While Scott was coordinating the Denver Drupal meetup's annual Drupalgames, Jason was on the opposite side of the globe visiting the Hong Kong Drupal user group. But despite the differences in language (the Hong Kong Drupal user group predominantly speaks English, but occasionally Cantonese is used), it was reassuring to see that the community is very similar to the Denver community: we're all passionate about Drupal, face the same challenges in building Drupal sites and we all love pizza and beer!
The Hong Kong meetup was hosted by CNNgo at their Quarry Bay offices and began with a round of introductions. Following the introductions and some technical difficulties in connecting to the projector, Jason presented on "Using Views Programatically." The presentation covered a bit about how to use the Chaos Tool Exporter (a submodule of Chaos Tools) to move Views from the database into code, which can offer the benefits of easier backups (file system backups instead of database dumps), views revisioning through file based version control (git, svn, etc.), and decreased load on the database. Next, the presentation discussed using Views templates to adjust the data display of views. Finally, the presentation walked through the life cycle of a view, highlighting the hooks available in views and examples of when and how to best use them.
After the Views presentation, Brent discussed a bit about using the Date module and ways to provide better recurring date control through taxonomies. While the typical grid style calendar is common, it's often a less than optimal solution for websites because the grid limits the amount of information that can be displayed. Brent suggested using lists as a better solution, both from a display perspective, but also administratively because Views is primarily designed to display lists of information.
photo courtesy of Circle Lo
Following the meetup, the group headed to the East End Brewery for more Drupal discussion, peanuts, beer and socializing.
You may not have considered a Drupal meetup as part of your next vacation (particularly one in a foreign country), but perhaps you should. Attending a regional meetup other than where you live helps strengthen the global community and introduces you to new friends who share your love of Drupal. It also gives you a richer experience of your destination by offering a local's point of view. An extensive list of regional Drupal groups can be found on groups.drupal.org.