Columbus Day? Drupal Day!

Hot on the heels of an awesome BADCamp, we decided to take the holiday of Columbus Day and turn it into a much-needed Drupal Day! A lot got accomplished, and I for one am very happy about the results.

Drupal Dojo

My single greatest personal contribution to the community thus far hasn't been code, but rather an idea, some video content, and six months worth of organizing. Nearly two years ago, I started the Drupal Dojo to help incoming developers wrap their heads around the open source project we all know and love. Seemed like something that was needed, and it was tons of fun and a great success, but in 2008 I haven't been able to do nearly as much, and the group has become less active.

But now, with more and more A-list contrib modules ready to roll and a bunch of number of other factors -- e.g. Acquia Drupal -- on the scene, it feels like the same kind of moment for Drupal 6. I predict explosive growth in the developer community. And so, once again, I'm getting back in the game and will start producing a new set of Dojo lessons starting in November.

6.0 Releases

I also had time to clear out some issues, test some patches, and finally commit some long awaited code. The result is three new Drupal 6.0 module releases:

  • Up/Down: in the spirit of solving obvious problems, this is a solid and serviceable implementation of a plus/minus voting widget for 6.0. With initial code from Greg Hines and awesome token support by dmitrig01, it's stable, secure and ready to pick up where good old vote_up_down left off. I really hope to turn this into a widget on par with the excellence that is fivestar.
  • Menutrails: officially out for 6.0, this brings some common-sense usability goodness to your Drupal site. Keep navigation menu items active, bread-crumbs under control, and dynamically assign your many nodes to automagically show up under the right primary nav elements.
  • Textile: still my favorite HTML shorthand. This one was easy thanks to trevorwining for the patch that made this possible.
  • OG Panels: not all the way there yet, but my patch to bring this into 6.0 made some real progress this weekend.

But Wait, There's More!

In other exciting Drupal news, my colleague Jon Skulski got a patch to the 7.0 core marked ready to be committed. It's really great to see people who only started seriously working with the system in the Summer getting up to the "I kick ass" threshold. Jon brings a lot of skills to the table, and with any luck we'll be seeing more amazing things from him in the months to come.

Also, I believe we've recieved enough positive reviews on the Drupal for Firebug FireFox extension that it can graduate from "experimental" status, which is key for our next release. Still, if you'd like to help us out, write a review so the Mozilla folks will be more inclined to let users install the plugin without first signing up for an account and going through a scary opt-in process.

With jQuery integrated in the 0.0.5 version, we're now able to do the kind of UI work that's really needed to make sense of all the data we can dredge out of the system. We're also set to make asynchronous calls for more information. Basically, we should be able to make DFF the programatic ying to the Theme Developer module's yang. We hope to make it another invaluable part of the professional Drupal developer's toolset.

All in all, it's hard to hope for more from a good Drupal Day. With any luck, these will start to become a regular occurrence around here at Chapter Three!