Aug 27 2012
Aug 27

From 20th to 24th to August 2012 the DrupalCon Europe came for the first time to Germany. During the week of this summer's hottest week so far 1800 Drupalistas from all over the world gathered under the motto "Open Up! Connecting systems and people" in the Grand Westin Hotel in Munich, Germany.

The DrupalCon started with a big surprise, announced on the opening session: Several European Drupal shops (NodeOne, Krimson, Mearra and Wunderkrau) fusion together to become the new, Captain Drupal powerd Wunderkraut - after Acquia, the next big elephant among Drupal companies. This surely will have a positive effect to the Drupal community as some people saw Acquia taking disproportional influence into Drupal development and having another big player in the community could diverse continued and strong development directions. For the smaller companies and start ups this will probably not cause disadvantages since it make Drupal generally stronger and more interesting to larger - industry size - companies, which would probably not hire a small shop, like Dries said on the opening session: "Elephants want to dance with elephants".

Personally I liked this DrupalCon a lot! As a developer I was positively surprised to see not as many sales persons but a lot of community members to talk to, exchanging knowledge, opinions and living the "momentum" about Drupal. The venue was awesome and not only the geek-friendly coffee stands all over the place made the attendees feel well. The food was remarkable excellent and with over €300k the biggest expense of all, but really, it is worth to keep everybody happy and good food achieves that more than anything else.

Although DrupalCons have become huge, it had the spirit of a perfectly sized conference since there were a lot of rooms with great sessions for everybody: Heavy programmers could come together for the core conversations track on a 5 minutes walking distance at the Sheraton hotel, which made it a cozy and productive place. The main sessions were nicely grouped into eight tracks with clear topics, this way, for all kinds of interests, good quality and interesting sessions were offered. It was definitively not a DrupalCon where you could follow all happenings, but rather everybody could enjoy exactly what one was looking for. You can find all the session's recordings on the schedule or the DrupalCon channel on
Unfortunately I was a little bit disappointed by the keynotes: Dries' keynote was as a simple interview without any new information and Anke Domscheit-Berg's keynote was just a general summary of Open Data initiatives, an interested person could read together quickly through blog posts and general news. No innovative stuff here, but paired with some awkward invitations to participate. Yes, it is an important field, and we all need to demand actively and know about it, but somebody with more activist insight would have rocked way more.

For me, the motto had it's truth on the part connecting people: As the community lead for DrupalCon São Paulo I got to know personally and work with the staff and people from the Drupal Association, which outside of the US' Drupal community doesn't seem to have arrived yet. Surely, the Drupal Association is not working as open and community based as most of the community members would like, but they are really opening up, and it is the responsibility of the international community to get involved! I would like to point to the awesome session by Donna Benjamin Infiltration Day 853: Drupal Association Board. Confessions of a not-so-secret double agent, the only one of the non North-American board members. Where she did a great call to people to participate and form constructively the Drupal Association, which is important to all of us. A nice detail was that out of a quarter million people entitled to vote for members of the board only 650 actually made use of it. It is necessary that the community accepts the Drupal Association, not as a decision making instance rather than as a representative that forsters the Drupal community and for this reason the whole world and active groups have to participate in the election and forming process.

This DrupalCon in Munich was an important step for scaling Drupal (community) internationally: The German community, as they were cooking their own soup for a long time, now got deeply involved into the international scene, two next DrupalCons have been announced in new parts of the world (Latin America, Brazil, São Paulo and Australia, Sydney), a prosperously discussion about internationalizing the Drupal Association has begun and another huge Drupal company has arisen on the European Drupal horizon.

Drupal rocks! Drupal rockt! Drupal rockea!

Aug 25 2012
Aug 25

The day started with a other nice breakfast. Then for the first time this week I to ride my bike to the Con on my own because my friends want to start the day a bit later. I went totally lost and need to ask the way several times.
The last time I need to ask I asked a very nice girl who seems to work close to the Sheraton so we biked together to the Sheraton. She told me she was a graphic designer and did sometimes designed website. So we talked shop while biking to the Sheraton.

Today I did less sessions and spend more time talking to all kind of people, and getting information about topics I was interested in from people at there stands. So for example know I know when to use mongoDB.I got a mug with mongoDB on it that actually is a bit funny because my initials are DB

But first the day started with again a very inspiring keynote. This time from Fabien Potencier.
He explained why it is a job that does not work as normal day job where you work from nine to five and then forget about it until the next working day. You need to be passionate and constantly want to learn. And that is so true. We (DrupalCon visitors) all do that. We visit Drupal meetings participate in forums or chat on the IRC. Trying new stuff out in our own time because it is so ******* awesome. And (and this is what I think is so very cool about this community) help each other with the problems we have and learn from each others.

So I missed the next session I had planned because the great conversations I had with all kind of guys and girls. What to think about a professional Opera singer who does Drupal to pay his bills. And I even learned a bavarian bachelors party joke. I really feel sorry for the poor guys :- )

Meeting the amazing fubhy.
One of my hero's is Sebastian Siemssen (fubhy). He is the guy behind the code from the Omega base theme. The base theme that we in our company use as the default base theme. He was working on version 4 and showed how you can very easy and very quick make a sub theme with it that is not only very flexible but also amazing fast. Can't wait to try it.

The last session was from the kind people of Erdfisch who where so kind to give me a ticket to this amazing event.
But be sure that it will not influence my opinion on there session. I will be brutally honest.

So here is my brutally honest opion
After this session I was very proud to be their guest.
There use case about the work done for Greenpeace is so detailed so well worked out it was a pleasure to look. It shows that our job is moved from doing a nice branding site for clients in to making online solutions for clients. So I think from now on it is no longer called web design but online solution design.
Fabian did a great job when making this presentation It had a look and feel that fitted perfectly with the branding of this use case. What was extra hard to do because he was not allowed to show anything about the actual site the are building.

So that was my last DrupalCon session. My head is full information and need time to sort it all out.

My thanks go to
Pascal Grott
For not only helped me to get a drupalcon ticket but also made me have a least one question right at the trivia.

Frank Holldorff
For actually getting me the ticket and even let me blog about this event.

Floris van Geel
For taking me in his car to Munich, being such a good friend and teaching me so much.

Serge Christiaans
For the nice time we had.

And all the nice people at this great event that I have talked to and sometimes shared a beer or cola with. Hope to see you all again next year.

Aug 22 2012
Aug 22

When you attending a DrupalCon it is sometimes hard to make a choice. Today I found that sometimes even the wrong choice can help you further to reach your coal. Smile

I will share my experiences with that sometimes difficult choosing process

The first timeslot of the day is not a problem because it is the keynote and there is no other session on the same time

The keynote is about open data and the effect on society.  
This I think is such a interesting subject that I decided to do a blog post just about this.
The first session was about the alfresco document management solution.
I soon find out it was the wrong choice for me.
So I left and start visiting al kind of stands.
That was not a bad idea because I have talked about all kind of drupal related products or products that are more general solutions. 
Like the product of New Relic. A very powerful solution to check on the health of your site.
It give you so much information it is to much to describe in a blog.
Maybe you can check them yourself.
The next one I choice was listed in the schedule as 
“Site building strategies based on panels and entities”
That was as we where told very early in the session not the case. I wanted to see this session because I have not used panels and it seems a good way to get a first impression.
So in this case it was not me that made the wrong choice but for some reason it came in the schedule with the wrong description.
The nice thing was that I actually enjoyed it.
And I realize that the thing a liked doing the most with Drupal is building the content architecture.
Something Karsten Frohwein who was given this session is very passioned about. And I need to check somethings he mentioned such as “Entity Construction Kit (ECK)”

The next session was “The Drush Ecosystem”
Because I use drush as much as I can this was certainly a good choice.
A did learn some stuff and discovered that some of it is to complicated for me right now.But there is still a lot of it I can use to make my work easier.  

The last one I attend was “Building for the editors experience”
A other good one we learned how to construct the content types form so that it is a tool” for the editors that work consistent and need almost no help files or documentation.  

Aug 21 2012
Aug 21

A blogpost from our bloggingguest Dirk Bazuin

After a good rest I did get up very early and get some breakfast in a real Bavarian bakery.
I did my breakfast with food I never eaten and it was very nice. Bavarian bakery++

After some kind welcome words and some jodel lessons I finally get to see Dries in the flesh.
Wow, what is that guy young for someone who did this much already. Or maybe it is just me getting old.

He showed some awesome demo's of drupal 8 and think it is getting very nice. The new admin/user is very cool but the separation of the content and the config is in my opinion the best thing and a absolute must.

Then I went to see and here Emmajane the main reason is that I know see is a brilliant teacher and hoped some of here skills would rub off on me. Time will tell.

For me omega is already the base theme of choice but it was nice to here her ideas about how to choose the one thats is best for you target.

The must be rules
This is a module where all I can are the classic words it can't make coffee. At least not yet I think
Can't wait to try some stuff when I am back home behind my imac.

Dominate the theme layer
Excellent presentation of woeldiche with beautiful styles sheets that shows in design clean and less is more.
He give me lot of things to think about. Most of his ideas I already use but not as complete as he described
I need to learn more hardcore theming stuff thats for sure.

Spark authoring experience
Those guys and girls are doing a great job improving the user experience for content editors.
I sure gone install it on a subdomain to play with it and maybe give some feedback the deserve this from use I think.

Drupal 8: Ux experience theme
I have very much respect for the work this team has done and still doing. Drupal 8 UX will be such a big difference for the admins and content editors I am sure we al would like it tomorrow but all good things take time so we just have to be patience. Lucky for me thats is my strong point :- )

In the evening we went to the biergarten
Something a had only seen in movies.
Again I meet lots of nice people had some very interesting conversation where we exchanged experiences and ideas about how to handle clients and there wishes and make sure we get paid for our work.

To sum things up
I learned a lot and meet all kinds of nice drupal people. It was a great first day. So I think it is a challenge for wednesday to beat that I wish him or here good luck with that.

Sep 08 2010
Sep 08

By Ramona Fischer

A successful premiere: With 1 200 attendees from 52 countries, DrupalCon in Copenhagen (24th - 27th Aug) was the largest Drupal conference in Europe so far. In addition to the sessions, networking was one of the most important agenda highlights at the four-day conference. The conference featured its own bar (the "FooBar"), the premiere of the first Drupal rock band ("The Kitten Killers "), and a beer brewed especially for the event ("AwesomeSauce"). These were just some of the touches added by the organisers to foster the community spirit. What expectations did attendees have when arriving at DrupalCon? What challenges did the organisers face? And where is the community heading?

"I want to connect and expand my professional network," Drupal-programmer Julien Dubois (CommerceGuys , Paris) says. Attending DrupalCon for the first time, the 23-year-old has especially been looking forward to meeting people he already knows from the web. "It is amazing to be able to put a face to the names." Seeing familiar and new faces has also been the reason for which Drupal-consultant and author Hagen Graf (France) decided to attend the conference. "I have been involved with the community for a long time and find it most interesting to see who is still here and who is new", says Graf who has written various specialised books about Drupal. "Socialising is key to Drupal conferences". During the day people are discussing technical matters, Graf says, whereas at night at the bar the "real talks" take place. Bringing home contracts is what web producer Robert O'Connor ( , London) came for. "I am looking for skilled Themers, Designers and Developers with whom we could work together in a project partnership." O'Connor, who is lead developer and was sent by his manager to DrupalCon for the first time, also attended for strategic reasons. "We are interested in the business models our competitors use and how they earn money with Drupal."

"Evolution is healthy"

The fact that more, and larger business are taking an interest in Drupal was quite noticeable at this year's DrupalCon. Whether freelancer, small or medium-sized company or major market player like IBM and Accenture: more and more people and companies are using the open sourced CMS to pay their bills. Their various interests put the community in motion. "Changes within the community are part of a natural evolution" says "User Number One", Dries Buytaert (Acquia , Belgium). The inventor of Drupal considers growth to be an opportunity: "We need to be open and adapt to changes in the market, otherwise we will stagnate." Drupal-trainer Bèr Kessels (Netherlands) knows how much the Drupal community has developed over the past years. The IT-expert joined the Drupal community in the early stages. "Our very first 'DrupalCons' took place in small meeting rooms, where internet access broke down on a regular basis and the pizza deliverer came by bicycle." At the second DrupalCon in Amsterdam various OpenSource conferences took place at the same time, among others a meeting of O'Reilly, the Drupal expert remembers. "Little by little the O'Reilly guys joined us because Drupal was much more interesting." This familial "every-body-knows-each-other" feeling is vanishing the more Drupal spreads, Kessels regrets. "On the other hand, however, the event becomes much more professional in terms of technnique and contents."

A matter of location

A symbol of the changes in the community are the dimension and infrastructure of DrupalCon. "In the beginning it was enough to have a room for 30 to 40 people, which was often available for free at some university", says the event manager of Drupal Association , Cary Gordon (Cherry Hill Company, California). With turnout numbers of currently 1,200 or 3,000 in San Francisco (USA, 2010), finding a scalable location is one of the biggest challenges the organisers have to face, he says. This is confimed by Copenhagen team-lead Morten Birch Heide-Jørgensen : "Our goal was to establish convenient surrounding conditions, connecting the community in a centrally located venue." says the web designer, who estimates his work input for the organisation of DrupalCon to be 800 to 1,000 working hours. After long discussions, they had to switch to Bella Center since a location in the inner city wasn't affordable, he says. A new model and possible solution for the location problem is being introduced by the team of DrupalCon 2011 in Chicago (USA). Organiser Tiffany Farriss revealed on DrupalCon in Copenhagen: "Everything's going to be concentrated in one location: DrupalCon attendees are taking over an entire hotel."

Plattform for exchange and inspiration

Drupal pioneer Dries Buytaert knows how important personal meet-ups are for the community: conferences like DrupalCon are vital for the community because people step out of anonymity and get to know the person behind a handle, the Drupal-inventor says. "Without conferences we could not work together". This is confirmed by the Drupal Association's infrastructure manager, Gerhard Killesreiter (Freiburg, Germany). Activities in local usergroups, drupalcamps and code sprints are just as important, the Drupal consultant adds. According to him, innovation and development take place on a local level. "The Drupal-spark originates locally", Killesreiter says. Web developer Robert O'Connor seems to have already caught the DrupalCon spark: "Once back in London, I will join the local Drupal community", O'Connor said before heading home.

A personal conclusion

My very first DrupalCon; it was an adventurous arrival, and an even more adventurous departure. And in between I had numerous interesting talks with amazing people about the whole world and Drupal. Despite the modest food rations at the 'Con, and the altogether immodest prices of Danish food elsewhere, I somehow managed to scratch by without spending too much money (at least by some definition of too much).

To me, DrupalCon in Copenhagen was an amazing and unique experience, which I won't forget too quickly. This is why I especially would like to thank erdfisch and The Drupal Initiative who made this adventure possible for me. And I would like to thank all those who shared their experience and thoughts with me, giving me the possibility to wrap it all up in words!

And last but not least: some numbers the organizers of DrupalCon CPH have collected:

Altogether 5000 bottles of the specially brewed beer "AwesomeSauce", two bottles of Jack Daniels and one bottle of Jägermeister were served in the "FooBar", the organisers say. "I have no idea how many people drank in the bar" says CPH Team-lead Morten Birch Heide-Jørgensen. "But they were happy." And Szeget-organiser Gábor Hojtsy comments: "Drupalers have a tendency to party very well."

Aug 25 2010
Aug 25

Recently we had the following error message on the site:

warning: Invalid argument supplied for foreach in taxonomy.module...

So what's the problem. The node variables seems to be empty so
this fails. So the main question is way is this variable empty here.

After short debugging it was possible find out that the uid of the node table is not existant. This happened because the user table was changed. Once you have this node_load fails. This is quite a wtf.

To fix this you have to

  • Find out the nodes without an author:

    SELECT n.nid FROM {node} n LEFT JOIN {users} u ON u.uid = n.uid WHERE u.uid IS NULL;
  • Set a author for this node:

    UPDATE {node} SET uid = 3 WHERE nid = 123;

Once you have this the problem will go away.

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