News from Droplabs

Coders with a Cause at Droplabs: Uniting the Drupal and Time Banking Communities

  • Posted on: 2 May 2012
  • By: Christefano Reyes

This past Saturday, April 28th, Droplabs hosted a barn raising and code sprint for the Arroyo S.E.C.O. Time Bank community, which brought together regulars from Droplabs and the Downtown Los Angeles Drupal group with members of time banking communities from neighborhoods all over the Los Angeles area, including Echo Park, Mar Vista, Palms, Culver City and Arroyo Seco.

The time banks are non-profit community collectives with a mission to facilitate the cooperative exchange of goods and services among its hundreds of members. Since September 2011, the time banks have been using Drupal to manage their community website and currency system at For more about time banking and the features in Community Weaver, see our video from the Downtown LA Drupal meetup that was recorded in February, 2012:

There was something for everyone at this two-day event and we had a total of 26 people who attended one or both days. This was an excellent opportunity for the experienced developers in the Drupal community help mentor others into using Drupal's best practices for site development and getting some practical hands-on experience with the Features module.

We used the Features module and configuration-in-code methodology to help make feature development, maintenance and updates to their site much easier. The Features modules that we created are being prepared to share with TimeBanks USA, which will directly benefit the 370+ time banks that have their own sites that use the same Drupal distribution.

About the Barn Raising

After reviewing the agenda and task list, our group split into teams. The focus of one team, led by Ron Golan and Lee Vodra, was on reducing the organization's paper process and moving applications to join the time banks online using Webform.

In this photo, long-time Drupal developer Chris Paul led the team that created "Neighborhood" pages with Views, taxonomies and custom content types for the dozen or so communities that use a shared Community Weaver platform.

Banking on Drupal at the Echo Park Time Bank

  • Posted on: 12 March 2012
  • By: Christefano Reyes

In this presentation at the Downtown LA Drupal meetup on February 21, 2012, Autumn Rooney of the Echo Park Time Bank (@EPTimeBank) and Christefano Reyes (@christefano) of Exaltation of Larks (@LarksLA) presented on the concept and the practice of time banking and how Drupal is used in the organization to fully manage its currency system and economy.

As the recession and Occupy movement encourage people to reimagine work and how they get their needs met in the new economy, time banks are really catching on. Time Banking is a simple concept: you work for an hour, earn an hour credit, and spend an hour with someone in your time bank community. Time banks don't get penalized in benefit reductions or pay taxes because unlike market-based national currencies, time banks are more like charitable volunteering circles of mutual aid or relationship-based gift economies.

Autumn Rooney is a Los Angeles-based activist and community builder. In March, 2008, she co-founded the Echo Park Time Bank, a community collective whose purpose is to facilitate the cooperative exchange of goods and services among its hundreds of members. It's a pay-it-forward system that connects unmet needs with untapped resources. Recently, the Echo Park Time Bank migrated its time banking software to Community Weaver, a hosted Drupal platform provided by Time Banks USA, a non-profit that is dedicated to promoting and supporting time banking around the world.

Comments: Case Study

  • Posted on: 7 March 2012
  • By: Christefano Reyes

On November 14, 2011, the public radio program Marketplace from American Public Media — heard by more than 10 million people around the country each week — launched a new website built on top of our new Drupal 7 content management system.

At the Downtown LA Drupal meetup on January 17, 2012, at Droplabs, the team behind that project gave an "under-the-hood" tour of the site, shared its features and talked about about how it was made from concept to launch. Other topics of discussion included:

  • How to migrate 52,000 pieces of content from two different legacy CMSs into Drupal
  • How to change domains while moving to Drupal
  • How to increase your traffic instantly by 35 percent with search engine optimization and good planning
  • How to design and code for future enhancements
  • and, most importantly, what you should do differently

Presenters include: Matt Berger, Marketplace Digital Director; Paul Brent, Marketplace Interactive Designer; and Abhishek Taneja, Marketplace Lead Web Developer


Installation Profiles as an "Everything in Code" Development Process

  • Posted on: 5 March 2012
  • By: Christefano Reyes

It seems everyone is talking about using Features for "everything in code" development, but what about installation profiles? In this presentation at the Downtown LA Drupal meetup at Droplabs on October 18, 2011, Victor Kane presents how this oft-overlooked part of Drupal core is available to us all and provides the tools needed for successful, repeatable development and deployment.

Victor Kane (@victorkane) is an Drupal developer and trainer with deep roots in the Los Angeles Drupal community. He is the author of Leveraging Drupal: Getting Your Site Done Right. This presentation is a continuation of his articles on the subject at and


Field Collection in Drupal 7

  • Posted on: 2 March 2012
  • By: Christefano Reyes

Ashok Modi (@BTMash) presents on Field collection, a Drupal 7 module that provides a "field collection" field to which other fields can be attached. This video was recorded at the Downtown LA Drupal meetup at Droplabs on November 15, 2011.


AJAX and CCK Presentation by Steve Rifkin

  • Posted on: 1 March 2012
  • By: Christefano Reyes

In this presentation at the Downtown LA Drupal meetup at Droplabs on August 16, 2011, Steve Rifkin (@steverifkin) of Exaltation of Larks (@LarksLA), demonstrates the use of the Ajax module for Drupal. Steve defines a plugin to use with its API for both the module (PHP) and the Javascript API and demonstrates ajaxifying individual fields on a node that can be edited inline and then shows he did it.

If you've wished for inline editing on your Drupal website, this demonstration will be a good stepping stone for you.



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