DrupalCon DC 2009

Drupalcon DC

Drupal rocks….

It was my first time attending DrupalCon, and what a difference from your typical corporate fare. The positive energy is quite palbable, I’m guessing since many are giving away their time and knowledge to advance this great platform, Drupal. Attendees were quite friendly, and I met several people, including some lunchmates through Twitter.

Here are my notes from the various presentations I attended:


The themer’s tookit – Emma Hodgbin

Though a little cranky without her morning coffee :-), Emma gave a good presentation about theming and the tools she uses. Her tools: Firebug, BrowserShots, Browsercam, Devel module, Design library (zotero), grids (blueprint, 960, yahoo), dvcs (git, mercurial, bazaar). She also encouraged everyone to blog our toolkit, so other’s can see the possibilities. I also look forward to taking a look at her book, “Front End Drupal“. At the end, during Q&A someone mentioned that Komodo is a fine editor for PHP and themeing.

Theme Layer Limitations – Young Hahn

My only takeaway from this presentation was the fQuery module, which is a jQuery-like module for help with using the Forms API.


Organic Groups: What It Can Do and Where It’s Headed – Moshe Weitzman

I was interested in this presentation because OG is what I’ll need to use when I set up areas on my business site for the various Android applications I plan on releasing this year. Moshe showed screenshots of Development Seeds gorgeous intranet called 8 Trees. They developed a module called Spaces which seems to help in configuring the look and feel of a group in a reusable form. More examples of OG included novell.com/communities and symantec.com/connect/groups. Some useful modules that tie into OG include og_vocab (taxonomy specific to a group), og_panels (helps config the look and feel of group), and og_facets (faceted search results).


Beyond the Web: Drupal Meets the Desktop – Justin

This presentation was about using external applications to add to and take out of a Drupal site. This will be useful for me because I’d like to gather some statistics in my Android applications about its use, and the post it up to the website for my own personal analysis. The BlogAPI is available for adding nodes, while the FileAPI for adding files. A more robust implementation of file uploading comes from the FileFramework module, which provides remote addition of files as nodes, and supports file conversion, metadata extraction, ahah preview and can store files on CDNs. The DAV and WebDAV modules implement the distributed authoring and versioning web api which is widely used.

For getting data out there are the feeds provided by the Views module, to which you can add the Tokenauth module to do token based authentication. There’s also the Atom module for providing Atom feeds. Email is another possibility with the built-in drupal_mail() method. The SMTP module provides a more robust and centralized method for sending email.

Finally, he talked about some more advanced interoperability methods. xmlrpc is provided via hook_xmlrpc() for exposing methods & params. The Services module looks like something I’ll be able to use, since it provide pluggable server backends (SOAP, REST, JSON), pluggable data libs and an introspection tool. Services allows you to get file info, menu trees, get/save/delete nodes, search nodes/users, send email, get taxonomy and login/logout users.

Slides and video will be made available on his website.


Business Analytics in Drupal with Views – Frank Febbraro and Irakli Nadareishvili

Irakli demonstrated his cool ViewsCharts module, which is a brand new charting module for charts in views. It uses use OpenFlashCharts, with AmCharts and Google Charts coming soon. I can definately make use of these when storing stats in Drupal.


Practical Semantic Web – Boris Mann

I haven’t followed up much on what use the semantic web has, so this was an eye opener for me. I’m glad that there’s an effort to get this implemented in drupal so we get most of the default capabilities for free. Useful modules include RDF, RDF CCK, RDF evoc, SPARQL, MOAT, exhibit, and views_exhibit.


Developing Facebook apps with Drupal – Dave Cohen

This gave me good insight into how Facebook apps are built, and how easy it can be do set up your site to work inside of facebook. This got me thinking about how I could possibly merge social aspects of an Android application into a website, then also pull it into facebook as well. Some really great possibilities here.

The Drupal for Facebook module provides all the capabilities needed to tie to Facebook – posting to news feeds, publishing profile boxes, FQL queries, canvas pages via FBML or IFRAME, and Facebook Connect authentication. For more information, go todrupalforfacebook.org and dave-cohen.com.


CCK Mashup — Oh The Things You Can Do! – Karen S.

One cool module I learned about is Demonstration which allows you to create a snapshot of your site before demo, and you can restore after. Too bad the presenter didn’t create her website on her local laptop, because connectivity issues kept her from properly doing the whole presentation.


Some notes:

computed field – can grab & store from a value related node

node reference – establish relationships between data


alex barth – Feed API

pulls an external xml feed into nodes

{csv parser} – uses feed api to pull in csv data

{kml parser}

{simplepie parser} – xml and other formats


Business of Open Source – Liza Kindred

I was surprised by the number of virtual teams in the room (Virtual teams being those that are highly decentralized, with most communications via phone/internet). Good quote from the presentation:

“I make money using my brains and lose money listening to my heart. Somehow it balances out in the end.” – Katy Seredy


Selling You & Your Drupal Services – Neil Giarratana

This was one of my favorites of the conference. Neil was very comfortable up by the podium, and presented a highly informative, flowing and interesting presentation. I won’t even post my notes here — go watch the video instead, you won’t be disappointed.

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