June 2007 Van Drupalers Meeting: Amazon Web Services

Alex HarfordThe Vancouver League of Drupalers June 2007 meeting topic was Amazon Web Services, of which S3 is arguably the best know. It was given by Alex Harford (pictured right, photo by Roland). We heard about him and his Amazon knowledge though the local Linux community. He graciously accepted our invitation to speak.

Alex's presentation slides, available at, are quite good. If you're interested and want an overview of the services I encourage you to browse them.

Some things I learned:

  • The simple storage service, S3, is very straight forward. It has an option to serve your file by bittorret and is scriptable.
  • The SQS: Simple Queue Service was interesting but I wasn't sure why I'd want to use it until I understood what EC2: Elastic Compute Cloud was.
  • EC2: Elastic Compute Cloud is a virtual private server (VPS) service you can rent by the hour. Firing up new instances is a menu click and is scriptable. (Hmmm, need a new build server but only for a couple hours …..)
  • The Mechanical Turk service seemed gimmicky but the idea hamster for one of the attending Drupaler's went into overdrive.
  • There are web and Linux clients for handling files, so no programming is required to get something basic going

Even though I have no current requirement for Amazon Web Services I wish I did. I'd love an excuse to play with them!

April 2007 Vancouver League of Drupaliers Meeting

April 26, 2007 saw a close encounter of the Drupal kind at the Bryght offices in Vancouver's Gastown. Attendance wasn't counted but people were scrambling for chairs. Meeting topics included:

  • OSCMS Roundup
  • Drupal 6 Update
  • Scott Hadfield's Summer of Code Project on Drupal Scalability
  • Install Profiles
  • Pro Drupal Development Book
  • General Q&A

What follows are my notes from the meeting, including audio excerpts (Recording credits go to Roland Tanglao and myself).

April 2007 Drupal Meeting

Notes from Mack Hardy's Drupal Talk

This month the Vancouver PHP Association and Vancouver League of Drupallers had a combined meeting. Mack Hardy of the Post Carbon Institution spoke on how the Post Carbon Institute was using Drupal to meet their organization's goals.

Mack has promised to post his slides, and hopefully there will also be a video of this presentation available. My summary forgoes the more involved details. Please check the slides for those.

Mack started with an overview of the Post Carbon Institute:

Post Carbon Graphic

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

January 2007 League of Drupalers Meeting

Drupal MeetingThursday's Drupal meeting set an attendance record. It's hard to tell from the picture but around 30 people turned out. The meeting notes I took for posterity are hot off the press at:

A sizable number of people adjourned to a local watering hole afterwards. This is the first technology group I've been involved with that regularly attracts the people who are sponsoring the projects as well as the people they hire to implement them. I love hearing how people are using technology in general and Drupal in particular to meet their goals.

October 2006 Vancouver Drupal Meeting

Drupal IconOne thing about the Vancouver Drupalier meetings, I'm never quite sure what to expect. Last night's meeting was the least technical so far and a lot of fun. Here are some notes with stuff left out to protect both the innocent and the guilty . . . . .

Patch Management

At the September CIPS Security Special Interest Group meeting Robert Hawk spoke on patch management. A lot of what Robert had to say was pure project management and governance principals applied to the security domain. The value of Robert

September Vancouver Drupal Meetup

The last Drupal Vancouver meet up proved an interesting buffet of different things. I didn't take notes, but here is a list of things still lingering in my brain:

  • DrupalCon Brussels Review, including:
    - discussions of new Drupal 5 features
    - the Drupal Association
    - Walkah's presentation explaining the infamous Pants module
  • Massoud presented an overview of his Asterix billing module
  • New Drupal sites released into the wild
  • “Stump the Drupal Ninjas” - A Q&A session of “how would I implement function/feature x”
    Joking aside, these are incredibly useful. Drupal is so feature rich and new modules are coming on the scene regularly enough I always walk away with some useful tidbits of information, whether I'm looking for them or not. Some of the topics:
    - A discussion of online payment options
    - Mapping options
    - Forum options

This meeting was one of our longer ones, with discussion taking us late enough there wasn't time to adjourn to other environs.

Guido van Rossum Keynote at Vancouver Python Workshop

Guido Van Rossum PhotoIt's the Vancouver Python Workshop 2006! Friday night opening keynotes with Python creator Guido van Rossum and IronPython/Jython creator Jim Hugunin were held at the SFU Downtown campus.

Van Rossum's keynote was an overview of Python 3000, a.k.a. Python 3.0. Python 3000 is a major departure from previous major versions because it breaks backward compatibility. Van Rossum explained there are many things he's wanted to clean up but couldn't because Python 2 worked hard, bugs aside, not to introduce incompatibilities. While not wanting to alienate the community because of core changes he wanted to fix design bugs introduced early on in the project. Python 3000 is all about fixing problems and will not incorporate a lot of new features. Design decisions are based on the best choice going forward, not compatibility.

Narayanan Shivakumar on Google's Software Infrastructure

The follow notes are part 2 of 3 from Narayanan 'Shiva' Shivakumar's presentation at the July 27th VanHPC meeting. These notes cover Shivakumar's discussion of the Google software infrastructure.


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