Headless Drupal & AngularJS Hackathon - St. Louis

What do you get

When you cross Drupal, AngularJS, and a room full of folks eager to learn more about Drupal 8, api's, rest services, and front-end frameworks? You get St. Louis' first Headless Drupal Hackathon...that's what!

When

Thursday, October 23rd - 6:30p - 9:00p

Where

The Journey - Reber Place 4900 Reber Place St. Louis, MO

Details

For the first time in our beloved history as a Drupal User's Group, we will be hosting our first interactive meetup. Our goal is to collectively build a faux pizza ordering app using Drupal 8 as a backend, and AngularJS as the front end.

For more information, see our Meetup event page for more info.

Hope to see you there!

DrupalCampSTL 2014

In just over two weeks, The St. Louis Drupal User's Group will host St. Louis' first ever DrupalCamp. The final sessions were announced last week and it's shaping up to be an awesome experience for a wide variety of folks looking to learn more about Drupal.

As @geerlingguy, myself, and a few other great folks from the STLDUG began discussing the idea of hosting St. Louis' first ever DrupalCamp last year, we decided that we wanted to gear our first camp towards those who were just getting started with Drupal. I've been a part of the STLDUG for several years now and two things have been constant: newcomers looking to learn more about Drupal, and a strong need for Drupal developers in the St. Louis area. What's more is that the community of developers, stakeholders, and hobbyists in this city is nothing short of amazing. Naturally, it only made sense to put together a camp that would allow us to share our experiences and expertise with those wanting to learn.

So if you're in or around the St. Louis area and you're looking to learn more about Drupal, check out the sessions, register today, and I look forward to meeting you on April 26th!

Quicktips with Charlie: Entity Metadata Wrapper and Null Values

Last year I had the privilege of meeting Charlie Schliesser, a fellow developer here in St. Louis. Little did I know, a few months later we'd actually be working together quite a bit as I took a new position with my church which utilized the services of the company he worked for. Since that time, we've had several co-working sessions where we swap tips, talk about new technologies, get help with problems and leave inspired to do cool work. Each time we depart, I feel like I have a few more tools in my toolbox and I'm eager to share them. With that in mind, I'd like to start a series of posts that share what we learn. Feel free to leave comments, ask questions, or give feedback!

Join us for the St. Louis Drupal User's Meetup

Just a quick reminder for those in the St. Louis, Missouri and surrounding areas that our next meetup is right around the corner (August 15th) and you don't want to miss this month.

Spry Digital, a St. Louis-based web shop that's turned out some amazing local sites (Llywelyn's Pub) will share more about how they use Drupal and discuss a recent project involving the Gateway Off-Road Cyclists Association.

This month we'll also take another look at a few videos from the Drupalize.me library. Drupalize.me has graciously given Drupal user groups access to their entire video library during meetups. We've had a request for theming so we'll probably focus on this series.

Outputting CSV Data as a File Download

If you ever need to save a set of columnar data as a csv file on the server, doing so using fopen() and fputcsv() is pretty simple. What you may not know, and what I didn't know until recently, was how to take that same data and return it as a downloadable csv file (not saved on the server). Turns out, accomplishing this task in Drupal is just as easy as saving a file but with one minor tweak.

Saving To a File

As a recap for some, and a primer for others, here's how we'd take some data and save it as a file on the server:

St. Louis Drupal Users Post-Drupalcon Meetup

Just a quick note that the St. Louis Drupal Users group chose to reschedule our normal meetup, which occurs every third Thursday of the month, to next week, the week after Drupalcon Portland. Last year, we had a meetup right after Drupalcon Denver and had a great turn out. Those who weren't able to attend learned what it's like to attend Drupalcon, and also got valuable insight into the sessions, keynotes, and other events surrounding this great event. This year, we have at least a few known members who are here at Drupalcon (along with myself for the first time), who will be sharing their experience with the group at next week's meetup.

So if you live in or around the St. Louis area, or know someone who does, please be sure to join us this Thursday, from 7p-9p at the Missouri History Musuem (more details about the meetup can be found here).

Museums and the Web, Linked Open Data, and Drupal

Next week, my colleague David Henry and I will be leading a session at the Museums and the Web 2013 Conference, explaining how we are implementing our Linked Open Data (LOD) architecture at the Missouri History Museum. In short, our session will explain how we are making the data from our rich and diverse collection of objects, photographs, and other resources available in a way that will endure the constant change of modern technology. While the main focus of this session will be the LOD aspects of our architecture, I plan to briefly touch on the important role that Drupal plays in our setup.

How we're using Drupal

Unfortunately, I won't be able to cover much in our thirty minute session, but here's a summary of some of the cool ways we've been able to use Drupal in our approach:

A Better Way to Add Javascript and CSS with hook_library()

When I was first learning Drupal, I often used drupal_add_js() and drupal_add_css() whenever I needed files added to the rendered page. I remember hearing about hook_libray() (and seeing it often in contrib modules), but I scoffed at it's use since drupal_add_js() and drupal_add_css() typically did the job just fine. When I finally came to my senses and looked into hook_library(), I realized that this gem of a function was one of Drupal 7's best new features. I made the switch, why should you?

Creating a Calendar without using Views

Recently I needed to create a calendar view of nodes that had a date field (with start/end dates). After researching my options, I came to the conclusion that I had the following choices:

  1. Use the Views-based Calendar module to create a page with the proper query
  2. Try to code a calendar view from scratch
  3. Use a jQuery calendar plugin and integrate with Drupal.

The first option looked promising but I quickly found that it didn't quite fit my needs. The calendar needed to be able to show nodes of different types (events/tasks that also used different fields for their dates) and this was simply not possible using Views (could be wrong but I doubt it).

The second option offered more flexibility but also meant I'd have to build/theme a calendar from scratch and honestly, who wants to do that?