I'm happy to announce today that Acquia acquired Mautic, an open source marketing automation and campaign management platform.
A couple of decades ago, I was convinced that every organization required a website — a thought that sounds rather obvious now. Today, I am convinced that every organization will need a Digital Experience Platform (DXP).
Having a website is no longer enough: customers expect to interact with brands through their websites, email, chat and more. They also expect these interactions to be relevant and personalized.
If you don't know Mautic, think of it as an alternative to Adobe's Marketo or Salesforce's Marketing Cloud. Just like these solutions, Mautic provides marketing automation and campaign management capabilities. It's differentiated in that it is easier to use, supports one-to-one customer experiences across many channels, integrates more easily with other tools, and is less expensive.
The flowchart style visual campaign builder you saw in the beginning of the Mautic demo video above is one of my favorite features. I love how it allows marketers to combine content, user profiles, events and a decision engine to deliver the best-next action to customers.
Mautic is a relatively young company, but has quickly grown into the largest open source player in the marketing automation space, with more than 200,000 installations. Its ease of use, flexibility and feature completeness has won over many marketers in a very short time: the company's top-line grew almost 400 percent year-over-year, its number of customers tripled, and Mautic won multiple awards for product innovation and customer service.
The acquisition of Mautic accelerates Acquia's product strategy to deliver the only Open Digital Experience Platform:The pieces that make up a Digital Experience Platform, and how Mautic fits into Acquia's Open Digital Experience Platform. Acquia is strong in content management, personalization, user profile management and commerce (yellow blocks). Mautic adds or improves Acquia's multi-channel delivery, campaign management and journey orchestration capabilities (purple blocks).
There are many reasons why we like Mautic, but here are my top 3:Reason 1: Disrupting the market with "open"
Open Source will disrupt every component of the modern technology stack. It's not a matter of if, it's when.
With Mautic, Acquia is now the only open and open source alternative to the expensive, closed, and stagnant marketing clouds.
I'm both proud and excited that Acquia is doubling down on Open Source. Given our extensive open source experience, we believe we can help grow Mautic even faster.Reason 2: Innovating through integrations
To build an optimal customer experience, marketers need to integrate with different data sources, customer technologies, and bespoke in-house platforms. Instead of buying a suite from a single vendor, most marketers want an open platform that allows for open innovation and unlimited integrations.
Only an open architecture can connect any technology in the marketing stack, and only an open source innovation model can evolve fast enough to offer integrations with thousands of marketing technologies (to date, there are 7,000 vendors in the martech landscape).
Because developers are largely responsible for creating and customizing marketing platforms, marketing technology should meet the needs of both business users and technology architects. Unlike other companies in the space, Mautic is loved by both marketers and developers. With Mautic, Acquia continues to focus on both personas.Reason 3: The same technology stack and business model
Digital agencies or in-house teams need to deliver integrated marketing solutions. Because both Drupal and Mautic use the same technology stack, a single team of developers can work on both.
The similarities also make it possible for both open source communities to collaborate — while it is not something you can force to happen, it will be interesting to see how that dynamic naturally plays out over time.
Last but not least, our business models are also very aligned. Both Acquia and Mautic were "born in the cloud" and make money by offering subscription- and cloud-based delivery options. This means you pay for only what you need and that you can focus on using the products rather than running and maintaining them.
Mautic offers several commercial solutions:
- Mautic Cloud, a fully managed SaaS version of Mautic with premium features not available in Open Source.
- For larger organizations, Mautic has a proprietary product called Maestro. Large organizations operate in many regions or territories, and have teams dedicated to each territory. With Maestro, each territory can get its own Mautic instance, but they can still share campaign best-practices, and repeat successful campaigns across territories. It's a unique capability, which is very aligned with the Acquia Cloud Site Factory.
If you want to try Mautic, you can either install the community version yourself or check out the demo or sandbox environment of Mautic Open Marketing Cloud.Conclusion
We're very excited to join forces with Mautic. It is such a strategic step for Acquia. Together we'll provide our customers with more freedom, faster innovation, and more flexibility. Open digital experiences are the way of the future.
I've got a lot more to share about the Mautic acquisition, how we plan to integrate Mautic in Acquia's solutions, how we could build bridges between the Drupal and Mautic community, how it impacts the marketplace, and more.
In time, I'll write more about these topics on this blog. In the meantime, please feel free to join DB Hurley, Mautic's founder and CTO, and me in a live Q&A session on Thursday, May 9 at 10am ET. We'll try to answer your questions about Acquia and Mautic.
I’ve been a web designer since 1996. In some ways, it’s hard for me to fathom. Those were the days of Netscape Navigator and table-based page layouts. I wrote every bit of HTML by hand on a seriously-underpowered computer and a tiny monitor. Definitely a far cry from where we are today.
I was completely self-taught and learned by doing. When I landed my first job as a full-time “webmaster” at my local newspaper, I didn’t even know what Photoshop was (I had been using Microsoft Paint for graphics – feel free to laugh).
Looking back, I know that I wasn’t a very good designer in those days – but that didn’t matter. I felt lucky to be on the ground floor of an industry that was poised to change the world.An Early Start
As an 18-year-old, I was often the youngest person in the office. Sometimes, that led to not being taken seriously by those in charge. Still, I did have a few mentors at the paper who were more than generous with their friendship and advice. It was my first taste of the “real world” – a lesson I sorely needed.
At the same time, I realized that I wasn’t going to stay there forever. The pay wasn’t very good and the hours weren’t my cup of tea. Most of all, I just felt that I could do better. Just over a year in, I left.
From there, I spent the next couple of years in various corporate settings – none of which felt very fulfilling. My existence was very much that of a worker bee. Sure, this is what happens when you’re just starting out – but I was too dense to see it that way.
Again, I had a feeling that there was something else out there for me. But there didn’t seem to be a path to further my career, unless I took it upon myself to do so.
So, in 1999 I went all-in as a freelancer working from home. While I’ve gone through a few different places to call home in the years since, I’m still here – thanks in great part to WordPress.
But before I found both the software and community that would change my trajectory, I had to go through some ups and downs.Hitting a Wall
Starting my own business at 21 was at once frightening and gratifying. I booked a few steady clients early on, and that provided a much-needed boost in confidence (and revenue). Yet there was also a tremendous amount of responsibility that I wasn’t prepared for. It was another real-world lesson and I had to mature in a hurry.
As for technology, I upgraded my computer, but not necessarily my approach. The first several years were still ruled by building static HTML sites. And as clients started asking for more complex features such as ecommerce, I realized something about myself: I was incredibly afraid of what I didn’t know.
This feeling would haunt me much more than I could have anticipated. It was like a massive weight on my shoulders. As long as work kept me in my comfort zone, I was fine. But anything outside of that brought out my anxiety.
Sure, I had achieved some level of success at a young age (with a hobby site even going viral). I had plenty of work, I even moved out of my parent’s house. But I also feared the unknown. I hadn’t been a very good student in high school and had zero confidence in my ability to learn something more advanced.
At the same time, that fear was joined by a great deal of frustration. I started struggling to build larger sites using those same tired methods. And maintaining them was even worse.
In all, I was stressed out and felt stuck in a dead end. The passion I once had for design and code had vanished. I was in desperate need of a new direction.A Glimmer of Light
It’s amazing how, just when things feel their darkest, a little bit of light shows up and sparks something in you. For me, WordPress was like a tiny matchstick in a pitch-black cave.
Somewhere around 2005, I installed an early version of WordPress as a playful experiment. At the time, I saw other content management systems starting to pop up, but wasn’t really impressed. Frankly, the sites running them all looked the same.
But tearing apart a WordPress theme was different. I knew nothing about PHP, but found that the templates were pretty easy to follow. I liked that I could make design changes without too much trouble. Even if I broke something, I was (usually) able to bring things back to their previous state.
Still, I wasn’t ready or willing to abandon my old-school techniques for building sites just yet (I even jettisoned the CSS layouts from my theme and replaced them with tables). WordPress was something I used on the periphery. I created a few simple blogs for clients, but hadn’t really thought of using it for anything more.
In fact, it would be a few more years until I was finally ready to make a change.A New Beginning
2010 was a banner year in my career. It was the year where I, inspired by my wife and newborn daughter, started to really confront my fears. I had grown completely tired of the way I had been doing things. This was the year I became convinced that WordPress was the game-changer I needed.
As the software matured, more developers started using it to run entire sites – not just traditional blogs. I was very much intrigued, even excited, about the possibility of what I could achieve in terms of both design and functionality.
So, I convinced one of my agency clients to let me try using WordPress on a project. Things went well enough that we decided to start using it more often. And, for me, it was like that little matchstick in the dark cave turned into a huge beacon.
The more I used WordPress, the more curious I became about what else it could do. I found myself not only being unafraid to learn, but actually motivated to do so.
By the next year, I had moved almost exclusively to WordPress. That led to another watershed moment: Attending my first WordCamp.Discovering That I Wasn’t Alone
Visiting WordCamp Philadelphia 2011 was an eye-opening experience. This was not the buttoned-down, corporate atmosphere that brought me discomfort years earlier. Instead, I found a casual, welcoming vibe that made me feel like I belonged.
The crowd was diverse in just about every way imaginable. And I met people who were all over the map when it came to knowledge of WordPress. Some were complete newbies, others were experts. But regardless of their skill level or experience, they all gathered in the same place. It struck me that I was now a part of something unique.
This burgeoning community, coupled with great software, had all of the sudden put me on a path that I never imagined possible. It made me want to learn all that I could and be a part of something bigger than myself.
Before too long, I discovered a confidence I never felt before. I was not only building better websites than I ever had, I was also eager to be a part of the WordPress community. And, despite being a bit shy, I even spoke at WordCamp Baltimore in 2012.
I felt like anything was possible.Opportunity Knocks
As my experience with both WordPress and its community has grown, it has opened up some amazing opportunities. For one, it gave me the courage to try and fulfill another lifelong dream: to become a writer.
I started off by submitting an article to Speckyboy Web Design Magazine, not really knowing what to expect. When it was published, I was incredibly excited. So, I kept on writing. And each time, site editor Paul Andrew kept on publishing my work.
Even more mind-boggling is that, eventually, this led to a regular role with the site. I’ve published hundreds of articles and have enjoyed every minute of it. And more writing gigs have followed. My topic of choice? WordPress, of course!
When it comes to my design business, I’m no longer afraid to push those boundaries. I’ve built and maintained hundreds of WordPress sites that run the gamut in terms of size and functionality. Yes, including the formerly fear-inducing ecommerce.
But I know that, without the confidence boost I received by working with WordPress, none of this would have been possible. I am beyond grateful, and so glad that I found it at a pivotal time in my life.What I’ve Learned
So, what does this all mean? I’ve given it a lot of thought.
There are still days when I’m overwhelmed and stressed out. But even then, I tell myself how I lucky I am to do what I do each day. And somehow, I have maintained a passion for my work that I think is here to stay.
But the biggest lesson I’ve learned, and the thing I’d like to share with you, is to give yourself a chance to learn and grow. Sometimes, the unknown can be scary – I get it. I was so afraid of the fact that I wasn’t formally trained and that I didn’t have the knowledge I needed to go further. I was scared that if I failed to learn what I needed to know that I’d be left in the dust.
Yet, that’s the amazing thing about WordPress and web design in general. There are so many great resources out there you can learn from. And there is a community out there who is willing to help and share what they know.
Everything is right there in front of us. All it takes is a willingness to try.
In case you missed some of them, here’s an overview of our blog posts from April to get you up to speed. Enjoy!READ MORE
Back in September 2018, Dries Buytaert, founder and project lead of Drupal, announced,
Drupal 7 will be end-of-life in November 2021, Drupal 9 will be released in 2020, and Drupal 8 will be end-of-life in November 2021.
You can read the announcement and get further information on this here - https://dri.es/drupal-7-8-and-9
Since that announcement, Cheeky Monkey Media has been in a lot of conversations with businesses of all shapes and sizes, not-for-profit and for-profit, that are currently on the Drupal 7 CMS platform and are considering migrating to Drupal 8.
The first thing everyone needs to realize is the move to drupal 8 will be painful, and almost as expensive as building a Drupal website from scratch.
The second thing everyone should realize is that once they’re on Drupal 8, the move to Drupal 9 will be relatively painless.
As Dries announced in a later article,
Version 5.2 of WordPress, named “Jaco” in honor of renowned and revolutionary jazz bassist Jaco Pastorius, is available for download or update in your WordPress dashboard. New features in this update make it easier than ever to fix your site if something goes wrong.
There are even more robust tools for identifying and fixing configuration issues and fatal errors. Whether you are a developer helping clients or you manage your site solo, these tools can help get you the right information when you need it.Site Health Check
Building on the Site Health features introduced in 5.1, this release adds two new pages to help debug common configuration issues. It also adds space where developers can include debugging information for site maintainers.PHP Error Protection
This administrator-focused update will let you safely fix or manage fatal errors without requiring developer time. It features better handling of the so-called “white screen of death,” and a way to enter recovery mode, which pauses error-causing plugins or themes.Improvements for Everyone Accessibility Updates
A number of changes work together to improve contextual awareness and keyboard navigation flow for those using screen readers and other assistive technologies.New Dashboard Icons
Thirteen new icons including Instagram, a suite of icons for BuddyPress, and rotated Earth icons for global inclusion. Find them in the Dashboard and have some fun!Plugin Compatibility Checks
WordPress will now automatically determine if your site’s version of PHP is compatible with installed plugins. If the plugin requires a higher version of PHP than your site currently uses, WordPress will not allow you to activate it, preventing potential compatibility errors.Developer Happiness
The minimum supported PHP version is now 5.6.20. As of WordPress 5.2*, themes and plugins can safely take advantage of namespaces, anonymous functions, and more!
5.2 introduces a wp_body_open hook, which lets themes support injecting code right at the beginning of the <body> element.
*If you are running an old version of PHP (less than 5.6.20), update your PHP before installing 5.2.The Squad
This release was led by Matt Mullenweg, Josepha Haden Chomphosy, and Gary Pendergast. They were graciously supported by 327 generous volunteer contributors. Load a Jaco Pastorius playlist on your favorite music service and check out some of their profiles:Aaron D. Campbell, Aaron Jorbin, Adam Silverstein, Adam Soucie, Adil Öztaşer, Ajit Bohra, Alain Schlesser, Alda Vigdís, Alex Denning, Alex Kirk, Alex Mills, Alex Shiels, Alexis, Alexis Lloyd, allancole, Allen Snook, André, andraganescu, Andrea Fercia, Andrea Middleton, Andrei Lupu, Andrew Dixon, Andrew Duthie, Andrew Nacin, Andrew Ozz, Andrey "Rarst" Savchenko, Andrés Maneiro, Andy Fragen, Andy Meerwaldt, Aniket Patel, Anton Timmermans, Anton Vanyukov, Antonio Villegas, antonypuckey, Aristeides Stathopoulos, Aslam Shekh, axaak, Bego Mario Garde, Ben Dunkle, Ben Ritner - Kadence Themes, Benjamin Intal, Bill Erickson, Birgir Erlendsson, Bodo (Hugo) Barwich, bonger, Boone Gorges, Bradley Taylor, Brandon Kraft, Brent Swisher, bulletdigital, Burhan Nasir, Cathi Bosco, Chetan Prajapati, Chiara Magnani, Chouby, Chris Van Patten, D.S. Webster, Damon Cook, Daniel Bachhuber, Daniel James, Daniel Llewellyn, Daniel Richards, Daniele Scasciafratte, Darren Ethier, Dave Whitley, DaveFX, davetgreen, David Baumwald, David Binovec, David Binovec, David Herrera, David Roddick, David Smith, Davide 'Folletto' Casali, dekervit, Denis de Bernardy, Dennis Snell, Derek Herman, Derrick Hammer, designsimply, Dhanukanuwan, Dharmesh Patel, Diane, diegoreymendez, Dilip Bheda, Dima, Dion Hulse, Dixita Dusara, Dmitry Mayorov, Dominik Schilling, Drew Jaynes, dsifford, ecotechie, Eduardo Toledo, Ella Van Durpe, fabiankaegy, Faisal Alvi, Farhad Sakhaei, Felix Arntz, Franklin Tse, Fuegas, Garrett Hyder, Gary Jones, Gennady Kovshenin, Girish Panchal, Grzegorz Ziółkowski, Guido Scialfa, GutenDev , Hannah Malcolm, Hardik Amipara, Hardik Thakkar, Hendrik Luehrsen, Henry, Henry Wright, Hoover, Ian Belanger, Ian Dunn, ice9js, Igor Zinovyev, imath, Ixium, J.D. Grimes, jakeparis, James, janak Kaneriya, Jarred Kennedy, Javier Villanueva, Jay Upadhyay, Jaydip Rami, Jayman Pandya, jdeeburke, Jean-Baptiste Audras, Jeff Paul, Jeffrey de Wit, Jenny Wong, Jeremy Felt, Jeremy Green, Jeremy Herve, jitendrabanjara1991, JJJ, Joe Dolson, Joe McGill, Joen Asmussen, Johan Falk, Johanna de Vos, John Blackbourn, Jonathan Desrosiers, Jonathandejong, joneiseman, Jonny Harris, jonnybojangles, Joost de Valk, jordesign, Jorge Bernal, Jorge Costa, Jory Hogeveen, Jose Castaneda, josephwa, Josh Feck, JoshuaWold, Joy, jplo, JR Tashjian, jrf, Juhi Patel, juliarrr, K. Adam White, KamataRyo, Karine Do, Katyatina, Kelin Chauhan, Kelly Dwan, Khokan Sardar, killua99, Kite, Kjell Reigstad, Knut Sparhell, Koji Kuno, Konstantin Obenland, Konstantinos Xenos, Kʜᴀɴ (ಠ_ಠ), laurelfulford, lkraav, Luke Carbis, Luke Gedeon, Luke Pettway, Maedah Batool, Maja Benke, Malae, Manzoor Wani, Marcin, Marcin Pietrzak, Marco Fernandes, Marco Peralta, Marcus Kazmierczak, marekhrabe, Marius Jensen, Mariyan Belchev, Mark Uraine, markcallen, Markus Echterhoff, Marty Helmick, marybaum, mattnyeus, mdwolinski, Meet Makadia, Mel Choyce, mheikkila, Micah Wood, michelleweber, Miguel Fonseca, Miguel Torres, Mikael Korpela, Mike Auteri, Mike Schinkel [WPLib Box project lead], Mike Schroder, Mike Selander, MikeNGarrett, Milan Dinić, mirka, Mobin Ghasempoor, Mohadese Ghasemi, Mohammed Saimon, Morten Rand-Hendriksen, Morteza Geransayeh, Muhammad Muhsin, Mukesh Panchal, Mustafa Uysal, mzorz, Nahid F. Mohit, Naoki Ohashi, Nate Allen, Ned Zimmerman, Neokazis Charalampos, Nick Cernis, Nick Diego, Nick Halsey, Nidhi Jain, Niels Lange, nielsdeblaauw, Nikolay Nikolov, Nilambar Sharma, ninio, notnownikki, pandelisz, paragoninitiativeenterprises, Pascal Birchler, Paul Bearne, Paul Biron, Pedro Mendonça, Peter Booker, Peter Wilson, pfiled, pilou69, Pranali Patel, Pratik, Pratik K. Yadav, Presskopp, psealock, Punit Patel, Rachel Cherry, Rahmon, Ramanan, Rami Yushuvaev, Ramiz Manked, ramonopoly, Riad Benguella, Rinat Khaziev, Robert Anderson, Rudy Susanto, Ryan Boren, Ryan Welcher, Saeed Fard, Sal Ferrarello, Samaneh Mirrajabi, Sami Keijonen, Samuel Elh, Santiago Garza, Sara Cope, saracup, sarah semark, Scott Reilly, Sebastian Pisula, Sekineh Ebrahimzadeh, Sergey Biryukov, SergioEstevao, sgastard, sharifkiberu, shazdeh, Shital Marakana, sky_76, Soren Wrede, Stephen Edgar, Steven Word, Subrata Sarkar, Sudar Muthu, Sudhir Yadav, szepe.viktor, Takayuki Miyauchi, Tammie Lister, Themonic, thomstark, Thorsten Frommen, Thrijith Thankachan, Tim Hedgefield, Tim Wright, Timothy Jacobs, timph, tmatsuur, tmdesigned, tmdesigned, Tobias Zimpel, TomHarrigan, Tor-Bjorn Fjellner, Toro_Unit (Hiroshi Urabe), torres126, Torsten Landsiedel, Towhidul Islam, Tracy Levesque, Umang Bhanvadia, Vaishali Panchal, WebFactory, Weston Ruter, William 'Bahia' Bay, William Earnhardt, williampatton, Willscrlt, Wolly aka Paolo Valenti, wrwrwr0, Yoav Farhi, Yui, and Zebulan Stanphill.
Also, many thanks to all of the community volunteers who contribute in the support forums. They answer questions from people across the world, whether they are using WordPress for the first time or since the first release. These releases are more successful for their efforts!
Thanks for choosing WordPress!
Registration for the sixth installment of WordSesh is now open and thanks to Pantheon, those who attend the conference live will be able to watch all of the sessions for free. WordSesh is a virtual WordPress conference with speakers from around the world sharing knowledge.
This year’s event has 14 speakers with topics that include, the benefits of being the first to market with a Gutenberg user course, three ways to embrace the entrepreneurial roller coaster, and the rhythms of remote teams. Ten of the presentations will be live with four pre-recorded sessions.
WPSessions will transcribe each presentation live and will also store the recordings so that registered members can view them at a later date. There will also be a virtual hallway track where participants can network with each other.
If you’d like to watch with a group of people in the same physical location, WordSesh has a list of watch parties that are taking place.
- Lagos, Nigeria Lagos WordPress Community
- Minneapolis, MN Pantheon
- Mumbai, India WP Mumbai
- Palm Beach, FL WP Palm Beach
- Scottsdale, AZ WP Arizona
If you’re hosting a watch party, you’re encouraged to contact WordSesh with the details so your event can be added to the list. WordSesh 6 begins May 22nd at 9:30AM Eastern on Crowdcast.
WPTavern: Theme Review Team Leadership Implements Controversial Changes to Trusted Authors Program, Requiring Theme Reviews in Exchange for Making Themes Live
The WordPress Theme Review team has implemented a controversial change to its Trusted Authors Program that puts a hard requirement on participants to join the theme review team and perform a minimum number of reviews in order to continue having their own themes fast tracked through the review process.
“As we can’t figure out a way to bring in new reviewers and maybe keep them on-board after the initial reviews, we decided to make a few changes to the Trusted Authors program,” Alexandru Cosmin said, on behalf of the Theme Review team leadership.
“Trusted Authors will need to review one ticket a month to be able to have their themes set live. Not doing a review doesn’t mean that you’ll lose your privileges or that you’ll have to re-apply. You’ll just not be able to have your themes set live until you finish a review.”
The Trusted Authors program was put in place a year ago with the goal of streamlining the review process for authors who consistently produce high quality code in line with the current guidelines. The idea was to relieve some of the burden for theme reviewers and reduce the queue.
Trusted Authors are required to do a full review of a parent theme (no child themes permitted). Themes that are not approved will not count. After performing the review, the author may then upload a theme and add a comment to it with a link to their latest review that meets the requirement.
The change to the program is controversial, based on the feedback from other members of the Theme Review team who commented on the announcement.
“I understand the reason behind it, but I cannot agree with it,” WordPress theme author Dumitru Brinzan said. “Reviews should be done out of professional desire, not to buy a credit for setting a theme live quicker.
“This might reduce the quality of reviews, because trusted authors are now directly interested in setting more themes live. This means that someone will have to monitor more closely the reviews done by trusted authors. This just feels unnatural somehow.”
Justin Tadlock, a long-time review team member who volunteered as a lead for many years, said he is disappointed to see this idea resurface after he and others shot it down multiple times in the past.
“I assume the team got permission from higher up the chain to run a pay-for-play system,” Tadlock said. “We’ve already established they are not allowed.
“What such systems do is provide an unfair advantage to larger theme businesses with multiple employees. They assign one of their employees to handle a review and keep pumping out themes without missing a beat. All the while, solo developers are forced into ‘volunteering’ with time they may not even have. Not that it’s fair to businesses either; it’s just worse on solo devs.”
Tadlock also said that based on his experience with past incentives, forcing Trusted Authors to join the review team in order reap the benefits of the program will likely result in a decline in the quality of the reviews.
“Making people contribute to the review system should absolutely never happen in any shape or form,” Tadlock said. “It should never be the means in which the team shows favoritism to one author/team over another.
“And, when you tie incentive programs to the review system, you tend to get shit reviews. We’ve already seen this happen.”
Tadlock referenced the Theme Review Incentive program that was implemented in 2014 which became highly controversial due to a number of underlying problems.
“Basically, that program allowed the top reviewers to select the featured themes every month,” Tadlock said. “The original idea (at least from my understanding) would be that they’d select featured themes from the list of themes that they’d reviewed. Instead, they chose their own themes, month after month.
“What ended up happening is that many of those top reviewers would just burn through reviews, focusing on number rather than quality. Bad, sometimes insecure, code would fall through the cracks. Some themes really didn’t even get anywhere near a proper review.”
In response to Tadlock referencing the past incentive program, Cosmin pointed out several differences with the new Trusted Author requirement to join the review team.
“The last time we did this it was a competition for the Featured page (which in my opinion is of higher value than having a theme on Latest),” Cosmin said. “Back then you also had to do a lot of reviews just to get the chance of selecting a featured theme.
“With TAs you don’t lose anything, you either do or not the review, you keep your TA status. One review a month is just 15-30 minutes of reviewing. Either way they are still ‘pumping out themes without missing a beat.’ Any TA author that has time to pump out 3-4 themes a month also has time to do a freaking review.”Theme Review Team Leadership Did Not Consult the Team Before Implementing Changes to Trusted Authors Program
This change to the Trusted Authors Program seems to have blindsided other members of the Theme Review Team who only learned of it from the announcement today. The idea was not discussed publicly in the #themereview channel on Slack. It was a unilateral decision made by the leadership behind closed doors.
I asked Cosmin for background on the decision and he said it was discussed in a private meeting of Theme Review Team leads that included William Patton and Ganga Kafle. He said the decision just happened while they were discussing the current state of the queue and how things are not going well.
There are 120 themes waiting to be reviewed and Cosmin estimated that authors are waiting approximately two months in order to get their themes approved. He said the changes to the Trusted Authors program are “currently the only viable option with short term results.”
However, Tadlock is concerned that Trusted Authors who didn’t have the desire to review themes prior to the requirement might simply do the minimum possible to stay in the program. It also sets a precedent for requiring volunteer time in order to receive the benefit of a streamlined review.
This particular controversy is another milestone in the Theme Review Team’s perennial struggle with an unmanageable queue. In the past, the team has entertained suggestions about relaxing the submission guidelines and limiting reviews to security concerns, but changes in this direction never seem to materialize. So far the team has had success with limiting authors to submitting one theme at a time. It slows the growth of the directory but makes the work more manageable for the volunteers who often find themselves knee-deep in manual code review without an end in sight.
The new requirement for Trusted Authors to perform reviews in order to have their themes set live may still be up for discussion if other reviewers continue to raise concerns, but comments from the leads indicate that they want to give it a try before scrapping the idea. In response to Tadlock’s concern about the potential impact on the quality of reviews, Cosmin said the leadership will decide based on how the program goes.
“It’s expected that TAs are experienced authors that know the requirements,” Cosmin said. “We’ll monitor this and if it’s the other way around, we’ll decide then. We get shit reviews right now without having any incentives.”
The Drupal Security Team will be coordinating a security release for Drupal 7 and 8 this week on Wednesday, May 8th, 2019.
We are issuing this PSA in advance because according to the regular security release window schedule, May 8th would not typically be a core security window.
This release is rated as moderately critical.
The Drupal 7 and 8 core release will be made between 16:00 – 21:00 UTC (noon – 5:00pm Eastern).
May 8th also remains a normal security release window for contributed projects.
The Field Permissions module in Drupal 8 allows you to set permissions (enter, edit or view) on a Drupal field, based on the role the user belongs to.
In order to demonstrate how this module works, we are going to create a content type called "Essay" for the website of a school.
There will be 2 roles:
The Freshmen permission will not be allowed to choose the subject of the essay, whereas the Sophomores will have the possibility to choose between literature and history. However, there will be no possibility to change the subject once a student has made a choice.
We're excited about a feature built by a member of our community and recently deployed on Drupal.org: to give more human context to discussions in the Drupal issue queue, you can now choose to display your primary language, pronoun, and location.
This is an opportunity to bolster human context within an online medium where tone and posture can be difficult to read. Providing this level of detail allows for visibility into the global composition of our community — such as when a person's primary language is not English or when a person resides in a distant time zone.
It is important to recognize what being global means and drawing attention to the details that remind us about the people behind the project helps us all to have a greater understanding of one another.
You can enable this new feature by editing your user account and adding pronouns to the personal information tab, and location language on the Language/location tab. Finally, you can opt into what you would like shown inline in comments under the "comments" tab.
Drupaldelphia is an annual camp held in Philadelphia happening this Friday May 10th for the open source content management platform, Drupal. The event attracts developers, site-builders, content administrators, designers, and anyone interested in using Drupal in their organization or upcoming project.
We're excited to have Ben present two sessions at the camp. Tickets are only $30 (if you buy today, May 7th!) and the day is packed with helpful presentations and hands-on clinics. See the full schedule.Iterative UX: Find It Cambridge Case Study
Hussian Room 125
Developing a trusted, ongoing feedback loop with your users ensures that your project is effective and relevant. We call this approach Iterative UX and Ben will share how this looks in practice with the city of Cambridge. You will get a holistic, honest look at both the highlights and challenges of this type of relationship to help you apply Iterative UX in your projects.
Hussian Room 125
Any libre software, volunteer, or even startup project will have elements of do-ocracy (rule of those who do the work) but not all decisions should devolve to implementors. Rather, a basic principle is that decisions should be made by the people who are most affected.
- Learn why meritocracy ("rule of those with merit") is a completely bogus and harmful concept.
- Gain a passing familiarity with various ways decisions are or have been made in Drupal.
- Add sociocracy and sortition to your vocabulary and understand how these esoteric concepts can help our community scale.
- See how Visions Unite is putting more democratic decision-making approaches into practice.
Drupal 8.7 was released couple of days ago on May 1, 2019. As you might know, new features are added with each minor release of Drupal 8 (e.g. between 8.6 and 8.7) which occur in 6-month intervals. Originally 8.7 was supposed to be released in March 2019. But the timing of Drupal's releases has historically occurred 1-2 months before Symfony's releases, which forces Drupal community to wait six months to adopt the latest Symfony release. In order to be able to adopt the latest Symfony releases faster, Drupal community shifted Drupal's minor releases to May and December in a plan to allow adoption of latest Symfony releases within a month.
This is penultimate version of Drupal 8, which will be concluded with Drupal 8.8 in December 2019, after which we expect release of Drupal 9 sometime in June next year!
Beside bug fixes and dependency updates lets see what new features Drupal 8.7 brings!
Taxonomy terms and custom menu links are now revisionable, which allows them to take part in editorial workflows which was until now only possible for Content types and Custom blocks.
JSON:API in Core
Drupal 8.7 will provide an out-of-the-box JSON:API implementation, marking another major milestone towards making Drupal API-first.
Now you will be able to generate an API server that implements the JSON:API specification with zero configuration. Once you enable the module, you are done.
Developers and content-creators can use it to build both coupled and decoupled applications and pull content from Drupal into iOS and Android applications, chatbots, decoupled frontends such as ReactJS, voice assistants and many more!
Layout Builder module is now stable
Layout Builder module was originally added as an experimental core module in Drupal 8.5 and is now stable and ready for production use!
If you haven’t heard about it Layout Builder is offering a single, powerful visual design tool for site builders to create templated layouts and custom landing pages.
PHP 7.3 Is Now Supported
PHP 7.3 was released in December 2018 and comes with numerous improvements and new features. Also with this release new Drupal sites can only be installed on PHP 7.0.8 or later. Installing Drupal on older versions results in a requirement error.
However, existing sites will still work on at least PHP 5.5.9 for now, but will display a warning
PHP stopped supporting version 5.5 on July 21, 2016 and Drupal security updates will begin requiring PHP 7 as early as Drupal 8.8.0 (December 2019), so all users are advised to update to at least PHP 7.0.8 now or preferrably to PHP 7.3.
As part of continuing GDPR compliance improvements in Drupal core, Comment module no longer logs IP addresses for comments by default. Existing sites will still continue to log IP addresses but this can be changed by changing comment.settings.log_ip_addresses to FALSE in the site configuration using settings.php.
This was just a short brief into the new features. For a full list take a look at official release notes: https://www.drupal.org/project/drupal/releases/8.7.0
ws_admin Tue, 05/07/2019 - 14:05
To be competitive with enterprise form builders, the Webform module for Drupal 8 needs to support the downloading and exporting of submissions as PDF documents, as well as sending PDF documents as email attachments.
The Entity Print module does a great job of generating PDF documents from entities and fields, but webform submissions don't use Field API. This limitation has required site builders and developers to create custom Entity Print integrations for the Webform module.
The Webform module now includes a Webform Entity Print integration module, which handles downloading, exporting, and attaching generated PDF documents. Additionally, the Webform module allows the generated PDF document's header, footer, and CSS to be customized.
When enabled, Webform Entity Print module automatically displays a "Download PDF" link below all submissions and adds a download "PDF documents" option to the available export formats. Attaching PDF documents to emails requires that you add an "Attachment PDF" element to a webform and then configure email handlers to "Include files as attachments."
The below screencast and presentation walks through customizing the PDF link and template, exporting PDF documents, and attaching PDFs to emails.
Scratching my own itch
Adding PDF support was not a sponsored feature. I wanted the Webform module to support this advanced feature; so I created it. I was scratching my own itch.
The bigger itch/the challenge that I am always scratching at is:
Competing with other form builders
Competitive enterprise, and also Open Source form builders, tend to put this PDF functionality behind a paywall. For example, WordPress's Gravity Form (Read More
OPTASY: Looking for a Drupal 8 Rating Module? Here Is a Top 5 Flexible and User-Friendly Rating and Review Modules
Looking for a Drupal 8 rating module that should be:
- easy to install
- easy to configure
- easy to use
- conveniently flexible
- and user-friendly?
And maybe you “crave” for some nice-to-have features, as well:
- enabling users to add a short review
- multiple ratings: enabling users to vote on several aspects of your product/service, such as price, quality, ease of use?
What are your options? What working (and stable) modules for rating and reviewing are there in Drupal 8?
We've done the research for you, evaluated all the modules for rating in Drupal 8 and come up with a list of 6 best... rated ones:
It seems the trend nowadays is for workers to take the freelancing route. With 36% of the U.S. population currently being freelancers, it seems that this trend is slowly gaining traction. But what does this mean for businesses. It seems that hiring freelancers definitely has its benefits, however it also has its challenges. In this article I’m going to talk about the potential drawbacks that come with hiring a freelancer.1. Hiring the wrong freelancer
Hiring the right person for the job is a complicated process even for a regular full-time employee. However, when it comes to hiring a freelancer, the interview should not be the same process as when hiring a full-time employee. Working from home requires a high degree of self-motivation, resourcefulness and self-discipline. On top of that, the freelancer should also be resilient to loneliness, since freelancing usually lacks the same social engagement that a conventional workplace can provide. If the freelancer doesn’t have these qualities, then he is going to be unhappy during the 30-40 hours he is working, which is bad for business and bad for humanity.2. Too many options
After posting a job advertisement a client might be suddenly bombarded with a lot of replies from freelancers who are out to get the gig. But how does the client choose from so many options? Well, some freelancers will set up automatic bots that are automatically replying to the job post based on a few parameters. Most of the time, these type of freelancers will not have read the job requirements. They are not taking their time to make sure that they are a great fit for the job. Then there is another type of freelancers. The ones that report a great amount of experience, yet they are charging suspiciously low rates. This type of freelancers either don't value their own work or the quality of the work provided is questionable and they use low rates as a cover-up. A client might feel overwhelmed by the options they have at their disposal. The best way to avoid this is to have an effective way on how to screen the freelancers.3. Communication problems
Another big challenge that comes when hiring a freelancer is one of communication. As the name implies the freelancers are free to work whenever they want or feel inspired. What this means is that as a client you might not receive updates on the status of the work that the freelancer is doing. These can raise a lot of uncertainty for the client as he is kept in the dark with regards to the progress of his project.4. Payment issues
Freelancers are not like regular employees. Naturally, this means that the payment process is going to be different than that of regular employees. First of all, the freelancer will not appear on the companies payroll, meaning that other alternatives for making the payment have to be found. On top of that, if the freelancer is outsourced from another country, the cost of transferring the money has to be taken into account. It's important to find a way to transfer the money that is advantageous for both the client and the freelancer, this way, confusion regarding the time until the payment is done and high fees when doing the payment through international banks are avoided. Some services that are good to use when paying outsourced employees are Paypal, Skrill and Payoneer.5. Being clear in requirements and feedback
In order to avoid frustration on both sides, the client has to be clear in their requirements and in the feedback provided by the freelancer. Otherwise, the client might risk to see the completion of his project in a totally different light than he was expecting. In order to be able to receive the project in the way that he envisioned it, the client has to be as thorough as possible when describing the job requirements. On top of that, regular feedback has to be provided. This way, the client will surely be able to increase the chances that the result he is going to receive is satisfactory.6. Different language and culture
When it comes to effective communications, speaking a common language is of essence. In most cases, this language is going to be english. Finding a freelancer that is able to communicate at an advanced enough level of english to be able to discuss work related subjects might be difficult. On top of that, the culture of a country also has to be taken into account. Keeping in mind that different cultures have different communication approaches. For example, the difference between low context societies and high context societies, where one relies on explicit communication while the other on implicit communication. On top of that low context and high context are valuing non-verbal communication and cues to different degrees. Being aware of these differences can make communication easier and more pleasant for both parties.7. Lack of commitment
Freelancers have the possibility to undertake multiple projects from different clients. What this means is that a freelancer will not be able to fully commit to your project, especially if another project is more challenging, exciting or more financially rewarding. On top of that, a freelancer will always prioritize the projects that make more sense from the point of view of the before mentioned aspects, pushing other projects to the side. This can cause a lot of frustration for the client, however, in order to avoid the frustration, the client has to make his project as appealing as possible from every aspect. For example, make sure that the project is challenging and exciting enough to keep the freelancer engaged. On top of that, clients should avoid paying below market-rates for freelancers because that can work as an open invitation for the freelancer to find new clients.8. Missed deadlines
Another challenge that clients have to face when hiring a freelancers are missed deadlines. Freelancers are having more freedom when it comes to planning their working routine, as long as the contract does not stipulate specific working hours. This means that there is an increased risk of life events happening. Events like weddings, a relative getting sick, funerals seem to be happening at a larger frequency than for regular employees. These events can interfere with the ability of the freelancer to be able to deliver the project in time, thus resulting in a missed deadline.9. Misunderstandings
Since freelancers don’t work in the office as every other regular employee, they are harder to supervise. What this means is that they are not there for the client to be able to get regular updates, or to provide feedback or to train them. If clear enough instructions were not provided, the freelancer can finish the project in a different manner than the one envisioned by the client. This misunderstanding will lead to frustration on both sides, since the client will demand adjustments and the freelancer will deliver these adjustments while not getting paid for them.Conclusion
Hiring a remote employee is always a challenge. Especially in these days when the working culture has not fully adapted to the flexibility of the freelancers. However, being aware of the challenges of hiring a freelancer will make it easier to adapt and foster a productive relationship between you and your outsourced employee. So, embrace change and think about the possibility of hiring freelancers.
The CiviCRM core team have looked at this and are now in a position to complete the work to make this an official CiviCRM release. This means they will make changes so
- CiviCRM can easily be installed with Drupal 8
- They will ensure CiviCRM works with Views in Drupal 8
- Going forward future CiviCRM releases will be tested with Drupal 8
Any money raised by the Make It Happen which is not spent on the initial work will be used to support future work on the CiviCRM Drupal 8 integration as needed. What about Drupal 9? Isn't that being released soon? Both Drupal 7 and 8 are officially supported until November 2021. But the move from Drupal 8 to Drupal 9 will not be the same as previous Drupal major updates. It will be much easier to migrate existing sites between Drupal 8 to 9. For more information see https://dri.es/drupal-7-8-and-9. The CiviCRM core team has looked at this and the code changes required to ensure CiviCRM works with Drupal 9 should be minimal. So very importantly this Make It Happen work is also preparation for Drupal 9. If your organisation uses CiviCRM with Drupal then please contribute to this Make It Happen. https://civicrm.org/make-it-happen/civicrm-d8-the-official-release CiviCRMDrupalDrupal 8Make it happen
Gatsby WordPress Themes, a project launched earlier this year by a group of collaborators, has just released its second free theme. The team is led by Gatsby and GraphQL aficionados Zac Gordon, Jason Bahl, Muhammad Muhsin, Hussain Thajutheen, and Alexandra Spalato. Inspired by the scalability, speed, and security that the React-based static site generator can bring to WordPress, the team is working to make it easier for people to get their sites running on Gatsby, along with the WP GraphQL plugin.
Rich Tabor’s “Tabor” theme has been ported over and “Tabor for Gatsby” is now available for free. After GoDaddy acquired ThemeBeans and CoBlocks, the company made all the previously commercial themes available on GitHub, including Tabor. The theme primarily suits blogs and personal websites and became popular as one of the first themes to showcase the new Gutenberg editor.
Check out the Tabor for Gatsby theme demo to see it in action with near-instantaneous page loads.
The Gatsby WordPress Themes team credits Alexandra Spalato for doing most of the work of porting this theme over to Gatsby. Tabor joins WordPress’ default Twenty Nineteen theme in the collection. Muhammad Muhsin, the lead developer on the project, has written a tutorial with an in-depth look at how he ported over Twenty Nineteen.
Gatsby WordPress Themes has temporarily paused releasing new themes while the team works on upgrading the existing themes to V2. They currently only serve static content but V2 will add native comments, a contact form plugin, and Algolia search to all the themes.