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Committing career suicide, telling true stories about game development - by Larry Charles

Gamasutra.com Blogs - 17 September 2018 - 6:20am
Why I left my AAA game development job and what about that experience forced my hand to start Game Dev Unchained, an honest and unfiltered game development podacast exposing the true stories of game development for game developers.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Kliuless? Gaming Industry ICYMI #3 - by Kenneth Liu

Gamasutra.com Blogs - 17 September 2018 - 6:19am
Each week I compile a gaming industry insights newsletter that I share with other Rioters, including Riot’s senior leadership. This edition is the public version that I publish broadly every week as well. Opinions are mine.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Pathfinder Playtest Review, Part 1

Gnome Stew - 17 September 2018 - 5:00am

The big news from the Paizo arena is, of course, their Pathfinder Playtest. I picked up a copy of the physical rulebook at my FLGS about a month ago with the intent of writing a review. Guess what? This is that review. Normally, I have a system for my reviews of RPG products, but I’m going to set that aside for this effort since the book is bigger than simply cover art, mechanics, prose, layout, and interior art. This review will be split up over the course of multiple articles because of the in-depth nature of the playtest book.

If you’re interested in reading along with me during the review, you can pick up the free PDF of the playtest rulebook at Paizo’s site:

The book is split up into twelve different sections:

  1. Overview
  2. Ancestry
  3. Classes
  4. Skills
  5. Feats
  6. Equipment
  7. Spells
  8. Advancement and Options
  9. Playing the Game
  10. Game Mastering
  11. Treasure
  12. Appendices

In this segment of the review, I’ll be covering Overview through Classes. The rest of the book will follow in other articles.

Overview What is a Roleplaying Game?  The “Gaming is for All” segment speaks very well to the fact that each player is different. 
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The Overview section starts with the typical “What is a Roleplaying Game?” segment, but Paizo does a fine job in this section. It covers more than the typical basics of players, characters, game masters, collaborative storytelling, and other things found in these types of entries. It’s a great introduction to RPGs for new players as well as a solid reminder to veteran players and GMs why they are at the table and how to comport themselves while gaming.

The section here that impressed me the most was the “Gaming is for All” part where Paizo dives into responsibilities as a player and GM at the table. It’s not just “pay attention” or “know the rules.” As a matter of fact, these aren’t even mentioned. The “Gaming is for All” segment speaks very well to the fact that each player comes from a different background, culture, family, environment, and so on that influences how they play. No player (or the GM) should contribute to behavior (in or out of character) that promotes or reinforces racism, bigotry, hatred, or any other form of action that can offend, make someone uncomfortable, or that will drive someone from the hobby. These are strong statements, and I feel they need to be said.

The book also states that no one at the table (especially the GM) should allow this kind of behavior to exist at the table. I’m very happy Paizo included these segments. Also, for the first time in a major publication, I now see reference to a social contract (search in the upper right corner for this phrase for multiple Gnome Stew articles on this topic).

Basic Concepts

This section explains things in very clear terms. There are quite a few core changes to a familiar product, and having these Basic Concepts explained up front helped me wrap my head around things that I’ve known in my heart for the past nine years. It set me up to adjust how I see the rules for the new version of Pathfinder, and it also was a great introduction to the basics of the rules for those new to Pathfinder.

Activities

To help simplify the game, the overview gives three options for activities a PC can take during a single round. These are Actions, Reactions, and Free Actions. Each PC gets 3 Actions and 1 Reaction per round. Some activities may consume more than 1 Action, so while this sounds like quite a few things going on in a round, I doubt it’ll be quite as crazy as first impressions give. To be honest, it feels like it’s simplified things, so it will be (I hope) easier to avoid analysis paralysis that some players (and GMs) go through when presented with all of the options available to a higher-level character.

Key Terms

The Key Terms section runs through an alphabetical list of terms that constitute the core of the game with clear summations of what the terms mean to players and to the game. Again, this section helped me mentally point out to myself where the game is changing from the first edition.

Character Creation

The character creation overview section did leave me a little lost. While page numbers were listed to refer to the more in-depth rule explanations, I found myself flipping around the book to excess. There are only nine major steps to character creation, but each of those nine expand out considerably with sub-steps and references. The sample character sheet on page 11 calls out the various places you have to fill out. There are 27 different things to go through. This is on par with the first edition of Pathfinder, and many editions of D&D, so I don’t feel it’s too much to handle. However, I felt like there could be a little more explanation of each of the nine steps in the Overview section of the book. This could have prevented the flipping around the book like I did. Of course, I’m comparing this experience to what I do with the current version of Pathfinder, which I know well enough to be able to skip over sections I don’t need and get directly to the meat of where I need to read for the character choices I’ve made. I suspect I can get comfortable enough with the new version to do this as well.

Ability Scores  Rolling for ability scores is now optional! Share1Tweet1+11Reddit1Email

Here is a doozy of a change! Rolling for ability scores is now optional! You read that right. The core mechanic of developing your character’s six main abilities (which haven’t changed in this edition), is now an additive system. Everyone starts with a base 10 in each ability. Then the player will subtract or add (mostly add) 2 points to specific abilities depending on their choices in ancestry, class, background, and so on. There are quite a few options in there that are “Free boost” where the player can pick which ability to add their 2 points to. This means that every “elf ranger” won’t end up with the same ability scores. One thing I love about their changes is that no single ability can be above 18 at first level. They can creep above that threshold at higher levels, but not to start the game with. This helps prevent a considerable amount of min/max building for starting characters that is possible with decent die rolls and munchkin builds in the current version of Pathfinder. Their two side-by-side examples of generating ability scores in the playtest were very clear and illuminated the process very well.

An Aside: Alignment  I feel leaving alignment in the game is a missed opportunity for Paizo to do something better in this area. Share1Tweet1+11Reddit1Email

As you can already tell, there are quite a few changes to how things are approached in this version. Unfortunately (in my opinion), alignment remains attached to Pathfinder. I had hoped with this new version that Paizo would take advantage of the shifts and ditch this outdated, often ignored, and clunky method of determining a moral base for characters. I feel leaving alignment in the game is a missed opportunity for Paizo to do something better in this area.

Another Aside: Hit Points

A very clear change to the game is that rolling for hit points at each level is now a thing of the past. Instead, each character starts with a base amount for the chosen ancestry, adds some more hit points based on the chosen class, and then adds more hit points with each level taken. Maybe I’m just being a grumpy grognard here, but I feel like this is a violation of the spirit of Pathfinder’s storied history. Few die rolls are more important (or thrilling) than the vaunted “roll your hit points” moment. Then again, it always sucks to roll a natural 1 in those times, so I guess I can get used to the steady increase in hit points.

Ancestry

You’ll notice so far that I’ve not used the word “race” within this article to describe a character option. That’s because Paizo has taken the correct forward step to remove this off-putting, charged, and insensitive word to rest in their game materials. From here on out, Paizo will be using Ancestry as the overarching label for dwarves, elves, humans, etc. Hats off to Paizo for doing the right thing for the members of our community.

I’m not going to do a blow-by-blow of each ancestry presented in the book. That would probably be an article unto itself, and I’d rather not have this series of reviews run on until the actual game comes out.

 Hats off to Paizo for doing the right thing for the members of our community. Share1Tweet1+11Reddit1Email

Each ancestry (except for humans, oh those complex humans) is covered by a two-page spread. There are ancestral feats only available to the specifically listed ancestries. Most of them are options at first level, but some can only be taken at fifth (or higher) level. The samples in the book include many first level options and only a few fifth level options. There are none for levels higher than that, so I am assuming the final product (which will most likely be larger than the 427-page playtest book) will have these options. Of course, expansion and splat books will expand these lists considerably. One addition is a “heritage” feat, which can only be taken at first level. These heritage feats help establish some core principles of the character, and are, quite honestly, pretty cool. I like these inclusions.

Before I move on from ancestries, I want to point out that goblins are in as an officially playable ancestry. This, as you can probably tell, makes me happy. These plucky little fellows have been fodder and mooks for way too long. I’m not surprised that Paizo made this move based on the wide variety of goblin-centric products they’ve released over the years.

Unfortunately, I have something in the ancestries that makes me sad. Half-orcs and half-elves are now just specific types of humans, and a feat has to be used to gain access to the orc or elf ancestry goodies at a later level. I’m not sure I like this change because it’s going to reduce the number of players playing these ancestries. This removes some diversity from the gaming gene pool, and I’m not entirely convinced this is a good thing. Perhaps things will be adjusted in the final version that’s not apparent in the playtest book that will make this a good decision from Paizo.

Backgrounds

Paizo included a brief list (two pages worth) of backgrounds to pick from during character generation. I really hope they expand upon this list. What they have is pretty solid, but I can see players clamoring for more options, and we GMs will have to deliver. These backgrounds are used to tweak characters, make them unique, and boost abilities, feats, and skills. I love the inclusion of these types of things in modern RPGs, and Paizo has a good start here. (As a note: I really want to play someone who has a Barkeep background now.)

Languages

Everything in here is pretty typical of what most players expect to find in this section based on the past 40+ years of roleplaying game publishing. However, Paizo has also included a section on sign language. This is pretty cool. It’s a great description of sign language, how it impacts the game, and how it can be used. I love that they’ve acknowledged not everyone has the ability to speak or hear, thus increases the inclusivity of their game another notch.

Classes

As with ancestries, I’m not going to do a deep dive into each class. That would also be an entire article unto itself. The most interesting change here is the addition of the alchemist as a playable class to the core list. All of the usual classes players are used to finding are still in the book, so don’t fret that your favorite core class won’t exist until the proper expansion book is published.

Each class, like with the ancestries, gets certain base abilities automatically, then there is a list of feats to choose from at the various levels as the character advances. Because of the vast number of combinations going on here (ancestries, ancestral feats, backgrounds, classes, and class feats), I can see character creation and leveling up taking some time because of the inclination to want to pick the best thing for a character. This will up the levels of analysis paralysis in many players, so be warned. This will only become worse as more content is added to this version of the game.

Having said this, I don’t think this is a bad thing. I love many options to pick from. This allows me, as a player, to play a cleric in back-to-back campaigns, but without playing the same cleric both times. This makes me happy, but I still felt the need to point out the possible issue with so many choices laid out before the players.

(I know I said I wouldn’t do a deep dive into the classes, but I have my eye on a monk character for my first Pathfinder Playtest character class. Combine that with the Barkeep background? Hrmm… I wonder how a goblin monk who used to be a barkeep would work out?)

Aside, the Third: Feats  I recommend Paizo do a massive search/replace for “feat” and drop in the word “talent” because that feels like a more accurate descriptor for what these are in this book. Share1Tweet1+11Reddit1Email

I seem to be mentioning feats quite a bit here. Right? Yeah. I am. That’s because almost every power, ability, spell, trick, or effort is based on a feat. There are quite a few to pick from. While Paizo chose to continue the use of the word “feat,” I suspect the re-use of that label will lead to some false assumptions in the players between the editions. These are not the same power level of feats found in D&D 3.0 through D&D 3.5 and into Pathfinder. The Pathfinder Playtest feats could have been relabeled to avoid confusion. I recommend Paizo do a massive search/replace for “feat” and drop in the word “talent” because that feels like a more accurate descriptor for what these are in this book.

Yet Another Aside: Deities and Domains

One thing I dislike about the first edition Pathfinder core rulebook was the fact that information about the Golarion deities and domains was jammed into the cleric class section. I can see the decision behind this, but in a world where the deities can directly impact life in more than the spiritual sense, there will be more believers and worshippers. This includes non-clerics. I feel like the descriptions and summaries of the deities deserves its own sub-section within the book, not a sidebar for clerics. Unfortunately, Paizo made the same decision here. I’d love to see more pages dedicated to their deities (like they did with the Key Terms section). Of course, not everyone is going to use Golarion in their games at home, but since the defaults of Pathfinder assume Golarion it’s safe to dedicate more paper and ink to the deities.

For the domains in the cleric section, I love the list here. It feels comprehensive, expanded, and with more cool options for the multitude of those that wield holy (and unholy) powers.

Conclusion, For Now

Overall, I’m pretty happy with what I see up through the Classes section of the book. I hope this review has been helpful to you if you’re on the fence about downloading the PDF (or buying the book). Up next, I’ll dive into Skills, Feats, and Equipment. If word count for the next section allows, I’ll also briefly cover the Spells section, but without doing a deep dive into each spell.

Categories: Game Theory & Design

State of Drupal presentation (September 2018)

Dries Buytaert - 17 September 2018 - 1:08am

Last week, nearly 1,000 Drupalists gathered in Darmstadt, Germany for Drupal Europe. In good tradition, I presented my State of Drupal keynote. You can watch a recording of my keynote (starting at 4:38) or download a copy of my slides (37 MB).



Drupal 8 continues to mature

I started my keynote by highlighting this month's Drupal 8.6.0 release. Drupal 8.6 marks the sixth consecutive Drupal 8 release that has been delivered on time. Compared to one year ago, we have 46 percent more stable Drupal 8 modules. We also have 10 percent more contributors are working on Drupal 8 Core in comparison to last year. All of these milestones indicate that the Drupal 8 is healthy and growing.

Next, I gave an update on our strategic initiatives:

Make Drupal better for content creators © Paul Johnson

The expectations of content creators are changing. For Drupal to be successful, we have to continue to deliver on their needs by providing more powerful content management tools, in addition to delivering simplicity though drag-and-drop functionality, WYSIWYG, and more.

With the release of Drupal 8.6, we have added new functionality for content creators by making improvements to the Media, Workflow, Layout and Out-of-the-Box initiatives. I showed a demo video to demonstrate how all of these new features not only make content authoring easier, but more powerful:



We also need to improve the content authoring experience through a modern administration user interface. We have been working on a new administration UI using React. I showed a video of our latest prototype:





Extended security coverage for Drupal 8 minor releases

I announced an update to Drupal 8's security policy. To date, site owners had one month after a new minor Drupal 8 release to upgrade their sites before losing their security updates. Going forward, Drupal 8 site owners have 6 months to upgrade between minor releases. This extra time should give site owners flexibility to plan, prepare and test minor security updates. For more information, check out my recent blog post.

Make Drupal better for evaluators

One of the most significant updates since DrupalCon Nashville is Drupal's improved evaluator experience. The time required to get a Drupal site up and running has decreased from more than 15 minutes to less than two minutes and from 20 clicks to 3. This is a big accomplishment. You can read more about it in my recent blog post.



Promote Drupal

After launching Promote Drupal at DrupalCon Nashville, we hit the ground running with this initiative and successfully published a community press release for the release of Drupal 8.6, which was also translated into multiple languages. Much more is underway, including building a brand book, marketing collaboration space on Drupal.org, and a Drupal pitch deck.

The Drupal 9 roadmap and a plan to end-of-life Drupal 7 and Drupal 8

To keep Drupal modern, maintainable, and performant, we need to stay on secure, supported versions of Drupal 8's third-party dependencies. This means we need to end-of-life Drupal 8 with Symfony 3's end-of-life. As a result, I announced that:

  1. Drupal 8 will be end-of-life by November 2021.
  2. Drupal 9 will be released in 2020, and it will be an easy upgrade.

Historically, our policy has been to only support two major versions of Drupal; Drupal 7 would ordinarily reach end of life when Drupal 9 is released. Because a large number of sites might still be using Drupal 7 by 2020, we have decided to extend support of Drupal 7 until November 2021.

For those interested, I published a blog post that further explains this.

Adopt GitLab on Drupal.org

Finally, the Drupal Association is working to integrate GitLab with Drupal.org. GitLab will provide support for "merge requests", which means contributing to Drupal will feel more familiar to the broader audience of open source contributors who learned their skills in the post-patch era. Some of GitLab's tools, such as inline editing and web-based code review, will also lower the barrier to contribution, and should help us grow both the number of contributions and contributors on Drupal.org.

To see an exciting preview of Drupal.org's gitlab integration, watch the video below:

Thank you

Our community has a lot to be proud of, and this progress is the result of thousands of people collaborating and working together. It's pretty amazing! The power of our community isn't just visible in minor releases or a number of stable modules. It was also felt at this very conference, as many volunteers gave their weekends and evenings to help organize Drupal Europe in the absence of a DrupalCon Europe organized by the Drupal Association. From code to community, the Drupal project is making an incredible impact. I look forward to celebrating our community's work and friendships at future Drupal conferences.

Categories: Drupal

Dries Buytaert: State of Drupal presentation (September 2018)

Planet Drupal - 17 September 2018 - 1:08am

Last week, nearly 1,000 Drupalists gathered in Darmstadt, Germany for Drupal Europe. In good tradition, I presented my State of Drupal keynote. You can watch a recording of my keynote (starting at 4:38) or download a copy of my slides (37 MB).



Drupal 8 continues to mature

I started my keynote by highlighting this month's Drupal 8.6.0 release. Drupal 8.6 marks the sixth consecutive Drupal 8 release that has been delivered on time. Compared to one year ago, we have 46 percent more stable Drupal 8 modules. We also have 10 percent more contributors are working on Drupal 8 Core in comparison to last year. All of these milestones indicate that the Drupal 8 is healthy and growing.

Next, I gave an update on our strategic initiatives:

Make Drupal better for content creators © Paul Johnson

The expectations of content creators are changing. For Drupal to be successful, we have to continue to deliver on their needs by providing more powerful content management tools, in addition to delivering simplicity though drag-and-drop functionality, WYSIWYG, and more.

With the release of Drupal 8.6, we have added new functionality for content creators by making improvements to the Media, Workflow, Layout and Out-of-the-Box initiatives. I showed a demo video to demonstrate how all of these new features not only make content authoring easier, but more powerful:



We also need to improve the content authoring experience through a modern administration user interface. We have been working on a new administration UI using React. I showed a video of our latest prototype:





Extended security coverage for Drupal 8 minor releases

I announced an update to Drupal 8's security policy. To date, site owners had one month after a new minor Drupal 8 release to upgrade their sites before losing their security updates. Going forward, Drupal 8 site owners have 6 months to upgrade between minor releases. This extra time should give site owners flexibility to plan, prepare and test minor security updates. For more information, check out my recent blog post.

Make Drupal better for evaluators

One of the most significant updates since DrupalCon Nashville is Drupal's improved evaluator experience. The time required to get a Drupal site up and running has decreased from more than 15 minutes to less than two minutes and from 20 clicks to 3. This is a big accomplishment. You can read more about it in my recent blog post.



Promote Drupal

After launching Promote Drupal at DrupalCon Nashville, we hit the ground running with this initiative and successfully published a community press release for the release of Drupal 8.6, which was also translated into multiple languages. Much more is underway, including building a brand book, marketing collaboration space on Drupal.org, and a Drupal pitch deck.

The Drupal 9 roadmap and a plan to end-of-life Drupal 7 and Drupal 8

To keep Drupal modern, maintainable, and performant, we need to stay on secure, supported versions of Drupal 8's third-party dependencies. This means we need to end-of-life Drupal 8 with Symfony 3's end-of-life. As a result, I announced that:

  1. Drupal 8 will be end-of-life by November 2021.
  2. Drupal 9 will be released in 2020, and it will be an easy upgrade.

Historically, our policy has been to only support two major versions of Drupal; Drupal 7 would ordinarily reach end of life when Drupal 9 is released. Because a large number of sites might still be using Drupal 7 by 2020, we have decided to extend support of Drupal 7 until November 2021.

For those interested, I published a blog post that further explains this.

Adopt GitLab on Drupal.org

Finally, the Drupal Association is working to integrate GitLab with Drupal.org. GitLab will provide support for "merge requests", which means contributing to Drupal will feel more familiar to the broader audience of open source contributors who learned their skills in the post-patch era. Some of GitLab's tools, such as inline editing and web-based code review, will also lower the barrier to contribution, and should help us grow both the number of contributions and contributors on Drupal.org.

To see an exciting preview of Drupal.org's gitlab integration, watch the video below:

Thank you

Our community has a lot to be proud of, and this progress is the result of thousands of people collaborating and working together. It's pretty amazing! The power of our community isn't just visible in minor releases or a number of stable modules. It was also felt at this very conference, as many volunteers gave their weekends and evenings to help organize Drupal Europe in the absence of a DrupalCon Europe organized by the Drupal Association. From code to community, the Drupal project is making an incredible impact. I look forward to continuing to celebrate our European community's work and friendships at future Drupal conferences.

Categories: Drupal

External Logging

New Drupal Modules - 17 September 2018 - 1:01am

The External logging (extlog) module monitors your system, capturing system events and sends them to a remote log server.

Like dblog or syslog this module allows to record events containing usage and performance data, errors, warnings, and similar operational information.

Main features are:

  • Configure different remote servers, like LOCAL, DEV, TEST and LIVE
  • Define rules to select which events should be sent to the logging server
Categories: Drupal

Amazee Labs: This was Drupal Europe 2018

Planet Drupal - 17 September 2018 - 12:13am
This was Drupal Europe 2018

So here we are, post-Drupal Europe 2018. Talks have been given, BOFs attended, way too much coffee and cake have been consumed, and now I’m tasked with summarizing the whole thing.

Blaize Kaye Mon, 09/17/2018 - 09:13

The problem faced by anyone attempting to wrap up the whole of an event as momentous as Drupal Europe is that you have two options. On the one hand, you can give a fairly anemic bullet-point summary of what happened and when. The advantage of approaching a summary like this is that everyone who was at Drupal Europe 2018 can look at the list and agree that, “yes, this is indeed what happened”.
Fair enough. Maybe that would be a better blog?

But that’s not quite what I’m going to be doing since (as you’ll find in the links below) my colleagues have done a stellar job of actually covering each day of Drupal Europe in their own blogs. What I’m going to do, rather, is tell you about my Drupal Europe. And my Drupal Europe was far less about talks and BOFs (and coffee and cake) than it was about the people in the Amazee Group and the Drupal community in general.

Reasons to get off the Island

For background, I live in a smallish town (we have a mall and everything) down here on the South of the North Island in New Zealand. Getting myself to Darmstadt involved nearly 30 hours in those metal torture tubes we commonly call “airplanes”. Under most circumstances I’d avoid this kind of travel, but Drupal Europe was an exception because it presented me with the one opportunity I had this year to spend time with and around my teammates in Amazee Labs Global Maintenance specifically, and the rest of the Amazees at the conference in general.

I came to Drupal Europe in order to have the kind of high-bandwidth conversations that (very) remote work almost never allows. It allowed me to meet some of my colleagues in person for the first time, in some cases people who I’ve been speaking and interacting with online for more than a year. Outside of the hours of strategic meetings we all had, it was a joy spending time sharing screens IRL and looking at code, eating kebab (so much kebab), and (wherever we could) doing a bit of real work in-between.

And while my reason to get off my island was really my colleagues at Amazee -- being present, alongside, and with them -- the importance of the wider Drupal community is not lost on me and attending Drupal Europe highlighted to me, once again, just how special that community is.

We’re hiring, by the way.

In her deeply moving talk about her journey from being a freelancer to being the Head of Operations for ALGM, Inky mentioned the principle of Ubuntu. This ethical and metaphysical principle is often rendered in English as “I am because we are”. In one interpretation, at least, it suggests that our existence as individuals is inextricably intertwined with the existence of others. I think that something like Ubuntu is true of both Amazee and the wider Drupal community.

What makes Amazee special is the remarkable individuals that comprise it, indeed, I doubt I would’ve been as enthusiastic as I was to travel so far if they weren’t remarkable individuals. But I have to wonder whether those individuals would shine quite as brightly in any other company? Amazee gives us the space to be the best we can be and whatever shine we have as individuals makes Amazee glow that much brighter.
Zooming out a little, Amazee, as an organization, would not exist as it does without the wider Drupal community. And the Drupal community would be poorer, at least in my opinion, without the work that Amazee does.

It’s circles within circles within circles, each strengthening the other.

Showing your work.

This was a theme in the Amazee talks at Drupal Europe. Stew and Fran, in their discussion of Handy modules for building and maintaining sites ended things off with a note encouraging everyone who manages to solve a Drupal problem to consider how they might contribute it to the wider community. Indeed, Basti made this the theme of his entire talk, discussing the benefits of open sourcing your work and the material advantages the IO team has experienced by open sourcing their platform, Lagoon. And in terms of open sourcing code, Stew’s talk on Paragraphs has already lead to the creation of a brand new Drupal.org module from an internal Amazee project. Is this an example of upcycling, hmm, Joseph?

Stew and Inky, showing their work.We’re off the Island now, time to go farther.

Speaking of circles, in some respects the move in the Drupal community in the past few years has been to expand our circles even further into the wider programming communities. Drupal 8 adopted much “external” code from the supporting PHP communities. But to some extent, we’re moving even further away from the Drupal island than simply playing-nicely with the PHP community. Decoupling Drupal, a major research topic right now, is at least in part about getting Drupal to be less monolithic, for it to serve content to systems and in contexts that aren’t necessarily Drupal specific. It’s no exaggeration to say that Amazee is ahead on the curve on this, as was evidenced by Michael and Philipps' talks. Michael discussed the “implications, risks, and changes” that come from adopting a decoupled approach, while Philipp simply dazzled a packed room with his demonstration of staged decoupling with GraphQL integration into Twig.

This was Drupal Europe.

This was Drupal Europe. Not just talks, or coffee, or BOFs, or the (delicious) lunches. Rather, it was the opportunity to really dive in, experience, and behold the interlocking circles of individuals, friends, companies, and community that holds this sprawling structure we call the Drupal ecosystem in place. To get a sense where we are and where we’re going.

 

Previous Drupal Europe Blogs

 

Categories: Drupal

Fuzzy Thinking: Fighter vs Wizard

RPGNet - 17 September 2018 - 12:00am
Fuzzy spells.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Advanced Designers & Dragons: Designers & Dragons Next — Wizards of the Coast: 2011-Present

RPGNet - 17 September 2018 - 12:00am
How Wizards of the Coast produced D&D 5E and what happened afterward.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Linkychecker

New Drupal Modules - 16 September 2018 - 7:54pm
Categories: Drupal

Choice CMS

New Drupal Modules - 16 September 2018 - 5:57pm

The Quantcast Choice plugin implements the Quantcast Choice GDPR Consent Tool – Consumer Demo.

IAB Europe announced a technical standard to support the digital advertising ecosystem in meeting the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) consumer consent requirements. This provides an implementation of that framework.

Categories: Drupal

Aegir Dispatch: These are the people in your Drupalverse...

Planet Drupal - 16 September 2018 - 5:00pm
In honor of DrupalEurope and all the earlier DrupalCon’s we’ve thrown together a quick Drupal 8 site that tracks all the songs covered in the DrupalCon prenote! sessions. Thanks to all those who came to the stage to wake us up before the Driesnotes. Come and sing along at DrupalSongs.org.
Categories: Drupal

Out & About On The Third Rock: Being human, taking Open Source, Agile and Cloud beyond tech! at Drupal Europe

Planet Drupal - 16 September 2018 - 12:02pm
Privileged to be given the opportunity by organisers at Drupal Europe to share Peace Through Prosperity‘s journey with the Drupal community. Thank you! This was the third rendition of this talk since 2015, and in this time our charity, our work, progress of … Continue reading →
Categories: Drupal

Video Game Deep Cuts: Destiny Forsaken, Remake Uncredited - by Simon Carless

Gamasutra.com Blogs - 16 September 2018 - 5:32am
This week's highlights include a look at Destiny 2's Forsaken expansion, an investigation of how game credits are handled for remasters, & lots more besides.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Queue Throttle

New Drupal Modules - 16 September 2018 - 3:22am

Allows one to adapt queues to be throttled whilst processing. This can be handy when for example your queue is consuming a third party rate limited API.

Marking a queue for throttled processing, will disable it from running on the default cron. Set up a new cron job to schedule throttled queue processing, or manually run the drush command:

drush queue-throttle (Support for both drush 8 and 9)

Categories: Drupal

Lucius Digital: 19 Cool Drupal modules | September 2018

Planet Drupal - 16 September 2018 - 1:29am
'There's a module for that', this applies to many use cases with Drupal. What is not possible with modules we develop tailor-made instead. But because customization is costly, it is good to keep abreast of the available modules.
Categories: Drupal

datex2

New Drupal Modules - 15 September 2018 - 11:39pm

Hereafter I continue development of previous Datex module here.
Please note that this module is not compatible with the previous one, because of namespace conflicts. You need to delete the datex folder before adding datex2.

INTRODUCTION
------------

Datex is a zero-configuration, batteries-included, fire-and-forget, zero dependency date localization and internationalization module. It supports Gregorian (doh!), Persian, and... bundled with a nice jquery date picker.

Categories: Drupal

Community: Drupal Community Working Group Annual Report: 2017-2018

Planet Drupal - 15 September 2018 - 1:57pm
Who Are We?

The Drupal Community Working Group (CWG) is responsible for promoting and upholding the Drupal Code of Conduct and maintaining a friendly and welcoming community for the Drupal project.

The CWG is an independent group chartered directly by Dries Buytaert in his capacity as project lead. The original members of the CWG were appointed by Dries in March of 2013. Since then, new CWG members have been selected by the group from the Drupal community, and then approved by Dries. The CWG is made up entirely of community volunteers, and does not currently have any funding, staff, legal representation, or outside resources.

The CWG’s current active membership is:

  • George DeMet (United States): Joined CWG in March 2013, chair since March, 2016.
  • Michael Anello (United States): Joined CWG in December 2015.
  • Jordana Fung (Suriname): Joined CWG in May 2017.

Rachel Lawson (United Kingdom) was a member of the CWG from May through December 2017, when she started a new position as the Drupal Association’s Community Liaison.

Emma Karayiannis (United Kingdom) and Adam Hill (United Kingdom) have informed the CWG of their intention to formally step down from the CWG once replacements can be found for them; we are currently engaged in a search process to identify new members to fill their positions.

The CWG is also building a network of volunteer subject matter experts who we can reach out to for advice in situations that require specific expertise; e.g., cultural, legal, or mental health issues.

What Do We Do?

The CWG is tasked with maintaining a friendly and welcoming contributor community for the Drupal project. In addition to maintaining and upholding the Drupal Code of Conduct and working with other responsible entities within the Drupal ecosystem to ensure its enforcement, the CWG also helps community members resolve conflicts through an established process, acting as a point of escalation, mediation, and/or final arbitration for the Drupal community in case of intractable conflicts. We also provide resources, consultation and advice to community members upon request.

Other activities the CWG has engaged in in the past year include:

  • Sharing experiences and best practices with representatives from other open source projects, both in a one-on-one setting and at various open source community events.
  • Recognizing community leadership through the Aaron Winborn Award, which is presented annually to an individual who demonstrates personal integrity, kindness, and above-and-beyond commitment to the Drupal community.
  • Helping to ensure the community’s voice is represented in the governance process. While the CWG’s charter does not allow it to make community-wide governance decisions, the CWG did work with other interested members of the community to help organize and facilitate a series of community governance meetings in the fall of 2017 following the results of a survey conducted by the Drupal Association. Results and takeaways from these meetings were also shared with the community-at-large.
  • Organizing a Teamwork and Leadership Workshop at DrupalCon Nashville to explore teamwork, leadership, and followership in the context of the Drupal community. Our goal was to expand the base of people who can step into leadership positions in the Drupal community, and to help those who may already be in those positions be more effective. Takeaways from this event were also shared with the community-at-large.
  • With input from the community, drafting and adopting a Code of Ethics for CWG members that clearly defines expectations for members around subjects such as confidentiality and conflicts of interest.
Incident Reports

The CWG receives incident reports from Drupal community members via its incident report form or via email.

  • In 2017, the CWG received 43 official incident reports submitted.
  • From January 1 through September 14, 2018, the CWG has received 33 official incident reports.

In addition, we regularly receive informal reports from community members, which are not included in the totals above. With informal reports, we often encourage the community member to file an official report as well to establish a written record of the incident and to ensure that they have as much agency as possible over how the issue is addressed.

The types of issues that the CWG has received in the last year include:

  • Community members being disrespectful and rude in issue queues.
  • Technical disagreements and frustrations that turn into personal attacks.
  • Abusive language and harassment in Drupal Slack and IRC.
  • Appeals of bans made by Drupal Slack moderators.
  • Inappropriate language and content at community events.
  • Harassment and trolling of community members on social media .
  • Physical harassment of community members (both in and outside of community spaces).
  • Ongoing issues involving specific community members with established patterns of behavior that are disruptive to others.
  • Drupal trademark questions and issues (these are referred to Dries Buytaert, who is responsible for enforcing the Drupal trademark and logo policy).

The CWG also chose not to act on several reports it felt were being made in bad faith and/or in an attempt to harass or intimidate other community members. As per its charter, the CWG also does not respond to requests to take specific punitive action against members of the community. Our goal is to help people understand and take responsibility for the impact that their words and actions have on others.

The CWG relies primarily on its established conflict resolution process to address incident reports. Depending on the situation, this may involve one or more CWG members providing mediation between the parties in conflict or suggesting ways that they can resolve the issue themselves. For matters that may take an unusually long time to resolve, we provide all involved parties with regular status reports so they know that their issue is still being worked on.

In cases of a clear Code of Conduct violation, the CWG will take immediate steps as necessary to ensure the safety of others in the community up to and including recommending permanent or temporary bans from various Drupal community spaces, such as Slack, IRC, Drupal.org, or DrupalCon and other Drupal events.

Other outcomes may include:

  • Discussion of the issue with involved parties to try to find a mutually acceptable and beneficial outcome.
  • Asking one or more of the involved parties to apologize and/or take other actions to address the consequences of their behavior.
  • Discussion of the issue with the involved parties, after which someone may choose to leave the community voluntarily.
  • Asking someone to leave the community if they are not willing or able to address the consequences of their behavior.
  • Recommending bans from various community spaces, including virtual spaces

In some cases, we may receive an after-the-fact report about a situation that has already been resolved, or where the person making the report has asked for no action to be taken. In those cases, we review the incident, decide whether further action is necessary, and keep it on file for reference in case something similar happens in the future.

While the CWG has in the past directly acted as code of conduct enforcement contacts for DrupalCon (which is run by the Drupal Association and has its own code of conduct distinct from that of the community), as of November 2017 those duties have been assumed by DrupalCon staff. The CWG and DrupalCon staff continue to coordinate with each other to ensure that reports are handled by the appropriate responsible body.

Sharing With the Community

The CWG publishes anonymized versions of its weekly minutes that are shared with the community via our public Google Drive folder. These minutes are also promoted via the CWG’s Twitter account @drupalcommunity.

In addition to the public minutes, the CWG also occasionally issues public statements regarding issues of importance to the broader community and beyond:

The CWG also maintains a public issue queue on Drupal.org. Following a series of community discussions in the spring of 2017, the CWG filed a series of issues in this queue to clarify points of confusion and address outstanding concerns about its role in the community.

The CWG also presents sessions at DrupalCon, as well as other camps and events. Sessions presented at DrupalCon in the last year include:

In addition, CWG members have also organized, spoken, and/or participated in Q&A sessions about the CWG at the following events:

  • MidCamp (Chicago, IL)
  • DrupalCamp Asheville (Asheville, NC)
  • Twin Cities DrupalCamp (Minneapolis, MN)
  • DrupalCamp Colorado (Denver, CO)
  • FOSS Backstage (Munich, Germany)
  • Community Leadership Summit (Portland, OR)
  • Edinburgh Drupal User Group (Edinburgh, Scotland)
  • Open Source North East (Newcastle upon Tyne, England)
  • All Things Open (Raleigh, NC) - Upcoming

The CWG is also exploring ways it can make itself available more often to the community via real-time virtual channels such as Slack, Google Meet, or Zoom.

New Challenges Online Harassment

The number of incidents that the CWG handles relating to online harassment, particularly on social media, has increased significantly in the last couple of years. Because this harassment is often perpetrated by individuals or groups of people posting from behind anonymous accounts, it is sometimes difficult for the CWG to positively identify those responsible and hold them accountable for their actions. This is compounded by the apparent lack of interest from leading social media companies in taking action against abusive accounts or addressing harassment that occurs on their platforms in any effective or meaningful way.

The Drupal community’s switch from IRC to Slack for much of its real-time communication has also provided another vector for harassment, particularly targeting people who participate in communities of interest that focus on topics such as diversity, inclusion, and women in Drupal. While it is possible to ban individual Slack accounts, it is fairly easy for perpetrators to create new ones, and because they are not always tied to Drupal.org IDs, it is sometimes difficult to identify who is responsible for them.

Sexual Harassment and Abuse

Following reports last year relating to sexual harassment in the Drupal community, the CWG understands that there are likely additional incidents that have occurred in the past that have gone unaddressed because we are unaware of them. While our code of conduct is clear that we do not tolerate abuse or harassment in our community, we also know that people don’t always feel safe reporting incidents or discussing their concerns openly. As a consequence, nothing is done about them, which undermines the effectiveness of our code of conduct and in turn leads to fewer reports and more incidents that go unaddressed.

It is our opinion as a group that open source communities across the board need better mechanisms and procedures for handling reports of sexual abuse, harassment, and/or assault. We also need to keep better records of incidents that have occurred, so that we can more quickly identify patterns of conduct and abuse, and better ways to recognize and address incidents across projects so that people who have engaged in harassment and abuse in one community aren’t able to repeat that behavior in another community.

Staffing and Resources

We need to ensure that the CWG is adequately staffed to assist with the increasing number of incident reports we receive each year. While several members have pursued relevant professional development and training opportunities at their own expense, the CWG currently has no direct access to funds or resources to pursue them as a group. As a volunteer community group chartered by the project lead, the CWG also currently operates without the benefit of legal protection or insurance coverage.

Initiatives for 2018/2019 Governance Changes

While the CWG is not allowed to make changes to its own charter, in early 2017 we explored a number of potential changes that we had intended to propose to Dries to help make our group more effective and better positioned to proactively address the needs of the Drupal community.

That work was put on hold following a series of community discussions that occurred in the spring of 2017.  Those conversations surfaced questions, suggestions, and concerns about the accountability, escalation points, and overall role of the CWG, many of which we documented and addressed in our public issue queue. While we were able to address many of the issues that were raised, some can only be addressed with changes to the CWG’s charter.

We fully support and appreciate the ongoing work of the Governance Task Force to update and reform Drupal community governance. While we understand that additional changes may occur pending the outcome of the overall governance reform process, we also feel that there are some changes related to the CWG that need to be made as soon as possible. These proposed changes are currently under review both internally as well as with Dries and other involved stakeholders, and will be shared with the community for review and comment prior to adoption.

Updating the Community’s Code of Conduct

The current Drupal community code of conduct was published in 2010 and is based on the Ubuntu code of conduct.  As per its charter, the CWG is responsible for “maintain[ing] the Conflict Resolution Process (CRP) and related documentation, including the Drupal Code of Conduct”. The CWG has made several changes to the code of conduct over the years, the most significant of which was the addition of the conflict resolution policy in 2014, much of which was inspired by work done within the Django community.

While Drupal was one of the first open source projects to adopt a code of conduct, many others have done so since, and there are a variety of models and best practices for open source community codes of conduct. Based on feedback that we have received over the past year, the CWG is working on an initiative to review and update Drupal’s community code of conduct with input and involvement from both the community-at-large as well as outside experts with code of conduct experience from other projects. Our goal is to introduce this initiative before the end of 2018.

Dealing with Banned Individuals

Some local event organizers have asked the CWG for better tools to ensure that they weren’t inadvertently providing a platform to people who have been banned from speaking at or attending other events due to code of conduct violations.  While the number of people who have been banned from attending DrupalCon and other Drupal events is very small, a comprehensive list of the identities of those individuals is currently known only to the CWG and the Drupal Association.

While the CWG does not generally publish the names of individuals who have been asked not to attend Drupal events, we do reserve the right to publish their names and the reasons for their ban if they do not abide by it.  While we believe that this is effective at deterring individuals from attending events they have been banned from, we also understand that it does not always provide other attendees and/or conference organizers with the tools they need to ensure a safe environment at their events.

Members of the CWG have discussed this issue with their counterparts in other communities, and it does not appear that there are consistently established best practices for handling these kinds of situations, particularly in communities as decentralized as Drupal. With the input of the community, we would like to establish clear and consistent guidelines for local event organizers.  

Community Workshops and Training

In 2016, the CWG conducted a survey and interviews of Drupal core contributors to identify sources of frustration during the Drupal 8 development cycle. One of our recommendations was for the project to focus more on developing skills like creative problem solving, conflict resolution, effective advocacy, and visioning in order to broaden understanding of Drupal’s community, its assets and its challenges.

Following the success of the teamwork and leadership workshop that the CWG led in collaboration with the Drupal Association at DrupalCon Nashville in 2018, the CWG is exploring opportunities for additional workshops and training at DrupalCon Seattle and other events.

Summary

Over the past few years, the Drupal project and community has grown rapidly, bringing a series of new and evolving challenges. Not only has the project grown progressively more complex with each major release, but the time between releases has increased and more is being asked of the developer community by customers and end-users.

We believe this is a significant contributing factor in the increase in the number of documented incidents of negative conflict, which left unaddressed may result in a decline in contributor productivity and morale. The work of the Community Working Group seeks not only to mitigate the impact of negative conflict, but also to provide the community with the tools and resources it needs to make the Drupal project a safer, more welcoming, and inclusive place.

Categories: Drupal

OpenSense Labs: Building the Drupal Core Strong with The Values

Planet Drupal - 14 September 2018 - 9:30pm
Building the Drupal Core Strong with The Values Akshita Sat, 09/15/2018 - 10:00

“You don’t get to control everything that happens to you, but how you *respond* is a matter of choice.”

That response is based on our values. Call it a belief your parents or society pushed you to pursue or something that you learned with life. Our values condition our responses. 

But how different are the values that we follow in our personal life from the values that build organizations or for that matter a community?

When it comes to the craft of building Drupal and the community we, as a part, need to recognize the art of building software and website, first. 

We share some common values both at OpenSense Labs and at Drupal Community. Let’s talk about these core values and practices that support us. 

“The Drupal Values and Principles describe the culture and behaviors expected of members of the Drupal community to uphold.” The Road to Software Needs to be Strong

In order to build and later maintain a community, it is important that the core values are strong. When building a website or a software it is important we have certain written or unwritten codes of values that we abide by. 

Ensuring the community has the best of what is being offered is done by building a product that doesn’t exclude anyone. This ensures that the features we add are accessible by everyone. 

A clear communication in the community is also important to ensure that the people using that software understand the process of it.  

Impacting the digital landscape that the Drupal community has, we cannot afford to be careless.

Evan Bottcher, ThoughtWorks, explains some core values and practices to build a software. The diagram below is a part of it.  

Each of the eight core practices (in the outer circle) support one or more of those core values. These practices are the actions as an organization and community we need to perform, and it depends a lot on the methods or approaches that we apply. 

Core Values To Build a Software:
  1. Ensuring Quality with Fast Feedback: Quality is not the sole responsibility of the QA. Follow whatever method, if the person building the software doesn’t take the responsibility for the product, nothing will work. 

    It is important that as a software agency we value being able to find out whether a change has been successful in moments not days. The lesser the time we take, the better it is. 
     
  2. Repeatability: Confidence and predictability comes from eliminating the tasks that introduce weird inconsistencies. We also want to spend time on activities that are more important than troubleshooting something that should have just worked.
     
  3. Simple and Elegant: Softwares that contain complexity than what is needed are of no use. Sounds rude? Well, it is the truth. 

    What use will it be if people outside the organization can not work on it? 

    This also brings with it the idea to future-proof the content. While we build for what we need now, and not what we think might be coming there should be enough scope to meet the future requirements. 
     
  4. Clean Code: Talking of making the software future proof means people outside the immediate team can work on it. This requires the code to be clean, which allows the third developer to make relevant changes. 
Values That Build Drupal and Organizations
  • Making Impact

With a community as large as Drupal’ the circumference to affect the number of people increases. But this just doesn’t restrict to people who are working on the core, issues, credits, or documentation. This includes those as well who interact with a Drupal-powered website. 

This is where the idea to impact the lives of people makes more sense. The Article 26 Backpack for Syrian refugees a platform to helps Syrian Refugees secure and share their educational credentials. 

Similarly, as part of our Corporate Social Responsibility, we are open to helping Non profits from a web development and digital strategy perspective. If you are or know a non-profit looking to get a website overhaul or planning digital transformation, please get in touch at hello@opensenselabs.com

We derive meaning from our contributions when our work creates more value for others than it does for us.

  • United We Stand, Divided We Fall

The community ensures the environment remains as transparent as possible, with decisions being collaborative and not authoritative. The community elections are important and equally transparent where everyone can contribute. 

Asking questions or sharing ideas can be difficult, especially if the questions or ideas are not fully formed or if the individual is new to the community. Drupal groups and forums are the places where people can openly ask questions and put their thoughts among the community members. 

At OpenSense Labs, we are also committed to maintaining a transparent environment which includes not only discussing organizational goals but individual goals as well. This enables every member to participate, learn, and grow. Creating an environment where individual goals are taken care of ensures that the team grows. Not only in numbers but with their output as well. 

We also value the behavior of feedback. The product, after all, belongs to all and not just to a few. This brings in the sense of ownership which helps grow us manifold. We learned this from the Drupal community. Each feature people work relentlessly to improve the state of Drupal. 

Teamwork can empower every contributor. Throughout the history of the Drupal community, many individual contributors have made a significant impact on the project. Helping one person get involved could be game-changing for the Drupal project.

  • Give Respect and Get Respect

Every person is important. For the organization and the community. Just as the community our team is equally diverse. This requires building an environment that supports diversity, equity, and inclusion. Not because it is the right thing to do but because it is essential to the health and success of the project. 

Prioritizing accessibility and internationalization is an important part of this commitment.

  • Work Hard, Party Harder

Working is good, but be sure to have fun. It is important to feel empowered and help others but it is equally important to enjoy and share the company of those you work most of the time with. 

We believe in the concept of work hard and party harder. 


Our values and principles need to be robust as well as flexible to ensure we don’t end up being too rigid. This, of course, involves discussing them regularly with the team and community. 

Check out Drupal Values and Principles

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Categories: Drupal

Matt Glaman: Drupal 7, 8, and 9: deprecate the old to intake the new

Planet Drupal - 14 September 2018 - 4:24pm
Drupal 7, 8, and 9: deprecate the old to intake the new mglaman Fri, 09/14/2018 - 18:24

At Drupal Europe, Dries announced the release cycle and end of life for Drupal's current and next version. Spoiler alert: I am beyond excited, but I wish the timeline could be expedited. More on that to follow.

Here is a quick breakdown:

Categories: Drupal

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