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DrupalCon News: DrupalCon Los Angeles Mobile Apps

Fri, 08/05/2015 - 19:25

The good people at Lemberg Solutions have once again volunteered to create a free mobile app for DrupalCon attendees! You can find the iOS version here and the Android version here.

These apps are not directly affiliated with the event, so questions and support inquiries should go to Lemberg. 

Thanks to Lemberg for their efforts! 

 

Categories: Elsewhere

Hook 42: Join me in Drupal 8 Novice Issue Validation

Fri, 08/05/2015 - 19:00
Drupal 8 Novice Issue ValidationBackground

The purpose of this blog post is to tell others how in one week I went from fruitlessly searching the Issue Queue, to contributing to Drupal 8 while interacting with core contributors...and how you can too! I did this by triaging Issues that had the Novice Tag with the help of Drupal Mentors and I documented the process along the way. There are a ton of Issues left to triage and core contributors need your help! So, if you have some experience with Issues and/or core, you can help us too!

How did I get to this point where I was triaging Novice Issues?

As a new contributor to Drupal I was directed to look at Issues tagged Novice to help out. And after looking at the first few Issues I was left befuddled and confused to the point where the only way to express my feelings was through a cat meme.

confused_cat.jpg

Source: http://makeameme.org/media/created/Im-confused.jpg

In the wake of my confusion I mostly drank vanilla frappuccinos and produced over-caffeinated curses about the long list of Issues to chose from, and my inability to contribute to any of them. This is when I turned to the Drupal community! I was able to lean on the help of senior contributors such as Aimee Degnan, Kristen Pol, and John Storey.

I would link them to an Issue and say “Ummm, what?”. With their help I was able to contribute to ongoing Issues like Installing in a non-English language fails for command-line installations , and adding a Beta Phase and Remaining Task template to “Rewrite the documentation of content_translation_entity_type_alter()” . I became very happy with my contributions and wanted to help more!

It was about this time, recalling my elaborate curses regarding the Issues queues, Kristen Pol pointed out an apprenticeship that Cathy Theys was currently offering regarding going through the Issue queue and triaging the Novice Tags. Conveniently, this is the exact thing I was calling for earlier that day! Cathy is a Drupal 8 Core contributor, Drupal Mentor, and overall Leader. She knows how to do the things and is patient enough to teach everyone how to do them. In the first week of working with Cathy part time I was able to: learn how tell if an Issue should have a Novice Tag, interact with fellow core contributors, and even become a mentor for the upcoming DrupalCon in LA! :-) If any of those things sound like something you’d like to do, stop reading right now and shoot me an email or ping me on IRC in the channels #drupal or #drupal-contribute, my IRC name is Patrick_Storey!

First steps to triaging Issues

I started by learning what the “Novice Tag” stands for. Apparently it means “new contributor to Drupal”. This contributor could be an expert in their field, but merely just new to contributing to the Drupal project. This runs contrary to what I thought, which I assumed it meant a Task for beginners in the field like myself. This definition alone really cleared up worlds of understanding for me. So that’s the first thing one must learn, what we mean in Drupal when we say “Novice Task”.

After speaking with Cathy Theys about where we should start we decided to start with Issues that were "Tasks" because those are at a high risk of not being committable. Drupal 8 is currently in Beta. And some Issues are about changes that are not going to be in the current version of Beta. So for new contributors we decided it was best to only have them work on Issues that would get in the current version of Beta. I certainly didn’t want to work on an Issue, do it correctly, only to have to wait a year to see the results. I wanted to link it to others and brag about it now!

lets-go-me.jpg

source: http://www.theworldsbestever.com/2011/05/18/no-1-fan/

Luckily the Drupal community has already thought about what makes a good Novice Issue and created a handbook for common things to avoid and use in triaging Issues. The Novice Tasks handbook page documents what makes a good or bad Novice Task. With this powerful handbook at our disposal we are ready to triage Novice Tag Issues!

How to search for Beta Issues with the Novice Tag

Start by searching for Novice Tasks in the Drupal 8 Issue queue This should produce a screen with these filters selected.

region_capture_17.png

How to decide if an Issue should keep its Novice Tag

This information is to help decide if an Issue still has Novice Task(s) on it. Here are the steps I take when first reviewing an Issue:

  • Read the Issue Summary, read the remaining Tasks, read the last few comments. Can you identify what the next steps are?
  • Look for the comment where the Novice Tag was added. To do this use the browser find (control-f or cmd-f) and search for the +Novice note. Sometimes the Tag gets added and removed often, look at each scenario.
  • What did the person say in their comment when they added the Novice Tag? Has the Task been completed already? If so, then there may be no other Novice Tasks for the Issue.
  • Is the Issue Summary up to date detailing which Tasks have been done, and which Tasks still need to be done? If not this Issue will need an Issue Summary update before it remains a Novice Issue. You can do the Issue Summary update yourself following this documentation or Tag the Issue with a “Needs Issue Summary update” Tag, comment why it needs an Issue Summary update, and reference the documentation.
  • Are the Tasks linked to a contributor Task document saying how to do the Task?

After reviewing the Issue I then decide if the Issue should have the Novice Tag on it or not.

  • Compare the information you have gathered with the Novice Tasks documentation to see if this Issue meets the requirements for a Novice Tag
  • A good way to see this is to review the Task or Issues to avoid for a Novice Tag documentation.
  • If the issue meets the criteria of an “issues to avoid”, then the Novice tag should be removed.
  • If the task in question that the Novice tag was added for meets the criteria of a “tasks to avoid”, then the Novice tag should be removed.

This can seem like a confusing thing to do at first, but feel free to ping me on IRC in the channels #drupal or #drupal-contribute, my IRC name is Patrick_Storey. After doing a few Issues together this process will become a lot easier to understand!

Template for the removal of a Novice Tag.

When removing the Novice Tag, this is a good template to follow:

  • Delete the Tag by erasing it from the “Issue Tags” section.
  • region_capture_18.png

  • Then leave a comment saying why, and cite the documentation to back up your reasoning. Such as below.
  • I am removing the Novice Tag from this Issue because [why]

    I’m using this documentation as a source: https://www.drupal.org/core-mentoring/novice-tasks#avoid

  • You should put your reason for removal in the [why] part of the above template
Changes to keep the Novice Tag

Sometimes there are things we can do to the Issue to keep the Novice Tag. Such as providing a Beta Evaluation or updating the Issue Summary.

  • If a "Task" has been assigned the priority of “Normal” it should have a Beta Evaluation. You may perform a Beta Evaluation following the documentation on how to evaluate Issues.If you can not perform a Beta Evaluation at that moment,
    • comment that it needs a beta evaluation, why (it is a Task of Normal priority) and reference the contributor Task documentation for how to do a beta evaluation in the comment.
    • add the Tag: needs Issue Summary update
    • update the Issue Summary, adding a remaining Task of "do a beta evaluation". To aid in this endeavor the dreditor browser plugin has a button for "Insert Tasks", which inserts a HTML table template. Place your cursor in the remaining Tasks section of the Issue Summary, then hit the “Insert Tasks” button. Then uncomment any table rows that you have noticed are remaining Tasks, especially the row to do a beta evaluation.
If you do a Beta Evaluation,
  • Use Dreditor when starting a Beta Evaluation. This will provide you with the “Insert Beta Evaluation” button
  • When you click the Beta Evaluation button you will get an output like this
  • region_capture_19.png

  • Be careful as some of the table rows in the template are not spaced out in a clear manner, there is an Issue opened for dreditor that is discussing a work around
  • I put spacing for each new instance of a table row . This will result in the spacing to be like this.
  • Beta Evaluation modified output

  • To properly fill in the form, uncomment the relevant rows and put why that row is relevant.
  • If the Beta Evaluation results in the Issue needing to be postponed, remove the Novice Task because the Issue will no longer be valid for this version.
  • Then hit save.
  • If you are doing this for the first few times, or the update you did was a bit complicated, paste a link to your comment in IRC in #drupal or #drupal-contribute so someone else can check if it looks correct. Ping Patrick_Storey or YesCT just by typing their name when you say something in the channel. (If they are not in the channel, just post it to the channel in general, please do not ask anyone else specifically to check.)

Also see the contributor Task handbook page on how to evaluate if a Drupal core Issue is allowed in Beta for further guidance.

Examples of Issues I’ve changed

Here is a link to one of the first Issues where I removed a Novice Tag: https://www.drupal.org/node/507502. In this example I removed it for having over 100 comments on the Issue, listed my reasons, and the source documentation I was using.

Here is a link to an Issue where the Novice Tag remained but I provided an Issue Summary update, and a Beta Evaluation: https://www.drupal.org/node/2478535. I kept the Novice Tag as this Issue had a request to update the patch to incorporate feedback from a review.

Have any questions?

If you have any questions feel free to hop onto the Drupal chat on IRC in #drupal or the contribution channel #drupal-contribute, or come to the weekly “Triaging Novice Issues office hours” Google hangout at 2pm-4pm PST (21:00-23:00 UTC) on Wednesdays! You can add the Mentor Calendar directly to your Google Calendar to see notifications of when the office hours are! Or feel free to join the Drupal Mentors group to keep up to date with all Drupal mentoring!

 

Thank you to Cathy Theys, Kristen Pol, Lucas Hedding, Scott Reeves, John Storey, and Jeff Mahoney who made this post possible.

Friday, May 8, 2015 Patrick Storey Topics:
Categories: Elsewhere

Modules Unraveled: Installing Git on Windows and Mac - Free Video Series

Fri, 08/05/2015 - 19:00

The Installing Git series is a free series that walks you through the process of installing Git for the first time and/or updating Git to the latest release on both Windows and Macs.

Installing Git on Windows is pretty straight forward, you just download the "Git for Windows" installer, and step through the process.

On a Mac though:
* You might not have any version of Git installed
* You might have the version that comes with Xcode or the Command Line Developer Tools
* You might have the version from Apple as well as an official install
* Or, you might just need to update an existing official install

This series covers all of those scenarios to get you updated to and running on the latest release.

It also covers the basic Git configuration options you need to set in order to use Git effectively.

So, what are you waiting for? Watch them now! They're free!

Tags: Gitplanet-drupal
Categories: Elsewhere

Forum One: Content After Launch: Preparing a Monkey for Space

Fri, 08/05/2015 - 16:16

We’re excited to announce this talk, Content After Launch – Preparing a Monkey for Space on Wednesday, May 15, 2015 from 5pm to 6pm at DrupalCon LA!

So what’s it all about? Well, coupled with a silly metaphor, I’m going to be talking about what happens to content during various stages of a website build, from the initial kickoff, through the production, and well after launch. The talk will touch on:

  • how all team members can get involved in the success of a launched website.
  • setting and managing expectations for what it takes to run a site post-launch.
  • everything you might have missed while focused on designing and building the website.

Come for the metaphor, stay for the juicy takeaways! Spoiler alert – there will be an abundance of monkey photos.

Categories: Elsewhere

iterate.: Creating custom cron tasks in Drupal 7

Fri, 08/05/2015 - 16:11

In one of our latest projects we developed a Facebook app which integrates with Drupal. Even though Drupal 7 has a powerful set of core tools to manage files and images, using it would unnecessarily overcomplicate a simple PHP app. 

Categories: Elsewhere

Lullabot: The SyFy Project

Fri, 08/05/2015 - 15:02

The redesigned SyFy.com website is a beautiful example of the latest in front-end technology. Lullabot developers Mike Herchel and Chris Albrecht join the Drupalize.Me podcast to explain it all.

Categories: Elsewhere

Code Drop: Creating Custom Config Entities in Drupal 8

Fri, 08/05/2015 - 12:35

Drupal 8 is skipping through the betas and it won’t be long until we’re staring at a release candidate. With that in mind, i’m now taking the time to learn some of the key concepts that you’ll need to know as a day to day site builder using Drupal 8.

Custom Config Entity Types

A custom configuration entity type referred to as a config entity for most of this article is a custom definition of an entity that allows you to provide a config class, validation schema and custom storage.

They'll have hundreds of practical usages during development custom development. To give some examples, core uses them for user roles, blocks, image styles and plenty more. Use your IDE to see what’s extending ConfigEntityBase if you’re interested.

Creating Our Config Entity Type Schema

First up, lets define our schema. The schema allows us to say what fields our config entity should have and what type those fields should be.

Categories: Elsewhere

Jim Birch: Drupal 7: Google Analytics and Google Webmaster Tools Setup

Fri, 08/05/2015 - 12:00

At first, I dismissed the need for yet another module.  I have always added the Google Analytics code straight into a template file in various other CMS and static sites I have been involved in over the years.  Why do I need a module to do that?  Well, you don't, but the Drupal Google Analytics Module does offer a lot more functionality that will make it worth your while.

The first thing you need to do, it you haven't is sign up for a Google Analytics account.  It's pretty straight forward process. 

Once you are signed up, the most confusing thing to me was the Account vs. Property vs. View:

I break it down like this.  Account is the company or the owner.  The Property is the website.  The view is segmented data of the website.  At first, you should have a default "All Website Data" view, but moving forward you may have an app and a website, or a view for different languages on the site like /en and /de.

Read more

Categories: Elsewhere

Wim Leers: The Montpellier Perf Sprint, and what’s next

Fri, 08/05/2015 - 11:37

At least 20 people helped push one or more issues forward in Montpellier, at the Drupal Dev Days Performance Sprint!

Here’s an overview of what we set out to do, what we did, and what the next steps are.

The plan for DDD Montpellier

The sprint board, midweek. Yellow stickies are performance stickies. Middle of the board is “in progress”. Bottom right is “fixed”.

1. Finding more performance issues

We already know that certain things are slow, and we know how to fix them. But significant portions of slowness do not yet have explanations for, let alone precise or even rough plans on how to reduce the slowness.
The parts of Drupal 8 that are slow that we do not have a strong grasp on yet are the bootstrap phase in general, but also routing, container services and route access checking.

Berdir, amateescu, dawehner, yched, znerol, pwolanin and I did a lot of profiling, testing hypotheses about why certain things took a given amount of time, comparing to Drupal 7 where possible, figuring out where the differences lied, and so on.
Bits and pieces of that profiling work1 are in https://www.drupal.org/node/2470679, including patches that help profile the routing system.

In the weeks since DDD Montpellier, effulgentsia and catch have continued discussions there, posted further analyses and filed many more issues about fixing individual issues.

2. Try to break Drupal 8’s internal page cache & fix it

So, Drupal 8 had the internal page cache enabled by default shortly before DDD Montpellier, with only a few known problems. Having many people to try to break it, using scenarios they use daily in their day jobs, that’s the ideal way to find any remaining cache invalidation problems.

Many tried, and most did not succeed in breaking it (yay! :)), but about half a dozen problems were discovered. See https://www.drupal.org/node/2467071.

What we got done

We fixed so incredibly many issues, and we had more than twenty people helping out! Notably, fgm was all over class loading-related issues, borisson_ and swentel got many of the page cache issues fixed, pwolanin pushed routing/REST/menu links issues forward significantly, and we overall simply made progress on many fronts simultaneously.

We made Drupal 8’s authenticated user page loads several percent faster in the course of that week!

Most of the page cache problems that were discovered (see above) were fixed right at the sprint! There are 4 known issues left, of which one is critical on its own, one is blocked, and the two others are very hard.

(If you want more details, we have day-by-day updates on what got done.)

The sprint board, end result. Focused on the bottom right corner: look at all those yellow stickies!

Next steps

We currently have 11 remaining criticals with the “Performance” tag. Getting that to zero is our top priority. But many in that list are difficult.

If you specifically care about performance for authenticated users: less difficult issues can be found in the child issues of the Cache contexts meta issue. And for some least difficult issues, see the child issues of the SmartCache issue.

Generally speaking, all major issues tagged with either “Performance” or “D8 cacheability” can use a hand.

Hopefully see you in the queues! :)

  1. It was impossible to capture all things we considered in an issue, that’d have slowed us down at least tenfold. 

  • Acquia
  • Drupal
  • performance
Categories: Elsewhere

Another Drop in the Drupal Sea: DrupalCon for n00bs

Fri, 08/05/2015 - 11:29

DrupalCon LA is right around the corner! Woo hoo! I'll be there. Will you?

If this will be your first DrupalCon, I'd like to provide you with some ideas of how you can approach things. You have different options available to put together your Con:

read more

Categories: Elsewhere

xjm: Getting Drupal 8 done: DrupalCon Los Angeles sprints

Fri, 08/05/2015 - 00:51
Getting Drupal 8 done: DrupalCon Los Angeles sprints Thu, May 07, 2015 - 17:51 xjm

The DrupalCon Los Angeles extended sprints start this Saturday, May 9, and the main sprint day on Friday, May 15 is just a little over a week away. I'll be leading a Drupal 8 Critical Burndown sprint to help get D8 done, and  kgoel and cilefen will be leading a sprint to triage Drupal 8 majors. And we need your help! Sign up for the sprints now, or read on for more information on what we'll be doing and why.


DrupalCon Munich contribution sprints. Photo credit: Pedro Lozano.

Help fix the 29 remaining issues blocking Drupal 8's release

A release candidate for Drupal 8.0.x will be created once there are zero critical issues remaining. In the past six months, we've reduced the critical issue count from 130 issues then to just 29 issues as of today. This ongoing progress is thanks to the hard work of dozens of contributors.

Over these six months, we've held three focused sprints on critical issues: in Ghent in December, Princeton in January, and Dev Days Montpellier in April. The impact of each of these sprints on the critical issue count was clear: a focused sprint is the best way to get a lot of work done efficiently. Help us with the next burst of momentum! Come to webchick's "Plain Drupal English" guide to the remaining Drupal 8 criticals, and sign up for the Los Angeles critical issue sprint.


Issues fixed during the Dev Days critical and performance issue sprint

Help triage major Drupal 8 issues 900 reasons to get involved

The criteria for critical issues are very specific: the issue needs to be serious enough that we're not going to support Drupal 8 for any of the hundreds of thousands of sites that run Drupal without it. However, they're not the only issues we need to solve. Like most beta software, Drupal 8 still has plenty of bugs that need to be fixed, but that aren't severe enough to block release. Among these are the major issues, which are not a critical problem for every site, but still nasty enough to ruin someone's day.


Drupal 8 core committers assess each issue that is marked critical

Thee Drupal 8 core committer team systematically evaluates every single critical issue to make sure it's relevant and that it really should block release, but we don't have the resources to do this for major issues. Over the four years of Drupal 8's development, we've racked up nearly 900 major issues that are still outstanding. Many of these issues are still relevant and important to make Drupal 8.0.x more robust. However, many others are outdated; they might already have been resolved, they might no longer be relevant, or they might be candidates to postpone until 8.1.x or 9.x instead because they're no longer acceptable during the Drupal 8 beta.

This is where you come in! If you don't really see yourself helping with those 29 criticals, but you do have some experience with Drupal 8 and with core contribution in general, help us sort through these majors during DrupalCon LA. Take a look at the draft instructions for the sprint, and if you're up for it, put your name down for the major triage sprint in our sprint sign up sheet.

Better faster stronger

Like I mentioned above, a lot of the major issues in the queue probably aren't relevant anymore, and fixing the rest is going to make Drupal 8 better. There's another reason to sort through them though: there might actually be some critical issues hiding in that queue. The average critical issue takes between 1 and 4 weeks to fix once it's marked critical. However, a third of critical issues start at some other priority before their significance is recognized. This is actually a big challenge for Drupal 8 release management: we can organize resources for the criticals we know about, but not for ones we don't. So not only does helping move majors along make Drupal 8 better, it might also get it ready faster.

Maintainers wanted

Recently, Dries posted a new proposal on Drupal core's structure, responsibilities, and decision-making, which definitively established the role and responsibilities for core subsystem maintainers. We have lots of "vacancies" to fill. :) And it just so happens that triaging major issues triaging major issues for a particular component is a chance to learn a lot about that specific topic area and maybe to find your niche in Drupal core. We'll be organizing the major triage sprint into teams by subsystem so that each team has the chance to focus and build some expertise over the course of the sprint. Contributing to one patch will build your technical skills; contributing to the "big picture" through triage will build your understanding at a higher level. Participating in the major triage sprint is one way to explore what it would be like to be a subsystem maintainer -- and, as the Docker community has put it, maintainers are what distinguish a good project from a great one.


Views subsystem maintainers dawehner and damiankloip. Photo credit: Amazee Labs.

New to Drupal core contribution? Come to the Mentored Core Sprint

If you're just getting started with Drupal 8 or with core contribution, there's still a spot for you on the Friday sprint day! Join the Mentored Core Sprint.

Tags Comments
Categories: Elsewhere

Freelock : Why Drupal is a great fit for startups

Fri, 08/05/2015 - 00:30

Another sales call today, with a prospective start-upper who thought Drupal might lower his costs to get a web startup launched.

And I didn't really answer the question directly -- because in the long run, if you're building something successful, you're going to spend as much on your Drupal site as you would building from scratch.

The key difference? How quickly you can get something in front of users that might help you get some traction and build your business.

DrupalDrupal PlanetOperationsDevOps
Categories: Elsewhere

Drupal @ Penn State: Using Nittany Vagrant to Develop an Existing Drupal Site

Thu, 07/05/2015 - 22:56

One of the options in Nittany Vagrant is to build a local, development version of an existing Drupal site - copying the files and database, then downloading it to the Vagrant VM.  Its is pretty straightforward, but there is the occasional trouble spot.

Here is a short video of how to do it.

Categories: Elsewhere

Another Drop in the Drupal Sea: Can we (Drupalistas) compete with an AI Website Builder?

Thu, 07/05/2015 - 22:36

I'm speechless. And in awe. And maybe a little bit scared.

Through a bit of an odd synchronicity I have just come to learn about a new technology that is getting ready to make its debut. And, while the term "disruptive" gets totally overused these days, I do think that this particular technology may have the power to disrupt my livelihood.

I don't know whether to celebrate this technology, appreciate this technology, or update my resume. At any rate, I just signed up for TheGrid. It's kind of mind blowing.

read more

Categories: Elsewhere

Aten Design Group: Defining a Technical Architecture: Creating Structured Content from Wireframes

Thu, 07/05/2015 - 21:23

As information architects, we love tools that help clients think about the structure of their content. One which we’ve found particularly helpful is what we call our Technical Architecture document. It’s a spreadsheet that defines the structure of the site. This approach is not uncommon, especially within the Drupal community; however, we have promoted this spreadsheet from information architecture tool to site generator. By automating a once manual process, we’ve introduced some really exciting opportunities around rapid prototyping and efficient product iteration. I’ll get into the details of that in a follow up post. For now, we’ll look at how we move from sitemaps and wireframes to the technical architecture document in a way that sets us up for rapid prototyping.

From Wireframes to Technical Architecture Document

After the initial discovery phase of identifying goals, personas, user needs, core content and sitemaps, we build out wireframes for the project. The structure behind this content really comes together when we then translate those wireframes into the technical architecture document.

As mentioned above, this document breaks the site down into the specific content types, fields, vocabularies, terms, users and other units which together comprise the entirety of the project. You can look through and make a copy of the document for yourself - Technical Architecture document template

Sitemap

First we translate the sitemap as defined in our wireframes into separate rows in the technical architecture document.

Now we can specify the nature of each page and work with the client to define path aliases.

Content Types

Next we group all of the content into distinct types. We’ve been keeping these potential groupings in mind as wireframes are built out, but it is here in the technical architecture document where we explicitly define them.

Here is an example of the Course detail page (as shown above) translated into a content type and its associated fields.

This is where the structure of the content begins to take shape. We have identified the discrete fields which together form a single course. We can also now define field groups and help text where that is relevant and helpful.

Fields

The fields we saw in the content type sheet validate to fields referenced here. This sheet is where we hash out the finer details of each field. We bring the client into conversations around this sheet when necessary (such as help text and default values), but allow them to concern themselves primarily with the sitemap and content types.

Next we define in the same level of detail the remaining components of the site, including field groups, vocabularies, image styles and user roles.

Here is a look at user roles and their associated permissions.

This document is a great way to model content and inform developers as to what would be built. It also reveals to clients the underlying structure necessary to implement the functionality and form proposed in the wireframes.

Of course, there are still limitations in representing a course page in a series of rows and columns. The concept of structured content is now more clear, but it is not until a content author can create that Methodology of Science course that the picture truly comes into focus.

This is the exact situation prototypes were made for. In the next post I’ll dive into how we’re using the technical architecture document to automate much of the build process, enabling us to quickly create these prototypes.

Categories: Elsewhere

Acquia: Web Accessibility Tips for Developers

Thu, 07/05/2015 - 21:06

Creating the code that makes a website accessible to all visitors doesn’t have to be as time-consuming or resource-intensive as you might think. All you need to do is follow some simple steps that require a little extra time and effort. But these efforts will ensure that your Web content is at the fingertips of everyone — including those with blindness and low vision, deafness, and other disabilities.

It’s up to both the developer and the client to achieve site accessibility. Although they usually work together in the planning and later stages of website creation, a developer and client also have separate responsibilities in making a site accessible. This blog post, the first in a four-part series that offers website accessibility tips for developers, will make this important part of development easy to follow. And it comes just in time for Global Accessibility Awareness Day on May 21.

Reading More Shouldn’t Take More Effort

The visually impaired rely on screen readers to help them learn what’s on a page, and to navigate a site. But without the proper code in place, a screen reader that’s reading a short list of blog posts on a landing page that will direct users to a longer list of items, will only say “read more” over and over again.

Not knowing what the “more” is, a user will probably get frustrated and go somewhere else. Fortunately, all that’s needed to get a screen reader to articulate the details that accompany the “more” is just a few snippets of code — commands that accommodate disabled people while at the same time hiding text and not cluttering up the screen for non-disabled people.

A developer simply needs to include a small snippet of code similar to:

<a href="/">Read more <span class="readmore"> [site] Blogs</span></a>.

The “read more” CSS class should include code that makes the span class invisible to sighted users but can be heard by non-sighted users. Sighted users would still see “Read More” but non-sighted users would hear “Read More about [site] Blogs.”

Alt Text Should Paint a Clear Picture

Developers should stress to clients the necessity and importance of using alt text on a webpage. It helps visually impaired visitors know all there is to know about an image.

It’s easy to overlook when constructing a webpage, but it’s super easy to include alt text in an image’s markup code. A simple description of what the image is, and its title, are all that’s needed — as seen in this example of the markup box for a photo of Attorney General Eric Holder.

Spell Out What’s Required in a Required Field

Many websites use an asterisk as a cue for people to know what’s a required field of input on a form — but that’s not the best method to reach everyone. That sort of general warning doesn’t always work with screen readers; the user will be left guessing where the required field is. Not to mention, a colorblind visitor won’t see the red or green that’s typically used to highlight the field asterisk warning.

The solution is easy. First, the code behind the field should spell out the name of the required field, and the fact that inputting information there is required — so that people using screen readers will have no doubt about what they need to do. Also, the code should inform users that an asterisk is indeed the warning that’s denoting a required field; that way colorblind visitors who can’t see the red or green text that’s often used on websites as the only type of warning won’t have to second-guess and those using a screen reader will also will know what to do.

Don’t Bury Mistakes; Put the Error Message at Top

Another thing about website forms: A visitor who errs when completing an online form should be immediately informed on the refreshed page about where they’ve made a mistake. Otherwise, a screen reader will speak the entire page again and mention the errors only when it reaches the incorrect fields. The refreshed page should instead offer — at the very top — a basic box that lists what went wrong and what is required.

That’s it for now. Stay tuned for second part of this series, as we take you, the developer, down a true and easy path to website accessibility.

Tags:  acquia drupal planet
Categories: Elsewhere

Palantir: Design Systems and DrupalCon Los Angeles

Thu, 07/05/2015 - 20:51

Design Systems are all the rage in the world of Web design these days, and for good reason. Good design has always been about design system thinking, and when applied to the Web, it results in robust sites that s are able to evolve over time, grow with your business, adapt to new technologies like phones and watches, and provide a better user experience. Drupal is great for design systems thinking, and that's why Palantir is making it a theme of DrupalCon Los Angeles.

Start off with my article "Strategies for a Designer-friendly CMS" in the latest issue of Drupal Watchdog, which attendees will find in their conference swag bags. It's based on my presentation "Design Systems and Drupal", which you may have caught at a conference in the last few months. (If not, tell your local DrupalCamp to have me come and present it!)

Tuesday afternoon, fellow Palantiri Steve Persch will be presenting on Rendering HTML with Drupal; Past, Present, and Future, discussing how the Drupal approach to theming has changed over the years and how the mental models we use have evolved. Did you know there's two completely different theming philosophies intertwined into one system? Steve will explain how that came to be, and what the future holds. You can get a jump on the topic with Steve's two part series on the Panels module, and why we use it extensively at Palantir. Catch him at 2:15 pm in room 502B.

Wednesday morning, Drupal Watchdog is hosting a meet the authors session at their booth in the Exhbit Hall with both Steve and I. Come by at 10:15 am to chat Design Systems, Drupal, writing, and vests.

Immediately after, Steve and I will also be hosting a BoF (Birds of a Feather - group discussion) on Design Systems and their future within Drupal. Join us in room 506 at 10:45 am to discuss how to better leverage design systems in our favorite CMS.

And finally, Thursday kicks off with Steve presenting in the Core Conversations track about What Panels can teach us about Web Components. Web Components are coming soon to a browser near you, and you need to be ready. "Ready" in this case means "know your Panels module", as it uses the mental model that you will need in a componentized, design-systems-based world. Come by Core Conversations (room 518) at 10:45 am to discuss a design-system-web-component-panels-all-the-things future for Drupal.

Even if you can't catch one of those sessions, you can still catch Palantir at our booth (Booth 103 on your map) any time if you want to talk about design systems, a project you have, or the fine art of Nerf wars. Or find us at one of our other sessions: Drupal 8: The Crash Course and Buidling sustainable recruiting strategies on Tuesday, Silex: Mini-Symfony! on Wednesday, No on Wednesday (yours truly, talking about the importance of focus and prioritization), and advice on Relaunch strategies for Drupal 8 and the modern web on Thursday to finish off sessions. Then join everyone at Palantir Trivia Night on Thursday to show your Drupal-fu.

See you there!

Categories: Elsewhere

Lullabot: The Cultural Construction of Drupal

Thu, 07/05/2015 - 20:00

Drupal is always changing. The community constantly reinvents Drupal with new code and reimagines Drupal with new words. This article seeks to examine the current narratives about Drupal. By examining the stories we tell about Drupal — the so called cultural constructions — we can better understand what is going well and what should be making us uncomfortable.

Categories: Elsewhere

DrupalCon News: Become an Association Member at DrupalCon

Thu, 07/05/2015 - 19:24

At the Drupal Association, we love the Drupal project and our fantastic community that we serve. If you want to show your same love for the Association, the project, and the community, consider stopping by the Drupal Store and becoming a Drupal Association member.

Categories: Elsewhere

Propeople Blog: Blink Reaction and Propeople at Drupalcon Los Angeles

Thu, 07/05/2015 - 19:13

Next week, Drupal enthusiasts from around the world will gather in Los Angeles for what is sure to be another fantastic DrupalCon, which we're proud to be supporting as a Diamond sponsor. This year’s conference is especially important to us for a few different reasons. Last month, we announced the opening of our new office in the LA area. We’re very excited to be in beautiful southern California, especially as LA hosts the Drupal community. This also the first major Drupal event since we announced that we are joining forces with Blink Reaction to form the largest Drupal agency in the world.

At DrupalCon, we will reveal to the community our new name and new identity. We look forward to sharing our vision with you, so please stop by booth 300 to say hello. We will have information on our expanded service offerings and chances for you to win some great swag and prizes. You can even sign up early for an entry in our Drupalcon Barcelona sweepstakes. We look forward to seeing all our familiar friends in the Drupal community and making new ones.

In addition to our name reveal, we are excited for our staff members who will be leading DrupalCon trainings and summits, as well as those who will be presenting sessions throughout the week:

Data-Driven Marketing

On Tuesday, May 12, at 10:45am our Chief Strategy & Insights Officer, Gus Murray, will present Enough With The Pretty Brochures, Let’s Start Building Better Business Tools: The Art of Data-Driven Marketing. Gus’s talk will cover how digital insights and personalization are transforming the way organizations can create value from their websites. This session is a must for anyone working with digital marketing or business development.

Symfony2 and Drupal 8 Training

On Monday, May 11 we will have a team leading the training Introduction to Symfony2: Getting Ready for D8. This is an introduction to Symfony2 and will help experienced and new PHP developers understand the power and flexibility of Drupal 8’s new development framework. Space for the training is limited, so make sure to sign up for a spot! This training will also serve as preview of the upcoming free trainings we will offer throughout the rest of the year.

Drupal Business Summit

Also on May 11, Blink Reaction’s Director of Talent Development, John DeSalvo, will be leading the Drupal Business Summit. This one-day event is aimed at business leaders who provide Drupal services. Attendees can participate in peer discussion and networking with other Drupal business executives.

Drupal Sessions

We are proud that five of our sessions  were accepted for DrupalCon LA, ranging in topics and skill level. On Wednesday, May 13th, Yuriy Gerasimov and Andrii Podanenko will hold a session on Multidimensional Testing Workflow Before Merge to Master that will demonstrate the building of an actual site based on the changes of pull request (installation profile vs. pulling live database workflow), running automated phpunit, simpletest, behat tests and much more!

Also on May 13th, Matt Korostoff, will present  I Survived Drupalgeddon: How Hackers Took Over My Site, What I Did About It, And How You Can Stay Safe. This session will be a post-mortem of the Drupalgeddon SQL injection bug  Matt experienced on his personal site. He’ll show you how hackers invaded and how you can defeat a similar attack on your website.

On Thursday, May 14th, we will also present a session on Speeding Up Drupal 8 Development Using the Drupal Console. The Drupal Console is a suite of tools that run on a command line interface (CLI) to generate boilerplate code and interact with a Drupal 8 installation. Jesus Manuel Olivas has been the lead on this project and will be sharing his insights and the latest developments during this session. You don’t want to miss it.

Tess Flynn will present two sessions: Fighting Core FUD: We Need a Contrib Champion on Tuesday, May 12 , where she will discuss the need for a Contrib Champion and how Example Module’s rewrite exposed the need for a new category and initiative to support contrib developers through the dramatic changes coming in Drupal 8. Her other session will be on Capture the (D8) Flag, on Thursday,  May 14, where she’ll discuss tasks, challenges and choices that you’ll encounter when porting your module to Drupal 8.  

We Want to Meet You!

If you’re attending DrupalCon and want to schedule some time to talk to us one-on-one, make sure to drop us a line. We’ll be showcasing the services of our new agency as well as looking to add to our already incredible pool of Drupal talent. See you soon!

Tags: Drupalcon Los AngelesCheck this option to include this post in Planet Drupal aggregator: planetTopics: Community & Events
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