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Drupal IronCamp Prague 2016

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The first Drupal IronCamp took place in the beautiful capital of the Czech Republic in Prague at the end of November 2016. More than 200 attendees from 27 countries took part in four days of sprints and two days of sessions.

In such a relatively small group of people I could get in touch with everyone I liked to, keynote speakers, CEOs, friends and other drupalists.

Group photo

So here is my summary of the sessions I have attended and which I found of interest.

KEYNOTE - Michael Schmid (@Schnitzel): The Future of Drupal

Michael showed us what people had in mind at the beginning of the 20th century when they wanted to predict the future now. It was both interesting and predictalbe, but also showed us that we still have not reached everything those people had in mind. The focus of this keynote was on Personalisation, Decoupled, Microservices and Containers - four fields, in which Drupal is already prepared for the future but not yet fully developed.

  • Personalisation: Websites won't be looking the same anymore. For disabled persons or based on a user's preferences websites will display only partial content or different content. This results in complex testing scenarios.
  • Decoupled: Drupal already consists of third party components, like Symfony or Twig. Also, Drupal already works great with decoupled frontends and technologies like node.js, React and other javaScript frameworks.
  • Microservices: Split up larger tasks into smaller ones, but keep an eye on coding standards and used programming languages and libraries.
  • Containers: A consistent website environment for development, testing and live will be achieved with the use of docker containers.

[Slides] 

Fabian Bircher (@fabianbircher): Configuration Management: Theory and Practice

Fabian had one of the most interresting talks of this camp, which resulted in many discussions and talks in person with Fabian Bircher, Wolfgang Ziegler (@the_real_fago) and me (@KnudFrank).

The core theme of this presentation was the introduction of a new Drupal 8 module Configuration Split, where you can easily use Drupal 8s configuration managemen and split configurations for the use of different environments or different use cases.

[Fabian' blog post and slides] [Module: Configuration Split]

KEYNOTE - Larry Garfield (@Crell): Software Management Lessons from the 1960s

Has project management, described in "The Mythical Man Month" by Frederick P. Brooks Jr. in 1975 and 1995 changed in today's world? Most of the thesis described by the pioneers of modern computer architects and project management are still true. Larry and the audience had to admit this with no regret, but with relief. So project and software management has a steady and solid fundament to build upon and to rely on. This is good for companies working in collaboration with other companies and especially for the open source community to work together in such a large project as Drupal.

[Slides]

Théodore Biadala (@nod_), Mathieu Spillebeen (@MathieuSpil): Offline-Drupal

Comparing the approaches of Google's AMP, Facebook's instant articles, Appcache and Serviceworkers with real-world examples. Some techniques have limitations in browser support. Serviceworkers seems to be the most promising technology for caching websites in the browser, but unfortunately this still lacks support from Apple Safari. 
What's interesting about those "Progressive web apps" is that they do not necessarily require a front-end developed in Javascript. There is even a Drupal module: Progressive Web App.

[Slides]

KEYNOTE - Janez Urevc (@slashrsm): Ask Not What the Community Can Do for You, Ask What You Can Do for the Community

Only 0.5% of the users of Drupal contribute to the community. In this keynote Janez engaged the listeners to contribute to the community as well. He also showed the pros and cons of free software and propriety software and the processes in development with too many discussions and too few releases and too few contributers and missing functionalities. Engagement of developers is the core key for a community driven development.

Tamás Hajas (@eccegostudio): Short Twig recipes for Drupalers

Basics and advanced examples of Twig templates, inheritance, embedding, including and other useful recipes around Twig. An interesting talk but sadly a small crowd.

[Slides]

Wolfgang Ziegler: Efficient development workflows with Composer

Wolfgang had quite a big audience and lots of talk after the session. It seems that many developers have not worked so intensly with composer yet. But  this session provided an overview of possible workflows and showed practical solutions for building and deploying composer-managed projects. Wolfgang shared his experiences with handling Drupal projects and focued in his talk on approaches that can be shared across projects and team members.

[Slides]

Summary

A beautiful city but cloudy weather. Nevertheless the christmas market at night was shiny and also the after-parties had some surprises like the Cinema Zapping on Friday or the secret visit to Unijazz on Saturday. In two years the event will be back in Belgrad and I'm sure to be there too.

External links