Zen and the Art of Drupal, The DrupalJam 2014.

As a member of the Stichting Drupal Nederland I have been (co) organising our DrupalCamps called "DrupalJam" for some time now. Last year we hired a soccer stadium for the the DrupalJam and this year we are at a very relaxing location at the water: InnStyle

This year we are working hard to make sure we will have an even better conference than last year. So far, we are on track on making sure we will. :-)

The first keynote speaker is Ancillia Tilia, former fetish model now known in the Netherlands a advocate on digital rights. She has been active in BIts Of Freedom, the Dutch equivalent of the EFF and the "pirateparty" in Amsterdam. The second keynote is from Jan Willem Tulp who creates astonishing data visualisations. Take for example the work descibed on on this page and burn some CPU cycles while flying in WebGL over over Amsterdam.

The featured speakers include Jeroen Tjepkema on web performance, Vincent van Scherpenseel on UX, Iacobien Riezenbosh (State of the web) and Sander Spierenbug (Ethical hacker at KPN, the largest telco in the Netherlands). Apart from these there is a full program on the site and it includes a Question and Answer session via the internet with Dries Buytaert.

Always wanted to ask a question (even if you are not coming to the DrupalJam or are from the Netherlands?), but were afraid to ask? Now is your chance. Do send in your hair raising questions to Dries! If you are stuck in Drupal, we also have a gurubar where the best minds of the Dutch Drupal community will help you out on the spot.

We would like to thank the sponsors and if you are around in the Netherlands, be sure to buy your ticket for 29 euros (30 if you become a member of the Stichting Drupal Nederland). It includes coffee, tea, water, quality lunch, 20 plus sesions, a free e-book from O'Reilly, the option to win 1 out of 5 free PHP Storm licenses, first free drink in the bar and eternal peace. If you do, be sure to pick the pick a badge.

If you can't make it, you can follow the event at eventifier or @drupaljam

Last thing, friend Metin Seven made an artwork with Druplicon that we printed on a 1 meter high canvas. Attendees can bid on this artwork (new office? must have! :-) ) during the conference.

Organising these events is always a lot of work but with a great team it is neither "a lot" nor "work". Thanks team! Peace.

Drupal Predictions for 2014

x-posted from d.o:

"4877. That is where the tradition within the Drupal community of making predictions for the year ahead with regards to our software, our community and broader, the web, started. Node 4877, written at the end of the year 2003. We have come a long way since then.

This year we would like to know what you think the year ahead will bring for Drupal and, as a bonus, we would like to know what was the best prediction you found in the past. Where did we shine when it comes to vision or humor.

See older entries from 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013. Read them.

And now predict for 2014 and reflect the last decade in this thread."

Oh, and happy Bday Drupal :-)

DropCamp NL, Bring Your Own Tent

With 179 days to go, it is time to give some airtime to Dropcamp.nl. According to the website DropCamp (good name, the funny domainname dropcamp.us even better :-) ) is:

Organised by veterans of the Drupal community, DropCamp welcomes you to the city of Enschede for a weekend filled with Drupal like you have never experienced before. We will come together in the first weekend of July to teach, learn, and do business about Drupal in a relaxing and social setting. The DropCamp village will be a place where you will breakfast with hardcore Drupalistas, find business opportunities, and share ideas and drinks with newcomers.

A camp hosted at the University of Enschede, close to Germany and 100 days before DrupalCon Amsterdam an ideal place to nerd around and have some fun. Be sure to checkout Dropcamp on facebook and twitter, signup for the newsletter and maybe some people will come to the event by bike. Like the "come to DrupalCon Amsterdam by bike Tour de Drupal movement. So bring your own drush and tent and have fun.

Tour De Drupal, come to DrupalCon Amsterdam by bike

When the three orange Dutch guys presented DrupalCon Amsterdam 2014 in Prague, they had a slide (#36) were they joked about that one should come to Amsterdam, The Netherlands by bike.

Two friends were funny enough to take this from "a joke" to "a practial joke". Rachel and Stefan created "Tour de Drupal", a community movement to get as many Drupalista as possible to visit DrupalCon Amsterdam 2014 in 330 days by bike!

If you come to this DrupalCon, there is no excuse, you have to come by bike and put yourself on the map. While you are at it, follow our friends on @TourDeDrupal as well. Even I come by bike, and so should you Dries!

There is bound to be more funny stuff coming from the community in Amsterdam, I hope to be involved in some of this and will post it here as well. There is for example talk of an Eurosongfestival with Drupal songs and a revival of the Kitten Killers so bring your guitar as well.

So in the closing ceremony we now have lists of the amount Megabits used, liters coffee drunken and number of flat tires… :-)

Zen and the art of innovation

Commodity sinks, innovations rises. An old rule. That is the reason why the drop has to keep on moving, have shorter release cycles and adopt new technologies faster to make sure we don't become what we replaced; old outdated systems that are slow to adapt and fast to extinct.

There are two sides to this, we have to grab new technologies faster and dump older technologies sooner. And so be sure that adopting new technologies faster doesn't create a legacy we have to release faster. Or at least, this is my opinion.

"Nobody" in the world logs in with openID anymore. Many appliaction to application in backend still might be using it, but nobody uses it to authenticate anymore. The last bastion Janrain just announced that it will close the doors. Drupal will drop OpenID form core as well and might have done this as well a long time ago. So when Drupal 8 will see the light in janury 2014, and we still would have release cycles over a 1000 days, the maintainers will still be dealing with an OpenID implementation and supporting it in Drupal core 7 up to the time D9 ships, somewhere around Q4 2017. Extrapolating our current release cycles most likely later, much later.

This is not to criticise anyone,I think it was a wise step to include OpenID back in the Drupal 6 days and it is a wise step to remove it from D8. But the time between making these releases and hence these decisions should be shorter. And especially the time that it impacts the code to maintain.

You want to know another example of an innovation that was once great and is now holding us back? gzipping pages. In core ever since 4.5 and was a great feature (though I had some problems back then :-)) But it is wrong. Holding us back in duplicate functionality that has to be maintained and is better being served in another OSI layer.

Back when webservers didn't compress pages and elements by default, it made perfect sense to do so from Drupal. A great way to save bandwidth and deliver the pages faster to the user. But now all webservers compress pages (and other elements like a big word document as an attachments served form /files/ !) by default, it is code that has to go. The innovation was great, but it sunk down to lower in the stack and became a commodity in all major webservers. And thta is the risk with all innovations and if one keeps holding to innovations that are already commodity, one ends up over there as well.

This holds true for many elements of frontend performance. Right now is seems like a good thing to combine multiple CSS or JS files in to one file. But once SPDY becomes mainstream this can better be done in HTTP protocol, not in the CMS.

And traditional frontend performance states that we have to use sprites in the template.

While if we add one module and one line of code this is all done at the webserver level with image sprites.

And we should use selective DATA URI's in our template. Most frontend devs will puke; binary data in a template? We are some old ugly old tchnology.
Again, with one command, the webserver layer will migrate these smaller images from flat files to inline DATA URI's.

Take a look at this impressive list of options where modpagespeed -a webserver module- can help you with:

  • Optimize Caching: Canonicalize JavaScript Libraries, Extend Cache, Extend Cache PDFs, Local Storage Cache, Outline CSS, Outline JavaScript
  • Minimize Round Trip Times: Combine CSS, Flatten CSS @imports, Inline CSS, Combine JavaScript, Inline JavaScript, Move CSS Above Scripts, Configuration file directive to shard domains, Sprite Image, Pre-Resolve DNS
  • Minimize Request Overhead: Rewrite Domains, Configuration file directive to map domains
  • Minimize Payload Size: Collapse Whitespace, Combine Heads, Elide Attributes, Minify JavaScript, Optimize Images, Prioritize Critical CSS, Deduplicate Inlined Images, Remove Comments, Remove Quotes, Rewrite CSS, Rewrite Style Attributes, Trim URLs
  • Optimize Browser Rendering: Convert Meta Tags, Defer Javascript, Inline Preview Images, Lazily Load Images, Move CSS to Head, Optimize Images, Convert JPEG to Progressive, Rewrite Style Attributes
  • Other: Add Head, Add Instrumentation, Inline @import to Link, Make Google Analytics Async, Insert Google Analytics Snippet, Pedantic, Run Experiment

Now for some of these actions there might be a Drupal module (lazyloading), for some functions one has to write good CSS/HTML/JS (CSS above scripts), some need good content editors or backend processes (de-duplicate inline images, progressive jpeg's) and some are just not doable yet in the frontend in an easy way (DATA-URI's).

So as a frontend dev (ops), do yourself a favour and do use the page speed module out for Apache and nginx AND keep writing good templates. And as a community Drupal community member, make sure that we keep innovating on the top , and let code free at the end where it is better being served outside of our hands.

(btw Mike Ryan, more retro future at this pinterest board :-)

XML feed