By james, 4 December, 2023

Welcome to day four of the Drupal Advent Calendar, and today we are getting a little introspective as James Shields (lostcarpark) talks about his new Advent Calendar module and reflects on how the Drupal Advent Calendar started.

The Drupal Advent Calendar was a daft idea I started last year (2022). It literally hit me as I was falling asleep on the last night of November.

By james, 23 October, 2023

I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to make it to DrupalCon in Lille this year, but I was fortunate enough to get accepted as a mentor. This covered the cost of the ticket, but in return I was expected to spend the contribution day helping first time contributors.

The next bit is about travel. I’ll try to keep it brief, but feel free to skip to Tuesday.

BeauvaisFlew to the wrong Paris airport (Beauvais - very nice place, must come back some day, but a long way from Paris), hurried to catch local bus to train station, caught train (double-decker!) to Paris Nord, caught train to Lille (TGV! - according to my phone we hit 300kmh) (double-decker!). Got to Lille. All very efficient, but it did take all day. Budget travel can be a pain!

The TGV to LilleI got checked into my apartment, which was very pleasant, and found out there were some people meeting in a bar, back into the city centre.

I met up with various Drupallers and had some very interesting conversations, as well as some Flemish Stew.

Tuesday - DrupalCon Day 1

On Tuesday I made my way to the convention centre. I was following the Google Maps directions, which involved going all the way back to the train station and around the other side to the Lille Grand Palais. The walk took nearly half an hour. I was fairly sure there was a shorter route that avoided going around the train station, but I wouldn’t find it till the next day.

I was aiming to make the volunteer briefing and tour of the venue, but just missed the start of it. I managed to catch up with them at the end of it, in the contribution area.

Claw Machine by Gábor Hojtsy
Photo by Gábor Hojtsy
By lostcarpark_admin, 26 March, 2023

Often we want timed events on our website. As a general rule, we should try to avoid having these take place in the front end. There are many ways this can be achieved, typically involving cron tasks.

However, occasionally we do genuinely need a task to be controlled from the front end, usually when we need to give user feedback.

By james, 24 December, 2022


So, we’ve reached day 24, the last day of the calendar.


Today I’m doing something a little bit different.

One of the amazing things about Drupal is the community that surrounds the project. This is supported by issue queues, forums such as Slack and various other channels. However, there is only so far text channels can go.