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DrupalCon Amsterdam: Doei Doei, DrupalCon Amsterdam

Drupal News - October 14, 2014 - 8:04am

This post was originally shared on the Drupal Association blog.

DrupalCon Amsterdam has wrapped up, and now that we're over the jet lag, it's time to look back on one of the most successful DrupalCons to date. DrupalCon Amsterdam was the largest European DrupalCon yet, by far. Just to knock your socks off, here are some numbers:

  • More than 2,300 attendees showed up to 120 sessions and nearly 100 BoFs
  • 115 attendees showed up to the community summit and the business summit
  • 146 training attendees, 400 trivia night attendees, and 400 Friday sprinters made the week a success
  • …and through it all, we ate 1,200 stroopwafels.

The fun extended to more than just the conference -- with 211 transit passes and 56 bike rentals, attendees from over 64 countries were able to enjoy all the city of Amsterdam had to offer. What a success!
As with any DrupalCon, DrupalCon Amsterdam wouldn't have been a success without lots and lots of help from our passionate volunteers. We'd like to take a moment to send out a big THANK YOU to all of our track chairs and summit organizers:

  • Pedro Cambra - Coding and Development
  • Théodore Biadala - Core Conversations
  • Steve Parks - Drupal Business
  • Lewis Nyman and Ruben Teijeiro - Frontend
  • Michael Schmid - Site Building
  • Bastian Widmer - DevOps
  • Cathy Theys, Ruben Teijeiro, Gábor Hojtsy and the Core Mentors - Sprints
  • Adam Hill and Ieva Uzule - Onsite Volunteer Coordinators
  • Baris Wanschers - Social Media
  • Emma Jane Westby - Business Summit
  • Morten Birch and Addison Berry - Community Summit

We also appreciate everything our core mentors did to make DrupalCon Amsterdam a hit — and it’s thanks to lots of hard work from our passionate community members that Drupal 8 is in Beta!
We hope you had as fun and exiting a time in Amsterdam as we did. For those of us who weren’t able to make it, and even for those who were, you can relive the fun on the flickr stream, or catch any number of great sessions on the Drupal Association YouTube channel.  And remember to mark your calendar for DrupalCon Barcelona in September 2015. See you there! Below is Holly Ross' set of slides from the Amsterdam closing session.

DrupalCon Amsterdam Closing Session from DrupalAssociation
Image credit to Pedro Lozano on Flickr.

ComputerMinds.co.uk: Language lessons: 10 Useful tips

Drupal News - October 14, 2014 - 4:00am

To complete my series on multilingual Drupal, here are some mini-lessons I've learnt. Some of them are are to improve the experience for administrators & translators, others cover obscure corners of code. The first few don't require any knowledge of code, but the later ones will be much more technical.

Amazee Labs: Drupalcon Amsterdam: some (user) experience

Drupal News - October 14, 2014 - 3:46am
Drupalcon Amsterdam: some (user) experience

DrupalCon Europe 2014 was all about a new era that has now began on Wednesday, October 1st with the official beta 1 release - the era of Drupal 8. Compared with the DrupalCon Europe 2013, this conference was more about business and development and less about UX related matters. However, UX topics and raised questions are definitely worth mentioning.

UX and Dev: We need to have a date!

One of the most frequent UX topics of last year was better user experience crafted for the end-users of a website together with the importance of user research as a business objective. Knowledge of how and why people use a product conveys better understanding where the areas of improvements that need immediate mitigation are. 

Last week, voices were raised to provide a clear statement that the new and shiny Drupal 8 and the further development of Drupal on both core and contrib levels, needs to get UX research and design involved. Some actions were taken during the last year. However, there is definitely more potential. In her talk "Engaging UX and Design Contributors", Dani Nordin makes it clear. All people who contribute to Drupal have a common goal to create a better, highly scalable and stable version of our content management system. And to do so, UX researches, designers and developers are bound to work closely together, listen to each other and actually apply results of user research. To make this happen, we have to take action within the Drupal community. For example, UX researches and designers should be more involved in the development processes and procedures. Sometimes, designers and UX professionals are treated, as if their contribution is not important, which leads to a decrease of their motivation to spend their spare time for the community. Raising this topic lead to a lot of discussions. This resulted in the UX sprint producing a list of goals and directions that the community should go for in 2014 & 2015.

It’s about interaction.

More and more discussions within the community were devoted to interaction design. The word “design” has a rather broad definition and can be understood differently. For example, “design” for the majority of people only means visual design or visual representation of the object.  UX researches and designers differentiate the visual and interaction design. The latter is about the workflows or concrete steps that users should perform to achieve the goal. No doubt, visual design is crucial for making people want to start an interaction with an object in the first place. However, the quality of interactions is the key for the product’s success. The best way to determine a user-friendly interaction is to actually attempt to accomplish a task, find the obstacles, redefine the workflow and test again before the implementation even starts. The best way to do so is prototyping. No matter how you create your prototypes, you can use HTML, as Roy Scholten suggests in his talk “Because it's about the interactions. (Better UX through prototyping)”, or a broad palette of other tools that do not require advanced programming skills. The most crucial point is to prove that interactions really work and they do so for real users.  

Don’t prototype in Drupal!

The topic of the importance of prototyping gained further attention in the presentation of Dani Nordin. Don’t prototype in Drupal is a strong statement, and it has a point. One of the most popular prototyping tools Axure can help with the design at different levels: high and low fidelity. Creating Axure-based prototypes is faster and cheaper than spending days or weeks on Drupal site building and coding. Prototypes allow, however, to ensure the directions of a project, make it possible to talk with stakeholders about tangible and interactive product before applying the development forces and, again, it’s the way to receive the user feedback. This insighs can be applied not only to the products built in Drupal, but to Drupal itself. This will improve not only the life of content creators, but can help developing more elegant solutions using the better design features of the Drupal core together with contrib modules. 

 

Paul Johnson: Welcome to Amsterdam, the "free ride" stops here

Drupal News - October 14, 2014 - 1:18am

For a long time I’ve harboured the belief that too few in Drupal receive the recognition they deserve. I often wonder how many bright (young) stars fall through the cracks of our vast community, fade away and perhaps leave altogether. When the Drupal project was small if you did some heavy lifting, people noticed. Now our numbers have swelled beyond 1 million it is no wonder worthy effort goes relatively unnoticed.

Few of us are seeking the limelight but being noticed, that’s another matter. It’s not just recognition either. We should be mentoring emerging talent, supporting promising businesses and championing contributions from end users. But with such a vast and growing community, as Dries so eloquently put in his keynote, the status quo is unsustainable.

“Social capital and altruism is what we already do and I don’t think it is very scalable”

DriesNote

We should remember the material for the Dries keynote was crowd sourced and as he said we should “keep an open mind, don’t draw to conclusions”. Now is the time to debate openly, engage in constructive conversation and help invigorate Drupal.

What struck me at Amsterdam was that when the audience members having contributed to Drupal Core and contrib were invited to stand, surprisingly few remained seated. In many respects talking to DrupalCon attendees was preaching to the converted. The job is for us to reach the rest.

Understanding how our ecosystem works is a very important first step

I believe the path to a healthier community hinges on how we record contributions, not how we recognise them. Currently we track what individuals contribute and there is a fixation on code based contributions. How about documentation, organising camps, mentoring, community affairs, design and so many more valuable activitites. Introducing a way to differentiate between efforts made by individuals, agencies and end users and a move towards “Track all types of contributions” for me is a giant leap forwards. It couldn't happen sooner.

How we might use this new data is less important than the ability to "track how our community really works”. Most significantly it will bring to the surface things are not working. Who is funding what? Are we depending too heavily on small groups or certain individuals? Could specific areas do with more help? Achieving the tracking Dries would like, could happen within weeks. The Rankomatic? I like to think of it as Drupal Analytics, which is open for all to query. Expose the data like data.gov.uk and the community will surely hack insightful mashups and we will have something very empowering.

Is D.O ready for a reboot?

What word is conspicuously missing from the D.O homepage? Contribute, yup, seriously. How can we expect more people to do so if we don’t clearly signpost how? When Dries talked about “Free riders” I reflected on how long (years) it took me to find a niche in Drupal. I existed on the fringes under employed. It was only when I was noticed by Isabel Schultz during DrupalCon London that things really flew for me. We need more "talent scouts". Why is Get Involved buried in the footer and not somewhere more obvious? Are many “free riders” just looking for a way to engage?

Rewarding contributions through enhanced visibility, leading by example will certainly help. Encouraging companies who don’t contribute to start doing so via subtle design changes to user and marketplace profile pages has merit. Will invigorate the contributors themselves to even greater heights? That's certainly how I roll.

What Dries suggests is sweeping change. In this respect the cynic in me worries about the glacially slow speed of change on Drupal.org (D.O). 5 months ago I created an issue proposing the community spotlight feature on the homepage of D.O. It had unanimous support but nothing ever happened. Maybe I did something wrong? Perhaps I don't understand the process?

The good news is the Drupal Association has hired staff whose role is to deliver these kinds of enhancements. It also feels like a more measured and strategic approach is being taken. I hear talk of user personas. The concept designs by During his TED Talk Harish stated companies that will thrive in the future are those who "play their role in terms of serving the communities who actually sustain them”.

Drupal is a platform having a community that sustains many thousands of businesses. Drupal has strong evidence that Harish’s hypothesis is already true. Drupal shops, even end users who contribute to the project tend to be the ones enjoying the best outcomes. The problem is we operate in a bubble, where everyone is hooked on open source. Out in the real world people’s thinking is years behind and the principles of open source sound quite peculiar even alien. Those coming to use Drupal need introducing to the benefits of taking a benevolent role.

We know who Lullabot, Palantir, Phase2, Wunderkraut are. The various Drupal shops are contributing, often in bucket loads. What we actually need is more companies like that. Indeed we need more end users contributing back too. Like how Oxfam, The Whitehouse, Sony have been instrumental in developing significant contributions to the Contrib space. Again Dries’s advertising model could help to champion these organisations, communicating why they chose this path and the benefits they have reaped over time. It’s not about penalising “free riders” it is more about persuading them to engage with Drupal, to start contributing.

“If everybody that used the commons contributed a little bit things would be perfectly fine”

Dries talked about The Tragedy of the commons - overgrazing in Drupal translates not to the software rather the "Free riders" are depending too much on people’s generosity, personal time or indeed time which they should be running their business. I’ve seen situations where people have neglected their business for the benefit of Drupal. This goes way beyond the well known plight of Alex Pott, I assure you. I'm sure the few examples I have seen are a small fraction. Here everyone loses.

Time for change

As Dries said “An imperfect solution is better than no solution”. We’ve tried for some time to encourage those who sit on the sidelines to start contributing. Now is the time for a small revolution. Recording, recognising, rewarding code and non code contributors on D.O is simply a way of scaling how it has always been. And if that sounds too radical, how about we try it out on beta.drupal.org? We need to take a leap. After all, aren’t we the round pegs in the square holes? We are the ones who think different. It’s way overdue we took some of our own medicine.

Further information: Outlandish Josh's Thoughts on the DriesNote: Towards Drupal "Contribution Credits"Watch the Dries KeynotePhoto credit - Steffen Rühlmann

PreviousNext: Architecting DrupalCI at DrupalCon Amsterdam

Drupal News - October 13, 2014 - 3:44pm

At the recent DrupalCon Amsterdam sprints something amazing happened, people from all corners of the globe assembled to sprint on DrupalCI. DrupalCI is an initiative born out of the requirement for new testbot infrastructure. Our goal is to implement a brand new Continuous Integration (CI) workflow that can not only be used for Drupal but anyone wishing to run a CI infrastructure / Automated tasks. Until this point we had only corresponded via a weekly hangout and IRC.

While this was keeping us on track with building out some of the components, the conference gave us an opportunity to sit down in the same room and perform an end-to-end architectural review to ensure we didn't have any gaps. A modular design approach has been used to ensure that many of the following components could be used as a standalone entity in any infrastructure.

Drupal Easy: Professionally-Trained, Community-Oriented, Drupal Career Online Students Ready for Work

Drupal News - October 13, 2014 - 10:10am

The fifth class of our Drupal career training program is just about at the halfway mark, and our students are eager to put their new skills to work. The six Drupal Career Online students will be ready for junior-developer-level work in mid-November, and we're looking for forward-thinking organizations willing to help our graduates on the next leg of their Drupal career journey.

As we've done for the past five classes, (we've had more than 60 graduates so far) we're looking to make introductions between our upcoming graduates and organizations looking for people with Drupal site-building and development skills. Our Work Experience Drupal (WE Drupal) program is designed to provide students with valuble experience in internship-type settings. WE Drupal host companies are asked to make a 6-10 week commitment to one or more of our students, provide them with guidance, mentoring, and the professional experience that is so difficult to come by for new Drupal site builders and developers. In return, you get the efforts of a well-prepared, super-eager Drupal novice to help you lighten the task-load for your staff.

read more

Stanford Web Services Blog: Module of the Day: Stanford MetaTag NoBots - Hide your site from search engines!

Drupal News - October 13, 2014 - 8:00am

When we launch a site at Stanford Web Services, we open the doors and roll out the red carpet for the search engines to index the site. However, before launch we like to keep the content under wraps and ask the search engines not to index the site. To do this, we use a module called Stanford MetaTag NoBots.

Acquia: How to setup auto-translation of nodes using Rules and Tmgmt

Drupal News - October 13, 2014 - 5:17am

This how-to guide describes how to set up automatic machine-based translations for content on a Drupal site. Whenever a node is created, translation jobs will be created for every language specified, and depending on how you set up your translator, you should be able to completely automate the translation process. For this project we are using SDL, but you should be able to use other translators.

1. Download and enable the translation management modules. This can be done through Drush or through the modules interface in drupal.

InternetDevels: Ready! Drupal! Action! DrupalCon Amsterdam!

Drupal News - October 13, 2014 - 3:05am

Where on this planet as a pedestrian you can be hit by bicycle and… be guilty for it? Amsterdam, you are just awesome! :)

DrupalCon is over and its attendees are in the relaxed process of event reminiscence. True drupallers are never tired of sessions, code-sprints, workshops and just fuss between these events; and yes, this year’s Con has provided all of these! But you know what? You can read about this stuff in dozens of other materials. And here we have gathered those moments and snapshots, which made our days at DrupalCon!

Read more

SK+ Drupallets: Top Modules for Drupal 7

Drupal News - October 12, 2014 - 10:29pm

Dozens of useful contributed modules for building Drupal 7 sites.

There are many really useful contributed modules to take your site beyond the basics of Drupal core. There are modules to improve, allow, and/or help with everything from accessibility to workflow, from images to input formats, and beyond.

This session will be of interest to beginner and intermediate Drupallers, as well as those who manage or hire Drupallers or who are just trying to decide whether to use Drupal.

read more

Drupal Bits at Web-Dev: Codit: Blocks a video introduction to making custom blocks

Drupal News - October 12, 2014 - 9:17pm

This screen share walks you through why you might want a more powerful way of making blocks and why Codit: Blocks is a good candidate if you need lots of custom blocks.

Midwestern Mac, LLC: St. Louis Drupal Group - Hackathon on Headless Drupal 8 & AngularJS

Drupal News - October 12, 2014 - 2:00pm

Now that Drupal 8.0.0-beta1 is out, and the headless Drupal craze is in full-swing, the Drupal St. Louis meetup this month will focus on using Drupal 8 with AngularJS to build a demo pizza ordering app. (The meetup is on Thurs. Oct. 23, starting at 6:30 p.m.; see even more info in this Zero to Drupal post).

We'll be hacking away and seeing how far we can get, and hopefully we'll be able to leave with at least an MVP-quality product! I'll be at the event, mostly helping people get a Drupal 8 development environment up and running. For some, this alone will hopefully be a huge help, and maybe motivation to adopt Drupal 8 more quickly!

If you're in or around the St. Louis area, consider joining us; especially if you would like to learn something about either Drupal 8 or AngularJS!

Zero to Drupal: Headless Drupal & AngularJS Hackathon - St. Louis

Drupal News - October 11, 2014 - 3:14pm
What do you get

When you cross Drupal, AngularJS, and a room full of folks eager to learn more about Drupal 8, api's, rest services, and front-end frameworks? You get St. Louis' first Headless Drupal Hackathon...that's what!

When

Thursday, October 23rd - 6:30p - 9:00p

Where

The Journey - Reber Place 4900 Reber Place St. Louis, MO

Details

For the first time in our beloved history as a Drupal User's Group, we will be hosting our first interactive meetup. Our goal is to collectively build a faux pizza ordering app using Drupal 8 as a backend, and AngularJS as the front end.

For more information, see our Meetup event page for more info.

Hope to see you there!

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