Now that I’ve settled back down in Alaska after a fun trip to Berkeley for BADCamp, I’m finally digesting all of the info I gathered throughout the week. As always, it was cool to look over the schedule and see what topics were getting a lot of attention; and, without a doubt, it seemed like GatsbyJS was the hot-ticket item this year. So here’s a primer on what GatsbyJS is and why the Drupal community seems so head-over-heels for this up and coming site generator.
Now that the excitement of BADCamp has worn off, I have a moment to reflect on my experience as a first-time attendee of this amazing, free event. Knowing full well how deeply involved Kanopi Studios is in both the organization and thought leadership at BADCamp, I crafted my schedule for an opportunity to hear my colleagues while also attending as many sessions on Accessibility and User Experience (UX) as possible.
Kanopi’s sessions included the following:
- A case study on a complex franchise-based business with geolocation features by Sean and Jim
- A concise, informative breakdown of metadata and schema for enhanced SEO opportunities by Jim
- A step-by-step overview of a series of clever tactics for gathering indirect data about your users by Kat
- A comprehensive breakdown of considerations for updating versus rebuilding a website with a review of pros and cons for D7, D8 and D9 by Anne
The rest of my schedule revolved around a series of sessions and trainings tailored toward contributing to the Drupal community, Accessibility and User Experience.
- Navigating the Issue Queue – A beginner’s guide to contribution by Amy June Hineline, John Nguyen and Daniel Rose of Hook 42
- Web Accessibility 101 Training by Aimee Degnan, Amy June Hineline and John Nguyen of Hook 42
- Accessibility 201: Tales from the Front End Caroline Boyden of UC Berkeley
- What’s for Dinner? Using Predictive UX to Help Users Decide by Gurwinder Antal and Lauren Motl of Elevated Third
- Designing for Drupal: Tips & Tricks for a Clean, User-Friendly Website by Valerie Neumark and Andrew Goldsworthy of Rootid
- Making Accessibility Audits Easy: Tips and Tricks For Auditing by Michaela Blackham of Aten Design Group
For the sake of this post, I want to cover a topic that everyone who builds websites can learn from. Without further ado, let’s dive a bit deeper into the accessibility portion of the camp.Who is affected by web accessibility?
According to the CDC, 53 million adults in the US live with some kind of disability; which adds up to 26% of adults in the US. Issues range from temporary difficulties (like a broken wrist) to permanent aspects of daily life that affect our vision, hearing, mental processing and mobility. Creating an accessible website allows you to communicate with 1 in 4 adults you might otherwise have excluded.What is web accessibility?
Accessibility is a detailed set of requirements for content writers, web designers and web developers. By ensuring that a website is accessible, we are taking an inclusive attitude towards our products and businesses. The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) are a globally acknowledged set of standards that help us publish content that fits within the established success criteria. These guidelines are organized into the following four categories.
- Is your website perceivable? This applies to non-text content, time-based media (audio and video), color contrast, text size, etc.
- Is your website operable? This ensures that content is easy to navigate using a keyboard, that animations and interactions meet real-user requirements, buttons are large enough to click, etc.
- Is your website understandable? This means that text content is easy to read for someone at a ninth grade reading level, that interactions follow design patterns in a predictable manner, that form errors are easy to recover from, etc.
- Is your website robust? This means that content should be easy to interpret for assistive technologies, such as screen readers.
The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is an international community whose mission is to lead the Web to its full potential. They have also published a checklist to aid our efforts in meeting WCAG success criteria.How can we be successful in making the web accessible?
Industries have varied requirements when it comes to web accessibility. WCAG has three levels of compliance, ranging from A to AA to AAA. A conformity has the lowest set of requirements and AAA has the strictest set of requirements; so strict, in fact, it may be impossible to achieve across an entire site.
Efforts to meet these standards fall on every individual involved in the process of creating a website. Although there are many tools that aid in our journey, we reach accessibility through a combination of programmatic and manual means.
The most important thing to keep in mind is the fact that achieving success in the world of accessibility is a journey. Any efforts along the way will get you one step closer towards a more inclusive website and a broader audience base.
Please Remember: Once Kanopi helps you launch an accessible site, it’s your job to maintain it. Any content you add moving forward must be properly tagged; images should have proper alt text and videos should have captions. Users come to your site because they love your content, after all! The more you can make your content accessible, the more you will delight your users.
Interested in making your site more accessible? Check out some of the resources I linked to above to join in learning from my peers at BADCamp. If you need more help getting there, let’s chat!
The post BADCamp + Accessibility = Education, Inspiration and Opportunity appeared first on Kanopi Studios.
MidCamp is returning for its sixth year next March 20-23, 2019. We’ll be back at DePaul University for four days of presentations, professional training, contribution sprints, and socials. Designers, developers, and users will be able to brush shoulders with Drupal service providers, hosting vendors, and other members of the broader web development community.Agenda Overview
This year we have some changes to our general agenda. We’ll be adding summits for the first time! We’ve also moved our sessions to Thursday and Friday so that attendees get some of their weekends back. A high-level agenda is as follows:
Wednesday, Mar 20 - Summits, Training, and Contribution Sprints
Thursday and Friday, Mar 21-22 - Sessions
Saturday, Mar 23 - Contribution Sprints
Stay tuned into the website and our newsletter for some upcoming dates.
NOW! - Ticket sales are open on Eventbrite. Spread the word and get your tickets early: https://midcamp2019.eventbrite.com/
Nov 14, 2018 - Our website will be fully up and running. It will be ready to open our call for papers.
Dec 12, 2018 - Call for papers will close and travel information will be available on the website.
Jan 9, 2019 - We will open the registration for training and summits.
Jan 16, 2019 - Announce Featured speakers on the website.
Jan 23, 2019 - We will post the Final schedule for the website.
Join the conversation
Drupal is one of the most successful open source projects in the world. Governance is fundamental to the project's success.
The community and the code has been built from the ground up. And as the code has grown, so has the community.
When communities are first emerging it's easy to bring newcomers along, but over time the community begins to mature, change, and then needs to adapt. Challenges and opportunities emerge as evolution occurs, and our community needs to navigate them strategically.
A Governance Task Force has been meeting weekly since May to put together the strategic proposal we now share with you. We've synthesized ideas, discussions, and experiences from people we've interviewed, and we've revisited the themes that emerged from the community listening project run by Whitney Hess and by previous governance discussions.
This Drupal Governance Task Force 2018 Proposal serves two purposes.
Firstly, it's clear that for community evolution to occur there needs to be broad agreement and buy-in. People are comfortable jumping in and building a new module, but community change and action is hard. People talked to us openly about the unclear processes and barriers holding back community progress.
We heard strong perceptions that support from Dries or the Drupal Association is needed before initiatives could be created or scaled; real or otherwise, this is affecting community progress and action. Speaking to people from the Drupal Association, the Community Working Group and other initiative leaders, they also feel limitations. But to change their terms of reference and priorities they also need to have a community directive.
The community is stronger and more influential than we sometimes assume --- when we are speaking together.
That's why at the heart of this proposal is a new community governance structure.
The second purpose of the proposal is to create a starting point --- a framework. We’ve been practical, highlighting a range of actions that form a backbone for community evolution. It’s not a defined roadmap, and it’s not a list of every idea we had or heard. We welcome the discussion, debate and idea generation that this document will spark. We want to hear your solutions on how to get change done, and what you would like to contribute.
We strived to make practical recommendations with the potential to make progress, lower barriers, and help our community to continue to evolve with time.
Throughout this process we have heard people say they believe change is necessary. Change is necessary for the longevity of Drupal the project and the code. Change is necessary to create a new generation of Drupallers — the people we want to help build ambitious things and to have the chance to build a career within our community.
It is hard to not feel the project is at a crossroads. We’ve climbed the mountain of Drupal 8, we sit at the peak and look to the valley below.
Where we go next, and who we take with us, is up to you.
We hope this proposal helps.
David, Ela, Stella, Lyndsey, Rachel, Hussain, and AdamFile attachments: Drupal-Governance-Task-Force-Proposal-2018.pdf
The real cost of creating and maintaining a new website can be hard to estimate even for the best among Drupal professionals. By using the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) methodology, organizations can ensure that both direct and indirect expenses of operating a website are considered and calculated rather than just emphasize on the initial spending. In this article we are going to take a look at what are the Drupal costs of owning a website versus using a proprietary software.
There are some key considerations to decide on before diving into building a website:
- Open Source vs. Proprietary License
- Creating and Managing Web Content
- Re-designing and Updating Content
- Future Upgrades and Longevity
- Long Term Savings
What do you get when you put together: Drupal 8 + AI + UX? Drupal8's content management features and integration capabilities, AI, for storing and interpreting data and building a predictive model and UX for anticipating user behavior while adding a “human touch” to the equation? You get predictive UX in Drupal!
Is it possible? Can we implement predictive UX in Drupal and thus create anticipated user experiences that:
- help you deliver meaningful content only
- simplify user choice
- simplify users'... lives?
But how does machine learning actually power these predictive user experiences? What's the whole mechanism behind?
Ashday's Digital Ecosystem and Development Tips: Custom Cache Tags and Max-age: Advanced Cache Handling in Drupal 8
Determining how content on your site should be cached isn't a simple topic. Last time, I covered cache contexts and tags. Today, I'd like to get into a couple more advanced topics: The use of custom cache tags and of max-age.
It can ease understanding of large quantities of data. There is a way to make charts in Drupal with the help of the Charts module and Views.
In this tutorial, you will learn the basic usage of the module in combination with the Google Charts library. Let’s start!
Every big Drupal release opens fantastic opportunities for websites. Three years ago, the eighth Drupal version came to this world — and the world fell in love with top-notch Drupal 8 improvements.Read more
Installing Lando on a Windows machine is easy. Just follow these 30 (or more) simple steps:
- Review the directions.
- Figure out which version of Windows you are running.
- Realize that you need to upgrade to Windows 10 Professional, because apparently you have to pay extra to actually do work on a Windows machine.
- Open the Windows Store.
- Spend half an hour trying to figure out why the Windows store is only showing blank pages.
- Take a break, go vote, spend some time with your kids, and seriously consider buying a Mac so that you don't have to deal with this shit.
- Reboot your computer and finally get Windows store to respond.
- Pay $100 dollars, while updating your account information because everything is three years out-of-date. Do not pass Go.
- Reboot your computer twice.
- Go to the Lando releases page.
- Spend some time looking for the last stable release (note: there is no spoon stable release).
- Download and run the latest .exe.
- The installer will complain that you don't have Hyper V, which you just paid for.
- Find the obscure command you need to enable Hyper V.
- Find Powershell in the Start menu.
- Discover that you can paste into PowerShell just by right-clicking your mouse. This seems convenient, but it's a trap!
- Run the command. It doesn't work.
- Learn how to run PowerShell as an administrator.
- Run the command, again.
- Reboot your computer, again.
- Run the .exe, again.
- The installer wants to install Docker. Let it.
- The Docker installer wants you to log you out. Let it
- Log back in.
- Open Babun and try the lando command. It isn't found.
- Open Powershell and try the lando command. It isn't found.
- Open the Command Prompt and try the lando command. It isn't found.
- Re-run the Lando installer, for the third time. It turns out that it never finished because Docker logged you out.
- Open Powershell and try the lando command.
- It works! Congratulations, you are done!*
* Just kidding...
- Open PowerShell. Go to the directory where you have your Drupal site.
- Run lando init.
- Choose the drupal 7 recipe.
- Why is it asking for a Pantheon machine token? This isn't a Pantheon site! Hit Ctrl-C.
- Log into Pantheon, create a machine token for your Windows machine. note: Terminus and Lando are notorious for asking for this machine token over and over, so make sure to paste this machine token into a file somewhere, which kind of defeats the entire point of having a machine token.
- Run lando init, again.
- Right clicking to paste doesn't work for the hidden machine token. So, learn a different way to paste the machine token into PowerShell.
- Congratulations, you are done!**
** Just kidding...
- Run lando start. Your terminal will proceed to spew error messages for several minutes.
- Spend an hour searching through the Lando issue queue trying to find the magic sequence that will fix these errors.
- Go apple.com and start comparing the new MacBook Air to the new Mac Mini. Figure out if you can afford either one so that you don't have to deal with this shit.
- Your kids are picking up on your frustration, and everyone is melting down because it is bedtime (and your are anxious about the election).
- Give up for the night, and obsessively refresh the election results at fivethirtyeight.com until the results are clear at 11:00 PM.
- Get up the next morning and write a satirical article about installing Lando on your Windows machine.
I will let you know if I ever actually get it working.Tags:
Last September Dropsolid sponsored and attended Drupal Europe. Compared to the Northern America’s conferences, getting Europeans to move to another location is challenging. Certainly when there are many conferences of such high quality that compete such as Drupalcamps, Drupal Dev Days, Frontend United, Drupalaton, Drupaljam, Drupal Business Days. I’m happy for the team they succeeded in making Drupal Europe profitable, this is a huge accomplishment and it also sends a strong signal to the market!
Knowing these tendencies, it was amazing to see that there is a huge market-fit for the conference that Drupal Europe filled in. Also a great sign for Drupal as a base technology and the growth of Drupal. Hence, for Dropsolid it was a must to attend, help and to sponsor such an event. Not only because it helps us getting the visibility in the developer community but also to connect with the latest technologies surrounding the Drupal ecosystem.
The shift to decoupled projects is a noticeable one for Dropsolid and even the Dropsolid platform is a Drupal decoupled project using Angular as our frontend. Next to that, we had a demo at our booth that showed a web VR environment in our Oculus Rift where cotent came from a Drupal 8 application.
On top of that, Drupal Europe was so important to us that our CTO helped the content team by being a volunteer and selection the sessions that were related to Devops & Infrastructure. Nick has been closely involved in this area and we’re glad to donate his time to help curate and select qualitative sessions for Drupal Europe.
None of this would have been possible without the support of our own Government who supports companies like Dropsolid to be present at these international conferences. Even though Drupal Europe is a new concept, it was seen and accepted as a niche conference that allows companies like Dropsolid to get brand awareness and knowledge outside of Belgium. We thank them for this support!
From Nick: “One of the most interesting sessions for me was the keynote about the “Future of the open web and open source”. The panel included, next to Dries, Barb Palser from Google, DB Hurley from Mautic and Heather Burns. From what we gathered Matt Mullenberg was also supposed to be there but he wasn’t present. Too bad, as I was hoping to see such a collaboration and discussion. The discussion that got me the most is the “creepifying” of our personal data and how this could be reversed. How can one gain control the access of your own data and how can one revoke such an access. Just imagine, how many companies have your personal name and email and how could technology disrupt such a world where an individual controls what is theirs. I recommend watching the keynote in any case!”
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We’ve also seen how Drupal.org could look like with the announced integration with Gitlab. I can’t recall myself being more excited when it comes to personal maintenance pain. In-line editing of code being one of the most amazing ones. More explanation can be found at https://dri.es/state-of-drupal-presentation-september-2018.
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“Another session that really caught our eye and is worthy of a completely separate blogpost is the session of Markus Kalkbrenner about Advanced Solr. Perhaps to give you some context, I’ve been working with Solr for more than 9 years. I can prove it with a commit even! https://cgit.drupalcode.org/apachesolr_ubercart/commit/?id=b950e78. This session was mind blowing. Markus used very advanced concepts from which I hardly knew the existence of, let alone found an application for it.
One of the use cases is a per-user sort based on the favorites of a user. The example Markus used was a recipe site where you can rate recipes. Obviously you could sort on the average rating but what if you want to sort the recipe’s by “your” rating. This might seem trivial but is a very hard problem to solve as you have to normalize a dataset in Solr which is by default a denormalized dataset.
Now, what if you want to use this data to get personalized recommendations. This means we have to learn about the user and use this data on the fly to get these recommendations based on the votes the user applied to recipes. Watch how this work in the recording of Markus and be prepared to have your mind blown.”
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There were a lot of other interesting sessions and most of them had recordings and their details can be found and viewed at https://www.drupaleurope.org/program/schedule. If you are interested in the future of the web and how Drupal plays an important role in this we suggest you take a look. If you are more into meeting people in real-time and being an active listener there is Drupalcamp Ghent (http://drupalcamp.be) at the 23rd and the 24th of November. Dropsolid is also a proud sponsor of this event.
And an additional tip: Markus’s session will also be presented there ;-)
I’ve been running a lot lately, and so have been listening to lots of podcasts! Which is how I stumbled upon this great episode of the Lullabot podcast recently — embarrassingly one from over a year ago: “Talking Performance with Pantheon’s David Strauss and Josh Koenig”, with David and Josh from Pantheon and Nate Lampton from Lullabot.
(Also, I’ve been meaning to blog more, including simple responses to other blog posts!)Interesting remarks about BigPipe
Around 49:00, they start talking about BigPipe. David made these observations around 50:22:
I have some mixed views on exactly whether that’s the perfect approach going forward, in the sense that it relies on PHP pumping cached data through its own system which basically requires handling a whole bunch of strings to send them out, as well as that it seems to be optimized around this sort of HTTP 1.1 behavior. Which, to compare against HTTP 2, there’s not really any cost to additional cost to additional connections in HTTP 2. So I think it still remains to be seen how much benefit it provides in the real world with the ongoing evolution of some of these technologies.
David is right; BigPipe is written for a HTTP 1.1 world, because BigPipe is intended to benefit as many end users as possible.
And around 52:00, Josh then made these observations:
It’s really great that BigPipe is in Drupal core because it’s the kind of thing that if you’re building your application from scratch that you might have to do a six month refactor to even make possible. And the cache layer that supports it, can support lots other interesting things that we’ll be able to develop in the future on top of Drupal 8. […] I would also say that I think the number of cases where BigPipe or ESI are actually called for is very very small. I always whenever we talk about these really hot awesome bleeding-edge cache technologies, I kinda want to go back to what Nate said: start with your Page Cache, figure out when and how to use that, and figure out how to do all the fundamentals of performance before even entertaining doing any of these cutting-edge technologies, because they’re much trickier to implement, much more complex and people sometimes go after those things first and get in over their head, and miss out on a lot of the really big wins that are easier to get and will honestly matter a lot more to end users. “Stop thinking about ESI, turn on your block cache.”
Josh is right too, BigPipe is not a silver bullet for all performance problems; definitely ensure your images and JS are optimized first. But equating BigPipe with ESI is a bit much; ESI is indeed extremely tricky to set up. And … Drupal 8 has always cached blocks by default. :)
Finally, around 53:30 David cites another reason to stress why more sites are not handling authenticated traffic:
[…] things like commenting often move to tools like Disqus and whether you want to use Facebook or the Google+ ones or any one of those kind of options; none of those require dynamic interaction with Drupal.
Also true, but we’re now seeing the inverse movement, with the increased skepticism of trusting social media giants, not to mention the privacy (GDPR) implications. Which means sites that have great performance for dynamic/personalized/uncacheable responses are becoming more important again.BigPipe’s goal
David and Josh were being constructively critical; I would expect nothing less! :)
But in their description and subsequent questioning of BigPipe, I think they forget its two crucial strengths:
BigPipe works on any server, and is therefore available to everybody, and it works for many things out of the box, including f.e. every uncacheable Drupal block!
Bringing this optimization that sits at the intersection of front-end & back-end performance to the masses rather than having it only be available for web giants like Facebook and LinkedIn is a big step forward in making the entire web fast.
Using BigPipe does not require writing a single line of custom code; the module effectively progressively enhances Drupal’s HTML rendering — and turned on by default since Drupal 8.5!Conclusion
Like Josh and David say: don’t forget about performance fundamentals! BigPipe is no silver bullet. If you serve 100% anon traffic, BigPipe won’t make a difference. But for sites with auth traffic, personalized and uncacheable blocks on your Drupal site are streamed automatically by BigPipe, no code changes necessary:
(That’s with 2 slow blocks that take 3 s to render. Only one is cacheable. Hence the page load takes ~6 s with cold caches, ~3 s with warm caches.)
During this year and at several events SANDCamp, DrupalCamp LA, DrupalCon Nashville, and DrupalCamp Colorado I had a chance to talk and show how at WeKnow we approached the development of API driven applications. For all of you that use Drupal, this is something like decoupled or headless Drupal but without the Drupal part.
This article outlines weKnow’s approach and provides some insight into how we develop some web applications.
Yes, this may sound strange but whenever we need to build an application that is not content-centric, we use Symfony instead of Drupal; what are those cases? Whenever we do not require the out-of-the-box functionality that Drupal offers as content management, content revision workflow, field widgets/formatters, views, and managing data structure from the UI (content types).jmolivas Tue, 11/06/2018 - 17:17
Pattern Lab (PL), a commonly known pattern library, is an open-source project to generate a design system for your site. In the last two years it has gotten a lot of attention in the Drupal community. It's a great way to implement a design system into your front-end workflow.
The following post describes how our client (the City and County of San Francisco) began to implement a pattern library that will eventually be expanded upon and re-used for other agency websites across the SF.gov ecosystem.USWDS.
Using the U.S. Web Design System (USWDS), until their own pattern library was ready for prime time, was a client requirement.
This is part 2 in this series that explores how to use paragraph bundles to store configuration for dynamic content. The example I built in part 1 was a "read next" section, which could then be added as a component within the flow of the page. The strategy makes sense for component-based sites and landing pages, but probably less so for blogs or content heavy sites, since what we really want to for each article to include the read next section at the end of the page. For that, a view that displays as a block would perfectly suffice. In practice, however, it can be really useful to have a single custom block type, which I often call a "component block", that has an entity reference revisions field that we can leverage to create reusable components.
Here is where we bring awareness to Drupal modules running on less than 1% of reporting sites. Today we'll investigate Admin Denied, a module which prevents you from accessing the super user's account.