DC Drupal Labs Recap: July 30, 2008

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Affinity Labs in Washington, D.C. was mobbed Wednesday night by a crowd of Drupal open source developers eager to share ideas and knowledge about their latest projects.

More than two dozen technophiles, independent developers, representatives from various development shops and Trellon's Managing Partner Michael Haggerty shared in the open forum about ongoing work, specific techniques to improve Drupal functionalities and the potential for hosting an unpcoming Drupalcon here in the nation's Capitol. It was an exciting atmosphere as there were several first-time attendees many of who were using Drupal and CiviCRM to manage operations within their organizations.

Haggerty discussed AJAX design patterns in Drupal, and shared video of his company's internal project management system for tracking hours and estimates. He went into depth about the 'AJAX Trifeceta' of using Drupal's internal hooks and jquery to create inline usable forms in Drupal sites.

What Was On Tap

The event featured a number of speakers covering a range of subjects ranging from basic Drupal configurations to advanced programming techniques. We did manage to stream the event live over ustream.tv, and there is a video of the discussion. Here's the video, and there's a breakdown of topics below:

DC Drupal Labs - July 30, 2008

DC Drupalcon - 0:45

Eric from Development Seed talked about the proposal to bring DrupalCon to DC. Living in the city, dealing with traffic and metro delays, sometimes you forget about how accessible DC really is to travellers, with the multiple airports, railways and ample hotel offerings. Eric talked about how the proposal was received by the community and how good our prospects are for not needing to travel next time we talk about Drupal.

Install Profiles - 5:30

Alex from Development Seed talked about install profiles and how they can be used to automate the setup of sites. Install profiles are one of the most easily overlooked efficency features within Drupal, especially for developers working on unique or custom developed sites. Alex went through the hooks that exist in install profiles to make setting up sites faster and more efficient.

Drupal Security - 27:00

Alex also took a few minutes to talk about how the Drupal team goes about tracking security issues and the way disclosure is handled.

2 Concepts - 30:00

Marjorie from Baltimore discusses grepping the cvs repository, data visualization tools from University of Maryland, and using views to create CSV files. This really gave a lot of persepective about the experience for people getting into Drupal from another technical background. Marjorie had a lot of questions about how to generate data to display in a charting application and the group kicked around some great ideas for how to do it with views.

Site Recipe - 55:00

AmberEyes gives the group a site recipe for theming and configuring a Drupal site for one of her clients. She discusses how she used CCK and Views techniques in depth and they work together to provide a great solution for her client.

AJAX Design Patterns for Drupal: Going for the Trifecta - 1:10

Michael Haggerty from Trellon puts usability front and foremost with his discussion of AJAX form submissions in Drupal. This is an in-depth conversation about using hook_form_alter, hook_node_api and some simple javascript to automate form submissions and really get a handle on the markup Drupal generates to get control of AJAX interfaces. This talk is a precursor to some other topics he will be discussing further in his company's blog.

Thanks to Mike McCaffrey for organizing the whole event, thanks to Eric Gundersen for his involvement in the Drupalcon proposal, and thanks to all the speakers and participants involved. It was a lively conversation and really said a lot about the state of the Drupal community in DC.