Congratulations to the team of almost 1,000 developers who helped make Drupal 7 a reality, and congratulations to Dries Buytaert, the founder of Drupal, and webchick, the person who shepherded (and continues herding) the community as the Drupal 7 core maintainer!
I recently had the first of, I hope, many columns on Catholic online evangelization in the St. Louis Review. I will post the column here for archival purposes, but you can read the column on the Review website as well:
by Jeff Geerling
The status quo is no longer acceptable.
That was the gist of the two keynote talks during this year's Catholic New Media Celebration in Boston. The Catholic Church needs to become a leader in online communications and social media — and it needs to do so now.
Father Robert Reed, director of CatholicTV, an online and broadcast television network, suggested Catholics practice the craft of media production and web development as a skilled craftsman would fabricate a chalice: As the craftsman labors over every detail and creates a work of art, which leads the priest and those present at Mass to ponder the mysterious and divine Presence within, so should we communicate and design our websites so as to allow Christ's love and beauty shine.
There must be a professionalism to our craft. We cannot settle for anything less than the best, most useful, functional and interactive websites and service on the Internet.
At a meeting with the Archdiocesan Curia yesterday, Archbishop Carlson thanked everyone for their service in the Archdiocese, and he also talked about some changes that will be put in place in the next few months to help the Curia better serve Archdiocesan parishes and organizations.
One of these changes, which was not mentioned too strongly, but I think is very important, is the creation of the Office of Web Development.
Today Google announced they'd help advance web typography by hosting open-sourced fonts on their CDN, and by giving the code to easily embed fonts on websites on a new website, the Google Font Directory.
It was amazingly simple: just copy the <link> code and paste it in your template's header, then set any element on your page to use the Google-provided font(s). I started using OFL Sorts Mill Goudy TT, and I like the look (except for the lower-case y, which seems to be cut off).
(The code simply adds an @font-face declaration via a Google-hosted CSS file... I wonder if it's legit to self-host the CSS and font file; I haven't read through the terms and conditions yet).
Need I say more? This is from a cookie-cutter Wordpress site with some flash mixed in with a template. The flash was only added to make a little transitional animation for the navigation bar.
We need to educate web designers on how they can break free from their Flash comfort zone, save a few hundred bucks in software licenses every year, and make their websites load two to three times faster (not to mention, more quickly and without requiring buggy third party extensions).
95% of Flash use is avoidable and unnecessary, in my opinion.
Some of the crazy thoughts that go through my head... yesterday I was watching some of the other teams play at De Smet (where I'll be coaching the freshmen volleyball team this year), and I thought of a relevant comparison between HTTP/1.1 status codes and volleyball plays.