DrupalCon Szeged: Day One

Aug 27, 2008

The night train and the long walks in the heat of the Hungarian summer had me so tired last night that I skipped the unofficial DrupalCon drinks to get some extra sleep. So this morning I had no trouble to get up for a breakfast and walk to the venue with a group of fellow drupallers who stayed at the same pension.

After some opening talks by Gábor Hojtsy and Kristof Van Tomme about the organisation of the event and a few words by the vice-mayor of Szeged, the conference started with Dries' traditional "State of Drupal". Probably the biggest news in his keynote presentation was the naming of Angela Byron as the co-maintainer for the Drupal 7.x branch, and this news makes me very happy, as the few interactions I have had working with her really showed her competence and dedication. The rest of the presentation felt pretty similar to the last edition in Boston, although many of the points in the "TODO" list have since then turned into "work in progress", and even though I have been just one among many contributors it was great to see some results from my work.

I unfortunately missed the first half of Panels, now and the future by Sam Boyer while making photocopies of the handouts for the intro to testing, but did get a glimpse of the planned improvements which are looking very promising. However, a comment about the copy-shop's background music did get me a couple hundred megabytes of mp3's with Hungarian music! I haven't had time to listen to it yet, but I might post about it here later.

The lunch was simple and somewhat different from the usual conference food, with open sandwiches mixing flavors and ingredients very interestingly, and I definitely appreciated having something light and tasty.

The second keynote - Simple is Hard - by Rasmus Lerdorf, gave an interesting insight on comparisons between different PHP frameworks and their architecture. Most of his comments about Drupal seem to have been taken pretty well by the community and will probably turn into patches very soon if they haven't already.

Finally, the time for Testing Part 1: Intro to Testing arrived, with Damien Tournoud joining Angela Byron, Charlie Gordon and myself as a last-minute guest speaker. Besides the live spotting of a bug in SimpleTest during the presentation (which already turned into a patch), the presentation went well.

The last presentation I attended today was Drupal 6 menu system - architecture, do, don't and tricks by Peter Wolanin and Karoly Negyesi; a mix of enlightening tips and confusing genius talk.

As with all open source conferences though, the most important part was the networking opportunities, mostly unplanned. Szeged 2008 being my second DrupalCon experience, it has been a pleasure to run into people I had met before, meet new people through them, and just have a lot of random conversations. For the second night in a row the bars ran out of beer, which might be an indicator of the fun that drupallers have been having… Anyway, "Awesome testing party", tomorrow 9am, so I should get some sleep.