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Cocomore: Q and A with Dries — All questions and answers summarized from Drupalcon Amsterdam 2014

6 October 2014 - 11:31am

One Drupalcon session of particular interest to many in the community, since the first of them, has been the “Q&A with Dries”, a core-conversation -track, where Dries is joined by a panel of his initiative leads and other major contributors to Drupal 8 core development. Since I'd wished, in the past, that sessions like these had a video recording to show who was talking, I brought my DSLR and a shotgun microphone this time, thinking I'd contribute the resulting video. I don't think the video I shot was technically perfect enough to share and I realized that one panel member also prefers to limit her exposure on the Web and respect that, of course; since it's much easier to blur or block out a face in a few images than in a video, and since you can read this summary in much less time than the hour+ -length session, too, I decided to provide stills from the video, along with a summary of the questions and answers, which ranged from the whimsical (a bet on how long it would be till Drupal 8 would be released as “stable” to various business and architecture questions and concerns.

(You’ll find a more serious answer(s) to that question if you read on...). Of course, Dries began by asking each of his panelists to introduce themselves. Those present were:

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Categories: Drupal

Appnovation Technologies: Up and Running with Acquia Dev Desktop

6 October 2014 - 11:12am

Getting a Drupal site up and running is easier than ever with Acquia Dev Desktop.

var switchTo5x = false;stLight.options({"publisher":"dr-75626d0b-d9b4-2fdb-6d29-1a20f61d683"});
Categories: Drupal

Urban Insight: Tracking progress in embedded Vimeo videos

6 October 2014 - 8:14am

Urban Insight operates a highly successful on-demand video service, Planetizen Courses. The service keeps improving rapidly; it’s not uncommon for new features to appear on the site. One recent enhancement allows the system to keep track of progression in videos as they are being watched.

This enhancement allows for two new features:

Categories: Drupal

Phase2: Introducing DrupalCon Amsterdam Hackathon Champs!

6 October 2014 - 8:03am

Last Monday, Phase2 hosted a distribution hackathon at DrupalCon Amsterdam. While we were excited to see what our hackers would come up with, we were blown away by what was accomplished in an evening of hacking.  The winners of the hackathon developed a Drupal 8 distribution called Drupal Promo Kit. This distribution allows anyone to easily create presentations and landing pages using Drupal. Other hack projects included Open Atrium Apps, Panopoly apps, and more. I got to chat with the hackathon winners: Kate Marshalkina , Konstantin Komelin, John Ennew, and Mariano Barcia, to learn how they came up with their idea and how they did it:

Q: What was your inspiration for your hackathon project?

A: We wanted to test our skills in Drupal 8 and see if we could build our own distribution.  We also wanted to build a unique solution that was useful and meaningful.

Q: How did you prep for the hackathon?

A: About a week before the hackathon Kate and I (Konstantin) brainstormed potential hackathon ideas. Our goal was to decide on a project that we could complete by the end of the hackathon, so once we decided on our idea for the project, we decided on the scope of our project and the minimal and maximum viable product.  We then decided on the tools we would use including Bitbucket, Google docs, Slack, and Trello.

Q: And once you arrived at the hackathon, what was your experience working with other people?

A: When the hackathon kicked off, we announced our project and goals to everyone and found some new team members that were interested in what we wanted to do. John Ennew and Mariano Barcia joined us and it was amazing how easy it was to pick up and start developing with other Drupalers. We were able to start developing rapidly in just a couple of hours. It didn’t matter that we were all coming from different backgrounds, with different skill levels, we were all speaking Drupal, a universal language.

Q: What do you think is the value of hackathons?

A: Hackathons are a great opportunity to meet other Drupalers in the greater Drupal community and work together to solve problems. Hackathons at Drupalcon are special because your  team can come from all over the world, and you all have different cultures, different jokes, and new ideas.  Not only do you build friendships throughout the event, but all the different perspectives and experiences strengthen your project. Hackathons let you dive into something you are interested in and at the same time, it can help push Drupal forward.  We learned so much about Drupal 8 while working on this project, and we plan on taking our experience and feedback to the core team to help improve Drupal 8.

—————————-

Interested in learning more about Drupal Promo Kit? Check it out on Drupal.org! We want to thank all the hackers that participated in our hackathon, and can’t wait to hack with our brilliant community again soon!  See more images of the hackathon and other DrupalCon Amsterdam photos on our Flickr!

Categories: Drupal

Matt Farina: Find Security Holes With A Threat Analysis

6 October 2014 - 7:00am

It seems that every week we hear about a new high profile hacking. For example, it just came out that numerous financial institutions, in addition to JPMorgan Chase, were hacked. We live in an incredibly accessible world where those on the other side of the globe can easily knock on our digital front doors or even try to pick the locks. So, how can we try to figure out where the weak points are in our security? How can we find the tasks to work on to beef up security? One option is to perform a threat analysis.

A threat analysis for computing systems is...

Systematic detection, identification, and evaluation of areas or spots of vulnerability of a facility, operation, or system.

Let's look at some ways we can dip out toes into a threat analysis. This is not all inclusive and you'll need to go well beyond these ideas but they are a place to get started.

You'll notice I suggest documenting many of the aspects discussed. Documenting them helps to communicate the system and details to others who can offer insight and it helps to visualize what's happening.

Diagram Your System Architecture

Above is a simple example of a CMS based website, such as a common Drupal site. In the diagram diagram document all the components, even elements that browsers download from 3rd parties or components that aren't user facing.

Once you have the diagram look at all the interconnects between the different parts. For example, you may serve your pages over https but the connection between the web server and the MySQL isn't over an encrypted connection. That could offer a route to peek in on data.

Also, look at who can access what ports on what servers. If Memcached is accessible to anyone who knows the IP of the server the data in it can be retrieved by anyone. In this picture private networks, cloud security groups, or some other protection should be in place to protect anyone from ever accessing Memcached or MySQL.

Looking at the system can help you identify places to secure communications. It's an easy place to start identifying tasks.

Data Storage

Many sites store information about customers. This ranges from mundane settings through personally identifiable information (PII). Imagine an e-commerce site where someone gets into the database or can even just monitor the traffic between the web server and the database. They'll know customer names, email address, home address, and more.

Type Where Encrypted? Products MySQL No Name MySQL No Address MySQL No ... ... ...

An easy way to get a view of the data you're storing is with an old fashioned table. List out everything from the content that's displayed to the private details (even those sent to web services like a credit card processor).

Once you have this information you can combine it with the accessibility of the system and start to get an idea how open data is for hackers. It's also an easy place to start finding tasks to make the data more secure. For example, can information like addresses be encrypted?

Security Update Plan

Software is insecure. The more complicated the software the more likely there are holes in it. The software powering the Internet has regular security updates to fix the problems as they are found. By regular I don't expect a week to go by without needing to update one thing or another.

How do you update software? Is it automated? Is it often? How often? For example, it's great to install updates to a CMS but what about the web server, the database, the operating system they are on, and everything else in the system?

Document how you handle updates and then look for ways to improve on and automate the updates.

Reviewing Logs

Hacking attempts happen. Some people will even scan the entire Internet to see what's open. It's not all the hard to scan the entire Internet and you can do it at a slow pace in under a day.

Part of handling threats isn't just handling them but identifying bad situations quickly and reacting. That's where good logging practices can come in. Look at the log review practices and automate as much as possible.

Make sure to log everything (minus information such as passwords) and review those logs. If an IP address keeps trying to access your systems but fails to authenticate you should know about it. If systems are accessed when you don't expect them to be or from locations you don't expect, you should know about it.

Just the beginning...

These few things are just the beginning but a good place to start. Initially, this can raise a number of places to improve the system while getting some of the security thinking more in place.

Continue Reading »

Categories: Drupal

Lullabot: DrupalCon Amsterdam

6 October 2014 - 4:31am

In this week's episode Addison Berry and Amber Himes Matz sit down together in a quiet room at DrupalCon Amsterdam to give a quick recap on their week at the largest European DrupalCon. We chat about other events outside of the DrupalCon sessions themselves, some cool sessions, and a bit about the new Drupal 8 beta.

Categories: Drupal

Blue Drop Shop: Contributing IRL

6 October 2014 - 4:29am

Let’s face facts: I am not a coder. With a lot of caffeine, much googling and more time than is reasonable, I *can* code my way out of a paper bag, but that’s about it.

So it is highly unlikely you will ever see my username tied to a module or on a list of contributors. Sure, I created the occasional new issue on a module’s issue queue or provided feedback for a patch I needed, which in itself is a form of contributing. But messing around with core? Funny. Me writing a patch? Nope. Sprinting? I only run when being chased.

According to d.o then, I am not a contributor. 

The outward problem with this is that the language around contributing back to Drupal is code-centric. The current system places emphasis on how many commits you have and how many projects you maintain. But there is hope for those of you who, like me, won't be contributing back code anytime soon. 

I am a co-organizer for the Fox Valley Drupal Meetup Group in the western suburbs of Chicago. We held our first camp in 2013 and I was part of the team that helped pull it off, and we recently wrapped our 2014 camp.

When the idea of the inaugural MidCamp was getting kicked around, I offered up my logistics help for that as well. And I'm on deck as the logistics lead 2015.

Through my non-Drupal day job, I have extensive print experience and do a fair amount of video production work tied to the annual conference we host. So I was all over session records for all three camps, and I'm working on a rebooted session recording kit that the Drupal Association is very interested in learning more about. 

My print skills have been tapped by the core mentor team, mostly because I was hanging around a bunch of them at Drupalcon Austin and they needed materials printed for the mentored sprints at Drupalcon Amsterdam. 

Hell, I even got roped into catering the extended sprints at Austin mainly because I am passionate about food, especially when it comes from something with four wheels and an engine.

My point: there are many opportunities to give back to the community and the project as a whole in real life. It took me a while before I realized that yes, I am a contributor. Just not in a way that is currently measured. But that's not why I do it. I am forever indebted to all the heavy code lifters that I depend on for my work. It just feels good to be able to give back.

So while it’s highly unlikely you’ll ever see any kind of percentage powered by kthull on a Drupal site, I’ll continue to lend my time and talents where I can. You should too.

Tags:
Categories: Drupal

Freelock : Ask Freelock: Upgrade D6 to Drupal 7, or wait for 8?

5 October 2014 - 10:11pm

Apparently there's some FUD (Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt) being sown by a few Drupal shops who are spreading downright wrong information about Drupal 8, trying to encourage people to upgrade to 7 now. One of our clients called in a panic unsure whether she needed to act, after getting approached by Drupal Geeks pitching this misleading content, which they've now posted in a highly inaccurate blog page, here:

6 Reasons to Upgrade to Drupal 7 Right Now

DrupalDrupal PlanetDrupal 8FUD
Categories: Drupal

Robert Douglass: The DrupalCon Amsterdam Prenote : Drupal Memories

5 October 2014 - 2:28pm

Rob, Jam, and guests tell the history of DrupalCon, from Antwerp to Amsterdam, from the point of view of those whose lives were changed by them. This video includes "Oh, and one time, at Drupal Camp", "The Drupal 8 Bug Elimination Challenge", a guest appearance by Captain Drupal, a performance of "The Drupal Song", a re-enactment of the genesis of Acquia, a "Never Marry Me" proposal, and a stunning performance of "Memories" by Bryn and Campbell Vertesi.

It also concludes with the inaugural instance of "Selfieception", the culmination of the underlying metaphor behind this show. Inspired by Daniel Kahneman's TED Talk about "the future as anticipated memories", Rob and Jam set about to create a show that ties our collective experience to "the experiencing self that lives in the present, the remembering self that maintains the story of your life", and to use "storytelling as a function of what we remember from our experiences".

As we tell the stories of our DrupalCons, and how they defined us (remembering self), we engage in a dialog with the audience, who has to pay close attention to capture every moment (experiencing self), as indeed we'll have to do through the coming days of sessions, meetings, chance encounters, and business opportunities. But in a tip-of-the-hat to our remembering selves, we decide to take selfies to remember the moment by. However, to frame the shot in an optimal way, we must all turn our backs on each other, and thus the conflict between experiencing self and remembering self is embodied: the remembering self demands that the experiencing self sacrifices the performer-audience dialog, and turns the back to the present in anticipation of a future memory.

Thanks to the Drupal Association for supporting our ongoing tradition of the DrupalCon Prenote, thanks to the 1,500 people who got out of bed to be at our show at 8:00 in the morning, and thanks to everyone who stood up to tell their story.

Tags: Drupal PlanetDrupalDrupalConSelfieception
Categories: Drupal

Frederic Marand: Drupal 8 tip of the day : check menu links consistency

5 October 2014 - 5:16am

One of the interesting aspects of the revamped menu/links system in Drupal 8 is the fact that menu links are now in easily parseable YAML files, the "(module).links.menu.yml" in each module, in which each menu link can be bound to its parent link, hopefully producing a tree-like structure.

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Categories: Drupal

Triquanta Web Solutions: DrupalCon Amsterdam, 2014

5 October 2014 - 2:43am

Come to think of it, I almost decided not to go to the RAI in the morning! All the official sessions are over since thursday and yesterday there was only ‘codesprinting’ left. This is where you can help contributing to the Drupal community in an informal setting with other Drupal users.

Since I’d never taken part before I was wondering what I could possibly add, next to the most imposing names always circulating on drupal.org, that were also present at DrupalCon. But when I heard all my colleagues were going also (except for our hardworking guards left at the office) I couldn’t let them down of course and stay behind. 

De last few days were (visually) exhausting and it cost me great effort to step out of bed and pack myself together to get started.

In the RAI they were buzzing already! When I tried spotting someone I’d know, I was helped by the so-called ‘Mentors’ (which Marc and Bart were also part of!) and they were trying to give me helping hand.

The new Drupal 8-beta release was freshly installed and intact, waiting for me on my laptop, to be tackled. And since I had nothing else to do I thought: ‘let me try some exercises to find out how it works’.

The first thing that immediately struck me was that I sometimes could and sometimes could not navigate to the homepage. I found that noteworthy and it also felt inconsistent. Each time I was intuitively hovering in the upper left corner of my screen trying to find a home link.

Well let me see what was causing the problem? I found out that when you opened a new tab and surfed directly to an admin page the home link didn’t show up.

Strange! Would this already have been discussed? I could hardly imagine I would be the first one to complain. Quick: let’s see if the ‘issue cue’ could clarify. No! It wasn’t mentioned before!

And so, after only five minutes of work, I found a job that kept me busy all day. Marc explained to me how I should handle this and introduced me to the right people. First I had to create an issue, I had to define the problem, and suggest a solution. It wasn’t real rocket science by the way: it only cost me three lines of code, but to get them reviewed and accepted by the right maintainers was a whole other story… well let me spare you, I won’t go into detail. The good news is: at the end of the day I stood there, shining happily ever after, next to my colleague Daniël, and suddenly we were just ‘Core Contributors’! Everyone was applauding, we were filmed and a live commit of the patches we created was done by ‘Webchick’.

Also Patrick, my other colleague had discovered a bug en managed to get this reviewed, fixed and committed the same day.

So only one day of codesprinting on DrupalCon had passed, but Triquanta gained three new Core contributors: Well done!

And I haven’t yet mentioned the important work that has been done by Jur (on Facet API) and my colleague Elibert who discovered a bug in CKEditor.

As I said before: this DrupalCon was the best ever. For example, I enjoyed so much the visit to photomuseum FOAM where Drupalists could get in for free on Wednesday night, during the ‘cultural evening’ which I also helped organizing. And the musical event subsequently in café the Prael, where Peter en Jur gave a great concert was every bit as successful. Thursday night I was invited by the Drupal association to have dinner with the other volunteers and afterwards I took part in a very funny group to answer the most hilarious questions at the big Trivia night in café Panama.

Next year DrupalCon will be held in Barcelona. Whilst everyone wants to go there, this might turn into a huge battle! At least I know where to focus: I will, if necessary use my newly acquired status as a Drupal contributor to win this game!

Categories: Drupal

Victor Kane: Historic DrupalCon Amsterdam 2014 - Let the Debates Begin - Part I

4 October 2014 - 2:29pm

I really think that a debate needs to continue around Keynote: Dries Buytaert for the purpose of understanding the forces at work competing for the future of Drupal and indeed all open source projects. Leaving to one side without comment the really weird Dries doppelganger designed somehow to elevate the image of one of the sponsors, it was indeed saluted by many as being very special. A glance at the tweets feed for the keynote, for example, (or this one) were by and large ecstatic, and many interpreted the talk as exceedingly progressive. "The power of the people"... #digitaldisruption... "This is @Dries most socialist #Driesnote ever." "Applause even in the overflow room..." "Most relevant and interesting #DriesNote in a long time. Well done..." "Exciting. The best Dries keynote ever."

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Categories: Drupal

Triquanta Web Solutions: From Rookie to Drupal core contributor in one day

4 October 2014 - 5:25am

Picture: Thomas Ricker

A thick fog had settled in Amsterdam. Moist was gathering in my beard and a nice drupal was forming. I had a clear goal in mind and a blurry world around me. As a tourist in my own country I biked among thousands of spoked wheels. I passed hipster parents with children in carts throwing clouds at each other. And soon the Amsterdam RAI showed up. My first community sprint was about to start.

It was the last day of Drupalcon and we had built up a routine. And as one of the human beings we are, I picked the wrong building. Luckily one of the mentors (our own @marcvangend) was helpful enough to show me the way. I entered the building early in the morning and a wall of orange shirts greeted me, a full fledged team of volunteer mentors in the colors of our beautiful hosting country. Armed with name tags, stickers, sprint task cards, a lot of energy and patience they were fully equipped to guide us rookies through the day.

So, what am I? According to the relatively new system of sprint task cards (pdf) I could be an Explorer, Community Contributor, Issue Mover, Developer or Mentor. Since I already had Drupal 8 installed, and played with it during, for example, the Drupal 8 Multilingual Hands-on of @gaborhojtsy and Aimee Degnan, I was up to some community contributing.

Sprint stickers

We, the mentored, were seated upstairs while the more experienced once worked more focussed in teams on certain projects at ground level. During the day some of us would descend for some specialized guidance. But first we had to set our teeth in "something". The theme of the day was: get "something" done and get ready to teach others. So, if you didn't know what to do, you where presented an issue to work on or you could search for an issue tagged "novice".

Among the tasks we undertook where: testing and reviewing patches, making screenshots (so helpful, as Angie would show later) or creating a solution on your own. Wait, no, not on your own. You weren't seated alone and the mentors were all over the place to step in at your earliest convenience.

In my case I wanted to see if a core 7 bug I had found earlier was present in 8. So I set out to create a little module for my scenario. But, where to start, which files are needed and how do I name them? Jesus Manuel Olivas @jmolivas and Larry Garfield (@crell) to the rescue, with respectively the nice console module to generate D8 modules from the CLI and the session recording of the Drupal 8 Crash Course.

Ok, ready to test some hook_form_alter. Result: failure one. It's so simple, but why doesn't it work? Mentor @BartFeenstra to the rescue: it seems you checked out branch 8.x instead of 8.0.x, d'oh stupid me. Luckily, after some testing the D7 bug seemed to be gone in D8. However, during my testing I found another new problem.

Because drupal.org was under such a pressure and the issue search didn't really work any more, I descended the stairs in search of a core fields maintainer with the simple question: is this a bug and is there an issue for this problem? And it was a bug, empty multiple field items should be deleted after a node search, and there was no issue for it. Using the dreditor, a nice browser helper plugin for people working in the issue queue I was able to create my issue in no-time.

In the meantime upstairs the temperature had risen while the ground floor was still comfortable cool, outside it had become a nice early autumn day (meteorologic speaking), and my table neighbour and colleague, Valerie Valkenburg Gibson (@valvalg), had created her first core issue and patch.

Since it apparently isn't allowed to get a patch in core without at least 20 comments and multiple people working at it I was offered the opportunity to help improving the patch. So mentored by @marcvangend and Théodore Biadala (@nod_) I checked if the patch was confirm the coding standards and got rid of some duplicate functionality. Next I did some finger exercises and create a diff, another diff of two diffs, uploaded the new diff and interdiff and licked my chupachup. Then it was time to go to the live core commit session hosted by Angie (@webchick).

Everybody gathered in front of the big screen while the necessary group pictures where taken and we waited in anticipation. Then Angie showed us how a core committer reviews, tests and finally commits. She even almost mistakenly used branch 8.x instead of 8.0.x, but was quickly corrected by the crowd. And I didn’t feel so stupid anymore.
Finally, as the closure of the day, we were treated with two live commits and, like my collegue Gerben Spil (@gerbenspil) always says: there was much rejoicing!

Picture: Patrick van Efferen

Of course so much more happened, there were fun, food, facts and many friends.

And by the way: can I have my new sticker now?


Daniël Smidt (@dmsmidt)

Categories: Drupal

Don't Panic: A blog about Drupal: Sprinting for the first time

3 October 2014 - 11:27pm

For many years, I've been using Drupal as many people do - by clicking, publishing information and creating websites through the addition of modules and themes. I know how to code in PHP, but with my involvement in the local Drupal community, organizing three DrupalCamps in Gothenburg (2012, 2013 and 2014) and having family and friends, there hasn't been much time to dig down into Drupal and help out with issues and writing code.

When DrupalCon Amsterdam came closer I chose to take a couple of vacation days, and stay for the sprints after the camp. To take part in the First-time Sprinter Workshop on Friday and learn how to code in Drupal.

First-time Sprinter Workshop

We were a big bunch of people, gathered in a room at the Amsterdam RAI, to learn how to code, or at least how to help out. We would have three hours of introduction, which I had high hopes for. Apart from us, there were about 20 mentors helping out. The first thing we had to do was to install all necessary programs, like GIT, Acquia Dev Desktop, Limechat etcetera. Since I work with GIT, have been on IRC for many years, nothing of this was new. Installing the Dev Desktop was troublesome though, and much time went to figure out what was wrong. During this time I couldn't pay attention to what was said about drupal.org and the issue queue, so suddenly I had no idea of what to do with my (slightly) new coding environment. I just didn't know what to do. I asked one of the mentors, and he said to go find an issue in the Drupal Core and work on that. Work on it how? What should I do with it? This was why I wanted to stay for the sprinting, to learn what to do, perhaps even how to do it. Frustration was creeping up on me...

YesCT to the rescue!

So I sat down in front of the issue queue and tried to find something to do. I didn't know what to look for, and I ended up helping out on IRC and helping a guy sitting next to me, who knew less about GIT than me. Felt good to help someone, and to actually feel useful. Then suddenly Cathy Theys, YesCT on Twitter, comes in and asks some of the guys in the room if the mentors had explained what to do when the coding environment installation is done. Since they hadn't been that thorough, Cathy took some time to do so, and that was so welcome. Suddenly I actually had some clue of what to do. A little better clue anyway. With Cathy's words in mind, I also asked a mentor called Andy if he could help me finding something to focus on. He took care of me, placing me next to two other guys who are new to Drupal coding as well, and together we explored the issues queues, trying to find appropriate tasks to do.

"Is that a wall heading my way?"

I realised quickly that even an issue tagged with 'novice' was often to hard for me, since I'm new to Object Oriented Programming, but after a while I started reviewing a patch here, a patch there and summarizing an issue here and an issue there. A fellow podcast member, Kristoffer Wiklund, said that even though everyone here wants as many as possible working on, patching and reviewing Drupal 8, there are still thousands of themes and modules out there, both getting re-written for Drupal 8, but also having issues for Drupal 7. Therefore, I also took time to look at some of the modules and themes that I use, to see if I could help out there. And I could! You can't imagine the feeling when I'm suddenly taking baby-steps towards helping out more and more. My Dashboard on drupal.org was, within the hours, filling up with comments of what I've summarized, what I've added and reactions to my comments. That, my fellow Drupalistas, is something you can't put a price tag on.

Ending on a high note

The day started quite bad, but ended much better, in two ways. Apart from the wounderful mentoring of Andy, we were also approached by some other mentors handing out a handful of cards, with different tasks on them. It was Sprint task cards, and when summarizing what I've been doing with Drupal for the last 4 years and what I've done during DrupalCon Amsterdam, I suddenly was eligible for 4 out of 6 cards. Sure, the mentors were a bit nice on some tasks, but it felt really good on getting 4 stickers with "Explorer", "Mentor", Issue mover" and "Community contributor". The last one was extra nice, since I work quite hard on arranging the DrupalCamps in Sweden.

"One more thing..." 

But that was only one thing that made the day extra special. What about the other? At 5 o'clock, Cathy entered the room and announced it was time to see when webchick, Angie Byron, commits patches to Durpal 8 core live - on stage. Well, there wasn't a stage, but at least in front of everybody. I was sitting at the desk in the front, so I had a very good seat. They did the commits, and denied some, and everything was nice and so. Webchick has a really good sense of humour which made everything extra nice. In the end she thanked the people who had made the patches she committed this afternoon but then  - and I could applause this for a very long time - she also said that it's all of us who are important, from the tiniest little bug reporter to those who do screenshots and write summaries. That showed me that I really can make a difference and that I shouldn't pack it up and go home, just because I can't write code that fixes all the major bugs in Drupal 8. And now for the good part - when Angie asks everyone that had helped out with patches to stand up I thought I shouldn't stand, but my mentor Andy encouraged me to stand up. Sure, I had helped, but I didn't think it mattered that much. But he did. And I thank him for that. That extra encouragement made me want to go home and continue looking through the issue queues at Drupal.org, helping out, fixing it. So we can get Drupal 8 out the door. Together.

(I ended up visiting an art exhibition of LEGO statues called 'Art of the brick' that evening, but that's a different story.)

Categories: Drupal

Appnovation Technologies: Unit and Functional Testing in Drupal

3 October 2014 - 4:12pm

Drupal 7 comes by default with the simpletest (Testing) module which allows you to run test cases against your code, whether it's a small piece of code such as a function, or an entire workflow.

var switchTo5x = false;stLight.options({"publisher":"dr-75626d0b-d9b4-2fdb-6d29-1a20f61d683"});
Categories: Drupal

Blue Drop Shop: Drupal Camp A/V Kit REBOOT!

3 October 2014 - 2:15pm

This is a continuation of the discussion started here: http://bit.ly/DrupalAVKits

The session record kits we tested at DrupalCamp Fox Valley 2014 show a lot of promise for easy-to-use, affordable recording stations. There are some issues that need to be worked out and some additional testing to be done before we can approach the Drupal Association to consider making them available for camps.

While most sessions were recorded flawlessly, we ran into a few issues:

  • One presenter laptop (MacBook Air) never successfully made a connection, but luckily we were able to capture a QuickTime screen record
  • There is no indicator of the audio levels, and three sessions were lost due to no audio
  • The record is stopped if the presenter laptop goes to sleep, so we lost a session due to that
  • The touch audio panel is visually misleading to presenters, and very touch sensitive
  • There is only one audio input, so to record multiple presenters, we need to test a small mixer to accept multiple inputs and output one audio channel to the recorder
  • The projector must be able to take a 1920x1080 signal
  • The VGA to HDMI adapter didn’t hold a tight connection to the VGA cord for the projector, so we scored some tip ties from the venue AV department. This was inconvenient when we had to switch out the cords
  • The audio was a bit too quiet, so we should have used the +20db boost for the records
  • There is a detectable clicking on some of the audio records, though can’t say why
  • Additional dongles need to be purchased and tested to capture from various tablets for presenters that come in without a laptop
Next Steps

Before this can be ready for prime time, the audio issue definitely needs to be overcome. I’m hoping to find a digital audio recorder that can feed audio out, which would then pipe into the recording device. This would give direct feedback via the audio recorder as well as a backup audio channel. If we had this, we could have saved three session records, since the video capture was perfect. 

The mics proved to be the weakest link. Three sessions were lost because of no audio channel. Hard to say why, but it’s possible that the on/off switch was inadvertently switched off after initial setup, or the unit was muted (seems less likely). It would be worth testing if a portable audio recorder can feed audio in to the record device. That would also overcome the issue of multiple presenters.

Also, with better communication with the presenters, after we hook up the kit, they can be in charge of the start/stop of the record, since that big red “easy” button can’t get any simpler. Maybe a simple printed sheet listing the various indicators on the device. This would eliminate the need to trim and re-process in post.

Ultimately, with predictable/boosted audio and no need of trimming, session videos could be uploaded directly from the thumb drives.

Bonus points if there is a converter out there to take the 1080 signal out of the recorder and downsample it for older projectors.

The Beta Kit

Record Device - $140
Hauppauge HD PVR
http://www.amazon.com/Hauppauge-Rocket-Portable-Recorder-Systems/dp/B00G...

This device provides a pass-through record of the presenters laptop directly onto a USB thumb drive. The movie format is an H.264 1920 x 1080 AAC 30 FPS MP4 video. 

The unit takes HMDI or component video (with a provided adapter cable) in and provides HDMI out. For audio, there is a 3.5mm microphone jack. To start and stop the record, you basically push the big red button. The audio touch panel lets you mute/unmute the microphone, increase the volume and add 20db boost. 

Powered Microphone - $32 
Audio-Technica ATR-3350 Lavalier Omnidirectional Condenser Microphone  
http://www.amazon.com/Audio-Technica-ATR-3350-Omnidirectional-Condenser-...

HDMI to VGA (connects to projector) - $10
VicTsing 1080P HDMI Male to VGA Female Video Converter Adapter Cable For PC Laptop DVD HDTV PS3 XBOX 360 and other HDMI input
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00G9UWP94

VGA to HDMI (support non-HDMI PC laptops) - $25
IO Crest VGA to HDMI Convertor with Audio support (SY-ADA31025)
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B006FILNV6

Mini Display Port to HDMI (support non-HDMI Mac laptops) - $10
PNY A-DM-HD-W01 Mini DisplayPort to HDMI Adapter
http://www.amazon.com/PNY-A-DM-HD-W01-Mini-DisplayPort-Adapter/dp/B007B6...

Additional Untested Equipment

2-4 Presenters, if a standalone digital audio recorder does not work

4-channel mixer - 17.44
Nady MM-141 4-Channel Mini Mixer
http://www.amazon.com/Nady-MM-141-4-Channel-Mini-Mixer/dp/B0009X9H9I

1/8” to 1/4” - 2.3
Hosa GPM-103 3.5mm TRS to 1/4" TRS Adaptor
http://www.amazon.com/Hosa-GPM-103-3-5mm-TRS-Adaptor/dp/B000068O3T/

1/4” to 18” - 1.95
Hosa Cable GMP386 1/4 TS To 1/8 Inch Mini TRS Mono Adaptor
http://www.amazon.com/Hosa-Cable-GMP386-Inch-Adaptor/dp/B001CJ68KE

Various tablet support and alternate dongles

Cable Matters SuperSpeed USB 3.0/2.0 to HDMI/DVI Adapter for Windows and Mac up to 2048x1152/1920x1200 in Black - 47.99
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00BPEV1XK

VicTsing Dock to HDMI AV Cable Adapter for iPhone 4 4S iPad 1 2 New iPad (1080P) - 11.99
http://www.amazon.com/VicTsing-Cable-Adapter-iPhone-1080P/dp/B00979QONC/

Lightning Digital AV Adapter - 43.37
http://www.amazon.com/Apple-MD826ZM-Lightning-Digital-Adapter/dp/B009WHV...

EnjoyGadgets Thunderbolt to HDMI Video Adapter Cable, with Audio Support - 9.98
http://www.amazon.com/EnjoyGadgets-Thunderbolt-Video-Adapter-Support/dp/...

Micro HDMI (Type D) to HDMI (Type A) Cable For Microsoft Surface - 5.99
http://www.amazon.com/Micro-Cable-Microsoft-Surface-Compatible/dp/B009XL...

Skiva MHL Micro USB to male HDMI cable (6.5 feet) for Samsung Galaxy S3 (SIII LTE i9300 L710 i747 i535 T999), Samsung Note 2, Galaxy S2, Galaxy Note, HTC One X, LG Optimus HD and other MHL Devices (HD-X3) - 11.99
http://www.amazon.com/Skiva-Samsung-Galaxy-Optimus-Devices/dp/B00A9H30LU/

LinkS Micro USB to HDMI MHL cable +Micro 5pin to 11pin adapter + 3 Feet Charging Cable in Black Kit-(Compatible with any MHL enable smartphones and tablets) (Adapter kit) - 12.99
http://www.amazon.com/LinkS-adapter-Charging-Compatible-smartphones/dp/B...

Cable Matters Gold Plated DisplayPort to HDMI Adapter (Male to Female) with Audio in Black - 11.99
http://www.amazon.com/Cable-Matters-Plated-DisplayPort-Adapter/dp/B005H3...

Samsung ET-H10FAUWESTA Micro USB to HDMI 1080P HDTV Adapter Cable for Samsung Galaxy S3/S4 and Note 2 - Retail Packaging - White - 28.91
http://www.amazon.com/Samsung-ET-H10FAUWESTA-Micro-Adapter-Galaxy/dp/B00...

USB A Male to Mini 5 pin (B5) Female Adapter - 2.97
http://www.amazon.com/USB-Male-Mini-Female-Adapter/dp/B001VLIL3K/

Various HDMI converters - 13.99
AFUNTA Hdmi Cable Adapters Kit (7 Adapters)
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00AA8MAUK

HDMI cable - 7.69
Twisted Veins 1.5ft High Speed HDMI 3 Pack
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00FX6KO8Y

VGA to component video (would still need component video cables) - 7.24
StarTech.com 6-Inch HD15 to Component RCA Breakout Cable Adapter - M/F (HD15CPNTMF)
http://www.amazon.com/StarTech-com-6-Inch-Component-Breakout-Adapter/dp/...

Personal Voice Recorder Option

Personal Voice Recorder with audio line out - $160
Zoom H2n Handy Recorder
http://www.amazon.com/Zoom-H2N-H2n-Handy-Recorder/dp/B005CQ2ZY6/

Zoom APH2n Accessory Pack for H2n Portable Recorder - $40
AC adapter, case, wired remote, tripod, and other goodies
http://www.amazon.com/Zoom-APH2n-Accessory-Portable-Recorder/dp/B005CQ30A4

3.5mm audio cable - $9
FRiEQ® 3.5mm Male To Male Car and Home Stereo Cloth Jacketed Tangle-Free Auxiliary Audio Cable (4 Feet/1.2M)
http://www.amazon.com/Jacketed-Tangle-Free-Auxiliary-Samsung-Android/dp/...

32MB SD Card - $17
SanDisk Ultra 32GB SDHC Class 10/UHS-1 Flash Memory Card Speed Up To 30MB/s
http://www.amazon.com/SanDisk-Frustration-Free-Packaging--SDSDU-032G-AFF...

Tags:
Categories: Drupal

Blue Drop Shop: Adding Your Theme Classes to CKEditor

3 October 2014 - 2:08pm

WYSIWYG editors are the bane of my existence, yet they are a necessary evil if you have clients that want to edit their site content.

But somewhere between all the inline styles they create to editing source code, there simply had to be a solution that would let me open up my theme css to content creators. 

After much searching and testing, I have found that unicorn. 

CKEditor populates the style drop down menu with a js file, and it lets you override it. Problem is, as stated in the docs, it doesn't work. And there were a few various options posted in the CKEditor module issue queue. 

First off, you create a new js file to name a function that will build the drop down select items and the parameters for each. Contrary to what has been suggested in various posts, I put this in my theme's js folder. That way it won't get overridden by a module or library update, and it just makes sense since it's tied to my theme. Only CKEditor will be looking for this file, so there's no need to call it in your template files nor add it to your .info file. 

For example, I created a file named ckeditor_styles.js like so:
 

( function() {
    CKEDITOR.stylesSet.add( 'my_styles', [ // this is the styles set name you will call later
        { name: 'Teal Heading 2', element: 'h2', attributes: { 'class': 'teal' } }, 
        { name: 'Teal Text', element: 'span', attributes: { 'class': 'teal' } },
        { name: 'Unbold Heading', element: 'span', attributes: { 'class': 'unbold' } }
    ]);
} )();

It's pretty straightforward. The name parameter is what you will actually select in the drop down. The element is where you specify where to inject the class. If it's a block-level element (h1, h2, div, p, etc.), the class will added. If it's a span, then the selected text will be wrapped in a classed span. As for attributes, that's where you specify you are calling a class, and also provide the name of the class you want to inject. The resulting drop down will be split into block styles and inline styles.

The second step is to let CKEditor know where to find this file, via the advanced options section in the configuration. Navigate to admin/config/content/ckeditor and edit the profile you wish to add this to, most likely Full HTML. Docs will say you only need to set config.stylesSet, but as gleaned from the issue queues (and tested personally), you need to also set config.stylesCombo_styleSet.

Expand the Advanced Options field set and add the following to the Custom JavaScript Configuration with your styles set name and the path to your js file:

config.stylesCombo_stylesSet = 'my_styles:/sites/all/themes/mytheme/js/ckeditor_styles.js';
config.stylesSet = 'my_styles:/sites/all/themes/mytheme/js/ckeditor_styles.js';

Clear your caches and you should now be able to pick styles from your drop downs that will add either standard elements or spans with the desired classes. 

Sources:
http://docs.ckeditor.com/#!/guide/dev_howtos_styles
https://www.drupal.org/node/1287432

Tags:
Categories: Drupal

Blue Drop Shop: Drupal Camp Organizers, Unite!

3 October 2014 - 2:04pm

At DrupalCorn Camp 2014, there seemed to be a fairly high number of camp organizers in attendance, so we held what I like to think of as a SuperBOF. I think we pulled four banquet tables together in order to fit everyone.

The purpose was to share pain points and just brainstorm camp stuff. Notes were taken and the doc is shared publicly here: http://bit.ly/drupal-camps

Most of the discussion was centered around information sharing and coordination of efforts and how to accomplish that. We had thought that creating a private group on g.d.o for organizers to share not-ready-for-prime-time information would work. Turns out, that's not the case, as "private" only means there is moderation on who can join, but all posts are fully public.

Why a private group? Well, mostly for shared contact lists, proposed dates for coordinated planning before announcements, things like that. The intent also is to publicly share as much knowledge as we can, but in a centralized place that's a little less cumbersome than g.d.o.

In addition, we created a #drupalcamp IRC channel, and you should totally join if you are a camp organizer. 

So stay tuned, add your name to the doc if you want to be included on the proposed quarterly meeting, and join the channel so collaboration can start now!

Tags:
Categories: Drupal

Chapter Three: Chapter Three at Drupalcon Amsterdam

3 October 2014 - 11:51am

Wrapping up today, Drupalcon Amsterdam created a big buzz around Drupal 8. A crew of over 2,100 participated in sessions, sprints and keynotes, and celebrated the release of the Beta 1 version of Drupal 8.

Categories: Drupal

CiviCRM Blog: Future First's Contact View & Edit

3 October 2014 - 11:10am
Sadly all good things must come to an end.   Here at the CiviCRM 2014 Edale Sprint we've been working closely with members of the core team. As well as fixing bugs, working on integrating Google Summer of Code projects, and readying extensions for release, it's been an excellent opportunity for the Future First Software Developers to learn directly from the CiviCRM experts themselves.   In a presentation I showed something that the Future First Software Development Team made recently - a brand new contact screen. It went down a treat, so here's a blog article revealing how we did it!   Background:   Future First is a charity that helps state-funded schools and colleges mobilise their former students for the benefit of their current students. Former students can do this by attending in-school events to inspire current students, by offering mentoring or work experience opportunities, by assisting in fundraising, or even by appearing on a poster displayed in the school!   A key part of Future First's offering is a Teacher Dashboard that teachers can log into to engage with their former students. This mostly involves an extensive search system and a communal inbox. It is built from a combination of Drupal custom modules and CiviCRM custom extensions.   The legacy:   Future First's Teacher Dashboard is a legacy system. Initially a screen was created to allow teachers to view contacts, based off a profile (with a separate screen to edit). Then notes were attached, so that teachers could add, edit, and remove notes about the alumni. When our Mailbox was operational we added each mail send to and from that alumnus to the profile screen too. Afterwards we added the ability to record mobilisations, so they made their way onto the screen as well!   The result was not pretty: an overburdened, messy screen that didn't allow teachers to view or edit all of the information that was being stored by CiviCRM. It was very slow, as all the mobilisations and emails had to be loaded just to add or remove a note. And everything had to be loaded once to view the contact, then again to edit it, and then a third time to see the saved edit.   It was time to start over.    The requirements:   Our main requirements were:  - fast - have only one screen for both editing - neater - view and edit everything - maintainable. Our system is growing rapidly, and the screen should be ready to support that.   The plan:   With three members of staff to work on the project, it needed to be modular. The data was broken into logical categories, and an api and template file was created for each of these. This structure translated directly into the different tabs.   Only the data on the first tab is loaded. When other tabs are clicked AJAX calls the API function for that tab. This retrieves the relevant data, which some jQuery then puts into the appropriate place.   Inline editing was used for each field. This feature, provided by the CiviCRM core, allows our users to view and update data without needing to move between different screens. Sadly, this didn't let us update custom data, so we patched it and offered our patch to the core!   The results:     AttachmentSize contact_screen_1.png86.5 KB contact_screen_2.png69.15 KB contact_screen_3.png97.02 KB contact_screen_4.png65.94 KB
Categories: Drupal


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