Drupalcon Szeged 2008 was the annual European gathering of some of the best Drupal minds of our generation with plenty of excitement and style thrown into the mix. For the event I flew across the pond to represent for Chapter Three and chase down some amazing vegan food throughout Central Europe with Drupal genius Neil Drumm. It was a wonderful time all around and worth the trek from San Francisco through Prague and Vienna to the town of Szeged in southern Hungary.
The conference was kicked off with Dries' regular State of Drupal presentation where he dropped that there are over 20,000 Drupal 6 installations currently online and laid out his vision for Drupal 7 which included naming Angie "webchick" Byron to be co-maintainer of Drupal 7. Angie is a big fan of automatic testing and improved usability so wait for that to break out big in Drupal 7.
There were a couple great sessions by Sam Boyer about using Panels and using the Panels API where he laid out some of the existing power and the future direction of this very important module (including a Drupal 6 release in the coming weeks). I attended all the talks on Drupal security (a favorite topic of mine), including some particularly neat automatic security auditing approaches demonstrated by Barry Jaspan. The talk on running a Drupal consultancy by Tiffany Farriss (Palantir), Eric Gundersen (Development Seed), and Robert Scales (Raincity Studios) was fantastic and I strongly encourage anyone in this business to watch it a couple times.
Despite the serious time difference, but thanks to the hotel and conference internet I was able to keep up with the Chapter Three business and got to spend some quality time creating a Drupal 5 and Drupal 6 release for Drupal for Firebug, a module and Firefox extension to help with Drupal debugging and development. Rolled a couple of patches, got up to speed with the latest in Drupal 7, and made some additional improvements to Drupal for Firebug during the Code Sprint on the final day.
I met some amazing people at the conference (including a number of European developers I had only spoken with online) and left feeling really pumped and excited about everything Drupal. The future here is quite bright and I look forward to seeing everyone at Drupalcon North America next March.