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May 25 2018
May 25

Mediacurrent team members will be heading to the mountains in North Carolina for a two day Drupal-filled event for all levels of Drupal skills. Asheville Drupal User Group is a small but dedicated community of Drupalers who will host their 8th annual Asheville Drupal Camp on July 13-15th at UNC Asheville. Mediacurrent will be sponsoring the event and will have 9 team members presenting 6 sessions. We even have Mediacurrent Lead Drupal Architect, April Sides as one of the organizers of the event. From technical Drupal developing to making friends in a remote work place, check out what Mediacurrent has in store for Asheville Drupal Camp 2018:  

Speakers: Mark Shropshire, Open Source Security Lead at Mediacurrent and Bayo Fodeke, Senior Drupal Developer at Mediacurrent

Contenta is an open source API-first Drupal distribution that makes out of the box decoupled Drupal accessible. This session will demonstrate installing Contenta, working with included features, using demo content and consumers, and working with the Contenta community.


  • Install Contenta
  • Know how to contribute back to Contenta
  • Know how to connect a frontend application to a Contenta backend

Speakers: Brian Manning, Project Manager at Mediacurrent and Kelly Dassing, Senior Project Manager at Mediacurrent

Pivots come in a variety of shapes and sizes. They can be a minor change that’s quickly integrated into scope, or a major departure that alters the entire course of the project. When you encounter these shifts, it’s vital you strategize, communicate, and continue to capture the vision of the client so the final product is a solid foundation for your client’s goals and KPIs—not a point of resentment.

Key points:

  • Kicking off the project with an organized team and plan of attack
  • Communicating with your whole team and the client
  • Being ready to PIVOT
  • Keeping your team grounded in the delivery
  • Conducting a retrospective and additional planning—not a postmortem

Speaker: Grayson Hicks, Front End Developer at Mediacurrent

GatsbyJS is an exciting way of thinking about building sites for the modern web. Is it a framework? Is it a static site generator? This session will cover the benefits of using GatsbyJS and will include the best and not so best use cases.

Key points:

  • What Gatsby's GraphQL data layer is and how and why to embrace it
  • Gatsby's internal API for building a Gatsby starter to fit your team
  • Looking at Gatsby's plugin/source/transformer system for taking Gatsby from a a blog-generator to a site-generator

Speaker: Ben Robertson, Front End Developer at Mediacurrent

Accessible web design really boils down to a few basic principles and when you have these as your first principles when starting a project, you can save your self, your team, and your clients hours of headaches around accessibility testing. 

This presentation will describe a few basic principles to keep in mind when building accessible web experiences, provide explanations and examples of these principles in code, and identify common accessibility pitfalls and how to avoid them.

Topics covered:

  • Simple JavaScript techniques for ensuring accessible components
  • CSS properties that affect accessibility
  • How to use modern CSS (flexbox, grid) without compromising accessibility

Speaker: Zack Hawkins, Director of Front End Development at Mediacurrent

Gone are the days of having one massive JavaScript or CSS file. his session will explore the use of libraries to conditionally load assets and resolve dependencies.

Key topics:

  • Introduction to libraries in Drupal 8.
  • Library options and configuration.
  • What a component based workflow looks like with libraries.
  • Code splitting with Webpack and libraries.
  • Library gotchas and things to be aware of.

Speaker: Kelly Dassing, Senior Project Manager at Mediacurrent, Chris Manning, Director of QA at Mediacurrent, and Sam Seide, Drupal Developer at Mediacurrent

Hear the story of the real-life friendship that blossomed between these three Mediacurrent team members from different departments and how it helps them in their day-to-day work.

This session will be best appreciated by anyone who is a remote worker, whether employed by a small company or larger corporation.

Additional Resources

"Shrop" Talk at Drupal Camp Asheville 2016
Drupal Camp Asheville 2016
Mediacurrent to Present 7 Sessions at Drupalcon Nashville

Apr 06 2018
Apr 06

This is the second rendition of this topic within the Drupal Community, the first time I shared my experiences and journey in this context was at Drupal Camp Sofia, in Bulgaria in 2015. In many respects this is quite a circle for me, I have fond memories of attending a Drupal meet-up in Utrecht (long way from home in Kent!) in 2012, receiving a very warm welcome by the local community at OneShoe’s very eclectic offices and meeting the personality that is Michel.

Fast forward six odd years and am stoked to be going back to Utrecht to share with a community that has been a source of inspiration for what we do at Peace Through Prosperity! I hope our work at Peace Through Prosperity serves to be a source of inspiration for my fellow Drupal community members and friends.

The session at DrupalJam 2018 has been recorded and shall add a link to the video as and when it is up. It also happens to be my eldest daughter Alvera’s second Drupal community event, first DrupalJam!! Well done! #SuperProudDad And last but not the least thank you to the DrupalJam team, to the attendees and my Acquia colleagues  Nicky Rutten and Maartje Sampers their time.


Lastly, If you got value from what I have shared please consider giving back by contributing to @BringPTP, you can followbroadcast or donate.

Peace Through Prosperity (PTP) works to improve the environment for peacebuilding by nurturing prosperity in conflict affected communities. We work to alleviate poverty and secure livelihoods through empowering micro-entrepreneurs with knowledge, skills and increasing their access to income and opportunities. We support small businesses, owned/managed by vulnerable and marginalised individuals/groups in society.

Jul 15 2017
Jul 15

On 10-11 of June in Kyiv there was an annual all-Ukrainian event - Drupal Camp Kyiv 2017. This is a place where experienced back-end, front-end developers, DevOps and managers share their knowledge. Traditionally Drupal Camp took place in two days: a conference day which includes 5 streams of presentations and code sprint where passionate developers can work together for improving Drupal and developing community. A few interesting statistics about this year’s event: 403 attendees, 5 streams of lectures, 42 speaker, 10+ international speakers, 70+ code sprint participants and 100+ patches made during code sprint.

I'm working on the Smartling company where my main projects are connectors: Smartling (for Drupal 7), TMGMT Smartling and TMGMT Extension Suite (for Drupal 8). The main goal both of these connectors is to send content for translation into Smartling service, get it back when translations are ready for publishing and correctly apply them into Drupal entities (such as nodes, taxonomy terms etc.), menus, blocks, locale strings and configurations.

So I took a part in this event with a presentation “How to outsource the pain of Drupal translation to Smartling” and I was talking about localization process in Drupal using Smartling translation service. I’ve also reviewed Translation Management Tool (a base for our connector), TMGMT Smartling and TMGMT Extension Suite modules.

In the session I've considered next key points:

  • How to configure your Drupal 8 site and TMGMT module
  • How to configure TMGMT Smartling plugin
  • What is visual context and why it’s so important for translators
  • How do we automate all the translation workflow and track changes of the source content
  • How did we manage to avoid a Drupal 8 core bug with bulk actions
I hope my session was interesting for those who wanted to know how to get rid of the pain of Drupal translation process and who was interested in other alternatives for translation workflow aside from common copy-pasting process from Excel sheets.

Drupal Camp Kyiv is the biggest Drupal event in Ukraine. It’s a great opportunity for developers to learn something new and grow up as a specialist. I’m looking forward to taking part in next events.

Session details

Mar 11 2017
Mar 11

Drupal 8

Drupal 8

I carried out a empathy mapping exercise at Drupal Camp London 2017 to capture the community’s perspective towards Drupal 8

The community perspective from Drupal Camp London towards Drupal 8:

Drupal 8 Empathy mapping the community's perspective 2017

Drupal 8 Empathy mapping the community's perspective 2017

I would encourage you to download the template, use it capture the community perspectives at your own Camps and meetups. The template can be downloaded here, and is best printed out as an A1 poster. 

Additionally please use the hashtag #D8Empathy to broadcast your findings. So that we can compare maps across camps to improve our understanding of the community and Drupal 8’s impact on it.


Lastly, If you got value from what I have shared please consider giving back by contributing towardsPeace Through Prosperity, you can follow, broadcast or donate.

Peace Through Prosperity improves the local/domestic environment for peace by nurturing prosperity in conflict affected geographies. We work to alleviate poverty, prevent radicalisation by empowering micro-entrepreneurs from marginalised communities. 

Peace Through Prosperity is innovating social transformation design and delivery using Agile frameworks to create and deliver low cost, high impact social development programs in ‘at risk’ communities.

Mar 07 2017
Mar 07

First and foremost thank you to all who made the time to attend my session on Empathy Driven Content Strategy at Drupal Camp London 2017. Thank you for sharing your time and perspectives.

This session was an evolution of two previous sessions:

There is a difference between walking in someone else’s footsteps and walking in their shoes!

‘Empathy Driven Content Strategy’ explores the transformation in content consumption, purpose, generation and how it impacts us. Looking at how empathy, touch points, sentiment analysis and emotional intelligence can be harnessed to create richer, more personalized experiences for people. With the purpose of motivating others to share the journey with us with content that is pertinent to and addresses their needs over the course of the journey.

We have seen how, over the past year empathy driven content, the use of sentiment analysis and knowing which touchpoint to invest in has played its role in both Brexit and the Trump campaigns. There are lessons behind their success for all regardless of which side of the campaign divide we may sit on.

As for getting started with Empathy maps, you can download examples and a blank canvas from the resources section below. Bear in mind the key takeaway is to ‘talk to people’ treat them as people first (customers later), to engage for the sake of understanding and keep our instinct to react in check… only when we understand can we respond.

Resources mentioned during the session:

Sentiment Analysis
Further reading


Lastly, If you got value from what I have shared please consider giving back by contributing to @BringPTP, you can follow, broadcast or donate.

Peace Through Prosperity (PTP) improves the local/domestic environment for peace by nurturing prosperity in conflict affected geographies. We work to alleviate poverty, prevent radicalisation through empowering micro-entrepreneurs with knowledge, skills, ability and increasing their access to income and opportunities. We support small businesses, owned/managed by vulnerable and marginalised individuals/groups in society.

Peace Through Prosperity (PTP) is innovating social transformation design and delivery by using Agile frameworks to create and deliver low cost, immediate and lasting impact social development programs in ‘at risk’ communities.

Dec 23 2016
Dec 23
December 23rd, 2016

On this episode of Sharp Ideas, Doug and Randy are joined from the basement of BADCamp X by Jon Peck and Heather Rodriguez.

Recorded on-site at BADCamp 2016, we’re talking the history and principles of BADCamp (the Bay Area Drupal Camp), the importance of human diversity in the tech world, the values and ethics of the open source movement, and staying aware of imposter syndrome when you’re giving back to your community.

Broadcasting directly to you from wherever the web meets business and design. You can listen to us on SoundCloud (on the site or download the app!) or find us with your other favorite podcasts on the Stitcher app.

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Douglas Bigham
Douglas Bigham

Doug is a writer and ex-academic with a background in digital publics and social language use. He likes dark beer, bright colors, and he speaks a little Klingon.

Nov 01 2016
Nov 01

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

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

Mar 31 2015
Mar 31

Heading into Chicago’s Midcamp, my coworker Andy and I were excited to talk to other front end developers about using style guides with Drupal. We decided to put the word out and organize a BOF (birds of a feather talk) to find our kindred front end spirits. Indeed, we found a small group of folks who have started using them and had a great conversation: tools, workflow and pain points galore! So if you have already been using them or if you are brand new to the idea, read on.

Andy on a Divvy bike.

We looked pretty cool riding Chicago’s Divvy bikes to and from the conference!

So what is a style guide?

It can mean different things in different contexts, but for front end development, it means a fully-realized library of elements and components, using clean HTML/CSS/Javascript. I’ve heard them described as “tiny Bootstraps for every client” (Dave Rupert) — a client with a style guide has all the classes and/or markup they need to properly add new elements and components. A living style guide asserts that the style guide is maintained throughout the life cycle of a project.

At Advomatic, we’ve been integrating style guides into our workflow for about a year. We’ve had a few discussions about when it makes sense to have one, and when not. In the past, I’ve even argued against them, in the case of small projects. But at this point, we’ve come to the conclusion that it ALWAYS makes sense to use one. Smaller sites might have smaller styleguides — perhaps just with the the baseline elements included — but with a boilerplate style guide and a compiler in place, the style guide will, in fact, build itself.

So what can you use to build a style guide?

I heard many static markup generators and/or prototyping software mentioned at Midcamp: Jekyll, Pattern Lab, Prontotype, and Sculpin.

At Advomatic, we’ve been using KSS (Knyle Style Sheets), which is more specific to just generating style guides. It uses a Grunt task to compile a style guide from markup (commented out in your Sass files) and the corresponding CSS. This section documents setting up KSS to auto-generate your style guide using KSS. We use the NodeJS implementation of KSS, which, coincidentally, JohnAlbin (the brains behind Zen base theme and Drupal theming in general) has taken the reins on.

If you still haven’t found one you like, here’s a handy list of styleguide generators!

Scared? I hear you. It SOUNDS like an extra layer of work.

Here were my fears moving to style guides:

  • It might add another layer of complexity and chance to break things.
  • If the markup differs significantly in the style guide and Drupal, we’d have to do the work twice.
  • The style guide is not within Drupal, so you cannot write javascript with the Drupal.behaviors convention.
  • If your style guide includes components that are layout-dependent, you’ll need to set up your grid system within KSS.
  • If the style guide rots on the vine or gets out of sync, it could be a pain to fix.

But let’s look at the pros:

  • Clients love to see the style guide, it can be an early, easy win.
  • Keeps the front-end decision-making at the beginning of the process, and agnostic of the back end.
  • Front end work can happen alongside back end work.
  • A HTML/CSS style guide can be a fully responsive document, unlike a PDF.
  • A style guide can be a stand-alone deliverable, if the client needs to pause or implement it themselves.
  • The modularity of a style guide helps clients think about the site as a system rather than individual pages. The result is flexible when the client wants to add more pages down the line.
  • A style guide helps onboard new people coming onto a project or keep consistency among more than one front end dev. A FED can see if a similar component has already been built or if certain styles can be reused or expanded on.
  • Helpful for QA testers — something that they can refer back to if something “in the wild” doesn’t look quite right.
  • Having the markup embedded in the style guide helps multiple developers produce consistent markup for the front end.

We have found that components that we chose to not prototype in a style guide often ended up taking more time than expected. When the back end devs could see what our preferred markup was, they built our components very closely to what we prototyped. In the end, the pros outweigh the cons.

So what is the holy grail style guide workflow?

We’re still looking for it, but here’s some tips:

  • Automate your workflow — style guides should compile every time you make a change to the site. We use Grunt for this.
  • Use a boilerplate style guide — you won’t forget to theme anything that way.
  • Use Drupal-specific markup in your boilerplate to make the transition easier. Use the Drupal style guide module for boilerplate markup.
  • Try not to put too many components on the same page to reduce endless scrolling, ease testing for accessibility by tabbing through components, reduce the amount of javascript and images loading on the page.
  • I haven’t yet, but I’d love to incorporate something like Ish to make each component responsive without having to resize the whole browser window when testing responsiveness.

What else would you suggest? Any pain points that you are feeling when using style guides with Drupal?

Or if you are just dipping your toes in, check out these resources for more good information:

Website Style Guides Resources

Style Guide podcast, Anna Debenham and Brad Frost

Front End Styleguides by Anna Debenham

Design Components presentation from JohnAlbin:

Example style guides
http://primercss.io (Github’s style documentation)

Style guide comparison chart (google doc)

Responsive Deliverables

Modularity and Style Guides

You should also check out:

Feb 26 2015
Feb 26

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Jun 01 2014
Jun 01

The community in the North… is quite hospitable and the Camp in the North was fantastic :)


Drupal Camp Yorkshire 2014

Drupal Camp Yorkshire 2014

Back at Drupal Camp London Paul Driver invited me to Drupal Camp Yorkshire to deliver a session at the Camp. Drupal Camp Yorkshire 2014 was the 2nd Camp up in Leeds I am told, but from the experience I had for the short while I was there it could have been the 10th… it was  very well organised camp no doubt and next time round I will have to make sure I juggle my diary to be able to stay for the entire weekend.

Its been 6 or 7 years since I have been up to Leeds, driven past many a times but did not have an excuse to stop over, Drupal Camp is probably up there in the top 5 excuses to stop over or visit… but before I jump into the details I must mention another community who like myself had taken the Saturday off to take part in a very different but essential sort of activism.

2014-05-31 13.46.51

2014-05-31 13.46.51

On the train up to Leeds I met with a couple of ladies heading up from London, volunteers who were much like our own community giving up their Saturdays to give back.

Did’nt quite catch their names but they were activists heading up to Newark to give them folks from UKIP a hard time and to help the community there see UKIP  true ‘far right’  colours. I would like to thank folks like them who keep Britain grounded and heading in the right direction, giving geeks like me and others the ‘space’ to build, focus on and be part of other communities that rely on a certain kind of society to keep looking ahead and progressing in the right direction… probably not as eloquently put as I could.. but I am going to blame the beautiful sunny Sunday that it is right now!

Ok, back on topic, My session was on ‘Practical’ Agile product development and you can watch the video below to understand what I mean by that.

[embedded content] You can view/download the slides from Slideshare.com.

Lastly I must mention the venue, Electric Press at the Carriageworks Theatre in Leeds was by far the most picturesque of Drupal Camp venues I have have been to so far, over looking the Millenium square which given the weather was bursting with life and an open air concert set the scene up for a community event quite well.

Excellent job done by the organisers, a huge thank you to everyone who attended my session and apologies to a few friends I could not see or spend time with… for I dashed in and dashed out but will make it up to them at the next Camp or at the Con in Dam.

“Communication leads to community, that is, to understanding, intimacy and mutual valuing.”
Rollo May

Dec 05 2013
Dec 05

November was huge for the Open Source community in Middle Earth, Those who attended Drupal Camp Karachi on 2nd November and Dubai on the 30th of November 2013 made history. I shall get to Karachi later, this post is about Dubai Camp, challenges of organising it and the outcome of the journey that started in June 2013.



As organisers our focus was both quality and quantity of course; share best practises, tools and knowledge with as many as possible! though we did not get the quantity, 80+ were invited 55 were expected and the campers peaked at lunch with a turn out of 45… and for the last session and closing we had 20.

Organising Dubai camp was a challenge for the organising committee… though committee sounds grand! there was me, Ahmed Koshok and Massoud Al-Shareef, with two regionals on board you might expect things to be easier but with no boots on the ground mobilisation of the community, securing the venue, putting the logistics in place was always going to be a challenge! but planning for it made it that tad bit easier.



At first there was just me (and making very slow progress), then Ahmed came on board and both of us dragged the vision of Dubai camp a fair distance but nowhere close to the starting line… then in Massoud we found a regional champion and a reliable network on the ground to go through the red tape… that was Hani Hejazi; and securing the venue was Hani’s feat. From start to finish organising Dubai camp took 6 months!



DC Dubai had a strong contingent of local/regional Drupal rockstars in attendance and that was the magic sauce in Dubai camp, from a total of 16 speakers/trainers we had 9 local/regional speakers/trainers and that was a coup for any first camp I have attended or been a part of in Middle Earth.

At Dubai camp there were many firsts! the faculty was not just curious but participatory and super supportive, Professor Jassim Jirjees the program director for MLIS was in attendance and his staff ensured everything ran like clockwork!

To top it all Professor Muthanna G. Abdul Razzaq the president of AUE announced a full scholarship for anyone applying from within the Drupal community… we shall get the details for application, prerequisites etc and post them on our Facebook page.

A super supportive and involved institution, local rockstars in attendance, informed and engaging speakers, an awesome regional community to network with and a tasty lunch… made it epic.

From Ahmed Koshok, Massoud Al-Shareef and me a huge thank you shoutout to:

And I would not have been able to co-organise Dubai Camp had it not been for Ahmed Koshok, Massoud Al-Shareef, Jihan Al-Shareef, Hani Hijazi  and Marwa Ezzat – we made an awesome team folks! thank you and lets get going for the next one!

For session slides please follow the DrupalCamp Dubai twitter account and we shall be releasing the slides as and when we receive them from the speakers, a few are already up on Twitter.

Looking forward to hearing about meet-ups in KSA, UAE, Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan and beyond!

Oct 27 2013
Oct 27



There were four drupal camps  for 2013 on my radar… three firsts in Lahore, Karachi, Dubai and Islamabad’s second camp, and as with most plans.. things got skewed after Lahore!

Back in March at Drupal Camp Lahore we had the unpleasant experience of an individual announce himself as a contender for  ‘douche of the community’ award!  spewing out bigoted, racist opinions about fellow community members  from Bangalore whilst we had the Bangalore community with us over Skype…  you can read the details here. Unfortunately that was not the last we heard from the ‘Douche’, instead of apologising and seeing the errors of his ways the ‘Douche’ having been taken to task by several members of the local community announced his own camps in Karachi and Dubai soon after, with dates to coincide to those organised by ourselves. So we called it a day in the summer and postponed Drupal Camp Karachi to November and Dubai thereafter. Yes… I am venting, am a little annoyed for there has been malice at work from the very start to sabotage the efforts to nurture a single cohesive community in Middle Earth.

Being the first in Karachi or Dubai was not the objective, doing it right was and remains! now on to the upside! Having my summer schedule blown wide open was great! I spent August in the high Atlas in Maroc, summited Tizi Agouri and M’Goun and came back rested and with fire in’me belly for the fall camps! 



September was Drupal Camp Belgium in Leuven and then of course the highlight of all things OS for the year DrupalCon Prague and catching up with friends from all over the rock and making some awesome new ones!

October has been a month of careful planning and absolute frenzy! all good though.



For Drupal Camp Karachi  the local organising committee and I roped in [email protected] and together they have worked tirelessly to ensure Karachi camp would be worthy of  Karachi’s Drupal Community and the awesome city Karachi is (the economic hub of Pakistan and the third most populated city proper on the rock). The venue is the Institute of Business Administration (IBA), folks at IBA jumped on board with epic enthusiasm from the get go! Karachi camp has a little under 400 delegates registered, 13 speakers from 11 different countries! Karachiites have been awesome! and the credit goes to [email protected] and the local organising committee. I have no doubt Karachi Camp will be epic in proper Karachi style.. on the 2nd of November 2013.

With Karachi sorted, well almost sorted it was time to turn my attention to Dubai, and little surprise the Douche was all over D.O with a Drupal camp in Dubai and had it been properly executed I would have conceded that my job has been done and any further efforts to that end redundant, but that was hardly the case. So Ahmed from Acquia and I ignored the meetup dressed up as a camp and ploughed ahead with Drupal Camp Dubai.



Once again the credit goes to local community members Massoud Al-Shareef, Hani Hejazi, Marwa Ezzat from KnowledgeWARE Technologies who have been epic! with neither Ahmed or me on the ground in Dubai the team from  KnowledgeWARE came to our aid and stepped in where we physically could not! thank you for making it happen! Drupal Camp Dubai is scheduled for the 9th of November at the American University in the Emirates with a strong contingent of local Drupal rockstars and international speakers!

Stay tuned…

Mar 31 2013
Mar 31

Am back in Islamabad after two very long and tiring days to Lahore and a full on Camp!  details to follow, this is abridged version for the experience!

Drupal Cam Pakistan in Lahore was a strange affair, all in all a great experience, met all my objectives of promoting Drupal and the power of OS in creating jobs, opportunities and prosperity… introduced Drupal to a small army of students,  but could not quite understand the industry representatives in Lahore! of the 60 odd registered from Industry only 20 odd showed up… total count on the day was about 70+ of which the majority were students – which was great but would have been better for the industry to turn up to network and guide the local student population!

Stranger still was discovering that a perfectly normal Drupaler I know in the community in Pakistan turned out to be a bigoted, racist ignoramus! not so nice known ya fella’

We linked up with the Drupal Community in Bangalore and this guy went off on a nationalistic ignorant rant with them on Skype! of course I used my 6’3 110kg mass to push him aside and apologised for giving the podium to a bigot!

Any hoo… the Camp was great, we trained 41 newbies in Hello Drupal and expect the vast majority to keep at it… we linked up with the Faculty lead on relations with industry and convinced Bilal Arshad from UCP to introduce Drupal in their end of year projects for students.

The next camping trip for Drupal Camp Pakistan is in August to Karachi and then I am off Camping in Dubai to build links with the community in the GCC region…

As for right now… am off to host the inaugural 9others meal in Islamabad… more on that later.

Mar 31 2013
Mar 31

Drupal CampKick off for Drupal Camp Pakistan in Lahore was a strange affair! unfamiliarity with the local culture of the metropolis meant we went through a steep learning curve in the morning!

Registration opened at 0900 and by 1000 only half a dozen people had turned up! We were told by the University reps none of the students would be turning up till 1130 – there were classes going on but did not expect industry to be sleeping in!

The few locals who did turn up on time, near on time were quite relaxed… ‘this is a Saturday in Lahore’ we were told, relax.. ‘you said 0930 reg closes right, so they’ll be running an hour late for sure’. All but one took kindly to the norm of his city folk, we ended up getting blame for not organising things properly! I guess the expectation was that we ought to either kick off on time with 8 people in a room that accommodates 100 or to go around waking people up, dressing them, feeding them and bringing them to the camp! WTF!

UNhappy DrupalerOur sincere apologies to Ali Ahmed for deciding to wait for the masses before we kicked the camp off. As forecasted by the locals the Lahoris started trickling in past 1000 and we kicked off at 1015 with a call to Jacob Singh across the border in Bangalore. Jacob had arranged for us to connect with a Bangalore Drupal meetup over Skype (Thank you) and that got me super excited… the prospect of connecting the two neighbouring communities is on every doves mind! this was going to be awesome… well it was until we introduced a local Trainer to the group in Bangalore! and in the interest of politeness I will not name this individual but he really f**ked it up!  This bafoon went off on an idiotic nationalistic rant as far removed from the spirit of community as pluto is from the third rock! it took him 15 seconds to sabotage what was going to be a historic moment for the two communities! It took me a moment to step in and push the fool aside and try and recover from it, 40 local Drupalers and me were in a total state of shock! The look on everyones faces called for a public lynching! I and the 40 odd Pakistani Drupalers in the room have to hand it to the guys in Bangalore for their maturity for brushing aside the idiots comments, thank you Anil and the Bangalore meet up group! I guess every community has an idiot amongst them.

Having been taken off guard, felt like I’d been thrown out of a plane without a parachute, I cut the call with the Bangalore Drupalers short and it was time to set some freaking ground rules!
I took the fool to task as did all the locals. I did not travel 6000+ KM from London to Lahore via Dubai and Islamabad, running on less the 8 hours of sleep over the last 72 hours…. for this! What was heartening was the audience in mass was was calling for blood! LOL letting him know publicly that he is a racist, the fool tried to recover with stupid logic that only a fool can conjure up! The positive from the drama was a racist fool was unveiled and now the local community knows who to avoid like the plague.

Enough of the fool,  rest of the session was spent on a very constructive discussion on borderless communities, OS playing its part to transcend differences of all sorts… and why complete strangers were taking time off from London, Gent, Brighton, Bangalore to Helsinki on a Saturday to share their experiences, and how grateful the locals were for it. It was time to move on…. it was pleasant to hear in a room of 50 odd people by now no one else shared the bigot’s views.

If you are reading this post you know who you are, climb out of your cave of ignorance fella’

Drupal Camp

Fouad Bajwa – innovation is driven from within

Our next speaker was a local open source advocate, Fouad Bajwa who adapted his discussion well to pick up where I left off.. on individual mind-set and culture being the biggest barriers to innovation and growth.

I would have gone into a live commentary of every session as I did from the Islamabad camp but we were not provided wifi access,  bandwidth had been dedicated for the Skype calls… the submarine cable issue under the Suez Canal had not been sorted out, connectivity though fair still wasn’t it’s awesome self and it was more important for our speakers to have all the bandwidth dedicated to the calls…  reporting back to the community could wait till I was back in Islamabad!

Jennifer Tehan's session on backend usability was the most popular session amongst the advanced track

Jennifer Tehan’s session on backend usability was the most popular session amongst the advanced track

Given a late start we had to shuffle things around, by lunch time we had 70 folks in attendance as opposed to the 118 registered for it! and in majority it was the industry that failed to show up! as classes finished more and more students came around to the camp, few already dabbling with Drupal, most plain curious.

Drupal Camp Kubair Shirazee

Me being my Evangelical self

Post lunch we broke off to separate tracks, I went on evangelising and fielding some tough questions on why Drupal from a very informed bunch of CS students near graduation, the advanced tracks did not see the numbers for the industry failed to turn up! the training sessions were well attended and about 40 odd students went through the Hello Drupal sessions.

Amar Mahboob from Kubaku Tech - Flown in from Karachi to attend

Amar Mahboob from Kubaku Tech – Flown in from Karachi to attend and speak at the Camp

All in all Drupal Camp Pakistan in Lahore was a mixed bag… as far as our objectives went, we ticked the introduce Drupal to students box, we ticked the train upwards of 30 students box (we trained 41 to be precise), we ticked the get academia involved box but failed to get the industry to turn up in mass and network with potential future Drupalers!

The most interesting conversations I had was with a number of Professors and associate professors who turned up to feed their own

Deen of IT dpeaking to the mostly student audience - make the most of what the industry shares with you

Deen of IT (Dr Abdul Aziz) speaking to the mostly student audience – make the most of what the industry shares with you

curiosity, of them one needs a special mention Bilal Arshad, who is spearheading the university’s links with industry and has invited us back to the university to evangelise about Drupal and other emerging technologies on a regular basis. This part of the rock certainly needs more folks like Bilal to align the academic curriculum to the practical needs of the industry as well as global demand for talent and skills.

Our closing was spectacular, the Deen for IT from the university turned up impromptu to talk to what was in majority his students and big up our efforts for bringing the camp to his school and insisted that students drink deep from the Drupal spring and maintain contact with those they met from Industry on the day.

Lastly acknowledgements!

Thank you Fida, Atiq, Khurram, Umair and Ahmed from team ikonami for their hard work in organising the camp, its site and everything else before, on the day and after! excellent show cranes – mighty proud of the team. Thank you to our project managers for allowing the team to take time off to organise  the Camp.

Thank you Jennifer, Stefan, Aaron, Dominique, Jacob, Ronald, Fouad, Amar, Anil Sagar (and the Drupalers in Bangalore), Shakeel and Atta for taking time out on a Saturday to share your knowledge and experiences with the community in Lahore! we all appreciate it immensely! it was a shame Mr Purkiss had to cancel bu Steve had a good reason for it.

Thank you Acquia, AberdeenCloud, Kubaku and ikonami for supporting the Camp with their sponsorships.

And lastly, thank you Dr. Muhammad Iqbal, Bilal Arshad, Armaghan and the IT department at University of Central Punjab for hosting the camp and their assistance on the day!

Mar 29 2013
Mar 29

An evangelist’s log: Star date – 28th March

Drupal Camp

0730 –  landed in Islamabad, 30 minutes in the immigration queue, walked to the carousel and my luggage is right there! out by 0815 – has to be a new record flying coach! Straight to the Crane’s nest, up since 0700 the day before, Bialetti on the stove, quadruple espresso and the world starts making sense again!

0930 am informed by one of our crane also a trainer for DrupalCamp that there has been a slight oversight on his part for the 30th March camp… it also happens to be the day his sister-in-law is getting married! in all the excitement of the Camp it slipped his mind that his attendance at the wedding is not optional! a key crane has to be excused, but an ex-crane steps in to save the session!

0940ish Asif our network ninja informs me that the net speed in Pakistan is not running at its best because of a damaged submarine cable! but the powers that be are working around the clock (somewhere under the Suez canal) on fixing it asap! I get online, start streaming off Vimeo and yes the speed sucks!

1000ish Fida our organiser supremo informs me that Campus at University of Central Punjab has a fantastic mega fat pipe line… the submarine cable damages comes to mind!

1200ish Atta sends me an article from the Guardian – Cyberbunker is kicking Spamhaus’s behind and the end users are paying for it with reduced speed! the Rock’s largest DNS attack is in play! and the net speed in Blighty is suffering! a three word expression come to mind!

But it would be no other way, the camp is going to Lahore home to the not so famous Lollywood, where the action movies would send Action Jackson cowering; featuring horses and Drupal Campriders who can cover great distances in a flash… from Times Square NYC to Lahore Central in less time than it takes for a villain to pull off the distressed damsels veil, XXXL heroines doing Shakira numbers and heroes who would scare the pants of Jet Lee, guns that never need reloading, heroes who can spill more Red than the Red sea and still manage dialogues and live to fight another few dozen baddies in the next 30 seconds, actors with phenomenal stamina to shout out dialogues over 2+ hours!… and directors who evidently compete on how absurd a movie they can make!

There has to be drama involved! this is LAHORE not Sparta!

#Drupal #DrupalCamp #EmergingTechnologies

Dec 11 2012
Dec 11

Drupal 8, originally scheduled for an August 2013 release, will from all appearances not just be another version upgrade. There will be extensive improvements on issues that matter to all types of Drupal users. That last sentence doesn't do it justice. Really Drupal 8 will be a quantum leap among Content Management Systems and Web-Application Frameworks.

Who will Drupal 8 benefit the most, users or developers? This is hard to quantify, but so far it seems that the end user will feel the biggest shift. The most dramatic changes for end users will be a simplified interface for content modification, and improved mobile compatibility. But these are not the only enhancements that are underway for what is undoubtedly the most ambitious Drupal version to date.

If you can post to Facebook, You can post to Drupal 8

Posting content will be as easy as it is on popular social networking sites. If you can post to Facebook, you will be able to post to Drupal without any additional training. The usability for site managers is also markedly improved. This is all due mainly to the Spark distribution work which allows in-place editing, see http://drupal.org/project/spark. The goal is that content creators, site managers and end users will have the option to just click what they want to edit on a page, like the title, text, or images and change them directly without having to switch to an administrative editing interface. I know that end users have instinctively tried to edit content just by clicking on blocks of text when given Drupal without any training. This update will make the process of seeing what your changes look like as you compose feel entirely natural.


Drupal 8 is setup for mobile in multiple ways. The new Drupal is being built so that from the moment of first use, you will be able to interact with your site on both traditional and mobile displays. Additionally, work is underway towards “responsive layouts” which allow site creators to place regions of text, graphics and other elements so that everything appears readable on mobile devices and your laptop, auto adjusting size and orientation to whatever you are using at the time. Mobile apps will also be able to tie into Drupal 8.

Say you feel like logging into your Drupal site and checking on new comment activity, but you only have your mobile phone. With Drupal 8 you'll be able to do that with an interface that works well with your mobile device; no scrolling around and trying to enlarge text. While much of this is possible with Drupal 7 with extra setup beforehand, we're going to see this become the standard on Drupal 8.

HTML5 and High-Performance

Drupal 8 does HTML5, the shiny new version of Hyper Text Markup Language that supports video, audio, better forms, 2D/3D graphics and animation. That's just the start of the great things HTML5 offers and it's with Drupal 8 it's already built in, link: http://www.switched.com/2010/05/11/what-is-html5-and-why-should-you-care.

Major work is going towards performance improvements in Drupal 8, we'll be blogging later to explain how. To generate pages suitable for a variety of devices it is important for Drupal 8 to be quick, and major progress is already underway to enhance speed, mainly on the “front-end,” and that means on your end-user device.

Lastly, efforts are being made to include back-end wizardry which allows custom apps to connect to the Drupal database in standardized ways using new and improved Web-Services. Web Services are how different computer devices communicate with each other over the Internet. When you visit somewhere else in the world it is good to speak the language, in this case the computer's language. Improved Web Services allow your Drupal 8 site to communicate better with the world, that is other applications, be they mobile or most anything else which speaks these standardized data languages.

Other Initiatives

The other main initiatives, overlooking all the many tweaks and interface improvements are: multilingual, design, and configuration management (and the Views module group is in core).

If you have a multilingual site, or more to the point, want a multilingual site, Drupal 8 now includes the language systems in core. So adding languages and translations is more like installing or updating modules.

Designers will also see big changes with the way themes are made using Drupal 8, and given the mobile initiatives this is imperative. The goal here is to make design (theming) work better. The end result is cleaner and more elegant web design.

There will also be improvements in configuration management. When creating sites, most developers have multiple installations of the site, development, staging and production, or minimally development and production. In Drupal 8 configuration management makes it easier and methodical to maintain these separate installations while simplifying deployment of new code, updates and alterations. Besides the time saved for developers, these procedural improvements will benefit site owners because their site can be better maintained, more stable, and more secure.

Recently the Views module has been added to core. If you don't know what Views is in Drupal, suffice it to say that now, with a default Drupal 8 installation, site-builders will be able to make complex web applications, similar to many of the popular ones we know and love, like Twitter for instance, without adding additional external modules (of course you may end up adding just a few of the thousands of available modules to add some cool functionality). Yep, it's excellent.

That's a long list so far and that's just the beginning. Drupal 8 has even more in store for all of us due the large and growing community of ambitious and hard working contributors.

This blog entry is based on an informal presentation and post-discussions about Drupal 8 given by Darrell Ulm at Drupal Camp Ohio 2012.

Nov 29 2012
Nov 29

I recently attended BADCamp 2012 in Berkeley, California. This was my first Drupal camp experience and I’ve had some time to put together my thoughts from the experience:

This was my first time being a proctor for a training event. There were 28 or so attendees, 5 of which were walk-ups. We were scheduled to have 45 and I’m happy the class size didn’t reach that number. Diana, David, and Ian did a rockstar job teaching the course material — as most of the attendees I assisted were able to grasp the programming concepts discussed. The majority of the problems attendees had were related to PHP syntax errors, attempting to execute PHP code without using their assigned development environment, and/or various file transferring issues. That aside, it was a lot of fun seeing the reaction from the attendees as they experimented with the coding exercises. I would definitely like to volunteer with training again — perhaps with a more advanced class next time.

I decided to attend the Product Summit purely out of curiosity. It was lead by Matt Cheney and ended up mostly being an open discussion among various Drupal leaders in the community — Jay Batson, Jeff Walpole, Ezra Gildesgame, Drew Gorton, Ben Finklea, and many others. Karen Borchert gave her presentation (massive flowchart) on Drupal distribution decision making and Drew Gorton showcased their latest backup management SaaS side-project called Node Squirrel. Jay Batson was called on regularly to speak his mind (he’s a popular guy). He did stress that the cost of having a robust devops team/infrastructure for SaaS products is quite high in an organization such as Acquia. Throughout the conversation, I came to the realization that there are many markets that have yet to be tapped into that Drupal-centered SaaS and distributions could be used for.

Drupal 8 sessions

I went to several sessions centered around Drupal 8 (Twig, configuration, feature roadmap details). It sounds very promising. Of the sessions, the most interesting one was about the configuration system in Drupal 8. When you make configuration changes in Drupal 8, they go directly to file (as well as the DB)! This will make version control and site portability so much easier. Speaking of making things easier, the new theme layer/engine Twig is going to greatly simplify the templating process. I saw some side-by-side template code comparisons between Drupal 7 and 8 — Twig is a lot more intuitive.

Angie Byron’s talk about the Drupal 8 feature roadmap was interesting. Drupal 8 is slated to be released about a year from now. Feature freeze was expected to be at the end of this year (as of this writing, now February 18, 2013). She talked about the milestone of getting Views rolled into core. The major benefit is that developers will adopt Drupal 8 sooner since the vital module will be ready (in theory) upon release.

Niche sessions

A couple of ‘niche’ sessions I attended were really enjoyable. One of which was a session about various mapping modules available for Drupal 7. Brandon Morrison from Phase II demonstrated the capabilities of Geofield, Geocoder, and Views GeoJSON. These are definitely something we should keep in mind if we ever need to do any maps related work for our clients. Another interesting session I attended was Jay Batson’s talk about using or creating incubators (i.e. Tech Stars, his latest venture) to accelerate business ideas centered around using Drupal. Jay also talked a little bit about professional services vs. product development companies. One big take-away from his discussion was his observation (of various startups) that the majority of professional services companies that attempt to make products without a completely dedicated team will almost always fail.

I’d really like to participate in more business-oriented sessions at future Drupal Camps/Cons.

Drupal community

Throughout the Camp I recognized several faces from DrupalCon Denver. I got to finally put a face to several of the prominent Drupal usernames that we frequently discuss around the office. It was also fun meeting a lot of fun new folks over drinks/dinner and at the official party. Casey Cobb invited us out to his place in Concord to hangout by the fire and meet more folks on the Ricochet team. They are a fun bunch.

My big takeaways

  • Within the Drupal community, we’ve barely scratched the surface with various types of products and distributions for a variety of markets
  • Drupal 8 is going to scare a lot of people away, but, attract a lot of new folks with the switch to OOP (with a positive net result)
  • Drupal 8 will be a lot more developer friendly with the new configuration system, Twig, and OOP
  • More niche topic sessions are a good thing (i.e. session exclusively about mapping modules for Drupal)
  • More business-focused sessions are also welcome. One of the best sessions I went to was Jay Batson’s talk about startups, incubators, product development vs. professional services, etc.

I hope you found my thoughts on BADCamp 2012 useful. What are your big takeaways from the camp?

Oct 31 2012
Oct 31

Drupal Camp Seoul 2012 was held on October 6th Saturday 2PM for the first time in Korea.

Drupal Camps in North American or European countries tend to hold sessions, talks by inviting industry and community leaders and for networking opportunities for existing drupallers but we focused on introducing Drupal to people new to drupal or never heard of it.

The event attracted 80 people at a meeting room of National Information Society Agency.
Thanks to Drupal Association's Community Grant program, we were lucky to have video shooting of the event to share on youtube with others who didn't come and also who will get to know about Drupal more in the future.
You can watch videos here.

Noah(nickname) offered to shoot and edit the event with great price and spent so many nights and days for better formatting for video sharing and editing etc. Thanks to him as well!

Drupal Camp Seoul presentation pdf, ppt files can be viewed and downloaded here http://drupal.or.kr/camp-seoul

Seokwon Yang(nick name ejang-means chief of village) took the initiatives on organizing and seeking place to hold and even getting sponsorship from hosting company.
He presented first session on "Drupal?"
General drupal intro but it was very informative and fun presentation as he had a great sense of humor with knowledge. :)

Second session was "Drupal 101" presented by Gyuhyon Kim(gyuhyon), CEO of NextAeon which is web and mobile agency developing many sites with Drupal for long time in Korea.

He introduced more details on Drupal along with interesting fact on Drupal meaning and origin etc.

Third session was "Drupal installation"
Jongcheol Jang(cooljc) showed how to install Drupal 7 on local evnvironment with LAMP + Drupal 7+ basic setting for site.

Also he introduced some of people in older age starting something new in their lives and hoped and encouraged Drupal camp Seoul attendees to be open-minded and try something new in life and explore drupal as well.

Fourth session was "Using Drupal" by Youngcheol Hong(mozodev) who developed www.drupal.or.kr and has been on Drupal community for more than 4 years. He introduced popular, essential, recommended modules and explained in depth on terms in Drupal.

Fifth session was by Gyuhyon Kim(gyuhyon) again and he shared his drupal developing and projects experience and challenges with real live sites and backend admin as well. It was very practical and interesting to learn all the possibilities without knowing the code well like programmers.

Sixth session was by me Jiyoung Yun(HappyJiyoung) about my experience at DrupalCon Munich in August. I presented session with lots of photos I took there and what I learned and experienced and also what's on in drupal community.

For English speakers
This is my recent DrupalCon Munich experience sharing presentation in Beijing meetup in English
DrupalCon Munich presentation slideshare: http://www.slideshare.net/HappyJiyoung/happy-jiyoung-goestodrupalconmuni...

Last session was open talk with major CMS in Korea
"Drupal vs WordPress vs XE vs Joomla"
We invited community member from WordPress and Xpress Engine(the most popular Korean CMS) and Gyuhyon for Drupal, me for Joomla.
We talked about some differences and strength and pros and cons on each CMS and what we think personally.

After the event was over after 4 hours, some of us went for beer and more talk.

Soon after Drupal Camp Seoul, there was developer's conference scheduled on Oct 12th and we got the opportunbity to share and introduce Drupal as an open source project to Korea's biggest web/dev conference organized by Daum Communications(Korea's one of the biggest search engine and community supporting company).
Daum offered us free booth and gift items to give to conference participants.
And we(Drupal community) were selected for representing at the conference as open source project communities in Korea.

It was very nice timing to spread Drupal to Korea soon after Drupal Camp Seoul 2012. Also I learned a lot from this event how we could orgnize and prepare better next time.

Introducing Drupal to Korean developers/web enthusiasts on DevOn

Many people came to our booth and showed interest and asked questions and Youngtaek Hong(mozodev) and Jongcheol(cooljc) were sharing their knowledge and passion with attendees. Also Gyuhyon was there and I think ejang did great job getting us to be presented at the Daum devon conference. Thanks to everyone! :)
It was from morning to early evening whole day conference. We talked a lot and was little tired at the end but had lots of fun sharing Drupal love with many people. :)

Also Youngtaek(mozodev) had opportunity to give community lightning talk. His talk in in 25 min timeline in Korean.

Gyuhyon took photos at the conference here.

Thanks to Daum communication giving us free booth and even gifts to visitors to our Drupal booth.

Community lightning talk of mozodev

Three of us cooljc, mozodev, HappyJiyoung stayed till the end took photo for the memory :)

And after our active Drupal events and introducing to Korea, we are going to have first official(laptop/training/sharing tips) meetup on Nov 11th at the meeting room of Next Aeon in Yeonsei University.
WE named it "Drupal Playground" for the meetup. :)

First meetup, we decided to have with 10 people due to space capacity and as it's first meetup...we wanted to have more personal, closer interaction.
Sign up page in Korean

We love drupal and hope many people in Korea will know about Drupal and use it. As Drupal is great and great things to be shared with others. :)

I thank to ejang who lead the Drupal Seoul Camp and got us spot on DevOn and gyuhyon, mozodev and cooljc for participating/sharing/getting active and involved. So much fun to get involved with these nice people about Drupal! :)

Also sincere thank to Miz host for sponsoring at Drupal Camp Seoul 2012 by giving us free hosting space for 6 months.
National Information Society Agency for letting us use their space for free.
Thanks to Noah who did great video shooting and editing with great price!
Thanks to Drupal Association for granting for video shooting and all the support and kind communication.
And so much thanks goes to many many Drupal community members who shared sites, resources, their event organization experience.
Also I thank so much to Ben Wilding from London whom I met at DrupalCon Munich. Sharing his event tips and letting me know about recourses and giving me advice to organize events, especially Drupal Camp in Korea and the pure attitude etc. :)

Drupal Seoul website(Drupal Korea name was taken long time ago and has community site but not so active so to avoid name conflict we call Drupal Seoul even though it is more like Drupal Korea):
Drupal Korean Users Facebook Group: http://www.facebook.com/groups/kdrupal/

Thank you for all your kind support! :)

Oct 25 2012
Oct 25

Drupal Camp Ohio 2012 is back this year for a two-day event from Friday, November 30th to Saturday, December 1st hosted by the Ohio State University at the 4-H Center. If you haven't already heard, registration is open and we're still accepting session submissions and sponsorships.

Joining us as key note speakers are Jeff Robbins from Lullabot and George Demet from Palantir. We've got a Lunch & Learn to share your case studies hosted by Crown Partners, extended training-focused sessions Friday morning, and an all-day "Site Building with Drupal 7" training hosted by Doug Vann. Oh, and of course the most important announcement: there WILL be coffee & tea all day (or head's will roll).

We've got an awesome camp lined up and you can make it even better by joining us on the eve of the Drupal 8 feature freeze.

Oct 02 2012
Oct 02

The Web Chefs are going to BADCamp. In addition to being a Contributing Sponsor (we’re doing fun things with our booth. Stay tuned!) and providing some awesome training sessions on PHP and Node.js, we have also submitted a few talks.

Our two training sessions are full, but you can take a look at our proposed sessions below. If you feel like taking a look and voting for your favorite ones, we’d love your support. Also, feel free to leave feedback on our proposed sessions in the comments. We do love hearing feedback on session submissions.

Illustration by David Needham (BADCamp 2011)

Jul 28 2012
Jul 28
Home 2011 Campus Technology Innovator Award Winner 2010 Campus Technology Innovator Award Winner User Feed author image I'll be speaking about the State of Drupal in Education and how the two sectors intersection can benefit from one another through deeper collaboration. I'll be doing this through the lessons learned with the Drupal journey our unit and university have undergone the last few years. There will also be some action items as to places people can jump in and help build out the Drupal in education community. A demo of ELMS and ELMS Media will be shown during a presentation later in the day.
Learn more about ELMS Jul 28th Jun 28th Feb 09th
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All rights reserved. Penn State is an Equal Opportunity Employer.
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Jul 06 2012
Jul 06

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dec 19 2011
Dec 19

Views provides a really great interface for displaying data on your website. However, developing with Views can be confusing at first. I’m going to explain the basics of developing with Views, and how to tell Views about your own custom tables.

I’ve also found delving into the Views source code has been really helpful to me in figuring out how Views things work, so we’re going to take a look at the guts of Views. It turns out they’re not so scary, after all!

Any examples here are for Views 3 and Drupal 7.

How does Views work?

The first important thing to understand is that for every view, Views executes a (possibly gigantic) SQL query. If you go to /admin/structure/views and click on ‘Settings’, you can turn on a setting called “Show the SQL query”. This will allow you to view the SQL query that Views has constructed for any previewed view.

Here’s an example from a simple view:

.title AS node_title
node.nid AS nid
node.created AS node_created
(( (node.status '1') AND (node.type IN  ('article')) ))
    node_created DESC

This corresponds to the configuration:

In this example, what Views has done is:

  1. Start with a base table (node)
  2. JOIN some tables to it (node_content_revision)
  3. Add WHERE and ORDER BY clauses
  4. Display everything!

When extending Views, you can customize almost anything. In particular, you
can tell Views about a new base table (via hook_views_data(_alter)) add more
WHERE and ORDER BY clauses (filter and sort handlers) render the displayed
fields differently (field handlers)

For now, we’ll just discuss the first one -- we’ll discuss the other two in
later blog posts.

Telling Views about your database: hook_views_data

Views stores all of the information about how the Drupal database is set up (columns, relationships between tables, etc.) in a giant array called $data. You can add things to this array using hook_views_data[_alter]. This is where you tell Views about any new tables you need to display data from, and how these tables relate to each other through joins and relationships.

Views in general knows how to deal with data in tables: all the basic SQL-generating code is already there. If you just want to display or filter by your data, all you need to do is set up Views in the right way.

Let’s dive into the Views source code for an example. This is going to be a huge block of code, but it turns out to be quite approachable. If we look at node.views.inc, we see:

Diving into the Views source code

We're going to go through this step by step.

<?php /**
 * Implements hook_views_data()
function node_views_data() {
// ----------------------------------------------------------------
  // node table -- basic table information.

  // Define the base group of this table. Fields that don't
  // have a group defined will go into this field by default.

$data['node']['table']['group']  = t('Content'); // Advertise this table as a possible base table
$data['node']['table']['base'] = array(
'field' => 'nid',
'title' => t('Content'),
'weight' => -10,
'access query tag' => 'node_access',
'defaults' => array(
'field' => 'title',
// For other base tables, explain how we join
$data['node']['table']['join'] = array(
// this explains how the 'node' table (named in the line above)
    // links toward the node_revision table.
'node_revision' => array(
'handler' => 'views_join'// this is actually optional
'left_table' => 'node_revision'// Because this is a direct link it could be left out.
'left_field' => 'nid',
'field' => 'nid',
// also supported:
      // 'type' => 'INNER',
      // 'extra' => array(array('field' => 'fieldname', 'value' => 'value', 'operator' => '='))
      //   Unfortunately, you can't specify other tables here, but you can construct
      //   alternative joins in the handlers that can do that.
      // 'table' => 'the actual name of this table in the database',
// ----------------------------------------------------------------
  // node table -- fields
  // title
  // This definition has more items in it than it needs to as an example.
$data['node']['title'] = array(
'title' => t('Title'), // The item it appears as on the UI,
'help' => t('The content title.'), // The help that appears on the UI,
     // Information for displaying a title as a field
'field' => array(
'field' => 'title'// the real field. This could be left out since it is the same.
'group' => t('Content'), // The group it appears in on the UI. Could be left out.
'handler' => 'views_handler_field_node',
'click sortable' => TRUE,
'link_to_node default' => TRUE,
'sort' => array(
'handler' => 'views_handler_sort',
// Information for accepting a title as a filter
'filter' => array(
'handler' => 'views_handler_filter_string',
'argument' => array(
'handler' => 'views_handler_argument_string',

Even without any explanation, this is fairly helpful and well-documented. If we wanted to make a new base table, we could just copy this and change a few things. See Describing Tables to Views in the Views help for an in-depth description of how all of this works.

Let’s go through this code excerpt.

All of this is defined in hook_views_data().

['node']['table']['group']  = t('Content');

This is the name of the group node data belongs to: every field, sort, or handler defined by node is prefixed by ‘Content: ‘.

['node']['table']['base'] = array(...)

This defines node as a base table. The first step when creating a View is to choose a base table: the default is ‘Content’, which corresponds to the node table. The base table is the table which every other table is joined to when creating a view (node LEFT JOIN node_content_revision LEFT JOIN user …).

['node']['table']['join'] = array(...)

Here the way node joins to other base tables is defined: it explains how to join the node table to the node_revision table when node_revision is the base table. Describing Tables to Views explains how to set up this array, and even has a diagram!

['node']['title'] = array(...)

There are lots of entries like this. Each one looks like

[$tablename][$columnname] = array(...)

This tells Views about a new column, which can have an associated field, sort, contextual filter (argument), filter, and relationship. $columnname can either be the name of a column in $tablename, or anything you choose. If it is not the name of a column, you’ll need to specify an actual column name with ‘real field’. For example, if we wanted to add a random sort on the ‘title’ column, we could write

['node']['randomtitlesort'] = array(
'real field' => 'title',
'title' => "Random title sort",
'sort' => array(
'handler' => 'views_handler_sort_random',

The entry

'field' => array(
'field' => 'title'// the real field. This could be left out since it is the same.
'group' => t('Content'), // The group it appears in on the UI. Could be left out.
'handler' => 'views_handler_field_node',
'click sortable' => TRUE,
'link_to_node default' => TRUE,

adds a field to the ‘Fields’ section in Views. This one is called ‘Content: Title’. There is also a sort, a filter, and an argument (contextual filter). As you can see, at minimum each needs a handler which tells Views what to do. This entire array is available to the ‘views_handler_field_node’ handler, and the ‘click sortable’ and ‘link_to_node default’ are options which configure this handler. Each handler’s options are documented at the top of the file defining the handler.

For example, http://views.doc.logrus.com/classviews__handler__field.html says that the base views_handler_field takes the options ‘click sortable’ and ‘additional fields’. It’s important to make sure you’re looking in the right version of Views: the ‘link_to_node default’ option doesn’t exist in Views 2, for example.


When I first went to the Views project page and saw the sentence “Views 3 documentation hasn't been written yet.”, I was pretty worried. How was I supposed to write code extending Views? There’s no need to despair, though. Much of the Views 2 doxygen documentation (http://views.doc.logrus.com) still applies to Views 3, and it’s a really great site to click around in.

In particular, I’ve found the following pages really helpful to keep around

I gave a presentation on this at DrupalCamp NYC: the slides. Here's some sample code that I wrote to make the slides.

There’s also the #drupal-views IRC channel on freenode.

That’s all for now! In Part II, I’ll explain how to write your own custom Views handlers, for example to do a custom sort on some data or display a complicated field.

Dec 13 2011
Dec 13

DrupalCamp NYC 10 was one of the best Drupal camps I've ever attended. With around 400 attendees, it was definitely the biggest. Somehow, it still had the intimate feel of a camp and there were lots of opportunities for conversations and networking, both during the day and at the after party.

By scheduling ten sessions during each time slot, the organizers allowed more people the opportunity to speak, ensured that there was always something for everyone, and gave sessions an intimate, bof-like feel. We really appreciated the many high-quality sessions in the dedicated track for sysadmin and performance topics, with Nathan Goulding's Chef session and Mark Sonnabaum's XHProf session stimulating a lively discussion during the long drive back to Montreal.

Julia and I had the opportunity to present sessions at the camp:

How to tell Views about your mongooses

Julia Evans presented a Views session about displaying custom data in Drupal using Views. She'll be doing a write-up soon to go along with the presentation.

Multilingual Site Building with Drupal 7

Drupal Camp NYC 10 The camp also featured one time slot for guided conversations (aka Birds of a Feather sessions) led by expert Drupalers who had presented throughout the day. These provided a place for Q&A amongst those with common interests. Setting aside a dedicated time slot ensured that there was a high level of participation.

A huge thanks to the organizers who put so much time and energy into planning the event. You guys made it look easy and fun! We're looking forward to heading back down to the tri-state area for Drupal Camp New Jersey in February.

Dec 01 2011
Dec 01


2012-01-19 09:00 - 2012-01-21 15:00 America/Mexico_City



Toda América Latina celebra el mayor encuentro Drupal del año 2012!

Por fin podemos anunciar oficialmente el lanzamiento del mayor evento Drupal del año 2012: "Drupal Summit Latino – Guadalajara 2012".

Guadalajara (Jalisco - México) será la sede del segundo evento a nivel latinoamericano dedicado a Drupal los días 19, 20 y 21 de Enero de 2012, en el CUECA de la Universidad de Guadalajara.

Tendremos un sin fin de conferencias dictadas por reconocidos y experimentados drupaleros provenientes de varios países de América Latina, Estados Unidos y Europa.

Se espera la presencia de más de 400 participantes lo que será sin duda alguna, a nivel continental, la mayor concentración jamás vista de experiencia y conocimiento sobre el software de publicación de sitios Web más exitoso del momento: Drupal por supuesto!

¡ Te invitamos a proponer una sesión para Drupal Summit Latino 2012 ! Por favor ten en cuenta que la fecha límite para las propuestas es el 14 de diciembre 2011.

¡ Te invitamos también a patrocinar el evento tenemos distintos planes. Convertirse en un patrocinador de Drupal Summit Latino - Guadalajara 2012 es una gran oportunidad para apoyar el proyecto Drupal y para promover tu organización dentro de la comunidad de Drupal. Es una oportunidad única para conectar con los clientes, socios y proveedores de servicios de México y Latinoamérica.

El evento está siendo co-organizado entre la comunidad de Drupal Latino y la Universidad de Guadalajara.


We've been preparing this for some time now, and are very excited to announce the second Drupal Summit Latino, to be held in Guadalajara, México. Mark your calendars for 19, 20 and 21 of January 2012.

Drupal Summit Latino, Guadalajara 2012 will take place on the "Universidad de Guadalajara". Drupal Summit Latino aims at being an event to unite and bring together all the Drupal communities, companies and people around the Latin American and Brazil.

Conferences, workshops and coding/documentation/translation sprint are being planned so it will be a great opportunity to learn and share with distinguished members from the Drupal community in the whole continent. Need help with a problem, looking for a Drupal related job, or looking to hire Drupal talent? Come to Drupal Summit Latino GDL 2012.

The event is being co-organized between the Drupal latino community and the University of Guadalajara.

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 03 2011
Nov 03

Last weekend, we headed down to Manchester for DrupalCamp New Hampshire. Building on last year's successful Drupal beginner training day, the local user group organized an awesome one-day camp with 30+ great sessions, training, and even a code sprint.

The camp had a great turnout, with over 140 hearty New Englanders (and two foolish Floridians!) braving an epic blizzard (dubbed "Snowtober") that knocked out power for much of the state.

I really enjoyed having a chance to present on Evolving Web's approach to Drupal testing and QA, which included Alex's impromptu demo of Evolving Web's custom Redmine plugins for Google Spreadsheet integration and simplified wiki editing.

Snowtober in New HampshireThe camp featured five session tracks, which meant there was always something for everyone. The after-party at a local microbrewery was a great way to reconnect with friends and catch up on Drupal gossip while drinking a locally brewed pumpkin ale and watching the snow fall. I'm very glad that the power didn't go out until midnight!

You can find photos and tweets from the camp via this Storify page.

Prep for DrupalCamp New Hampshire I'd like to thank Jake Strawn (@himerus) and Michelle Lauer (@bymiche), for organizing a great event, and for hosting me and other attendees at their place for two nights. They're simply an awesome Drupal couple.

Sep 07 2011
Sep 07

Drupal camps are different from DrupalCons in several very important ways. I helped organize DrupalCon San Francisco in 2010, and I have been an organizer for BADcamp since 2007. BADcamp has been growing in size each year, but I still wanted to voice what I think the key differences are between camps and cons.

What makes Drupal camps different from DrupalCons, and why are they a necessary part of the Drupal community?

Drupal camps are usually cheaper than DrupalCons. This means that camps will draw a slightly different audience. The cheaper events attract more non-profits, educational institutions, hobbyists, new-comers, and people who are curious about Drupal but may not be ready to invest in an expensive conference ticket. In the case of BADcamp, our event is completely free.

Drupal camps are usually smaller than DrupalCons. DrupalCon has grown to be a very large event with a very, very, large budget. Camps are usually much smaller, and can be executed on a tight budget. In addition to having a more reasonable budget (which is an advantage for organizers) a smaller event can also benefit attendees. Having fewer people present makes the event feel more personal, and allows for accidental meetings with the Drupal-famous. Realizing that your favorite core contributor is a also friendly person is truly priceless.

Drupal camps happen at lots of different times and at lots of different places. This means they are more easily accessible to almost anyone. DrupalCons happen only twice a year, can conflict with schedules, and can be very far away. Having a camp in your own back yard means that it's easy for you to get involved with the community, on your own terms. You don't need to fly half way around the globe to talk find out what's cool in Drupal, or to share your thoughts and opinions.

Last but not least, camps tend to be organic. Each camp is born from it's own local community, as an answer to the needs of that community. This allows each one to be a little different, and include the activities that are important to each community. There is no decree from the Drupal Association telling camps what needs to be included to make a camp successful, and this allows freedom, creativity, and innovation. These are qualities we see in the Drupal project itself, and I'm happy to see them reflected in how the community gathers also.

Jul 05 2011
Jul 05

The Drupal folks in Wisconsin have been hard at work for the last couple of weeks and are proud to announce this year's Drupal Camp Wisconsin on July 21st - 23rd in Madison.

Registration for this year's conference is free. Register now!

Sessions will cover topics from the basic (put my module where?), to the complex, with plenty in between. We are accepting session proposals until July 18th. Please sign up if you have a session you'd like to share.

This year's keynote speakers will include Lullabot's Jeff Eaton.

Free pre-conference trainings will be offered on Thursday, July 21st. Seats are limited so sign up today!

Following the trainings we will all meet for refreshments on University of Wisconsin's lovely Union Terrace.

Union Terrace

madison's union terrace. photo credit: windelbo.

Last year's Drupal Camp featured not only great sessions and great company but also a surprise batch of Drupal cupcakes. We can't tell you everything that is in store for this year's event so you might just have to come and check it out for yourself.

drupal cupcakes

amazing drupal cupcakes. photo credit bec.w.

Jun 29 2009
Jun 29
Penguins Crossing; LCA Wellington 2010 logoLinux Conference Australasia (aka LCA, linux.conf.au) will be in Wellington 18-23 January 2010 – 6 and a half months from now. This presents opportunities for the NZ Drupal community to;
  1. Promote Drupal in the wider FLOSS community (which is good for business)
  2. Run a DrupalCamp/Conference; which allows attendees to combine expenses if attending LCA, and organizers to share venue, admin, financial and other resources with LCA.
  3. Just hang out and drink & talk Drupal! Or perhaps (talk) and (drink drupal)!? :)
  1. Promote Drupal

    With the government moving away from Microsoft products and towards Open Source, and (hopefully) a FLOSS-friendly Patents Act in NZ, it is a very critical time to be making folk aware of Drupal and how it can empower them and their organisation/s.

    This is good for the Drupal marketplace, and good for anyone providing Drupal services in NZ – probably you!? (Conferences like this are also great places to grow your own business network directly!)

    Saturday 23 January is Open Day at LCA and is probably a good opportunity to set up a Drupal stand or similar. We would be able to use the Drupal banner from DrupalSouth for this.

  2. Run a DrupalCamp/Conference

    LCA is taking proposals for miniconfs during, before or after LCA. Given the prominence of Drupal in both the web and FLOSS communities it's likely a well–organised and well-written proposal would be accepted.

    Alternatively, we could organize our own DrupalCamp or mini-conference outside of LCA proper. Though LCA-miniconfs make admin easier and minimize the overhead of organizing a DrupalCamp or miniconf.

    Perhaps such an event could be DrupalSouth 2?

  3. Hang out and talk Drupal!

    With or without the above (or other Drupal events), it'd be great to meetup with other Drupalers and talk Drupal in the bars. Who else is planning on or thinking about attending?

I'm very keen to be involved in any/all of the above, but won't have enough bandwidth to be a driving force behind organizing anything big while living in Thailand (from September). I'm loosely planning on being back and living in NZ (maybe Wellington) in time for LCA. This is a cross-post from groups.drupal.org/new-zealand. Please discuss it there.
Sep 18 2008
Sep 18

Together with some friends and colleagues we have been working hard to organise, finalize and publish details of what will be the two most important days for Drupal in New Zealand:

DrupalSouth: The New Zealand Drupal Event for 2008

DrupalSouth logo: The DrupliKiwiFruit DrupalSouth is the New Zealand Drupal Event for 2008. DrupalSouth will bring NZ's Drupal community together for the first nation-wide Drupal event and the first ever Drupal camp in NZ.

DrupalSouth runs for two days in the first weekend of November, starting at 9:30 am on Saturday 1st November and concluding at 6 pm on Sunday 2nd November 2008. The morning of each day will be filled with presentations, while the afternoons will be open to less formal talks, discussions, demonstrations, tutorials and hacking.

I will be presenting on Google Maps in Drupal; The Hub Map, in which I will showcase the Hub Map, and talk about implementing Google maps mashups in Drupal.

Many of the speakers are well-established Drupal and Open-Source community contributers like Dan "dman", Brenda "Shiny" Wallace, Marek Kuziel (Open ID, Python, Postgres) and myself. Others have won NZOSS awards for their contributions to Open Source, like Joshua Campbell and Dave Lane.

The awesome line up of presenters will present on a variety of topics, such as How Drupal stacks up in enterprise, and OpenID and Drupal to name just a couple.

DrupalSouth presents a great opportunity for attendees to learn new and interesting Drupal skills, techniques and resources, network face to face with industry leaders and Drupal professionals, companies and users, engage new clients, employees and contractors, discover how others are using Drupal or promote their own company or services.

If you do anything with Drupal, you oughta be there!

DrupalSouth is great value at $50 NZD and includes catered lunch on both Sunday and Saturday and drinks on Saturday night. You can register for DrupalSouth at DrupalSouth.net.nz/conference.

DrupalSouth is sponsored by some great Drupal companies from New Zealand and abroad, including CivicActions whom I work for; Signify, Catalyst IT, Egressive, Encode and Evolved Development.

Find out more about DrupalSouth at DrupalSouth.net.nz.

May 06 2008
May 06

So Drupalcamp Vancouver is right around the corner and I'm sitting here preparing for 2 of my sessions: Designers Guide to jQuery and Drupal Theming. Both sessions are focused towards beginners as well as designers, but as always, all are welcome to attend and participate in discussion.

The jQuery session will be back-to-back with the Developers Guide to jQuery lead by a collegue of mine, Katherine Bailey. I will be covering the very basics of jQuery for web designers who are interested in utilizing the potential of jQuery but are over-come by the learning curve of having to learn a programming language. Believe me, it's easy! I'll also be doing a live tutorial as well as some simple implementations of jQuery animations within Drupal.

Our Drupal Theming session, lead by Mark Yuasa and myself (and maybe Hubert), will be an overview of taking a design to a functioning drupal theme. If you happened to miss our theming session in January and wanted to attend, this will be the one to be at.

Hope to see some new faces and meet new people! See you then.


Jun 06 2006
Jun 06

At the Yearly Kos convention on June 8th the CivicSpace community will be teaching a workshop on building netroots campaign websites. Experts will be avaliable all day to teach participants at every skill level. The day will culminate in a barn raising of a real world netroots campaign website thought up by the DailyKos community and built by workshop participants and facilitators.

This thread:


is being used used as a campaign idea incubator with the best concept being built three days from now at the YearlyKos convention. If any of you are DailyKos members we could use your help recommending the thread so that it gets exposure within the DailyKos community, also please submit your ideas if you have them. If any of you want to help out please send me an email and let me know:

  1. If you will be attending YearlyKos
  2. If you want to help facilitate the workshop
  3. What specifically (if anything) you would like to pitch in on.

Hope to I'll see some of you in Las Vegas shortly.

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