Category Archives: Website architecture/design

Drupal in Government – Ottawa event

A couple of us attended last night’s Drupal in Government Event coordinated by Mike Gifford from OpenConcept and others.  As Natural Resources Canada (including our Library) is in the process of moving a sizable web presence into Drupal, this event offered a great opportunity to hear from some local shops supporting Drupal.

A few takeaways:

  • There is an active and experienced support and development community in Ottawa.  Speakers attending the event last night included reps from OpenConcept, Wirespeak, RealDecoy and a number of other shops and independent consultants (like Michael Baynger).  So once again the FUD that OSS support is a challenge is total head in the sand thinking. There is plenty of local top notch talent out there to provide support & development, and now there’s even big venture money being poured into the commercial open source software company Acquia for those who need to see that support angle growing.
  • A common focus related to our Common Look & Feel (CLF) standards for all gc.ca websites. OpenConcept is sponsoring a CLF 2 Drupal theme and discussion area. The CLF theme for Drupal is required for any “starter kit” on deploying a Drupal site for the Canadian government, but more work needs to be done coordinating and code sharing amongst the various first wave Drupal implementations (I think I heard there are around 8 different CLF themes floating around out there). My take on things right now is that all of us first implementers are in a “everybody for themselves” situation under the pressures and deadlines associated with the content migrations and application development. So I expect  the coordination and sharing to grow as the dust settles on these first moves to Drupal.
  • A non-governmental site launched focusing on Common Look & Feel implementation and discussion and Everett’s blog is worth checking out for lots of Drupal & gc.ca accessibility discussion.
  • There is a Drupal project for gc.ca at the IRCan site – still in pilot phase and under the radar, but short news is that Intellectual Resources Canada will be moving to create a collaboration space for gc.ca open source projects and initiatives. This will be for both internal AND external users, so it’s a good place to start bringing together Drupal customizations for gc.ca.  [As a side note, our Evergreen ILS has a project space on that site too!].
  • Software engineer from from Ingres reported on progress towards supporting Drupal with Ingres. (!)

Although I wasn’t able to get any updates, there are a least a dozen departments looking at Drupal and about a half dozen that I know about running Drupal in some capacity, including MPOW here at Natural Resources Canada (Intranet only so far).  Later on I’ll do a post on some of the custom modules we’ve had developed for us, including an Ebsco A-Z Journals module that may be of interest to some users of that service.

See also the: Drupal Ottawa group or this one for libraries.

Web site redesign must die

Louis Rosenfeld outlines his case for killing website redesign – or at least changing your way of doing it – in a recent webmaster forum at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His Redesign Must Die talk is available on slideshare (audio not available). Rosenfeld has a library background and is the co-author of the the often cited Information Architecture and the World Wide Web. Additional presentations from Rosenfeld found here.