Downtown LA Drupal meetup at Droplabs on September 20, 2011

christefano's picture
2011-09-20 19:30 - 21:30 America/Los_Angeles

The next Downtown LA Drupal meetup is on September 20, 2011 and will be at Droplabs, a Drupal event and coworking space in Downtown Los Angeles. Created by LA Drupal members for the LA Drupal community, Droplabs is the host of LA Drupal's weekly Pro Drupal 7 Development book study group and special events including the Varnish 3 Release Party and LA Drupal's first-ever Drupal job fair.

LA Drupal meetups follow a basic format and start off with Drupal news and announcements, local job announcements, raffle prizes and full-length presentations. We'll also have community Q&A, during which time anyone in attendance can ask questions, divine answers from the crowd and give brief, 5-10 minute-long presentations known as lightning talks. We'll finish off the night with more networking and a Drupal After Dark at 9:30pm.

Exaltation of Larks - Expert Drupal strategy, consulting, development and training Light food and refreshments will be served throughout the evening courtesy of our food and drink sponsor, Exaltation of Larks, a Drupal strategy, consulting, development and training company with a team of Drupal experts in Los Angeles.

For any changes to our agenda, stay tuned to this meetup announcement or click the Sign up button below (or both!) to be notified when the agenda has been updated.


   Users Helping Users
   Projector and tables / chairs setup

   Introductions and job announcements
   Community questions and answers

   Blake Senftner presents "Remote Web APIs with Services 3.x"
   Steve Tchorwezski presents "Front-end performance for fun and profit"
   Raffle prizes!

   Wrap-up, Clean-up and Close-up
   Drupal After Dark and networking session

Users Helping Users

The meetup begins at 7:30pm but the doors open a little earlier at 6:30pm for Users Helping Users, which is a chance for members of the community to help and be helped by others with whatever questions and problems they're having with Drupal.

Please note that while Users Helping Users is not designed to be a replacement for bona fide consulting from a Drupal professional that there are plenty of Drupal experts and professionals who attend our meetups and sometimes they need help, too!


Remote Web APIs with Services 3.x

Blake Senftner (@bsenftner) will give a talk describing his dual Services 3.x setup for a remote web API on a Rackspace Cloud server and an Ubercart site set up at Hostgator.

This system sells on-demand custom products created by the Rackspace servers at one end of the web API. The online store is a 3D animation element store and the web service is auto-generated 3D head models of YOU for animating within Maya.

Drupal front-end, custom and cloud servers, RESTful web services, real-time 3D rendering, neural nets, mad ambition all in the soup for this talk.

Front-end performance for fun and profit

Did you know that search engines now rank fast websites higher in search results? Do you want to get the most out of your site's performance but are limited by the options from your shared hosting? Steve Tchorzewski (@stevethewebguy) introduces the YSlow and Google Pagespeed browser tools that measure page load time and explains their checklists of performance-enhancing suggestions.

This presentation is geared toward getting 100% validation with YSlow and Pagespeed and includes tips and tricks that are valuable for everyone (goblins not included). The CDN module, cookie domains and Apache rewrite rules will also be covered in this presentation.

Drupal After Dark

Even if you can't make it to the meetup, you're welcome to join us for a Drupal After Dark. After we wrap up the meeting and clean up, a group of us will go to a nearby restaurant or pub. In the past, we've gone to a variety of locations, including Barbara's at The Brewery (at 620 Moulton Ave., just a 5 minute walk away) and Carnitas Michoacan (on 1901 N. Broadway, just a 5 minute drive away).

Google Map

Location and directions

   651 Clover St.
   Los Angeles, CA 90031

Droplabs is in the Mission Junction neighborhood of Los Angeles at Big Art Labs, just 1 mile down Main St. from Philippes (the first-ever venue for LA Drupal meetups!) and Union Station. We're one block west of The Brewery, the largest live-and-work artists' colony in the world.

What to bring

Just bring your laptop, your business cards or whatever else you need. You're also welcome to bring some light food, sodas or beers to share with others at the meetup.

We share a large parking lot with Big Art Labs and there's plenty of free parking. After you pull into the parking lot, park to the left of the entrance and follow the signs to Droplabs.

Please note that our guest wireless network is limited to 1Mb per client, so bring your MiFi router or a phone you can tether with if for some reason you need a lot of bandwidth. Access to our high-speed network is included with a Droplabs membership.

About Droplabs

Droplabs is a collaborative Drupal event and coworking space in Downtown Los Angeles. Created in 2011 by LA Drupal members for the LA Drupal community, we are focused on serving the greater LA Drupal community, enriching the Drupal skills and lives of its members, and bringing joy to our Drupal practice.

We've been open to the public since May, 2011, and the use of our equipment and facilities, including conference room, tables and chairs, is free until our official launch. See for more details about our open beta period and for our list of free amenities and member perks, including our high-speed WiFi, an espresso machine, printer and scanner services, and more.

Droplabs is the host of the monthly Downtown LA Drupal meetups, LA Drupal's weekly Pro Drupal 7 Development book study group and special events including the Varnish 3 Release Party and LA Drupal's first-ever Drupal job fair. To learn more about Droplabs, follow @Droplabs on Twitter, sign up at or like DroplabsLA on Facebook!

About LA Drupal

LA Drupal is one of the world's largest regional Drupal user groups and is Southern California's largest hub for all things Drupal. In addition to scheduling 4 regular meetups a month and occasional trainings and social gatherings, LA Drupal members produce special events, code sprints, and the annual DrupalCamp LA and Drupal Design Camp LA conferences.

Attending LA Drupal events is one of the best ways to meet and talk with other Drupaleros and we encourage you to attend meetings and special events regularly. Whether it's to find solutions to problems you've been having, sharing something you've learned or just meeting interesting like-minded people, the LA Drupal events are an essential resource for Drupal professionals and hobbyists alike.

If you aren't already part of LA Drupal, it's easy to become a member and find events in our community calendar at

Downtown LA Drupal meetup on September 20, 2011.ppt29 KB
Downtown LA Drupal meetup on September 20, 2011.pdf84.49 KB


Here at Drupalcon

oseldman's picture

Not sure what I might cover, but I could do something like a "My First Drupalcon" lightning talk.

As one of those who wanted to

christefano's picture

As one of those who wanted to go but couldn't, I would love to see this talk.

Exaltation of Larks
Founder, CEO  
Founder, Lead Burrito Analyst  
Greater Los Angeles Drupal
Organizer, Drupal Adventure Guide  

problems with high traffic website using drupal 6

wakefulheart's picture

Hello, I just launched a new version of my work's website. For the past year and a half we've been running drupal 6 and we were excited to use drupal 7 for the new version but we quickly found ourselves rolling back because a lot of the modules we wanted to use are not ready on drupal 7.

The redesign of the site uses more views but we figure that we've done fine in the past and that drupal could handle it. We were wrong. The first two days were a nightmare with our site crashing every hour. We franctically simplified the site but we are still seeing major performance issues. We are running 5 cloud servers on a dedicate box for the database. The problem we are having is that the site gets crushed whenever we have peaks coming from our social network posts. The site is very popular and our traffic has actually increased in the past couple of months. But now we are at a point where we risk looking those gains due to the instability of our front end.

I started researching CDNs, and some of the high performance links/modules suggested on this site but it's all a bit overwhelming and could really use some guidance on getting all working. Did I mention that time its of the essence?

Look forward to being there tomorrow and hopefully getting some answers to my problem. Sorry I can't disclose the site on this post but I will tomorrow night.

Wrong place for this post

stevenator's picture

Hi @gomes76,

Looks like you found the wrong spot to post this request as this is a meetup announcement. If you'd like to reach out to the community you can post this questions to the LA Drupal discussions queue or possibly in one of the gdo groups like High Performance (which it sound like you found reading some posts).

Just so you don't leave empty handed, I have been using CDN's for over a year. I tried a few in the beginning and settled on Amazon's Cloudfront which has been fast and dirt cheap. The CDN module by Wim Leers allows origin pull and is something you should consider for any host for you media or gzipped. Also know that you will need to patch D6 if you are not running Pressflow and Imagecache to work with the url rewrites required by CDN. All things considered it should only take 1-2 hours to get things going and start testing.

Lastly, you may want to check the LA Drupal videos posted by John Romine at the UC Irvine video server (can't thank him enough for this stuff). Christefano gave a presentation about a year ago on using CDN's with Drupal 6 as part of a high performance series that should be right up your alley.

Hope that gets you started.

There are many Drupal experts

christefano's picture

There are many Drupal experts that attend our meetups (and many more who are dedicated to expanding their expertise) and you're more than welcome to ask these questions at Droplabs tomorrow night.

Steve makes a good point that the High Performance group and our online videos are great for finding help and answers online. Here are a few presentation I've given on high performance that were recorded:

   Getting High with Drupal: CDNs

   Getting the most out of shared hosting: the Boost module

There's also the High Performance Drupal meetup on October 11th at Yahoo, which is tailor designed for questions and problems like the ones you're facing:

   High Performance Drupal meetup in Santa Monica on October 11, 2011:

Exaltation of Larks
Founder, CEO  
Founder, Lead Burrito Analyst  
Greater Los Angeles Drupal
Organizer, Drupal Adventure Guide  

There are many other things

BTMash's picture

There are many other things to think about. What kind of traffic does the site get (logged in users vs. anonymous). if its the latter, then a cdn should help. Since you're using Drupal 6, it would be worthwhile to also use pressflow (not sure if you're already using it) and use a CDN with that. That way, you can serve all cached content (including the web pages themselves) off the CDN as opposed to taking a hit on your web servers. Otherwise, the CDN will help you with the static content on your site (but a drupal bootstrap will occur nonetheless). You can also look at a proxy like varnish which, under similar circumstances as a cdn, can help out a lot. Diagnosing where the issues might be occurring in your stack will help in figuring out what steps you can take to make things better.

That way, you can serve all

christefano's picture

That way, you can serve all cached content (including the web pages themselves) off the CDN as opposed to taking a hit on your web servers.

Have you served HTML pages from a CDN? That's something I'd love to see a presentation or lightning talk on. I know CloudFlare, Akamai and Google Pagespeed do this, but I'm curious how Drupaleros are doing this with cheaper origin pull CDNs, Apache rewrite rules and whatnot.

Exaltation of Larks
Founder, CEO  
Founder, Lead Burrito Analyst  
Greater Los Angeles Drupal
Organizer, Drupal Adventure Guide  

The same kind of idea

BTMash's picture

Its been a while since I've done this (mainly because I've been trying to work moreso with varnish which has given me some, quite frankly, stunning results) but your site would be pointed to the cdn and the cdn would send the request to your server for content (any content) if it had expired on there. In the case of drupal pages, its tricky since out of the box, the drupal pages have an expire time of 1978 so they wouldn't get cached. One way to get around it (easily) would be via boost which can set an expire time to the page itself (so user requests a page, cdn sees page has expired, requests web server, web server generates the page with boost which sets a future expire time, cdn takes that and keeps it till expiry). I am certain there is a way around without boost as well but like I said, its been a while :) I believe pressflow (and def. D7) have settings which would allow you to have future set expiry times on the pages (on pressflow with the external caching, in d7 with changes to the settings.php file).

After Dark venue?

rg4w's picture

I have a commitment this evening, but there's a chance I may be able to swing by the Drupal After Dark gathering. Do you know where that will be?

There are a lot of requests

christefano's picture

There are a lot of requests for beers and a bonfire here at Big Art Labs. Come on over!

Exaltation of Larks
Founder, CEO  
Founder, Lead Burrito Analyst  
Greater Los Angeles Drupal
Organizer, Drupal Adventure Guide  

Slides from the opening announcements

christefano's picture

I've just updated this event announcement with the slides we used tonight to list the prizes we raffled off, our guest WiFi password, upcoming LA Drupal events that have been posted to, etc.

These slides were playing as people came in while we were setting up, and were a great way to keep the opening announcements short and sweet. Event organizers in the area are welcome to update and use the PPT version for their events. If you don't want to use PowerPoint, you can import it into Google Docs and work on it or export it from there.

Exaltation of Larks
Founder, CEO  
Founder, Lead Burrito Analyst  
Greater Los Angeles Drupal
Organizer, Drupal Adventure Guide  

Awesome Meetup as always.

edwu's picture

Keep it rocking. Tons of fantastic knowledge Drupal folks supplying ample drinks and clever talks.

thanks for the great info

wakefulheart's picture

Really enjoyed being there last night. Glad I got to meet some cool heads that provided me with some great insight. I'll see you all next month at Yahoo!

Droplabs continues to get "it" right.

stevethewebguy's picture

I mean, RIGHT?!

The enthusiasm of the founders is what I was attracted to about this place before I even knew it existed. 2 months ago it was still just a "wishful thinking" type of place in my wildest Drupal dreams, well, thanks for making it real for everyone, dorks!
Also, thanks for letting me get up there and present my "Front End Performance" guidelines (dork?!). At first I thought I had too much info for 20 mins, but I think it turned out better fast! Still though, the presentation I'm cooking up for next month, will take at least 40 mins: Simple, Secure, Work-flowing with VBO, What's a VBO? And, wait, what about exposing the rulesets? In the mean time, check me out at the high performance meetup @ it's new (very sweet) location: Yahoo! HQ in Burbank!! Or check out the (audio only) presentation I gave @ DCLA in 2010 to get a taste of what I'm going to show. This is the new domain of the example site, message me to get a temp username/password if you're wanting to login and kick the tires on it a bit.

So, yeah, Droplabs: I am impressed, there are a lot of great people floating around who are interested in the stuff I'm obsessed with, it's an actual ton of fun, plus we're all soooo on the fast path to making great website solutions and mucho denaro in the process. Salute!

Great evening

el_reverend's picture

Thanks to all at Droplabs for hosting this event. Not only is this a great venue and some informative presentations, but the surrounding artists, labs, etc. are a great way for some 'outside the code' inspiration. Had a great time and planning on attending the next meetup as well.

Good Times

vmi's picture

I really enjoyed the presentations and found them very informative - great job!
The after dark fire and concert were a great way to cap it off.

stevetchorzewski's picture

The first slide is the video. The slideshow I created for this presentations begins on slide #2. So you can follow along with me.

I had such a great time teaching this material, very fun :) I have a few new presentations I'm working on, for Drupal meetups or whatever, if anyone needs a meetup speaker sometime, just let me know yo.

Thanks for inviting me out to present this stuff Christefano! Love ya' man!

Kind Regards, Yall'

Live long & Drupal.

LA Drupal (Los Angeles Drupal)

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