Sporting a new MacBook in Budapest

Well... the big news of the day is that we're in Budapest, Hungary! Woohoo! I flew out with my wife and the other Ubercart folks for Drupalcon Szeged yesterday and arrived safely this afternoon (local time) in Budapest. Unfortunately, everyone else's luggage did not arrive safely... my distrust of baggage handling is justified. I politely offered to share...

We're still excited about the upcoming Drupalcon, though, and are looking forward to hooking up with other Drupallers while we're in Budapest. If you're around, feel free to drop me a line.

The other big news is that I recently purchased a MacBook primarily for Drupal development. Hopefully it will encourage me to work on a few stories I have going as well. I'm already well on my way to having a solid, familiar development environment. It's quite a shift, but fortunately Firefox, jEdit (my IDE), and Filezilla (for FTP) are cross-platform and/or Java based apps. Now if I could just figure out why MAMP no longer starts Apache... Puzzled

Ubercart Mentioned in PC Mag Article

One of the primary goals of Ubercart is to make it easy for folks to sell products and services through their Drupal powered websites. This has been working quite well for us, and we can only get better.

One of the primary goals of a lot of companies is to sell their stuff online. This also works out quite well for us, because a lot of these people don't want to pay money for their shopping cart software but want a lot of the features that Drupal and its contributed modules already provide.

Then there are people who write articles to try and help those companies find software like ours. Enter PC Mag and their recent article titled <a href="http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2326922,00.asp"><em>31 Days to a Brand-New Web Storefront</em></a>. The article is definitely aimed at the lowest common denominator, but that didn't stop them from <a href="http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,1895,2326925,00.asp">recommending Ubercart</a> for folks with "the technical acumen" looking to roll their own solution.

How cool is that? <img src="http://www.bywombats.com/sites/all/modules/smileys/packs/example/cool.png" />

Lullabot Using Ubercart for Conference Registrations

Well, I had to keep mum while it was developing, but <a href="http://www.lullabot.com">Lullabot</a> has now announced their <a href="http://www.doitwithdrupal.com">Do It With Drupal</a> conference scheduled for December 10-12 in New Orleans, LA. With the doors open for registration, I can post about how awesome it is that they decided to use <a href="http://www.ubercart.org">Ubercart</a> to handle the registrations and gave me the chance to flex my UC muscles in putting it all together. I can also finally express my excitement about being invited down to present Ubercart sessions to the lucky folks who register before the conference fills up. <img src="http://www.bywombats.com/sites/all/modules/smileys/packs/example/cool.png" />

So, Lyle and I cooked up a module now available through drupal.org called <a href="http://drupal.org/project/uc_node_checkout">UC Node Checkout</a> for DIWD. This allows you to tie newly created nodes of specified node types to products in a customer's shopping cart. You can expand the node type however you want with CCK so you end up with a robust, customizable product form. When the customer completes checkout, you can execute a little bit of PHP to loop through the products on the order, check for a related node ID, and process the referenced nodes accordingly.

DIWD is of course using this for conference registration nodes, but anyone looking for customizable products that go beyond what Ubercart's product attributes system has to offer can take advantage of UC Node Checkout. I've already got ideas for improving the module, but right now it's a pretty rockin' system.

A hearty thanks to Lullabot for hosting what's looking to be a great conference, getting me out of Louisville as the cold weather sets in, and making sure others can take advantage of the code put together to make their conference site run smoothly.

The first 100 registrants get a $100 discount, and prices go up after that as the date of the conference approaches... so register soon if you want the best deal. I look forward to seeing you there! <img src="http://www.bywombats.com/sites/all/modules/smileys/packs/example/smile.png" />

Ubercamp Recap

<img src="http://www.bywombats.com/files/ubercamp-group.jpg" style="padding-left: 1em;" align="right" /> Well, <a href="http://www.bywombats.com/topics/ubercamp">Ubercamp</a> is now a couple days over and my sunburned shoulders are starting to heal. It's a small price to pay for an awesome weekend on the Lake with my wife, co-workers, and new friends from Michigan, California, and Tennessee. We were blessed to have such wonderful company, weather, and food!

A quick recap is in order... (If you don't feel like clicking individual picture links, feel free to check out <a href="http://picasaweb.google.com/TimH4982">Tim's Ubercamp galleries</a>.)
<ul>
<li>We <a href="http://picasaweb.google.com/TimH4982/UbercampFridayHeadingToTheLake/phot... tested/packaged</a> up the <a href="http://www.ubercart.org/news/jul-25-2008/ubercart_11_bug_fix_release">1.2 release</a>.</li>
<li>We spent Friday night in the dock getting used to the boat and to one another, chowing down on burgers and brats, and <a href="http://picasaweb.google.com/TimH4982/UbercampFridayHeadingToTheLake/phot... dancing</a> our <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dance_Dance_Revolution">revolution</a>.</li>
<li>Saturday we taxied out of the <a href="http://picasaweb.google.com/TimH4982/UbercampSunday/photo#52281400044493... and found a <a href="http://picasaweb.google.com/TimH4982/UbercampSaturdayOutOnTheLake/photo#... cove</a> perfect for <a href="http://picasaweb.google.com/TimH4982/UbercampSaturdayOutOnTheLake/photo#..., swimming, <a href="http://picasaweb.google.com/TimH4982/UbercampSaturdayAfternoonEvening/ph..., and <a href="http://picasaweb.google.com/TimH4982/UbercampSaturdayAfternoonEvening/ph... in peace.</li>
<li>Roundtable discussion over lunch (farm fresh chicken and sweet corn) and into the evening about where <a href="http://www.ubercart.org">Ubercart</a> is, where it's headed, and how we can more effectively enable and benefit from the community (and the Drupal community at large). Good notes here... action to follow. <img src="http://www.bywombats.com/sites/all/modules/smileys/packs/example/cool.png" /></li>
<li>I <a href="http://picasaweb.google.com/TimH4982/UbercampSaturdayAfternoonEvening/ph... into the sunset</a> and didn't want to return or go home (ever).</li>
<li>More <a href="http://picasaweb.google.com/TimH4982/UbercampSaturdayAfternoonEvening/ph... learning and discussion</a> time over an awesome steak dinner on Saturday and egg breakfasts on Sunday morning.</li>
<li>Sunday we had some final <a href="http://picasaweb.google.com/TimH4982/UbercampSunday/photo#52281389027407... and <a href="http://picasaweb.google.com/TimH4982/UbercampSunday/photo#52281396139239... play time as we brought the houseboat back to port and lamented the end of Ubercamp 1.0. <img src="http://www.bywombats.com/sites/all/modules/smileys/packs/example/smile.png" /></li>
</ul>

So, all in all it was a wonderful wonderful trip...<!--break--> We made some good movement on Ubercart, got some feedback from developers/users (and one potential user), and were able to hash out some of the details for moving forward into Drupal 6 and beyond. If I would change anything in the future, I'd remember to take pictures of the food and try to block out more time for the informal learning time. I think everyone has something to learn and to share, and I found these times to be very fruitful.

In case you can't tell by the pictures, you missed a crazy good time if you weren't there. We hope to see more people in the future, and we hope the events encourage/enable more people to dive into developing Ubercart sites and modules.

Special thanks go to Mike and Tim for providing the food and the WaveRunner and to Andy for letting us use and enjoy the houseboat for the weekend.

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