Packt, publisher of many worthy books about technology topics that have helped me know what I'm doing, is about to publish their 1000th book.
Many Packt titles, such as Sakai CLE Courseware Management: The Official Guide, books on Drupal, and jQuery have been my guides to the open-source technologies I use every day.
To celebrate, Packt is giving away gifts to their readers who register before 30 September 2012 over at Packt.com.
Thank you Packt, and congratulations!
The Drupal Association can not take credit for the amazing success of the Drupal project, but will highlight the success of the community in its efforts to keep supporting the project. We are supported by Individuals and Organizations who become yearly members. Our membership makes the Drupal.org infrastructure possible and supports community initiatives. Organization Membership information is below the Individual Memberships, scroll down to see. Annual membership for individuals supports the Drupal Association and its community projects.
The Drupal Association is an organization dedicated to helping the open-source Drupal CMS project flourish. We help the Drupal community with funding, infrastructure, education, promotion, distribution and online collaboration at Drupal.org. Funds to support these programs, and the Association staff come from memberships, supporting partners, sponsorships, donations, and volunteers. Join us to help ensure a creative and exciting future for Drupal!
After a very long week full of Webvisions goodness we settled into our cozy little studio with an old friend of the show, Nate Angell. As always he was bursting with excitement for the projects he’s working on. We managed to tackle three of them in the Tech Edition: hideNtweet, a reevaluation of the standardized testing system in our schools and DayOn.
Interested in user experience and online pedagogy? Learn how you can benefit from and contribute to two new efforts to share best practices across open source projects: The Fluid Project's Open Source Design Pattern Library and OpenedPractices.org, a community of practice for teaching and learning with open/community-source tools.
With co-presenter, Allison Bloodworth.
Something odd happened to me today. I ran into a complete stranger on the Internet.
I signed into chat, and almost immediately had the conversation below with someone I didn't know, going by the handle "toweringcoho". I was at a largish gathering and had bonjour turned on as usual, so assumed it was someone in the room—even though I didn't bother to look to see what chat connection toweringcoho was using.
A quick Google search suggested that "toweringcoho" is the name of one of a series of IM bots that randomly connect to otherwise unconnected chat users.
And that's how I met Sunil Khiatani from Hong Kong. It took a while for both of us to figure out that we were NOT talking to robots, and a bit longer to introduce ourselves. In the end, we had a worthy conversation, got to know each other a bit, and went on our ways.
I'm not sure if these IM bots are supposed to be malicious, but I liked what happened. It was like going on a kind of unintentional dérive in text only.
I admit I've been lurking in a very slackernly manner in all the discussions in the Sakai community about content authoring, 3akai, UX, K2, Sakai NG and other unpronounceables, so I'm sorry if all this is a day late and a dollar short. Feel free to ignore me if you're part of Sakai and are way too far gone for any more input. After all, these are just thought experiments ;) If you're not part of Sakai, you might learn something about Drupal at least, so it may well be worth your time.
I draw some lessons here from Twitter and Drupal not to suggest that Sakai duplicate them, but rather that we hold those models in mind as we move Sakai forward. Even without these experiments, some of these ideas may be in our thinking about Sakai, so if they are familiar, take it as a vote of confidence. But if not, I'd like us to have at least thought through why we would not take them as inspiration or why we would choose another path.
In the lessons I draw from Twitter and Drupal below, I may come off as a bit of a zealot. Frankly, I have a greater appreciation for Twitter and Drupal as tools that I have for Sakai as a tool—my greatest appreciation for Sakai has always been for its community. But I would like to appreciate Sakai-the-tool as much or more than Twitter and Drupal, and I think I could, given the directions I see Sakai heading now.
But why Twitter and Drupal? When I'm thinking about all this Sakai stuff, my first thought is to reach for existing models. And the models I reach for are the handy ones. Why? Because there must be some reason I keep certain tools handy. There are lots of good tools, but the ones that fit so comfortably in my hand are well-worn for a reason. I also know them well—keen edges and ugly nicks—and so can draw the best lessons from them.
When I first started this blog, I used Drupal's built in jQuery library to randomly show a picture in my header from a stockpile I put on my webserver. It worked great, but it was a manual process: selecting the pictures, sizing & cropping them, uploading them, etc. In the end, I rarely added any new pictures because it was a hassle.
I had long wanted to try something more automated and show a wider variety of more current pictures on my blog. The goal: automatically show selected pictures from my flickr stream with no extra steps other than posting to flickr and maybe adding a special tag.
Finally, the images you see in my header are randomly shown from a set provided automatically from my flickr stream and are automatically cropped and sized. All I have to do to add a new image to my site header rotation is add one extra tag to a picture when I upload it to flickr.
Here's the Drupal technology I used to make this possible. FYI: everything is done with stock Drupal core and contributed modules...absolutely no coding required!