Decentral Digital Blog

News, facts, techniques, opinion and more.

Predictions for 2018

We have had a tradition since 2005. Every new year we have a posting on the predictions for the year ahead for our beloved open source CMS and community. Sometimes this posting went up in december, sometimes in January. But never in February.

Time to start a new tradition, predict the year ahead from February on :-)

Leave a comment if you do think that blogging will get hip again, RSS will gain new ground. What will the roll of the Drupal Association be in the new year? Where will the next DrupalCon be? Will the community grow and in what direction? API first, customer first, mobile first?

Polish your crystal ball and tell us what the future of Drupal wil be.

If you need some inspiration, take a look at 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015.2016 and 2017.

Continue reading
  435 Hits
  0 Comments
435 Hits
0 Comments

Creating a Living Style Guide with Open Social

The following blog was written by Drupal Association Signature Supporting Partner, Open Social by GoalGorilla.

A living style guide - a way to control markup or CSS - has been making a name for itself. And for a good reason; they’re an important tool for web development. They keep developers in sync, communicate design standards, and help organize complex interfaces. In this post, I want to discuss how and why living style guides are important and how to implement one for Open Social using Drupal for software.

We're using a living style guide because it serves as a valuable internal resource for development; we’re able to write reusable and consistent code that's easy to maintain. And it’s a great external resource for client deliverables. Ready to see how to make a living style guide work with Drupal software? Let’s go!

Moving From Static to Dynamic

We didn’t always rely on a living style guide. Open Social was built and maintained using different strategies such as component libraries and atomic designs. These strategies have advantages, such as reusability, facilitating collaboration within the team, and ensuring design consistency. There were, however, disadvantages to a static style of working.

In the past, a component library or style guide was usually graphic-based. The designer would create a visual representation of a component (in PS or Sketch, for example) and then the front-end developer would transfer these visuals to HTML and CSS. This immediately meant double maintenance; for instance, if the markup or CSS changes, the graphics style guide would need to be updated to reflect this change and vice-versa. In our experience, the shelf life of these “static” systems is only a few iterations before the graphic version gets left behind and forgotten due to too much maintenance and not enough return. Yikes.

Continue reading
  644 Hits
  0 Comments
644 Hits
0 Comments

Has Drupal 8 Usage Hit a Tipping Point?

The following blog was written by Drupal Association Premium Technology Partner, Lingotek.

It wasn’t a question of if, but a question of when and the Drupal.org weekly usage statistics are showing it’s happening now. Usage of Lingotek’s Drupal 8 Module finally caught up to and exceeded that of Drupal 7. Is this the tipping point? Is the community finally making the switch to the latest Drupal module?

The Drupal.org Usage Statistics for Lingotek Translation provides information about the usage of the Lingotek Translation project--Lingotek - Inside Drupal 7 Module and the Lingotek - Inside Drupal 8 Module--with summaries across all versions and details for each release. It shows the week and the number of sites that reported using a given version of the project.

The usage figures reflect the number of sites using the project/item that week. The results can give an idea of how popular the different projects are and may help users choose modules and themes for their own sites. The figures are an indicator of which modules are being used. Note: Only Drupal websites using the Update Status module are included in the data.

In the past 6 months, the Drupal.org weekly statistics showed Drupal 7 usage was still going strong. There were twice as many users using the Drupal 7 version in April, May, June, July, August, and September. But starting in October, Drupal 8 usage began to tick upward. In the first week, only 269 reported using the D8 version. Then the momentum quickly shifted. By the second week of October, they were almost equal with 441 users of Drupal 7 and 420 using Drupal 8; they were a scant 19 users apart. Then came the tipping point.

Continue reading
  723 Hits
  0 Comments
723 Hits
0 Comments

Happy seventeenth birthday Drupal

This blog has been re-posted and edited with permission from Dries Buytaert's blog. Please leave your comments on the original post.

Seventeen years ago today, I open-sourced the software behind Drop.org and released Drupal 1.0.0. When Drupal was first founded, Google was in its infancy, the mobile web didn't exist, and JavaScript was a very unpopular word among developers.

Over the course of the past seventeen years, I've witnessed the nature of the web change and countless internet trends come and go. As we celebrate Drupal's birthday, I'm proud to say it's one of the few content management systems that has stayed relevant for this long.

While the course of my career has evolved, Drupal has always remained a constant. It's what inspires me every day, and the impact that Drupal continues to make energizes me. Millions of people around the globe depend on Drupal to deliver their business, mission and purpose. Looking at the Drupal users in the video below gives me goosebumps.

Drupal's success is not only marked by the organizations it supports, but also by our community that makes the project more than just the software. While there were hurdles in 2017, there were plenty of milestones, too:

Continue reading
  674 Hits
  0 Comments
674 Hits
0 Comments

How to decouple Drupal in 2018

This blog has been re-posted and edited with permission from Dries Buytaert's blog. Please leave your comments on the original post.

In this post, I'm providing some guidance on how and when to decouple Drupal.

Almost two years ago, I had written a blog post called "How should you decouple Drupal?". Many people have found the flowchart in that post to be useful in their decision-making on how to approach their Drupal architectures. Since that point, Drupal, its community, and the surrounding market have evolved, and the original flowchart needs a big update.

Drupal's API-first initiative has introduced new capabilities, and we've seen the advent of the Waterwheel ecosystem and API-first distributions like Reservoir, Headless Lightning, and Contenta. More developers both inside and outside the Drupal community are experimenting with Node.js and adopting fully decoupled architectures.

Let's start with the new flowchart in full:

Continue reading
  636 Hits
  0 Comments
636 Hits
0 Comments

Drupal 8 Content Migration: A Guide For Marketers

The following blog was written by Drupal Association Premium Supporting Partner, Phase2.

If you’re a marketer considering a move from Drupal 7 to Drupal 8, it’s important to understand the implications of content migration. You’ve worked hard to create a stable of content that speaks to your audience and achieves business goals, and it’s crucial that the migration of all this content does not disrupt your site’s user experience or alienate your visitors.

Content migrations are, in all honesty, fickle, challenging, and labor-intensive. The code that’s produced for migration is used once and discarded; the documentation to support them is generally never seen again after they’re done. So what’s the value in doing it at all?

YOUR DATA IS IMPORTANT (ESPECIALLY FOR SEO!) 

No matter what platform you’re working to migrate, your data is important. You’ve invested lots of time, money, and effort into producing content that speaks to your organization’s business needs.

Continue reading
  391 Hits
  0 Comments
391 Hits
0 Comments

Kia ora DrupalSouth - stories, insights, Drupal

This month’s Drupal Spotlight is a Q&A snapshot from some amazing speakers and organisers behind the recent DrupalSouth in Auckland, New Zealand. We look in and beyond the code at the voices and perspectives of people  building in Drupal and influencing our community, including how they got into technology, and vision for the future.

Please note: videos of the DrupalSouth presentations will be up in the New Year - we will let you know when they are up so you can come back and watch!

Katie Graham

Code | Lego | cats (or for a second opinion) Interested | introverted | innovator

How did you get your start in technology?

As a kid I was always interested in finding out how things worked so I was obsessed with computers from when I first encountered one when I was four or five. We got dial up internet when I was about 14 and I soon figured out how to create websites, later learning PHP and MySQL. I never wanted to get paid for developing websites as I thought it might make it less fun, but a few years later I ended up doing a design degree and it was there that everything came together and I realised that development is what I should be doing. I started using Drupal in the final year of my degree and haven’t looked back!

Continue reading
  535 Hits
  0 Comments
535 Hits
0 Comments

Accelerate Drupal 8 by funding a Core Committer

This blog has been re-posted and edited with permission from Dries Buytaert's blog. Please leave your comments on the original post.

We have ambitious goals for Drupal 8, including new core features such as Workspaces (content staging) and Layout Builder (drag-and-drop blocks), completing efforts such as the Migration path and Media in core, automated upgrades, and adoption of a JavaScript framework.

I met with several of the coordinators behind these initiatives. Across the board, they identified the need for faster feedback from Core Committers, citing that a lack of Committer time was often a barrier to the initiative's progress.

We have worked hard to scale the Core Committer Team. When Drupal 8 began, it was just catch and myself. Over time, we added additional Core Committers, and the team is now up to 13 members. We also added the concept of Maintainer roles to create more specialization and focus, which has increased our velocity as well.

I recently challenged the Core Committer Team and asked them what it would take to double their efficiency (and improve the velocity of all other core contributors and core initiatives). The answer was often straightforward; more time in the day to focus on reviewing and committing patches.

Continue reading
  504 Hits
  0 Comments
504 Hits
0 Comments

Massachusetts launches Mass.gov on Drupal 8

This blog has been re-posted and edited with permission from Dries Buytaert's blog. Please leave your comments on the original post.

Earlier this year, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts launched Mass.gov on Drupal 8. Holly St. Clair, the Chief Digital Officer of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, joined me during my Acquia Engage keynote to share how Mass.gov is making constituents' interactions with the state fast, easy, meaningful, and "wicked awesome".

Constituents at the center

Today, 76% of constituents prefer to interact with their government online. Before Mass.gov switched to Drupal it struggled to provide a constituent-centric experience. For example, a student looking for information on tuition assistance on Mass.gov would have to sort through 7 different government websites before finding relevant information.

To better serve residents, businesses and visitors, the Mass.gov team took a data-driven approach. After analyzing site data, they discovered that 10% of the content serviced 89% of site traffic. This means that up to 90% of the content on Mass.gov was either redundant, out-of-date or distracting. The digital services team used this insight to develop a site architecture and content strategy that prioritized the needs and interests of citizens. In one year, the team at Mass.gov moved a 15-year-old site from a legacy CMS to Drupal.

The team at Mass.gov also incorporated user testing into every step of the redesign process, including usability, information architecture and accessibility. In addition to inviting over 330,000 users to provide feedback on the pilot site, the Mass.gov team partnered with the Perkins School for the Blind to deliver meaningful accessibility that surpasses compliance requirements. This approach has earned Mass.gov a score of 80.7 on the System Usability Scale; 12 percent higher than the reported average.

Continue reading
  495 Hits
  0 Comments
495 Hits
0 Comments

We have 10 days to save net neutrality

This blog has been re-posted and edited with permission from Dries Buytaert's blog. Please leave your comments on the original post.

Last month, the Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, Ajit Pai, released a draft order that would soften net neutrality regulations. He wants to overturn the restrictions that make paid prioritization, blocking or throttling of traffic unlawful. If approved, this order could drastically alter the way that people experience and access the web. Without net neutrality, Internet Service Providers could determine what sites you can or cannot see.

The proposed draft order is disheartening. Millions of Americans are trying to save net neutrality; the FCC has received over 5 million emails, 750,000 phone calls, and 2 million comments. Unfortunately this public outpouring has not altered the FCC's commitment to dismantling net neutrality.

The commission will vote on the order on December 14th. We have 10 days to save net neutrality.

Although I have written about net neutrality before, I want to explain the consequences and urgency of the FCC's upcoming vote.

Continue reading
  317 Hits
  0 Comments
317 Hits
0 Comments

Holistic Collaboration

The following blog was written by Drupal Association Premium Supporting Partner, Wunder Group.

For the past couple of years I have been talking about the holistic development and operations environments at different camps. As this year’s highlight,  I gave  a session in DrupalCon Vienna around that same topic. The main focus of my talk has been on the improvement opportunities offered by a holistic approach, but there is another important aspect I’d like to introduce: The collaboration model.

Every organization has various experts for different subject matters. Together these experts can create great things. As the saying goes “the whole is more than the sum of its parts”, which means there is more value generated when those experts work together, than from what they would individually produce. This however, is easier said than done. 

These experts have usually worked within their own specific domains and for others their work might seem obscure. It’s easy to perceive them as “they’re doing some weird voodoo” while not realizing that others might see your work in your own domain the same way. Even worse, we raise our craft above all others and we look down at those who do not excel in our domain.

How IT people see each other:

But each competence is equally important. You can’t ignore one part and focus on the other. The whole might be greater than the sum of its parts, but the averages do factor in. Let's take for example a fictional project. Sales people do great job getting the project in, upselling a great design. The design team delivers and it gets even somehow implemented, but nobody remembered to consult the sysops. Imagine apple.com, the pinnacle of web design, but launched on this:
 

Continue reading
  406 Hits
  0 Comments
406 Hits
0 Comments

An update on the Workflow Initiative for Drupal 8.4/8.5

This blog has been re-posted with permission from Dries Buytaert's blog. Please leave your comments on the original post.

Over the past weeks I have shared an update on the Media Initiative and an update on the Layout Initiative. Today I wanted to give an update on the Workflow Initiative.

Creating great software doesn't happen overnight; it requires a desire for excellence and a disciplined approach. Like the Media and Layout Initiatives, the Workflow Initiative has taken such an approach. The disciplined and steady progress these initiative are making is something to be excited about.

8.4: The march towards stability

As you might recall from my last Workflow Initiative update, we added the Content Moderation module to Drupal 8.2 as an experimental module, and we added the Workflows module in Drupal 8.3 as well. The Workflows module allows for the creation of different publishing workflows with various states (e.g. draft, needs legal review, needs copy-editing, etc) and the Content Moderation module exposes these workflows to content authors.

As of Drupal 8.4, the Workflows module has been marked stable. Additionally, the Content Moderation module is marked beta in Drupal 8.4, and is down to two final blockers before marking stable. If you want to help with that, check out the Content Moderation module roadmap.

Continue reading
  371 Hits
  0 Comments
371 Hits
0 Comments

An update on the Layout Initiative for Drupal 8.4/8.5

This blog has been re-posted with permission from Dries Buytaert's blog. Please leave your comments on the original post.

Now Drupal 8.4 is released, and Drupal 8.5 development is underway, it is a good time to give an update on what is happening with Drupal's Layout Initiative.

8.4: Stable versions of layout functionality

Traditionally, site builders have used one of two layout solutions in Drupal: Panelizer and Panels. Both are contributed modules outside of Drupal core, and both achieved stable releases in the middle of 2017. Given the popularity of these modules, having stable releases closed a major functionality gap that prevented people from building sites with Drupal 8.

8.4: A Layout API in core

The Layout Discovery module added in Drupal 8.3 core has now been marked stable. This module adds a Layout API to core. Both the aforementioned Panelizer and Panels modules have already adopted the new Layout API with their 8.4 release. A unified Layout API in core eliminates fragmentation and encourages collaboration.

8.5+: A Layout Builder in core

Today, Drupal's layout management solutions exist as contributed modules. Because creating and building layouts is expected to be out-of-the-box functionality, we're working towards adding layout building capabilities to Drupal core.

Continue reading
  475 Hits
  0 Comments
475 Hits
0 Comments

An update on the Media Initiative for Drupal 8.4/8.5

This blog has been re-posted with permission from Dries Buytaert's blog. Please leave your comments on the original post.

In my blog post, "A plan for media management in Drupal 8", I talked about some of the challenges with media in Drupal, the hopes of end users of Drupal, and the plan that the team working on the Media Initiative was targeting for future versions of Drupal 8. That blog post is one year old today. Since that time we released both Drupal 8.3 and Drupal 8.4, and Drupal 8.5 development is in full swing. In other words, it's time for an update on this initiative's progress and next steps.

8.4: a Media API in core

Drupal 8.4 introduced a new Media API to core. For site builders, this means that Drupal 8.4 ships with the new Media module (albeit still hidden from the UI, pending necessary user experience improvements), which is an adaptation of the contributed Media Entity module. The new Media module provides a "base media entity". Having a "base media entity" means that all media assets — local images, PDF documents, YouTube videos, tweets, and so on — are revisable, extendable (fieldable), translatable and much more. It allows all media to be treated in a common way, regardless of where the media resource itself is stored. For end users, this translates into a more cohesive content authoring experience; you can use consistent tools for managing images, videos, and other media rather than different interfaces for each media type.

8.4+: porting contributed modules to the new Media API

The contributed Media Entity module was a "foundational module" used by a large number of other contributed modules. It enables Drupal to integrate with Pinterest, Vimeo, Instagram, Twitter and much more. The next step is for all of these modules to adopt the new Media module in core. The required changes are laid out in the API change record, and typically only require a couple of hours to complete. The sooner these modules are updated, the sooner Drupal's rich media ecosystem can start benefitting from the new API in Drupal core. This is a great opportunity for intermediate contributors to pitch in.

8.5+: add support for remote video in core

As proof of the power of the new Media API, the team is hoping to bring in support for remote video using the oEmbed format. This allows content authors to easily add e.g. YouTube videos to their posts. This has been a long-standing gap in Drupal's out-of-the-box media and asset handling, and would be a nice win.

Continue reading
  557 Hits
  0 Comments
557 Hits
0 Comments

Major League Soccer (MLS)

Completed Drupal site or project URL: 

Multisite Drupal Migration to Score the Best Fan Experience

Major League Soccer (MLS Digital) is a professional soccer league representing the sport's highest level in both the United States and Canada. Since its initial season in 1996, the league has expanded to include 22 teams - 19 in the U.S. and 3 in Canada. The organization sought Phase2’s assistance to migrate each team’s site to a single Drupal 7 platform.


A Customized, Flexible, and Consistent Platform

Migrating 20 club sites onto a new platform while maintaining the legacy platform was no small task. MLS also needed highly sophisticated customization options based on each team’s design, content priorities, and site maintainers’ capabilities. Each site had to have the same code base and capabilities, but offer full flexibility for each team’s site owners. At the same time, each legacy site had to be supported as the migration took place over several months.


Learn more about Phase2 and Sports

Original author: annie stone
  684 Hits
  0 Comments
684 Hits
0 Comments

Community Discussions Findings and Webinar

Over the last few years, many of us have seen the need to evolve community governance. Up until now, we had to focus on other priorities, but now is the time to address our needs for community governance especially in light of recent community events.

Our project has matured greatly and participation has expanded from developers and site builders to also include more content editors, designers, and marketing managers who work not only as freelancers or at Drupal shops, but also for large digital agencies or system integrators. We want all community members to be included in these community discussions so the redefined community governance serves everyone. This is an exciting time to create an even healthier future for our ever-growing community.

The Drupal Association is committed to staying in a support role as the community determines how to best evolve community governance to support everyone’s needs. We started helping by hosting Community Discussions that were mediated by Whitney Hess. There were 7 sessions at DrupalCon Baltimore and 7 virtual sessions between April and May. You can find the meeting minutes here.

The Community Discussions surfaced several common needs and identified several strategies for addressing those needs.

The most commonly shared needs of the community are (in order of frequency):

Continue reading
  625 Hits
  0 Comments
625 Hits
0 Comments

Calling all Drupal Agency Leaders: Participate in the 2017 Drupal Business Survey

Surrounding Drupal is a thriving global business ecosystem and thanks to collaboration with One Shoe and Exove, we’ve created an annual survey that gives insight into its health, focus, and needs. Businesses benefit by learning from their peers and seeing Drupal’s business trends. This survey also helps the Drupal Association find new ways to help support this community. Analysis of the 2016 edition of the survey can be found here.

We encourage all business leaders to take this year’s Drupal Business Survey.  

The survey aims to provide a picture of the current Drupal Business landscape, including the health of Drupal companies, obstacles and enablers for Drupal’s business success and D8 adoption.

Participation is completely anonymous and takes fewer than 10 minutes. The first results will be presented at the Drupal CEO Dinner at DrupalCon Vienna on Wednesday, September 27th, 2017. Analysis and insights will officially be published on Drupal.org and in Drupal Watchdog Magazine.

Participate!

You can participate anytime now until July 19th, 2017.

Continue reading
  747 Hits
  0 Comments
747 Hits
0 Comments

Drupal Core - Multiple Vulnerabilities - SA-CORE-2017-003

Drupal 8.3.4 and Drupal 7.56 are maintenance releases which contain fixes for security vulnerabilities.

Updating your existing Drupal 8 and 7 sites is strongly recommended (see instructions for Drupal 8 and for Drupal 7). This release fixes security issues only; there are no new features nor non-security-related bug fixes in this release. See the 8.3.4 release notes and the 7.56 release notes for details on important changes and known issues affecting this release. Read on for details of the security vulnerabilities that were fixed in this release.

Advisory ID: DRUPAL-SA-CORE-2017-003Project: Drupal core Version: 7.x, 8.xDate: 2017-June-21 Multiple vulnerabilities

Description

PECL YAML parser unsafe object handling - Critical - Drupal 8 - CVE-2017-6920

PECL YAML parser does not handle PHP objects safely during certain operations within Drupal core. This could lead to remote code execution.

File REST resource does not properly validate - Less Critical - Drupal 8 - CVE-2017-6921

The file REST resource does not properly validate some fields when manipulating files. A site is only affected by this if the site has the RESTful Web Services (rest) module enabled, the file REST resource is enabled and allows PATCH requests, and an attacker can get or register a user account on the site with permissions to upload files and to modify the file resource.

Files uploaded by anonymous users into a private file system can be accessed by other anonymous users - Moderately Critical - Drupal 7 and Drupal 8 - CVE-2017-6922

Private files that have been uploaded by an anonymous user but not permanently attached to content on the site should only be visible to the anonymous user that uploaded them, rather than all anonymous users. Drupal core did not previously provide this protection, allowing an access bypass vulnerability to occur. This issue is mitigated by the fact that in order to be affected, the site must allow anonymous users to upload files into a private file system.

Continue reading
  645 Hits
  0 Comments
645 Hits
0 Comments

What’s new on Drupal.org? - May 2017

Read our Roadmap to understand how this work falls into priorities set by the Drupal Association with direction and collaboration from the Board and community.

After returning from DrupalCon Baltimore at the end of April, we spent May regrouping and focusing on spring cleaning tasks. It's important for any technical team to spend time on stability and maintenance, and we used May to find improvements in these areas and look for some other efficiencies.

Drupal.org updates

🎉 UTF8MB4 Support

Support for the UTF8MB4 character set has been a long outstanding issue for Drupal.org and the sub-sites. This expanded character set supports supplementary characters outside of the basic unicode multilingual character plane, including symbols and emoji.

Previously the use of any of these characters on Drupal.org would result in an error. This extended support has been rolled out to Drupal.org and all of the sub-sites except Groups, our legacy Drupal 6 site on LTS.

Protecting Localize.Drupal.org from Spam

After a spike in spam form submissions was reported (thanks Gábor!) we enabled form protection on Localize.drupal.org. Hopefully this will keep our many translation volunteers focused on the hard work of localizing Drupal, instead of on spam fighting. The techniques that spammers use to bypass protections continue to escalate, so we'll be continuing to evaluate new ways to fight spam as time goes on.

Continue reading
  775 Hits
  0 Comments
775 Hits
0 Comments

Growing community in Moldova

This guest blog post is from Drupal Moldova's Association (not affiliated with Drupal Association). Get a glimpse of what is happening in Moldova's community and how you can get involved.

Drupal Moldova Association’s mission is to promote Drupal CMS and Open Source technologies in Moldova, and to grow and sustain the local community by organising Events, Camps, Schools, Drupal meetups and various Drupal and Open Source related trainings, and by establishing partnerships with Companies, the Government, and NGO’s.

Come and share your expertise in Moldova at our events! We're looking for international speakers to speak about Drupal and open source.

Among DMA’s (short for Drupal Moldova Association) numerous commitments, the following are of special importance:

to gather the community around Drupal and Open Source technologies;

Continue reading
  742 Hits
  0 Comments
742 Hits
0 Comments

What our clients are saying...

  • Exceptional

    Working with Decentral Digital has completely transformed my online brand. Now most of our leads come from our website...

  • Insightful

    Mike at Decentral Digital is knowledgeable, experienced and easy to work with. We are very pleased with our website.

  • Helpful

    Mike at Decentral Digital is professional, attentive and it always seemed like he cared about my business...

  • A Force

    My only regret was that I didn't find Decentral Digital sooner. The work and level of service has been fantastic...

Enough about us, let's talk about you!

DIGITAL
HAPPINESS