Drupal

Surrey Drupal Users Group

Greater Vancouver now boasts 2 Drupal groups!

Thanks to the efforts of Katy at SeascapeWebDesign.com there's a Surrey Drupal Users Group. Greater Vancouver encompasses 2900 square kilometers (1100 square miles) and more than 21 jurisdictions, with the namesake, City of Vancouver, being the largest and on the western edge. It's not only awesome seeing a second option for people who can't get to downtown Vancouver, but seeing interest in Drupal grow to supporting 2 groups.

I was at the inaugural meeting but forgot my camera. Fortunately Ryan Demsey Dempsey had his cell camera and our server obliged us with a group shot:

Surrey Drupal User Group 1st Meeting

Surrey Drupal User Group meetings are currently being posted on G.D.O. Vancouver, along with the Vancouver meetings. Next meeting is July 10, details here: http://groups.drupal.org/node/12795.

Drupal Camp Vancouver Wrap

DCV08 Logo on t-shirtDrupal Camp Vancouver 2008 (DCV08) was a month ago and I haven't posted a wrap up. It's almost moot at this point, but it seems weird to have blog posts saying DCV08 is coming and have no wrap up post. So instead of moot, let's say better late than never.

The stand out session for me was Greg Dunlap's deployment module session. He's making headway on a problem the community really needs to solve. Kat Bailey's jQuery session was also a winner.

Biggest WTF moment was one of our speakers flying in from Lethbridge, Alberta getting delayed by snow! It was May, damn it!

Though I've been involved in the organizing of many conferences this was the first I've held a primary role. The work isn't hard but the details sure eat up a LOT of time. When Dave, Ariane and I kicked this off with the blessing of the local community and a short organizing period I didn't realize how much responsibility would fall on our shoulders. There was simply no time to build out a committee and spread the responsibility (Thank goodness I didn't have an active contract at the onset). It was phenomenally gratifying when the call for volunteers, sponsors and speakers was answered so generously.

A very big personal thank you to everyone who had anything to do with making DCV08 happen.

Drupal Camp Vancouver Call for Speakers

Drupal Camp VancouverThe team has been working hard on Drupal Camp Vancouver:

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Registration has been open less than a week and we're already 33% booked!

Our next big goal is getting a great line-up of speakers. We're looking for presentations on anything Drupal from beginner to advanced. Please check out our Call for Speakers page and become a part of Vancouver's premier Drupal event!

Open Web Vancouver 2008

Open Web Vancouver BadgeWe've been mentioning the Open Web Vancouver 2008 conference at our Vancouver League of Drupallers meetings, but I realized I haven't blogged about it. If you're in Vancouver April 14/15 you'll want to take a look.

Zak Greant said it quite eloquently: For Geeks, by Geeks: The Open Web Conference.

For us Drupal types, there's one Drupal presentation by the Donat Group titled, A Social Intranet with Drupal: Case Study. The Donat folks do interesting and cool stuff, as they demonstrated at the August 2007 League of Drupallers meeting.

Drupal Camp Vancouver is a Go!

Shuttle Launch

On the eve of DrupalCon – Boston, a Drupal Camp in Vancouver finally became a reality. I'm very excited!

We Vancouver Drupalites had elevated talk of a Vancouver Drupal Camp to that of discussing the weather (Canadians talk about the weather a lot, eh). Nice day, wouldn't a Drupal Camp be a good idea. It's raining, something indoors like a Drupal Camp would be nice. Smells like cannabis, oh, wait, wrong kind of cloudy day. Anyway.

Dave O started turning the talk a bit more serious a bunch of months ago and even took notes. We were on the verge, all it took was: Vancouver DrupalCamp this summer?. Ariane has secured her place in history as Vancouver Drupal Camp's catalyst. Or maybe Godmother.

The post resulted in a meeting last night and the talk turned into action: Drupal Camp Vancouver the first week of May. We have everything left to do, but we've started.

Way more to come. If you're interested in helping out please join the discussions at http://groups.drupal.org/vancouver.

Shuttle photo by p_c_w

Why Drupal and Joomla Are Good For Each Other?

One of the open source dynamics I find interesting is how associated communities borrow the best ideas from each other. It's true in the Drupal/Joomla/Wordpress space and true in the Python/Perl/Ruby space. It's been the observation of many that all the communities benefit from the diversity of their "sister" projects. Some say it's just healthy competition. Research highlighted in this Indiana University press release, The downside of a good idea, indicates it's deeper than that:

Goldstone found that the fully connected groups performed the best when solving simple problems. Small world groups, however, performed better on more difficult problems. For these problems, the truism "The more information, the better" is not valid.

"The small world network preserves diversity," Goldstone said. "One clique could be coming up with one answer, another clique could be coming up with another. As a result, the group as a whole is searching the problem space more effectively. For hard problems, connecting people by small world networks offers a good compromise between having members explore a variety of innovations, while still quickly disseminating promising innovations throughout the group.

My heart is with Drupal, may it lead the pack, but I hope our fellow communities thrive as well!

No, Really! ... It's a Contribution

This paragraph from Jody Hamilton's post, Drupal Time-savers made me laugh:

Geoff Hankerson's 10 Tips for Better Sounding Podcasts

Ear

A "new" Drupal blogger with audio expertise has appeared on the Planet Drupal scene. Geoff Hankerson's blog has a mix of Drupal and technical audio pieces. Excellent! There are very few people with a solid foot in both worlds.

Announcing This Day in History

I'm pleased to announce my first Drupal module contribution: This Day in History. It provides an "on this day in history" feature block for your website. For example, if today was January 6th the birth of Joan of Arc (born January 6, 1412) might be displayed in the This Day in History block.

The module adds node type: Historical event, and supports the Node import module for importing historical events. Any number of display blocks can be created, and the events displayed can be selected by a number of different criteria, including randomly. If no event exists for the current day, no block is displayed.

The Journal Module

When more than one person is working on a site there invariably comes a moment when something breaks but nobody changed anything . . . or did they? A version control system catches the file changes, but what about Drupal settings? A new module addressing this issue appeared on the module RSS feed last month so I took a look.

The Journal module (Release 5.x-1.0) is very straightforward. It adds an additional text field named "Journal entry" to all Drupal forms via hook_form_alter.

Journal entry field screen shot

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