Elsewhere

Acquia: Mike Meyers explains – Help Drupal and it will help you: contribute!

Planet Drupal - Wed, 10/09/2014 - 21:20

Michael E. Meyers, VP Large Scale Drupal at Acquia, knows better than most how contributing to the open source project you are relying on to build or improve your business will pay off. He and his team did just that when they successfully built and sold NowPublic.com – the first venture capital funded, Drupal-based startup – while making massive contributions to the Drupal project along the way.

He and I invite you not only to use Drupal, but also to make it better and to get involved with its community. If you're only using it without giving back, you're not getting the full benefit it could be giving you. Come to DrupalCon Amsterdam or an event near you and make a difference!

Categories: Elsewhere

Isovera Ideas & Insights: Drupal Commerce Tips: Implementing SimpleXML to Generate Invoice Files

Planet Drupal - Wed, 10/09/2014 - 20:46

Part 1 - Implementing SimpleXML to generate Invoice files

As part of the work with one of our E-Commerce clients it was a requirement to integrate with the RetailPro back-office tool.  While the following post is specific to the RetailPro files and system. This same techniques could easily be re-purposed to help integrate various other systems that require invoice files to be sent to a 3rd party system. 

Categories: Elsewhere

ThinkShout: Nonprofit Website Benchmarks

Planet Drupal - Wed, 10/09/2014 - 18:00

Your website is a unique snowflake with singular requirements. While there’s surely overlap, the make-up of your audience is different from every other site, because your mission – and the content you put on your website to support that mission – is different from every other nonprofit.

But you’ve probably wondered how your site compares to others. I know I’ve always wanted access to website benchmarks – some way to see if the trends I notice in our own dashboards are reflective of larger patterns.

Of course, benchmarks can be dangerous. If you obsess about them, the action becomes whatever the opposite of navel gazing is.

When you analyze the efficacy of your own website, you always need to consider it within the context of your own target audiences and organizational goals instead of worrying that your overall bounce rate is 4% higher than the "average."

After all, if your site has the profile of a news organization, with links to recent articles shared widely through third-party channels, you should expect a higher bounce rate: people come, consume, and leave. That might be okay! The goal of that content may have been to spread some news, not generate donations.

Benchmarks can inform us about larger trends, though, and it’s damned annoying that they’re so hard to find.

It’s been almost four years since Groundwire published its 2010 Website Benchmarks Report. (Fortunately, you can still download the PDF from a third-party site.) Since then, Google has discontinued its Analytics Benchmarks Report – and even the semi-useful newsletter that followed.

You can order a $395 report from Marketing Sherpas (PDF), which may or may not be helpful; I certainly didn’t buy it. KISSmetrics published an infographic about bounce rates a couple of years ago with some interesting data… that may have come from a 2006 post to a Yahoo group.

Pew Research recently released an interesting study comparing news sites, using aggregated data from ComScore. I love how they’ve analyzed visitor loyalty across segments, but rare is the nonprofit that’s going to share the content goals of CNN or NBC News.

On our side, there are a couple of stats of interest in the latest Benchmarks Study from M+R and NTEN and the 2013 Online Marketing Benchmark Study for Nonprofits from Blackbaud, but they’re mostly focused on traffic growth and donation page conversions.

At ThinkShout, because we start almost all of our engagements by exploring how our client’s audiences use their current website, we felt it would be important to have some point of comparison. To facilitate discussion around questions like "How much do we need to worry about mobile?" or “How can we convert the influx of new visitors into engaged users?”, we’ve aggregated the data we have available to us.

It seems only fair to share some of it.

This data is in no way reflective of the industry as whole, and it is very top-level. It represents fifteen organizations with diverse missions and traffic patterns, ranging from a few thousand sessions per month to more than 100,000. These are also generally organizations that have recognized the need to redesign their website.

With those caveats, we hope this data may help you understand that some of what you see in your own analytics may, in fact, be reflective of broader trends.

The following are three I see in the 37,000,000 pageviews we have access to.

Search Is the Ultimate Shortcut

Back in 2010, Groundwire found that search engines referred 55% of traffic to the nonprofit websites in their study. While we can’t do a direct comparison since the sites in question aren’t the same, I feel comfortable making the blanket statement that the trend is toward more traffic coming from search.

Here are the mean / median numbers since 2011:

  • 2011: 47.06% / 43.97%

  • 2012: 48.12% / 50.12%

  • 2013: 52.99% / 54.02%

So far in 2014, those numbers have increased to 55% (mean) / 60% (median).

That means, of course, that traffic from the other two legs of the standard triumvirate have dropped:

  • 2011: 22.04% / 22.13%

  • 2012: 23.08% / 20.28%

  • 2013: 18.67% / 17.00%

  • 2014 (to date): 16.18% / 13.98%

  • 2011: 28.87% / 24.76%

  • 2012: 26.81% / 20.75%

  • 2013: 25.36% / 21.42%

  • 2014 (to date): 25.82% / 19.75%

Essentially, the best home page ever created will not solve your problems, as your users are more and more likely to turn to search first to find what they’re looking for. Your information architecture must take into account the fact that the first page your visitors encounter may be deep in your website.

User Experience starts in the first place your users experience you. You can use your data to make some assumptions about where that’s mostly likely to happen and optimize the top landing pages, but, more and more, you need to worry about every piece of content on your site.

Stop Wondering if Mobile Is Important Right Now

It is. Groundwire found that in 2010, the median number of mobile visitors to the sites in their study was just 1%. That’s changed over the past few years. Looking just at mobile phones (not tablets), you can see the surge:

  • 2011: 5.70% / 4.97%

  • 2012: 7.68% / 7.67%

  • 2013: 12.84% / 12.04%

  • 2014 (to date): 18.68% / 17.45%

I’ve seen the argument made that mobile doesn’t require your attention quite yet because it still represents, according to this data, just 1 in 5 visits.

Our suggestion would be to get ahead of the curve instead of fighting to catch up. The growth in mobile traffic is having an obvious impact on the most basic measures of engagement.

Mean Median Year Bounce Rate Time per Session Pages per Session Bounce Rate Time per Session Pages per Session 2011 62.30% 2:04 2.30 67.07% 1:57 2.09 2012 66.17% 1:58 2.06 67.20% 1:56 1.89 2013 70.48% 1:54 1.87 70.10% 1:39 1.84

[I’ve excluded 2014 because I haven’t cleaned out the data from sites that have gone through a responsive redesign. This isn’t meant to be a marketing piece, but I can tell you that redesigning for mobile can have a significant impact.]

My suspicion is that as people grow more comfortable using their smartphones to browse the Internet, visiting brands that have implemented a mobile strategy, they’re less likely to put up with sites that don’t work as well as they expect in their mobile browsers.

By structuring your content properly, you can create ways to put the content mobile users are most interested in front and center. If nothing else, you should take the time to understand what mobile visitors are doing on your site as a first step.

Loyalty Is Hard to Come By (or Even Define)

Perhaps, given the growth in search and mobile traffic, it’s no surprise that the percentage of "New" visitors has increased over the years:

  • 2011: 65.65% / 66.01%

  • 2012: 70.34% / 70.13%

  • 2013: 74.35% / 75.00%

On the flip side, "Loyal" visitors (defined as those with at least three visits in the period under review) have crashed:

  • 2011: 20.86% / 19.00%

  • 2012: 15.64% / 15.66%

  • 2013: 12.16% / 12.26%

And those numbers aren’t just relative percentage drops, caused by increases in other types of traffic, because the real numbers have dropped as well:

  • 2011: 44,734 / 33,894

  • 2012: 43,076 / 29,989

  • 2013: 37,757 / 22,781

I’m fairly confident, given the scale of the data, that this isn’t simply because people are getting better at clearing their cookies regularly – there’s wide variation in estimates, much of it from surveys of user behavior, rather than actual data – or browsing the web incognito. Those technologies have been around for years, and I doubt even Mr. Snowden has had that much of an impact on people’s everyday habits. (But I’m willing to be convinced otherwise.)

This loss could also be reflective of device fragmentation. Google and others are working on ways to track users across the many devices they use, but right now, if somebody visits you on August 14th on their laptop, comes back on September 9th on their tablet, and then again on October 21st on their phone, they would be classified as three different New users. As we see mobile traffic grow, it may mean that right now, we don’t have an accurate way to track visitor loyalty.

Perhaps some of that loyalty is being transferred elsewhere, however, from the website to social spaces, third party donation pages, or even mobile apps. In that case, the better sites are at converting website visitors into these different kinds of traffic, the less relevant the website will become to them.

Rare is the constituent who comes once a year to donate. Engagement, even within a multi-channel strategy, has to strike a balance between assuming that visitors will find continued value from the resources we make available on the web and moving new visitors to spaces where they’re more likely to continue to interact with us and each other.

In any case, if visitors are increasingly less likely to return to nonprofit websites, we need to rethink some of our engagement strategies. If they’re turning elsewhere because they aren’t finding what they want, when they want it, we’ve got some serious work to do.

Interested in Helping Out?

I’ve made the spreadsheet with the cleaned data for 2011-2013 publicly available. We hope you’ll check it out and add insights of your own!

But beyond using it as a tool to inform your own website, we could use your help. What other data should we track and share? What do you want to know?

And more importantly, are you willing to share your own?

If you’d like to work with us on a template that can be used to collect data from other nonprofits, just let me know. We’ll keep the org-by-org breakdown anonymous. Once we reach an arbitrarily large threshold – 100,000,000 pageviews? – we can do some follow-up work.

Lev Tsypin, ThinkShout’s Director of Engineering, has suggested that we could go so far as to set up a Google form that feeds an anonymized spreadsheet. We could then make that data available via JSON, for further manipulation.

In the end, I believe that the more we aggregate and share, the better we’ll identify the problem areas we need to focus on as a community.

Categories: Elsewhere

Drupal Watchdog: Extending Drupal 7 Services into an E-commerce App

Planet Drupal - Wed, 10/09/2014 - 17:03
Article

By now, you’ve surely heard that Drupal 8 is pushing boundaries for users, content editors, administrators, and developers – if not, where have you been?

Obviously, not every site has the luxury of being able to migrate and adopt new technologies. If you are in the same position as me, then many of your clients – or indeed, the company you work for – have spent lots of time and money investing in Drupal 7; at this point, urging a new platform on them is probably going to fall on deaf ears. But all is not lost! Drupal 7 can still create a powerful RESTful Web Service API or a terrific mobile application.

So the old adage again rings true: “Where there is a Drupal 8 core initiative, there is a Drupal 7 contributed module.”

Having attended the Commerce 2.x sprint in Paris, I can safely say that if you do eventually upgrade to Drupal 8, it won’t be a massive undertaking molding your Drupal 8 Core services output to match that of Drupal 7 contrib services. Not all your work will be lost.

When I first started down the road of mobile apps, I was certain I did not have the time to learn Objective C and Java, as well as the intricacies of each mobile platform. (Sound familiar?) All I wanted was the ability to utilize the Drupal technology I already knew, and then enable PhoneGap without having to learn any device-specific language.

For purposes of this article, I won’t assume you know mobile apps technology nor much about Drupal’s Services module, REST, jQuery Mobile, Xcode, or PhoneGap. I do assume that you know Drupal, can work your way around the administration interface, and know some basic PHP and Javascript. With that in mind let’s take an overview of technologies you can utilize for your mobile application.

First, let’s install DrupalGap and its dependencies.

Now we have a core DrupalGap service and the basic service resources we might want for our mobile application. All the generic things we use on most Drupal sites are right there: resources are content-available for query through endpoints; and DrupalGap supplies us with a default endpoint.

Categories: Elsewhere

Deeson Online: Deeson: Drupal Association Autologout and Limit Modules webinar

Planet Drupal - Wed, 10/09/2014 - 16:31
Deeson: Drupal Association Autologout and Limit Modules webinarBy Lizzie Hodgson | 10th September 2014

John Ennew is a solutions architect here at Deeson. He recently carried out a webinar focusing on Drupal Autologout and Limit Modules.

Attendees included Drupal developers, solutions architects, and programmers. John took the attendees through a series of steps, and in the webinar, explained how to:

  • Log users out after a period of inactivity
  • Prevent users from having more than one active session at a time
  • Apply your company password policy to your web site
  • Configure flood control settings
  • Check the health of your site to identify potential security problems
The webinar

Going to DrupalCon Amsterdam? Come and find us - tweet to meet @deesonlabs

 

Categories: Elsewhere

Acquia: Web services in Drupal 8 Core

Planet Drupal - Wed, 10/09/2014 - 16:13

Some of the great news in Drupal 8 development was the introduction of web services directly in core, allowing other applications to interact with Drupal to consume exposed information or services without the need to install contributed modules.

Let’s look at the list of modules that ship with D8 core related with web services:

Categories: Elsewhere

LightSky: Apple Watch is a Great Sign for Drupal

Planet Drupal - Wed, 10/09/2014 - 15:42

Earlier this summer Dries Buytaert, the original creator of Drupal, had a pretty visionary keynote at DrupalCon, which we talked about in pretty good detail in a podcast.  One of the things that we mentioned in our analysis of his keynote is that while what Dries was presenting was looking pretty far into the future, it showed that Drupal is being guided on the right path to be positioned well in the future of the web, and Apple's announcement yesterday of the new Apple Watch just supports this position.  The Apple Watch is exactly the type device that Dries is trying to position Drupal to be ready to feed content to.

Screen Size Could Make the Current Web Obsolete

Obviously anyone who has looked at the pictures or video of Apple's new watch can immediately see that you aren't going to be viewing a website on it.  Really in any form, a website as we know it won't be displayable on this type of device.  Even the best designers and front-end developers aren't going to be able to make a site responsive down to this size effectively, and the important thing to note is that this is totally ok.  But it is not just small screens that change the way content is going to have to be consumed, big screens cause just as much problem.  We aren't going to be displaying whole websites on billboards, or 6x4 signs found on the sidewalks in major cities, we have to be able to feed content to them.

Be Ready, Change is Coming

It probably isn't going to quickly eliminate web sites as we know it, but agencies and other organizations need to be ready for change in the way their content is consumed.  Whether it be how products are displayed to potential buyers, your store hours, notifications of sales and events, it doesn't matter what the content is, the way it is consumed will be different in just a matter of months even than it is now.  CMS frameworks need to be ready, and the reality is that many just aren't ready, and aren't headed in the right direction to be ready.  Drupal on the other hand, is on the right track.

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
Categories: Elsewhere

4Sitestudios.com Drupal Blog: BuildingRating.org Website Redesign

Planet Drupal - Wed, 10/09/2014 - 15:30
BuildingRating.org Website RedesignThe Challenge The Institute for Market Transformation (IMT) is a Washington, DC-based nonprofit organization promoting energy efficiency, green building, and environmental protection in the United States and abroad. They approached 4Site to redesign the BuildRating.org website, an international exchange for information on building rating disclosure policies and programs, from the ground up. Our Solution 4Site worked with IMT to develop a comprehensive strategy for the BuildRating.org redesign to ensure that the new site provided as many user friendly tools as possible to help visitors find the specific information they needed. We built a world map of jurisdictions with sustainability standards, a robust search with filters for locations, topics, and content types, and a policy comparison tool in which visitors can select jurisdictions and topics to compare in a custom populated table format. The Results Visit the BuildingRating.org WebsiteInstitute for Market TransformationService: DesignInfographics & Visual ContentWebsite ThemingDevelopmentData Visualization & MappingWebsite DevelopmentStrategyContent StrategyUser Experience
Categories: Elsewhere

Drupal Easy: DrupalEasy Podcast 138: Touch of Gray (Rick Manelius - PCI Compliance)

Planet Drupal - Wed, 10/09/2014 - 15:14
Download Podcast 138

Rick Manelius (rickmanelius), project architect at NEWMEDIA, and one of the leading minds in our community when it comes to PCI Compliance, joins Mike Anello to further demystify PCI Compliance and the role it plays in any site that involves credit card data. We also discuss two-factor authentication, when we might see a Drupal 8 beta, and Drupal’s persistence.

read more

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Cocomore: Meet us in Amsterdam

Planet Drupal - Wed, 10/09/2014 - 15:13

There is the European DrupalCon happening from Sept. 29th to the Oct. 3rd in Amsterdam and a team of Cocomore - as one of the biggest Drupal shops in Germany and Spain - will of course attend.

read more

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DrupalCon Amsterdam: Training spotlight: Design, Prototype, and Style in Browser

Planet Drupal - Wed, 10/09/2014 - 14:31

Design, Prototype, and Style in Browser (formerly Advanced Sass and Compass for RWD) is back! One of our most popular courses returns, with even more great new content - and now is your chance to attend this training at DrupalCon Amsterdam!

With more mobile device activations per day than human births and full internet browsers coming to television sets and gaming consoles (both home and portable), the old techniques we have used to create pixel-perfect sites for desktop audiences have already become a thing of the past.

We will explore content strategy as a method for designing responsive websites, building separate components and layouts, and will emphasize creating DRY code. We will dive deep into the power of Sass and Compass and a handful of JavaScript tools and how they can be utilized for your growing website. These tools can ease much of the hard work related to creating truly awesome responsive websites.

Meet the Trainers from Four Kitchens

Chris Ruppel (rupl) and Ian Carrico (iamcarrico) are Frontend and Backend developers at Four Kitchens respectively. Both are well-known in the Drupal community as both RWD and Sass experts, having trained and spoken at numerous events around the world, including Portland, Denver, New York, Austin, San Francisco, and Munich, Germany.

Neither are strangers to community contribution: Ian maintains the Aurora base theme and Magic module and contributes to many RWD-related Compass extensions such as Toolkit, Singularity, and Breakpoint. Chris maintains the Modernizr module and has contributed to Modernizr, the Drupal 8 HTML5/Mobile initiatives, and the Drupal.org D7 upgrade.

Attend this Drupal Training

This training will be held on Monday, 29 September from 09:00-17:00 at the Amsterdam RAI during DrupalCon Amsterdam. The cost of attending this training is €400 and includes training materials, meals and coffee breaks. A DrupalCon ticket is not required to register to attend this event.

Register today

Categories: Elsewhere

Raphaël Hertzog: Freexian’s first report about Debian Long Term Support

Planet Debian - Wed, 10/09/2014 - 13:30

When we setup Freexian’s offer to bring together funding from multiple companies in order to sponsor the work of multiple developers on Debian LTS, one of the rules that I imposed is that all paid contributors must provide a public monthly report of their paid work.

While the LTS project officially started in June, the first month where contributors were actually paid has been July. Freexian sponsored Thorsten Alteholz and Holger Levsen for 10.5 hours each in July and for 16.5 hours each in August. Here are their reports:

It’s worth noting that Freexian sponsored Holger’s work to fix the security tracker to support squeeze-lts. It’s my belief that using the money of our sponsors to make it easier for everybody to contribute to Debian LTS is money well spent.

As evidenced by the progress bar on Freexian’s offer page, we have not yet reached our minimal goal of funding the equivalent of a half-time position. And it shows in the results, the dla-needed.txt still shows around 30 open issues. This is slightly better than the state two months ago but we can improve a lot on the average time to push out a security update…

To have an idea of the relative importance of the contributions of the paid developers, I counted the number of uploads made by Thorsten and Holger since July: of 40 updates, they took care of 19 of them, so about the half.

I also looked at the other contributors: Raphaël Geissert stands out with 9 updates (I believe that he is contracted by Électricité de France for doing this) and most of the other contributors look like regular Debian maintainers taking care of their own packages (Paul Gevers with cacti, Christoph Berg with postgresql, Peter Palfrader with tor, Didier Raboud with cups, Kurt Roeckx with openssl, Balint Reczey with wireshark) except Matt Palmer and Luciano Bello who (likely) are benevolent members of the LTS team.

There are multiple things to learn here:

  1. Paid contributors already handle almost 70% of the updates. Counting only on volunteers would not have worked.
  2. Quite a few companies that promised help (and got mentioned in the press release) have not delivered the promised help yet (neither through Freexian nor directly).

Last but not least, this project wouldn’t exist without the support of multiple companies and organizations. Many thanks to them:

Categories: Elsewhere

Petter Reinholdtsen: Good bye subkeys.pgp.net, welcome pool.sks-keyservers.net

Planet Debian - Wed, 10/09/2014 - 13:10

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of attending a talk with the Norwegian Unix User Group about the OpenPGP keyserver pool sks-keyservers.net, and was very happy to learn that there is a large set of publicly available key servers to use when looking for peoples public key. So far I have used subkeys.pgp.net, and some times wwwkeys.nl.pgp.net when the former were misbehaving, but those days are ended. The servers I have used up until yesterday have been slow and some times unavailable. I hope those problems are gone now.

Behind the round robin DNS entry of the sks-keyservers.net service there is a pool of more than 100 keyservers which are checked every day to ensure they are well connected and up to date. It must be better than what I have used so far. :)

Yesterdays speaker told me that the service is the default keyserver provided by the default configuration in GnuPG, but this do not seem to be used in Debian. Perhaps it should?

Anyway, I've updated my ~/.gnupg/options file to now include this line:

keyserver pool.sks-keyservers.net

With GnuPG version 2 one can also locate the keyserver using SRV entries in DNS. Just for fun, I did just that at work, so now every user of GnuPG at the University of Oslo should find a OpenGPG keyserver automatically should their need it:

% host -t srv _pgpkey-http._tcp.uio.no _pgpkey-http._tcp.uio.no has SRV record 0 100 11371 pool.sks-keyservers.net. %

Now if only the HKP lookup protocol supported finding signature paths, I would be very happy. It can look up a given key or search for a user ID, but I normally do not want that, but to find a trust path from my key to another key. Given a user ID or key ID, I would like to find (and download) the keys representing a signature path from my key to the key in question, to be able to get a trust path between the two keys. This is as far as I can tell not possible today. Perhaps something for a future version of the protocol?

Categories: Elsewhere

Ian Donnelly: New Release: Elektra 0.8.8

Planet Debian - Wed, 10/09/2014 - 11:19

Hi Everybody!

Great news! I am very happy to announce that we have reached a new milestone for Elektra and released a new version, 0.8.8! This release comes right on the tail of the 0.8.7 release and it might just be our biggest release yet! We already have a great article covering all the changes from the previous release on our News documentation on GitHub. I just wanted to focus on a few of those changes on this blog, especially the ones that pertain to my Google Summer of Code Project.

First of all, Felix has worked to greatly improve the ini plug-in. This is the plug-in I used in my technical demo for mounting Samba’s smb.conf file. It now works even better with complex ini files such as smb.conf which means the automatic merging of files like smb.conf is even better now! That really goes to show one of the greatest strengths of the design of Elektra. Just by improving plug-ins, all the functions of Elektra can improve as well. The merge code was not changed in this release, yet because of an updated plug-in, the merge has improved.

Secondly, there have been some good improvements to the kdb command-line tool. Many of these improvements were used in my technical demo, but now they are actually a part of release (and a little more refined from then). We added a new command called kdb remount which allows a user (or script) to mount a file to the Elektra Key Database using an existing backend. An example of this command is:
kdb remount [new filename] [new path] [existing mountpoint]
This command mounts the new file to the new path in the Key Database using an existing backend. This works with the conffile merging by allowing us to mount the various versions of the conffile without having to specify which backend to use (it will use the same backend as the currently used conffile). Additionally, the umount command was updated to allow users to umount using the current mountpath (allowing commands such as kdb umount system/smb.conf) as opposed to backends. Moreover, we added an option to the kdb import command to specify a merge strategy using thing -s option. Now you can import a file into the Key Database and merge the content of that file with the current Keys in the Database.

Thirdly, we added some new scripts to Elektra to help with the ucf integration. These scripts were used in my technical demo, but now they are part of the release. elektra-mount and elektra-umount are wrappers for the commands kdb mount and kdb umount respectively. They are designed to be used in debian package scripts and are adapted for easier use than the generic commands. For instance, running elektra-mount will check to see if a file is already mounted at that location in the Key Database. Similarly, elektra-umount will not produce an error if the file was already unmounted. This is because maintainer scripts can be run multiple times in a row and producing an error will stop dpkg even when it shouldn’t. Additionally, we added a script called elektra-merge which can be used as a method for ucf to merge configuration files. This script acts as a liaison between ucf and elektra allowing automatic merges to be done by ucf using Elektra’s merge features in a seamless manner. For information of how these scripts work, check out my tutorial on integrating elektra-merge into a debian package.

The last bit of news I would like to share is the great progress of the Debian package. Thanks to Pino Toscano, version 0.8.7-4 of Elektra is now available in the Debian testing repo! This is great news as we are now that much closer to replacing the outdated Elektra 0.7 versions that are currently the latest versions of Elektra in the stable repo. Once the 0.8.X versions of Elektra make it to stable it will be much easier for us to keep the latest versions of Elektra in Debian, and that’s key to allowing Elektra to help improve users lives.

You can download the release from:
http://www.markus-raab.org/ftp/elektra/releases/elektra-0.8.8.tar.gz

• size: 1644441
• md5sum: fe11c6704b0032bdde2d0c8fa5e1c7e3
• sha1: 16e43c63cd6d62b9fce82cb0a33288c390e39d12
• sha256: ae75873966f4b5b5300ef5e5de5816542af50f35809f602847136a8cb21104e2

And the API-Documentation can be found here:

http://doc.libelektra.org/api/0.8.8/html/

Hope you enjoy the new release!

Sincerely,
Ian S. Donnelly

Categories: Elsewhere

Metal Toad: Simple password grants with OAuth 2.0 and Drupal

Planet Drupal - Wed, 10/09/2014 - 10:30

Like many Drupal developers, we have become big fans of decoupled front-ends using Drupal as a RESTful backend (a.k.a. "headless" Drupal). The myriad of authorization options can be confusing, however. We've settled on OAuth 2.0 for most situations. When OAuth is brought up, many people will think of the single-sign-on flow in a browser, with the associated redirects and permission dialogs. This flow is widely used, but not always a good fit for first-party applications, or machine-to-machine API interactions.

Categories: Elsewhere

Steve Kemp: kvm-hosting will be ceasing, soon.

Planet Debian - Wed, 10/09/2014 - 10:17

Seven years ago I wanted to move on from the small virtual machine I had to a larger one. Looking at the the options available it seemed the best approach was to rent a big host, and divide it up into virtual machines myself.

Renting a machine with 8Gb of RAM and 500Gb of disk-space, then dividing that into eights would give a decent spec and assuming that I found enough users to pay for the other slots/shares it would be economically viable too.

After a few weeks I took the plunge, advertised here, and found users.

I had six users:

  • 1/8th for me.
  • 1/8th left empty/idle for the host machine.
  • 6/8th for other users.

There were some niggles, one user seemed to suffer from connectivity problems more than the others, but on the whole the experiment worked out well.

These days, thanks to BigV, Digital Ocean, and all the new-comers there is less need for this kind of thing so last December I announced that the service would cease - and gave all current users 1 year of free service to give them time to migrate away.

The service was due to terminate in December, but triggered by some upcoming downtime where our host would have been moved, in the back of a van, from Manchester to York, I've taken the decision to stop it early.

It was a fun experiment, it provided me with low cost hosting (subsidized by the other paying users), and provided some other people with hosting of their own that was setup nicely.

The only outstanding question is what to do with the domain-names? I could let them expire, I could try to sell them, or I could donate them to other people running hosting setups.

If anybody reading this has a use for kvm-hosting.org, kvm-hosting.net, or kvm-hosting.com, then do feel free to get in touch. No promises, obviously, but it'd be a shame for them to end up hosting adverts in a year or twos time..

Categories: Elsewhere

Károly Négyesi: I AM GROOT

Planet Drupal - Wed, 10/09/2014 - 07:36

Or, languages are really hard.

So I was handing over some CSV export functionality to a client who loaded it into Excel as it is without using the import wizard. This resulted in misinterpreted UTF-8 as WIN-1252. I quickly wrote this little function (error handling omitted for brevity):
<?php
  function uconv($text) {
    $descriptorspec = array(array("pipe", "r"), array("pipe", "w"));
    $process = proc_open("/usr/bin/uconv --add-signature", $descriptorspec, $pipes);
    fwrite($pipes[0], $text);
    fclose($pipes[0]);
    $text = stream_get_contents($pipes[1]);
    fclose($pipes[1]);
    proc_close($process);
    return $text;
  }
?>
A quick test of the function showed it working, so I patched the CSV export to call it, deployed it on the dev server and... it died on the first accented character. I have checked on the dev server from command line and it worked. W.T.F. I compared the mbstring ini values, all the same. W.T.F, no, really, this can't be.

Well, there must be something different, right? What could be? Locale? But what's locale? Environment variables. Hrm, proc_open has environment variables too. Well then let's see whether my shell feeds something into this script that makes it work: env -i php x.php. It breaks! Yay! It's always such relief when I can reproduce a bug that refuses to be reproduced. The solution is always easy after -- the LANG environment variable is en_US.utf8 in the shell, and C in Apache:

<?php
proc_open("/usr/bin/uconv --add-signature", $descriptorspec, $pipes, NULL, array('LANG' => 'en_US.utf8'));
?>

Ps. Curiously enough, -f utf-8 as an uconv argument didn't help -- but -f utf-8 -t utf-8 did. Morale of the story: uconv defaults to the value LANG both to and from. This is not documented and it's very hard to discover.

Categories: Elsewhere

Modules Unraveled: 118 Starting and Running a DrupalCamp in a Hobbiest Community with Adam Hill - Modules Unraveled Podcast

Planet Drupal - Wed, 10/09/2014 - 07:00
Published: Wed, 09/10/14Download this episodeStarting a local Drupal community
  • When did you start the DrupalCampNE meetups?
    • Started due to meeting a friend Richard at DrupalCons in Paris, Copenhagen and Denver and saying how crazy it was that we met at DrupalCons across the world but not in the North East where we’re both native. So we setup a meeting and promoted it on twitter and with some others we knew had at least dabbled with Drupal. We had 6 people at our first meeting and that happened in a pub which was to set the stage for the future meetups which have all been held in pubs.
  • I’ve thought about how cool it would be to start a local camp, but we don’t have a lot of people even coming to our meetups. What have you (or other organizers) done to get consistent attendance to events?
    • Consistency… Mixup of talks and social but always keep it social so expectations are not too high. For the camp we needed there to be a few people interested and then had backing from my company to allow us to dedicate time. Dedicated time has been vital.
  • How large is a typical meetup? What’s the average attendence?
    • We get anything from between 5 - 20 people attending but its really a mixup again, depends heavily on the day to some extend (holidays etc.) but also on if there is a talk. Our WP vs Drupal talk got a LOT of people :)
  • How far do people travel to get to your meetups?
    • We’ve had people doing a round trip of 100 miles before because there is no meetup in the North of the North West… but usually people come from Newcastle or there abouts. We lose a few people since its too far for them to come for sure.
DrupalCampNE
  • When did you start organizing a Drupal Camp for the North East of England?
    • August 2013 - started asking/checking about venue
    • Went to other camps in UK to promote and to share info
    • November 2013 - announced the date around DrupalCamp North West
  • What were some of the challenges you faced? Were there any unexpected ones that stick out to you?
    • Local attendees
    • Sponsors
    • Cancelled talks
    • Outsourcing - Venue
  • What went really well for you? How did you plan for it?
    • The feelings of collaborating - fresh eyes were really liberated.
    • The venue was loved
    • The talks by Morten and Holly Ross
  • What advice would you give to someone who’s planning a camp now? Or will be soon?
    • Plan really well in advance
    • Find a great venue and try to get it for free :)
    • Have the freedom to make decisions - keep a small team?
    • Get sponsors early!
    • Get speakers early!
Episode Links: Adam on drupal.orgAdam on TwitterConsult and DesignTags: Drupal Campsplanet-drupal
Categories: Elsewhere

Holger Levsen: 20140909-lts-august-2014

Planet Debian - Tue, 09/09/2014 - 23:34
Debian LTS - feedback about the feedback from my LTS talk at DebConf14

So, I'm more or less back from dc14 and today, five days later, I think I might have mostly overcome jetlag. Probably...

So, at DebConf14 I gave a talk about LTS and while I'm sorry that I was that tired, I'm more or less happy how the talk went. Thankfully at least I was calm and relaxed...

There are a couple of things I learned from the talk: a.) LTS has been really really perceived well b.) it fits a demand c.) people already take it for granted (eg plan for Wheezy LTS) d.) people expect the same non-intrusive changes as currently done for security updates.

To explain the last point: when I explained the - so far - rather theoretical problem that ''squeeze-lts'' has no gatekeeper mechanisms whatsoever (eg no ''proposed-updates'', no NEW queue..) the reaction in the audience was basically "something like this should exist, else how can we deploy this in large scale / on important setup?!". Also currently there is no, well-documented, easily to be found policy for what kind of updates are acceptable. I said that we basically follow the same rules as there are for debian-security updates, but this should really be documented properly. This doesn't seem very hard to fix, just like many things it "just" needs someone to do the work.

IOW: we explain how to use LTS, we explain how to contribute to LTS (through uploads or financially) but we lack a simple explaination what LTS is and what kind of updates to expect. It's kinda self evident, but only kinda.

So since giving the talk I changed one thing in my personal usage of LTS: I don't use my personal LTS repo anymore, where I made sure only good packages got in. This is for two reasons: a.) I had too add new packages too often and b.) if it really is a problem that LTS has no gatekeeping mechanism (which I'm not sure anymore it is, after all, the updates are prepared by reasonable people with a common goal...) then I want to suffer this first hand, so I can build solutions which benefit everyone, not just me. That personal LTS repo only helped me.

On the technical side I prepared five DLAs, for lzo2, libwpd, squid3, lua5.1 and bind9. Not much to see here, they all were very smooth. I still enjoyed the challenge of digging in unknown sourcecode, as described in my previous post.

Then more interestingly, and with the help of Raphael Geissert and Salvatore Bonaccorso I fixed the security-tracker to also know about oldstable, after waiting for more than 8 weeks to someone else doing it. I'm very glad that this is done now, as without it was really tedious to check which issues were applying to oldstable.

Oh, and another afterthought from giving the talk: currently at least parts of the security-tracker codebase assume that there won't ever be support for oldoldstable, but once jessie has been released this won't be true anymore. Then we will support stable, oldstable and oldoldstable. And oldstable will be wheezy, not squeeze. We have something like 6 months to fix this, hopefully we won't have much more time... Oh, and surely there are other places than just the security-tracker which will need to be taught about this.

Categories: Elsewhere

Mediacurrent: How To Do A Combined Name Search

Planet Drupal - Tue, 09/09/2014 - 22:55

Recently I developed some functionality for a client that I realized might be useful to the greater Drupal community. This post describes how to set up a combined fields filter in Views to allow searching for terms and matching more than one field.

Categories: Elsewhere

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