Personal website of Steven Peck. Focusing on Microsoft technologies (most notably PowerShell), and other random bits I think to write.

Capturing workplace knowledge with Drupal | StressFree

A nice article on leveraging Drupal emphasizing it's jack of all trades more | digg story


Drupal 6 changelog

I did this with the Drupal 5 change log. This is early as 6 isn't released, but I got curious and with my other project taking most of my time I thought I'd pause and decipher what I could of the change log again. This time I added a lot of links to some of the issues. It is not ALL the issues, merely the starter one. Any incorrect links are accidental.

Something to keep in mind is to realize that some of these issues have taken more then one version of Drupal to get in. They have evolved and developed into better solutions.


Documentation challenges and the future

[EDIT: See the Drupal handbook for the current PDF]

This year has not gone as I had expected for a variety of reasons, but that's all right.

Long term sustainable documentation with Drupal is complex. Drupal core moves and changes in ways that have unpredictable effects on documentation. Modules get absorbed into others, some removed, technologies added, behavior changed. Adding on the additional explosive growth of the contributed modules it's mind boggling. How to structure documentation in a way that people can have defined targets for what 'must' be updated vs random one time contributed document that only applies to a particular configuration?

The three main books for people,(install / customization / developer ) are currently at 1414 printed pages. That's an insane number to maintain. The developer handbook itself is generally kept up to date in the key areas by several developers who understand the benefit of being able to look up something they've figured out.

Customization has theming and it would be nice to break that out to it's own book, but so far the folks who have said they were going to do this have not done so. I have someone working on stuff for Drupal 6 theming so I still have hope for the future there.

So, what is the one thing we need to do better on for a major version release? Installation and configuration.


LCS Address Book Service and Communicator

The LCS Address Book runs once a day at 1:30am (default). When the Microsoft Office Communicator client logins on, it downloads and caches the address book to your user profile directory.

While, in general, LCS is one of those applications that 'just works', on occasion you need to know that something you've done is working properly. Being able to sync the address book service to and validate the changes on Communicator is very useful.


Quest PowerShell extensions rock too

When my co-worker (who is interested in learning PowerShell too) asked me how to get a list of all the members of a given Security group, I didn't have a ready answer for him. I hadn't had occasion to learn how to do that yet and a quick search didn't show anything obvious or simple.

I had read in various blog posting and on the Microsoft newsgroups about Quests PowerShell extensions. As they were supposed to make some Active Directory related tasks easier, I thought this was the perfect time to try them out.

One download and install later I was looking through the 109 page Active Roles Management Shell for Active Directory guide and there in the table of contents was the Get-QADGroupMember commandlet on page 59.

Get-QADGroupMember domainName\GroupName

This gets us name type and DN. To much information and not quite what we need. So off to our favorite discovery tool
Get-QADGroupMember domainName\GroupName | Get-Member -MemberType property

This lets us discover the properties that allow us to use PowerShell's filtering capabilities. As my co-worker needs the logonname and the displayname, we came up with this final code.
Get-QADGroupMember domainName\GroupName | select logonname, dislayname

The total time it took to get here was about 10 minutes. My co-worker is now even more excited about learning PowerShell. So much to learn, so little spare time.


40 already?

How time flies. I worked with a guy once who said, "Old is always 10 years older then your current age" and he was right then but as I am getting older I find that old gets further away. :)

Another friend used to have a saying, "You'll learn" that he would trot out when I said something particularly silly in my 20's. I have a much deeper insight into what he meant. From him I have learned my perceptions may not always be broad enough if I don't have the experience to comprehend the answer.

Every day with my children I remember things my father taught me, which is great as I see my cousins doing very similar things with their kids. Seeing that cycle is enlightening.

I could not have predicted what I am doing now and how rich my life is. I have a wonderful wife and two fantastic children and some very good friends. I like my neighbors and I am part of a world wide community with more friends and acquaintances all over the place.

Life has it's various frustrations and annoyances, but I am pretty happy with where I am overall. It's been fun an adventure so far and I will enjoy seeing what the next 40 years bring.

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