Drupal Ramblings

Introducing telecommunity.us

Three of you might have noticed that my blogging has been light. I'm not dead, though (though arguably, working 12 hours a day on drupal sites is a death-like experience). Anyhow, one project of mine, and Gene Crick's is beginning to take shape. I'd like to introduce telecommunity.us.

Though we're by no means "launched", we've nevertheless already received a lot of queries about it. If you're curious as to what it's all about, I think a good place to start is my boss/mentor's article in Community Technology Review.

2005: The Year Drupal Exploded

At present, Google can find 54,700 Drupal sites on the internet.

Drupal alexa rank has increased 600%+ in last year

Drupal node count has increased 290% in the past year

The Return to Civicspace

Civicspace Logo

I've put Nick Lewis:The Blog back on the official Civicspace fork. The product has come a long way since I first started using it last November. Civicspace and Drupal are both at a tipping point -- this Saturday, I'll be making the case for Civicspace at Penguin Day in San Antonio. I plan on being rather frank: if you invest in any other platform, you are making a bad investment, and you'll end up moving to Civicspace later anyways. More on why later... I need to get this site up and running again.

Success through Shear Stupidity

One of those weeks. Already clocked 30 hours of work straight work. My skin is turning pale from lack of sunlight, and a combination of constant eye strain, caffiene, and lack of sleep has resulted in me looking like I have too black eyes. And yet, I can't help but admit: I love my job.

Its funny to think that I've only been aware of drupal for a year, and yet it is already paying my bills. Getting to the point where those bills got payed was not easy; and I don't recommend going into this field if you need little security blankets like "money to pay rent", or "enough income to eat a healthy diet". Admittedly, a great deal of the reason it was such a difficult year was that I started with absolutely no background in web development. In many ways, the plight was like that of a college student who both takes on a fulltime load at school, and has a fulltime job to pay rent. You are required to do two exhausting tasks: learn new concepts, and earn money to live.

Drupal 4.7

...rocks my world.

Six Apart "Ups the Ante" for Weblogging

"Ups the Ante..." ...that's pretty funny.

Six Apart, the proprieters of typepad, think that their upcoming blogging service, code named Project Comet, will revolutionize the platform. Their press release said it all:

Project Comet is creating technologies that will advance weblogging as we know it today, giving millions of people worldwide the ability to easily stake out, build and share their own distinctive place online.

Let's begin with "new technologies"...

Users will be able to create individual blogs and share sections of them with other users in an elegant and customizable way that has never been done before.

Hmmmmm..... Drupal does that. Or wait, its done that for over 3 years... So, where does one go from drupal's "a blog for every user, infinite categories for every blog, (and more content types beyond blogs)"? I suppose Six Apart is just saying that their's does it in a "elegant and customizable way that has never been done before." Just as I cry the elegant sentence: "Quick! Hide the fish-sticks in the ditch, and get your cain out! The sun will be up soon." -- which, most likely, was a sentence that has never been said before.

Why Xaneon Switched from Mambo to Drupal

Xaneon, a group of former hardcore Mambo developers explain why they switched from Mambo to Drupal:

Mambo has, for a long time, been ahead of competing CMS projects with regards to marketing. Mambo's public image is pretty, appealing and very marketable to management. Mambo has no doubt benefited from the sponsoring company and trademark owner Miro's advertising dollars in this regard.

...Now we come to the real meat of the matter. During our sojourn into the dark art known as Mambo SEF, we've necessarily become quite familiar with the internal workings of Mambo. To be candidly honest, it's not exactly impressive. Mambo is a very limiting design...

The Onion Goes Drupal!

Who would have thunk it? The Onion, a fake news site (and by far the funniest site in the genre), has just implemented what I believe to be the most impressive configuration of drupal to date. In a very real sense, this site disproves the popular theory that drupal is only good for some things, while Mambo, and proprietary bloatware CMS's are good for others. Take a look at how the Onion used drupal, and then I dare you to come back and argue that Drupal is a limited platform that is only good for blogs.

Dear God: I Have Absolutely No Idea What I Am Doing

It all happened so fast. One moment, I had the innocent enough intention of changing the font-face of my blog's content from Verdana 12px, to Lucida Grande 13.5px. The next moment, I decided I should change the headers from Georgia to Palatino. After that I blacked out (or as Dave Attell likes to call it "time travel"), and then suddenly woke up to realize that I had begun to change the entire layout of the blog. Perhaps now is a good time to admit that I have absolutely know plan, and the direction I take the blog's design is dependent on my mood over the next few hours. Oh -- and I guess I'll be doing the design live on the site, so sit back and enjoy the show. My guess is that it will be about as entertaining as a 3 hour presentation on a city-transportation bond proposal. Enjoy!

Drupal Theming for the Masses


My name is Nick Lewis, and I'm a blogger and a "professional" web programmer/designer/consultant. My specialities are CSS, SEO, and drupal customization & theming. However, more importantly, I am a cyberactivist. Without going into to much detail on my political motives (which could best described as anarcho-left), one of my main goals is to expand the community of innovative open-source programmers, designers, thinkers, and developers. In one sense, I could claim I'm doing this as a "free gift", but that would be disingenious. It is my explicit hope that this guide will change the way you think about drupal, and perhaps even cause you to become obsessed with the possibilities. If this guide creates just one drupal expert who helps evolve our thinking, I think my sacrafice of time will be worth the return in a very real sense.

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