Debug Academy: ReactJS is coming to core. Learn "React for Drupal" at Drupal Europe w/affordable hands-on training!

1 day 18 hours ago
Author: Shadia Mansour

JavaScript Frameworks have been taking the web by storm for years and ReactJS has become a clear frontrunner. With React, you can implement fast, slick, interactive web components without excessive complexity.

Additionally, ReactJS is the perfect fit for Drupal - the JavaScript initiative team is already working on building a ReactJS app for Drupal Core. Wouldn't it be cool to join their initiative and help them modernize Drupal's administrator UI with React? We can show you how.

Key Benefits of React w/Drupal Include:

  • Faster rendering when responding to user interactions
  • Easier development for more complex apps
  • Friendlier JS syntax (similar to SASS for CSS)
  • Fewer clicks
  • Fewer page reloads
  • and more!

Interested in learning more? At Drupal Europe, Debug Academy will be hosting a training, Elevate your Drupal 8 application with ReactJS, on Monday, September 10th. This training is an updated version of the most popular training which sold out at DrupalCon Nashville 2018, and profit from the training will be used to help support the volunteer-run Drupal Europe!

Attendees who will gain the most from this training are Drupal developers looking to gain hands-on experience with decoupled development and developers looking to learn how to use the popular JS Framework, ReactJS. Must Know JS or PHP to participate. Code & Training formatted to be accessible to developers, not exclusively for JS developers.

The first 8 people who register will receive a significantly discounted registration price of €250.00 + VAT tax (normally €400.00+).

Register for this training at Drupal Europe below!

This training is an updated version of the most popular training at DrupalCon Nashville 2018. It sold out there, so we encourage you to secure your spot soon! The first 8 people who register will receive a significantly discounted registration price of €250.00 + VAT tax (normally €400.00+).

  • Training date: Monday, September 10 from 9AM to 5PM
  • Training location: Drupal Europe in Darmstadt, Germany 

Learning Objectives: 

  • Learn to create a React Web App
  • Learn to set up Headless Drupal using Drupal 8
  • Create a React web app which communicates with a Drupal 8 task management website

Syllabus/Agenda: 

  • Learn when & why to use decoupled Drupal 8, and why React is a great choice
  • (initial set up) Install pre-built Drupal 8 website
  • Modify Drupal 8 website to prepare it for headless integration 
  • Note: Website will not be 'fully' decoupled, will only decouple one content type
  • Create React App
  • Integrate React App with Drupal 8 website (displaying data)
  • Post data to Drupal 8 website from React App

Who Will Gain the Most From This Training?: 

  • Drupal developers looking to gain experience with Decoupled development
  • Developers looking to learn how to use the popular JS Framework, ReactJS
  • Note: Must know JS or PHP to participate. Code & Training formatted to be accessible to developers, not exclusively for JS developers.

Hook 42: BADCamp 2018 Trainings

2 days 7 hours ago

We’re excited to be offering two training sessions at BADCamp this year! Both of them focus on widening the reach of the internet and Drupal. Accessibility and contribution are close to our hearts at Hook 42 as they both are great tools for making the web a more diverse and inclusive place. The best thing about both subjects? You don’t have to know everything to dive in and get started - starting where you are is a great way to move things forward.

OPTASY: Bringing Gutenberg to Drupal: A Modern Admin UI, a Better Editing Experience in Drupal 8

2 days 15 hours ago
Bringing Gutenberg to Drupal: A Modern Admin UI, a Better Editing Experience in Drupal 8 adriana.cacoveanu Fri, 08/17/2018 - 09:35

It's a robust, flexible and admin feature-packed CMS, there's no point in denying it. And yet: Drupal (still) lacks a modern UI that would make building rich web content —  such as landing pages — a breeze. But there is hope: the Gutenberg editor has been ported over, promising a better editing experience in Drupal 8.

The team behind this daring project? Frontkom, a Norwegian digital services agency that:
 

AddWeb Solution: Let’s Decode The ‘Decoupled Drupal’ Together!

2 days 18 hours ago

‘Coexistence is the key to our survival’, they say about humanity. The same law applies to and therefore is adapted by the technological world too. ‘Decoupled Drupal’ is the outcome of the same law, coming from the field of web architecture. After years of following the traditional web architecture, Drupal came up with something that was not ‘monolithic’ - something that we call as ‘Decoupled Drupal’ today. Let us explore and decode in detail the web architecture that ‘Decoupled Drupal’ is!

Understanding, Decoupled Drupal

, ,

Freeing the front-end from the control of the content management system and focusing on the just back-end development. The presentation layer, themes, templates - everything front-end is taken care by the adopted front-end framework. This also implies that Drupal has chosen to do what it does the best - building and bettering the content part. The decoupled Drupal exposes the content to other systems such as native applications, JavaScript application, core REST API, IoT devices, et al, which clearly states the fact that every system can easily consume content from Drupal.
 

Decoupled Drupal, also known as Headless Drupal, in simpler words is about not letting go the core and robustness of Drupal by having the control over all the core content management related responsibilities. And yet opening up the door for the productive change on the part of content appearance. Decouple Drupal is a promise of omnichannel delivery for the marketers and publishers.
 

Pick your approach!

, ,

1) Coupled Drupal

This is the most appropriate approach to be adopted for a site that does not demand much rendering and state management from the client’s end. Drupal’s built-in twig templating system is used instead of the huge and heavy JavaScript framework. The help of JQuery can also be taken if needed. Since this approach doesn’t block content marketers by the front-end developers, extra marketing expense could be cut down.

 

2) Progressively Decoupled Drupal

A website that requires client-side interaction, Progressively Decoupled Drupal is being used. Under this approach the core strength of Drupal - its HTML generation is not eliminated and yet the benefits of the Javascript framework is adapted. The best of both the frameworks raises the quality of interactive experience plus a robust back-end. Usage of JavaScript enables the content marketers to freely gather the experience and benefit from it, without much of the developer’s support.

 

3) Fully Decoupled Drupal

The entire structure here is separated in terms of the content and the presentation, where the former one is taken care by Drupal and the later one is prominently undertaken by JavaScript frameworks. With both the advantages and disadvantages attached to this approach, it is not a highly recommended one. Independence on the underlying CMS and usage of the richness of JavaScript and its community, is one of the major advantages of the fully decoupled Drupal, while the addition of complexity to the technology stack is one of the major disadvantages.

Why should you be adapting Decoupled Drupal?
 

, ,

The popularity of the Decoupled Drupal is a reason enough to confirm how beneficial it has proven to be, so far. Let us share some prominent reasons why adopting the decoupled Drupal will prove to be advantageous for you:

 

1) Intact Security

Security - the key benefit of using Drupal is kept intact since the content management and back-end is taken care of by Drupal itself. The administrative CMS is kept far from the public eye is also something that helps in keeping the security level high.

 

2) Elevated Team Performance

Drupal CMS development requires more technical expertise as compared to that of some other front-end framework. So, when an expert of Drupal has more time and scope to focus on the segment that he has an expertise upon, the outcome would naturally be of that stature. In addition, the front-end developer will also have the freedom to work on his expertise and hence would be able to give better justice to your website with an overall elevation in the team’s performance.

 

3) Broader Approach

Drupal has always been broad with its approach, be it any website or organisation. In addition, Drupal now also has the publishing functionality that streamlines the experience for content creation. Under this architecture, it’s easier to push and manage the content to other places. This widens the possibility of the same content being spread and published on multiple channels.

 

4) Flexibility

Decoupled Drupal enables and accelerates the scope flexibility, whenever the website is in need of some change or upgradation. The independence to work and focus upon one single aspect, the developers and designers are granted the flexibility to dedicate their time to their respective jobs. The elimination of dependency of the back-end developers/tools from the front-end developers/system is what lifts up the scope of flexibility.
 

Already thinking of adapting the highly-trending and powerful architecture - Decoupled Drupal? Well, our Drupal-expert team might help you get a detailed and better understanding of the same. A customized viewpoint of Decoupled Drupal for your website surely makes a huge difference. Let our Drupal developers make that difference for you!

I hope this blog helps you to expand your Decoupled Drupal knowledge …Thanks! If you need more assistance regarding Drupal Development Services, feel free to contact us now.

PreviousNext: Introducing the Element Class Formatter module for Drupal 8

2 days 20 hours ago

Allow sitebuilders to easily add classes onto field elements with the new element_class_formatter module.

by Rikki Bochow / 17 August 2018

Adding classes onto a field element (for example a link or image tag - as opposed to the wrapper div) isn't always the easiest thing to do in Drupal. It requires preprocessing into the elements render array, using special Url::setOptions functions, or drilling down a combinations of objects and arrays in your Twig template.

The element_class_formatter module aims to make that process easier. At PreviousNext we love field formatters! We write custom ones where needed, and have been re-using a few generic ones for quite a while now. This module extends our generic ones into a complete set, to allow for full flexibility, sitebuilding efficiency and re-usability of code. 

To use this module, add and enable it just like any other, then visit one of your Manage Display screens. The most widely available formatter is the Wrapper (with class) one, but the others follow a similar naming convention; "Formatter name (with class)". The majority of these formatters extend a core formatter, so all the normal formatter options should still be available.

The manage display page with new (with class) field formatters selected

The field formatter settings, with all the default options

Use this module alongside Reusable style guide components with Twig embed, Display Suite with Layouts and some Bare templates to get optimum Drupal markup. Or just use it to learn how to write your own custom field formatters!

For feature requests or issues please see the modules Issue queue on Drupal.org

Tagged Field Formatters, Contrib Modules

Debug Academy: What’s so great about ReactJS? Watch ReactJS bring app-like features to a Drupal 8 site. Learn more by attending Drupal Europe!

3 days 8 hours ago
Author: Shadia Mansour

JavaScript Frameworks have been taking the web by storm for years and ReactJS has become a clear frontrunner with its ability to implement fast, slick, interactive web components without excessive complexity.

With ReactJS, you will be able to improve websites with app-like components that are better and faster than what Drupal could do on its own.

Check out a preview of a Drupal site benefiting from the addition of ReactJS!

Key Benefits of React w/Drupal Include:

  • Fewer clicks
  • Fewer page reloads
  • Faster rendering when responding to user interactions
  • Sleek
  • App-like
  • and more!

The JavaScript initiative team is working on building a ReactJS app for Drupal Core. Utilize the latest technology on your projects.

Interested in learning more? Drupal Europe is hosting a training, Elevate your Drupal 8 application with ReactJS (taught by Debug Academy) on Monday, September 10th from 9am-5pm in the Darmstadtium venue. For more information, click here. This training is an updated version of the most popular training that was sold out at DrupalCon Nashville 2018.

Attendees who will gain the most from this training are Drupal developers looking to gain experience with decoupled development and developers looking to learn how to use the popular JS Framework, ReactJS. Must Know JS or PHP to participate. Code & Training formatted to be accessible to developers, not exclusively for JS developers.

The regular training price is €400.00 + VAT tax, however, the first 15 people who register by midnight CEST on Saturday, August  18th, will receive the early bird registration price of €250.00 + VAT tax. Register @ https://debugacademy.com/course/drupal-europe-elevate-your-drupal-8-application-reactjs .

Tags: Drupal EuropeDrupalDrupal PlanetDrupal TrainingReactJS

Drupal.org blog: Developer Tools Initiative - Part 5: Announcing our Migration

3 days 10 hours ago

This is the fifth post in our series about integrating Drupal.org with a 3rd party developer tooling provider:

In this post we are announcing our migration to a new tooling provider, and outlining the phases of that migration process to take place over the next several months.

Announcing our partnership with GitLab

Wait, what?

Yes, in our four part series from December of last year it certainly looked like we were going in a different direction for the future of Drupal's developer stack.

So what changed?

Last year we laid out a model for integrating Drupal.org with a third party tooling provider, which we described as "Drupal Flow". This model was deliberately laid out to be agnostic to the provider we chose, so long as certain requirements were met. We worked with representatives from three potential providers at the time: GitHub, GitLab, and BitBucket, and each one had pros and cons. Once we had completed our evaluation, BitBucket was the only provider without hard blockers to the integration we wanted to build.

However, following our blog series, the GitLab team reached out directly to the Drupal Association team, and asked us to give them the chance to resolve the blockers and close the gaps in our integration.

At the same time, we saw an outpouring of feedback from our community asking us to see if we could find a way to make GitLab work.

And so we did.

The Agreement

For the past six months we've been working closely with Eliran Mesika, the Director of Partnerships at GitLab, in addition to CEO Sid Sijbrandij and members of GitLab's engineering team. They've escalated the internal priority of issues that blocked our adoption of GitLab, offered technical and financial support for the migration, and made a commitment to ongoing support for the Drupal project.

And so we're happy to announce that Drupal.org is going to be moving our code collaboration tools for our forty-five thousand projects to GitLab over the course of the coming months.

Three Phases to the Migration Phase 1: Replacing Drupal.org's Git backend

The first phase of the Drupal.org migration

  • Transparently replace Drupal’s current underlying Git infrastructure (for repository hosting, maintainer permissions, code viewing) with GitLab repositories, GitLab roles and permissions for maintainers, and the GitLab code viewing UI.
  • Enable inline code editing (only for maintainers for this phase).
  • During this phase, Drupal.org will remain the primary source of information.  SSH keys, new projects, etc. will be created on Drupal.org.

This first phase, while modest, will bring some concrete benefits to the project:

  • Maintainers will be able to begin familiarizing themselves with GitLab's code collaboration tools.
  • Code viewing will receive a significant upgrade from CGIT to GitLab's built-in code viewer.
  • And Drupal.org's old Git server will be phased out.
Phase 2: Enabling Merge Requests, Inline Code Editing, and Web-based Code Review
  • The timeline for Phase 2 is dependent on GitLab’s resolution of a diskspace deduplication issue, which they have committed to on our behalf: https://gitlab.com/gitlab-org/gitlab-ce/issues/23029
  • Enable GitLab Merge Requests, GitLab inline code editing in the web UI, and GitLab web-based code review.
  • During this phase, Drupal.org will handle any 'create branch/merge request' integrations from the Drupal.org Issue queues, and related call-backs from GitLab into the Drupal.org issue comment stream.

Phase 2 is where we realize some tremendous benefits to developer velocity and collaboration:

  • By adding merge requests, contributing to Drupal will become much more familiar to the broad audience of open source contributors who learned their skills in the post-patch era.
  • By adding inline editing and web-based code review, it will be much easier to make quick contributions. This not only lowers the barrier to contribution for people new to our community, it also saves significant effort for our existing community members, as they'll no longer need to clone work locally and generate patches.
  • Finally, by creating a tight integration between the Drupal.org issue queues and GitLab's development tools, we'll be able to transition to this new toolset without disrupting the community's existing way of collaborating.
Phase 3: Evaluating Additional Features

Phase 3 has no strict timeline, but will be dependent on feedback from the community as they get up to speed on using the new GitLab-based contribution workflow for Drupal.

  • Evaluate additional features such as:

    • Integrating or replacing DrupalCI with GitLab CI
    • Enabling GitLab issues for a sub-set of projects
    • Enabling GitLab confidential issues for specific use-cases (security releases)
    • Possible MatterMost integration, etc.

These additional features may allow us to further improve the velocity of the Drupal project, or realize additional cost savings for the association. For example, we may be able to use GitLab's test runner integration to orchestrate tests across a wider variety of cloud platforms, helping us find the best pricing. We may be able to entirely replace security.drupal.org with a private issue tracker, eliminating an entire sub-site for the Drupal.org team to maintain. We may even be able to enhance existing community services like SimplyTest.me by integrating features like GitLab's AutoDevops tools to automatically create review environments for issues or branches.

We won't really know what's possible within the scope of our resources until the first two phases are completed, but this helps to show that by hitching our toolset to a partner that specializes in collaboration, we may be able to realize even more benefits for our community.

Changes to Git Remotes
  • Git remote urls for pushes to full projects have changed:
    • If you have an established Git remote in the format
      <username>@git.drupal.org:project/<yourproject>.git
      the format should be changed to:
      git@git.drupal.org:project/<yourproject>.git

  • HTTPS clone urls for full projects are unchanged.
  • HTTPS clone urls and Git remote urls for sandbox projects have changed:
    • For remotes of the format:
      <username>@git.drupal.org:sandbox/<username>/<node-id>.git
      the format should be changed to:
      git@git.drupal.org:sandbox/<username>-<nodeid>.git
    • Clone urls will be changing from:
      https://git.drupal.org/sandbox/<username>/<nodeid>.git
      to the format:
      https://git.drupal.org/sandbox/<username>-<nodeid>.git

Important: If you have any automated systems which authenticate to Git, such as CI pipelines or repo mirroring, ensure they are updated as well.

For more detailed information about these changes, as well as instructions for changing your Git remotes or setting ssh keys, please consult these instructions: https://drupal.org/gitauth

How to follow our progress

Issues for the Drupal.org migration to GitLab will be opened in the Drupal.org Infrastructure queue and tagged 'GitLab'.

For questions or concerns, please create an issue at https://www.drupal.org/node/add/project-issue/infrastructure

Hook 42: Drupal GovCon 2018

3 days 23 hours ago

Next week we’ll be traveling to the nation's capital to participate in Drupal GovCon! While Aimee and Adam are veterans of GovCon, Lindsay is embarking on her first trip to the Washington, D.C. area. 

Hook 42 will be presenting on a variety of subjects, including project management, module development, and component based development. We’re excited that Adam will also be delivering the keynote Wednesday morning!

GovCon is Wednesday, August 22nd to Friday, August 24th at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland.

Ashday's Digital Ecosystem and Development Tips: What is Drupal?

4 days 5 hours ago

You may have heard of Drupal in passing, but you have not ever been given a straight answer on what it is and why you should care. The truth is that even if you have worked with Drupal, you might not actually know what to say when asked what it is. Looking around there doesn’t seem to be a lot of great answers to this question out there either. It would be difficult to tell if you need Drupal as a solution for your website if you aren’t even sure what it really is to begin with. 

Mediacurrent: The Marketer’s Guide to Drupal 8: 10 Reasons Enterprise Marketers Choose Drupal

4 days 11 hours ago

As marketers, we understand the importance of having a system that promotes ease and efficiency when it comes to implementing marketing processes. You want to create content once and use it over and over in different ways to create contextual user experiences. 

Drupal provides you with a variety of powerful, integrated tools to not only help you understand who your visitors are and what they want to accomplish, but to also dig deeper into their interactions, engagements, and habits with your site. 

Here are just a few reasons why enterprise marketers adopt Drupal. 

1. Enormously scalable - you can’t outgrow Drupal!

Some of the biggest, most visible, and highest-trafficked sites in the world run on Drupal, including, The NBA, Johnson & Johnson, and The Weather Channel. Drupal has proven itself on enterprise websites with over 1M pages and over 20,000 requests per second. In short, you can’t “outgrow” Drupal but can continually add new content and features to your enterprise website.

2. Easily execute your content marketing strategy

A big part of a marketing strategy is content creation, so it is important that marketers are easily able to add new pieces to their website. Drupal allows marketers to quickly add blog posts, videos, and landing pages to their website by filling out a “form” with all of the relevant information and then publishing it. For example, if I want to add a post to the Mediacurrent blog, I can be in and out in less than 7 clicks. In-page editing with Drupal 8 makes the publishing process even faster.  

3. Integrate with Marketing Automation 

Every major marketing automation platform has a custom module created for easy integration into a Drupal website. How do I know? Mediacurrent developed most of them - including the Hubspot, Pardot & Silverpop module!

4. Establish an efficient workflow

A planned workflow is the underpinning of every efficient business process. Whether a business is processing leads, updating a web page, evaluating a capital purchase, or approving new hires, certain actions must take place in order for the function to be completed. Workflow involves the passing of content between people in a chain that abide by a predefined set of rules.  Drupal allows you to easily create a workflow that is customized to your company's processes and team.

5. Create dynamic digital experiences….easily

Drupal fully integrates content, community, and commerce in a single platform. If you’re staying competitive, you’ve likely made a significant investment in creating a dynamic website that really tells the story of your brand and what you have to offer. With Drupal as the backbone for your digital strategy, the options for creating personalized web experiences are endless. Drupal’s architecture makes it the ideal platform for creating and delivering segmented content. 

6. Don’t waste your marketing budget on licensing fees

As open source software, the Drupal package has no license fees, it’s free for you to download, modify, etc. Which means your marketing budget goes towards the things that make your site unique, not towards fees for a large software company.

7. Bridge the gap between IT And marketing

When building a Drupal site, the amount of coding required to maintain or build the site is up to you. A full-featured site can be built fulfilling many business requirements with point and click ease. For us “non-coding” marketers, Drupal allows us to go into each page and easily edit the content while still maintaining the consistency of our branding—without the need to know HTML or CSS.   

8. Benefit from the thriving development community

When a business chooses Drupal, a vast community of support becomes available. Whether it be Drupal’s extensive project issue queues, thousands of nationwide meet-ups and Drupalcamps, or IRC channels, the chances are the problem encountered has been faced before, documented, and has a community willing to help you solve it.

9. You’ll have search engine optimization nirvana 

Drupal gives you control over everything you need to optimize your website for search engines. That includes custom page titles, meta descriptions, URLs, copy, and it plays well with Google Analytics.

10. Security - it’s good enough for over 1 MILLION websites

When deciding on a software solution for your company's digital needs, security is often one of the top concerns. Open source software, like Drupal, has the added bonus of having thousands of talented individuals work on a particular problem. With entire teams and methodology devoted to ensuring its steadfast reputation as a secure CMS. Drupal also have an official “SWAT team” that is well-versed in online software best practices and serves as a resource for all custom module maintainers and code contributors to utilize when submitting custom projects. What passes today as secure code may not stay the same tomorrow when new vulnerabilities surface. There's peace of mind in knowing not only is your online software secure, but that it's also in an active state of safeguarding against security attacks, both past and present.

Because Drupal is not tied to a proprietary vendor’s roadmap, it’s advancing based on the work of thousands of developers around the world. Drupal organically evolves at the speed of the web, offers the cost savings and agility of the open source model, and gives you the ability to integrate content across a range of channels and campaigns.  

In the next blog of the series - we’ll hear from the Chief Marketing Officer at Acquia, about how she is leveraging Drupal 8 to achieve her business goals. 

Bay Area Drupal Camp: 🤹 BADCamp - 6 Days Left to Submit Your Session

5 days 4 hours ago
🤹 BADCamp - 6 Days Left to Submit Your Session Drupal Planet rob.thorne Tue, 08/14/2018 - 20:18

 

Submit Your Session Today!

Submissions for sessions close on Tuesday, August 21st at 11:59 pm PDT Over 700 people have given talks at BADCamp.
You could be next.

It's almost August 21, and that means you have just six days left to submit your session proposals for the Bay Area Drupal Camp.

Every year at BADCamp we bring together people who want to share their knowledge with people thirsty to learn. Consider sharing your skills or a notable site with your community. You don’t have to be an experienced speaker. All you need is something interesting to share and a rocking set of slides.

Check out the session proposals so far. See something missing? That’s where you come in.

We Want Your Sessions!

Do you think BADCamp is awesome?

Would you have been willing to pay for your ticket?  If so, then you can give back to the camp by purchasing an individual sponsorship at the level most comfortable for you. As our thanks, we will be handing out some awesome BADCamp swag.

 

We need your help!

BADCamp is 100% volunteer driven and we need your hands! We need stout hearts to volunteer and help set up, tear down, give directions and so much more!  If you are local and can help us, please sign up on our Volunteer Form.

  Sponsors

A BIG thanks Platform.sh, Pantheon & DDEV and all our sponsors who have committed early. Without them this magical event wouldn’t be possible. We are also looking for MORE sponsors to help keep BADCamp free and awesome. Interested in sponsoring BADCamp? Contact matt@badcamp.net or anne@badcamp.net.

 

Agaric Collective: Drupal 8 Content Migrations Training at Drupal Europe

5 days 8 hours ago

Agaric is facilitating a full day training at Drupal Europe in Darmstadt, Germany to help you understand how to import content into your to Drupal 8 website.

This training is open for attendees with intermediate experience with Drupal- familiarity with installing a Drupal site and installing modules. We will use the Migrate API and related modules, which allows users to migrate content without writing any code.

With two instructors and a small group size we will ensure no one gets left behind. Instead everyone will get the attention they need.

Attendees will learn to:

  • Import data from CSV and JSON files.
  • Transform the data to populate taxonomy, date, image, file, and address fields.
  • Get content into Paragraphs.
  • Debug migration errors.

For a sneak peak of what you will learn, attend our Drupal Migration Q&A on Friday August 17th at 14:00 UTC (10 AM ET) on Zoom at https://zoom.us/j/3307127772

Regular training price is €476, however we are offering an early bird registration price of €276 from now through Sunday, August 19th. Space is limited so we do encourage registering early to take advantage of the price and ensure your spot.

As a web development cooperative that champions free software, we're passionate about migrations. It is a way to better understand Drupal's codebase, tap into the power of new features and build community. We have successfully migrated multiple sites to Drupal 8, including large projects with custom modules and hope to share that experience with you.

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Not able to make it to the training? No worries, we offer trainings on a regular basis. Sign up for our low-traffic, announcement only list to stay informed of future trainings. These will not be sent more than a few times a year.

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Acquia Developer Center Blog: A Dozen Reasons Why You Should Attend DrupalEurope in Darmstadt, Germany this September

5 days 10 hours ago

DrupalEurope, which will be happening from September 10 through 14, 2018 in Darmstadt, Germany, describes itself as "both a technology conference and a family reunion for the Drupal community." 1600+ attendees are expected.

The buzz around this event has been unusually high, especially in the greater Acquia metaverse, for 12 reasons. Here they are.

Tags: acquia drupal planet

OpenSense Labs: Interactive Screens: Drupal for Building Digital Signage Solution

5 days 11 hours ago
Interactive Screens: Drupal for Building Digital Signage Solution Shankar Tue, 08/14/2018 - 19:17

Possibly the greatest ever digital signage advertising was created for British Airways which had it all. The advert, connecting to live flight information, displayed a child pointing up to the sky as an aeroplane flew above him. This was so cleverly done that the advert showed the flight number and its destination as well.

What a great blend of entertainment and education using the latest technologies! Source: British Airways

The digital signage system is scalable and its usefulness can be extracted to a great extent like digital menu boards for restaurants or the interactive digital movie posters for movie theatres. Drupal has the power to be a remarkably scalable digital signage solution for different sorts of organisations thereby reducing costs, speeding up time to market, and building engaging experiences for the people.

Digging Deeper Into The Terminology: Digital Signage

Digital signage refers to a centralised content dissemination platform for serving digital content on screens. It can be leveraged to display information through television programming, menus, advertising and other messages.

It can be seen in the form of digital signboards, billboards, and other such display devices for displaying visual information. It is connected by a content management system like Drupal that sends the digital content to be displayed. The information displayed can be anything ranging from static data and charts and graphs to images and video streaming.

Digital signage is a centralised content dissemination platform for serving digital content through television programming, menus or advertising on screens.

It can be commonly seen in outdoor marketing campaigns to display promotional content. Moreover, industries that rely on real-time information delivery to its employers or customer such as stock exchanges, airports, and sports stadiums can use digital signs to a great extent.

Digital Signage Can Be Used In Awesome Ways

Its uses can be seen through the eyes of organisations to understand the different ways it can be implemented. Some of the biggest brands have harnessed its immense potential.

Netflix, one of the largest over-the-top media service providers, carried a promotional campaign that relied on the humbled animated GIF. Instead of using a long video clip, they opted for reaction-based clips which were just a few seconds long. These videos were tied into the events that were actually happening around the globe.


Swedish pharmacy Apotek Hjärtat developed a controversial billboard using a built-in smoke detector. Every time a smoker passed by, the billboard would cough loudly at them before displaying a series of products to help people stop smoking. Although it turned heads, questions were raised whether such an overt messaging is effective or not.


Coca Cola’s Small World Machines Initiative had a grand ambition and offered a live link between India and Pakistan. Coke machines were placed in both the nations where people could interact with one another through the screen like touching hands, drawing peace, love, and happiness symbols together.

A Trio Of Major Merits Through Digital Signs

Enormous possibilities of digital signs are pretty evident with so many big brands using them to a great effect. Using digital signs can prove beneficial in many ways.

  • Enhances customer engagement: People love colourful and moving images rather than static images which help in enhancing user engagement.
  • Makes a good impression: Content can be updated remotely within seconds. For instance, such quick updates can help retailers to form a good impression and adjust to customer demands without having to deploy employees or new signs printed.
  • Revs up revenue: Digital signs can help increase your sales and revenue. In 2014. Taco John deployed digital menu boards and witnessed a 12% increase in sales.
How Can Drupal Be The Perfect CMS For Digital Signage Solutions?

Well, it all boils down to the CMS that would be relaying digital content on to the screen to attract people. Drupal is one of the big players in the content management systems that can be the perfect fit for creating digital signs.

Content Creation

Your CMS should allow the content creation to be done intuitively and support all the common file types. Drupal comes with intuitive tools for content creation, workflow and publishing for streamlining content authoring.

Remote Access

With Drupal, on-the-go team members can assess, edit and approve content from mobile devices to keep content and promotional campaigns flowing on to the screens regardless of where they are and what device they are working on.

Content Revision

Drupal helps in enabling a swift and simple way to track all the alterations and revisions which is a must-have if you have multiple editors and need to handle a history of content changes.

Content Workflow

Drupal allows you to administer custom, editorial workflows for all the processes involved in the content production. It lets you view the stage your content is in - from creation to assessment to publication.

User Controls

Authentication and user permissions in Drupal helps in handling editorial workflows efficaciously and previews show how the content will look on screen before the content editors would finally approve and relay them on to the screens.

Content Scheduling

Drupal has the provisions for scheduling the content at your own convenience. It is possible to schedule a campaign to be published at a certain time. In case, a campaign is no longer required or outmoded, it can be unpublished as well.

Security

Drupal is one of the most secure CMS platforms among the leading players like Wordpress, Joomla and Magento. In a report published by Sucuri called Hacked Website Report, Drupal turned out to be the least vulnerable to security attacks in comparison to Wordpress.

Scalability

Your CMS should be able to grow with you and accommodate more screens. Drupal is a highly scalable solution with high traffic sites like Grammy, NBC Olympics, University of Oxford and many other renowned names performing astoundingly well even during the busiest of times.

Support And Maintenance

Drupal is an open source solution and you can rest assured that the Drupal community comprises of numerous vendors who are adept at providing round the clock support and maintenance.

At Opensense Labs, we have designed the Bucket and on-the-go models of support and maintenance services. We offer support in the day-to-day operations. Our support hours run parallelly with business hours but are extendable as per your needs.

Use Cases

The University of Iowa, which is powered by Drupal, kicked off a Drupal Digital Signage Service to offer new digital capabilities inside the campus.

Drupal’s flexibility in content management and delivery in combination with Intel Compute Sticks, mini-computers that serve each screen or sign, proved rewarding. This helped in offering wireless connectivity to the Drupal-based content as it is relayed on to the screens in real-time.

Source: University of Iowa

The digital signs provided key information for students like the time at which a bus would arrive or leave, emergency alerts, advertisements for student groups, computer lab availability, university news, and events etc.

The University reported rapid adoption of the service as many colleges and divisions within the University used the free and user-friendly solution on several screens. Stakeholders used templates and drag and drop tools and widgets for customising and governing the screen content.

The University’s move to expand the use of Drupal to digital signs proved beneficial in many ways. An IOWA NOW news story stated that “the backend is incredibly user-friendly. It’s the same system our websites run on, and so very intuitive. The web-based platform allows us to update information and slides from anywhere and anytime”.

Being an open source software, Drupal incurred no licensing fees. Hardware costs were lower too. Thanks to the project team’s discovery that the digital signs could be run on small, energy-efficient compute sticks. Moreover, wireless connectivity eliminated the expense of data ports and cabling.

Source: University of Iowa

The Drupal Digital Signage system, rather than using a webpage, used a specialised software application. This made the displaying of content as simple as plugging the URL of a sign into a browser. Users were granted access permissions for specific signs and by utilising templates and a drag-and-drop interface, they could display the content or widgets in numerous regions of the screens. That content, displayed on the screen, could also be shared with other units.

Furthermore, the digital signs, being accessible to all screen-reading technologies, saved staff time. Being easy to learn, training time got reduced.

Content editors only needed to enter news or events into a familiar interface. The content would go to both their websites and digital signs simultaneously without having to perform double entry.

Another use case can be seen through Open Y Drupal distribution which was developed by the YMCA of Greater Twin Cities. The objective was to build a platform that would enable all YMCAs to operate as a unified brand through a common technology. Open Y, built on top of Drupal 8, helps in delivering a multi-channel experience for websites, mobile applications, digital signage and fitness screens.


The website of Open Y allows customers to schedule personal training appointments, make online donations to their local YMCA, or look up for monthly promotions. Leveraging the merits of Drupal 8’s API, Open Y integrates all of their systems with Drupal. This comprises its integration with Open Y’s Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and eCommerce partners but also stretches to fitness screens and wearables like Fitbit.

So, Open Y can use Drupal as a data repository to relay content such as alerts or promotional campaigns to digital signage screens, connected fitness consoles and fitness tracking applications. It, thus, puts Drupal at the core of its digital platform to offer seamless and personalised experiences to its members.


The web-integrated digital signage system for displaying content was demonstrated in a session in DrupalCon Vienna 2017. In this system, the  Open Y Drupal distribution was used to serve as a proxy between resources that would provide information about the scheduled activities. In addition to this, it was leveraged to govern the content and to supplement it with both the marketing content and time and location sensitive messaging.

Future Of Digital Signage

According to the statistics given by the Statista, the statistics portal, the digital signage market worldwide was valued at 19.61 billion U.S. dollars in 2016 and the display market was estimated at 6.07 billion U.S. dollar in 2015.

Future of digital signage is bright as is for Drupal and together they can work wonders. Source: Statista

This number is going to see a significant rise by 2023 as the market value is poised to reach 32.84 billion in 2023. Digital signage technology is not just here to stay but grow multifold.

Conclusion

Digital content distribution can surely be taken to next level by making it engaging through digital signage solutions. Drupal can be the perfect choice of CMS for relaying content on screens.

We provide Drupal services with top-of-the-line expertise. Contact us at hello@opensenselabs.com to explore Drupal as a superb platform for building digital signage solutions thereby providing a whole new level of customer experience.

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ComputerMinds.co.uk: Localising dates in twig templates

5 days 14 hours ago

A client noticed the dates on their news articles were not being translated into the correct language. The name of the month would always appear in English, even though all the month names had themselves been translated and showed correctly elsewhere. The problem turned out to be down to the twig filter being used in the template to format the date. This is what we did have:

{% set newsDate = node.getCreatedTime|date('j F Y') %} {% trans %} {{ newsDate }}{% endtrans %}

So this would produce something like '1 March 2018' instead of '1 März 2018' when in German. This was because twig's core date() filter simply isn't aware of Drupal's idea of language.

I switched out the date() filter and used Drupal core's own format_date() filter instead, which uses Drupal's own date.formatter service, which is aware of language. It ensures the month name is passed through t() to translate it, separately to the rest of the numbers in the date. So it now looks like this:

{% set newsDate = node.getCreatedTime|format_date('custom', 'j F Y') %} {% trans %} {{ newsDate }}{% endtrans %}

Having done that, I realise the original code was the equivalent of doing this:

t('1 March 2018');

(I'm less of a front-end coder, so putting it in PHP makes it more obvious to me than twig code!)

So the date actually was translatable, but only as the whole string -- so unless the translators had gone through translating every single individual date, the German month name was never going to show!

What I needed was the twig equivalent of using placeholders like this PHP example:

t('My name is @name, hello!', ['@name' => $name]);

When you use variables between twig's trans and endtrans tags, they really are treated by Drupal as if they were placeholders, so this is the twig version:

{% trans %} My name is {{ name }}, hello! {% endtrans %}

This helped me understand twig that little bit more, and appreciate how to use it better! Regardless of formatting dates, I now know better how to set up translatable text within templates, hopefully you do too :-)

Drupal Europe: How Publiq is using blockchain to tackle urgent challenges for publishers

5 days 15 hours ago
Drupal Europe: Publishing + Media Special Focus

What industries come to mind when you hear blockchain? Banking? Trading? Healthcare? How about publishing? At Drupal Europe publishers will gain insights into the potential blockchain technology offers and learn how they can benefit. Meet Gagik Yeghiazarian, founder of the nonprofit foundation Publiq, and learn how he wants to fight fake news and build a censorship-resistant platform — using blockchain.

The publishing world is changing. Publishers no longer solely control media distribution. Big players like Facebook and Google are middlemen between the publishers and their readers, and technology built to entice publishers — Google’s AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) and Facebook Instant Articles — has strengthened social platforms as distribution channels. Additionally, publishers have lost money making classifieds business as employment and real estate markets create their own platforms and portals to reach the audience.

Photo by Ian Schneider on Unsplash

As a result of these developments, publishers are losing direct relationships with their readers as well as critical advertising which traditionally supported the editorial and operational costs. The platforms act as middlemen, using the content of the publishers for collecting data and selling them to advertisers. The publishers are left out in the cold.

Critically, publishers are also facing a crisis of confidence. As social platforms are used to spread fake news and poor content, mistrust in journalism grows.

The nonprofit foundation Publiq wants to face these challenges with a blockchain-powered infrastructure. It aims at removing unnecessary intermediaries from the equation and helping to create an independent, censorship-free environment. Gagik Yeghiazarian, CEO and Co-Founder of Publiq, is convinced: “Blockchain infrastructure allows content creators, readers and other participants to build a trusted relationship.”

You can learn more about Publiq and its blockchain infrastructure at Drupal Europe in Darmstadt: Gagik Yeghiazarian’s session “Blockchain Distributed Media — A Future for good publishing” will give you a glimpse into this new technology and a real-world application of it.

While you’re at Drupal Europe, be sure to check out the exciting blockchain panel discussion where Gagik, Ingo Rübe of Botlabs, and Taco Potze of Open Social, will share insights and use cases for blockchain technology. Don’t miss this!

Drupal Europe
Publishing & Media — Track Chairs

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1 hour 7 minutes ago
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