This past weekend (April 13th & 14th) was the 2nd-annual Frontend United Conference. Last year it was held in Amsterdam — this year in London (at a hip, laid-back venue called Cargo). And as the Brits would say: It was brilliant!
Frontend United is geared towards frontend devs looking to sharpen their theming skills and learn new technologies in the frontend world of Drupal.
The conference has a different feel than a typical DrupalCon, despite a similar scheduling format. Because the event is smaller and narrowly focused, attendees share many interests and questions pertaining to their jobs. The talks are extra-relevant and timely. And because the conference is tailored to a very specific type of "Drupalista," the sessions are more conceptual, innovative, and advanced.
The following images are a few nice visuals taken from the conference:
Above, Lewis Nyman begins his presentation on Responsive Web Design, during which he suggests, "Split individual page design into manageable areas: layout, content, and aesthetics."
This dark and moody shot is from @MortenDK's "Angry Themer" session, although Morten admits he has become less "angry" with the introduction of Twig in Drupal 8. Yeah, it is going to be THAT awesome. :)
Here, Leisa Reichelt shares the workflow changes she's instated during her career working alongside organizations to help improve their online customer experiences. This session was especially inspiring as she made some excellent, real-world cases for re-evaulating your company's current project processes. She concludes a frontend developer can be a real asset to an information architect during the wire-framing and design phase.
And just for fun, here are a few more photographic take-aways:
Rosemary Lane, a fantastic dining experience and Saturday evening full of wonderful company and new friends.
Graffiti outside Cargo — the full text reads "SCARY." :)
For more pictures of the weekend make sure to check out the Flickr-set, while other media of the event can be found here. And for any news related to next year's conference... I suggest you keep an eye on the Frontend United website.
This week's five stories stem from the world of finance, technology and marketing. Hopefully something down your lane. Enjoy!
If you didn't get the buzz surrounding Bitcoin this week, Duncan Elms' excellent explanation will bring you up to date. For the ones new to the financial markets we'd like to add this article on the Tulip Mania.
Züri wie neu
In late 2010 Zurich's city council launched an e-participation contest where all citizens were invited to contribute their ideas. This week one of the winning project suggestions, a "FixMyStreet" for Zurich, was released.
Google Street View Hyperlapse
Hyperlapse videos, an evolution out of the traditional time lapse video, are certainly a growing trend. The guys from Teehan+Lax tried to merge the technique with Google Street View and clearly succeeded in doing so. Try it, it's fun.
.net Magazine: What the new TLDs mean for brands and consumers
Later this year a bunch of new top-level domains (TLD) make their public appearance on the world wide web. Roland LaPlante, Chief Marketing Officer at Afilias, gives his view on the significance of the possibilities.
Tweets that cut through the noise
Spot on, Sir!
— Jonathon Colman (@jcolman) April 7, 2013
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We're happy to announce the launch of a new client project: Switzerland Global Enterprise.
Despite the successful partnership we have barely shed any light into the work we have done for this great organization. Formerly known as OSEC, the organization represents the interests of Switzerland's export industry, import program and in a third function manages the country's location promotion efforts. In order to streamline the public appearance of these units, the organization opted to rebrand.
From a technical point of view the trusted foundation of Drupal 6 only underwent minor changes, since the focus of this release lays on the necessary adjustments to meet the organization's new corporate design.
Since the page's initial release, a blog with enhanced community features, it has grown to handle 35,000 nodes in four different languages. In the meantime it has incorporated the organization's old web site in order to become their main presence on the world wide web. This makes Switzerland Global Enterprise the perfect show case to illustrate the versatility which Drupal possesses.
Sportsnet, a Canadian sports broadcaster, has recently relaunched their web presence. The pièce de résistance of the relaunch appears to be the new responsive features of the site, for which they have created an own TV advert.
Dear Reader, this week's edition takes a look at a dispute in the world of web design approaches, how coding will be part of many childhood memories and a humorous take on how a Facebook Home could look like.
Responsive Web Design
Six Revisions: Responsive Web Design is Not the Future
Josh Chan, a Melbourne based Senior Digital Specialist, launched an attack on the responsive web design approach while claiming it is just a fad.
Brad Frost: A Response to ‘Responsive Web Design is Not the Future’
This lead one of the subject's thought leaders to take a moment to reflect on the criticism on his blog.
An issue which probably isn't exclusive to the Drupal ecosystem.
.net Magazine: Advice for my unborn daughter
Garrett Heath makes a point that coding will become a normal part of children education just as piano practice or dance lessons are.
Last but not least
The Joy of Tech: If Facebook made a real Facebook Home..
While Facebook announced their latest product, in collaboration with HTC, the popular geek comic site imagines how the social networking service would do in the real estate business.
A while ago we wrote about the Drupal 6 modules you really need. Since that post a few things have changed, on one hand Drupal 7 has moved a bunch of those modules to its core, while on the other hand some were replaced by better alternatives.
Of course every Drupal site we build has different requirements, which makes our choice of contributed modules unique for every project. Nevertheless here is our current selection of trusted Drupal modules we don't want to miss. The bare necessities, if you will.
Internationalization & Entity translation
Working in a country, that has four officially recognized languages and English being the Internet's lingua franca, we install these modules without thinking anymore. Multilingual solutions have come on leaps and bounds since previous Drupal releases and despite not being perfect yet they make our lives much easier.
Regardless of how much attention you want to give to search engine optimization in a project - getting the basics right is essential. Pathauto enables you to create URL patterns for all entity types. The Pareto principle will thank you.
This is by far the most powerful module in the Drupal ecosystem. Built on the Chaos tool suite (ctools), it gives the full control to display any kind of entity in the manner you want it. No wonder it will be part Drupal 8's core.
If you are a developer this one can help you out of the odd pickle. It allows you to gather information on what is happening in Drupal's background. Just remember to disable it on productive environments.
The quickest and easiest way to make your websites visits quantifiable. You can only manage what you can measure.
Need a complex layout on the quick? Panels will be your trusted friend. You can define layout templates and define in which contexts they should appear.
Display Suite / Panelizer
Depending on the level of complexity of our brief we will opt for one of these two masters of data display control. Although both have their pros and cons we tend to use Panelizer more often, since it's benefits can be leveraged on large and complex websites.
An amazing module, built upon the Entity API, which allows you to define workflows and actions while you barely have to write any code. It integrates into many modules witch makes it a powerful and useful resource.
You can argue that allowing visitors to create nodes with appropriate field permissions can act a contact forms - we have seen this approach in the wild... In our opinion using the Webforms module is the better option for the majority of use cases where a form is needed. You don't want your content overview screen cluttered with spam that got through Mollom's net, right?
What do you think? What are your bare necessities?
This week the stories that caught our attention range from the myth of the intuitive interface, an odd request and some inspiration what you can do over Easter. Enjoy!
Frontend United 2013
If 'Responsive with Drupal', 'Interactive maps / visuals' and 'Twig' 'CSS / HTML / LESS / SaSS / JS / BBQ' are your cup of tea, make sure to secure a ticket. This year's edition of the Drupal frontend developer's conference, will take place in the übercool part of London that is Shoreditch. Our @kcornelius and @daniagerhardt will be there too.
Co.Design: Why ‘Intuitive’ Interface Is A Myth
Timoni West, a designer at Foursquare, makes a point that teaching new interactions shouldn't be frowned upon. Just don't make the learning curve steep.
Gizmodo: The First 6 People Who’ll Get Google Glass
This week Google announced their first picks of their #IfIHadGlass campaign. Safe to say that they went for a quite diverse mix.
Knowledge is porridge
Quora: What is something useful I can learn right now in 10 minutes that would be useful for the rest of my life?
Not sure what to do over Easter? Here's a list of things you can expand your horizon with.
Tweets that cut through the noise
Paul Haddad, software developer and creator of Tweetbot, had his mind boggled by a "customer's" request.
The little faith I have in humanity is somewhat restored. twitter.com/tapbot_paul/st…
— Paul Haddad (@tapbot_paul) March 26, 2013
(Photo by PierreEmmanuelBOITON)
Last night, again, Web Monday Zurich stopped at the HUB. The 120 seats were gone within minutes - making it the fastest sold-out Web Monday Zurich of all siblings.
The presentations saw Emma Page of Evernote on the process of idea to product at the note taking service. Matthew Perkins and Alex Wimbush introduced the social network Yield Pop, which tries to leverage social media in the agricultural industry. Lukas Brüderlin and Richard Sewell from ic21 presented iCompare. Their service promises to find the best mobile phone deal in Switzerland for you.
Special thanks to Evernote for sponsoring this edition's location and the refreshments.
Our office is getting crowded these days. So it comes at no surprise, that everyone is excited about the prospect of the new office! By the end of April we will be moving to our new headquarters which is just a stone's throw away from Technopark. The remodeling is in full swing and the builders are hands on in order to finish everything in time.
Here is a little sneak peek.
This week's edition takes a look at the question if openness can scale, Twitter's latest feat and gives Google Reader's former Product Manager a voice. Enjoy!
TimOnWeb: 8 Awesome Drupal Snippets I Wish I Knew Before
A few issues ago we featured Tim Kamanin's initiative Dropbucket.org. In the meantime the Drupal snippet repository has grown and the initiator took a moment to select his eight favourite snippets.
Food for thought
Accelerating reinventions: Openness does not scale
Laurent Haug reflects on the experiences he made with the Lift Conference.
Quora: Why is Google killing Google Reader?
Question-and-answer service Quora might not be one of the social media platforms which is particularly well known in the mainstream. Nevertheless some interesting answers were provided on last week's hot button issue.