very helpful lioness

Two GHOP superstars who need your help to get to Drupalcon

Mon, 02/04/2008 - 13:44 -- webchick

The Drupalcon Boston site has a list of contributors who need financial assistance to attend Drupalcon, but I want to draw particular attention to two of them: Jimmy "boombatower" Berry (donate) and Adam "aclight" Light (donate).

Jimmy is one of our GHOP students, who started using Drupal only a month or two ago, but has since completed 12 tasks for the Drupal part of the Google Highly Open Participation program (GHOP) (which makes him #2 in terms of the number of tasks completed for Drupal) and has done some truly outstanding work in a very short period of time.

Among his accomplishments are Simpletest unit tests for the core comment, path, book, blogapi, filter, and content translation modules. He also created a 30 second commercial for Drupal, documented all of the core global variables (something chx was very happy about), converted the Bluemarine theme to a tableless layout, documented how to build "click heat maps" for Drupal (and went above and beyond by creating a Click HeatMap module that integrates Drupal with the ClickHeat library), and even wrote a Version Control API-Git backend for the Git revision control system (and he did this in under 2 weeks without having even used Git before that time). Expanding the base of contributors who can work with Version Control API is critical to Drupal.org ever shifting to a different version control system than CVS, as well as opening the user (and thus contributor) base to Project* module. So for all of you who've long wanted d.o to move to another version control system like Subversion, here's a chance to put your money where your mouth is. ;)

As for Adam, I've already written about his substantial contributions in a past contributor spotlight feature, and I'd love for him to be sponsored to go to Drupalcon on that basis alone. Adam was the one primarily carrying the torch during the latter half of the GHOP program, and was critical to ensuring its success. And an additional benefit of sending Adam to Drupalcon will be to get some critical face-to-face time the Project* module maintainers, Derek Wright and Chad Phillips. Project* module is arguably our very most important module, since it covers our ticketing system, the Drupal project and module downloads, and the basis for the incredible Update Status module, which helps ensure your Drupal site is up to date and secure.

I want to sincerely thank the broader Drupal community for already pitching in to fund Derek and Chad's trip out to Drupalcon. Let's make it a complete set by sending these other two fabulous contributors, and help improve the fundamental infrastructure we all use every day, as well as just say "thanks for being totally awesome!!" ;)

Slides from Montreal Girl Geek Open Source Talk

Wed, 01/30/2008 - 07:57 -- webchick

Here are the slides from last night's Montréal Girl Geek Dinner. It provides a basic definition of open source, talks about what some of its benefits are, discusses why someone might want to get involved, what some of those ways are, and how to get started.

Open Source: what it is, why it's cool, how to get involved

It was a lot of fun giving this talk, and it was really awesome to see how many people in the audience seemed excited about the subject matter (or at least didn't fall asleep ;)). I'm hoping that a few of the folks there who seemed extra keen will go on to become more involved in open source in general, but also Drupal specifically. In fact, probably a third of the folks there raised their hand when I asked who'd used Drupal, so that was cool. ;)

By the way, I totally spaced on mentioning this last night, but to anyone who attended, there's actually a Montreal Drupal User Group. Feel free to sign up and talk/plan stuff, because it's ever-so-lonely there now. ;)

A huge thanks to Tanya McGinnity for stepping up to organize these awesome events, and for forcing me to leave my house to go speak at one. ;) Without you, I think a lot of us would still be under the misguided notion that we were the only girl geeks out there in the big city. You rule!!

Speaking at Women in Open Source event in Los Angeles

Sun, 01/27/2008 - 14:15 -- webchick

Speaking at SCALE

On Friday, February 8, in Los Angeles there's going to be a special Women in Open Source mini-conference as part of the larger Southern California Linux Expo (SCALE).

Both Addison Berry (add1sun) and myself will be speaking there. Addi will be talking about Open Source Mentoring, including efforts around the Drupal Dojo, and then I'll be doing a Drupal demo that will show how Drupal works by giving an overview and building a small website with it.

Additionally, Mike Stewart from the Drupal Los Angeles User Group will be helping to manage a Drupal booth at the conference. Stop on by if you'd like to meet some fellow Drupal users and talk shop with some folks who won't give you a funny look when you say "Druplicon." ;)

So if you are in the area Feb. 8-10, pick up your ticket and stop on by for some fun! :)

Also, on a slightly related note, if you're local to Montreal, I'm also going to be presenting Tuesday night at the January Montreal Girl Geek Dinner about open source. This is the second Girl Geek dinner, and the first one was a lot of fun, so go sign up at that accursed Facebook page if you want to come. ;)

Google Podcast: Women in Open Source

Tue, 01/15/2008 - 19:26 -- webchick

Addison Berry and I had the opportunity to speak on a Google podcast with several women from other projects who are all helping to manage the Google Highly Open Participation Contest from their respective communities.

It was really interesting to talk to women behind other projects like Joomla! and Apache and see what their thoughts were about the program, about why they thought so many of us were involved, and so on.

Reminder: Review Drupal Association candidates this weekend!

Sat, 01/12/2008 - 00:38 -- webchick

Just a reminder for all those in Drupal-land that on January 15th we'll be holding the very first General Assembly, where the Drupal Association permanent members will vote in a new round of permanent members and a new board of directors will be selected. This is the first time we're going to be admitting new members beyond the initial folks who helped review the statutes, so it's a pretty exciting and important event.

Speeding Up Thunderbird's IMAP Support

Mon, 12/10/2007 - 10:33 -- webchick

Wow, look at me with my first non-Drupal related post. ;)

I recently upgraded to Leopard and since then, Mail.app hasn't worked properly with my crappy e-mail provider, so I decided to give Thunderbird another shot. I like a lot of features in Thunderbird, including the fact that it's open source, it has useful extensions like Enigmail, and it doesn't take forever and a week to retrieve my list of new messages like Mail.app does (or did under Tiger, anyway).

Of course, the one major problem Thunderbird has is that it sometimes takes forever to load a message body. Or at least it did, until I literally Googled for thunderbird takes forever to load a message body, and came across this gem in the comments of a lifehacker story:


Contributor spotlight: Keith Smith

Wed, 12/05/2007 - 17:47 -- webchick

This edition of Contributor spotlight highlights Keith Smith of Advantix, LLC.

Keith's mission for the past year or so has been to clean up user-facing text in Drupal core. People installing the next beta/RC of Drupal 6 should be pleasantly surprised by all of the improvements, which probably number in the hundreds by now.

Here's one example. In Drupal 5.x, the description for book pages is:

A book is a collaborative writing effort: users can collaborate writing the pages of the book, positioning the pages in the right order, and reviewing or modifying pages previously written. So when you have some information to share or when you read a page of the book and you didn't like it, or if you think a certain page could have been written better, you can do something about it.

Er. A book is an effort? :)

In Drupal 6.x, it's now:

A book page is a page of content, organized into a collection of related entries collectively known as a book. A book page automatically displays links to adjacent pages, providing a simple navigation system for organizing and reviewing structured content.

Simple, descriptive, and consistent with other type descriptions. This is why we love Keith.

These types of improvements are especially important to get hammered out now, because very soon (once Drupal 6 Release Candidate 1 hits) we'll be in "string freeze," which means that this type of text can't change anymore until Drupal 7, in order to allow translators to come in and do their thing. Since one of the killer features in Drupal 6 is the new internationalization stuff, this will be especially important this release. So don't delay; help with string fixes today! ;) If you're looking for a place to start, try the list of documentation issues in Drupal core.

I asked Keith some questions and here's what he had to say:

Drupal GHOP status report, and a call for help!

Mon, 12/03/2007 - 17:20 -- webchick

So I've been pretty busy the past few weeks coordinating efforts for Drupal's participation in the Google Highly Open Participation Contest (GHOP). This is a contest which gives pre-university students (age 13-18) tasks to work on from various open source projects, both to get them "real world" experience in the open source community, and to win prizes such as t-shirts, cash, or even a trip to Google Campus.

So far the contest has been going on for about a week, and it's been quite a blast hanging in #drupal-ghop and the GHOP group, getting to know some of the students.

Some of the highlights include...


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