DrupalCon 2010 : Day Three

Google Doc with notes public here: http://bit.ly/cXV5L3

Node Access in Drupal 7

This session was extremely code-heavy. I stayed through the first half to three quarters, to pick up some basics, but after that it became much more advanced. It was specifically targetted at module developers, and the presenter made a point of that at the very beginning. The rest of the crowd (about 2/3 full) seemed to be totally engrossed with the usual clapping when a code snippet which was upgraded/deprecated/added for Drupal 7 went on the screen. I also have been paying attention to the number of people who enter the room after the session starts versus the number of people who leave after it starts. This was definitely had a bigger entering population, going from less than half full (50 people or so) at the start, to over 100 by the time i walked out.

Usefulness: 6/10 (but only because I’m not a hard core module developer)

Developing Apps for iPhone/iPad/Android using drupal as Base System

I guess my summary of this would be that they proved you could do it. What I mean is…the presenters proved that you can use Drupal as a backend for a mobile app. I had a little trouble following the individual pieces of the presentation once they got going (talking very fast…but no…the accent was not the problem 🙂 ). I am glad i went to this, and will definitely be checking this out more when i get back to the office, but i was definitely left a little confused about the exact steps it takes me to get from now (nothing at all), to a Drupal-powered iPhone app. I saw the steps in his slide, but i guess i wanted it to be more expanded upon with not so many slides of code or diagrams that make it difficult to take notes on.

But…I am left inspired and knowing what’s possible, and that it’s something we “might” be interested in pursuing.

Usefulness: 6/10 (but will require much more investigation to determine if it will be useful enough to be implemented).

Top 100 Useful Contributed Modules

I think…nah…I’m sure this session deserves the award for best correlation between session title and session content. Pretty much exactly what I wanted, and what I expected.

The good news is that we (NCSU OIT) are using or at least have looked at most of these as options for inclusion in our site. We are actually using a few that raised a lot of “oooohs” and “ahhhhhhhs” from the crowd.

One in particular that i was surprised more people didn’t know about, was the Masquerade module, which let’s you appear to be logged in as another user (very good for testing permissions/views/pretty much anything on your site). I talked to a couple of people in my row about it, and then afterwards I heard a lot of people saying “I gotta try that Masquerade module” and then went on to explain their convoluted way of doing the same thing via a dev site/different browsers/cookie hacking and stuff. I felt quite proud that on that front, we’re far ahead in OIT.

The full list of modules and my notes are in the Google Doc, and the presenter is going to publish the full list of modules and links to her site: http://fuzetto.com so please visit there….she really did a great job of putting it all together.

I have the PDF here for posterity too.

Usefulness: 10/10

Keynote: Open Source in Government

This was a really good talk, although a little quiet (I Direct Messaged the conference organizers to ask for more volume…but they, like me were probably paying too close attention to the speaker).

The long and short of the talk is that WhiteHouse.gov is based on open source principles, and because of that, they’ll be contributing the proprietary modules they built for site back to the community. He showed a huge page of modules that the site runs on, and then showed us the few others that they had to build for themselves.

I don’t know why, but it just gives you more confidence with the things you’re doing, when you see/hear that the WhiteHousegov’s “What does Health Reform do for me” feature runs on Drupal + jQuery + jQueryUI + jQuery Rotator.

Usefulness: 8/10

Best practices in contrib development and support

A pretty good panel of 5 of the main contributors to the Drupal project. They have a really good, easy to follow presentation about how to be a good contributor/project maintainer/drupal citizen. And the good thing is that nearly all of the concepts are applicable to all distributed development environments. This was the absolute opposite of the other sessions that had nothing to do with Drupal, but the concept could be applied to Drupal if needed. This session took the opposite route, and applied everything to Drupal, and then the concept could be applied to other environments if needed.

Usefulness: 9/10

Module Building for Beginners (Drupal 6 and 7) – Intro and Workshop

Really good, easy to follow session, but really difficult to take complete notes on. If they post the screencast, definitely watch it. For me, it was good to just see it in practice doing simple things from the very beginning of creating a blank module.

Usefulness: 10/10