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Appnovation Technologies: Simple Website Approach Using a Headless CMS: Part 1

Drupal.org aggregator - Wed, 02/06/2019 - 00:00
Simple Website Approach Using a Headless CMS: Part 1 I strongly believe that the path for innovation requires a mix of experimentation, sweat, and failure. Without experimenting with new solutions, new technologies, new tools, we are limiting our ability to improve, arresting our potential to be better, to be faster, and sadly ensuring that we stay rooted in systems, processes and...
Categories: Drupal CMS

Blair Wadman: How to add page templates for content types in Drupal 8

Drupal.org aggregator - Tue, 07/17/2018 - 00:49

This weeks tutorial will dive into how you can add page templates for a specific content type in Drupal 8. Sometimes you need to create a page template for a specific content type so that you can customise it. Drupal allows you to create content types for node templates out of the box by following the naming convention node--content-type.html.twig. But things aren’t so simple for page templates. Drupal does not automatically detect page templates for content types purely based on the naming convention. Fortunately it just takes a few lines of code and you can create a page template for any content type you choose....

Categories: Drupal CMS

Mark Shropshire: Demystifying Decoupled Drupal with Contenta CMS Presentation at Drupal Camp Asheville

Drupal.org aggregator - Mon, 07/16/2018 - 19:24

It was a pleasure to present "Demystifying Decoupled Drupal with Contenta CMS" with Bayo Fodeke at Drupal Camp Asheville 2018 on July 14th, 2018. I want to thank the organizers, volunteers, attendees, presenters, and sponsors for making another awesome year in the beautiful North Carolina mountains. This is one great camp that gets better and better each year. Below you will find the video for my talk and slide deck::

"Demystifying Decoupled Drupal with Contenta CMS".

Blog Category: 
Categories: Drupal CMS

Drupal core announcements: Drupal 8.6.0 will be released September 5; alpha begins week of July 16

Drupal.org aggregator - Mon, 07/16/2018 - 08:20
Drupal 8.6.0-alpha1 will be released the week of July 16

In preparation for the minor release, Drupal 8.6.x will enter the alpha phase the week of July 16, 2018. Core developers should plan to complete changes that are only allowed in minor releases prior to the alpha release. (More information on alpha and beta releases.)

  • Developers and site owners can begin testing the alpha next week.

  • The 8.7.x branch of core has been created, and future feature and API additions will be targeted against that branch instead of 8.6.x. All outstanding issues filed against 8.6.x will be automatically migrated to 8.7.

  • All issues filed against 8.5.x will then be migrated to 8.6.x, and subsequent bug reports should be targeted against the 8.6.x branch.

  • During the alpha phase, core issues will be committed according to the following policy:

    1. Most issues that are allowed for patch releases will be committed to 8.6.x and 8.7.x.

    2. Drupal 8.5.x will receive only critical bugfixes in preparation for its final patch release window on August 1. (Drupal 8.4.x and older versions are not supported anymore and changes are not made to those branches.)

    3. Most issues that are only allowed in minor releases will be committed to 8.7.x only. A few strategic issues may be backported to 8.7.x, but only at committer discretion after the issue is fixed in 8.7.x (so leave them set to 8.7.x unless you are a committer), and only up until the beta deadline.

Drupal 8.6.0-beta1 will be released the week of July 29

Roughly two weeks after the alpha release, the first beta release will be created. All the restrictions of the alpha release apply to beta releases as well. The release of the first beta is a firm deadline for all feature and API additions. Even if an issue is pending in the Reviewed & Tested by the Community (RTBC) queue when the commit freeze for the beta begins, it will be committed to the next minor release only.

The release candidate phase will begin the week of August 13, and we will post further details at that time. See the summarized key dates in the release cycle, allowed changes during the Drupal 8 release cycle, and Drupal 8 backwards compatibility and internal API policy for more information.

Categories: Drupal CMS

Dropsolid: Our Dropsolid CTO featured on the Modern CTO Podcast

Drupal.org aggregator - Mon, 07/16/2018 - 04:29
16 Jul Our Dropsolid CTO featured on the Modern CTO Podcast Nick Veenhof Drupal Drupal conferenties

Recently, I was invited to go on the Modern CTO podcast as a guest. We talked about developer culture, how to measure efficiency and velocity and, more importantly, how you can make the teams as independent as possible without losing that team and company feeling.

Modern CTO is the place where CTOs hang out. Listen in on our weekly podcast while we hang out with interesting Fortune 500 CTO’s in Aerospace, Artificial Intelligence, Robotics + Many more industries. As of 2018: 72k listeners we are incredibly grateful to each and everyone one of you.

It was a real honour to talk to Joel Beasley and have this back-and-forth conversation about how we transformed Dropsolid into a great place to work, but measurable and technically innovative!

 

 

Some of the topics that we talked about in the podcast were also seen at the presentation I gave at Drupal Developer Days in Lisbon.  Feel free to scroll through the slides to get more context out of the podcast!

 

Drupal Developer Days - One Flew Over The Developers Nest 2018 by Nick Veenhof
Categories: Drupal CMS

OpenSense Labs: Use Elasticsearch to Indexing in Drupal

Drupal.org aggregator - Mon, 07/16/2018 - 01:59
Use Elasticsearch to Indexing in Drupal Raman Mon, 07/16/2018 - 14:29

Modern applications are expected to be equipped with powerful search engines. Drupal provides a core search module that is capable of doing a basic keyword search by querying the database. When it comes to storing and retrieving data, databases are very efficient and reliable. They can be also used for basic filtering and aggregating of data. However, they are not very efficient when it comes to searching for specific terms and phrases.


Performing inefficient queries on large sets of data can result in a poor performance. Moreover, what if we want to sort the search results according to their relevance, implement advanced searching techniques like autocompletion, full-text, fuzzy search or integrate search with RESTful APIs to build a decoupled application?

This is where dedicated search servers come into the picture. They provide a robust solution to all these problems. There are a few popular open-source search engines to choose from, such as Apache Solr, Elasticsearch, and Sphinx. When to use which one depends on your needs and situation, and is a discussion for another day. In this article, we are going to explore how we can use Elasticsearch for indexing in Drupal.

What is Elasticsearch?

Elasticsearch is a highly scalable open-source full-text search and analytics engine. It allows you to store, search, and analyze big volumes of data quickly and in near real time.” – elastic.co 

It is a search server built using Apache Lucene, a Java library, that can be used to implement advanced searching techniques and perform analytics on large sets of data without compromising on performance.

“You Know, for Search”

It is a document-oriented search engine, that is, it stores and queries data in JSON format. It also provides a RESTful interface to interact with the Lucene engine. 

Many popular communities including Github, StackOverflow, and Wikipedia benefit from Elasticsearch due to its speed, distributed architecture, and scalability.

Downloading and Running Elasticsearch server

Before integrating Elasticsearch with Drupal, we need to install it on our machine. Since it needs Java, make sure you have Java 8 or later installed on the system. Also, the Drupal module currently supports the version 5 of Elasticsearch, so download the same.

  • Download the archive from its website and extract it
$ wget https://artifacts.elastic.co/downloads/elasticsearch/elasticsearch-5.6.10.tar.gz $ tar -zxvf elasticsearch-5.6.10.tar.gz
  • Execute the “elasticsearch” bash script located inside the bin directory. If you are on Windows, execute the “elasticsearch.bat” batch file
$ elasticsearch-5.6.10/bin/elasticsearch

The search server should start running on port 9200 port of localhost by default. To make sure it has been set up correctly, make a request at http://localhost:9200/ 

$ curl http://localhost:9200

If you receive the following response, you are good to go

{   "name" : "hzBUZA1",   "cluster_name" : "elasticsearch",   "cluster_uuid" : "5RMhDoOHSfyI4a9s78qJtQ",   "version" : {     "number" : "5.6.10",     "build_hash" : "b727a60",     "build_date" : "2018-06-06T15:48:34.860Z",     "build_snapshot" : false,     "lucene_version" : "6.6.1"   },   "tagline" : "You Know, for Search" }

Since Elasticsearch does not do any access control out of the box, you must take care of it while deploying it.

Integrating Elasticsearch with Drupal

Now that we have the search server up and running, we can proceed with integrating it with Drupal. In D8, it can be done in two ways (unless you build your own custom solution, of course).

  1. Using Search API and Elasticsearch Connector
  2. Using Elastic Search module
Method 1: Using Search API and Elasticsearch Connector

We will need the following modules.

However, we also need two PHP libraries for it to work – des-connector and php-lucene. Let us download them using composer as it will take care of the dependencies.

$ composer require 'drupal/elasticsearch_connector:^5.0' $ composer require 'drupal/search_api:^1.8'

Now, enable the modules either using drupal console, drush or by admin UI.

$ drupal module:install elasticsearch_connector search_api

or

$ drush en elasticsearch_connector search_api -y

You can verify that the library has been correctly installed from Status reports available under admin/reports/status.

Viewing the status of the library under Status ReportsConfiguring Elasticsearch Connector

Now, we need to create a cluster (collection of node servers) where all the data will get stored or indexed.

  1. Navigate to Manage → Configuration → Search and metadata → Elasticsearch Connector and click on “Add cluster” button
  2. Fill in the details of the cluster. Give an admin title, enter the server URL, optionally make it the default cluster and make sure to keep the status as Active.Adding an Elasticsearch Cluster
  3. Click on “Save” button to add the cluster
Adding a Search API server

In Drupal, Search API is responsible for providing the interface to a search server. In our case, it is the Elasticsearch. We need to make the Search API server to point to the recently created cluster.

  1. Navigate to Manage → Configuration → Search and metadata → Search API and click on “Add server” button
  2. Give the server a suitable name and description. Select “Elasticsearch” as the backend and optionally adjust the fuzzinessAdding a Search API server
  3. Click on “Save” to add the serverViewing the status of the newly added server
Creating a Search API Index and adding fields to it

Next, we need to create a Search API index. The terminologies used here can be a bit confusing. The Search API index is basically an Elasticsearch Type (and not Elasticsearch index). 

  1. On the same configuration page, click on “Add Index” button
  2. Give an administrative name to the index. Select the entities in the data sources which you need to indexAdding the data sources of the search index
  3. Select the bundles and language to be indexed while configuring the data source, and also select the indexing order.Configuring the added data sources
  4. Next, select the search API server, check enabled. You may want to disable the immediate indexing. Then, click on “Save and add fields”Configuring the search index options
  5. Now, we need to add the fields to be indexed. These fields will become the fields of the documents in our Elasticsearch index. Click on the “Add field” button.
  6. Click on “Add” button next to the field you wish to add. Let’s add the title and click on “Done”Adding the required fields to the index
  7. Now, configure the type of the field. This can vary with your application. If you are implementing a search functionality, you may want to select “Full-text”Customizing the fields of the index
  8. Finally, click on “Save Changes”
Processing of Data

This is an important concept of how a search engine works. We need to perform certain operations on data before indexing it into the search server. For example, consider an implementation of a simple full-text search bar in a view or a decoupled application. 

  1. To implement this, click on the “Processors” tab. Enable the following and arrange them in this order.
    1. Tokenization: Split the text into tokens or words
    2. Lower Casing: Change the case of all the tokens into lower
    3. Removing stopwords: Remove the noise words like ‘is’, ‘the’, ‘was’, etc
    4. Stemming: Chop off or modify the end of words like  ‘–-ing’, ‘–uous’, etc

      Along with these steps, you may enable checks on Content access, publishing status of the entity and enable Result Highlighting
  2. Scroll down to the bottom, arrange the order and enable all the processes from their individual vertical tabs.Arranging the order of Processors
  3. Click on “Save” to save the configuration.

Note that the processes that need to be applied can vary on your application. For example, you shouldn’t remove the stopwords if you want to implement Autocompletion.

Indexing the content items

By default, Drupal cron will do the job of indexing whenever it executes. But for the time being, let’s index the items manually from the “View” tab.

Indexing the content items

Optionally alter the batch size and click on “Index now” button to start indexing.

Wait for the indexing to finish

Now, you can view or browse the created index using the REST interface or a client like Elasticsearch Head or Kibana. 

$ curl http://localhost:9200/elasticsearch_drupal_content_index/_search?pretty=true&q=*:* Creating a view with full-text search

You may create a view with the search index or use the REST interface of Elasticsearch to build a decoupled application.

Example of a full-text search using Drupal viewMethod 2: Using Elastic Search module

As you may notice, there is a lot of terminology mismatch between Search API and Elasticsearch’s core concepts. Hence, we can alternatively use this method.

For this, we will need the Elastic Search module and 3 PHP libraries – elasticsearch, elasticsearch-dsl, and twlib. Let’s download the module using composer.

$ composer require 'drupal/elastic_search:^1.2'

Now, enable it either using drupal console, drush or by admin UI.

$ drupal module:install elastic_search

or

$ drush en elastic_search -y Connecting to Elasticsearch Server

First, we need to connect the module with the search server, similar to the previous method.

  1. Navigate to Configuration → Search and metadata → Elastic Server
  2. Select HTTP protocol, add the elastic search host and port number, and optionally add the Kibana host. You may also add a prefix for indices. Rest of the configurations can be left at defaults.Adding the Elasticsearch server
  3. Click on “Save configurations” to add the server
Generating mappings and configuring them

A mapping is essentially a schema that will define the fields of the documents in an index. All the bundles of entities in Drupal can be mapped into indices.

  1. Click on “Generate mappings”
  2. Select the entity type, let’s say node. Then select its bundles. Optionally allow mapping of its childrenAdding the entity and selecting its bundles to be mapped
  3. Click on “Submit” button. It will automatically add all the fields, you may want to keep only the desired fields and configure them correctly. Their mapping DSL can also be exported.Configuring the fields of a bundle
Generating index and pushing the documents

Now, we can push the indices and the required documents to the search server.

  1. For that, move on to the indices tab, click on “Generate New Elastic Search Indices” and then click on “Push Server Indices and Mappings”. This will create all the indices on the server.
  2. Now index all the nodes using “Push All Documents”. You may also push the nodes for a specific index. Wait for the indexing to finish.Managing the indices using the admin UI
Conclusion

Drupal entities can be indexed into the Elasticsearch documents, which can be used to create an advanced search system using Drupal views or can be used to build a decoupled application using the REST interface of Elasticsearch. 
While Search API provides an abstract approach, the Elastic Search module follows the conventions and principles of the search engine itself to index the documents. Either way, you can relish the flexibility, power, and speed of Elasticsearch to build your desired solution.

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Categories: Drupal CMS

Behind the Screens with Elli Ludwigson

Lullabot - Mon, 07/16/2018 - 00:00
Elli Ludwigson fills us in on how a DrupalCon sprint day comes together and how you can participate, either as a mentor, sprinter, or planner. And, always put up some flowers to appease the neighbors.
Categories: Drupal CMS

Agiledrop.com Blog: AGILEDROP: Drupal community interview - Renato Goncalves de Araújo

Drupal.org aggregator - Sun, 07/15/2018 - 16:20
Agiledrop is highlighting active Drupal community members through a series of interviews. Learn who are the people behind Drupal projects. This week we talked with Renato Goncalves de Araújo. Read about what are the two things he loves about Drupal, what he thinks the future will bring for Drupal, and what are projects he is involved into.    1. Please tell us a little about yourself. How do you participate in the Drupal community and what do you do professionally? About me: I have been a software developer for eleven years now. I studied Computer Science at the University of Campinas (… READ MORE
Categories: Drupal CMS

Announcing TypeScript 3.0 RC

Echo JS - Sat, 07/14/2018 - 12:22
Categories: Web Technologies

Axelerant Blog: Drupal Dev Days Lisbon 2018: Retrospectives

Drupal.org aggregator - Fri, 07/13/2018 - 21:18


Drupal Developer Days Lisbon
was valuable, nicely organized, and full of energy. Two Axelerant team members attended to contribute a workshop and a session on two key topics, and they wanted to share key highlights with you, to thank the volunteers, and to encourage more developers from around the world to make it in 2019.

Categories: Drupal CMS

Drupal.org blog: What's new on Drupal.org? - June 2018

Drupal.org aggregator - Fri, 07/13/2018 - 15:39

Read our Roadmap to understand how this work falls into priorities set by the Drupal Association with direction and collaboration from the Board and community.

Announcements Last chance to vote in the Drupal Association board election

Elections for the Drupal Association board end on July 13th, 2018 at 5pm Pacific (in just over an hour at the time this is posted). There are nine candidates from 7 countries across six continents representing a wide variety of perspectives from the Drupal community. Anyone user who has been active in the last year and registered before the elections began is welcome to cast a ballot.

We encourage you to vote today and help guide the future of the Drupal Association.  

Reminder: Drupal Europe is coming up soon

Drupal Europe is coming up in less than 60 days! Drupal Europe will be the largest gathering of the Drupal community in Europe and is a reimagining of this important community event as both technical conference and family reunion. The Drupal Association engineering team will be attending to connect with the community, provide updates on Drupal.org, and listen to some of the incredible speakers who will be in attendance.

Join the community in Darmstadt, Germany from September 10-14, 2018. Make sure to register, book your travel, and secure accommodation: http://drupaleurope.org/

Project maintainers: Change your git remote configuration

Git authentication methods for Drupal.org hosted projects are changing as we approach upgrading our developer tooling stack. In particular we will be:

  • Deprecating password authentication for git

  • Deprecating the git remote format <username>@git.drupal.org/project/<yourproject>.git in favor of git@git.drupal.org:project/<yourproject>.git

We have updated the version control instructions for Drupal.org projects, and put a message in the git daemon for any user who makes a push using the deprecated format.

For more information, please review: https://drupal.org/gitauth

Drupal.org Updates Ecommerce industry page launched

Since last year, one of our ongoing initiatives has been to develop more content on Drupal.org focused on specific industries. Drupal is an incredible powerful tool for building ambitious digital experiences, but it's flexibility can sometimes be overwhelming. These industry specific pages help Drupal evaluators discover how Drupal can be tailored for their specific needs, and highlight successful case studies of Drupal in the wild.

The Drupal Association has launched our sixth industry page promoting the power of Drupal for Ecommerce. We want to thank Commerce Guys for their contributions to getting this page off the ground.

Display project screenshots in a more user friendly way

For every new Drupal project that a developer or site-builder undertakes, time is spent evaluating distributions, modules, and themes to find integrations that will accelerate launching the project.

To improve the user experience for users evaluating modules on Drupal.org, we've implemented a new lightbox-style display for project screenshots.

Here's an example of a screenshot from the Token project:

Granted more maintainers the ability to give contribution credit

Since the introduction of contribution credits at the end of 2015, they've become an important part of the way the Drupal community recognizes individual and organizational contributions to the project. The Drupal Association Engineering team regularly reviews the contribution credit system to make small tweaks and adjustments to make the experience even better.

For our most recent update, Drupal.org now grants all project maintainers with the 'maintain issues' permission the ability to grant contribution credit, instead of just those users with 'Write to Version Control' permissions. This means that a much wider group of maintainers can now participate in granting credit.

Showing maintainer photos on top level Docs guides

Documentation is critically important to the Drupal project To make it easier for potential contributors to find out who they should reach out to for issues that affect the top levels of documentation, we've added maintainer information to the top level documentation guides.

Email confirmation when creating an organization node

To help more organizations that work with Drupal join our community, we now send an email confirmation to any user who creates an organization profile with information about becoming listed as a service provider, details about the contribution credit system, and information about becoming a Drupal Association member or supporting partner.

We encourage everyone in the Drupal community to ask your clients to create a Drupal.org organization profile. Bringing end-users into the contribution journey will be a key part of Drupal's long term health and success.

Contributing to the Open Demographics Initiative

One of our goals on the Drupal Association engineering team is to adopt the Open Demographics Initiative in our user registration process. As part of our effort to work towards that goal, we have contributed a machine readable version of the demographic questions and and answers to the ODI project.

We're hopeful that can be reviewed and committed soon, and be used as the basis for an ODI Drupal module.

Security Improvements Added PSA and SAs to the /news feed

To increase the visibility of security notifications, Public Security Announcements and Security Advisories will now be included in the https://drupal.org/news feed.

Multi-value CVE field for Security Advisories

We've also updated the security advisory content type so that an advisory can be associated with multiple CVEs.

Infrastructure Updates DrupalCI: Converted core javascript tests to use Chrome driver

The DA Engineering team has worked together with Core to convert the Core javascript tests from using PhantomJS to using Chrome Webdriver. This provides much more powerful and better supported tools for javascript development in Drupal.

DrupalCI: Reduced disk space usage of the DrupalCI dispatcher

One of the most important services the Drupal Association provides for the project is DrupalCI, the suite of tools used to test all of Drupal's code. These tools are very powerful, but also expensive to maintain, and something we have to monitor carefully. In June, we spent some time automating disk space management for the DrupalCI dispatcher, to help reduce the maintenance cost of keeping it running smoothly.

———

As always, we’d like to say thanks to all the volunteers who work with us, and to the Drupal Association Supporters, who make it possible for us to work on these projects. In particular we want to thank:

  • OPIN - Renewing Signature Supporting Partner
  • Srijan - Renewing Signature Supporting Partner
  • Lullabot - Renewing Premium Supporting Partner
  • Aten - Renewing Premium Supporting Partner
  • Phase2 - Renewing Premium Supporting Partner
  • WebEnertia - *NEW* Premium Supporting Partner
  • Pantheon - Renewing Premium Hosting Supporter
  • Datadog - Renewing Premium Technology Supporter
  • Promet Source - Renewing Classic Supporting Partner
  • Evolving Web - Renewing Classic Supporting Partner
  • ImageX - Renewing Classic Supporting Partner
  • Adapt - Renewing Classic Supporting Partner
  • Green Geeks - Renewing Hosting Supporter
  • Microserve - Renewing Classic Supporting Partner
  • ThinkShout - Renewing Classic Supporting Partner
  • Amazee Labs - Renewing Classic Supporting Partner
  • Four Kitchens - Renewing Classic Supporting Partner
  • Access - Renewing Classic Supporting Partner
  • Appnovation - Renewing Classic Supporting Partner
  • Studio Present - Renewing Classic Supporting Partner
  • undpaul - Renewing Classic Supporting Partner
  • Position2 - Renewing Classic Supporting Partner
  • Blend Interactive - Renewing Classic Supporting Partner

If you would like to support our work as an individual or an organization, consider becoming a member of the Drupal Association.

Follow us on Twitter for regular updates: @drupal_org, @drupal_infra

Categories: Drupal CMS

The div that looks different in every browser

CSS-Tricks - Fri, 07/13/2018 - 14:14

It's not that Martijn Cuppens used User Agent sniffing, CSS hacks, or anything like that to make this quirk div. This is just a plain ol' <div> using the outline property a la:

div { inset 100px green; outline-offset: -125px; }

It looks different in different browsers because browsers literally render something differently in this strange situation.

I happened upon Reddit user spidermonk33's comment in which they animated the offset to understand it a bit more. I took that idea and made this little video to show them behaving even weirder than the snapshots.

Direct Link to ArticlePermalink

The post The div that looks different in every browser appeared first on CSS-Tricks.

Categories: Web Technologies

Scrolling Gradient

CSS-Tricks - Fri, 07/13/2018 - 14:13

If you want a gradient that changes as you scroll down a very long page, you can create a gradient with a bunch of color stops, apply it to the body and it will do just that.

But, what if you don't want a perfectly vertical gradient? Like you want just the top left corner to change color? Mike Riethmuller, re-using his own technique from the CSS-only scroll indicator (A-grade CSS trickery), did this by overlapping two gradients. The "top" one is fixed position and sort of leaves a hole that another taller gradient peeks through from below on scroll.

Direct Link to ArticlePermalink

The post Scrolling Gradient appeared first on CSS-Tricks.

Categories: Web Technologies

Ashday's Digital Ecosystem and Development Tips: Omeda and Drupal: A Perfect Relationship (Manager)

Drupal.org aggregator - Fri, 07/13/2018 - 12:00

As you may have figured out by now, Drupal is a great platform for 3rd party integrations. Whether it’s eSignatures with Hellosign, more sophisticated search with Solr, or a host of other options, Drupal works best when it’s not trying to reinvent every wheel and is instead used to leverage existing business tools by tying them all together into a robust and useful package. Today, we’re going to take a look at a new set of integration modules that Ashday has just contributed back to the Drupal community: Omeda, Omeda Subscriptions and Omeda Customers.

Categories: Drupal CMS

Palantir: Help Us Modernize the Admin UI of Drupal

Drupal.org aggregator - Fri, 07/13/2018 - 11:16
Help Us Modernize the Admin UI of Drupal brandt Fri, 07/13/2018 - 13:16 Sarah Lowe Jul 13, 2018

Take this survey to help us make Drupal the best platform for content editors and managers to use everyday.

Help us modernize the admin UI of Drupal.

Do you use Drupal? Before working at Palantir, I used Drupal only once: to help a legacy client with their Drupal 6 website. They had a support contract with my company, so if they had an issue or question I would do my best to help them, even though the original team who built the site had moved on to other jobs, and even though my company focused on WordPress sites.

I remember scrutinizing every menu item of the admin section, trying to familiarize myself with the platform while careful not to misclick and mess up something on the client’s site. Some of the terms I could understand—users, taxonomy—but some were new or vague, and not very clear to their meaning such as nodes, views, and blocks. While I was able to help the client at the time, I felt Drupal was too obtuse of a platform for me.

Redesign planned for Drupal

Now that I’m at Palantir, and knowing Drupal is a bigger part of my job, I’m still struck by how user unfriendly the platform can be out-of-the box, especially to a non-developer. While add-on modules like Workbench and Content Moderation can mitigate some of this complexity, installing and configuring those requires specialized knowledge. From talking to current clients, I know that I’m not the only one who feels intimidated by Drupal’s default administrative interface.

The Drupal community is also aware of the high learning curve to Drupal, and is in the process of modernizing the look and feel of the admin experience to make it more intuitive. Given how big the changes are, it’s the perfect time to include the people who work with Drupal every day to make sure Drupal is a system everyone feels comfortable using.

Therefore, I am working with fellow Palantir web strategist Michelle Jackson, Drupal front-end designer Cristina Chumillas, co-founder and front-end lead at Evolving Web Suzanne Dergacheva, project manager Antonella Severo, design consultant Roy Scholten, folks from the Drupal Association and other interested volunteers to conduct research on popular content management systems and web platforms such as Drupal, WordPress, Squarespace, and Joomla in order to learn how best to update Drupal.

Here’s where you come in

We want to make Drupal the best platform for content editors and managers to use everyday. Therefore, if your job involves updating the company blog, swapping out images, tagging content to group related information, or some other way you interact with your website, we want to hear from you.

We put together a quick, 5-10 minute survey that asks about your general familiarity with Drupal. For example, we want to know common tasks you perform on the platform as well as frustrating pain points. This way we can target our redesign efforts to make Drupal work better for you.

In addition to the opportunity to shape the future of Drupal, at the end of the survey you’ll have the opportunity to enter into a drawing for two great prizes: 1 full conference ticket to the (new) DrupalCon Content Marketing track at DrupalCon Seattle 2019 - $695 value (flight and hotel not included), or 1 two-day, online Drupal 8 training session from fellow Drupal agency Evolving Web.

Take the Survey So what happens next?

This survey is step one of our research efforts. After reviewing the common tasks, we’ll ask folks who had provided their email address if they are willing to participate in card sort exercises to determine the best label for grouping common tasks together. Next we’ll design solutions to address the biggest pain points and ask participants to validate our assumptions through usability tests.

Looking at the long term, we are interested in comparing Drupal with other popular systems such as WordPress and Squarespace. We plan to reach out to people who use those platforms to find out what they find easy or difficult about them, which may inform the direction of the Drupal redesign. No matter which direction our research takes, we want to ensure we’re building a product with you, the content editor, in mind.

More ways to help

We want to make the new Drupal as intuitive as can be on a global scale, but as a small team of volunteers, there’s only so much we can do on our own. If you develop or design for Drupal, and are interested in our research efforts, there are a number of ways to get involved. First, check out the Admin UI and JavaScript Modernization initiative on Drupal.org. Then, reach out to us on the #admin-ui channel on Slack. We can show you how to copy the survey so you can run your own tests. We’re especially grateful if you’re able to translate it and test users in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.

It shouldn’t take specialized knowledge to update and maintain a website on Drupal. With your help, we can make Drupal a more approachable platform for content editors. I can’t wait to hear from you!

Community Drupal People
Categories: Drupal CMS

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