Notes from Florida Drupal Camp

Earlier this month I escaped the seemingly-neverending grip of winter to travel to Orlando for Florida DrupalCamp 2014. I had a great time meeting people face-to-face, catching up with old friends, and getting up to speed on the changes that are coming for Drupal 8.

Kevin Basarab (@kbasarab) did a great overview of what’s new in D8 (view it on YouTube). Everyday changes and awesomeness for site builders includes: fully responsive administration, addition of Views and entity view modes in core, inclusion of CKEditor as the default rich-text editor, and a new, more secure theming system. The slow, clunky, and decidedly NOT mobile-friendly Overlay has been scrapped in favor of a simple “Back to site” button. There have also been some serious backend improvements for advanced developers, including web services wrappers, dev-ops friendly configuration management, and standard migration tools for upgrading from previous versions.

The rest of my sessions day was spent getting even more in-depth information on the backend coding changes from Larry Garfield (@crell) and the revamped Twig templating/theming system from Jen Lampton (@jenlampton). I’ve got pages of notes, but in summary, everything is going to be awesome!

On Sunday, I skipped the coding sprints to take in some of the great Florida weather (sorry guys, but I made it up at Midcamp!). After brunch with a client (where we dazzled the cafe by beating Jenga), some of us went out to Blue Springs State Park, where we saw manatees, alligators, turtles, and an armadillo.

Other than how awesome Florida and its Drupal community are, the two best things I learned were how to throw a frisbee, and that there is an HTTP code for “I’m a teapot” (code 418). All in all, not a bad weekend (until I had to go back to Chicago).