Hodges' Model: Welcome to the QUAD: April 2009

- learn about the conceptual framework Hodges' model. A tool that can help integrate HEALTH and SOCIAL CARE, INFORMATICS and EDUCATION. The model is situated, facilitates person-centredness, integrated - holistic care and reflective practice. A new site using Drupal is an ongoing aim - the creation of a reflective workbench. Email: h2cmng @ yahoo.co.uk Welcome

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Issue 2, 2009 of The Cochrane Library

Issue 2, 2009 of The Cochrane Library is now available. Among the new and updated Cochrane Reviews you will find :

  • Homeopathic medicines for adverse effects of cancer treatments
  • Music for stress and anxiety reduction in coronary heart disease patients
  • Interventions for preventing falls in older people living in the community
  • Extraction of primary (baby) teeth for unerupted palatally displaced permanent canine teeth in children
  • Psychological therapies for the management of chronic pain
  • Topical treatments for chronic plaque psoriasis
  • Alcohol and drug screening of occupational drivers for preventing injury
  • And many more … www.thecochranelibrary.com
Some of these reviews have been highlighted in Evidence Podcasts and are free to access.

Please see the Release Notes for a summary of the updates in this issue. Users can also access our Highlights PDF to learn more about the findings of new and updated Cochrane Reviews.
The Cochrane Library

The Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions is now available in print format. It is published by John Wiley for The Cochrane Collaboration.

Editors: Julian P. T. Higgins MRC Biostatistics Unit, Cambridge, UK Sally Green Australasian Cochrane Centre, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia

There is a 25% discount for Cochrane Review authors and an information page for the book where authors can also order, with a prompt to enter their discount code.

Wiley authors are entitled to a 25% discount not only on their own titles, but on all Wiley books, when ordering either via the site, by phoning customer services or filling in any printed order forms.

Images and my source: John-Wiley mail-list

Monday, April 20, 2009

Cash Transactions : Care Continuity

In programming major applications such as finance there is a need to ensure within the transactions and the database operations that mistakes do not occur.

The classic example is a transfer between two accounts:

def transfer(from, to, amount)
It is vital that the above method (example provided by Tate and Hibbs) does not fail after the debit. In Rails the transaction method help to prevent 'digital accidents' as follows:
def transfer(from, to, amount)
  Account.transaction do
transaction is itself a method built into Rail's Active Record that helps to maintain the integrity of transactions. Which brings me to 'care'. ...

There are several blog posts here since you reach a stage in your career when the hard fought lessons of yesteryear have to be faced again but this time like after dinner wind.
There are many possible care transactions that arise.

Many have a specific context and frequently these are conjoined:
  • timing
  • relationships - trust
  • responsibility - transfer
  • care environment
  • record (paper, electronic)
As to care transaction consider these:
def transfer(from, to, care_plan)
 Care.transaction do

def transfer(from, to, day_care)
 Care.transaction do
Wherever, whenever, whatever and whoever your transactions involve, take care of them and remember in health and social care (esp.) outcomes add up.

Don't forget to look after the however: the information, the knowledge, the promises ....
def transfer(from, to, promise_plan_of_action)
 Care.transaction do
Reference: Bruce Tate, Curt Hibbs (2006) Ruby on Rails: Up and Running, O'Reilly, p.35.

Leadership Qualities Framework: individuals, teams, boards and systems

I've been catching up on some reading and according to Mike Cooke the (NHS) Leadership Qualities Framework includes vision, emotional intelligence and continued delivery of results. To which he adds:

'We need all three plus the marketing and political skills and some productive leadership skills thrown in. It is about balance in individuals, teams, boards and systems.'
So in Hodges' model then:


There is nothing special about this formulation whether as part of the Leadership Qualities Framework or Hodges' model. Individuals, teams, boards and systems are fundamental building blocks to any attempt to encapsulate and understand the world of local, regional and global health and much more besides.

Mike Cooke, Good Management: On Sizzling Leadership, HSJ, Jan 22, 2009, p.24.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Nursing as reverse engineering...

At Scotland on Rails last month one of the sessions included an example of Ruby code outlining a 'morning routine'. It comprised a series of tasks and sub-tasks all of which led to getting to work.

Much of the vital essentials of the code I cannot understand beyond some tentative inklings, but in the hope of learning I've re-hashed the accessible bits and turned it into a NursingRoutine. The output looks like this....

"Non-judgmental attitude"
"Universal positive regard"
"Basic counselling skills"
"Open mind"
"Meet person"
"Receive referral"
"assess person utilizing Hodges model"
"Create care plan"
"Meet physical needs"
"Meet interpersonal needs"
"Meet political care needs"
"Meet social care needs"
"Holistic care"
"Evaluate physical needs"
"Evaluate interpersonal needs"
"Evaluate social care needs"
"Evaluate political care needs"
"Evaluate care"

Something like nursing is obviously a much more complex routine than that implied above - that is because:

  • nursing is not [some - 'thing'];
  • nursing can be represented as a routine BUT;
  • nursing seeks to transcend the routine: emphasizing the personal, unique, the humanistic;
  • nursing is parallel and sequential;
In addition now we are about collaborative, multidisciplinary care that must factor in agreement (the care plan...), and patient reported outcome measures (PROMS). ...

In the meantime I need to exercise care trying to understand the program that produced the output (that could also be easily printed as a list). While this is not an example there is such a thing as obfuscated code, but surely not obfuscated nursing care?

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

ERCIM News 77 - special theme "Future Internet Technology"

The latest edition of ERCIM News has just been published at: http://ercim-news.ercim.org/

Special Theme: "Future Internet Technology"

The Internet is undoubtedly permeating and transforming all aspects of our economies and societies. It is a remarkable catalyst for creativity, collaboration and innovation and more broadly, for the development of our economies and societies. A few examples: in 1998, Google indexed 26 million web-pages, today it indexes 1 trillion; Within only five years, Facebook and MySpace have attracted each more than 100 million users world wide; user-generated content such as YouTube produced more than 73 billion streams in 2008; with around four billion mobile users world wide, the Internet is becoming more and more mobile and capable to support a range of new applications and services that were not foreseen in its original design. Read more...

My source: ERCIM - the European Research Consortium for Informatics and Mathematics - mailing list.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Defining e-Health

E-Health is a compound and dynamic term for people, health (and social) care education and delivery, organisations, information and communications technologies (ICT), infrastructures, policies and means combined to facilitate, measure and improve the intentions, actions and outcomes of health (and social) care.

In a nursing context people refers to patients, carers, nurses and public; means refers to partnerships plus funding ranging from the macro level of the public sector to personal budgets; intentions, actions and outcomes covers education, the nursing process, records, quantitative and qualitative metrics.

To be holistic metrics must incorporate safety, access, personal outcomes, benefits, integrated informatics and economics.

1st draft: (c) Peter Jones

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Book review: Drupal for Education and E-Learning

This is the third Drupal book I have reviewed [1] [2]. I've some experience of creating computer aided learning (CAL) programs back in the 1980s on the BBC microcomputer which were used in nurse education within the UK:

  • CAPA - Computer Aided Patient Assessment
  • The Nursing Process
  • Blood Groups
  • Shades of Grey
So I wondered how this review would run? In particular I pondered on the extent that Drupal provides not only educational resources, but data structures and means that lend themselves to creating interactive presentations and exercises. The presentations and exercises bit is important because back in the 80s (and earlier) many CAL efforts were nothing more than 'page turners'. Yes, back then I wanted to present text, but I also want to create exercises to make students reflect and think. Multimedia and the rise of i-Media which is both internet media and interactive media has changed all this. I am aware of Moodle, Blackboard plus others.... and need to understand where Drupal fits in to this educational armoury. There do seem to be moves to conjoin Drupal and Moodle in some way, but these seem stalled if not currently works in progress. If the first two books helped me learn the nuts and bolts of Drupal, then what would Bill Fitzgerald's book teach me about the nuts and bolts of Drupal in education and e-learning?

Chapter 1-3 are provide an easy to follow introduction to Drupal, installation, with more than sixty pages devoted to getting started. As with other Packt titles there are plenty of screenshots to support the text. In my copy one on page 30 is a bit dark as are a few others, but it still helps to get the gist across of what the user should be seeing. You can become blasé about introductions (and instruction manuals!), but Bill Fitzgerald does a great job. It is obvious that he has an instructor's flair for communicating, revealing details and perspectives with aplomb. One point I appreciated on page 52 'create new revision' and the default option which:

"... allows you to create wiki-like functionality; each time a piece of content is edited and saved, it creates a revision, and users with sufficient priviledges can view and revert older revisions."

There is an explanation on downloading, decompressing, uploading and installing themes and modules. There are (at least) two pivotal modules 'in' Drupal - CCK the Content Construction Kit and Views. Fitzgerald gives these the attention they deserve, introducing CCK on p. 54 (and to meet his plans the Links module). Bill runs through creating roles, and content types in the form of bookmark (chapter 3), a teacher blog and assignment (chapter 4). These are explained in four stages through pages 48-64:
  1. create the content type
  2. add fields
  3. assign taxonomy
  4. assign permissions
There is a non-trivial element to creating usable sites with Drupal and that is inclusion of a text editor. Bill uses the FCKeditor, the merits of various text editing solutions is much debated in Drupal circles. Pages 65 - 89 covers the creation of views:
  1. add a view
  2. set the defaults
  3. add a display type
The Views module is described with instructions on view creation over pages 65-89. I had heard how important these modules are to the Drupal community (and the users!) and it's obvious reading Bill's account just why these modules are a Drupaller's best friend. That is - once mastered. If not tamed completely the screenshots and notes here certainly make Views less of a challenge. As I write up the first half of this review and peek ahead I wonder if Bill can do the same for Organic Groups (OG)? Listening to a session at Drupalcon Szeged last summer OG seems a head full at least initially, or was that Panels?

The Views admin screenshot p.66 provides a helpful overview. The 'set the defaults' screenshot reveals the potential power of Views and its complexity for novices on first encounter. Bill Fitzgerald's readers will expect some labour so this is a reward rather than a problem. As educators know it is always a problem showing the mechanics of a computer-based process in a book, but this is very clear.

This is were my expectations of the book were not so much shattered as a realisation that I need to catch up with educational technology and the available forms of technical and social media. Students are tech-savvy, many come to courses prepared being users of mobile devices, social media and office applications. The book does focus on Drupal's ability to deliver the staple ingredients of interaction today:
  • student blogs
  • teacher blogs
  • comments
  • assignments with due dates
  • uploading various forms of media
Some modules become so ubiquitous to the Drupal community with their established functionality, reliability, stability and user base that if not already they can be elevated to 'core' in future releases; that is, they are included in the initial Drupal download. This is where the power and flexibility of Drupal comes in with the development and integration of additional modules and this can include educational and e-learning components. With this book I did get an early helpful sense of signposting, direction regards things I really need to address above and beyond fluency in Drupal.

On page 115 the need for sample content is raised. Content! This is what it is all about. On page 116 the create assignment figure refers to high level reflection - which made me reconsider content types and what you can achieve by keeping things simple. There is a tip on p. 118 about using node: title field for troubleshooting.

At this point in the book once again I wondered about 'instructional technology', Drupal, Moodle and Computer Aided Learning... I've created (but not deployed) a 12 item multiple choice test using HotPotatoes. In Drupal this could be a module so there is scope, the book is about Drupal's existing capacity for education and e-learning which can be extended through the core and additional modules. Specific user communities adopting Drupal have produced their own 'distributions'.

Cloning Views is a good way to learn CCK too p.123. Naming conventions in Drupal can be confusing as with the "Content: datetime: Due date (field_due_date)" example on page 128.

Chapter 5 on Enrolling Students advises you to create specific roles rather than use the authenticated user. This "provides additional level of security and flexibility" (p. 134) a key governance point, even though many academic applications may be operating within an educational establishment. In health we are increasingly 'involving patients, carers and the public' so in education parents can be invited to get involved, hence the flexibility of additional roles with the bonus of security. If admin seems a chore to you then this short chapter reveals the efficiency of Drupal which helps you to concentrate on the the essentials of a user centered site, content and experience.

On experience Fitzgerald cuations about accessibility that if students cannot publish quickly a site could be under used. The point about educational sites frequently being on-campus clearly helps with security concerns, for example e-mail confirmation of a new account may not be necessary p.138. There is reference to LDAP Lightweight Directory Access Protocol and other modules to assist with roles (p. 144); so it is well worth really thinking through your objectives and in this way I must doff my hat to Bill and other Drupal authors I have read.

In chapter 6 we clone the Teacher Blog to create a Student Blog. Views is used cloning the backlinks view as a means to see 'who is discussing what' p.149. This view isn't just repetition it extends the readers understanding of that encountered in chapters 3 and 4. There are some key points regards the subsequent updating of views as additional content types are added; and around differences in page display behaviour and that of blocks. On page 153 I struggled to find the checkbox for the illustration.

In chapter 7 Bookmarks Bill opts to use CCK to add bookmarks to the site. There are other ways and means - through the Bookmarks and Weblinks modules. My previous thoughts about Drupal in education and e-learning is illustrated by the example of Bookmarks to extend classroom activities. Again - keep things simple! A lesson here for me - which I've realised for quite some time is that there is little educational value in a collection of links for links sake as per the four links resources at Hodges' model. Links (bookmarks) are a tool and it is how they are used - the context of use that is important p.164. It is interesting how an educational interaction can quickly be established between an assigment and links. Here there is no need for complex programming or elaborated data structures.

Perhaps a little more could have been made of 'Learning Goals' p.166 even a separate chapter, but looking at the mounting page count and scope of Drupal this is for another book and the future. The Drupal community undoubtedly see Drupal as a key player so watch this space. There is a very full agenda that invites exploration and Drupal development.

Chapter 8 brings us to those content elements at the center of learners and student day-to-day learning and lives - podcasts and images p.169. On podcast production place the emphasis on content, don't get bogged down with the technical, hardware and software p.183. Accessibility and learning disability is acknowledged and project based learning. On imaging, Bill explains the relationship between Imagefield, Image API, Imagecache and Thickbox or Lightbox 2 is a gift. Detail is paid to to the Image module which is usually sufficient to meet most needs p.186. It is a subtle change but the differences between Image Module settings and admin/setting/image and Creating Gallaries p.189 admin/content/image is well worth noting.

Video in chapter 9 (pp. 195-213) is an area I know little about. This chapter made me want to learn more, and consider the possible student projects p.211 especially video bookends. Bill refers us to the work of Dan Meyer - a maths teacher - and the creation of video for specific educational goals. Drupal can also act asa hosting and processing platform for video p.212.

Chapter 10 Forums and Blogs is real bread and butter stuff. There is an informative explanation about forums and containers, and in structuring a forum the need to ensure it looks busy as soon as possible p.216. Chapter 11 is pivotal for community building - 'social networks and extending the user profile'. Firstly using the Core Profile module. There is something of a module managerie here as the Content Profile Module includes Content Profile User Registration module.

Unless I've missed a trick the illustration referred to on page 244 is three pages out being on 235 not page 238. The Content Profile User User Registration module adds the USer Registration fieldset. Once I found the correct screenshot to compare all was light and bright. Other modules for social networking and user profile are listed, with a customary closing summary for a chapter central to community building. As Bill states you want users to have a personal investment in the site p.245.

Chapter 12 brings us to 'Supporting Multiple Classes' with resort to Organic Groups and Organic Groups Vocabulary modules p.247. Attention is drawn to OG working closely with other modules particularly Panels and Notifications. Five pages in here and the utility of OG to the education and other communities is wholly apparent. It really is powerful. I could have done with reading this chapter indeed this book before attending Drupalcon. It would have served me better (rather obviously given my status) than reading Pro Drupal! Given the plethora of modules in Drupal there is a tip about duplicate functionality between OG and the core Tracker module.

For newbies to Drupal the heading "Adjusting your site to work with OG" could be read as "Adjusting your mindset to work with OG" The key as ever is content:

1. Content types that can be used to create group;
2. Content types that can be posted into groups;
3. Content types that are never posted into groups.

OG therefore prompts Bill to create the content types a Class and a Club. It is interesting that the OG fieldset refers to 'Wiki group post' with Wikis often posited as an educational tool. 'Instructor' and 'Teacher' refer to one role which threw me at first on page 256. Having content types and groups of course requires the creation of custom menus with some good insights on differentiation of navigation from other menus p.256-7. Strangely there is no mention of 'Wiki' in the otherwise comprehensive index. I believe the screenshot referred to on page 262 is that on page 260 and 261.

Views is so ubiquitous in Drupal that it is revisited in chapter 13, tracking student responses to assignments. Another module 'Coherent Access' may have a role to play in your site as Bill applies it to furnish private communication with students p.291. This mix of public and private communications bears due deliberation and is raised elsewhere in the book. Cross functionality recurs again with OG and the Coherent Access module, with work ongoing to resolve the issue in Drupal 7 (p. 293).

Beginning on page 297 chapter 14 on Themeing and User Interface Design was never going to be long. Beginners in turn are often flumoxed with primary and secondary menus in Drupal. Here Bill stresses the two principles for site design and the menus out of the box. Other modules e.g. Menu Block are discussed as a means of extending the primary menu options. Here you will learn about creating custom menus and the close relationship between menus and blocks - with the critical workflow of leaving a new menu empty initially - a key take home lesson. The explanation here on populating the primary links are a gift in their simplicity and yet their significance to a learner.

Chapter 15 covers cron, backup and maintenance with a recommended list of initial user names and passwords to document and store safely and separately. You think Bill might be tired on the final leg, but the explanation of backing up the codebase, contributed modules, files and use of the DB Maintenance module and database optimization is quite thorough. Awareness of the 'admin' side surely helps early on, and for Bill this includes knowing the status and efficiency of your database through the use of log files. Here you run full circle revisiting the structure of a Drupal site and the parts you need to backup, using PHPMyAdmin or the command line. Both PC, Mac and Linux variations are discussed p.342. Backup of a server site leads Fitzgerald to the creation and use of a test site for experiments with new modules and update procedures. No backup is complete without demonstrating the ability to recover your site. This chapter closes with short and detailed version of how to upgrade Drupal p.361.

The final chapter concerns a resource that is far from 'last' - How to work effectively in the Drupal community. Drupal.org is featured, the handbooks, becoming familiar with the issue queue, support forums and mailing lists. Drupal comes home so to speak with the groups, since there may be one near you.

I have really enjoyed this book and the sense of Drupal being established in education and keen to strengthen and extend its roots. Unfortunately, my reading has been rather broken, but this is a book I hope to use over the next few months. Those new to Drupal and not necessarily with an education or e-learning application in mind will also find much here to speed and ease their learning. As to my own learning the 80's was one thing the teenies will be another...

Additional link:

Drupal in Education Group

Acknowledgement: Thanks to Packt Publishing for the book copy.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Data sharing, privacy, health, citizenry.... "Database State"

In February (2009) I ventured that the degree of sensitivity that members of the public ascribe to their personal data is undergoing quite a change. This change is not without its own chaotic dynamic since the change is one of general laissez faire, until an individual finds themselves 'wronged'. Then watch the litigation flow. That initial laissez faire attitude may please some in government as it makes it easier to introduce yet more data farming, gathering, and harvesting legislation and join up what are usually (or should be) disparate data repositories.

I don't read the gutter press and 'lighter' forms of reading, but the exposé in such publications that include - as per the market 'requirement' - very personal data, information and knowledge must have an influence on how the populous view their own data? For health and social care professionals of course they had better continue to hold 'personal data' in the 'highest of esteem', especially in these digitally conjoined times.

Last month The Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust published a report "Database State" calling in question the legality of several public sector databases. The response to these findings is awaited. ...

Statebook logoMeanwhile the website Statebook seeks to parody and yet make a point about the changing data times we live in. Whilst in response to such a critique there are calls for independent oversight, the difficulty lies in ensuring such bodies are not dentally challenged....

Additional links:



Open Rights Group

Hodges' model: Political domain links

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

(Legacy ...) UK NHS Connecting for Health: Services and Systems

It is surprising what you can find behind an interface 'tab'. In doing some homework around e-Health, I came across this listing of 'Systems and Services' on the Connecting for Health website. It is a great springboard for exploration. Although public sector ICT is frequently the subject of media ire this listing brings home the complexity, diversity and scope of the ground breaking work that has and is being done. Add to this listing the 'research and development' effort also being undertaken elsewhere and despite the current economic climate there are some things to smile about.

Connecting for Health NHS title

Alphabetical: A to IAlphabetical: J to Z
  • Addressing
  • Blood safety tracking pilot
  • Capability & Capacity
  • Choose and Book
  • Clinical Dashboards
  • Data Services
  • Demographics
  • Deployment support
  • Education, Training and Development (ETD)
  • Electronic Prescription Service (EPS)
  • ePrescribing
  • GP Support
  • Health and Social Care Integration Programme
  • HealthSpace
  • Implementation
  • Independent Sector Healthcare Programme
  • Information Governance (IG)
  • N3 - The National Network
  • NHS Care Records Service (NHS CRS)
  • NHS Gateway
  • NHSmail
  • NHS Number
  • NHS Strategic Tracing Service (NSTS)
  • Pathology Messaging
  • Picture Archiving and Communications System (PACS)
  • Professionalising Health Informatics (PHI)
  • Registration Authorities and Smartcards
  • Research Capability Programme
  • Spine
  • Secondary Uses Service (SUS)
  • Systems & Service Delivery

My source: Connecting for Health

Friday, April 03, 2009

e-Learning Africa 2009: Learn, Share, Network

Hi Peter,

I just wanted to touch base with you and make sure you received the press release I sent Tuesday about eLearning Africa. The eLa event helps educators in Africa learn about a variety of distance learning tools they can use to help expand their educational systems at home. This year, the event will take place in Dakar. eLa is one of the largest educational events on the African continent.

eLa has is working on collecting donations to sponsor men and women from remote regions who would not otherwise be able to attend. If you think there might be any interest in doing a story on eLa, it would be wonderful. The attention you could bring to this program could really help out people from these countries who are striving to learn. Many people say an educated world will make a more peaceful world!

I look forward to hearing from you to see if you are interested.

To view a video from the (latest) conference, visit

Take care,
Sarah Ray - Hayes
Public Relations Consultant at eLearning Africa

Hi Sarah,

Sorry for the delay and many thanks for these details which as you can see I am helping to publicise here. I will also post to twitter. Should you and your colleagues wish to feature an item on W2tQ then I would be pleased to assist - especially something on e-learning and health in Africa.

Whilst not absolutely necessary if there is some way you can link back this would be greatly appreciated. Hodges model is an ideal resource in helping to integrate concepts and engage stakeholders across socio-technical realms, global health and new forms of media and learning.

Whilst I am being very selective about links (seeking sponsorship myself) given that the conference is annual I will add and maintain a link on the main website and blog. As the h2cm website and blog are personal initiatives I need plenty of notice 6 months and more ideally...

Best wishes to all the team there with your plans and efforts.

Peter Jones

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Scotland on Rails 2009

1 April mmm... while it is not yet self evident I should by now have an all singing and dancing website. In fact maybe I should have two, since the conference score is currently:

DRUPAL :1 (Drupalcon Szeged 2008) Ruby and Rails :2 (Scotland on Rails 2008 & 2009)

Having just returned from Edinburgh and three days of presentation magic - not only were the speakers experts and leaders they all knew how to present - it's time for me to reflect a little.

Jim WeirichI took something away from ALL the presentations as I attended 'a full stream' mostly the sessions in the main hall. Jim Weirich's session on Building Blocks of Modularity was very interesting informatically, holistically and clinically as he explained and referenced “connascence”:

An examination of the concept of “connascence” and building modular programs.

Connascence: n.
* The common birth of two or more at the same time; production of two or more together.
* That which is born or produced with another.
* The act of growing together.

Connascence: undoubtedly a concept to add to 'consilience'.

Whether using Drupal or Ruby - Rails I'm conscious that you can create a website very quickly. As already ack. here last summer in Hungary Dan and James advised that I get something together and publish the beta. On Saturday Steven A Bristol stressed the same:

  1. Identify the essential thing you have to offer through a website / application;
  2. do not wait until it is 'finished';
  3. - speaking of which are you a techie or designer? Find the partner(s) you need, people are rarely both;
  4. ensure you include a feedback mechanism - not just e-mail;
  5. and 'get it out there'.
In their session Kevin McDonagh and Joseph Wright added that it is a waste of time appealing to the World. Of course Kevin did not realise how painful it was for me to hear that, but since this is certainly true - I have appealed to the world - it was very therapeutic. Unlike Kevin and Joseph's Green Map as a Community Project I'm not sure if whether I can appeal to the local community (despite an interest in ecology).

Dave Thomas of the Pragmatic Programmers by Fraser Spiers at SoR 2009Like Drupal the Ruby community is a terrific group of people - welcoming, supportive, cohesive - a bunch of real humans. The charity tutorial day raised £7,000 for CHAS the Children’s Hospice Association Scotland.

After Dave Thomas presented a fascinating keynote on the Ruby Object Model, Erin Staniland and Tim Harding confirmed I've the basic building blocks in place to create and execute a Rails application on my MacBook.

Peter Jones at SoR March 2009 image by Fraser SpeirsI am hooked on Drupal and Ruby. Some of the keywords and structures in Ruby are dangerous in their appeal - more on this to follow...

Driving (ironically) back to NW England I realised Earth Hour was in progress, hopefully there will be another one. That night Orion was beautiful chasing a fresh smiling new moon along the way...

Images: thanks to SoR site and Fraser Spiers

P.S. Kevin - I owe you a beer towards the taxi Friday night!