Here are some notes on Drupal Camp Toronto 2007, held on 11 and 12 May.
The event was held at the Bahen Centre at the University of Toronto downtown campus. The rooms booked were the right size and accommodated all the attendees.
Although 152 people registered, I am not sure if they all attended. I noticed that Angela Byron (from Montreal) and Boris Mann (Vancouver) did not attend.
People from as far away as Cleveland Ohio, New York/New Jersey and even Chicago.
On Friday, the commute was hellish. Kirk Z kindly drove that day. An accident on the 401 delayed us for an hour getting in. The no left turn and one way streets delayed us even more. On the way back home there was another 401 accident.
On Saturday, the commute was better, since it is a weekend, and we had the Garmin c330 GPS guide us through the labyrinth that is Toronto, and back.
Friday's catering was by Vert Catering, which included fancy sandwiches, fancy salad, and had meat (roast beef), vegetarian (cheese and vegetables) and even vegan (tabouli sandwich!).
On Saturday, it was even fancier, with Afghan Women Catering having Rice (with raisins and carrots, similar to the Roz Bokhari رز بخاري from Jeddah), Boryani (almost the same as Egyptian Mossaka مسقعة), Dal (like the Indian yellow lentils, but less liquid), and Chicken drumsticks. There was also Afghan type bread similar to Tamiz تميز of Jeddah.
Lots of people worked hard to make this conference a reality. Among them are Dan Kurtz, Colan Schwartz, Jane Zhang, Alan Dixon, Ashok Modi, Philip Smith, James Walker, and many others that I am sure forgot.
A big thank you for making all this possible.
The only fly in the ointment is the inconsistent internet access in the smaller room, and the quirks that the projectors had. In the big room, everything worked for. I was finally able to get Linux Kubuntu Feisty to work with the external VGA port. However, in the other room, we had a portable loaner projector that did not work at all (Dan loaned me his Mac to use for the presentation, thanks!), and a built in projector that hijacked the LCD completely.
All in all, the show went on and these glitches did not stand in the way.
The T-shirts are awesome, and the logo is very nice.
Here is the front (Druplicon is the camp fire over two logs).
On the back there are the sponsors' logos.
The T-shirts were made in 2 days, and the designers donated their time to do it.
Here is the front.
Here is the back.
I gave three presentations:
- Using CCK, Views, and Panels as site construction toolkit. This was basically a repeat of same session given at Linuxcaffe at the Drupal Users' Group in March and April. It was very well received, since people saw what they can do with these tools. Thanks to JonBob, yched, KarenS, fago and all the rest of the CCK team, as well as merlinofchaos for Views and Panels.
- Performance tuning and optimization of high traffic web sites. This was a very fun session with all the interaction between the attendees. The only drawback is due to time constraints, I had to zip through the last several slides quickly.
- Building communities using the Userpoints module and API. This was also a fun session with some surprises. Many people did not know about this module or what it can do for sites and developers. Many saw in it a whole new set of possibilities.
They all went well, and I learned a lot from the feedback and interaction.
The slides for all the presentations are posted on the web. Click on the links above to see them.
I attended a few of the sessions that I can, including the Mass site hosting, by Derek Laventure, part of the AJAX session by Steve McNabb (although the pace was too fast there), part of the Open ID presentation by James Walker. On the second day, it was the i18n presentation by Mike Gifford, building an even site in an hour by James Walker (a case study on the Drupal Camp Toronto site itself, very informative). then the debugging swap meet, which was also very informative.
I hope everyone posts their slides, and I find the time for a more in depth look at some of those.
At the very end, there was a set of 8 speed talks where each speaker got only 5 minutes to talk. They covered disparate and varied topics and for me it was somewhat of an information overload. Here are some samples:
- Martin from Surge.ca talked about the Taxonomy Matrix module, where there are two intersecting axes of taxonomy. More interesting was him using the views API for non-node data, which is a really neat idea and opens the door for many things that are not nodes (e.g. price list, ...etc.)
- Andrew Stevenson talked about the Drupal Dojo sessions held on Sundays.
- Mike Gifford talked about search engine optimization.
- There was a talk on how to setup an SVN repository and Drupal in a vendor branch, so your local modifications are maintained. Sparse on details though.
- Iain McBride talked about a gaming site that got millions of hits, and integration with vBulletin. Not sure what the name of the site was though.
There were many others, but my notes are sparse, and again there is brain information overload.
So, my Post-Conference Stress Disorder (PCSD) is easing out now. It has been fun ...