Technical Thoughts, Tutorials, and Musings

Nice knowing you, Palm

As many people who know me know, I've been a Palm OS affictionado for years. Starting with the Palm III back in 1998, I've used 8 different Palm OS devices personally, 5 of them Palm, Inc.-branded.

So it is therefore with much sadness that I now say "Palm, go to hell, preferably bankrupt".

DrupalCon Paris: Drupal grows up

DrupalCon Paris 2009 is now in the past. As usual there was last minute chaos, lots of people running around behind the scenes going insane, people hugging friends they see once every six months, presentations ranging from super-technical to light and fluffy, general geekery, and of course copious amounts of beer. (This time we didn't drink out any of the bars, but then it is Paris.)

But there was something else, too, that I saw as an undercurrent of much of the conference: Maturity. Not the "acting like boring, responsible adults instead of having fun in Paris" kind of maturity (may that never happen), but the "thinking about more than just being code ninjas" kind of maturity. Drupal, as a whole, is growing up.

DrupalCon: Design Patterns are back

Just when you thought it was safe to go to DrupalCon, here comes... schedule change!

It turns out there was a late cancellation, so the DrupalCon Paris team has asked me to fill in with Drupal Design Patterns on Wednesday afternoon.

If you write modules for Drupal, you want to be there. Although we'll be approaching the subject from a slightly theoretical slant, the main thrust will be how to write code that other developers will understand quickly, that they'll be able to extend, and how to not reinvent the wheel by leveraging existing solutions and approaches.

Databases, D7CX, and DrupalCon

Do you have a Drupal module you want to upgrade to Drupal 7?

Do you want to know how to leverage the Drupal 7 database layer to make your module better?

Will you be at DrupalCon?

There should be about 500 of you that meet that criteria, by my estimate. More than enough for a BoF. :-)

Views in Paris: 1-2 punch

Are you all set for DrupalCon Paris?

Through the mysteries of scheduling, Paris ended up with not one, but two sessions on Views. The first, from Frédéric Marand, is a 4 hour workshop on Views 2 for coders on day 1. The second is yours truly in a 50 minute session on Views for Developers on day 2.

Sounds very similar, doesn't it? Yeah, we thought so too. Not to worry, though, as we've worked out how to keep both sessions distinct and interesting.

Here's how it will break down, so you can decide which session you want to go to (and you'll want to be at least in one of them; this is Views, after all):

ORMs vs. Query Builders: Database portability

There has been some discussion in recent days regarding Object-Relational Mappers (ORMs), Drupal, and why the latter doesn't use the former. There are, actually, many reasons for that, and for why Drupal doesn't do more with the Active Record pattern.

Rather than tuck such discussion away in an issue queue, I figured it better to document a bit more widely.

Has it been that long?

According to Drupal.org, it has now been four years and five days since I first joined the Drupal community. My how time flies, and how much has changed since then.

Am I done yet?

Oof!

I like giving presentations. I really do. But this has been quite a conference season this year; certainly my busiest ever. Four conferences in four different states, and nine presentations. And the year isn't even half over yet...

Here's what I've been up to:

Help build a better PHP IDE!

There's been a fair bit of talk about PHP IDE's of late. That's not surprising given how useful they can be. (Really, folks, vi can only take you so far.) Most of the attention has been focused on the big boys: Eclipse and its derivatives (both free and commercial), Komodo, and NetBeans. Eclipse and NetBeans are both Java based, and Komodo is based on Mozilla's XUL platform (which also runs Firefox and company). I've been bouncing between them for a while, and haven't really been satisfied with any of them. I usually refer to Eclipse as the one I hate least. :-)

There's a new contender to keep an eye on, though, that is worthy of notice: KDevelop.

Important DrupalCon session change!

Just to give everyone a heads up, I have made some changes to one of my sessions. Based on the feedback I received earlier, my session on Object-Oriented Drupal has been updated. It seems no one wanted to hear about the basics, as they already knew them. :-) I will instead be focusing on design patterns, OO design philosophy, and how it applies (or should apply) to Drupal. It's too late to get changes into the printed program, but I have updated the session page on the DC DC web site to reflect the new focus.

So if you were hoping for a session on basic PHP OOP syntax and concepts, um, sorry. If you're looking for an intermediate to advanced session on how to use OOP well, then this session is for you.

I'll see you in DC!

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