Two new modules released: Nagios Looking Glass (nlg) and Yahoo Query Language API (yql)

You know, after getting code down, I find I can sleep again at night. It's like the scene in Fight Club after 'Jack' goes to the testicular cancer group and finds that he can sleep again. Well, I've had similar elation, but from finishing 4-12 projects at work (depending on how you count), and releasing 2 modules on drupal.org over the last 2 days.

The first module I released was the Nagios Looking Glass module. This module builds off the good work by Andy Shellam for the plugin he wrote for Nagios. It allows for viewing Nagois data, but filtering it and limiting it, as well as templating it. Now, the issue is that Andy packed a lot into one plugin. The great thing about using Drupal is that we can separate out the theming logic and let Drupal handle that. For now, I have implemented theming in the module, but only created 1 template file, nlg-overview-page.tpl.php This allows for theming a block that delivers the Nagios Looking Glass data. Part of the roadmap here will be to recreate the 8 or so templating files in the original plugin as template files in Drupal. This way we can let Drupal's theme system handle the the theming, and thus let themers do what they do best without having to worry about PHP code. Vice-versa, those who want to just view the data without screwing around with templating can also use the functions in an easier way. In short, I deleted a lot of code from the plugin, and I intend to delete a lot more to get down to the bare essentials and remove unneeded dependencies.

The Nagios Looking Glass module came out of a development effort I put in at work for our system status module. It's the second open-sourced module to come from my work at SF State. This is why I really appreciate the service side of the Drupal community. It has been fairly easy to make the case for the benefits of letting me use my time to contribute back modules, but I digress. Granted, still a number of personal hours went into the module. I hope that I can steward it towards being a robust solution for viewing Nagios data from within Drupal.

Up next was the Yahoo Query Language (YQL) API module. I started using YQL after becoming a co-maintainer on the upcoming_event module and giving it a 6.x. release. The YQL API module is intended to be a solution for allowing module developers to easily incorporate YQL functions/queries into their modules. Their was a clear use case presented to me when I started using the Autotagging module. At first, I tried OpenCalais, but kept experiencing bugs. Bugs which others reported as well in IRC and in the issue queues. Frustrated, I turned to "Yahoo Terms" only to find it was being shutdown and in need of a port. And thus the YQL API module was born, along with its first plugin module, yql_autotagging which comes along with the YQL module. Just turn this puppy on along with yql and autotagging modules and you have automatically tagged content goodness. Does it feel sweet, oh yes it does. Well, unless you run into a bug, then it probably hurts, but in that case go file an issue in the issue queue! =D

Among other developments over the past month, I wrote an upgrade that started the Better formats module towards a D7 release. I also put a lot of work into updating http://www.drupalcalifornia.com (and presented on it at January's SF DUG meetup). SF State also saw its implementation of a robust highly-available system for deploying Drupal sites for campus users (thanks to me and my fellow co-developer Nat "Superkid" Supakit). The completion of this and other projects allows me to move on to my new position with Kiva with a clear conscience knowing that Drupal will continue to flourish at SF State. It's a snowball that I built up and kept pushing down the mountain. Now, it has gained the momentum it needs to roll on its own.

If all this sounds like I am tooting my own horn a bit much, well truth is that I am. I've worked hard the last few months on Drupal. Though, there are lots of other people working hard on Drupal as well, and well deserve a little recognition. I sent Earl Miles a couple of gifts off of his Amazon wish list to show my appreciation for his hard work. You should consider giving back to him and other module and core developers as well. Remember, DrupalCon is next month so lots of developers are going to be working hard. Show the love, whether Amazon gifts, or paying module bounties, or even as simple as just buying someone a coffee, or logging into IRC and answering some questions. Drupal is only as good as the community that supports it.

Comments

US Dep't of Energy's E-Center

Hi! I'm fascinated by your Nagios Looking Glass module. I'm working on a project for the US Dep't of Energy called E-Center (https://cdcvs.fnal.gov/redmine/projects/ecenter/) which probably shares more than a few similarities with NLG. Specifically, we've built a web services interface to a distributed network testing and measurement framework (PerfSONAR / PerfSONAR-pS) and a Drupal integration for the web service.

Thanks for writing this module: I suspect we'll probably quickly integrate NLG to provide Nagios data from sites in our tool.

Are you coming to DrupalCon Chicago?

Hey =). Thanks for the

Hey =). Thanks for the feedback. Yep, I'll be at DrupalCon, just put up my badge. We should talk considering we both have gov audiences. I'd be very interested in seeing more of what you guys have, along with I could share with you guys our particular implementation, which has some more features beyond just NLG. I do caution, the NLG module is in an early state. It works, and we are using a version of it in production, but it will need some TLC to get it to a recommended release state.

Excellent!

Oh, I should have noticed the huge "I'm attending" button on the side on the page. Talk about selective seeing. There's a "public" testing site for our project (it's all public science, so it is non-classified and actually by law must be accessible to the public) that will be in a demo-able state by Drupalcon.

I live in Chicago; if you are in town the sunday before or after DrupalCon, you could swing by FreeGeek Chicago (http://freegeekchicago.org) and we could grab a cup o' coffee or beer and rap about this. After a conversation about NLG with my boss this morning, I'm quite sure DOE would be willing to allocate a few of my hours later in the spring to contributing to NLG to use as a secondary service provided by E-Center (there's a network diagnostic tool as well as user-customized dashboard which pulls data from a variety of sources, like planned maintenance calendars, etc).

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