andre's blog

Six reasons for Choosing Drupal

Its an exciting time in the world of Open Source CMS (Content/Community Management System). Today Drupal released version 6.0 of its award winning software. This release comes fast on the tails of last month's Joomla 1.5 release of their own popular CMS.

There has never been a better time to consider moving to an Open Source CMS solution. I can't speak to the specific strengths of Joomla or the other Open Source CMSs available, but if you are thinking of changing your web site management software or are just beginning your software search, consider the following about Drupal.

Drupal is Mature, Feature Rich, Secure, Supported, Widely Adopted and Free software.

Why should you care about these six strengths? Read on to find out.

February 13th 2008 7PM
By: andre



DrupalicomunnyI forgot that drupal planet picks up flickr images tagged with Drupal. So, as I write this, I know that the Drupal planet has already seen pictures of my fun little toy project. The Drupalicomunny (Drupal icon in Munny form).

The project represents two of my worlds colliding: Art Toys and Drupal

By day I hack Drupal for fun and profit. In my spare time I can sometimes be found browsing my local toy stores or online toy galleries.

The design is obviously the physical manifestation of Drupalicon - the beloved mascot and icon of the Drupal open source community. The icon is actually drop of water (Drupal is derived from the Dutch word "druppel", which means "drop" as in a water droplet.) But, I have always seen an alien invader in that icon... So, I decided to put him in a space suit and let him invade the physical world.

I have many more photos documenting the project. I will be posting them in a 'how to' so you can make a Drupalicomunny of your own.
[edit - The tutorial is now online see How to create a Drupal Icon Munny]

February 9th 2008 5AM
By: andre
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Drupal Association Organization Member

Drupal Association Organization Member

Be Circle is a Organization Member of the Drupal Association. This should NOT be filed under 'tooting one's own horn'. This should be filed under 'bringing attention to the Drupal Association'.

The Drupal Association is the non-profit corporate manifestation of the Drupal community. The Association pays for hardware upgrades required by to run. They also provide financial and logistical support for Drupal conferences around the world. For complete details on what the Drupal Association is about see the site at

December 31st 2007 12PM
By: andre
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Drupal's Greatest Asset

This month at the Toronto user's group meeting, Bob Fabian presented a talk on CIPS's (Canadian Information Processing Society) decision to convert their main site as well as 35+ regional sites to Drupal.

Neither Bob nor CIPS is a client of Be Circle, but the reason they choose Drupal was somewhat surprising. Upon reflection I think it is something I intuitively knew and couldn't help but write about it here.

So what lead to the decision? Why did CIPS choose Drupal? (I'll give you a clue: Its Drupal's greatest asset).

December 15th 2007 5AM
By: andre
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2007 Drupal Summer of Code results

Earlier this week the 2007 Drupal Summer of Code results were announced on

I just took a tour of some of the demo sites that feature the projects developed this year. All the projects prove to be exciting enhancements to the already great product that is Drupal. In this post I review some of my personal favourites from this years entries

August 24th 2007 7PM
By: andre


Combatting Spam in the world of Drupal

There is clear statistical evidence illustrating the rise in Drupal's popularity. Still, even without numbers it was easy to tell that Drupal was becoming widely adopted over a year ago. It was around that time that Drupal powered sites became the target of widespread comment spam. This post is about how to fight back against those spammers.

August 24th 2007 4PM
By: andre
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Transparency - the Naked Truth

Not too long ago I read an interesting series of articles in Wired magazine about the 'Naked' corporation. (see: Wired 15.04).

The main theme in the stories is that it is in an organization's self interest to be open and transparent about what they do and how they do it. Secrets are passé. In the world were communications are instantaneous and on-line social networks can spring up overnight, any secrets you thought you had can very quickly escape and become the topic du jour. Sometimes its not even 'secrets' that escape, but rather the truth behind half disclosures. It is naive to think that by only telling part of the story that the full story wont get out.

Still, every day you hear stories about companies that did something naughty/dumb/silly and didn't tell anyone about it. These stories are twice as embarrassing for the company because not only do people judge the company for its blunder, but also judge the 'cover up'.

So why not be up front. What have you really got to lose by being honest? Why not make your transparency, your nakedness, your willingness to share your successes and admit mistakes be your competitive advantage? Why not use the internet to tell your story - rather than have the internet tell it for you?

Is this thinking really so radical? I don't think so. This is the type of thinking that "Being Circle" is all about.


June 2nd 2007 3AM
By: andre


Extending the power of WebFM

I've recently been doing some interesting work with the WebFM module.

WebFM is an AJAX file browser that can be used to manage files via the administration interface of your Drupal powered site. The file browser allows you to upload files, create and rename folders, rename existing files and - almost most importantly - allows you to re-organize your files. All these features are available via a drag and drop and 'right click' context menu interface. And of course, WebFM gives you the ability to attach any file to any number of Drupal nodes. And as an added bonus, if you move or rename a file, none of your attachments will break.

I was originally involved in the development of WebFM, but its really been Rob Milne that had done the majority of work on this great tool. Recently however, I've jumped back into its development as I've had to extend the functionality of WebFM to do a few more interesting things. As a result a few new developer features are available in WebFM that weren't there before. One is the ability for developers to add their own 'right click' context menus and define their own AJAX handlers for them. This is made possible by a new WebFM hook: extend_js.

May 31st 2007 1AM
By: andre
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