Elsewhere

ThinkShout: Relaunching the Southern Poverty Law Center's Website

Planet Drupal - ven, 21/08/2015 - 17:00

When projects get hectic around the office, we remind ourselves “We’re just pushing pixels.” We’re geeks. We sit in an air-conditioned office and play with cutting edge technologies on shiny MacBooks, drinking aeropress coffee. At the same time, we choose to work with nonprofit clients - experienced organizers and passionate advocates working on diverse issues in environmental protection, human rights, early childhood education, access to health care, and community building. We cannot do what they do; but it is wonderful to help them tell their stories and meaningfully engage their constituents online.

Over the last year, we’ve been particularly inspired to have had the chance to collaborate with the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) on the redesign of its website. At the same time, our work with them brought further attention to our team about the many human rights challenges that our country has faced over the last year.

Our initial conversations with SPLC took place days before the death of Eric Garner. And over the year that we’ve been working with the Center, 16 unarmed Black people have been killed by police in the U.S. The Southern Poverty Law Center has been at the forefront of the national conversation about this issue.

If you don’t know SPLC, it is a leading advocacy and educational organization dedicated to fighting hate and bigotry and seeking justice for the most vulnerable members of society. Since 1971, SPLC has been using litigation to fight for civil rights. So hated by the Ku Klux Klan, SPLC’s offices were burned to the ground in 1983 by Alabama Klansmen. Then, in 1987 SPLC won a historic $7 million verdict against the United Klans of America for the 1981 lynching of Michael Donald - effectively bankrupting the KKK and crippling their organization.

In addition to its fight against hate and extremism, SPLC works on a range of human rights issues, such as children’s rights, immigrant justice, economic justice, mass incarceration, and LGBT rights. And so, fortunately, in addition to watching SPLC weigh in tirelessly on the police’s deadly use of force this year, we have also been able to celebrate with its staff over the landmark win over gay marriage bans, as well as the 50th Anniversaries of the March on Selma and the Passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

Again, we have nothing to do with the success of this organization, but to collaborate with this team and to be close to their work has been incredible. We couldn’t be more proud of the website that we designed and implemented along with SPLC’s incredible communications team. Over the next few weeks, we will be writing about the many technical and process innovations we had the chance to implement with the SPLC team. In the meantime, we hope that you will take some time to explore their new site and to join us in celebrating and supporting their mission.

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Six Mile Tech: Making a Drupal 8 Contrib Module - The Movie: Raw and Uncut

Planet Drupal - ven, 21/08/2015 - 16:44

As a contrib module developer that is starting to delve into Drupal 8 I wanted to share my experience working with Drupal 8. This is a video of me going through the process of re-creating the contrib module Token Conditions that I had created the week before. Along the way I delve into some new systems in Drupal 8 and give examples of how to figure out how to add functionality to this vastly changed version of Drupal.  

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InternetDevels: How DruDesk works: a closer look at our Drupal support service

Planet Drupal - ven, 21/08/2015 - 14:49

Created and powered by InternetDevels Drupal development company

If your website could speak, there’s one most important thing you would probably hear. And this thing is “Please send me to DruDesk!”. Such a silent request can come up in many cases — let’s see when.

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Midwestern Mac, LLC: Vagrant web development - is VMware better than VirtualBox?

Planet Drupal - ven, 21/08/2015 - 14:42

My Mac spends the majority of the day running at between one and a dozen VMs. I do all my development (besides iOS or Mac dev) running code inside VMs, and for many years I used VirtualBox, a free virtualization tool, along with Vagrant and Ansible, to build and manage all these VMs.

Since I use build and rebuild dozens of VMs per day, and maintain a popular Vagrant configuration for Drupal development (Drupal VM), as well as dozens of other VMs (like Ansible Vagrant Examples), I am highly motivated to find the fastest and most reliable virtualization software for local development. I switched from VirtualBox to VMware Fusion (which requires a for-pay plugin) a year ago, as a few benchmarks I ran at the time showed VMware was 10-30% faster.

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Drupal Easy: DrupalEasy Podcast 161 - No Custom Code (Jay Epstein - Relativity Data Model)

Planet Drupal - ven, 21/08/2015 - 09:26
Download Podcast 161

Jay Epstein (jeppy64), Senior Developer with TrakTek joins Mike, Ted, and Ryan to talk about his Relativity Data Model and why he feels it is a superior method for architectuing Drupal sites with a limited number of modules and no custom code. We dive into the techniques, contrib modules, and benefits of the model before our weekly roundup of Drupal news and events.

read more

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Norbert Preining: The sins of the past – adding Cyrillic glyphs without renaming fonts

Planet Debian - ven, 21/08/2015 - 02:16

The URW Base35 fonts are a great set of fonts, available for free as in free software. They have been part of various distributions and systems since long time. Big thanks to URW for their work. But these fonts don’t have Cyrillic or Greek glyphs. Be it as it is, world would be easy. People would need to use different fonts for these languages. Comes around someone who did the unthinkable – namely adding the Cyrillic and Greek glyphs to the fonts (by now nothing bad), but then NOT renaming the fonts. Here we see one point of the stupidity of GPL and absolute freedom. Because what we now have is that documents produced several TeX engines (in particular XeTeX and LuaTeX) which use fontconfig to search the fonts, suddenly pick up these changed fonts that fake their identity, and what comes out is this, a complete rubbish:

And now we are suffering huge pain from that. Look at the bug reports of that are coming in:

  • 796120 xdvipdfmx broken
  • 789391 developers reference fonts broken
  • 787759 fonts broken in dblatex

Just to name a few. And there is a simple way to circumvent this: Don’t install gsfonts which guarantees that fontconfig finds the real original URW fonts within the TeX Live tree first.

I have now spent many hours to track down these problems, find the reason, and at the end of the day there is always gsfonts with its broken fonts with added Cyrillic glyphs. I honestly don’t care about the history, there are now many fonts with Cyrillic and Greek glyphs, there is no need to fake fonts, and incorrectly take over font names.

This should be a lesson to all the GPL zealots that require absolute freedom of each and everything. Unfortunately things don’t work like that. Using AND RENAMING is ok, the Knuth license as I would say, but anything else is just a source of much pain.

End for today, I have to go to work now. Real work instead of fighting sins of the past.

Nothing to enjoy here.

Additional information Just to let you know, before starting a flame war, I have already contacted the upstream developers, that is TeX Live, and explained them the situation. I don’t see much chance for fixing, since the problem is with fonts without upstream and support, which are probably only used in Debian (I haven’t seen them anywhere else but some mentioning in RH), and which are not officially supported or distributed. It really needs a nice developer to look into why this breakage appeared. Let us hope. And instead of flaming, anyone here is invited to dig into the code him/herself and search for changes.

Additional information 2015-08-22 Just to back up my complaints and counteract several of the comments: I am quoting from an email of a colleague on the list where we are discussing the problem:

However, the fonts extended by Valek Filippov are quite problematic. The Type1 spec clearly requires that there may not exist two different fonts with the same /FontName. The modified fonts shipped with Ghostscript have the same /FontName as the original fonts donated by URW and not even the /UniqueID was changed. IMO they are broken because they don’t comply with the Type1 specification.

I hope that convinced also the last in doubt.

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Savas Labs: Sassy Drupal theming: Setting up Bourbon and Neat

Planet Drupal - ven, 21/08/2015 - 02:00

When Savas built a custom Drupal 8 theme, we needed to include a grid framework and chose Bourbon's Neat for its ease of use, its light weight, and the library of useful Sass mixins provided by Bourbon. In this post I detail how to set all of this up and use Compass to compile SCSS.

Continue reading…

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Axel Beckert: German-written Debian Package Management Book

Planet Debian - ven, 21/08/2015 - 01:28
Thursday was our big day: After more than 2.5 years of working in the hidden, ups and downs, Frank Hofmann and myself were able to announce the availability of our book project Debian Package Management under a free license (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0 International License, short “CC BY-SA 4.0”) during a Lightning Talk at DebConf15 in Heidelberg.

This became possible because we found Onyx Neon, a publishing company which is specialised on books with contents under free licenses. Its founder does not only have a faible for Perl but also for Debian. (Since the question already came up: We also thought about self-publishing, e.g. via Lulu or Epubli — and it would have been our fallback solution —, but we prefer the professionalism and services of a real publisher. I’m though happy to share what I found out about self-publishing in the past few months.)

The source code of the book is written in the AsciiDoc format and available on GitHub.

The book is still work in progress. But if you want, you can already build an e-book out of the publically available source code:

sudo apt-get install asciidoc dblatex git git clone git://github.com/dpmb/dpmb.git cd dpmb make

(Works fine on Debian 7 Wheezy, Debian 8 Jessie and Ubuntu 14.04 LTS Trusty. Does not work on Ubuntu 12.04 LTS Precise.)

If you find an error in the book, please file an issue on GitHub. If you also know how to fix the error, please for the Git repository on GitHub, fix the error in your Git repository and file a pull request. (The first pull request already happenend and has been applied.)

Initially there will be only a German written issue as e-book (at least in HTML, PDF and EPUB formats, maybe also KF8/MOBI and EPUB3) and at some point in the future also as printed book at Onyx Neon. But we’re also planning a translation to English as well as a Debian package.

If your want to get informed when we publish a printed book, a translation or an official e-book release, please subscribe to one of our mailing lists: There’s one in German and one in English.

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Sune Vuorela: Debconf 2015 – 7

Planet Debian - ven, 21/08/2015 - 00:08

The other day, the main talk was “Lets encrypt”, today it was “Let’s reproduce”

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Promet Source: Responsive Design Testing the Promet Way

Planet Drupal - jeu, 20/08/2015 - 23:07

Responsive design is a watchword for many web design gurus, and it has become a kind of unspoken rule for online experiences: If your website can’t respond to users on every device, then it is an affront to those users. This rule, which maybe doesn’t have to include such unforgiving terms as “affront,” has to be acknowledged well before a user even has a chance to set their eyes and cursor on a website.

Responsiveness is arguably the first barrier to creating good user experiences. So if it’s such common knowledge, then why are we all still talking about it?

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Four Kitchens: drupal_practice_group_install()

Planet Drupal - jeu, 20/08/2015 - 21:26

How do you prepare for the inevitable, yet moving target of Drupal 8 when you’re busy with client work? Join Four Kitchens Web Chefs as we take the plunge with a practice group.

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Acquia Developer Center Blog: Five Ways to Leverage Third-Party APIs: The Drupal-Zendesk Integration

Planet Drupal - jeu, 20/08/2015 - 20:36

When Acquia’s Global Support Team outgrew their ticketing system in 2013, it was time to make a change. An outdated ticketing system was taxing their team and compromising their ability to support customers. In addition to lacking the core functionality required to meet increasing customer expectations, the third-party vendor lacked visibility and integration with existing systems like JIRA and Toggl, reporting was slow, and SLA was waning.

The Global Support Team decided to look for a new, flexible API that would deliver tight integration with existing systems and generate responsive channels for quick, direct and clear communications. Reporting needed to be real-time and fast, and the customer and agent UX needed to be streamlined. Acquia needed a new system.

In Walks Zendesk

After systematic vendor vetting, Acquia’s Global Support Team quickly determined that Zendesk’s documented API provided the flexibility needed to do things the Acquian way. Zendesk is a customer service platform that provides the ideal framework for an enterprise environment. Zendesk offers an out-of-the-box solution, which provides a front-end customer interface and a back-end agent UX. Instead of just “drinking their own champagne,” Acquia decided to split a bottle with Zendesk’s REST API and develop the front-end of their Acquia Help Center in Drupal.

Drupal-Zendesk Integration

With a Drupal-Zendesk solution, Acquia built a powerful ticket request system that provides unparalleled support to their customers and internal teams. Here are five ways Acquia’s Support team leveraged a third-party API to build a new ticketing system.

1. Using Zendesk’s API to create customer requests in Acquia’s Help Center on Drupal

Acquia needed to migrate nearly 100k pre-existing tickets into Zendesk. This kind of overhaul required some reconciliation. Reorganization consisted of deleting completed tickets, cleaning up the open ticket queue, and configuring data into Zendesk.

The new Acquia Help Center was built using Zendesk’s REST API in Drupal, providing a Customer UX that is easy to navigate. The Agent UX, utilized internally by the support team, is outfitted with all of Zendesk’s built-in functionality. Zendesk also offered Acquia’s Global Support Team the ability to customize their apps to guarantee top performance.

2. Additional Info Block Application

The flexibility of the Zendesk Apps Framework allows companies to extend the capabilities of the framework to leverage tickets, users and knowledgebases. Acquia customized their solution with an Additional Info Block Application, embedded in the Agent UX. The info block provides a global and integrated view of the customer.

The info box displays information such as the product the customer is using, the number of application support tickets their subscription enables them to register, what networks they are connected to, special handling notes and their account management team.

“This heightened customer visibility allows diverse members of Acquia’s Global Support Team to best support the customer’, says Jeannie Finks, Director of Global Support Systems and Programs at Acquia. “This supplementary ticket data is a necessity for our team to provide customers with the personalized assistance they need and now expect”.

3. Time Tracking App

By leveraging the flexibility of the Zendesk Apps Framework, Acquia was able to aggregate all of their systems in one place. Existing systems like JIRA and Toggl are essential to Acquia’s workflow, and needed to remain accessible in the Agent UX. Toggl is a time tracking app that allows you to sync your entries in real time. Toggl’s cloud based framework is Acquia’s default time tracking interface. Acquia’s custom Toggl-Zendesk app pushes ticket time to a central repo of daily agent activity:

Additionally, Zendesk’s partnership has enhanced the view of the customers through expert reporting. The Zendesk toolkit allowed Acquia to track tickets rolled in by account, customer backlog, and a root cause report. The introduction of expert reporting offers support teams a comprehensive overview of the customer. Real-time reporting provides Acquia’s Support Leadership with the resources needed to proactively identify critical issues and solve them quickly. This Info Block increases customer visibility, allowing Acquia to see what their customer needs, right when they need it.

4. Custom SLA Monitoring and Notification within Zendesk

The ticketing system also monitors the status of tickets based on a customer’s Service Level Agreement. Acquia continues to take advantage of Zendesk’s flexibility by configuring SLA data from a central customer data warehouse. This customization generates alerts that flow into all key communication channels, such as mail and chat. This custom monitoring system notifies teams when SLA expiration time is appended to a ticket, providing support teams with the visibility needed to best assist the customer.


 

5. JIRA and Zendesk Linked Tickets

In addition to Toggl, JIRA is a ticketing system that Acquia’s Global Support Team utilized internally. It was a workflow necessity to have continued access to JIRA, and Zendesk’s robust API enabled Acquia to do so. Acquia further customized their API with a mini app that linked tickets filed in JIRA and Zendesk.

The system scans Zendesk ticket comments, subject, and internal URL fields. After scanning, it will match any Acquia JIRA project keys. The system will then display the JIRA key, subject, status, time created, updated time, reporter and assignee. Comment links can also be added to any JIRA ticket.

“The benefit of these customized applications is that all of Acquia’s support systems are connected in one place”, says Finks. “The convenience of having JIRA, Toggl and a customer info block in the Agent UX relieves the major pain points that were taxing our internal teams. Through our integration with Zendesk, Acquia’s Help Center is able to offer unparalleled global support to customers 24/7”.

The next installment of our series will examine best practices when integrating with a third-party API.

Blog series: Integrating Drupal and ZendeskWorkflow: PendingFeatured: NoTags: acquia drupal planetDrupal 8 related: NoAuthor: Georgianna Anderson
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OSTraining: How to Use the AdvAgg Drupal Module

Planet Drupal - jeu, 20/08/2015 - 19:51

Over the last couple of years, I've seen one module appear on almost every high profile Drupal site.

That module is Advanced CSS/JS Aggregation, or AdvAgg, for short.

AdvAgg really helps to improve the frontend performance of your site. This module really helps to improve the aggregation and optimization of your site's CSS and Javascript files.

Here are two videos that will help you install and configure AdvAgg:

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Drupal Watchdog: Drush: The Swiss Army Knife for Drupal

Planet Drupal - jeu, 20/08/2015 - 18:21
Article

By now, if you have been using Drush for a while I assume you are comfortable with all the basics. (I consider the basics to be things like downloading modules or updating a site.) I also assume you are aware that Drush has plenty of other features built in, but you probably don't take advantage of them. In this article I want to show you a few things that are just as easy to use as the “basics” and only require a little upfront setup to use them. Once you learn them, they will quickly find their way into your daily workflow.

Shell Aliases

Consider how much time you spend typing out commands. Now think of all the commands you type over and over again. Next, think about all the commands that have a lot of options and how often you refer to help resources to remember which options you need to use. Wouldn’t it be better if we simplified those things? Conveniently, Drush allows you to do exactly that: create shortcuts or aliases in a file called drushrc.php. I'll refer to it as the command file later in this article.

Let's start with an easy example: the clear cache command. This command isn't very long but we can still improve on it. Plus, it's probably one of the most frequently used.

Edit your drushrc.php file; if it doesn't exist create it. It's typically in your home folder at:

~/.drush/drushrc.php

Add this line to the bottom of this file and save it:

$options['shell-aliases']['ca'] = 'cache-clear all';

We just added a shell alias. Now instead of typing this:

$ drush clear-cache all

You only need to type:

$ drush ca

That wasn't too hard, right? That was one line of code, and you just improved on an already very simple command.

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Raphael Geissert: Call for release goal: package reconsideration

Planet Debian - jeu, 20/08/2015 - 11:33
Based on a discussion around breakfast, and encouraged by the people at the table, I hereby call for a new release goal (or challenge, whatever you prefer to call it):


Every package maintainer should remove one of their packages from the archive.


It's dead simple. It is acceptable to adopt a package to replace the one that has been removed, or to add a new one to the archive.
For tracking purposes please include "for RG" (release goal) in the removal request to ftp.debian.org.


And how about a debconf challenge? how about filing over 100 removal requests before the end of Debconf 15 on Saturday night? blog about it, dent/twit about it, spam IRC about it!


The idea came up after discussing about how us as package maintainers refuse to remove our obsolete or unused packages. So yes, that may also include the very first package that you got into the archive.


Sad news, good news.
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Simon Kainz: vim in Heidelberg

Planet Debian - jeu, 20/08/2015 - 11:30

Following the tradition of Love Locks, apparently there is someone really in love with vim in Heidelberg!

Found at the Old Bridge in Heidelberg during DebConf15.

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Sune Vuorela: Debconf 2015 – 6

Planet Debian - jeu, 20/08/2015 - 09:48

There is more people with blue hair at Debconf than at an average Akademy. KDE – we need to do better :)

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Chapter Three: Decapitated Drupal: The Downsides of Decoupling

Planet Drupal - jeu, 20/08/2015 - 02:57

Anyone who has attended a Drupal event in the last few years has had plenty of opportunities to learn all about the technical details of implementing a headless Drupal site. If you haven't already been exposed to this concept the TLDR version is: Headless aka decoupled Drupal is the process of using your Drupal site as the backend for another framework, most typically a Javascript framework.



"The right time to add an abstraction to a design is at the point when you start feeling the pain of not having it."

- http://sam-koblenski.blogspot.com/2014/07/the-cost-of-abstraction.html

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Wuinfo: A Good Content Strategy Secures a Profitable Business

Planet Drupal - mer, 19/08/2015 - 23:45

Small and medium-size businesses can benefit with a good content strategy backed by a content management system (CMS) like Drupal. The internet is evolving fast. A good content strategy helps business keep a close pace with the trend.

More and more people are using mobile phones to get information and connect with others. A CMS website can quickly turn into responsive design. A responsive website provides better user experience for mobile users. Hence, Google ranks a responsive website higher than none responsive ones.

It is beneficial for a business to have a long term and short term digital plan. It saves money in a long run. If a company has a consistent plan for next 5 to 15 years, it helps avoid costly overhaul of previously built software and redo anything just because it did not fit into a big picture.

Here is an example of my customer who is doing great in the travel insurance business. Their consistent content strategy help them take a lion share of a niche market, a Chinese travel insurance market.

They are focusing on Chinese travel insurance market. At the very beginning, the owner of the business Jun Niu has an excellent long-term goal for his business. He built a comprehensive Drupal based system for his insurance business. With Drupal powerful Multi-lingual support, he built a website having three languages. The website is serving as a primary marketing tool. Mr. Niu published unique content that are valuable for Chinese travelers to Canada. There is an online insurance quotation system built from a Drupal contributed module. With the quotation system, people can easily compare insurance policies from different insurance companies. They can place an insurance order online. Other than that, backend system catches other customers' leads.

A system built on Drupal is well SEO-tuned. Niu's website rank high in Google search result. Keywords like "Canada travel insurance" in the Chinese language is on the first page of both Google and Baidu. Their website rank high in the search result of other search engines. As I am writing this article, their keyword "Canada travel insurance" in Chinese rank #1 on Google search result and also on the first page of Baidu. It brings thousands of organic search visit and hundreds of high-quality leads every week. Without spending any other marketing dollars, the company doing great with the solid content strategy.

Mr. Niu's had the great vision at the beginning. He built his insurance business on a top of Drupal-based software system. Supported by an active and diverse community of people around the world, Drupal is an enterprise standard open source software. Mr. Niu's system serves as a marketing tool that bring hundreds of quality leads every week. The content management system lets Mr.Niu's employees easily publish blogs and articles. Recently, they hired us a Toronto Drupal shop for a main Drupal version upgrade.

If the software is a pillar of a successful business, building a system from Drupal is a cornerstone of it. A good content strategy secures a profitable business.

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DrupalCon News: Eating Vegan in Barcelona

Planet Drupal - mer, 19/08/2015 - 23:17

DrupalCon attendees can enjoy their visit to Barcelona taking a walk around some of the many 

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