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The Drupal Association has been through some major changes in its governance and staffing in the last few years. It recently ran its first general election for "Directors At Large" and since 2010 has increased the number of employees by 900%. It moved its headquarters from Belgium to the USA and now manages a budget of around 3 million US dollars in annual revenue.
Where the hell does all that money go? And who are these people taking "your" money? Donna Benjamin was curious enough to be part of this to put her name in the hat for nomination last year. She successfully infiltrated the board in February.
You can think of her as your mole in the hole. With over 10 years experience in the non-profit sector, Donna knows a thing or two about what makes successful organisations tick. Diving into the inner workings of the Drupal Association, Donna dares to share some of the things she discovered in the deep end.
An experienced open source user and advocate, Donna brings her unique perspective to the Association board. She's not mega-enterprise, she's not a brogrammer and she's not American.
Come find out why you matter to the Drupal Association, how you can get involved and how your voice can help shape the direction of Drupal.
Drupal(Con) veterans Robert and jam want to help you drink your Drupal Kool-Aid and get the most out of your time at the Con. We’ll help veterans and n00bs alike find their bearings, get fired up and contributing.
Previous Con opening sessions have included music, bad jokes, and surprize guest appearances by some Drupal superstars, including Dries himself.
We’re hoping the Drupal Fairy will make an appearance this time around, but who knows?
In this session, we will discuss and demonstrate our latest product offerings to help Drupal developers build and deploy sites better, faster,
and cheaper. We'll demonstrate the latest product additions and enhancements to Insight, Acquia Search, and Acquia Cloud.
Acquia Cloud and the Acquia Network help developers simplify development workflows, adopt continuous integration processes and manage the performance
of their Drupal applications. Acquia Cloud currently serves more than 7 Billions requests per month. The Acquia Network also includes more than a dozen
services to operate and extend Drupal sites.
Attendees will learn how they can use these tools simplify Drupal development while building killer web experiences.
by Nick Veenhof and Peter Wolani
At Acquia we have the Acquia Search service. This service allows people to connect with Apache Solr (A search application) and also provides high availability and high scalability.
This session will contain :
- Basic understanding of Solr and some of the good, the bad and the ugly queries.
- How we use Ruby scripts and Nagios to monitor critical components such as query time, memory, etc...
- What is an optimal server for Solr, and how to build it using Puppet
- Request handling with Nginx to help our load balancing process
- How this scales for up to +1000 Solr cores, using a Master and Slave, even a repeater.
- How we fulfills our needs in terms of spawning new solr cores for customers automatically.
- How we created authentication for Apache Solr while keeping its speed and keeping it simple to use.
- A one month free Acquia Search account for all of the attendees!
This process took time to build so I hope this session can bring developers up to speed with the modern techniques and hopefully it can create some itches here and there so people start exploring. Setting up your own Solr Server is quite easy, but you don't want to wake up and figure out the server needs more capacity, or even worse, it is down. You certainly don't want to repeat the whole process to build an exact copy of an existing system for another client.
If you are interested in the internals of Solr and how to manage this then this session has been build for you.
If you are interested in Solr from a developer point of view, you are certainly also welcome.
I hope to also give hints and tips to speed up Solr and to make a better use of its cache system.
We will not go in depth module wise, a BOF will be appropriate for the more in-depth Solr/Search questions, developments and conversations.
Caching is a typical performance boosting strategy but as Phil Karlton said, “There are only two hard problems in Computer Science: cache invalidation, naming things and off-by-one errors.” Managing the many layers of caching that can exist in a Drupal system can be a frustrating and time consuming experience. Learn what you need to know about caching and Drupal including:
by Felipe Rubim
“Our current percentage of active users who actually contribute to core is hovering around 0.1%. Target: a full 1% in 2014”
To help with that, we are building an internal program at Ci&T to foster and incentivize our Drupal developers to give back to the broader Drupal community. The program includes hackathons that we’ve infused with gamification tactics, as well as other fun, collaborative activities.
Based on the Drupal ethos of “collaboration, not competition,” the program’s intent is to bring more developers together and allow them the opportunity to work on different projects in addition to their every day activities.
The primary goal is to help them overcome any trepidation they may have to participating in this type of community and to provide support so they know that giving back is indeed easy and they can later contribute on their own. By facilitating immersion into the Drupal community, as well as improving developers’ coding skills, the program aims to be a fun, yet productive way to introduce and demystify the Drupal community to new (and old) developers.
I’ll discuss why Ci&T decided to develop this program, the actual steps we took to create it and benefits our developers have already seen. Attendees of this presentation will walk away understanding what resources are necessary to create this type of Drupal community program, and how they can implement similar programs at their own companies.
One of these themes is not like the other: Mothership, Zen, Omega, Bartik, Fusion. Since writing my first book, Front End Drupal, Drupal base themes have matured significantly. Some of these base themes have evolved to the point of having the learning curve of a theming engine rather than a set of preset markup defaults. In this session we'll explore the base theme ecosystem. You'll get a biased view of how I evaluate base themes and which themes come out on top for the "themer experience". You'll find out why there can be no single base theme to meet the needs of every themer and why the base theme you're using might not be right for you.
Bring your questions (and your flame thrower) as we romp through the valley of Drupal base themes.
It has been said that Drupal has a learning cliff. Yes, it is true that building a site with Drupal isn’t self-explanatory. However, there are a plethora of resources, if you know what questions to ask. And therein lies the problem. If you don’t know what you don’t know, Google doesn’t do you any good.
In this session, I am going to discuss some very important topics that -- learning about early on -- will make your site building experience smoother. This is not a step-by-step tutorial on how to build a site, however, I will provide resources on that.
Having Conversations About Drupal
At some point, you will be talking to someone about your Drupal website. I use the word “talking” loosely since often conversations are in IRC or in a module’s issue queue. It is important to understand the Drupal jargon so that you can ask your questions in a manner that they are understood. Conversely, you need to understand the answers given. An example is knowing the difference between a node and a page. Once we cover the basics, I’ll share my favorite places to “have conversations”.
Finding Modules That Work
People new to Drupal are often overwhelmed by the number of contributed modules available. Honestly, so am I. There are strategies to make the process of finding the perfect fit easier.
I Don’t Want to Break My Site
The fear of clicking around on your production website is real. It is a scary prospect. I am going to explain how to mitigate this anxiety and also tell you that you need to learn some more advanced skills, but it will be soooo worth it!
The Drupal Community is a Beautiful Cliché
The axioms “paying it forward”, “karma” and “a give and take” are true in the Drupal World. There have been many sessions explaining how to get involved, and I will briefly talk about those ways. However, I will be focusing on why it is good for YOU to contribute to Drupal.
Google is Good; A Veteran is Better
As I mentioned before, Google doesn’t help if you don’t know what questions to ask. I will show you the places I go for help. There are resources out there; I can help you find the best ones.
Assumptions: You have started playing with Drupal, but maybe haven’t gotten farther than that.
As the market for Drupal goes beyond open source enthusiasts, it’s increasingly being adopted by companies and organizations unfamiliar or even uncomfortable with the GPL. Part of the challenge we all face in “selling Drupal” is helping prospective clients understand the advantages of contributing back and becoming part of a free and open source software ecosystem.
Another challenge is dealing with with legacy intellectual property clauses in software development agreements that don't adequately reflect the realities of working with free and open source software.
In this session, I will discuss various approaches for discussing open source with your clients and negotiating GPL-friendly language into your agreements. While IANAL, I have sold projects and negotiated free and open source software contracts with clients of all sizes, including Fortune 100 corporations.
This session is targeted at business owners, project/program managers, strategists, and anyone else involved in selling Drupal solutions and negotiating contracts with clients.
Aegir is the only fully free and open source distributed provisioning system for Drupal. It allows you to manage anywhere from a few sites for a single organization, to thousands of sites across as many concurrent instances of Drupal, on as many servers, and for as many clients, as you need. Since it's all built on Drupal and Drush, it can be customized and extended using all the tools we're already familiar with.
At Koumbit Networks, a lead development shop behind the Aegir project, we are developing or already have in place several distinct business models, largely enabled by our Aegir infrastructure and expertise.
For our "classic" web development practice, Aegir provides scalability and flexibility, as well as, enabling a streamlined development-staging-production workflow, such as dCycle. It also allows us to host and maintain hundreds of production sites, including weekly updates to our custom platforms. We'll explore both of these solutions to common pain-points that afflict many Drupal dev shops.
For a number of years, Koumbit has been offering Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) services. That is, hosting dedicated VPSs running Aegir systems, mostly for larger consulting clients. To enable this, we've built Aegir and Drush Puppet modules to maintain standardized configurations, and ease deployment. This has matured to the point where we are now launching a public dedicated Aegir hosting service, well-suited to smaller development shops: AegirVPS. This model presents some interesting challenges and benefits, which I'll explore in more detail by presenting a case-study of our recent work in this field.
We are also continuing to develop our Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) offering, that will essentially allow site developers and designers to create and manage their own custom Drupal instances and platforms within our centrally managed Aegir system. This will allow not only automatic provisioning, and management of sites and custom platforms, but also the secure, automated set-up of SFTP, SSH, etc. This will open the door to a variety of interesting reseller program possibilities.
Finally, we'll touch on how we're leveraging e-commerce integration and other contrib modules, as we spin-off a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) model: OpenAtria.com. This will allow clients to purchase subscriptions to pre-built sites, which are then transparently provisioned and maintained for them by an Aegir system.
by Gábor Hojtsy
Have you ever tried to submit a core improvement suggestion? Two common experiences I have seen is that your issue is ignored or dissected to pieces and beyond possibility to move forward. Did you feel sometimes like you are attempting to navigate in a shark tank? Or maybe more like this guy?
Being a Drupal core contributor for about nine years and a core committer (Drupal 6 maintainer) for five years, I have experience on all sides of the situation. We'll look at examples of issues gone wrong and cover issue queue psychology. You'll get tips and tricks on how to get your issues noticed and avoid them becoming shipwrecks. I hope to help individuals and companies alike who intend to invest in Drupal core to find your place and be a productive and happy member of the core development team.
by Chris Ruppel
As rich HTML5 apps become the norm and mobile context becomes dominant over desktop, the importance of frontend performance is exploding.
We’ve all heard the standard list of changes you’re supposed to make in order to achieve better frontend performance: leaner markup, minify and move scripts to the bottom, combine images into sprites, TESTING etc. But how can you automate some of these tasks and avoid repeating hand-crafted optimizations for each site you build?
This session will walk through the process of automating performance tasks when possible, so that you can spend less time optimizing and more time creating. Some will be as simple as a module installation, and others will require more effort to set up. Not just limited to Drupal, we will be exploring tools used by members of the entire web development community.
NodeOne DJs MattiasJo, Bobodrone and Tom Selleck'tah will use our day stage session to fill the scene with the sounds and beats.
Rules is a powerful module that can ease your life as site builder drastically. The module allows you to define conditionally executed actions based on occurring events (known as reactive or ECA rules), so that it's possible to automate your site without the need for custom code.
This session will introduce the module, show common use-cases, tips & tricks and cover best practices. But moreover we'll see how easy it is to extend the module with custom conditions and actions.
We'll start with a basic introduction and depict basic usage scenarios like creating custom URL redirects and notifications. We'll dive into the module by an example scenario which starts with more simple use cases and continues to more sophisticated use cases. We'll learn about more advanced features like components and scheduling, and see how the module is leveraged by Drupal commerce.
Also, we'll discover some neat combinations of Rules with other modules like Views Bulk Operations, Flag or Rules Link and the Message module.
Drupal is a powerful tool, but for many reasons sites are released with security vulnerabilties. In this technical session Drupal Security Team members Greg Knaddison and Ben Jeavons will break down popular security risks on the web and cover writing secure Drupal code.
Security risks you should be worried about
Thinking like a hacker
XSS, CSRF and access bypass
Automation tools: static code, pen-testing, reporting
Ben and Greg are very involved with Drupal Security. They've been working on different tools and educational material related to Drupal for the last few years producing:
"We've come a long way since introducing new ideas in server automation and deployment, and also in creating a culture of collaboration between the traditional silos in organizations. But how does this impact the traditional drupal and sysadmin world? Are we all a DevOps now? What's this devops thing, why is it important and how will we get there ?
In this session we will guide you step by step through setting up powerful search solutions on your site, by combining the two most successful and cutting edge modules for Drupal 7 in that area, Search API and Facet API. These two are your base for technology independent, flexible and feature-rich search solutions on Drupal 7 sites.
The session will first cover all the basic setup tasks – creating and configuring an index and a server, setting up a Solr server, etc. In the course of this, the basic structure and principles will also be discussed briefly.
We will then advance to brief tutorials on advanced index settings, setting up a search view and then launch on the topic of facets. Here, the principles of the Facet API will be explained, detailed setup instructions and tips are given and all relevant settings briefly explained.
Finally, we will conclude with a collection of valuable tips, common advanced use cases and useful extension modules you might want to use. Frequently encountered pitfalls will also be discussed.
The goal is that after the session you will be able to easily set up Search API and Facet API on your own site – and will also want to do so. ;) You will have a basic understanding of its inner workings (as far as relevant to site builders) and will be able to do some advanced setups and individual customizations with greater ease.
Please also see this issue where I ask for questions people think I should answer in the session.
The Search API, along with its numerous extension modules, is a relatively new search solution for Drupal 7. With its unparalleled flexibility and countless features it has attracted a steadily growing user base which now eclipses all other (non-core) search solutions for Drupal 7.
The Facet API module is a project started last summer by Chris Pliakas to unify the facet functionality of all Drupal search modules by implementing all common features while leaving as much flexibility for implementors as possible.
Together they form a new base for generic, flexible and feature-rich search solutions on Drupal 7 sites.
Drupal's theming layer is a powerful and beautiful beast, but it requires a firm hand to really behave. New themers often start out trying to control it with a light touch and gentle strokes of CSS. Only too late do they realize their error…
Don't let Contrib bully you around. Grab the reins, create a frontend architecture and teach the theming layer to produce lean, extendable, high performance markup and CSS that is easy and cost-efficient to maintain.
This session is about learning to take charge.
In this session
* Techniques and workflows for domination.
* Principles and benefits of a CSS architecture with inspiration from object-oriented CSS and SMACSS.
* Base your frontend on relevant design and business goals instead of back-end architecture.
* Designing your frontend for extensibility.
* Avoiding common pitfalls and dangers when working with Drupal.
Tools of domination
The session will supply attendees with a range of useful tools and techniques of domination to make the beast behave, including preprocess functions, theme function overrides and templates.
The session is aimed at beginner and intermediate themers, but also designers and site builders interested in transitioning from design to theme and building views and panels for extensibility and existing CSS.
by Ken Rickard
This case study will discuss the business needs of EnvironmentAmerica.org, a nationwide advocacy organization with presence in 29 U.S. states.
The national site and its regional partners needed to share content, centralize production, and keep brand control. At the same time, individual state organizations need the freedom to promote issues of concern to local residents.
Using a combination of Drupal's core multisite feature and the Domain Access module, Palantir.net and the team at Public Interest GRFX were able to build a solution that:
Functional programming. Some see that term and think "functions? You mean procedural programming. I've been doing that for years." Others see it and think "you mean that crazy academic nonsense that no one understands? Pfft!"
In truth, functional programming is fundamentally an approach to software development, not a particular language or syntax. With PHP 5.3, it is an approach that is now more readily available and powerful than ever before. Even if you're not writing in Erlang or ML, there is still much to learn from the principles of functional programming to help write better code.
This session will discuss the history of functional programming and how it compares to other programming paradigms (procedural and object-oriented). We will then delve into how to leverage the concepts and tools in PHP 5.3 to produce more robust code with an "algorithm-first" approach.
by Ryan Szrama
Commerce Guys announces three new tools for eCommerce
Drupal is great. The Cloud is great.
Do you think just because you are in the cloud you are safe?
The general steps towards a continuous site's growth should be taken with the right architecture. In many cases the fact that we need a site that can stand a region failure, can lead us to difficult problems to solve.
In this session we will see some examples of Mysql replication over AWS regions and also file replication over large distances.
Critical businesses need to consider multi-region failover mechanisms. A data center outage could mean the ruin of perfect time to market sites. Every time you think your big business resides in a single geographic location, you should think also in protecting it from region failure. Do you have a fresh backup? Your cloud provider doesn't have native redundancy? Learn how you can achieve this with OpenSource and dedicated services.
by Greg Dunlap
In March of 2011 I was named as the first initiative owner for Drupal 8. I was excited and proud and itching to get going, but I felt one emotion more than any other - paralyzing fear. The Drupal community is filled with talented engineers, but moving from coder to project manager and community leader can be incredibly difficult. This session will outline some of the lessons I've learned about our community and the ways to (or more often not to) get it moving towards a goal.
by Mark Brown
Drupal has a rich ecosystem of traditional hosting companies and it recently has begun attracting cloud providers as well. In this panel discussion we will have four of the top Drupal cloud providers (Pantheon, AppFog, Acquia and Microsoft) discuss their solutions for hosting Drupal in a cloud environment. Topics to be discussed will include: Choices of Drupal versions and install profiles, development lifecycle and deployment options for managing development, staging and production environments, differences in monitoring and scaling and differences in instance sizing and of course pricing.
This promises to be a very informative discussion and if you are curious what options you have for hosting your Drupal sites in a cloud environment you should definitely attend as well as if you are interested in learning more about why the cloud might be a better option for you.
by Rob Ristroph
A general approach to debugging Drupal problems will be presented, followed by an overview of a variety of tools such as the Devel suite, krumo, xdebug, client side debugging such as Firebug and LiveHTTPHeaders.
In addition to debugging functionality, approaches to performance related problems will be covered. Some of these techniques apply generally to all web applications or other PHP code. A structured debugging approach that narrows down problems, rather than making random changes and guesses, is the main goal of the talk.
The audience will have a chance to share any debugging tricks they have during a question and answer session.
You've probably heard of Vagrant by now. It's the command-line tool that allows you to "create and configure lightweight, reproducible, and portable development environments."
So why is developing in a VM any better than developing on a local xAMP stack? Because it's not just about Drupal. Who hasn't developed a site locally, only to have it blow up once it's deployed to staging or (gasp!) production systems? By modeling those production systems in your local environment you significantly reduce the risks and time wasted. Oh, and it helps with reproducing bugs locally, since you're not hacking on the live site, right? Right?!
While tremendously useful all on it's own, integration with Drush, and a robust templating system, adds all kinds of hotness. You're only ever a single command away from building (or rebuilding) a development environment perfectly suited to you, or a test environment nearly identical to your production systems. In fact, you can have several such environments going at once. Want to check that your module works behind a Varnish cache, under both Apache and Nginx? Yeah, it can do that.
Better yet, blueprints for building such environments are easy to share with the rest of your team. All the configuration is managed via Puppet (Chef support is planned), and versioned under Git by default. By sharing and using identical environments to collaborate on projects, you can all but eliminate the dreaded response "it works on my machine".
But wait, doesn't developing in a VM mean I can't use my favourite editor locally? Isn't it like developing on a remote server, via SSH? Not necessarily. The blueprint for which this system was originally developed provides a full Aegir system in your VM, and mounts most of the relevant directory tree via NFS, allowing you to edit everything locally. But with the convenience of being able to build a new platform or clone a site with a single click.
We're even working on a local (Jenkins-based) continuous integration server that can run your test suite regularly, behind the scenes, to ferret out any regressions recent changes may have made.
Anyway, be sure to checkout this session that'll cover all this and more!
by Bryan Hirsch
As Drupal’s popularity sky-rockets, so does the volume of issues and sense of urgency for problems to get solved fast. To keep up, we need to get more people contributing to core. There are a lot of people who would like to contribute to Drupal core, but they’re not sure how, they don’t feel qualified, and the time commitment feels prohibitive. Meanwhile, as Drupal’s code base becomes more complex, the learning curve for contributing to Drupal core gets steeper. To get more people contributing to core, we need to make it easier to work on core. This is what the Learn Drupal Initiative is about.
The Learn Drupal Initiative (formerly known as the Boston Initiative) began with a pilot project in Boston in October 2011. The vision was this:
Make a list of all the different ways people contribute to Drupal core.
Organize the list like a ladder. The first few steps are easy for anyone, minimal knowledge of Drupal required. As you ascend the ladder, taking any consecutive step up the ladder is within reach, as long as you’ve taken the first steps.
For each rung in the ladder, we’re providing clear instructions and goals that make it easy to get up and running with something new in 15-30 minutes. (This way, people can contribute in one-off 1- or 2-hour sittings and get real, valuable work done.)
Drupal groups meet regularly all around the world. If each group dedicates a few hours to making contributions and helping members work their way up the ladder, together we can close a ton of issues and bring more people into work on Drupal core.
At Drupalcon Denver (March 2012), we shared the results of the Boston experiment with members of Drupal User Groups from around the world. We posted the materials we developed on learndrupal.org; we invited other user groups to get involved by contributing lessons and organizing "learn sprints" and "issue sprints" at their own regular meetups; and we proposed some ambitious community-wide goals for the project:
Get 10 more user groups to organize learn sprints and issue sprints before Drupalcon Munich and another 30 groups before Drupalcon Portland
Re-launch learndrupal.org and release a 1.0 version of the Learn Drupal distro by summer 2012
Get 1% of active users on drupal.org to contribute to core by 2014
This session will include a status report on the goals set in Denver, an overview of new materials and activities available to share with user groups, and case studies from the field. This session will also propose next steps for helping the community get 1% of active users to contribute by 2014.
Organize your content in multiple languages in a consistent way with the state of the art method. Learn how Drupal's new field-based approach to entity translation will change the way you structure, display, and translate multilingual content.
Multilingual site building with Drupal can be challenging, and using field-based translation with Drupal 7 and Drupal 8 introduces many new benefits and challenges for site builders. For a long time, the standard content translation method has been to have a separate node for each language. With field-based translation, one piece of content holds all translations on a field-by-field basis.
In this session, I'll walk you through the process of building a multilingual website and planning multilingual content, and particularly how field-level translation fits into the mix.
by Sam Richard
Mobile matters. There are more than 4x the number mobile devices activated each day than there babies born and the question of how to effectively deliver your content to everyone, regardless of how they get there, should be the most important question for product owners and developers today. Enter responsive design.
Responsive design comes from the idea that there is not a mobile web and a desktop web but instead a single, unified web. The most obvious new design paradigm to come from this new thinking are websites that are not built on a fixed width grid but rather one that expands and contracts depending on how much screen real estate is available to the current user. To be able to do this, however, you want a powerful set of tools at your disposal in order to aid in you in the large amount of work needed to build a responsive design. Enter Sass+Compass
Sass 3.2 introduces a number of new features designed specifically to aid in responsive design including the ability to modularize your media queries and call them on-demand or to write media queries based on calculations in your Sass files. Compass v0.12 improves upon Compass's already impecable mixin and function libraries with a large update to Compass's Image Sprite functionality, a traditionally hard technique made drop-dead easy and essential to the Mobile First Responsive Design philosophy that should be taken when designing websites.
Compass also allows us to tap into all a community of extensions to make your lives easier, including some that are specifically designed to help us with responsive design, including Susy for fluid grids, Breakpoint and Respond-To to name and manage media queries, and RWD Kickstart to get you up and running from scratch with best practices quickly as quickly as possible.
Drupal 7 also provides us with some capability to greatly reduce the development costs for our mobile-first development, including some great projects including HTML5 Project for clean, semantic HTML5 markup, the Borealis Suite for semantic blocks and mobile-first responsive images, and Drupal 7's awesome new AJAX system to assist in lazy loading content, reducing download size and speed.
20th–24th August 2012