DOPCAST episode 1, "rate this module"

3 maart 2010, Sociëteit KBO

This is the first "DopCast" (a podcast with a twist) I made for DOP, a screencast on how to use and configure the rate module.

Rate has been called "the cck model for voting with drupal" and while it is far away from anything like CCK, it is a flexible way of enabling rating for users on content. It features many options:

  1. Thumbs up
  2. Thumbs up / down
  3. Fivestar
  4. Emotion (this makes me mad, angry...)
  5. Yes / no and
  6. Custom

Like Vote up/Down and Fivestar it uses Voting API for stroring data, so one can use for example Views to display the results. But unlike these other fine alternatives, Rate has been designed with more flexibility in mind.

Using VoteUp/Down or Fivestar might still be the best choice for your use-case, but you should at least checkout Rate. One can see the vodcast at youtube (be sure to select 720p).

Espresso in de UK


Engeland. Mooie land, Geweldige landschap. Eeuwenoude gewoonte. Sterke cultuur. Maar van koffie hebben ze geen verstand.

Toen ik een espresso bestelde, keken ze al moeilijk. Ik kreeg de twee slokken koffie in een soepkom. En om de grap compleet te maken, vroegen ze of ik er melk bij wou...

Nope, geweldig land maar geen van koffie geen kaas gegeten.

Drupal Dev Days, a retrospective

Last week we held the “Drupal Dev Days" at the HQ of This post reflects some thoughts on why we organised this camp, what we did and what we learned.

We started the smaller unconference Dev camp because we want to facilitate smaller groups to come together and work on targeted items. In the Netherlands we also have the DrupalJam’s. The last Jam had nearly 300 attendees and with the growing demand of Drupal services, this conference will grow for some time, 400 attendees in half a year is realistic.

Robert Douglass’ keynote during last DrupalJam, (c) Wessel Zwiers

To put this in perspective, a DrupalJam now is as big as a European DrupalCon only 4 years ago. And while having a big local conference is a good thing for networking and promotion, there is a growing need to get smaller more focussed “unofficial" camps to get better communication and more interaction. So DOP decided to facilitate a smaller camp with only developers, laptops, wifi, a nice location, tents, a BBQ, some beer and water-pistols. All the ingredients for having a good Drupal camp!

360 panorama of the place where DDD was held

And we did have a good time, the weather was very nice, lots of people brought local beer and while there was no program, we actually did a lot. That is, some just wanted to site and discuss, other wanted to learn and share and some just wanted to code.

For an impression of the camp, see this collection.

So what did we do during these three days apart from throwing buckets of water?

  • Marc van Gend and Erik Stielstra started a module codenamed “turn me on" that enables the current site of a state to be saved. The idea is to have multiple states of a site for staging and production so one can easy turn on and off modules or settings that you want in a preproduction environment but not on a production site. This module will be released once completed.

  • 10 people discussed on how to get a better User Interface for Hansel “breadcrumbs done right!" by co-worker Maurits Lawende. Hansel is a very powerful way of providing very flexible breadcrumbs on all pages and views yet with this power is currently hidden in a sub optimal interface. Hansel will never be as popular as the direct “competitors" (such as custom breadcrumbs) since you need to understand arguments and rules, yet we cam up with an easier interface that will hit d.o in the next release.

  • Coworkers Maarten Verbaarschot and Sietse de ruiter did some work on the base theme Ink Ribbon

  • Karten Frohwein gave a good presentation on simpletest

  • The best part IMHO was kicked of by Clemens Tolboom, a session about helping develops -and users- to clean up their issue queue by using a system called Triage. Triage is a way to of prioritising patients based on the severity of their condition by relatively unskilled personal. This so professionals (doctors, maintainers) have a better queue where they can focus on musts and shoulds and users are forced to give better input to them. This system is in use at Gnome and seems to work fine there. For example, bigger modules like views have more then 1000 issues open, unworkable for those wanting to help out and the maintainer(s). If we would have a system where anyone could help by classifying bugs and by asking for more information or closing old bugs related to 4.x version, all benefit. If you want to help out in this prococes, please read 838682 and work from there.

  • Maurits also worked on the Rate module. A module build on voting API that has a broader range then for example 5star with more value types. See a screenshot below:

  • and

  • Morten -lead organiser of the upcoming DrupalCon in Copenhagen, skyped in to promote in his special way this event and was shown on the beamer. Nearly all of the attendees were already planning on visiting the DrupalCon Copenhagen, yet spreading the word always helps!

So what did we learn? The number of no shows is always high on these events. Sending out mails to the attendees on a regular basis is a good way to get feedback and ask if people are really coming. It is also a good thing to have some kind of program as a backup even if it is an unconference.

It was fun co-organising this with Rolf van de Krol and we will be doing this again next year!

Drup dot al

My very own Hansel and Gretel
Every day or so I try to browse so modules that might be of use for customers. Not that my team is afraid of building own modules. Not at all as the Hansel module for example shows. A rather cool module for developers to make better breadcrumbs that we build for the and was donated by them. Not afraid to make own modules that make "awesomeness happen". But using Open Source means building on the shoulders of giants and no matter how tall you are, there is always someone taller then you. So despite being 2 meters tall, I always look for smarter people writing interesting code/functionality.

So the other day I came across the Drupal anywhere module that uses twitters anywhere service. Anyway, clicking the demo link brought me to...!

And this is what I wrote about that domain-name back in 2006:

If Drupal would have started in 2005 and Albania would have had a real NIC, we wouldnt have claimed but

But we arent followers, not here to be hip and we were twodotooo before Tim could spell it out. So we are, rocking without being Beta Two Dot Oooh!

And I still think it is true today. Even if Time gave an excellent keynote at DrupalCon SF. is a funny domain-name. Demoing a nice module, that is all it is. And when the Albanian NIC was any more open back in 2001 when I registered I am sure I would have looked at as well. Nice domain name, but search engines are the new DNS, Google is the new Bind. Funny name, But most outsiders already think that the name Drupal by itself is funny enough.

Opera on iPhone proxies all request (privacy fail)

Yes, the very fast Opera browser on the iPhone proxies all request! In normal language, every webpage you visit from your iPhone with the opera browser is send towards Opera. Thereby, they get al the information from you. If you submit a form, it is send to Opera. If you search in Google, it is send to opera. If you login to a website, your password is send to Opera!

They wil claim the need to do this because of the prorpietary way they handle images and HTML to speed up a website. And it is a speedy browser:

I think part of the speed comes form the fact that they proxy all traffic and some funky stuff with preloading images. However, it is absurd that a browser gets /all/ the data I send, all the websites I visit, all the passwords I submit, all the search queries I do. It might not be spyware but sure gets close to this.

How did I found out?

I visitied Facebook on Opera and got this message from facebook:
Facebook security

Then I visited Facebook form my iMac and saw:

Opera on iPhone proxies via Norway?!

Then I did a test on my own host and grepped the logging:

Opera on iPhone proxyes all request!

Ans here is the code:

pimsbb2@newborn:~$ sudo tail -f /var/log/apache2/access.log | grep -i test
[sudo] password for pimsbb2: - - [17/Apr/2010:21:05:24 +0200] "GET /test HTTP/1.1" 404 500 "-" "Opera/9.80 (iPhone; Opera Mini/5.0.0176/764; U; en) Presto/2.4.15"
pimsbb2@newborn:~$ whois
% This is the RIPE Database query service.
% The objects are in RPSL format.
% The RIPE Database is subject to Terms and Conditions.
% See

% Note: This output has been filtered.
% To receive output for a database update, use the "-B" flag.

% Information related to ' -'

inetnum: -
netname: IPO-OPERA
descr: Opera Software ASA

I am not the first person to finds out about it, see for example But I am the person to tell you that you should be aware that you send all your data cleartext towards Opera when using the app (https is fine however). And I am the person to tell you I will not use the app anymore. Bad Opera! Bad! No cookie.

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