Notes From The Vancouver Drupal Conference February 2006

Here are some notes from the Drupal Conference held as part of the OSCMS Summit in Vancouver British Columbia from February 7 to 9, 2006.

It was a gruelling trip for me, leaving home at 5:30 am to catch a 7:30 am flight to Vancouver. I missed the morning sessions of the first day because of that. Coming back, I took the red eye at 11 pm, arriving 6:45 am Friday.

February 7, 2006

Software Licensing Best Practices- Zak Greant, EZ Systems

  • Book: Technology Transfer & Licensing by a Calgary lawyer.
  • Book: O'Reilly's Open Source and Free Software Licensing

FileAPI session, by James  Walker (Walkah)

  • Does file copy, move, delete, upload, ...etc.
  • Uses PHP's file_save_upload(), file goes to temp space
  • Public vs. Private files
  • Private is not really private, just an uglified URL
  • No real access control
  • Switching from public to private breaks all links
  • Heavy load on system
  • bootstrap for every thumbnail
  • Need to load a minimal subset of bootstrap
  • Mime type handling sucks
  • File hook
    • rename file
    • different backends (WebDAV, ftp, ...etc.)
    • Multiple servers (NFS is the current solutions).

February 8, 2006

Relationships, by Allie Micka CivicActions (and Pajunas)

  • Multiple levels of relationships between objects
  • Objects (nodes, users, ...etc.)
  • Hierarchy
  • Example: User has one or more cars, each car has an album
  • 1:1, 1:n, n:n
  • Inheritance, Searching
  • RDF triples
  • Relativity module
  • Relationship module
  • Relationship types
  • Both objects aware of the relationship
  • Default views

Geodata and Web Content, Ankur,

  • geotagging, location, proximity search
  • geocoding, more precise latitude/longitude
  • Piggybank + Solvent
  • Standards: GeoRSS (,
  • Yahoo allows 50,000 addresses per 24 hour period from the same IP
  • Keyhole markup language KML. Used by Google Earth
  • Applications:
    • Geocaching
    • Following rallies
    • Safaris
  • MySQL 4.1 has native support for geospatial data
  • PostgreSQL has a plugin
  • Mapserver
  • Geoserver

AJAX Integration, jjeff (Jeff Robbins)

  • basecamp
  • SP/AJAX (Scriptalicious Prototype AJAX)
  • Magic Menus module
  • drupal_to_js() function

Drupal Usability Issues, Kieran  Lal

  • Most searched on modules, broken down by anonymous/authenticated
  • flexinode, calendar, tinymce
  • New dashboard for administration
  • Breakout groups

Events and Drupal


  • Existing modules
    • Event
    • Event Finder
    • RSVP
    • SignUp
    • Event Repeat
    • Volunteer
  • Issues: ical export
  • Wishlist:
    • Pull events from other sites
    • ical import
    • User calendar
    • Private Events
    • Signup / ecommerce integration
  • Tips
    • Taxonomy can be used for multi-calendar

Feb 9, 2006

Drupal Community Processes, Robert Douglass


  • Dries stance is that we have no long term roadmap.
  • Technology (CVS, svn, bzr), also Drupal project module
  • DEPs and states
  • Breakout groups

Views, Earl Miles (Merlin of Chaos) and CCK, Jonathan Chafer (jonbob)

  • Flexinode with semantics
  • field oriented, not node oriented
  • fields can be used across node types
  • fields have meaning in the system
  • Expose everything to views
  • Versioned
  • Modules can define fields
  • Field types are decoupled from "widgets"
  • Two alternatives:
    • One table per field: field_name, vid, data, format, delta
    • One table for all fields:  short_text, vid, field name, data, format, delta
  • Scalability is a concern
    • node_load does distinct queries, no joins
    • Views will suffer
  • Need for dedicated node modules will not go away

Drupal Roadmap, by Dries Buytaert

Ph.D student, Java. Founder of Drupal.

History of Drupal

2000 Student dorm application. Typo from dorp.

2001 Web development
 1.0 released. Has rss feeds, aggregator, moderation
 2.0 search, locale, user system
 3.0 node system, user roles, blogs, forum, books

 4.0 content versioning

 4.2.0 refactoring, clean URLs

 4.4.0 Usability, performance, uploads
 4.5.0 Usability, menu  system, node level permission

 4.6.0 Usability, image handling, multisite

 4.7.0 (hopefully!) Usability, contact form, free tagging, form handling, loose caching
With every release, the number of users on doubles, so does the number of posts

Lagging behind competition in the usability area

  • Improve user satisfaction
    • Finding modules
    • eye candy
    • documentation
    • out of the box experience
    • user interface
    • support
    • More themes. More good looking ones
  • Add features
    • Critical core functionality
      • Performance and scalability
      • Security. Have a security team.
      • file handling
      • i18n, multilingual content
      • Actions / Workflow 
    • Specialized functionality goes in a distribution of contributed modules
      • Distros
        • CivicSpace for political campaigns
        • Drupal for schools

Activity in CVS: lots more in contrib than in core

List of consultants

User groups

Drupal 4.7 will send installed module info to

Drupal Foundation is not an option at present
SPI: an umbrella group for open source projects.

drupal install profiles: collection of modules
Security of CVS contribs
Drupal text handling security