Autumn is here! One of the things we’re looking forward to this month is DrupalCon Amsterdam from the 28th - 31st Oct 2019. Autumn is the most magical time to visit Amsterdam! An opportunity to mingle with the Drupal community in Amsterdam, what else could a Drupaler wish for?
QED42’s support for the Drupal Community around the world is unwavering. Would it be sponsoring DrupalCamps, DrupalCons, organizing Drupal meetups, or contributing to Drupal.org.
And we hope you will join us at DrupalCon Amsterdam, this month!| Meet us!
QED42 is proud to be a Silver sponsor this year. If you are a Drupaler you wouldn’t miss visiting QED42’s booth. We are known for our exuberant booth vibes, designs, activities, and goodies. It is our tradition of unveiling a new Drupal t-shirt design at every DrupalCon. Check out the story behind our Hindi Drupal t-shirt series here - https://www.qed42.com/blog/story-behind-our-hindi-drupal-t-shirt. Our Drupal t-shirt design for #DCA is inspired by the vibrant and spirited culture of Amsterdam. Accompanied by a couple more goodies that you will absolutely adore!
This year, QED42 will be showcasing a wide range of our capabilities including:
- Decoupled Drupal
- Gatsby e-commerce demos
Come say Hi to our team at DrupalCon Amsterdam Booth No - 16, we would love to discuss ideas around how Drupal meets the ever-changing needs of the digital world.| Sessions
Our Drupal experts are presenting at DrupalCon Amsterdam 2019. You can find us at these sessions:Houdini - New Era of CSS
- Date: 28th Oct 2019
- Time: 15:00 - 15:40
- Location: G 103
- Track: Drupal + Frontend
- Level: Intermediate
- Speakers: Vidit Anjaria and Saket Kumar
Here’s a sneak peek of our session - https://www.qed42.com/blog/building-powerful-custom-properties-CSS-houdiniDesigning the future of the Drupal Admin UI
- Date: 30 Oct 2019
- Time: 09:00 - 09:40
- Location: G 103
- Track: Drupal + Frontend
- Level: Beginner
- Speakers: Archita Arora, Sacha Eggenberger, and Cristina Chumillas
There are some exciting keynotes lined up for you at DrupalCon Amsterdam!- Tuesday, October 29 at 9:00 AM | Talk: Driesnote
Speaker: Dries Buytaert - Founder- Wednesday, October 30 at 1:30 PM | Talk: If I can do it, so can you
Speaker: Sue Black - Professor of Computer Science and Technology Evangelist, UK Government Strategic Advisor, Women’s Equality Party candidate for London Mayor 2020, Professional Speaker, Author- Tuesday, October 29 at 1:30 PM | Talk: Humanity in tech
Speaker: Boris Veldhuijzen Van Zanten - CEO and Co-founder of thenextweb.com- Monday, October 28 at 1:30 PM | Talk: Drupal core initiative leads keynote
Attending DrupalCon Amsterdam? Don’t forget to1 flash your badge and spread the word - https://events.drupal.org/amsterdam2019/spread-word. Follow @DrupalConEur for recent updates around the event.
Drop by our Booth 16 and meet the QED42 team! We would love to share our exciting projects and learn more about your experiences and challenges with Drupal.Ruchika.Mohite Wed, 10/09/2019 - 16:58
Drupal is a wonderful Content Management System with tons of features that solve many problems for editors and content managers. A developer can take different approaches to achieve the same result, and the Drupal update process is no exception.
It is possible to update Drupal either with Composer, Drush, or manually within the CPanel interface. The first two methods imply that you have at least mid-level experience with the command line and secure shell access to your public host. The third method is more visual and is suitable for developers beginning with Drupal.
Keep reading, if you want to learn how to update your Drupal site with this method.
The Drupal project is global. There are people using, implementing, and contributing to the Drupal project in nearly every country of the world.
Being able to encourage and support our global community to promote and grow the project must also be a global operation, and we are delighted to read that the Drupal Association of Colombia (ADC) has now been officially formed.
This local association will help to promote and stimulate the use of Drupal in Colombia and act as a focus to propel the Colombia community’s efforts and initiatives in accordance with the Drupal values and principles.
The founding members of the local association are partners and executives of two experienced Drupal Agencies in Colombia: Jairo Pinzón, Aldibier Morales, and William Vera from Seed EM and Jorge Alexander Salcedo and Carolina Poveda from Bits Americas; a senior Drupal developer and very active community member, Iván Chaquea; a marketer and very active Drupal adopter Jonathan Osorio from Grupo Éxito; and from the academic side, Socrates Rojas, dean of the faculty of computer science from the Instituto Técnico Central of Bogota, a prestigious public technical school.
Membership is now open to organizations and individuals who wish to join the Drupal Association of Colombia and who share the same interest. By joining, members will have access to all the local activities, training, official Drupal events, and the opportunity to contribute in a more cohesive way. More information will soon be available at www.asociaciondrupal.org.
The ADC is now preparing for its first official event — Drupal Camp Medellin on June 5-6, 2020.
Please join us in congratulating all involved and wishing them a successful future!File attachments: colombia.png
It’s a pleasure for us to bring to a focus GTD in a city. Last weekend ADCI Solutions showed how entertaining can be creating a website using the Drupal platform. It was “Star Wars Global Training Day #9” where only the quickest teams got awards! Check out how it was.
Skpr - pronounced Skipper - is a cloud hosting platform specifically designed to maximise the productivity of development teams by giving them full control right from the command line.by Nick Schuch / 8 October 2019
During our consulting engagements with large organisations, we recognised a clear trend; they were moving away from narrow, single-site hosting services and building bespoke platforms on top of Kubernetes to support their multi-site, multi-technology initiatives.
Back in 2016 we had this exact need for hosting our entire portfolio of sites. Throughout this journey we found that providing developers with a simple Command Line Interface (CLI), has led to huge improvements in our team's efficiency and the overall quality of our products.
So, today we’re announcing the public launch of our hosting platform, Skpr. The platform for teams who want a simple command line tool, backed by a range of industry-leading services and supported by our own team of experts.Why Skpr is different
Many hosting platforms provide a web interface where deployments can be dragged-and-dropped between environments.
While these solutions are more effective for non-developers, they fall short in integration and extendability within the workflow of the developers actually doing the job. Having a Command Line Interface (CLI) means that not only do we provide the same level of control, we provide the flexibility to extend those workflows.
- Scripts - Having a CLI means that Skpr can integrate into existing automation, along with CI tools such as CircleCI.
- Documentation - Complex tasks carried out via a GUI are very difficult to document. CLIs mean you spend less time describing a user interface and more time documenting the actual process.
With a few commands, developers have the control to package, deploy, configure and monitor their services right from the command line.
And while we want to provide a platform that's powerful, reliable and secure, we're passionate about making it easy-to-use as well.
To find out more, visit skpr.io.Tagged Skpr, Cloud Hosting, Drupal Hosting
- Point One
- Point Two
- Point Three
HonorHealth is well-known as a community health system drawing from a strong legacy of care for those in their community for more than 100 years in Phoenix, AZ. HonorHealth provides critical, life-saving services; they focus their energy on providing first-in-class medical services, training, and humanitarian assistance. HonorHealth needed a content management platform to help them communicate not only their services, but also their innovations in treatments, technology, and clinical research in a way that is comprehensible and effective for their audiences.The Challenge
The previous honorhealth.com was a Drupal 7 site that offered inconsistent search interfaces, a splintered “make an appointment” experience, and an overall menu and content structure that was based on internal organizational needs. With a renewed focus on their customers, HonorHealth wanted to build a new website that would improve the crucial “find care” experience for their users.
More specifically, they wanted to make it seamless for patients to:
- Find and receive the right care
- Get access to their health information
- Manage their care easily
- Maintain their health or cope with a condition
HonorHealth engaged Palantir.net to create an easy-to-administer, modernized Drupal 8 platform. The new consumer-centric honorhealth.com:
- Builds and fosters trust through design and good usability
- Makes it easy for users to find care and locations
- Features a site structure driven by actual user priorities
- Is WCAG 2.0 AA compliant
With an eye on the future, Palantir focused work on creating a platform that will be easily extendable as HonorHealth expands the services they provide to their community over time. Palantir knew it was essential to create a strong platform in order to enable HonorHealth to integrate more technologies in the future as part of their continuum of care.Collaborative Discovery Phase
The project began with an in-person workshop that joined together the Palantir team with a large group of client stakeholders (15+), each with varied levels of project context, technical knowledge, and ongoing involvement in the overall project. As Palantir interviewed the organizational stakeholders, it became clear that putting patients and prospective patients first and foremost was going to be critical to the success of the project. Palantir worked with their partners at HonorHealth to make sure the team was answering every challenge through the lens of “does this first serve patients and prospective patients?”
Inception focused heavily on user testing of HonorHealth’s existing personas, which were validated through abbreviated top task research in order to get data on the specific priorities of the primary audiences. The results of this work were incorporated into the page designs and informed the Information Architecture (IA) hypothesis, which was tested further using a tree test. The tree test helped us determine which tasks users could easily complete on the site and which tasks were especially difficult to complete.
Palantir used a series of “sketch sessions”–workshops where the team and client stakeholders collaboratively define key user flows and experiences. The outcome is low-fidelity, annotated wireframes that can initiate conversations around the build and move the project forward.
Both the UX and development team at Palantir participated in these sessions, which enabled them to overlap design work with development work much longer, creating a more integrated approach to developing the HonorHealth site. This innovative approach enabled Palantir to show the site–with real content–in it much sooner than traditionally possible, which meant HonorHealth could provide incremental feedback on the site. This process of migrating data early and evolving it in-place also made it easier to showcase data integrations as they lived alongside CMS-controlled content.Building a Valuable IA
Using data from the top tasks research, Palantir developed a framework of “most valuable experiences” for HonorHealth’s audiences. The site’s information architecture and hierarchy, calls-to-action, navigation, and layout are all anchored around these experiences – always surfacing the information users need in the most contextually relevant places and laying the groundwork for personalization opportunities in the future.
The most notable highlights of the new site include:
- A consolidated appointment flow (universal button, main landing page) that helps users decide how to proceed
- A straightforward, consistent search experience for finding doctors, locations, clinical trials, articles and events
With the previous site, content design elements were created mostly inline on individual pages by a web manager with HTML knowledge. This limited who on the team could make changes to the site and slowed down the process of updating the site with critical content. With the new honorhealth.com, the editorial team has a set of dynamic, flexible, field-based content components that enables content editors to craft compelling narrative content pages, without needing to know HTML.Modern Design
The new honorhealth.com cleverly incorporates their existing brand elements while modernizing the design. Simple and straightforward, the updated design is easy to use and connects and resonates with key audiences.
Integrating With Key Systems
One of the overall goals when embarking on this redesign was to create an experience that mimicked the streamlined usability of an ecommerce site. HonorHealth wanted to create a place where patients could easily make choices about their care and schedule appointments with minimal effort. In order to provide this experience, it was imperative that the new platform could play well with HonorHealth’s external services and created a firm foundation to integrate more self-service tools in the future.
- SymphonyRM offers a rich set of data served by a dynamic API. HonorHealth leverages SymphonyRM’s Provider Operations services to hold its practice location and physician data. Palantir worked closely with Symphony to help define the data structure. Through this work, HonorHealth was able to reduce the number of steps and people required to maintain their provider and location data. By leveraging the strategy work done and the technical consultation of Palantir’s Technical Architecture Owner, HonorHealth was able to keep focused on the most valuable content to their users throughout all of their integrated systems.
- Docscores provides a platform for gathering high-quality ratings and review data on healthcare practitioners and locations. Palantir integrated this data directly with the physician and location data provided from SymphonyRM to create a research and discovery tool for HonorHealth users. On the new HonorHealth website, users can find physicians near a specific location and read about other patients’ experiences with them.
- Clockwise provides real-time wait estimates for people looking for Urgent Care services in their area. Each of these individual “under the hood” integrations don’t represent a significant shift for website users, but when all of these changes are coupled with the intense focus on putting the user experience of the site first, the result speaks for itself: a beautiful website that works well and empowers people to engage in their ongoing healthcare in meaningful ways.
Each of these individual “under the hood” integrations don’t represent a significant shift for website users, but when all of these changes are coupled with the intense focus on putting the user experience of the site first, the result speaks for itself: a beautiful website that works well and empowers people to engage in their ongoing healthcare in meaningful ways.
At risk of sounding trite and cliche, the term ‘best in class’ legitimately does apply.Jake Kelly
Web SpecialistKey Results
Each and every page of the new Drupal 8 site fits neatly in a hierarchy of user-centric top-tasks. Each page is outcome- or action-oriented and centers on the question: “What are our users trying to accomplish when they come to this page?” The new site surfaces valuable, decision-influencing information like Emergency Department wait times and easy appointment request forms in key places to help users get the services they need and want, quickly and efficiently.
The new HonorHealth site has taken a strong step forward in effectiveness for not only patients, but the internal team as well. By taking a strategic approach to how their data is managed across all of their vendors and integrations, Palantir was able to find efficiencies and make that process easier, so that HonorHealth can focus on what they do best – providing top-notch care to the communities that they serve.Building a modernized Drupal 8 site structure prioritized by user priorities
Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota (LSS) is one of the state’s largest private nonprofit social service organizations, providing a vast array of services in all 87 Minnesota counties for children and families, older adults and people with disabilities.
Jacob Rockowitz: Acquia, Automattic, and Microsoft should lobby governments to fix accessibility issues in Open Source
Recently, I nudged governments to get more involved in fixing accessibility issues in Open Source projects. Getting governments to do anything can feel like a monumental challenge. Maybe we need to build better alliances and then collectively lobby the governments to change how they approach Open Source.
Dries Buytaert, the founder of Drupal, recently published a blog post titled, "Balancing Makers and Takers to sustain and scale Open Source," and while reading it I wondered, “Are we approaching the problem of sustainability too much as developers? Should we step back and look at the challenge of sustainability from a business and political perspective?”
Is changing an Open Source project's license going to change how other organizations contribute to Open Source? Changing the licensing is a different approach. The recent "Open-source licensing war" felt like a few individual companies are trying to make a significant shift in Open Source, however lacking a unified front. If Open Source companies are going to take on Amazon, they are going to have to do it together by building alliances.
The definition of alliance sounds very much like what happens in Open Source communities.
Political alliances (a.k.a. parties) are what powers most governments. The scale of some open source projects has required better governance. In Dries' blog post, he spends time exploring how organizations use Open Source (a.k.a. Takers) without helping to build the software or community (a.k.a. Makers). His post ends with three valuable suggestions that are focused on appealing to organizations and rethinking how the Open Source...Read More
Missed some of our blog posts last month? Don't worry - here’s a recap of all our posts from September. Check it out and make sure you’re all caught up!READ MORE
DrupalCon News: DrupalCon Minneapolis - extended deadlines for call for proposals & scholarships and grants
Mark your calendars: The deadline for Proposals and applying for Grants & Scholarships is now Wednesday, December 4.
How do you maintain one of Drupal's most prolific modules, run a business, have a family, and stay balanced? Amitai Burstein spills his secrets to success and how you can join him! Also, sushi!
For DrupalCon Amsterdam, we’ve curated keynote speakers who are engaging presenters — and add value to the gathering as a whole. Enhance your professional life by hearing more about differing experiences in tech and open source. These keynotes are only for conference attendees, so we invite you to join us by registering.
Over the years I have benefited greatly from the generosity of the Drupal Community. In 2011 people sponsored me to write lines of code to get me to DrupalCon Chicago.
Today Dave Hall Consulting is a very successful small business. We have contributed code, time and content to Drupal. It is time for us to give back in more concrete terms.
We want to help someone from an under represented group take their career to the next level. This year we will provide a Diversity Scholarship for one person to attend DrupalSouth, our 2 day Gettin’ Git training course and 5 nights at the conference hotel. This will allow this person to attend the premier Drupal event in the region while also learning everything there is to know about git.
To apply for the scholarship, fill out the form by 23:59 AEST 12 October 2019 to be considered.
Drupal Association blog: Drupal Association collaborates on new groundbreaking tech initiative as featured on TagTeamTalk
The Drupal Association collaborated on Automatic Updates, one of the Drupal Core Strategic Initiatives that was funded by the European Commission. We are excited to partner with MTech, Tag1 Consulting, and the European Commission FOSSA program on this new initiative and share information with you about its features.
Automatic Updates has three components.Public safety messaging
This feature pulls a feed of alerts from Drupal.org directly into Drupal's administrative interface. This helps ensure that critical Public service announcements (PSA) or Security Advisories (SA) from the Drupal security team will be seen directly by site owners.
This provides yet another communication mechanism before an update so site owners can verify they are ready for an upcoming update, before it lands.
The feed of alerts comes directly from the feed of PSAs and SAs that the security team and release managers are already producing.
This will vastly increase the ability of the Drupal project to get the word out about critical and highly critical updates - ensuring the community can respond fast.
These automated and extensible readiness checks are built into the Automatic Updates system to verify that a site doesn't have any blockers that would prevent it from being updated.
These checks are slated to run at least every 6 hours on a site via Drupal Cron and will inform site owners if they are ready to auto update their site.
Examples of the readiness checks include:
Is the site is running on a read-only file system?
Have any files included in the update been modified from what they should be?
Does the site still need to run database updates, etc.?
There’s about 8 or 9 of these readiness checks and some are warnings (Cron isn’t running frequently enough to automatically update the site in a timely manner) and some are errors (the file system is read-only). Warnings won’t stop automatic updates, but errors will.In place updates
Finally, the key pillar of the automatic updates feature is the update itself. Drupal.org generates a signed and secure package of files which can be overlaid atop the existing site files in order to apply the update.
This update package is downloaded as a signed zip file from Drupal.org. The automatic updates module on the site then compares the signature of the zip file using drupal/php-signify, which is based on BSD’s Signify and libsodium to verify the package.
It then proceeds to backup the files about to be updated and updates the site.
If all goes well, the site is upgraded. If something fails, the backup is restored.
Many workflows are supported and you can customize how the updates are performed. Updates can flow through your CI/CD system, be staged for review and approval, and or automatically go live.
In the past few weeks, the Drupal Association has been invited to participate in TagTeamTalks, a new recorded talk series about various tech projects supporting the Drupal project. This bi-weekly format provides real-time shared collaboration and informative discussions.
TagTeamTalk launched its webinar focused on Automatic Updates this week. The group dives deep into the nuts and bolts of Drupal's groundbreaking Automatic Updates feature, and the strategic initiative sponsored by the Drupal Association, MTech, Tag1 Consulting, and the European Commission. Guests include Preston So (prestonso), Contributing Editor at Tag1 and Moderator of the TagTeamTalks; Michael Meyers (michalemeyers), Managing Director of Tag1; Lucas Hedding (heddn), Senior Architect and Data and Application Migration Expert at Tag1; Fabian Franz (Fabianx), Senior Technical Architect and Performance Lead at Tag1; and Tim Lehnen (hestenet) CTO at the Drupal Association. Read the TagTeamTalks blog.
“Content marketing is one of the most effective ways to promote your brand and capabilities - it has been a really powerful approach for the organizations that I’ve worked for,” said Michael. “The goal is to give our team an opportunity to talk about the cool things they’re working on and excited about and to share it with people. It helps get the word out about the latest developments in the open source communities we contribute to, and it promotes Tag1’s expertise - it helps us recruit new hires, and drives new business.”
Meyers is the Managing Director of Tag1, and has been involved with the Drupal community for over 15 years. He was Founder and CTO of the first venture backed drupal based startup, CTO of the first Top 100 website on Drupal, and VP of Developer Relations at Acquia before joining Tag1. “The great thing about TagTeamTalks is that it doesn’t take a tremendous amount of effort or energy. Our engineers are subject matter experts. We decide on a topic for the week, spend 15 minutes brainstorming a rough outline as a guide, and then record the talk. We don’t want to be rehearsed. The conversation is what makes it dynamic and enjoyable for us to do, and for people to listen to. And, the team loves it because they want to talk about what they are working on, and this format doesn’t take a lot of time away from what they enjoy doing most - writing code.”
Hedding is one of the top 20 most active contributors to Drupal 8, and is also the Drupal Core Migrate Sub-system Maintainer, a core contribution mentor, and a D.O. project application reviewer. “Auto Updates has long been one of the most requested Drupal features, it is a capability the platform really needs that will help everyone using Drupal. Now that the alpha is available, we need to early adopters to start using it, we need feedback so we can continue to improve it. We also need to get more people involved in development, and we need to raise more money from organizations to support the project - it might sound like a simple feature, but it is actually really complex and requires a lot of effort. TagTeamTalks are a great way to get the word out and to enlist support from the Drupal community.”
Lucas added, “The European Commission provided generous funding for this initiative. The focus has been exclusively or largely around the European Commission’s features and functionality. The funding is running out very soon. There is a need for other people to help continue to build Automatic Updates by adding the features they need with their developers or by providing funding.”
“It is critical for us to spread the message and make that call to action; that this is a community-driven effort and that without continued community support, it is not going to be as successful or as robust in the timeframe that we would like,” said Meyers.
The first year of funding from the European Commission provided for readiness checking, delivery of update 'quasi-patches,’ and a robust package signing system. The focus of this first phase of the Automatic Updates initiative has been on support for security updates in particular.
In the second phase, as yet unfunded, we hope to extend this foundational work in the following ways:
Provide more robust composer support. The first phase of the automatic updates project should be compatible with composer-ready sites, but as the site’s composer.json file and vendor directory of a site change from the default, then more controls and though need to be implemented.
Create an A/B front-end controller for the site being updated to further increase our confidence in the success of the update, allow for additional post-update testing and provide an easy mechanism to roll-back the update. This is also when updates will be able to move into Drupal core from the contrib project.
Expand to more types of updates (particularly further support for contrib updates), and also handle multiple updates in a row, for sites that are several versions behind.
To accomplish all of this, we will continue to seek more funding and more partners.
“I’m looking forward to seeing where this goes now that we have the first release out, ” said Hedding. “ There’s a larger community needed to get this initiative completed.”
The initial alpha version of the Automatic Updates module can be tested by the community right now. The plan is to: demonstrate Automatic Updates at DrupalCon Amsterdam this month, complete the scope of the funded work by the European Commission by the end of this year, and stabilize Automatic Updates by DrupalCon Minneapolis in May 2020.
“The Automatic Updates initiative is designed to reduce the friction in keeping a Drupal site secure and up-to-date. The team behind the initiative is architecting a robust system, secure by design, and building components that can be shared with the broader PHP community,” said Tim Lehnen.