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DrupalCon DC tickets have been going fast, and we're down to just 100 left. If you're planning to come and haven't purchased a ticket yet, do so now!

There's also a tentative schedule ready to review. The times and dates of these sessions are likely to change, but the sessions you see below will almost definitely be in the final program, albeit with some further merging and refining.

In all, 214 sessions were submitted and they ranged across many amazing topics. This is the most depth ever seen in session proposals for a DrupalCon, which is understandable as the Drupal project continues to mature and grow. Given the amount and quality of the session proposals, it was hard task for the session selection team to vet these and narrow them down to the 100 sessions that there's time for in the schedule. Sessions have been selected based on their importance to the entire community and the benefit each will have to be discussed on a higher level. Given that DrupalCon is a global event for a global community, folks felt this focus on decision making and learning was the best approach.

Getting excited yet? What do you think?



** Building APIs That Rock, 60 minutes
*** (eaton)

** Handling Aysnchronous Data With Drupal: Techniques for Secure, Scalable and Stable AJAX/AHAH, 60
*** (joshk)

** OpenID, Drupal, and the Open Web 45
*** (walkah)

** Field API in Drupal 7 60
*** (bjaspan)
*** (david strauss)

** Drupal 7: What's done, what's coming, and how you can help 60
*** (webchick)

** Drupal Databases: The Next Generation 60
*** (Crell)


** When Efficiency and Managability Matter - Drupal at Scale 60
*** (smattoon with SUN)

** Inside Drupal Caching: From Static Variables to Memcache 60
*** (John VanDyk )

** Scaling Drupal: Not IF...HOW 45
*** (thomas wysocki)

** Front End Performance – Make Your Website Lightning Fast 30
*** (kkaefer)

** Drupal CDN integration: easier, more flexible and faster! 30
*** (Wim Leers)

** Building infrastructure you can scale, monitor, and maintain 30
*** (David Strauss)

** Scaling Drupal using Amazon Web Services (AWS) 30mn
*** (febbraro)

** Drupal in the Cloud 30mn
*** (akalsey)

** Backend Drupal Performance Optimization and Tuning: a guide for everyone 30
*** (kbahey)

Design and Usability

** The Themer's Toolkit 60
*** (emmajane)

** Limitations of the Drupal theme layer 60
*** (yhahn)

** jQuery 45
*** (dmitrig01)

** Learning jQuery UI 60
*** (rdworth)

** Typography and Layout on the Web 30
*** (kkaefer)

** A Breath of Fresh AIR for Drupal 30mn

** Usability testing at the University of Baltimore 60

** How to kill Blue Marine: new core themes for Drupal 7
*** (johnalbin)

Showcase and Strategy

** Practical Semantic Web and Why You Should Care 60
*** (Boris Mann)

** Drupal and the Geospatial Web 60
*** (jmiccolis)

** What's New in Web Development 45
*** (kkaefer)

** Using Drupal to build a product: Managing News 30
*** (alex_b)

** Using Intelligent Web Services for Semantic Drupal Sites 30mn
*** (Frank Febbraro )

** Drupal in the Newsroom, from Mother Jones to The New York Observer 30mn
*** (chrischris)

** PBS + Drupal = Great 30
*** (Matt Cheney )

** SEO & Drupal: Search Engine Optimization Tips, Tricks and Best Practices
*** (Gregory Heller) 30mn

** Business Analytics in Drupal with Views 30mn
*** (inadarei)



** Deployment panel 60
*** (heyrocker)
*** (cyberswat)
*** (srhaber)

** Why I Hate Drupal 60
*** (walkah)

** CCK Mashup -- Oh The Things You Can Do! 45
*** (KarenS)

** The Druplicon stars in Groundhog day: How to stop building the same features over and over and over.
*** (Ian Ward + Young Hahn + Robert Soden)
** Drupal Patterns - Managing and Automating Site Configurations
*** (Chris Briant)

** Objectifying Drupal: An introduction to OOP 60
*** (Crell)

** New core object loading APIs in Drupal 7. 60
*** (catch)

Drupal Community

** Documentation is Hot! 60
*** (add1sun)

** Drupal - A fun and informative retrospective 60
*** (moshe weitzman)

** The Business of Open Source 45
*** (LizaK)

** Community Management at Massive Scale: Lessons Learned from Google Summer of Code 60
*** (Leslie Hawthorn)

** The State of the Association 60
*** need post....

** HowTo: test a patch and make a difference 30
*** (Senpai)

** Saving webchick time - the saga 30

*** (boombatower+kieran)


** Drupalcamp, How to and Q & A

** Infrastructure Status And Growth 30
*** (nnewton)


** A Gentle Intro to Drupal Code 60
**** (add1sun)

** Drupal Module Development Kickstart 60
*** (Gábor Hojtsy)

** Making Dates and Calendars Rock! 45
*** (KarenS)

** Introducing a new File Framework 60
*** (miglius)
** The Future of Files and Media in Drupal 7
*** (drewish)

** Protect your site from hackers: Introduction to Security 60
*** (Neil Drumm)

Possibly merge with:
*** (James C. Foster)

** Migration is not just for birds (mykeryan) 60

Showcase and Strategy

** Developing Facebook Applications with Drupal 60
*** (Dave Cohen)

** Using SMS for Data Collection 30
*** (diggersf)

** Communicating Data Online: When Data Visualization and Workflow Matter 30
*** (ericg)

** A Panel discussion about Drupal hosting options 45
*** (emandel)

** Drupal Multimedia 60
*** (aaronwinborn)

Possibly Merge with:
** Media Mover: File Processing and Storage for Drupal
*** (arthur)

** The ASU Story: How Drupal Took Over a University 30
*** (kdmarks)

** Building Church Websites with Drupal 30
*** (Rob_Feature)

** Mystery Showcase Site - Higher Education/Museum 30

** Green Building Advisor - Organic Groups on Steroids 30


** -- A Casestudy 30
*** (MatthewS)

** Developing e-learning courses at Penn State with Drupal! 30
*** (btopro)



** Advanced Ubercart Usage 60
*** (rszrama)

** The Path to Richer Text: Input Format Improvements in Drupal 7 30
*** (David_Rothstein)

** Intro to SimpleTest 30
*** (flobruit, catch et. al.)

** Promiscuous Drupal: Building Your Site With Web APIs 45
*** (eaton)

Need to Coordinate this, large session 60
** More than search; how ApacheSolr changes the way you build sites
*** (Jacob Singh)
** Search private content between multiple drupal sites with Distributed search
*** (aufunny)
** Xapian search
** (singularo)
** Advanced Search with Lucene

** Life Beyond Email: Messaging and Notifications 30
*** (Jose Reyero)

** Drupal with XMPP Integration 30
*** (darren.ferguson)

** Totally Rocking Your Development Environment 60mn
*** (sachac)


** The Case for Drupal in the Enterprise 60
*** (Michael Caccavano)

** Drupal Process Management 30
*** (Drew Gorton)

** Project Management For Fun and 30
*** Profit (CrystalWilliams)

** Presenting You! 45
*** (emmajane)

Coordinate and Possibly Merge 60
** Build your own open source business
** Selling You and Your (Drupal) Services
*** (ngiarratana)

** Project Flow and Tracker: From business objects and user stories to test-driven Drupal based website application 30
*** (victorkane)

** How does Drupal, Joomla! and WordPress stack up? 30

60 minutes free

** Quality Assurance and the Drupal Development Process 30mn

NOTE, there is good room in these last two tracks to add lots and move lots around, we could do all 30 mn power sessions on this last day even.


** Token: The Little API That Could 30
*** (greggles)

** Developing JavaScript widgets 30
*** (kkaefer)

** Optimizing your LAMP stack for Drupal 30
*** (emandel)

** Why You Need oAuth 30
*** (sumitk)

** The future of callbacks 45 clear with chx
*** (chx)

** Drupal Taxonomy Revisited (bangpound, catch, et. al.) 60

** Mailing strategies for Drupal 30
*** (Allie Micka)

** The next decade 30
*** (chx)

Coordinate and Possibly Merge
** Flash and Drupal 30mn
*** (travist)

** Flash CMS: Drupal as an Adobe Flex Backend 30

** Ajax, Json and Forms, oh my! 30
*** (starbow)

Site building

** Going Live: Content Scheduling with Slot Machine 30
*** (mcarbone)

** Accessibility Guidelines for Drupal Development 30
*** (William Lawrence )

** Building advanced social networks at a large US university 30
*** (kylemathews)

** Drush - command line Drupal productivity 30
*** (moshe)

** Building a Frankenstein monster & how to maintain it 45 has requested one hour
*** (mortendk)

Coordinate and Merge 60
** Beyond The Web: Drupal Meets The Desktop (And Mobile)
*** (incanus)
** Android and iPhone integration with Drupal
*** (skyred)
** Making mobile sites with Drupal
*** (twom)

** Drupal as a GeoCMS 30
*** (bec)

** Powering collaboration in a distributed enterprise 30mn
*** (dankarran)

** Whose Drupal is it anyway? (crell et. al.) 60


** Code Sprint

** Documentation Sprint

** Drupal Dojo


The full lifecycle of developing a Drupal website follows a long path:

  1. Developer community debates and improves code in Drupal HEAD.
  2. Website projects are scoped, bid, and managed at variously-sized organizations.
  3. Pre-development including wireframes, mockups and information architecture.
  4. Released version of Drupal is used to build a website's functionality. Contrib modules developed to extend core.
  5. Drupal themers take the graphic design build the user experience via the theme system.
  6. Usability improvements to existing core functionality can be done at the theme or moduel level
  7. Deploy a website and work on scability and performance
  8. Training of website maintainers
  9. Support of existing features and addition of new features.

A true developer conference should look at the total development experience. I fear that the schedule as it stands now is too heavily focused on points 1, 4, and 7.

Building on Drupal HEAD is a rewarding experience, but developers aren't using it to build sites yet. Many (maybe most) developers want to know how to use the existing, released tools to develop better Drupal sites.

And, Erik, from the list of sessions you've pointed to for “New to Drupal” themers, it appears you haven't talked to anyone in the Drupal Theming community because many are struggling with the existing tools, not because they are bad tools, but because they simply aren’t aware of how to get the most out of them. Pointing them to session that talk about how we can improve Drupal theming in Drupal 7 completely misses the point.

For example, the three “errors” Young lists in Part 1 of Limitations of the Drupal Theme Layer… I would consider those solved problems in Drupal 6. Young just needs to know where to find those solutions.

And that’s what a majority of the sessions should be covering: presenting existing solutions to current problems.

I disagree that DrupalCon should address 1-7 in such an equal way. This is why we talked about our developer centric approach in our bid, presented the track break down in early October, and branded the site in this way from the start.

While Drupal is first and foremost a developer community, it is crucial to incorporate good user interfaces, good graphic design, best business practices, and legal matters into the conference because this is how we build better websites and applications with Drupal. This coordination and exchange will make our community stronger and our tools smarter. This is why design, strategy and showcase, business development, and site building are so prominently featured.

Second - and most importantly - is how open the scheduling has been with the community. DrupalCon's schedule reflects what people have submitted. This has been a hugely transparent process with having an open submission process rather than track chairs soliciting. Track chairs now are just vetting for quality and fitting sessions into the limited space we have in the most strategic way possible to make a killer conference.

What I am most happy about this year, aside from so many great sessions coming from the bottom up, is the potential for quality. Submit a good design session, submit a good theme session, submit a good coding session, and it will go in the schedule.

Just to underline my argument,these are the numbers of submissions by self reported category of session proposal:

| name | count(*) |
| Core | 39 |
| Showcase | 21 |
| Business | 43 |
| Contrib | 83 |
| Community | 29 |
| Design | 25 |

122 coding sessions (39 core + 83 contrib)
21 showcase
43 business
29 community
25 design

It's getting hairy at this point, because the differences between the categories are very blurry, but you get the point...

In conclusion, while I think we have established a killer balance for this conference, there are other people that would like to have very different agenda at DrupalCon. These points will be great to bring up with the Association and can help in planning the next conference to influence how future conferences are run.

The final schedule will be posted on Sunday after one last review by track chairs.

Personally, I dislike titles like 'Why I Hate Drupal'. It is a pure attention grab. walkah surely hates parts of Drupal, but he does not hate when considering all its facets. We should strive for positive titles that actually describe the content, and not New York Post headline authoring. I'm OK with a little spice in a title like Building a Frankenstein since that does describe the content.

Developers are well represented.
Designers less so.
Training is entirely absent.

Handing off a website to the client is a huge challenge for the drupal community and face-to-face discussions are our best opportunity to discuss this issue, so I would expect to see at least one session on this issue...


There's nothing on multisite either. Not to sound selfish, but multisite is often an underrepresented category that is very useful from the individual developer managing their client projects on a netbook, to the large corporation that is managing a multitude of servers in their own data warehouse.

While I understand that this is somewhat selfish, I am displeased to see that there is no coverage of Install Profiles, which are a major part of core that currently aren't getting enough love.

Two sessions were submitted about it - and, and the presenters (Hagen Graf and myself) are in talks of merging them.

...but one session on search. Wow.

I didn't initially realize that the agenda blocks at meant that we'd only end up with 7-8 usability/design sessions, and I've had some people approach me in IRC voicing concerns about the lack of sessions in this area.

Starting with Drupalcon Boston where we had an entire Design/Usability track, and again at Drupalcon Szeged where we had a usability/design session in almost every slot and a variety of usability sprints going on during the conference, we've really tried hard to prove to designers and user experience folks that we value their expertise and show them a welcome mat into our community. We have done this by providing conference content that would be appealing to them, by giving them a chance to share their expertise with Drupal developers who are not regularly exposed to this kind of information, and by allowing designers/themers to teach each other cool tricks. And it seems to be working; we now have an established usability team and a design team, each of which is actively working on pushing awesome patches into Drupal 7.

But this dramatic cut in the number of usability/design sessions during this conference seems to be going against a trend that we've tried very hard to establish in past conferences. And of the sessions picked, I only see one usability-related session and one "themer tricks" session, which I'm sure is due to the fact that we only have one small block of time for all of the many wonderful sessions that were proposed.

Obviously, no one is ever going to be 100% happy with any conference schedule, and there will always be great sessions that need to be cut. But since this is still listed as a "tentative" schedule, I figured I'd speak up just in case we still have some play here...

Hey Angie,
Totally know what you are saying on first look, but there are about the same amount of design tracks this year as last year in Boston. Just a lot of sessions that were called design, like an intro into context: or the Drupal redesign talk, are now in more accurate track spaces or sprinkled though out site building. The intent of the current schedule will help generate the best designed Drupal sites by creating a space to learn how Drupal works so you can take the design skills you have to a new level with the power of Drupal.

Best Sessions for New to Drupal Themers
Two of the most important session you'll want to attend if you are new to themeing with Drupal will be:

I am also really excited about Accessibility Guidelines for Drupal Development:, and Morton always rocks Building a Frankenstein Monster & How to Maintain It: .

I would also check out Totally Rocking Your Development Environment:, who's blog I love. Getting your development space tight is huge for developers.

And if you are into data visualization, I promise my session Communicating Data Online: Data Visualizations and Open Data: will not disappoint.

For themers looking at how to build sites, you should check out A Paradigm for Reusable Drupal Features:

We will post a final schedule soon on Wednesday based on feedback from everyone that should show how much design tracks there are. On the final schedule we will mark tracks that are especially good for themers, I really know what you are getting at and I think we can design a schedule that will help themers find tracks that will be especially of interest.


The two best sessions for new Drupal themers are the ones billed as "why Drupal theming sucks"? If I were a designer considering Drupal I'd be turned off just by the marketing there.

The focus is clearly on site building from the front end and how-tos as opposed to true design. I understand that these sessions have the largest number of votes, but these choices reinforce the developer-centric nature of the Drupal community. Worse still, the sessions don't offer any real outreach to the creative community.

If you can push some of the showcase sessions to focus on design, you might be able to fill this pretty large gap. I don't envy the hard choices you have to make, and I'd hate to be someone on the tentative list that got bumped down. Good luck making the final decisions!


Full disclosure: I'm one of the folks that submitted a session to the design track

If you look closer at the session descriptions you will see many are incredibly concrete and sharing everything from strategy to usability stories. There is more depth than ever targeting what I think you mean by the 'creative community' and most importantly more tracks on how to turn creative ideas into actions, which is the point of a developer conference.

I have to agree with webchick here. Increasing our demonstrated ability to "build any appearance with Drupal" (aka "Drupal theming") is critically important to the future of Drupal. Usability, too, is an area that Drupal has a reputation (rightly or not) of lagging in, so that also needs to get extra emphasis.

What I find most odd is that several solid-sounding theming sessions seem to have been passed over, but there's a lot of duplication in the listed sessions. For instance, I count at least three "joke" or "Drupal sucks" sessions:

From a balance perspective, if we're really trying to "sell Drupal" to the business and design communities we need fewer self-flaggelation sessions and more "how to theme like a pro with just CSS"-type sessions. (And yes, I know I submitted one of those joke sessions. Given how many sessions were submitted I was quite surprised to see it on the list. :-) )

Other sessions seem like they may work better as a large BoF, possibly as a follow-on to another related session.

I hardly think James' and Young's sessions about how to improve drupal are anything close to jokes. Both sessions are quite clearly about identifying parts of Drupal that need a good hard look and then how to make them better. Isn't this what Drupalcon is for? There are many places people can go to learn CSS, but Drupalcon should remain about making Drupal better.

Not just CSS

Knowing CSS like the back of your hand does not make you capable of theming a Drupal site well. It makes you capable of theming a static page where you control every bit of the HTML. That is not what Drupal is.

Getting to that realization that Drupal's HTML is better than yours, even if different than what you'd expect, is the hardest thing for new themers to get over. Learning to "go with the grain" and use (Drupal) tools you're not used to is not easy, and if we want Drupal to have a stronger theming community then we do need to provide far better support than we do now for bringing CSS gurus up to the "Drupal Way".

Because once a themer gets past that and learns the Drupal tools for theming, which goes beyond mere CSS, there really is no limitation to what they can do. I've seen some seriously impressive "I didn't think that was possible" stuff come out of themers who have gotten over that hump.

We desperately need to make it easier for new themers to make it over that hump, a large part of which is education. That's the point I'm making.

... to clarify a little bit:

  • I plan on presenting, not about the HTML that Drupal produces, but the methods & design of how Drupal goes from data representation to the output format of choice (HTML, RSS, JSON, etc.) This will be a lot more about things like drupal_render() than it will be about HTML and classes.
  • I am not a new themer and I hope the drupalcon website is an example of the fact that I do know how to utilize the Drupal theme layer to its fullest and go with "the grain of Drupal."
  • I would argue that the large learning curve to "good Drupal theming" is currently best overcome by simply reading a lot of Drupal. I would also argue that this is a bad sign -- our theme layer has many different ways from going from data to presentation (which is why the designer needs to discover this herself in the code) and its worth talking about this problem at a higher level.

Hope this gives you a sense of where I'm coming from.

not clear

What does possibly merge and pending mean

It's not clear what sessions were accepted or not.

Can we get some kind of feedback, please?


I'd also like to know what "pending" means in terms of timing of final decisions on sessions. For those "pending" it is unclear as to whether they should be preparing sessions or not.


Does it make sense to merge a session? We're not sure, and we're still talking with several session leaders about the schedule and about how many slots we have, and we need to get in touch with some of the presenters to ask if it's even possible to merge and session. We'll be sharing with them where we see overlap,and hearing their thoughts as well.

We wanted to publish how we're seeing the sessions shape up as soon as possible so we could get feedback from the community. So far people have been emailing in some great suggestions and asking some great questions. We also have some more thinking to do on how 30 minute sessions can work well. We see these as a huge advantage, and they just need to be done right, which is more about timing than anything else. More on that to come too.

Our next action is to get our keynote speakers finalized. This will adjust the schedule a little as we have a couple of awesome people getting back to us now saying they'd love to come to DrupalCon. Lastly, we need to give the room space a final look. We had planned on selling out the conference, so we're ready for this. But we do want to make sure the flow of people is as easy and intuitive as possible for the 1,300 people who will be at DrupalCon.

Any word yet on evening events? Networking, etc?

Yes! There will be a variety of social events throughout DrupalCon in the evenings. We're pulling all of this together now and will have concrete plans soon, but do plan to hang out each evening after DrupalCon.

I created a forum posting for this: