Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Drupal Applications & Practices

again, just my notes:

Drupal Applications & Practices
Blake Carver, owner of LISHost

missed the beginning of preso - late back from lunch
but basically explained what Drupal is - why it's great, why it sucks (same reasons - e.g., so many modules)
also caught that the most problematic of the Drupal sites hosted at LISHost = one that was designed by a person that was a designer but didn't know Drupal
Mike Anello's list of his favorite 45 Drupal modules (that you may not have heard of)
Jay's List - My Top 50-ish Drupal modules (by topic)

as an end-user, fav module = Twitter modules - everything that gets posted to LISNews tweets out, so Twitter is the biggest referring url
as an end-user, other fav. module = Boost - writes a static html file for the busiest pages, so reduces load on server / speeds up (e.g., for his American Libraries Drupal site)
Drush - Drupal shell utility - VERY powerful - command-line installs, updates, etc.

What's Coming - Drupal 7
- surveys
- better media & WYSIWYG
- performance, security
- auto-upgrade
- usability
- PHP 5.2
- new dashboard & admin pages
making everything easier

Lots of places to find info / help with Drupal
groups.drupal.org - libraries group
drupal4lib mailing list

must-have modules?
though it depends on use of Drupal, Admin menu (will be rolled into Drupal 7)

choosing a good calendar often an issue for libraries
- who's doing this with Drupal - lots of ways to do it, a little tricky & ugly to get started - views, cck, date module (seems fragile though)

NIH Library
James King, Information Architect, National Institutes of Health Library

Wanted to build a pandemic digital archive, for example
- study the 1918 pandemic outbreak publications - over 5K documents collected by an NIH doctor re: 1918 pandemic and similar pandemics (most not covered by pubmed obv., due to age of many publications)
Librarians put together custom lists of publications that answer a need of govt
A lot of custom databases built for this purpose
wanted to put more project mgt into each of these
& to allow for more rapid application development
UPEI's Islandora - (drupal over fedora)!!!!
Purchased a server & Acquia support Nov. 2008
Hired James King, Information Architect in March 2009
schedule on-site Drupal install
first prototype shown - May 28th (in 2 weeks!)
load a module or turn on a feature
content mgt system combined with social publishing system makes it quicker to deploy, because more people are able to contribute whenever they want
sees Drupal, Sharepoint as 3rd generation
1st was static html pages
2nd gen was some interactivity - scripts and databases
3rd gen = every pc of site is loaded into db & managed by system
Many websites running Drupal - Popular Science, Whitehouse.gov
- so clearly completely scalable - can handle as large/complex a site as you want
Initial plan was to catalog the materials originally, then decided to do something more like copy cataloging - talked to Proquest (historical newspapers) & other vendors
a lot of depth in siloed areas
changed scope from just building an index to a creating a community
uses these modules:
- biblio (auto import from Endnote) - scholarly publication handling system
- browscap/mobile tools (for handheld access)
- CCK/Views - to support event/meeting calendar, etc.)
- Entrez (to import from PubMed to Bilio)
- Gmap (to support mapping)
- LDAP/Active Directory
- Taxonomy
- Timeline (to dynamically plot by timeframe)
Going to put a Drupal front-end on their digital repository

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