The web was born as an open, decentralized platform allowing different people in the world to access and share information. I got online in the mid-nineties when there were maybe 100,000 websites in the world. Google didn't exist yet and Steve Jobs had not yet returned to Apple. I remember the web as an "open web" where no one was really in control and everyone was able to participate in building it. Fast forward twenty years, and the web has taken the world by storm. We now have a hundreds of millions of websites. Look beyond the numbers and we see another shift: the rise of a handful of corporate "walled gardens" like Facebook, Google and Apple that are becoming both the entry point and the gatekeepers of the web. Their dominance has given rise to major concerns.
We call them "walled gardens" because they control the applications, content and media on their platform. Examples include Facebook or Google, which control what content we get to see; or Apple, which restricts us to running approved applications on iOS. This is in contrast to the "open web", where users have unrestricted access to applications, content and media.
Facebook is feeling the heat from Google, Google is feeling the heat from Apple but none of these walled gardens seem to be feeling the heat from an open web that safeguards our privacy and our society's free flow of information.
This blog post is the result of people asking questions and expressing concerns about a few of my last blog posts like the Big Reverse of the Web, the post-browser era of the web is coming and my DrupalCon Los Angeles keynote. Questions like: Are walled gardens good or bad? Why are the walled gardens winning? And most importantly; how can the open web win? In this blog post, I'd like to continue those conversations and touch upon these questions.Are "walled gardens" good or bad for the web?
What makes this question difficult is that the walled gardens don't violate the promise of the web. In fact, we can credit them for amplifying the promise of the web. They have brought hundreds of millions of users online and enabled them to communicate and collaborate much more effectively. Google, Apple, Facebook and Twitter have a powerful democratizing effect by providing a forum for people to share information and collaborate; they have made a big impact on human rights and civil liberties. They should be applauded for that.
At the same time, their dominance is not without concerns. With over 1 billion users each, Google and Facebook are the platforms that the majority of people use to find their news and information. Apple has half a billion active iOS devices and is working hard to launch applications that keep users inside their walled garden. The two major concerns here are (1) control and (2) privacy.
First, there is the concern about scale and control. These organizations shape the news that most of the world sees. When too few organizations control the media and flow of information, we must be concerned. They are very secretive about their curation algorithms and have been criticized for inappropriate censoring of information.
Second, they record data about our behavior as we use their sites (and the sites their ad platforms serve) inferring information about our habits and personal characteristics, possibly including intimate details that we might prefer not to disclose. Every time Google, Facebook or Apple launch a new product or service, they are able to learn a bit more about everything we do and control a bit more about our life and the information we consume. They know more about us than any other organization in history before, and do not appear to be restricted by data protection laws. They won't stop until they know everything about us. If that makes you feel uncomfortable, it should. I hope that one day, the world will see this for what it is.
While the walled gardens have a positive and democratizing impact on the web, who is to say they'll always use our content and data responsibly? I'm sure that to most critical readers of this blog, the open web sounds much better. All things being equal, I'd prefer to use alternative technology that gives me precise control over what data is captured and how it is used.Why are the walled gardens winning?
Why then are these walled gardens growing so fast? If the open web is theoretically better, why isn't it winning? These are important questions about future of the open web, open source software, web standards and more. It is important to think about how we got to a point of walled garden dominance, before we can figure out how an open web can win.
The biggest reason the walled gardens are winning is because they have a superior user experience, fueled by data and technical capabilities not easily available to their competitors (including the open web).
Unlike the open web, walled gardens collect data from users, often in exchange for free use of a service. For example, having access to our emails or calendars is incredibly important because it's where we plan and manage our lives. Controlling our smartphones (or any other connected devices such as cars or thermostats) provides not only location data, but also a view into our day-to-day lives. Here is a quick analysis of the types of data top walled gardens collect and what they are racing towards:
On top of our personal information, these companies own large data sets ranging from traffic information to stock market information to social network data. They also possess the cloud infrastructure and computing power that enables them to plow through massive amounts of data and bring context to the web. It's not surprising that the combination of content plus data plus computing power enables these companies to build better user experiences. They leverage their data and technology to turn “dumb experiences” into smart experiences. Most users prefer smart contextual experiences because they simplify or automate mundane tasks.Can the open web win?
I still believe in the promise of highly personalized, contextualized information delivered directly to individuals, because people ultimately want better, more convenient experiences. Walled gardens have a big advantage in delivering such experiences, however I think the open web can build similar experiences. For the open web to win, we first must build websites and applications that exceed the user experience of Facebook, Apple, Google, etc. Second, we need to take back control of our data.Take back control over the experience
The obvious way to build contextual experiences is by combining different systems that provide open APIs; e.g. we can integrate Drupal with a proprietary CRM and commerce platform to build smart shopping experiences. This is a positive because organizations can take control over the brand experience, the user experience and the information flow. At the same time users don't have to trust a single organization with all of our data.
The current state of the web: one end-user application made up of different platform that each have their own user experience and presentation layer and stores its own user data.
To deliver the best user experience, you want “loosely-coupled architectures with a highly integrated user experience”. Loosely-coupled architectures so you can build better user experiences by combining your systems of choice (e.g. integrate your favorite CMS with your favorite CRM with your favorite commerce platform). Highly-integrated user experiences so can build seamless experiences, not just for end-users but also for content creators and site builders. Today's open web is fragmented. Integrating two platforms often remains difficult and the user experience is "mostly disjointed" instead of "highly integrated". As our respective industries mature, we must focus our attention to integrating the user experience as well as the data that drives that user experience. The following "marketecture" illustrates that shift:
Instead of each platform having its own user experience, we have a shared integration and presentation layer. The central integration layer serves to unify data coming from distinctly different systems. Compatible with the "Big Reverse of the Web" theory, the presentation layers is not limited to a traditional web browser but could include push technology like a notification.
For the time being, we have to integrate with the big walled gardens. They need access to great content for their users. In return, they will send users to our sites. Content management platforms like Drupal have a big role to play, by pushing content to these platforms. This strategy may sound counterintuitive to many, since it fuels the growth of walled gardens. But we can't afford to ignore ecosystems where the majority of users are spending their time.Control personal data
At the same time, we have to worry about how to leverage people's data while protecting their privacy. Today, each of these systems or components contain user data. The commerce system might have data about past purchasing behavior, the content management system about who is reading what. Combining all the information we have about a user, across all the different touch-points and siloed data sources will be a big challenge. Organizations typically don't want to share user data with each other, nor do users want their data to be shared without their consent.
The best solution would be to create a "personal information broker" controlled by the user. By moving the data away from the applications to the user, the user can control what application gets access to what data, and how and when their data is shared. Applications have to ask the user permission to access their data, and the user explicitly grants access to none, some or all of the data that is requested. An application only gets access to the data that we want to share. Permissions only need to be granted once but can be revoked or set to expire automatically. The application can also ask for additional permissions at any time; each time the person is asked first, and has the ability to opt out. When users can manage their own data and the relationships they have with different applications, and by extension with the applications' organizations, they take control over their own privacy. The government has a big role to play here; privacy law could help accelerate the adoption of "personal information brokers".
Instead of each platform having its own user data, we move the data away from the applications to the users, managed by a "personal information broker" under the user's control.
The user's personal broker manages data access to different applications.Conclusion
People don't seem so concerned about their data being hosted with these walled gardens since they've willingly given it to date. For the time being, "free" and "convenient" will be hard to beat. However, my prediction is that these data privacy issues are going to come to a head in the next five to ten years, and lack of transparency will become unacceptable to people. The open web should focus on offering user experiences that exceed those provided by walled gardens, while giving users more control over their user data and privacy. When the open web wins through improved transparency, the closed platforms follow suit, at which point they'll no longer be closed platforms. The best case scenario is that we have it all: a better data-driven web experience that exists in service to people, not in the shadows.
In the next couple of weeks we'll be launching a new sponsorship opportunity for Drupal Supporters on the homepage of Drupal.org. The following is background information and a proposal for the program. We would like a period of public community feedback. Feedback is open until the 6th of July. At that time, we will incorporate the feedback into the sponsorship program plan.Background
The Drupal Association has been creating advertising programs on Drupal.org in an effort to do more to serve our mission, and to take the pressure off of DrupalCons to perform financially. We’ve been working to develop advertising products that are meaningful for advertisers, deliver value to the community, and are respectful of users contributing to the project.About the Program
The Homepage Sponsorship will highlight partners who support the community through Drupal Supporter Programs. This includes Supporting Partners, Hosting Supporters and Tech Supporters. The sponsorship will display in the 300 x 250 ad block that already exists on the Drupal.org homepage. The creative template is designed and maintained by the Association. The featured supporter will provide a logo, body copy, button copy, and a link to that will direct to their website. We will display the partner’s supporter badge, and eventually, pass in any applicable organization credits.
The idea for the Homepage Sponsorship originates from the rewards mechanism that Dries discussed in his DrupalCon Amsterdam 2014 Keynote. His vision involves building a system that creates an incentive for Drupal companies to contribute to the project by rewarding them with benefits and giving recognition.
There is a larger project in motion which includes the Drupal Association building commit credits for organizations, and developing the algorithm to apply a value to the credits. The Homepage Sponsorship is one potential reward that will eventually feed into the system. Until that larger project is complete, the Homepage Sponsorship will be available for purchase by Drupal Supporters. It will be sold in one week increments, giving the partner 100% of the page views during the campaign. The program will expand recognition for those organizations who already give back, and will encourage more organizations to participate in Supporter Programs.Homepage Sponsorship Mock Advertising Guidelines for Drupal.org
The Drupal Association interviewed representatives of the Drupal Community to help guide our advertising strategy and ensure a positive advertising experience on Drupal.org. We developed informal guidelines; for example, advertising is not appropriate in issue queues, and when possible, products should monetize users who are logged out and not contributing to the Project. After we received feedback on our most recent program - Try Drupal, we started work on formalizing these guidelines for advertising on Drupal.org.
We created an issue to share a draft advertising policy developed by the Association and Drupal.org Content Working Group. The policy will set guidelines for how we advertise - addressing issues like the labeling of ads, content guidelines, etc. with the aim of providing an advertising experience that complements Drupal.org and supports our community values. Whatever decisions are made in that policy will be applied to existing programs, including the Homepage Sponsorship and Try Drupal program.Talk To Us
We want your input about the Homepage Sponsorship. Please comment on this post, or in the issue, with your questions and insights.
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Commerce Guys has been promoting the value of content-driven commerce for many years, and we are thrilled to see more and more people talking about this continued transformation in the eCommerce market. One company that has recognized this important trend is Forrester Research, who makes a strong and compelling case in their "Content And Commerce: The Odd Couple Or The Power Couple?". In particular, they point out that companies who differentiate themselves by providing a unified user experience to tell their story should consider a tightly integrated solution that provides both a rich Content Management System (CMS) and a flexible eCommerce transactional engine.br />
Today there is almost no barrier to selling online, making it increasingly difficult for companies to differentiate themselves online, create a strong web presence, and attract customers. The solution for many will be to focus more on creating unique user experiences, supported by interesting content, which allows their users to execute transactions anywhere along the buying journey within the context of that information. The challenge today is that this experience requires CMS and eCommerce to work together seamlessly. Unfortunately most companies manage these two functions separately with two distinct systems. This approach results in added complexity and a disjointed and inconsistent user experience that is confusing to users and damages their brand.
According to Forrester, "the convergence of content and commerce platforms is already well underway. [They] expect that these two solution categories to be foundational elements in digital customer experience management"1. They go on to say that "In an ideal world, commerce and content platforms would have fully converged into customer experience management platforms, with commerce services seamlessly exposed through best-in-class digital engagement tools and supported by social, testing, and content management services." - "But this ideal isn’t likely to exist in the near future"1.
The future is NOW - and the reality is that Drupal + Drupal Commerce is the only platform with commerce natively embedded in a CMS, offering a seamless digital experience management solution with a single code base, administration, and database.
Why is this not more widely known?
While this may be news to many, Drupal Commerce has been around for over 5 years and has over 57k active sites. It consists of core and contributed modules, support by Commerce Guys and the broader community, that can be dropped into Drupal (which itself has been around for 10+ years and has over 5 million active sites) allowing transactions to occur anywhere within the user experience created. Contextual relationships between content and products are extremely easy to create - something that is hard to do when you bolt together separate CMS and eCommerce platforms. A great example of the power of Drupal + Drupal Commerce is www.lush.co.uk which helps Lush in the UK tell their story, engage their customers, and sell more product.
Read the Forrester report. They get it right, and they are one of a growing number of analysts talking about the value of content-driven commerce.
2. Don't get stuck on features. Yes, they are important, but they will also change, and you need a solution that will adapt and allow you to take advantage of new ideas quickly. Instead, consider how your business will benefit by creating an experience that keeps your customers coming back and makes it easy for them to buy.
3. If you think your business would benefit from a richer user experience, or if you just want to simplify your infrastructure with a single platform that can serve both your content and commerce needs, take a look at Drupal Commerce - you will be pleasantly surprised by what you see.
Who Benefits from a Content & Commerce Solution?
Potentially everyone, but in particular are brands who benefit from a differentiated user experience that enables them to tell their story through interesting content and community engagement driving sales within the context of that experience. In addition, existing Drupal sites looking to add transactional capabilities is another obvious fit. With an existing investment in technology, skills and content, there is no better choice than to "drop in" commerce functionality, through Drupal Commerce modules, anywhere. Integrating with a separate eCommerce solution and bolting it onto Drupal is a common approach and certainly possible, but the result is added complexity, cost and valuable customer information that is spread out across multiple systems. Two systems makes it harder to create a level of contextualization and a unified experience that buyers are looking for. Given the increasing importance of targeting and personalizing content and offers and knowing your customer, having customer information in one place allows companies to merchandise more effectively.
What Should You Do?
1. Stephen Powers, Peter Sheldon with Zia Daniell Wigder, David Aponovich, Rebecca Katz Content And Commerce: The Odd Couple Or The Power Couple? How To Choose Between Using A Web Content Management Solution, An eCommerce Platform, Or Both (Forrester, November 19, 2013) 11,14
Today I will show how to authorize a user in your mobile app with a Drupal website. First of all we should configure Drupal to allow REST authentication, so go to /admin/structure/services and click the “Edit” link opposite of your service name. Here, check the “Session authentication” option and save. Next go to the resources tab and edit user resource alias and check off the following options for it: login, logout, token, and register.
Also, we should check the user registration settings on /admin/config/people/accounts to allow new user registration by visitors, and account activation without email or admin confirmation.
To login a user with the services module, we must do following steps:
Send GET request to /services/session/token.
Get the response with CSRF token.
Send POST request with username, password with token received before in X-CSRF-Token header to /user/login endpoint.
Receive an object with user data and new CSRF token on login success or error code with a message on login fail.
To log out a user, we have to send POST request to /user/logout with X-CSRF-token header, that contains the token which we receive on login.
And to register a new user we send a POST request to /user/register API URL with user data. As a response we should get a new user object and error status message on registration fail. The minimum data required for a user registration is username, e-mail address, and password, but we should add a status equal to 1, to immediately make a new account active, ready for use.In-app integration
It is good practice to save some data on a device to prevent the user from manually editing any information that is needed every time that we run application. We should use Local Storage to store user login status, tokens from the last login time and user data. AngularJS has some modules to add to Local Storage support for an application; I chose angularLocalStorage. It also has a cookie fallback and uses the ngCookies module for it.
So we should download these two modules and plug them in our index.html file.
Next we should define the UI Router state for account tab, angularLocalStorage module dependency in our app.js file and add local storage prefix constant, we will add it to our config constant.
In the services.js file we will create a new factory called User. This will contain a list of methods to work with user operations on the REST server, and to save / delete user data from local storage. We use $rootScope services to have access to login status and user information from any part of the application.
In tabs.html we add an Account tab link.
Let’s create a tab-account template. Here we should show the following: for an unauthorized user, show login and register buttons that will open a popup form for each action; and for a logged-in (authorized) user, show information about user and a logout button. To show these parts of the template conditionally, we use the ng-show directive and loginSuccess variable that are stored globally in $rootScope.
To show popups with login/register forms we should use $ionicModal service, which comes with Ionic Framework core. We must create templates for each modal window: login.html and register.html.
Finally, we should define a controller for each (login and register) popup. We initialize a new $ionicModal instance and set a template for it, creating methods to open and close the modals, and doLogin, doLogout and doRegistration actions. It will be easy to handle any error message because our User Factory methods return promises. Also, we should save user information to Local Storage and send requests to the server only if it is necessary.
You can clone and try all this code from my GitHub repository, and to get the code of this part, checkout the part5 branch (just run “git checkout -f part5”). Now we can test the application in a browser - run “ionic serve” prompt command from the project directory and see the result of our work.
Tomorrow, I will add comments to articles and ability to post a comment for logged in users.DrupalBest PracticesDrupal How toDrupal PlanetLearning SeriesTechnology ToolsPost tags: IonicAppsDrupal
A very common use-case for Maestro is to launch a workflow in order to moderate some piece of content. You may have an expense form as a content type and you wish to have a manager review and approve it before handing it off to other departments for processing.
This post will show you how to fire off a moderation workflow after saving content with Rules.
Step 1: Create a simple test flow
I know you have a super-ultra-complex workflow, but this is best to get off the ground with a simple 1 step flow for the time being!
The content that you display on your Drupal site doesn’t necessarily have to be content that you own or store in your own database. In addition to your own content, there could be various use cases and methods for dynamically displaying data from outside sources and displaying it on your site.
In the Drupal modules that I inherit or review, I see a lot of different ways of factoring out into separate files, of what might have begun in the main module file. This can be useful for performance (to a limited extent) and legibility, but depending on how you do it, you might end up ironically spoiling both.
How should you break down your Drupal module files? Well, I'm not here to tell you the perfect file breakdown. Matching the architecture is good, although what "the architecture" means in Drupal 7 isn't clear. Outside of a Drupal 8/Symfony-style architectural model, there's a limit to how much the file breakdown really needs to match the architecture, and a limit to how useful doing so would be.
Sprints are times dedicated to focused work on a project or topic. People in the same location (physical space, IRC, certain issue pages) work together to make progress, remove barriers to completion, and try to get things to "done".
This summer, there are many Drupal 8- focused sprint opportunities before DrupalCon Barcelona.
Some of these are open to everyone, some have mentors or workshops to help new contributors, some have limited space, depending on the event.Earlier this summer
DrupalCon Los Angeles had very productive extended sprints, and the main sprint on Friday was huge! Since then, many sprints have continued the progress, including: Drupal Camp Spain, DrupalCamp Wroclaw, Moldcamp in Chișinău, Moldova, and Frontend United.
And, we had two sprints (New Hampshire and New Jersey) aided by Drupal 8 Accelerate. If you have more money than time for sprinting or resources for planning or hosting a sprint, and you want to help get Drupal 8 out, giving to D8 Accelerate really helps.New Hampshire, USA
Jersey Shore Sprint, New Jersey, USA
Twin Cities Drupal Camp, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA
Sprints are concurrent with the training day on Thursday, and concurrent with sessions Friday and Saturday. The dedicated sprint day is on Sunday. We are expecting about 10 people on Thursday and 60 people on Sunday. Sunday will have a workshop for new contributors, Core/Contrib sprints, and a Drupal 8 Manual sprint.
See the sprint page on the tcdrupal.org site for details.June 25-28, 2015
Drupal North, Toronto, Canada
Sunday is a dedicated Drupal 8 sprint day. There will be a small unofficial sprint on Thursday.
The whole 4 day camp is focused on Drupal 8.June 28, 2015
This is a dedicated one day sprint to help get Drupal 8 out.
See the announcement for details.July 2-8, 2015
D8 Accelerate critical issue sprint, London
This 7 day sprint will be focused on Drupal 8 critical issues and space is limited.
See the groups.drupal.org post for details.July 4, 2015
DrupalCamp Bristol, United Kingdom
Sprints will run concurrent with sessions on Saturday.July 16-19, 2015
NYC Camp, New York, USA
Monday to Wednesday are sprint only days, with Drupal 8 Core and Media for Drupal 8 scheduled. Panopoly is scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday. Sprints will also be concurrent with trainings, summits, and sessions on Thursday through Sunday.
DrupalCamp North, Sunderland, United Kingdom
GovCon, Bethesda, Maryland, USA
GovCon conference is July 22-24 with sprints concurrent with sessions, but there will be two dedicated sprint days following on Saturday and Sunday, July 25 and 26 in Washington, DC at the ForumOne offices.August 6-9, 2015
Sprints will be concurrent with the camp all days.
Last year was super focused and relaxing.August 12-15, 2015
MidWest Developers Summit (MWDS), Chicago, Illinois, USA
4 days of only sprinting, hosted in the Palantir.net offices.
Details still to be announced. See the groups.drupal.org event page for more details.September 11-18, 2015
Montréal to Barcelona Sprint, Montréal, Canada
For some people in North America, Montréal could be on the way to Barcelona, where DrupalCon extended sprints start September 19.
See the groups.drupal.org event page for more details.P.S.
I will be at Twin Cities, GovCon, and MWDS.Drupal PlanetDrupalSprints
If you want pizza you can either go to cafe or order delivery, right? So why should Drupal be different? :) We made Drupal delivery possible to any Ukrainian city with DrupalTour!Read more
Annertech is #1 on Google for a number of key search phrases and when we're not, we're usually only beaten by the Drupal Ireland page from g.d.o. (groups.drupal.org/ireland). How did we get to the top of Google? How do we stay there? Two words: hard work - but it really revolves around two other words: content strategy. Let's get down to the details.
DrupalCamp St. Louis 2015 was held this past weekend, June 20-21, 2015, at SLU LAW in downtown St. Louis. We had nine sessions and a great keynote on Saturday, and a full sprint day on Sunday.
The view coming off the elevators at SLU LAW.
Every session was recorded (slides + audio), and you can view all the sessions online:
- Keynote - Finding the entrance: Why and how to get involved with the Drupal community
- .git basics
- Empowering Content Creators Through Better UX
- Out on a TWIG: custom theme development
- Securing Drupal
- Age of Content: Building Meaningful Content Strategies
- Scale up your Drupal Search
- High Performance Drupal
- Challenges of designing for a CMS
- Status of Migrate in 8
- Closing Session
The Camp went very well, with almost sixty participants this year! We had a great time, learned a lot together, and enjoyed some great views of downtown St. Louis (check out the picture below!), and we can't wait until next year's DrupalCamp St. Louis (to be announced)!
While walking, I started listening to Jeff Eaton’s Insert Content Here podcast episode 25: Noz Urbina Explains Adaptive Content. People must’ve looked strangely at me because I was smiling and nodding — while walking :) Thanks Jeff & Noz!
Jeff Eaton explained how the web world looks at and defines the term WYSIWYG. Turns out that in the semi-structured, non-web world that Noz comes from, WYSIWYG has a totally different interpretation. And they ended renaming it to what it really was: WYSIWOO.
Jeff also asked Noz what “adaptive content” is exactly. Adaptive content is a more specialized/advanced form of structured content, and in fact “structured content”, “intelligent content” and “adaptive content” form a hierarchy:
- structured content
- intelligent content
- adaptive content
- intelligent content
In other words, adaptive content is also intelligent and structured; intelligent content is also structured, but not all structured content is also intelligent or adaptive, nor is all intelligent content also adaptive.
Basically, intelligent content better captures the precise semantics (e.g. not a section, but a product description). Adaptive content is about using those semantics, plus additional metadata (“hints”) that content editors specify, to adapt the content to the context it is being viewed in. E.g. different messaging for authenticated versus anonymous users, or different nuances depending on how the visitor ended up on the current page (in other words: personalization).
Noz gave an excellent example of how adaptive content can be put to good use: he described how we he had arrived in Utrecht in the Netherlands after a long flight, “checked in” to Utrecht on Facebook, and then Facebook suggested to him 3 open restaurants, including cuisine type and walking distance relative to his current position. He felt like thanking Facebook for these ads — which obviously is a rare thing, to be grateful for ads!
Finally, a wonderful quote from Noz Urbina that captures the essence of content modeling:
How descriptive do we make it without making it restrictive?
If it isn’t clear by now — go listen to that podcast! It’s well worth the 38 minutes of listening. I only captured a few of the interesting points, to get more people interested and excited.1What about adaptive & intelligent content in Drupal 8?
First, see my closely related article Drupal 8: best authoring experience for structured content?.
Second, while listening, I thought of many ways that Drupal 8 is well-prepared for intelligent & adaptive content. (Drupal already does structured content by means of Field API and the HTML tag restrictions in the body field.) Implementing intelligent & adaptive will surely require experimentation, and different sites/use cases will prefer different solutions, but:
- An intelligent_content module for Drupal 8: allow site builders/content strategists to define custom HTML tags (e.g. <product_description>) to capture site-specific semantics. A CKEditor Widget could hugely simplify the authoring experience for creating intelligent content, by showing a specific HTML representation while editing (WYSIWOO!), thanks to HTML (Twig) templates associated with those custom HTML tags.
- An adaptive_content module for Drupal 8: a text filter that allows any tag to be wrapped in a <adaptive_content> tag, which specifies the context in which the wrapped content should be shown/hidden.
- The latter leads to cacheability problems, because the same content may be rendered in a multitude of different ways, but thanks to cache contexts in Drupal 8 and the fact that text filters can specify cache contexts means adaptive content that is still cacheable is perfectly possible. (This is in fact exactly what it was intended for!) cache contexts
I think that those two modules would be very interesting, useful additions to the Drupal ecosystem. If you are working on this, please let me know — I would love to help!
That’s right, this is basically voluntary marketing for Jeff Eaton — you’re welcome, Jeff! ↩
Following a successful MidCamp and with some new ideas how to improve the kit, I was eager to hit the road for more testing. Problem is, I'm a freelancer with a limited budget, and getting to camps comes out of my own pocket. On a lark, I tweeted the following:
— Kevin Thull (@kevinjthull) April 8, 2015
To my delight, both Twin Cities and St. Louis camps took me up on my offer. Of course, the stakes are even higher now, because it's no longer my own money on the line.
But I'm also feeling more confident about this solution and improve on the process with each camp. Connecting to non-HDMI-capable laptops remains the biggest challenge overall. I've added in a couple (full) DisplayPort to HDMI converters and even successfully tested a new VGA to HDMI converter that got my ancient Sony VAIO to display on my home flatscreen:
— Kevin Thull (@kevinjthull) June 16, 2015
And at DrupalCamp STL I finally got the 100% success rate that I've been shooting for! Three sessions needed fixing in post, but overall, this camp went very smoothly. A huge bonus was the fact that the two rooms were next to each other, minimizing the distance to cover when trying to coordinate laptop hookups and verify timely starts and stops of the records.
Twin Cities is next week, with a much more challenging schedule: five concurrent sessions across two buildings and multiple floors. My Fitbit will likely hit a new high. That, and I need to finally get down to some documentation and podium signage. It's time to share the knowledge I've gained and get more hands and minds involved.
And now for the learnings from DCSTL:
- swapping thumb drives throughout the day means recordings can be posted during camp
- well-timed presenter starts/stops means no trimming, which means more recordings can be posted during camp
- one room had screen flicker and setting the PVR resolution to 1080 helped (typically, the resolution needs to come down to 720 for this, as well as fixing color shifts)
- having extra SD cards means bad audio can be fixed during down times, which means more recordings can be posted during camp
- power strips at the podium shouldn't be assumed, and the powered USB hub and voice recorder both have short plugs
- never plug the powered usb into the laptop, because that can kill your record if resolution changes or the laptop goes to sleep
- taping down individual components means less cord chaos throughout the day
- access to ethernet port with a reasonably large pipe going up will get videos posted faster
In [policy, no patch] Require hook_update_N() for Drupal 8 core patches beginning June 24, the Drupal 8 release managers outline a policy to begin requiring hook_update_N() implementations for core patches that introduce data model changes starting after the next beta release. The goal of this policy change is to start identifying common update use-cases, to uncover any limitations we have for providing update functions in core, and to prepare core developers for considering upgrade path issues as we create the last few betas and first release candidates of Drupal 8. We need your help reviewing and communicating about this proposed policy, as well as identifying core issues that will be affected. Read the issue for more details.
I want to share today that the Association is implementing a new financial plan to address lower than anticipated revenues in 2015. To align our spending more closely with our revenue, we are implementing expense cuts that I’m very sorry to say include staffing. Regrettably, we are losing three staff people today from operations, engineering and our community teams. This was not a decision we came to lightly, and we’re committed to helping those staff through their transition as best we can. In this post I want to share some information about how we got here, and our revised plan.A Brief history
This is a really hard post to write because we delivered a plan to the community at the beginning of 2015, and it’s clear that we are not going to be able to fully execute to that plan. I take responsibility for that.
I started at the Association two and half years ago, at a very different time for the organization. At that point in early 2013, the Association was a handful of staff, mostly focused on the DrupalCons. The D7 upgrade of Drupal.org had been halted. Not without some good reason, community trust in the Association was low, and that’s among the people who even knew the Association existed.
When I joined, the message I heard from the board and from the many community members I talked to was that the Association had to learn to implement consistently and communicate more. In other words, we needed to build our credibility in the community by executing our work well and making sure the community knew what we were up to and how to get involved.
One thing that was clear from the outset was that Drupal.org was key to our success. If we could not begin to make visible improvements to Drupal.org with the community, we would fail. With support from the board, we decided to invest our healthy reserve in ourselves and build a team that could improve Drupal.org. As our CTO Josh Mitchel pointed out in his anniversary blog post, we’ve done a LOT on Drupal.org. We’ve also made great strides in DrupalCons, introducing more first-time attendee support, providing more resources to all the sprints, and adding the third Con in global communities that are so eager to have us there. Our marketing team has helped create some key content for Drupal 8 and we’ve even raised over $210,000 to help fund the completion of D8 release blockers, The revenue we generate to do this work has also increased, and diversified. We've grown the Drupal Jobs, and rolled out Try Drupal. You can see, even with our revised expectations for 2015, that things are still growing. One of our key programs, Supporting Partners, is up 26% over this same time period last year, for example. Growth of this program was only 4% in 2014.
So lots of amazing things are happening, but we have to address that we overestimated what was possible for revenue. We have to adjust our plan to meet reality.Changing the Plan
Addressing our situation is not work we took lightly. We set several goals for the process that guided our thinking throughout:
- Solve for short-term revenue shortfalls while retaining resources we need to succeed long-term
- Minimize staff impact
- Do this once - find the scenario we can truly sustain, and then grow out of
- Retaining credibility with staff and ensuring we communicate how valuable they are for our future
- Maintain community confidence
The strategy we used was two-fold. First, we strove to preserve our core services to the community and our ability to fund our own work. Second, we decided to take action as quickly as possible because the sooner we made changes to the plan, the greater the long-term benefit to the organization. We know that this second strategy makes some of this seem like it's out of the blue, but it means that we impact as few people as possible.
Our leadership team looked at three approaches to addressing our cash flow issues:
- Incremental revenue: Our new forecast extends actuals from the beginning of 2015 out through the end of the year. We believe that it is possible for us to improve upon this forecast slightly because, although our primary mistake was overestimating revenue, we also had some staffing change-ups (a retirement, hiring new reps) on the team at the beginning of the year that adversely affected the numbers. There is some room to modestly improve our revenue from the forecast.
- Non-labor expense: We looked at travel, consulting fees, hardware and software, among other places in the budget where we had built in buffers or non-essential expenses. Eliminating these now, and not carrying them into 2016 was a key part of our process.
- Labor expense: This was the last option we looked at because at the end of the day, not only do all our staff give the community everything they’ve got, we really like each other here. I care deeply for the well-being of everyone at the Association. There is also lot of discussion in the business community about the long-term negative impacts of layoffs on organizations. We looked at lots of ways to reduce labor expense, but were not able to find a solution that did not include some layoffs.
Using this process, we were able to identify $450,000 in non-labor expense savings, and increase revenue projections $250,000 from July 1 2015 through December 31 2016. That was enough to solve our 2015 revenue shortfalls, but it did not address the issues long-term. We needed to reach deeper to ensure our long-term success. We had to consider labor reductions.
Prior to looking at any other staff, the leadership team at the Association decided that the first staff cut had to come from us. As a team, Megan, Joe, Josh, and Matt volunteered a 10% reduction, and I volunteered a 15% reduction. But we still weren’t there. Looking at the remaining labor cuts, we wanted to use our values as our guide. We know that our team believes in our teamwork value above all else, and would want to minimize layoffs as much as possible. With that in mind, we experimented with the model and determined that we could limit layoffs to three if we asked remaining staff to take a 5% pay cut across the board.
All told, here’s what measures look like:
We believe this approach meets our goals and puts us in the best position possible to continue the great work we’ve been doing.What Happens Next?
On the financial front, we’ll be managing to our cash flow for the next 18 months, as well as modernizing our budgeting and forecasting tools to reflect an Agile methodology. This will let us see further into the future more often, and give us more opportunities to update our plans based on what’s actually happening. And, if we find we are performing favorably to our plan, our first action will be to restore salaries for our staff.
Most importantly, we’re going to be focused on our team. They all got the news earlier today, and we’re taking this time to talk things through all together, in our teams, and one on one. I am here to answer questions and hear concerns for every one of them. We’ll also implement monthly internal review of our progress to the new plan with staff so that they have transparency on a monthly basis about what’s happening. These people are the best thing we have going for us, and I won’t ever be able to make this up to any of them, but I am committed to helping them find the best path forward they can.Thank you
Sharing this is not easy. The only thing that makes it better is knowing that the Association, like Drupal itself, has so much potential. I want to thank our Supporters, partners, sponsors, members, and the general community for everything you’ve given us so far. The only way we will realize our potential and move forward is together, and we are so happy that we get to do that with you.
The digital marketing world keeps changing, basically every day, or whenever Google decides it’s time to change their algorithm. As a person who practices digital marketing, I know the challenges of working with a CMS and the need to for it to allow me to publish blog posts (like this one) easily and have it be mobile responsive, because who uses actual computers these days?... Read more
Vasily Yaremchuk: Anchors Panels Navigation Module as an Excellent Alternative to Single Page Website Module
Several years ago I was working on my personal Web site. Even in that time One Page solutions were very popular for some presentation, personal or CV pages.
The main idea of such approach to put all information on one long page with several link anchors corresponding some separate sub-sections of this page.
Single Page Website module is good out of box solution for Drupal beginners but it has a lot of weak points connected with it's architectural solution. Some more information about this module you can see in my report on Kiev Drupal Camp 2011.Frustration due to Single Page Website module
It was my fault to build single page on the base of my custom solution without some prepared and ready to use approaches (Views or Panels for example) that can put several nodes or other content entities together on one page. And according incorrect architecture Single Page Website module has a lot of restrictions. The most significant one is theme restriction. Module works with limited number of themes. Also on the module there is out of box ability to have only one page with anchor navigation from menu.
So we should have only one language One Page Website. And the last frustrated feature of the module we should have anchors links in menu only without links to some internal or external pages.New Approach based on Panels
I'm start working on the other solution about one year ago, see my post Anchors Panels Navigation Module. And now I have some stable version of Anchors Panels Navigation Module with no theme restriction and with manual anchor name management.
Of course, new approach is Panel based and it require several modules to be installed. Also to set One page website driven on Anchors Panels Navigation module takes more time than on the base Of Single Page Website one. But this solution more flexible. You can use several menus, and links in blocks and content for one page navigation. Also you can use this module to set on your site several Landing Pages and the number of such pages is not limited!
If you would like to set Landing Page solution on the base of Anchors Panels Navigation module you should do a lot of manual work in Drupal admin area.
- In addition to setup this module you should create node with type Panel and put several pieces of content in the panes.
- Set CSS IDs to each pane that should have #anchors. The name of #anchors will be equal to the names of CSS IDs.
- To set links in menu with #hashes. You can use absolute links to your site (like I use on my personal site) or use Void Menu Module (I think it is overkill approach).
- To make this menu fixed in the browser window. You can use Code per Node module or Floating Block module or, of course, put required CSS code directly in your theme.
After this steps Anchors Panels Navigation module module will take care about scroll to you anchors when visitors will click to the links and about #hash changing in browser address string. By the fact this new approach less complex than Single Page Website module. It has less PHP and JS code and cause less problems to the site developers I hope :-)What will be the next step?
After one year of developing and using this module I find out that "Anchors Panels Navigation" is not good name for this module according marketing view. It reflects some architectural semantic core of the module but there is no any ideas about module applying in the name of the module. So I would like to ask Drupal community about better name for this module.Other solutions
It is fair to mention some other solutions belong to the other developers.
There is Drupal Distribution One Page CV created by Ukrainian Drupal Developer Artem Shymko.
There is Single Page Site module developed by Belgium Drupal Developer Robin Ingelbrecht. This module has no theme restriction such as Single Page Website module but there is no ability do more than one Landing Page into one Drupal site also there is no anchors in address line that does not allow to send link on separate block in the One Page site. But in this module there is beautiful Next Page submodule, and it works perfect, see http://www.starfisk.com.
Please let me know is there are some other Drupal based solutions that I should mention here.Blog tags: Planet Drupal
When Tom Feichter told me he only gets to one Drupal event a year, I wanted to know why. When he told me it's because he runs a Drupal shop–mspiral creative media–in Yangon, Myanmar, I had to know more! We talked about Tom's history in Drupal, how Drupal's multilingual capabilities have helped him, how excited he is about Drupal 8's architecture, his history working with NGOs on the Thai/Burmese border and how that has flowed into ethical digital agency work, and more.