Drupalcon Copenhagen

I'm back from DrupalCon Copenhagen and I thought it's time for a more or less short summary of what happened.

Core Developer Summit

After arriving on saturday evening, the first offical event was on sunday, the so called "Core Developer Summit". It started with a few short presentations about the CVS application process, HTML5, CVS to Git Migration and others. Then we started on working critical issues which are blocking Drupal 7 from being released. I started by updating and discussing the hook_file_download_access issue, re-rolling an OpenID related security patch and then started to work on the PostgreSQL changeField() issue by trying to get the upgrade tests working with PostgreSQL. So, I was actually quite productive. I also finally met many people I've worked together in the core issue queue during the last one and a half years.

Unconference

Actually, I spent the whole day in the code sprint room and worked on improving the hook_file_download_access issue together with a few other developers (that issue is now commited and fixed, yay!). Also, thanks to Randy Fay, who provided my with a cloud server, I continued to get the upgrade tests working. I was finally successfull in reaching that goal, by fixing 4 different bugs and opening two new critical issues (one of them already fixed). After that, I continued to go through all existing tests and verify if they work on PostgreSQL or not. I found some more issues in the EntityQuery tests and was able to fix them with some help from chx. Yet another critical postgresql issue filled.

In the evening, I had a nice dinner with the other scholars.

Day 1

Because I got a scholarship, I had to volunteer on that day. In the morning, I helped out on the registration desk. Together with someone else, we had to register speakers and sponsors. Met a few interesting people, for example, a guy showed up with a Facebook t-shirt: "Hi, I'm Scott McVigar from Facekbook". Later in the morning and the whole afternoon, I was walking around at the conference and helped people. First, I had a lot to do, because the room names were messed up and everyone was confused. But at some point, everyone knew where the sessions were and I got bored. So I talked with a few people and continued to run automated tests on PostgreSQL using the browser on my HTC Desire. Unfortunately, because I had to help, I couldn't attend any sessions on the first day except the keynote of Dries Buytaert.

Day 2

At the second day, I could finally attend a few sessions, for example node access in Drupal 7, the drush make session and some others. Especially the drush make session was well done and interesting. I think I'll look more into drush make but from what I've seen, there are still some flaws and it's not a perfect solution to the problem (Maintain/Develop sites in different places and multiple developers, staging, ...).

I didn't really like the Keynote on the second day with Rasmus Lerdorf. It contained a few interesting bits and pieces, but he benchmarked an empty D7 site without any contrib modules and that's not something you'll have in the real world. For example, he replaced require_once calls with require and that gave him a considerable performance improvement but once you install a few modules and have some actual content that needs to be loaded and rendered, these micro-optimizations are much less important and don't influence the total runtime that much anymore. Other suggestions, for example converting heavy functions like drupal_render() into C are *very* hard to do because that one depends on half of Drupal (Hook system, theme system and more) and all of that would need to be ported to C first.

Day 3

On the third day, I attended more sessions. I even attended a beginner session about creating a community site because they also talked about Privatemsg and I was interested in what they to say about it. Not surprisingly, it wasn't that interesting but it was nice that Privatemsg and UR integration was mentioned and worked nice for them. The final session I attended was about how Organic Groups has evolved in Drupal 7. I wasn't sure what to expect but it was totally awesome. Amitaibu, the presenter, started the session with great stand-up comedy where he build a site for UN and introduced the new features of Organic Groups in D7. The module heavily relies on the Fields and looks very flexible and well designed. Certainly something to keep track of, I also plan to look into integrating it with Privatemsg.

The Keynote on that day was about HTML5 and was great as well. Jeremy Keith talked about the evolution of (X)HTML and the design principles behind HTML5. Looks like HTML5 really does a great job at simplifying and improving the abilities of HTML. The difference between the theoretical XHTML 2.0 and actually usable and powerful HTML5 is huge.

The day ended with the closing keynote, which was entertaining as well with Kitten Killers performing live and unplugged.

Code sprint

DrupalCon ended like it started: With a code sprint to bring Drupal 7 closer to being released as a stable version. I was finally able to run the whole test suite on PostgreSQL in a single run and confirmed that with the patches from the 3 remaining issues, all tests are passing again on PostgreSQL. One of those issues got commited during the sprint, so there are only two left. After that, I also did a full test run on Sqlite and found some new bugs there. I was able to fix one of them and it got commited as well, still not sure on how to fix the other one, there is no issue yet.

Summary

It was an awesome week! Not only the conference itself (Actually, I didn't even attend that many sessions but there were a few great ones) but finally meeting all the people I've worked together on the issue queue for quite a long time now and working together on issues. It was interesting to see that quite a lot of people knew me from the issue queue and being asked by Crell for feedback on an idea ;)

Regarding critical issues, 5 issues I worked on got commited during the week. That sounds like a huge number at first, given that there are only 23 critical issues remaining but I created 4 new critical issues during the week as well (3 of them are fixed now, still discussing the last one...) and some of the were rather trivial to fix.

I will most probably not be able to attend DrupalCon Chicago, but I hope that I can go to London for the next european DrupalCon in a year. Maybe I could even present a session or BOF then..

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