Drupalcon SF 2010 Day 2 Review

Started off Day 2 strong with “Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for your Drupal site,” a good presentation about SEO and Drupal. The session had tons of good information, but was marred by a few session-goers interrupting with questions. Possibly the most important element of the session – a chart showing what modules to use for what SEO benefits – was glossed over because the main presenter (Jen Lampton of Chapter 3) took questions during her talk. Overall very informative though.

Next came another information-packed session given by Todd Nienkerk of Four Kitchens. The session was “Accelerated grid theming using NineSixty.” Todd moved pretty quickly and it was hard to take proper notes, but again, lots of great info.

The third session I attended was “Views for developers” by Larry Garfield of Palantir.net. I’m sure this session was quite good for an experienced Drupal user but I was lost. I used the time to do some work.

Tim O’Reilly’s keynote “Open Source in the Cloud Era” was entertaining and thought-provoking. He provided a context for the value of Drupal and the Drupal community. Comparing it to the growth pattern Linux went through, he basically put Drupal at a tipping point where the community might take it to be a true major player CMS. He also looked ahead to the day when Drupal might add so many features that the acquired bloat/feature set may make it more appealing for enterprise solutions, but less appealing to users looking for a lightweight, fast solution. “Work on stuff that matters” were his last words to the crowd.

My last session of the day (I left a little early) was “2.4 million page views per day, 60 M per month, one server!” by Khalid Baheyeldin of 2bits.com. Khalid described some really clever ways he streamlined the performance of a site built for an unnamed entertainment company. Replacing little-used CCK module with some custom code, putting separate tasks (DB, Logs, etc.) on separate disks (rather than separate servers), and doing an end-around on the Drupal’s default way of handling 404 redirects were just some of the creative ways he found to keep the site zippy.

All in all a pretty great day. I attended sessions from 2bits.com, Chapter 3, and Four Kitchens.

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