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TOJam 3

The third Toronto Independent Game Jam has been announced for May 9th, 10th and 11th. TOJam is an annual event in Toronto where game developers of all ages come together and spend the whole weekend making video games. There's a common theme required for every game entry, and prizes to be won at the end of the event.

Last year, some really cool games were made, mine being TOBam. I'm not too sure if I can attend this year, but we'll see. If you love making games, and live near Toronto, go and register for this event. I had an amazing time last year, and am really looking forward to see what games are put together this year.

Drupal Easter: Druplegg

Easter Eggs 2003-2008When Easter approaches, my family has a strange tradition of decorating Easter Eggs. Although it requires a lot of patience, you end up with brilliantly coloured, pretty, eggs. See these eggs for a good demonstration of what eggs we have painted in the past five years.

When Easter came by this year, our own Druplicon came to mind. So, I began spec'ing out how I could create a Druplicon out of a normal egg.

Waxing the EggsThe idea behind egg painting is that you wax over the parts of the egg that you want to leave the same colour, and then you dye it. So, if you wanted to have a red circle, with black background, you'd first dye the egg red, wax in a circle, and then dye it black. This would give you a black egg, with a big red circle in the middle.

DrupliconWith Druplicon, there are four different colours (including white). There's the light blue, the medium shade of blue, and then the dark blue. Getting all four different colours in there would require a lot of waxing, so I aimed for three.

I waxed in the white parts of the egg first (smile, eyes, nose and top), and then put the egg in light blue dye. This caused the egg to turn light blue all over, except for the white spots on the Druplicon. I then waxed in where I would want the light blue parts to appear on the egg (the spots around the top) and put the egg into a royal blue dye and took it out. The result was amazing and took about four hours in total. We had Druplicon in Easter Egg form: Druplegg.

Druplegg Completion

Stripping Drupal

There is a lot of functionality crammed into Drupal. This can be a good and bad thing.  One of the key benefits is that its components are well maintained. You have hundreds of smart people looking at the code every day and thinking of better and smarter ways of implementing the functionality. One of the drawbacks, however, is that it has a long release cycle, dependent on when a new version of Drupal is released. This means that if there are any new features put into that module or theme, it has to wait a year before it gets out to the general public in a new Drupal release.

The following is a list of issues created to strip some of that functionality out of core:

Remove Poll Module
The poll module is a very simple module and there are better implementations of it in the Drupal contributions repository (Voting API).
Remove Blog Module
The Blog module provides a simple way of giving users their own blog and this could be better achieved with a better design if the Views API goes into Drupal core.
Remove parts of Blog module from Blog API
In the Blog API module, you notice that it implements parts of the blog module.  This is pretty bad design, and should be removed completely.
Remove Access Rules
The access rules implements some pretty complex access control on a user/ip basis. Although it's a great feature, the way it's implemented requires a call to a function that is the slowest query on drupal.org. Moving this to a seperate contributed module would allow some more added functionality to the access control, as well as improve Drupal usability.
Remove Ping Module
The Ping module is quite a useless module, and there are better implementations of it in the Drupal contributions repository (Multiping).
Remove Comment Control
The commenting control within Drupal is very complex and doesn't really help with usability. It would be a better idea to open up the API, and allow hooks to allow external modules and the theming layer to implement the controls.
Remove Blog It from Aggregator
There is a little button that appears beside feed items named "Blog It", which allows users to stick it on their own blog on the same site.  There are millions of reasons why this shouldn't live in Drupal core, so it will be good to see it go.

This is just the beginning of stripping Drupal to a really small, slick, and fast framework.  There are a lot more issues out there, and a lot more things that we could/should take out of Drupal core, so get involved and give your thoughts!

Thank You, Drupalcon

I'd like to send a thank you to all who were involved with this year's Drupalcon. It was the first Drupalcon I have attended, and will most definitely not be the last.

The sessions were amazing and I learned a lot at every one I attended. The birds of a feather talks were very productive and fun. The thing I liked most out of the whole conference though, was meeting everyone. I had an amazing time, and can't wait for the next one.

Thanks a lot, Drupalcon, and I'm looking forward to meeting you again. Here are some pictures from the conference...

Drupalcon Sessions for Monday

This is a list of sessions I'll be attending at Drupalcon tomorrow:

Site Building: Drupal Multimedia
This session will show you how to bridge the gap between Drupal and multimedia. Drupal is cutting edge. Though support for multimedia out of the box is currently spotty, with a few contributed modules and some minor expertise, it can be used to create anything from a classy personal photo gallery to a hip music & video blog to a mega-corporate gaming and multimedia heaven.
Community and Core: GHOP (Google Highly Open Participation)
GHOP, which stands for Google Highly Open Participation, is a contest
which attempts to get high school students involved in open source
organizations such as Drupal. From November 2007 to February 2008, many 13-18 year olds did amazing work for Drupal, and many of them are
planning on being long-term members of the Drupal community. This
session will cover what GHOP students did for Drupal, and how their
becoming part of the community will strengthen Drupal. This session
will be a mix of presentations led by both GHOP admins and students,
and there will be a panel discussion about the GHOP experience.
Mareting and Business: Making a Career out of Open Source
Open Source software overview, the two license types, selling a solution, embedding, and sell services.
Community and Core: OpenID and Identify in Drupal
This session is about identity management in Drupal focused primarily
on the role of OpenID. With the release of Drupal 6 and the inclusion
of OpenID support in core, it’s time to look forward on the future of
digital identity, and how Drupal can best grow and expand to
accommodate the changes.

A number of other sesions on Monday sound very interesting, but sadly I can't be in two places at once!

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