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Oaktable Site

Long overdue … and by now old news !

Seems everybody has already mentioned it on their blog - I reckon so can I ;-)

It seems the topic of 'a' new website had already been discussed during several Oracle events but there were no immediate plans to actually implement it.
So when a mail requesting volunteers popped up, Doug Burns made sure to mention my name.

A quick ask-around revealed that the #1 must-have-feature was an oakie blog aggregator. 
James Morle also had mentioned to scrap the old site and redo the whole thing in an open-source CMS, preferable Drupal. Which was fine by me as I had already done some work in drupal, including some custom drupal modules (like a drupal module to integrate user management with Oracle SSO/OID).
Anyway - as the only real requirement was a blog aggregator of Oaktable member's blogs and then some, I just started working on it in a kind of agile way ;-) 

Here are some of the modules I used :
  • must-have modules : admin_menu, CCK (and several cck fields like email, date, imagefield), panels for the frontpage and you can't do without the views module
  • Imageapi, imagecache : needed for some on-the-fly rescaling of uploaded images, like for example member's avatars or book covers
  • Feedapi and feedapi_mapper : I prefer these modules for creating a blog aggregator instead of the standard aggregator module as it allows you to save feed content in a node, and thus making the content searchable and easier for google to digest. Also, you can map tags within feeds to node tags so they show up in your tag-cloud (double-bonus!)
  • Cumulus and tagadelic : for creating a funky tag-cloud
  • Twitter and juitter modules : for aggregating twitter feeds and showing twitter trends. I will add the twitter trends for all major events as I did for HOTSOS2010 and MOW2010.
  • Browscap and mobile_theme : if you use a mobile device, the site will switch to the iwebkit theme… looks ok on an iphone Wink
  • Content_slider : which allows you to create a kind of slide show from node content (for example the events and books slides)
  • Google_analytics, google_cse, pathauto, seo_checklist : make sure the whole thing is SEO 
  • Subscriptions : authenticated users can subscribe to content - they will be notified when content is added or modified
  • Faq and faq_ask : I've used these to implement the oaktable challenge. It's not ideally as it does not allow me to migrate the old questions but it does the job.

I've also used some modules for oakie's only - like :
  • Announcements : add announcements to the site encouraging oakies to post content or start their own blog on the oaktable site… the site does not only aggregate but also allows members to write blogposts that are automatically included in the sites blog RSS feeds
  • Votingapi and advpoll : providing democracy to the oaktable when choosing when or where to eat during the next Oracle event using polls
  • Webform and webform_report : allows you to easily create html forms without programming and report on the results - already came in useful for ordering the new oaktable polo shirt Cool

As you can see - these are all basic modules. There was some custom work though :
  • I have a 'oakie' module : this provides a mapping between the user profile and feedapi, so users can add their blog rss feed through their profile instead of the more complex feedapi form
  • I had to tweak ask_faq for the oaktable challenge
  • By far the most difficult task was tweaking the themes 
    • 'admire_gray' is the main theme - I had some issues on smaller resolutions so I had to make some modifications in its stylesheet
    • 'iwebkit' - the mobile theme had some real bugs in it as it did not show pagers - had to dive in the theme code here to fix it !

I migrated some old articles and scripts from the old site, leaving the rest to the original authors (as you can see … that didn't work out so well) - however, Jonathan Lewis, Tanel Poder and Christian Antognini have already added some new articles which gives me hope Wink

Anyways - I hope you like it. 

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