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David Herron: Do 3rd party commenting systems (Disqus et al) support my community, or theirs?

Planet Drupal - 4 April 2014 - 5:45pm

It used to be that Web 2.0 was the cool new thing, and a core feature was that the audience could leave comments on websites. It's common nowadays for websites to support comments, and comment areas have become (in some cases) a war zone full of partisan bickering. It was ground-breaking the 10ish or so years ago that websites began to support 3rd party comments. Really.


Topics: Online CommunityDrupal PlanetDisqustechsparx
Categories: Drupal

Drupal Association News: Drupal.org team week notes #23: Drupal Dev Days Szeged

Planet Drupal - 4 April 2014 - 1:05pm

This week’s notes will be all about something unique, which happened last week: a 7 day long sprint for Drupal.org.

Personal blog tags: week notes
Categories: Drupal

Midwestern Mac, LLC: DrupalCon and DrupalCamp news + free DrupalCon ticket!

Planet Drupal - 4 April 2014 - 7:19am

This week, the DrupalCon Austin sessions have been posted, and I'm thrilled to have one of my session submissions (in the DevOps track) selected: DevOps for Humans: Ansible for Drupal Deployment Victory!.

The session will go over how Ansible can be used to realize faster, easier, and more successful Drupal deployments, as well as Ansible's ability to make sure that every environment is 'like production', so you don't ever have surprises when you deploy code to its final destination.

Categories: Drupal

Wunderkraut blog: Getting Acquia certified

Planet Drupal - 4 April 2014 - 4:42am

So I am an Acquia Certified Developer as of this week. Do I feel any different ? Not really, but i’m glad I did the test a couple of days ago, as it kinda gives you a personal status update on your global Drupal knowledge. Here’s the rundown of my experience.

Getting started


There are already a bunch of blog posts popping up sharing experiences about taking this test, even on our own Wunderkraut blog. But there are two posts I read before doing the test myself which are worth spending your time on: a post by webchick and an article by Tanay Sai. The latter has a nice overview of all the different fields of expertise, with some links to relevant documentation.

Setting up the test was actually quite a breeze. OK, you have to install the Sentinel software package, and you can’t use Chrome, but other than that I had no problems getting started using a Mac. To tell you the truth, I was expecting worse, and the fact that I managed to schedule the test only a few hours earlier was a nice suprise as well.

Doing the test


Well, as Angie recommended, I made sure I went to the bathroom and had plenty of liquids in arm’s reach.

Starting the test, you have 90 minutes for 60 questions, which are all multiple choice. Some questions were actually hard to grasp from the first read. Maybe it were the nerves, but I do remember a couple of questions where I only got the question after reading it for the second time. So do take your time, although you may be pressured by seeing the time ticking away on the exam screen.

The content of the test is quite broad. Being served frontend questions as a mainly backend developer is a good way of knowing what the state of your general knowledge is, outside what may be considered as your comfort zone. So if you never did any theming work, i’d recommend looking into the theming basics. 
And actually it’s the other way around as well. You’re a sitebuilder/themer? Check out some backend basics too.  

The questions can be tricky, giving multiple similar options which can make you doubt at times. Especially in these days of IDEs doing all the code completion work for you, you do need to have a clue about the inner works of Drupal.

Another thing is that the (code) formatting of the questions proved to be a issue in some cases, as it made it hard to distinguish all the different options.

Done!


I completed the test in about 60 minutes, even with reviewing some flagged questions. In hindsight, I should have taken more time, as I still had half an hour left and could've upped my score I guess. But it’s good to know that following my gut feeling, I went through the whole thing just fine. So now it's up to you.

Categories: Drupal

Acquia: Drupal 8 + Symfony - "This is what open source is all about"

Planet Drupal - 4 April 2014 - 4:11am

Part 1 of 2 - I spoke with Richard Miller and Tom Kitchin, software engineers at SensioLabs UK and its parent company Inviqa respectively, via a Google Hangout on Air recently. I wanted to learn more about PHP and Symfony from their perspective and how they think the Drupal 8 and Symfony2 are going to affect each other. In part 2, I learn the inside story on one of the first Drupal 8 sites online, www.sensiolabs.co.uk, what their goals were and how they built it and have kept it running since May 2013, and how Drupal 8 will change the way they design applications for clients going forward.

Categories: Drupal

Wunderkraut blog: Grumpy Swedish developer gets tilted and need to change his name

Planet Drupal - 4 April 2014 - 3:42am

So we got an old windows computer setup to do the exam. Could install teh software needed, launched Sentiel to setup up my profile, and I was told to write my name to test my speed on the keyboard. So I entered my name, and “WRONG!”. Got a password error sign. Now I got confused, I was not told enter my password. But ok, so I entered my password. “WRONG”. I tried to write my name again. “WRONG”. Bullocks.

I tried to contact support from Sentiel application. A chat window opened, and I got a welcome message from the support, nice. So I started to write  my question about the password warning error thing. I did a typo in the question, hit backspace, and Abrakadabra, my screen got tilted, and were now laying on the side. WTF. I guess some software error and mismatch on the Windows computers soft- or hardware. I guess software, you know, it’s Windows.

Opened the control panel, got the screen on right side again, and started to write in the support chat again after starting a new session. And Abrakadabra. Tilted screen. Maybe its a feature….

So I started thinking instead. You got to have a US-keyboard to do the test, and maybe Sentiel just doesnt love my lastname, Schirén. I suspected é here. So I changed the spelling of my last name, with and “e” instead. And yeah. That worked.

Doing the certification text in 20 minutes, let’s see what happens.

EDIT: I passed. Now I am an Acquia Certified Developer. But still a little bit grumpy. I will come back on the issue next week.

Image: "Confused" by Slava

Categories: Drupal

alexpott: What next for me? Drupal 8 funding and more

Planet Drupal - 4 April 2014 - 1:26am

It's been a year since I quit my job to work on Drupal and play with Jack. Many amazingly special things have happened to me. I still remember falling off my seat when Dries asked me to be a committer and lying awake all night with excitement whilst I "slept on it".

Without the Drupal community's support I would have had to return to work much earlier. With everyone's donations through gittip, two companies' financial support and my own savings, I've been able to continue working full time on core. However my savings are diminished and the corporate sponsorship only lasts until 18th April. Fundraising month to month is more than a little stressful when a family is involved. Therefore I plan to take some form of employment. Hopefully I will be able to find some interesting work starting at the beginning of May.

Whatever type of job I take it is important to me that I have the ability to continue to contribute as much as possible to Drupal 8 and have time for my family. What will happen to my gittip? This depends on the type of job I take. If I take a contracting job where I work less than a full work week I will reset my target so that it'll amount to extra time I will work on core. If I take a full time job that allows me to work on core I plan to create a gittip team called "Drupal Core" to which I will transfer all my gittip earnings to this. Obviously, people are free to redirect their gittips as they see fit.

Fundraising and Drupal

There are companies using Drupal that are willing to contribute to core even though the immediate benefits are not tangible. One of the companies that has funded me since December is a Drupal user, but not at all focussed on Drupal development. The only condition for receiving the money is that I do not disclose their name. This is because it is not easy from an accounting perspective for a company to donate money to an individual.

We all know that core is more complex than ever and the interests in Drupal larger. Sustaining Drupal core development is a key challenge for the community. I think we need to seriously consider extending the Drupal Association's remit to be able to coordinate the collection and distribution of funds from major Drupal users for Drupal core development. If this is impossible then this does not mean we should not still try to solve the problem.

Thanks

Feel free to contact me if you have an interesting job offer - especially if it involves Drupal 8.

Lastly, thank you to everyone for your wonderful support.

Tags:
Categories: Drupal

Change(b)log: Commerce Marketplace: Installation and use cases

Planet Drupal - 4 April 2014 - 12:52am
This tutorial will guide you through all the steps required to replicate the Commerce Marketplace demo site on your own server, and then explain how its behaviour differs depending on various configuration settings.
Categories: Drupal

Darren Mothersele: Drupal Theme Generator Update

Planet Drupal - 3 April 2014 - 4:00pm

It's been a week now since I demoed my proof-of-concept for an automated theme generator at the Drupal show and tell event so I thought I'd collect together the feedback I've received so far and post an update.

Wrong Approach?

Almost unanimously positive feedback. In fact, it seems other people have been thinking along similar lines:

@mothersele dude! just saw http://t.co/GyV2m41eUe This is something that @jenlampton, @mortendk, @Cottser and I have discussed for 8.x twig!

— Mark Carver (@mark_carver) March 29, 2014

The one opposing view I have encountered wasn't actually against any of the ideas in the theme generator, but suggested that taking over Drupal markup was wrong and that we should be working with what Drupal provides. I know there are arguments for this, and if you want to go this route then you will need some other mechanism for documenting the conversion of your design to Drupal theme. If you want to argue this case, I'd suggest first try having that discussion with Morten, as I'm going to assume that we're all OK with the concept of taking complete control of (completely rewriting) Drupal's markup output.

Annotation

In an earlier prototype I had started working with annotations inside HTML comments but I found these increasing harder to parse as the extractions became more sophisticated. Someone in conversation brought up ideas from KSS and suggested looking at CSS comments as an alternative.

I'm still proposing this as a possible approach (see Docblock), but for now I'm going to continue to annotate the markup (not the CSS) with x- attributes, as no one has had an issue with this, and at this stage it's easier to work with QueryPath to create the extractions based on these attributes. It seems that annotating the markup with x- attributes will be acceptable as long as they are stripped from the markup during the build process.

@rootwork @illepic @micahgodbolt @EvanLovely @mothersele Interesting! Do the data attributes get stripped out during the build step?

— Brad Frost (@brad_frost) March 28, 2014

It was great to get feedback from Brad Frost as his work on Atomic Design has been influential in the development of this process.

In code, or config

In this first proof-of-concept, the generated theme is held in memory, well actually it is persisted as a Drupal variable containing a single object that holds the result of all the 'extractions' from the source. The original intention was that this would actually be a ctools exportable, so that it could be exported and managed as part of the configuration management process for the site.

This is how the Panels flexible layout builder works. It has one parent layout plugin that programmatically declares child layout plugins based on the layouts you define using the layout builder tool. These child layouts are stored as exportable objects, so they can be exported using Features. The current Hyde theme generator approach is similar, except that the parent plugins (for layout or styles) programmatically declare child layout and style plugins based on the result of each extraction from the HTML source design.

Storing the result of the build in configuration or database raised some concerns, mainly over capturing the results in version control. These tweets summarise the issue:

@mothersele interesting implementation. But I believe that should definitely generate theme in code, not just DB @mcjim @MattFielding

— Tom Bamford (@waako) March 28, 2014

@waako If a prototype is always in sync with a Drupal theme, the markup *is* all in code right? // @mothersele @mcjim

— Matt Fielding (@MattFielding) March 28, 2014

Matt picks up on my original intention, in that the design/theme would be captured in code and be version-able because the translation is automatic from the design's HTML/CSS/JS.

The difficulty is in managing any changes that happen to the generated code once it becomes a Drupal theme. This is exactly the problem that using the theme generator is trying to solve. That it provides a documented, repeatable conversion process, so that design can become part of the (agile) development workflow.

However, it is going to be unavoidable that some tweaking will be needed. This covers a couple more issues that were raised at the Drupal show-and-tell event:

  • How to manage logic in template files?
  • How to capture Drupal's pre-process functions?

The approach I am looking at to solve this, is one I've seen practised by other tools that involve code generation. For example, have you seen BDD using Behat? When define a test scenario in Behat it generates stub code for any unrecognised steps in your tests. For example, if you say "Given I am in a directory", you would get the generated stub code:

/** * @Given /^I am in a directory "([^"]*)"$/ */ public function iAmInADirectory($argument1) { throw new PendingException(); }

I think the theme generator could do something similar for elements marked as requiring pre-processing in the template file. This needs some further thought and perhaps a couple of experiements.

Terminology

Still struggling with naming conventions. If this is going to be a more general tool then need generally understandable terms (like 'component'). But, need to avoid overloading terms even more, as it's already quite confusing having SMACSS modules, Drupal modules, panels, blocks, boxes, styles, layouts. urgh!

Next steps...

@mothersele @mark_carver I love it. Also love that it works w/ panels! Q: Are the layout plugins placed in the theme? @mortendk @Cottser

— Jen Lampton (@jenlampton) March 31, 2014

So, I'm going to revise the current proof-of-concept and produce a second prototype. This time as a Drush command that generates an actual Drupal theme. Rather than holding the extracted theme in configuration it will generate a theme folder, that will include all the usual Drupal theme files, plus any plugins for Panels layouts, styles, display suite etc, and the CSS/JS copied across from the source design.

This will allow Hyde to generate stub code for pre-processing or other programmatic tweaks that are needed to get Drupal's output to match the design markup. I also think people will be more accepting of this approach as it's probably more like how it is expected to work.

My worry is that people will then hack the generated theme, it will go out of sync with the source design markup, and that will break the whole process.

If you want to get involved, please drop me a line. I need input from designers, themers, and developers. In particular, I'd be interested to speak to anyone else already using Atomic Design and/or SMACSS on Drupal projects.

Categories: Drupal

PreviousNext: Object-oriented page callbacks for Drupal 7

Planet Drupal - 3 April 2014 - 3:45pm

In Drupal we use object-oriented page and form callbacks to ease our programmning burden This is a nice improvement that allows us to encapsulate the functionality of one or many page callbacks into objects, with all the benefits that brings. Is it possible for us to us object-oriented page callbacks in Drupal 7? With a few tricks, yes it is. This article shows you how.

This is part of a continuing series of using Drupal 8 programming techniques in Drupal 7.

Categories: Drupal

PreviousNext: Object-oriented page callbacks for Drupal 7

Planet Drupal - 3 April 2014 - 3:45pm

In Drupal we use object-oriented page and form callbacks to ease our programmning burden This is a nice improvement that allows us to encapsulate the functionality of one or many page callbacks into objects, with all the benefits that brings. Is it possible for us to us object-oriented page callbacks in Drupal 7? With a few tricks, yes it is. This article shows you how.

This is part of a continuing series of using Drupal 8 programming techniques in Drupal 7.

Categories: Drupal

Wunderkraut blog: Does Acquia Certification give you personal ROI?

Planet Drupal - 3 April 2014 - 2:48pm

I’ve been recruiting many Drupal developers. The process is usually a mixture of random in-depth questions, a drupal.org profile review and pure intuition on the applicant’s fit for our company.

That’s why I felt genuinely interested in the recently published Acquia Certification program. Could a single test provide a trustworthy distinction between a seasoned and an unexperienced Drupal developer? I got to test myself a couple of days ago.

The Acquia Certified Developer Exam promised to analyze a testee’s knowledge of Drupal as well as web development skills in general. The covered areas are so overly wide that it is pretty hard to cover all corners with 60 multiple choice questions. Drupal was naturally present in most them while some of the other development topics were covered only by one or two.

The test time was limited to 90 minutes which I spent completely. The most time consuming part was reading the questions themselves.  I would have made the answer options tricky, not the questions. The questions were  quite lengthy, trying to mimic a real life case of an freelancer. An entreprise level questions would have had more focus on testing, scalability, deployment and documentation - not to mention drupal.org participation.

My overall feeling about the exam was positive. Althought I would have preferred the test being split into more specialized, separate tests, the certificate test gives what it promises. After completing my test, I got the results which reflected in my mind quite well my personal skills.

For sure one cannot pass the test only by guessing so the certificate is a valid testimony of prior in-depth Drupal experience. That’s why having a Acquia Certification in your CV will give you additional credibility and personal ROI. It will grow from personal ROI to corporate ROI when becoming an acknowledged selling point as well as a decision criterion in tendering processes.

 

Categories: Drupal

ThinkShout: Reflections on Drupal Day: Creating a One-Size-Fits-All Day for Nonprofit Professionals and Technologists

Planet Drupal - 3 April 2014 - 8:00am

Originally published March 26 on NTEN.org

Learning a new technology can be incredibly intimidating, especially if you’re going at it alone. There’s great comfort in knowing that you’re not the only one with those particular questions or having this recurring, frustrating problem. Stranding yourself on a technological island is so unnecessary, especially given how accessible learning resources are these days. This is the beauty of the modern technology communities.

Specifically, the Drupal community. It’s everywhere, it’s friendly, and it’s full of helpful people excited to share their expertise and bring new talent into the fold. I spent the last four months preparing for Drupal Day, a Drupal-centric, day-long workshop that ThinkShout coordinates as part of NTEN’s Nonprofit Technology Conference (NTC). I didn’t quite understand the scope of this community until those months finally culminated in the big day.

The process was an interesting one for me especially, as it was not only my very first Drupal Day but also my first experience at the NTC. How do you create a one-size-fits-all day for a large group of people, both nonprofit professionals and technologists, with a wide range of technical competency levels?

It may not be a perfect fit, but so long as there are options, your attendees remain in control and are able to choose the sessions relevant to their interests. With the collaborative efforts of our sponsors and nonprofit feedback, we were able to put together a day jam-packed with content.

My experience with Drupal Day left me with a few key takeaways for those looking to dive into Drupal:

1. The Drupal community really is awesome.

Drupal.org is only the beginning, but it’s a fantastic beginning full of answers. There are forums, an archive of resources, and even a live chat if that’s more your speed. There’s a wealth of information available to you online, all of it curated by the people that know and love Drupal best. This community isn’t purely digital, either. If you live in a large city, chances are there’s a Drupal meetup near you. If you’d prefer to meet face to face, you can, whether it’s through a local event, full-blown DrupalCon, or nonprofit summits at NYC Camp, and BADCamp. You can also access paid training on BuildAModule, but the best part is that you can meet Christ Shattuck, the BuildAModule instructor, in person at a ton of these events. You’re going to start recognizing people quickly, and it’s going to be more helpful than you might think.

2. Learn from others’ stories and share your own.

One of the draws of Drupal Day is that it’s a great opportunity to hear from nonprofit decision makers about their experiences with Drupal. This year, every single one of our speakers represented a nonprofit with a successful Drupal story and each came from different technological backgrounds. We chose speakers that we believed had great, impactful stories that Drupal Day attendees could learn from. This year, Erin Harrington from The Salmon Project, Jess Snyder from WETA, Porter Mason from UNICEF, Milo Sybrant from the International Rescue Committee, and Tony Kopetchny from Pew Charitable Trusts joined us to share their experiences. You can learn more about their projects by clicking through to their websites.

3. Every question is a good question.

There really aren’t any dumb questions, especially when it comes to Drupal. The community embraces newcomers and fosters a great environment for learning. No matter your technical competency level, they’ve got an answer for you. This is why we structured Drupal Day 2014 the way we did: nonprofit speakers in the morning talking about their personal accounts of their organization’s experience with Drupal, followed by an afternoon of twelve breakout sessions covering a variety of topics, where guests could move from classroom to classroom easily. We collaborated with our developer sponsors and nonprofit attendees to determine what information was most relevant to nonprofits. We crafted a day around the topics they wanted to learn about. Everything from Google Analytics to content creation had a place at Drupal Day.

The Drupal community is one that needs to be experienced to truly understand its value. It’s a wonderful stage for nonprofits, no matter where their organization is at technology-wise. Drupal Day is a prime example of that, but there are many more events on the horizon, which I highly recommend if you’re on the fence about diving into Drupal. Of course, I also encourage everyone to come out to Drupal Day at the next NTC and see just what exactly it feels like to be part of this fantastic community.

Categories: Drupal

drupalsear.ch: This week in Search API - Meeting notes 01/04/2014

Planet Drupal - 3 April 2014 - 7:59am

On Tuesday, April first we had our first Search API Online meeting using Google Hangout. The following is a result of what was decided and said. It's also a start of this week in Search API so that we allow you to follow along.

What have we done

Frederick fixed the batch process, needs to be tested
During Drupal Dev Days we made 322 commits
Heaviest hours were from 09:00 till 19:00 and then it went up again from 22:00 till 24:00. Thanks to freblasty we even had commits during the middle of the night, 9 of them at 04:00.
Wednesday was our most productive day with 75 commits. Saturday was our low point with only 36 commits, I guess that has something to do with the party on Friday evening…!
20834 lines were added, 11996 were removed
In total we had 15 contributors!!!!
A blog post with more details will be posted soon.
http://drupalsear.ch/rocketship/all/all now features the issues from the sandbox also. If you see issues in Needs Review, please go in and review and/or put your opinion.

What will we do

In General more tests for the processors is our main focus
The indexing logic needs to be reviewed and tested
We’ll move to the proper Search API project once basic functionality is working and we want to work on features.
freblasty is going to move all the issues from the google doc to the sandbox issue queue.
drunkenmonkey will review if the information is clear enough on the main Search API Module page so that people are guided towards best practices and they can join the effort.
Nick_vh will figure how search api tests quickly locally using drupal.org docker images.
Nick_vh will figure out how to proceed with a this week in Search API blog post (which is what you are more or less reading right now).
Nick_vh will register drupalsear.ch and link d8searchapi.acquia.com to it.

For your information

freblasty has a holiday and seems he has time to work on some harder issues. He needs some cheering!
We decided that we'll talk about multiple entity types per index next meeting.
Before committing/pushing, we will always run tests.

Tags:
Categories: Drupal

Blink Reaction: How to Add the Current Date to a View in Drupal 7

Planet Drupal - 3 April 2014 - 6:31am

Today, someone in IRC asked how to add the current date to a View they were working on. Seemed simple enough, and I offered to help, thinking it was just a matter of sticking a token in the View header. And it was...sort of. Incredibly, Google searches turned up only code-based solutions. Overkill. Here's a UI-based approach.

To add the current date to the top of a View, follow these steps:

Categories: Drupal

Commercial Progression: The Acquia Certified Developer exam

Planet Drupal - 3 April 2014 - 5:49am

I recently took the Acquia Certified Developer exam and I’m proud to say that I passed by a significant margin. While it was by no means easy, it shouldn’t be insanely difficult for anyone who is a competent, experienced Drupal developer to get a passing score.

I originally heard about it through Acquia’s partner newsletter (Commercial Progression is an Acquia partner) but it was a blog post from Angie "webchick" Byron that really sold me on it. I really liked the idea that it would test practical knowledge and not just require memorizing a bunch of facts. I also felt that being offered by Acquia, one of the most recognized and trusted names for all things Drupal, really helps give it credibility that it might not have if some other company was offering it.

Onsite vs online

After reading about the Secure Sentinel software used for the online testing, I decided to go the onsite route. My biggest concern was that despite my best efforts to avoid disturbances, something would inevitably happen that would cause me to have to retake the exam. Rather than chance it, I decided to just do the onsite exam.

When you register for an onsite exam, you will receive an email with an authorization code and instructions. Essentially it boils down to “show up 15 minutes early with this email and 2 forms of id”. From there, you have to sign some forms (code of conduct and consent to be recorded) and hand over any items you brought with you (wallet, watch, cellphone, etc) which they will store for you until you’re finished since you have any of that with you during the exam. Once all that’s taken care of, they will get the computer setup and take you to the room to start your exam.

Exam prep

If somehow you haven’t seen it already, Webchick has put together an excellent study guide. The sample question is also worth a look but if you feel that you need to do a lot of studying, you should probably re-think whether you should be taking the test. Studying is good for brushing up on topics you might be a little rusty on but it’s no substitute for hands-on experience.

The exam

While I obviously can’t really say anything about the content of the exam, I will say that it is focused things that you will actually encounter and use, not just a bunch of random facts. If you have experience building, maintaining, and fixing Drupal sites using best practices, it will serve you well.

When I was taking the exam, there were questions that actually caused me to smile when I read them because I knew the answer right away. They pertained to scenarios that I had encountered and dealt with while working on Drupal sites. If you’re an experienced developer, don’t be surprised to see some familiar scenarios and issues on the exam.

The actual process was fairly smooth and the 90 minute time limit seems pretty reasonable. I was able to thoroughly read all of the questions, evaluate the answers, and go back and review the questions that I had flagged all with time to spare.

There was one minor issue where the testing system got stalled between questions for a minute or so. That ended up resolving itself just as I was about to call the proctor and the timer resumed from where it was previously so I didn’t actually lose any time. It seems like that was just a minor hiccup with the testing system and not really anyone’s fault.

Final thoughts

When you get you results after the exam, your score is broken down by topic so you can see how well you did in each of the four “domains” the exam covers. It would be nice to be able to see what questions you got wrong after you complete the exam but I realize that might not be possible. One possible alternative might be to give a more detailed breakdown of the score using the sub-topics from the blueprint (eg “3.1 Given a scenario, demonstrate ability to create a custom theme or sub theme”) so the people who take the exam have a better idea of areas where they may need to improve.

The best advice I can give to anyone taking this exam is don’t overthink things and go with your gut. Acquia is not trying to trick you. As long as you read the whole question you should be fine. If you’re an experienced developer and you’re unsure about the answer for a question even after you’ve gone back and reviewed it, the best thing you can do is just go with your first instinct as it’s probably correct.

Categories: Drupal

Wunderkraut blog: Slides from Vagrant+Puppet=TRUE from Drupal Dev Days in Szeged

Planet Drupal - 3 April 2014 - 4:37am

On Drupal Dev Days I gave a talk about how we work with Vagrant and Puppet with development, here are the slides from that talk.

If you have any questions, please comment.

 

Categories: Drupal

InternetDevels: Flexible materials sorting with the help of Radioactivity module

Planet Drupal - 3 April 2014 - 4:30am

While planning site architecture with a large amount of materials, developers often face such issue: how to implement a flexible materials sorting, or how to make the most interesting articles not to be lost among the new content?

Here we will describe the solution we have implemented while handling this kind of task.

Read more
Categories: Drupal

Code Positive: Sage Pay

Planet Drupal - 3 April 2014 - 3:20am

Sage Pay is one of the world’s most trusted payment solutions providers.

Our brief was to create a platform which could be used to build and maintain a website for each of the countries Sage Pay operates in, supporting existing customers and promoting Sage Pay services in those countries.

Background

Sage Pay has earned a reputation for security and good service. From startups to major brands, fifty thousand business of all sizes relly on Sage Pay to succesfully processes customer payments.

Sage Pay approched Code Positive to re-build the main corporate platform from which all Sage Pay country websites are built and maintained. The objectives were to present fresh new branding and make it possible for Sage Pay customers, partners, and developers to more quickly find solutions and information.  

Code Positive provided consultancy, project planning, project management, development, and on-going support for the project.

Drupal was used to implemented the project, and hosting was provided by Acquia.

Site Highlights Marketing

The Payment Solutions section features visually rich explanations of the advantages of Sage Pay products, step-by-step guides on how to switch to Sage Pay, and information for statups and corporates. Each page has a clear call to action to connect the visitor to the sage Pay sales team.

The Partner and Developer section of the site provides information on becoming a partner, and helps partners and developers find developer resources and information about 3rd party integrations. Similar to the Solutions section, navigation is visually driven and there is a good balance of imagery and content on the pages with strong call to actions in the form of buttons, teasers with icons and customer logos linked to case studies.

Customer and partner case studies highlight how different Sage Pay solutions have solved problems and met the needs of customers and partners - two different audiences for Sage Pay. The case studies grab the attention of the reader with quotes and logos from prominent customers and partners. Case studies are promoted throughout the site with case study carousels and lists of linked logo thumbnails.

Support

The support section makes it quick and easy for Sage Pay’s various audiences to find the help that they need.

It features support articles on various topics, integration guides explaing how Sage Pay products can be used with other applications, online shoppers FAQ for anyone making payments through Sage Pay services, and contact details for 24/7 support services through which clients and partners can get more information.

Also available in the support section are logo downloads that can be added to a website to show it’s using Sage Pay services, a beta testing programme registration, a glossary with definitions of termnology used on the site, and explanations of error codes and their suggested solutions.

One of the most important features of the site is the system monitor which provides up to the moment information on the status of Sage Pay services.

The support section has a search facility, including the option to search specifically in error codes so that integrators can quickly diagnose problems and find solutions.

The Sage Pay forum is hosted externaly on Stack Overflow. which has excellent tools for technical support and a large and active developer community.

Content Strategy

The client’s brief had two almost contradictory requirements for the site’s content strategy:

  1. Flexibility to add a completely different mix of content to each page
  2. Rigidlly defined content fields that would guide staff in entering content

A flexible content system would enable the marketing department to create whatever message was appropriate for each page. Rigid content fields would maintain consistency across the site, and allow content parts to be re-used on other pages, or hidden on mobile devices.

We squared this circle by analyzing the content that would be added to the site and found common repeating patterns, we then implemented each of the patterns as component types that could be added to any page in any order. Options were also added so the client could control the position and styling of each component as it was created.

We met this challenge by analysing the planned site content to find common repeating patterns. We then built a component for each of these patterns, that could be used to add structured content to any page in any order. The components included flexible configuration options that empowered Sage Pay to control the layout, styling and order of the content as it is added to a page.

Most of the components were developed to have a one-to-one relationship with the page they would be added to, and we also provided a few components that could be re-used on multiple pages.

After a few weeks of use, feedback from the client enabled us to refine the user interface of the component system, to provide a system that is flexible, powerful, and easy to use.

Tokens

One of the challenges was to make it easy for Sage Pay to manage and maintain lots of pieces of information, like telephone numbers and prices, across multiple pages.

To solve this problem, we implemented a token system that enable the client to use place holder tokens anywhere in their copy, which are automatically filled in with information before being displayed on the web page.

The client can easily create new tokens as required, and updating the information associated with a token updates the information across the website.

Media Management

The website makes extensive use of images, videos, and downloadable documents as part of it’s marketing and support features.

We used Media module to implement a media management system that enables the client to add media to the site’s asset library, re-use them across multiple pages, and track which pages each asset is used on.

The system also allows the client to update a media asset, such as a new image of a product, and have the site display the new version everywhere it used the old version.

Drupal Contributions Node View Mode

Provides a field that can be used to select a view mode on each node.

Node View Mode The Results

The site has exceeded the client’s expectations for flexibility and ease of use in adding content. Sage Pay’s marketing and support teams are excited about the positive feedback from customers, developers and partners.

Drupal ConsultingDrupal DevelopmentDrupal Maintenance
Categories: Drupal

Károly Négyesi: Drupal 8 progress from my / MongoDB perspective: update #26

Planet Drupal - 2 April 2014 - 9:28pm

At DrupalDevDays Szeged, skipyT, fgm and myself made tremendous progress with writing the MongoDB drivers. All the override mechanisms work as expected and things in general, work. Most importantly, we have an entity storage backend and a significant percentage of the entity storage query tests pass (it is not expected all ever would pass, for example relationships are not supported). I have also managed to get the "add aggregator feed" test pass (going in ABC order among entities), this hit a snag where a recent rewrite of the testing framework broke overriding services during testing and I am not allowed to fix this so automated testing will require a small core patch. Otherwise we would need to create a mostly empty testing class for every test, this is clearly not desirable. Also at DDD, Ricardo Amaro and Jeremy Thorson have made significant strides in creating a more modern testbot based on Docker, I intend to run an instance at home and see how MongoDB fares with all the tests. I am reasonably confident by the time the beta happens, you will be able to run it solely on MongoDB.

Meanwhile, migration got stalled by an unrelated core issue, it's close to a resolution now. Other core changes broke many migrations but by now we should be back on track and again, I am reasonably sure by beta time the Drupal 6 to Drupal 8 path will be there to test. Will Drupal 7? I hope too but nothing is certain.

Categories: Drupal
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