Drupal Development

By Mike Gifford on 07/01/2009
I started a discussion about the need for unique strings withing the Drupal Groups Accessibility forum.  The new WCAG 2.0 standards discourage webmasters from linking to different places with the same text.  This does totally make sense and has some reasonable SEO implications as well.  "Read more" is useful only if you have the visual reference to know where it is situated.  "More about Example Article Title" is a much more descriptive way to link to a new page, but it is harder to program.  It's also difficult when you have other types of generic links at the bottom of a list of articles...
By Mike Gifford on 29/12/2008
Drupal has some excellent translation functions but deciding which modules to use and how to configure the modules is challenging. There are many different possible configurations depending on your website needs, domain names and content. You'll find there are a lot of choices of modules for setting up a multilingual site.... then there are a lot of key configuration items to enable depending on your website.
This post focused on Drupal 6 modules and issues. We will give some example of the difficult decision making involved in translating content. There is no out-of-the-box configuration...
By Mike Gifford on 29/09/2008
For those in the theming world, Common Look and Feel for the Internet 2.0 (aka CLF) is the source of many hours of CSS tinkering and artistic compromise but necessary if you want to make a Government of Canada compliant website
The context of CLF is noble:
Canadians have the right to obtain information and services from Government of Canada Web sites regardless of the technologies they use. The key to effective implementation of universal accessibility lies in designing sites to serve the widest possible audience and the broadest possible range of hardware and software platforms, from...
By Mike Gifford on 23/08/2008
Less than two years after this post they now have 11 titles when searching their catalog for 'Drupal' in the Ottawa Public Library. It is great to see how big the demand is for this great CMS.
I am quite excited to see Drupal adoption taking off in different verticals in our society. We're feeling a sudden surge of interest within government, but we have also noticed a big increase within libraries. There are communities of users sparking up and library specific modules being developed.
The flexibility of Drupal, particularly with CCK/Views makes it a great resource for people who need to...
By Mike Gifford on 12/08/2008
So it was after contributing a patch to the Donation module developed for the Drupal Association that I finally decided it was time for OpenConcept to step up to the bar and become an organizational member of this group.  It isn't much more than a token gesture, however we are working to be more involved in contributing more than our time and experience to the Drupal project.  We've donated some funds to Drupal events that we've attended and have organized others. 
The manner in which open source projects can organize and collaborate to pay for the inevitable infrastructure work is still...
By Mike Gifford on 30/06/2008

We've had a couple clients recently have some trouble with some of the items that are hidden at the bottom of a Drupal node edit form.  Depending on what modules you've got enabled and what content type you are editing there can be a lot of fields that you have to generate in order to create a node.  So to help with usability Drupal 5 hides many of the fields by logical groups.  Unfortunately, if you don't know what logical group you're looking for you can no longer quickly scan down the page to find the reference you're searching for.   I have yet to see an expand all feature that works to...
By Mike Gifford on 17/06/2008
We had some feedback from a client earlier this week who was worried about adopting Drupal now because she was told that there was going to be a new release out soon that would make the previous ones out of date. I figured that it was important to convey OpenConcept's approach to Drupal upgrades so that it is possible for organizations to budget for future expenses.
Now Drupal is a great software project, but like all software projects it gets out of date rather quickly. Because there is an active developer community and the Internet is such a corrosive environment there will inevitably be...
By Mike Gifford on 28/05/2008
Mike, Charlotte, and I spent the weekend in Toronto, attending the 2008 Drupal camp. It was a very enjoyable time and I'd like to thank the organizers for putting together a great event. I only arrived in Toronto midday Friday, so I missed both the morning sessions, but I was able to attend John Resig's talk about jQuery. I had only briefly looked at jQuery before this talk, so John's talk was very informative, as well as impressive. I can safely say jQuery is a great tool for dynamic doing dynamic UI manipulation and definitely a handy tool to have integrated in Drupal core. Afterwards I...
By Mike Gifford on 02/05/2008

Earlier this week Ottawa had it's first ever Drupal meetup. I started talking up the idea after coming back from the Boston Drupalcon and found that there were a few folks I knew in my network who were interested. Turns out that there were more long standing Drupal users here in the community than I was aware of. There were over 25 people present at the discussion at the James St. Pub and people stayed for nearly 5 hours discussing different elements of Drupal.


The biggest surprise for me came from the number of government agencies who were in attendance. There seems to be a real...
By Mike Gifford on 05/03/2008
Once again we've been learned a lot, met a lot of great folks and explored some excellent opportunities for the future. The optimism of the conference participants about working together is certainly contagious.
Well, it is amazing how valuable bandwidth is when you've spent a couple of days trying to access it (mostly without success). Neither the conference center or our hotel room has had reliable access. At this point we've established some work-arounds which will help, and by the 4th day of the conference I am sure that these will be worked through.
The Internationalization...

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