I was reflecting on some ideas I had during the recent Drupal BADCamp a couple of weeks ago. I sat in on @amazonk's talk on Drupal in the Enterprise. I've heard Kieran speak on this before and it sounds as if some real progress is being made in government and commercial entities. I've been following some of the developments in my field of higher education via the D.O. site.
I had a brief conversation with Pablo and Alma last week and it got me thinking about how we could prototype a method of pushing information via SMS to students. If I understand the use case, we're talking about a small population that primarily relies upon their phone for communication and is missing important campus communications sent via email, flyer, portal or US Mail. Our objective would be to push information using SMS as a supplementary protocol.
I've been working with the Campus Sustainability office to identify how we might make some changes to their look and feel as well as add some functionality. They've been limited by the old campus template and need to get a fresh look without the use of the new campus template, which won't be available to them on the short term.
I've been prototyping some new ideas to get us thinking about the roadmap for the campus map. A working demo is at http://maps-dev.ucsc.edu. The notes link below talks about the technology stack; Drupal, Gmap and Location modules were evaluated in the first round and later eliminated. I've landed on the OpenLayers and Geo modules for the type of requirements we need to meet.
I'm working with John Rocchio on the prototyping of a shopping cart to assist Dining Services. See the demo at, http://asg-dev2.ucsc.edu
The problem/opportunity can be defined as a process improvement. Dining Services has been using a PDF based form to allow students to order and take advantage of campus purchasing power. Essentially, an on-campus student may order a box of cereal and pick it up. A financial transaction takes place at the time of delivery.
Here's a few article ideas to pursue as we get the students moved in this Fall.
Update the "how we're using Aegir" article with enough info for LITS to take over.
Continue documenting our Drupal dev and prod environments for LITS management. This could be part of the updated Aegir article. The basic idea is that I can't continue to manage all aspects of the Aegir->Drupal based service for the sites (20) that we're managing. Show some of the systems and config documentation we've placed in our Open Atrium instance.
Here's a few of the latest pieces of work I've gotten my fingers into. Most of this is stuff that gets worked on over the weekends and furlough days and helps keep some technical work in my hands.
[Updated May 2008]
I've been collecting resources on my own over the past year or so as I've taken a deep dive into Drupal. I'm now in the process of training some of my staff and lead contacts in Drupal. In several cases, we'll need to buy some duplicate copies of books and thought this might be a nice place to provide a list and some of my thoughts on their usefulness in my work.
The UC Santa Cruz http://emergency.ucsc.edu web site is used as a primary information source for near real time information in the case of a campus or regional incident.
The emergency site is based on the Drupal platform and runs under Aegir on an Ubuntu operating system. The hardware running the site is nearly five years old. It has several other Drupal sites running on the same hardware. We manage this server using a combination of shell and Webmin.
I worked with Chief Trapp and Emergency Planner Gaylord to finalize our requirements around managing the contact information for Emergency Operations Center (EOC) members. The EOC is a functional approach to managing operations associated with emergencies that range from large protests to earthquakes. I've previously written on the subject of EOC Contact Management.
We need a method to handle work intake using as much of the ITS project management methodology as possible. Basically, this involves getting the appropriate details and initial scoping information into a one page form. One of the benefits of following the methodology is that we can aggregate and start to look at priorities against capacity for our group.
I wanted to upgrade the aegir tools on the -dev and -prod sites. I ran into some problems running the upgrade steps; which are probably due to some mistake I had made in managing the changes made since the original install. During the upgrade process, I was getting a variety of database error messages. I'm assuming that part of the problem was that I had originally installed 0.2, then upgraded to 0.3 and somewhere along the line, upgraded drush. Another symptom I was seeing was that my crontab for aegir was gone, so I could not process tasks.
I finally got bugged by not having enough automation in text processing for the TPP project. In TextMate, I edited the Text bundle duplicating the remove Trailing Spaces and creating a remove Trailing Commas. It's a simple perl expression, perl -pe 's/[\,, ]+$//g'.
Huge time savings. One click vs scanning through the file for commas. More to follow on TextMate modifications.
I came back to work on the TPP project over the past few days. A couple of problems needed resolving. First, I'd used the CCK float type instead of using Decimal type to hold salary data. While it worked for hourly and monthly salaries, annual salaries were longer than the column could allow. So, I started my test by deleting the 37 float fields and recreating them as decimal 10,2.
Attached to this post is the PDF of the presentation I used at the 1/28/2010 SMT-DL meeting.
Yup, we've got a cat. Four months ago, Alison found a cat and Lynda brought it home. It was found in a parking lot over at UNEX. He's healthy and very rambunctious. Lynda named him. I was going for Demon or Badkitty, but Steve has hung on.
Here's a few shots of our cat Steve McQueen. He's fast and does all his own stunts. In this shot, he's been ripping through his tunnel and I'm chasing him with a camera. Cute?
Ran into a problem with a migration. Found this thread useful: http://drupal.org/node/511690
Ended up getting a successful drush connection using, drush -u 1 cron, drush -u 1 updatedb, etc. The site is owned by raknight, so my usual credentials didn't work.
Updated – 02-17-2010
The new beta of Managing News has some changes to channel tagging. In order to summarize the most relevant data across a number of feeds, a "tag" can be applied that allows for grouping of like items based on the tag. For any particular incident, we'd be able to develop a set of keywords for searching out sources (Google, local news, Twitter, etc.) and tags for organizing content in near real-time.
I've been working with Open Atrium (OA) for the past several months. I'm interested in collecting reference links from others about how they are using OA so we can learn how to better use this amazing set of tools.