The people of New Orleans

Dries Buytaert - 14 May 2016 - 9:15am

I love street photography. Walking and shooting. Walking, talking and shooting. Slightly pushing me out of my comfort zone looking for that one great photo.

Street photography is all fun and games until someone pulls out a handgun. The anarchy sign in the background makes these shots complete.

For more photos, check out the entire album.

Categories: Drupal

Blue Drop Shop: Drupal Camp Session Recordings: A Year in Review

Planet Drupal - 14 May 2016 - 8:46am

It has been nearly a year since I’ve updated the status of my camp recording kits. Since DCSTL15, two other camps took me up on my proposal to sponsor my travel and hotel in exchange for me recording and posting their sessions: TCDrupal and BADCamp. And, of course, as a MidCamp organizer, that counts too. And with each those camps, I’ve iterated and learned from invaluable successes and failures.

First off, here is a link to the current kit.

With everything, each kit is still under $450. In addition, zip ties to hold the VGA to HDMI dongle tight and some gaffers tape to secure everything to the podium are needed.


At Twin Cities, I learned that, while I try, I cannot reasonably start and stop every recording in every room, especially at camps with five concurrent sessions spread over multiple floors and buildings. The amount of volunteer participation at TCDrupal is incredibly impressive. I had loads of help at my disposal, but only a few moments to outline how the kits work, so I spent a lot of time troubleshooting from room to room.

BADCamp is another camp that sprawls over a campus and is a bit looser on the room monitor support. So this time, I came armed with printed instructions at each podium for hooking up to the kit (link). I added some basic troubleshooting and my phone number. I missed about half the session starts, but speakers were mostly able to follow the instructions and run things without me. That was a huge win. Unfortunately, remembering to also start/stop the audio record was hit or miss.

By the time MidCamp rolled around, I simplified the instructions further and also set the backup audio record to just run all day, removing the failure point of missed audio. The big red button is easy and enticing. The little button on the audio recorder remote...not so much. MidCamp, with two days of four concurrent sessions was my first 100% captured camp since St. Louis.

Pain Points

There are four recurring issues with this setup:

  • VGA-only laptops
  • Recurring audio problems
  • File segmenting
  • Random projector problems

Hopefully, the time of laptops that only have VGA out is coming to an end. I've tried several different VGA-to-HDMI converters with basically no luck. And to spend hundreds of dollars or more for a fool-proof converter when modern laptops have better video output is a hard pill to swallow. I don't foresee this being a long-term problem.

The audio issues are baffling. In some cases, no audio at all is recorded with the screen capture, while other times it is sped up and choppy, hence the importance of the backup audio files from the voice recorder. But this means post-processing time which delays uploads. I intend to contact Hauppauge support, but honestly don't expect to get very far as I am using their device as it was not intended. Lastly, the capture device has a touch panel for adjusting gain and muting the audio. It is a little to easy to accidentally mute the audio.

Minor annoyance: occasionally, the recordings will split into two or more files, meaning I have to stitch them together in post.

At MidCamp for the past two years (both held at different locations on UIC campus), some of the projectors would intermittently go dark during presentations. While this has no impact on the recording, it is extremely unsettling for the presenter and annoying for the attendees. I recall this happening in some cases at Twin Cities, but not at BADCamp. So this one currently has me stumped with no good plan of resolution at this time.

Next Steps

For obvious reasons, I can't record all the sessions at all the camps. And already I have firm plans to record Twin Cities in June, St. Louis in September, and BADCamp in October. Talking to folks at Drupalcon, I also now have soft commitments with Drupal GovCon in July and Drupal Camp New Jersey in January. And other camps have reached out, but I have conflicts.

I managed to pack up a complete kit into a 10" Pelican case. This means that if I can start training some proxies and write up some detailed instructions and troubleshooting, then this solution can scale. Maybe folks won’t have experience with the post-production, but I can help with that remotely, if needed. The beauty of these kits is that with timely starts and stops and good audio, the MP4 file on the thumb drive can be uploaded as soon as it is collected.

The good news is that the more camps I can record, the more data I can collect and the more I can refine the process to make it scalable.

Stay tuned!

Categories: Drupal

Games Workshop Announces Warhammer Quest: Silver Tower

Tabletop Gaming News - 14 May 2016 - 6:43am
Well, we all know that Games Workshop is expanding their “Specialist Games” line. This one’s a pretty big title to make it back to your tabletops. It’s Warhammer Quest. The new box game, itself, is called Silver Tower. The game seats 2-4 players in the lair of a Gaunt Summoner. The game is episodic, letting […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Drupal Association News: Hello, World! (Goodbye, Drupal Association)

Planet Drupal - 14 May 2016 - 5:06am

My first day on the job, I got on an airplane and flew to Australia to attend DrupalCon Sydney. As first days on the job go, that’s gotta be up there as one of the best. It definitely set the tone for life in the Drupal community - it’s been an exciting adventure every single day. I’ve traveled around the world, worked with incredibly smart people, and learned four or five Git commands (thanks Cathy!).

So it’s not without some sadness that I share that my last day on this job will be June 3. Why am I leaving? Simply put, because I can. Drupal 8 is out and thriving. The Association is doing more and doing it better than it ever has. Now is the time for me to take a step back, eat some cake, and then find something new to jump into (after a nap, and probably some more cake).

Luckily, the Drupal community has an amazing individual ready to step in to lead the Association. I’m proud beyond words to see Megan Sanicki take on these challenges and work with you all as the next Executive Director of the Association. I know she will continue to build an Association that operates from its values for and with the Drupal community. We’ve been working together on this transition for a little while now, and I can’t wait to see what she does.

I just want to share a couple of thanks before I go. First, I’m deeply proud of the team that we have built at the Drupal Association. The Drupal Association staff are the rainbow unicorns of teams. They are honest about their opinions, but kind in their delivery. They are fierce in their loyalty to the community, and even more so in their loyalty to each other. They genuinely care about every interaction, and even when things go sideways, you can trust that their intentions were nothing but good. I learned from them. Every. Single. Day. I owe them a heck of a lot more than this thank you, but I wanted to get it out in the world. They are the best. Treat them well.

Secondly, I want to thank the dozens of community members who have gone out of their way to support me in this role. I’ll be following up personally with as many of you as I can, but I wanted to call out a few of you in particular. Angie taught me that introverts can learn to like hugs. George and Tiffany taught me to take my time and find the exact right words. Paul taught me that you can’t have too many passion projects. Donna taught me that it’s not summer everywhere. Cathy taught me Git (well, four or five commands that I can remember). There is so much generosity in Drupal.

The Association board and Megan will be working hard over the next few weeks on this transition to make sure that we continue to grow our support of the community, keep producing amazing DrupalCons, and ensure that Drupal remains the best darn CMS out there. I’ll be over here rooting for all of you. You’ll find me next to the cake.

Categories: Drupal

Radium on Drupal: Deploying Drupal Sites with Docker Compose

Planet Drupal - 14 May 2016 - 3:51am
Deploying a Drupal site (or any website) could sometimes be cumbersome, in particular if you have multiple websites running on one server. The amount of time wasted in configuring the server could be considerable. Docker is one of the tools that can save us from the "configuration hell". Thanks to pre-built images, I no longer have to worry about dependencies since they can be all included in one image. Also, unlike virtual machine, Docker is fast and take only a few seconds to start. Another benefit is that now you can have the same environment on your local machine and on the server -- just use the same image. In this post I will quickly walk through the steps of using Docker Compose to deploy Drupal.
Categories: Drupal

ActiveLAMP: Encapsulation, Inheritance, Polymorphism with Drupal Entities - SandCamp 2016

Planet Drupal - 13 May 2016 - 8:01pm

One of the best things to happen with the Drupal 7 release was the introduction of Entities. Drupal Entities have been around forever, but it seems like a lot of developers still refer back to using Nodes when creating content that requires more functionality than what Nodes give you out of the box. In this video, I talk about why it’s a good idea to create your own Entities when the content you’re adding requires extended functionality. I talk about the “what” and the “why” of Entities, not necessarily “how” to create an Entity. There are a bunch of resources already out there on the Internet for that. I talk about using the Entity API module, and defining your own Class for your custom Entities. This presentation was given at SandCamp 2016.

Categories: Drupal

Fantasy Flight Games Previews Agent Blaise For Imperial Assault

Tabletop Gaming News - 13 May 2016 - 3:00pm
Gee. Another day, another Imperial Assault preview from Fantasy Flight Games. That’s not a complaint, mind you. It just goes to show how much cool stuff they have planned for the game. This time around it’s Agent Blaise, Imperial scout and master interrogator. If you need someone to get in there and figure out what […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

DrupalCon News: Let us know what you thought about the Con

Planet Drupal - 13 May 2016 - 2:49pm

Thank you so much for attending DrupalCon New Orleans.  We had an amazing time and hope that you did too.  

After each Con, we ask that you please let us know how it went so we can see what we can improve for next time.  Please

Fill Out the Survey

We also understand that you may be interested in receiving a Certificate of Attendance.  If so, please fill out the request form and we will get back to you shortly.

Categories: Drupal

New Project Z Sets Coming From Warlord Games

Tabletop Gaming News - 13 May 2016 - 2:00pm
The zombies are on the loose. Supplies are getting scarce. It’s every man for themselves. But in such difficult times, people will band together into gangs in order to increase the chances of survival. It’s in saying that that Warlord Games announces some new gangs for Project Z: The Ops and the Bikers. As you […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Black Hole Run Adventure Available For DayTrippers RPG

Tabletop Gaming News - 13 May 2016 - 1:00pm
Black Hole Run, won’t you come, and wash away the PCs? Well, it’s come alright. Ok, that’s an odd way of putting it. Black Hole Run, a new adventure for the DayTrippers RPG, is now available for your gaming pleasure. The adventure reminds me a lot of the classic The Black Hole movie that I […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design


New Drupal Modules - 13 May 2016 - 12:20pm

Placeholder project for managing sponsors on your site or an event. Used in the Conference Organizing Distribution.

Categories: Drupal


New Drupal Modules - 13 May 2016 - 12:18pm

This is a placeholder for the new standalone 'program' module that is implimented within the COD distribution.

Categories: Drupal

DinoProof Out Now From Good Game Designs

Tabletop Gaming News - 13 May 2016 - 12:00pm
As much as we all desperately want it to happen (or, at least, I do), the idea of having dinosaurs running around the present-day world is probably not a very good idea. Well, that’s just what’s going on in DinoProof, a new minis game from Good Game Designs. You see, various natural disasters have brought […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design Announcing - A simple Drupal 8 ladder for small study groups

Planet Drupal - 13 May 2016 - 11:56am

At my workplace, we had earlier formed a study group to try out some very simple Drupal 8 stuff.


As we progressed, we had built a bunch of activity cards that we used for the group.


They are now available @


Check them out. Each activity card has a tutorial and an exercise that you could try out. There are 21 cards covering varied Drupal 8 Topics.

Categories: Drupal

Friday Snippets

Tabletop Gaming News - 13 May 2016 - 11:00am
I’ve really been looking forward to this weekend. Not that the work week’s been bad, mind you. It’s actually gone by in a flash. No, I’m just ready for a full weekend of gaming (and article-writing, which is a direct result of the gaming). What sort of things do you have planned? Whatever it is, […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design


New Drupal Modules - 13 May 2016 - 10:54am

This is yet another JavaScript based charting module. But as the chart.js website says

Simple yet flexible JavaScript charting for designers & developers

Categories: Drupal

Composer deploy

New Drupal Modules - 13 May 2016 - 10:03am

The project is very similar to Git deploy but for Composer.

Normally inserts version information when a project is packaged. Packages installed via Composer do not contain this information in some cases.

  1. The required version is a dev version
  2. Composer runs in --prefer-source mode

Composer Deploy hooks into the Drupal update system and attempts to provide the version of modules and themes from Composer metadata.

Categories: Drupal

Mobster Metropolis Board Game Up On Kickstarter

Tabletop Gaming News - 13 May 2016 - 10:00am
Oh, the 1940s. Such a colorful part of American history. Having been born in Chicago, I learned a lot about the criminal element in the city through pop culture and various history classes. Now Stormakten Productions is bringing the heyday of American Mob activity to your tabletops with Mobster Metropolis. The game’s up on Kickstarter […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Service Links mailto

New Drupal Modules - 13 May 2016 - 9:10am

The Service Links mailto module integrates with the Service Links module. It adds an extra service on the 'Service Links > Services' page. The output of the mailto link can be configured on the 'Service Links > Widgets' page.

Categories: Drupal

Rather Dashing Games Announces We Come In Peace

Tabletop Gaming News - 13 May 2016 - 9:00am
The Alliance of Six Planets has had its troubles, but this time, it’s all-out war. Each civilization has declared war and now it’s time to invade. Take control of your group’s offensive and defensive forces as you wage war on your neighbors. That’s the story behind We Come in Peace (obviously an ironic title :P), […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design


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