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A Drupal Safari in London

As those that attended my last talk at DrupalCon know, I (and others before me) intend to change the way sessions are presented. In Chicago, I let the audience pelt me with 100s of Nerf Darts to describe the concepts of caching. Armed with a large blue shield aptly named "The Cookie Monster", about 20 participants fired on cue.

In London, we'll take a Drupal safari together to learn how the system lives and breathes. To prepare for our journey, participants will be asked - but not required - to partake in a pre-session scavenger hunt through the community and the drop. You'll have 30 days.

What's this all about?

In my estimation, there are four distinct parts of Drupal which contribute to this idea that the platform is difficult to learn. In no particular order, those are:

  • The Bootstrap
  • The Theme System
  • The Hook System
  • The Update Script (update.php)

As if by magic, Drupal accepts a request and assembles itself (the bootstrap), it then asks the modules what they need to add to the request (the hook system), and presents it in the designer's chosen form (the theme system). While it does that it compares a few numbers to some other numbers and let's you know if it's time to run the database update script (update.php). Kind of simple when you hear it that way, I think.

To truly understand the concepts, we must disassemble the pieces. As we take a visual tour of Drupal core, we'll go step by step through the four. Rhyme intended. ;)

This kind of exploration not only makes us better site builders, but better troubleshooters when our favorite platform throws us a curveball.

With just 2 days left to vote for sessions, now is the time to cast yours. Vote for Living, Breathing, Drupal: The Biology of the Request and be sure to check out all of the sessions proposed by Acquia on the official DrupalCon London website.

[Edit: I went ahead and changed the title. I promise there was nothing provocative about it intended and I'm sorry if it read that way. I was more referring to the presentation styles of this session as they differ from the "norm" learned by me from my brilliant predecessors like Amitai Burstein in Copenhagen. Mea culpa! :) This one is a better title anyway. Thanks for the feedback!]

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