DrupalCamp Atlanta 2011 Mind Dump

For the third year in a row, I had the pleasure of attending DrupalCamp Atlanta. I look forward to this event every year because it is well planned, organized and a true value. The other reason, I look forward to attending is hanging out with my wife, @mrsshrop before and after the event on Saturday.

This year, I found more value BOF'ing instead of attending sessions. It wasn't an easy call as the caliber of sessions were really good, but they will all be posted as video on the DrupalCamp Atlanta web site soon. I did attend Ryan Szrama's keynote and found it very interesting even though I don't usually develop e-commerce. I do have a possible e-commerce project in 2012 that his Commerce project may prove very useful for next year. I also attended a session that was supposed to be on QA testing with Vagrant and Puppet. Unfortunately, the presenter had a mixup with the venue location and time of the session so another Drupaler stepped up and did his best to cover the topics. I appreciated his efforts, but I really wanted to hear more about Vagrant and the aspect of using these tools with QA testing. I will have to research those on my own.

I would like to thank Media Current and all of the fine sponsors (http://drupalcampatlanta.com/sponsorship) and volunteers who made DrupalCamp Atlanta happen. I highly recommend this Drupal event to anyone interested in Drupal.

Below is a list of items that I found interesting during presentations or BOF sessions:

  • Commerce Kickstart (http://drupal.org/project/commerce_kickstart) is a project that contains a configured instance of Commerce running on Drupal 7. Perfect to just play around with Commerce quickly.
  • KCachegrind for benchmarking Drupal performance - Related blog post (http://chrisshattuck.com/blog/benchmarking-drupal-xdebug-profiler-and-kcachegrind)
  • Xdebug - Related blog post to debug PHP with Xdebug and MAMP (http://www.braahm.be/posts/how-install-php-debugger-xdebug-komodo-and-mamp). @deetergp and I really need to formalize php debugging instead of guess, make a change, guess, etc. This will help.
  • Prey. I mentioned CompuTrace/LoJack type products that we use at work and I was told by @davidknorman check out the Prey Project (http://preyproject.com/)
  • Use shared memory for APC. @BohemianPixel mentioned that using shared memory will prevent APC cache from going to swap drive space. That is awesome and I need to check my APC configs as I can't remember if I have my servers setup to use shared memory.
  • @davidknorman likes to use the Open Atrium ticket# (node id) for cases in git branches so it is easy to tell which branch is for each ticket. Great idea and something we may try.
  • Someone mentioned that I can set custom date formats using PHP date syntax directly in Views, but I can't figure how to do this. If someone knows, please send a screenshot. For now, I am going to continue to insert custom date formats with my features.install file using hook_install and hook_update_N().
  • Speaking of using hook_install and hook_update_N()... It was reinforced by a few folks to use this method for all schema updates so the updates are kept in code and can be version controlled. This is something I have done, but not consistently. I will do this for all updates in the future!
  • Features Override (http://drupal.org/project/features_override) is available for Drupal 6 and Drupal 7, allowing sites to maintain overridden versions of features while accepting feature updates. I had seen this module before, but wasn't confident in using it until Features master @connerton gave his blessing to this great module.
  • I wasn't familiar with LXC LInux Containers (http://lxc.sourceforge.net/) before a mention during a BOF session, but I am going to read up on the project soon.
  • A BOF discussion about the future of Open Atrium not becoming a full features project management system lead to the usage of Redmine (http://redmine.org) with git integration. I really like Open Atrium, but I also want some git integration. This will be shelved for future consideration if needed.
  • In a discussion about mobile-ready web sites, @jpmcneal mentioned that he uses the Omega theme (http://drupal.org/project/omega) because it will adapt nicely to mobile devices under certain screen dimensions. I am definitely going to review this great theme for use in D7. I have followed the progress of Omega since it started and have always liked it, but had no idea about the mobile use case.
  • Delta (http://drupal.org/project/delta) allows D7 themes to have different theme settings per context (http://drupal.org/project/context). This sounds pretty amazing and useful!

Blog Category: