I had a great time at last year's Open Source Bridge where I presented Drupal, What is it Good For. So I decided to give it a go again this year, focusing on Mapping with Drupal. I've had the chance to work on some great mapping projects so far this year, and have taken over the maintenance of the Mapstraction module. If selected, I'll present on what I've learned about the various mapping options and techniques in Drupal.
Look for a more in-depth post soon comparing the mapping tools available in Drupal.
We all know Drupal can be a great out of the box content management solution, blogging platform, or social networking site. Especially when you take into account tools like CCK and Views. But what if you need to develop a more customized and focused application? Where does it make sense to use a more generalized and lower level framework like CakePHP or Rails? I don’t know if there’s a single answer to that question, certainly lots of opinions, including my own which I discussed at Open Source Bridge. Namely, the more singular the purpose of an application, the less it makes sense to use Drupal.
I’ve had the pleasure of working with One Economy the last couple years on several projects, including http://pic.tv, http://one-economy.com, and, most recently, the Make it Easy Toolbox. This last project fell under the gray area of being a good fit for Drupal, and, together with the One Economy team, we decided to give it a go. The application is still in active development, but so far so good.
Through the kind introductions of my good friend Aaron Teresteeg, who is the Community Manager for Parallel Programming and Multi-Core, I was brought on early during the project to help the internal Intel Software Network development team see some light in the Drupal thicket. They are an amazingly talented and dedicated group, but they didn't have extensive Drupal experience, so we sat down for a couple of brainstorming sessions where they peppered me with questions about best practices, module choices, architectural issues, and the like. I also did some minimal follow up prototyping. Matt Groener, the ISN Development Team Manager, very generously claimed,
You really put us on the firm path to a successful Drupal launch.
A freewheeling, multi-media, boundary-bending movement troupe, BodyVox’s unique approach to theater assimilates all possibilities for movement; endows it with breathtaking physicality; enriches it with striking imagery and embellishes it with humor, wit and whimsy to create refined dancing that knows no boundaries.
The new site will help BodyVox promote its performances, dance classes, and outreach programs in addition to contributing to the vibrant Portland cultural scene.
I was thrilled to work with Jonathan Krebs, who I knew from his days at White Bird, and rest of the Bodyvox team to develop a new stylish and sophisticated website. Annette Sabo came through with another stunning design, inspired, in part, by the MOMA, and Jeremy Caldwell of Eternalistic Designs did a great job with the theme. The site is built with, you guessed it, Drupal! Some of it's more interesting features include a navigation pegged to the bottom of the page that "pop ups", rather than one that drops down from the top, a rotating banner carousel on the home page, and a flexible individual profile system used for teachers, staff, dancers, etc. Congratulations to everyone involved on the new site!
When O'Reily decided to move OSCON, the famed annual open source conference, from Portland to San Jose this year, I was upset like many other folks and resigned myself to simply missing out on the chance to mingle with, and learn from, the best in the open source community. Others, however, decided to do something about the gap left in Portland's conference schedule and organized Open Source Bridge. According to the conference organizers,
Open Source Bridge is a completely volunteer-run conference for open source citizens held June 17-19 in Portland, Oregon. Focused on developers working with open source technologies, the event features five tracks connecting people across projects, languages, and backgrounds to explore how those developers approach their work, and why they participate in open source. The conference structure is designed to provide developers with an opportunity to learn from people they might not connect with at other events.
Hats off to the organizing team; they have worked tirelessly to put together the event, and by the looks of the schedule, the end result promises to be amazing. On a personal note, I decided this was a good opportunity to cut my conference presentation chops and submitted a session on Drupal. I realized I needed a specific angle, and settled on the topic Drupal, What is it Good For, and was honored to have the talk accepted. My experience in building a wide range of sites, along with the many hours I've spent evaluating requirements for projects, gives me a decent foundation for the topic, although I also plan on doing plenty of homework in preparing the talk. If anyone who stumbles across this has any suggestions, they are very welcome!