

The Session

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In the session, we talked a bit about the larger concepts involved, and moved fairly quickly into the technical demonstration. First, Adam demonstrated the flexibility of the decoupled front-end, using bower libraries to build an attractive layout without writing a single line of custom CSS.  Then I demonstrated importing data from CSV sources into Drupal 8, along with the simplicity of configuring Drupal Views to output JSON. Taken together, the videos are 37 minutes long – not bad for a totally custom RESTful endpoint and a nice looking front-end!

Here is Adam’s screencast, showing off the power of the bootstrap-material-design library to build a good looking site without any custom CSS at all:

Here is my screencast, demonstrating how easy it is to create Migrate module importers and REST exports in Drupal 8.

And here is the final screencast, quickly showing the changes we made in AngularJS to have it call the two Drupal Services.

Want to learn of Forum One’s Drupal development secrets? Check out our other Drupalcon blog posts, or visit our booth (#107) and talk with our tech wizards in person!

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Jan 08 2015
Jan 08

Drupal at Forum One - Powering Problem SolversWant to join me for a marathon next weekend?

As part of a worldwide effort known as the Drupal Global Sprint Weekend, hundreds of coders from around the world are joining together in a united effort to complete a marathon task: the launch of the next generation of the world’s most popular open-source platform, Drupal 8.

To participate in this massive movement and contribute to the Drupal Community, Forum One is hosting a local Code Sprint in downtown Washington, DC on Saturday, January 17th. Sign up here »

Never been to a code sprint before? No worries; we’re pros at these events! Here’s what you can expect:

What is a code sprint?

A code sprint is when developers get together and write code. There’s minor instruction and some ad hoc mentoring, but mainly the focus is just uniting developers and hammering out code together. That’s all there is to it!

How will this event work?

Our developers will work with you to find Drupal 8 core issues for you to focus on. You won’t need to research anything on your own, but you will need to bring your own laptop, and it helps a lot if you set up your development environment beforehand. For instructions on how to get set up and for additional details like the event agenda, visit the RSVP page »

Why should I attend?

  • You’ll meet other DC area developers!
  • You’ll roll up your sleeves and become a bona fide Drupal 8 Core Contributor!
  • You’ll learn from our on-site mentors and fellow developers!
  • You’ll earn tons of karma by furthering the mission of the open-source development model!
  • It’s totally free!

Intrigued? Excited? Can’t hardly contain your enthusiasm? Awesome! Sign up for this free event and join me and the DC open-source developer community as we take on this marathon effort and get 26.2-ish miles closer to bringing Drupal 8 across the finish line.

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2014: A Year In Review

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Sep 29 2014
Sep 29

Where in the world is DrupalCon

How do you get to DrupalCon? Well, apparently you just follow the signs!

I’d never thought about it, but nothing makes one happier than official street signs guiding me from the hotel to the venue!

But even with such a welcome, I love the first day of DrupalCon, and I don’t mean trainings, community summit, or sprints, although they are important and valuable. More than all of that I love reconnecting with friends, colleagues, and collaborators.

Adam and Webchick

We discuss the state of Drupal 8, and celebrate recent accomplishments, like the acceptance of the pagination dream markup into Drupal 8 core! This particular issue is one I’ve been working on consistently since Drupal Dev Days last March, but it’s not my victory alone, seven of us worked heavily on the ticket and many others contributed in smaller chunks.

We talk about which sessions we’ll attend and promote our own, namely Campbell’s and my Coder vs. Themer Ultimate Grudge Smackdown: Fight to the Death!

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Kalpana

We also discuss new challenges and next steps, and in the sprint area we collaborate and problem solve together. Forum One’s Kalpana Goel is immensely passionate about core contribution and sprinting and received a scholarship from Drupal Association to come to Amsterdam and do just that.

Last but not least, we talk about the after parties and the social activities. But ultimately, it’s not about the hippest new nightclub or sushi at a shi-shi restaurant, it’s about people. I vastly prefer collecting colleagues and friends old and new into a semi-spontaneous dinner group, and so that’s what we did.

So that’s completes my recap of Day one in Amsterdam. Stay tuned for more updates soon!

Read our other updates for DrupalCon:
DrupalCon Amsterdam, Day 2: From Memories to the Future
DrupalCon Amsterdam, Day 3: Drupal 8 Beta Released
DrupalCon Amsterdam, Day 4: Our Kung fu is more powerful than yours!

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Aug 09 2014
Aug 09

“Contributing to Drupal is life-changing.”

Dries, you couldn’t be more right.

At DrupalCamp Singapore 2014, developers from all over Asia had the opportunity to spend a day focused on learning, collaborating and preparing for Drupal 8.

One takeaway was being reminded of the fact that Drupal 8 still needs significant help from its community to be ready for enterprises to adopt it.

Dries Buytaert (Drupal’s founder) actually gave opening remarks at the event and called for Drupal developers to start reporting (and fixing) bugs for Drupal 8.

We want to help the Drupal community create the best version of Drupal ever; it’s already headed down that path, and with a little #sleepcanwait attitude, a united community can get it there.

So today we’re announcing ContributeX — an event using our special approach to help inspire the Drupal community to jump in the trenches of Drupal 8 and make X happen.

ContributeX is a full-day event inviting Drupal developers to unleash their superhero and contribute to Drupal 8, and in return, the Top 5 contributors will be welcomed into The League of the Extraordinary and be awarded the most coveted X-Team award — a superhero illustration/reimagining of themselves (aka become HEROized).

The “X” in ContributeX represents the infinite ways that a developer can contribute to a community. We want this event to be a reminder to Drupal developers that contributing to Drupal 8 doesn’t have to be building a module — it can be as simple as supporting your colleagues, submitting bug reports, testing, documenting changes, giving someone a high-five, sharing Drupal 8’s progress with the world, and so many other ways.

The first ContributeX will be hosted by one of the best Asian Drupal communities, the Drupal Pilipinas organization from the Philippines, lead by X-Teamers like Paul de Paula and Gerald Villorente.

So we invite every Drupal developer in the Philippines to join us at this first event. We hope to see more of these happen in Asia, and then the rest of the world.

Drupal 8 needs you. Now is your chance to give back to such an extraordinary community. See you there.

Event Details

Location: Microsoft Philippines, 6750 Ayala Avenue, Makati, Philippines
Time: 1 p.m. – 10 p.m.
Sponsored by X-Labs, an X-Team open source support fund.

Jun 03 2014
Jun 03

Drupal definitely has one of the biggest and largest communities in the world. I can still remember one of Dries Buytaert’s tweets showing the rapid growth of Drupal by showing a photo of a few attendees at the first DrupalCon, compared with the most recent which was packed.

(On a side note: It’s exciting to think there might someday soon be a DrupalCon in the Asian region (see: here).

Besides DrupalCon, there are a lot of other Drupal community activities organized throughout the world, such as Drupal Camp, Drupal BarCamp, Drupal Meetup, etc. And the best part is, these are also supported by Drupal.org. (If interested, here are some tips on how to organize one: https://drupal.org/node/247972). You can even ask them to become a main sponsor, or request funding (as long as it complies with their rules). How cool is that?!

Drupal Camps are quite popular and can be considered a mini version of DrupalCon, as they also feature several sessions discussing various topics surrounding Drupal, usually a small hackathon, etc. Drupal Camps also attract lots of Drupalists and other tech evangelists from all over the country to gather and mingle together.

Drupal in Singapore

There’s no doubt that Drupal is gaining more traction and popularity in Singapore, and this is also indicated by the fact that lots of big corporations in many industries in Singapore are starting to switch to Drupal as their main technology platform.

Singapore has already organized two Drupal Camps, and this year will be the third, to be held June 14, 2014 at SMU (Singapore Management University). You can learn more about it here: http://drupalcamp.sg/contact-us

We’ve received many session submissions, which indicates that more people from different industries and backgrounds are interested to join the fun and are willing to share their knowledge with all of us.

And, of course, the food will be awesome, too.

And it’s all thanks to our beloved and loyal sponsors (including X-Team), as without them, this event wouldn’t even happen.

This year’s theme will be about Drupal 8, one of the most popular topics and also most controversial (in my opinion). So for sure this will bring even more excitement to the event!

Tickets can be purchased on our website: http://drupalcamp.sg/, and it’s only S$25.

We guarantee you’ll enjoy every moment of the event, as well as the warm Singaporean hospitality. And of course, you could always stay with our community in Singapore any time you want; just like Drupal’s slogan says: “Come for the software, stay for the community.”

Cheers!

Jul 19 2013
Jul 19

We’ve been an open source shop for over 15 years, and a Drupal shop for the past five. This month, we’re expanding our support for the Drupal community in two important ways.

First, we’re excited to announce that Forum One is now a Premium Supporting Partner of the Drupal Association. The Drupal Association is the nonprofit organization that works to foster and support the Drupal software project, the community and its growth. The association ensures that the Drupal project flourishes and remains free software for anyone to download. They also provide support and convenings for the community of over 600,000 users and developers. 

We love Drupal and how it empowers our clients to make a difference in the world. After building nearly 200 sites in Drupal we are dedicated to using the CMS and making it work more effectively for our clients. Our membership is a demonstration of our support and commitment for its long-term growth. 

Second, we are Platinum sponsors of the 2013 CapitalCamp DC on July 26-27. CapitalCamp is the largest Drupal regional event in the DC area, and we are pleased to be sponsoring and helping to organize once again.

At CapitalCamp, we will be delivering three sessions:

CapitalCamp is great opportunity to learn, network, and code. It is also a lot of fun. Therefore, we are co-sponsoring the CapitalCamp Happy Hour on Friday, July 26 at 4:30. Please join us!

We’re looking forward to meeting more Drupal fans at CapitalCamp and through our new Drupal association partnership.

Jul 09 2013
joe
Jul 09

Live in the Midwest and like Drupal? So do we! Or at least some of our team. And as such we'll be attending the annual Twin Cities DrupalCamp in force this year.

As a resident of Minneapolis I've been attending this camp regularly since its inception and it's always been a great opportunity to meet other local Drupal developers and to interact with those that I've known for years. Every year I'm delighted at the number of people who come to learn about Drupal. Last year we had nearly 300 people attend the camp. This year is shaping up to be just as good and myself, Andrew, and Emma will all be in attendance and would love to meet you. In addition to being there in person, we're happy to be a Gold sponsor this year, and we'll be giving away a free annual membership to Drupalize.Me as well!

I've also been participating in helping to organize the camp this year in a much larger capacity. I've normally poked my head in a bit here and there, but this year I've been involved with the entire session selection process: soliciting session submissions, helping to choose sessions, and contacting presenters. It's been a great way to get to know more of the people in the local community. We used the camp website for much of the content selection process and this year I also helped to build the website as well.

Sessions

It's fun to get to meet people face-to-face rather than from the other side of the Internet. This camp is a great chance to meet our trainers as they do their thing in person. I dare say we're at least as much fun, if not more-so, in person.

The Drupalize.Me team will be presenting the following sessions:

I am really exited about the great content from all the speakers. And, unlike past years where we waited till the last minute to schedule everything, we're ahead of the curve this year and have already put together a complete schedule for the weekend.

Free PSD to Theme Workshop

Last year Emma was the keynote speaker at the camp and during her presentation announced that she would be open-sourcing her PSD to Theme workshop. This year Emma and Joe will be teaching a version of the PSD to Theme workshop that is completely free to the first 30 camp attendees that signup for the workshop. There was only one seat left at the time this blog post was written, so signup and get the last seat now (if it's not already too late)!

We're looking forward to seeing you at the camp in a couple of weeks. Be sure to say "hello"!

Jun 11 2013
Jun 11

During the week June 24th a mass of Drupal folks will converge on Dublin, Ireland for Drupal Dev Days. This year, in addition to the three days of DrupalCamp that is happening (June 28-30), there is also a week of sprints leading up to the camp, and to the Drupal 8 code freeze deadline. This is it. If it's going to be in Drupal 8, it needs to happen before the end of June. Once we get beyond code freeze, our focus will shift to polishing what's there, fixing bugs, and cleaning up performance. (For more info about this, you can read all about the Drupal 8 release cycle.)

While the name of event could lead you to believe this is only for developers, this will be a crowd of people from all skills and experience. The camp itself will have sessions for a range of interests and levels, and the sprints will need people to cover a wide range of work to get things done in time. There will be a lot of opportunities to learn, as well as dig in and get your hands dirty, working on real problems to be solved. If you ever wanted to experience the Drupal community in its glory, Drupal Dev Days proves to be one of the best events this year to feel that energy and make a difference.

We're proud to support this event as a sponsor, and as presenters. In the spirit of helping Drupal core, and helping new folks be part of that experience, we are once again offering the free Community Tools workshop, on Friday, June 28th. Addison Berry will be leading this workshop, along with a host of volunteers, to show you how the community communicates, and get you set up with the tools you need to get up to speed. You'll also be able to listen to Juampy work his magic in a session or two (the final session selection isn't done quite yet) and catch Sally Young sprinting hard. If you see us around, please come up and introduce yourself. We'll also have a handful of sparkly Drupal superhero stickers to show the world how much you rock, so we hope to see you soon in Dublin!

May 14 2013
May 14

Like the ’90s, Drupal really is alive in Portland, the city made popular again from the much-watched TV show, Portlandia. Portland is the homebase for the Drupal Association and host for this year’s DrupalCon, Drupal’s largest North American conference. 

DrupalCon Portland Platinum Sponsor

This will be Forum One’s biggest presence at DrupalCon since we went to our first conference in Washington, DC, in 2009. We’ll have 17 web developers, project managers, and strategists attending the event from our offices in San Francisco, Seattle, and DC. We can’t wait to meet more Drupalers, share our experiences, and explore Portland!

During our Day Stage session, EPA.gov: Building a Sustainable Drupal Platform, we’re excited to share the challenges and successes we faced in migrating EPA’s large web presence to Drupal. In a “game-show” style session, we’ll investigate how we navigated the unique needs of a large government agency, share project challenges, champion our successes, and provide best practices for other large organizations considering moving to Drupal.

Another highly anticipated session is What Users Want (or Why Webpages are Dead) by Nam-ho Park and Stein Setvik. They’ll dive deep into real questions about the future of websites in the face of the rise of mobile and explore the implications for Drupal.

Each year, it is encouraging to see Drupal growing. With 613 active distributions and more than 25,000 contributors, Drupal is now the largest and most recognized open-source community. It will be interesting to see how keynotes from Dries Buytaert, Karen McGrane, and Michael Lopp address the sheer size of the project and how to get Drupal to even more users.

If you’re going to be in Portland next week, stop by our booth. We’ll have free “Nodetoriusly” awesome T-shirts that will be sure to take you back to the golden age of hip-hop. Plus, we’ll raffle off an iPad mini. And if you have a big heart and bright mind, consider joining our team by checking out our career openings. Come talk to us and help us keep the dream alive at Portland DrupalCon!

Mar 15 2013
Mar 15

A week ago today I got up on stage at DrupalCamp Stockholm 2013 and held my first ever presentation. The topic was Symfony basics and the future of PHP and Drupal.

It was absolutely nerve racking but also really, really fun! I definitely got a taste for presenting and I hope to do it soon again.

If you happened to miss the Symfony Intro presentation, my good friend Viktor Miranda recorded the entire session (thanks, mate!) and I just finished uploading it. Put your Swedish on and hit play below.

[embedded content]

The slides are available online.

Getting up on stage before all these people scared the shit out of me. So big thanks to all who helped me prepare! Viktor, Andreas, Mia, Daniel, Samuel, Per and Anna — much appreciated.

Hope you all enjoyed it as much as I did!

Mar 04 2013
Mar 04

Hosting the Content Strategy Conversation in a Brand New Breakout Room

Content matters! Bold, boisterous content matters; shy bits of micro-content matter; even the nuances of your error messages deserve careful attention! Lullabot’s Insert Content Here podcast is all about content, and every episode features a new conversation with content strategy experts from a variety of industries and disciplines. On June 3-5, Lullabot will also be sponsoring the third annual Confab, a fabulous conference that's dedicated to content strategy! Every year in friendly Minneapolis, Minnesota, Confab brings together a host of experts to discuss the big issues and tiny details of content strategy.

Why Attend Confab?

One critical issue has wiggled its way into quite a few episodes of Insert Content Here: the often-strained relationship between content teams and development teams. At Confab, Insert Content Here's host Jeff Eaton will take a closer look at that contentious relationship and offer an hour of feud-soothing tools. In Hugging the Hatfields: Turning Cantakerous Development Teams Into Allies, Eaton will teach content creators to understand the developer's world and speak their language, ensuring that critical editorial needs are heard. He'll also explain how content strategy's tools can make life easier for both disciplines by alleviating developer pain points.

In addition to sponsoring and speaking at Confab, Lullabot is excited to debut the “Insert Content Here Breakout Room!” (Always fans of novelty, we're proud to note that it's the longest-titled breakout room in the conference’s history.) Fittingly, Jeff Eaton’s session will be held in the Insert Content Here breakout room, as well.

See You There!

Last year, Confab sold out quickly! If you're responsible for content in your business, or you're a stakeholder who needs a roadmap for sustainable content, reserve a spot ASAP! Be sure to make room in your schedule for Eaton’s Hugging the Hatfields: Turning Cantankerous Development Teams Into Allies, and stop by our breakout room afterwards to say hello. We look forward to seeing you!

Mar 04 2013
Mar 04

I recently had the pleasure of traveling to London to attend DrupalCamp London. There, Joe Shindelar and I taught a one-day Introduction to Drupal workshop. The class was great and the attendees actively participated, as they were very interested in what Drupal has to offer. This was my first experience teaching with Joe in person, and even though I work with him regularly on our videos here at Drupalize.Me, all I can say is he is a fantastic presenter and teacher. If you are ever at a camp, con, or meetup, I recommend that you take some time to sit in and listen to Joe speak.

After that we, and some other Lullabots, took the camp by storm, presenting and attending sessions the next couple of days. Sally Young and Blake Hall did a session together, Going Mobile, about building Drupal-based mobile apps, and separating the backend from the frontend on a site. Although this was way over my head, those that attended were very curious and excited about what they were saying. Addison Berry also took some time teaching a session on the Drupal Ladder. I love seeing people get excited about working on core. The session had a fair number of people attend and plenty of questions were asked. It is also very cool seeing Addison still get excited to teach about the community. Finally, Joe "performed" a session on Fun with the Form API. The session was fairly packed and everyone had fun (non pun intended) listening to Joe show the importance of learning the Form API.

The rest of the camp was packed full of sessions and an overall excitement of people learning Drupal. I could go on and on about the camp, but I also want to talk about life as a simple American in London. Especially a life of a person that sits behind a computer most of his days.

My day usually begins with a couple cups of coffee and gathering my thougths while organizing email. For me, a couple cups of coffee are easily made with a coffee maker. This is where I began to notice I wasn't home anymore. A cup of coffee in London is not just a drip of water over coffee beans. No, it is a ritual — single serving, and what appeared to me, a project. Let's just say, I had less coffee than I normally do.

My next foray was a very unexpected trip on the "tube." Now I have traveled to Europe a few other times, but never had to use the tube during rush hour. At one point it was so packed I swear there is no way more people will fit on this thing. They did anyway. I'm sure New Yorkers are very familiar with this, but as a non-city person, it was a bit overwhelming. I made it out alive though.

Kyle Hofmeyer

Unfortunatly most of what I saw of London was either going from tube to tube, or walking from the tube to a place to eat. That leads me to my next favorite part of London: the food. Sally was our tour guide and certainly knows where to take people to eat. I had some "awesome" food during my five-day visit and have learned to eat with a fork in my left hand and my knife in the other (thanks Sally).

Besides the food I did get to see Old Ben from a car window, and the Tower Bridge (apparently the London Bridge is not all that). We also took a moment to jump over the Prime Meridian, and I played the role of a tourist with Oscar-like potential, as you can clearly see in the picture here.

I am now siting in the airport waiting to travel back home to the States. You may be asking yourself what this post has to do with anything. I guess it is really about how being part of the Drupal community offers the ability to step outside our normal boundaries and experience the world around us. One of the greatest aspects of Drupal is it has no worldy boundries and events are everywhere. From Portland to Copenhagen, Denver to Sydney — Drupal can take you anywhere, and I am better for it.

Feb 22 2013
Feb 22

Kind-of-annual event DrupalCamp Stockholm is about to kick off again, just two weeks from today. Mark your calendars — March 8th will bring a lot of geeky fun to our capital city.

There are some really promising sessions planned for this DrupalCamp. I am especially looking forward to Fredrik Jonsson’s talk on Git and Fabian Sörqvist’s talk on Jaegirmeister. As always there are some conflicting sessions where I would love to see two talks but they are at the same time, like Ida Franceen’s talk on kodsmuts which clashes with my own presentation.

I will present a talk on Symfony, from the perspective of a Drupal developer. If Dependency Injection, Mediators, HTTP abstraction and code decoupling ticks your boxes — this is the talk for you!

Tickets generally sell fast the last couple of days, so be sure to visit the site and get yours right away. At 295 SEK for the entire DrupalCamp, including lunch and wraps for dinner, this is a bargain!

See you there?

Nov 29 2012
Nov 29

You’re Invited to Co-Work at the Lullabot Activity Center

Are you a Rhode-Island-are freelancer, remote worker or self-employed professional? If so, come join us on Tuesday, December 4th for a day of co-working at our beautiful Lullabot Activity center in downtown Providence.

Perks of the Lullabot Activity Center (LAC):

  • speedy wifi
  • strong coffee
  • clean tables (free of espresso rings and splenda residue)
  • a warm space that’s teeming with nerdy entrepreneurship
  • no worrying about some green-aproned barista giving you the stink eye

Bring your laptop and a friendly disposition. Just be mindful that this is an event to foster distraction-free productivity and not a place for group meetings or business pitches.

Our space can only fit about 20 people so be sure to register in advance.

A Bit More About the LAC

Lullabot's Activity Center in the Providence Jewelry District is a big loft space that we rearrange for meetings, meetups, training events and even video shoots for our Drupalize.Me video training site.

Want to Get Alerts About Other Events?

Check out Providence Virtual Workers, a MeetUp group connecting Rhode-Island-area virtual and remote workers. Exchange ideas, be productive and get plugged in to a cool, creative network.

Aug 22 2012
Aug 22

As the summer heat hits Europe, Drupal geeks gather for another edition of DrupalCon. The event takes place in Munich, Germany this time. Of course, the Krew, reinforced with new team members, attends the event, eager to gain new insights and share knowledge.

The news that Krimson, Mearra, NodeOne and Wunderkraut decided to join forces, was announced over the past two days. As Wunderkraut, the 140 coworkers aim to deliver measurable client happiness and business value. The entire team got together at an introductory meet up on Monday, well before the main event. As the day progressed, team members shared ideas, practices and solutions in a set of open spaces in the relaxed environment of one of the Münich city parks.

Krew member Nelia: “During the open discussion I joined the developer open space. As junior developer I learned a lot. A lot of useful information was shared and discussed between the backend developers. Because of the merge, we are confronted with different ways of working, but as we got along, we discovered that we shared a common view on most development practices and methodology.”

Krew member Jurgen: “As dedicated Support engineer I was faced with the challenge of finding the open space that worked for me, my area of work spans from front-end to system monitoring and everything in between. I joined the growing force of front-enders and later the System Administrators' open space where a lot of the Support tasks are being handled. It became apparent that across the board we all strive towards openness and processes that work in the long term so we can focus on doing what we love to do, delivering kick-ass Drupal products.”

The new Wunderkraut team ended the day with a few celebratory beers.

DrupalCon Munich opened its' first day with the ABC of DrupalCon, in traditional Bavarian style. As we were welcomed, we learned, amongst other things, how to jodel like a boss and what DrupalCon and the Drupal community is all about. Captain Drupal flew on the stage, in the style of a true superhero, announcing the Wunderkraut merger. It was quite an awesome sight to see all the Wunderkraut people wearing their brand new t-shirts, saying Hi to them when they pass by and sharing experiences and plotting the future. It shows the power of people working together under one brand, powered by the entire Drupal mindset.

The actual opening of the conference was, as always, the highly anticipated keynote by Dries (aka the Driesnote) Josh Koenig interviewed Dries about the state of Drupal.

Dries gave a preview of Drupal 8 showcasing such new features as inline content editing, import/export of configuration and mobile website administration (SPARK). Drupal 8 development is moving towards a feature freeze this december. The community is now looking forward to a release date set around this time next year. With Drupal entering new markets and going for enterprise business, large companies are getting involved with Drupal. This evolution introduces benefits, but also drawbacks to the Drupal project. In the end, when the market consolidates around 2 or 3 really big CMS'es - as it did with operating systems - Drupal ideally conquers itself a place among those.

DrupalCon schedules a wide variety of sessions. The Krew attended several of those. The new Entity and Property API in Drupal 8 session was presented to the attendees. Core developers Fago and Dixon_ ran a technical overview of the different API’s. The main goals of the revamped API’s are to improve the consistency of the logic, make fields fully translatable, improve the interoperability - which is important since D8 is geared towards services - and introduce standards in the data model and the code. The session draw to a close with a round of Q&A and a call to dig into the issue queue.

The Think like a hacker: Drupal security session taught Krew the finesses of building a website using secure code and best practices. Security is an important factor to think about during the entire development process. While it might present an overhead cost, everybody benefits in the long run since fixing security breaches are way more expensive once a leak has been exploited. During the session, we learned quite a few developer best practices such as using Drupal specific security functions in your code and always validate user input.

Drupal 8 is also going to come with a lot of changes at the theming layer. The Designer friendly theming system in Drupal 8 session explores these changes. Learning how to theme has always been difficult as the system comes with a steep learning curve. Front-end specialists are required to deal with the intricacies of PHP and the Drupal API. With the introduction of Twig, the community hopes to stow away most of that complexity, lowering the bar and aiming for simplicity and consistency. The development of the system is very much a work in progress, just as the Entity API, and the speakers invited everybody to join the code sprints which take place during the conference.

As the day came to a close, all the attendees gathered at the Biergarten am Chinesischer Turm having a great time, enjoying a fresh beer and typical Münicher dishes.

Jul 06 2012
Jul 06

When the Four Kitchens’ team of web chefs develop a new training course, our guiding principle is: Provide a strong return on investment. You invest the time traveling to the training, attending, and afterwards, practicing the skills acquired. You also invest the energy and effort necessary to develop new skills. You place your trust in the trainers to guide you from where you are now to where you need to be. In return, we invest our time, energy, and best effort in creating training experiences that give you a stronger, more relevant, skillset and the confidence you need to apply it.

We also want you and the training to be the right match, building on your current skillset. Before the event, we send a very specific list of required skills, so that you can be certain that the training you purchased is right for you.

To ensure a valuable return on your investment, we develop our trainings with four essentials in mind.

  1. You leave with skills you need. We are interested in many things. The web chefs’ IRC chat room is a steady stream of links and memes. But when it comes to training, we make sure that the skills we teach are the ones you must have as a web professional. We want the skills you develop to increase your value in the marketplace.
  2. Hands-on experience, in class. Seeing is not doing. We know that the only way to develop a skill is to jump in and do it. We provide a safety net. We approach training as an obstacle course designed to build confidence. Instructions are given and then, you tackle the obstacle. We put the smaller obstacles first so that by the end, you are scaling big walls without breaking a sweat.
  3. Subject matter expertise AND training expertise. Many technical training courses fail because the trainers are not subject matter experts or the subject matter experts are not trainers. We develop trainings as a team, combining expertise in the subject with expertise in the art of training. The finished product is an intellectually satisfying, fun, and valuable day with the web chefs.
  4. Enjoyable, cooperative, encouraging. Training is a community experience. We create an environment where trainees can help each other, receive help from us, and participate in every discussion so that the group builds their skills in a cohesive, connected way. We also have a lot of fun.

Our next training is at DrupalCon Munich. Join us for Responsive Websites: Design and Build for All Devices. Also, keep an eye out for more trainings at BadCamp and DrupalCamp Austin.

Do you need personalized training for your team? Contact us for more information about we help teams become Drupal Experts.

May 16 2012
May 16

In this series we focus on building calendars with Drupal. We'll be covering topics such as basic configuration for fields and views, using calendar templates, creating blocks and different ways of displaying the calendar, along with customizing the look and feel.

This video assumes that you understand the basics of content, fields, and Views in Drupal. If you need a refresher on these topics, or want to find out more about using the Date module, here are some other tutorial series to review:

Apr 06 2012
Apr 06

This screencast shows how to:

  • Invoke a Rules event
  • Send parameter data to a Rules event

This is shown by an event triggered every time a view is being rendered, sending the name of the view as a parameter.

Apr 06 2012
Apr 06

This screencast shows how to:

  • Declare a Rules event
  • Declare the data provided by the event
  • Use that data in a rule

The example used creates an event "View is being rendered", passing along information about which view is being used.

Mar 14 2012
Mar 14

March 14th, 2012

Interested in exploring how Drupal might be the right CMS for your organization? The Drupal Business Summit is coming to Vancouver on June 1 at UBC Robson Square and may be the prime event for you to get a closer look at one of the hottest technologies on the web. Come learn how Drupal is being used in various sectors including publishing, media, technology, non-profit, education, social, ecommerce and the enterprize.

Throughout the day we will share examples of Drupal-in-action, lessons learned, and identify best practices. Things will kick off with a continental breakfast followed by presentations from Kieran Lai, Peter Guagenti and Jeff Walpole along with a number on case studies from prominent clients who will deliver inspiring stories of how they’ve been using Drupal to solve real world problems in innovative ways. One of the highlights of the Summits are the break out sessions that allow attendees to connect with individuals who are exploring Drupal in similar verticals. Beyond the learning, there will be lots of opportunities to meet some of the top movers and shakers in the Drupal space while enjoying plenty to eat and drink. And if you didn’t get enough, there’s always more at the wrap up where we complete the day with a social time of free appies and an open bar. The cost for the day is a steal at just $39/person for our Super Early Bird Rate (before April 1).

Should you wish to join us for this memorable day, feel free to register on our Summit site here. You’ll discover how smart investments in the leading open source content platform returns immediate business benefits and also continues to pay dividends for many years to come.

Summit Organizers

Posted In:

Mar 14 2012
Mar 14

Hey, Nice Nodes!We've been DrupalCon participants for a while now, going back to our first participation at DrupalCon Washington DC in 2009. Since then, Drupal's growth and the growth of this event have been exciting to watch, and we're thrilled to have our biggest participation ever in the event this year.

We'll have 13 of our web developers and senior strategists attending. We're a Platinum Sponsor – and perhaps most importantly – we'll be debuting new, freshly minted "Nice Nodes" T-shirts along with "Nice Nodes" stickers.

As Drupal has grown in maturity and capability, it's become a permanent fixture around the web. Over 150 government websites are now using the platform. The developer community is arguably the largest and most active open-source publishing project out there, and Drupal adoption is growing faster than the likes of Joomla and Plone. And I think things are just warming up.

As I look forward to DrupalCon next week, I'm particularly optimistic for Drupal's future because it's a system that isn't just a collaborative publishing and management system. It's a platform that unifies communications, content, and people across enterprises and across the web. I look at the HTML 5, Services, and Mobile Initiatives in the works for Drupal 8, and believe that Drupal is well positioned to keep its leadership position as we move into the mobile, cloud-based world of tomorrow's information systems.

So if you're going to be in Denver next week, please stop by and see us at our booth. And come hear what we're up to with mobile and Drupal during Thursday's "Drupal Means Business Event," where Senior Programmer Aaron Zinck and I will be presenting "Drupal on the Go: 3 Keys to Low-Cost Mobile."

, and we'll save a Nice Nodes t-shirt or sticker sheet for you. See you in Denver!

Feb 22 2012
Feb 22

Perhaps you’ve heard about Jekyll, the simple static site generator that powers Github Pages and a number of other sites including our friends at Development Seed. Jekyll is great because you can write a whole collection of items in Markdown and then easily turn it into a website.

Heykll and Jekyll

A few weeks ago, Steven Merrill and I had the idea to create a presentation in Impress.js using Markdown files for each slide. We enjoyed that Impress.js rivals many of the features of Prezi, but was ultimately just HTML+CSS+JS, which meant that versioning and tweaking the talk could be much simpler than Flash-based Prezi. For my lunch break that day, I dove in. The result is Hekyll, a Jekyll-based presentation generator for Impress.js. Learn more about the process of making Hekyll here.

Drupalcon Denver 2012 is rapidly approaching and Steven and I have been busy getting our slides ready for our Zagat.com Case Study presentation. We’ve been using Hekyll to collaborate and I have to say it’s been absolutely delightful. Our talk is in a hosted Git repository, so we can both be working on separate parts of the presentation simultaneously and, because all of the styling is done in CSS, we can focus on the content first and then make it look great.

Speaking of making it look great, Hekyll has the concept of ‘themes’ built in, which makes it super easy for you to create your own look and feel, or try out a few different ones. Right now, Hekyll only has a fairly basic theme based off the Impress.js demo, but we hope to add a few more simple general designs in the future.

Drupalcon Denver theme for Hekyll

Drupalcon Title Slide, powered by Hekyll

If you’re planning to speak at Drupalcon Denver and you’re interested in Hekyll, I’ve made a Hekyll theme based on the Drupalcon presentation templates, which is available (with installation instructions) on Github here: https://github.com/bmcmurray/drupalcon-denver-2012-hekyll.

I’d love to hear if you decide to use Hekyll for your presentation, and if you’d like to get involved, Steven and I are fairly actively working on feature improvements on Github.

Feb 17 2012
Feb 17

January Drupal PlaydayEver wish you could spend a Saturday hanging out and working on your projects with other Drupal folks? New to Drupal and wish you could just turn to the expert sitting next to you and ask questions?

Come by the Treehouse office tomorrow, from 11am to whenever. Bring your laptop, your projects, your questions, your books…whatever you want to tinker with alongside a bunch of fellow Drupal professionals and enthusiasts. Drupal newcomers are always welcome! Just keep in mind that you’ll get more out of the day if you have Drupal up and running before you get there.

DrupalCon Denver site usability testing

Lisa Rex will be conducting usability testing for the DrupalCon Denver 2012 site. She is looking for 8 volunteers &emdash; 4 to test mobile and 4 to test via desktop browser. If you are interested in participating, you can contact Lisa through her Drupal.org contact form, find her in the #drupal-nyc channel on IRC, or just show up.

Get the details and RSVP for the Drupal Playday on Meetup.com or on groups.drupal.org

Nov 09 2011
Nov 09

It’s about that time again! Although it’s six months away DrupalCon Denver is ramping up, and session submissions are ready to be voted on by the wonderful Drupal community members. There are almost 600 submissions this year covering every aspect of design, development, mobile, and business strategy. Read on for the informational feasts prepared by the Web Chefs for Denver 2012:

Mobile

Zach Meyer (zachattack), Todd Nienkerk, Chris Ruppel (rupl)

ICANN is the organization responsible for coordinating global use of the domain name system (DNS). Due to the massive scale of their operations they serve users of all types, from feature phone users in Africa to iPad users in LA. This session will take you through Four Kitchens’ process of redesigning ICANN.org from static HTML to a responsive Drupal 7 website.

Chris Ruppel (rupl)

You’ve heard about responsive, mobile-first websites, and have probably built a few at this point. Mobile users have a short attention span, and they stay happy when sites load FAST. Heavy files, extra assets, and other inefficiencies can cause page loads to drag. Come to this session and learn how to keep your mobile users active without sacrificing the richness that desktop users expect.

Zach Meyer (zachattack)

Frameworks can help you rapidly prototype websites in mobile but they are also a crutch. To make a website responsive or have a fluid layout, flexible images and videos you don’t need a framework and sometimes it can be faster to produce without if you know what you are aiming for. Trying to understand what all the features are in a framework and which ones you really need to use for your project can be hard. Is the framework really meeting your needs or is it a swiss-army knife when all you need is a toothpick?

Aaron Stanush

In this session, we will explore the how the mobile era is changing the previously straightforward task of wireframing a website. When designers only have one instance of website (desktop) to wireframe, the layout is uniform. The header, content area, sidebar, and footer all remain static. But if you are designing a responsive website — one whose look and feel adapts depending whether you’re using a phone, laptop, or tablet — then these elements and especially the layout begin to diverge.

Coding and Development

Rob Ristroph (rgristroph)

Continuous Integration has become a standard part of the DevOps of many teams, and one component of that is usually automated testing of the code at a “stage” or “testing” point before it is released. Less common is automated performance testing, which is launching a load test at some point in the continuous integration process. While it is more common to monitor performance of the live site, it is rare to test it prior to making changes live.

Diana Dupuis (dianadupuis)

This is a friendly programming introduction for people new to coding. We’ll take a “Physics for Poets” approach to basic PHP concepts like variables, if/else statements, and functions. You’ll write some code, speak some geek, and start down the addictive path of programming logic. There’s also a geek quiz — in case you don’t know your Picards from your Kirks.

Chris Ruppel (rupl)

In an ever-increasing world of web browsers and mobile devices, how can we possibly keep track of all the front-end functionality on a website? It’s not enough to degrade gracefully; we must be future-friendly. Come to this session to learn about feature detection. It’s the only way to cut through this confusion and maintain a sane developer experience while actually improving user experience.

Rob Ristroph (rgristroph)

Drupal 7 takes more memory per server thread than Drupal 6, reducing the number of threads that can be run on a given server, and raising the minimum requirements for a VPS. This impacts not only bottom-scraping hosting, but also “real” infrastructures, where process size is sometimes viewed as a necessary evil solved by buying RAM. Rob will offer comparisons of D6 versus D7 memory usage in various configurations, and a few simple attempts to reduce it, and benchmark results.

Mark Theunissen

Big websites need big uptime. Do you need to keep a site up, even during code rollout and big database schema changes? If you’ve got the infrastructure, we have the method for you. We can show you techniques that maximize uptime with minimum disruption to your site. In addition, we will show how testing your switchover process regularly prepares you for real catastrophic events that may affect your datacenter.

Michal Minecki (mirzu)

Scrum and Agile are buzzwords that you seemingly can’t get away from. As a developer, if you haven’t run into them one way or another, you will. After working on two large scrum projects — SDG&E’s new website and The Economist — Mike has seen the good, the great, the bad, and the ugly. In this panel members of both teams will discuss their experiences and review what they loved, and what they hated. We’ll attempt to separate the fact from the sales pitch, the process from the ritual, and give you a view from the trenches.

Rob Ristroph (rgristroph)

A general but scientific approach to debugging Drupal problems will be presented, followed by an overview of a variety of tools such as the Devel suite, krumo, xdebug, client side debugging such as Firebug and LiveHTTPHeaders.

Elliott Foster (elliotttf)

Want to learn how to take the hassle out of managing a large Drupal deployment and an even bigger development team? Want to know how we do it at Four Kitchens? We’ll cover tools and best practices for setting up an infrastructure to manage large Drupal sites in multi-server environments.

Mark Theunissen

Do you need to move a huge amount of inconsistent, legacy HTML files and associated documents into Drupal? Is the content in 14 different languages? We’ve done it, and we can show you how recent improvements to the fantastic Migrate module can process your old site with ease. This technique is not only useful for Migrations, but also for moving any static content into Drupal at any stage of a site’s lifetime.

Rob Ristroph (rgristroph)

This presentation will cover a simple setup of a Jenkins (it can even run on your laptop), and a set of scripts will be demonstrated that enable a solid workflow. This will done live as much as possible; slides and screenshots will be a fallback. Electronic copy of the scripts and other files will be provided, so that attendees can modify and use them.

Michal Minecki (mirzu)

In this session we’ll show you how you can use some of the same tools we use to deploy to 30 servers to more reliably deploy your next little project. We’ll go over the high level ideas that make Continuous Integration work in big software development projects and see how these practices and tools scale down to small projects.

Nonprofit, Government & Education

Dave Diers (thebruce)

Higher Education web publishing has big challenges: a diversity of technical needs and expertise; decentralized power and decision-making structures that exist in cooperation with (and sometimes in opposition to) governance committees; complicated institutionalized approval chains; regulatory and privacy issues; intellectual property concerns; and, increasingly, funding issues that impact IT staffing and support. In this session we’ll share experiences with Drupal at several large world-class educational institutions and dive into the benefits of multi-site Drupal web publishing for .edu organizations.

Drupal community

Diana Dupuis (dianadupuis)

Are you a developer (themer, designer, site builder, sys admin) who wants to work on bigger, more complicated projects? Do you want to send your resume to top Drupal shops and get hired? Do you want to assess and approve your skills? If so, come to this session and take the Mad Skillz Quiz. You’ll also find out what top Drupal shops and in-house Drupal team leaders say are the “Most Important Skillz” their best developers possess. The answers will surprise you!

Business and strategy

Diana Dupuis (dianadupuis)

A Drupal website is as effective, performant, and reliable as the team who builds it. Whether you need one developer or twenty, finding the right people is essential to a site’s success. What are the traits and skills to look for when hiring a Drupal developer? What can we learn from Drupal shops with years of experience building successful, and sometimes unsuccessful, Drupal development teams?

Todd Nienkerk

In this panel, some of the world’s top Drupal business development professionals will speak to the RFP process and other options. The strengths and weaknesses of RFPs will be identified, and creative alternatives will be discussed. If you are writing an RFP, this is your wake-up call. If you are bidding, come learn about your options.

Aug 17 2011
Aug 17

The Krimson krew is totally prepared for the upcoming DrupalCon in London! Of course, we'll be presenting. On Tuesday 23rd August, Swentel and jyve will give a session about Display Suite for Drupal 7. They'll introduce you to a whole set of updated and new features which will make building websites a breeze. They'll also have a couple of surprises in store.

T-shirts

Yes, we like our Display Suite module that much, we felt it needed to have its' own t-shirt! We'll be wearing them (and maybe you too!) to show our love for Display Suite and Drupal.
We'll be handing them out to a lucky few at DrupalCon. Make sure you're attending one of our sessions to win one. And if you want them signed, well... just talk to us.

Display Suite Mini Booklet and Video's

Krimson will also be giving out a mini booklet about Display Suite. This handy pocket guide teaches the reader how to start theming like a boss with Display Suite in 11 easy steps.
Each part of the guide is accompanied by a video. We've recorded eleven screencasts showing you the power of Display Suite for Drupal 7. You can already watch them at http://bit.ly/ds-d7. In case we're out of booklets: take out your scissors, print the PDF version and start crafting your own booklet following a few simple instructions.

Display Suite booklet

So, the Krimson Krew hopes to meet you at Drupalcon London!

Pages

About Drupal Sun

Drupal Sun is an Evolving Web project. It allows you to:

  • Do full-text search on all the articles in Drupal Planet (thanks to Apache Solr)
  • Facet based on tags, author, or feed
  • Flip through articles quickly (with j/k or arrow keys) to find what you're interested in
  • View the entire article text inline, or in the context of the site where it was created

See the blog post at Evolving Web

Evolving Web