Spaces

The Heart of Open Atrium: Context, PURL and Spaces

Presenter: 
Young Hahn (yhahn)
Video: 
See video
Description: 

In this presentation I'll look at three core technologies that drive the IA and user experience of Open Atrium: Context, PURL and Spaces. I'll explain the history and development of the ideas behind each, explain their respective roles, and show how they can be used together to create something greater than the sum of their parts.

  • Context is a module for triggering reactive behaviors within a page load. Controlling block visibility, menu trails, page classes, and page template layouts are examples of things that fall into its jurisdiction.
  • PURL is a library for capturing and abstracting request handling that goes beyond what the Drupal core menu system provides ($_GET['q']). Detection of request components, like subdomain, path prefix, user agent, or file extension, and sustaining their presence is its primary role.
  • Spaces is a generalized configuration override framework. In theory it allows you to "customize everything, for anything." In practice it allows things like custom group colors and features, per-user dashboards, and multisite-like usage of a single Drupal install.

Audience & format

This presentation

  • Will be technical. We will read code, look at database tables, and generally geek out.
  • Will help you better understand Atrium. If you are an experienced Drupal developer or user and were utterly confused by what is going on in Atrium, I will explain the guts of the system fully.
  • Will show you how to use these tools in your own projects. I'll walk through common site building problems that can be addressed with one or more of these modules.
  • Will give you things to think about. The problems addressed by Context, PURL and Spaces are not new, not solved, and not easy. There are other strong approaches inside and outside of the Drupal community and I will explore future approaches to these problems.
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