Adventure Development

Drupalcamp NJ 2015

Though I’ve registered for Drupalcamp NJ for 3 years now, this was the first year that I was able to actually attend. The past 2 years were just some unfortunate luck that had me cancel my plans.

Hosted at Princeton, this was my first visit there. The ride there wasn’t too bad and I didn’t get lost. Once I arrived in Princeton it was a bit tricky as it was like a city that was a school. Plus there was snow everywhere, but I eventually found the parking lot and the building.

The keynote speaker did a great job. He talked about ways that you can manage yourself/career. It was very interesting and he was a very great speaker.

I attended the following sessions:

  • Using Media, Picture, and Focal Point modules – this was a pretty bad presentation. It just seemed to rushed and unorganized. I do look forward to checking the mentioned modules and workflow out.
  • 5 Top Drupal Innovations You Can’t Live Without – a solid presentation. Didn’t learn too much new from it, but was enjoyable though.
  • Acquia Workflows for Drupal Developers, Site Builders – I was interested to learn more about Acquia’s offerings. I was impressed by their tools offered and look forward to playing around with them a bit in the future.
  • SEO Awesome for Drupal Sites – good and useful presentation. The speaker was very well organized and pointed out some great tips.
  • View Demystified – a great presenter. While it was a bit more for beginners than I’d of hoped, it was a great presentation.

All in all it turned out to be a pretty great day. Learned a lot and explored a new place. The Drupal community continues to impress me.

Adventure Development

Drupaldelphia 2014

Took the PATCO again to Drupaldelphia yesterday. It’s really a great Drupal and just overall tech gathering, with a lot of higher ed folks. Which is really great to meet some peers who face similar issues as I am at work.

The trip was so much easier that it was last time around for me. I knew to bring exact change and not a $20 to the station to get my pass (change is given from the machine in $1 coins, I have no idea what to do with a $1 coin). I also knew which way to insert my ticket as well. Apparently last time was quite the disaster know that I mull it over a bit.

I got there right on time and saw Jesse from Atlantic Cape who is in the position I once held. We discussed work, shared ideas, and joked of co-workers and situations that clearly don’t change. Fun times, he’s a good guy.

I took in the following sessions:

  • Keynote – pretty interesting discussion with 4 folks. They had some very valuable ideas.
  • How to make Drupal NOT look like Drupal – this was  a solid session on theming. I’m interested to see his slides and code once posted on the site.
  • Using Git to Manage Deployents/Updates – uhhh, this one wasn’t for me. I left after a few minutes and went to …
  • Drupal Security Made Simple – though I arrived late, this one had some very useful modules to consider in securing a Drupal site. Oh and never hack the core!!!
  • Migrate Magic: An Overview – I still have to master the migrate modules. This session was helpful, but I just need more hands on practice.
  • Building Beautifully Complex Content Types – the presenter was very entertaining, but I found much of what he discussed to be bad practice. I hope nobody walked away with bad habits.

I started my first every BOF (Birds of the Feather) session. I picked up a magic marker and wrote “higher ed” in the 3:30 time slot. I had no idea if anyone else besides Jesse and myself would show up, and we were pleasantly surprised to find a table full of folks attending our BOF session!

This was probably the most useful thing of the entire day. A bunch of higher ed web folks exchanging war stories and sharing their success and pitfalls. We all went around asking the group questions, and pretty much at least on of us had been though it and had some sage like advice. It was pretty great. Very glad I picked up that marker and wrote on that board!

For lunch I met up with first ballot Honey Badger hall of famer and Atlantic Caper great Lauren. She works a few blocks from there and we dined at the Hard Rock Cafe. I’d never been to one of them, so it was a true adventure for me. Felt like old times lunching again, and it was pretty great to get caught up in person. I did smuggle a really ugly Drupaldelphia t-shirt for her for taking the time out of her busy schedule to meet me for lunch.

All in all a pretty great and useful adventure. Looking forward to more conferences and continuing to be more active when at such events.

Development website

Sea Isle City Website and Mobile Apps

Sea Isle CityJust wrapping up some work for Sea Isle City on a new website and some mobile apps as well. The website is and the mobile apps are available for iOS and Android.

This was a rather large project, and working with the folks at 7 Mile Times was a pleasure yet again. They are extremely organized and great to work worth.

Kim provided an excellent design to build upon and Patty was fantastic is organizing content and keeping things rolling along. It was pretty great.

We built the site on a very stable CMS that made it very easy for the admins to manage the site. Training them literally took minutes if that, given the simplicity of the CMS.

The calendar presented some interesting issues. They wanted the events grouped into months, and working with dates/events can always be a challenge. After much trial an error a solution was found, and it didn’t require much overhead at all to execute.

This is not the first website I have worked on with these folks, so we’ve got a bit of a formula down and it really showed.

A mobile app for both the iOS and Android platforms was to be developed as well. Given the nature of the apps, we decided to build on the PhoneGap/Cordova platform and them create builds for each respective platform from that.

Mobile development is still a bit of an adventure for me, but this one did go a lot smoother than my last. Just having more hours under my mobile app development belt as well as improved libraries/info on hand really helped out.

We are pulling info from the website view web services we created, and the mobile app is consuming those JSON feeds to populate the app. It really is pretty amazing  one everything is setup and producing and consuming the web services. Pretty amazing, slick, and efficient.

While we of course hit some bumps and hurdles along the way, I’m glad to say we did meet our deadline and on budget! Not bad for such a large and complex project!

Still have some minor loose ends to wrap up, but all in all this was a very exciting and rewarding project to work on! I’ve learned much and we’ve put out a very solid product(s). The clients are extremely happy and have been the utmost pleasure to work with.


Drupal 7 Repeating Date Show Only Once in Views

This one had me scratching my head for a little bit. I had some events in Drupal and was using the fine Date module and had a few with repeating dates. I was able to display the repeating dates just fine, but was getting numerous entries displaying of the event itself.

Not 1 event with the various repeating dates being displayed.

After much head scratching and some digging around I found a solution.

I added a filter of Date (delta) and set equal to 0. So now I’m only grabbing on event instance.



Display a Field Image Outside of the Content Region in Drupal 7 Using Views

I had a project where they wanted a big header image to appear on some of the content pages, above the content. I knew this wouldn’t be too difficult to do, but I was a bit initially stumped as to how best to do it using Drupal 7. I didn’t want to have to install too many modules for it to work, so I decided to start with Views as that module would be installed on the site anyway (of course).

Turns out this is pretty easy to do using Views.

  • First I added an Image field to my Content Type. Then I set the display to Hidden for that field. Easy basic Drupal Content Types stuff so far. Nothing fancy.
  • Then I created a View. A block in this case, and had it display the image field I had created.
  • Under Advanced, I clicked on Contextual Filters. From the list, I chose Content (Nid). I want to filter out by the node id of the current page being viewed. Simple still.
  • Next under the contextual filter options under the When the Filter Value is Not Available  I chose Provide a Default Value and Content ID from the URL from the drop down options.

This simply gets the Content ID from the URL of the current page you are on and then passes it to the filter.

Very easy to setup and works just fine for me!

Adventure Development

Drupaldelphia 2013

Drupahdelphia 2013Decided to attend my second Drupaldelphia, I also went to the 2011 one as well. I do enjoy being around some like minded folk everyone now and again, and usually I walk away re-energized and eager to try developing new things as well.

This year’s was held in the Philadelphia Convention Center. I decided to take the PATCO train to 8th and Market from Lindenwold. I fully navigated the entire trip without getting lost a single time! This is pretty amazing for me!

The train tide was pretty simple. The whole experience made it seem like more of an exotic trip for me. Plus it was only $6 round trip, which seemed pretty cheap to me to get there and back.

I took in 4 sessions, most of which were pretty interesting. My favorite was the Intro to Migration session.

At this very moment I’ve been working on migrating much old data into Drupal, so the timing of this session couldn’t of been better. The speaker did a great job covering the various approaches and the pros and cons to each. I think it will be a very useful session moving forward.

Another treat of my Philadelphia adventure was meeting up with Honey Badger Hall of Famer Lauren for lunch. She works a few blocks from there and was kind enough to meet me for lunch and gave me a tour of the Reading Terminal Market.

It was pretty insane in there, with tons of dining options. We were a bit overwhelmed and couldn’t make a decision on what to get. Eventually I got a chicken parm sandwich and it was messy but good.

The ride home was a bit wet walking to the train, but besides that pretty easy. Just got on, got to my car then drove home. Again I didn’t get lost at all! So impressive!

I’m always impressed with the Drupal community, and this was no exception. Very well done, and very affordable! $25 and I got a t-shirt too! A great experience and I’m glad I went!