Drupal

Drupal 8 & Drupalcon 2013, Open Source content management grabs brass ring; Weather.com, e-commerce linkdump & much moar

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So North America's Drupalcon 2013 is happening in Portland this week - a lot of people are bringing the A-Game. I got out to the 2011 & 2012 Drupalcons in Chicago & Denver, but can't this year.

Regardless here are a bunch of links I quickly slammed together about what's cropping up in the Drupal world nowadays. Roughly formatted for my own note-keeping, this may make very little sense to non-techies.

WTF IS Drupal? [drupal.org] It's an open source [Linux style GPL license] Content Management System (CMS) & framework, which can be used to build many different types of websites, including e-commerce & social networks. See INTRO to: Introduction to drupal slideshow, excellent.

I've mostly been working as a Drupal developer or done jobs involving Drupal site building work since 2007. Contact me hongpong AT hongpong.com re Drupal stuff if interested.

Drupal 8 is being developed in the community with a number of different major initiatives - as critical bugs get closed out and various ambitious plans, APIs etc shakes out. It will take a while to get sorted out, but brings really major, and indeed overdue, end user and site building enhancements, along with major simplification of the often crufty code inside Drupal's core module set.

Probably a great headliner, Weather.com has committed bigtime, making this the highest-traffic Drupal site to date.Weather.com Moving to Drupal | Acquia. Well done people - 100,000,000 unique visitors/month is the win! Also: Twitter Blog Running on Drupal not WordPress | LevelTen. And the Louvre!

Drupal community: Many of the following links are from the main commercial sites of major Drupal consultancies like Acquia. In some ways the Drupal community consists of consultancies, academics as well as people not engaged with Drupal commercially.

Overall the major organizing principle involves mutually providing very sophisticated free software to build up a large digital commons - while running businesses around designing, maintaining & developing that software. Some issues like "module X is pushed by consultant Y, module Z by group A," can bubble up, but this interesting balance of cooperation and competition results in plenty of free code for any takers, as well as increasingly spiffy SaaS (software as a service) vendors.

Evolution of Drupal governance: See Creating a structure for Drupal governance and Community Working Group.

The raising of skrillos for core: Funding Drupal Core Development | Lullabot

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In the Web Scene: There are many competitors & rivals in the CMS world and beyond. Drupal is Among the Big Boys in Open Source Communities | Forum One. And the general market: The 2013 Future of Open Source Survey Results. Reg reqd: Is It Time To Consider Open Source WCM For Digital Experience? | Acquia.

Here Google Trends shows Wordpress buzzing bigtime, and the decline of Joomla. Google Trends - Web Search Interest: drupal, wordpress, joomla - Worldwide, 2004 - present. Also the world map of interest in Drupal shows a pretty slid geography, with India, Africa, South America etc interested. See localize.drupal.org for crowd sourced translation services. See also Propeople | Spreading the magic of Drupal in Latin America. well attended!

Wordpress is complementary to Drupal in a lot of ways - used for blogging, open source and PHP based, with a really impressive market share and reach. Lol this and followed by The epic failure of "The RedHut of Drupal" :) and april foolz.

Publishing on interwebs: getting pretty good these days. webinar viewable w free login: Drupal for Publishers: How to Build a Better Newsroom CMS [May 14, 2013] | Acquia.

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All over the Government: Drupal is now a major accepted website development option for both the US federal & assorted international, regional, local governments. Drupal Gov Days 2013 | drupal4gov August 14-15 8:30am-5pm at NIH Campus, Natcher Auditorium.

Drupal for the European Commission: BoFSession at DrupalCon Portland 2013 | Pronovix interesting stuff.

Digital Agenda for Europe - European Commission powered by Drupal. Lol how can this be copyrighted [see footer]? Ohh EU :/

Georgia Peaches: Georgia.gov | drupal.org developed by Phase2, Mediacurrent, Acquia, and the OpenPublic Drupal distribution. Very detailed infos including the use of the Features module across many state government agencies! Good list of modules here. Georgia Technology Authority: Leading the way for Drupal in State Government | Phase2. 52 agencies? Damn skippy!

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D8 Core projects: See this all here.Drupal 8 Updates and How to Help | drupal.org. Also: Reducing risk in the Drupal 8 release schedule | Dries and Want more features in Drupal 8? Help fix bugs! | Dries. On May 16, "Currently, we have 27 critical bugs, 41 critical tasks, 155 major bugs, and 149 major tasks. ". Usually at Drupalcon a lot of major design issues get hashed out. There are also sprints ie: Participate in a Global Drupal Sprint this weekend. Dated but relevant: Updated Drupal 8 release schedule | Dries

Entity API & now Entity Reference in D8 core: a big deal for Drupal Commerce as well, with Entity Reference now in Drupal 8 core. It's a toolkit using pointers between nodes and entities - like "X is a member of Y" relationships.

Also you can use Entity API & Entity Reference to build fancy data dashboards. This is super cool: Using Drupal 7 Entity Reference to help Create User Dashboards | LevelTen | Dallas, TX. and How to Create Single-Page Apps With Drupal | Acquia. and If you aren't using Entity API to create nodes, you are doing it wrong | LevelTen // Working with Entities in Drupal 7 Series

E-Commerce: A Lot needs to be said. This is indeed probably going to turn into New Hotness with major market demand as people dump crumby old shopping carts and un-integrated forum software, Drupal offers a far better all around suite without licensing fees. See Sponsored blog post: Where should Drupal professionals focus for the next phase of growth? | Drupal Association

Part of the theory is here: Customer Experience: Where Content, Commerce & Community Collide

Drupal Commerce 2.x Roadmap Posted | Drupal Commerce - very successful and going to become more so. Drupal Commerce uses the Rules module for business logic - meaning you don't need to be a coder to make different commercial processes or functions happen. Drupal Commerce 2.x Roadmap | Drupal Commerce

Social Media stuff: Because a lot of modules bring third party services to bear, social media Drupal integration is a well coded & supported area. Socialize your Drupal site in 5 Easy Steps | LevelTen.

One popular module: Social media | drupal.org and Widgets | drupal.org

Social media presence On The Web | drupal.org

Distributions: Much like with Linux you can get different Drupal distributions for different purposes - auto-configured upon installation with different themes, workflows, etc than generic Drupal. Open Enterprise | drupal.org uses a new Apps style approach for various website features.

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MISCELLANEOUS: Sandbox projects are not officially approved by the Drupal community in any sense, though you can obtain them via drupal.org. There are some very cool ideas lurking in sandboxes.

jcarballo's sandbox: Diffbot | drupal.org. Scan the news. 3rd party integration

Drupal 8, aural interfaces and groundbreaking accessibility at Drupalcon Portland | Rootwork | Nonprofit Technology. Excellent news here.

Twig - a kind of dynamic theme markup technique - may not make it into D8 - I'm unclear about the topic. But anyway follow up here: pixelmord's sandbox: Drupal 8 Twig Sandbox | drupal.org. Improving all HTML markup, also re TWIG: [meta] Creating Dream Markup [#1980004] | Drupal

General performance testing: Round 5 results - TechEmpower Framework Benchmarks. Symfony2 not so hot. hmmm

D8 Translation big now. A bug thread involving Russian for example - getting more non-English into core: Use new Transliteration functionality in core for machine names [#1842718] | Drupal. Also RTL fixed for one theme! another bit.

Meet the Larks at DrupalCon Portland | Exaltation of Larks

Tumblr, hell we can make our own microblogz dangit. One BILLION Dollaz phaw...Hell No, Tumblr Users Won’t Go To Yahoo! | TechCrunch

Breaking up the Monolithic Drupal Site with a Subdomain Multisite | LevelTen | Dallas, TX - very interesting, we will see what they do about single sign on. Perhaps LDAP? Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) | drupal.org

internal to community is the bug threads. let's polish: Drupal.org D7 - improving issue pages | Drupal Association

Looks fantastic for subscription based anything: Easily integrate subscription billing on your Drupal site with Recurly

Perfect infographic does show why Pantheon is attractive - far fewer hosting and Linux tuning hassles which indeed often divert focus: Pantheon-Drupal-Developers-Road-to-Server-Hell-Infographic.jpg (1000×3946)

WSCCI is one of the D8 core initiatives. [META] WSCCI Home Stretch [#1983534] | Drupal. The new config system and javascript ie. JavaScript settings moved from Drupal.settings to global drupalSettings variable | drupal.org. . Integrate config schema with locale, so shipped configuration is translated [#1905152] | Drupal

Coherency in UI evolution: [meta] New visual style for Seven [#1986434] | Drupal and Proposal: A Style Guide for Seven | Drupal Groups

For developers: drupal_array_merge_deep | Drupal every day recursive merge. good site too. HOOKS people: How to invoke a new hook in a Drupal module | BeFused. Project mgmt: Planning Your Drupal Site | Mediacurrent Blog Post

SPARK for UI: Spark | drupal.org This has helped field test new D8 UI fixes and polishes. Webinar Wrap Up: Drupal 8 and Spark Simplify Responsive Design | Drupal Association. Drupal Association Webinar: Drupal 8 and Spark Simplify Responsive Design, Mobile | Acquia

MAPS. ARCgis for MapFreaks: energee's sandbox: ArcGIS | drupal.org. there is tons of other map stuff including OpenLayers and Mapbox.com as well worth looking at.

Creating Passionate Users: Attenuation and the suck threshold - saying that Pantheon helps: Drupalista Kelly Bell Shares the New Way of Developing on Drupal | Pantheon

it takes a half dozen people or moar to cover webchick's workload for maternity leave! Heads up: Maternity leave starting next week | webchick.net. Learn MOAR: "My job is to make Drupal awesome": meet Angie Byron - part 1 | Acquia. Very informative.

Looking for a Few New Site Builders | Drupal Association

Helper | drupal.org handy utilities from Dave Reid including a mail logger!

Menu Link Bundles. Confusing? Perhaps but gabor has a chart: Introduce menu link bundles per menus [#1966298] | Drupal

Typical local sprint: Village of Oak Park DUG Community Cultivation Grant report for the DA | Drupal Association

What is up with Fields: New Field Bases and Instances in Features | Phase2. This appears to be a big deal for Features building hmmm..

GIT. Learn your git. this is key. A recipe for a sane git process in Drupal's patch based workflow | PreviousNext. One branch per issue champs!

My Review of Frontend United 2013 | Darren Mothersele - brit conference.

Online event registration setup: Event Registration Site with Panopoly, Drupal Commerce Registration and Stripe: A Drupal, Awesome-sause Mashup. Spinoff. http://myeventsite.co/

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REST and Data plumbing; To Guzzle data: now in D8 core: Propeople | Introduction to Service Guzzle module. They're trying to integrate much more than just serving up webpages in the conventional sense. So how do you run iPhone, Android apps etc?

REST and other technologies break down yr internets data into smaller, more dynamic chunks than basically the old "load an HTML page" experience. Ensuring a certain basic level of REST design is a major part of D8. Guzzle is in D8. This is an outgrowth of the powerful Services module - for example see Propeople on Services.

Also LOL WebVisions 2013: Putting the Web in constant motion - WOOSHY STUFF!

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Theming: Looks nice. Aurora | drupal.org anyone tried it? Aurora 3.0 - Magic Birds and Boars | Snug.ug

And Best Drupal 7 Responsive Themes and 10 Free Drupal Themes for 7.x

7 modules to help with your Drupal responsive design | Web Omelette. Includes IOS Retina stuff.

More acquia snippets: The Three C’s of Modern Web Site Management | Acquia & Best Practice Checklist for Building a Drupal Website | Acquia // White paper: Resource Guide: Developing for Mobile on Drupal | Acquia. Controlling Your Site Layout Using The Mobile-First Omega Theme | Acquia

Clutch for forms with AJAX: unwieldy Drupal forms are an issue. could be win here? Yet another method to simplify making multipage/multistep Drupal forms | Sina Salek Official Site and Field Group Ajaxified Multipage | drupal.org

LOL unrelated: "I Contribute to the Windows Kernel. We Are Slower Than Other Operating Systems. Here Is Why." - Zorinaq

Anyway I will leave this linkdump there for now - hopefully this points to a few helpful areas.

Rise of the Facebook Killers! SocialNetwork-in-a-box: A few overdue notes on the world after Facebook including Salmon, ActivityStreams, OWS Federated General Assemblies & moar

Rise of the Facebook-Killers by Nick Pinto- New York - Village Voice:

.... Moglen said, Mark Zuckerberg had harnessed the energy of our social desires to talk us into a swindle. "Everybody needs to get laid," Moglen said. "He turned it into a structure for degenerating the integrity of human personality, and he has to a remarkable extent succeeded with a very poor deal. Namely, 'I will give you free Web hosting and some PHP doodads, and you get spying for free all the time.'"

It was hardly the first time this sort of critique had been leveled against Facebook, but Moglen wasn't just carping.

"I'm not suggesting it should be illegal," Moglen told the audience of the Internet Society of New York. "It should be obsolete. We're technologists. We should fix it."

Fixing it wouldn't be hard, Moglen argued. There's no reason the architecture of a social network has to include the kinds of privacy invasion endemic to Facebook. In fact, the hardware and software necessary to build a network in which people kept direct control of their information, with no middleman, already exists. So Moglen challenged his audience: Build a better system.

It's been interesting lately... working on a lot of things. One cool thing which has eluded my ability to spend much time getting into: the development of a 'federated social networking' model to replace Facebook. While not having spent much time on this directly, I dug into a bunch of stuff today and purpose of this post below: as many links as I could snag for underlying techs, alpha, beta and placeholder related possible elements. Epic Lulz ensue?

Despite the buzz Facebook is like another AOL in many, many ways. With new approaches, the same damn functions that were used to make Facebook a monolithic killer app of the Internet will finally be able to move into a decentralized cloud of services.

Cloud, in some ways is the best word, as it will finally be possible to setup virtual machines running private nodes of a larger network. Think of all the chunks of the social network experience including status updates, fixed events, photo and video item sharing, private messages etc. You have to find certain protocols to fire off the Like to a status update on a different machine without constantly polling all the time - and sharing a clear meaning between servers.

AS noted in Wired, Occupy Geeks Are Building a Facebook for the 99% , and now nice Village Voice story by Nick Pinto, the stuff which can knock Facebook's highly valuable, shadowy commercial exploitation of the patterns of your activity is being developed. Occupy Wall Street project run with TechOps called Federated General Assembly promises to combine a lot of nice opensource techs into a SocialNetwork-in-a-box. (TechOps Projects: Technology Operations Group - Occupy.Net wiki

Rise of the Facebook-Killers - Village Voice

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Drupal vs Zuckerberg! Problem? Article: De-centralised social networks and Drupal | istos

The goal is to make inter-operable social networking servers running different, interchangeable open-source software platforms (i.e. diaspora, Drupal, status.net, WordPress). It's kind of loose right now but a lot of established component techs are in decent shape, and merely have to be piled up into implementations of the protocols on sturdy, ready-to-run server stacks. Easier said than done. But once done, everything will be quite different!

To deliver this, a specification proposal which already has taken flight is one batch of protocols called OStatus - Understanding OStatus | StatusNet. Status.net is something of an Open source replacement for Twitter etc; Welcome to the Developer's Section | StatusNet. Status.net supported OStatus since .9.0 including Salmon, Webfinger, and ActivityStreams in March 2010. OStatus is just a mix of these existing, specified protocols, many of which already have open-source implementations available (drupal & wordpress modules, PHP libraries etc): Worth quoting here:

  • Atom or RSS for feeds. These standard feed formats make it easy to include rich information like location, thread context, and HTML formatting in status updates.
  • PubSubHubbub for real-time. PubSubHubbub (or PuSH) is an HTTP-based protocol for pushing feed entries from publishers to subscribers. It lets people on different servers receive status updates in real-time (or "real-enough time").
  • Salmon for replies. Salmon is an excellent, distributed, secure protocol for sending messages "upstream" -- from subscribers to publishers. And since it uses Atom or RSS elements to structure those messages, it's easy to include lots of rich data in these messages.
  • ActivityStreams for social events. There is a lot of information in a social network that's not explicitly a status update: follows, faves, repeats ("retweets"). We use ActivityStreams to encode these events, which then either flow through PuSH out to a network of subscribers, or get posted through salmon to the recipients. This lets sites on both sides keep track of followers and friends with a minimum of data transfer.
  • Webfinger for discovery. We needed an easy way for people to say, "Follow me!" Webfinger gives people identities available across the Internet that look like email addresses. We use this for discovering people on the network; you can follow me at evan@status.net.

Putting these pieces together, we were able to make the new, distributed social networking system that's part of StatusNet 0.9.0. It'sgreat; flexible and simple and high-performance and fun and easy to use.
We wanted more sites to implement these protocols so the network becomes even more valuable. Some parts have been implemented already by sites like Google Buzz, LiveJournal, WordPress.com, andTumblr. We want to make sure that sites that have taken those first few steps make the next ones to build a truly distributed social Web.
So we've put a name on this suite of protocols: OStatus. We want people who are looking for a way to distribute status updates to know that there's an easy, standard way to go. We think that the more OStatus participants, the better the network becomes.
We've published the OStatus suite's definition as OStatus 1.0 Draft 1.

So OStatus can represent a package of complex activity back and forth. Nice. Lets look at Federated General Assembly, using something like OStatus (maybe not Webfinger?). FGA is basically a Drupal distribution in the works (ideally with a good virtual machine, so any machine could run your social network by booting from USB key). FGA could run off a box in the Occupy camp ... and go from there. Or run really on any affordable shared hosting or at a larger scale for certain services, VPS, most likely.

Drupal Modules for Make Great FGA! As a Drupal muck-abouter myself, the shape this has all taken with the FGA project in particular going right to a Drupal-centric approach, is damn sweet. Drupal 7 is flexible to handle much of this. It's true Drupal has always angled for this kind of use anyway -- the unfortunately not-that-successful OpenID protocol has been in Drupal Core for years. With some more work, its a natural open choice for implementing this stuff, while also developing an open approach that can talk happily to existing, new alternative & corporate providers via API modules.

As something of a test you could setup a free account on DrupalGardens.com, export to any web host. Install some of the modules on the list below, join discussions on mailing lists & IRC (and the info I'm throwing in here is just from skimming around, not reading the list so forgive me inaccuracies :)

For Drupal 7.x federated social network module ideas, Massive list, may not be up to date but covers your bases. Drupal for Assemblies | Occupytalk.org. Many things to look at!! Yikes.

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Drupal modules wiki'd for possible use in Federated General Assembly: Federated General Assembly - Drupal Modules - OWS Project Tracker.

Modules to Test and Try to Fix Where Needed

Modules to Port to D7

Modules to Build From Scratch

  • FGA Feature for end users
  • FGA Endpoint Admin for end user admins
  • FGA Push to enable P2P communication via service layer
  • FGA Edge Server for end user sites that wish to provide their own services (eg mobile support via REST)

Alpha or Beta Modules Stable Enough for Basic Usage

  • Address
  • Admin
  • Advanced Forum
  • Calendar
  • Captcha
  • Context
  • Ctools
  • Date
  • Debut
  • Entity
  • Features
  • Feeds
  • File Entity
  • Fivestar
  • Follow
  • Gcal Events
  • Job Scheduler
  • LDAP
  • Media (install issues?)
  • Metatag
  • OAuth
  • OpenCalais
  • OWS Curator
  • Plupload
  • Print
  • RDFx
  • Redirect
  • Recaptcha
  • Services
  • SPARQL
  • SPARQL Views
  • Strongarm
  • Styles
  • Superfish
  • Token
  • Twitter
  • Views
  • Views Data Export
  • Web Service Client (wsclient)
  • XML Sitemap
  • TBD

Stable Modules to Include

  • Comment Notify
  • Email
  • Forward
  • Global Redirect
  • HTTP Client
  • jCarousel
  • Lang Dropdown
  • Libraries
  • Link
  • Login Toboggan
  • REST Server Plist Support
  • Rules
  • Service Links
  • Variable
  • VotingAPI
  • WYSIWYG
  • TBD

Libraries

  • ARC2
  • CKEditor
  • DOMPDF
  • Plupload
  • Superfish

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Anyway that list seemed worth sharing - no time for hyperlinks! Cool way to chart the progress of FGA: FGA Directory site - Gantt - OWS Project Tracker

Development server: or just a front page of sorts: home | FGA project site

FGA Project site - Roadmap - OWS Project Tracker - overall plan for version releases. you can see which bugs/features are closed to hit the releases. it's rough but moving along better in recent weeks.

Federated General Assembly - Primers and Tutorials - OWS Project Tracker

Federated General Assembly - Technology Stack - OWS Project Tracker

Federated General Assembly - Project Specification - OWS Project Tracker - interoperability rules! (you don't need to use this core system, any server meeting the spec could link up)

get involved - communications

get involved - developers

get involved - events

Drupal module implementations & test things: No idea yet if this stuff works. A couple may be little more than placeholders. But that's what's nice about open-source. Someone else can nudge it along or take it as an example to put on another platform etc.

damz/foafssl-drupal - GitHub // Foaf+ssl/HOWTO - W3C Wiki

ClusterFCK/Drupal-Mumble-Viewer - GitHub // Drupal Mumble Viewer | Free World Media

dtarc/ows_curator - GitHub <- curates news from ManagingNews

WebID | drupal.org - implementation, just getting rolling (7.x alpha2)

#drupal-ostatus for anyone interested in working on bringing Ostatus to Drupal.

Also useful for Drupal media aggregation - Mobile Broadcast News | we're there for you style RSS based youtube embed parsing from member accounts in D6. Modules: Feeds: YouTube parser | drupal.org // Feeds | drupal.org // Media | drupal.org. try a demo of MediaMosa, a drupal distribution linked with FFMPEG that helps manage video assets, and transcode/intake via FTP too, Big buck bunny | demo.mediamosa.surfnet.nl. Drupal MediaMosa Module / the blank-yet-quite-functional white label version of mediamosa: Videos | demo.mediamosa.surfnet.nl. MediaMosa | Drupal Distro Watch // check out Drupal Distro Watch for a number of cool free projects.

Importing list of occupations: FGA Directory site - Feature #117: Import Occupations List into Drupal - OWS Project Tracker

More nifty tech tips for activists: Had to throw in Tactical Technology Collective & Security In A Box | Tools and tactics for your digital security, Firefox with add-ons - Secure Web Browser | Security In A Box

WebId protocol - kind of an extension of OpenID. This is the basic universal identification mechanism which actually gives control over privacy and lets us get away from centralized identity. WebID - Universal Login and Identity for the Web

WebID 1.0 // WebID Wiki // W3C WebID Incubator Group: "an authentication protocol that uses the SSL/TLS layer for user identification by tying the client to a profile document on the Web through placing a URI in a certificate. It is a first step to a fully standard-based browser authentication experience, but not limited to browser based authentication: peer to peer server authentication will work just as well. The Incubator Group intends to pursue work that has been evolving since 2008, grow the number of interested parties from the Social Web, security and browser communities, and integrate their feedback."

pubsubhubbub - A simple, open, web-hook-based pubsub protocol & open source reference implementation. - Google Project Hosting - Installation guide: PubSubHubbub Support for Drupal | Development Seed. Brand new: Views RSS: PubSubHubbub Elements | drupal.org. FOr pushing 6 and 7: Pusher | drupal.org

Activity Streams Protocol: Hadn't really heard about this one. Looks interesting. "The Activity Streams format has already been adopted by BBC, Gnip, Google Buzz Gowalla, IBM, MySpace, Opera, Socialcast, Superfeedr, TypePad,Windows Live, YIID, and many others." activitystreams's Profile - GitHub .

Salmon for the win: Salmon Protocol // See Protocol Summary - Salmon Protocol.- "As updates and content flow in real time around the Web, conversations around the content are becoming increasingly fragmented into individual silos. Salmon aims to define a standard protocol for comments and annotations to swim upstream to original update sources -- and spawn more commentary in a virtuous cycle. It's open, decentralized, abuse resistant, and user centric. (See latest news.) See Protocol Summary for a high level description, the FAQ for common questions and answers, and the Magic Signatures and Salmon Protocol specifications for full details. There is a Google Code project for source code and specs, and a mailing list; please join the list if you are interested in participating in defining or implementing the protocol. There is a demo running at the Salmon Playground."

OccupyTalk.org and Mumble, JSON hotness: another development is open source Mumble based OccupyTalk. Mumble software kind of annoying to setup so I haven't messed around on it. but good stuff.

Occupytalk.org:

Embed the Mumble block on your site

It's now possible to embed the Mumble block on your website! This technology is called Channel Viewer Protocol. In short CVP.

Currently we support 1 way of embedding the block: Json CVP.

The address for the Json output is: http://occupytalk.org/json/1/1

Plugins for your website that work with Json:

Drupal 7 module: download

Wordpress plugin: Website

Joomla Channel viewer: Website

More links: Federated Social Web | Drupal Groups. Just a stub: sanduhrs's sandbox: OStatus | drupal.org // RSS & Aggregation | Drupal Groups // Google Feed API — Google Developers // funky Ajax techniques 25 Excellent Ajax Techniques and Examples

Some neat geographic data mapping: I wanted to stuff some more not-yet-fully-baked module links in here, why not. For cool spatial portals, some of this stuff could work wonders. OpenLayers its own badass system for open source mapping. This mapping of river level data, live, is AWESOMESAUCE: AustroFeedr | Hochwassernachrichten in Echtzeit. A neat aggregator of data: AustroFeedr | Pushing the Real Time Web in Austria. English writeup is VERY interesting: AustroFeedr - Real-time Open Data Aggregation, Processing and Publishing in Austria | drupal.org // developmentseed/openlayers_themes - GitHub // Diff | drupal.org < adds cool wiki style changelog effect to revisions. //Search API Location | drupal.org // affinitybridge/spatial - GitHub - php processing spatial data recently developed //Geofield | drupal.org

Entity API relation : Not going to get into it too much, but a lot of cool data can be aggregated and represented as entities rather than nodes in Drupal 7. Anyway these are at varying states but definitely worth looking at for a minute: Relation | drupal.org - cutting edge new way to relate new data entities - specifically designed for linking say donor entries...Entity reference | drupal.org. Hm: References | drupal.org.Field group | drupal.org / Synonyms | drupal.org / DataStore | drupal.org /

WTF: Endgame on this stuff? This post is intended as a rough round-up so hopefully interested folks can find some tasty repos & move this process along :) Basically I think if you mix together a lot of these technologies and make bootable virtual machines and USB images, you will have a ready way to run a lot of great services for almost any circumstance. The AOL-like Facebook monopoly will finally fade away, its primacy eclipsed by obsoleteness. Mix the some of the above open techs, have a few distros moving around the Occupy movement and elsewhere that are more ready-to-run & essentially turnkey, you've got most of what you need without a corporate behavior-spy watching your every move.

In occupy camps, even old cell phones, with no valid SIM for the commercial network, could be talking to a DIY picocell tower and this someday, if I can speculate could be managed by the FGA or other support system. A clever person pointed this out to me. We can dream...

Peer-to-peer CDN networks seem to be one thing needed (SMS gateways another) to replace the most expensive elements of Internet media distribution. Could peer participants in a CDN be awarded rewards much as bitcoin miners might - using Salmon or something else to upstream their available IP connections? Why not? :-D

Fort Snelling Undercover Fail; Ollie's 1985 Gander false flag crash; Bilderberg 2010; Watersports with the White House Press Corpse; the Coming Artilect War and more!

Special greetings to Rule of Law Radio / Axxiom for Liberty listeners! We had a great time chatting last Friday for moar than an hour about every cutting edge dimension of the military-industrial police state, hosted by Kaye Beach and her friend (nickname Matrix? I forget). Get the live recording of all 2 hours here (110MB) or 13MB lo-fi version. I joined about a half-hour in, but in the first minutes they talked about being Ron Paul delegates at the 2008 RNC, thoroughly abused by the Man, and leaving as changed people. A great springboard into fusion centers, the NAFTA superhighway and more, with a guest from OK SAFE as well. [I forget her name right now as well but she was kewl!]*******
I've been there and back again lately, leaving far too little time to check in. We are expecting new videoz to leakify from points interesting Real Soon Here. Stay tuned for that one... And now, my video exposé of the Fort Snelling Undercover - in all his epic fail glory:

Intrusive photographer admits it: a government employee spies on rallies against Fort Snelling & immigration policies at the Whipple Federal Building. He gets a "thumbs up" from Haukoos, lead Department of Homeland Security/Federal Protective Service security officer. At Fort Snelling, the photographer admits he's a government employee but won't say if he's a federal employee, then refuses to show his lanyard (even though he says it has his ID) and he promptly runs away in his blue truck.  Same logic of "Federal Control" persists for centuries, but this video shows everyone can deal with sleazy spy photographers: block them, tape them, confront them about their chain of command. Organizers try to mitigate his efforts to collect intelligence on rally participants. Another element: Homeland Security radio transmission seems to order operations "systematically". Could this man be photographing everyone for addition to federal facial recognition databases? What data practices rules apply to this man's camera and his taxpayer-financed salary? Amazingly, some people do not realize this conduct & aggressive spying on political dissent happens all the time even under a Democratic presidency. Video edited by Dan Feidt for Twin Cities Indymedia - http://tc.indymedia.org Video shot by Dan Feidt & Sally Jo Sorensen - http://bluestemprairie.com (Sally Jo clips of him @ Whipple Building) LICENSE: This video is licensed Creative Commons/ShareAlike. Please remix and share!!

Helen Thomas, who gave em hell consistently for decades, got knocked out of the Capitol Press Corps in favor of the hard working White House Beach Party krew - warning you may spit on yr kbd at this: Our hard-core, adversarial press corps - Glenn Greenwald.

Here was the transcript of the whole Helen Thomas clip, which of course was released in a heavily spun way [via Balloon Juice » You Got Played]

Q: Any advice for these young people over here for starting out in the press corps?

Thomas: Go for it. You’ll never be unhappy. You’ll always keep people informed, you’ll always keep learning. The greatest thing of the profession is you’ll never stop learning.

Q: Today they are covering the Jewish Heritage Month.

Thomas: ... and meet the President.

A: Any comments on Israel? We’re asking everyone today, any comments on..

Thomas: Tell them to get the hell out of Palestine.

Q: Oooh. Any better comments?

Thomas: Remember, these people are occupied, and it’s their land. It’s not German and it’s not Poland.

Q: So where should they go, what should they do?

Thomas: They can go home.

Q: Where is home?

Thomas: Poland. Germany.

Q: So you are saying Jews should go back to Poland?

Thomas: And America and everywhere else. Why push people out who have lived their for centuries? See?

Q: Now, are you familiar with the history of that region and what took place?

Thomas: Very much. I’m of Arab background.

{It goes on for a little while with friendly banter about languages they both speak with words I can not even begin to spell.}

Q: Thank you.

Thomas: All the best to you (directed at the Jewish students). Go for it- go for journalism, you’ll never regret it.

Rabbi Nesenoff himself has very few offensive or dubious clips out there himself -- oh wait: Rabbi Who Brought Down Helen Thomas Has Great ‘Mexican’ Impression | RaceWire. A Helen Thomas gallery.

*******

killingrobot.jpg

AUTHORITARIAN ESCHATON == ARTILECT OF DOOM!: Last night I remembered that the Roomba cleaning robot is made by a company that also makes killer robots. A review of what they're up to now: the scary wikipedia page, PackBot, iRobot Negotiator , & more. "Chembot is a DARPA-funded prototype of a shape-shifting robot without motors, wheels or any rigid elements. It runs on chemical power and is made using dielectric elastomers, which are extremely flexible and can alter their shape in electric or magnetic fields. Ultimately, the program aims to build a robot that is completely squishy and able to squeeze through a hole 'the size of a 10 pence piece'.when was this made"

What will control these killer robots in 80 years or so? Via cryptogon.com, The spooky new idea to check out is the ARTILECT -- aka the bossy killer super-intelligence that will wipe us all out like ants. Now some guy who's leading the charge to build China's artificial brain has actually considered the implications of his work. From the fine new Technofascism blog, Hugo de Garis and The Coming Artilect War:

If you haven’t heard of Hugo de Garis, AI researcher and Professor at China’s Xiamen University, then you’ve probably never heard of an Artilect either. A contraction of Artificial Intellect, the Artilects are future creations that, according to de Garis, will be immortal, godlike robotic beings that, due to being built on a substrate of nanoscale computer chips, will have billions of times the intelligence of the average human. Needless to say, these Artilects would not for a second hesitate in wiping out the entire human species if their need dictates; much like a human wouldn’t trouble themselves over running over an ant colony on their way to work.

It’s important to listen to de Garis because he is one of those rare scientific researchers that actually considers the implications of his work. In de Garis’ view, in the late 21st century humanity will have the technological ability to create the Artilects. At that point, humans will be divided into three camps: the Terrans, who will attempt to violently prevent the creation of the Artilects; the Cosmists, who think building them is a good idea; and the Cyborgists, who will attempt to merge with the Artilects to preserve some shred of their humanity.   These three camps will fight it out and the winner will decide the fate of the planet.   Since the war will be fought with late 21st century weaponry, the death toll is expected to be in the billions.

Check the wiki profile And more in that Forbes article The Coming Artilect War - Forbes.com

Considering all this, I predict that humanity will split into three major philosophical, ideological, political groups, which I label as follows.

--The Cosmists (based on the word "cosmos") will be in favor of building these godlike machines (the artilects), who would be immortal, think a million times faster than humans, have unlimited memory, go anywhere, do anything and take any shape. The Cosmists would take a quasi-religious view that they are god builders. Privately, I am a Cosmist, but publicly, I have mixed feelings about the rise of the artilect.

--The Terrans (based on the word "terra," meaning the earth) will be opposed to the construction of artilects, fearing that in a highly advanced form, the artilects may decide to wipe us out. To ensure that the probability that this might happen is zero, the Terrans will insist that the artilects are never built in the first place. But this strategy runs utterly contrary to what the Cosmists want. The Terrans will be prepared to go to war against the Cosmists to ensure the survival of the human species.

--The Cyborgists (based on the word "cyborg," meaning cybernetic organism that is part machine, part human) will want to become artilect gods themselves by adding artilectual components to their own brains, thus avoiding the bitter conflict between the Cosmists and the Terrans.

Photo of MAARS Robot with M240B machine gun, via CommonDreams.org / 2009 McClatchy: Pentagon Exploring Robot Killers That Can Fire on Their Own | CommonDreams.org

*******

1985 GANDER FALSE FLAG AIR CRASH CONCEALS NEUTRON BOMB TEST etc: Moving right along, I would like to add something about a 1985 false-flag plane crash. aka: Arrow Air Flight 1285 - Wikipedia.

A while ago I ran into someone who was involved with this. A private transport plane carrying lots of military personnel and cargo from Cairo to the US crashed near Gander, Canada in 1985. It obviously exploded somehow, and actually for once the National Transportation Safety Board failed to unanimously peddle the establishment coverup.

This was actually a false-flag bombing carried out by people friendly with Oliver North & the Usual Suspects of Iran-Contra fame. It was a bombing "required" to advance numerous coverups, included a need to get rid of bodies from dead illegal Special Forces operations in Lebanon, and also the remains of illegal neutron bomb testing in the Sinai Peninsula. [US military personnel cooked with neutrons were murdered en route rather than risk public exposure after reaching a stateside medical facility]

The records of the Gander Crash have been sealed for 70 years because it was a false-flag coverup -- and additionally there has been at least one direct death threat from a 'credible source' to shut people up.

I was pleased to find a surprisingly good video about it, from a show on Spike TV no less? For students of conspiracy video styles, I thought the editing on this segment was concise & excellent as well:

Congressional speakers on the coverup - circa 1989: GANDER, NEWFOUNDLAND, CRASH REMAINS A MYSTERY TO CANADIAN AND AMERICAN PUBLIC. etc. Anyway, add this one to the list of murderous crimes of state within the Iran-Contra/Octopus criminal complex -- quite from the thick of it, really. Be sure to look @ the transcript of this video program for more on how the overall coverup commenced. [PDF]. Memorial video. Kind of a Loose Change style video.

*******

Bilderberg 2010 is ON baby! I like the Charlie Skelton coverage News blog + Charlie Skelton's Bilderblog | News | guardian.co.uk. And lol he found Dutch Queen Beatrix, a key globalist in the old skewl style. Bilderberg 2010: Help us identify the delegates. Gallery! "Picture 1: He’s a big Swede, he’s on the board of Coca-Cola, and he’s a Knight of the Order of the Seraphim. But who is he?" Nicely done. Bilderberg 2010: Plutocracy with palm trees. Bilderberg 2010: Why the protesters are your very best friends | World news | guardian.co.uk

Let's include a list of these rockstars, via where else, Cryptome.org! Bilderberg Participants 2010 and another one here.

Date: Sat, 29 May 2010 14:11:39 +0100

To: pepis[at]googlegroups.com,pepis[at]yahoogroups.com

From: Tony Gosling <tony[at]cultureshop.org.uk>
Subject: [PEPIS] Leaked participants of 2010 meeting?
Bilderberg participants 2010 (in alphabetic order)
(Present) Occupation
BEL Davignon, Etienne F. Honorary Chairman, Bilderberg Meetings; Vice Chairman,
Suez Tractebel
DEU Ackermann, Josef Chairman of the Management Board and the Group Executive
Committee, Deutsche Bank AG
USA Alexander, Keith B. Director, National Security Agency
GRC Alogoskoufis, George Member of Parliament
USA Altman, Roger C. Chairman and CEO, Evercore Partners, Inc.
GRC Arapoglou, Takis Chairman and CEO, National Bank of Greece
TUR Babacan, Ali Minister of State and Deputy Prime Minister
GRC Bakoyannis, Dora Minister of Foreign Affairs
NOR Baksaas, Jon Fredrik President and CEO, Telenor Group
PRT Balsemão, Francisco Pinto Chairman and CEO, IMPRESA, S.G.P.S.; Former Prime
Minister
FRA Baverez, Nicolas Partner, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP
ITA Bernabè, Franco CEO Telecom Italia SpA
SWE Bildt, Carl Minister of Foreign Affairs
SWE Björklund, Jan Minister for Education; Leader of the Lìberal Party
CHE Blocher, Christoph Former Swiss Counselor; Former Chairman and CEO, EMS Group
FRA Bompard, Alexandre CEO, Europe 1
USA Boot, Max Jeane J. Kirkpatrick Senior Fellow for National Security Studies, Council
on Foreign Relations
AUT Bronner, Oscar Publisher and Editor, Der Standard
FRA Castries, Henri de Chairman of the Management Board and CEO, AXA
ESP Cebrián, Juan Luis CEO, Grupo PRISA
BEL Coene, Luc Vice Governor, National Bank of Belgium
USA Collins, Timothy C. Senior Managing Director and CEO, Ripplewood Holdings, LLC
GRC David, George A. Chairman, Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Co. (H.B.C.) S.A.
GRC Diamantopoulou, Anna Member of Parliament
ITA Draghi, Mario Governor, Banca d'Italia
USA Eberstadt, Nicholas N. Henry Wendt Scholar in Political Economy, American
Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
DNK Eldrup, Anders President, DONG Energy A/S
ITA Elkann, John Chairman, EXOR S.p.A.; Vice Chairman, Fiat S.p.A.
DEU Enders, Thomas CEO, Airbus SAS
ESP Entrecanales, José Manuel Chairman, Acciona
AUT Faymann, Werner Federal Chancellor
USA Ferguson, Niall Laurence A. Tisch Professor of History, Harvard University
IRL Gleeson, Dermot Chairman, AIB Group
USA Graham, Donald E. Chairman and CEO, The Washington Post Company
NLD Halberstadt, Victor Professor of Economics, Leiden University; Former
Honorary Secretary General of Bilderberg Meetings
NLD Hirsch Ballin, Ernst M.H. Minister of Justice
USA Holbrooke, Richard C. US Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan
NLD Hommen, Jan H.M. Chairman, ING N.V.
INT Hoop Scheffer, Jaap G. de Secretary General, NATO
USA Johnson, James A. Vice Chairman, Perseus, LLC
USA Jordan, Jr., Vernon E. Senior Managing Director, Lazard Frères & Co. LLC
FIN Katainen, Jyrki Minister of Finance
USA Keane, John M. Senior Partner, SCP Partners; General, US Army, Retired
USA Kent, Muhtar President and CEO, The Coca-Cola Company
GBR Kerr, John Member, House of Lords; Deputy Chairman, Royal Dutch Shell plc
DEU Klaeden, Eckart von Foreign Policy Spokesman, CDU/CSU
USA Kleinfeld, Klaus President and CEO, Alcoa Inc.
TUR Koç, Mustafa V. Chairman, Koç Holding A.S.
DEU Koch, Roland Prime Minister of Hessen
TUR Kohen, Sami Senior Foreign Affairs Columnist, Milliyet
USA Kravis, Henry R. Senior Fellow, Hudson Institute, Inc.
INT Kroes, Neelie Commissioner, European Commission
GRC Kyriacopoulos, Ulysses Chairman and Board member of subsidiary companies
of the S&B Group
FRA Lagarde, Christine Minister for the Economy, Industry and Employment
INT Lamy, Pascal Director General, World Trade Organization
PRT Leite, Manuela Ferreira Leader, PSD
ESP León Gross, Bernardino General Director of the Presidency of the Spanish
Government
DEU Löscher, Peter CEO, Siemens AG
GBR Mandelson, Peter Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise & Regulatory
Reform
INT Maystadt, Philippe President, European Investment Bank
CAN McKenna, Frank Former Ambassador to the US
GBR Micklethwait, John Editor-in-Chief, The Economist
FRA Montbrial, Thierry de President, French Institute for International Relations
ITA Monti, Mario President, Universita Commerciale Luigi Bocconi
ESP Moratinos Cuyaubé, Miguel A. Minister of Foreign Affairs
USA Mundie, Craig J. Chief Research and Strategy Officer, Microsoft Corporation
CAN Munroe-Blum, Heather Principal and Vice Chancellor, McGill University
NOR Myklebust, Egil Former Chairman of the Board of Directors SAS, Norsk Hydro ASA
DEU Nass, Matthias Deputy Editor, Die Zeit
NLD Beatrix, H.M. the Queen of the Netherlands
ESP Nin Génova, Juan Maria President and CEO, La Caixa
FRA Olivennes, Denis CEO and Editor in Chief, Le Nouvel Observateur
FIN Ollila, Jorma Chairman, Royal Dutch Shell plc
GBR Osborne, George Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer
FRA Oudéa, Frédéric CEO, Société Générale
ITA Padoa-Schioppa, Tommaso Former Minister of Finance; President of Notre Europe
GRC Papahelas, Alexis Journalist, Kathimerini
GRC Papalexopoulos, Dimitris Managing Director, Titan Cement Co. S.A.
GRC Papathanasiou, Yannis Minister of Economy and Finance
USA Perle, Richard N. Resident Fellow, American Enterprise Institute for Public
Policy Research
BEL Philippe, H.R.H. Prince
PRT Pinho, Manuel Minister of Economy and Innovation
INT Pisani-Ferry, Jean Director, Bruegel
CAN Prichard, J. Robert S. President and CEO, Metrolinx
ITA Prodi, Romano Chairman, Foundation for Worldwide Cooperation
FIN Rajalahti, Hanna Managing Editor, Talouselämä
CAN Reisman, Heather M. Chair and CEO, Indigo Books & Music Inc.
NOR Reiten, Eivind President and CEO, Norsk Hydro ASA
CHE Ringier, Michael Chairman, Ringier AG
USA Rockefeller, David Former Chairman, Chase Manhattan Bank
USA Rubin, Barnett R. Director of Studies and Senior Fellow, Center for
International Cooperation, New York University
TUR Sabanci Dinçer, Suzan Chairman, Akbank
CAN Samarasekera, Indira V. President and Vice-Chancellor, University of Alberta
AUT Scholten, Rudolf Member of the Board of Executive Directors, Oesterreichische
Kontrollbank AG
USA Sheeran, Josette Executive Director, UN World Food Programme
ITA Siniscalco, Domenico Vice Chairman, Morgan Stanley International
ESP Solbes, Pedro Vice-President of Spanish Government; Minister of Economy and
Finance
ESP Sophia, H.M. the Queen of Spain
USA Steinberg, James B. Deputy Secretary of State
INT Stigson, Bjorn President, World Business Council for Sustainable Development
GRC Stournaras, Yannis Research Director, Foundation for Economic and Industrial
Research (IOBE)
IRL Sutherland, Peter D. Chairman, BP plc and Chairman, Goldman Sachs International
INT Tanaka, Nobuo Executive Director, IEA
GBR Taylor, J. Martin Chairman, Syngenta International AG
USA Thiel, Peter A. President, Clarium Capital Management, LLC
DNK Thorning-Schmidt, Helle Leader ofThe Social Democratic Party
DNK Thune Andersen, Thomas Partner and CEO, Maersk Oil
AUT Treichl, Andreas Chairman and CEO, Erste Group Bank AG
INT Trichet, Jean-Claude President, European Central Bank
GRC Tsoukalis, Loukas President of the Hellenic Foundation for European and
Foreign Policy (ELlAMEP)
TUR Ugur, Agah CEO, Borusan Holding
FIN Vanhanen, Matti Prime Minister
CHE Vasella, Daniel L. Chairman and CEO, Novartis AG
NLD Veer, Jeroen van der Chief Executive, Royal Dutch Shell plc
USA Volcker, Paul A. Chairman, Economic Recovery Advisory Board
SWE Wallenberg, Jacob Chairman, Investor AB
SWE Wallenberg, Marcus Chairman, SEB
NLD Wellink, Nout President, De Nederlandsche Bank
NLD Wijers, Hans Chairman, AkzoNobel NV
GBR Wolf, Martin H. Associate Editor & Chief Economics Commentator, The Financial
Times
USA Wolfensohn, James D. Chairman, Wolfensohn & Company, LLC
USA Wolfowitz, Paul Visiting Scholar, American Enterprise Institute for Public
Policy Research
INT Zoellick, Robert B. President, The World Bank Group
GBR Bredow, Vendeline von Business Correspondent, The Economist (Rapporteur)
GBR McBride, Edward Business Editor, The Economist (Rapporteur)
• AUT Austria
• BEL Belgium
• CHE Switzerland
• CAN Canada
• DEU Germany
• DNK Denmark
• ESP Spain
• FRA France
• FIN Finland
• GBR Great Britain
• GRC Greece
• IRL Ireland
• INT International
• ITA Italy
• NOR Norway
• NLD Netherlands
• PRT Portugal
• SWE Sweden
• TUR Turkey
• USA United States of America
--
Please consider seriously the reason why these elite institutions are not
discussed in the mainstream press despite the immense financial and political
power they wield?

There are sick and evil occultists running the Western World. They are power
mad lunatics like something from a kid's cartoon with their fingers on the
nuclear button! Armageddon is closer than you thought. Only God can save our
souls from their clutches, at least that's my considered opinion - Tony

Wolfowitz & Perle be plottin a comeback, watch yo self ....plus the new site? http://www.bilderbergmeetings.org/index.html

*********

Can has Drupal 7? In Drupal news, well the Drupal community is slowly chugging through to Drupal 7, and there are a few things people can do to help - see Drupal core improvements | drupal.org for a roundup on that. It is currently on Drupal 7.0 Alpha 5 released as of May 23. There are 67 critical issues right now; when that hits zero it's release time.

*********

I know that LRAD! Russia Today has done a fine job covering the latest developments in crushing North American dissent - what nice LRAD footage from Chicago Indymedia (provided courtesy Glass Bead Collective :-D )

When facing the police state, badass military sunglasses from WileyX might do the job? It's impossible to puncture them with .22 ammo even!
Gizmodo on the photographer crackdown: Are Cameras the New Guns? Wowz: DHS Testing 360-Degree Video Camera

That's all for now - don't let the oilpocalypse get you down!

New for HongPong.com: Drupal 6 a win?

It's been a long time in coming, but now we've got Drupal 6 running on hongpong.com. The database patching and everything else went perfectly. I've installed the 'Fusion' theme and have just started tweaking it up (please be patient for more tweaks... ) I whipped up a silly new banner featuring Andrew Jackson battling the banker octopus and the Rocky Taconite figure from Silver Bay MN.


Some quick notes on Drupal 6, which was released... wow, last February? It took a few months for Drupal 6 to mature as a platform (due to a lack of important contributed modules that got heavily re-engineered). For Drupal 7, which is due in Q1 2010, we'll have a lot more awesome new features and the contrib modules will be in better shape right away. (Drupal 7 will roll when 'critical issues' gets to zero.)
Some Drupal 6 features from the announcement:
Actions and triggers
...Automate your processes with just a few clicks using the new and powerful "actions" feature. No programming knowledge required! Actions are available for posts, users, comments and more.
Optimized code
Drupal 6 splits most core modules into smaller pieces and only loads what's needed, resulting in less code per page. JavaScript aggregation and block-level caching further improves performance for both authenticated and anonymous users.
A new menu system
Drupal's menu system has been rewritten from scratch, making it much more efficient and powerful.
Better file handling
Files are keyed to users instead of posts, and new, reusable validation functions are available that check file sizes, extensions and resolution.
Better polls
Quickly add and manage poll options.
Better anonymous commenting
Drupal 6 remembers the contact details of anonymous posters, automatically filling them in for their next comment.

Introducing Feidt Design LLC - yr handy electronic communications & development consulting biz!

You better believe it! I filed for Feidt Design LLC with the Secretary of State a week ago, and got the certificate on Friday!

Here's the intro message. (And there was much rejoicing!!) It's a lot of fun to set up a new biz :-)

Thanks for visiting Feidt Design!


Hey all,
Thanks for stopping by the brand-new FeidtDesign.com. I've just launched a new business to meet the ever-growing need for solid website development, social media, tech training and all that other good stuff.

I'm hoping that this site turns out to be far more useful than the usual brochureware sites that clog the Internet. Most of the work I hope to do involves open source software, and it's only proper to offer up tips and constructive help for dealing with the really nifty world of open-source. Thus, Projects & Notes will offer helpful material for all.

I'm offering a bunch of different services for folks to check out. The blog will have more narrative-style posts about the biz. Contact me if you're interested in talking about things.

Pretty straightforward? This site (and the business!) is brand new, so it'll take a bit of polishing yet. However, I think that you'll eventually find it a useful resource. Register if you like -- FeidtDesign.com is intended to be participatory!

Thanks for stopping by!
--Dan Feidt, August 17, 2009

Thanks to Rose for finding my phone! Plus: I'm starting a design company!

I nearly had a horrible day today, leaving my trusty old Helio phone on a bench at the University of Minnesota mall. A good samaritan named Rose picked it up and called the Boiler Room coffee shop back after I tried the phone. I got it back! Thanks a ton, Rose, you saved yet another messy situation from befalling me.

What happened?!

It's been a strange July! I parted ways with my job of four years & change @ Politics in Minnesota as a staff writer and Web Editor. We were really at the top of our game, which is as good as anything you might hope for. The PoliticsMN Twitter account hit 4000 followers right when I left! And I'll leave it at that.

What about the car?!

That was its own dramatic tale. It involved a savage journey somewhere near the heart of the American dream. I still need to get sent the photos.

What are you doing next?!

I am setting up a design and web development company!

For a long time I have fixed up Macs, developed Drupal themes and other websites, edited video, done various tweaks and twists on technical stuff, but I never tried to establish a proper company to marshall this stuff under one roof -- because of course, that means getting a solid business operation together.

I've spent a bit of time in corporate America and a long time working for smaller businesses, as well as a really nice time at a temporary gig developing at Macalester College's development office after I graduated. (I picked up enough ASP.net / C# / Oracle to get the job done pretty quickly, thanks to Lloyd's really solid training, and other skills as well.)

Overall it has been a productive experience, and I've come to know a lot of talented and cool people all over the place -- many of them, small business proprietors of their own. If these people can do it, I can do it. I'm feeling pretty much ready to get stuff going on my own -- if it doesn't work, it doesn't work.

I've got a good feeling about this, though, because...

Demand exceeds supply for Drupal skills!

drupal-centroamerica.jpg

[Photo at right © Xamanu]
The really good news is that Drupal demand is growing rapidly, much faster than the availability of Drupal developers, coders and themers. Drupal has really delivered well, and it seems to have a sunny future that's attracting a giant global community of good talent.

Drupal has the benefit of being more versatile and modular than most other content systems, so it's easily extended for different types of websites. It's overkill for a regular blog, but if you want to get complex, have social media type functions (for example, making Facebook clones), then Drupal is really what you want.

Who the hell uses Drupal anyway?

Hmm... Recovery.gov, the New York Senate, the Emmys, Foreign Affairs magazine, the Australian prime minister, USAspending.gov, businesses like Dogfish Head brewery, this crazy Open Atrium thing, About Zappos, Wellstone Action!, Dutch and French government portals, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Radio Netherlands Worldwide, MIT Media Lab, IFRA, the global newspaper industry association, and yes, even Britney Spears!!

Also, the all-important core private team at Acquia is getting venture capital infusions. Much like RedHat put the legs under Linux in the wobbly early days, Acquia has the fancy high-end services and community-friendly engine to advance Drupal over its main rivals, Wordpress and Joomla on the CMS end, as well as the various PHP frameworks that let you develop your sites more from scratch.   

OK, that seems fairly plausible!

Yes, it mainly consists of working through design gigs and running Quickbooks. Unlike in the physical economy, there's actually more than enough aggregate demand to keep things rolling. That, my friends, is not too bad.

Mollom: a new anti-spam vendor!

A little bit of Hongpong spam got away from me after a Spam module upgrade. Spam module is annoying so I am going to try Mollom, which checks all your comments through their system. It runs on Drupal, Wordpress, Joomla and has development stuff for Ruby, Java, PHP5 and .Net.

Also finally Drupal 6.3 and 5.8 got released, the 5.8 is a security update and 6.3 fixes many problems with the 6 platform. Delightful - now 6.x development can finally speed ahead!

For more stuff see New Drupal Book: Drupal Multimedia!

These are my personal notes - not too useful for the casual reader, though interesting developments anyway: Reverse node reference | drupal.org

Image Assist | drupal.org

Information-Sharing using FeedAPI and Buddylist | groups.drupal.org

FeedAPI | drupal.org

Feed Element Mapper | drupal.org

Argument: Node reference (not an option in the views fields) | drupal.org

Documentation for 6.x-.x2 | drupal.org

Some more sweet Drupal news

Eh, I am on a Drupal kick, and might as well bookmark some nerd things. (I have been adding quite a bit to my del.icio.us bookmarks too, lately, be sure to look @ the top of the page for those).

More tech items: I was impressed to find BetaNews | Inside Information; Unreleased Products

BetaNews | Google continues to mete out privacy features
BetaNews | Google adds fuel to Canada's BitTorrent throttling fracas
BetaNews | Angry YouTube users boycott, Viacom seems to respond
BetaNews | Google releases its data encoding format to compete with XML
Google Open Source Blog: Protocol Buffers: Google's Data Interchange Format

how it works! Developer Guide - Protocol Buffers - Google Code

The Associated Press: `Public' online spaces don't carry speech, rights
As Web Traffic Grows, Crashes Take Bigger Toll - NYTimes.com

Slashdot: Google Open Sources Its Data Interchange Format

Slashdot: Massive, Coordinated Patch To the DNS Released

Hmmm... MediaShift Idea Lab . Still Seeking Coders Interested in Journalism | PBS

more here, there was hax0rs in t3h DNS lulz: Dan Kaminsky Discovers Fundamental Issue In DNS: Massive Multivendor Patch Released | securosis.com!

Fixes Released for Massive Internet Security Issue

On July 8th, technology vendors from across the industry will simultaneously release patches for their products to close a major vulnerability in the underpinnings of the Internet. While most home users will be automatically updated, it’s important for all businesses to immediately update their networks. This is the largest synchronized security update in the history of the Internet, and is the result of hard work and dedication across dozens of organizations.

Earlier this year, professional security research Dan Kaminsky discovered a major issue in how Internet addresses are managed (Domain Name System, or DNS). This issue was in the design of DNS and not limited to any single product. DNS is used by every computer on the Internet to know where to find other computers. Using this issue, an attacker could easily take over portions of the Internet and redirect users to arbitrary, and malicious, locations. For example, an attacker could target an Internet Service Provider (ISP), replacing the entire web — all search engines, social networks, banks, and other sites — with their own malicious content. Against corporate environments, an attacker could disrupt or monitor operations by rerouting network traffic traffic, capturing emails and other sensitive business data.

Mr. Kaminsky immediately reported the issue to major authorities, including the United States Computer Emergency Response Team (part of the Department of Homeland Security), and began working on a coordinated fix. Engineers from major technology vendors around the world converged on the Microsoft campus in March to coordinate their response. All of the vendors began repairing their products and agreed that a synchronized release, on a single day, would minimize the risk that malicious individuals could figure out the vulnerability before all vendors were able to offer secure versions of their products. The vulnerability is a complex issue, and there is no evidence to suggest that anyone with malicious intent knows how it works.

Slashdot: Your Mashup Is Probably Legal

and Handling Flash Crowds From Your Garage which interestingly has a large section on "how to deal w your DNS when its fux0red, fulltext: Handling Flash Crowds from your Garage

Drupal time now! Summer of Code 2008 Mid-term Results wherein the Big G puts up some money to get the kiddos makin totally badass modules. Mostly these won't make a lot of sense to the outsiders among you, but they look good!

We are seeing a lot of these clever youngsters realizing that the 5.x modules were too specific, and it would be much better to write plugin module frameworks so that the redundant stuff can be minimized. So now fancy feature areas like Geographic bookmarking/plotting and WYSIWYG editors, two messy areas, would be streamlined as these projects mature.

Other cool modules: Google Client Geocoder and gProximity and Geo and location (API, module). CCK Node Menu, Smartqueue Per User, Gears, Wysiwyg.

Look at this! CCK GMap Address. Would look delicious! Wysiwyg looks like a needed fork of TinyMCE, and an abstraction.

More to be seen about this fun area here: Location and Mapping | groups.drupal.

Discussion of cool things:

sun's vision for handling embedded/inline content and Wysiwyg in Drupal

Better input format support in Drupal 7

Coder is pretty sweet for developing and here's a bit on Porting Drupal Modules from 5 into 6.

When does a new version of Drupal get released?

When needed, this is nice: Drupal Modules - Search, Rate, and Review Drupal Modules.

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Sometimes we wonder how to assemble an F35 stealth fighter. But then we find out! Via here and here and Cryptome!

f-35.jpg

On a related note, they have the official shit list of the government! US Foreign Enemies List is impressive - all the individuals in the PLO, Kahanists, the very bad al-Tikriti family in Iraq...

I think I am getting into a tangent here...

It's a Drupal 6 miracle - almost

I have to deal a lot with Drupal, which is the content management system that runs this site, my day job and some side projects. I am trying to get a new site set up for a friend of mine on Drupal 6, but there have been quite a few bugs along the way.

The thing about Drupal development is that many of the key parts are based in add-on modules, rather than the core program. Drupal 6 is a really strong improvement over Drupal 5 in most areas, but the modules have taken darn near forever to get solidified.

(And of course everyone ought to chip in - the more everyone helps, the less time it takes. The community as a whole is very amiable, and it seems to me this pokiness is certainly not due to lack of effort or infighting - just the complexity of the task at hand.)

Fortunately the real key elements are finally beyond beta, now at Release Candidate (RC) level. These combined modules, Organic Groups, CCK and Views, are basically teh building blocks from which many other developments can spawn. It'll be easier now to write more modules and themes that extend these big foundations... Nice.

Unfortunately they also rely on some big fixes that are due to be included in Drupal 6.3, which has not quite been released. Better be this week!!! Yarghs.

In many ways, this post below introduces the whole shebang:

Views 2, CCK 2, and Organic Groups Release Candidates now available for Drupal 6!

Thanks to all these developers - it's a huge task. I have been at least checking into the twin cities drupal group from time to time, and they are also very cool and helpful. However, they are quite reluctant to tangle with Drupal 6 because it has taken quite a few months to get to this point!

Finally, the Views team has a desperate call out for documentation help - which i agree is much needed!

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