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tanay.co.in: Building a Slack Chatbot Powered by Drupal!

il y a 3 heures 33 min
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Ever Since we moved to Slack for our team’s instant messaging needs, what excited me the most is the nice set of APIs that Slack offers to seamlessly integrate your apps into Slack chat.

What we needed immediately was a basic bot that handled Karma functionality allowing people to say ‘Thanks’ to others using the usual ‘++’ annotation.

We were looking at options for various technologies. Node.js is the usual one that you hear a lot when people talk of chatbots these days.

Drupal was an option. We were skeptical at first. Having Drupal intercept and analyze almost 3- 4 messages every second at its peak hours sounded like trouble. And there would be no levels of caching involved here as each message is unique from a different user and should be processed uniquely.

But one clear advantage I could see and wanted to have, was to interface the rest of the team from the various complexities of Slack APIs and configuration, interfacing all of that through Drupal APIs. So if anyone needed to extend this bot further, they should not really worry about Slack API and they should be building very simple Drupal Modules.

Over a weekend, a couple of us teamed to build a chatbot for our Acquia India slack chatrooms, using what we knew best - Drupal. And we launched it on March 1st 2015. Our bot was christened Regina Cassandra. And the bot has been up and running ever since with no downtime or any issues so far.

The Karma Handling..

Rarely used, but it can text people..

And when the Cricket World cup was happening, Regina was busy serving us scores whenever requested..

Regina also used to give everyone a daily fortune cookie. She doesn’t seem to do that anymore for the API that the fortune cookie module was using seems to be dead now.

The bot uses Slack’s Outgoing Webhooks to intercept each message posted to the chatrooms, and allows all modules on the chatbot site to intercept the message and respond to it.

The bot (a Headless Drupal Site) has been hosted on a free-tier Acquia Cloud Subscription. With the decent performance it has had so far and less-than-a-second response times we currently see with the slackbot, we never saw a need to upgrade so far.

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X-Team: Drupalwood: Why you should attend a DrupalCon

lun, 29/06/2015 - 23:41

Time flies – it’s already summer, and I hope yours is going well! Seems like just yesterday I was at DrupalCon in Los Angeles, the famous city of movie-making – to make it sound more like a dream… at least my own dream, one that was made true. Because part of our team was invited...

The post Drupalwood: Why you should attend a DrupalCon appeared first on X-Team.

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DrupalCon News: DrupalCon Programming Announced - Sessions and Training Selected!

lun, 29/06/2015 - 22:22

One of the most exciting aspects of preparing for a DrupalCon is selecting the sessions that will be presented. It’s always incredibly cool and humbling to see all the great ideas that our community comes up with— and they’re all so great that making the official selections is definitely not an easy process! This time, the Track Chairs had over 500 sessions to read through to determine what content would be presented in Barcelona.

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Forum One: Join Us at Drupal GovCon!

lun, 29/06/2015 - 22:05

We’re excited for Drupal GovCon coming up on July 22nd! We can’t wait to spend time with the Drupal4Gov community and meet fellow Drupalers from all over! Forum One will be presenting sessions in all four tracks: Site Building, Business and Strategy, Code & DevOps, and Front-end, User Experience and Design! Check out our sessions to learn more about Drupal 8 and other topics!

Here our are sessions at a glance…

What’s in Your Audit? A Guide to Auditing Drupal Sites

Nervous about providing support for a new Drupal site? A comprehensive audit will prepare you to take on Drupal sites that weren’t built by you. Join this session and learn from Forum One’s John Brandenburg as he reviews the audit checklist the our team uses before we take over support work for any Drupal site.

Drupal 8 for Non-developers

Drupal 8’s getting close to launching – do you feel like you need a crash course in what this means? Join Forum One’s Chaz Chumley as he demystifies Drupal 8 for you and teaches you all that you need to know about the world of developers.

The Drupal 8 Decision: Budgets, Bosses, and Bul@#$% Standing between You and the Next World-class CMS

If you’re wondering how to prepare your organization for upgrading your sites to Drupal 8, join WETA’s Jess Snyder, along with Forum One’s Andrew Cohen and Chaz Chumley as they answer questions about the available talent, budgets, goals, and more in regards to Drupal 8.

The Building Blocks of D8

The building blocks of Drupal have changed and now’s the unique time to rethink how to build themes in Drupal 8. Join Chaz Chumley as he dissects a theme and exposes the best practices that we should all be adopting for Drupal 8.

Building Realtime Applications with Drupal and Node.js

Drupal 8’s first class REST interface opens up a world of opportunities to build interactive applications. Come learn how to connect a Node application to Drupal to create dynamic updates from Forum One’s William Hurley as he demonstrates the capabilities of both JavaScript and Node.js using Drupal, AngularJS, and Sails.js!

Automating Deployments

Are you excited to launch your new website, but getting held down by all the steps it takes for your code to make it online? On top of that, each change requires the same long process all over again… what a nail biting experience! Join William Hurley as he demonstrates the power of Jenkins and Capistrano for managing continuous integration and deployment using your git repository.

Combining the Power of Views and Rules

If you’re a beginner who has found the Views module confusing, come check out this session and learn important features of this popular module from Leanne Duca and Forum One’s Onaje Johnston. They’ll also highlight some additional modules that extend the power of Views.

Paraphrasing Panels, Panelizer and Panopoly

Have you ever felt that Panels, Panelizer and Panopoly were a bit overwhelming? Well, come to our session from Forum One’s Keenan Holloway. He will go over the best features of each one and how they are invaluable tools. Keenan will also give out a handy cheat sheet to remember it all, so make sure to stop by!

D3 Data Visualization

Data visualization is the go to right now! Maps, charts, interactive presentations – what tools do you use to build your visual data story? We feel that D3.js is the best tool, so come listen to Keenan Holloway explain why you should be using D3, how to use D3’s visualization techniques, and more.

To the Pattern Lab! Better Collaboration in Drupal Using Atomic Design Principles

Implementing modular design early on in any Drupal project will improve your team’s workflow and efficiency! Attend our session to learn from our very own Daniel Ferro on how to use styleguide/prototyping tools like Pattern Lab to increase collaboration between designers, themers, developers, and your organization on Drupal projects.

Integrating Mentoring into an Open Source Community that Welcomes and Values New Contributors

Are you hoping to mentor new contributors? Check out this session where Forum One’s Kalpana Goel and Cathy Theys from BlackMesh will talk about how to integrate mentoring into all the layers of an open source project and how to develop mentoring into a habit. They’ll be using the Drupal community as an example!

Building an Image Gallery with Drupal 8

If you’re a beginner looking to set up an image gallery, attend this session! Leanne Duca and Onaje Johnston will guide you in how to set up a gallery in Drupal 8 and how to overcome any challenges you may encounter!

Painting a Perfect Picture with Gesso

Attend this session and learn how to design and theme Drupal sites using Atomic Design and the Drupal 8 CSS architecture guidelines from our very own Dan Mouyard! He’ll go over our Gesso theme and our version of Pattern Lab and how they allow us to quickly design and prototype reusable design components, layouts, and pages.

Can’t make it to all of the sessions? Don’t worry, you’ll be able to catch us outside of our scheduled sessions! If you want to connect, stop by our table or check us out on Twitter (@ForumOne). We can’t wait to see you at DrupalGovCon!

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The Jibe: Why Drupal 8 is truly awesome for service providers

lun, 29/06/2015 - 19:16

A couple days ago, I received the first in a series of white papers created by the Drupal Association to help Drupal service providers prepare for (and arguably market) Drupal 8.

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Drupal core announcements: No Drupal 6 or Drupal 7 core release on Wednesday, July 1

lun, 29/06/2015 - 15:42

The monthly Drupal core bug fix/feature release window is scheduled for this Wednesday. However, there have not been enough changes to the development version since the last bug fix/feature release two months ago to warrant a new release, so there will be no Drupal core release on that date.

Upcoming release windows include:

  • Wednesday, July 15 (security release window)
  • Wednesday, August 5 (bug fix/feature release window)

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

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Annertech: Building a Website on a Budget

lun, 29/06/2015 - 13:01
Building a Website on a Budget

So you want a website. Maybe it is your first website. Maybe you've been here before, but you're starting afresh. You're full of enthusiasm. In your dreams, your website looks like a flashy cruise liner - huge, and with every amenity money can buy. However, your budget stretches to a dinghy with an outboard motor. So how can you rationalise your aspirations within your financial constraints?

You don't have to be a paragon of fiscal rectitude, but you do need to prioritise, and think a little cleverly about how you can approach the project.

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Web Omelette: Go custom or use a contributed module?

lun, 29/06/2015 - 09:00

That is the main question. If you came here looking for a definitive answer, I'm afraid you won't find one. What you maybe will find is a discussion I propose on this topic and my two cents on the matter.

Why am I talking about this?

I've been working on a big Drupal website recently which has many contributed and custom modules. One of my recent tasks has been enabling validation of an existent text field used for inputting phone numbers. The client needed this number in a specific format. No problem, a quick regex inside hook_node_validate() should do the trick nicely. But then it got me thinking? Isn't there a module I can use for this instead? Well yes there is: Field validation.

I installed this module which comes with a plethora of validation rules and possibilities. The default phone validation for my country was not matching the client expectation so I had to use a custom expression for that. No problem, achieved basically the same result. But was this the better option under the circumstances? You might say yes because people have been working on this module a long time to perfect it, keep it secure and provide all sorts of goodies under the hood. Not to mention that it's used on over 10.000 websites.

However, the Field Validation module is big. It has a bunch of functionality that allows you to perform all sorts of validation on fields. This is not a bad thing, don't get me wrong. But does my little validation need warrant the installation and loading into memory of so much code? My custom solution was very targeted and took no more than 10 or so lines of code.

One argument would be that yes, because I may need other kinds of validation rules in the future so you can use this module also for those. But I think that being already very far in the lifetime of this website the odds are quite low of that. And even if this is the case, will an extra 2-3 validation needs warrant the use of this module?

On the other hand, you can argue that your custom code is not vetted, is difficult to maintain, can be insecure if you make mistakes and basically represents some non-configurable magic on your site. These can all be true but can also all be false depending on the developer, how they document code and the functionality itself.

I ended up with the custom solution in this case because on this site I really want to introduce new modules only if they bring something major to the table (performance being my concern here). So of course, the choice heavily depends on the actual module you are considering, the website it would go on and the custom code you'd write as an alternative.

Moreover, please do not focus on the actual Field Validation module in this discussion. I am not here to discuss its merits but the whether or not installing any such module that serves a tiny purpose is the right way to go. This is mostly a Drupal 7 problem as in D8 we use object oriented practices by which we can have as much code as we want because we only load the necessary parts when needed.

So what do you think? Do you have a general rule when it comes to this decision or you also take it case by case basis? If the latter, what are your criteria for informing your choice? If the former, why is this? I'd love to hear what you have to say.

In Drupal var switchTo5x = true;stLight.options({"publisher":"dr-8de6c3c4-3462-9715-caaf-ce2c161a50c"});
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Matt Glaman: Fixing "UpdaterException: Unable to determine the type of the source directory"

dim, 28/06/2015 - 18:04

I don't use the built in update functionality provided by the Update module for updating code. I like to use it for reminders and push back statistics of modules used for Drupal.org. However, someone people do use it. Sometimes this piece of functionality can fail and throw an interesting message which doesn't seem to have many answers despite the best Google-fu.

UpdaterException: Unable to determine the type of the source directory. in Updater::factory() (line 99 of ../www/includes/updater.inc).

An exception because a source directory can't be determined. Turns out that the logic before the exception throw is checking if the temporary directory containing update downloads is an actual directory.

It is looking for the following:

$directory = 'temporary://update-extraction-' . _update_manager_unique_identifier();

If you encounter this error, check your file system settings (/admin/config/media/file-system) and make sure the temporary directory is configured properly. If you're not sure what it should be, remove the entry and resave the form, populating your web server's default. Then make sure Drupal (or, rather, your webserver) has permissions to write to that temporary directory.

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Red Crackle: What is headless Drupal?

dim, 28/06/2015 - 15:57
Recently you must have heard of the term "headless Drupal". You may be wondering what exactly it is. How is it different than standard Drupal and how can you implement it? If these are the questions that are plaguing you, then this is the post for you.
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DrupalCon News: Announcing Community-Focused Keynotes at DrupalCon Barcelona

ven, 26/06/2015 - 23:57

For a new twist on our keynotes, we are excited that our Thursday mainstage will highlight two community speakers that both have important and intersting topics that all Drupalers can benefit from hearing.  

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qed42.com: June - Drupal Monthly MeetUp

ven, 26/06/2015 - 22:36

This month Pune Drupal group had more than 75 active attendees participating in Drupal Monthly Meetup. We are thankful to Cybage Software Pvt Ltd  for hosting the event on 26th June 2015 at their premises.

The basic agenda of the meetup was to launch the Pune Drupal Camp 2015 website and present the camp highlights. 

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Promet Source: Open Source's Impact on Government

ven, 26/06/2015 - 20:01
.GOV Websites Declare Independence from Proprietary CMS Solutions

Relying on proprietary CMS solutions in the government space would inevitably lead to disgruntled users who consistently remark on the clunky workflows, heavy reliance on technical staff to make changes and diminishing value as the platforms age and require more and more maintenance.

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TimOnWeb.com: How To Force Search API To Reindex a Node / an Entity

ven, 26/06/2015 - 18:56

By default Search API (Drupal 7) reindexes a node when the node gets updated. But what if you want to reindex a node / an entity on demand or via some other hook i.e. outside of update cycle? Turned out it is a quite simple exercise. You just need to ...

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TimOnWeb.com: Adding a custom extra field to entity / node display

ven, 26/06/2015 - 18:56

I had a case recently, where I needed to add custom data to the node display and wanted this data to behave like a field, however the data itself didn't belong to a field. By "behaving like a field" I mean you can that field at node display settings and ...

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TimOnWeb.com: Replacing Menu Item Visibility module with custom "in code" solution

ven, 26/06/2015 - 18:56

I'm a big fan of fighting with Drupal's inefficiencies and bottlenecks. Most of these come from contrib modules. Everytime we install a contrib module we should be ready for surprises which come on board with the module.

One of the latest examples is Menu item visibility (https://drupal.org/project ...

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TimOnWeb.com: Fixing Views' Scroll to Top When You Have a Fixed Header

ven, 26/06/2015 - 18:56

Drupal Views offers us a cool feature: ajaxified pagers. When you click on a pager, it changes the page without reloading the main page itself and then scrolls to the top of the view. It works great, but sometimes you may encounter a problem: if you have a fixed header ...

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Stanford Web Services Blog: Drush "user-list" Command

ven, 26/06/2015 - 18:05

A simple task: list all the users on a site, optionally filtering by role or by status. Difficulty: using drush.

I had searched around a bit for this functionality and my Google-fu had failed me, so I decided to build off of work that already had been done and write a drush user-list command. (The internal monologue went something like this: "Is this a thing? It doesn't look like this is a thing. This should be a thing. Why is this not a thing? Let's make this a thing.")

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Acquia: From consumption to contribution - Drupal business in India, Part 2

ven, 26/06/2015 - 17:46
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Ani Gupta, Drupal Mumbai community lead, StartupNext lead, formerly at Axelerant in India, and I got the chance to continue the conversation I began with Piyush Poddar at Drupal Camp London about the changing face of IT and open source in India. Under the heading "from consumption to contribution" we talk about India's move from being perceived as being good for cheap, outsourced code to being a place rich with brands and startups in their own right and the home to much open source contribution. We also talk about old versions of Drupal, the Drupal community and its mentoring culture, open source acceptance in business and government, and more!

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