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Cheppers blog: Bundlerize your SASSy themes!

Thu, 15/05/2014 - 16:08

Nowadays many web-frontend developer use Compass framework to easily manage the CSS side of the currently developed project. We at Cheppers use Compass to compile the SASS files in our custom theme projects. If you do too, and you ever ran into an ugly circular gem file dependency problem, you definitely should use Bundler.

Categories: Elsewhere

Drupal core announcements: Accessibility Issues That Affect Administrators (Part 2 of D8 A11y Update)

Wed, 14/05/2014 - 23:02

In Part 1, I mentioned Authoring Tool Accessibility Guidelines (ATAG) although most of the analysis here will be geared to achieving Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 AA. Drupal is both about web content and the process of authoring that content and ATAG 2.0 is about both. For the most part we’ve looked at seeing that the admin side of Drupal is as accessible as the public facing components. The interface also has a strong role in producing better, more accessible content. Being able to force alt text for images is a part of this, but it is just the beginning.

Many of the elements mentioned in Part 1 will also be present on the admin side. For instance, we’ve adopted similar approaches to both Bartik & the default admin theme Seven when it comes to ARIA & HTML5.

Administering any CMS, you are ultimately navigating web forms to manage the content. We’ve done lots of little things to clean up the accessibility of the admin side from silencing the “*” for screen readers to adding missing titles. There are lots of places where LABELS were used for markup rather than as a semantic relationship, and we’ve fixed most of those now (see 1811216, 2044521, 1932068 & 882666). We’ve also enlarged the font size for things like the table sorting link so it is easier for people who have mobility challenges to find and use.

We also cleaned up the accessibility contextual links (849926 & 1905340). Removed blank table headers, fixed up file uploads so that screen readers get some notifications and made sure that parents didn't show up if there were no child elements present. dealing with parents. Lots of little items like this have been cleaned up throughout the interface, but since the understanding about web accessibility has grown so much Drupal 8 contributors it is a lot less than it used to be. Accessibility is talked about by much more than the accessibility team.

These forms ultimately encourage content authors to follow best practice in the creation of their content, including web forms. By using Drupal properly and following the examples in Core it will be much easier for everyone to create accessible content by default, an important part of ATAG 2.0 AA compliance. A simple example of this is that we expanded the allowed filters in Drupal 8 to encourage users to use HTML headings in the default Filtered HTML text format.

On the admin side we made internationalization more accessible by improving the String Translation UI and ensuring that the original language is set semantically. We have also allowed the ability to synchronize alt and titles text for multi-lingual images. Most of the other accessibility challenges with multi-lingual sites are then just taken care of when the content is presented to the users. A great illustration of ATAG 2.0.

As with the public facing links, we have continued to ensure that the “purpose of each link can be determined from the link text alone” and have done so both in the Forums as well as with the main Add content links.

We increased the maximum allowed text size for alt and title strings to be 1024 characters allowing for more complex descriptions of images. Although not in Core yet, through CKEditor it is possible to add longdesc links for other images.

jQuery UI’s modal dialogs are used all over in the admin side and are a great example of the Proudly Invented Elsewhere concept, as is the adoption of CKEditor. Serious work went into choosing which WYSIWYG editor went into Drupal 8 and accessibility was a big component of the decision. With that we get a lot of accessibility gains as IBM and others have worked to improve CKEditor’s accessibility over the years. With Drupal we have improved our own configuration pages so that it can be administered with people using assistive technologies. We will also get benefits from accessibility enhancements made to CKEditor, like the Language of Parts improvements which are scheduled for a 4.3 release.

Views. The most powerful module in Drupal 6 and 7 got brought into Core. With that it got cleaned up a great deal, particularly for it’s accessibility. Now it is even easier for administrators with disabilities to use this incredibly powerful query engine. There were a bunch of basic improvements like:

None of these will affect the output of Views, but there were also improvements to the output as well. The mini-pagers in views needed a header and additional context to understand the purpose of the previous/next links. This brings it up with the accessibility levels for pagers in the rest of Drupal Core.

The tables are also significantly improved as there is now proper id/header semantics included by default. This makes it easier for users to know where they are on large data tables. To keep up with data tables in HTML5 we have had to add captions and descriptions and removed the summary element for tables. Having this ability to control the captions and descriptions of tables is a really strong advantage for Drupal.

Another nice element is that many core admin listing pages are being migrated over to Views, so that this semantic presentation is available for many of the lists that are required critical for Drupal 8.

Plug: I will be presenting about the Drupal Accessibility Advantage at 7am ET (May 15th) as part of Inclusive Design 24. There will be 24 such videos, one for every hour of Global Accessibility Awareness Day. These videos should be available in the future for those who miss tomorrow's presentation.

Categories: Elsewhere

Propeople Blog: 23 Acquia Certified Drupal Developers (and Counting)

Wed, 14/05/2014 - 22:10

Every day at Propeople, I get to interact and work with a top-notch team of Drupal experts. And even though those of us at Propeople, as well as our clients, can vouch for the high caliber of our team, it never hurts to have some solid facts that show the awesome talent that we’re lucky enough to have on our team. This includes receiving awards, taking on some of the largest Drupal projects in the world, and, now, the Acquia Certification Program - a new program created by Acquia to validate the skills and knowledge of Drupal developers.

Acquia just launched the certification at the beginning of April, and already Propeople counts 23 of our developers among those that have successfully gone through the Acquia certification exam! That's right...23 developers! We couldn't be more proud, and we’re excited to see that number keep growing as more members of our technical team are able to take the certification exam.

So far, Propeople Drupal developers from across our offices in the US, Denmark, Ukraine, Moldova, and Bulgaria have become certified through the program.

As an Acquia Enterprise Partner, Propeople is proud to be an early adopter of Acquia’s Certification Program. With the Drupal community and marketplace continuing to grow, having such a measure of knowledge and expertise is a benefit to us, and to our clients. Top businesses and organizations that are currently using (or looking to use) Drupal seek out the best Drupal talent in the industry - and Acquia’s Certification Program provides us with some hard evidence that Propeople’s Drupal specialists are some of the best in the world.

To learn more about how Propeople’s qualified team can help you make your next Drupal project a success, make sure check out what services we offer and reach out to us.



Tags: DrupalAcquiaDevelopersCertificationCheck this option to include this post in Planet Drupal aggregator: planetTopics: Tech & Development
Categories: Elsewhere

Forum One: Relaunching

Wed, 14/05/2014 - 21:42

Last Tuesday, 240 of the country’s top climate scientists and experts released the third National Climate Assessment (NCA). The report details the current and best understanding of how climate change is already impacting Americans’ health and livelihoods in every region of the country. The takeaway from the report is that if you live in the United States, you’re either already dealing with climate change, or it is coming soon to your neighborhood.

When Forum One began working with the U.S. Global Change Research Program (GCRP) last year on a new design for, we knew we had a big job, but we didn’t know we’d have such a big audience.

Our goal in redesigning was to help GCRP bring context and transparency to global change research within the federal government. The release of the new NCA is an opportunity to draw attention to the issue of global change - and to showcase the wide range of related Federal information. As an example, our Browse section includes reports and datasets from the Global Change Information System (GCIS), a federal portal which houses climate change research drawn from thirteen federal agencies and organizations who study climate. In the long-term, we want to make it easy to trace the connections between the individual pieces of research that constitute “what we know” about climate change. 

Though our project team had lofty goals, we faced a lot of common website design challenges. One of GCRP’s organizational goals is to make their science accessible. If the scientific findings aren’t explained clearly, then the chances of anyone actually doing anything about it are slim. However, the site also has to work for scientists sharing their research, and policymakers and planners who want to understand how climate change will affect their communities. We needed a design that would help all of GCRP’s audiences find the information they need to make smart climate decisions. John Schneider, one of our senior user-experience designers, designed the overall information architecture that created unique paths through the site for each of GCRP’s key audiences.

One of our team’s first ideas was the Understand section of the site, which helps those new to climate change understand the “big picture” story of what’s happening, what it means, and how we know. The Explore section gives visitors a direct path to aggregation pages for the regions and topics that provide details and context to the overall NCA findings. The Browse section, as mentioned above, is the portal into the GCIS and all the climate data and research you could ever want. Through the Follow section, users can subscribe to GCRP news or social feeds, and the Engage section provides info on public events or other opportunities to get involved with the assessment process itself.

For visual design, we turned to our long-term partners at Antistatic Design to create the “slick” look & feel that beautifully showcases the stark reality of climate change on your desktop, mobile, or tablet device. Finally, our site search allows users to quickly find content within the overall website or just within the NCA report module itself, developed by the firm Habitat Seven and NOAA’s Cooperative Institute for Climate & Satellites.

Between interesting design challenges and working with the brilliant and engaged staff over at GCRP, we had plenty to focus on beyond any attention from 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

Once we started to hear and see the attention on the recent IPCC report release, the whole project took on a new urgency. We were confident in the quality of our design, but at that point we knew that we needed to be equally confident in our hosting infrastructure. Suddenly it was clear that there was a lot of attention on the climate issue, and a hunger for new scientific research. We got wind of some traffic numbers from the IPCC report website, which we used to extrapolate a baseline expectation for our launch. We deployed a content delivery network (CloudFlare), and a page caching solution (Varnish). We conducted load testing and refined our hosting setup until we were confident that we could handle anything short of a highly-orchestrated DDOS attack. We also implemented FISMA compliance measures to ensure that the site and data was secure and only authorized users from GCRP and the development team were able to access administrative functions on the site.

On launch day, we knew pretty quickly that we were going to hit our targets. The site went online just after 8am, and by noon we had seen over 50,000 visitors. Over the next 48 hours, over a quarter-million people would browse the site or read the report. Dozens of reporters covered the White House stakeholders event – where our site received quite the hurrah from Presidential advisor John Podesta – and morning shows across the country were invited to send their meteorologists to interview the President. Throughout the day, our site held up as the numbers kept climbing and climbing. At least one person on Twitter seemed impressed:

There may not have been a lot of good news for the country in the latest NCA report, but we loved working with GCRP and our other partners on the new At Forum One, we spend a lot of time geeking out on the latest coding trick or UX trend, but what motivates us more than anything is helping our clients make progress on issues that matter, and this is a big one.

The message of the Third NCA is that climate isn’t a problem for tomorrow, but for today. Like climate change itself, changing the political consensus can be a staggeringly slow and incremental process, but once in a while, something new at the right moment can trigger rapid, cascading change. That’s what we need on the issue of climate change, and we hope that the redesigned helps the American people understand why.

When Forum One began working with the U.S. Global Change Research Program (GCRP) last year on a new design for, we knew we had a big job, but we didn’t know we’d have such a big audience.


Categories: Elsewhere

Drupal Association News: Add the Drupal Project to your professional experience on LinkedIn

Wed, 14/05/2014 - 21:38

For many in the Drupal community, working on the Project can become like a full-time job. Maintaining modules, patching bugs, organizing camps and responding to issues in the issue queue can be a lot of work, and now, you can get professional recognition on LinkedIn for your efforts.

There is now a company page for the Drupal Project available to anyone who wants to cite their work with Drupal as professional experience on LinkedIn. This is a great opportunity to get recognition from employers and colleagues for your hard work, and to signal to future employers that you’re a Drupal expert and/or contributor.

You can find the LinkedIn page here. To add it to your work experience, treat it like you would any other company: edit your profile, and when you type in Drupal Project under “Experience,” it should pop up.

Let us know if you have any questions or feedback. Thank you for all your hard work on the Drupal project.

Categories: Elsewhere

Chapter Three: The future of the internet is as stake

Wed, 14/05/2014 - 21:31

America’s online freedoms are under attack. FCC Chairman Wheeler wants to give Internet service providers like Comcast and Verizon the power to block access to the Web unless content providers pay an extra fee. The Internet pipeline will be divided into different streams of varying quality, and sites will be required to pay premiums based on the performance of their users connections.

Net neutrality or bust

The demise of net neutrality will give big companies with lots of money premium access to digital networks and make it difficult for independent communities to thrive. The Web’s openness makes it possible for open source projects with meager funding, like Drupal, to compete against wealthy, established brands such as Adobe. If had to pay premiums for Internet access, it may have never been feasible to exist alongside companies with enourmous budgets.

Chairman Wheeler’s so-called “fast lane” proposal for Internet traffic will give Internet service providers unprecedented power to control our access to culture and politics. The magnitude of this issue has driven me to spend the past few weeks scouring the news, signing petitions and telling everyone I know about the situation.

Taking to the streets

I even went as far as trying to mastermind a political demonstration in downtown San Francisco to tell our senators that net neutrality is important and to demand the FCC to keep it that way. The event was essentially a flop, but technically, I pulled it off. At the very least, I got to speak with a representative from Senator Feinstein’s office who came down to chat with me in the plaza.

Organizing the demonstration was an excellent learning experience, regardless the outcome. It pushed me out of my comfort zone while giving me a richer perspective on the issue and democracy in general. It also made me think about better ways to influence change by leveraging my strengths instead of naively rush into the unknown.

My manic, sleep deprived dreams of political manifesto were, if anything, a cry for help. It was a plea for the nation to band together and tell our representatives that keeping the Web open is important. We must demand that our representatives urge the FCC to uphold net neutrality or lose the promise of a connected world.

Only YOU can save net neutrality

Take action now and sign this petition to the FCC telling them that net neutrality is vital to the web’s future. Internet access is now a fundamental part of our society and it is necessary for a vibrant, healthy economy. We are increasingly dependent on the Web to distribute information, exchange ideas, and create new tools. Senator Al Franken is right about the net neutrality debate being the civil rights issue of our time. We can’t let huge media monopolies take control of such an influential tool.

We at Chapter Three have taken a stand on the issue by signing the Declaration of Internet independence. Encourage your employers to support freedom online by doing the same. Check out this list of resources from the FreePress organization to discover even more ways to help.

Can you think of any more ways to reach out? What have you already done to protect the integrity of the Web and what tactics do you find most effective? I believe we can live in the world of our dreams but not without fighting for it first.

Categories: Elsewhere

DrupalCon Austin News: So you're going to DrupalCon Austin. Now What?

Wed, 14/05/2014 - 16:30

You've got your tickets to DrupalCon Austin. What happens next? This fun and helpful infographic maps out the next steps for you. From reserving a space to sleep to selecting your schedule and keeping up with all the latest news, this infographic comes complete with links to help you plan out your DrupalCon Austin adventure.

Categories: Elsewhere

Mediacurrent: Energize Your Web Project at Drupalcon

Wed, 14/05/2014 - 14:22

Here at Mediacurrent, we’re counting down the days until Drupalcon Austin. This year, we’re proud to be a Platinum sponsor, and we’re bringing our A-game with over a dozen teammates, The Weather Channel Case Study, Power Sessions, Office Hours, an After-party (with LingoTek), and a ton of other activities. If you’re attending Drupalcon Austin this year, here are 5 reasons to pay Mediacurrent a visit:

Categories: Elsewhere

Acquia: Ultimate Guide to Drupal 8: Episode 2 - Mobile Improvements

Wed, 14/05/2014 - 13:58

Welcome to the second instalment of an 8-part blog series we're calling "The Ultimate Guide to Drupal 8." Whether you're a site builder, module or theme developer, or simply an end-user of a Drupal website, Drupal 8 has tons in store for you! This blog series will attempt to enumerate the major changes in Drupal 8. Successive posts will gradually get more technical, so feel free to skip to later parts (once they're published) if you're more on the geeky side.

Categories: Elsewhere

Code Karate: Drupal 7 Commerce Stripe Module

Wed, 14/05/2014 - 13:37

The Commerce Stripe module integrates Stripe with the Drupal Commerce checkout and payment system.

Categories: Elsewhere

Modules Unraveled: 107 The Community Summit at DrupalCon Austin with Addison Berry and Mortendk - Modules Unraveled Podcast

Wed, 14/05/2014 - 10:41
Published: Wed, 05/14/14Download this episodeTrack
  • What exactly is the Community Summit?
  • When is it? Monday, June 2 - the day before the conference itself starts
  • How did it go in Prague?
  • Is there anything that will be new or different in Austin?
Episode Links: Community Summit in AustinSubmit Your Desired ProjectDrupalCon Social EventsMorten on TwitterMorten on Drupal.orgMorten’s BlogHire Morten for Theming StuffAddison on TwitterDrupalize.meAddison’s BlogDareConf 2014GruntTags: 
Categories: Elsewhere

Modules Unraveled: 107 The Community Summit at DrupalCon Austin with Addison Berry and Mortendk - Modules Unraveled Podcast

Wed, 14/05/2014 - 10:41
Published: Wed, 05/14/14Track
  • What exactly is the Community Summit?
  • When is it? Monday, June 2 - the day before the conference itself starts
  • How did it go in Prague?
  • Is there anything that will be new or different in Austin?
Episode Links: Community Summit in AustinSubmit Your Desired ProjectDrupalCon Social EventsMorten on TwitterMorten on Drupal.orgMorten’s BlogHire Morten for Theming StuffAddison on TwitterDrupalize.meAddison’s BlogDareConf 2014GruntTags: 
Categories: Elsewhere