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Looking back to my three years as a Drupaler

Submitted by nk on Tue, 2007-05-29 20:52

In 2004 spring, I was working as a web programmer with a friend of mine and we were just past the phase where one is sick of rewriting login for every client -- we needed a CMS. We tried everything we could find and man, they were horrible. It should be noted that Drupal in 2004 spring was hard to find.

Come May 29, 2004 Goba's talk about Drupal in a rural town in Hungary and I found Drupal and registered that day. Almost immediately I began to work on a client's site with Drupal -- Drupal HEAD, I think. The results were fantastic... fantastic crap, that is. I scrapped the site a few months later and has rewritten it... and that still was crap but it took some months to realize. At one point I contributed a flexinode field type (table) -- very likely this was my first contribution to the project. As this website was in two languages I got involved with i18n almost immediately. This resulted in my first core patch, let it stand here:

  if (function_exists('i18n_get_lang')) {
    return i18n_get_lang();

Yes! I had three lines in Drupal *core*! I was so very proud.

In November, SQLite piqued my interest thus an SQLite (PHP5 was new!) and thus an SQLite layer landed in my sandbox.

THe turn of 2004/2005 saw my first big core patch, db_rewrite_sql. It's a bit clumsy -- but it serves us well to this day.

2005 february, Antwerp. I made a terrible mistake -- I thought FOSDEM in Brussels next day will be more interesting than the developer sprint in Antwerp, so I got there on the second day only thus I missed socializing the first day. But still, I got new friends and all was well. I made another mistake -- I asked Dries why we do not have a address... by 2005 April, I suddenly became the security team leader. Opsie. I was so anxious in fixing my first sechole in DBA that I mispelled security hole as 'security whole' in the CVS commit message.

In 2005 spring, I got this idiot idea of 'split mode' which really looked promising -- and D6 will have a little of splitting. The full split mode I thought of, one function per include file is scary. Interesting tidbit: I was told (in 2005 spring) that Xaraya does this and looking at it now, seems it indeed does (disclaimer: I spent about two minutes checking this).

2005 summer saw flatforum being released in my sandbox and it became quite popular. People are conservative. Also, this summer I ported the IXR library to Drupal -- we had a huge XML sechole and we needed a better library. I was not the best security team leader because I could not get anyone else to work on it, so I did it myself. Then came a second sechole and we made the decision to go over to this IXR based new XML-RPC library in a minor release in the fear of a third sechole which never happened. Ah well.

Then came the Drupal Release Known As 4.7 -- in retrospect, Drupal 4.7 was never released only 4.8 was released -- renamed 4.7 to cover. When form API was added in early fall of 2005, we began a new release cycle which of course took seven months. Of course we thought it's a freeze cycle but it wasn't.

There was a conference in 2005 in Amsterdam. I spoke about Drupal at EuroOSCON but this was not the big thing at this conference... I fubared my laptop's OS thus I was forced to work in whatever time I was able to borrow a laptop. Add this to the fact that the hotel in Amsterdam was 'art' and had themed rooms and Robert took the porn room... this is where the first 'chx can not be distracted' photo was made, me sitting on my hotel bed and working on Robert's laptop and girls on the wall. Second photo happened when guys at BarCamp ordered Indian food which I do not really like and I was working on Breyten's laptop at the same table and I was quite unwilling to stop -- stop coding Drupal to eat food I dislike? Come on.

At this conference I got some serious job offers, including the one I have -- thanks NowPublic for everything, especially for support of my immigration to Canada.

Also the fall of 2005 saw me working on porting KSES to become filter_xss. And I am still sane! This surprises me even though quite some time has passed since.

2006 February. Conference in Vancouver -- the city stole my heart immediately and now I am waiting for my permanent resident visa to move there.

In the grand scheme of things, Drupal 5 contained nothing from me. Of course, I had a multitude of small patches, fixes, enchancements, helped with various stuff (like the installer) but no big subsystem like the release before or after.

2006 September, another conference, more fun! And the menu system was born which was finished today.

Commenting on this Story is closed.

Submitted by on Tue, 2007-05-29 21:57.

I am just getting into Drupal and am still amazed at how useful it is while maintaining simplicity. I wish I would have known about Drupal a couple years back, it would have saved me a lot of trouble. Although from the sounds of your post, it seems like it really matured in the last year or two. I am from Vancouver and have lived here most of my life; I don't think you will be dissapointed living here.

Submitted by on Tue, 2007-05-29 23:03.


As someone who reads your patches and comments on the patch queue on a regular basis, I wish you the best of luck and and many more years of successful Drupal-ing



Submitted by moshe weitzman@... on Wed, 2007-05-30 03:35.

as you know, i appreciate a good retrospective. thanks for this.

i remember meeting you in antwerp. you had some wild and fun ideas.

Submitted by nk on Wed, 2007-05-30 07:33.

Is usually a big shock that people can't forget :D

Submitted by on Wed, 2007-05-30 21:22.

i can second moshe's sentiments about Antwerp ... I'll never forget when you burst onto the Drupal scene there. I still have the empty bottle of Jupiler you gave me as a "thank you".

Thank *you* for all that you have done and continue to do for the project. To many more years together!

(p.s. hopefully when you upgrade to 6 you can enable openid login :)