Episode 35: Jen Simmons on Drupal, experience design, and how designing websites has changed since 1996.

JEN SIMMONS is our guest today, January 20, 2011, in Episode No. 35 of The Big Web Show, co-hosted by Dan Benjamin. Tune in to 5by5.tv/live at 12:00 PM Eastern (new time!) to be part of the live recording.

Jen (jensimmons.com, @jensimmons), is a designer who builds stuff too. She designed and created the new default theme for Drupal 7, named Bartik. And she’s currently leading a movement to bring HTML5 to Drupal. Jen began using Drupal in early 2007, when it was frighteningly hard to use. She started creating websites in 1996, and used many flavors of technology over the years.

Besides designing for the web, Jen has 20 years experience designing for live performance and for print. She’s created seven-channel digital projections for an opera about Nikola Tesla. She’s created short films that toured the globe in film festivals. And she’s taught media arts to high school kids in San Antonio. Jen has a MFA in Film and Media Arts from Temple University, where she taught as an Adjunct Professor.

The Big Web Show (“Everything Web That Matters”) records live every Thursday at 12:00 PM Eastern. Edited episodes can be watched afterwards, often within hours of recording, via iTunes (audio feed | video feed) and the web. Subscribe and enjoy!

10 thoughts on “Episode 35: Jen Simmons on Drupal, experience design, and how designing websites has changed since 1996.

  1. Your link to Bartik says it was abandoned in Feb 2010, now obsolete. Has Drupal 7 been around that long? I’m new to Drupal, but I thought Drupal 7 was a relatively new development.

  2. @Daniel I have clarified that, it was the sandbox project used for development – since its in Drupal core now, there is no applicable project page anymore.

  3. Daniel — yeah, that is confusing, isn’t it? Bartik hasn’t been abandoned, the Bartik project space (as a separate space from Drupal itself) is not being used anymore.

    Originally, Bartik was first created on my computer. Then I put it on GitHub so people could collaborate on finishing it. But the Drupal community does it’s work together best on the drupal.org website, so I created and moved everything to a drupal.org theme project named Bartik. The new space included that page, an accompanying issue queue (ticketing system) where we could discuss things, and a place in the Drupal CVS repository for the code. We worked on Bartik in that project from Feb 2010 until July 2010, when Bartik was officially added to Drupal core. So that page has been abandoned. Bartik is actively maintained as part of Drupal. The code lives in Drupal 7, and any bugs that are filed go into the Drupal issue queue.

    Just another thing about The Drupal Way that only makes sense if you are inside. :( Rest assured, Bartik is alive and well and will live on for a long time. Drupal 7 was released on January 5, 2011. http://drupal.org/drupal-7.0

  4. I had an “A-ha” moment listening to The Big Web Show this morning on the train. I am a on-a-soapbox-web- standards- heralding Tech Writer in DC. I am expected to know how to “do” web and print…(Erin Kissane and Kristina Halvorson are goddesses)

    Part of the conversation was about a tool; although primitive and is Adobe Kool-AId, InDesign can export your para styles as CSS. It is called “Export to DreamWeaver”. There are a couple of interesting options in the following dialog boxes.

    Another feature (cant remember where it is) is to map para styles in ID to map to CSS declarations.

    There is als0 RoboHelp, it is not your fathers RoboHelp…its a full feature GUI that exports to ANYTHING…

    Sorry, there are more tools to shake a stick at…that is a problem…just dreaming, so I can get back to the content. Imagine that?

  5. Enjoyed Jen and the show. I really like Jeffrey’s “senior” moments – I can relate and it seems to humanize the broadcast for me.

    Now if Jen could just write a really good book on theming in Drupal …

  6. @Gus
    I’ve got a book up my sleeve! Just got to polish my outline and put it in front of some people and see if they are interested… perhaps you’ll see something available later this year or so. ;)

  7. @Jen … you said in the interview that you no longer use Dreamweaver … I’m curious about what tools you do use to edit CSS, Drupal templates, etc …

    Or anyone else for that matter. I’ve been searching for the best Dreamweaver replacement for a while, but haven’t found one I’m completely happy with.


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