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Wunderkraut Belgium: I'm running Drupal 6, what do I do?

Fri, 15/04/2016 - 10:26
If your website is running Drupal 6, chances are it’s between 3 and 6 years old now, and once Drupal 8 comes out. Support for Drupal 6 will drop. Luckily the support window has recently been prolonged for another 3 months after Drupal 8 comes out. But still,  that leaves you only a small window of time to migrate to the latest and greatest. But why would you?  There are many great things about Drupal 8 that will have something for everyone to love, but that should not be the only reason why you would need an upgrade. It is not the tool itself that will magically improve the traffic to your site, neither convert its users to start buying more stuff, it’s how you use the tool.   So if your site is running Drupal 6 and hasn’t had large improvements in the last years it might be time to investigate if it needs a major overhaul to be up to par with the competition. If that’s the case, think about brand, concept, design, UX and all of that first to understand how your site should work and what it should look like, only then we can understand if a choice needs to be made to go for Drupal 7 or Drupal 8.   If your site is still running well you might not even need to upgrade! Although community support for Drupal 6 will end a few months after Drupal 8 release, we will continue to support Drupal 6 sites and work with you to fix any security issues we encounter and collaborate with the Drupal Security Team to provide patches. My rule of thumb is that if your site uses only core Drupal and a small set of contributed modules, it’s ok to build a new website on Drupal 8 once it comes out. But if you have a complex website running on many contributed and custom modules it might be better to wait a few months maybe a year until all becomes stable. 
Categories: Elsewhere

Wunderkraut Belgium: Introduction to customer journey mapping

Fri, 15/04/2016 - 10:26
So how does customer journey mapping work? In this somewhat simplified example, we map the customer journey of somebody signing up for an online course. If you want to follow along with your own use case, pick an important target audience and a customer journey that you know is problematic for the customer. 1. Plot the customer steps in the journey   Write down the series of steps a client takes to complete this journey. For example “requests brochure”, “receives brochure”, “visits the website for more information”, etc. Put each step on a coloured sticky note. 2. Define the interactions with your organisation Next, for each step, determine which people and groups the customer interacts with, like the marketing department, copywriter and designer, customer service agent, etc. Do the same for all objects and systems that the client encounters, like the brochure, website and email messages. You’ve now mapped out all people, groups, systems and objects that the customer interacts with during this particular journey. 3. Draw the line Draw a line under the sticky notes. Everything above the line is “on stage”, visible to your customers. 4. Map what happens behind the curtains   Now we’ll plot the backstage parts. Use sticky notes of a different color and collect the persons, groups, actions, objects and systems that support the on stage part of the journey. In this example these would be the marketing team that produces the prod brochure, the printer, the mail delivery partner, web site content team, IT departments, etc. This backstage part is usually more complex than the on stage part. 5. How do people feel about this? Now we get to the crucial part. Mark the parts that work well from the perspective of the person interacting with it with green dots. Mark the parts where people start to feel unhappy with yellow dots. Mark the parts where people get really frustrated with red. What you’ll probably see now is that your client starts to feel unhappy much sooner than employees or partners. It could well be that on the inside people are perfectly happy with how things work while the customer gets frustrated. What does this give you? Through this process you can immediately start discovering and solving customer experience issues because you now have: A user centred perspective on your entire service/product offering A good view on opportunities for innovation and improvement Clarity about which parts of the organisation can be made responsible to produce those improvements In a shareable format that is easy to understand Mapping your customer journey is an important first step towards customer centred thinking and acting. The challenge is learning to see things from your customers perspective and that's exactly what a customer journey map enables you to do. Based on the opportunities you identified from the customer journey map, you’ll want to start integrating the multitude of digital channels, tools and technology already in use into a cohesive platform. In short: A platform for digital experience management! That's our topic for our next post.
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Wunderkraut Belgium: Taming Facet API paths

Fri, 15/04/2016 - 10:26
In combination with the FacetAPI module, which allows you to easily configure a block or a pane with facet links, we created a page displaying search results containing contact type content and a facets block on the left hand side to narrow down those results. One of the struggles with FacetAPI are the URLs of the individual facets. While Drupal turns the ugly GET 'q' parameter into a clean URLs, FacetAPI just concatenates any extra query parameters which leads to Real Ugly Paths. The FacetAPI Pretty Paths module tries to change that by rewriting those into human friendly URLs. Our challenge involved altering the paths generated by the facets, but with a slight twist. Due to the projects architecture, we were forced to replace the full view mode of a node of the bundle type "contact" with a single search result based on the nid of the visited node. This was a cheap way to avoid duplicating functionality and wasting precious time. We used the CTools custom page manager to take over the node/% page and added a variant which is triggered by a selection rule based on the bundle type. The variant itself doesn't use the panels renderer but redirects the visitor to the Solr page passing the nid as an extra argument with the URL. This resulted in a path like this: /contacts?contact=1234. With this snippet, the contact query parameter is passed to Solr which yields the exact result we need. /** * Implements hook_apachesolr_query_alter(). */ function myproject_apachesolr_query_alter($query) { if (!empty($_GET['contact'])) { $query->addFilter('entity_id', $_GET['contact']); } } The result page with our single search result still contains facets in a sidebar. Moreover, the URLs of those facets looked like this: /contacts?contact=1234&f[0]=im_field_myfield..... Now we faced a new problem. The ?contact=1234 part was conflicting with the rest of the search query. This resulted in an empty result page, whenever our single search result, node 1234, didn't match with the rest of the search query! So, we had to alter the paths of the individual facets, to make them look like this: /contacts?f[0]=im_field_myfield. This is how I approached the problem. If you look carefully in the API documentation, you won't find any hooks that allow you to directly alter the URLs of the facets. Gutting the FacetAPI module is quite daunting. I started looking for undocumented hooks, but quickly abandoned that approach. Then, I realised that FacetAPI Pretty Paths actually does what we wanted: alter the paths of the facets to make them look, well, pretty! I just had to figure out how it worked and emulate its behaviour in our own module. Turns out that most of the facet generating functionality is contained in a set of adaptable, loosely coupled, extensible classes registered as CTools plugin handlers. Great! This means that I just had to find the relevant class and override those methods with our custom logic while extending. Facet URLs are generated by classes extending the abstract FacetapiUrlProcessor class. The FacetapiUrlProcessorStandard extends and implements the base class and already does all of the heavy lifting, so I decided to take it from there. I just had to create a new class, implement the right methods and register it as a plugin. In the folder of my custom module, I created a new folder plugins/facetapi containing a new file called This is my class: /** * @file * A custom URL processor for cancer. */ /** * Extension of FacetapiUrlProcessor. */ class FacetapiUrlProcessorMyProject extends FacetapiUrlProcessorStandard { /** * Overrides FacetapiUrlProcessorStandard::normalizeParams(). * * Strips the "q" and "page" variables from the params array. * Custom: Strips the 'contact' variable from the params array too */ public function normalizeParams(array $params, $filter_key = 'f') { return drupal_get_query_parameters($params, array('q', 'page', 'contact')); } } I registered my new URL Processor by implementing hook_facetapi_url_processors in the myproject.module file. ** * Implements hook_facetapi_url_processors(). */ function myproject_facetapi_url_processors() { return array( 'myproject' => array( 'handler' => array( 'label' => t('MyProject'), 'class' => 'FacetapiUrlProcessorMyProject', ), ), ); } I also included the .inc file in the file: files[] = plugins/facetapi/ Now I had a new registered URL Processor handler. But I still needed to hook it up with the correct Solr searcher on which the FacetAPI relies to generate facets. hook_facetapi_searcher_info_alter allows you to override the searcher definition and tell the searcher to use your new custom URL processor rather than the standard URL processor. This is the implementation in myproject.module: /** * Implements hook_facetapi_search_info(). */ function myproject_facetapi_searcher_info_alter(array &$searcher_info) { foreach ($searcher_info as &$info) { $info['url processor'] = 'myproject'; } } After clearing the cache, the correct path was generated per facet. Great! Of course, the paths still don't look pretty and contain those way too visible and way too ugly query parameters. We could enable the FacetAPI Pretty Path module, but by implementing our own URL processor, FacetAPI Pretty Paths will cause a conflict since the searcher uses either one or the other class. Not both. One way to solve this problem would be to extend the FacetapiUrlProcessorPrettyPaths class, since it is derived from the same FacetapiUrlProcessorStandard base class, and override its normalizeParams() method. But that's another story.
Categories: Elsewhere

Appnovation Technologies: Improving Drupal Content Management Features

Fri, 15/04/2016 - 09:00

In the marketing world, content is still king. The internet is an endless ocean of content that is easily accessible at any time, on any device.

Categories: Elsewhere

Mediacurrent: Dropcast: Episode 18- Try Try Again

Thu, 14/04/2016 - 22:58

This episode we are going to have an interview with Matt Davis, to talk about his work with Weather Underground, and decoupling Drupal from the presentation layer, or die trying. This is our second third take on Episode 18, and we need to thank Oscar Mejivar for coming on. We will be re-recording that episode at a later date, so please tune in because outside my horrible production skills, it’s was a great topic and we want to share it with you. Stay tuned.

Categories: Elsewhere

Drupal core announcements: Drupal core security release window and 8.1.0 release on Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Thu, 14/04/2016 - 20:25
Start:  2016-04-19 12:00 - 2016-04-21 12:00 UTC Organizers:  catch xjm David_Rothstein Event type:  Online meeting (eg. IRC meeting)

The monthly security release window for Drupal 8 and 7 core will take place on Wednesday, April 20.

This does not mean that a Drupal core security release will necessarily take place on that date for any of the Drupal 8 or 7 branches, only that you should watch for one (and be ready to update your Drupal sites in the event that the Drupal security team decides to make a release).

This is also the release window for Drupal 8.1.0, the next scheduled minor release of Drupal 8. To ensure a reliable release window for the patch release, there will be a Drupal 8.1.x commit freeze from 12:00 UTC Tuesday to 12:00 UTC Thursday. Read the release candidate announcement for more information on the minor release.

The next window for a Drupal core patch (bug fix) release for all branches is Wednesday, May 04. (Drupal 6 is end-of-life and will not receive further releases.)

For more information on Drupal core release windows, see the documentation on release timing and security releases, and the discussion that led to this policy being implemented.

Categories: Elsewhere

DrupalCon News: DrupalCon Celebrates Diversity at 'Women in Drupal'

Thu, 14/04/2016 - 19:42

While we are above the tech average, we are still always striving to foster inclusivity and embrace the involvement of individuals across the gender spectrum. To help celebrate where we are and where we are going, we would like to formally invite you to Tuesday's Women in Drupal event. This event is open to all women, trans* individuals, those who identify outside of the gender binary, and allies.

Categories: Elsewhere

Palantir: On the Air with Palantir podcast, Ep. 04: Everything You Need to Know About DrupalCon New Orleans

Thu, 14/04/2016 - 17:41

DrupalCon is just a few weeks away in New Orleans, so this time around our Account Manager Allison Manley is joined by our CEO and Founder George DeMet, Drupal veteran and PHP guru Larry "Crell" Garfield, and Senior Front-End Developer Lauren Byrwa. They share thoughts about the conference generally, what they're excited about specifically, and what they're expected from the Driesnote, among other topics.

iTunes | RSS Feed | Download | Transcript

We'll be back next Tuesday with another episode of the Secret Sauce and a new installment of our long-form interview podcast On the Air With Palantir next month, but for now subscribe to all of our episodes over on iTunes.

Heading to DrupalCon this year? On the fence and need to be convinced? Let's schedule a time to talk so we can explain why you should attend this conference.


Allison Manley [AM]: Hi, and welcome to On the Air with Palantir, a podcast by where we go in-depth on topics related to the business of web design and development. It’s April 2016, and this is episode #4.

I’m Allison Manley, an Account Manager at Palantir, and today we are going to give a preview of what to expect from the upcoming DrupalCon in New Orleans which is taking place May 9th through the 13th. The website is if you want to see more. I’m a newbie to DrupalCon — this will be my very first one — so I gathered a bunch of my seasoned colleagues here at Palantir who have attended in the past to get their thoughts on the upcoming conference.

I am here with three of my fabulous colleagues that are going to be attending DrupalCon with me. So I have Lauren Byrwa, who’s one of our senior front-end developers.

Lauren Byrwa [LB]: Hi!

AM: George DeMet, founder and CEO.

George DeMet [GD]: Hello.

AM: And Larry Garfield, Senior Architect and Community Lead. How are you?

Larry Garfield [LG]: Hello, world.

AM: So what we’re doing here is basically a preview of DrupalCon. DrupalCon is coming up in a couple of weeks, in New Orleans, which is very exciting. How many DrupalCons is this for
each of you?

LG: I think this will be #21.

AM: Out of how many? How many have there been?

LG: Maybe 25? I’m a staple at this point [laughs].

GD: It’s a good question. Not as many as you, Larry, but probably, if I had to guess, between 15 and 20.

LB: I’m actually only at #2 for Cons. So not a whole lot compared to these guys.

AM: I’m a complete newbie, so we’ll get to that later — what I can expect — but before we get to what most people or new people can expect from DrupalCon, or what DrupalCon is about — we know that Drupal was started by Dries Buytaert. Did I pronounce that right?

LG: Close enough for an American [laughs].

AM: What is the correct pronunciation, please?

LG: Well, I’m an American too. ‘Drees Boy-thart’ I think is closer, but don’t quote me on that. Dries, feel free to correct us.

AM: I’m sure he will later [laughs]. So what is DrupalCon about?

LG: DrupalCon is the summit of the community. It is the largest Drupal in-person event in the world by a very wide margin. It’s a place for the whole community of whatever stripe to gather and discuss, learn, teach, plan, work, play, drink, and several other things along the same lines. A lot of conferences are very developer-centric or very business-centric, or very whatever. DrupalCon is — these days, DrupalCon is a Web conference with a Drupal angle to it. There’s sessions for back-end developers, there’s sessions for front-end developers, there’s sessions for project managers, there’s sessions for content strategists, there’s sessions for business owners — whatever you do, if it involves Drupal or the Web in some way, there’s at least a couple of sessions that are worth going to for you.

GD: I would agree, and I would say that even if you don’t do Drupal or you’re not someone who’s really immersed in the technology or the community, it’s still a conference with really great value. You can get a lot out of it, and I think particularly for folks who are new to DrupalCon, it’s a really great way to get immediately connected with the community. And it’s often a very overwhelming way. We’re a very friendly and welcoming community, sometimes overly so.

LB: I would like to think of DrupalCon as our family reunion, for all Drupalers. We’re there to learn, we’re there to share, but mostly we’re there to collaborate. And that can happen in sessions, that can happen at happy hour,that can happen anywhere. But it’s a great way to get plugged into the community.

AM: So I am a newbie, as I said — this will be my first. So what should I expect from DrupalCon? Am I just going to walk in and be completely overwhelmed at first?

GD: Yes.

AM: [laughs].

LB: I think at my first DrupalCon — overwhelmed? Yes, definitely expect to be overwhelmed no matter what. But feel comfortable, feel welcomed. Everybody is excited for newcomers. Everyone is excited to get to know you, to hear your ideas. So stand up and talk, and listen, and ask questions. And go up to people that intimidate you, and tell them that you’re a huge fan and that you work with their tools every day and that you like what you saw in this blog post. And they’ll be flattered and want to know what you think and why or why not you agree or disagree. But talk to everybody. Talk to them on Twitter, talk to them in person, talk to them at bars — everything you can do to soak up as much information as possible. That’s always my number one.

LG: The main thing you should expect at DrupalCon is 3000 introverts playing extroverts, who really want to talk to you and teach you things because that’s what they do. And if you’re up for talking to people you’ve only heard of, or never heard of, and just learning from every person you run across, you’ll do just fine.

GD: And I think — so when we’re at our booth, every year without fail I’ll be standing there and someone will just kind of come up to me, and they’ll have The Look in their eyes. It’s very clear that this is their first time, they’re feeling very overwhelmed. And it’s really funny, this happens every time, they’ll make eye contact, come over to the booth, pull out their program guide, and be like, where do I go? And there’s so many different things you can do and places you can go and sessions you can experience, and it really is about — I think for folks who are going, it’s really taking a look at the sessions, figuring out ‘what do I want to get out of this event’, and focusing on that. And if you are getting overwhelmed, just find a friendly face, and they’ll more than likely be able to help you out and point you in the right direction – ‘oh yeah, I know the person doing that session, they’re awesome, go to that session if you want to learn about this, so-and-so is like the world’s expert on that’. All kinds of opportunities to just soak everything in, and learn what you can. It’s a really fun, really intense time.

AM: Great, I’m really looking forward to it. So every year Dries gives a keynote. And it’s fairly spectacular, I’ve seen a bunch of them on YouTube. They’re very involved. So what are you anticipating this year from the Driesnote, as he calls it?

LG: I have no idea what Dries is planning. I think the best keynote he’s given in recent years was in Amsterdam, where he was talking about actual practical changes to our process. That’s where he introduced the plan for putting credits on the site, which got implemented later. And I think that’s been a great thing to encourage contributions from companies and clients and commercial organizations, which we absolutely need.

I’d like to see something inward-looking. By that point Drupal 8.1 will have just come out, and that’ll be the first time we’ve done that type of release in, I think, ever in Drupal. So I suspect he’ll be talking about that and the implications of being able to evolve the system more smoothly than in the past. That’s my prediction, such as it is.

[this was cut from the original recording due to audio issues, but is left intact for the transcript]

GD: I’m hoping that Dries will take this opportunity to talk a little bit more about what the vision and future direction of Drupal is going to be, not just from a technical standpoint but really from an — answering the question, why does Drupal exist? What we’ve seen over the last few years, particularly as we’ve been through the Drupal 8 cycle, is that Drupal has changed and evolved tremendously. And at the same time the kinds of people that use Drupal, and the ways that they are using it, have changed tremendously. And I think that a lot of folks in the community have moved along with those shifts, but others might be feeling a little left behind, like they’re not really sure. Maybe if you’re somebody that’s joined Drupal at a point in the past, and you’ve had a particular motivation for doing so, the project and the community may be very different now. I think as we go through that change and that evolution, having a shared understanding and grounding in what our shared values are as a Drupal community and a project would be really cool to hear from Dries.

LB: I would say we’re actually at a place right now where we don’t entirely know what’s next for Drupal. We’re not waiting on D8 any more — there’s a whole slew of things out there. And so I agree that the future of Drupal is going to be a big topic. I think in addition to that, this is our good chance and this is Dries’ good chance to really press on contribution, and to recruit people.

A lot of our hardcore developers that helped build D8 are feeling a little burnt out. They too are celebrating the release, but in addition to that, they’re feeling a little burnt out after years and years of press to get it there. So I think contribution is going to be a really big topic this year — trying to figure out how to get people involved and how to get new blood in the system and new
ideas. To really push us towards that future, that’s going to be important.

AM: That’s a lot to cover in one keynote [laughs].

GD: The expectations are always incredibly high for these things. And it’s really often almost too much to ask, that one person will be able to cover this much in an hour or an hour and 15 minutes. One thing I’ve seen is that sometimes, when Dries delivers, he really delivers in a really great way. But I also know that it’s really hard to do that. So hopefully everything will click in place. I’m looking forward to it.

AM: Me too. So what are the big talking points in Drupal right now? Obviously I can assume Drupal 8. What else do you think will be the big things?

Categories: Elsewhere

Zyxware Technologies: Question Bank for evaluating Drupal Developers as part of the Drupal Open Curriculum Initiative

Thu, 14/04/2016 - 11:52

We have been involved with the Drupal Open Curriculum initiative under the Curriculum and Training group in for the last few months and have been helping build up the content for the initiative. One of the important pieces of content that is expected to be developed as part of this initiative is the question bank with objective type questions that can be used to evaluate the progress of the training of Drupal developers.

DrupalgiveDrupal TrainingDrupal PlanetTeaching DrupalNews
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Valuebound: The Global Training Day

Thu, 14/04/2016 - 11:19

April 9 was a day filled with enthusiasm as we set forth with “The Drupal Global Day training” here at Valuebound. With a crowd of over 20 people and 5 trainers the knowledge sharing session was very fruitful.

The session started with an introductory note on Drupal to the diversified audience from different industries right from IT & ERP to Digital Marketing. Having gained the basics of Drupal, trainers encouraged the attendees to start with their first hands on experience of Drupal.  The participants were excited to create their own website without using a single line of code.

The session was filled with lot of queries & heated discussions making it an interactive conclave. Drupal Global Training Day turned out to be successful when a large part of the…

Categories: Elsewhere

DrupalOnWindows: Drupal 8 performance: the Supercache module

Thu, 14/04/2016 - 07:00
Language English

The Supercache module is the result of an attempt to improve Drupal 8 efficiency when dealing with cache tag management and other design issues with several caching components that make it a pain to deal with Drupal 8 based applications that change a lot. 

An out of the box Drupal 8 install will issue about 2,100 database statements for a simple task such as performing a log in and creating two articles.

More articles...
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Texas Creative: Update Extended Module: Drupal Updates...No Regressions!

Wed, 13/04/2016 - 22:30

Avoid common pitfalls when updating Drupal modules. The new Update Extended module takes the guesswork out of a few tricky situations where regressions can slip into your site and break working functionality, especially when using a dev release.

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Categories: Elsewhere

3C Web Services: Super Login module for Drupal 8

Wed, 13/04/2016 - 20:25

A tell-tale sign that a website is a Drupal site is the login page. If you go to WEBSITE_URL/user of most Drupal websites the login form that you're presented with is almost always the default and very Drupal-looking login. Now there's an easy way to change that on Drupal 8.

Categories: Elsewhere

FFW Agency: Great Examples Of Distributed Content Management In Higher Education

Wed, 13/04/2016 - 19:47
Great Examples Of Distributed Content Management In Higher Education hank.vanzile Wed, 04/13/2016 - 17:47

In the first post in this series, What Is Distributed Content Management?, I defined two perspectives on that term: the distributed management of content and the management of distributed content.  While doing so, I used the example of a large university and the need to consider both aspects of Distributed Content Management as part of an effective digital strategy for higher education.  In today’s post I’ll develop that concept a bit further so we can discuss a few use cases in detail.


Setting The Scene


To ensure we’re all on the same page, imagine a large university.  For fun, let’s call it “Drupal University.”  Similar to many higher education institutions, the academic programs at Drupal University are split into multiple schools (let’s say 7) and each of those schools house a number of departments.  Some of the smaller schools may only have 3 to 5 departments, but others, such as Humanities or the Medical School, may have upwards of 25.  And let’s not forget that each of those departments is responsible for a number of different academic programs.  Toss in the requisite assortment of research labs, student organizations and administrative departments - you can see how quickly our college’s web presence gets complex!  At this scale we’re likely dealing with hundreds of different websites, all of which have requirements around content.  It’s the perfect platform for Distributed Content Management! Let’s explore a few use cases that might pop up.  Don’t worry, we’ll start with an easy one.



Use Case 1: Publishing Workflows For Individual Websites


For the web platform at Drupal University, this strategy is obvious.  Unless they employ an absurdly enormous central communications team, large universities simply must distribute their content production.  This doesn’t necessarily mean throwing open the gates!  Consideration of a content approval workflow is a critical part of the content strategy for any organization that employs Distributed Content Management.  Publishing workflows, whether manual or automated, must be tailored not only to the university, but to each school, department or group that’s in charge of a website.  Content to be published on the undergrad admissions websites likely requires significantly more oversight than the blog of an 8-person research lab.  The Medical School, with its 25 departments, probably has its own marketing and communications departments while a smaller school fights for the attention of centralized resources.  This is definitely a case where one size doesn’t fit all.  


Use Case 2: Sharing Content Out - Centralized Content On A Distributed Web Platform


Even the most decentralized universities have content that is centrally produced.  In some cases it may be easiest to just hyperlink to that content in its original location; however, consider, a news story about a student winning a prestigious award.  That story,  produced by the Communications Department for the News section of the college’s main website, may be reposted in its entirety in numerous strategically advantageous places: the homepage of the student’s academic program, the websites for her research lab, a site run by Admissions, another targeted at alumni.  Copying and pasting becomes a less efficient option the further content is distributed - more so when you consider the possibility of edits and possible unpublishing.  In later blog posts, I’ll discuss some of the techniques and products organizations are using to efficiently share content across numerous websites.


Use Case 3: Sharing Content In - Decentralized Websites As Points Of Origin


Another interesting use case presents itself when we consider distributed websites as the starting point for content creation.  Most universities maintain a central calendar of events, whether on a main website or in an Event Management System.  In a well-formed distributed content model, with an an appropriate CMS like Drupal, the same metadata that allows visitors to filter events - audience, department, program, etc. - can be easily used to syndicate those events to various websites.  Unfortunately, the same level of consideration is not always given to the publishing of new events.  Because central event calendars feed information to the entire college, they are often protected systems, editable only by a subset of users with appropriate permissions.  Content managers who are generally empowered to manage their own content may not have the same access to do so, or, in cases where they do have permission, find themselves needing to enter content into an entirely different system to get it published to their site.  But why should this be the case?  By extending the same technologies that allow websites to receive events from a central calendar, we can enable content managers to publish events to the calendar from within the same website they usually manage.  (The same content approval and publishing workflow considerations apply, of course.)


Use Case 4: Integrating With Controlled Content Systems


At the far end of the Distributed Content Management spectrum are systems that need to publish consistent, controlled content to websites with no possibility for discrepancies across multiple sites.  A common case of this in higher education would be a Course Catalog System (Acalog, SmartCatalog, CourseLeaf, etc.).  One of the primary jobs of these systems is to integrate with the university’s Student Information System, providing the canonical description of a course, its contents, credits, costs, etc.  If a university chooses to publish course descriptions on individual program sites, eliminating user error and neglect - mistakes made through copying and pasting, older content not being updated, etc. - is of great importance.  As such, determining a strategy for directly integrating with these systems, rather than relying on a standard approach to decentralized content management, must be an important part of a university’s content strategy.


What’s Next?


In my next post I’ll continue exploring use cases for Distributed Content Management but switch our focus to the pharmaceutical industry.  Thoughts or questions?  Reach out in the comments below or tweet them to me at @HankVanZile.


Tagged with Comments
Categories: Elsewhere

Mediacurrent: Build your QA Department- Part 1: Laying a Foundation

Wed, 13/04/2016 - 18:11
About me

With 15 years of experience in the Information Technology field, and 10 of those years focused on leadership, I’ve learned first hand the value of investing in people and setting them up for success. Before joining Mediacurrent, I started a QA department from scratch and grew it to its current size. Prior to that, I built an IT team. If you're an incoming leader, here's how to start building your own QA/IT department.

Categories: Elsewhere Drupal 8 Activity Cards for Study Groups

Wed, 13/04/2016 - 07:47

At Acquia India, 15 of us had enrolled ourselves in a self-guided D8 study group program. Most of us are developers who are very familiar with D7. Some of us are already working on full time Drupal 8 projects while some of us are trying out some pet projects.

The format of our study group looks like the below:

  1. We meet for 20 mins in the morning every alternate day (Mon, Wed, Fri) to discuss the activity card of the day

  2. We disperse and then complete the prescribed exercise offline during the day

  3. Often, we discuss the challenges or blockers from the day’s exercise on the next call

We have built a set of Activity Cards for this program. These cards assume you are very familiar with D7 and will cover topics that have significantly changed between D7 and D8. Each Activity card consists of:

  1. A small objective

  2. Primary Tutorial

  3. Exercise

  4. Some cards have an additional secondary tutorial / reference material and a bonus exercise

The exercises are crafted so they don’t take more than an hour to complete after reading the prescribed primary tutorial. Sometimes, they do take longer though.

These cards could be a great learning tool for small teams that might want to form a similar D8 study group.

These cards were built by a small team learning D8, than by someone who has already mastered it. So the could be prone to errors. Drop a note to me or comment here, if you see any errors in the cards, or if you have any suggestions on any of the cards, or if you wish to collaborate with us in building new cards.

The cards are available here. An embed of the doc is right below here. We have around ~10 cards as of date.  We will keep adding more cards to the collection as our study group progresses.

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Categories: Elsewhere

Drupal Console: Drupal Console and Drush collaboration efforts

Wed, 13/04/2016 - 05:11
The Drupal Console team has analyzed the proposal of one of the Drush co-maintainers in the blog post "Modern Command Line Tools for Drupal". We continue to agree to collaborate and share efforts to create libraries that any Drupal CLI project can take advantage of. With that said, we don’t agree with creating a new Drupalisim or a new Drupal way to write symfony/console based commands.
Categories: Elsewhere

Acquia Developer Center Blog: Drupal How-To: Adding Images to Your Site. The Basics, and How to Tweak the Defaults

Tue, 12/04/2016 - 21:23

In this 3-part Drupal How-To series, I'm going to show you how various options for configuring images on your site.

Here, in Part 1, we'll see how to tweak the default image options. In Part 2, we'll see ways to allow WYSIWYG and inline images. In Part 3, we'll see the latest options for responsive images.

Tags: acquia drupal planet
Categories: Elsewhere Why you SHOULDN'T upgrade from Drupal 6!

Tue, 12/04/2016 - 21:00

Ever since Drupal 6's End-of-Life on February 24th, there have been countless blogs and articles about why you should upgrade to Drupal 7 or 8 as quickly as possible.

But this may be the only article arguing that you SHOULDN'T upgrade from Drupal 6! ;-)

If you have a complex Drupal 6 site, and you haven't started the upgrade process yet - contrary to conventional wisdom - the best answer may be: keep waiting.

No, this isn't an April Fools joke, and we're not being sarcastic. :-)

Want to know why? Keep reading!

Categories: Elsewhere

Evolving Web: Drupal Project Management Training at DrupalCon New Orleans

Tue, 12/04/2016 - 20:54

Evolving Web is heading down to DrupalCon New Orleans this May. This will be the first North American DrupalCon since Drupal 8 was released, so excitement will be in the air.

With Drupal 8's release, lots of new Drupal projects are being planned. As part of DrupalCon, we'll be leading a Drupal Project Management Training on May 9th.

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Categories: Elsewhere