NYC Drupal Camp

I went to the NYC Drupal Camp at Columbia this weekend. I only made it out on Saturday, but I would have liked to have gone today also, if I didn’t have other things to take care of.

The sessions I went to were all great (which isn’t always the case at free “code camp” events like this). The first session I attended was on node access, by Ken Rickard. It was a well-presented talk on a fairly dry subject. I’m not sure I’ll have cause to use much of the information in the talk any time soon, but it’s good to know.

The next was on using SQL within Drupal, by David Diers. His slides are here. This was a pretty basic talk, and I already knew the basics of both db_query and db_select, but I didn’t know some of the specifics, so the talk was useful and applicable to the kind of stuff I’m working on.

The next talk was on the Migrate module, given by Ashok Modi. He has his slides up here and a blog post covering similar ground here. This one would have been a great help to me a few months back, when I was trying to figure out how to import a lot of data into a Drupal site we’re working on at EVI. After this talk, I realize I did it the hard way!

After lunch, I went to a session on caching. Their presentation is available on Github. I’m not too familiar with Drupal’s caching, or Apache’s, or with third-party accelerators, so this was all good stuff for me. I’m curious about Varnish now, and I may follow up on that.

After that, I attended a session on Drupal Commerce, given by Richard Jones. I’m probably going to use Drupal Commerce on an upcoming project, so it was good to get a little more info on it.

Finally, I went to a session on hacking Drupal by Ben Jeavons. Very informative. It looks like XSS attacks are the most common problem for Drupal sites. He talked about using the Vuln module to identify problems, which sounded pretty good, but it looks like that module hasn’t been updated for Drupal 7. His slide on handling strings safely was useful; I might need to print it out and keep it handy. I need to remember those functions — check_plain(), check_url(), check_markup(), and filter_xss().

So, overall, a good day. I wish I could have gone back for more today. The main purpose in writing this blog post, by the way, was to get some of this stuff out of my head, in the hope that writing it up will help me retain some of the information. When I go to one of these things, and sit through a half-dozen 45 minute presentations in one day, it’s easy for the information to fade quickly. I’m hoping that writing this stuff up will help me remember.

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