gregh's blog

DrupalCon already filling up

So I was on the DrupalCon Twitter feed, waiting to grab a half off ticket for the first 100 registrants. Kept refreshing, waiting for the announcement to sign up. Then I was distracted by a question on IM, came back in 10 minutes and missed it. All 100 spots taken in the first 10 minutes.

Oh well, I still got in at the $175 rate. Glad to know that there is this much excitement five months out of the next DrupalCon (March 4-7, 2009). Sign up at and start submitting and reviewing session proposals.

Drupal gets UserFriendly!

The User Friendly comic strip has been around over 10 years as fun take inside the world of an IT firm. But now the author the UserFriendly comic has teamed up with Manning Publications to illustrate its new Hello! Series of books, of which Hello! Drupal will be an early release. The first chapter is free online, so you can see what illustrations may look like (early draft).

It is good to see more publishers taking on Drupal books, as Manning is hoping to get two out the door in early 2009, and O'Reilly is publishing Using Drupal. And of course Apress and Packt Publishing continue to push out Drupal books and Prentice Hall is evening getting into the mix with Front End Drupal. - Drupal turns a business opportunity into Reality

A new case study has gone public concerning the making of About Airport It is true that will not be the next world changing website, but is a clear example of how Drupal can bring commercial ideas into reality quickly and efficiently.

Read the case study at which has the following highlights:

  • Drupal used to solve commercial opportunities
  • Module Highlights - How it was done
  • To CCK or not to
  • API references - More on some customizations and how we did it
  • Continued Development opportunities - Plans for the future

Hopefully the reading is enjoyable, and the information is useful.

Mentioned in the Sacramento Bee

I was recently interviewed for an article in the Sacramento Bee, concerning our Dog Parks site. It is always nice to be recognized for the hard work my wife and I have put in.

Didn't make it to DrupalCon Szeged, no problem

Many like me couldn't make it to the DrupalCon in Szeged this last week. But there is no reason not to partake of the great sessions and keynote speakers. All the videos are now posted on the main session listing page. For many other sessions, the slides are attached.

Thank you to all of you videographers who took the time to setup up the cameras.

Hello! Drupal Announced

Through many crazy paths and a book proposal that some have seen already, I am embarking on writing Hello! Drupal for Manning Publications, the creator of the popular 'In Action' series. Manning has an Early Access program where some of the unedited chapters are available for free, and all chapters are available to anyone who pre-orders through the site.

Currently Chapter 1, 'Drupal, A Hammer that hits many Nails' is available to the public. I also plan on writing many tutorials here as well on the Handbook pages that intersect with the material that will be found in the full book.

Manning also said they can setup a direct affiliate program earning 15% of sales for and any partners who buy through the affiliation.

At the Sunnyvale 2007 DrupalCon, there was a conversation about the competitive and complimentary nature of the different OS CMSs out there (Drupal, Joomla, Wordpress...) and how through all the efforts the complete solution space will be search out. In the same way the more books that are being written about Drupal, the wider the reach for readers, regardless if some of the books overlap in content around the edges.

Hello! Drupal will be an introductory book, that assumes no Drupal or developer experience. A book for the unskilled technology enthusiast. Not everyone has the time or budget to make an awesome Warner Bros. Records kind of site, as there are plenty of mom-pop stores, independent authors, churches, local charities and bloggers who want more than a blog who can leverage Drupal to create their first web presense, and this book will help them do that.

I believe that Drupal covers a great and growing swath of the solution space for CMS/CMFs, and likewise this book will broaden the user base of Drupal for many first-time website builders.

From the Manning announcement page..., the official home of Drupal on the web, describes Drupal as an "Open Source content management platform." That's a really boring description for a really cool piece of software.

How cool is Drupal?

  • uses Drupal to react automatically to reader behavior and present the most relevant news and features.
  • Popular Science magazine uses Drupal as an online publishing platform.
  • Yahoo! and AOL use Drupal for internal websites because of its flexible permissions system and user-friendly content updating features.
  • Amherst University uses Drupal for a public-facing website and academic support services that add to classroom and distance-learning experiences.
  • MTV, Sony, and Warner Brothers use Drupal for sites that blend rock-solid content management with advanced multimedia.

Whether you have a full staff and a bottomless budget like MTV, or you're just starting your first website, Drupal is a great way to bring your ideas to life. Hello! Drupal will help you get going, fast.

Hello! Drupal is a fun, engaging tutorial that introduces Drupal and shows you how to build Drupal-powered sites quickly and easily. This friendly, fully-illustrated book starts with the absolute basics for the new Drupal user—setting up your computer to use Drupal, building your first pages, creating user accounts, and so forth. By following a series of interesting examples, you'll learn to manage both small and large blocks of content as well as how to add navigational features like tags, menus, catalogs, and search.

With the fundamentals well in hand, you'll learn to build rich interfaces that include color, motion, and sound. You'll also pick up valuable techniques for building and supporting user communities. Along the way, you'll find out how to participate in the large community of Drupal users around the world.

Hello! Drupal is for readers with little or no experience with Drupal. If you've done websites using another technology, this book will help you use what you already know in Drupal. If you're brand new to the web, Hello! Drupal is a great place to start your adventure.

Praising Coder, easing the Drupal 6 upgrade path

Doug Green, maintainer of the Coder Module, get all the praise this morning. On a quick vacation, I decided it was time to finally upgrade the two small modules that I maintain. I haven't used Coder in a while (though I will be using it much more now), but I knew that it had a helper for upgrading D5 => D6. And what a breeze Coder made upgrading my modules.

Drupal and other CMSs get no credit from Google

It is a bit tardy, but last month I attended the Google I/O conference. It was a two day conference where Google was able to showcase many of their open APIs, demonstrate how to use them, as well as having more general fireside talks about the future of HTML and a whole Social track highlighting Open Social, OpenID, and OAuth technologies. Chris DiBona gave his Open Source is Magic talk, which he gave as a keynote speaker at the Boston DrupalCon.

The main reason I am writing is that most of the speakers were mentioning how many installations of a particular API are out on websites, as a testament to how easy it is for developers to use their APIs. The thing that irked me is that many CMSs like Drupal have developed wrappers for their APIs, increasing the pool of potential users beyond developers, to Drupal users.

You know Drupal is taking over your life when...

So I just had one of those moments when I realized that Drupal is creeping into all aspects of my subconsciousness. Today, a normal ordinary word morph into a Drupal related abbreviation. On the Bay Area Drupal group mailing list an email just went out with this as the subject line, "[BDUG] re: Drinks"

My mind instantly wondered if this message would have some new cool links for Drupal resources.

Drinks - Drupal links

No I am not trying to redefine the word. I am just showing how pervasive Drupal has become in my head.

So many SoC projects for Drupal

So when I am trying to explain or evaluate the value or health of an open source project, the visibility of the project to the outside world is one key indicator. That being said, the Google Summer of Code (Drupal announcement, is a great measure to evaluate how a project is doing, and maybe where it is going, especially when compared to other like minded projects. Here is a quick breakdown of the number of projects that Google is sponsoring for a few hand picked projects.

Drupal: 21
Wordpress: 8
Joomla: 15
Plone: 5
Zope: 5
Xwiki: 10
Wikipedia foundation (partial MediaWiki) 4
Moodle: 12
Django (a python framework): 4

I might have missed another CMS/CMF project, but once again Drupal is on top in the number of projects sponsored by Drupal (one more than last year it seems). I believe this establishes that Drupal has a well running community that crafts acceptable projects that are well staffed, both from the student and mentor side. So many sponsored projects by Google means they are confident Drupal is worth investing in, and will be around for a long time. Great job Drupal.

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