Article for conference booklet:
The Context and Spaces modules are tools to make complex site building tasks easier. This session will cover the approach of the Context and Spaces suites, and show developers how they can be used and extended. The examples in the presentation will focus on 'Communities of Practice'-style online collaboration, Sites-within-sites, and Intranet projects. The goal of the presentation is to give developers and advanced Drupal administrators examples of the advantages of using context and spaces on their projects. We'll review the standard set of problems the context and spaces aim to address and look at sites where it's been used.
The Context suite provides a way of mapping various architectures on top of Drupal's components. Allowing developers to define what panels, views, content-types, menus, blocks, etc comprise the recognizable 'sections' of their sites. Spaces extends this concept by integrating with Organic Groups. This allows you to associate 'sections' with groups and provides a way to enabled and customize these features on a group by group basis.
We will start with an introduction to the Context module. Context can be used for both site basic site-building tasks and the more high level problem of mapping a client's information architecture to Drupal's information architecture, and we'll look at using context in practice. This will include examples of using the Context api and user interface to make complex themeing tasks and block administration simpler. From the perspective of a non-coder Context's user interface makes things possible that before would have either required code or a lot of convoluted site configuration.
The Spaces modules is one example of how Context can be extended. We'll look at how Spaces works with Context and how spaces features can be used as building blocks in Organic groups sites. This will include looking at examples of how Spaces has been used to for various kinds of online communities with different content targeting needs.
Bios for conference booklet:
Jeff lives and works in Washington DC, USA, where he is a senior engineer with Development Seed. He's been working full time with Drupal for three years now, most recently spending his time coding the spaces and context modules. He spends his free time banging on the walls of his house, drinking fancy beers, and biking around DC, though not necessarily in that order.