FrOSCon is on!

Drupal people in Sankt AugustinWith the support of the Drupal Association, I traveled to Bonn this Thursday and played the tourist around the city that day. I have been to Cologne yesterday (have seen fantastic sights in both cities), and we ended the day with a nice dinner with people here for the conference and guys from the local user group. See some of Morten's pictures which are already up.

We also ended up at our hotel for some night drinks, and I actually met with some of the nice people I know well from the PHP community (from my previous deeper involvement with the PHP project). It turned out that I switched from the Drupal guys table to the eZ Publish table (lots of people staying in the same hotel). All-in all everybody is very nice, we mixed up quite well.

The conference is also going well, although there are lots of German talks, which some of us can't understand unfortunately. But this means we are progressing with core patches in the meantime, so if you have some pet issues, be sure to continue work on them.

Again, thanks for the Drupal Association for sponsoring the event, I would not be able to make it without their support! And special thanks to Robert Douglass, who had a very good sense of flawlessly organizing the Drupal presence so far.

Managing your local Drupal installation with Git

Although Drupal itself provides a central CVS repository for the Drupal core code and contributed projects management, it is well known that people use other tools for their own purposes. There were several ocassions, when private Subversion repositories were used to develop new core functionality (such as Forms API or the multilanguage changes coming up in Drupal 6). Some people also like using BZR to manage their own changes easily.

A very detailed introduction hit my web browser today though, explaining how can you manage and even upgrade your Drupal installation (including contributed modules) using Git, even keeping local modifications.

It is well-known that Git is a distributed version control system that was created by Linus Torvalds to help with the development of Linux kernel. Distributed version control systems, such as Git, are contrasted with centralized version control systems, such as Subversion. Linux kernel development is characterized by hundreds of contributors and several dozens of development sub-projects, all spread out across the Internet. The repositories contain thousands of files and many thousands of revisions.

We show that Git is actually capable of handling much more lightweight problems, without any unnecessary overhead, with only half a dozen of commands to remember.

It is good to see people experimenting with stuff, not because I see Git would be a good fit for the community at large, due to the lack of good and easy tools around it, but because the community gets knowledge on how different tools compare, to use them more effectively. Especially now, when this year's Google Summer of Code sponsors Jakob Petsovits working on making the version control infrastructure system agnostic.

Development Seed redesigns: a professional site to play catch-up with

Development Seed siteDevelopment Seed is one of the (as far as I see) lesser known Drupal solution providers, who mainly concentrate on intranets, mobile stuff, aggregation and all kinds of good causes to use Drupal for. They are working with smart people of whom some are well known in the community.

I just checked their site yesterday and realized they pushed out a complete overhaul with a professional design and quality information organization. Their new site is all web 2.0 ready with a very stylish tag cloud and very personal with the team introductions and real faces appearing all around where content is posted. Blog posts and strategic areas are clearly connected, locally relevant information is shown in sidebars as you browse around. The new site is smart in the graphics design, organization and navigation of content to let them get the most out of what they have.

I was very positively impressed, because their previous site was just one of the common "we are developers not designers" approaches seen on many Drupal solution provider sites. In my humble opinion, their new site sets a high bar, and clearly shows that they are professional communicators. I am also eagerly watching their Disaster Relief Kit designs and more importantly the Managing News developments, as this later tool I would need myself for getting through the high dose of web development news coming through.

Disclosure: Development Seed supported my thesis work (Drupal 6 i18n tools development) with infrastructure as well as helping refine my thesis text for publication. I am guest blogging at the site (where they kindly call me a Drupal superstar, no less) for a short while to communicate my findings with the community.