DrupalCon

DrupalCon London was recently held at Fairfields Halls in Croydon. A sell out event, it brought the UK and wider Drupal community together for one week to discuss the past present and future of Drupal.

I’ve been involved in Drupal for several years. Initially starting out as a user/site-builder, I’ve become a maintainer of a few modules over time. As with most technology I get involved in, there has to be a few key things that initially spark an interest. For Drupal it was the expandability through the module system as well as the ease of setting up a site. It wasn’t all plain sailing as I was caught out by the terminology – for instance ‘nodes’ and ‘taxonomy’. Over the years my involvement with Drupal has morphed in line with my changing interests. No longer am I interested in setting up and building websites, but more interested in the backend servers and services that deliver web content to the browser.

At DrupalCon the sessions that stick in my mind are “Damn Quick Drupal: How to Make Drupal Perform and Scale Like a Rockstar!” and “This Code Stinks!” as well as the opening “Survive and Thrive: Drupal(Con) How To”

“Damn Quick Drupal” was a great talk from Michael Cooper at Acquia. Michael talked about getting the most from a Standard Drupal installation by turning on Drupal’s own performance boosting settings as well as tuning Apache, MySQL and enabling APC. He followed this up by benchmarking using AB (Apache Benchmark) and Devel (a Drupal module) and providing a formula for calculating the optimum Apache settings.

“This Code Stinks” was a humorous talk from Larry Garfield at Palantir.net . Being a module maintainer I could easily identify with some of the issues he raised – too much knowledge of internal data-structures (tight coupling) and overly complex functions. I am looking forward to later releases of Drupal with more object-orientated code which will encourage better coding styles and less reliance on knowing internal data-structures.

There was also the social aspect of DrupalCon. It was great meeting people, chatting to them – from different backgrounds and from different countries.

If you haven’t’ seen the videos – you can view them all on the main DrupalCon London site: http://london2011.drupal.org.

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