Story Content Types in Drupal

I’m working on Bookshelf again, and I am starting with a clean install of Panopoly over on The thing you have to understand is that the first thing I always do is create my basic taxonomies and content types. There are reasons for that.

  1. Everything I do revolves around these taxonomies and content types.
  2. They are the easiest things to take care of first.

So I create my taxonomies. These are the vocabularies that you ae going to use to define your content around your archive. Things like Literary Genres, Ratings, Series, Production Status, things of that nature.

Figure 1 – Genre Taxonomy

 I have to create these first as they are what I use to build up the Content Types for Writing Prompts and Story Front Pages. Those content types reference these term listings and need them as one continues through their archive process.

Also, creating my content types has to be done in an order as some have Entity References to others. Chapter Pages reference Story Front Pages, and Story Front Pages reference Writing Prompts. And while you can modify just HOW content types handle those references, you have to first create them before you can create those reference lists in views. Bit of a circular thing if you will. I’ll go into that more at a later time.

So I’m basically just creating basics right now. Things can get a lot more complicated or a lot simpler as time goes by, and I will get into that later. I’ve already spoken once on how to create structures stories and chapters in Drupal using Entity Refernce before and the User Content Management System I created. But I’ll discuss it again later probably with more depth and the like.

Let me know what you think.

Status Report on Projects!

Well, I figured I would give you some updates on a few projects I’ve been toying at as I’ve worked. I’m going to give you guys a status on it.

First up, Project Bookshelf is back on the table. I’m going to create a Project Page for it later, and drop some images. What Bookshelf is, is a Drupal based setup for story archiving. It’s basically what I’ve done on, and is being built on the Panopoly distribution of Drupal. It has three content types: Writing Prompts, Story Front Page, and Chapter Pages. It also has a panelized layout with Quick Tabs setup for user contributions and use content creation setup based on my user dashboard, built with Homebox. I’ll be working on that and getting it stable then asking the guys on the Drupal pages and groups how I would go about making this a good distro.

Project Snapping Turtle is still in planning stages. I have to figure out how I want to do this and start paying for things and saving up for plans and such. I will probably have to setup a GoFundMe Campaign on this for the basics and the most expensive parts of the build. I work in a Home Depot, so I know that a lot of structure should be easy, but I need to get tools and such as well. Not to mention the foundation trailer.

Which brings us to Fall Creek Campground and Brazos Banks Tiny House Communities. I’m going to want to do this first as they will provide experience and knowledge for the big project of Sunshine, TX. Sunshine however is going to require more than just money. It’s going to require commitment from you, the people. I’m going to want people to donate not just money, but themselves for that project. I want to build up enough of a population to incorporate as a real Texas town, and that needs legal work.

I’ve got all of this in mind, and if you are willing then I ask that you help out, either in cash or in moral support, or even experience if you have it that would be beneficial to all these projects. I WANT to prove a green ecofriendly town is possible. I want to do this and start with these projects. But projects of this magnitude require folk who believe to provide support, in some way shape or form.

So let me know what you think, comments are always welcome.

To Those Who Believe in Global Climate Change and Actually Have Money!

If you don’t believe in the theory of man-made climate change than this one isn’t for you. If you feel a lot of this is just panicking over something that is not proven you can read one of my other posts. You aren’t the one I’m talking to today. To those of you however who do believe that this science is proven out, that the evidence is conclusive, and unlike me actually have money to do something about it, this one if for you.

First off I don’t believe that Climate Change science is settled science. I don’t believe good science should EVER be considered settled. Good science is always in flux, always open to new information, always open to disproving. Settled science is frankly bad science in my opinion, and becomes less about data and experimentation and the Scientific Method and more about politics and belief. I do believe in moving towards solar and wind and other renewable energy sources, reducing if not completely rendering the use of fossil fuels obsolete, and doing what was can to improve the state of the world we live in. I’ll never say Climate Science is settled or absolute, because I don’t believe it should be. We must be willing to disprove hypothesis no matter what.

To those of you however who not only do agree that the science is there, but also have the cash to do something on a person level, this one is for you.

You need to do something about your own use.

If I had the cash for it I’d been living with solar panels and Tesla batteries, greywater irrigation for a yard, and composting all over the place. I however work part-time at a retail store. I don’t make enough to even have my own home.

Those of you who are much better off than me should however be leading by example.

If you lived in an upscale neighborhood in a drought stricken area and believe in Climate Change you should be replacing your grass with drought resistant plants and using your grey water. If you are in a higher tax braket then me you should be installing solar panels or wind turbines and storing that energy as well as putting it out on the grid. If you think the science is settled and have an address in a high priced zip code then you had better be pushing regs at your HOA that support ecologicaly friendly work.

Cause if you aren’t, you are a major part of the problem.

People who don’t want to change always point to the market, saying the market will decide. Which angers people who want these techs out there now. The problem is that YOU ARE THE MARKET!!! YOU Are who they are saying isn’t buying the ecofriendly options. You are the ones who demand these changes then go out and buy a gas guzzling muscle care or SUV, then bitch about it not being more efficiant. Why should companies put out things like that when you folks with the cash aren’t buying them?

Why should we have renewable energy when people in high priced areas don’t want a windmill or solar cell because of how it makes the area look?

If you have the money then you MUST follow through. I am not going to hold this against those who disagree with the idea of Climate Change. They don’t believe the science is solid, they don’t believe the data supports it, and they believe that tech will advance as it should and that is that. They aren’t the ones I’m holding accountable.

You guys however who do have the cash and the belief… why aren’t you leading by example and spending dollars for better options?

One of the things I want to do is build a town dedicated to these ideals here in Texas. I need cash and people willing to live, work, and build a life there. If you support the idea of renewable energy, green friendly building, and other eco options then you need to stand up and put your cash down on what you need to pull it off in your home, in your life.

Change like this doesn’t start with government and corporations. It begins with people.

The Farmers Market

“We are approaching Point Zankathie. Everyone get ready for customs,” William announced over the intercom. The merchant vessel, Bread Basket, Was in a way a large cylinder with rockets on the back and a cockpit on the front from the outside. The center of the ship however rotated, providing a gravity effect for everyone and thing within the vessel. Bread Basket was an Earth vessel, one of many privately owned merchant ships within the Terran Fleet. The news spoke most often of pirates and smugglers, enough so you would be understandably under the impression that that was the only type of ship Earth sent out aside from military cruisers and transports to hunt them. It did not talk about the families and groups who crossed the stars engaging in free trade and commerce, the simple folk who wanted nothing more than to make an honest living for themselves and their families.

There was nothing sexy about a flying farmers market. Bread Basket wasn’t even the only ship of its type. The interior cylinder of the Bread Basket was covered in hydroponic crops and trees. The oxygen produced by the various plants within the main ship made life support less of a worry. It helped that the entire ships systems were based around the farming area. It was only at most a mile long including the expanse of the engines propelling them through space and the control area up front. Due to the design, based off an O’Neil Cylinder, there was a modest sized farm carried in the ship.

Fresh fruits and vegetables were considered luxury items in most space stations due to how they were designed. Life support, docks for incoming and outgoing ships, equipment to relay signals across the known galaxy, and efficient quarters for personnel and their families had been considered more important.

They sold staples, but the thing that made most ships like Bread Basket so treasured to the various stations both of Human and Xenomorphic personnel were the more pleasant items. Fresh fruits, sweets, natural flowers, things of that nature. The chance for a walk through the interior of the ship was something wonderful for those who only saw the dull metal walls of a station. A self-contained world where one could almost be tricked into thinking they had set foot on a habitable planet. After months in space with nothing but the site of stars and bulkheads to fill ones time a walk through a beautiful park.

Considering how long most people were on these stations it was no wonder that you had children, teenagers, families there just for support. So the arrival of a ship like Bread Basket was also a time for couples to spend with each other in pleasant surroundings. It wasn’t unusual for the ship to make a little extra money with more recreational areas on their inner hull. It wasn’t too difficult to create a good sized lake with a small beach. Most of the ships water had to be reclaimed, and once it was purified from whatever it had been used from it was as safe as anything else. In space you recycled everything.

So while Bread Basket was docked at Point Zankathie there would be a constant stream of beings going back and forth, either for recreation or commerce. There was even a Wedding that had been scheduled for the stopover this time in the Forest. It wasn’t unusual, and Bread Basket had an Ordained Minister on board for just such an occasion.

Ships like her were a piece of the world flying through the night, providing more than just supplies and cargo. They provided moments of peace, moments of joy, and moments of happiness. While the Destroyers and Carriers of the Terran Starfleet were the giants of the Galaxy, vessels like Bread Basket were its soul.

The Supreme Court Declares Gay Marriage Legal! Conan O’Brian Officiates Gay Wedding!

This will probably be my only contribution to the discussion/Massive Torrent of noise round yesterday’s Supreme Court Decision if only because I find it to be kick ass.

My position on Gay Marriage has always been along the lines of “I’m not Gay… I have bigger problems to deal with in my life.” Let’s be honest, if you don’t find people of the same sex desirable then this doesn’t change your life one damn bit, no matter what side you fall on the debate.

I think the thing that has made this such a hot button topic is because, regardless of the fact you could just go down to the court house to do the deed, Marriage is a deeply and heavily Religious ritual. It’s easy in this day and age for  lot of us to divorce ourselves from that truth, but it’s still there.

And if Marriage were still under the soul authority of a religious ritual then Amendment 1 would have to kick in. I’m sorry but that’s just how it is.

But it’s NOT a strictly religious thing anymore. Hasn’t been for a very long time. So Instead of Amendment 1 and the Separation Clause kicking in Amendment 14 and Equal Protection MUST kick in under the law. The legal institution must adhere to the Constitution, and Amendment 14 makes that clear.

You can argue about which level of our government has authority over the legal intuition as it relates to licenses, taxes, property, but at the end of the day Amendment 14 makes it clear that you can’t restrict it without a damned good reason. And because it’s two men or two women isn’t one of them.

The RELIGIOUS institution is still protected under Amendment 1, it has to be. The Separation clause is NOT a one way street where the Government can dictate the belief structure of a religion. If that were the case then we could legally tell any religion that they have to change their structure as the Government sees fit.

The Founders didn’t WANT the Government telling them how to worship, who to worship, or what not to believe in. It’s easy to think it was about keeping the Church out of our Government, but it was just as much about keeping the Government out of our faith. European countries of the time had state approved Religions, even if they were all just Offshoots of Christianity.

Much like the separate sects of Islam are today.

So as of now it’s the law of the land. Let us take the time to celebrate it, but not let this overwhelm what must happen next. WE still have what I call REAL problems in this country to debate, to discuss, and to try and find solutions for. We have discoveries to make, and schedules to keep. Some people just get to do so now as a recognized unit under the law that couldn’t Thursday when we all went to bed.

That’s my thought out of the way.


When man went into space, he started close to home. First he went to the moon. Then he traversed the black emptiness to Mars, Venus, and Saturn. Before the first hundred years of our expansion into the cosmos was finished, Humanity had found its way to over twenty new colony worlds. Our home star system, Sol, was packed to the brim. People, plain ordinary people, thrived in enclosed colonies and on the recently terraformed landscapes of what had once been our desolate neighbors. A lot of people spoke out against the geo-engineering programs. They said we didn’t have the right to modify other planets to what we wanted. No one took them seriously.

During this time, new laws were enacted protecting the sanctity of Earth’s precious ecosystem. Much like the days of sea faring explorers and conquerors, Man took from the world he knew and tried to make it apart of the worlds he found. It became illegal to remove things from Earth, like trees and exotic animals. The concern was that in an environment completely alien to them, that these flora and fauna would damage the new worlds. Much like plants that choked the life from fields in the Americas which were under control in their home countries.

That doesn’t stop a lot of people. Even under strict controls, someone always finds a way to play the system. If someone wants a hundred year old redwood, and more importantly had the money to pay, then someone can be convinced to do the job. A lot of very rich people across several colony worlds wanted to transplant parts of Earth for their own enjoyment and status.

This lead to the practice of bio-poaching. In order for it to be profitable, entire acreages of land would be scooped up and placed in a ship. It would then be flown out of Sol, and buyers found for the various plants and animals in whatever star system they were headed for. It wasn’t unusual for someone like me to stumble upon the aftermath of such a theft.

I work in the forest of North America. What was once known as Park Rangers are now just called Rangers. We patrol the thriving forests and plains areas looking for such bio-poachers, as well as provide for the safety of the average person. It’s lonely work, perhaps one ranger per thousand acres of forest. We don’t catch a lot of bio-poachers honestly. As long as they don’t take more than an acre at a time, they can be in and out before one of us is even there.

Therein lies part of the problem. The higher-ups have more than once begged Vienna to increase our resources. It always gets caught up in committee, or the funding just isn’t there. Reminds me of why I took this job in the first place. Because I couldn’t stand people, and even here on Earth I could escape all of it in the trees.

My name is Marcus Wayne. I used to be a part of the greater world. I had a wife and a daughter. The bitch got most everything in the divorce. She even won a “No Influence” order against me. One of the few changes in the family court law over the years. Since we could provide everything for our children at almost no real cost, child support was no longer required. The down side however was that you were denied any contact or influence over your child. The penalties for such a breach of the law were severe. I lost everything I really cared about. Until she turns eighteen my daughter, Susan, will never get to know me. That’s if she even cares enough to.

That was what drove me here. Here I couldn’t be reminded of that separation. I was separated from everything.

As I kept up my patrol I came across an acre of land that had been hit. I wrote it down on the datapad and sent in the report. An entire acre of forest, ground and all, had been taken. There was nothing left but a square hole in the ground that had to go down thirty feet. They had to take that much so they were able to keep the root systems of the plants intact. A dead tree doesn’t sell as much on Alpha Centauri or in the Sparta sector as a live one.

I really hoped that one day we’d be able to stop these guys. If we didn’t then we’d lose the whole planet to the greed of others. Only this time not through pollution of the environment, but by slow patchwork transplanting. A few of the alien races we encountered were more than happy with the idea. A weak Earth was one less threat they didn’t have to worry about.

If that was the only thing these bio-poachers did I would still be angered. But that’s not the only thing they provide to their buyers. Several alien races value humans for certain tasks. Slavery is alive and well out in the depths of the galaxy. Miner colonies worked by sentient aliens evolved from insects and reptiles. Avian sentients used for cargo transport and working farm lands. And those are the lucky ones.

I’ve heard stories from some of my fellow Rangers who went off-world. Stories of red light districts on some alien world where children are bought and sold. Some cultures consider a girl a women the moment she can conceive a child. There aren’t many that hold to the human laws that link maturity to chronological age. Human females are especially valued. No scales, rocks, or any other appendages.

On Earth, women from developing countries trying to escape to a better life ended up forced into slavery as sex objects during the latter part of the twentieth and the beginning of the twenty-first centuries. It’s not much different now, only those looking for a better life find something worse than death. Drugs from other planets that subvert the conscious mind. Other drugs that enhance their senses, especially touch.

Then there are those that end up simply killed, valued not for what they are alive, but what they can be as spare parts. The genetic black market is another nightmare. DNA from every species known being traded and spliced together. Some even look back to the dormant genes of a million years ago, trying to find something interesting.

I hate to say it, but my taste for non-humans is as sour as it is for my own species. The only race we’ve encountered that fits the benevolent stereotype from old science fiction and fantasies are the Zancari. I’ve never met one, but their home world of Zancara Prime is said to be what Earth was only a hundred thousand years ago. Any sane sentient would call it a paradise. For now, they are the oldest space faring race we’ve encountered. The other races, older and younger, are not so benevolent in their ways.

I sometimes wonder if the miracle that is intelligence isn’t just a cosmic joke. For years people thought that anything that had mastered space travel had to be of high moral fiber. The other side of that were those who expected a full out invasion by an enslaving alien armada. Neither was true, but it was still a letdown to many. Finding out that the universe is for the most part untamed frontier and vast reaches filled with pirates and raiders hurt. Now we have people pillaging our world for the more impressive natural wonders in it.

I keep driving, damning whatever raider it was that just dumped a mountain of paperwork on my desk. There wasn’t much I could do about the acre that was gone. That didn’t mean I didn’t have to send in a supplementary report that indicated exactly how much was gone. Hopefully the department would get around to fixing that patch of ground in the near future. Where they would find tons of soil I didn’t know, didn’t frankly want to know.

Earth wasn’t the only planet that had this problem. You could find parts of various world scooped up and sold off part and parcel all over. There was even rumor that someone had taken a piece of most of the other worlds and created a patchwork planet. I’ll let the engineers figure that one out.

Frankly I don’t understand half of the technology behind the things we use in this world. I’m certain that scientists back only two hundred years ago would say everything here is virtually impossible. After all, the jeep I’m in has no wheels, just an anti-gravity field to keep it off the ground. Space ships and star fighters operate in ways I couldn’t even begin to explain. And don’t bother asking me to tell you how interstellar travel works. Like every other layman I just call it hyperspace and leave it at that.

It wasn’t always like this, I wasn’t always like this. I had always felt a need to serve my planet. Enlisted with the Marines when I had just finished high school. I believed in something more than just myself. I had faith in more than just myself. The part of the oath to defend against all threats foreign and domestic were more than words to me. I’m sad to say that the truth didn’t live up to the ideal. I didn’t live up to the ideal. Not really. I went and I killed the sentients I was ordered to kill. I tried to tell myself it was for the greater good. That I was a protector more than a butcher. It was a lie to help me sleep at night, even if it wasn’t as restful as I would like.

Maybe I deserved the life I’d ended up with. The loneliness, the cynicism, slowly fading away into eternity.

The sound of landing thrusters firing breaks me from this cycle of thought and forces me to look up. An atlas-class heavy cargo vessel slowly makes its way across the sky, the hull showing signs of heavy modification. The markings on its hull though are what tell me what I need to know. The picture of a snake eating the world. The mark of the Jormagard Pirates. One of the worst Bio-Poacher cartels. Scum of the universe, and they had to come to MY jurisdiction. Lucky me.

I pull out my radio, the real name being an Omni-purpose information pad or o-pip. Standard procedure in these cases is to call it in and provide enough information for a rapid deployment team to take care of the problem. They have the tools needed to take down a heavily armed pirate vessel. Theoretically at least.

A lot of us have been convinced that there are a few moles in the Defense Network. There really shouldn’t be a way for these thieves to get anywhere on the ground without It someone knowing about it. And all I could do was document it.

I took my o-pip and took images, documenting any identifying marks I could, and made sure to measure what was being taken. An acre when you think about it is pretty small after all. This one was mostly just a clearing and a couple of trees. Rather nice and picturesque all things considered. The pirates used laser cutters and energy field stabilizers to separate the segment of ground from the rest of the planet. It frankly would take over two hours to just cut through down to the base of the roots of the trees.

I doubt my report will be seen before tomorrow morning.

All I could do was observe them as they finished their work. I kept watch and out of sight for the better part of 6 hours. Then using an anti-gravity field and tether cables they pulled the segment from Earth and stored it in their cargo hold. I watched as yet another piece of our world was stolen from us. The hole would end up being filled with a combination of dirt from construction and organic waste material that had been composted. Some grass seed and some saplings, over time the damage could be repaired. Over time.

I just pack up my gear, get back in my jeep, and head along on my way. All I could do was shake my head, and hope that eventually we’d either get these poachers, or at least stop pretending it wasn’t happening. But what can I do? I’ve got my own problems.

The Wandering Society

So I’ve got a few ideas for Tiny House Communities here in and around Granbury, TX. One of them involves building me a campground sort of thing where folk can drive up and get settled down for a few days or so. Nothing long term, just like a week’s vacation or something to that effect. It have a nice pool, and be an environmentally friendly as I could make it and still be legal. I’ve actually found a perfect spot locally for such a thing. IT be along Fall Creek Highway here, and would probably be open sometime next year if I were able to get everything I needed for zoning, licensing and all of it built. I have an overhead shot of the Region of Fall Creek I would want to try and build in.


I’m not sure if it’s the best, but I would want to preserve as much of the tree cover there as possible. That’s what I want for that idea, and I think it be an interesting setup. I still need to go to Hood County and ask folk there. Then there is the place near where I live that I think would be a nice spot for a Tiny House Community Semi-Long term.


There is a 30 acre spot in there that is all trees and for sale. I think if things were done properly you could fit a nice green Tiny House community there. Once again the goal is to do so with as little environmental impact as possible. This piece of land is $270,000 plus applicable taxes. But Boy would it be a love spot to create a small community on. Also it goes straight down to the Brazos River so there is a spot to build a recreation area for everyone. I’ll probably be starting up the GoFundMe Campaign to start my Tiny House here in a week or so, and I’m going to try and keep it for the really big things like appliances and toilet and such. But I have this idea and I’m wanting to know who is up for it. If so you’ll have your chance to contribute here once I create the project page. Laters!


“You know, you are wasting oxygen.”

It was an interesting thing, weightlessness. When you just hang there in the vastness watching the whole of the universe as you slowly drift. The cargo vessel U.S.S. Bounty was drifting through space near the Carina Nebula, almost ten-thousand light-years from Earth. The outer colonies this far out needed cargo haulers to almost constantly move needed goods from planet to planet, mostly medicines and food. The occasional super-carrier or Military convoy would come out with newer technology and terraforming equipment for the colonies.

But at the moment, Bill was just drifting next to the ship, an umbilical cable feeding him power and air the only thing keeping him from floating out into the eternal black. He had been working on a drive plate, ensuring it as properly secured. He had just finished putting his tools up and rotating in the zero gravity in order to return to the safety of the ship when he caught the view.

“You should come in now, we don’t have any other work to be done out there.”

Bill just sighed as he took in the sight. The sound of Officer Hastings voice grating on his nerves. Alec Hastings was not very interested in the universe around him. All he cared about was getting to their next destination, unloaded, then back on course for wherever was next. No time to take in the grandeur of the Universe they passed through.

“Just taking a moment to admire the scenery,” Bill said, slowly starting to make his way to the airlock along his umbilical line.

“There is no scenery, just dust and rock.”

Bill just shook his head. Hastings just couldn’t appreciate the true beauty of the expanse of space. Everything was just dust, rock, or maybe ice if you had a comet. How someone like that could end up on a long haul freight like this and not be able to appreciate the natural wonder puzzled him.

He was just reaching the airlock when he turned and took one last look. It was just as he turn that he saw it. A once in a lifetime occurrence. All of the sudden, in the dust of the nebula a new point of light emerged. IT was dim at first, but slowly grew brighter and brighter until Bill could see it very clearly, illuminating the nebula from within.

The birth of a new star. Maybe one day a new sun.

The event was so moving, so astounding that Bill couldn’t even think of how to put it into words. The Spark of new light in the darkness was such an event, never before witnessed but known to occur. Bill shed a single tear at the beauty of what had occurred before him.

“Get in, I want to increase speed by ten percent. Maybe cut some time off our trip.”

And of course Hastings had to ruin the moment. Back to the grindstone.

Face the Darkness, but Enjoy the Light

It is often said that a man must face his greater darkness. If that is the case, then a society to must on occasion face the darker parts of its nature. Unfortunately while confronting that darkness, it’s easy to lose sight of the light. We have seen horror this week in Charleston, and we’ve once again been driven to ask why this is happening in our world. While this sociological introspection is needed, it is important to not lose ourselves down that path.

The Gunman with nine people’s blood on his hands has been caught, and he will be held accountable for his crimes. Depressingly enough he seems not proud, but he doesn’t regret what he did. He wanted to start a Second Civil War, a Race War. Yet, he has not succeeded. Sure, there will be those on the fringes of all sides using this to push one agenda or another. But I would rather focus on what I’m seeing all around us.

We’re seeing not an onslaught of violence against others but a show of support for the innocent fallen. Not a loud public demand for others blood, but words of forgiveness and prayer by those most hurt. It is this we should look at, and this we should embrace. Over the last six months we’ve seen brutal Violence and Rioting break out in Major cities, yet I see now building being burned in Charleston tonight. Instead, from my home in Texas, I see people gathered in Prayer. I see people discussing why things are so bad, and frankly, I don’t think it really is. We SEE bad, yet we must also accept the good.

Our co-workers who we stand next to day in and day out and never even think about anything other than how they are doing. Our friends and neighbors who have always shared our streets with us in the cities, suburbs, towns. We really don’t treat people poorly. Look to the people around you, and ask not what makes you different, but what has bound you together over the weeks.

For those who have died, they have passed on into the next world, where the Color of their skin, no longer truly matters. For those of us left behind we look to try and heal our communities, while trying to make sure things like this don’t happen. But we aren’t alone, or as divided as one would want to believe. We are all together, driven by common purpose.

Ask yourself when was the last time you judged a person by the color of their skin instead of the strength of their character, it doesn’t matter what race you are. Ask yourself that question. I’ll bet most of the time the answer is you don’t really.

May God help heal those who suffered the most, and protect those now in his hands. And for the rest of us, let us stand together and live as friends, and not be divided as those who commit these acts would want us to be.

Sharing of Knowledge

I’m a member of the Reddit group r/hfy and lately we’ve been a bit concerned for how things have been going. So one of the group mods is creating a separate website. I’ve used Drupal a lot so I’m consulting with him on it, going to see what I can do to help the process. Of course that leads me to ponder the general truth of how we share what we know. Our experiences and our skills we haven’t been trained in, that we just pick up as we go along.

It’s interesting to note that he was starting things in a similar way as I was, but I already have hit several pitfalls that I can hopefully prevent him from falling into. Future proofing the layout and site structure for the upcoming Drupal 8, keeping the number of modules down while delivering the best experience possible, things of that nature.

Now, I’ve had a few things setup here over time that I’ve tried sharing out before. Its lead me to certain opinions of things. First you should always try and pick the right tool for the right jobs. A big community and content display system defiantly qualifies for a Drupal Build. I use WordPress for this page as it’s just me and no one else, but I wouldn’t trust it for Fanbards. And if anyone ever asks me I’ll tell them that exactly.

We all learn things over time. We gain skills, abilities, and even tricks that help us out for procedures we try and create. We also, can and always have, share these tricks with others when needed. Its how things have been passed down for Centuries, from Master to Apprentice. We document them as SOP’s, Rules of Thumb, Tips and Tricks, all of those things. You find it all over forums and help pages. It’s almost as if it’s a need for us all. If you have a problem, you ask for help. When you figure out a problem you share your solution for those who might benefit. It doesn’t always work that way, and there may in fact be folks who don’t share their knowledge, but it’s very few people these days.

I’ve started using word processors to create all my articles instead of just writing in the cms I’m in. I get the benefits of Spell check and all of the other things that come with using a full on word proc. I didn’t before, but I do now. I got some help from the guys in the Drupal group on LinkedIn on how I should lay out a how-to article with all of my information. That was interesting to say the least.

The point is, we try and help where we can, and share our knowledge to help those around us. I think it’s basically something we just do. We only horde knowledge when it’s to protect ourselves, our groups, and to have some advantage over adversaries intending us harm. Within our communities we are free and clear to give everything we know away.