Last month I had the pleasure of joining over 3,000 developers, designers, vendors, and business leaders at this year’s annual US Drupal conference, Drupal Con. Individuals and companies from around the world held sessions (many of which you can view here) and manned booths to show off their latest projects and advancements in the world of Drupal.
The overarching theme for Drupal Con 2012 was the importance of mobile (emphasized in all three of the keynote addresses from the conference. Websites are increasingly being designed and developed for platforms other than the conventional desktop computer and the Drupal community is pushing the mobile concept now more than ever. The next rollout of Drupal Core or Drupal 8 (scheduled to release in 2013) will include numerous installations specifically tailored to mobile development. This shift in development is being driven by the rapid growth in the mobile market, primarily in smart phones and tablet devices like the iPad.
Though I could not personally attend all 103 sessions at Drupal Con, I’d like to highlight a few that I was able to attend and found particularly impressive. One company showcased a project they called MapBox, which can be used with a Drupal installation to create beautiful interactive maps. They provide a software called TileMill that helps developers create elaborate maps using simple or complex statistics. They shared a map of the Horn in Africa to visually display the famine in this part of the world (which can be viewed at One.org).
Additionally, Matt Farina from HP and Nathan Smith from projekt202.com presented a particularly useful Drupal Con session on Sass, which is an extension of CSS that makes CSS more efficient. It is very similar to CSS, but it uses nested rules, variables, and selector inheritance that makes writing it easier and allows others to interpret it faster. Sass is then translated to standard CSS on the server using a plugin or, in the world of Drupal, a module called the Sassy module (there are others as well). You can view that session here.
If you’re interested in attending the next Drupal Con, you should get your passport out, because it’s being held in Munich, Germany this August. The next Drupal Con in the U.S. will take place in Portland next May. In the meantime, check out some of the pictures from Drupal Con Denver or check out any of the 130 sessions from the conference on the Drupal Con Denver website.