Report back on a set of key DrupalCon Denver 2012 presentations

For many reasons DrupalCon Denver 2012 was a source of “fresh air” and excitement in the community, with emerging developments promising the “democratizing of technology” and a new head start in Drupal 7 site building (see What's new in panels and several references to the panopoly distribution below). All this of course in the context of the push towards Drupal 8 (currently estimated to be usable in approximately 18 – 24 months from now) and the debate as to what it will be like.

This (longish but I hope useful) article is an objective as possible review of the presentations I recognized as being absolutely key, out of the handful I was able to attend directly. I have organized them into a couple of main threads, as a prelude to a “What's up with Drupal” series of articles to be published in the near future covering my own recommendations and perspectives for site building and web application development with Drupal over the next couple of years.

The two threads covered here are “State of Drupal” (the official position on the future of Drupal and Drupal 8); and “Drupal 7 now for the rest of us” (promising developments, tools and resources for current work). The presentations I am reporting on, which I feel are key for the future of Drupal and the Drupal community, are the following: State of Drupal (Dries Buytaert Keynote), The Initiatives Formerly Known as WSCCI, Drupal 8 meets Symfony2, Directions for Drupal core Node.js Javascript and the Future, What's new in the Panels Universe, Open Academy: a higher education drupal product for departmental websites, and finally Delivering Drupal (Sam Boyer on devops and deployment).

Review of Drupal 7 Business Solutions

Drupal 7 Business SolutionsYou can think of Drupal 7 Business Solutions as a magnificent and never ending blog post showing how a business owner can truly get an extremely functional website going using the CMS framework Drupal. The book, written by Trevor James and Mark Noble and published by Packt Publishing, is of course so much more: it includes all the details, all the steps actually required, to design, build, launch and maintain such a website (in this case, the Artisan Bakers Collective Website is the case study used throughout).

Installing Acquia Commons on an Amazon Web Services EC2 instance


Main site: http://aws.amazon.com/

Console overview, tour, all categories of info: http://aws.amazon.com/console/

For example, Amazon EC2 Features at http://aws.amazon.com/console/#ec2

I watched the EC2 tutorial at http://d36cz9buwru1tt.cloudfront.net/console/AwsConsole.html

AWS Documentation: http://aws.amazon.com/documentation/

EC2 Documentation (Getting started (recommended), user's guide, etc.): http://aws.amazon.com/documentation/ec2/

Signing up

Go to http://aws.amazon.com/ and click on the button which says Sign up for a free Amazon Web Services Account – Sign Up Now.

You can use your existing Amazon customer account email and password if you already have one.

My Los Angeles presentation Installation Profiles as everything in code Drupal process strategy (video, slides and code)

So I'm back in L.A. and gearing up. No better way than to present at a local Drupal User's group.

We look at Features (actually a lot) vs Installation Profiles as everything in code process, which is necessary for the adoption of best practices in development.

Slides: https://docs.google.com/present/view?id=dcg2pmwb_109hpc8m8c4

Video: http://blip.tv/ladrupal/installation_profiles_as_an_everything_in_code_d...

"It seems everyone is talking about using Features for "everything in code" development, but what about installation profiles? This oft-overlooked part of Drupal core is available to us all and provides the tools needed for successful, repeatable development and deployment. Victor Kane is an Drupal developer and trainer with deep roots in the Los Angeles Drupal community. He is the author of Leveraging Drupal: Getting Your Site Done Right. This presentation is a continuation of his articles on the subject at http://awebfactory.com/node/448 and http://awebfactory.com/node/458 "

Code: http://drupal.org/project/pft

I would really love some feedback on all of this.

If your business depends on adopting an agile Drupal devlopment process in Southern California, I can help. Contact me. See Mentoring at AWebFactory.

Project Flow & Tracker full installation profile published on d.o. as free software

Project Flow & Tracker Status update for early January, 2011

As tweeted four days ago, Project Flow & Tracker is now an installation profile http://drupal.org/project/pft on d.o. Please read the project page for download and install instructions and road-map. The most important aspect is that since this is an "everything in code" install profile, there will be no more getting locked into an outdated version. Just by running update.php you will get access to all updates available as the pft modules evolve. Also, even though I am creating a SaaS platform, the "everything in code" paradigm will prevent a "commercial" vs "free" version since every advance made on the SaaS platform will be present in the installation profile base modules as updates right on http://drupal.org. As long as its there.

I have already written several articles on how this can be done, and I will be thoroughly documenting the workflow I have finally chosen in great detail.

I hope many will download and start using the install profile! Meet you on the issue queue!

A word on the Free software pledge

This gives me a material base upon which to make the free software pledge as a way of clearly showing where I stand on the "Drupal App store" debate. It is my way of struggling against such an App Store, and I hope others will make similar pledges.

I take this position for reasons I will elaborate upon in a future article (among many other things, greater and smaller, I would like to know who decides what goes in and what is excluded (no-one is addressing this question); and I would like to know how I can charge for stuff based on modules other people have developed, not to mention core...).

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