Elsewhere

Commerce Guys: Got Content? Get Commerce - The Power of "1"

Planet Drupal - Mon, 01/09/2014 - 23:00

eCommerce is undergoing rapid change from the traditional search, view, add to cart, and checkout paradigm to one that is rich in content, creates a more engaging and unified user experience, and drives buying decisions within that context. This change will require a shift in thinking around the platforms selected and their ability to support both content and eCommerce needs seamlessly. No longer will silo'd solutions with a long list of features that make vast (and many times incorrect) assumptions about your business provide the tools necessary to respond and adapt quickly to these market changes.

If you already have Drupal to manage content and community interaction for your site, or are considering it for its powerful CMS capabilities, and plan to add or upgrade commerce capabilities, you have two choices:

A separate eCommerce solution that is integrated with or "bolted on" to Drupal. While this can work, it adds unnecessary complexity and results in a disconnected experience for your users that maintains valuable customer data in multiple places. An alternate choice that an increasing number of companies are considering...

 

Utilizing the power, scalability, and flexibility of Drupal + Drupal Commerce, where content, community, and commerce can all be served natively within a single environment.

 

Here is why it is important to go beyond features to make the right long-term decision for your business.

Looking Beyond Features when Selecting an eCommerce Solution

All too often, eCommerce selection is based on a long list of features. While features are important, focusing too much on features creates blind spots that prevent focus on other more strategic considerations that have far greater impact on long-term success. The reality is that eCommerce solutions today all do approximately the same thing. General feature parity exists because eCommerce has been around for a long time and there is little in terms of features that differentiates one from the other.

Let's face it, any feature list, and the assumptions they are based on, only reflects requirements that are important at a given point in time. Undoubtedly, those requirements will change over time; sometimes very quickly. As a result, it is increasingly important to consider how well the solution you select can adapt to rapid changes in technology, the market and your business needs. The important choice here is determining how much control and flexibility you want to retain in adapting to these changes versus being dependent on a particular solution vendor to meet those needs.

Having the flexibility to implement new features and rapidly innovate in the future to serve the changing needs of your customers and business is a critical consideration when selecting an eCommerce solution.

As businesses focus more on inspirational shopping driven by engaging content, the "feature" that will become increasingly important is a rich CMS that is natively integrated with eCommerce.

Drupal + Drupal Commerce provide seamless Content and Commerce

The importance of content and social engagement in influencing what people buy cannot be overstated. Drupal + Drupal Commerce is the only solution that provides powerful content, community, and commerce functionality all within a single environment. A rich content platform like Drupal is critical to creating an engaging user experience that results in attracting people to your site, keeping them there longer, and spending more money. 

Today, there is massive competition for eyeballs and high placement in search results. Google and other search engines now place higher priority on content that exists on your site and how that is shared and linked with other sites. A weak CMS or one that is separate from your eCommerce platform makes it significantly more difficult to get the results necessary for success. And if your online presence is split between two systems, it becomes even more challenging to target and personalize messages and offers since customer data resides in multiple databases.



While many sites bolt together independent CMS and eCommerce solutions, it's not nearly as powerful. A Drupal + Drupal Commerce solution means that you have 1 code base, 1 skill set, 1 backend, and 1 database, resulting in less complexity and a single platform to support your entire online business.

Categories: Elsewhere

Drupal core announcements: This month in Drupal Documentation

Planet Drupal - Mon, 01/09/2014 - 22:29

This is the 'almost' monthly update from the Documentation Working Group (DocWG) on what has been going on in Drupal Documentation. Because this is posted in the Core group, comments for this post are disabled, but if you have comments or suggestions, please see the DocWG home page for how to contact us. Enjoy!

Notable Documentation Updates Thanks for contributing!

Since our last post from August 1, 223 contributors have made 657 Drupal.org documentation page revisions, including 4 people that made 20 or more edits (thank you erok415, Jay.Chen, iantresman & drumm) and one person that did a whopping 66 revisions (keep rocking kaare!).

Report from the Working Group
  • We are preparing a Documentation sprint at DrupalCon Amsterdam where we hope to finalize the work on the Drupal 8 help texts (to help out, see https://www.drupal.org/node/1908570). We will also make a start with creating or updating docs for the D8 core modules. We'll be using documentation issue tag "docsprint" to tag issues that we think will be good for sprints, over the next two months especially.
  • After an initial period of setting up the DocWG, we have now opened up the monthly meeting of the Documentation Working Group to anyone who would like to attend. Let me know if you want to join the meeting.
Documentation Priorities

The Current documentation priorities page is always a good place to look to figure out what to work on, and has been updated recently.

If you're new to contributing to documentation, these projects may seem a bit overwhelming -- so why not try out a New contributor task to get started?

Categories: Elsewhere

Dirk Eddelbuettel: littler 0.2.0

Planet Debian - Mon, 01/09/2014 - 20:13
We are happy to announce a new release of littler.

A few minor things have changes since the last release:
  • A few new examples were added or updated, including use of the fabulous new docopt package by Edwin de Jonge which makes command-line parsing a breeze.
  • Other new examples show simple calls to help with sweave, knitr, roxygen2, Rcpp's attribute compilation, and more.
  • We also wrote an entirely new webpage with usage example.
  • A new option -d | --datastdin was added which will read stdin into a data.frame variable X.
  • The repository has been move to this GitHub repo.
  • With that, the build process was updated both throughout but also to reflect the current git commit at time of build.

Full details are provided at the ChangeLog

The code is available via the GitHub repo, from tarballs off my littler page and the local directory here. A fresh package will got to Debian's incoming queue shortly as well.

Comments and suggestions are welcome via the mailing list or issue tracker at the GitHub repo.

This post by Dirk Eddelbuettel originated on his Thinking inside the box blog. Please report excessive re-aggregation in third-party for-profit settings.

Categories: Elsewhere

Joseph Bisch: Debconf Wrapup

Planet Debian - Mon, 01/09/2014 - 20:02

Debconf14 was the first Debconf I attended. It was an awesome experience.

Debconf14 started with a Meet and Greet before the Welcome Talk. I got to meet people and find out what they do for Debian. I also got to meet other GSoC students that I had only previously interacted with online. During the Meet and Greet I also met one of my mentors for GSoC, Zack. Later in the conference I met another of my mentors, Piotr. Previously I only interacted with Zack and Piotr online.

On Monday we had the OpenPGP Keysigning. I got to meet people and exchange information so that we could later sign keys. Then on Tuesday I gave my talk about debmetrics as part of the larger GSoC talks.

During the conference I mostly attended talks. Then on Wednesday we had the daytrip. I went hiking at Multnomah Falls, had lunch at Rooster Rock State Park, and then went to Vista House.

Later in the conference, Zack and I did some work on debmetrics. We looked at the tests, which had some issues. I was able to fix most of the issues with the tests while I was there at Debconf. We also moved the debmetrics repository under the qa category of repositories. Previously it was a private repository.

Categories: Elsewhere

Jo Shields: Xamarin Apt and Yum repos now open for testing

Planet Debian - Mon, 01/09/2014 - 18:46

Howdy y’all

Two of the main things I’ve been working on since I started at Xamarin are making it easier for people to try out the latest bleeding-edge Mono, and making it easier for people on older distributions to upgrade Mono without upgrading their entire OS.

Public Jenkins packages

Every time anyone commits to Mono git master or MonoDevelop git master, our public Jenkins will try and turn those into packages, and add them to repositories. There’s a garbage collection policy – currently the 20 most recent builds are always kept, then the first build of the month for everything older than 20 builds.

Because we’re talking potentially broken packages here, I wrote a simple environment mangling script called mono-snapshot. When you install a Jenkins package, mono-snapshot will also be installed and configured. This allows you to have multiple Mono versions installed at once, for easy bug bisecting.

directhex@marceline:~$ mono --version Mono JIT compiler version 3.6.0 (tarball Wed Aug 20 13:05:36 UTC 2014) directhex@marceline:~$ . mono-snapshot mono [mono-20140828234844]directhex@marceline:~$ mono --version Mono JIT compiler version 3.8.1 (tarball Fri Aug 29 07:11:20 UTC 2014)

The instructions for setting up the Jenkins packages are on the new Mono web site, specifically here. The packages are built on CentOS 7 x64, Debian 7 x64, and Debian 7 i386 – they should work on most newer distributions or derivatives.

Stable release packages

This has taken a bit longer to get working. The aim is to offer packages in our Apt/Yum repositories for every Mono release, in a timely fashion, more or less around the same time as the Mac installers are released. Info for setting this up is, again, on the new website.

Like the Jenkins packages, they are designed as far as I am able to cleanly integrate with different versions of major popular distributions – though there are a few instances of ABI breakage in there which I have opted to fix using one evil method rather than another evil method.

Please note that these are still at “preview” or “beta” quality, and shouldn’t be considered usable in major production environments until I get a bit more user feedback. The RPM packages especially are super new, and I haven’t tested them exhaustively at this point – I’d welcome feedback.

I hope to remove the “testing!!!” warning labels from these packages soon, but that relies on user feedback to my xamarin.com account preferably (jo.shields@)

Categories: Elsewhere

KnackForge: Adding a clear button to Drupal form API text field

Planet Drupal - Mon, 01/09/2014 - 14:02

We wanted to have a quick clear button for any text field (similar to address bar of browsers in mobile and tablet devices). Snapshot below might explain it much better. In this you are seeing email search field in newsletter filter form.

While I was in search for creating this, I found HTML5 is as the way to go. One can simply create that by using "search" input type. The proper HTML tag for the same is below,

Categories: Elsewhere

Web Omelette: PHP: Using the usort / uasort functions

Planet Drupal - Mon, 01/09/2014 - 12:19

Have you ever had to sort an array in PHP? There are a bunch of functions available, the most common being sort(). This function does a default sorting of the values in your array. So if you have numbers or want to do alphabetical sorting, sort() will get the job done.

But what if you require a more complex sorting logic? Let's say you have an array of names that need to be sorted in a specific order. I don't know, because your client says so. Let me show you how.

Let's say your DB returns a list of names in an array:

$names = array("Christian", "Daniel", "Adrian");

And your client says they need to be arranged in the following order: Adrian, Christian, Daniel. You can use the usort() function together with a comparator function you write yourself. How does this system work?

As a second argument of the usort() function, we pass in the name of our custom comparator function. The way this gets processed is that all the values in the array that needs sorting are passed to this function 2 at the time (usually you'll see them as $a and $b). This is done to determine which one takes precedence over which. The comparator has to return 0 if the 2 values are considered equal, a negative integer if the first value is less than the second value or a positive integer if the second value is less than the first. What less means is up to you to determine. So let's put this in practice with our example:

function _name_comparer($a, $b) { $correct_order = array("Adrian", "Christian", "Daniel"); $a_key = array_search($a, $correct_order); $b_key = array_search($b, $correct_order); if ($a_key == $b_key) { return 0; } return ($a_key < $b_key) ? -1 : 1; } usort($names, "_name_comparer");

So what happens in my comparator function? First, I create an array that contains the proper order of the names. This means that each value has an integer key that can be easily compared (and that I store in the $a_key and $b_key variables). After comparing these, I return 0, a negative or positive integer. The result is that the $names array gets resorted in the order they appear in the $correct_order local variable I created. And that's it.

If the $names variable is associative and you need to maintain the keys as they were, you can use the uasort() function:

$names = array( "christian" => "Christian", "daniel" => "Daniel", "adrian" => "Adrian", ); usort($names, "_name_comparer");

The comparator function can stay the same, but the uasort() function will take into account and maintain the index association of your values.

And that's it. Hope this helps.

var switchTo5x = true;stLight.options({"publisher":"dr-8de6c3c4-3462-9715-caaf-ce2c161a50c"});
Categories: Elsewhere

Juliana Louback: Debconf 2014 and How I Became a Debian Contributor

Planet Debian - Mon, 01/09/2014 - 12:06

Part 1 - Debconf 2014

This year I went to my first Debconf, which took place in Portland, OR during the last week of August 2014. All in all I have to rate my experience as very enlightening and in the end quite fun.

First of all, it was a little daunting to go to a conference in 1 - A city I’d never been to before; 2 - A conference with 300+ people, only 3 of which I knew and even then I only knew them virtually. Not to mention I was in the presence of some extremely brilliant and known contirbutors in the Debian community which was somewhat intimidating. Just to give you an idea, Linus Torvalds showed up for a Q&A session last Friday morning! Jealous? Actually I missed that too. It was kind of a last minute thing, booked for coincidentally the exact time I’d be flying out of Portland. I found out about it much too late. But luckily for me and maybe you, the session was filmed and can be seen here. Isn’t that a treat?

Point made, there are lots of really talented people there, both techies and non-techies. It’s easy to feel you’re out of league, at least I did. But I’d highly encourage you to ignore such feelings if you’re ever in the same situation. Debian has been built on for a long time now, but although a lot has been done, a lot still needs to be done. The Debian community is very welcoming of new contributors and users, regardless of the level of expertise. So far I haven’t been snubbed by anyone. To the contrary, all my interactions with the Debian community members has been extremely positive.

So go ahead and attend the meetings and presentations, even if you think it’s not your area of expertise. Debconf was organized (or at least this one was) as a series of talks, meet ups and ad hoc sessions, some of which occured simultaneously. The sessions were all about different components of the Debian universe, from presenting new features to overviews of accomplishments to discussing issues and how to fix them. A schedule with the location and description of each session was posted on the Debconf wiki. Sometimes none of the sessions at a certain time was on a topic I knew very much about. But I’d sit in anyways. There’s no rule to attending the sessions, no ‘minimum qualifications’ required. You’ll likely learn something new and you just might find out there is something you can do to contribute. There are also hackathons that are quite the thing or so I heard. Or you could walk about and meet new people, do some networking.

I have to say networking was the highlight of the Debconf for me. Remember I said I knew about 3 people who were at the conference? Well, I had actually just corresponded with those people. I didn’t really know them. So on my first day I spent quite some time shyly peeking at people’s name tags, trying to recognize someone I had ‘met’ over email or IRC. But with 300 or so people at the conference, I was unsuccessful. So I finally gave up on that strategy and walked up to a random person, stuck out my hand and said, “Hi. My name is Juliana. This is my first Debconf. What’s your name and what do you do for Debian?” This may not be according to protocol, but it worked for me. I got to meet lots of people that way, met some Debian contributos from my home country (Brazil), some from my current city (NYC), and yet others that had similar interests as I do who I might work with in the near future. For example, I love Machine Learning, I’m currently beginning my graduate studies on that track. Several Debian contributors offered to introduce me to a well known Machine Learning researcher and Debian contributor who is in NYC. Others had tried out JSCommunicator and had lots of suggestions for new features and fixes, or wanted to know more about the project and WebRTC in general. Also, not everyone there is a super experienced Debian contributor or user. There are a lot of newbies like me.

I got to do a quick 20-min presentation and demo of the work I had done on JSCommunicator during GSoC 2014. Oh my goodness that was nerve-wracking, but not half as painful as I expected. My mentor (Daniel Pocock) wisely suggested that when confronted with a question I didn’t know how to answer, to redirect the question to to the audience. Chances are, there is someone there that knows the answer. If not, it will at least spark a good discussion.

When meeting new people at Debian, a question almost everyone asked is “How did you start working with/for Debian?”. So I thought it would be a good topic to post about.

Part 2 - How I Became a Debian Contributor

Sometime in late October of 2013 (I think) I received an email from one of my professors at UNIRIO forwarding a description of the Outreach Program for Women. OPW is a program organized by the GNOME which endeavors to get more women involved in FOSS. OPW is similar to Google Summer of Code; you work remotely from home, guided by an assigned mentor. Debian was one of the 8 participating organizations that year. There was a list of project proposals which I perused, a few of them caught my eye and these projects were all Debian. I’d already been a fan of FOSS before. I had used the Ubuntu and Debian OS, I’d migrated to GIMP from Photoshop and to Open Office from Microsoft Office, for example. I’d strongly advocated the use of some of my prefered open source apps and programs to my friends and family. But I hadn’t ever contributed to a FOSS project.

There’s no time like the present, so I reached out the the mentor responsible for one of the projects I was interested in, Daniel Pocock. Daniel guided me through making a small contribution to a FOSS project, which serves as a token demonstration of my abilities and is part of the application process. I added a small feature to JMXetric and suggested a fix for an issue in the xTuple project. Actually, I had forgotten about this. Recently I made another contribution to xTuple, it’s funny to see things come full circle. I also had to write a profile-ish description of my experience and how I intended on contributing during OPW on the Debian wiki, if you’d like you can check it out here.

I wouldn’t follow my example to a T, because in the end I didn’t make the OPW selection. Actually, I take that back. The fact I wasn’t chosen for OPW that year doesn’t mean I was incompetent or incapable of making a valuable contribution. OPW and GSoC do not have unlimited resources; they can’t include everyone they’d like to. They receive thousands of proposals from very talented engineers and not everyone can participate at a given moment. But even though I wasn’t selected, like I said, I could still pitch in. It’s good to keep in mind that people usually aren’t paid to contribute to FOSS. It’s usually volunteer based, which I think is one of the beauties of the FOSS community and in my opinion one of the causes of it’s success and great quality. People contribute because they want to, not because they have to.

I will say I was a little disappointed at not being chosen. But after being reassured that this ‘rejection’ wasn’t due to any lack on my part, I decided to continue contributing to the Debian project I’d applied to. I was begining the final semester of my undergraduate studies which included writing a thesis. To be able to focus on my thesis and graduate on time, I’d stopped working temporarily and was studying full time. But I didn’t want to lose practice and contributing to a FOSS project is a great way to stay in coding shape while doing something useful. So continue contributing I did.

It paid off. I gained experience, added value to a FOSS project and I think my previous contributions added weight to the application I later made for GSoC 2014. I passed this time. To be honest, I really wasn’t counting on it. Actually, I was certain I wouldn’t pass for some reason - insecure much? But with GSoC I wasn’t too anxious about it as I was with the OPW application because by then, I was already ‘hooked’. I’d learned about all the benefits of becoming a FOSS contributor and I wasn’t stopping anytime soon. I had every intention of still working on my FOSS project with or without GSoC. GSoC 2014 ended a week ago (August 18th 2014). There’s a list of things I still want to do with JSCommunicator and you can be sure I’ll keep working on them.

P.S. This is not to say that programs like OPW and GSoC aren’t amazing programs. Try it out if you can, it’s really a great experience.

Categories: Elsewhere

Christian Perrier: Bug #760000

Planet Debian - Mon, 01/09/2014 - 08:02
René Mayorga reported Debian bug #760000 on Saturday August 30th, against the pyfribidi package.

Bug #750000 was reported as of May 31th: nearly exactly 3 months for 10,000 bugs. The bug rate increased a little bit during the last weeks, probably because of the freeze approaching.

We're therefore getting more clues about the time when bug #800000 for which we have bets. will be reported. At current rate, this should happen in one year. So, the current favorites are Knuth Posern or Kartik Mistry. Still, David Prévot, Andreas Tille, Elmar Heeb and Rafael Laboissiere have their chances, too, if the bug rate increases (I'll watch you guys: any MBF by one of you will be suspect...:-)).

Categories: Elsewhere

Junichi Uekawa: I was staring at qemu source for a while last month.

Planet Debian - Mon, 01/09/2014 - 00:14
I was staring at qemu source for a while last month. There's a lot of things that I don't understand about the codebase. There's a race but it's hard to tell why a SIGSEGV was received.

Categories: Elsewhere

Tim Retout: Website revamp

Planet Debian - Mon, 01/09/2014 - 00:04

This weekend I moved my blog to a different server. This meant I could:

I've tested it, and it's working. I'm hoping that I can swap out the Node.js modules one-by-one for the Debian-packaged versions.

Categories: Elsewhere

Joachim's blog: Graphing relationships between entity types

Planet Drupal - Sun, 31/08/2014 - 23:00

Another thing that was developed as a result of my big Commerce project (see my previous blog post for the run-down of the various modules this contributed back to Drupal) was a bit of code for generating a graph that represents the relationships between entity types.

For a site with a lot of entityreference fields it's a good idea to draw diagrams before you get started, to figure out how everything ties together. But it's also nice to have a diagram that's based on what you've built, so you can compare it, and refer back to it (not to mention that it's a lot easier to read than my handwriting).

The code for this never got released; I tried various graph engines that work with Graph API, but none of them produced quite what I was hoping for. It just sat in my local copy of Field Tools for the last couple of years (I didn't even make a git branch for it, that shows how rough it was!). Then yesterday I came across the Sigma.js graph library, and that inspired me to dig out the code and finish it off.

To give the complete picture, I've added support for the relationships that are formed between entity types by their schema fields: things like the uid property on a node. These are easily picked out of hook_schema()'s foreign keys array.

In the end, I found Sigma.js wasn't the right fit: it looks very pretty, but it expects you to dictate the position of the nodes in the canvass, which for a generated graph doesn't really work. There is a plugin for it that allows the graph to be force-directed, but that was starting to be too fiddly. Instead though, I found Springy, that while maybe not quite as versatile, automatically lays out the graph nodes out of the box. It didn't take too long to write a library module for using Springy with Graph API.

Here's the result:

Because this uses Graph API, it'll work with any graph engine, not just Springy. So I'll be interested to see what people who are more familiar with graphing can make it do. To get something that looks like the above for your site, it's simple: install the 7.x-1.x-dev release of Field Tools, install Graph API, install the Springy module, and follow the instructions in the README of that last module for installing the Springy Javascript library.

The next stage of development for this tool is figuring out a nice way of showing entity bundles. After all, entityreference fields are on specific bundles, and may point to only certain bundles. However, they sometimes point to all bundles of an entity type. And meanwhile, schema properties are always on all bundles and point to all bundles. How do we represent that without the graph turning into a total mess? I'm pondering adding a form that lets you pick which entity types should be shown as separate bundles, but it's starting to get complicated. If you have any thoughts on this, or other ways to improve this feature, please share them with me in the Field Tools issue queue!

Categories: Elsewhere

Stefano Zacchiroli: debsources hacking

Planet Debian - Sun, 31/08/2014 - 22:02
Debsources now has a HACKING file

Here at DebConf14 I have given a few talks. The second one has been a technical talk about recent and future developments on Debsources. Both the talk slides and video are available.

After the talk, various DebConf participants have approached me and started hacking on Debsources, which is awesome! As a result of their work, new shiny features will probably be announced shortly. Stay tuned.

When discussing with new contributors (hi Luciano, Raphael!), though, it quickly became clear that getting started with Debsources hacking wasn't particularly easy. In particular, doing a local deployment for testing purposes might be intimidating, due to the need of having a (partial) source mirror and whatnot. To fix that, I have now written a HACKING file for Debsources, which you can find at top-level in the Git repo.

Happy Debsources hacking!

Categories: Elsewhere

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