I've been working with Drupal since version 4.7, whenever that was. I admit that for many years, I didn't know what the D.A. did. Now I have a better understanding of what they do. The Drupal Association supports the Drupal community. They run Drupal.org and host DrupalCons, and they provide infrastrucutre and support for community initiatives. The D.A. has a new executive director, former NTEN E.D. Holly Ross. If Drupal continues to improve as an open source platform, I'd like to see the Drupal community be more accessible to more people.
For the last few years, I've been building Drupal sites for nonprofits with a remote, virtual, flexible team of colleagues. These colleagues are all over—California, Boston, Illinois, and Oregon. I've met almost all of them, in some way, through our connections to NTEN. I've known several of them for many years, and a couple of them for over a decade.
In honor of Ada Lovelace Day, I'm giving my blog some attention today. I recently re-themed it with a customized version of AdaptiveTheme Sky. It's finally responsive (go ahead... try it). Hooray! Which brings me to the topic of responsive, on which I've been brewing thoughts for a while. It's hard to do anything in web design and development right now without hearing the term "responsive design" until your eyes glaze over. Responsive is a great concept. An increasing number of people are surfing on phones and tablets, and they expect to be able to do almost anything on their devices that they can do on a desktop. Much of the time, building one website that can adapt to different screen widths, using media queries, is a very elegant solution. So why are so many nonprofits still building non-responsive sites?
The orgs I love to work with most are almost always on fairly tight budgets. I often find that people's expecations of how a website should be built is backwards, or it's generic andonce Drupal has been chosenthis generic approach does a great disservice to a project budget. In a typical scenario, the org and designer consider the content that needs designing, come up with a web design and sitemap, and then expect Drupal developers to map that vision of the site into Drupal, and perhaps fudge the places where it's not a perfect fit.
To nonprofit tech geeks: I bring glad tidings. There is going to be more to love at the NTEN Nonprofit Technology Conrerence this year. First, a quick rundown of the Drupal content planned to date for the 2012 NTC in San Francisco. Then, some background on changes in the NTC that aim to improve it for those of us who are seasoned nptechies.