Drupal at Linux Conference Australasia, Wellington January 2010

Penguins Crossing; LCA Wellington 2010 logoLinux Conference Australasia (aka LCA, linux.conf.au) will be in Wellington 18-23 January 2010 – 6 and a half months from now. This presents opportunities for the NZ Drupal community to;
  1. Promote Drupal in the wider FLOSS community (which is good for business)
  2. Run a DrupalCamp/Conference; which allows attendees to combine expenses if attending LCA, and organizers to share venue, admin, financial and other resources with LCA.
  3. Just hang out and drink & talk Drupal! Or perhaps (talk) and (drink drupal)!? :)
  1. Promote Drupal

    With the government moving away from Microsoft products and towards Open Source, and (hopefully) a FLOSS-friendly Patents Act in NZ, it is a very critical time to be making folk aware of Drupal and how it can empower them and their organisation/s.

    This is good for the Drupal marketplace, and good for anyone providing Drupal services in NZ – probably you!? (Conferences like this are also great places to grow your own business network directly!)

    Saturday 23 January is Open Day at LCA and is probably a good opportunity to set up a Drupal stand or similar. We would be able to use the Drupal banner from DrupalSouth for this.

  2. Run a DrupalCamp/Conference

    LCA is taking proposals for miniconfs during, before or after LCA. Given the prominence of Drupal in both the web and FLOSS communities it's likely a well–organised and well-written proposal would be accepted.

    Alternatively, we could organize our own DrupalCamp or mini-conference outside of LCA proper. Though LCA-miniconfs make admin easier and minimize the overhead of organizing a DrupalCamp or miniconf.

    Perhaps such an event could be DrupalSouth 2?

  3. Hang out and talk Drupal!

    With or without the above (or other Drupal events), it'd be great to meetup with other Drupalers and talk Drupal in the bars. Who else is planning on or thinking about attending?

I'm very keen to be involved in any/all of the above, but won't have enough bandwidth to be a driving force behind organizing anything big while living in Thailand (from September). I'm loosely planning on being back and living in NZ (maybe Wellington) in time for LCA. This is a cross-post from groups.drupal.org/new-zealand. Please discuss it there.

Microsoft Tries To Defend NZ Government Contract Failure

Kathryn Ryan of Radio NZ interviewed Don Christie, president of the NZ Open Source Society and Kevin Ackhurst, managing director of Microsoft NZ on Microsoft's failure to renew their multi-million dollar contract with the NZ government.  The interviews and Kathryn's questions are intense and very interesting as Don Christie defends the government's choice to break out of a reliance on Microsoft's products, and Kevin Ackhurst tries to defend Microsoft's position, touting it as a success.
Highlights for me were Kevin Ackhursts rehearsed tape-recorder responses that avoid answering Kathryn's questions, and Kathryn's obvious frustration with his failure to state things as they are.  It's clear that Microsoft wants to paint this as a success story, but is failing pretty badly.
I love Don Christie's "Microsoft software is like a virus..." which reminds me of Microsoft's "linux is a cancer" statements.
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URGENT: Unlimited Software Patents In New Zealand. Act Now!

Logo of End Software Patents website

NZ government is about to pass a new Patents Act.  In the 8-year review, they seemingly forgot to consider the impacts of patents on computer software!  Submissions on the bill are being accepted till 2 July, so we need to move fast.  Make a submission now

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Where will your grandkids be 60 years from now?

It is not often I blog off topic, so I hope that you can appreciate how important this is, and spare a few minutes to save your own future, your children's and grandchildren's futures and home planet.

Photo of a desparate man helplessly watching his home burn downWould you just stand around and watch as your home burned down with your children and pets inside? No? So please don't stand around and watch while we destroy our home planet.

This December, world leaders, including New Zealand prim minister John Key, will meet in Copenhagen to decide what the world should do about climate change. John needs our support in order to do the right thing in Copenhagen. Please Sign On today. This is a great chance to make a difference.

Over 50,000 New Zealanders have already Signed On, from Lucy Lawless, Stephen Tindall and Cliff Curtis through to Rhys Darby and of course, me too!

If you don't live in NZ, find out what you can do locally. Write to your local politicians, heads of state or ask Greenpeace in your country what you can do.

Don't sit around and do nothing. How are you going answer to your children when they ask why you didn't do anything about climate change before it was too late?

There is an edition of the International Herald Tribune published 6 months in the future which demonstrates the importance of having a voice NOW.

Click the following link to sign on now http://www.signon.org.nz/join-me/77782406

Our unborn children and grandchildren are saying thank you.

UPDATED: Can't Add CSS, JS, RSS Icon Or Set Title Or Messages In Preprocess Page?

UPDATE: Due to recent changes to our website the code snippet (the valuable part of this blog post) got accidentally lost. If you read this already, please come back to see the sample code. Thanks!
Often you want to add CSS files, scripts, feed icons or even set Drupal's page title from the theme layer. The most obvious place to call Drupal's functions for these tasks is probably in a page preprocess function. However calling the following Drupal API functions from a theme or module's NAME_preprocess_page() function often doesn't work;

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SignOn.org.nz, By Greenpeace NZ

Earlier this year Jenn, Owen and I worked on a proposal for Greenpeace NZ. CivicActions didn't win the contract, but the website has just launched.

Sign On.  THE WORLD NEEDS US. There is no Planet B, Lucy Lawless. The shit is hitting the fan, Harry McNaughton. 4 all our kiddly-winks =), Keisha Castle-Hughes. Do it for your kids, Francesca Price. 'cos we care, Emily Barclay. The Science is Bloody Obvious, Jim Salingary. It's now or never! Toni Potter. Just Sign On, Bunny McDiarmid. It's everyone's issue, Stephe Tindall. It's time to be a good global citizen, Sarah Thomson. No regrets, Bonnie Soper.

SignOn.org.nz – a Drupal site – was implemented by Catalyst IT, a FLOSS software shop in Wellington New Zealand which employs Josh "fiasco" Waihi, Drupal 7 PostgreSQL maintainer and NZ IT Rockstar 2009 winner and Brenda "shiny" Wallace, Drupal contributor.

Catalyst has done an excellent job and the campaign was featured in NZ's national Sunday newspaper a couple of weeks ago.

They've got many Kiwi celebrities on for the campaign, some which are known internationally too; Most notably Lucy Lawless (Xena Warrior Princess) and Keisha Castle Hughes (From Whale Rider and award-winning other films).

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