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Drop Guard: Big update: the new onboarding process, improved patching workflow and more

Mon, 11/04/2016 - 12:14
Big update: the new onboarding process, improved patching workflow and more Igor Kandyba Mon, 11.04.2016 - 12:14

Today, we’re excited to introduce you to a number of new features, improvements and fixes for Drop Guard - the first update in the series of releases planned for 2016.  It includes many enhancements designed to improve user experience when creating projects in Drop Guard, support for the "Unsupported updates", and even smarter automated patching workflow. Read below to learn about the major improvements and don't forget to check your Drop Guard account to check it by yourself. Let's dive right in!

Drop Guard features Drupal Planet
Categories: Elsewhere

Kristof De Jaeger: Taking a (Drupal 8) website offline using AppCache

Mon, 11/04/2016 - 11:41
Written on April 11, 2016 - 11:41

A native mobile application which can cache the data locally is a way to make content available offline. However, not everyone has the time and/or money to create a dedicated app, and frankly, it's not always an additional asset. What if browsers could work without network connection but still serve content: Application Cache and/or Service Workers to the rescue!

For Frontend United 2016, Mathieu and I experimented to see how far we could take AppCache and make the sessions, speakers and some additional content available offline using data from within the Drupal site. There are a couple of pitfalls when implementing this, of which some are nasty (see the list apart link at the bottom for more information). Comes in Drupal which adds another layer of complexity, with its dynamic nature of content and themes. Javascript and css aggregation is also extremely tricky to get right. So after trial and error and a lot of reading, we came up with the following concept:

  1. Only add the manifest attribute to all "offline" pages which are completely separate from "online pages", even though they might serve the same content. In other words, you create a sandboxed version of some content of your site which can live on its own. Another technique is a hidden iframe which loads a page which contains the html tag with the manifest attribute. You can embed this iframe on any page you like. This gives you the option to create a page where you link to as an opt-in to get a site offline. Both techniques give us full control and no side affects so that when network is available the site works normally.
  2. You define the pages which you want to store in the cache. They are served by Drupal, but on a different route than the original (e.g. node/1 becomes offline/node/1) and use different templates. These are twig templates so you can override the defaults to your own needs. Other information like stylesheet and javascript files can be configured too to be included.
  3. The manifest thus contains everything that we need to create the offline version when your device has no network connection. In our case, it contains the list of speakers and sessions, content pages and some assets like javascript, stylesheet, logo and images.
Offline in the browser or on the homescreen

Go to the Offline homepage of Frontend United and wait until the 'The content is now available offline!' message appears, which means you just downloaded 672 kb of data - it is really really small, surprising no? Now switch off your network connection and reload the browser: still there! Click around and you'll be able to check the offline version at any time. If you're on a mobile device, the experience can be even sweeter: you can add this page to your homescreen, making it available as an 'app'. On iOS, you need to open the app once while still being connected to the network. We really do hope safari/iOS fixes this behavior since this is not necessary on Android. After that, turn off your network and launch the app again. Oh, and it works on a watch too if you have a browser on it. If that isn't cool, we don't know what else is! We have a little video to show you how it looks like. Watch (pun intended) and enjoy! Oh, in case we make changes to the pages, you will see a different notification telling you that the content has been updated - if your device has network of course.

Drupal integration

We've created a new project on, called Offline App, available for Drupal 8. The project contains the necessary code and routes for generating the appcache, iframe, pages (nodes and views) and settings to manipulate the manifest content. 3 new regions are exposed in which you can place the content for offline use. Those regions are used in offline-app-page.html.twig - but any region is available if you want to customize. Two additional view modes are created for content types and the read more link can be made available in the 'Offline teaser' mode. Formatters are available for long texts to strip internal links and certain tags (e.g. embed and iframe) and for images that will make sure that 'Link to content' is pointing to the 'Offline path'. Last, but not least, an 'Offline' Views display is available for creating lists. We're still in the process in making everything even more flexible and less error-prone when configuring the application. However, the code that is currently available, is used as is on the Fronted United website right now.

This module does not pretend to be the ultimate solution for offline content, see it as an example to quickly expose a manifest containing URL's from an existing Drupal installation for an offline version of your website. Other Drupal projects are available trying to integrate with AppCache or Service workers, however, some are unsupported or in a very premature state, apart from Note that I've been in contact with Théodore already and we'll see how we combine our efforts for coming up with one single solution instead of having multiple ones.

What about service workers ?

Not all browsers support the API yet. Even though AppCache is marked deprecated, we wanted to make sure everyone could have the same offline experience. However, we'll start adding support for service workers soon using the same concept.

We're also planning to start experimenting with delivering personal content as well, since that's also possible, yet a little trickier.

Categories: Elsewhere

Evolving Web: Bringing files along for the ride to D8

Mon, 11/04/2016 - 03:24

We just upgraded our site to Drupal 8, and a big part of that was migrating content. Most content was in JSON files or SQL dumps, which are supported by Drupal's migrate module. But what about images and other files? How could we bring those along?

We'll show how to write a custom migrate process plugin!

read more
Categories: Elsewhere

Lullabot: Lullabot DrupalCon Sessions 2016

Sun, 10/04/2016 - 10:29

This year we have a stellar lineup of sessions by the Lullabot and Drupalize.Me teams which were accepted for DrupalCon North America being held in New Orleans. Take a look at who is presenting and read a short synopsis of what they’ll be talking about.

Coding and Development Altering, Extending, and Enhancing Drupal 8 - Joe Shindelar A large part of Drupal's appeal lies in its flexibility. The fact that a developer can alter, extend, and enhance almost any aspect of Drupal without having to hack core. Historically this versatility has been made possible through the existence of hooks. Specially named PHP functions that are executed at critical points during the fulfillment of a request. And they've served the framework well for years. But times are changing, and Drupal 8 offers a variety of new patterns that all module developers will be required to learn, and understand. Configuration Management for Developers in Drupal 8 - Matthew Tift Is the configuration system your favorite feature of Drupal 8? Are you interested in doing continuous integration? Do you want to easily export all of your Drupal configuration to code? Interested in building a best practice continuous integration and deployment solution? This session, hosted by co-maintainers of the configuration system, will focus on how Drupal 8's configuration management system works, how to integrate it with a continuous integration system, and what developers can do to extend its power through contributed modules and custom code. Come with your questions and learn more about this magical part of Drupal 8. Core Conversations Drupal (admin) as an application: More JavaScript in core? - Marc Drummond In recent months, much debate has revolved around the compelling user experiences increasingly accompanying the runaway growth of JavaScript frameworks. Some argue that Drupal already has many moving parts and should evolve toward more seamless user experiences with existing tools and better processes. Some argue that Drupal should address this trend with additional capabilities for JavaScript in the form of a JavaScript framework. Some argue we should look at using modern PHP and JavaScript technologies that don’t require a JavaScript framework. Others have positions that fall both inside and outside this spectrum! Learning to Let Go (Contrib Burnout) and Module Giveaway - Dave Reid How can someone deeply involved in the Drupal contributed module ecosystem start to step away? How do we handle burnout not just in Drupal core development, but in contrib? I'd like to engage a conversation based the challenges I have encountered and currently face personally/emotionally on my journey from being one of the top contributors to Drupal 7, prolific writer of modules, to someone starting a family and needing to rebalance their personal, work, and Drupal life. With so much focus on getting people involved in, are there technical solutions we can explore to help make active contributors happier? Documentation Is Getting An Overhaul - Joe Shindelar Having high-quality documentation available for is key to gaining wider adoption, growing the community, and the overall success of the Drupal project. I want to share the work related to documentation going on in the community, as well as some of our plans for continued improvement in the future. Front End Debugging, Profiling, & Rocking Out with Browser-Based Developer Tools! - Mike Herchel Browser based developer tools have become an indispensable tool for modern front-end web development. New features and changes are being added at a rapid pace, and keeping up with all of the changes is difficult, but well worth it! In this session, Mike will walk attendees through modern debugging techniques, tips and tricks, front-end profiling, and more! Sizing up responsive images: Make a plan before you Drupal - Marc Drummond Drupal 8 has built-in responsive images support based off of Drupal 7’s contributed Picture and Breakpoint modules. Understanding how to use those modules without first making a plan could easily lead to a cat-tastrophe! Horizons AMPing up Drupal - Karen Stevenson, Matthew Tift, and Marc Drummond In many cases, the mobile web is a slow and frustrating experience. The Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) Project which involves Google is an open source initiative that embodies the vision that publishers can create mobile optimized content once and have it load instantly everywhere. When AMP was first introduced last October 2015, many commentators immediately compared it to Facebook's Instant Articles and Apple's News app. One of the biggest differentiators between AMP and other solutions is the fact that AMP is open source. Beyond the Blink: Add Drupal to Your IoT Playground - Amber Himes Matz What does making a light blink have to do with Drupal? Come to this session to find out how you can add Drupal to your Internet of Things data playground. (THERE WILL BE BLINKING LIGHTS.) Site Building Recoupling: Bridging Design and Structured Content - Jeff Eaton For years we’ve talked about separating content and presentation. Structure, reuse, and standardization are the name of the game in a future-friendly, multi-channel world — aesthetics are someone else’s concern … right? UX Web Accessibility 101: Principles, Concepts, and Financial Viability - Helena Zubkow If your website wouldn't work for anyone living in the state of New York, would that be a launch-blocker? Of course! So why are we ignoring the even larger population of people with disabilities?

Photo by: Jeff Turner and used via Creative Commons License

Categories: Elsewhere

PreviousNext: Printing any Drupal Entity to PDF

Sat, 09/04/2016 - 09:17
Categories: Elsewhere

ActiveLAMP: Page Manager, Panels, Context - SandCamp 2016

Sat, 09/04/2016 - 05:01

Panels, is one of the most mis-understood modules in the Drupal eco-system. Drupal developers seem to either love Panels, or hate it with a passion. Most of the time, when I begin to unwrap why people do not like Panels, it is mainly a misunderstanding of what makes Panels so powerful, Page Manager. In this video, presented at SandCamp 2016, see a mock sports league built out with the Node system and Field system that includes various relationships between the different node types. Watch, as we realize the entity relationships we create through the Field UI through the page manager UI. Lots of power in this suite of tools.

Categories: Elsewhere blog: What’s new on - March 2016

Fri, 08/04/2016 - 22:32

Read our Roadmap to understand how this work falls into priorities set by the Drupal Association with direction and collaboration from the Board and community. updates Syntax Highlighting

A WYSIWYG editor(CKEditor) is coming to soon to improve the editorial experience- and to take advantage of the same functionality that made CKEditor the choice for Drupal 8 core. However, as a stepping stone to that goal, we need to ensure that the formatting of <code> blocks throughout is preserved.

This has lead us to using Prism.js for syntax highlighting on You can see this change in any <code> or <?php> block throughout the site, such as this example of function hook_field_info_alter(); below:

function hook_field_info_alter(&$info) { // Change the default widget for fields of type 'foo'. if (isset($info['foo'])) { $info['foo']['default widget'] = 'mymodule_widget'; } }

This is the first step, but with a better syntax highlighting library in place, we are pushing hard to make CKEditor itself available on

Documentation Usability Testing

In March members of the Drupal Association engineering team also spent time doing usability testing with a prototype of our new Documentation content type. This testing, performed with a representative sample of users of different experience levels with Drupal, helped validate our design direction for new Documentation pages and Documentation Guides on, and gave us some valuable feedback for further refining our design as we move into implementation. While we're not yet ready to share all the details of the new Documentation experience, we're very excited to share this with the community soon.

Release File Hashes

A file hash can be used to verify the integrity of a file downloaded from a trusted source. provided an md5 hash on the list of a project's releases (here's the release listing for Drupal core, for example), but we have expanded the file hash options to include: md5, sha-1, and sha-256.

Because many users do not use file hashes, these hashes are not displayed by default. Any user who does want to access these file hashes can do so from a toggle on the sidebar of a release page. Your preference for what file hash to view will be saved in your browser's local storage and displayed on all other release pages. The new sha-1 hashes will also be used in upcoming Composer integration.

Communications channels

Taking advantage of the new Sections and Blogs on, we're gradually working on improving our communication channels. It starts with the Drupal blog, and the blog (which you're reading now!) - but will soon affect all the ways we communicate about Drupal the software and the site.

You can learn more about communication channels here.

2016 Elections Complete

Lastly, but certainly not least - the 2016 election for the Drupal Association At-Large board member ended in March. For the first time, we promoted the voting process to all eligible voters with a targeted banner on This gave us the broadest reach we've ever had when electing a board member, and the most ballots submitted. You can learn more about the elections process and the final vote here.

Congratulations Shayamala Rajaram - and thank you for supporting the community by joining the board!

Sustaining support and maintenance Outages

Unfortunately our work in March was disrupted on several occasions by a particularly tricky series of outages. Seemingly at random one of the webnodes would experience cache corruption and begin serving 500 errors. The issues did not seem to be related to a recent change, a singular area of the site, or an increase in traffic. After some diligent sleuthing we began to see some patterns in the cache corruption.

In the end, we were able to determine that all the outages were linked to the same bug in Drupal core's handling of SchemaCache. has been patched and since then no cache corruption incidents have recurred. With a bit more community review (you can help!), hopefully the fix will be committed to core so other affected sites will not encounter the same issue that we did.

More Improvements and Bug Fixes

We made a few other infrastructural improvements and bug fixes in March as well. Not the least of these was deploying dedicated beanstalkd queue servers, to improve the reliability of job queues, especially when recovering from disruption.

We also fixed a regression on caused by the upgrade to PHP 5.4 the previous month. A bug in the date chooser caused the date of an event to be reset whenever the event was edited- an issue that we know was frustrating to many in the community who organize local events.

Lastly, we fixed an issue on to make it easier for companies to renew their featured job listings (without having to reach out to us for manual support). We're seeing a marked increase in the Drupal Jobs interest since the launch of Drupal 8 and we'll continue to improve the Drupal Jobs platform to foster the Drupal ecosystem.


As always, we’d like to say thanks to all the volunteers who work with us, and to the Drupal Association Supporters, who made it possible for us to work on these projects.

Follow us on Twitter for regular updates: @drupal_org, @drupal_infra

Categories: Elsewhere

DrupalCon News: Request your visa letter today

Fri, 08/04/2016 - 22:23

If you’re planning on attending DrupalCon New Orleans and will be traveling to DrupalCon from outside the United States, make sure you request your letter of invitation for your visa before next Friday, April 15.

Categories: Elsewhere

Mark Shropshire: Use Drush Policy to Prevent Overwriting Production Databases and Files

Fri, 08/04/2016 - 19:17

There is no doubt that Drush is a magical tool in the Drupal community. Two very useful tools in the Drush "Swiss Army Knife" include drush sql-sync and drush core-rsync. These tools allow copying databases and files between Drupal instances.

If you need to have access to run Drush commands on a production server or via a Drush alias for a production server, can help prevent some devastating mistakes. Accidentally overwriting production databases and files can impact you and your clients negatively. The Github gist below shows how the built-in Drush policy functionality can prevent sql-sync and core-rsync from running against any Drupal instance that has a destination with prod in the name. This works for Drush aliases too.

Place the file in ~/.drush on the machine you use to run Drush. The code in the gist above prevents operations like drush sql-sync @dev @prod and drush core-rync @dev:%files @prod:%files

Drush's allows for a few other functions for validation and alters. It is worth reviewing the options and implementing changes to prevent accidents that can be prevented.

While the above works well, the best way to prevent accidental production issues due to developer mistakes is to have a policy implementing separation of duties. In this sort of policy, developers would not have access to production servers. Devops engineers would handle deploys manually or manage the automation that handles deployments.

Thank you to all of those who have worked so hard to make Drush a fantastic tool that I depend on daily.

Blog Category: 
Categories: Elsewhere

Chapter Three: Origin Pull CDN in Drupal 8

Fri, 08/04/2016 - 17:59

Origin pull CDN is a type of CDN where you don't have to upload files to the CDN server instead CDN does it for you. You only rewrite URLs to point to the CDN. When asked for a specific file, the CDN will first go to the original server, pull the file, cache and serve it.

Origin pull CDNs are easy to set up. However, it’s less flexible and can create redundant traffic as files are re-queried before they have been changed. Also it could be slow when files first loaded or browser tries access expired files.

Categories: Elsewhere

Advomatic: What do I do with my Drupal 6 site until I decide what to do with it?

Fri, 08/04/2016 - 17:17

Those of you who still have a Drupal 6 site are by now aware that you need to do something with it since this version is no longer supported.  Your options in short are: Upgrade to Drupal 7 Upgrade to Drupal 8 Choose one of several options to limit your vulnerability (e.g. convert the site... Read more »

The post What do I do with my Drupal 6 site until I decide what to do with it? appeared first on Advomatic.

Categories: Elsewhere

Acquia Developer Center Blog: Acquia Academy Ramps Up

Fri, 08/04/2016 - 16:56

Acquia is ramping up learning with Acquia Academy, giving the community, our customers, and our partners a guide to Drupal and Acquia Product subject matters to learn, plan, and prepare for future initiatives.

Everyone is a fan of good teaching, since it enables the learner to do more. With the expansive abilities of Drupal and Acquia Products, we want to enable the community to do more no matter who you are or where you came from.

Tags: acquia drupal planet
Categories: Elsewhere

OSTraining: 4 Ways to Keep Your Drupal Site Healthy

Fri, 08/04/2016 - 16:55

A lot of the tutorials published here at OSTraining are solutions to specific problems.

But, how can you keep your site healthy on a daily basis? I'm going to give you some advice on how to maintain your site.

These four steps will help you understand what can go wrong with your Drupal site, and where to start looking for solutions if you have have an issue.

Categories: Elsewhere

Dries Buytaert: Thunder, a Drupal distribution for publishers

Fri, 08/04/2016 - 15:29

Earlier this month, the international media group Hubert Burda Media (about 2.5 billion annual revenue, more than 10,000 employees, and more than 300 titles) released its Drupal 8 distribution, Thunder. Thunder includes custom modules specifically tailored to the needs of professional publishers.

This is great news for three reasons: (1) I've long been a believer in Drupal distributions, (2) I believe that publishers shouldn't compete through CMS technology, but through strong content and brands, and (3) Thunder is based on Drupal 8.

Distributions enable Drupal to compete against a wide range of turnkey solutions, as well as break into new markets. The number of vertical distributions that can be created is nearly limitless, and the possibilities are endless. Thunder is a great example of that.

Professional publishing is one of the industries that has faced the most extensive business model disruption because of the web. Many companies are feeling pressure on their revenue streams, yet you'll find that some companies still focus their efforts on building proprietary, custom CMS platforms as a way to differentiate. This doesn't have to be the case – I've long believed that Drupal (and open source, more generally) can give publishers endless ways to differentiate themselves at much lower costs.

The following video gives an overview of the Thunder approach:

Custom features for publishers

Thunder adds a range of publisher-centric Drupal modules to Drupal 8 core. Specifically, Burda added integrations with audience "circulation" counting tools and ad servers, as well as single sign-on (SSO) support across multiple sites. They've also developed a theme which implements infinite scrolling.

Thunder users also benefit from a range of channel- and feature-specific enhancements through collaboration with industry partners. The following extensions are already available or in the final stages of development:

  • provides an easy-to-use editor for interactive content. The data from the resulting polls and quizzes is available to the publisher.
  • offers a video CMS and their video player. And Microsoft will support the video solution with 100,000 free video streamings per month through their Azure cloud.
  • Facebook will provide a module for integrated publishing to their Instant Articles, exclusively for Thunder users.
Smart collaboration

I admire the approach Burda is taking to bring publishers, partners and developers together from throughout the industry to develop the best open-source CMS platform for publishers.

At the core is a team of publishing experts and developers led by Ingo Rübe, CTO for Burda's German publishing operations, and initiator of Thunder. This team will also be responsible for coordinating the continuous development and enhancement of Thunder.

Under Thunder's policy, all features provided by industry partners must be offered for free or with a freemium model; in other words, a significant part of the functionality has to be provided at no cost at all. Smaller publishers will likely benefit from this approach, as they will be able to use a full-fledged publishing solution that is continuously enhanced and maintained by larger partners.

Big brands are already using Thunder

Although Thunder is still in public beta, Burda has migrated three brands to Thunder. The German edition of Playboy (about 2M monthly visits) was the first to move at the end of 2015. The fashion brand InStyle (about 1.8M monthly visits) and gardening website "Mein schöner Garten" (about 1.5M monthly visits) are also running on Thunder. Most of the other German Burda brands are planning to adopt Thunder in the next 12 months. This includes at least 20 brands such as and, which have more than 20 million monthly visits each.

You can download Thunder from

Categories: Elsewhere

Acquia Developer Center Blog: Co-Podcast from Mumbai! Introducing The Geek Voice with Parth and Hussain

Fri, 08/04/2016 - 13:37

Welcome to the first of six podcasts I recorded in Mumbai as DrupalCon Asia 2016! It pleasure to record this conversation with an old Drupal friend and Acquia podcast guest--Hussain Dehgamwala (aka Hussain Abbas)--and a new Drupal friend and guest--Parth Gohil--both from Axelerant. And it was my privilege to be the first guest on their new podcast, The Geek Voice! We’re releasing this conversation together. Be sure to go check out Episode Zero of their show to see what else they have up their sleeves ... and what they said about me when I wasn’t around ;-)

In my part of the audio and video of this recording we touch on how Drupal and IT in India are evolving, and the many facets of contribution on today’s Drupal and open source landscape. When The Geek Voice takes over and turns the microphone on me, they ask me about my activities as Acquia’s Developer Relations Evangelist, we talk about the Drupal 8 Module Acceleration Program, and my Acquia origin story.

Thank you, Indian Drupal Community

I have been to a lot of DrupalCons in the last decade ... wow, yes, feels funny to say it, but I have actually been going to DrupalCons since 2006 ... and I’d honestly say DrupalCon Asia in Mumbai was my personal favorite. I was impressed with the Indian Drupal community and I see great things in the future of this group of young, diverse, and dynamic people. Thank you for everything you do, Drupal India people! Can I be on your team? :-)

Interview video - 28 min.

What’s going on with Drupal in India?

jam: Can you talk about what’s going on in Drupal and Open Source in India a little bit?

Hussain: Sure. For what you say about excitement definitely we have been waiting for this Con for years, actually years. We’re so happy it’s finally here. Well in India a lot of great things are happening in Drupal since forever, I think. I mean we had our first meet up in 2005 in Ahmedabad. Am I right?

Parth: Yes. The first camp happened around 2009, but yes.

Hussain: Yes. In Bangalore we have been having regular meet ups camps. We had a great camp last year and I know Deli, Mumbai, Hyderabad, they have been having camps since 2011.

jam: So, in a lot in Europe and places in America, a great camp, has 80 people, 200 people, 300 people, right? There aren’t very many that are above 350. Let’s say BADCamp--the NYCamp in New York City. London, 600-700 people. What’s a normal average size of a camp in India?

Parth: Five hundred plus :-D

Hussain: Otherwise it’s not called a camp. It’s a big meet up. We had a mini camp and we saw about, what? We had about 100 registrations and I don’t remember how many turned up but--yes.

Parth: I think about 80.

jam: Eighty is a really nice size though. One of the reasons why I love going to camps--DrupalCon is very important and obviously, I like it but for me so much more of the grassroots stuff happens at the camps now. When you spend two or three days with 80 people, you get the chance to talk with so many more people directly and on a personal level and really spend time with people you want to talk to.

Hussain: Yes. That’s why we pay a lot of attention to meet ups. We keep it--we treat it as a very important thing. We have it monthly at least we try to. A lot of companies sponsor it also. About the minicamp, yes, you’re completely right definitely. The last minicamp we had, like I said, around 80 people turned up. There’s this person who turned up and since then he has been a regular contributor to all the events. In fact he has pulled together the community like we have not been able to in a few years. He has created WhatsApp groups and he’s pulling people from different companies and like asking them to follow up. So, our WhatsApp Group is like around 200 people now.

Code and beyond - All contribution counts

jam: We were in a panel discussion yesterday about the transformation of Indian IT and Open Source and what have you. One thing came up and I think this is relevant too, is to let everyone in. Bring everyone in. Let everyone come and see what’s going on because you never know what skill someone is going to have. They could be a great coder, right, but we need so much more than that.

Parth: Yes. Well, if you ask me, I am not a coder myself and I’ve been part of the Drupal community since three years now and I haven’t written a single line of code. There’s a good balance of people that we should have, coders and non-coders and I think the conclusion was that will automatically balance itself. I mean the demand and supply will automatically balance it out. So yes, as many people as we can gather in the community is always good.

jam: So, you both work for a company called Axelerant. Hussain is India’s number one code contributor to Drupal 8 (thank you!). Is that right? And Parth, your contributions are completely different. You’re a Community Manager at Axelerant. What does that involve? What do you do?

Parth: I help support the local communities do their camp’s meet ups. I help them get the word out, entertain them while they’re there--something like a mini jam maybe. Yes, I support the community to organize events basically. I’ve been organizing camps since three years and I think under my belt I have Drupal Camp Delhi, two years in a row, Mumbai last year then Drupal Camp Hyderabad, Drupal Camp Bangalore, Drupal Camp Pune. So I’ve done all the camps. I’ve been on the Core Committee of all the camps.

jam: Wow, that’s awesome! Well thank you for doing that. Now tell me, Axelerant hired you to do this and pays you to do this. What are your goals? What do you have to tell your manager that you succeeded, and what sort of business value does Axelerant get from having a community organizer on staff?

Parth: This is not more of a business move for us, to be very honest. It’s more of a branding effort and elevating the community from the ground up. I mean, we’ve been sponsoring each and every camp since 2013 from what I know. So basically, my effort also goes to spreading our culture, throwing the right image for Axelerant to our prospective employees if you will. I think my company likes me and they trust me with what I’m doing. So they’re like, “Go! Yeah, go ahead. Yeah, whatever you do, we’re fine with it.” As long as I’m reaching out to as many people as I can, they’ll help me.

Hussain: Another thing is as far as code contributions are concerned, he organizes monthly sprints in Axelerant. From the code contributions part of other things, so I’ll have many roles at Axelerant. We are very dynamic that way. We keep switching. In the middle I held a role called Full-Time Code Contributor. When I started out with that, it was a new role for the company as well, for the organization as well. When I started out I was trying to figure out the same thing what you’re just asking like, what is the company looking to get out of this? When I had this discussion, they said, “No, just jump into it. We’ll see. We’ll see where it goes. Just jump into it. There is no concrete objectives defined yet but we’ll work upon it on the way. We don’t care about numbers. We don’t care about commit mentions or issue credits or anything. Just go there."

jam: “But we need Drupal 8 out, so please help those people.”

Parth: Yes. Exactly.

Geek Voice Takeover!

The Geek Voice is ...

Parth: Yes, episode zero. Let me take over. Yes. All right, let me take over and I’m going to be asking jam who is now ...

jam: Evangelist Developer Relations, Acquia.

Parth: And before?

jam:I was Community Affairs Manager, and then we had an interim thing called Open Source Evangelist, but as we figure out our part in contributing to Drupal, beyond paying full-time core contributors and what have you, right now, it was a very natural progression for me. I have a strong affinity with our community.

Anyway, it seemed like a natural alignment for me to be doing a job to help developers in their day-to-day life. If I can connect you with a bit of information that’s important or introduce you to a new idea or show you that your work as a developer makes a difference out in the world or changes how people are thinking, that’s what I’m focusing in on now and it’s great. It’s great. So far. It’s new. I’ve only been doing it technically for about six or seven weeks. It’s very similar to what I was doing before anyway so it’s a pretty happy place for me.

Parth: All right. That’s sweet. I mean the way you’ve been weaved into the community, you’re like a role model, if you will. Yes and ... so this is something that was new to me when I came in and the first thing that Ankur [Ankur Gupta, Axelerant CEO] told me was, “Hey, look at what jam does and we should do something similar and be awesome.” and that’s why I am the Community Manager at Axelerant. I’m so awesome because I’m following his footsteps.

jam: Wow. I’m really not sure what to say now but ... thank you.

Hussain: Okay. When you say Evangelist in Developer Relations, can you give us an instance very developer centric something which you set up recently?

jam: We’re doing a couple of things that have tied together nicely recently. We’ve got a series called The Drupal 8 Module of the Week. Now that Drupal 8 is out, the contributed module space is behind. That’s not a bad thing. It’s normal for our releases but Drupal 8 is much more ready to use than any previous release of Drupal so early and we wanted to highlight the fact that people really can jump in and go. We wanted to instill confidence in the platform by showing all these modules are actually ready, right? Right now, every week with a colleague of mine, we’re publishing articles about Metatag, about BigPipe, about things that are ready to go and making your sites better for your clients. So we’ll say who wrote it, why did they do it, what was the situation, what it solves, how it benefits the client, how it benefits a developer and I love that. One of the ones we did recently which was BigPipe ... which is amazing ... We happened to do a webinar with Wim Leers who’s one of the maintainers of that at the same time. So I was able to put together a package of information of two webinars and the little interview with him all talking about BigPipe and then everybody should now know that this is out there and available. You just install it and you go. That’s a simple example.

Hussain: Okay. That sounds cool. How does anyone reach you if they want to? If they’re working on a module and if they want to put it in the Module of the Week, how does anyone reach you?

jam: That’s pretty easy. I’m quite easy to find online. If you to @horncologne on Twitter it’s probably the simplest way to find me and get in touch with me. My email is Just go ahead and write me. I’ve got a nice pipeline of articles coming. It’s not the only project I do. I’m really, really interested in highlighting people who are succeeding with the technology of Drupal. So, if you have a great case study, if you have a great project, if you have something that you’d really like to show off, if I can, I’d love to do something about it. Maybe it’s a podcast, maybe it’s an article or if it doesn’t fit in in any of my formats I would also be very happy to connect you with maybe someone else who could on another platform or whatever. I’m really, really interested in making developers lives better by connecting them with good information.

Hussain: Yes and personally I can vouch for that. You always responded on Twitter. So, yes, that's the easiest place to reach you.

Drupal 8 Module Acceleration Program

Parth: At Acquia you have program where you’ve come up with funds for reporting modules for D8. Can you tell us more about that?

jam: So, I’ve been in with Acquia a very long time. I was the 18th employee and one of the reasons why it’s been so great is I come out of the Drupal trenches. Drupal’s my project. It’s my Open Source love. Right from the beginning Acquia has made incredible contributions. We’ve screwed up. We’ve made mistakes. We’ve upset people. I’ve seen us really try and make it right, really apologize, whatever, but in terms of how much we try to give to the platform, I’m just so proud to be in the place where they send a guy around the world talking about Open Source, to a place where there are [roughly] 12 [paid, full-time]core contributors and so on.

It completely – so, knowing all of that, a couple of months when I heard that we were going to put a half a million dollars straight into Drupal 8 module upgrades, I was pretty blown away. So, what we’ve done at Acquia, the guy who’s organizing the program is called John Kennedy. He is also the product owner of our Drupal distribution which is called Lightning which is really cool. Check out Lightning. It’s like a base platform for building enterprise Drupal sites with a lot of opinionated architectural choices so that you can get commonality across big sites and make smart choices about workflows and so on.

Because we need to get Lighting into Drupal 8, we realized “Hey, we gotta get more modules moving faster so we can use it, too,” ... And this principle of enlightened self-interest is very important in Open Source ... We made a calculation along the way. This is pretty simple. If we invest this much money we’re going to get huge returns out of it and so will the community. The idea is John has been in touch with a lot of different people, a lot of maintainers, a log of project owners in the Drupal community and all the stuff that we considered important for Lightning and a few other things, the maintainers have all agreed to work at a community rate so it's not at a commercial level. It’s not like what you’d get on a big client project but real money, good money that you can live on. We’re paying that rate and so they give us an estimate of the hours, what they need to port a module to Drupal 8 and we’ve been pushing that out and it’s really, really great. I’ve talked with a couple of the maintainers who’ve been doing it and it’s just ... This is really a feel good moment and I think this is one of the best investments that we’ve made in a long time. I’m really, really proud that we can do something like that.

Hussain: It’s amazing. It’s incredible. Thank you for that. Thank you.

jam: It wasn’t me but you’re welcome. :-D

Parth: Next, tell me more about how you got engaged with Acquia. How many years ago again?

jam: I started with Acquia in August 2008. The short version is that I had been doing Drupal consulting and my first Drupal event was DrupalCon Brussels in 2006 and there were 200 of us there. At registration, you walked in the door and you handed Dries €20.00 and you got a t-shirt and you were in. I had meet Dries then and before I was working in Drupal apart from being a professional musician, I worked as a translator and a writer, and he engaged me to write all the texts and the legal disclaimers and the API documentation for Mollom--that was his other startup when he brought out Acquia. I did all of the text of Mollom. We had worked together a little bit because we knew each other sort of second-hand through the community and at some point Acquia needed a--the position was called Senior Writer. I knew Drupal and I have been doing professional writing for 10 years basically. It seemed like a really good fit and I wanted to move on from my situation and this little startup sounded like a good idea.

Parth: Little startup!

jam: Well, I was the 18th employee. This was a small company and you have to imagine that everybody did everything. I worked on and I was the most junior person in Engineering. I documented Drupal Gardens when we built it. I documented our first hosting platform, I did testing, bug reports and all that stuff. Over time, I transitioned. 2011 I transitioned into the Marketing Department because I was getting better known in the community and I was given a very, very nice budget to go and help the community and I sponsored--in 2012, I sponsored 84 Drupal Camps. I don’t think any single person has sponsored that many. Now, it wasn’t my money but I think it’s also money well spent, and did a lot of community investment through that and then as time goes on this is has transitioned to an Evangelist job. I mean it’s been a good ride.

Parth: All right, one more thing. You’ve always told me in our conversations in the past week, you do this because you want to be true to the heart and you don’t want to do anything that you don’t stand behind. Can you tell us more about that ideology that you have when you work in the community?

jam: Yes. I’m going to try and tell you a really very short version. In the last 10 years, I’ve been forced to grow up. I’ve had to become an adult. I mean I have children. Friends and relatives have died and I’ve had to deal with that. People my own age have gotten sick and it’s all--it’s real life. It can be really hard. As I’ve gone through some of these hard times ... I’ve been doing Drupal for 11 years so in the same time frame as I had to face up to facts and become an adult, I got involved in Drupal and involved in Open Source. The changes in me, inside me they feel completely tied to the Open Source values: transparency, honesty, sharing, paying if forward, paying it back, all that stuff that we practice. We don’t just say it would be nice to do that. We live that in our communities. Because these things were happening at the same time, for me somehow, it’s just one. When you see me doing stuff, when you hear me doing stuff, it’s actually really me. This is not--I’m not putting on a show or something. So, it would be really, really hard for me to take a job that wasn’t helping people. I think I can imagine being in other jobs, other companies, that happens. I think if you make something that make people’s lives better, it doesn’t even have to be developers, right? It has to be something I can believe or I would really have trouble doing it. Expressing that in what we do today: I mean, I deeply admire our community and our technology and that’s what I’ve been doing for a long time but it could apply elsewhere too. I guess that’s the shortest version of that.

Hussain: That’s really, really inspirational.

Parth: Yes, yes. Exactly and so I was super inspired with that and that’s why I’m like--you have to mention that on the podcast.

Hussain: You heard it first here.

Parth: First. We do a lot of firsts and we’re going to do a lot of firsts in our coming episodes, so you better follow The Geek Voice!

jam: Thank you so much. It was really a privilege to be on your podcast. I really enjoyed that and you brought up stuff that I wouldn’t just bring up on a normal basis. Thank you for taking the time to have me on your podcast. I really, really enjoyed it.

Skill Level: BeginnerIntermediateAdvanced
Categories: Elsewhere

OSTraining: Create a Drupal Photo Gallery with Views Galleriffic

Thu, 07/04/2016 - 22:48

An OSTraining member asked us how to use the Galleriffic JQuery plugin with Drupal.

The standalone version of Galleriffic allows you to create styling image galleries and slideshows.

The Drupal integration with Galleriffic allows you to use Views to create a galleries. These galleries can be attached to nodes themselves or act as stand-alone galleries. 

Categories: Elsewhere

Lullabot: Selling Drupal Modules and Distributions

Thu, 07/04/2016 - 22:00
Matt and Mike talk to Taco Potze, Robert Douglas, Matthew Tift, Greg Dunlap, and Jeff Eaton about selling Drupal modules, and all of the benefits, downsides, and questions that arise from selling GPL and dual-licensed software in the Drupal community.
Categories: Elsewhere

Promet Source: Did a Lack of Drupal Updates Lead to the Panama Papers?

Thu, 07/04/2016 - 20:07

The amount of data leaked in the Panama Papers hack has proven monumental but what's alarming for all businesses is how the information was extracted from the Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca: the data was most likely taken by exploiting a security flaw from one of the firm’s outdated systems. Open source systems can be exploited if known security flaws aren't patched within a reasonably quick turnaround time, and in the case of the Panama Papers there were almost too many holes in the security dam. 

Categories: Elsewhere