Commerce Authorize.Net Card Present is a new Drupal 7 module sponsored by Last Call Media that allows a Drupal website to accept payments by swiping a credit card through a USB credit card reader.
Developed to accompany Commerce Point of Sale (POS), another module sponsored by Last Call Media, Commerce Authorize.Net Card Present can be used in conjunction with Commerce POS to set up a fully functional Point of Sale system in Drupal 7.
For more information on how to install and configure this module, please visit Commerce Authorize.Net Card Present's project page.
On the weekend of July 12-13, 2014 the Central NJ Drupal Group held a core sprint focusing on the upcoming release of Drupal 8. The sprint was attended a great group of Drupal enthusiasts from Chicago, Montreal, New York, Virginia, and of course New Jersey. We took over the Cowerks coworking space in Asbury Park, NJ for the two days and it provided us a fun space to work the day and night away on a variety of issues.
With only seven beta blockers remaining at the time of our sprint, two were on the top of our list of items to work on. Fifteen people participated in person, and the group made progress on two beta blockers (leading to core commits) as well as many other issues.
See the full recap for more details on participants, issues worked on and completed, and a photo gallery.
Have you ever wanted to show only selected information on a content type to anonymous users and more information to authenticated users? It turns out that you can use Display Suite to provide field-level permissions for an entity.
On Thursday, July 24th, we had a live webinar where we introduced Open Enterprise Intel. If you missed it, don't worry, we have the video right here as well as on YouTube available in HD.
... Read more
Acquia is constantly working to improve our service offerings, and that means cleaning up existing features and adding new ones that we know will make a big difference in people’s workflow for the better. Despite the scale of some of these improvements, they’re not always immediately visible at first glance, so I’ve taken a bit of time to highlight three recent ones.
start-stop-daemon is the classic tool on Debian and derived distributions to manage system background processes. A typical invokation from an initscript is as follows:start-stop-daemon \ --quiet \ --oknodo \ --start \ --pidfile /var/run/daemon.pid \ --exec /usr/sbin/daemon \ -- -c /etc/daemon.cfg -p /var/run/daemon.pid
The basic operation is that it will first check whether /usr/sbin/daemon is not running and, if not, execute /usr/sbin/daemon -c /etc/daemon.cfg -p /var/run/daemon.pid. This process then has the responsibility to daemonise itself and write the resulting process ID to /var/run/daemon.pid.
start-stop-daemon then waits until /var/run/daemon.pid has been created as the test of whether the service has actually started, raising an error if that doesn't happen.
(In practice, the locations of all these files are parameterised to prevent DRY violations.)Idempotency
By idempotence we are mostly concerned with repeated calls to /etc/init.d/daemon start not starting multiple versions of our daemon.
This might not seem to be particularly big issue at first but the increased adoption of stateless configuration management tools such as Ansible (which should be completely free to call start to ensure a started state) mean that one should be particularly careful of this apparent corner case.
In its usual operation, start-stop-daemon ensures only one instance of the daemon is running with the --exec parameter: if the specified pidfile exists and the PID it refers to is an "instance" of that executable, then it is assumed that the daemon is already running and another copy is not started. This is handled in the pid_is_exec method (source) - the /proc/$PID/exe symlink is resolved and checked against the value of --exec.Interpreted scripts
However, one case where this doesn't work is interpreted scripts. Lets look at what happens if /usr/sbin/daemon is such a script, eg. a file that starts:#!/usr/bin/env python # [..]
The problem this introduces is that /proc/$PID/exe now points to the interpreter instead, often with an essentially non-deterministic version suffix:$ ls -l /proc/14494/exe lrwxrwxrwx 1 www-data www-data 0 Jul 25 15:18 /proc/14494/exe -> /usr/bin/python2.7
When this process is examined using the --exec mechanism outlined above it will be rejected as an instance of /usr/sbin/daemon and therefore another instance of that daemon will be incorrectly started.--startas
The solution is to use the --startas parameter instead. This omits the /proc/$PID/exe check and merely tests whether a PID with that number is running:start-stop-daemon \ --quiet \ --oknodo \ --start \ --pidfile /var/run/daemon.pid \ --startas /usr/sbin/daemon \ -- -c /etc/daemon.cfg -p /var/run/daemon.pid
Whilst it is therefore less reliable (in that the PID found in the pidfile could actually be an entirely different process altogether) it's probably an acceptable trade-off against the case of running multiple instances of that daemon.
This danger can be ameliorated by using some of start-stop-daemon's other matching tests, such as --user or even --name.
DrupalCon Amsterdam: Growing the Community & the Project Through Grants, Scholarships, and Mentoring in Amsterdam
Grant and scholarship recipients have been selected for DrupalCon Amsterdam. We had a huge number of wonderful applicants, and selecting our grant and scholarship recipients was a challenge.
For applicants seeking grants, we focused on the importance of each candidate to the Drupal project and code as a whole. Scholarships, meanwhile, were awarded based on the impact or influence on the Drupal community and Drupal adoption that the person would have at their home region— though these were just a few of the many factors taken into account during the selection process.
We’re please to announce the following grant and scholarship recipients below:Grant Recipients
- Nathaniel (catch) Catchpole - United Kingdom
- Larry (Crell) Garfield - United States
- Dave (Dave Reid) Reid - United States
- David (David Hernández) Hernández Ruiz - Spain
- Dan (dcmul) Mulindwa - Uganda
- J Branson (j.branson) Skinner - United States
- Joël (joelpittet) Pittet - Canada
- Jose (Jose Reyero) Reyero - Spain
- Jeremy (jthorson) Thorson - Canada
- Kalpana (kgoel) Goel - United States
- Patrick (patrickd) Drotleff - Germany
- Brian (realityloop) Gilbert - Australia
- Ricardo (ricardoamaro) Amaro - Portugal
- Sébastien (SebCorbin) Corbin - France
- Shyamala (Shyamala) Rajaram - India
- Janez (slashrsm) Urevc - Slovenia
- Evgeniy (Spleshka) Maslovskiy - Belarus
- Tim (stpaultim) Erickson - United States
- Kristof (swentel) De Jaeger - Belgium
- Yves (yched) Chedemois - France
- Zsófi (zsofi.major) Major - Hungary
- Aldibier (aldibier) Morales - Colombia
- Alvaro (alvar0hurtad0) Hurtado - Spain
- Andrey (andypost) Postnikov - Russian Federation
- Carlos (camoa) Ospina - United States
- Luis Eduardo (edutrul) Yelaya Escobedo - Peru
- Grzegorz (grzegorz.bartman) Bartman - Poland
- Konstantin (konstantin.komelin) Komelin - Russian Federation
- Weber (Mac_Weber) Macedo - Brazil
- Ivan (rootwork) Boothe - United States
- Tanay (saitanay) Sai - India
- Shabana (Shabana Blackborder) Navas - India
- Tarek (tarekdj) Djebali - Tunisia
We’re excited to see all these great people at DrupalCon Amsterdam, and can’t wait to learn from them and make the project even better. When you see our grant and scholarship recipients around volunteering at the event or mentoring new sprinters, give them a high five for being amazing! And regardless of whether you’re receiving financial assistance or not, if you’re coming to DrupalCon, you can share you knowledge and help make Drupal even better too by signing up to become a mentor.
Growing the Drupal project can’t happen if our community doesn’t grow, too— and there’s no better way to help grow the community at DrupalCon Amsterdam than to give back by teaching new skills and ideas to basic, intermediate, and advanced Drupalers.
2014 has been a big year for dictaphones so far.
First, it was France and the secret recordings made by Patrick Buisson during the reign of President Sarkozy.
Then, a US court ordered the release of the confidential Boston College tapes, part of an oral history project. Originally, each participant had agreed their recording would only be released after their death. Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams was arrested and questioned over a period of 100 hours and released without charge.
Now Australia is taking its turn. In #dictagate down under, a senior political correspondent from a respected newspaper recorded (most likely with consent) some off-the-record comments of former conservative leader Ted Baillieu. Unfortunately, this journalist misplaced the dictaphone at the state conference of Baillieu's arch-rivals, the ALP. A scandal quickly errupted.Secure recording technology
There is no question that electronic voice recordings can be helpful for people, including journalists, researchers, call centers and many other purposes. However, the ease with which they can now be distributed is only dawning on people.
Twenty years ago, you would need to get the assistance of a radio or TV producer to disseminate such recordings so widely. Today there is email and social media. The Baillieu tapes were emailed directly to 400 people in a matter of minutes.
Just as technology brings new problems, it also brings solutions. Encryption is one of them.Is encryption worthwhile?
Coverage of the Snowden revelations has revealed that many popular security technologies are not one hundred percent safe. In each of these dictaphone cases, however, NSA-level expertise was not a factor. Even the most simplistic encryption would have caused endless frustration to the offenders who distributed the Baillieu tape.How can anybody be sure encryption is reliable?
Part of the problem is education. Everybody using the technology needs to be aware of the basic concepts, for example, public key cryptography.
Another big question mark is back doors. There is ongoing criticism of Apple iPhone/iPod devices and the many ways that their encryption can be easily disabled by Apple engineers and presumably many former staff, security personnel and others. The message is clear: proprietary, closed-source solutions should be avoided. Free and open source technologies are the alternative. If a company does not give you the source code, how can anybody independently audit their code for security? With encryption software, what use is it if nobody has verified it?What are the options?
However, given that the majority of people don't have a PhD in computer science or mathematics, are there convenient ways to get started with encryption?
Reading is a good start. The Code Book by Simon Singh (author of other popular science books like Fermat's Last Theorem) is very accessible, not classified and assumes no formal training in mathematics. Even for people who do know these topics inside out, it is a good book to share with friends and family.
The Guardian Project (no connection with Guardian Media of Edward Snowden fame) aims to provide a secure and easy to use selection of apps for pocket devices. This project has practical applications in business, journalism and politics alike.How should a secure dictaphone app work?
Dictaphone users typically need to take their dictaphones in the field, so there is a risk of losing it or having it stolen. A strong security solution in this situation may involve creating an RSA key pair on a home/office computer, keeping the private key on the home computer and putting the public key on the dictaphone device. Configured this way, the dictaphone will not be able to play back any of the recordings itself - the user will always have to copy them to the computer for decryption.
This is primarily a testing exercise. I moved my software release process and web page generation to a different host, and wanted to run through a release of a package to make sure that I got all the details right.
It's still a bit clunky, and I need to tweak the process, but it's close enough.
That said, there are a few minor changes in this module (which provides the minimum C glue required to do AFS operations from Perl — only the pieces that can't be duplicated by calling command-line programs). I'm improving the standardization of my Perl distributions, so I've moved NEWS to Changes and switched to the Lancaster Consensus environment variables for controlling testing. I also added some more pieces to the package metadata.
You can get the latest version from the AFS::PAG distribution page.
It has been a weekend in the spirit of headless Drupal, front-end optimizations and server side hacks. The result is I updated my blog to Drupal 8. Since you are reading this, it must mean it is live.
First let's start with the cold facts (almost chronologically ordered by request lifetime):
Other front-end technologies used that does not directly relate to the request itself:
Yeah, that's mostly just a novelty act. There is no real gain there. Quite the opposite, I have added some hacks to get around some limitations.
HHVM does not work very well with logged in users right now, but works alright for serving anonymous content.When I reload and look at the source code, there is no css loading. WAT?
Yeah, I am just assuming you remember the styles from last page load. Also, I have made it an image to have a 1 HTTP request CMS, right?No, really. How does that work?
The real magic is happening by checking if you as a user already have downloaded my page earlier. If you have, I don't need to serve you css, as far as I am concerned. You should have saved that last time, so I just take care of that.OK, so you use a cookie and save css in localstorage. Does that not screw with the varnish cache
Good question. I have some logic to internally rewrite the cached pages with a key to the same varnish hash. This way, all users trying to look at a css-less page with the css stored in localstorage will be served the same page, and php will not get touched.What a great idea!
Really? Are you really sure you have thought of all the limitations? Because they are many. But seeing as this is my personal tech blog, and I like to experiment, it went live anyway.Give us the code!
And since I am feeling pretty bad ass right now, let's end with Clint Eastwood as an animated gif.Tags:
So, well, that will be a long update as many things happened during the first half of 2014 when it comes at running, for me.
January: I was recovering from a fatigue fracture injury inherited from last races in 2013. As a consequence, I resumed running only on Jan 7th. Therefore I cancelled my participation to the "Semi Raid 28", an night orienteering raid of about 50-60km in southern neighbourhood of Paris. Instead, I actually offerred my help to organizers in collecting orienteering signs after the race (the longest one : 120km). So, I ended up spending over 24 hours running in woods and hunting down hidden signs with the same information than runners. My only advantage was that I was able to use my car to go from one point to another. Still, I ended up running over 70km in many small parts, often alone in the dark woods with my headlamp, on very muddy areas...and collecting nearly 80 huge signs.
February: Everything was going well and I for instance ran a great half-marathon in Bullion (south of Paris) in 1h3821" (great for a quite hilly race)....until I twisted my left ankle while running back from work. A quite severe twist, though no bone damage, thankfully. I had to stop running, again, for 3 years. Biking to/from work was the replacement activity....
March: I resumed running on March 10th, one week before a quite difficult trail race in my neighbourhood (30km "only" but up to 800 meters positive climb). That race was a preparation (and a test after the injury) for my 3rd participation to "Paris Ecotrail", a 80km trail race in woods of the South-West area of Paris, ending in the Eiffel Tower area. Indeed, both went very well, though I was very careful with my ankle. I finally broke my record at Ecotrail, finishing the race in 9h08 (to be compared to 9h36 last year and 11h15 the year before).
April: Paris marathon was scheduled one week after Ecotrail. Everybody will tell you that running a marathon one week after a 80km race is kinda crazy.....which is why I made it..:-). That was my 3rd Paris marathon and my 12th marathon overall. However, this year, no record in sight. The challenge was running the marathon....dressed as SpongeBob (you know me, right?). I actually had great fun doing that and was happy to get zillions of cheering all over the race, from the crowd. I finally completed the race in 4h30, which is, after all, not that far from the time of my very first marathon (4h12). The only drawback was that the succession of quite very long distance runs made my left knee suffer as it never happened before. As a consequence, I (again) had to stop running for nearly one month before we found that I was quite sensitive to pronation, which the succession of long and slow races made worse.
May: so finally afterthese (very) long weeks, I could gradually resume running, which finally culminated in mid-May with the 50km race "trail des Cerfs", in the Rambouillet Forest, closed to our place. This quite long but not too difficult trail race ("only" 800 meters positive climb overall) was completed in 5h16, which was completely unexpected, given the low training during the previous weeks.
June: no race during that month. The entire month was focused on preparing the Montagn'hard race of July 5th: so several training sessions with a lot of climbing either by running or by fast walking (nordic style) as well as downhill run training (always important for moutain trail).
July: the second "big peak" of my 2014 season was scheduled for July 5th: "La Montagn'hard", a moutain trail race close to Les Contamines in the neighbourhood of Chamonix, the french moutaineering Mekkah. "Only" 60 kilometers....but close to 5000 meters positive climb. Montagn'hard is among the thoughest moutain trail races in France and therefore a "must do" for trail runners. This race week-end includes also a 105km ultra-race, which is often said to be as hard, even maybe harder, than the very famous "Ultra Trail du Mont-Blanc" trail in Chamonix. Still, for my second only season in moutain trail running, I decided to be "wise" and stick with the "medium" version (after all, my experience, as of now with moutain trails were only two quite "short" ones). Needless to say, it has indeed been a GREAT race. The environment is wonderful ("Miage" side of the Mont-Blanc range), the race goes through great place (Col de Tricot, noticeably) and I made a great result by finishing80th out of 3250+ runners, in 12h18, while my target time was around 13 hours.
This is where I am now. Nearly one month after Montagn'hard, I'm deeply training for my next Big Goal: The "Sur la Trace des Ducs de Savoie" or "TDS", one of the 4 races of the Ultra Trail du Mont-Blanc week, in end August (during DebConf): 120km, nearly 7500m positive climp, between Courmayeur and Chamonix, through several passes, up to 2600m height. Yet another challenge: my first "over 24h" race, with a full night out in the moutains.
You'll certainly hear again from me about that...:-)
This is now the sixth edition of this report. Former editions:
So, here we are with the July 2014 version, sorted by the ratio of *active* developers per million population for each country.Act: number of active developers Dev: total number of developers A/M: number of active devels per million pop. D/M: number of devels per million pop. 2009: rank in 2009 2010: rank in 2010 2011: rank in 2011 (June) 2012: rank in 2012 (June) 2013: rank in 2012 (July) 2014: rank now Code Name Population Act Dev Dev Act/Million Dev/Million 2009 2010 June 2011 June 2012 July 2013 July 2014
fi Finland 5259250 19 31 3,61 5,89 1 1 1 1 1 1
ie Ireland 4670976 13 17 2,78 3,64 13 9 6 2 2 2
nz New Zealand 4331600 11 15 2,54 3,46 4 3 5 7 7 3 * mq Martinique 396404 1 1 2,52 2,52
3 4 4 4
se Sweden 9088728 22 37 2,42 4,07 3 6 7 5 5 5
ch Switzerland 7870134 19 29 2,41 3,68 2 2 2 3 3 6 * no Norway 4973029 11 14 2,21 2,82 5 4 4 6 6 7 * at Austria 8217280 18 29 2,19 3,53 6 8 10 10 10 8 * de Germany 81471834 164 235 2,01 2,88 7 7 9 9 8 9 * lu Luxemburg 503302 1 1 1,99 1,99 8 5 8 8 9 10 * fr France 65350000 101 131 1,55 2 12 12 11 11 11 11
au Australia 22607571 32 60 1,42 2,65 9 10 12 12 12 12
be Belgium 11071483 14 17 1,26 1,54 10 11 13 13 13 13
uk United-Kingdom 62698362 77 118 1,23 1,88 14 14 14 14 14 14
nl Netherlands 16728091 18 40 1,08 2,39 11 13 15 15 15 15
ca Canada 33476688 34 63 1,02 1,88 15 15 17 16 16 16
dk Denmark 5529888 5 10 0,9 1,81 17 17 16 17 17 17
es Spain 46754784 34 56 0,73 1,2 16 16 19 18 18 18
it Italy 59464644 36 52 0,61 0,87 23 22 22 19 19 19
hu Hungary 10076062 6 12 0,6 1,19 18 25 26 20 24 20 * cz Czech Rep 10190213 6 6 0,59 0,59 21 20 21 21 20 21 * us USA 313232044 175 382 0,56 1,22 19 21 25 24 22 22
il Israel 7740900 4 6 0,52 0,78 24 24 24 25 23 23
hr Croatia 4290612 2 2 0,47 0,47 20 18 18 26 25 24 * lv Latvia 2204708 1 1 0,45 0,45 26 26 27 27 26 25 * bg Bulgaria 7364570 3 3 0,41 0,41 25 23 23 23 27 26 * sg Singapore 5183700 2 2 0,39 0,39
33 33 27 * uy Uruguay 3477778 1 2 0,29 0,58 22 27 28 28 28 28
pl Poland 38441588 11 15 0,29 0,39 29 29 30 30 30 29 * jp Japan 127078679 36 52 0,28 0,41 30 28 29 29 29 30 * lt Lithuania 3535547 1 1 0,28 0,28 28 19 20 22 21 31 * gr Greece 10787690 3 4 0,28 0,37 33 38 34 35 35 32 * cr Costa Rica 4301712 1 1 0,23 0,23 31 30 31 31 31 33 * by Belarus 9577552 2 2 0,21 0,21 35 36 39 39 32 34 * ar Argentina 40677348 8 10 0,2 0,25 34 33 35 32 37 35 * pt Portugal 10561614 2 4 0,19 0,38 27 32 32 34 34 36 * sk Slovakia 5477038 1 1 0,18 0,18 32 31 33 36 36 37 * rs Serbia 7186862 1 1 0,14 0,14
tw Taiwan 23040040 3 3 0,13 0,13 37 34 37 37 39 39
br Brazil 192376496 18 21 0,09 0,11 36 35 38 38 40 40
cu Cuba 11241161 1 1 0,09 0,09
38 41 41 41 41
co Colombia 45566856 4 5 0,09 0,11 41 44 46 47 46 42 * kr South Korea 48754657 4 6 0,08 0,12 39 39 42 42 42 43 * gt Guatemala 13824463 1 1 0,07 0,07
43 44 * ec Ecuador 15007343 1 1 0,07 0,07
40 43 43 45 45
cl Chile 16746491 1 2 0,06 0,12 42 41 44 44 47 46 * za South Africa 50590000 3 10 0,06 0,2 38 48 48 48 48 47 * ru Russia 143030106 8 9 0,06 0,06 43 42 47 45 49 48 * mg Madagascar 21281844 1 1 0,05 0,05 44 37 40 40 50 49 * ro Romania 21904551 1 2 0,05 0,09 45 43 45 46 51 50 * ve Venezuela 28047938 1 1 0,04 0,04 40 45 50 49 44 51 * my Malaysia 28250000 1 1 0,04 0,04
49 50 52 52
pe Peru 29907003 1 1 0,03 0,03 46 46 51 51 53 53
tr Turkey 74724269 2 2 0,03 0,03 47 47 52 52 54 54
ua Ukraine 45134707 1 1 0,02 0,02 48 53 58 59 55 55
th Thailand 66720153 1 2 0,01 0,03 50 50 54 54 56 56
eg Egypt 80081093 1 3 0,01 0,04 51 51 55 55 57 57
mx Mexico 112336538 1 1 0,01 0,01 49 49 53 53 58 58
cn China 1344413526 10 14 0,01 0,01 53 53 57 56 59 59
in India 1210193422 8 9 0,01 0,01 52 52 56 57 60 60
sv El Salvador 7066403 0 1 0 0,14
36 58 61 61
969 1561 62,08%
A few interesting facts:
- New Zealand bumps from rank 7 to rank 3, thanks to one new active developer
- Switzerland loses one developer and goes donw to rank 6
- Norway also slightly goes down by losing one developer
- With two more developers, Austria climbs up to rank 8 and overtakes Germany...;-)
- Hungary climbs a little bit by gaining one developer
- Singapore doubles its number of developers from 1 to 2 and bumps from 33 to 27
- One rank up too for Poland that gained one developer
- Down to rank 31 for Lithuania by losing one developer
- Up to rank 32 for Greece with 4 developers instead of 3
- Argentina goes up by havign two more developers (it lost 2 last year)
- Up from 46 to 42 for Colombia by winning one more developer
- One more developer and Russia climps from 49 to 48
- One less for Venezuela that has only one developer left...:-(
- No new country this year. Less movement towards "the universal OS"?
- We have 12 more active Debian developers and 26 more developers overall. Less progression than last year
- The ratio of active developers increases is nearly stable though slightly decreasing
The last months I was busy with a friends art project. Today I'm very happy to announce that it went public on july 15th and is doing good so far.
Jule, the founder of Port of Art, approached me last summer, asking if I could help her building an online market place for artworks. Working primarily as a freelance Drupal developer, knowing that her budget is tight and that she is certainly not the first one with this idea, I hesitated. But I gave it a thought and after several meetings I agreed. I liked the idea and I liked Jules approach, that is very trusting and positive without being naive. I like good people ;) She also gave me the impression of being able to value constructive input, even if it means to change previous ideas. That is a good feature in clients!Basic ideas with a special flavor
The basic requirements were pretty simple:
- Content management for static content pages as well as for special content like the artworks that are sold on the site
- Search artworks by different filters
- Legal compliant checkout process
- Integration of external payment providers (limited to paypal for the moment being)
- Contact forms
- Multilingual content and communication
- Integration of social media
- Some map views for geo visualization
- SEO, customizability, ...
So far that was relatively straight forward and we all love Drupal for that.
But there were some special requirements too, that had a huge impact on my choice of modules to realize this with.
- Artworks don't integrate with a basic warehouse approach. Each one should be unique and can be bought only once. Therefor there was no need for a shopping cart either.
- Artworks can be bought for a fixed price or as an auction.
- Artworks under a certain price are not sold via the site, but instead the customer and the artist are put in touch directly and have to figure out the details independently of the platform.
- Artists should be able to upload their artworks, pay a fee to get them published and than manage the selling and delivery on their own.
- Artworks expire after a certain time that depends on the publishing fee that the artist is willing to pay.
- Once an artwork has been sold on the site, an additional fee has to be paid.
- Fully customizable e-mails
The main content is obviously the artwork. This is a node type with additional fields to represent attributes of an artwork. Then there are static pages, artschools, faqs and webforms. On the user side we have two frontend user roles for customers and artists that get enhanced using the Profile 2 module.Additional considerations
The situation that our development team was faced with: Small budget, tiny team (only 2 people), the project's concept still a little in the flux. The founder had no technical background or previous experience using Drupal but needed a customized shop system that she could actually manage after we finished the project and went on to other things. So one of the goals during development has always been to make things configurable. Special text at a certain page? Build a setting for that. A special criterion that controls logic during checkout? Don't hardcode it somewhere! Build a setting for that as it might change later and you don't want to change code for simple things. I love drupal for it's easy variable management and quick form building capabilities. Building an admin form to control certain behaviors takes rarely more then 10 minutes. Obviously there are things that you can't build that way, but when you can, do it. I feel much butter with it and the client loves it too because it gives him control.Conception and development process
One of the things I knew before, but that got confirmed again: Communication is the key. The client has never did a web project before. That meant that certain good practices and workflow, concerning the development process as well as the final product, were not clear to her. So we (the designer and me) spend a good amount of time helping her figure out what was realistic and which compromises needed to be done in order to deliver the product without cost explosion or an exagerated time frame. Being honest and communicating potential problems early on, as well as the clients openness towards constructive input, was something that attributed a lot to the perceived quality of the development process. Including the client in the development and design decisions also allowed us to educate her on the technical aspects of the product and raise awarness about technical implications, making her see advantages and restrictions in different areas that she didn't consider in the beginning.
We didn't formalize the process, but we ended up with some kind of agile development with three distinct roles: Conception and design by the client, frontend by the designer and backend logic and architecural design by me. That worked very good for us.
First, there is Rules. A crazy wonderland for workflow configuration that amazes me every time I look at it. But I've almost never used it. Call me old fashioned, but when business logic or complex relations must be build, I prefer to build them on my own. I want as much logic as possible in the code, not in the database. So for all the power Rules provide, I still prefer not to use it.
Then there is Commerce. We have never build a real-world website with it, so our experience was very limited. We thought about it. Very seriously. Then we decided against it. From todays perspective that was probably an error. But given the special requirements we were afraid of having to spent too much time customizing and altering the workflow that commerce proposes. This was more of a gut feeling. And at the end I'm not sure it was the right decision. We ended up with conceiving and building a full fledged product management incuding the purchase logic and payment. The obvious advantage when you write something like this on your own, is that you have a lot of fine grained control about flow and design. But the price is pretty high considering the amount of time necessary. At the end we have a considerable code base that needs to be maintained. So next time, I hope I'll remember this an give commerce a more in depth examination regarding the potential for the problem at hand.Crucial contrib modules / add ons
It's hardly necessary to mention, but we couldn't have build the site so easily without the usual candidates: Views, Webform, Better Exposed Filters, Address Field, CTools, i18n, References, Profile 2, Geofield, Global Redirect, Libraries, ...
The fantastic wookmark jquery plugin is responsible for the display of the central search component of the site. Our designer loves it!Some modules that got born or advanced
I build MEFIBS for this site. I had a need for that functionality before, but never quite as strong as this time, so I decided to solve it as a self contained module instead of hacking things together. Though there are some problems currently with a few new features that I added recently, it is already in production and doing pretty well. Have a look at the filter and sorting blocks on the artwork search page: . Two independant blocks without duplicating a views display or intensive custom form altering. That's pretty neat.
Hopefully the jQuery Update module will also profit. During development I ran into issues with the admin version feature introduced here: https://www.drupal.org/node/1524944. I wrote about it in jQuery version per theme. This resulted in a feature patch that is currently on a good way to get committed soon.
Another module I find myself using often is my sandbox module Mailer API. It's a bit cumbersome to use as a developer, but for the client it's perfect. She can customize practically every mail that will be send by the system. It's all on a single configuration page and supports multilingual setups. A test mail feature is also included to see what mails will look like. And a batch mailer that the client often uses to address a bunch of people. It's like very easy home made promotional mails in a consistent look and feel. Made the client happy.
For frontend eye candy we have build a jQuery plugin that is responsible for the collapsible checkbox filter elements in the left side bar.Some module discoveries
During the work on www.port-of-art.com I found some modules that I didn't know before.
The Form API Validation module allows you to simplify validation rules in custom forms, using predefined validation rules. And you can also add your own rules which we used for the price entry validation needed when artists publish their artworks.
The Physical Fields module provides fields for physical dimensions and for weight attributes. That was exactly what we needed for physical goods. It saved us the time to configure fields in field collections.Conclusion
At the end of the project I can say, that everyone involved has had a good and productive time and enjoyed the process and the result. The client is happy for all the things she can do with the site. Now she can concentrate on managing business and extending marketing. The designer was happy. Even if some of the design decisions might not have been the best ones looking at the requirements profile from today. I feel positive though that the system fully matches the clients expectations and that it'll be a valuable tool for developing her business. If the site manages to establish itself, it's more than probable that we would rebuild the system, at least some substantial pieces like the shop component.
We as the site builders are happy too. We feel that we have done a good job and that we managed to keep resources and expectations in balance. I would do it again, which always feels like a good measure.Category: Drupal Planet7.x
It's fair to say, on a fresh install the content authoring experience in Drupal needs improvement. WYSIWYG editors are often criticised for various reason such as the ugly HTML they are known to generate or the power they give users to mess up typography. While these are valid criticisms, there is definitely a right and wrong way configure these editors. Doing things the right way will empower users while keeping them safe from nasty pitfalls. Note: this guide assumes you're already familiar with a typical Drupal WYSIWYG setup.Provide a true WYSIWYG experience
It's important that a WYSWIYG editor represents exactly what appears on the front-end of your website. While it seems obvious, it's easy to ignore and has a big impact on a user's experience.
Our WYSWIYG stack is:
Unless you are over 60, you weren't promised flying cars. You were promised an oppressive cyberpunk dystopia. Here you go.
(Source: found in the soup)
Luckily the future today is still unwritten. Shape it well.
Concern Worldwide is a leading international humanitarian organization dedicated to tackling poverty and suffering in the world’s poorest countries. Their main website, www.concern.net, plays an important role in their fundraising process. It enables people from around the world to donate towards specific campaigns and ensure that their money is distributed to where it’s needed most.
SystemSeed has the wonderful opportunity of partnering with Concern in leveraging Drupal to power the Concern Worldwide platform for a number of years spanning all the way back to the days of Drupal 5. This particular site was upgraded to Drupal 7 in 2012 as part of a large platform refactor which aimed to consolidate all of Concern’s Drupal websites under a single common platform. We wrote about the transition from standalone sites in this case study.
Since then, we have been leading a large project to bring full responsiveness and optimisations across a wide spectrum of devices to all sites on that platform. Today (July 3, 2014) sees the completion of this project with the rollout of a fully responsive and adaptive theme layer, catering for its widest audience ever. In this case study, we’ll look at some of the components of this project, the processes, the challenges, the successes, and lessons learned along the way.Key modules/theme/distribution used: OmegaBreakpointsBreakpoint PanelsPictureInline Form ErrorsOrganizations involved: SystemSeedTeam members: mrfeltonrahulbileroblavfastangeljucallme
I have been asked to publish bug stats from time to time. Not exactly sure about the schedule yet, but I will try and stick to Fridays, as in the past; this is for the obvious reason that it makes historical data easier to compare. "Last Friday of each month" may or may not be too much. Time will tell.
The UDD bugs interface currently knows about the following release critical bugs:
- In Total:
- Affecting Jessie:
431 That's the number we need to get down to zero
before the release. They can be split in two big categories:
- Affecting Jessie and unstable:
383 Those need someone to find a fix, or to finish the
work to upload a fix to unstable:
- 44 bugs are tagged 'patch'. Please help by reviewing the patches, and (if you are a DD) by uploading them.
- 20 bugs are marked as done, but still affect unstable. This can happen due to missing builds on some architectures, for example. Help investigate!
- 319 bugs are neither tagged patch, nor marked done. Help make a first step towards resolution!
- Affecting Jessie only: 48 Those are already fixed in unstable, but the fix still needs to migrate to Jessie. You can help by submitting unblock requests for fixed packages, by investigating why packages do not migrate, or by reviewing submitted unblock requests.
- Affecting Jessie and unstable: 383 Those need someone to find a fix, or to finish the work to upload a fix to unstable:
- Affecting Jessie: 431 That's the number we need to get down to zero before the release. They can be split in two big categories:
So I am not kidding NavBar is literally the next step in Drupal navigation, it is being used in core for Drupal 8. This is great news because not only does it mean that the Drupal 8 core will contain some much needed improvements to the administration navigation scheme. Back end user improvements like this are perhaps the thing that makes me most excited about what Drupal 8 is bringing to the table. Lets look a little bit at NavBar.
What You Get
Pretty simply put NavBar gets you a responsive administration toolbar for your Drupal users. It really isn’t going to do anything for what your visitors see, but your content creators, site administrators, and even site builders will see this as a much welcomed change. NavBar is first and foremost completely responsive, and for those of you who use the traditional Drupal administration toolbar on your mobile phone oh boy are you excited. The standard Drupal 7 install, not to mention Drupal 6, doesn’t offer the most mobile friendly administrative experience. NavBar helps resolve this. NavBar also offers a more flexible navigation option. You are able to use NavBar at the top of your site above the header, or as a sidebar on the left hand side. The customization of the tool, really helps set it apart.
Not only is the mobile experience improved, but there is a much cleaner and professional looking image presented than the Drupal 7 administration menu. Though this might not seem like much, for those of us who build Drupal sites for clients this is a big deal. Image is everything, and it is tough to sell Drupal’s out of the box usability against WordPresses out of the box usability. We have a lot of admin usability improvements in our standard Drupal installation to help combat this, but now NavBar is another one. Users almost expect clean and friendly design, and now they can get it.
I am not going to lie, NavBar in its current state is a bit of installation work, but most people should be able to figure it out if they have a little understanding for how Drupal is structured.
The first step for me is downloading and installing the project. I think that drush is the best tool for installing and enabling projects like this, but particularly for NavBar I suggest installing the project before moving to some of the other steps. The reason is that once the project is installed and enabled it will put some indicators on your /admin/reports/status page that can really help you troubleshoot in the next steps.
Once the NavBar module is enabled, you can visit the site’s status report using the path above and notice that there are a three statuses now associated with NavBar, and this is where the fun comes in. NavBar requires the installation of three libraries (Modernizr, Backbone, and Underscore), and you may have them already installed, or at least some of them. Using the status page at this point will help you find out if you have them already installed and ready to run, or whether you need to install them.
If you find that you need to install them, the process isn’t all that complicated, there are some helpful guides on the project page that will point you in the right direction. Or give us a shout we would be happy to help. Essentially it is a matter of downloading the libraries, or cloning their respective repositories, and moving them to your libraries folder in the Drupal installation. The Modernizr library requires you to follow a link and download a specific minimized version of the library but there are specific instructions to follow on the project page to help guide you here, so I won’t reinvent the wheel here. The instructions are pretty thorough, and relatively simple.
Once you have the libraries installed you can disable your regular administration toolbar and you are off and running. If you follow those steps and still aren’t having any luck, the site status report is the best place to look. Most likely it is an error with the libraries that were installed, and that report will point you to which library is causing trouble, and maybe even what the problem is.
We have fallen in love with NavBar, and it has started making a huge impact on our clients and how well they like using Drupal. We highly suggest you use it.For more tips like these, follow us on social media or subscribe for free to our RSS feed and newsletter. You can also contact us directly or request a consultation.