Drupal Development

By Mike Gifford on 28/02/2008
This fall we've gotten more involved with the Talent First Network and some of their initiatives to promote open source in Ottawa. We've got a part-time intern through them and are quite interested in the opportunities being generated by this team. Tonight Jonathan & I presented on Drupal/CiviCRM/CCK at the open source boot camp, a series of talks to introduce Carleton University students to other opportunities for employment. There was a good showing and we fortunately weren't the first presenters. Kamal lead a nice presentation on different open source licenses which ws good.
It seemed...
By Mike Gifford on 15/02/2008

Since we started developing Content Management Systems (CMS) in 2000 we have wanted to give our clients control of their content. Since that time we have found that most organizations do not have very fancy formatting requirements and just need a few key systems that people can use which allow them to mark up their documents in a way that makes it easier for everyone to read.

The standards have changed in the last eight years, but the best practices today use style sheets and semantic html to attach meaning to the markup. This allows both search engines and other screen readers to...
By Mike Gifford on 14/02/2008
Drupal 6.0 was just released yesterday and we're pretty excited about this as we've been watching the latest release evolve over the last year now.

We wanted to highlight just a few of the enhancements we've seen over 5.x:
Better i18n Support - it's gotten so much better since we started working with it back in 4.6, but issues like menus & internationalization will work much better now
Built in Teasers - A lot of folks like the ability to define custom teaser pages like we had set up for our old CMS Back-End.org. This will help with the migration
Better Block Handling - drag and drop...
By Mike Gifford on 05/12/2007

We've now been approached by quite a few different religious communities who are looking to build an online community through Drupal. A number of us are Quakers and so we have built sites (mostly volunteer) for Friends organizations we're affiliated with. We recently launched a website for a United Church congregation looking to build its virtual community. We were happy to see that the national United Church site is using Drupal.

It is really a natural fit since the religious communities that have flourished are those that reach out to their membership and bring them a reason to come...
By Mike Gifford on 03/08/2007
We're super excited to announce the release of Steve's new Drupal module - Connect. Connect glues together two CCK node-types so that they are related to each other. Big deal you you say, but it is! Not just because it's our brain-child, but because it marries two pressing needs of our clients - effective take action tools and flexible event registration systems. But we developed this initially for an advocacy tool we were developing or a client, The Council of Canadians, so let's start there.
All of the exiting Take Action tools I know have either grown very stale or died a painful death....
By Mike Gifford on 16/06/2007
I was contacted by a company earlier this week that wanted to enhance their search engine results and wanted to incorporate some dynamic aspects to their website to help them do this. After looking at their site and thinking about our experience with SEO I thought that there would be some huge advantages to migrating their site over to this Content Management System.In this blog post I want to highlight some of the steps that I proposed to make the shift from a static HTML site to an optimized Drupal site. There are a number of details of exactly how I would configure Drupal that I have...
By Mike Gifford on 13/05/2007
I signed up to do a speed geek at Drupal Camp, but mostly out of habit. I first was exposed to it at AdvocacyDev 1 and later at the NTEN conference. Both times I was exhausted after presenting 5 five minute presentations, but found that it was a worth while experience. I'd never given a speed geek about Drupal before though and thought that nobody had mentioned search engine optimization at the conference. Seemed like something that folks would be interested in and felt that OpenConcept had some recent experience to contribute to this. At the last minute the speed geek was turned into a speed...
By Mike Gifford on 01/05/2007
OpenConcept is pleased to be participating in the 2nd annual Toronto Drupal Camp. Ravi, Ethan & myself will be heading down to participate in workshops from other Drupal developers. Meet with other users and developers here in Ontario and get a better sense of how people are using this software.
The community around Drupal is quite engaged and there have now been a number of conferences organized internationally to get together developers. International conferences have been held in Amsterdam, Brussels Vancouver, Portland, the Yahoo! Campus and this fall Barcelona.
It was nice to see...
By Mike Gifford on 30/04/2007
The whole Drupal Song as featured on the Lullabot podcast made me think a bit more about help play a bit more with the culture of Drupal. We all know that Drupal is a great CMS that provides individuals and organizations with a scalable, user-friendly interface. But does it have pony power? Now we can say that with absolute certainty it does.
I purchased a Konrad Pony T-Shirt from Angry Sheep Designs when I was in Halifax a month ago. It was popular and I had some requests for more My Little Pony styled products. I thought that a Drupal pony would be a fun addition. I also got a gay pride...
By Mike Gifford on 17/04/2007
I've been listening to some very interesting podcasts lately on Open Source Conversations, the best have been focused on the concept of the wiki. The most inspiring have been Mitchell Kapor's Wikipedia and Knowledge Communities and the panel discussion with Josh Bancroft, Ned Gulley and a few others, available in the podcast's archive, Wikis in Enterprises - Wikimania 2006.
It's been a week or so since I listened to Mitchell's talk. Couple things that struck me from this was the fact that despite the fact that Wikipedia is having a huge impact on how we work, and how we will do so in the...