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Drupal Camp Toronto, November 12 - 13 2011

Yes, it's that time of the year again and in classic form, Drupal Camp Toronto has come together at the relatively last minute. It probably wouldn't have happenned at all except for the support of My Planet, a new Drupal shop in Toronto with big ambitions, and Ramy Nassar to whom I owe a cheque since I'm at least helping out with sponsorship.

And to complete the required promotional elements of this post, please do consider coming and look for my proposed sessions in the list.

Did you know that my first post on this blog was to promote the very first Drupal Camp in Toronto? I might have even started this blog for that very purpose 5 years ago.

Are you living in a bubble?

I've been trying to extract a domain from Namespro, a registrar. After (I hope) springing it from them, I gave them a little honest feedback. I'll provide their answer here verbatim, enough said. Okay, almost enough: I want to note that, considering the spelling mistakes, the support person who wrote this probably believed it. And for reference: my favourite registrar (hover.com) provides users the ability to generate auth codes themselves, not to have to search badly worded help systems to find the right invocation. In this case, it required a request via a hidden form, and a simple email request was ignored. After the invocation, they came back with an "are you really, really sure" reply to the ticket, which it took me a few days to notice as well. They provide no phone number to actually talk to a support person. In other words, unless you really know what you're doing and have a lot of patience, the chance of getting your domain out of Namespro is pretty slim…

CiviCRM multilingual and customization: nice progress!

Today we've launched the 2012 French for the Future National Essay Contest. The full site is someone else's, but the contest submission pages are built using CiviCRM.

The essay submission pages are actually implemented as event registration pages of CiviEvent, which isn't exactly what CiviEvent is built for, but was close enough and provides some nice functionality that other alternatives (e.g. a simple CiviCRM profile) wouldn't provide.

Before starting, my biggest fears were around the custom presentation bits. My first CiviCRM implementation was back in 2006, and ever since then, my standard wisdom for anyone using CiviCRM is that CiviCRM is great as a CRM, but less great in exposing itself on your website. Partly, that's because CiviCRM is CMS agnostic, so it can't use all the great tools that I'm accustomed to with Drupal (notably the forms api), but also because of the whole Smarty/QuickForm architecture, which was okay for the day, but now way behind…

Really Getting into Drupal 7 .. upgrade from Drupal 5

Drupal 7 came out in January of this year, but I've only been dipping my toes before now. I ordered the new version of Pro Drupal Development and scanned for the interesting bits, and have created four new relatively simple D7 sites so far, even including some quick themeing.

But as of yesterday, I've finally started to climb the D7 learning curve, with a long delayed project to upgrade The Big Guide to Living and Working Overseas.

Working Overseas is my longest running project - I started it with a custom CMS while working at a previous employer. After leaving to work on my own (that's another story) and turning entirely to Drupal, Jean-Marc found me and I've been working with him ever since. Early on, I insisted he let me convert the site to Drupal and though he wasn't convinced at the time, he's been continually delighted ever since. He appreciates all of Drupal's many fine qualities and particularly its flexibility for all the custom stuff he wants, bu…