LA Drupal monthly meetup :: Drupal for firebug + Take control of Theming + Shop Talk :: Mar 13th, 2012

mike stewart's picture
2012-03-13 18:00 - 21:00 America/Los_Angeles
Event type: 
User group meeting

Join us Tuesday, March 13, 2012 at the Santa Monica Public Library (main branch) - DOWNSTAIRS in the auditorium. This month we have a spectacular lineup of topics and presentations centered around Drupal Themeing plus the issues and solutions surrounding deployment of Drupal in a changing production environment.

  • GENERAL PRESENTATION: What, How, & Why to use Drupal for Firebug by Frank Anderson (frob)
  • ADVANCED PRESENTATION: Content Type and Views Themeing - Take Control! by Mike Land of
  • SHOP TALK: Deployment issues & solutions by Tom Friedhof of
  • LIGHTNING TALKS (5min ea): Open Floor. Come share something cool, new, and Drupalie!
  • Open lab time from 6pm-7pm; main meetup 7pm-9pm.
  • Wi-fi and raffle prizes, including various Drupal books or DVD's and subscriptions from!!!

Plus the event is FREE!!!!
(except nominal parking fee if you park at the library)

When: Tuesday, March 13, 2012 from 6:00-9:00pm

Where: Santa Monica Public Library: MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. AUDITORIUM
601 Santa Monica Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90401 - Map

After hours: After the meetup, it is typical for many of us to meet at a local restaurant or pub for additional Drupal networking. We will post the venue info prior to the meetup; if you have a suggestion, please leave a comment.


* LA DRUPAL Open Lab - Bring your laptop and drupal problems for help or contribute to an issue in the queue.
* Lightning Talk prep - need help getting a lightning talk together, show up to the pre-meetup lab and we can help!
* Early Networking - looking to chat with folks before the meetup begins, this is your chance.

* GENERAL PRESENTATION: What, How, & Why to use Drupal for Firebug by Frank Anderson (frob)
* ADVANCED PRESENTATION: Content Type and Views Themeing - Take Control! by Mike Land of
* LOCAL SHOP PROCESSES: Deployment issues & solutions by Tom Friedhof of
* LIGHTNING TALKS (5min ea): Open Floor. Come share something cool, new, and Drupalie!
* Users Helping Users - bring up a question to the crowd and see how they can help you overcome your latest Drupal roadblock.
* Raffle prizes
* Job announcements
* Networking - bring your business cards

* Drupal After Dark - hang with the community for a drink or bite to eat, after the meetup.

Presentation Details

HOWTO: Drupal for Firebug by Frank Anderson

Frank will show how to make use of the spectacular Drupal for Firebug plugin. What it is. Uses for it. How to use it. And current status of the project.

Content Type and Views Themeing - Take Control! - by Mike Land

Take complete control of how you display content on your site. Break away from the boring default displays that Drupal provides out of the box and add some real customization to your themes.

What Will Be Covered?

In this session, attendees will learn how to create and theme custom node-type and Views templates. We'll also take a look at some secret tricks-of-the-trade to add an extra layer of very useful configurable theme options to your content types, allowing for advanced control over how your content is displayed.

Who Should Come?

If you're a designer who is new to Drupal and don't know where to start, or if you're a themer who's got a decent handle on Drupal and you want to learn some methods that help you REALLY take control of your themes, you should attend. The methods that I will cover in this session we're the "Ahah!" moments that really made my life as a Drupal themer so much easier.

About the Presenter:

Mike Land is the Director and Landing, an Orange County based web development shopt that creates vibrant websites and powerful web applications built with Drupal. .


Come gain Drupal insights from local Drupal shop CEO Tom Friedhof of Active Lamp. Active Lamp has been an active member of the Drupal community for years, and Tom has been in the trenches and has valuable lessons to share. Recently he blogged about Aegir and deployment. He also has a great sandbox project related to confguration management, read more here: -- and you might even checkout Tom's blog about one of our other presenters tonight, Fank Anderson, who has a sandbox project for tracking Google Analytics events.


We should have some DrupalCon

frob's picture

We should have some DrupalCon announcement.

I am trying to get an trip to Casa Bonita put together for DrupalCon.

I'm down for a trip to Casa

mike stewart's picture

I'm down for a trip to Casa Bonita! ... haven't eaten there since the 80's (zomg!)

mike stewart { twitter: @MediaDoneRight | IRC nick: mike stewart }

Street parking free after 6p?

jromine's picture

Last time I was there I found metered street parking that was free after 6p.

John Romine

Some streets are free after

highermath's picture

Some streets are free after 6. The main streets are pay until 8 PM.

Meter on Arizona

jromine's picture

I found a meter on Arizona (1 block up) near 5th, free after 6pm.

John Romine

Lightning talk

BTMash's picture

I'd like to talk about the aloha editor. Its currently in an alpha state but looking really awesome.

The future is now! Well its

frob's picture

The future is now! Well its really in the future because it is still in alpha, but I don't want to wait.

For those interested, I have

tom friedhof's picture

For those interested, I have posted the slides from the presentation I gave last night here:

Unfortunately, due to technical difficulty, the recording that we took from the presentation did not save properly on the flash drive that was plugged into my computer, but hopefully the slides are still helpful by itself.

I just wanted to make a note

frob's picture

I just wanted to make a note and ask a question.

Note, I prefer to github. Bitbucket has better community features/issue tracking/documentation IMO. Also, it is free for private repos with up to five contributors.

I did some googling on gitosis and it looks abandoned in favor of gitolite. Have you looked at gitolite?

Yeah, I just heard about

tom friedhof's picture

Yeah, I just heard about gitolite after my presentation on Tuesday. I'm getting ready to upgrade some of our infrastructure, so I'm thinking I'll probably install gitolite and migrate to that when I do.

We use gitolite at Larks and

stevenator's picture

We use gitolite at Larks and absolutely love. Very easy to work with and we have bigger plans for implementation in client workflow. The biggest benefit is the learning curve for people who have not used play away!!!

Meeting Minutes

bvirtual's picture

We were in a 50 seat auditorium, theater seating (meaning sloped floor, no table for laptop), of the Santa Monica City Library (think what a 52 million dollar library for 53,000 residents would be like .. a top end university library, even better!). 20 foot diagonal projection screen, touch screen control for everything built into the podium (about 30 buttons). Sound system, mikes, registration room and table, and more. Luxury.

We started with Technical Q&A at 6:30 about ssh key configuration to send updates to a remote public host, from a new laptop. Lots of networking going on in the background.

Frank Anderson's Lightning Talk on Drupal For Firefox was not long enough. Everyone who codes or themes and can not figure why it's not working as expected should try Drupal For Firefox.

Tom Friedhof of gave an excellent Deployment overview of Git services (see his slides in the last comment), Issue Tracking, Time Tracking (Using Atrium with an Atrium time tracking module - I'm trying it tomorrow!), drush options that shorten the process of 'brand new re-install', make, stage_file_proxy.git, install profile, with promise to distribute some version of site.make and, which includes rebuilds with manual removes, for a smaller git repo. Many tips on git repo for custom sites, like not including 3rd party contrib modules, fetching them from, instead of the repo. And Capistrano for deployment. Strong mention of Aegir. Definitely, a roadmap for those seeking the time savings, and ease of rebuilding, staging, etc. We hope to hear more from Tom later this year.

Mike Land provided keen, detailed insight into making custom content type node PHPTemplate files. I'm going to go this way, as it's what my last 16 years of web authoring has shaped me into, and Drupal's "single node centricity" is restrictive to how I do page authoring. Putting a function call to views_embed_view() to grab related nodes, fields, tidbits, instead of using a views template override tpl.php file makes so much better sense to me. Mike covered both D6 and D7 methods. The module "theme developer" and "devel" play key roles in ease of variable names to use in your own custom node-contentTypeNameHere.tpl.php file.

There is some performance issues, where D6 and D7 are flip flopped. D6 is faster to load fields, whereas in D7 loading one field is done by first loading the entire node. So, in D7 as long as the whole node is loaded, might as well use the node.tpl.method, rather than field methods.

What Drupal presentation would be complete without some controversy. When using custom node templates, the theme used, Zen in this presentation, can be 'reduced', having extraneous div tags removed. By beware of removing too many, as some Drupal features rely on those class names for tabs, hiding, etc.

Ashok wowed the audience with a surprising pleasing "Aloha" HTML 5 WYSIWYG, truly it's going to be replacement for tinyMCE and CKEditor. In place editing. Need I repeat that? In place editing. Download both the module and library to try it out.

Our raffle was sponsored by with DVDs as prizes. Learn about a Drupal "thing" by viewing 20-40 2-3 minute video clips, at your own pace. No more 20-40 minute marathon viewing sessions.

After Dark, our biggest ever yet, with 20+ sharing food and drink at the Ole King's Head British Pub in view of the Santa Monica Pier, enjoying ocean air and warm atmosphere. They opened the private back room for us!

Thanks everyone for coming. And to those on Google+ who watched remotely. We hope to have Google+ at every meeting for now on.


LA's Open Source User Group Advocate - Volunteer at DrupalCamp LA and SCALE


vmi's picture

In response to your comment about a reduced Zen;
I was recently turned onto Basic as a stripped down alternative to Zen for a cleaner starter theme with bonus SASS support.

LA Drupal [Los Angeles Drupal]

Group events

Add to calendar

Group notifications

This group offers an RSS feed. Or subscribe to these personalized, sitewide feeds: