Ok. So let’s start off with a fairly obvious statement. I’m indolent. And I can write scripts. This is a dangerous, nay, perilous pairing…

So, with this existing laptop really getting on my nerves, and the lack of email coming from Dell regarding the new ‘un I ordered, I thought I’d tidy up some diff-scripts used $ELSEWHERE, and re-appropriate for quick-and-dirty order-tracking.

Fairly simple: fetch a web-page, in this case the order page (which is accesssible with the order number & email address used for the order), compare it with an existing copy (should it exist), and mail specified addresses when/if there are changes. Do this whenever (@hourly works fine for me), and forget about website visiting.

Bingo.

So, erm, just in case anyone else wants it (yes, the licensing blurb is probably about the same length as the code itself, i dunno why I bother, but maybe someone’s got some hints/tips/comments…), ‘dell-order-status‘ (it’s a tidied up version of the one I’m actually using, so i may need a nudge to update the web-version if I change the one in use)

Dontcha just hate doing them?

Particularly when there’s the whole big fun of package updates, and it taking about six iterations of the various tools to get things up and running properly again?

Ach well. Mainly done now. Urfgh.

Shame about freebsd-update(8) not wanting to play ball: my guess is that the SINGLE SERVER was over-loaded.

Ah, right, well, yesterday, I made it along to a new meet-up/group, Drupal for NGOs

bloody good turnout, and quite a few people with experience in the field, along with those of us who’ve been playing around, and those thinking about Making The Switch. (like what no2id are to be doing soonish)

I saw on the upcoming comments that someone was after a few notes, so, erm, here are mine…

casestudy 1: greenpeace uk

Greenpeace UK (gpuk) used to use a legacy system of coldfusion, dating from the late 90s, and strove to gain better communications with their supporters, to recruit/engage others (vide: user module, forum). One of the cool things that’s on their site are the context sensitive blocks — targeted ads and stuff. Rock on!

Navigation’s made possible via both menus and tags, making use of the Tagadelic module.

Their local groups functionality draws in data from elsewhere, and as the sign-up process mail goes to the punter and the co-ordinator for that group: useful. Local groups are a specific Content Type.

To tweak some of the text, the locale module’s used

An extensive list of modules were used, the ones in my notes include:

For their data stuff (the idea to link in the Drupal with their supporters database/CRM) is to use SOPERA, something that uses SOAP, and can act (as I understood it) as an intermediary.

For importing stuff, they used a couple of scripts, and then manual tidy-up.

casestudy 2: oxfam international

Migrated from Plone → Drupal (site not yet live)

They use 14 core modules, and 29 custom modules, a few the same as gpuk, but also Custom Breadcrumbs and Lightbox 2

From start to finish, it’s taken them about 6 or 7 months.

In terms of clean-up, i can’t read my notes…

Their press releases, though were structured data, and imported in.

Nightly builds take place from their subversion repo.

For content specific stuff, they’re making use of the Cue node.

Apart from those, there were a couple of other Q&As, some of which focused on large-scale sites/optimization/techy concerns — the idea of PHP optimizers (there’s a blog somewhere comparing versions of PHP & Apache), and running a lightweight httpd were suggested, such as lighthttpd / ergdex. along with something like squid/varnish. Some modules it seems involve onehelluvalot of database queries (250) per load, so for large-scale stuff, re-writing may prove useful.

There are some load sims out there, too.

For proxying, appliancesys.com (hum, maybe I mis-heard) was mentioned as having proven useful

Looks like the start of a London Drupal community, which could be useful…

i should say ‘helo’, really… seeing as I’ve just re-stated blogging on my own blog for the first time in aeons.

Expect irregular updates, rants, course language, sarcasm, vitriol, and general other blogosphere crap.

Occasional brokenness may happen too :P