DrupalCon looking back

Apart from the Code Sprint at the MIT tomorrow, DrupalCon Boston is officially over. It was a great experience and a confirmation that I've made the right choice for this wonderfull development framework - not a real cms as some people would like to call it. Some personal hightlights.

Infinite interoperability

Dries' keynote on monday was impressive and inspiring at the same time. Recognizing that Drupal is in fact in it's early stages, he adressed a very strong vision on where Drupal should go. The part where he showed a video about the integration of RDF and sparql combined with his definition of web 3.0 - yeah, it's an ugly word which he also knows - was mindblowing. Another great moment was when Károly Négyesi stood up and applauded (almost like a child) when Dries announced he would extend the development cycle for D7 to 9 months *if* we somehow integrate (simple) unit testing into core (and contrib). Anyone not supporting this idea is just a fool.

Open source is insecure

This is of course not true as you know. It's a quote from the hilarious keynote from Chris Dibona, former editor of /. , now Open Source manager at Google. Leslie Hawthorn also joined the keynote as she is responsible for the Summer of Code and the Google Higly Open Participation Contest which sponsored a lot of drupal students, so hurray for google! Also fun: anyone remember matrix reloaded where Trinity sat in front of a terminal typing 'nmap' ? Well, a gui for nmap was made during the summer of code called UMIT - Use Me Instead Trinity. Fun right ?

More API's

Instead of thousands contrib modules with scattered functionality, more modules are released every day giving us developers a strong api and several of them eventually end up in core also. This not only reduces the huge overhead of having to many contrib modules, it also ensures updates of modules won't break our sites. Modules like AHAH, actions, triggers, messages, notifications and many others all make our life much easier.

There were other worthy moments to remember like seeing a lot of new people, meeting some folks from irc, Roel and I having our own small code sprint with DAST and the Acquia party at the Felt with a gig of Orbit. Drupal rocks! Even literally. Anyway that's it, I'm off to New York on saturday. See you all back on wednesday with a gigantic jet lag!

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drupalcon boston

The freedom trail

Being almost adapted to the 6-hour time difference and the cold here in Boston, we went out to explore the city today. One thing I like about the US is that people try to make it easy for you, also for tourists asking oneself what interesting places you need to visit. Boston has a concept called Freedom Trail, which is a red (mostly brick) path through downtown leading you to significant historic sites. Learning a bit about history, culture and at the same time a good walk - with a stop at the pizza tent - is a cool way of spending your time usefull. Apart from Havard and MIT, I'm pretty sure I've seen the most interesting stuff around here so I can concentrate completely on the DrupalCon which starts tomorrow.

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drupalcon boston

Hello Boston

So I finally arrived at my hotel in Boston after 9 hours to NY, endless waiting at the immigration queue and a short flight back to Boston. I got a mail from Jo (one of the Krimson brothers) with a short message that we will share a room with 2 double queen-size beds - if that ain't cosy! Maybe not that bad since it's freezing over here. Yes, there is actually snow in Boston, the climate isn't that borked up in the US I guess.

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drupalcon boston

Odd and evil things

Today I learned it's possible to add an extra submit handler when using hook_form_alter() in Drupal. En concreto, I can for example create new nodes when someone adds a new language in the locale module. If I were very evil, I could write a contributed module which would be very interesting for the community, but if someone doesn't take a look at my code, he wouldn't see I've added an extra submit function that deletes all nodes after he changes his files settings. Luckily I'm a decent person, I'll never do that :) I'm just very happy I found a solution without messing on the core files!

Evil also seems to be the combination of PHP5, apache and APC: the thing simply crashes every minute, especially when heavy calculations take place leaving nothing but segfault lines in your error log and dumping core in your directory. I've been running a server with lighttpd and XCache (xcache.lighttpd.net) now for a week and I haven't had any phone calls from people seeing the white screen of death, let's hope things stay that way, otherwise, well, I dunno what else for now ...

I also learned something - rather stupid - today: if you enter 0.0 (or 00.00, 0000.000000, etc) in your address bar, the browser takes you to your localhost. I'm not sure what happens if you don't run a local webserver, because I simply don't have any computer without it - and I'm to lazy right now to stop my lighty service.

Anyway, it has been a very interesting and stressy month and I can finally chill out a bit, maybe (finally) get to record some songs again, whatever and of course counting the days untill the first of march when I leave for the upcoming DrupalCon in Boston and a few days wandering around in New York, yay!

Topics 

drupal, lighttpd, apc, xcache

No papers

I managed to drive for more than 3 months without my car papers, I can't really guess what would have happened if the cops would have stopped me. So next time when my parents advise to hide them somewhere in my house when I'm on vacation, I'll gladly ignore this. And to think I've been to France twice - I'm a lucky boy sometimes. Anyway, that's the most exciting thing that happened to me in 2008 so far, I'm hoping to get to some new song-recording this weekend and not touch a keyboard at all!

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personal

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