Vancouver PHP Conference 2007

Rasmus Lerdorf KeynoteIt's time for the 2007 Vancouver PHP Conference!

It was a full house this morning for Rasmus Lerdorf's keynote speech. I'm a member of the conference committee so I didn't get a chance to watch the whole thing. What I did catch was quite interesting. His discussion of the reason people contribute and happy hormones was quite entertaining. He demo'ed Pipes, of course, which has the coolest web interface. Rasmus has put the slides from his presentation on the web, but I didn't manage to copy down the URL.

This conference scored some very good presenters. I enjoyed the sessions I managed to catch. And thankfully the day went quite smoothly. There were some minor hiccups but no major disasters. Except for having to get up at 6am, the first time in a long time, it was a great day.

New BC Browncoats Website

Another Drupal website released into the wild:

Serenity in FlightThe Firefly/Serenity fan group is organized via the Vancouver Firefly/Serenity Meetup Group. The Meetup website has many advantages the group does not want to give up, but Meetup has a rigid format which doesn't lend itself to some kinds of content. In particular, announcements for charity events/sales are awkward because of HTML markup limitations and cumbersome URLs that don't lend themselves to publishing. The group wanted to enhance their web presence without creating a split personality.

The Drupal based site displays Meetup information via RSS feeds, leaving the group's two-way membership interaction with Meetup. People visiting the new site can see what's happening at the Meetup site and if they're interested are directed back to Meetup. The site provides a location for content that doesn't work well on Meetup as well as providing a nicer URL for promotional purposes.

Live Video From Parliment

Seen at, the Feds are streaming live video feeds from the House of Commons and other meetings: Choices of various streaming rates, audio only, and language (English/French).

ParlVU Banner

AJAX & Themes

Serendipity is great, or maybe this is karma. I've been catching up on my Drupal mailing list reading. Caught an issue in the support forum I knew something about and my have been able to help someone, then saw the answer to a question I'd been meaning to investigate! Cool.

My personal/play site, Digital Doodles, has a custom theme, so I'm on the hook for updating it. When I upgraded to Drupal 5 I didn't get the AJAX goodness. I was fairly positive it was something simple I needed to add, and so it was. All I needed was: <?php print $scripts ?> in the head tag of page.tpl.php.

FOSS4G Conference in Victoria this September

A Free/Open Source Software (FOSS) conference for Geospatial folks being held in Victoria this September. From their website,

March 2007 to be the Month of PHP Bugs


I first saw this at the SecuriTeam Blog. I suspect it will be all over the place very soon.

Stefan Esser, a name in the PHP security space, announced he's doing a "Month of PHP Bugs" in March 2007. He discusses (announces?) it in this interview with Security Focus.

It could be busy month for the folks maintaining web infrastructure, if not from applying fixes then answering questions from the concerned.

Impressive Screens!

Seen at Chris Pirillo's website, this is impressive:

Impressive Desktop of Monitors
Stefan Didak's Home Office Desktop

Didak says, "You can never have enough screen real-estate!". Indeed.

Template Theme Variables

[Update 2007-Apr-29: Please also see the article Theme Variable Total Visibility]

Have you ever wanted to know what variables the phptemplate engine made to the node or page templates? "Use the source, Luke" (Couldn't resist). The way of finding the definitive answer was discussed in Drupal Dojo today.

Views Schedule Grid Presentation Write-Up Done!

As mentioned before, I did a presentation at the January Drupal Meeting on how I used the Views module to do this:

Northern Voice Schedule Grid Screen Shot

Fun with RSS using Aggregator Module

The Drupal Aggregator module is somewhat misnamed. It certainly does aggregate RSS/RDF/Atom feeds, but at the core it's a feed reader. I haven't needed to aggregate multiple feeds together, but recently being able to retrieve and display individual feeds has allowed me to add some cool sidebars to my Digital Doodles website.

By simply turning on the Aggregator module, which is a core module so no installation required, and adding the RSS feed from Group42 and another site I contribute to I can retrieve the post information back to Digital Doodles. I've set up blocks to show a list of recent postings in case people visiting Digital Doodles might be interested in stuff I done elsewhere.

The weakness of the Aggregator module is it's display ability. For example, although it automatically creates a sidebar block for each feed you define there's no ability to add anything except a title. The power of Drupal gives themers and programmers a number of options around this.


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