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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.

Mar 07 2017
Mar 07

This weekend’s DrupalCamp London wasn’t my first Drupal event at all, I’ve been to 3 DrupalCon Europe, 4 DrupalCamp Dublin, and a few other DrupalCamps in Ireland and lots of meetups, but in this case I experienced a lot of ‘first times’ that I want to share.

This was the first time I’d attended a Drupal event representing a sponsor organisation, and as a result the way I experienced it was completely different.

Firstly, you focus more on your company’s goals, rather than your personal aims. In this case I was helping Capgemini UK to engage and recruit people for our open positions. This allowed me to socialise more and try to connect with people. We also had T-shirts so it was easier to attract people if you have something free for them. I was also able to have conversations with other sponsors to see why did they sponsor the event, some were also recruiting, but most of them were selling their solutions to prospective clients, Drupal developers and agencies.

The best of this experience was the people I found in other companies and the attendees approaching us for a T-shirt or a job opportunity.

New member of Capgemini UK perspective

As a new joiner in the Capgemini UK Drupal team I attended this event when I wasn’t even a month old in the company, and I am glad I could attend this event at such short notice in my new position, I think this tells a lot about the focus on training and career development Capgemini has and how much they care about Drupal.

As a new employee of the company this event allowed me to meet more colleagues from different departments or teams and meet them in a non-working environment. Again the best of this experience was the people I met and the relations I made.

I joined Capgemini from Ireland, so I was also new to the London Drupal community, and the DrupalCamp gave me the opportunity to connect and create relationships with other members of the Drupal community. Of course they were busy organising this great event, but I was able to contact some of the members, and I have to say they were very friendly when I approached any of the crew or other local members attending the event. I am very happy to have met some friendly people and I am committed to help and volunteer my time in future events, so this was a very good starting point. And again the best were the people I met.

Non-session perspective

As I had other duties I couldn’t attend all sessions. But I was able to attend some sessions and the Keynotes, with special mention to the Saturday keynote from Matt Glaman, it was very motivational and made me think anyone could evolve as a developer if they try and search the resources to get the knowledge. And the closing keynote from Danese Cooper was very inspirational as well about what Open Source is and what should be, and that we, the developers, have the power to make it happen. And we could also enjoy Malcom Young’s presentation about Code Reviews.


Closing this article I would like to come back to the best part of the DrupalCamp for me this year, which was the people. They are always the best part of the social events. I was able to catch up with old friends from Ireland, engage with people considering a position at Capgemini and introduce myself to the London Drupal community, so overall I am very happy with this DrupalCamp London and I will be happy to return next year. In the meantime I will be attending some Drupal meetups and trying to get involve in the community, so don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any question or you need my help.

Dec 31 2014
Dec 31

As 2014 draws to a close, I look back at the year and realize... holy crap I traveled a lot! I hadn't actually done a fully tally yet, but here's the full rundown:

Sunshine PHP - Miami, FL - February Drupal South - Wellington, New Zealand - February Florida Drupal Camp - Orlando, FL - March MidCamp - Chicago, IL - March Museums and the Web - Baltimore, MD - April Lonestar PHP - Dallas, TX - April Drupal Association Webinar - Online - May php[tek] - Chicago, IL - May DrupalCon Austin - Austin, TX - June Refactor::Chicago (User group) - Chicago, IL - May Nomad PHP (User group) - Online - June Crafting Code Tour - Minneapolis, MN; Milwaukee, WI; Cincinnati, OH - July Design 4 Drupal - Boston, MA -July Twin Cities Drupal Camp - Minneapolis, MN - August Madison PHP - Madison, WI - September DrupalCon Amsterdam - Amsterdam, The Netherlands - September Symfony Live - New York, NY - October Higher Ed Web - Portland, OR - October BADCamp - San Francisco, CA - November php[world] - Washington, DC - November

In all, I flew 64,082 miles (103,130 kilometers for the metric fans in the audience), presented 29 times, with 13 distinct presentations at 20 conferences and user groups across 3 continents, and spent 82 days on the road (not counting non-conference travel). You know what that means?

It means I created about 10 metric tonnes of carbon pollution.

The downside of business travel

Jet fuel is a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions. The more you fly, the more carbon dioxide and other waste gases you contribute to the atmosphere and the more we continue the downward spiral of human-created climate change. Flying is way worse than driving in that regard. Most people don't fly all that much but if you're a frequent conference-goer like I am (and like I know a great many of my friends and colleagues are) then air travel pollution is a significant contributor to us destroying our world.

I know some people have called for a reduction in air travel, powered by remote-conferencing technologies, but as anyone who has actually used them knows they are at best a very useful but poor substitute for in-person interaction. Humans are social beings and we are not going to stop traveling to spend time hanging out and learning from each other. That's a pointless battle to fight.

A partial solution

Fortunately, there is an alternative. Many companies offer "carbon credits". The basic idea is that if you generate 1 tonne of carbon dioxide, you invest in funding some project that will reduce overall carbon dioxide output (or equivalent from other greenhouse gases like methane) by an equivalent amount. That could range from reforestation efforts to methane burnoff to any number of other techniques. The end result is that you are, in effect, "carbon neutral". It's less ideal than reducing your greenhouse gas emissions in the first place but it can reduce your impact.

It's also far, far cheaper than you would expect. I chose this year to offset my travel with credits from a company called TerraPass, as my company Palantir.net has worked with them before. (The carbon offset industry is too new to be regulated, so be careful of scams.) The cost of offsetting 1000 lbs of carbon dioxide? $5.95 USD. That's it. Less than breakfast at Starbucks. That means offsetting all of my air travel in 2014 is a mere $130. Adding in my home energy usage and driving brought the total up to about $260. That's it. You probably spent more than that on your phone.

So I did. And you should too.

Your turn

I know many of my readers are frequent conference travelers and speakers. Many of them cross an ocean much more than I do. Friends, that means you're churning out just as much greenhouse gas pollution as I am, if not more. It's ridiculously cheap to compensate, and only takes a few minutes.

My challenge to you then is this: Offset yourself. I'm not going to tell people to stop going to conferences (that would be rather hypocritical), but I am going to call on everyone who attended or spoke at a conference to, at least, buy offsets for their air travel if not their full carbon footprint. You spent more on the ticket than you will on the offsets. (If you were a speaker and got your ticket free, you spent more on the cab from the airport.) If you can afford to attend a conference, you can afford a latte grande's worth of carbon offsets.

No, it won't cure the world, but every little bit helps. And if we can make it a trend and an expectation, especially for we frequent flyers, it can have a larger impact.

Conference organizers, you too

I know of only one conference that offered attendees the option of purchasing carbon offsets at registration, and that was DrupalCon Chicago 2011. Conference Organizers: Let's make it easier for people to go neutral for your conference.

Partner with some reputable carbon offset company, give people a calculator for their travel distance, and let them buy offsets along with their ticket, T-shirt, and whatever else. Make it optional, sure. (Opt-out would be nice, but possibly not feasible without some default travel distance for the calculation.) But put it there in people's faces. For most people it will cost less than the T-shirt.

Make that your 2015 resolution: At least make your business travel carbon-neutral. It's cheaper than a gym membership and much easier to stick with. And you don't even have to break a sweat.

See you next year

And I'll see many of you again this year at Sunshine PHP, DrupalCon Bogota, Midwest PHP, Lonestar PHP, and other conferences yet to come. Just make sure to travel environmentally-friendly to get there.

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Oct 22 2014
Oct 22

Along with Malcolm and other colleagues from the Capgemini Drupal team, I attended the recent Drupalcon in Amsterdam. And as well as admiring the Dutch attitude to cycling and its integration in the city (btw London, blue paint on the road != a cycle superhighway), we also caught up on the state of Drupal and its future. So here a few reflections from Drupalcon Amsterdam.

Drupal In The Enterprise - A Key Component In The Wider Web

I’ve been to a few Drupalcons now, and compared to previous years, use of Drupal in the enterprise (or more generally at scale) seems much more commonplace. Dries Buytaert’s (Drupal founder) keynotes have made reference to Drupal’s ability to integrate with other systems as a key strength, and in these types of projects, Drupal is not used as the all-in-one solution that maybe was more commonplace a few years ago.

Partly this is also due to the way the web has moved far beyond the idea of ‘a thing you use on your desktop computer’, and Drupal has shown itself to be adaptable to this. For example, the idea of Headless Drupal was a well covered topic this year. Of course, previous ‘cons have had talks on uses of Drupal with other technologies (e.g. node.js talk from London 2011) but whereas it seemed more an interesting edge case then, now there are many successful real-world projects adopting these ideas.

The Sessions

Based on my not-entirely-comprehensive memory of the subset of sessions I attended from past Drupalcons, this year there seemed to be many more talks which could have easily been at a frontend or PHP specific conference. Drupal 8’s use of Symfony 2 components and shift to making use of components Proudly Found Elsewhere is part of this.

A few talks that those of us who attended would recommend (not an exhaustive list). I won’t go into too much detail (that’s all in the slides and the video) but these are worth checking out.

Automated Frontend Testing

The types of frontend testing which can be automated, covering performance (Phantomas), CSS (Wraith) and end-to-end (CasperJS) and integrating this into your build workflow. Slides Video

Models & Service Layers; Hemoglobin & Hobgoblins

I think the PHP track is a welcome addition to Drupalcon. When developing custom functionality on projects here at Capgemini, we often write the business models and logic as separate classes to Drupal which are then ‘glued’ via hooks which implement those classes. That kind of separation has advantages with portability, testability and some amount of simplification in that Drupal isn’t a dependency. Video

Cory Doctorow’s Keynote

Very interesting talk on how open-source is (in some ways) critical to our individual freedom in the modern world. In an age where “a modern house is a computer that you co-inhabit”, if a system went down - or arguably worse, were controlled by overzealous authorities - it can become uninhabitable. What do we do in this case? Is the Apple iTunes/U2 debacle merely the thin end of the wedge? Interesting viewing for anyone who contributes or uses open source. Video

Drupal 8 And The Future

As Drupal 8 entered beta during the conference, it was an opportunity to check out the changes. The plugin system for extending functionality looks interesting. In Drupal projects at Capgemini we have adopted approaches such as abstracting business logic and objects into standalone libraries and classes, called from hooks and callbacks where we need integration with Drupal. This approach allows us easier unit-testing and portability of classes. D8’s plugin system looks like a good way of achieving those advantages while implementing a Drupal API.

Having spent a lot of time on projects wrestling with the various methods of deploying and updating configuration, the CMI (Configuration Management Initiative), which imports and exports YAML files to update and dump site configuration is a very welcome addition.

In the frontend, I’m looking forward to using the Twig templating. The idea of having cleaner PHP-free templates yet still with the flexibility to have filters and basic logic is going to help improve separation between the theme and module layer. It’ll be new to me (as will other things) but as with other components, they have been successfully used in other PHP projects so there is documentation and examples already out there. There are some smaller changes too - removing drupal.js’s dependency on jQuery (thereby gently encouraging use of native JS), updating the versions of included libraries (and committing to keeping them up-to-date during D8’s lifetime) and including no JavaScript by default are good steps to optimising the frontend.

Where things may be more challenging is the APIs which have both new object-oriented components and retain the hook and callback system in some combination (for example, declaring widgets via hook_element_info). To take an example from a core module, the file module’s managed_file widget functionality is spread across a number of callbacks as well as its own FileWidget class. It’s not the most straightforward development flow to follow. Where this has some advantages is that existing modules will not need a complete OO rewrite just to be compatible with D8 - a module author could do a simple port at first before rewriting to take advantage of the new APIs. But some care is need to ensure that the advantages of encapsulation, increased unit-testability and extendability that the OO patterns introduce are not compromised by dependencies on a particular hook or callback.

Taking The Leap

Finally, as Drupal 8 progressed from alpha to beta during Amsterdam Drupalcon, it does seem now that it can be realistically considered for projects coming up on the horizon. Obviously there will a lot more work going into the project to fix bugs and improve performance and so forth. But now the major API decisions and changes have been made. But with this iteration of Drupal incorporating many more features from the contrib world (Views, WYSIWYG, etc) and PHP (Symfony2 components), it looks to be a healthy position for use when that 8.0.0 finally lands.

Oct 20 2014
Oct 20

Recently 10 members of the Drupal development team at Capgemini went to Drupalcon Amsterdam. Having been to two Drupalcons before, I more or less knew what to expect, but something I hadn’t previously given much thought to was how big an event it is. Compared to most other web conferences, it’s a beast. For me personally, I wonder if it’s getting too big and too impersonal, and I think that I’ll be more interested in going to smaller events.

Some of the more interesting sessions for me were the BoFs - in particular a discussion of open source training material and apprenticeships provided a lot of food for thought, and hopefully we can get involved at some level. Capgemini already does a lot of work getting graduates and apprentices into our engineering practice, and with such a big Drupal team, I hope we can benefit from and contribute to the Open Drupal initiative in 2015.

Whenever I go to an event, I come back with a to-do list, and this was no exception. I’ll definitely be digging further into CasperJS following Chris Ruppel’s session on Automated Frontend Testing. I was also very interested to hear about the way that Lullabot spin up test environments for pull requests - it will be good to investigate the feasibility of incorporating this into our workflow.

The other talk that stood out for me was John Albin Wilkins on Styleguide-Driven Development. For a long time, I’ve had a bee in my bonnet about the value of component libraries over Photoshop comps, and it was good to be reminded that I’m not alone. In an interesting session, John outlined an approach to integrating component-based design and automated style guides to agile development projects.

It’s been said many times before, but it’s worth remembering that all too often, people are still thinking in terms of pages, rather than systems.

In the context of the work that we do, this is even more important. We’re a large development team, building CMS-driven sites for large corporate clients, where the design is done by a team working for another company. We’ve made some inroads into building a more collaborative process, but it’s still too easy to end up with the designers throwing things over the wall to the developers. Very often the designer isn’t closely involved during the build phase, and design tweaks are agreed between the client and the developer without the opportunity to go back to get the designer’s opinion.

This is the whole point of living style guides - component libraries that stay in sync with the code as it evolves. As Shay Howe has discussed, component libraries help everyone on the project.

Designers are reminded of the visual language of the project, and it’s easier for them to see when they’re about to reinvent the wheel.

Style guides help developers by defining and documenting standards, and make it easier to dig in and find the way you solved some problem six months ago.

The projects we work on are large and complex, with a long lifecycle, and as developers we need to value maintainability of the front end code. Part of John’s approach to this was his class-naming convention. Having seen Jonathan Snook present on SMACSS I’d thought it was interesting, but to a certain extent it felt like a fancy name for something that was basically common sense. John’s presentation brought the concept to life well, and persuaded me that there’s more to it than that, with an impressive display of flower power.

The other interesting aspect was splitting up SASS files into components, and using KSS to create the style guide - this is something I definitely intend to do on my next project.

Modularity makes sense - it’s how the back-end is going, it’s how Javascript is going, so why shouldn’t design and CSS go the same way?

UPDATED 3rd December 2014: Unfortunately we got Chris Ruppel’s name wrong in the original version of this post, calling him “Dave Rupl”. Sorry Chris.

Jul 19 2014
Jul 19

Let's be honest, I spend a lot of time at conferences. Over the past 2 years or so I've averaged more than one speaking engagement at a conference per month, including a half-dozen keynotes. I've also helped organize several conferences, mostly DrupalCamps and DrupalCons. I'd estimate conferences make up more than a third of my professional activity. (Incidentally, if someone can tell me how the hell that happened I'd love to hear it; I'm still confused by it.)

As a result I've gotten to see a wide variety of conference setups, plans, crazy ideas, and crazy wonderful ideas. There are many wonderful things that conference organizers do, or do differently, and of course plenty of things that they screw up.

I want to take this opportunity to share some of that experience with the organizers of various conferences together, rather than in one-off feedback forms that only one conference will see. To be clear, while I definitely think there are areas that many conferences could improve I don't want anyone to take this letter as a slam on conference organizers. These are people who put in way more time than you think, often without being paid to do so, out of a love for the community, for learning and sharing, and for you. Whatever else you may think about a conference or this list, the next time you're at a conference take a moment to find one of the organizers and give them a huge hug and/or firm handshake (as is their preference) and say thank you for all the work that they do.

The venue

There is, ultimately, one overriding factor that determines who is awake for the first session in the morning. The percentage of attendees who make it to the first session in the morning is inversely proportional to the travel time in minutes from bedroom to session room. That means conference hotels trump everybody. DrupalCon Chicago 2011, Sunshine PHP, and php[tek] rank at the top of the list here.

If that's not viable for whatever reason (often capacity), make sure there's ample mixed-cost housing very nearby. Nearby means "within a 3 minute walk". If I have to take public transit to get there then it's not close. DrupalCon Austin did very well in this regard, with two large hotels and an apartment complex with several AirBNB's literally across the street from the main entrance to the conference center. It's not quite as nice as it being all one building but it's a close second.

Another logistical point: Consider traffic flow. I've been at a number of conferences where lines to go up the escalator or stairs, or to pick up lunch, or whatever else are longer than most sessions. Few things are as discouraging as wanting to go to a session but being stuck in a line of people going to the same session... at the other end of the convention center. Logistics are hard. Don't under-estimate the amount of thought that needs to go into them.

Don't make me pay to speak

This has been covered elsewhere in more detail so I will only touch on it briefly here. Most people come to a conference to see speakers. Speakers are your offering, attendees are your customers. Don't make me, as a speaker, pay hundreds or thousands of dollars to come to your conference to give someone else a reason to buy a ticket from you.

I'm not asking for an honorarium. (I certainly won't turn one down, but I've only ever had one conference offer that.) But cover hard travel costs for speakers. Or even just hotel and a a stipend for airfare up to some amount. Something. A speaker is already giving you 10-40 hours of their time to prepare a session before they even arrive at the conference. Given what most speakers can make in the IT field that means they're donating, on average, somewhere around $3000 USD worth of their time to your conference before they step in the door. Respect that.

That goes double for invited speakers. Few things are as insulting as reaching out to a speaker to specifically invite them to speak on a subject on which they are an expert, and then telling them "and by the way, you're on your own dime to get here". As a conference organizer for DrupalCon I've been turned down by a number of very good speakers because we don't cover speaker travel, and I don't blame them. You won't get the best talent on stage if you're going to make them pay for the privilege.

Curiously, in my experience it's the big conferences that do worst here. The PHP community conferences tend to be very good in this regard. Big industry vertical conferences often don't even comp tickets for speakers, which is even worse and makes me want to avoid them. Really, the only reason I'd speak under such conditions is as a marketing expense. Do you want your speakers treating you purely as a marketing expense rather than community building?

I will give the very small < 100 person local conferences a pass here, but once you pass around 300-400 attendees you need to treat your speakers better. I've started avoiding conferences that won't cover my travel costs.

Scavenger hunts

A few small to medium conferences have started doing something quite clever with their sponsors. I think php[tek] was the first, and I've seen Sunshine PHP do it as well. All attendees need to get some kind of "check off" from sponsors, or just top-level sponsors with booths. At php[tek] 2014, for example, attendees who got a (fairly high quality) pin from each of the top sponsors were entered into the end-of-conference raffle for a fairly good array of prizes. At Sunshine PHP this year, attendees who had a stamp on their bingo card from all sponsors with tables got a limited edition yellow ElePHPant, Sunny. At Sunshine PHP last year each sponsor visit was worth a raffle ticket as was each question asked in a session of a presenter. Sunshine PHP also had a bonus for the best tweet of the Sunny the ElePHPant around the conference, which encouraged interaction and shenanigans amongst attendees.

Some sponsors just want to give a sales pitch in return for whatever the checkbox is; others want some small social networking stunt ("tweet at us"), or signing up for a free dev account with their service, or whatever. Always fairly simple and reasonable. But it gives attendees a reason to go to the sponsor area (which sponsors love) and to stick around to the end of the conference for the raffle (which organizers love), and a way to get cool free stuff (which attendees love). It probably won't scale to very large conferences like DrupalCon or OSCON or SXSW, but for the < 500 market it's a really nice touch.

On stage

I've had a wide variety of audio options when speaking, from fixed microphones to hand-held mics to wireless lapel mics. Far and away my preference is for something hands-free and mobile. Headset, lapel clip, doesn't matter. I want to be able to move around and I want to have one hand free for a pointer and the other to gesticulate. A hand-held mic means I am walking around two-fisting electronics (feeling and looking like a dork) while a fixed podium mic means I am chained to one spot where no one an see anything but my head. Let me have the freedom to move and I'm able to give a better presentation. I'd rather speak without a microphone than be chained down.

At the same time, though, let me see my slides. This one was a novel experience for me at DrupalCon Austin, where as a presenter the projector screen was situated such that I could not actually see my own slides. I had them on a laptop in front of me, but many laptop/projector setups force you to use only one display so the projector is the only output (which you often don't know until you plug in). Or I may have speaker notes on my laptop screen instead. Or, as is the case for me, I use a laser pointer to highlight portions of a slide or code sample. If I can't see the screen then I can't do that. That was a rather unpleasant surprise when I started speaking and realized I had to change my plan on the fly. (And no, mouse pointers are not a substitute.)

Let me move, let me see my slides, and give me the room to present, not just talk. It really does affect the energy of the talk very significantly.

Edit, as James Watts reminded me of in the comments: Another "little thing" that matters? Water. The last thing a presenter should be thinking about is tracking down water to drink during the talk. There should be either a pitcher of water and cups or water bottles ready and waiting for every presenter as soon as they get to the stage. I've been at (even large) conferences where, for whatever reason, I had to ask one of the attendees to track down water for me from a water fountain 300 feet away from the session room while I setup my laptop because there wasn't anything closer. Please, this is an easy one. Don't forget the water.


It's been a while since I've had trouble with A/V at a conference. It almost always works, give or take some fiddling. I do, however, occasionally run into a conference that hasn't tested their A/V properly. The biggest challenge? Open Source conferences that only test their A/V with Macs, not with Linux systems. The irony there is palpable. :-) Most laptops in the world still run Windows. In the odd microcosm that is the Open Source world the closed-source Mac OS X is oddly supreme, though. Linux laptops, in my experience, are a strong second. Most of the top-selling laptops on Amazon these days are Chromebooks (Linux). Organizers, please test your A/V setups before I arrive. I can't be the only person with a Linux system at a developer conference.

A few conferences I've been to have asked me to give them slides to present from the conference's laptop. My answer to that is always the same: No. I have my own presenter remote, my own laptop, and I am not using Apple Keynote. Addendum by George DeMet in the comments: I may also be using a non-standard font that I have on my laptop that is not on the conference laptop. That means I often cannot simply dump my slides on a USB key for you and use a strange remote that may or may not work. (Yes, I've had the conference-provided remote fail on me.) It's especially problematic when that is not communicated until I arrive in the room to present.

Fortunately very few conferences I've been to have made this mistake, so to the majority of you who just provide a VGA cable and power outlet that works first-try, thank you!

Recording sessions

I know there's some difference of opinion on this point amongst various speakers so I won't claim my position to be universal, but my stance is this: Please record my session and please give it away!

I present, most of the time, as a form of teaching. I want to share knowledge with as many people as possible. I want to educate. I want to communicate. Recording and sharing session videos — whether it's just slides or a video of me as well — is a way to reach a broader audience than just the 30 people in the room. That includes other attendees of the conference who are in another session in that time-slot. Don't leave them out in the cold!

It also helps me to be able to review my sessions later. I often give the same talk numerous times and being able to review what worked, what didn't, see which jokes fell flat and which slides I stumbled over myself (always a bad sign) is extremely helpful.

The undisputed king on this point is DrupalCon. Recent DrupalCons routinely have decent quality screen-and-audio recordings up in a matter of hours. That's awesome. You don't need to go quite that far but having videos up within, say, a week is very appreciated.

A few conferences do record sessions but then sell access to them, either to attendees or free-for-attendees but paid for everyone else. I can totally understand the financial reasons to do that. So I'll make you a deal: If you charge money for recordings of my session then I want a cut. If not, let me know that you're doing that before I submit a session so I know not to submit one.


Conference-sponsored parties are a somewhat controversial subject in some circles. They can be great for socializing and serve as an extended hallway track, but depending on the type of party they can also drive off certain members of the community (due to age, social preference, or alcohol preference) or (due to large quantities of alcohol) increase the chances of the conference ending up as one of too-many negative stories. Some conferences have done away with them as a result, which is rather unfortunate.

There's two ways I've seen after-parties done well: Big and small. For big, the winner is DrupalCon Chicago. The after-party on the first night of the conference was a sit-down dinner for 800 people at the Field Museum of Natural history in Chicago (Warning: Drupal site and Palantir.net client), followed by a local band playing in the main hall. The acoustics weren't great, but it was overall a classy event and gave people who wanted a bit more quiet the opportunity to wander through the public exhibits of one of the top natural history museums in the country. That's great for large groups but can also be quite expensive.

The important key, though, is that it was large enough to handle the crowd. I've been at other conferences where the after-party (also held at a museum) consisted of two really long lines for drinks, a little bit of finger food, and no room to sit down or talk to people. By the time I got through a line for drinks it was nearly time to leave. No, I'm not kidding. Hosting a party is just as much of a logistical challenge as the conference itself; if you're not up to that challenge then it's better to just not have one at all.

For smaller conferences, Lonestar PHP is the reigning champion in my mind. Their after-party consists of a bunch of tables in the main conference venue (the keynote room), a huge pile of board games and card games, a game console with Dance Dance Revolution or similar, and a small bar in the corner with both alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. It gives drinkers a chance to drink (without being frat-party-hammered) and non-drinkers something else to do and a reason to stick around other than getting drunk. It's well-lit and quiet enough that those who hate loud spaces like bars (myself included) are not driven away. It's even family-friendly. (A number of conference attendees and speakers like to bring their spouse/kids along, which is great to see.) There's even food, albeit usually not enough. (Conference-goers and locusts often have a lot in common.) Well done, Lonestar.

Twin Cities DrupalCamp is a very close second, as they have a very similar setup. The only downside is it's not in the same venue so it requires a little travel. A number of other conferences have started moving to similar plans, which is great. DrupalCon now has a regular trivia night (although if you're not drinking it can be very slow moving) and Symfony Live tends to have a Jeopardy night hosted by Jeremy Mikola. These are all inclusive, friendly, non-frat-party social options. Props to those conferences that have gotten this right, and those that haven't yet... please start. A loud kegger is not a good after-party.

Encourage the hallway track

Conferences are a wonderful educational opportunity. They do not replace training or mentoring but they can provide a "structured taste" of something new: a platform, a system, a technique, or a concept.

As is often said, though, the "hallway track" is where the real conference is. The out-of-session meetings, lunch table conversations, and chance encounters are where the deep learning happens. Encourage those. Provide space for impromptu discussions. (Some conferences call these BoFs, for "Birds of a Feather". I've never understood the term but meh.) Setup lunch so that people have to sit together and talk, and can hear each other talk. Encourage speakers and non-speakers to hang out together and chat informally.

Even as a seasoned speaker I've had random lunch conversations that have turned into new friends, ideas for articles, or even a deeper understanding of the material I'm about to present. (More on that another time.) You can't force that sort of outcome of course, but to the extent possible provide a fertile ground for it. That, in the end, is what conferences are: A fertile ground for learning and connection and mixing to happen.

Thank you, organizers, for all that you do.

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Sep 04 2013
Sep 04

Well, I've gone and done it. I've managed to setup my most intense conference schedule to date. This fall I will be appearing at no less than five conferences, speaking at least four of them.

If you're into Stalking Crell, here's where you'll find me around the globe this fall.

September kicks off with DrupalCamp Costa Rica, Friday 13 September - Saturday 14 September. I'll be delivering a keynote address. This will only be my second time keynoting (the first being NYC Camp back in July), and I'm looking forward to it. The PHP world in general has been undergoing radical changes in recent years, and Drupal 8 is the most radical example. The organizers also talked me into reprising one of my classic talks (recently updated!), Aphorisms of API Design.

I'll be back from Costa Rica just in time to turn around and head to DrupalCon Prague, Monday 23 September - Friday 27 September. It should be a blast. (It is DrupalCon, after all.) As usual I'll be quite busy. On Tuesday, fellow Palantiri Robin Barre and I will be running one of the new DrupalCon Lab sessions: a 2.5 hour hands-on crash course on Your First Drupal 8 Module. It is actually an abbridged version of the training session we offered adjacent to the Midwest Developers Summit in August, and we'll be focusing on the concepts developers will need to understand in Drupal 8. (Expect more Palantir training offerings in the future.) Wednesday, I'll again be presenting on Aphorisms of API Design. Thursday kicks off with a panel discussion with the other Drupal 8 initiative leads, similar to what we ran at DrupalCon Portland, and I will also have the dubious honor of the final Core Conversations slot of the conference to talk about Drupal's release cycle and how we can (and should) change it to minimize future "break all the things" releases. Come on by and share your thoughts.

And of course there is always the sprint day on Friday, which everyone should be at. (Yes, including you.)

No sooner will I be back from Prague then it will be time for DrupalCamp Fox Valley on Saturday 5 October, fortunately for me held in the Chicago suburbs. They haven't announed sessions yet so I don't know if I'll be presenting, but I'll be attending either way. How could I miss a keynote by Jeff Eaton?

Come November I'l be on the road again. First stop is True North PHP in Toronto from Thursday 7 November - Saturday 9 November. I'll be presenting twice, a revised version of my Functional PHP talk (no, PHP is not a functional language but yes, there's a lot of benefit in sometimes treating it as if it were) and my new favorite, "Open Source, PHP, and PIE". (Yes, there is in fact PIE.)

I won't be back long, however, before heading right back across the pond for Forum PHP in Paris, from Thursday 21 November - Friday 22 November. I'll be presenting, you guessed it, Aphorisms of API Design. (Aphorisms are in vogue this year, it seems.)

I am going to be so jetlagged by the time December rolls around. And there's the possibility of one more getting added in there. More on that if it happens.

In short, you have no excuse to not hear about Aphorisms of API design. :-) Or functional programming. Or PIE.

Find a conference near you and get off your island. Let's go learn something.

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Oct 01 2012
Oct 01

September saw our ‘Helping the Public Sector with Open Source’ campaign kick-off at the Efficient ICT 2012 conference in London.

As well as launching our hugely popular pocketsize guide to open source (OS) and Drupal, Ixis teamed up with the British Council to deliver a seminar detailing the view from both sides of the coin – the supplier and the public sector organisation switching from proprietary frameworks to OS.

Speaking with Alexei Paspalas, Head of Digital Technology from British Council, Ixis discussed its role in the Council’s web project, as well as providing key information organisations need to know when considering OS and which CMS is the right one for their project.

This was a great opportunity for the Ixis team to hear the questions and concerns about OS straight from the horses mouth.

And what was the main concern?

We were asked the question whether OS is more secure than proprietary systems. In an official statement from the Cabinet Office released in 2011, it addressed that all software has vulnerabilities and strengths and weaknesses in security characteristics, such as provenance, quality, support, and vulnerability management. The statement concluded that neither category is considered more or less secure than the other so therefore OS cannot be excluded for an options analysis for Government ICT.  Read more on the statement in this PDF on Open Source Software and Security

In addition, Drupal OS software has a community of more than 630,000 users and developers meaning people are constantly working to make sure it’s not only a cutting-edge OS platform but also that any security issues and bugs are fixed.

Our campaign trail continues this month at the forthcoming Think G-Cloud conference on 18th October at London’s Business Design Centre. We’d love to see you there and if you’d like to attend you can book your place here or drop us a line

Aug 06 2012
Aug 06

3+ months is probably the biggest timeout I've taken from blogging in a while..
Not that I didn't have anything to write ..but more that I was prioritizing writing different content over
over writing blogposts.

Blogging tech snippets and contributing documentation used to be one now all of that has evolved.
Anyhow ..

So to get things going here's my preliminary Conference schedule for the next couple of months.

Next up .. content ... on how monitoring tools still suck .. and I`m still not sure wether a certification program is relevant for open source consultants ..

Nov 16 2011
Nov 16

With DrupalCamp Austin coming up this weekend, the web chefs have been working overtime to make things a bit easier on everyone at the camp. We’ve relaunched the website so that it works on everyone’s mobile devices while they hustle about between sessions. Instead of building a separate app, we’ve baked this mobile friendliness straight into the website using responsive web design.

Double website, all the way

Talk of responsive design has been all over the web lately because it allows us to deliver really diverse user experiences within one package. This is especially handy for DrupalCamp sites because there are two main audiences: desktop users who want to learn about the event or register, and mobile camp attendees needing easy access to timely information, especially the schedule.

I expect more and more DrupalCamp sites to start building responsive themes to improve their camp-goers’ experiences. If camps aren’t big enough to convince you, look no further than DrupalCon Denver to see a well-designed responsive conference site.

Where can I learn more?!?

I’m so glad you asked! DrupalCamp Austin is offering many training sessions this year, including a Responsive Drupal theming and design training on Sunday by myself and Todd. On Saturday we’ll have some fantastic mobile-oriented sessions:

Mobile sprint before the camp

We’re also hosting a Drupal Mobile sprint on Friday before the camp at the Four Kitchens office. I’ll be there working on D7 mobile modules and anyone is welcome to come! Grab more details 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:


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.

Sep 07 2009
Sep 07
This was the garden outside of DrupalCon Paris Montparnasse DrupalCon main room DrupalCon before Dries' presentation DrupalCon Paris 2009 Gathering for the DrupalCon Paris photo

Having just returned from DrupalCon Paris 2009 with mixed feelings as to how I forged my own experience there, I thought I'd put down some thoughts on conference attendance and participation — what (not) to do.

  1. Don't minimize the jet lag factor.

    I had an 8-hour shift in going to Paris, and my first day there after touching down around 7am was pretty much lost in the fog. The second day was really my first day, and that would have been better spent having to myself to just settle in, check out my hotel neighborhood, find decent food, orient myself as to where the conference venue was, etc. As it was, I had to run off to the conference for my first day of meetings and such. I should have arrived a day earlier.
  2. Don't stay at a hotel beyond walking distance of the venue, if possible.

    My hotel was about 2 miles from the conference venue, which turned out to be a manageable walking distance. I'm not sure I would want to have more than a 40 minute walk every day, so I peg the limit at 2 miles. But walking is great!! What did I gain from walking? I got to see and experience Paris during my "commute" to and from the conference. I had no tourism time, so this turned out to be a daily pleasure, even when it was raining. And on the 2 or 3 occasions where I needed to cab it for time, it was a short jaunt. (On the other hand, when I stayed in Barcelona, I was 40 minutes away by train, and that was a royal pain. It worked out because I had plenty of food and drink in my hotel area, and the conference was in a rather barrenly industrial part of town.)
  3. Don't upgrade critical laptop software the day before leaving.

    I upgraded to Snow Leopard the day before, and I thought I was all set. Testing revealed no apparent problems that were critical. However, once in Paris I discovered that the slideshow I created in Keynote for looping on the pingVision sponsor's monitor at the venue would not export properly to Quicktime. (See related post, linked below.) I spent an entire day struggling with this. A day lost. Big #fail on my part. Never again.
  4. Don't eat the hotel food.

    Look, do you eat at any hotel restaurants where you live? Enough said.
  5. Don't bring the 17" laptop, no matter how much you love it.

    My back is killing me from carrying not one full-sized MacBoo Pro, but two — one to play the looping slideshow. Today I'm practically paralyzed with back pain. Next time, it's a netbook (or the rumored Apple touchpad) or just a smartphone.
  6. Don't figure you'll be able to meet up with someone later.

    When you see someone you want to talk to, stop and talk. Right then. Don't wait. Of the half dozen or so people I ran into when I was intending to do something else and we promised to talk later, I talked with none of them later. The event may be a week long, but that is over quite suddenly. Talk to your friends, acquaintances, colleagues and other people you want to meet up with whenever you can. Be spontaneous!
  7. Don't blow off the parties, no matter how tired you are.

    Some of the best conversations I had last week were at the "brown bag" party that just kind of happened on the Left Bank. The restaurant designated for meeting was too expensive, but that didn't prevent a fun party in the plaza right there. You couldn't know that in advance, either. In the past, I've been one to choose rest or work over socializing in the evenings of conferences, but that's been my loss. I don't particularly like loud bars and despise crowded meet markets, but there's nothing like conversation over coffees or beers or wine or a fabulous meal!
  8. Don't forget about global data roaming.

    I bought a 50MB plan that more than covered my email and Twitter needs for the week on my iPhone. However, I noticed that when you sync your iPhone to iTunes, your global data gets turned on, even if you had it turned off. And if you had not planned ahead with a global data plan for the month, you could find yourself in for some surprising and onerous charges.
  9. Don't get too wrapped up in your own shit.

    I don't know about you, but there's always stuff going on that demands my attention. Scores of "real" emails every day. Text messages. Phone messages. Project management issues. I let myself spend too much office-style time on those things, which prevented me from seeing far too many sessions. This is the biggest #fail on my part. You're there at the conference to meet up with people, connect with friends, learn what they're up to and discover new things. Your own stuff will be there after the session. Go to the effing session already!
  10. Don't leave too early.

    Some may consider leaving early to be fashionable, like leaving a party. Some may consider leaving early to be expedient, figuring there's little of interest at the end of a conference. I left too early because I got my dates mixed up. I ended up missing the code sprint on the last day. If you've never been to a Drupal sprint, then you're missing out. At DrupalCon DC, it was my favorite day where I finally got to interact with others and even work on some templating code. Missing out on all that in Paris was a major bummer for me.
  11. Don't neglect learning which is your airline's terminal.

    United's website did not tell me which terminal their flights departed from. United's reminder emails did not tell me either. So when I got to Charles De Gaulle Airport, I did not know where to go. The taxi driver either did not know or took my ignorance as an opportunity to inconvenience another foreigner, and dropped me at Terminal 2. Apparently the managers of that airport did not feel that identifying airlines on their maps was necessary. That airport is pretty confusing when you don't know what you're looking for. A helpful person at an information counter explained to me that my taxi driver had dropped me at the opposite end of the airport from where I needed to be. 30 minutes later I finally got to the check-in counter. Next time, I will not be so complacent.
  12. Don't forget about the post-con blues.

    It happens to me every time. I get down after the event, after riding a week on all that energy and excitement. And when I get down, I run through my regrets -- the people I didn't meet, the dumb things I said, the food I shouldn't have eaten.... The blues are blue enough without all that extra baggage. Which is why I'm writing this blog post. I want to savor the joys, and not get distracted by regrets. Therefore: these notes, mostly to myself, for next time.

I'm glad I didn't manage to fail on all these counts this past week, but I really need to work on my conference attendance planning and not just my conference presentation planning. I will do better at DrupalCon San Francisco!

Do you have any other conference attendance suggestions?

Mar 05 2009
Mar 05

I'm currently at the biannual Drupal worldwide conference, Drupalcon, in Washington, DC. I hope to write more later about the amazing people and innovative technologies that I'm seeing here this week, but for now I just wanted to post an entry for folks arriving here looking for information about the talk I gave yesterday: Beyond The Web: Drupal Meets The Desktop (And Mobile).

I will be posting more information later on the resources & projects mentioned in the talk, but for now, watch this page for that info as I'm able to post it. I covered a number of technologies that can connect Drupal websites to desktop and mobile applications, be they in Cocoa (for the Mac & iPhone) or any other language that you might want to integrate with a PHP-based Drupal site.

Hope to see you at Drupalcon!


Oct 21 2008
Oct 21

I'm happy to help announce that the next Drupalcon will be March 4-7, 2009, in Washington, DC! As a former member of the awesomely rocking Washington, DC Drupalers, it will be a real thrill to get back to the city as part of our biannual pilgrimage to the hub of all things Drupal.

Expect this to be the biggest Drupalcon ever -- the first 100 tickets sold out in ten minutes, but others are still available. I've attended Drupalcon Barcelona and Drupalcon Boston in the past, but I'm looking forward to this one especially as DC is where Code Sorcery Workshop got started. Plus, we'll have a new president and the whole town will be abuzz.

In addition, I'm proposing a session entitled Beyond The Web: Drupal Meets The Desktop (And Mobile). If you're interested in seeing this session, please head over to the Drupalcon DC site and vote for it. Here's the abstract:

We all know that Drupal is a robust self-contained system for running a social website, but what about when you want to hook it up with the desktop or mobile devices? This session will take a look at the capabilities built into Drupal core, as well as contributed modules, for combining Drupal with desktop and mobile clients. The presenter is a Mac & iPhone developer and the co-maintainer of the DAV API, File Server, Boost, and Trace modules, and inadvertently had code in Drupal core in 2001.

Whether you are a Drupal veteran, a web developer who's been meaning to try it out, or a newbie (technical or not) who's wondering what all the talk is about, Drupalcon is a great (and relatively affordable) way to tap into the vibrant Drupal community. There's no better place to be if you are, or want to be, involved with Drupal in any way.

Hope to see you there!


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