Planet Drupal

Surrey Drupal Meeting July 2008

Last night at the Surrey Drupal Users Group Rick Vugteveen from ImageX Media gave a great presentation on creating a blog site in Drupal 6 using CCK, Views and a number of support modules. He lugged his 20 odd inch monitor for the presentation and it worked rather well at the restaurant table. Not sure if he's going to post his slides. I haven't asked him yet, but hoping we can get a repeat performance for the Vancouver group.

Surrey Drupal Meeting July 10, 2008

In an interesting experiment the Surrey group has decided to go with a presence on Meetup: http://drupal.meetup.com/18/ in addition to hanging out with GDO Vancouver. I'm curious to see if and how this influences the community development.

Props to ImageX Media for their community support. They were one of our star sponsors for Drupal Camp Vancouver by being one of the first to sign up, first to get their cheque in, and additionally making office support staff available. If they keep this up they'll do for Drupal in Surrey what Bryght did for Drupal in Vancouver. It was, of course, fated that I misremembered and horribly mangled company president Glenn Hilton's name no less than three times before my miserable lump of a brain found a neuron cluster capable of simple long term retention. Sorry about that, Glenn!

And thanks to Katy at Seascape Web Design for taking on the group organization.

A User Facing Content Management View

Drupal does not have user facing content management out of the box. Fortunately, a user facing content management page can be created in 5 minutes using Views. It's not a panacea, but can provide part of the solution.

User Content Management View

I typically use this view in conjunction with a menu block. The menu block has visibility set by role and contains links useful to the user, such as a link to this view, the content creation URL (node/add/foo), and the user's profile.

Northern BC Drupal User Group

Northern BC MapBritish Columbia is a big place, 1180 km (730 miles) from North to South, with most of the population in the bottom third of the province. In the North there's one population center of around 85,000 people but most of the cities fall between 5,000 and 15,000 people. With the economy being primarily resource and tourism based it's a hard place to find fellow Drupalers, but Glen Ingram is up for the challenge. Glen (bermin@drupal.org has started the Northern British Columbia User Group.

If you're a Northern BCer, or have an interest, please become a charter member of the group! (I grew up and graduated in a place called Quesnel, so consider myself a honourary quasi-Northerner, even if Quesnel is technically the central interior)

Northern BC certainly isn't the only place with a low population density and an interest in Drupal. If you have tips on running a user group in this kind of situation please share!

Good luck, Glen!

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 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:

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.

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