Jacob Rockowitz: Webform module’s Open Collective: Rethinking and adjusting backer and sponsorship tiers
If you have been following my blog, you know that my current work situation has made my free contribution of maintaining the Webform module for the Drupal community no longer sustainable. I want to start using the Webform module's Open Collective funds to compensate me for my time and encourage organizations to hire me to assist with their Webform-related projects and even proposals. On the Webform module's project page, issue queue, and in the module's UI, I am encouraging people to get involved, fund development, or hire me. All funding is going to be handled transparently via the Webform module's Open Collective.
Like many Open Collective projects, I am going to track my monthly work and expense it. After a few months of invoices and ticket tracking, I should be able to surmise how many hours it takes to resolve most issues and requests in the Webform module's issues queue. Knowing exactly how collected funds are spent hopefully will encourage people and organizations to continue backing the collective, and inspire new people and organizations to become backers. Because there is already a diverse group of backers of the Webform module's Open Collective, it is essential to have the backer and sponsorship tiers reflect the community and opportunities for anyone supporting the Webform module.
Who is backing the Webform module's Open Collective?
Looking at the current backers, I see individuals, small Drupal shops, and a few large Drupal agencies and providers.
Individuals make up most backers either making a one-time donation or a small monthly $5 contribution. Drupal is built and maintained by individuals, and making it easy for individuals to contribute something can collectively make a difference. I think the $5 tier...Read More
The Quick Tabs Module
is handy when there is a need to add tabbed content and the possibility to switch between content displayed on your web page.
This blog post is entirely devoted to the Quick Tabs Module, how to add tabbed content and what benefits you will get from creating tabbed content on your Drupal website. The Drupal support team does not guarantee that you will become a professional after reading the blog, but you will definitely get the basics.
Quick Preview: This will be an informative guide on what web forms are, how to add a web form to a website, and why you need them.
It is simply impossible to imagine a site without web forms. They are everywhere. Customers fill them out when:
- making a purchase
- leave a review about a product or company
- go through various kinds of surveys
- registering when taking quizzes.
We could even say that web forms are the main source of information on potential customers. Below, the Drupal website development support agency has prepared information about web forms, how to embed a form to a web page, and many other useful things.What is a web form?
A webform / HTML form is a form consisting of fields to be filled in. Most often, it requires a name and login, such as a password. Users enter their details to get some benefit from this.
Community Update - May 2021
Continuing our series highlighting the work of initiative groups across the Drupal community, this month we are catching up with six more groups:
- Documentation and Help, by Jennifer Hodgdon
- Contribution Mentoring, by Elli Ludwigson
- Drupal Swag Shop Working Group, by Will Huggins
- Discover Drupal Initiative, by Angie Sabin
- Local Drupal Associations, by Leslie Glynn
- Accessibility, by Rain Breaw Michaels
The takeaway message this month seems to be that there are some great things happening in the Drupal community but they could be even more awesome, and help to grow our community, if more people were able to contribute, even an hour a week.
Whilst some people have more available time than others, for those that do have the privilege of time, then please do read carefully and think about where your time could be best spent.
If you spot a place where your skills fit, don’t hesitate to contact either the group’s spokesperson, or Community Liaison, Rachel Lawson.Documentation and Help, by Jennifer Hodgdon What have been your priorities in the last three months?
- Migrating the remaining content from the old Getting Involved Guide.
- Adding new content (task, role, and area pages) to the Contributor Guide.
- Making it more obvious how people can contribute to Documentation.
- Moving the Help Topics in Core project towards completion.
We recently added a block to the sidebar of Documentation pages that clearly states what you can do if you find a problem in a page. I've been seeing many more people following the suggestions in the block by either editing pages to fix problems, or setting the page status to Needs Work (along with a comment stating the problem they found) since the block was added. I'm also very proud of the fact that all of the content in the old, disorganized Getting Involved Guide has now been migrated to new locations (with redirects in place for people with old links and bookmarks).What has been your greatest challenge in the last three months?
- Finding people to review help topics patches for Drupal core.
- Connecting with leaders of other initiatives and working groups so that we can add content to the Contributor Guide for these areas.
We have only 3 more open issues for adding topics to the Help Topics project, which all have patches that are waiting to be reviewed. If you're interested in reviewing, the open issues are listed near the top of this issue: https://www.drupal.org/project/drupal/issues/3041924 -- and each individual issue has review instructions in its issue summary.Contribution Mentoring, by Elli Ludwigson What have been your priorities in the last three months?
Getting ready for DrupalCon North America 2021, updating first time contributor workshop videos, and setting up the open social contribution platform.And what has been your greatest success in the last three months?
During DrupalCon North America, we spent a lot of time in OpenSocial which gave us a chance to learn, make changes on the fly, and adapt to the needs of new contributors and mentors. The team did an amazing job making this happen and learning how to leverage the existing functionality in the platform to create and coordinate contribution time and space. The OpenSocial contribution space is reusable for future events so we can continue to iterate on this success.
There are lots of great updates in the contributor guide, take a stroll through some of the pages: http://drupal.org/community/contributor-guide
The mentoring leadership has added two provisional coordinators, a big welcome and thank you to AmyJune Hineline and Chris Darke. AmyJune has done an extraordinary amount of work at virtual events in the last year, giving contributors a place to get started with Drupal. Chris Darke gave his time and expertise to update and segment the First Time Contributor Workshop videos, which are available any time.
Learning more of the ins and outs of the OpenSocial platform! We set up some initial spaces for each initiative and directed everyone to them but had some kinks in the pipeline from Hopin. These were quickly resolved by collaborating with the Drupal Association.
Managing participation on the platform during DrupalCon week required significant time and effort from the existing mentor team, every day of the week. In particular, Matthew Radcliffe went above and beyond in terms of his time and energy. Having four days of contribution was amazing! But, we need more hands on deck in order to make this happen in a sustainable way in the future.Do you have a "call to action" you want to make to the Drupal Community?
The mentoring group particularly needs more hands on board! Share your ideas and your help coordinating and mentoring at events. There are meetings in the #mentoring Slack channel every month.
Be on the lookout later this year for a dedicated mentor orientation event before DrupalCon Europe!Drupal Swag Shop Working Group, by Will Huggins What have been your priorities in the last three months?
DrupalCon is the peak time for the Swag Shop when demand goes through the roof, so the build up to DrupalCon NA 2021 was no exception. It starts with agreeing the designs which this year included sponsor logos on the back of the clothing items as well as the logo on the front. Everything after that is about raising awareness and promoting the swag.And what has been your greatest success in the last three months?
So far this year Swag Shop has driven over $700 directly to Drupal Association which will rise even higher after all the DrupalCon swag sales filter through. The range of products on offer is growing and perhaps most importantly, we have proved we can create a sustainable, community managed swag shop that both promotes Drupal and drives revenue for DA.What has been your greatest challenge in the last three months?
Marketing and awareness is still our greatest challenge, which is funny because when we started, we thought that would be the easy bit! We also want to engage more DrupalCamps to see if we can work with them to provide the swag for their activity like we did for NEDCamp 2020 last year.Do you have a "call to action" you want to make to the Drupal Community?
The main areas we need help with are:
- Marketing: help us promote Swag Shop - at least 10% of all sales goes directly to DA
- If you are organising a Drupalcamp or community event - get in touch, we would love to work with you to provide the swag for your event
- Got a design idea for our swag? Create an issue and once it gets approved by the Drupal Association, DA we will get it on sale right away!
We’ve been working to get all materials organized, launch pages on Drupal.org, align and finalize schedules for trainings, and spread the word to potential students and sponsors.
And what has been your greatest success in the last three months?
We are optimistic about the excitement building for the program. The community members that have learned about Discover Drupal are enthusiastic about it.
Pulling the schedules together and finding alignment on how the program should function was a challenge. Every trainer has a slightly different approach so we had to find a system that would work well with their existing content rather than creating new content. For now, we determined that each trainer should take one student pathway (site-builder, front-end developer, or back-end developer) so that a group of students within a specific pathway would have the same experience.Do you have a "call to action" you want to make to the Drupal Community?
We need mentors for our upcoming cohort that starts in July! The application for becoming a mentor is open now through May 31. Mentoring is an opportunity to inspire a new generation of Drupal contributors and bring new perspectives to the Drupal project. You can apply here: https://www.drupal.org/association/discover-drupal/become-a-mentor
We also need financial support. You can become an individual sponsor or ask your organization to support Discover Drupal as a sponsor. https://www.drupal.org/association/discover-drupal/support-the-program
Finally, if you have a laptop you want to donate you can reach out to us: firstname.lastname@example.org
To become more familiar with the Local Drupal Associations across the globe and to start to lay out objectives for how we can increase communication and sharing of content across the Local Associations.And what has been your greatest success in the last three months?
DrupalCon and DrupalFest have provided opportunities for Local Drupal Associations to share information about their groups to the global Drupal Community. DrupalFest presented a great opportunity to host events in local time zones and in languages used locally.
I attended the Drupal Africa Meet and Greet on April 22nd with folks from across Africa and around the globe. Other DrupalFest events outside North America included: Drupal 20 years Mexico, Drupal DACH Online Meetup, DrupApero, Drupal Buenos Aires, Drupal Austria Remote Drinkup, Drupal CS Meetup, Drupal Israel April Meetup, DrupalPeru Meetup, Drupal Chile, and Meet Drupal France. Based on the number of global events, DrupalFest was embraced by Local Drupal Associations and was a great success.What has been your greatest challenge in the last three months?
The greatest challenge continues to be determining a strategy for increasing both communication and sharing of content across all of the Local Drupal Associations, both new groups and those that have been around for many years.Do you have a "call to action" you want to make to the Drupal Community?
It would be great if each of the Local Drupal Associations could:
- Attend an Event Organizer Working Group meeting - We meet on the 2nd Tuesday of every month. Times alternate between 12 pm UTC and 12 am UTC. The May 2021 meeting is at 12am UTC
- Add their local events (camps, trainings, meetups) to the new Community Events page on Drupal.org (https://www.drupal.org/community/events)
- Join the Drupal Camp Organizers slack channel (drupalcamporganizers.slack.com)
Our priorities have been to support Olivero in passing all critical accessibility gates and to get more people looking at the backlog of accessibility issues in the queue.And what has been your greatest success in the last three months?
Olivero has made significant advances, and the maintainers office hours are starting to see more attendance. We've even begun to see more community members contributing accessibility-focused modules, such as @itmaybejj's EditorA11y.What has been your greatest challenge in the last three months?
We continue to struggle with having enough time and people to make the kind of progress we want (and frankly, need) to make in order for Drupal to be the accessible framework it aims to be. Additionally, given this complexity, staying up to date with Slack conversations has been complicated, and we hope that we can find a better and more accessible communication method moving forward.Do you have a "call to action" you want to make to the Drupal Community?
If you have time to pick up a core issue tagged with accessibility, please do, and consider bringing your work to office hours to review or discuss.
We also need help with our Accessibility Contrib Guide, if anyone who is strong with documentation has time to pick this up.
Finally, you do not need to be an expert to help make this happen. We have plenty of experts who can answer questions along the way.
Selecting a CMS for a university can be a challenging decision. There are so many needs and nuances to consider - costs of implementation and maintenance, a wide range of technical ability among site administrators, developers, and content editors, a variety of end-users looking for different information...and the list goes on and on. While your answer likely isn’t as easy as, “let’s just do what everyone else is doing,” better understanding why other universities made the choice they did can shed light on your decision-making process.
Drupal is far and above the most used CMS in higher education - 26% of all .edu domain sites are in Drupal, including 71 of the top 100 universities.
So why are universities like MIT, Georgia Tech, Butler, Stanford, Harvard and the rest of the Ivy League universities choosing Drupal?
Simply put, Drupal makes good business sense, especially with the added benefits of Drupal 9. At Mediacurrent, we believe your website is your greatest digital asset and can be leveraged to accomplish organizational-wide goals. Drupal makes that possible. Here’s how:Communicate With All Students - Prospective, Current, and Alumni
If you want to reach your full recruiting and fundraising potential, you need to communicate with your entire audience. There are a variety of Drupal features that ease the stress of common communication challenges.Language
Not only are their multiple languages spoken within the U.S., but our country hosts over a million international students. Drupal makes creating a multilingual digital experience simpler. Native language handling is built directly into Drupal 8 and 9 core APIs, giving you over 100 languages to choose from. With that functionality, it is easier than ever to engage with prospective students across the globe in a meaningful way.Accessibility
The CDC estimates that 20% of U.S. adults identify as having a disability. These disabilities often hinder people’s ability to interact with the average website. Drupal is an inclusive community and has committed to ensuring that all features of Drupal conform with w3C and WCAG 2.0. Pair Drupal’s built-in accessibility tools with a strong higher-education-focused accessibility strategy and your potential audience could grow by 20%. The Siteimprove Drupal module can help you keep a close and proactive eye on your overall web accessibility.Technology
According to the College Explorer Market Research Study, the average college student owns 5.6 devices and spends 137+ hours on them! This may seem like common sense now, but if you want to engage with students, you need to account for a variety of screen sizes. Thankfully, Drupal 8 was designed with a mobile-first mentality and includes out-of-the-box responsive functionality. And that mobile mindset continues with Drupal 9. Features like editorial workflows, Layout Builder, and media management can support content delivery that is optimized for mobile access.Personalization
Universities face added complexity when it comes to digital strategy due to the broad audiences they appeal to. With so many unique people coming to the same pages, content strategy, conversion path mapping, and optimization, and defining strong calls to action can be a struggle. By incorporating personalization into your content strategy, whether that is personalized based on user authentication or by integrating tools like Acquia Personalization or Salesforce Marketing Cloud, you can speak to the masses but make them feel like you’re speaking specifically to them.Reduce Overhead Costs + Increase Operational Efficiencies with Drupal
Drupal can have a dramatic impact on reducing overhead costs and increasing operational efficiency. Universities have a big need for multiple websites: departments, colleges, libraries, and student organizations all want their own website. The direct cost of supporting this many sites along with resourcing the training and support is expensive and encourages unnecessary technology sprawl. As an open source technology (no licensing fees!) along with the multisite feature, creating sites for these different groups is exponentially easier, more cost-effective, and ensures brand consistency.
You can also increase efficiency, ensure content consistency and improve the user experience by creating a “source of truth”.
Write content once and publish it anywhere it’s relevant.
Having to update content such as a curriculum or an academic calendar on multiple pages is inefficient and unnecessary. Write once, publish everywhere, save time.Improve Brand Equity + Amplify Digital Strategy
As a university, your brand is a powerful asset. You spend significant energy and resources on building loyalty to bolster several organizational goals from recruiting efforts, engaging current students on campus and fundraising among alumni.
With your website being the hub of your marketing strategy, it is critical for your CMS of choice to play nice with your marketing efforts.
Drupal is very SEO friendly out of the box. There are also advanced configuration options available to support a more sophisticated SEO strategy. You can amplify your digital strategy by integrating your marketing tools and communication platforms directly with Drupal. And the 26% percent of other .edu sites using Drupal make integrating your university-specific tools to your website easier.Reduce Risk
I’d be remiss without mentioning open source security and GDPR compliance. As a university, you hold sensitive information about the students who have attended your school and they are trusting you to keep that secure.
The Drupal community is passionate about security and has an industry leading global security team to ensure your site is protected.
Additionally, as the landscape of privacy rights changes around the world, it’s in your best interest to stay on top of it and reduce the risk of being penalized for data collection practices.Speed up Your Time to Launch
From the moment of install, Drupal has a lot to offer to universities. We created RainU CMS to bring that out-of-box experience to the next level with a tailored approach. RainU is Drupal-based development platform that helps colleges and universities accelerate the web development process. Have questions about how Drupal and RainU can benefit your university? Let us know. We’d be happy to chat.
In this second part, Linus offers insight and perspective gained from managing a large open source project for three decades. He also talks about his employment at the Linux Foundation, and describes what he does with his spare time when he's not focused on kernel development.Read more Jeremy Wed, 05/05/2021 - 06:00
A personification of this quote is Vinit Kumar, Technical Lead at OpenSense Labs. He had started off as an aeronautical engineer, but life took several turns and he somehow ended up being a Drupal developer! Let’s skim through a story that talks about conventions, ups and downs, and most importantly, following your dreams.
Q : Hi Vinit! So let’s start with talking about your education. Why did you choose aeronautical engineering in the first place?
A : I had been pursuing aeronautical engineering more for its professional aspect, and always had more interest in graphic designing and consequently, web development. While still in college, I took up a course in graphic designing and also took up some commissioned projects that were offered to me by the teacher himself. While working on these projects, soon I realized that web development and graphics go hand in hand, and started trying my hands on development as well.
Q : I see. Had you ever developed interest in programming beforehand or was it a spur of the moment decision to transform?
A : It was a rather extended transformation process. Pritam has been my friend since we were in school, and he was the one who was more into web development. During the years I spent being an aeronautical engineer, the aeronautics sector was not looking good - a big airline like Kingfisher was on the verge of closing. It was rather chaotic! Pritam knew about my interest in graphics and web development, and insisted that I pursue that instead - as the web was only going to expand in the upcoming years and moreover, it was something that had spiked my interest since the very beginning. Pritam helped with the basics when I was still a fresher in the domain. Subsequently, I joined a company in Hyderabad as a developer, but left within a month because my skills weren’t competent enough to keep up with the profile. After that, I brushed up my knowledge a bit and joined another company where I worked the night shift for a year. By the end of the year, due to consistent hard work and toil, I made a rather smooth switch and felt that my life was finally getting in order.
Q : As you said, you left the first company that you had joined within a month as you lacked the skills to keep working. What made you pursue the field despite not finding success anytime sooner?
A : I think that the approach makes all the difference. I wasn’t bummed by the fact that I didn’t have the supposed skillset but rather took all that as a part of my learning curve. I appeared for numerous interviews and all the questions that I couldn’t answer, I would go home and prepare those. Hence, I accepted that I was still learning. The added bonus was that web development was something that I actually wanted to do - so work never felt like work. It felt like a yearlong training procedure.
Q : That is such a great perspective! While we’re still in the topic of transformation, was there a moment of instigation that prompted you to switch from aeronautical engineering to Drupal development? How easy/difficult was it to take the call?
A : Sometimes, an outsider’s perspective is required to make the picture clearer. While working in Bangalore in a job dealing in technical publication (publication of different kinds of user manuals for the maintenance of aircrafts), I occasionally used to skip going to work as an engineer to stay home and create websites. On one such event, one of my friends realised that I had been sitting creating the website since early morning when he was going to work - and was still on it by the time he returned in the evening. I still remember when he looked at me, a little astonished, and said that I should go on and pursue something that I really wanted to. It was a turning point in my life. I called Pritam that very day and left for Hyderabad - where I took up my first job as a developer.
Q : So that is how it started! When I look back at your journey - that has eventually led you to becoming the tech lead, how has the experience with Drupal been so far?
A : It has been working pretty well for me. I still consider myself a student in the domain and focus on learning more than anything else. I have definitely grown a lot in the past 8 years and gathered knowledge in every step - and I want to keep it that way.
Q : Do you ever wonder how different life would have been had you remained an aeronautical engineer?
A : Quite different. I don’t really have any regrets though, I followed my heart and landed in a decent place. I don’t think that any of the jobs I had taken up in aeronautical engineering really spoke to me as much as Drupal development has done so far. Not once in these years have I been prompted to go back to become an aeronautical engineer.
Q : Glad it worked out for you. Lastly, what would you tell someone who wants to make a career switch like you did?
A : I’ll tell them the same thing that my friend had told me - follow your heart and it will lead you to the right path.
While we may believe that following conventional guidelines is the ‘safer’ way to live life, Vinit also highlights that we can step onto different boats and examine the best one for ourselves while we are still young and agile. There’s a time suitable for experimenting as well - we just need to identify it!blog banner blog image The Unlikely Drupalists Blog Type Articles Is it a good read ? On
In addition to the annual DrupalCon NA, April featured a lot of great Drupal articles. Here’s a recap of some of our top picks.READ MORE
The N1ED module works as a bridge between Drupal 8 and 9 versions, and the N1ED library – which is a multi-plugin for CKEditor, the basic text editor in this system. The library itself is built based on Bootstrap and its classes. In this text, we'll take a look at it and at the module itself.N1ED library
The N1ED library is available in free and paid versions. The former has limited functionalities, but you can use options such as:
- full screen text input,
- widgets which introduce new buttons to the editor, such as Font Awesome icons, easy table insertion and HTML code insertion,
- easy addition of headings and paragraphs, which allows you to better control the entered text.
Full screen version of the free editor version
Apart from the free version of the library, there are three different paid plans that provide additional functionalities. The most interesting of them is Bootstrap Editor, thanks to which you can easily design what the website will look like in the desktop or mobile version.N1ED module
Before the installation, you can see and feel for yourself how the N1ED module works and only then decide if it's worth starting to use it on your own website.Dates
It's a relatively young module. It appeared on Drupal.org in early 2019, but it's already a stable version monitored by the Drupal Security Team. The first release of the N1ED library was earlier – on 18 December 2018.Popularity of the module and the library
According to the official statistics, the module is being used by more than 150 websites. The library itself can be used in any system that uses CKEditor or TinyMCE, for example in Symfony, Laravel or Magento.Configuration and use
Download the N1ED module from Drupal.org. The module is installed in the typical way:
composer: composer require drupal/n1ed
drush: drush dl n1ed
drupal console: drupal mod n1ed
After executing the command you need to enable N1ED on the page with modules using Drush or Drupal Console. Support for a new plugin in CKEditor is automatically enabled for the Full HTML filter.
N1ED can be enabled for any text format. Just set the switch to the desired position in the text format edit options.
In the same place, you can set your own API key which is required for the plugin to work. After the installation, you use the default key provided with the module which gives basic free functionality.Summary
Although the free version of the library is very limited in terms of available functionalities, it provides a new look and feel for adding content in Drupal. In addition, it helps you to control the text and elements you enter. We use both the library and the N1ED module as part of our Drupal development services.
Enhanced image management is one of the best things we see in Drupal 8 and 9. First, the Drupal core adopted the Media package that provides content creators and website admins with handy ways to upload, manage, and reuse images and other multimedia. Next, it got the Responsive Image functionality that makes it easy to load the proper image sizes for all types of user screens.
All this sounds great but it’s even more interesting to see how it works from the inside. Let’s take a little tour of the key principles of work of the Responsive Images and Media in Drupal, as well as review a step-by-step guide on how to set up responsive images in Drupal for media entities.
My name is Jason Carr and I am the Founder of @socialdistability which is a platform aimed at connecting those with disabilities during this pandemic.Jason Carr Tue, 05/04/2021
Several years ago we were all happy to discover the great news about the upcoming Drupal 9 that promised to be super easy to upgrade to. Finally, the ninth version of the CMS was released in June, 2020. Now that it has almost been a year after the release, there is a growing number of websites that have already made this easiest upgrade in history.
The key part of the Drupal 9 upgrade is getting your website ready based on a number of requirements. Today, we will review how to prepare and how to actually perform your Drupal 8 to Drupal 9 upgrade. However, before that, we will make a little introduction about how D9 is doing and what its key features are that make it increasingly popular.
The world we live in is pretty dynamic, it keeps evolving. Talking strictly in the technological sense, things that enjoy immense popularity today stand a chance of being considered obsolete tomorrow. Then there are the advancements in popular trends, which happen to be eminent today and tomorrow, but the eminence is enjoyed by its newer version.
This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, if you don’t consider the acclimation period, which can become tiring, but once that is out of the way, we are almost always thankful for the change.
Take Drupal 8, for instance, upgrading from its previous version was a massive undertaking, and the fact that Drupal 8 was a whole other ball game than Drupal 7, made the acclimation process quite difficult to be honest. However, D8’s new features and capabilities made the difficulties worth it. Having worked on D8, I am speaking from personal experience.
2021 saw the emergence of some of the most astounding technological advancements that deserve to be awed at. So, today we would be discussing some of these that come as popular trends in technology and change the way we do and see things. Being from the Drupal community, I would also be co-relating these advancements with Drupal and see how we can amalgamate the trend and the CMS and make it work for us, as Drupalists. Drupal, being an open source software, is extensive by nature and making it scope wider to align with the latest trends is a challenge that not many would be opposed to. So, let’s begin getting familiar with the trends and see if Drupal can be used to capitalise them.The Remote Environments’ Charm
The first trend I will be talking about is one that has affected all of us. The phrase ‘remote working’ used to seem like a far-fetched idea in the pre-pandemic times, but now it has become a reality, a reality that would be here to stay for much longer than we anticipated.
Remote environments have become the trend in the tech industry and the fact that these are beneficial to everyone involved in working, the boss, the employee and the customer, is the reason for its longevity. Collaboration strategies massively change in remote environments and work pretty well for the organisation as it improves productivity.
Let’s start with the bosses of the tech industry, the first hard hitting fact of the pandemic for this sector was the realisation of the inadequacies of its digital infrastructure. The initial phase of remote working saw the employers rushing to provide even the most basic of infrastructural needs. The digital cracks that were hidden in the past became quite blatant in the pandemic. From dealing with heightened consumer traffic online through scaling and building resilience to adding features and getting them into production, every business aspect has been made possible through remote environments.
Employees are happy that they are able to avoid the hour-long commute, as many as 70% will continue to work remotely on a permanent basis.
As for the clients, they are able to reap the benefits of the global technological network from their homes. The barriers for digitally gaining access to industry experts are no longer visible and the customers are capitalising on that. Getting an expert on a virtual call is so much more convenient for both parties than a physical meeting, the chances of which would have been slim, regardless of the pandemic.
Then there are the virtual tech conferences that are a win for everyone, the consumers, the employees and the bosses. Talking from personal experience, I was pretty upset when I couldn’t go to the DrupalCon Amsterdam 2019. So, when the first ever virtual DrupalCon was announced in July 2020, in the midst of the pandemic, I was beyond thrilled, because I was able to take part in it from my home.
Of course, there are also the environmental and social benefits of remote working. Less carbon emissions, more renewable resources, less traffic and consequently less number of road accidents, all say that remote environments’ charm cannot be taken lightly.
In MIT Professor Tom Malone’s words,The current crisis has accelerated us forwards a decade in terms of acceptance of remote working, and there is no going back. What’s Next in Cloud?
Cloud isn’t a new trend in the market. AWS, Azure, AliCloud and GCP have been the flag bearers in this domain, making the transition to cloud quite seamless. Servers, storage, databases, networking, software, analytics and intelligence, everything is provided for on the cloud. With a lion’s share of organisations using cloud based services, its eminence is staring at us glaringly.
There are two trends in the cloud domain that deserve attention.Infrastructure-as-code
To define infrastructure-as-code simply would come out as the automation of infrastructure and the consequent management of the said automation. In a broader sense, it would be defined as the practice of configuring and managing infrastructure such as networks or machine readable files.
Through this concept, developers are able to supply IT environments with multiple lines of code and also gain the ability to deploy in minutes, rather than the ages it used to take manually.
With recent improvements in IaC, it is more likely to deliver better outcomes as its ecosystem is growing. However, being a relatively new technique, it has certain disadvantages including inconsistencies in its tooling along with paradoxical approaches. New ideologies are still surfacing around it, infrastructure as software by Pulumi or infrastructure as data by Hightower are two of them. The way IaC will come out in the future is highly anticipated.Pipeline-as-code
Coming to pipeline-as-code, which essentially means defining the deployment pipeline through code, rather than the configuration of a running CI/CD tool. With organisations moving towards automation in all across their environments, especially the development infrastructure, pipeline-as-code would become a need.
LambdaCD, Drone, GoCD and Concourse act as resources to make pipeline-as-code work for you.
I’ll culminate this trend with Drupal. In DrupalCon Vienna 2017, a session took place that talked about using Drupal to capitalise on infrastructure as code as well as pipeline as code. In a session during the event, the implementation of Continuous Delivery pipelines in immutable infrastructure was discussed. DevOps and general tools like Docker, Packer, Terraform and Ansible amongst others can make that possible. And all of this can be achieved by extending Drupal. You will find a lot of interesting details in this video.
The Realisation of Data and Analytics
Data has become one of the most important commodities for businesses and the analytics to understand and generate lucrative insights from that data is even more important.
When we consider data and analytics, predictive analytics is often an integral part of it. Building websites that are able to capitalise the notion and create dynamic content which operates on the user's browsing history and site relative behaviour is garnering a lot of interest. The thing is building such a site requires a host of software to work together. R, Google Analytics along with Drupal can make that happen. For ‘the how,’ you would have to watch this video.
With a majority of the CIOs believing that data and analytics will start shaping their business in the future, it won’t be wrong to believe that many trends of today are also in line with this concept. Big Data and AI have become crucial for sectors like finance, wherein the assessment of potential loans and investment is done through the analytics. It is suffice to say that today, businesses, from private to government, are becoming more data-driven by the day. To make data safer, data residency, privacy and its usage are accounting for a regulatory environment that is both dynamic and complex in its mandates, making organisations steer in the right direction.
Associated with data and analytics are concepts of surveillance capitalism and surveillance state, which use surveillance and manipulation to drive power and profits. With COVID-19, such surveillance technologies have been adopted by many countries including China and Israel. Once the pandemic is clear, there is a high chance that these emergency measures will remain. Learn more on how better data strategies can help capitalise on consumer behaviour.The Modern and Updated Core
At the heart of a consistent output of every business, you’d find its core processes. So, saying that they are important would be understating them. Having core processes that fairly rudimentary is not going to be enough in 2021.
With a heightened level of digital transformation, more expectations from our users and an increased use of data-intensive algorithms being implemented in the core systems everywhere, be it the front, middle or backend, there is progression towards uplifting the core from being basic.
Core modernisation is quite discernible as a trend in 2021, and the development and delivery of the advanced ERPs and legacy programs is its proof. To further substantiate it, think of the kind of interactions the consumers want, instantaneous and tailored would be the words used to describe them. That is why core modernisation has become a need, not only for consumer relationships, but also for digital finance and real-time supply chains. Refreshing and reengineering ERP and legacy systems are the first step towards achieving this. Doing this would allow you to get to new levels of agility, automation, scalability and security.The Rise of Digital Reality Technologies
Digital technologies are becoming more real with the passing time. AR/VR, voice interfaces, speech recognition, ambient computing, 360° video along with immersive technologies have enabled businesses to provide a more real user experience.
Terms like natural, intuitive and imperceptible are used to describe these technologies and their consequent engagement with the users.
Being able to experience a situation without actually being in that situation has become possible through virtual reality. The Massachusetts State University’s VR tour is one example of virtual reality and Drupal combo. A react front-end, Drupal backend and JSON API made that possible. Look for yourself.
The same can be done for your employees and workers, wherein AR and Drupal can provide the workers a 3D view of the procedure, leading to an elevated level of productivity. Imagine a shopping application that becomes your assistant inside the store, from telling the route to reaching the products you want to scanning them and telling you the price, that’s augmented reality in its prime. With Drupal 8, building that application becomes a possibility.
The Humanness of Artificial Intelligence
The reality of digital experience in 2021 is deepening with emotional connections with consumers and employees alike. This brings to the next trend, which is the human-factor of these experiences achieved through AI.
The term artificial intelligence is not something that many of us haven’t heard or even experienced ourselves. It has been a concept that has been around for a while and we have seen its marvels and have been impressed by them.
In the context of Drupal, the digital sphere has numerous plausibilities with regards to Artificial Intelligence.
And there is more;
- Personalising web content experiences;
- Integrating Alexa to make conversational content models;
- Setting up Google Cloud Version API;
- And fitting machine learning into Drupal; all have proven that AI and Drupal are pretty compatible with each other.
But what’s more? These aspects, although impressive, don't excite us or our consumers anymore. To bring back the excitement, the concept of driving human emotions, feelings and moods into AI has become a trend.
This AI approach emphasises on designing for humans, meaning the focus would be one human and emotion-led experiences, which would then be curated through AI technologies; a total 180 from the traditional designs. Human emotions like empathy, trust and feeling complex emotions would be the star of human experiences.
- Neuroscientific research would be conducted, including EEG, eye tracking, facial coding and implicit association testing amongst others.
- Human centred design would be implemented, which would focus on the human, his beliefs, values, feelings and ambitions along with ethnographic research and neuroscience to understand the human’s needs and wants on a deeper level.
- Cognitive and affective technologies would come to play, to stress ethical considerations of the design and align it with the organisation’s values.
Vision systems, voice recognition, natural language generation, natural language processing, voice stress analysis and sentiment analysis are some of the AI technologies being used to deliver human experiences. With these at work, a phone call to the automated-caller would only placate the consumer/employee and not agitate him/her further.The Next Gen of User Experience
When a user interacts with us, there are certain actions that make it possible. Clicking, pointing, swiping and scrolling are some of them. As you may have experienced yourself, these mediums of interactions are evolving. A user can experience what you want him to without these actions, speaking and gesturing are what I am referring to. And with advancements, thinking would become a part of it too. This technology is referred to as ambient user experience.
It is when technology is used in accordance with consumer data to provide a seamless interaction for the user, which may not be dependent on human touch.
With new and improved devices being launched every second, the user has become somewhat dependent on them. This dependence would only grow with time and devices would have to provide more.
- The future would look something like this;
- More prominence would be given to technology, all the while making devices smaller, yet more powerful.
- Proactiveness would signify all consumer interactions.
- Neurofeedback technology would become ubiquitous, making direct brain and neural interactions an everyday occurrence.
- Devices in general would be more connected and context-aware at home, office and everywhere else we go.
In 2021, blockchains and their use is going to gain traction. The reason being the numerous benefits these digital ledgers come with.
And enhanced speed being just a few of them.
Blockchain initiatives are advancing in every sector of the business world. It is not just limited to financial services and fintech companies anymore, rather from government to life sciences and healthcare, from technology to media and telecommunications, every major sector is trying to lead in blockchain development.
Blockchain are usually fully decentralised p2p architectures, however, there is another architecture that is being explored. A semi-decentralised architecture, with the same benefits of trusted transactions can be built. Here Drupal can provide assistance, its User Accounts can be used for that.
Talking further about Drupal, its Ethereum Blockchain Module that integrates with Ethereum, an open source blockchain platform programmable through smart contracts, has made the CMS leverage this technology. Watch this video to get more insights on both the Drupal aspects in Blockchain technology.
The Method of Agile and DevOps
The way businesses operate is also changing and 2021 is bringing with it the convergence of technology and business strategies. This has brought on the trend of development methodologies like Agile and DevOps.
Today, providing operational excellence has become equivalent to driving value creation. Businesses are doing one to achieve the other. There is a tangible shift in priorities from delivering projects to the results that project would bring. Hence, the adoption of methods like Agile and DevOps has become pivotal.
Version control, automation and testing tools, backup and disaster recovery along with sound security practises are just a few of them. All of these make the management of servers and other infrastructure pretty convenient as part of an organisations daily operations.
The best part about these DevOps techniques is that they can be used with other web applications and Drupal is one of them. If you are looking to widen your knowledge span of DevOps and its use alongside Drupal, this video would be the one to watch.
The Physics of Quantum
Quantum is not just a physics concept anymore, it is being used everywhere or more like quantum computing is being leveraged in every corner of the business world.
Be it producing breakthroughs in science;
Be it implementing machine learning to get to illnesses sooner;
Be it creating devices and structure that are far more efficient than in the past;
Be it promoting financial strategies that will be helpful until a person retires;
Or be it generating algorithms that would enable the resources to at our disposal quickly;
Quantum computing is becoming omnipresent and its ability to process information and execute computations that are not only unhackable, but also have the ability to concentrate tech is probably the reason for it being in vogue.
With quantum computing, there won’t be any technical constraints that often hold back both data and material scientists. Unlike the traditional computing’s use of 0s and 1s, quantum computing relies on its own quantum bits to propel change through manipulation of single particles, which would have the potential of solving highly complex problems.The Accessible Version of Programming
Let’s look at numbers, there would be billions of people using the web and all of its offerings and by offerings I mean the numerous websites and applications we, as users, use. Now, what do you think would be the number of expert developers and programmers making these experiences for the user? That number would be much-much lower than users.
The talent pool required to build programs is scarce to be honest. If we were to be dependent on it to create everything we have on the web, we might not actually have it. So, how come we do? The answer lies in accessible programming.
If you have heard of spreadsheets and low-code platforms, you will have a fair idea of what I am going to say. These are means for novice programmers or even non-programmers to create, store and manipulate data without the need for a long development process involving the scarce talent pool I just mentioned. The pre-built components and configurations help in future accelerating the development process without the need of coding.
You might think that this is a great new trend, empowering non-programmers to tap into the programming world and create something on their own, and it truly is; however, I wouldn’t say that it is a new trend.
- Back in the 60s, when COBOL was created as a programming language, it was made to resemble the english so that the non-programmers could work with it.
- Then there is Drupal with its D7AX, which is a community of sorts, wherein developers pledge to create modules that adhere to accessibility standards and by simply installing them, you can create a truly accessible web experience. Learn more on Drupal’s web accessibility provisions here.
Although these two examples are fairly different in regards to accessibility, they do promote it in their own way, making the work of programmers and developers easy.
With increasing awareness about this, this trend of making development accessible is sure going to pick up pace in 2021.The Reign of Programming Languages
Programming languages are the sole connection between the computers and the programmers, making both understand each other. To make that understanding as seamless as possible, there are tons of programming languages available, some more advanced than others and some more convenient than others. There are the ones that we, as developers and programmers, use everyday and then there are the ones we wish to use. We’ll talk about both.Source: Stack Overflow
At the top of the most loved languages since the past half decade is Rust and with good reason. It is a language that delivers an impressive performance and is memory safe along with that its robust expressiveness also works in its favour. The fact that it is being used for big data and machine learning further adds to its lovable attributes.
It’s safe to say that a good picture can speak with more clarity than words ever could. Perhaps that is why visualisation tools, that equip the developers with the ability to create good images, are becoming prominent. These images are concentrated in every realm of web building from architecture to code complexity and up to system performance, visualising data and making your work easy.
Frameworks like Tableau, IBM Cognos Analytics and Microsoft Power BI are the front-runners in this domain, becoming feature packed data studios in themselves. However, this year there has been an emergence of up-and-coming visualisation tools that have proven to be as good as the rest. Dash, Streamlit, Sisense, Kiali and Infogram are some of them.
From providing custom reports and dashboards for machine learning apps to observation tools and capturing distributed traces and metrics, these visualisation tools will remain in vogue because they take data and make it seem simple enough to explore your own health and structure as well as provide flexibility, customisation, version control on top of automated deployment.The Browsers Going On to Full-Blown Applications?
A browser can do a number of things. If we compare an app to its browser site, you’d find a lot of similarities. Chrome and the Google app have that. At my work, I have Google Docs, Gmail, Slack and Zoho all working throughout the day on Google Chrome with Zoom calls popping in a couple of times, so, yes the browser can achieve some semblance of the functionality an app can achieve. But was it meant to be? Was a browser supposed to become an equivalent of an app?
Yes, browsers have transcended the expectations their users once had of them, but they still have a certain way to become a full-blown application. Take automated testing for instance, the tools browsers have for that are as good as ancient in comparison to the applications, which have the same as a first-grade objective.
Despite this fact browsers are and will continue to evolve, this is true because browsers as code platforms are gaining traction and the tech community is making strides towards improving the overall browser experience. And to think all of this started with the addition of the ‘submit forms’ features, kind of surreal, isn’t it?Conclusion
And there you have it, all the popular technology trends that 2021 has to offer us. Many of them are not new of us in the tech industry, but the advancements being made in them called for their mention. Be it cloud technologies or the visualisation tools or even the ambient experience, every macro trend in 2021 is unique in itself and its outcome and that is what I think will make this year unique too.
As for Drupal, it is an old CMS, yet at 20, it’s still going strong. The most discernible reason for that is its versatility. Drupal has many out-of-the-box features that make it great, however, it hardly had any that I mentioned above. Despite that fact, it is able to provide its users the benefits of using these macro trends because it is extensible. Drupal can be used and integrated with the technologies that you want it to work with and that makes the CMS advance right along with the changing macro trends each year.
In the end, I hope this article is as enlightening for you as it was for me. Good luck following trends and making new ones!blog banner blog image Macro Trends Macro trends in technology Macro trends in tech industry technology trends Drupal Drupal 8 Blog Type Articles Is it a good read ? Off
In today's world, images are an essential part of the modern web. It helps in engaging users as it is a universal language that speaks louder than words. Images are also more memorable than text content and are processed faster by the brain. A research shows that people tend to remember 80% of what they see (visuals) and only 20% of what they read (textual content).
But did you know that on an average, images take up almost 64% of a website’s total weight? If you don’t pay attention to image optimization, you might be losing out on potential customers because your website, although immersive, may be taking too long to load. Hence using optimized images is extremely important for a website. However, image optimization could seem like a nightmare to a content editor who needs to optimize (using external tools) and upload hundreds of images. Drupal’s ImageAPI Optimize module to the rescue! We will be explaining further on this topic and how you can use ImageAPI Optimize in Drupal to automate image optimization. The ImageAPI Optimize module is also compatible with Drupal 9!What is Image Optimization?
Image optimization is a process of delivering high quality images in the right format, dimension, size and resolution without compromising on the quality of the image.Why use ImageAPI Optimize?
- Images can contain far more data than required to display. ImageAPI Optimize will provide optimization for those images.
- The module provides integrations to the optimization tools and web services.
- It defines the pipelines made up of configurable processors.
- There are multiple processors available as a contributed module like: imageapi_optimize_binaries, imageapi_optimize_resmushit, imageapi_optimize_tinypng and kraken etc.
- Each pipeline can be applied to an image to remove the extra metadata or to recompress.
Step 1 : Download the ImageAPI Optimize and ImageAPI Optimize reSmush.it module using composer.$ composer require drupal/imageapi_optimize $ composer require drupal/imageapi_optimize_resmushit
Note: ImageAPI Optimize reSmush.it is used for integrating the web service which will provide the free API for optimizing images with great quality. Click here to find more on the API.
Step 2 : Enable the downloaded module using drush or from the drupal UI.$ drush en -y imageapi_optimize $ drush en -y imageapi_optimize_resmushit Configuration Creating a pipeline for ImageAPI Optimize:
Let’s first create a pipeline that can be used sitewide to optimize the images. To do that, go to Administration >> Configuration >> Media >> Image Optimize Pipeline
Configuring the installed processor for the pipeline:
Now let’s configure the installed processor for that pipeline we just created. Go to Administration >> Configuration >> Media >> Image Optimize Pipeline >> Your Pipeline. Now, edit the pipeline and select the processor installed. In this case we are using a Resmush.it processor as shown in the image.Allow image styles to use the created pipelines:
By default all the core image styles will be optimized from imageAPI optimize. For new image styles, go to Administration >> Configuration >> Media >> Image Styles >> Your Image styles. Edit the image styles and select the created pipeline.Results
ImageAPI optimize module in Drupal provides great compression without compromising on the quality. It provides up to 70% compression for images. Check out an example of the results of an image before and after optimization.Original
File size : 1.4MBOptimized
File size : 116 KB
The saying - a picture is worth a thousand words - is absolutely true and backed up with real statistics. Without rich images, a website can seem dull, boring and can completely disengage your users. However, images need to be used smartly, without compromising on the website’s load speed. Drupal provides you with a module that integrates with the Image Optimize API to automate image optimization. Want to learn more about this module or other fascinating Drupal modules? Contact our Drupal experts today!Drupal 8 Drupal 9 Drupal Development Drupal 9 Module Drupal Module Drupal Planet Drupal Tutorial Shefali ShettyApr 05, 2017 Subscribe For Our Newsletter And Stay Updated Subscribe
Leave us a CommentShefali ShettyApr 05, 2017 Recent Posts Image How to Automate Image Optimization using ImageAPI Optimize in Drupal Image Enhancing Drupal front end performance through Pattern Lab Image How to Control Access to Restricted Pages with the Rabbit Hole Module in Drupal 8 Want to extract the maximum out of Drupal? TALK TO US Featured Success Stories
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