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All entries filed under “EECI 2012”

EECI Sold to Turner Parscale

Today it was announced that Turner Parscale, a partnership that invests in web technologies, purchased “the assets and rights to EECI.”

In short, this means that EECI will go on and it is backed by a company that has the resources to continue EECI and grow it. And the new owner (Brad Parscale of DevDemon) is right from our community.

I will reiterate what I said in the press release: I am very excited by this. I wasn’t sure if anyone would take on organizing EECI again because of the capital investment required to reserve conference spaces, hotel room blocks and more. I know I couldn’t do it.

Here’s the entire press release:

San Antonio TX – Oct 26, 2012 - Turner Parscale LLC, a technology investment firm, has purchased the assets and rights to EECI, the Community run conference for ExpressionEngine and CodeIgniter conference, from Whoooz! Webmedia for an undisclosed amount.

Turner Parscale, a partnership funded by Tom O. Turner and Brad Parscale, invests in emerging web content technologies.  Brad is the President of Giles-Parscale, Inc and DevDemon Add-Ons.  Tom is the CEO of Pisces LP, a San Antonio-based private equity and venture capital firm. His portfolio includes Akimbo Financial,, which he co-founded in 2009.

Brad Parscale stated, “It is exciting to take over the reins for the EECI Conference. Turner Parscale’s goal is to make EECI the best conference it can be.  We have already started to plan for amazing things in 2013.”

Turner Parscale is actively searching for and investing in web content technologies and sees the ExpressionEngine community as a highly successful source for growth opportunities.

Ryan Irelan with Mijingo said, “After the last EECI in Horseshoe Bay, Texas, I wasn’t sure if someone would take over and continue running a large community event every year. I’m excited that the conference is again going to be run by someone from the community. Large multi-day conferences take a lot of time and resources to put on. It’s exciting that Brad and his team are taking over EECI.”

For more information:

Posted on Oct 26, 2012 by Ryan Irelan

Filed Under: Conferences, EECI 2012

Blake Walters - Practical Tips For Writing Custom Plugins

Blake Walters talked on “Practical Tips For Writing Custom Plugins”this morning at EECI.

He started off the presentation with this great quote:

EECI Helped Changed How I Build Sites.

I remember EECI in Brooklyn last year, where Matt Weinberg, Rob Sanchez, and many others highly emphasized jumping into the source code, and getting into add-on development.

This year Blake helps those who’ve never written add-ons, and those with little experience in add-on development, learn the very basics of getting started.

Compared to last EECI, Blake’s process for how he built sites changed:

  • New development workflow
  • Always up-to-date base install
  • Template partials approach
  • Custom add-on development

For those who don’t write add-ons, their first thought is to enable PHP in their templates. Here’s why you shouldn’t:

  • It’s notoriously slow
  • It’s not user friendly
  • It’s not at all portable
  • It locks you into a single parsing stage

When using PHP in templates, parsing on input and output are different. Blake shows us how each method is parsed in relation to when ExpressionEngine tags are parsed.

  1. PHP on Input
  2. ExpressionEngine Template Tag
  3. PHP on Output

So why would you want to build a custom plugin?

  • Flexible
  • Readability
  • Portability
  • Performance

Breaking down the tag:

exp:eeci:present style="keynote" parse="inward"
  • exp - magic
  • eeci - class
  • present - method
  • style, parse - parameters

Where can you go for information?

Places to go for info:

You can build add-ons as either:

  • Project Specific - One class, multiple methods for small site specific additions
  • Abstracted and Stand-Alone - An add-on with a primary goal, meant for reuse across the board.

ExpressionEngine is a platform we can build stuff on.

Blake then walked through the anatomy of a plugin. (It was really code heavy)

Here are his slides so you can see all the wonderful code.

Update: Blake has posted his code and examples on Github.

Posted on Oct 16, 2012 by Kyle Cotter

Filed Under: Conferences, EECI 2012

EECI 2012 Developer Round-Table

What do you get when you take Ryan Masuga, Mitchell Kimbrough, Brandon Kelly, Lodewijk Schutte, and Eric Lamb, and put them all in the same room? Hilariousness to say the least.

This developer round-table, moderated by the amazing, tall, and fantastic Ryan Irelan (I was paid to say that) was a source for hearing straight from the horses mouth about the world of add-on development.

Notable statements from the round table:

Q. “Have you considered reevaluating the price due to widespread adoption?”

We’re pretty much breaking even, with our sales and support, lowering them for more customers would increase support and not make it beneficial . - Brandon Kelly

Q. Is support something you’re concerned about?

All: Yes. Low: No. Support isn’t the main time hog at the moment.

Brandon and Mitchell have dedicated support staff.

Q. Is main support from newbies?

Pretty wide range. Some on a weekly basis. Easy to think their taking advantage. Then the others who have put a ton of effort into it, with the one little thing they can’t figure out. Majority, it’s newbies. - Brandon Kelly

We’re supporting people with complex problems, or supporting complex add-ons. Supporting edge cases. Doing it again, we’d release fewer things, simpler, more focused. 1/4 payroll dedicated to support - Mitchell Kimbrough

Q. Trends with numbers?

It’s not a steep curve. Things are flattening out. - Mitchell Kimbrough

We’ve been flat at every stage of the game. When I released Playa, week to week basis when selling it. When Pixel and Tonic came out it raised the ceiling. When we released Assets, the total revenue didn’t change at all. Matrix, Wygwam, Playa took a dip. - Brandon Kelly

Fairly flat. About a year ago, I saw a steady increase. That went on for about 9 months. About 2 months ago it’s gone down again. Too early to tell. - Low

Every time I have a record month, the next month it goes down, then the following it goes up. I don’t know what to make of that. - Eric Lamb

Q. About 2 years ago, add-on devs made the migration to ExpressionEngine 2. What do you see about the future of add-on development?

We have a pricing problem as a community. We need more and more difficult challenges to keep the team engaged. We want to build a bunch of difficult stuff. But the volume of sales and price point would support the stuff we want to do. Unless there is drastic change of core tool, not much else I can do. - Mitchell Kimbrough

There are things not possible at moment I currently work around. Better APIs with channel entries. But actually fetching channel entries [needs improving]. If I didn’t have to do this “hackish” trick, it’d be better. Really depends on what EllisLab’s priorities are at the moment. Would love custom field approach applied to categories and member fields. Really up to EllisLab. - Lodewijk Schutte

It’s a limited API. Holds us back from doing some of the cool stuff. The API is the problem. - Eric Lamb

5 years from now. At this point I have been releasing add-ons for 5 years. Back in 2007, ExpressionEngine back then was a lot more prominent in the workflow then it is today. Back then it was ExpressionEngine plus a few add-ons to fill in a couple gaps. Today, the add-ons have exploded, and you start with ExpressionEngine then build your site from there with add-ons. It doesn’t look like ExpressionEngine out of the box anymore. And that all happened in 5 years. So 5 years from now, the trend will continue. Like iOS the built-in software is nice, but it’s the apps that make it. And that’s probably the model that ExpressionEngine is looking at right now. 5 years from now we’ll be looking at ExpressionEngine as more of a platform and add-ons will be needed more and more. - Brandon Kelly

Q. I noticed add-ons need to work with each other more and more, how do you handle add-on compatibility?

My add-on expected something, another add-on expected something else. I don’t lose sleep over it. But when it comes up, the add-on community is great, they respond well. It’s always an easy fix, you kind of just work through it, it’s not really been a big problem for me. With Updater, for example, it was a simple fix, nothing that required me to do anything above and beyond. All these things come up anyhow, between ExpressionEngine versions. It’s the nature of development. - Eric Lamb

As far as proper compatibility, you have to add a couple of methods to your fieldtype, same thing with Matrix, Low Variables, etc you need to add a couple of methods. That’s kind of like writing an API. Emailed Brandon on what to do to make it work. Decided to name stuff generically so we can use the same hook. Try to keep it open. Always open for suggestions. - Lodewijk Schutte

Communication between developers is key, and strongly encouraged.

Q. How do you work with EL to make sure a new ExpressionEngine release doesn’t break functionality.

The lead time we get on a preview isn’t enough time for proper Q/A. Our library is too big. For add-on devs with 1,2, maybe 3 add-ons, the preview gives them enough time to update. - Mitchell Kimbrough

Q. Have you considered a different support model? - Rob Sanchez, Mighty Big Robot

Yeah, forum support is not sustainable. We want to help people succeed. Unfortunately, people sometimes take advantage of that. A team of three people, you spend all day catching up on support from the weekend. We have some ideas we’re considering. Moving more towards a private support model. Maybe, a pay per instance, monthly subscription. Then just pimp the community forums for people to go there to get help. It has to be adjusted. - Brandon Kelly

Q. When people don’t read, do you have a solution for getting these people support fast.

A lot of questions are RTFM type questions.

Again, I think that falls under the “people taking advantage of us” category. Maybe having to pay up front will make them think twice. - Brandon Kelly

And that’s a wrap.

Posted on Oct 15, 2012 by Kyle Cotter

Filed Under: Conferences, EECI 2012

Carl Crawley - Bootstrapping ExpressionEngine

Want to get a new ExpressionEngine project up and running in 26 seconds? Carl Crawley of Made By Hippo walked us through how to do just that.

Why is a bootstrap needed?

Carl listed three reasons:

  • Born from frustration of clients wanting quick turnaround times
  • Ability to setup environments for add-on development and testing
  • Maximize profits

Some main points from his presentation:

  • Only install what you need. ExpressionEngine comes with a few default modules you’ll most likely never use. So uninstall it.
  • Remove unnecessary themes, such as wiki themes, Corporate CP theme, etc.
  • Extract your config and database files to your “assets” folder for ease of access.
  • Disable tracking, change member trigger word, security preferences ,etc.

Now for the fun part. Carl has quite the setup for getting your new project up and running in no time.

He has a bash script that pulls your base install from the repo, sets up the database, handles renaming of system folders. sets permissions, and cleans up unnecessary files.

The best part, Carl has posted his bash script and standard config and database file. So, go check it out now! It’s certainly useful.

Posted on Oct 15, 2012 by Kyle Cotter

Filed Under: Conferences, EECI 2012

Ben Croker - With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility

Ben Croker, during the development track at EECI, showed a demo of a new ExpressionEngine add-on he has been working on.

“Continuum” allows for real time logging of how users interact with your ExpressionEngine sites. This add-on logs actions of users, be it visiting certain pages, filling out certain forms, and more. Continuum keeps track of it all.

Ben’s talk, geared towards add-on developers,highlights why you as an add-on developer need to be responsible in developing your add-ons.

Be it how you write your privacy policies, to how you follow the developer guidelines, the power is in your hands.

You need to think of ExpressionEngine as a platform, and your add-ons as a means to extend ExpressionEngine for the better. Adding hooks into your own add-ons for other developers to extend is a great point that has gained a lot of steam lately.

We make the assumption of how people will use our add-ons. And I don’t think we should.

The logic behind Continuum is built around a “progressive development”thinking pattern.

Continuum will be released at no charge in the near future.

Posted on Oct 15, 2012 by Kyle Cotter

Filed Under: Conferences, EECI 2012

Christopher Imrie - Blows Our Mind

So, Christopher Imrie just blew our minds, to say the least.

The typical project setup for Moresoda is something along the following:

  • Default EE Install
  • Git Version Controlled
  • Customized Config
  • Beanstalk with 3 Environments

Chris mentions that in development, features are created from the dev server, pushed to the staging server, and then to production. But, in terms of content, the flow is reversed.

Chris highlighted 5 typical ways to keep databases in sync:

  1. Duplicate the DB on each environment
  2. Migrate entire DB after each environment file updates
  3. Migrate relevant DB tables
  4. Staging and production server share the same DB
  5. Update the production server first, then migrate the DB downwards

Well, today Chris introduced a sixth way to handle content across environments.

Site Manager solves many of our problems.

Site Manager gives you the ability to see all your sites, view configuration information, and best of all, sync content structure between sites.

It’s literally a one click process for taking fields from your local dev install, and transferring them to production.

Site Manager Alpha will be live today, for free.

Update: Chris has posted the alpha to github.

Posted on Oct 15, 2012 by Kyle Cotter

Filed Under: Conferences, EECI 2012

Ryan Irelan - The Greatest Show on Earth

EECI 2012 is underway! And it’s off to a great start.

Ryan Irelan started the day off and talked about the circus that is the ExpressionEngine community.

The point of this talk was to promote the awesome that is the ExpressionEngine community.

Ryan makes an important point that I completely agree with:

As a community, be it through client services, add-ons, training, conferences, or whatever we do, we create great things and charge money that support the economy surrounded by ExpressionEngine.

There is an economy surrounded around ExpressionEngine, and it’s affected by each and everyone of us. So keep making awesome!

Our community’s goal is focused on creating a great and flexible CMS.

Ryan showcased great members of the community including:

  • Kurt Deutscher - Sustainable business model built around Non-profit organizations.
  • Ryan Masuga - Devot:ee.
  • Eric Lamb - add-on developer.
  • Mark Croxton - the black magic that is Stash (and SwitchEE).
  • Lea Alcantara and Emily Lewis - EE Podcast
  • E-commerce solutions - Cartthrob, Brilliant Retail, Store.

In conclusion Ryan ended with these points.

Go build it. Do great work. Don’t worry about anything else.

Stay tuned for more EECI updates.

Posted on Oct 15, 2012 by Kyle Cotter

Filed Under: Conferences, EECI 2012

EECI Shuttle Information

Robert sent a tweet out regarding shuttle information for arriving EECI attendees.

Pickup location is outside exit #1 which is across baggage claim #1. Be their at given times.

Look forward to seeing you all!

There’s more information on the conference site. Double check your flights and double check the bus schedule and hopefully everything goes as planned.

Posted on Oct 13, 2012 by Kyle Cotter

Filed Under: Conferences, EECI 2012

EECI - The Final Countdown

In less than seven days, Austin, Texas will be home to some of the nerdiest people alive.

The final conference of the EECI series will be taking place at the Horseshoe Bay Resort October 15-17.

There is still time for you to come!

The speaker lineup is amazing! From Carl Smith of nGen Works, to EE Insider’s own Ryan Irelan. You’re in for a treat.

You’ll also be able to catch up with some of the folks at EllisLab.

So hop to it, if you haven’t already, and we hope to see you all there.

Something to pump you up:

Posted on Oct 08, 2012 by Kyle Cotter

Filed Under: Conferences, EECI 2012

Who From EllisLab is Attending EECI?

EECI, the event all the cool kids are going to, is less than a month away! There’s still time to get your ticket! Come on, it’s at a resort! Learn. Relax. And rejuvenate.

You may be wondering who from EllisLab will be at EECI? Well, ponder no longer. Derek Jones has informed us of all the EllisLab team members coming down to Austin.

  • Leslie Camacho
  • Derek Jones
  • Lisa Wess
  • Kevin Cupp
  • Kevin Smith
  • Dan Decker (who let this guy come?)

They’re all fantastic people, and I look forward to catching up with them, as should you.

Derek also enlightens us on why the Horseshoe Bay Resort is such a great place. So, check out the full blog post.

See you all in Austin!

Posted on Sep 24, 2012 by Kyle Cotter

Filed Under: Conferences, EECI 2012

EE Podcast Live at EECI

Derek Jones reminded us in a blog post that Lea and Emily will be hosting a live version of the EE Podcast at next month’s EECI.

This special live show will be a fun end cap to the two day conference, starting with a chance to win some prizes by playing an ExpressionEngine themed quiz show. Is your buzzer finger ready? You must be in attendance to participate!

And there will be prizes. Don’t miss it!

Aren’t registered for EECI? Shame on you. I’ll be there along with a great group of people. Join us! Register now.

Posted on Sep 14, 2012 by Ryan Irelan

Filed Under: Conferences, EECI 2012

EECI Next Month: See you there!

EECI 2012 US is quickly approaching. It takes place October 15th and 16th at Horseshoe Bay Resort just outside of Austin, TX. In the beautiful Texas hill country you’ll be able to meet other members of the community, hear great talks, learn about ExpressionEngine and experience the resort.

The hotel rooms are inexpensive (only $169) and Austin is easy to fly to from almost anywhere in the USA. If you have family, bring them! They can enjoy the activities and amenities at the resort while you attend the conference.

The conference schedule is still being finalized (including a topic from this guy), but you can see that it’s shaping up to be a conference packed with informative, helpful talks.

I’ll be there and you should be, too. Tickets are available now for only $250.

What are you waiting for?

Posted on Sep 05, 2012 by Ryan Irelan

Filed Under: Conferences, EECI 2012

Add-on Developers Roundtable at EECI

Opening up the first day of the developers track at EECI in October is the Developers Roundtable. The topic will be “the future of EE add-on development.”

The roundtable will be hosted by me and will feature Ryan Masuga, Low Schutte, Brandon Kelly and some more developers that will be announced.

Don’t have a conference ticket yet? Get yours now.

Posted on Aug 17, 2012 by Ryan Irelan

Filed Under: Conferences, EECI 2012

EECI Developer Track Speakers Announced

Yesterday, the EECI developer track speakers were announced. The remaining talks are scheduled to be posted today.

The speakers will be:

  • Carl Crawley
  • Ben Croker
  • Brian Litzinger
  • Patrick Pohler
  • Lodewijk Schutte
  • Matt Weinberg

As I’m writing this one developer track talk was posted. It is Ben Croker’s talk called: With Great Power Come Great Responsibility. Ben will talk about how “we have a responsibility to write good code that will not compromise the security and integrity of the CMS and that will not conflict with or break other add-ons.”

The developer track will take place each of the two days starting after lunch for a total of 6 hours of sessions.

Tickets are still on sale for EECI. See you there?

Posted on Aug 15, 2012 by Ryan Irelan

Filed Under: Conferences, EECI 2012

Submit Your ExpressionEngine Hacks

Lowell Kitchen is presenting a talk at EECI in October and he wants your help. He posted to Twitter about a simple survey on your experience hacking the ExpressionEngine core files.

Do you have something Lowell can include in his talk? Fill out the survey and let him know!

Posted on Aug 08, 2012 by Ryan Irelan

Filed Under: Conferences, EECI 2012, Development Tools