DrupalCon Boston 2008 Wrap Up


Photo Credit: Matthew Saunders

Today was the last official day of DrupalCon Boston 2008, the latest official iteration of the biannual Drupal Conference (it alternates every six months between the U.S. and Europe). I had extremely high expectations for the week, and the conference still managed to exceed them. The power of bringing people together under one roof never ceases to amaze me, especially when those people are used to collaborating online. I can't even begin to imagine what amazing new innovations and directions will emerge as a result of the last four days. I personally was involved in four initiatives:

  • There were two amazing media handling meetups, led by CivicActions' Arthur Foelsche, who is also the creator and maintainer of the truly awesome new family of modules that make up Media Mover and Roger Lopez who created and maintains the great Asset Module, by far the most promising file handler I've come across for Drupal. Also in attendance were Feed API's Alex Barth and Aaron Winborn who created the emfield module, which I help to maintain. I'm sure there will be a post covering the sessions in greater detail, but the biggest thing to come out of the session was that we all agreed to work together to make all of these modules work well together. We have already figured out the Feed API integration, which allows people to automatically create video, audio, and image nodes from the feeds of emfield supported providers, and Roger has already started implementing the integration of Asset and emfield, which should be done very soon (he already has two providers available, and more are coming). Tomorrow there is a big code sprint, and we're hoping to finish integrating these four amazing modules, which will be a huge step for Drupal's media handling capabilities (which happens to be Drupal's most requested improvement).
  • At the Drupal Dojo meetup we came up with a new plan of attack for Drupal, and I committed to using my "outreach skills" (read: loud mouth) to get more people to contribute to Drupal. Some of the action points that came from the session include attempting to come up with a better curriculum for the Dojo, so that there is a clearer path to "Ninja" status, a focus on shorter, better scripted, lessons, and an attempt to get everyone who teaches a session to create videocasts from them, so that their efforts can help more than just those people who can tune into the Dojo at the exact time the lesson is being taught
  • The Drupal Newsletter team, led by Aaron Winborn, continued to push ahead with significant improvements to the newsletter. The biggest news on this front is that we are in the process of creating a new Drupal Newsletter site, which will be one of the few official Drupal sites, and will be located at news.drupal.org.

It was also great to meet lots of people whom I've either worked with or interacted with online, like Adam Light (aclight) who was one of the amazing leaders of the Drupal GHOP and Kieran Lal, whom I "met" while he was working for Music for America. And, of course, it was great to meetup with friends whom I hadn't seen in a long time, like my man Josh Koenig (josh_k) and his Chapter III compadres, and make a lot of new ones. One other significant development that happened during the conference is that I started the process of officially bringing on a partner to this fledgling business, something which I hope will help bring this venture to the "next" level. I'll obviously have a lot more to say about this soon, but for now I have to run to a dinner and more Drupal parties. Aint no party like a geeky party!

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