Where have you been?

It's been a long time again, very long. A lot has changed too, so here goes...

First of all: I got a job in February. It's not the greatest thing, but getting something really nice is hard right now. At least it relieves us a bit from the huge financial burden we'd otherwise have. Another small job at my university, where I worked for only 4 hours each week, is ending this month. I'll have my last paycheck from there soon, unfortunately.

I've also prepared the tContact Drupal module for release. The code has been slightly improved, which is always good. There's also another mini-module for Drupal which allows you to add CSS classes to menu links. This makes it easier for a theme to turn a menu into a series of buttons, similar to the menu at the top of this site (Home/About/Contact). Right now this site uses the menu item's ID number, which is somewhat random. With this module such menus are just a little harder to break :) I hope both modules will land on Drupal.org soon.

What else? KidDraw of course. A few months ago already, I've cleaned up a lot of code, made it a little bit themeable (which resulted in removing a whole lot of code). I've also changed the file loading/saving structures around so that the files KidDraw produces are nice straightforward XML files. They're compressed to save some disk space, but it means that compatibility with future and past versions is much easier. Still, a release is not in sight right now, and I'll stop predicting/hoping anything right now. First I've got some other stuff to finish and wrap up, before I can focus on KidDraw a little more again.

I'm also working on some supersecret projects with Rosana, which has taken some time off of other projects. It has inspired me to write the menu CSS classes module mentioned above though.

Another technical bit I worked on this past weekend is merging all the (5) Drupal installations on this webserver to a single centralized installation. Before, a new version of Drupal would mean updating each site separately: putting the site in maintenance mode, uploading files, updating the database and turning the site back online. Times 5. Right now: Put all sites in maintenance mode, upload files, update all databases, put them all back online. I've set up bookmark folders in Firefox so I can put all sites into maintenance mode with just a few clicks. Same goes for updating and bringing them back online. A similar amount of effort is saved for updates of common modules among various sites. All in all: maintaining the sites is less painful - especially as the amount of Drupal sites we're running will soon grow.

That does mean that if you spot any errors (missing/broken images, links, etc): please contact me! I think I've most of them covered though.

And then there's University of course. It's taking a lot of my time right now, with this year's last set of exams just around the corner. Together with some more deadlines, it's a busy time right now.

The Sims 3 is also out, I've been playing it for a bit. Not much yet - too little time. The (Collector's Edition) box is shiny though.

Spore Galactic Adventures, the first real expansion for Spore, is due next week, and Thursday (18th) me and Rosana will be checking it out at EA Netherlands. A bit late for a preview, but it may just be early enough to get me excited about the game once again. I don't know all too much about it right now, so Wednesday evening I'll have to do some reading to catch up on it.

Finally: I'll be getting a new laptop this summer. After saving up for a long time, the €1000 offer from university (for a HP Elitebook 8530w) is in. I've filled in the form saying I want it, I'll have to pay up soon. I should be getting it around August. My current laptop (6 years old) just doesn't cut it anymore...

That's it for this rough summary of the past couple of months (project/work wise anyway). Until next time!