April 2012

Apr 24, 2012

BuildAModule.com Translations Update

In under 2 weeks we've had some incredible contributions to the BuildAModule.com translation effort. Over 70 videos have been translated into Spanish, and several have been translated into French, Dutch and Hebrew. We're excited that native speakers of these languages will get to enjoy the contributions made my numerous volunteers.

Thank you to everyone who has contributed so far, and if you yourself are interested in assisting with the translations, take a look at the translate page on BuildAModule.com.

Upcoming Mentored Trainings

Over the last year, numerous Mentored Trainings have helped build Drupal resources worldwide. Coming up, we have:

DrupalCamp Twin Cities, May 17: Organized by the amazing Advantage Labs folks, this Mentored Training is geared towards those just starting out with Drupal.

DrupalCamp Scotland, May 25: This full-day Mentored Training is currently at capacity, but you can be put on a waiting list in case they're able to expand the venue.

DrupalCamp Sacramento, June 8: I (Chris Shattuck) will be hosting a Mentored Training, and while the focus will be on Drupal basics, you're welcome to come at any experience level.

There are also proposals in the works for DrupalCon Munich, DrupalCamp Salt Lake City, the Pacific Northwest Drupal Summit and more.

If you're interested in hosting a Mentored Training for your DrupalCamp, it's easy to do and it's a great way to offer affordable, effective training to large groups of people. You can check out the training page for more information, or send us an email with any questions.

New PHP videos diving into arrays

How to work with associative arrays - 4:12

Continuing from last week where we started digging into arrays - one of the most commonly used data structures in Drupal - in this video we explore associative arrays, where we can assign strings as keys.

How to use array functions like asort(), array_pop() and array_rand() - 7:44

Once you have your data in an array, there's all kinds of native PHP functions that will allow you to manipulate and sort that data. In this video we walk through some of the most common array functions and ways that you might apply them in the real world.

How to work with array-like objects - 4:52

In Drupal, there are a number of objects like $user and $node that are simply multi-dimensional arrays wrapped in the slightly different object syntax. In this video we show you how to create these objects, and manipulate data inside of them.

Array function challenges - 1:19

Now that you've got a solid grasp of arrays, this video poses some challenges to help you test your new knowledge and apply it in practical situations.

New FREE PHP video tutorial of the week

How to work with multi-dimensional arrays - 8:09

In this video arrays start to get really interesting. Not only can arrays store data like strings and numbers, but arrays can also include other arrays. And those arrays can store arrays. Before your mind explodes over the implications, we'll spend some time in this video explaining these unique arrays in a way that makes them manageable.

Apr 18, 2012

I get requests for consulting and freelance work on a regular basis, but I currently don't take on any consulting. But the requests often come from people I know and would really like to help in some way. So, I'm reaching out to generate a list of individuals I know or have met who also freelance. If you're one of those people, please send me an email that includes the following info:

  • Your full name
  • Stuff you're good at (development, theming, design, IA, etc)
  • Stuff you definitely don't want to do (development, theming, design, IA, etc)
  • Stuff you really want to focus on, or really love doing
  • Your hourly rate (or rates)
  • A link to a portfolio page on your site

I'm limiting this for now to folks I've met, since it's a lot easier to get a sense of someone's overall attitude and such that way. It's also because I want to be able to tell the people I'm passing your names onto that I actually know you to some degree. If we haven't met and you'd like to be on this list, find a way to meet me!

Thank you!
Chris

Apr 17, 2012

This last year BuildAModule.com powered numerous free Drupal trainings around the world. This week, we're officially releasing a suite of translation tools that will allow the videos on BuildAModule.com to be translated into any language. These translated videos can form the core curriculum of free community-driven Mentored Trainings in locations where English isn't widely spoken, or where training materials in a native language will help speed up the learning process.

During our beta testing last week, translators made major contributions to the Spanish translation with over 40 videos translated, and there have been contributions in Dutch, Italian and Danish as well.

Why did we build these translation tools?

Shortly after releasing our first video collections last year, we had several requests for translations, and for the tools to help our viewers translate videos themselves for other speakers of their native languages. We've also heard repeatedly that there is a need for Drupal training materials in other languages. With our free Mentored Training model, it made sense to take the time to build translation tools since the translated videos can have such a broad impact on spreading Drupal and helping large groups of individuals learn Drupal quickly.

What exactly will be translated

Every video can have its transcript and title translated. Once translated, the translated video also becomes searchable in that language.

Want to help translate?

If you are comfortable with English and another language you'd like to translate to, you can definitely contribute. Even translating one video helps, though we've heard from translators that it's a little hard to stop once you get started.

Just send us an email with the language you'd like to translate to, plus a little bit about yourself and why you want to translate, and we'll set you up with the tools you need to get started.

Want certain videos translated for an upcoming training?

As a translator, you decide what videos you want to translate. We have a protocol to help people make sure they don't accidentally translate something that's already being translated, but if you want to focus on the Views or jQuery videos, for example, that's perfect. If you have a need to translate certain videos, it's even more likely that other people have the same need.

You can also post translation requests in the BuildAModule.com forums to let others know that you're interested in certain translations, even though you may not be able to participate directly.

Demos

Below are two videos, one of which shows a video that has been translated into Italian, and the other which demonstrates how to use the translation tools, so you can see how they work.

Video demonstration of translation tools

Video demonstration of a video translated into Italian

How can I learn more?

Just go to http://buildamodule.com/translate, or send us an email with any questions you have.

We hope that opening up these translation tools will help the international community build some of the much-needed resources it needs for effectively conducting Drupal training in a variety of native languages.

Apr 10, 2012

Subtle improvements on Build a Module.com

This last week we rolled out a number of improvements to Build a Module.com, many of which were geared towards improving performance. So, you should see page load times go down and the responsiveness of the site go up. We've also fixed a few little bugs here and there which should make life just a wee bit nicer for our most intensive viewers. :)

Get 15% off high definition downloads to celebrate the new iPad 3

If our downloads are attractive because you watch video on the go or use your iPad as a second monitor while you're working through the examples on BuildAModule.com, then we have some good news! iPad 3's will now play our crystal-clear high definition videos quite nicely.

If you've been holding out on purchasing a download, we're throwing in a little discount as an incentive. Just use the code IPAD3HD when checking out to get 15% off all high definition downloads.

Want to help test our new translation tools?

If you speak multiple languages and are excited about the idea of BuildAModule.com videos being translated into another language, then we'd love it if you'd give our translation tools a try to give any feedback before we officially launch them.

If you're interested, simply respond to this newsletter with a little information about why you might want to help translate, and what language you'd like to translate to.

New PHP videos on working with variables and string functions

How to work with string, number and boolean variables - 7:04

Last week we looked at using strings, and this week we learn how and why to wrap up a string in a variable. We also explore a couple other types of variables that you'll frequently encounter when writing your own code and working with Drupal.

How a PHP function is structured and how to use strstr() - 2;49

Now that you have a grasp of variables, it's time to start exploring PHP's rich library of functions. Functions are little bundles of logic that you can leverage to accomplish tasks that might otherwise be very time consuming and complicated. In this video, we walk through the structure of a function and use a common string function called strstr(),

How to use the string functions nl2br(), trim() and strlen() - 3:03

For this video, we continue exploring useful string functions, like functions that trim extra spaces off of a string, or tell you how long a string is.

Practical uses for strstr(), nl2br(), trim() and strlen() - 1:38

Knowing what functions are in your arsenal is important, but knowing how they're used in the real world will expand your ability to write effective code. So, we step back in this video and look at reasons we might want to use the functions we just explored.

New FREE PHP video tutorial of the week

How to identify and fix common syntax errors - 5:56

Running into errors is a very normal part of writing code, but it can be frustrating if you don't know where to look to fix it. In this video, we walk some of the errors that are caused when you've missed a little something in your code.

Apr 3, 2012

New PHP videos on using variables and strings

Last week we worked on setting up our development environment using Dev Desktop. This week we start actually diving into code! We start by exploring the structure of a super simple PHP script, and move on to discuss how to work with strings and variables of different kinds. For those of you just starting with PHP, this is a great place to jump in.

How to work with white space and comments - 2:12

One confusing point for those new to PHP is how extra space and new lines impact how the code runs. In this video, we talk you through exactly what to expect from white space.

How to work with strings - 4:41

Strings are an essential component of working with content in PHP. In this video, we show you the nuances of using and manipulating strings in your code.

How to use a variable - 2:44

Once you have the concept of strings down, you have the basis for understanding what a variable is and how to use one in your code. This will set the stage for next week, where we talk about many of the other types of variables you'll be using in your code.

New FREE PHP video tutorial of the week

We actually have two free videos rolling out this week!

Creating our first PHP script and the structure of a simple PHP statement - 3:41

In this video we walk you through a simple script in the PHP language and talk about how you tell the PHP application that you want to use PHP instead of HTML.

What an IDE is and the benefits of using one - 1:46

At this point in the videos we start using a different text editor called an IDE, or Integrated Development Environment. Using an IDE can help you catch errors in your code and help you dig deeper into existing code. In this video, we explain the benefits of using an IDE instead of a simple text application.