Four Kitchens

Vote for our DrupalCon London sessions

3 Min. ReadEvents

We’re only 90 days away from the next great Drupal gathering, DrupalCon London. That also means it’s time to vote on the sessions that you want to see. Below is the list of proposed sessions that our web chefs have prepared — so take a look and if you see any you like, please go vote for them. Hurry: Voting ends at 6PM Central on May 25th!

Don’t design websites. Design web SYSTEMS!

Drupal’s theme layer is very flexible and can accommodate just about any web design. It’s important for designers to remember, however, that they’re not really creating a page — they’re building a complete system to house the all of the site’s content. By creating the sitemaps, wireframes, and mockups, designers are actually outlining a site’s feature set. Designers, not developers, determine a site’s purpose and functionality.

Making your Drupal website beautiful with web fonts

For years, web designers have only had access to about 10 “web safe” fonts to choose from which became increasingly annoying. From this frustration, font replacement solutions began to emerge such as sIFR and Cufon, but these required Flash and Javascript. Finally, in just the past year the @font-face syntax has matured, and with the support from all major browsers, designers now have access to thousands of fonts by only using HTML and CSS.

Creating responsive designs using grid frameworks

Using a grid is an easy and robust way to accelerate the design phase of a project. But how can grids be used in conjunction with CSS media queries, HTML 5, browser detection, and other technologies to create a grid-based, responsive design that delivers context- and device-specific experiences to users — all in a single page?

PHP for nonprogrammers

This is a friendly programming introduction for people new to coding. We’ll take a “Physics for Poets” approach to basic PHP concepts like variables, if/else statements, Boolean logic, functions, and hooks. You will write some code, read some code, have some fun, and leave with a clear understanding of how to continue practicing.

Mad skillz: Become the best in the world

Are you a themer or developer who wants to work on bigger, more complicated projects? Do you want to send your resume to top Drupal shops and get hired? Do you want to position yourself as a freelancer, contractor, or small shop to attract more challenging work?

If so, come to this session and create your plan. You will leave with you a take-home list of essential skills and suggested resources for developing them. You’ll also find out what a few top Drupal shops and in-house Drupal team leaders say are the “Five Most Important Skills” their best developers possess.

Connecting drupal to weird things in the real world

Drupal can do more than change the color of pixels in a browser. A series of quick overviews on how to connect Drupal to out-of-the-ordinary devices will be presented:

  • Drupal connected to a phone system (Asterisk)
  • Drupal reading real-world sensors (temperature, door open or closed)
  • An electric motor turned on and off by Drupal
  • Drupal connected to an IRC bot (the bot module)
  • A music playlist controlled by Drupal
  • A label printer suitable for an inventory or shipping system

Debugging techniques for Drupal

A general approach to debugging Drupal problems will be presented, followed by an overview of a variety of tools such as the Devel suite, krumo, xdebug, client side debugging such as Firebug and LiveHTTPHeaders. In addition to debugging functionality, approaches to performance related problems will also be covered. Techniques that apply generally to all web applications or other PHP code will be noted. The main goal is to present a structured debugging that narrows down problems rather than making random changes, in a “scientific method” like manner.

The Economist: A technical case study

For people interested in big websites and their unique challenges, this panel offers a behind the scenes look at The Economist site. A team of experienced Economist developers will talk about the complicated challenges, the innovative solutions, and the still-to-be-solved issues of this popular website. There will also be a (lively, no doubt) Q&A.

The presentation aspect of this session will focus on workflow challenges, testing, performance issues, necessary custom-coded solutions, and 3rd party integration. Sprinkled in, there will be tales of the complex migration from the legacy site to Drupal. The panel will then answer questions and discuss the issues attendees want to delve more deeply into.