Front End Drupal Intensive January 11 in Vancouver, Canada

Sometimes the only way to write a proper announcement is to write it in the third person. This way I can say things about myself that I'd never say in real life and you don't have to dig through my charming Canadian modesty to figure out why my mother thinks I'm awesome. So here we go a third-person account of what I'll be doing on January 11, 2010...

For the first time ever Emma Jane Hogbin, co-author of Front End Drupal, is going to teach a whole-day workshop on the guts and glory of how to theme Drupal. Using student-centric, outcome-based instruction, designers and themers will learn how to convert their imagination into themes that dreams are made of. The workshop will include sample code, tips and tricks not available anywhere else.

Using Front End Drupal as a spring board, participants will leave the workshop able to:

  • create new themes with custom regions and context-aware design elements;
  • customize Drupal page, node and view templates;
  • generate context-sensitive templates based on taxonomy, content type and URL;
  • dissect and re-create complex Drupal 6 theme functionality;
  • create custom theme variables using preprocess functions;
  • apply sustainable theming techniques that save time and future-proof designs;
  • find and apply useful community-contributed PHP theme snippets.

Time will also be available to tour through Front End Drupal and ask additional questions about topics that are covered in the book.

Front End Drupal is the best-selling book on theming Drupal 6. It has ranked top-1000 out of all books on and moved to its second printing within six months of its release. Praise for the book includes:

  • "Drupal has always been a developer’s platform, even with the many designers in our ranks. It’s about time those designers had a great book. In fact, this book is valuable not just to the designers we have, but to the designers we want…." Dries Buytaert, Founder of the Drupal project.
  • "I can't say enough good things about this book." Victor Kane, author of Leveraging Drupal
  • Front End Drupal "does a fantastic job of describing the role of pre-process functions. There are countless examples of how to name, use, and extend them. Outstanding." Michael Anello, DrupalEasy
  • "Front End Drupal is a book the Drupal world has needed for years..." Jeff Eaton, Lullabot

Emma Jane is known around the world for her crazy analogies and the human touch she brings to  technical instruction. CMS Expo organizer, John Coonen, referred to Emma Jane a "power house" presenter in December at Drupal Camp Chicago. Amber Graner says of Emma's classes, "Emma Jane is patient, clear, knowledgeable, and understanding when it comes to any question you ask her on this subject and more." In addition to her international conference presentations, Emma has taught Internet technologies at Seneca College and Humber College in Toronto. She continues to work with Humber College as a program mentor.

Space is limited for this intensive Front End Drupal workshop. Emma has no additional workshops planned in Vancouver for 2010. If you want to learn hands-on how to make amazing Drupal themes you need to be at this workshop. Your registration fee includes: a free copy of Front End Drupal, a full day of instruction, take-home hand-outs not available elsewhere, a one-year membership in an exclusive graduate club and bragging rights. The event is hosted by Affinity Bridge and The Jibe Multimedia, Inc and generously sponsored by W2 Community Media Arts.

Register now for the Front End Drupal Intensive Workshop on January 11 in Vancouver, Canada.


Introducing: Documentation strategy

Re-posted from

No wait, don't leave! Documentation isn't boring! I promise! Hi, I'm Emma Jane Hogbin (@emmajanedotnet) and I'll be your Documentation Strategist (and tech author) for the 1.0 release of StatusNet. You may know me from such projects as the Drupal Documentation Team, the Bazaar version control system, Writing Open Source (the very first-ever open source documentation conference) and the Linux Documentation Project. I'm absolutely thrilled to be working with StatusNet.

Just in case you missed my talk at the Ontario GNU Linux Fest (video and slides) this fall, here's the plan: we're going to design our documentation to be usable, maintainable and translatable from day one. (We even have a plan.) We're putting developer documentation where developers need it; and user documentation where real people need help. Think of it as the "whistle while you work" approach. But it gets even better: the documentation will be reviewed per major release cycle to find areas where the code needs to be improved. The wiki edits to the documentation will be the canary in the coal mine for the StatusNet experience.

Most normal people think of writing documentation as being necessary, but not fun. Fortunately I'm one of those do-less-work kinds of people. I'm not into writing tomes of information that no one will read. I want only the Ikea instruction drawings in places where people actually need help. Here's where I need your help: whether you're a beginner, or a pro, I need to know the times when the StatusNet experience could have been made easier if we'd slipped in some instructions. We got the ball rolling at StatusCampMontreal and here's how it worked: Tell me, in less than 140 characters, what the pain points are (or were) for you. If you're on, tag your notices with #painpoints. If you want to add a little more detail, please add your pain points to the wiki, or drop me an email (

I'm looking forward to uncovering some of your blisters and making the user experience even better in StatusNet 1.0.

Themer Survey

I've done a lot of writing and a lot of talking about how to theme Drupal. Even though it's already December, I'll be doing even more this year with presentations at Do It With Drupal and DrupalCamp Chicago. In 2010 I want to do EVEN more. I know that there still aren't really awesome opportunities for designers to learn the PHP they need to create awesome themes. I am going to help fix that by offering theming classes. I want them to be useful and I want them to be priced right. I've set up a quick survey and am looking to hear from designers and themers. People who fill out the survey will be entered in a draw to win a free, autographed copy of Front End Drupal AND an hour of tech support from me.

I want to win; take me to the themer survey!

Git for Teams

Git For Teams

Best selling title from O'Reilly media. Covers essential skills needed to use Git in a team environment.

Available from O'Reilly media, and better bookstores worldwide.

Collaborating with Git

Collaborating with Git

Practical how-to videos to get you, and your team, up and running with Git. A complementary video series for the book, Git for Teams.

Available from O'Reilly media.

Drupal User's Guide

Drupal User's Guide

Site building for Drupal 7. Includes in-depth information on Drupal's most popular site building modules, SEO and accessibility. Two complete case studies are included in the book along with the tools you'll need to build (almost) any Web site with Drupal.

Available from

Front End Drupal

Front End Drupal

The industry go-to for learning theming in Drupal 6. A great companion to Lullabot's book, Using Drupal.

Available from