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Gizra.com: Gizra - We've Got Your Headless Covered

October 18, 2014 - 1:00pm
What's the name of the Angular component for login?

The difficulties in creating a semi or fully decoupled site isn't in the RESTful part. Spitting out JSON is now covered by several modules, including RESTful which aims for a "best practices" solution.

One of the real problems, though, is how to prevent us, the community, from re-inventing the wheel over and over again. Basically, how do we package our frontend code similarly to how we package our generic backend code - AKA "modules". I discussed these problems, and offered some solutions in my "BoF" persentation:

Continue reading…

Doug Vann: Drupal Training at Drupal Camps And Why We Need More Of It

October 17, 2014 - 5:41pm

Drupal Camp Road Warrior
By the end of 2014, I will have hit 50 Drupal Camps! It took 72 months to hit 22 cities, in 16 states! In that time, I've seen Drupal Camps run in almost every conceivable way possible. From Madison WI to Orlando FL, from NewYork NY to San Diego CA, I've seen thousands of attendees flocking to these events, all with the hopes of growing in their knowledge and understanding of Drupal. In my experience, the system works -- mostly.
But, we can do better.

We all know the drill
You assemble a bunch of speakers. They will deliver a bunch of sessions. You try to group these sessions into tracks, if you can. You wrestle with how to add a few sessions about the Drupal Community or maybe about Business or a few odd sessions that don't fit into your tracks. Oh yah... You almost forgot about the beginners, so you have a session or two that demystifies one topic or another.

The N00B experience
You would be surprised at how many people show up to a Drupal Camp who don't know what a node is. Or if they do know what a node is, they don't know how to create their own content types. Or if they do know how to create content types, they don't know how to create Views. These people show up and attend sessions that they have little chance of comprehending. They sit down for up to an hour per session listening to senior developers from major Drupal shops talk about nodes and fields and blocks and views-displays and modules. The whole time they may be thinking, "Dang! I thought by showing up for a day or two I would start picking this stuff up!?" But they're not.

Meet the N00Bs
Who are these people who are "New To Drupal?" Well, for starters, they're probably not really that new to Drupal! Based on my experiences, here is an incomplete list of ppl who regularly attend my classes.

  1. Certainly anyone who just discovered Drupal very recently and has come to the camp to gain a better understanding of Drupal. [This is not always the biggest portion]
  2. Individuals who have been to a couple camps and have tried to read the books or watch the videos but still haven't had the needed "AHA!" moments to grasp it all.
  3. Individuals who work for a University or Government or Company who uses, or is considering, Drupal. [This is a BIG ONE]
    • People, often with other web skills [sys admins, java, asp, php, etc] who are sent by their employers to scope out Drupal and/or to learn how to use it.
    • People coming to gain skills in an effort to alleviate their, or their employer's, dependency on vendors. [This happens a lot!]
    • New hires to Drupal shops or Design shops or shops offering web related services who are looking to better provide Drupal related services. 
    • People who know plenty, but want to make sure they are properly grounded.
    • People who come in the hopes of asking lots of questions!

I've seen all that and more. Multitudes of people are coming to camps in hopes of really wrapping their minds around how Drupal solves the modern problem of publishing dynamic content on the web. Too often, without a day of training they leave the camp with the same [and more] questions than they arrived with.

What they really want/need
After attending camp after camp, it's a proven fact. People are coming to learn what Drupal is and how to use it.  If the camp has no full day training opportunity then many are going to drown in the other sessions and simply not get what they really need.
I'll just be frank at this point. I believe that every camp needs to have a full day of beginner training. I believe that this training should be delivered not across differing tracks with differing speakers, but by the same individual, or group of individuals, working together to provide the full day of training. I have done this time and time again and I see the relief on people's faces as they gain a practical understanding of the power and flexibility of Drupal and how they can leverage it. This day of training starts them down the road of really learning Drupal. If there's a 2nd day of camp, I can PROMISE you that they will get far more out of it after a day of training.

How to provide a day of training at a Drupal Camp
There are many ways! Here's a list that is, by no means, exhaustive.

  1. Some camps have a dedicated day just for trainings on the day before the regular camp.
    • This is effecive not only for beginner classes but for classes on SEO, Drupal 8, Module Development, etc.
    • Most often training takes place in the same location as the camp, but occasionally it is not.
  2. Some camps simply reserve one track and dedicate it to a full day of training.
    • I've done this quite a few times where I have a room all day while others hop from session to session.
    • This is easier if you can't dedicate a whole day to training.
  3. The content in the full day Drupal beginner's training.
    • In some camps someone leads the class through the Acquia curriculum of Drupal In A Day
    • Some camps have a vendor come in and do the training
      • Doug Vann! If you want me to join your camp and present a day of training call me at 765-5-DRUPAL or CONTACT ME
      • I've seen posts from BLINK REACTION & OSTRAINING about their various full day offerings at Drupal Camps as well.
      • If I missed anyone who has travelled to multiple camps and provided full day trainings in the past and would do so again, leave a comment and I'll add you here. :-)
    • Some camps have used the BuildAModule.com Mentored Training method.
  4. The finances of a full day of training. Here's how I've experienced this as a trainer.
    • Some camps offer it for free or as part of the Camp fee that attendees have already paid.
    • Some camps charge attendees enough to cover the cost of catering.
    • Some camps charge a flat fee per attendee and share a percentage with the trainer.
    • Some camps procure a "training sponsor" and hand that sum off to the trainer.

Conclusion
Every Drupal Camp can do this! I've been invited to one-day camps and they give me one of their rooms for the whole day. I show up and deliver the full day of Drupal Beginner Training. Sadly, I never get to see any of the other sessions. Oh well... After 50 Drupal Camps, I've seen plenty of Drupal Sessions! :-)
Providing a full day of training will definitely raise your attendance. Universities, Governments, and Companies will send people. People will ask their employers to send them. Sponsors will really appreciate the fact that you're providing extra value to a broader audience.
Seriously folks... What more can I say? 

Full Day Trainings at Drupal Camps is a Big Win for everyone involved!

 

 

Drupal Planet

View the discussion thread.

Forum One: DrupalCon Amsterdam: Done and Deployed

October 17, 2014 - 12:14pm

DrupalCon Amsterdam 2014…what a week! Drupal 8 Beta released, core contributions made, and successful sessions presented!

Drupal 8 Beta — has a nice ring to it, don’t you think?! But what exactly does that mean? According to the drupal.org release announcement, “Betas are good testing targets for developers and site builders who are comfortable reporting (and where possible, fixing) their own bugs, and who are prepared to rebuild their test sites from scratch if necessary. Beta releases are not recommended for non-technical users, nor for production websites.” Or more simply put, we’re over the hump, but we’re not there yet. But you can help!

Contrib to Core

One of the biggest focal points of this DrupalCon was contributing to Drupal 8 core in the largest code sprints of the year. Specially trained mentors helped new contributors set up their development environments, find tasks, and work on issues. This model is actually repeated at Drupal events all over the world, all year long. So even if you missed the Con, code sprints are happening all the time and the community truly welcomes all coders, novice or expert.

Forum One is proud that our own Kalpana Goel was featured as a mentor at DrupalCon Amsterdam. She is very passionate about helping new people contribute.

It was my third time mentoring at DrupalCon and like every time, it not only gave me an opportunity to share my knowledge, but also learn from others. Tobias Stockler took time to explain to me the Drupal 8 plugin system and walk me through an example. And fgm explained Traits to me and worked on a related issue.

-Kalpana Goel

Forum One Steps Up

While the sprints raged on, other Forum One team members led training sessions for people currently developing with Drupal. I, Campbell, presented Panels, Display Suite, and Context – oh my! to a capacity crowd (200+), and together, we presented Coder vs. Themer: Ultimate Grudge Smackdown Fight to the Death to over three hundred coders and themers. Now that Drupal 8 Beta is released we’re already looking forward to creating a Drupal 8 version of Coder vs. Themer for both Los Angeles and Barcelona!

This year’s European DrupalCon was a huge success, and a lot of fun! As a group, our Forum One team got to take a leading role in teaching, mentoring, and sharing with the rest of the Drupal community. It’s easy to pay lip service to open source values, but we really love the opportunity to show how important this community is to us. We recently estimated that we contribute almost a hundred patches to Drupal contrib projects in a good month. We’re pretty proud of that participation, but it’s only at the conventions that we get to engage with other Drupalists face to face. DrupalCon isn’t just for the code, or the sessions. It’s for seeing and having fun with our friends and colleagues, too.

At Amsterdam, we got to participate in code sprints, lead sessions and BOFs (birds of a feather sessions), and join the community in lots of fun extracurricular activities. We’re already making plans for DrupalCon LA in the spring. We’ll see you there!

Drupal Watchdog: Drupal in the Age of Surveillance

October 17, 2014 - 11:28am
Feature

On Feb. 11, 2014, Drupal.org – flagship site of the Drupal project – joined thousands of other websites in a campaign against state Internet surveillance dubbed “The Day We Fight Back.”

In announcing Drupal.org participation in the campaign, leading Drupal developer Larry Garfield made a strong link between free software and digital freedom: “Both the American and British governments have been found violating the digital privacy of millions of people in their own countries and around the world. That is exactly the sort of attack on individual digital sovereignty that Free Software was created to combat.”

What are the implications of recent surveillance revelations for Drupal site owners? What can and should Drupal site builders and developers be doing to protect user privacy? To find out, I spoke with analysts and developers both within and outside the Drupal community.

User Data and Threat Modeling

“Contemporary websites have almost innumerable places where information can be entered, logged, and accessed, by either the first party or third parties.”

That’s the frank assessment of Chris Parsons, a postdoctoral fellow at The Citizen Lab at the University of Toronto’s Munk School of Global Affairs. Parsons’ current research focus is on state access to telecommunications data, through both overt mechanisms and signals intelligence – covert surveillance.

Parsons recommends an approach to user data protection called threat modeling. “So who are you concerned about, what do you believe your ethical duties of care are, and then how do you both defend against your perceived attackers and apply your duty of care?”

Parsons suggests, “The first step is really just information inventory: what’s collected, why, where’s it going, for how long.”

Drupal.org Initiatives

October 17, 2014 - 11:00am

In this episode, Joshua Mitchell, CTO at the Drupal Association talks with Amber Matz about the exciting initiatives in the works for drupal.org and associated sites. We also talk about how the community, including the D.A. Board, working groups, and volunteers are utilized to determine priorities and work on infrastructure improvements. There's exciting changes in the works on drupal.org regarding automated testing, git, deployment, the issue queue, localize.drupal.org, and groups.drupal.org.

Lullabot: Drupal.org Initiatives

October 17, 2014 - 11:00am

In this episode, Joshua Mitchell, CTO at the Drupal Association talks with Amber Matz about the exciting initiatives in the works for drupal.org and associated sites. We also talk about how the community, including the D.A. Board, working groups, and volunteers are utilized to determine priorities and work on infrastructure improvements. There's exciting changes in the works on drupal.org regarding automated testing, git, deployment, the issue queue, localize.drupal.org, and groups.drupal.org.

Blink Reaction: Drupal As A Public Good and Renewing our Commitment

October 17, 2014 - 10:54am

I was going to write a blog about Drupalcon Amsterdam and our commitment to Drupal and then I realized the best way to say it was to show it.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Memo to all staff:

I am pleased to announce that starting this quarter Blink will significantly increase our efforts in support of Drupal. 

NEWMEDIA: Drupal SA-CORE-2014-005

October 17, 2014 - 9:13am
Drupal SA-CORE-2014-005Drupal Security threats and how we respond at NEWMEDIA!

Here at NEWMEDIA! we are constantly learning and improving. Over the course of the past year we have been refining our continuous integration and hosting platforms as they relate to Drupal. A significant threat, and subsequent fix has been identifeid in all versions of Drupal 7 that has literally rocked the. The good news is that your site is already patched if you are hosting a Drupal 7 site with us. The great news is that we have an opportunity to highlight some of the improvements we have made to our hosting offering.

The new system provides a smoother flow between development efforts and your ability to see the changes. When a developer's code is accepted to your project, it is immediately made visible to you in a password protected staging environment. When the change is approved, it can immediately be made available on the production site. Our systems ensure that the servers developed on are identical to the servers in the staging and production environments. This consistency increases the return on your investment by decreasing the amount of time it takes for a developer to perform their tasks. At the same time, it gaurantees a smoother deployment pipeline.

We are systematically moving all of our hosting properties into this new system.

* Your sites will now be hosted in what is known as Amazon's Virtual Private Cloud. This is the next generation of Amazon's cloud offering that provides advanced network control and separation for increased performance and security.

* Your sites will move from a static ip address to utilize state of the art load balancing techniques. The load balancing and proxy layers provide significant protection agains DDoS and other types of attacks that might be utilized against a website.

* Your DNS management will simplify. The same technology we are using at the load balancing layer allows for a more dynamic system. Because we are moving from addressing the machines by numbers to addressing them by name we are allowed additional flexibility. For example, let's say your site is under a higher than average load. We could temporarily add additional webservers that would increase the performance of your site.

* Site performance will improve. You are being moved to a distributed system that is more capable of handling your sites needs.

The goal of this is to increase the quality of our services and offerings while continuing the tradition of giving back. It is unfortunate that a security issue of this magnitude has affected Drupal. It is good to see the community come together to help bring the current set of continuous integration and deployment practices to the next level.  Come find us at the http://2013.badcamp.net/events/drupal-devops-summit to see how we do continuous.

Help us figure out the best way to share!

ERPAL: IMPORTANT! Safety first - The Drupal 7.32 Update

October 17, 2014 - 8:39am

Yesterday, when the Drupal 7.31 SQL injection vulnerability came up, I think this was one of the most crititcal updates I ever saw in the Drupal world. First of all - thanks a lot to everybody that helped to find and fix this issue. With the discovering of this security issue and the fix, the Drupal security and the community behind has shown once more how important this combination is. All Drupal sites should and MUST be updated to this version 7.32 to keep their applications secure. An new ERPAL release 2.1 is already available. And it is very important that you use this update for your ERPAL installation.

Why this hurry?

As I already mentioned above, this update is critical to all sites as the vulnerability can be executed by anonymous users. It is possible to get admin access (user 1) with the correct attack sequence. Some of you may ask if Drupal is still secure at all? The answer is still - YES! It is one of the most secure CMF / CMS out there. And with a dedicated security team on Drupal.org many security issues are discovered. Security issues are worst if they are not discovered by the admin / support or security team but only by hackers. And it becomes even worse if people don't update their sites.

So what to do?

Don't panic! You just need to update your site to the latest Drupal 7.32 version. If you are using a distribution, that may have patches included in their installation profile to support all features, check for updates on their project page and get your update there. Easy - Thats it.

How to avoid future problems

Please follow the Drupal security advisories and keep you site's modules up to date. That's one of the most important rules for Drupal users.

While creating business applications with Drupal means for us taking responsibility for all our users to keep their data save and their ERPAL system running. With this blog post I want to ask every Drupal dev, maintainer, client or site builder to update the site immediately.

Amazee Labs: Faster import & display with Data, Feeds, Views & Panels

October 17, 2014 - 8:25am
Faster import & display with Data, Feeds, Views & Panels

Handling loads of data with nodes and fields in Drupal can be a painful experience: every field is put into a separate table which makes inserts and queries slow. In case you just want to import & display unstructured data without the flexibility and sugar of fields, this walkthrough is for you! 

On a recent customer project, we were tasked with importing prices and other information related to products. While we are fine with handling 10k+ products in the database, we didn't want to create field tables for the price information to be attached to products. For every product, we have 10 maybe even more prices which would result in 100k+ prices at least.

The prices shouldn't be involved in anything related to the product search, they should just appear as part of the product view itself. Also there is no commerce system involved at the current state of the project.

Putting the prices into a separate field on the product node may sound like a good idea in the first place. Remember, when loading a list of of those products, all the prices will have to get loaded as well. We wanted those prices to be decoupled from the products, be stored in a lightweight way and only be loaded when necessary - on the single product view.

1) Light-weight data structures in Drupal using the data module

First, I thought implementing a custom entity or just data table would be the way to go. But then we considered giving the data module a try. The data module allows site builders to work on a much lower level than with Drupal fields: you can create database tables, specify their columns and define relationships. What it really makes appealing is that you can access the structured data using views, expose the custom data tables as custom entity types and use the Feeds module for importing that data, without any coding required.

After installing the data module, you can manage your data tables under Structure > Data tables

We create a data table for the product prices and specify the schema with all the columns that should be included. Just like fields but without any fancy formatters on top of it:

This will create the desired database table for you.

Having defined the data, we can use the Entity data module that comes with Data to expose the data table as a custom entity type. By doing so, you will get integrations like for example with Search API for free.

 

2) Import using Feeds and the generic entity processor

Luckily, the [Meta] Generic entity processor issue for the Feeds module has been committed after 3 years of work. As there hasn't been a release since the time of committing the patch (January 2014), this is only available from later dev versions of the Feeds module.

But it's worth the hassle! We can now select from a multitude of different feeds processors based on all the different entity types in the system. After clearing caches, the data tables that we have previously exposed as entity types, do now show up:

The feeds configuration is performed as usual. In the following, we map all the fields from the clients CSV file to the previously defined columns of the data table:

We are now able to import large junks of data without pushing them through the powerful but slow Field API. A test import of ~30k items was performed within seconds. A nodes & Fields based import usually creates 200 items per minute.

3) Data is good, display is better

In the next step, we create a View based on the custom data table to display prices for products. We specify a number of contextual filters so that users will see prices a) the current product and restricted to b) the user's price source and c) currency.

Notice, that the Views display is a (Ctools / Views) Content pane, which has some advanced pane settings in the mid section of the views configuration.

Most importantly, we want to specify the argument input: Usually we would use Context to map the views contextual filters to Ctools contexts that we provide through Panels.

Somehow, in this case, a specific field didn't work with the context system which automatically checks if all necessary context's are available and only allows you to use the Views pane under such circumstances. As you can see in the screenshot above, i have set all arguments to "Input on pane config" as a work around.

Exactly these pane config inputs show up when we configure the Views pane in Panels. In this case, we have added the Product prices view as a pane on the panelized full node display of the Product node type (Drupal jargons ftw!).

Each pane config is populated with the appropriate keyword substitutions based on available contexts node and user of the panelized node.

4) The end result

Finally this is the site builded result of a product node including a prices table:

 

This concludes my how-to on the Data, Feeds, Views and Panels modules to attach a large data sets to nodes without putting them into fields. Once you know how the pieces fit together, it will take you less time than me writing this blog post to import and display large amounts of data in a less flexible, but more performant way! 

Gábor Hojtsy: On authority in Drupal and/or Open Source in general

October 17, 2014 - 8:22am

I just had the time to watch Larry Garfield's DrupalCon Amsterdam core conversation on managing complexity today. I did not have the chance to attend his session live due to other obligations, but it is nonetheless a topic I am very interested in.