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very helpful lioness

Montréal 1, webchick 0

Mon, 07/20/2009 - 13:58 -- webchick

I should probably go start some LiveJournal to whine about personal crap, but I don't have one, and I really need to get some stuff off my chest, so this'll have to do. :)

On Saturday, Marci and I are embarking on what could be a life-changing trip for a week to Vancouver, BC. I'll be sans-laptop, so if you need something from me, please let me know before then.

If you care about the long, rambling back-story, feel free to read more.

Video/Slides from Women in Open Source talk at Open Web Vancouver 09

Wed, 07/08/2009 - 16:26 -- webchick

With huge thanks to Sarah Cruise from dyke it, here's the video and slides for the Women in Open Source talk at Open Web Vancouver 2009 a month or so ago.

Women in Open Source

View Slides (16 MB PDF)
Download Video (195 MB FLV)

If you've seen the old version of that talk, the content is fairly similar, but some additional tweaking, so it might be worth checking out. Like always, there's a new horror story (and of course this debacle happened the very next day *sigh*), and at the end there is a new section called "Myth Busters" that's an attempt to shatter misconceptions that a lot of would-be open source contributors have that make them think they're not "good enough" to participate. (I know, because I was one of those myself for about a decade.) The discussion at the end is also pretty fun, esp. for the Drupal crowd. ;)

I wanted to sincerely thank the organizers of Open Web Vancouver (esp. Malcolm Van Deist and Jeff Griffiths) for having me. The conference was absolutely awesome: a wonderful mix of technology, important social and political issues, and genuinely interesting people to talk to.

It was also great to re-connect with old Drupal friends. Made me all nostalgic for my very first Drupalcon back in 2006 that completely changed my life. :') Aw!! Thanks too for all the great recommendations that have come in for "Operation: Show Marci How Awesome Vancouver Is." 18 days to go... DUN DUN DUNNNN... Keep those suggestions coming if you have them. :)

The Awesomeness of Etrian Odyssey II

Sun, 04/05/2009 - 22:42 -- webchick

It's not very often that I write about something other than Drupal, but frankly something's come up that deserves it. ;) A little Nintendo DS title called Etrian Odyssey II: Heroes of Lagaard.

I seriously can't remember being this geeked out about a game since I was a teenager. I spent the weekend poring through forum topics, making huge spreadsheets to help with the agonizing decision on party builds, mining databases for information about skills, etc. (Hey, I never said I wasn't a dork. :P) This kind of immersion hasn't happened in years for me, and it's such an awesome feeling! :D

If you have fond memories of dungeon crawlers like Wizardry and Ultima, enjoy hunting down and collecting items, and like drawing maps, you need to run, not walk, to your nearest video game store and pick this gem up, assuming you can find it.

Drupal 7 UX: What about the developers?

Wed, 04/01/2009 - 20:57 -- webchick

There is currently a lively, spirited debate about the forthcoming user experience changes for Drupal 7. A quick summary for those who have been unaware of this initiative: everyone (yes, especially you) needs to go to http://www.d7ux.org/ and actively participate in the discussion/brainstorming/wireframing/etc. in order to ensure that the end result is something we can all be proud of and meets our community's very diverse needs!

It's been interesting to watch the range of opinions expressed in the thread. On the one side you have people who have first-hand experience with how excruciatingly painful the learning curve can be for new users, either because they themselves had to wrestle for weeks about menus vs. taxonomy vs. nodes, or because they've spent time around others (co-workers, clients, spouses, etc.) and have watched them struggle. They're very excited about the prospect of some of these pervasive user experience issues being looked at in a very serious way. On the other side you have long-time members of the community, many of them prolific contributors, who are adept ninjas configuring Drupal sites. They don't want to see Drupal "dumbed down" to the lowest common denominator. In fact, the whole reason they initially chose and continue to stick with Drupal is the sheer power it places into their hands, and with great power comes a learning curve; it's to be expected.

At my "day job" at Lullabot, we've been hard at work on the Drupal UE (Usability Edition), which includes many fine improvements that I'd love to see make their way into Drupal 7. But what about our roots, the hardcore developers who eat, sleep, and breathe Drupal? Who is watching out for their interests?

In a fit of insomnia early this morning, I put together what I hope will be the start of a robust framework that optimizes Drupal's UX, but this time for the developer. I call it Better Admin module.

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