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Acquia Developer Center Blog: Multisite Governance, Site Delivery, and Other Issues Related to Managing Many Sites: Part 3

ven, 10/06/2016 - 18:34

This is Part 3 of an interview with Will Eisner, Senior Director, Product at Acquia. Will’s primary focus is on Acquia Cloud Site Factory, which helps organizations create and manage many sites, from a dozen to thousands.

Also sitting in on the interview, via conference line, was Sonya Kovacic, a Junior Product Manager at Acquia who also works on Site Factory.

Tags: acquia drupal planet
Catégories: Elsewhere

Acquia Developer Center Blog: Agile Training for the Government Product Owner

ven, 10/06/2016 - 18:06

TLDR: A new, free agile training course for government product owners has been released on the AGL Academy. Sign up now to participate in the introductory webinar scheduled for June 16, 2016 at 1PM ET (or view the webinar recording after that date).

Tags: acquia drupal planet
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DrupalCon News: Drupal 8 in the Wild

ven, 10/06/2016 - 17:46

Intrepid developers of the Drupal community!

This year saw the bravest of explorers venture out into the harsh and unforgiving landscapes of the World (Wide Web).

Wearing only t-shirts from past DrupalCons, they put all of their trust in the hard work of their friends and colleagues, as they set out on a mission: to use Drupal 8 on real projects!

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ImageX Media: How Can I Make It then How Can I Break It?

ven, 10/06/2016 - 17:42

This is the second in a series of posts recapping ImageX’s presentations at this year’s DrupalCon.

With so many testing methods available -- code static analysis checks, unit testing, functional testing, front-end performance testing, load testing, visual regression testing, etc. --  it can be difficult for a development team to choose which will work best for their project, particularly with limited time and budget available.

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ImageX Media: DrupalCon 2016

ven, 10/06/2016 - 17:27

DrupalCon brings together thousands of people throughout the Drupal community who use, design for, develop for, and support the platform. It’s the heartbeat of the Drupal community, where advancements in the platform happen, learnings from its users are shared, and where connections are made that strengthen the community. 

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ImageX Media: Higher Education Notes and Trends

ven, 10/06/2016 - 17:17

 

As a web agency that specializes in higher education, ImageX keeps its figurative finger on the pulse of the sector. Some weeks are busier than others for new data and studies being released, and this week definitely falls into the busy category. Let’s take a look at the week that was in higher education!

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation released a compelling student demographic breakdown of what the higher education landscape looks like in America:

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Acquia Developer Center Blog: Acquia U and career changers - meet Doris Wong

ven, 10/06/2016 - 16:36
Acquia U and career changers - meet Doris Wong

Doris Wong and I sat down at Acquia's Boston HQ to talk about her interesting journey through HTML and frontend work, to UX, to fitness, and finally to Drupal and Acquia, and how even at Acquia it took time, Acquia U and three jobs (!) to really settle in. Here, we talk about that path and what she got out of Acquia U.

Read this blog post on Doris's website for a wonderful, clear introduction to who Doris is and how she got to Acquia and Drupal development.

"Not all [my] experiences were a success, but the one thing I didn’t stop doing was learning. Learning is one of the greatest tools you can have in your arsenal. I first came to Acquia as a UX intern with the goal of finding my next career. When I came to the realization that my heart was in web development, the Acquia U program came into fruition. When the program was finally announced, I hesitated to apply. I didn’t know enough about Drupal to make an educated decision but then I thought, well, why stop learning now?" - Doris Wong

Interview video - 10 min.

Guest dossier
Interview transcription
Meet Doris

jam: We are sitting here at Acquia’s headquarters. How many days have you been working here so far?

Doris: I would have to break it down three ways. I have been here for a year with three different departments. I started as a UX Intern--User Experience--with the engineering team. That was for the summer ... No actually, I extended summer. Then from there ...

Backtrack: I was a frontend developer. I teach fitness on the side, and I was kind of looking for a change. Thinking I was going to do fitness, and then I worked at a company for frontend development because I wanted to get back into it who is focused on UX.

Then, I got connected to the UX team here. Then I thought, “Alright, what’s next? I want to try something else”. Then, I met Amy Parker. She kind of convinced me to sign up for Acquia U. I got in. I was at Acquia U, then I was kind of like, “Alright. Let’s see what’s next”. Then I kind of found a role within Marketing, which was not really part of the curriculum, but I developed an interest in them. Right now, I am at Acquia as a Digital Marketer.

jam: Wow. I think we can draw two conclusions from this. The first conclusion we can draw is that you have trouble making up your mind.

Doris: Yes!

jam: The second conclusion we can draw is that three departments in a year at Acquia ... Acquia is a gold mine of opportunities for people who want to try stuff out.

Doris: Definitely. You see that a lot here. You see a lot of people who learn. It is not that I didn’t learn much from the UX or with Acquia U. All of that experience has really helped me with my current role in Marketing, which is focusing on conversion for Acquia.com. So having the User Experience and the Drupal skillset to be able to use certain products on Acquia.com has really helped. In the end, actually surprisingly, all tied in together.

jam: Introduce yourself and tell us something non-Drupal-ly about you.

Doris: Alright. My name is Doris Wong. The non-Drupal-ly thing about me is that I currently teach a dance fitness class called BollyX. It is a Bollywood-inspired dance fitness program. So for those of you who have taken other dance fitness programs, this one introduces the mainstream folks to the world of Bollywood in a fitness format. It’s a lot of fun.

jam: Wow, that’s a cool non-Drupal-ly thing. You had this odd path into Acquia U where you had already touched Acquia - but before you came to Acquia, had you heard of Drupal?

Doris: No.

jam: How did you find out about that UX internship that you applied for?

Doris: This is where the power of networking comes in. At my internship ... It was an internship doing frontend development. It was more email marketing, but the company was involved with UX consulting or research. The former director of UX at Acquia, she had previously worked at that company. That company was probably the size of maybe 10 folks, so it is definitely a small company, very personal, intimate. I developed a relationship with the CEO. The CEO and the former director of UX here were good friends. Upon my exit, I expressed interest in developing a career in UX. During that time, the director was looking for an intern and hence the connection there. Definitely network.

Meet Acquia U

jam: What were your expectations going into Acquia U?

Doris: That’s an interesting question. I don’t think I had a lot of expectations. I feel that in my experience, I didn’t have any expectations going into anything new, because it is a new program. I wanted to have a clear head going in, as to not have it affect my experience in the program. I was going in knowing that this was kind of the rebirth of the program since there was kind of a gap between the first program and this. So I knew it was going to be kind of like, so to speak, a pilot. There are probably going to be some hiccups and I knew that I would kind of have to go with it and run with it. Just having an open mind really helped me.

jam: What did you want to get out of it?

Doris: A sense of ... let me think about that. I think just kind of getting a better understanding of where I am in terms of my career and skills. It kind of helped me understand who I was and what I am capable of. Because Drupal was new, I was kind of coming from scratch. Didn’t know anything. It really helped me figure out, “Alright, this is what I can do. This is what I am capable of. What’s next?”

jam: Alright. How was it?

Doris: It was challenging. It was really challenging because it was a little more fast-paced. There were some folks within the program that had Drupal experience, some who have built sites around. I think for me having a frontend development experience really helps. Knowing a little bit – at least a general understanding of PHP, I knew the frontend stuff like CSS, HTML kind of helped, but I think it was more of the site building component and just understanding how it worked together. That was the more challenging aspect of it. But that was just the beginning. As I keep getting engrossed to it, it just got a lot easier.

jam: Run us through a day at Acquia U.

Doris: There is no typical day. But I can say that as you are going through the program, you would come in – usually the first half would be lecture. Going over ... reviews. That is also dependent on where we are. If we feel comfortable passing a subject, if we are familiar, we can move on to the next. Then, the second half of the day could be more of a project that we are working on. If we wanted to do more learning, there was some flexibility in the schedule. That was the great thing about the program, there is a lot of flexibility during the day. We will have a set schedule, but depending on what we wanted to do, the instructor was really great in allowing us to decide, “I think we want to focus on this today versus that”.

jam: What’s the most important thing you got out of going through Acquia U?

Doris: Definitely working with the team and learning more about the Acquia culture. That’s the one thing that is really good about this program is because you are not just sitting in a random office or something that you are just learning something. You are actually engrossed in the culture, so you get an understanding for what it is like working here and working with the people around you.

jam: What’s the one piece of advice that you would give for people looking for a new career?

Doris: One piece of advice is that--this may sound interesting--but you need to be dedicated. It is not easy making the transition. If you are serious about making a career change, then you want to be devoted to it and do everything you can to get better at it because you can just go in and say, “Maybe I will just try this and not do anything about it”. You are not getting much value. You have to have dedication.

jam: Would you recommend Acquia U to others?

Doris: Yes. Not only are you learning a lot from the instructors, you are also learning from your peers because we have folks that are coming from different careers and I feel that anything that you learn, you can always translate that in whatever career you end up choosing afterwards.

jam: Awesome. Thank you!

Doris: Thank you! It’s a pleasure.

Skill Level: Beginner
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Mediacurrent: Friday 5: 5 Minutes on Getting to Know Your Website

ven, 10/06/2016 - 16:27

TGIF! We hope you're having a great week and are gearing up for an even better weekend. Thanks for joining us for Episode 10 of The Mediacurrent Friday 5!

This Friday, Senior Drupal Developer Matt Goodwin joins host Mark Casias to spend 5 Minutes on Getting to Know Your Website

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Palantir: On the Air with Palantir podcast, Ep. 05: Consulting engagements that work - a case study with Rhodes College

ven, 10/06/2016 - 05:17

Welcome to a new episode of On the Air with Palantir, a long-form podcast by palantir.net where we go in-depth on topics related to the business of web design and development. It’s June 2016 and this is episode #5. In this episode Account Manager Allison Manley is joined by our client Justin McGregor from Rhodes College. Allison caught up with Justin at DrupalCon in New Orleans last month, and spoke with him about how his school has implemented Drupal, how we worked together, and how it’s been going since.

iTunes | RSS Feed | Download

We'll be back next Tuesday with another episode of the Secret Sauce and a new installment of our long-form interview podcast On the Air With Palantir next month, but for now subscribe to all of our episodes over on iTunes.

Need a helping hand with effective consulting? Our years of expertise can help make sense of any challenge you're facing with your web project, whether strategy, design, development, or ongoing support in nature.

Look for our transcript of this episode added here soon.

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Mediacurrent: 8 Insights and Useful Snippets for the D8 Rest Module

jeu, 09/06/2016 - 14:43

Tips and tricks for working with REST module in Drupal 8.

Catégories: Elsewhere

Vardot: Rights and Liberty on Your Screen: New Website of Al Jazeera Media Network

jeu, 09/06/2016 - 13:12
News Read time: 3 minutes

The Public Liberties and Human Rights Center was founded in 2008 as a "desk" within Al Jazeera. Today it is staffed by a diverse team which works across different areas of the network. The editorial team operates on all of Al Jazeera's platforms and in all of the network's languages. The journalists produce original stories and content examining human rights issues around the world, complementing the network's hard-hitting news. Their website contains information about initiatives and events organized by the Center as well as many images and videos related to their projects. In 2015, Vardot developed a new website to bring together all the work Al Jazeera does regarding human right through all its platforms to one hub.   

 

Goal of the project

The goal of Vardot was to build an editor-friendly distribution that will also bring visitors a seamless user experience. The mission was to launch a modern multilingual SEO-optimized website that will be integrated with social networks and have the ability to handle a high traffic.

 

The right CMS for media networks

Vardot already partnered with Al Jazeera to develop other AJ websites such as  Sharek, Forum, Stream and Cafe. All these sites were built on Drupal because the client was looking for a CMS that will be able to handle high traffic, different permission levels, a large number of subpages and at the same time be secure and flexible for users. For the AJ Public Liberties project, we used our very own Drupal 7 distribution, Uber Publisher, that in our opinion ideally meets the needs of the Media producers and Online News Publishers.

The idea of this distribution is easy: most of news websites require the same package of features such as the ability to upload and edit text quickly, create roles and permissions for a better security, add taxonomy terms to organize the content in the convenient way, handle  high traffic and more. Uber Publisher does just that. It is a combination of  modules, configurations, settings and custom development for online publishers.

Why our customers always choose Drupal

 

Uber Publisher as a competitive advantage

Having the “foundation” of the website ready, our team was able to  concentrate on the  uniqueness of the Liberties website without wasting time for a basic coding.  As a result, the work on the new website of Al Jazeera Public Liberties & Human Rights Centre took less than one month.

Furthermore,  we were able to to provide Al Jazeera  with many different ways to change the display of content listings to meet their needs at any time. Depending on what Al Jazeera content managers wanted to showcase, the site allows them to feature one main article or multiple articles to tell a story and promote the most important news first.

Building a good website in just one month is very impressive, but we are looking forward to be able to work even faster. After updating Uber Publisher and making it more universal for any kind of online publishing company we expect to decrease not only the time of the development, but also the average total cost of ownership of news websites.

 

Bottom line

Building sites for enterprise companies always means accepting a big challenge, but our team likes to exceed expectations. Working with Al Jazeera before we’ve learned a lot about our client’s assumptions and ways of working, and this time we’ve just used the experience collected before and made a high-quality website in less than one month. Like Al Jazeera Public Liberties & Human Rights Centre contributes a lot to the awareness of humanitarian organizations, Vardot is happy to add some improvements to Drupal and share our experience with you.

Tags:  Drupal Planet Title:  Rights and Liberty on Your Screen: New Website of Al Jazeera Media Network
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Pronovix: Generating embeddable Help widgets from a Drupal 8 site

jeu, 09/06/2016 - 12:10

We developed the WalkHub Help Widget to help site owners guide their visitors to the right documentation content - right inside an application or web site. You can also set up your own widget creation interface easily - in this blogpost, we will guide you through the steps.

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Chapter Three: How to Use Configuration Management

jeu, 09/06/2016 - 02:38
What is CMI?

One of the major features of Drupal 8 is the Configuration Management Initiative (CMI). I’ll briefly touch on why CMI is so important, but our own Alex Pott has written extensively on the creation, principles and importance of this feature.

Previous to Drupal 8, it was cumbersome to trade configuration between sites and environments. Moving configuration changes from a developmental environment into production meant either making the changes manually through the UI, or utilizing an advanced option like Features. A third option would be full-database swapping, but that can be quite risky and is generally considered poor-form.

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Drupal.org blog: DrupalCI: Continuous Integration Testing for Drupal.org

jeu, 09/06/2016 - 00:40
Why test?

The goal of automated testing is confidence: confidence in application stability, and confidence that new features work as intended. Continuous integration as a philosophy is about speeding the rate of change while keeping stability. As the number of contributing programmers increase, the need to have automated testing as a means to prove stability increases.

This post is focused on how the automated testing infrastructure on Drupal.org works, not actually writing tests. Much more detail about how to write tests during Drupal development can be found in community documentation:

Categories of testing

DrupalCI essentially runs two categories of tests:

Functional tests (also called blackbox testing) are the most common type of test run on DrupalCI hardware. These tests run assertions that test functionality by installing Drupal with a fresh database and then exercising that installation by inserting data and confirming the assertions complete. Front-end tests and behavior driven tests (BDD) tend to be functional. Upgrade tests are a type of functional tests that run a full installation of Drupal, then run upgrade commands.

Unit tests run assertions that test a unit of code and do not require a database installation. This means they execute very quickly. Because of its architecture, Drupal 8 has much more unit test coverage than Drupal 7.

These test categories can be broken down further into more specific test types.

What testing means at the scale of Drupal

Drupal 8, with its 3,000+ core contributors and 7,288 contrib developers (so far), needs testing as a means to comfortably move forward code that everyone can trust to be stable.

Between January and May 2016, 90,364 test runs were triggered in DrupalCI. That is about 18,000 test runs requested per month. Maintainers set whether they want tests to run on demand, with every patch submitted, or nightly. They also determine what environments those tests will run on; there are 6 combinations of PHP and database engines available for maintainers to choose from.

The majority of these test runs are Drupal 8 tests at this point. (19,599 core tests and 47,713 contrib project tests were run during those 5 months.) Each test costs about 12 cents to run on Amazon Web Services. At the time of writing this post, we averaged around $2,000 per month in testing costs for our community. (Thank you supporters!)

An overly simple history of automated testing for Drupal

Automated testing first became a thing for Drupal contributed projects during Drupal version 4.5 with the introduction of the SimpleTest module. It was not until Drupal 6 that we started manually building out testbots and running these tests on Drupal.org hardware.

In Drupal 7, SimpleTest was brought into Drupal Core. (More information about what that took can be reviewed in the SimpleTest Roadmap for Drupal 7.)

In Drupal 8, PHPUnit testing was added to Drupal Core. PHPUnit tests are much faster than a full functional test in SimpleTest—though runtest.sh still triggers a combination of these test types in Drupal 8.

The actual implementation of automated testing was much more complicated than this history suggests. The original testbot infrastructure that ran for 7 years on Drupal.org hardware was manually managed by some fiercely dedicated volunteers. The manual nature of that maintenance led to the architecture of DrupalCI, which was meant to make it easier to test locally at first and later focused on autoscaling on powerful hardware that could plow through tests more quickly.

DrupalCI's basic structure

In The Drupal.org Complexity, we could see the intricate ways that Drupal's code base interacts with other parts of the system.

We could further break out how systems like DrupalCI are interrelated.

DrupalCI is a combination of data stored on Drupal.org, cron jobs, drush commands, and most importantly a couple of Jenkins installations to manage all the automation.

Jenkins is the open source automation server project that makes most of the system possible. We use it for automating our build process and deploying code to our dev, staging and production environments. It automates just about anything and is used by companies small and large to run continuous integration or continuous deployment for their applications. It's considered a "best practice" solution alongside options like Travis, CircleCI, and Bamboo. They all have slightly different features, but automation is at the core of most of these DevOps tools.

To provide continuously integrated tests, you need to trigger those tests at a moment when the tests will have the greatest value.

The three triggers for running a test job are when a patch is added to an issue comment, when code is committed to a repository or daily on a cron. Maintainers can specify which triggers are associated with which branches of their projects and which environments should run those tests.

For core these settings look something like this:

This detail allows for specific tests to run at specific times per the Drupal.org Testing Policy for DrupalCI.

To make this automation happen, we have an installation of Jenkins (Infrastructure Jenkins below) that is polled by Drupal.org once per minute with testing jobs to be queued.

These jobs live in a database record alongside Drupal.org.

Infrastructure Jenkins speaks to the CI Dispatcher (also Jenkins) where the testing queue regularly passes those jobs to available testbots. CI Dispatcher uses an Amazon Web Services EC2 plugin to spin up new testbots when no existing testbot is available. Each testbot can spin up Docker containers with the specific test images defined by the maintainer. Theses containers pull from DockerHub repositories with official combinations of PHP and database engines that Drupal supports.

After a testbot is running, the CI Dispatcher is in constant communication with the bots. You can even click through to the console on CI Dispatcher and watch the tests run. (It's not very exciting—perhaps we should add sound effects to the failures—but it is very handy.)

Once per minute, Drupal.org polls the CI Dispatcher for test status. It responds with pending, running, failed or passed. Failed and passed tests are then pulled back into Drupal.org for display using the Jenkins JSON API.

Tests can also be run on demand at the patch, commit or branch level using the handy "add test" and "retest" links.

Why did we build this ourselves? Why not use [insert testing platform here]

Lot's of people have asked why we don't use TravisCI, CircleCI or some other hosted testing solution. The short answer is that most publicly available testing systems require Github authentication and integration.

Additionally, our testing infrastructure is powerful because of its integration with our issue queues. Read the aforementioned The Drupal.org Complexity for more information.

Another reason to run our own testing is scale. To get through all of the core tests for Drupal 8 in an acceptable amount of time (about 44 mins on average), we run very large testbots. These bots have 2 processors with 8 hardware cores. With hyperthreading, that means we have 32 hardware execution threads—about 88 EC2 compute units. They are not exactly super computers, but they are very performant.

We average nearly 18,000 test runs per month. During our peak usage we spin up as many as 25 testbot machines—though usually we cap at 15 bots to keep costs under control. This helps us plow through our testing needs during sprints at DrupalCons and large camps.

We have explored using an enterprise licensed version of either Github or CircleCI with our own hardware to tackle testing. That same consideration has been given to SauceLabs for front-end testing. Right now, there is not a cost savings to tackle this migration, but that does not rule it out in the future. Testing services continues to evolve.

Accelerating Drupal 8

In my first months as CTO, I was told repeatedly that the most important thing for us to work on was testing for Drupal 8. In those early days as I built out the team, we were mostly focused on catching up from the Drupal 7 upgrade and tackling technical debt issues that cropped up. In DrupalCon Austin, I had members of my team learn how to maintain the testbot infrastructure so that we could take over the process of spinning up bots and dealing with spikes in demand.

By early 2015, we had optimized the old testbots as much as they were going to be optimized. We moved them to AWS so we could spin up faster machines and more bots, but there were features that were waiting on the new DrupalCI infrastructure that were blocking key development on Drupal 8.

In March of 2015, we invited all the community developers that had helped with DrupalCI to the Drupal Association offices in Portland and sprinted with them to figure out the remaining implementation needs. The next couple of months involved tweaking DrupalCI's architecture and cutting out any nice to have features to get something launched as soon as possible.
It is no coincidence that from the time of DrupalCI's launch until the release of Drupal 8, progress was rapidly accelerated.

I am immensely proud of the work of all the community members and staff that worked directly with core maintainers to unblock Drupal 8 development and make it faster. This work was critical.

Thank you to jthorson, ricardoamaro, nick_schuch, dasrecht, basicisntall, drumm, mikey_p, mixologic, hestenet, chx, mile23, alexpott, dawehner, Shyamala, and webchick. You all made DrupalCI. (And huge apologies to all those I'm undoubtedly leaving out.) Also thank you to anyone who chimed in on IRC or in the issue queues to help us track down bugs and improve the service.

What's next for testing Drupal

Most of the future state of testing is outlined in the Drupal.org Testing Policy for DrupalCI.

Key issues that we still need to solve are related to concurrent testing improvements and new test types to support. While we have PhantomJS integrated with the test runner, there are optimizations that need to happen.

Testing is not an endpoint. Like much of our work, it is an ongoing effort to continuously improve Drupal by providing a tool that improves how we test, what we test, and when we test.

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Cocomore: 5 useful documentation resources before starting your first Drupal 8 project

jeu, 09/06/2016 - 00:00

You want to develop with Drupal 8? We show you some useful sources of lectures, examples and documentations that will ease your work.

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Radium on Drupal: GSoC 2016 Weekly Summary 2

mer, 08/06/2016 - 23:38
Drupal 8's Render API is powerful. This subsystem is the key to various additional features such as BigPipe and RefreshLess. As part of my project, I need to render a portion of a page separately. That leads me to interact with Drupal's Render API quite frequently. In this week's post, I would like to address one of the misleading / confusing points of the Drupal's render system.
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Gizra.com: Organic Groups and Message Stack in Drupal 8

mer, 08/06/2016 - 23:00

Hi geeks! Did the post title get you excited? Great, because Organic Groups (OG) and Message stack are getting closer to being Drupal 8 ready.

I’d like to give an overview about their state, the amazing community effort around them, and also share some of my personal thoughts about contribution to Drupal 8 in general.

Organic Groups

The heroes: @RoySegall, @pfrenssen @damiankloip, @chx et al.

For years Organic Groups has been one of the proven solutions for multi-sites functionality, in the form of one code base, one database, and one dashboard to rule them all. After so many years and seeing so many different implementations, such as Harvard’s OpenScholar, OpenAtrium, and many others, I’m even more confident OG is doing many things right.

Most of OG7’s concepts are being migrated to OG8, but obviously this is also a good time to fix some old mistakes. One of the mistakes was treating users and content (i.e. non-user entities) alike. But, well, you know - they are not. Because when we came to re-think of it, membership really makes sense only for users. For example, if the membership state is active, pending or blocked, that should indeed be applied only to users. So we’ve changed it:

Continue reading…

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Axelerant Blog: Migrate To Drupal 8 For Mobile First, Global Ready Features

mer, 08/06/2016 - 20:00

If you or your competitor is moving to migrate to Drupal 8, that’s good for one of you… and potentially really bad for the other.

Somebody is picking up on something big, because Drupal 8 migration is a mark of enterprise-level thought or a sign of aspiring enterprise-level vision. If you or your associates aren’t sold yet, the proof is in D8’s mobile, global features.

You could say accurately that modern Drupal is a preemptive, forward step, a step away from the dangers of a Closed Source, “one size fits all” mentality. See headless Drupal migration stories for even more proof.

Big question: why migrate to Drupal 8?

Well, the sense that mobile incompetence and unchecked global competition are deal breakers? That’s more than a feeling. That’s a fact. Today if your website isn’t responsive and built for growth with features like those of Drupal 8, you’re declining. Let’s get why:

  1. Face it, we need a different kind of responsive.
  2. What makes Drupal 8 mobile first.
  3. You migrate to Drupal 8 for all users.
  4. Migrate to Drupal 8 for your customers.
  5. And migrate for international teams.

Decision makers like you, with a keen sense for growth, will see. Within these features are the traits of an evolving Open Source software for 2016 onward. 

1. Face it, we need a different kind of responsive.

Having a responsive design means having a website that automatically looks good no matter your user device’s viewport size. The way we search the internet has changed. Search technologies and site owners must account for it.

Just last year, Google rolled out a mobile friendly algorithm that led to mobilegeddon. It was labeled a doomsday because of the tremendous boost in search engine results given to responsive websites versus the whack it gave desktop-only sites.

How far does mobile reach?

In the US, one out of every three people owns a smartphone. Worldwide, it’s one out of every five. The number of users browsing on tablets, phablets, and phones will continue to rise—website responsiveness becomes more critical every day.

Responsive websites are made possible with things like CSS media queries. These queries define how page elements should be displayed to users. Its effectiveness can be checked with responsive plugins and extensions from Chrome and Safari. At Axelerant, we created a simple URL mobile friendly website tester that can check your site.

But shouldn’t “desktop” versions come first?

Not anymore. Productive websites from now on should be treating the desktop as secondary. The demand for mobile, responsive themes has never been higher and it continues to rise. The number of users accessing sites from mobile devices only is steadily growing.

Users in the US alone are accessing mobile online media 51% of the time, compared to the 41% using a desktop. These accesses drives the Drupal community to focus on mobile first because we’re passed the 50-50 mark. Having a clear focus on mobile first designs can also improve the efficiency of your desktop website. Your website’s responsiveness has to be taken into account if it’s going to be productive to you and your end users—to inform, deliver services, generate leads, and more.

2. What makes Drupal 8 mobile first.

Drupal 8’s very essence is accessibility because it was made with a mobile first mentality—for users and end-users. When site owners migrate to Drupal 8, they solve the need for an extremely responsive website. It’s an upgrade that isn’t an option anymore.

For Drupalers like us, a Drupal 8 upgrade provides fresh mobile-friendly development for the content management system (CMS) and Open Source software (OSS) industries. In fact, Drupal’s original creator and product lead Dries Buytaert said way back in 2011:

If I were to start Drupal from scratch today, I’d build it for mobile experiences first, and desktop experience second.

Considering all of its modern features, Drupal 8 has been well worth waiting for. Contributors charged forward with a transforming Mobile Initiative to create a first-class mobile platform, spearheaded by the initiative’s lead John Albin Wilkins. The admin interface, themes, tables, and pictures were focused on and today these are incredibly useful:

Drupal’s Admin

As a mobile friendly CMS, Drupal enables on the go administration. Managing content on a mobile device has become painless. The admin layer has been revamped to be simple, straight-forward, and light. Toolbars work horizontal or vertical as needed.

Great Responsive Themes

All built-in themes are responsive. These give you the power to change the way your site looks and feels. Drupal 8’s new theming engine Twig is PHP-based, secure by default, easier to read, and front-end developer friendly.

This new theme flexibility enables the creation of highly attractive, highly functional sites that look great on mobile. The right theme will help power your organization’s branding while providing positive user experiences.

The goal was to transition all existing Drupal 8 themes from “desktop only” to mobile first, and for all to include a useful backend platform. This ties into the push to make Drupal the leading mobile CMS platform.

Flexible Tables

When a user views the page from a narrow device viewport, such as page’s horizontal elements will automatically become vertical, with lesser important columns being removed.

Breakpoints are built into Drupal 8, which keep track of height, width, and resolution. These breakpoints enable a site to respond appropriately to different devices: tables and the likes shrink readily to preserve mobile integrity. So when transitioning from a desktop screen to a mobile one, you’ll see tables adapt seamlessly.

Picture Perfection

With such an emphasis being placed on ease of use for end users and administrators, with a migrate to Drupal 8 images become responsive. Administrators can add large photos to their pages that automatically size themselves appropriately based on the viewer’s device.

The Drupal 8 responsive module that contains breakpoint mapping and an image formatter that efficiently reduces file weight by resizing the image. These features can be used to output responsive images using the HTML5 picture tag.

Responsive image support isn’t just visually convenient, it helps pages with large images load faster. Meaning that pictures worth 1,000 pixels don’t have to make your mobile site slow or awkward.

3. You migrate to Drupal 8 for all users.

You already know that the standards of your website should be up to par with the growing number of relevant on-the-go, global web users. A huge, growing number that has a direct effect on your organization or will soon. Accessible websites existing within the digital space will either experience the positive or negative side of the expanse: one billion users in 2005, two billion in 2010, three billion in 2014, almost three and a half billion in 2015, and counting.

Now if you keep these numbers in mind, consider that the number of smartphone users in the world is expected to be a massive 6.1 billion by 2020. This growth means that in less than five years, 90% of the world will be online and at that point, 70% will be mobile.

You might be tempted to think: “these numbers don’t apply to my organization. Relevant visits to my site aren’t going to increase as these figures grow.” That’s only correct if your website isn’t mobile first and global ready. In fact, if your site isn’t more accessible now than before, you can expect the number of new, relevant visitors (potential customers searching for your services) to drop.

4. Migrate to Drupal 8 for global customers.

Drupal 8 mobile-based global websites are designed to be accessible for international users from other countries and different cultures. With a migrate to Drupal 8, modern organizations looking to target specific even global reaching demographics can succeed.

However, due to rising internationalization and increasing globalization, all forward thinking businesses will eventually need to take up these searchable, accessible, localized websites. Localization is especially true for e-commerce sites, which must be prepared to cater to ever-changing global e-commerce data. If you’re selling a product or a service online, chances are you’ve been made aware of increasing numbers of international visitors. If your organization has the structural capabilities to sell to these demographics, it should.

What’s this about website localization?

This isn’t the opposite of what’s called website internationalization or globalization. Website localization refers to “local” site adaptations, which facilitate particular communicative, cultural, or other demographical requirements that cater to a particular target market. Globalized or internationalized sites enable localization.

Ongoing Drupal 8 initiatives are aimed at improving its localizing interface to suit international users. Likewise, these users can create localized Drupal sites for their audience. What helps make this possible is a sophisticated translation manager in the Drupal core. This system empowers users to utilize the right translations, for example, for each targeted demographic that need to be reached.

5. And migrate to Drupal for international teams.

To be global ready is to be user-friendly on an international scale, and Drupal internationalization accomplishes this. In the late 90’s, over 80% of internet users were native English speakers, by 2010, this dropped to less than 30%.

With Drupal 8’s multilingual capabilities, international site visitors and Drupal 8 site builders alike aren’t met at a half-way mark, but where they’re most comfortable: in their language. Drupal 8’s Configuration Translation enables the translation of essential elements—blocks, toolbars, menus, etc.

With these essential features, Drupal 8 positions itself as the global ready website option. Multilingual feats like translation and transliteration are two pillars of this positioning.

Drupal 8 Translations

Advanced multilingual capabilities of Drupal 8 are hallmarks of this release. Whereas Drupal 7 has regional settings, language support, and usability attention given to interface translation, Drupal 8 brings this into the core. It comes with highly improved language detection abilities that are browser based, meaning it functions to identify preferred languages and present them to users automatically.

There’s 94 languages and counting, one of which that you can assign as a website default for content and configurations. Blocks can also be language dependent. Further, more page elements than ever are now “blocks” in Drupal 8, granting greater translation accessibility.

Even “Transliterations”

There are times when characters need to be romanized for various purposes. Drupal core has addressed this. Now, built-in user interfaces transliterate key language assignments. This transliteration is an advancement from other CMS solutions, enabling efficient romanization of several challenging scripts and types (e.g. Hungarian, Czech, Marathi).

There is a variety of multilingual Drupal 8 sites in production settings of multiple industries that demonstrate Drupal 8 easily makes possible.

Migrate to Drupal 8 for results.

If you migrate to Drupal 8, you’re setting your organization up for the future. The importance of a mobile-friendly and global ready website cannot be overstated. You’ve heard it more than 1,000 times that “content is king.” It’s true, but it has to be accessible first so your targeted content reigns supreme. Your content after a migration to Drupal 8 can become even more SEO friendly, fast, mobile, and manageable.

Great content doesn’t just happen. Content creators and copywriters need to apply their trade strategically more than ever before. And while it’s principally a supportive means for content creation, Drupal 8 will certainly help. In so many ways, Drupal 8 and content marketers were meant for one another.

SEO capabilities: Users have tons of available modules that monitor SEO activity and track analytics. It’s also able to produce automatically customizable meta tags or create title based URL nodes for a website. Awesome tools like Yoast and Goalgorilla can now be incorporated to develop a site’s SEO in all aspects. Drupal 8 also supports RDF and integrates very easily with Google Analytics.

Content Loading: Another way that Drupal 8 supports content has to do with how quickly and readily it loads. Loading speed is a huge factor that will directly affect both the site’s global rank and local rank. Now Google provides insights on a page’s loading speed to help isolate costly hold ups. Drupal 8 has features that help users address page load issues. As an example, Drupal 8 caches all entities and only loads JavaScript when necessary. What this means for a page is that viewed content doesn’t need to be reloaded again, rather it’s quickly loaded from the cache.

When visitors return to a Drupal 8 website, they won’t have to wait for previously viewed content to load up. Updated or new content is presented to visitors while the cache of older unchanged content remains preserved and shown immediately.

Content Visualization For Multiple Devices: See content when editing, as it’ll look when published with a real-time what you see is what you get (WYSIWYG) editor for desktop and mobile devices. Via the WYSIWYG editor, users have the option to choose images and revise content for desktop or mobile versions as needed. By seeing what end users experience—in real time—is a valuable feature for saving time and foreknowing the outcome before publishing.

General Content Management: Drupal 8 offers a simple and flexible CMS. With previous Drupal versions have been seen as too challenging for new users. Drupal 8 changed all that. Now content authoring is easy and reliable performance is guaranteed. Content managers can navigate their site smoothly and use the new on-page editor quickly and with ease.

With mobile, global content taking the center stage on every stage, if you migrate to Drupal 8 your organization can get it right. It’s time to leave the disappointing and the outdated behind so your organization can pursue something greater.

Want to migrate to Drupal 8? Let's talk. jQuery(document).ready(function() { var custom_cta_viewed = false; jQuery(document).scroll(function() { if ( typeof ga !== 'undefined' && typeof isScrolledIntoViewPort !== 'undefined' && jQuery.isFunction( isScrolledIntoViewPort) && isScrolledIntoViewPort('.custom-cta') && custom_cta_viewed == false ) { custom_cta_viewed = true; ga('send', 'event', 'cta', 'view', 'drupal-migration'); } }); });

This article was originally published in October, 2015. It has since been updated.

This article Migrate To Drupal 8 For Mobile First, Global Ready Features by Nathan Roach first appeared on Axelerant - Axelerant: Expert Drupal Development, Support, & Staffing.

Catégories: Elsewhere

Daniel Pocock: Working to pass GSoC

mer, 08/06/2016 - 19:11

GSoC students have officially been coding since 23 May (about 2.5 weeks) and are almost half-way to the mid-summer evaluation (20 - 27 June). Students who haven't completed some meaningful work before that deadline don't receive payment and in such a large program, there is no possibility to give students extensions or let them try and catch up later.

Every project and every student are different, some are still getting to know their environment while others have already done enough to pass the mid-summer evaluation.

I'd like to share a few tips to help students ensure they don't inadvertently fail the mid-summer evaluation

Kill electronic distractions

As a developer of real-time communications projects, many people will find it ironic or hypocritical that this is at the top of my list.

Switch off the mobile phone or put it in silent mode so it doesn't even vibrate. Research has suggested that physically turning it off and putting it out of sight has significant benefits. Disabling the voicemail service can be an effective way of making sure no time is lost listening to a bunch of messages later. Some people may grumble at first but if they respect you, they'll get into the habit of emailing you and waiting for you to respond when you are not working.

Get out a piece of paper and make a list of all the desktop notifications on your computer, whether they are from incoming emails, social media, automatic updates, security alerts or whatever else. Then figure out how to disable them all one-by-one.

Use email to schedule fixed times for meetings with mentors. Some teams/projects also have fixed daily or weekly times for IRC chat. For a development project like GSoC, it is not necessary or productive to be constantly on call for 3 straight months.

Commit every day

Habits are a powerful thing. Successful students have a habit of making at least one commit every day. The "C" in GSoC is for Code and commits are a good way to prove that coding is taking place.

GSoC is not a job, it is like a freelance project. There is no safety-net for students who get sick or have an accident and mentors are not bosses, each student is expected to be their own boss. Although Google has started recommending students work full time, 40 hours per week, it is unlikely any mentors have any way to validate these hours. Mentors can look for a commit log, however, and simply won't be able to pass a student if there isn't code.

There may be one day per week where a student writes a blog or investigates a particularly difficult bug and puts a detailed report in the bug tracker but by the time we reach the second or third week of GSoC, most students are making at least one commit in 3 days out of every 5.

Consider working away from home/family/friends

Can you work without anybody interrupting you for at least five or six hours every day?

Do you feel pressure to help with housework, cooking, siblings or other relatives? Even if there is no pressure to do these things, do you find yourself wandering away from the computer to deal with them anyway?

Do family, friends or housemates engage in social activities, games or other things in close proximity to where you work?

All these things can make a difference between passing and failing.

Maybe these things were tolerable during high school or university. GSoC, however, is a stepping stone into professional life and that means making a conscious decision to shut those things out and focus. Some students have the ability to manage these distractions well, but it is not for everybody. Think about how leading sports stars or musicians find a time and space to be "in the zone" when training or rehearsing, this is where great developers need to be too.

Some students find the right space in a public library or campus computer lab. Some students have been working in hacker spaces or at empty desks in local IT companies. These environments can also provide great networking opportunities.

Managing another summer job concurrently with GSoC

It is no secret that some GSoC students have another job as well. Sometimes the mentor is aware of it, sometimes it has not been disclosed.

The fact is, some students have passed GSoC while doing a summer job or internship concurrently but some have also failed badly in both GSoC and their summer job. Choosing one or the other is the best way to succeed, get the best results and maximize the quality of learning and community interaction. For students in this situation, now it is not too late to make the decision to withdraw from GSoC or the other job.

If doing a summer job concurrently with GSoC is unavoidable, the chance of success can be greatly increased by doing the GSoC work in the mornings, before starting the other job. Some students have found that they actually finish more quickly and produce better work when GSoC is constrained to a period of 4 or 5 hours each morning and their other job is only in the afternoon. On the other hand, if a student doesn't have the motivation or energy to get up and work on GSoC before the other job then this is a strong sign that it is better to withdraw from GSoC now.

Catégories: Elsewhere

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