Session voting for Drupalcon 2010 in San Francisco started today and I am very proud of the great entries that our team at Phase2 has prepared for the conference. In total our team proposed 13 sessions that cover 5 of the 6 categories and run the complete range from business topics to graphic design, architecture and code development. We would love your vote and chance to share what we have learned this past year.
Here are the technical sessions in the Under The Hood category.
Case Study: Providing a Scalable Infrastructure for Whitehouse.gov
In October 2009, the official site of the President, Whitehouse.gov re-launched on Drupal. The preparation, development, and testing of the infrastructure required was an immense effort full of challenges. It was a landmark win for Drupal and did a lot to legitimize Drupal's flexibility, security and scalability to those outside of our community. This session will provide insight into the infrastructure required to power this uniquely visible and high traffic site. While many of the details of this particular implementation cannot be revealed, the session will address how a site with this caliber of usage deals with traffic spikes, code and infrastructure deployments and scalability. The discussion will include strategies and techniques that include:
- Deploying Drupal in a Scalable Way
- Set up and management of deployment architecture
- Implementing replication architecture
- Building for high availability
- Preparing for disaster recovery
Practical Linked Open Data Implementations Using Drupal
Many site builders are frustrated by not knowing how to access the vast amounts of freely exposed Linked Open Data available to augment & enhance existing content. Clever usage of free web services like OpenCalais? and use of Semantic Web technologies like RDF & SPARQL will allow your site to take advantage of the rich resources being openly exposed in the emerging Linked Open Data economy. Integration with these existing resources can save you time and effort collecting information available elsewhere from trusted sources like DBpedia, Freebase, Crunchbase and the CIA World FactBook? .
This session will satisfy technical implementers looking for details on how to achieve integration of Linked Open Data into your existing Drupal site or how to architect a new site to use these resources. Using practical use cases, we will cover a variety of techniques and technologies that can be used to integrate Linked Open Data about people, companies, organizations, cities, states and countries to make your site richer and provide depth to your content.
Making the most of your upgrade to Drupal 6.x
While the release of Drupal 7 is getting closer, a number of older 5.x sites are still out there and would benefit from an upgrade to 6.x first. This session aims to cover:
- how to assess when such an upgrade is a good choice
- typical issues you will run into and ways to resolve them
- dealing with obsolete modules
- preserving your data as much as possible
- and other challenges you may face when upgrading a real world site with its share of modules, custom code and themes.
We'll also discuss general methods and practices that will allow you to keep your Drupal site easily maintainable in the future.
Drupal as a Product Platform
In this panel discussion, our director of product development, Irakli Nadareishvili is joined by other leading experts of using Drupal as a product platform. Panel will discuss different use-cases, present some best-practices and allow for extensive Q&A with the audience.
Here are the technical sessions in the Design, Theme, and Usability category.
Stop Decorating and Start Designing
Designers often have the misconception that designing a site for Drupal means that there are limitations that will dictate the overall look and feel of the site. This misconception has given birth to a trend of decorating popular themes rather than designing for content, brand, and emotion. This presentation will be both practical and inspirational; exploring ways for you to get inspired, create a process, and get creative to produce unique and beautiful web designs using Drupal.
Web Typography: Take your Designs from Good to Great
Typography is a major component of any well composed web design both in Drupal and beyond. Lets get inspired and look at how offline design can inspire your online designs! In this presentation, Samantha will evaluate interesting offline lettering and discuss how you can translate those principles and leverage CSS3, @font-face, some Drupal modules and new font-as-service web apps to create engaging online typographic experiences.
Here are the technical sessions in the Leveraging Drupal for your business category.
Branded URL Shorteners and Drupal
URL Shorteners play a significant role in the social web's eco-system. Though there are several well-designed and free options, we are beginning to see a trend of branded URL shorteners emerging. Most recently we've seen an influx of branded URL shorteners from Google, The New York Times, Yahoo, US Federal Government and other big names who prefer using custom shorteners instead of third-party ones.This presentation describes several important reasons why an organization would launch a custom URL shortening service; explains the nuts and bolts of such system; and introduces a Drupal-based, purely open-source solution. The presentation gives a unique opportunity to get first-hand information about the complicated topic and the state of URL shortening capabilities in Drupal, as the presenters are the authors of the Drupal module providing shortening functionality. The very module used on several successful, Drupal-based shortener services, including: http://go.usa.gov
Drupal Publisher's Panel
Online News is a natural fit for Drupal. Publications of all types from newspapers, magazines, trade publications and journals have used Drupal aggressively to better showcase breaking news, analysis, features, blogs and user generated content. These publishers become avid fans and some of the best evangelists of Drupal because it answers so many of their growing needs.
Demands on all news and information organizations are growing. Despite dwindling numbers of traditional media outlets, competition for readers is greater than ever. Busy editors are being asked to do more with less resources, and a publisher’s ability to respond to trends in online news and information delivery is critical to success with readers. This session will feature a panel discussion with Drupal implementers at prominent news sites, including The Slate Group, The New Republic and The Nation, who will address:
- Why they chose Drupal
- What aspects of the platform are most useful to them
- What tricks and tips they have for others implementing Drupal for news publishing
- Where they hope the Drupal platform can better serve the needs of publishers
This session is for anyone who is using Drupal for publishing or preparing to implement a publisher's site. We will address some architecture and module level topics, but the session is appropriate for all technical levels.
The Future of Drupal in Government
In the past year, there has been much discussion about Drupal as a platform to serve Government. As we strive to help governments improve efficiency, transparency, accountability, and participation, it becomes more apparent that Drupal is naturally equipped to solve many of these challenges. But at the same time, there are incredible counter-forces at play, and implementers need to be aware of them. For instance: transparency is at odds with security, participation is at odds with privacy, etc.
This session will explore the topic from several angles, including what implementing Drupal in government can mean for the community from consultants experienced in the largest of government implementations. We will address:
- What can Drupal (as both a community and a platform) gain from government adoption?
- What Does Drupal need to embrace in order to satisfy government requirements?
- How will government adoption change Drupal?
This session is for anyone involved in government implementation as well as those curious about it. We will address some technical concepts about security, scalability, extensibility, but from the use-case level.
Here are the technical sessions in the Configuration, Set-up & Administration category.
State of Data Visualization in Drupal
A follow-up on a top-rated session presented at the past DrupalCon in DC, this session discusses current state of data visualization in Drupal 6 and 7.
We will provide comprehensive analysis of the current state of the modules that allow data-visualization, will demonstrate some examples of quick visualization using Views, discuss current achievements and analyze challenges that are still ahead.
Building Drupal to be Easy to Maintain and Administer
This session will demonstrate techniques to build and configure Drupal websites that are easy to maintain for non-developers.
Included will be:
- modules that provide additional functionality for administrators
- configuration options to make the "back-end" easier to navigate
- theme modifications to make editing and administration simpler
We will provide examples, explain options, and give detailed "How-To's" to make your site admin-friendly for anyone needing to edit and maintain a Drupal website. This session will be geared for the beginner to intermediate level Drupaler. However, in order to gain the full-benefit of the information provided, prior experience with installation and configuration of Drupal and the CCK and Views modules is highly recommended.
Here are the technical sessions in the Providing Professional Drupal Services category.
Planning and Executing a Successful Drupal Implementation
Learn how to execute best practice processes on large scale Drupal implementations. You'll hear real world examples of how to deal with detailed customer requirements, systems integration complications, tight budgets, and high expectations from stakeholders. Drupal poses particular challenges in these areas, and this panel of experienced Drupal implementers will help you navigate them with predictable results.
In this session we'll discuss how agile analysis and project management processes can be applied to the specific and unique situations presented in a Drupal implementation. We'll discuss the setting of expectations for stakeholders when planning and executing a Drupal project, and how to avoid the typical pitfalls. You'll also learn how a multi-disciplined project team can smooth your project execution, and increase your chance for overall success. Topics to be covered:
- Talking to your stakeholders about CMS and Drupal
- Avoiding the "just install the X module" effect
- How to ask the right questions
- Tailoring the solution to fit within Drupal's natural capabilities
- Brainstorming and wireframing techniques
- Dealing with technical challenges that are specific to Drupal
- Ensuring site acceptance, and more importantly, stakeholder happiness!
Best Practices For Managing a Drupal Firm
Are you currently a sole practitioner providing Drupal services and would one day like to run your own firm? Are you a partner at an existing multi-developer firm looking for fresh ideas and suggestions? Are you interested in networking with other owners, who have a like-minded interest in building a practice around Drupal?
In this session, we will look beyond the technology side of Drupal and dig into the business end of what it takes to run a successful Drupal agency. We’ll touch on critical subject matter topics in areas like sales, recruiting, accounting, human resources, and how to effectively market your services. We’ll address questions like:
- How much operating capital will I need and where do I get it in this economy?
- Does a partial or all telecommute arrangement work? What are the best practices?
- How do I find (and keep) customers without going through competitive bidding?
- Where and how do I recruit good people?
- What are the best practices for contracting for work?
- How can I find out what I should charge for my services?
- How do I effectively balance community and billable time?
- Should I combine forces with other firms and how can I pick good partners?
We will explore answers to questions like this and take questions from you for our expert panel of owner/operators that are in the Drupal trenches. They will share their own firm’s experiences and give an insider’s view of how they handle common challenges. There will be a moderator to facilitate the discussion and keep things moving along in an orderly manner.
Here they all are again as quick voting links - we would really appreciate your time to click through and vote on any you would like to see.