Drupal News

mark.ie: Drupal's Settings Tray Module is Freakin' Awesome

Main Drupal Feed - Thu, 06/21/2018 - 08:55
Drupal's Settings Tray Module is Freakin' Awesome

Here's a very short video demo of editing a menu using Drupal's Settings Tray module. Things like this will be what drives Drupal adoption.

markconroy Thu, 06/21/2018 - 09:55

I'm a big fan of the quick edit module for Drupal. If it could work better with paragraphs module, it'd be a knockout feature. Aligned with that, I'm really impressed with the settings tray module and can see so many uses for it in the future - sidemenus, shopping cart slideouts, node editing, etc. Here's a very short video of using it to edit a menu, which should make many content editors' lives easier.

Amazee Labs: Remember to submit your DrupalEurope sessions!

Main Drupal Feed - Thu, 06/21/2018 - 08:54
Remember to submit your DrupalEurope sessions!

DrupalEurope will be taking place soon – different organization, different structure, same great community. There are a few things you need to know about this year’s edition of Europe’s largest Drupal conference, so let me tell you about them. But before I start, your case studies, as always, are more than welcome!

Fran Garcia-Linares Thu, 06/21/2018 - 10:54

DrupalCon Europe or DrupalEurope?

The first thing you might have noticed is that the event is called DrupalEurope and not DrupalCon Europe as in previous events. In order to find a sustainable approach to the conference in Europe, DrupalCon decided to take a year off in 2018 in order to come back stronger than ever, so the community decided to weigh in and organize this year’s event - DrupalEurope. This is the best possible example of one of the Drupal community mottos, “Come for the code, stay for the community”.

Main changes

Did I just mention that the event is fully organised by the community? Ah, yes, so here are some other changes:

Additional time for contribution - this will be a constant topic throughout the event. There will be mentors and self-organised contribution teams, so make sure you come prepared if you want to contribute and if you’d like to volunteer as a mentor then register here as well!

Date and place

The event will take place from 10 to 14 September in Darmstadt, Germany, which is just 20 minutes from the Frankfurt airport. It’ll be a fun week, so clear your calendar! There will be plenty of opportunities to attend talks, mentoring sessions, sprints, etc.

The week’s schedule is as follows:

  • Monday - Contribution with some mentors
  • Tuesday to Thursday - Sessions, panels, workshops, BoFs and contribution lounge
  • Friday - Traditional mentored contribution and self-organized contribution spaces

Get involved

Just attending the conference is a great experience, but there are more ways to get involved:

  • Volunteering - Help with the organization of the event, find out more here.
  • Submit a session - By submitting and preparing a session gives you a great way to give back to the community. Sharing your knowledge and experience with others is what makes these conferences so great. So, make sure to submit your sessions here.

Josef, our Agile Consultant, is part of the conference program committee, so if you see him during that week, make sure you give him kudos for putting his energy, as well as that of all the other volunteers, into the event.

A number of Amazees are already working hard on submitting sessions, ranging from client case studies to more technical talks. We love these gatherings and want to contribute as much as possible, so you’ll be sure to see a lot of us there in that week.

To-Do

So here is your to-do list:

  • Sign-up for DrupalEurope (if you haven’t already).
  • Submit your session/s, you have until the end of this month to do so.
  • Enjoy!

Hook 42: Drupal 8 Interviews: Spotlight on Jill Cohen from Autodesk

Main Drupal Feed - Thu, 06/21/2018 - 01:41

 

Jill Cohen is a Senior Software Application Engineer at Autodesk Inc. Autodesk is a global company that empowers users to design and create just about everything on this planet - and in virtual worlds. She works with the Digital Platform and Experience Organization on the Digital Help team, which manages the Autodesk Knowledge Network and Services Marketplace. She is also on the board for Autodesk Women in Leadership.

Drupal Association blog: We're driving Drupal.org forward during our membership campaign

Main Drupal Feed - Wed, 06/20/2018 - 19:12

The work accomplished by the Drupal.org engineering team is no small feat. And so we're celebrating all the team is doing to help the community using the Drupal.org tools and services. Check out our membership campaign page to learn more about the team's work and how it helps your own work every day.

Here's how to help:

  • Share how Drupal.org helps you. Use these resources made for sharing.
  • If you aren't a member, join today!

This campaign ends on July 20, 2018. Thanks for all that you give to the project and for your support.

Drupal Association blog: Drupal Business Survey 2018 calls for input

Main Drupal Feed - Wed, 06/20/2018 - 16:55

At the end of June 2018, the third edition of the Drupal Business Survey will be launched by One Shoe and Exove in collaboration with the Drupal Association. You can read the results of the 2017 survey in this previous blog post.

With this worldwide survey, new insights into key issues that Drupal company owners and business leaders face, can be discovered. The purpose of the survey is to provide information on how Drupal agencies are doing worldwide and how Drupal fits in business-wise.

Seeking your input

Therefore, the initiators of the Drupal Business Survey 2018, call for input from the Drupal Community. Any Drupal business related topics, ideas or suggestions you wish to see investigated, are more than welcome.

This year’s Drupal Business Survey will focus on the health of Drupal companies and the obstacles and enablers for Drupal’s business success. The initiators also hope to gain information on how to further improve the demand for Drupal projects.

You can send your questions to Janne Kalliola (janne@exove.com) or Michel van Velde (Michel.vanvelde@oneshoe.com) before the end of June. The Drupal Business Survey will become available for participants soon after. The results of the survey will be officially published at this year’s Drupal Europe in Darmstadt, Germany.

Drupal Europe: Drupal + Technology track at Drupal Europe

Main Drupal Feed - Wed, 06/20/2018 - 15:24
Jeff Geerling @flickr

With Drupal 8 core now in full swing and the contrib space rapidly maturing, it is an excellent time to get more deeply involved with one of the world’s largest open-source development communities. The Drupal + Technology track is focused on educating developers on the latest techniques and tools for increasing the quality and efficiency of their projects.

The Drupal + Technology track is the place for Drupal experts actively working on and contributing to Drupal to share their knowledge and help attendees to grow their Drupal skills.

We expect deeply technical sessions that inspire developers to see what is possible with Drupal. We welcome sessions sharing knowledge about integrating Drupal with bleeding-edge technologies (blockchain, IoT, decoupled frontend, etc) to empower the audience to create amazing digital experiences.

This year, the Drupal Europe program is designed around the idea of industry verticals with sessions and workshops based on specific industries. We expect a huge amount of session submissions in the Drupal + Technology track and would kindly advise you to look if an industry track could be more appropriate for your talk to have a better chance of being accepted.

Be ready to sharpen your skills and connect with other tech-minded folks. Convince your boss to invest in your skills, and get you a regular Drupal Europe ticket before they increase in price on 12th of August.

There will also be plenty of contribution opportunities during the event. All expertises and energy levels are equally invited!

Susanne Coates @flickr

Location & Dates

The deadline for the call for papers is 30th of June. Share your skills and empower other developers at the Drupal + Technology track. Submit your session now!

About Drupal Europe 2018

Drupal Europe will be held in Darmstadtium in Darmstadt, Germany — with a 15 min direct connection to Frankfurt International Airport. Drupal Europe will take place 10–14 September 2018 and will bring over 2,000 creators, innovators, and users of digital technologies from all over Europe and the rest of the world together for three days of intense and inspiring interaction.

Drupal Association blog: Adding a Little Color

Main Drupal Feed - Wed, 06/20/2018 - 15:12

You may have noticed today that we have added a little color to our Drupal Association logo on social media. The changed logo will be around until the end of June, which is traditionally Pride Month.

The Drupal Association is an educational non-profit and does not advocate policy. I personally wanted to make this happen simply to say thank you to everyone at the Drupal Association who have made this LGBTQIA woman feel extraordinarily welcome and empowered this year.

For all LGBTQIA people and their allies, I’d also like to take the opportunity to draw their attention to the Drupal Rainbow Group on groups.drupal.org.

Could we, as a community, do more for Pride Month next year? Let me know - and let’s organise ourselves in the Drupal Rainbow Group.

Rachel

Drupal blog: Increasing Drupal contributions from underrepresented groups

Main Drupal Feed - Wed, 06/20/2018 - 15:10

This blog has been re-posted and edited with permission from Dries Buytaert's blog. Please leave your comments on the original post.

For the past two years, I've published the Who sponsors Drupal development report. The primary goal of the report is to share contribution data to encourage more individuals and organizations to contribute code to Drupal on Drupal.org. However, the report also highlights areas where our community can and should do better.

In 2017, the reported data showed that only 6 percent of recorded code contributions were made by contributors that identify as female. After a conversation in the Drupal Diversity & Inclusion Slack channel about the report, it became clear that many people were concerned about this discrepancy. Inspired by this conversation, Tara King started the Drupal Diversity and Inclusion Contribution Team to understand how the Drupal community could better include women and underrepresented groups to increase code and community contributions.

I recently spoke with Tara to learn more about the Drupal Diversity and Inclusion Contribution Team. I quickly discovered that Tara's leadership exemplifies various Drupal Values and Principles; especially Principle 3 (Foster a learning environment), Principle 5 (Everyone has something to contribute) and Principle 6 (Choose to lead). Inspired by Tara's work, I wanted to spotlight what the DDI Contribution Team has accomplished so far, in addition to how the team is looking to help grow diversity and inclusion in the future.

A mentorship program to help underrepresented groups

Supporting diversity and inclusion within Drupal is essential to the health and success of the project. The people who work on Drupal should reflect the diversity of people who use and work with the software. This includes building better representation across gender, race, sexuality, disability, economic status, nationality, faith, technical experience, and more. Unfortunately, underrepresented groups often lack community connections, time for contribution, resources or programs that foster inclusion, which introduce barriers to entry.

The mission of the Drupal Diversity & Inclusion Contribution Team is to increase contributions from underrepresented groups. To accomplish this goal, the DDI Contribution Team recruits team members from diverse backgrounds and underrepresented groups, and provides support and mentorship to help them contribute to Drupal. Each mentee is matched with a mentor in the Drupal community, who can provide expertise and advice on contribution goals and professional development. To date, the DDI Contribution Team supports over 20 active members.

What I loved most in my conversation with Tara is the various examples of growth she gave. For example, Angela McMahon is a full-time Drupal developer at Iowa State. Angela been working with her mentor, Caroline Boyden, on the External Link Module. Due to her participation with the DDI Contribution Team, Angela has now been credited on 4 fixed issues in the past year.

Improving the reporting around diversity and inclusion

In addition to mentoring, another primary area of focus of the DDI Contribution Team is to improve reporting surrounding diversity and inclusion. For example, in partnership with the Drupal Association and the Open Demographics Project, the DDI Contribution Team is working to implement best practices for data collection and privacy surrounding gender demographics. During the mentored code sprints at DrupalCon Nashville, the DDI Contribution Team built the Gender Field Module, which we hope to deploy on Drupal.org.

The development of the Gender Field Module is exciting, as it establishes a system to improve reporting on diversity demographics. I would love to use this data in future iterations of the 'Who sponsors Drupal development' report, because it would allow us to better measure progress on improving Drupal's diversity and inclusion against community goals.

One person can make a difference

What I love about the story of the DDI Contribution Team is that it demonstrates how one person can make a significant impact on the Drupal project. The DDI Contribution Team has grown from Tara's passion and curiosity to see what would happen if she challenged the status quo. Not only has Tara gotten to see one of her own community goals blossom, but she now also leads a team of mentors and mentees and is a co-maintainer of the Drupal 8 version of the Gender Field Module. Last but not least, she is building a great example for how other Open Source projects can increase contributions from underrepresented groups.

How you can get involved

If you are interested in getting involved with the DDI Contribution Team, there are a number of ways you can participate:

  • Support the DDI Contribution Team as a mentor, or consider recommending the program to prospective mentees. Join #ddi-contrib-team on Drupal Slack to meet the team and get started.
  • In an effort to deliberately recruit teams from spaces where people of diverse backgrounds collaborate, the DDI Contribution Team is looking to partner with Outreachy, an organization that provides paid internships for underrepresented groups to learn Free and Open Source Software and skills. If you would be interested in supporting a Drupal internship for an Outreachy candidate, reach out to Tara King to learn how you can make a financial contribution.
  • One of the long term goals of the DDI Contribution Team is to increase the number of underrepresented people in leadership positions, such as initiative lead, module maintainer, or core maintainer. If you know of open positions, consider understanding how you can work with the DDI Contribution Team to fulfill this goal.

I want to extend a special thanks to Tara King for sharing her story, and for making an important contribution to the Drupal project. Growing diversity and inclusion is something everyone in the Drupal community is responsible for, and I believe that everyone has something to contribute. Congratulations to the entire DDI Contribution Team.

Vardot: Moving from Sharepoint to Drupal 8

Main Drupal Feed - Wed, 06/20/2018 - 10:10
Ahmed Jarrar June 20, 2018

SharePoint is Microsoft’s entry in the crowded Content Management Systems (CMS) market. As a Microsoft product, SharePoint is tightly integrated with Windows and the .NET framework. It has enjoyed considerable success in the intranet world, but as a public-facing enterprise website builder, not so much.

The first part of this post discusses the migration of corporate websites from SharePoint to Drupal 8. The second part addresses the role that SharePoint can play post-migration, in a co-existing relationship between SharePoint and Drupal.

 

Migration Benefits

 

For organizations that currently deploy SharePoint as a CMS over a public-facing enterprise website, migrating to Drupal have the following benefits.

  1. Improved Customizations.
    While SharePoint is bloated with out-of-the-box features, customizing it to satisfy unique enterprise requirements has proven to be difficult. In particular, the customization of the look-and-feel of the website for corporate branding purposes (“theming”) takes considerable effort.

    Drupal, on the other hand, provides a core out-of-the-box framework which you can enhance with the help of its many contributed modules in order to satisfy your specific functional and branding requirements.

 

  1. Cost Effectiveness.

SharePoint has 2 broad-based pricing options: Online and Server. SharePoint Online is the cloud-based version which targets intranet or portal use only. SharePoint Server is the on-premises version for hosting your enterprise website. A SharePoint Server solution requires that you pay software license fees, not just for SharePoint itself, but also for the Microsoft technology stack including Windows Server, SQL Server, as well as Visual Studio which you use for coding.

In contrast, Drupal is open-source with no license fee for the core as well as contributed modules. In addition, Drupal can be deployed on the free and open-source technology stack, highlighted by the Linux operating system and mySQL database. You can also develop PHP-based Drupal solutions using free PHP Integrated Development Environments (IDEs) such as Eclipse.

 

  1. Fast-to-market Innovation.
    One of Drupal’s competitive advantages over proprietary CMS vendors is its vibrant and diverse user community. The community functions as an excellent brain trust and source of both feature and technology innovation. In addition to regional meetups, social media, and online forums, Drupal marketers and developers alike come together annually in DrupalCon, the main event for product planning, networking, collaboration, and training. To bring innovative features to market quicker, Drupal 8 delivers minor feature releases every six months in addition to the monthly bug fixes.

 

Migration Challenges

 

Drupal’s strength is its flexibility, power, and scalability. The challenges of migrating to Drupal usually revolve around the transfer of existing web assets from the old to the new system. The challenge is exacerbated when the website is big, with thousands or even tens of thousands of pages comprised of various content types, media, and users. More specifically, the migration challenges from SharePoint to Drupal are as follows:

 

  1. The export of HTML-formatted body contents.
    SharePoint allows you to export web pages to CSV or XML files. The problem with the  SharePoint export is that the output body sections are of plain text format: all HTML tags, as well as embedded image and URL links, are stripped. For a website of any meaningful size, manually re-inserting the formatting tags and links is simply not an option.

    The good news is that there is a program solution to extract the SharePoint contents with HTML intact. A programming script can be written to retrieve the body content from each web page via the SharePoint web service API. This requires coding skill but is very much feasible.
     

  2. The retention of SEO page ranking.
    The SEO ranking of existing web pages is a valuable enterprise asset that must be protected in the migration process. Failure to protect SEO assets may likely result in the decrease of internet traffic to the new website. Because the URL structure in Drupal and SharePoint are different, the migration process must include the setup of redirects from old URLs to new URLs, hence protecting their SEO value. Drupal handles redirects very well if the old URLs were migrated properly to Drupal.

 

 

  1. New skill sets required.
    Both SharePoint and Drupal are complex systems that require extensive product knowledge to reap full benefits. Migrating from SharePoint to Drupal entails that a whole new skill set must be acquired for the site-building team. If Drupal expertise is not readily available in-house, external professional help is needed. The challenge then becomes how to select qualified Drupal professionals to make the migration project a success.

    The fact that Drupal is built on the PHP open-source platform can be a double-edged sword. While the absence of license fee is undeniably a positive, the general availability of the technology makes it much harder to differentiate true professionals from mere PHP hackers. In seeking outside help, it is recommended to look for an organization that has full-cycle Drupal implementation experience from planning, design to development.
     

 

Migration Steps

 

The following is a high-level description of the steps needed to migrate your enterprise website from SharePoint to Drupal.

  1. Take inventory of current web content assets.
    Moving to a new CMS offers the organization the perfect opportunity to take stock of their current web contents, filter contents that are outdated or least viewed, and include only those assets that are worth moving to the new website.

  2. Design the structure of the new Drupal website.
    Drupal 8 offers a powerful content modeling and structuring modules and tools, which allows you to build flexible content types, host structured media from various sources, and organize web contents using organization-specific vocabularies. Now that you have taken inventory of your existing web pages, it is time to decide how the contents should be re-structured and re-categorized in the new website.

  3. Write SharePoint web services script to export legacy web pages to XML files.
    Automation is the key to extracting contents from SharePoint while keeping existing formatting information intact.

  4. Prepare Drupal test website.
    Set up Drupal 8 on a test machine, and configure Drupal as designed earlier. In addition, prepare the HTTP redirect module that will map the old SharePoint URLs to the new Drupal URLs.

  5. Import SharePoint XML files into your new Drupal website.
    Drupal 8 has a core module named Migrate which is a framework for importing web contents from another CMS. Migrate provides the underlying API for migrating configuration and content from any source to Drupal. You may need to extend the module to import content types that are not automatically imported. Make sure to import old URLs into their redirect rules to retain SEO page ranking.

  6. Review the new Drupal website and make the adjustment.
    Transferring data from a legacy website to a new website is a complicated and error-prone process. Now is the time to review the results, and make the adjustment to the export and the import scripts to eliminate any errors.

 

Drupal Coexisting with SharePoint

 

Many organizations are deeply entrenched in the Microsoft ecosystem, particularly in the areas of document management and collaboration. SharePoint is tightly integrated with Microsoft Office Suite with which internal users are typically well trained. For organizations that have invested heavily in SharePoint in both financial and social capital, simply discarding it for another (albeit more suitable) CMS for their enterprise CMS may be a difficult choice. The good news is that SharePoint can still play an important role in the enterprise’s IT infrastructure post-migration to Drupal.


Organizations can still leverage their prior investment by continuing to deploy its intranet portal using SharePoint. In this way, internal users can still use their existing Office tools and a familiar workflow for internal collaboration, communication, and document management. At the same time, the public-facing enterprise website is powered by Drupal with its broad range of powerful functionalities. By having the two systems working hand-in-hand, the organization reaps the maximum return on investment from SharePoint, while empowering the enterprise website with greater Drupal-based functionalities.

 

The challenges for the coexistence of Drupal and SharePoint are twofold. First, organizations must define a content strategy to avoid duplication of contents and maintenance efforts. Second, content feeds must be established from Drupal to SharePoint and vice versa.


 

 

 

Conclusion

Drupal 8 is a top-notch enterprise site building software platform. Organizations that have outgrown their existing non-Drupal CMS should consider migrating to Drupal 8. Migrating to Drupal 8 has its own unique challenges, including data migration and SEO retention. Vardot is an award-winning Drupal web solutions provider that can help you navigate through the process of migrating to Drupal. For more information, please contact Vardot.

OpenSense Labs: Why are Gaming Companies and Communities Opting for Drupal?

Main Drupal Feed - Wed, 06/20/2018 - 09:47
Why are Gaming Companies and Communities Opting for Drupal? Akshita Wed, 06/20/2018 - 15:17 "In a virtual community we can go directly to the place where our favourite subjects are being discussed, then get acquainted with people who share our passions or who use words in a way we find attractive. Your chances of making friends are magnified by orders of magnitude over the old methods of finding a peer group."
- Howard Rheingold, The Virtual Community, 1994

Communities are important for the success of any multimedia information systems, today. Gaming is no exception, especially when it has become a part of our new media culture, entertaining people of all ages. The satisfaction of gaming community members can influence the success of a game and it is no secret why highest selling games have the largest communities. 


To keep up the community and the platform with the latest trends, features, and functionalities, it is important that you choose the right technology for your platform. Drupal is an easy choice. But why are gaming communities increasingly opting for Drupal as the platform of their choice? 

“The famous augmented reality game, Pokemon, managed to give an unprecedented swiftness, leading to Nintendo’s stock value increasing dramatically and achieving $470 million in revenue in just 80 days.” The Power Of Gaming: Why Gaming Industry Needs Community?

Not very often will we associate the word community with gaming. And yet, these community platforms are where the games really mature. In terms of engagement and shared values, a common cultural background plays an important role, which can be reflected by the spatiotemporal distribution of the gamers. 

What is a Gaming Community?

The community of gamers can be identified either as a whole or part of video game culture.
It comprises of people who play games and those are interested in watching and reading about it. 

Community support is important for both game development and community building. 

  • User Acquisition: A shared goal, interest provides the reason for being a part of the community. A community is what builds a game, and community is what drives the game beyond its niche success into the blockbuster — shaping the success of ROI for an engaged, excited community is off the charts.

    Intense interactions and strong ties are not only important for online multiplayer games, they enhance the intensity and user experience too.  

    Over 53% of US teenagers play online games with people they know in their offline lives (Pew Research, 2015). Community support allows integration of offline friend circles into online communities.  
     
  • User Retention: Gaming communities form a very crucial part in retaining the users as video games have grown into a subculture since their birth.

    Community services enhance competition within games, which builds up customer loyalty as a consequence. Games and gaming communities are strongly intertwined and experience permanent co-development. 

    Discussions on new features, problems they encounter at playing, advice about gaming strategies via forums is where the retention starts at. 

    The modern games provide direct in-game communication, which is not restricted to a simple message exchange, but also involves further service functionality. 

  • Improves Quality: Gaming communities are a place of intense interaction after all games are about shared experiences, rendered with extraordinarily interaction and ownership.  All successful games have communities. 
    And this where the changes come from. Remember the infamous Tracer butt controversy from 2016? Well, it was after the community chose to put their outrage did the gaming giant Blizzard Entertainment had to pull down the post to show the accurate representation of the values.
Why are Gaming Communities Opting for Drupal?

What does Drupal offer to the gaming communities that they are opting for it? Here is a list of why Drupal is the choice for the community platforms.

  • Decoupled Drupal for Intuitive Game Live UI Experiences

Much like physical sports, video games demand a certain standard of ability where the player can enjoy from the very moment the game is started. Regardless of whether there is an explicit tutorial, players must instantly intuit what to do, what the basic rules are, what is good, what is bad, and how to go about doing the various things that can be accomplished.

The more the realism your game offers to the gamer, the longer they would want to play. 

With the decoupled experience in Drupal, you can create an interactive experience for the gamers by utilizing your site to completely control the useful in-program applications. While the front end can easily be coupled with other technologies such as jQuery, JavaScript, Node.js, and React.js. The backend in turn shifts to become the system of record, but the interaction happens real-time in the browser, back-and-forth. 

The headless site advancement can possibly release the imaginative influence of the diversion with intense gaming experience which is faster, more natural, intuitive and responsive at the gamers’ end. The end result is smoother and faster games played live. 

  • Gameplay based customizations

Games allow players to perceive themselves in alternate ways in their imagined worlds. Player identification – with Avatar and Character – helps build the interest while also improving the gameplay experience and is important to maintain the identity in the possible communities as well. 
 

Avatars in the Leagues of Legend

An example of this could be the website of League of Legends – built on Drupal – which is a team-oriented strategy game where the goal is to work together and bring down the enemy nexus located in the middle of the game. 

Roles offered in the Leagues of Legend

Drupal has tools and services for building user profiles, fostering the creation of virtual sessions, allowing communication with third party serious games, and storing and processing the game analytics. This is important since it helps the gamer take the game more seriously and relate to it on a virtual level.

  • Scalability

Zynga – a leading developer of the world's most popular social games – website is built on Drupal. It claims to have 100 million monthly unique visitors, making it the largest online gaming destination on the web.

Scalability is Drupal’s middle name

Handling high volumes of visitors, content, and users is a tough job. But Drupal does it easily. As it is said, “scalability is Drupal’s middle name”. Some of the busiest sites across the world are built on Drupal. 

It is apt in handling sites that burst with humongous traffic, which means your gaming website can perform spectacularly even on the busiest of the days without breaking or bending. 

  • Multimedia support

Visit the famous StarWars The Old Republic (SWOTR) website and the background has video snippets playing from the game. Multimedia support is not new to the gaming industry. To keep the engagement high, you need to support multimedia features like scorecards, videos, photos, audios among others. 

Drupal is a highly versatile and customizable CMS. It has various modules available to support this need. The photo gallery module, media entity module, and easy to use templates to customize appearance are just a few from the list.   

Not just this the photo gallery module helps you customize images with templates, build you scorecards

  • Mobile Responsiveness

Video games have once again found themselves more widely played and accepted, thanks to the increasing smartphone reach. Add to it one more feature, your game needs to be device responsive too with easy and intuitive controls. 

Drupal 8 is device responsive out-of-the-box. Which means your content adjusts well from the big screen of your desktop to the little screen. Image size changes, menu items shift to drop-downs, other items are pushed around to make sense of content and size of the device. 

But games are not just about the squeezing to a different size thing. They need to offer the same experience as in the native web application without taking away the intuitive design. This can be sorted with the Hammer.js module in Drupal. Hammer.js helps you enhance the user experience by providing cross-browser support and taking away a lot of complexity when implementing touch and pointer gestures. Leveraging it in Drupal is easier than ever due to the Library API of Drupal 8.

  • Adding complex categories and catalogs

Gaming communities are a lot different from what the gaming websites offer. Since each game will have different sub-communities, it becomes a need to build those categories with design and category apt to the theme. 

Drupal provides a powerful taxonomy engine, allowing gaming companies to support intricate designs and complex categories and catalogs, without much ado. The flexibility of adding different types of products and content is ensured by content creation kit (CCK). CCK allows you to add custom fields to any of the content types using a web interface

  • Discussions, Reviews, and News

Communities are all about discussing what is happening or happened. Therefore one of the primary community needs is for a easy content creation with different content types. The more the types, higher the engagement, more the users will interact. Blogs, events, FAQs, news are all important.

Screengrab from League of Legends
  • Quick Search 

Communities are a busy place with a lot of activities happening at the same time. Content that might interest a user can get lost in the myriad of content. In Drupal, Solr is used to get more accuracy within less time. 

Drupal has Solr integrated for a quicker search. Solr is a highly reliable, scalable and fault tolerant search application which provides distributed indexing, replication, and load-balanced querying with a centralized configuration. 

  • E-commerce Solution

Integrating commerce with the website is an old practice and most gaming companies leverage this opportunity to boost their sales. Klei – an Independent game studio – chose Drupal to create a seamless shopping experience for both mobile and desktop users.

According to The Jibe, "Klei needed a site and store that was as easy for them to manage as it was for their customers to buy: easy sorting, featured items, promo-code inputs, simple searching, and clear calls-to-action."

After integrating the online store with Drupal the team can easily add new products and games on the fly while also managing the promotions and highlighting featured items easily.

DrupalCommerce and Commerce Kickstart are two of the most popular solution that Drupal offers. With easy payment gateway integration, your online transactions are secure with Drupal.

Drupal v/s Wordpress 2018 Building a Community website

Building an online community, a network of people with shared interests and goals with target niche audience to be part of it with easy usability and navigation. 

Example: Pinterest Community

Winner: Drupal 8 

Why? For an extensive user management in your community, it would require custom fields, different content types, scalability, varied user roles and permissions among the others - all of which are easy to build in Drupal 8. In case you need a simple to-do community with limited features and functionalities, then maybe Wordpress will work. But then that format would be closer to a blog, anyway.

Building a Gaming Website

These are the sites featuring direct online gaming with single or multiplayer and can include games of any type from the different genre. 

Example: Zynga

Winner: Drupal 8 (Clearly)

Why? While you might think of Drupal as a preconfigured PHP framework, it is vastly more suited to developing an online game than Wordpress is. Drupal is fast, mobile responsive and scalable. It can handle as content as much as you want, as many people as you can think of - without crashing. 

And as far as WordPress is concerned, why would you want to choose a software built from a blogging background to create a game?

Building a Basic Gaming related Website

These are the types devoted to the world and culture of computer gaming. Will includes gaming news, magazines, FAQs, and resources. 

Winner: WordPress

Why? Although Drupal 8 more suited to handle the content, WordPress has a slight edge here. All the types mentioned here are related to publishing. Being a blogging platform (niche) WP can suit the needs better since its out-of-the-box configuration comes closer to your goals. 

Although in case there are varied features added like user login, reviews, managing multimedia content, and discussions then, Drupal is clearly the hero. 

Building a Media-Streaming Website

These are the sites that offer audio/video streaming services, such as podcast, television and film, sports, music, among others.

Example: AXN 

Winner: Drupal 8

Why? Drupal 8 can handle multimedia content much more flexible than WordPress. While WordPress can excellently handle content that's primary text, Drupal 8 makes all types of a media a first-class citizen. 

With clear taxonomy and easier role management, coupled with faster-load time, it won’t bend or break when streaming content live. 

Summing Up

Community platforms have become an easy measure to the success of any game since they serve a combination of purposes varying from technical to human factors. Further community satisfaction measures need to be considered in order to improve the product model and quality in future. 

Drupal mostly serves the needs of the gaming industry, is should be a no-brainer when opting for it. Drop a mail at hello@opensenselabs.com to connect with us if you are building your gaming website or community platform.

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Drop Guard: CeBit - we celebrated AppGuard’s MVP!

Main Drupal Feed - Wed, 06/20/2018 - 08:45
CeBit - we celebrated AppGuard’s MVP! We attended the CeBit 2018 in Hanover, Germany, for the first time last week! But this time we presented our newest extension of update automation management: AppGuard Besides Drop Guard for Drupal update automation, we also want to provide a SaaS for everyone who uses package and dependency managers like npm, Composer, Yarn, Bundler and more. And we couldn’t believe the great feedback! Drupal Drupal Planet Business Events Ann

Theory

Drupal Themes - Wed, 06/20/2018 - 06:06

The Drupal version of the Theory template from Templated

Theory is a crisp, modern landing page template ideal for businesses and corporations

Introspect

Drupal Themes - Wed, 06/20/2018 - 05:49

The Drupal version of the Introspect template from Templated

Corporate Lite

Drupal Themes - Wed, 06/20/2018 - 01:49

Dries Buytaert: Increasing Drupal contributions from underrepresented groups

Main Drupal Feed - Tue, 06/19/2018 - 17:44

For the past two years, I've published the Who sponsors Drupal development report. The primary goal of the report is to share contribution data to encourage more individuals and organizations to contribute code to Drupal on Drupal.org. However, the report also highlights areas where our community can and should do better.

In 2017, the reported data showed that only 6 percent of recorded code contributions were made by contributors that identify as female. After a conversation in the Drupal Diversity & Inclusion Slack channel about the report, it became clear that many people were concerned about this discrepancy. Inspired by this conversation, Tara King started the Drupal Diversity and Inclusion Contribution Team to understand how the Drupal community could better include women and underrepresented groups to increase code and community contributions.

I recently spoke with Tara to learn more about the Drupal Diversity and Inclusion Contribution Team. I quickly discovered that Tara's leadership exemplifies various Drupal Values and Principles; especially Principle 3 (Foster a learning environment), Principle 5 (Everyone has something to contribute) and Principle 6 (Choose to lead). Inspired by Tara's work, I wanted to spotlight what the DDI Contribution Team has accomplished so far, in addition to how the team is looking to help grow diversity and inclusion in the future.

A mentorship program to help underrepresented groups

Supporting diversity and inclusion within Drupal is essential to the health and success of the project. The people who work on Drupal should reflect the diversity of people who use and work with the software. This includes building better representation across gender, race, sexuality, disability, economic status, nationality, faith, technical experience, and more. Unfortunately, underrepresented groups often lack community connections, time for contribution, resources or programs that foster inclusion, which introduce barriers to entry.

The mission of the Drupal Diversity & Inclusion Contribution Team is to increase contributions from underrepresented groups. To accomplish this goal, the DDI Contribution Team recruits team members from diverse backgrounds and underrepresented groups, and provides support and mentorship to help them contribute to Drupal. Each mentee is matched with a mentor in the Drupal community, who can provide expertise and advice on contribution goals and professional development. To date, the DDI Contribution Team supports over 20 active members.

What I loved most in my conversation with Tara is the various examples of growth she gave. For example, Angela McMahon is a full-time Drupal developer at Iowa State. Angela been working with her mentor, Caroline Boyden, on the External Link Module. Due to her participation with the DDI Contribution Team, Angela has now been credited on 4 fixed issues in the past year.

Improving the reporting around diversity and inclusion

In addition to mentoring, another primary area of focus of the DDI Contribution Team is to improve reporting surrounding diversity and inclusion. For example, in partnership with the Drupal Association and the Open Demographics Project, the DDI Contribution Team is working to implement best practices for data collection and privacy surrounding gender demographics. During the mentored code sprints at DrupalCon Nashville, the DDI Contribution Team built the Gender Field Module, which we hope to deploy on Drupal.org.

The development of the Gender Field Module is exciting, as it establishes a system to improve reporting on diversity demographics. I would love to use this data in future iterations of the 'Who sponsors Drupal development' report, because it would allow us to better measure progress on improving Drupal's diversity and inclusion against community goals.

One person can make a difference

What I love about the story of the DDI Contribution Team is that it demonstrates how one person can make a significant impact on the Drupal project. The DDI Contribution Team has grown from Tara's passion and curiosity to see what would happen if she challenged the status quo. Not only has Tara gotten to see one of her own community goals blossom, but she now also leads a team of mentors and mentees and is a co-maintainer of the Drupal 8 version of the Gender Field Module. Last but not least, she is building a great example for how other Open Source projects can increase contributions from underrepresented groups.

How you can get involved

If you are interested in getting involved with the DDI Contribution Team, there are a number of ways you can participate:

  • Support the DDI Contribution Team as a mentor, or consider recommending the program to prospective mentees. Join #ddi-contrib-team on Drupal Slack to meet the team and get started.
  • In an effort to deliberately recruit teams from spaces where people of diverse backgrounds collaborate, the DDI Contribution Team is looking to partner with Outreachy, an organization that provides paid internships for underrepresented groups to learn Free and Open Source Software and skills. If you would be interested in supporting a Drupal internship for an Outreachy candidate, reach out to Tara King to learn how you can make a financial contribution.
  • One of the long term goals of the DDI Contribution Team is to increase the number of underrepresented people in leadership positions, such as initiative lead, module maintainer, or core maintainer. If you know of open positions, consider understanding how you can work with the DDI Contribution Team to fulfill this goal.

I want to extend a special thanks to Tara King for sharing her story, and for making an important contribution to the Drupal project. Growing diversity and inclusion is something everyone in the Drupal community is responsible for, and I believe that everyone has something to contribute. Congratulations to the entire DDI Contribution Team.

Acro Media: Omnichannel: How We Did It For Real

Main Drupal Feed - Tue, 06/19/2018 - 14:45

Omnichannel generally means the shopping experience is unified and seamless whether you do it on your laptop, in store, through your phone, etc. The team at Acro Media set out to demonstrate just how easy it is to give your customers a true omnichannel experience using Drupal and Drupal Commerce.

The omnichannel setup

As part of our demo at DrupalCon in Nashville, we did a pseudo T-shirt pre-order. Before the conference, attendees could use our Urban Hipster eCommerce demo site to pre-order a Drupal Commerce shirt in their size. When they completed their pre-order, they got an order number to bring with them to our booth. 

People who didn't pre-order could also come to our booth and "purchase" (for free) a T-shirt using a self serve kiosk running the same demo site. 

So one side of the booth was the set up as the cashier/fulfillment area. The other side had the self-serve kiosk. We also had other laptops available so that we could bring up the admin interface as if we were a customer support person assisting a customer over the phone. The "support person" could find the customers order number or email address and fulfill the order. Easy peasy.

The whole time, our inventory of shirt sizes was counting down until the stock count hit 0. When our inventory reached 0 for a certain size, orders for that size could no longer be placed.

Why is this so amazing?

Some people were impressed but also a little puzzled, thinking that this sort of setup should just exist everywhere. Which it should, but it doesn't. With most retail stores, the online and in-store experiences are completely separate. They might as well be two different companies. If you buy something online and try to return it in store, it often can't happen. Loyalty points often don't transfer. The list goes on. Some places will let you buy online and pick up in store, but there might be a delay. They might say sure, you can pick it up in store, but not for 24 hours. In that case, you might as well just go to the store and find it yourself. Even knowing if an item is in stock can be tricky. The website might say there are three left, but that's just a snapshot from a certain point in time, and you don't know how often that gets updated. Maybe that was valid six hours ago, but that item has since sold out.

Why Drupal rocks

What makes Drupal so cool is that the point of sale and the Commerce module both use the same orders. A point of sale order is just a Drupal Commerce order. It has some specifics to the point of sale, but it can be loaded up in a regular interface. They use the same stock, the same products, everything. This is surprisingly rare. A lot of POS systems in particular are very antiquated. They date from pre-Internet times and have no concept of syncing up with things.

But we've created a true omnichannel experience. We've done it, and implemented it, and it's all open source and freely available. Anyone else could set up the same omnichannel setup that we did. We used a laptop, a cash drawer, a couple of iPads, nothing too fancy.

What's more, as the software matures, we're working on an even better demo with more smoothed out features, better integration, nicer interface, etc. Stay tuned.

More from Acro Media Let's talk omnichannel!

We're always happy to help you understand how you can deliver a true omnichannel experience for you customers. Contact us today to talk to one of our business development experts.

Amazee Labs: Drupal HackCamp Bucharest

Main Drupal Feed - Tue, 06/19/2018 - 12:29
Drupal HackCamp Bucharest

Only a month has passed since DrupalCamp Transylvania, and already another Drupal Camp has come and gone in Romania. This time it was Drupal HackCamp, organised in the Romanian capital, Bucharest. It was a Drupal Camp with a very specific theme: Security.

 

Vasi Chindris Tue, 06/19/2018 - 14:29

Throughout the sessions presented at the Camp, one was able to find out what security issues Drupal had experienced in the past, how the Drupal Security team, as well as the Community in general, had dealt with them, what Drupal did to improve the security of the platforms that were developed using the CMS and what can (and should) be done to have a more secure application.

Since I first heard of it, a Camp focused on Drupal security sounded really interesting to me. This is the type of camp every Drupal developer should attend at least once in their career. Actually any web developer for that matter. As we know, security is a very important topic with regards to the web. Even for experienced developers, some things can be very tricky, as an application's security does not only depend on the code. It also depends on how the web server is configured or what kind of third-party libraries your code depends on. Additionally, it also depends on the libraries you are using in development, if they are used to pack or bundle your code, or if they end up touching your code in any other way.

One of the sessions which focused on how Drupal improved its security with each new version, was Peter Wolanin's - 10 Ways Drupal 8 Is More Secure.

In this session, Peter Wolanin first gave a brief introduction to the OWASP Top 10, a list with the top 10 critical security risks that affect a web application. This is not only Drupal related, it applies to any kind of application that is accessible via the web. Next, he pointed out 10 things Drupal 8 implemented that help the developer to avoid those security risks. Among the points he mentioned were, the autoescaping feature implemented in twig (so now everything which gets outputted by twig, is by default, escaped), the automatic CSRF tokens in the route definitions (making it easier for the developer to create links which are valid only for the current user session), the removal of the PHP input filter (which was very dangerous if misused), and the enforcement of trusted host patterns for requests (so that your application will respond only if requested via a host which you actually trust).

As previously mentioned, having a secure app doesn't guarantee that your Drupal is secure. Nowadays, there is a growing interest in having decoupled apps. This means you have a backend which is usually used for content management only (that can be a Drupal site) and a frontend, which is a modern js application, that can be implemented optionally, using a framework like React, Vue.js, and so on. But then you also need to use npm for installing the additional js libraries you need, webpack for creating the javascript bundles for your app, and babel for transpiling your javascript code. So suddenly you start to introduce a ton of other dependencies, which each depend on a lot of other packages. Alexandru Badiu did a presentation called, “JS and Security”, which covered some of those aspects.

So, you do the best you can to write secure code, try to evaluate the dependencies of your project, and make sure that they don't introduce critical security issues, but is that enough? There could still be several security issues which you’re unaware of, which will only be discovered while you are using the application. It would be awesome if we're able to do something to proactively protect us against common security risks.

Bastian Widmer (@dasrecht) presented a talk on this subject, entitled “How Open Source will help you to survive the next Drupalgeddon”, where he showed us a few tips that we can use in advance, in order to respond to potential security issues in future. Besides ensuring you do regular updates for all your app’s dependencies, you could also take some measures at the web server level. For example, only allow index.php to be executed, use a web application firewall or make sure that your operating system is configured properly.

Of course, there had to be a session about the last Drupalgeddon(s), at a Camp focusing on Security. The event’s keynote was by Jasper Mattsson, who actually discovered Drupalgeddon 2. He shared some tips with us on how to find security breaches. He said that there is no secret 'recipe' for that, but a good starting point, is to look for functions which output data, which can do multiple things, perhaps depending on how they are invoked (in which context or with which parameters) or which can trigger code execution.

There is one very important thing to keep in mind if you discover a security breach: do not post it on the regular Drupal issue queue. Instead, follow the instructions on how to report a security issue when you found one. The implications of reporting a security issue inside the regular Drupal issue queue can be very dangerous, as the attackers will then have plenty of time to create an attack until the issue is fixed.

Being in a city with such a rich history, we could certainly not miss the walking tour that the organisers had prepared for us on the Saturday afternoon. During the tour, we saw Bucharest’s most iconic buildings, which have survived all the great historical periods over the last 200 years - the monarchy, two world wars, communism and now democracy.

Drupal HackCamp Bucharest was a really great event, and I hope it takes place next year. It is of great value to all web developers, especially those at the beginning of their careers, as it prepares them for the dangers of the wild world wide web and equips them with the required knowledge to guard against any that may pop up along the way.

Caminar

Drupal Themes - Tue, 06/19/2018 - 11:50

The Drupal version of the Caminar template from Templated

ADCI Solutions: Drupal modules for a university website

Main Drupal Feed - Tue, 06/19/2018 - 10:44

A website for a university always needs a lot of functionality because of a heavy amount of data managed there. Here you will find the list of Drupal modules which allow you to add new features to any Drupal university website.

Check them out

Appnovation Technologies: Content Creation: White Paper Wisdom

Main Drupal Feed - Tue, 06/19/2018 - 07:00
Content Creation: White Paper Wisdom For any online writer, the white paper is a valuable arrow in the content creation quiver. Depending on the subject matter structures necessarily differ, both in terms of the content itself as well as the overall construction of the material.  That said, writing a white paper is also subject to some fairly universal guidelines, many of which I...

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