Drupalcon highlights

dave's picture

I'm waiting in Newark international for my connecting flight back to HK, and I just want to sleep. Its been six days since I arrived and I never got past the jet lag. I want to be sleeping right now, I should be sleeping right now (HK time), but I don't think they'll let me do that in this restraunt that I'm waiting in. Furthermore for every hour we get closer to the scheduled departure, the real departure gets pushed back an hour. By the time I actually get settled on the plane I'll be wide awake since my body is alternating from tired to awake every 4 hours. This has been the story all week. So I'm significantly more insane than when I left. Oh and the other reason for that is because I've been hanging out with Drupal geeks all week.

Some of you wanted to know what the highlights of the conference were. The rest of you might want to stop here, before you get confused / bored to death. It was pretty crazy: 1000 people excited about making great websites for everything from little blogs, to internal university wikis, to ginormous news sites. There was even a 14 year old kid there leading a session. I was nowhere near that smart at 14. Actually I'm still not that smart.  I only got to see a small sliver of the presentations.  At any given time there were 5 sessions and 6-12 smaller scheduled discussions, not to mention all the unscheduled discussions.

First day:

Drupal Multimedia - you can do so much with multimedia content in Drupal. However it seems that I'm already familiar with the techniques so I didn't learn much here.

Keynote - Dries Buytart - Drupal Project Lead - The reason Drupal has done so well is because this dude has such an accurate vision for where things need to be in 5 years, what our next challenges will be, and how to lead such a huge community to get through those challenges to where we need to be.

Mapping business requirements to Drupal modules: a gap-fit process - Boris Mann is a very smart guy in this area. Hopefully I'll be able to utilize some of these approaches to deliver a product that better matches our users' needs.

Panels 2 and Nodequeue - Earl Miles is the author of so many of the essential Drupal modules. He showcased a few cool techniques in the new versions of these modules

Drupal in China, the how, who and why - I had nothing to do with this session. There are three other groups of people that have recently setup offices in mainland China. I got a chance to meet (or re-meet) them all. Hopefully I'll be able to get some advice from them on how to build a Drupal User Group in Hong Kong.

News Industry Meetup - food, beer, and drupal talk

NGO Meetup - more food, beer, and drupal talk

Day Two:

Client work kept me occupied for the first half of the morning. But then:

Keynote Speaker: Chris DiBona - Google Open Source Programs Manager - Explained all the reasons why Open Source is poised to succeed. There is no longer any question.

Performance tuning and optimization of high traffic Drupal sites - most of this stuff was sysadmin related that was a bit over my head. I was hoping for more delth on query optimizations.

Skirt.com : Affiliated content for magazines - these folks have taken a different approach to the problem of affiliate sites in a multisite configuration. If I had known about this before we did politicker.com, we might've headed in a different direction.

Drupal powering hosted services - I felt like there's some hosts out there that are kicking Advomatic's butt in the areas of new techniques (though this isn't my area of expertise either, so a lot of this went over my head). But with that said, I don't think any of them are working on the same scale that we are, and if they are, they aren't focused on just Drupal.

And then more client work in the evening

Day 3:

I slept through most of the morning. It was probably a good thing.

New JavaScript in Drupal 6: AHAH and Drag and Drop - There's some new rad stuff

Creating custom workflows for Drupal applications - taking advantage of core hooks and context - This actually had nothing to do with workflow, it was about context (site sections) and how to maintain context as the user browses to different pages. These guys had some great ideas for Drupal 7.

Scalable Theming: Theming for 100s of node types, CCK fields and views - Some great ideas here. I'm gonna write up a best practices doc for Advo.

Evening - Just hung out at the hotel. We needed a bit of downtime.

Day 4:

A Developer's Assistant - Using Coder for Module Developers and Maintainers - I already knew that coder rocks, but it also does some cool stuff in terms of module upgrades. As a case study we used coder to walk through an update of View to Drupal 6.

Information Architecture to Drupal Architecture - apparently I went to this. Don't remember a thing about it though.

Hostmaster 2 - This Birds of a Feather (small table discussion) was awesome. Bright/Raincity are re-starting hostmaster from scratch. This install profile has some really revolutionary tools to mange 1000s of sites accross several servers from a single master site. This obsolutes my multisite_maintenance module. Unfortunately there isn't working code yet (though this might have changed since yesterdays code sprint). I'll be looking in to this for politicker.

Zen and the Art of Drupal - some of the lullabots did a great presentation on how to ensure that your contributions to Drupal last for the long term.

Wrap Up - The winners of the site showcase were anounced. Advomatic had a few in the honourable mentions, but no winners this year.

Evening - shopping. Had to get some presents to take back.

Day 5:

Code sprint - It was real cool to be working in the same room as 400 other developers. I met a lot of smart people and had a chance to ask people questions face to face. I spent my day writting unit tests.

Phewf! I'm tired.

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  • Glad you enjoyed the Geek Trip!