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Jan 25 2008
Jan 25

[Update: This had the wrong tag to get on Planet Drupal]
As others have noted, the DrupalCon Boston logo contest is closing soon, so you'd better get your votes in.

Here are my personal favourites;

  1. About 3rd as far as user-votes go, with 36 points; DB8
  2. LauraS only just submitted this one, so it's only got a few votes so far: BoSox style by Don Hajicek at pingVision
  3. This one is simple and elegant, although probably not everyone's cup of tea. By Dakku:

And here are the leading entries so far, by user-votes:

  1. 50 points, By Acromedia:
  2. 41 points, Boston Seal, by Konstantin Kaefer:
  3. 29 points, By Camworld:
  4. 28 points, the luck of drupal, by corinn:
  5. 19 points: DrupalSox by pcorbett:
Jan 22 2008
Jan 22

Over the past few months, the GHOP program has made innumerable contributions to the Drupal community. Now that GHOP is ending, many of these students are choosing to remain long-term contributors. This is awesome: it's exactly what the program was meant to achieve, getting high school students involved in open source communities. And what better way to get involved in Drupal than to go to Drupalcon?

Deeply inspired by chx's chipin for Dmitri, I have posted here the chipins' of two students requesting financial assistance to get to Drupalcon. Please, please, please seriously consider contributing to this cause. We want new contributors in the Drupal community? Well, here they are: but they need your help to fully join the community.


This first chipin is for Jimmy Berry, an 18-year-old student who has basically increased Drupal's simpletest coverage by 500%, along with a whole multitude of other tasks, including creating a 30-second commercial for Drupal.

This next chipin is for Ron Williams, a 17-year-old student who has created documentation on how to migrate database changes between Drupal sites. He is also currently working on running usability tests on Drupal's administration interface.

If everyone chips in, you'll be able to meet these awesome students in Boston! See this list for more opportunities to sponsor Drupal community members to Drupalcon.

Note to other GHOP students: if you're requesting financial assistance to get to Drupalcon but are not listed here, you may use my contact form; I'll add your name asap.

Sep 19 2007
Sep 19
Day one of DrupalCon Barcelona 2007 is over, but my jet lag is not.  I did manage to stay awake for the entire day, but only had time to attend two sessions:
  • OpenID: It's in core... now what?   by James Ransom Walker.   James is clearly an OpenID advocate and says the risks associated with it are manageable, or at least acceptable.  OpenID has been added to the Drupal 4.7, with updates for 5 and 6 coming soon (I'm not sure whether that's and Iraq pullout-style timetable, or a clever call for volunteers to lend a hand - James did say he could use some help).  This much heralded addition to Drupal gives developers an "out of the box" provider and  relying party status if they want it. It also comes with a new set of concerns for developers whose permutations are myriad: What is the trust model I want to deploy?  What level of protection do my users need from my provider service? As a relying party, what level of authentication do I need from a provider?  How do I choose to providers to accept?   Do I care whether a user's ID is globally unique \*forever\*, or just for now?  The OpenID spec. itself leaves the developer with all of these choices and more.  OpenID's flexibility is both a virtue and a failing.  Maybe someone in the DrupalCon Barcelona 2007 logoOpenSSO community can lend a hand to James and avert the sedimentation of a partial solution to an omnipresent problem.  OpenSSO is moving quickly to support OpenID provider implementations.  It has support for the relevant federation standards, and it even has a PHP Client SDK and a PHP library for SAML 2.0 Relying Party.  When it comes to Identity Management, I'm not convinced that today's "good enough" won't be tomorrow's compliance regulation headache or M&A due diligence hiccup.  My vote is for an OpenSSO based identity module for Drupal 5 and 6 rather than an OpenID only module.
  • "Enterprise" Drupal  by Ken Rickart.   Ken works for Morris Communications, a very stodgy, family run corporation.  Drupal adoption at Morris would seem a long shot for the traditionalist culture of this media giant.  But with the aid of Ken's obvious leadership and technical skills, Drupal is shaking things up.  If Ken's experience at Morris is any indication, I'd expect we'll hear about more tremors rippling through vaunted institutions and enduring companies triggered by Drupal's "time to market", low cost advantage.  Ken talked about how he rapidly delivered some high value business services to internal users (contract renewal reports) and external media consumers (online editions of local newspapers) with Drupal, demonstrating just how true the "good enough" axiom can be for certain classes of problems, and why that mattered to the big cheese at Morris whose main functions are to manage the bottom line and shake hands with the pros at Augusta National).
I'd better get some sleep.
Mar 27 2007
Mar 27

I started the morning with a round of Drupal lightning talks -- eleven topics in sixty minutes. dww even convinced me that if I ever actually have free time, I should pitch in a bit on project module.

Dries' "State of Drupal" talk was excellent, though the audience as a whole didn't seem to react well to the bit about eliminating the webmaster, developer, designer, etc. The whispers and whines in the crowd implied that some people found those statements threatening. I'm mentioning this because I didn't feel that way, and I'd like my fellow geeks to know why: web technology is an ever-evolving industry. I've been doing system administration since the early 1990's, working with open source software since 1995, and playing with web technologies on and off since the 1990's as well. NOTHING is like it used to be, and *I'm still here*. So are a lot of other people. There was a time when the end-all and be-all of being a webmaster was smashing text and some basic HTML into static pages, then updating them by hand any time anyone wanted to make a change. Then came scripting and databases -- suddenly you could code your way out of the repetition, and even make some editing and interaction (such as web forums) available to users. The hard-core coders moved on to writing scripts, the less nuts-and-bolts folks formed new niches as site moderators and documenters, and users could now contribute directly to content. Those less interested in adapting moved on.

This is what Dries was talking about when me mentioned "eliminating the webmaster". On many sites, users began to take a leading role in entering content. Now we've moved from every site being scripted in isolation, to CMSes where a community of developers and themers can provide the tools for even non-coders to create web sites with all sorts of features. The internet is still evolving, and will be for the foreseeable future. I'm not afraid of the market for my talents drying up tomorrow, nor should anyone else be, as long as they are willing to learn and step into the next niche. In the mean time, keep innovating! If you doubt how much work there still is to be done, take a look at the Drupal issue queue and forums sometime.

Next came a talk on the Date API and Calendar modules. Karen's presentation was absolutely wonderful, and I learned more than one useful tidbit about managing time, scheduling, and iCal feeds in Drupal. Steven Witten's talk on jQuery convinced me both that JavaScript is every bit as hideously disgusting as I thought it was, and that jQuery makes it tolerable to add some JS tricks to things I'm working on (for those users who even enable JS) without feeling dirtied by the evils of JS code. Last, but certainly not least, I sat in the audience of the Live from OSCMS Summit Drupal podcast/netcast. There's no need for a long description here, you can listen for yourself.

After the close of the summit, some of the Lullabot crew, a few other Drupal geeks, and I went out for Thai food. Still fewer of us ended up in add1sun's hotel room, where much Drupal hacking goodness and a fair bit of socializing took place. We were joined by Leslie from Google and a couple of Joomla folks. I finally headed back to my hotel around 3am, my head buzzing with thoughts of projects to come, some curiosity about the aggregator module and what might be involved in cleaning it up, along with a healthy dose of laptop-related determination. I was still buzzing on the plane ride home. Those of you who have had the good fortune to fly off to a brain-bendingly interesting conference and there meet at least a dozen people you've worked with for ages but never met face to face, only to become even more excited about the project that brought you together know exactly how I feel. The rest of you couldn't possibly imagine, so I hope you get to try it some time.

Mar 27 2007
Mar 27

I started OSCMS by making hasty child care arrangements from my cell phone in the airport Wednesday night, due to my mom's flight being canceled in the eleventh hour. Everything worked out, though I also spent a large part of Thursday on the phone, ducking in and out of sessions to coordinate the situation at home. My poor mother finally made it to my place late Thursday night. I'm still glad I went, though I feel pretty bad that my mom went through all of those delays and cancellations.

Rasmus Lerdorf's talk alone made the trip worth it. He's an even better public speaker than I'd heard, and I learned some new things about PHP, including the existence of some tools I can't believe I didn't know about. The OpenID talk was well done, but really didn't tell me anything new. I changed my mind about "Theming Drupal" and instead went to chx's talk on the new menu system. I am glad that I did. Not only did I learn quite a bit, but I ran in to webchick, the first of my fellow Drupalers besides chx to whom I could match nick, real name, and face. She is even more awesome in person than online. Her astute questions and comments added a lot to every presentation or discussion I saw her in. I certainly picked up a lot more than I would have had she not been there. Yahoo's hospitality was top notch. They provided parking, meeting space, food, swag -- all the essental materials. I even managed to get some extra swag for mom as a thank-you for all she went through to babysit for me. Earl (merlinofchaos) gave an outstanding talk about node_access. It was my favorite among today's talks. After node_access, I attended the Drupal Search talk, but gave up on the internationalization talk part way through because I have a horrible time following people with strong accents when I don't have enough visual cues to make up the bits I missed. I plan to catch up on the internationalization info online once the conference is over. I nabbed a great pick-up discussion in the common area after leaving, so the time block definitely wasn't a loss.

The summit wrapped up for the day around 5:15, but I stuck around for a quick Drupal Dojo meetup. Following that, I joined sepeck, webchick, add1son, jjeff, eaton, Dries, dopry, chx, KarenS, merlinofchaos, and many others for dinner, drinks, and witty banter. Much fun was had by all, and if my head wasn't already completely awash with new ideas after my day at the summit, it was when dinner ended. My only regret is not having a functional laptop to take notes, scratch out ideas, etc. on. (Not to mention the coding withdrawal I've had lately for the same reason.) I can't wait for tomorrow.


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