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Florida DrupalCamp 2014 was awesome

By Jesus Manuel Olivas ● Co-founder of Octahedroid and Blaze CMS | March 17th, 2014

Almost two weeks have been passed since Florida DrupalCamp ended and I am still in shock how amazing this Camp was. I found the session schedule really interesting with topics focusing on the upcoming release of Drupal 8 and content related to Symfony, Composer, Twig & Migration in core. I highlighted those topics since are related to the sessions I did attend and have listed here.

What to expect in Drupal 8 by Kevin Basarab

This talk was a walkthrough about new features in Drupal 8 from a non-developer point of view and what you can expect to see in the forthcoming version as the UX and eye candy enhancements as advantages of the new responsive administration, WYSIWYG & Inline Editing, another mentioned module was Views in core which I think it will be a huge gain and will increase the adoption of Drupal 8 once released. Also seems like this will be the first time in the story of Drupal when you will be able to build a site at least a simple one using the default capabilities of the CMS without the need of loading extra contributed modules.

The advanced Drupal 8 topics like Web Services, Configuration Management (CMI), Forms API, PHP Unit, Migration were mentioned at the ending part of the session. I was expecting to see some code and more technical topics but I believe it was a great informative session.

Developing For Drupal 8 by Larry Garfield

This was two hour session starting from the HTTP Architecture and how Symfony/HttpKernel component handles it, after the request/response explanation the next topic was Controllers at this point more code samples appear on the screen showing how to create a controller, from aliasing and importing a Class, defining a new method and returning different response objects (HTML, JSON, Binary File and String). Before jumping into the demo, the routing explanation was introduced and it was related to declaring routes on YML files and map to the a Controller method including parameter definition and the proper way to pass as arguments to the method solving the route.

The demo section showed more advanced topics as creating block plugins, settings form, using the the State and Configuration API.

This session use lot of snipets of code really well explained and the live demo was helpful. I do believe is always good to see a working demo.

Symfony No. 9: Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Composer by David Barratt

This was a talk based on examples related to composer from basic examples showing how to download composer, creating a composer.json file, defining dependecies and downloading them, it also includes some explanation about how composer resolve all the dependecies and their requirements. One of the demo was showing how to install the Symfony 2 framework using composer.

I was impressed by the level of participation in this session and how even some questions were answered by the people attending the talk, seems like composer is now part of the Drupal developer vocabulary.

Migrating to Drupal 8 Part1 & Part 2 by Melissa Anderson

I was able to attend the second hour of this session, this was full of examples starting form how prepare your local enviroment to test the IMP to how to declare a manifest YML file and define wich tables to migrate. This project will solve a known Drupal issue and could help on the success of Drupal 8 adoption since migrating sites is a big pain with every new Drupal version.

I missed the first part of this two hour session, because I stop by the lunch area and have a great conversation with Jen Lampton and another Drupaleros about Backdrop the pre-Symfony Drupal fork. I have the impresion Jen's arguments are now more polished than the first time I heard her talk about this at BADCamp, at that time she sounded more angry about the direction of Drupal 8 than propositive about Backdrop, not like this time she is happy but sound more focused on promoting the benefits of Backdrop vs Drupal 8 if you know Drupal already or have a working Drupal 7 site.

Let me talk about my session at the Camp

Another big win for me was my session Introducing the Drupal 8 Console scaffolding module generator got accepted, this was my third time presenting the session and the third version since I have been refactoring the talk each time based on feedback and a retrospective of how do I see the attendance responded. The first time I presented was at SANDCamp in January and second was DrupalCamp Phoenix in March. I also did a little demo at BADCamp when de project was starting.

The main difference this time compared to my two previous presentations was I skip all of the new concepts introduced on Drupal 8 you can read about those topics here. This time I did focus more on the demo and showing the generated code. Since the sesison was about a project I have been developing with David Flores. The project is a Drupal 8 scaffolding tool and the purpose of this project is to leverage the Symfony Console Component to provide a CLI to automate the creation of drupal 8 modules by generating the directory structure for a module, routing, controllers, forms, services, plugins and required configuration files.

What I liked about how my session went

  • Larry Garfield aka Crell attended and provided really good feedback and recomendations.
  • Albert Volkman attended and I finally meet him in person, he was the first developer in sending us a Pull Request we can thank him to introduce the form generator command.
  • I felt the session went more fluid this time.
  • The main goal was achieved talk about the project and show the benefits of using it through a live demo.

What I did not and will keep improving

  • I was kinda scared to talk at the Camp, speaking at same event than Larry Garfield, Jen Lampton, Kevin Basarab and Melissa Anderson is not an easy task. I still need to work in overcoming the impostor syndrome
  • I did a terrible work spreading the word and promoting the session, also I still believe the session name does not help and need to came with a much better and memorable session name.
  • I did a live demo and even when I did rehersal several times, still need more practice.

More information about the project and my session

Some related facts about the event

Ricardo Beltran main organizer of DrupalCamp México also attended and we convinced Jen Lampton to present the talk Backdrop CMS - Because there's a cost that comes with change at our Camp.

Larry Garfield contributed with a Pull Request to the Drupal 8 console at the code sprint.

Melissa Anderson provided incredible help on solving a long time issue related to a namespace I was requesting for the Drupal 8 console at drupal.org site.

As usual when doing a presentation, I was wearing my favorite Drupal t-shirt and as you can see on the photo it's from Pantheon and once again I was asked if working for them and now I am starting to think that needs to be fixed.

Special thanks to Diana Espino for attending my session and taking the photo used on this blog post.

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