Agaric Collective: Putting powerful platforms under cooperative control

Planet Drupal - Fri, 2015/11/20 - 5:07pm

On November 13th and 14th in New York City, several hundred people gathered to talk about the problems of an online economy reliant on monopoly, extraction, and surveillance— and discuss how to build a "cooperative Internet, built of platforms owned and governed by the people who rely on them."

My experience at the Platform Cooperativism summit was Wow, everyone here really gets it and so many are doing awesome things; and then Hmm, there are still some really important differences to be worked out; and then We'll have to continue for months to figure out strategy for building fair platforms and we also need to restructure the whole economy.

Some definitions

In the sense technologists use it a platform is, like a physical platform, a technology that holds a lot of people up. It convenes people and gives them a chance to do something they wouldn't otherwise be able to do. Platforms can often be natural monopolies due to capturing the benefits of network effects (one person with a telephone is pointless, having nearly everyone available by telephone is incredibly valuable). Amazon and eBay are both platforms for sellers and buyers, Uber and Lyft for drivers and riders, Mechanical Turk and TaskRabbit for piece-workers and buyers of their work.

A cooperative is a jointly owned and democratically-controlled enterprise formed by people voluntarily uniting to meet their common needs and aspirations. Agaric is a small worker-owned cooperative, Mondragon is a very large group of integrated worker cooperatives, consumer cooperatives are businesses owned by their customers, credit unions are financial institutions owned by their members (with a one person, one vote governance), and producer cooperatives like CROPP Cooperative are formed by member businesses (which are not necessarily cooperatives themselves).

A platform cooperative, then, is a platform owned and controlled by the people directly affected by it. A company must be accountable, and as Omar Freilla put it, accountable means those impacted make the decisions.

The power to do harm

This summit was a follow-up to the Digital Labor summit held one year before which detailed myriad ways centralized online platforms extract value from dispersed workers who have few options or bargaining power. Control of online platforms by the representatives of capital has or will have negative effects on workers, similar to exploitation in global manufacturing (think electronic devices and clothing), and negative effects on customers (think the massive money grab by oligopolies of fossil fuel and telecommunications corporations).

Agaric's Michele Metts told the Digital Labor summit organizers every chance she got that cooperatives and Free Software were the answer to exploited labor in the Internet economy, but something even more powerful than Micky's advocacy must have been at work: nearly every participant at Platform Cooperativism spoke of the need for workers to own the platforms that control their work, and people presenting on technology took for granted that source code and algorithms have to be open for democratic control to be meaningful. As Micky said on her panel, "You cannot build a platform for freedom on someone else's slavery."

The opening presentations made the case that platforms will exploit us unless we take control, and we moved on to discussing strategies for building platform businesses that are cooperatives of the people using the platforms. We also celebrated those already starting, like Loconomics, Fairmondo (in Germany), and Member's Media.

Building for shared power and uplift

The biggest unsolved, but acknowledged, problem is getting the resources to build platforms that can compete with venture capital-funded platforms. Dmytri Kleiner made the claim that profit requires centralization, and, moreover, that centralization requires organizing along the lines of a profit-taking venture. How can people get the resources to build without both having to give up control and having to exploit people using the platform? Robin Chase reminded us that it costs millions of dollars, at least, to build a viable platform. Her solution is to continue to seek venture capital and work for some environmental or community goals while compromising on control.

A more popular possible solution is to replace centralized systems with decentralized ones, even to the point of replacing specific software with protocols, so the cost of building and operating platforms can be more widely shared, along with the benefits. However, as Astra Taylor summed up the widely felt point, decentralization does not always mean distributed power. Therefore control of technology decisions, and so democratic control of platforms, is more important than technology itself.

The potential positive role for government regulation was often mentioned, as Sarah Ann Lewis summarized the sentiment in a tweet: Platforms are not special snowflakes that must be exempt from regulation. If you can only succeed by exploitation you deserve to melt. Indeed, the centralized and surveillance nature of most platforms would make it much easier to ensure non-discrimination and fair wages.

More excitement came from the mention that local government has long played a role and can play a stronger part in democratic ownership of physical spaces. Several speakers urged people to get involved in local government, where harmful policies may be more the result of a lack of knowledge than of embedded corruption. Government can also get involved in mandating an open API for ride hailing services, which would remove the monopoly power from centralizing companies.

On ownership and control

Hundreds of possible solutions faced lively questioning and debate, yet in all of this the titular solution, cooperative ownership, did not get the scrutiny it merits. Jessica Gordon Nembhard's Collective Courage has made me see that the connections and overlaps between worker cooperatives and other types of cooperatives are much more significant than I'd thought, but there are still differences. And I'm not sure the differences are made clear by people building platform cooperatives.

If Brianna Wettlaufer refers to it as a multi-stakeholder cooperative and it has been around since 2012 so they've surely worked it out, but this question is at the heart of how platform cooperatives must operate and it was hardly addressed at all.

The answer can be simple. The Black Star Coop brewery and restaurant in Austin, Texas, is owned by its customer-members while the workers manage it. The workers are internally a democracy, but there's no question they work for a businesses which is managed democratically by the customers. This makes even more sense for a quasi-monopoly platform: It's more important for, say, millions of people relying on a platform for livelihood or transportation or communication to own it than for the relatively small number of people who built it to own it.

This brings up another question that went largely unasked at the conference: does ownership mean anything when it's spread out among thousands or millions of people? Federated structures can mitigate this, but in general whoever controls communication among members effectively controls decisions. It may be possible to have horizontal mass communication by way of democratic moderation. At a small workshop I held at the conference, participants discussed ways collective control can be made real as democratic platforms scale—but that's a topic for another discussion.

The sense that displacing an app or website is easier than reconstructing global supply chains fueled a lot of the excitement at the conference. Notwithstanding, the need to restructure the rest of the economy so that it works to serve the needs of people, rather than sacrificing people's needs to the dictates of the economy, was never far from people's minds. Videos of most sessions are online and will certainly make you think about the opportunities for cooperative ownership of services and structures that define our lives, online and off.


Dries Buytaert: Drupal 8 milestones in Tweets

Planet Drupal - Fri, 2015/11/20 - 4:24pm

Building Drupal 8 with all of you has been a wild ride. I thought it would be fun to take a little end-of-week look back at some of our community's biggest milestones through Twitter. If you can think of others important Tweets, please share them in the comments, and I'll update the post.

Feeling nostalgic? See every single version of Drupal running!

Do you remember how #Drupal 1 looked like? Or Drupal 3? Are you curious? Check out all the Drupals! #Celebr8D8

— Cheppers (@cheppers) November 19, 2015

Here is how we opened the development branch for Drupal 8: live at Drupalcon!

The secretsauce of #drupal isn't code or features or market share, important thought they are. The secret sauce is community.

— Sean Yo (@seanyo) March 10, 2011

@dries branching D8 #drupalcon #drupalchi #drupal

— Jeff Geerling (@geerlingguy) March 10, 2011

Drupal 8's first beta showed the power of community

Drupal 8.0.0 beta 1 released! Ahh the power of COMMUNITY driven software! :-)

— Doug Vann (@dougvann) October 1, 2014

Congrats all on epic work on Drupal 8.0.0 beta1 :) Now go sleep or party as appropriate ;) #drupalhugs

— Gábor Hojtsy (@gaborhojtsy) October 1, 2014

We had issues ... but the queue steadily declined

Today there are zero #Drupal 8 beta blockers! Here's what's next: Of note: finish beta deadline issues by Sept. 28.

— xjm (@xjmdrupal) September 19, 2014

Drupal 8.0.x-rc1 release window is today. Good sign of real stability is major issue count going down for 6+ weeks.

— catch (@catch56) October 7, 2015

We held sprints around the world: here are just a few

EVERY SINGLE #Drupal 8 critical is RTBC or currently being addressed at the 10-person #D8Accelerate London sprint! @DrupalAssoc @brightlemon

— xjm (@xjmdrupal) July 5, 2015

Working on D8 Criticals at the Ghent DA critical sprint, this is how the "My issues" page looks for me right now!

— Sascha Grossenbacher (@berdir) December 13, 2014

Yay for a crowded core office hours sprint! #drupalcon

— Cameron Eagans (@cweagans) March 23, 2012

And we created many game-changing features

#Drupal 8 now ships with page caching enabled! Anon users: <10 ms response time, yet instant updates! #FastByDefault

— Wim Leers (@wimleers) April 8, 2015


— webchick (@webchick) October 22, 2012

Config entities dependencies in action! @swentel @yched goodbye field_system_info_alter()

— Alex Pott (@alexpott) February 15, 2014

With Content + Config Translation in core D8 core is more translatable than D7 with all of contrib. #drupal

— Tobias Stöckler (@tstoeckler) November 18, 2013

Amazing to see Drupal 8's multilingual capabilities explained on the multilingual release page (for example Farsi):

— Gábor Hojtsy (@gaborhojtsy) November 19, 2015

The founder of PHP said: Drupal 8 + PHP7 = a lot of happy people

Here are the two graphs: and - Drupal 8 + PHP 7 will make a lot of people happy!

— Rasmus Lerdorf (@rasmus) April 21, 2015

We reached the first release candidate and celebrated ... a little

Congratulations to EVERYONE in the @drupal community who has worked so damn hard to reach this moment. Celebrate! #drupal8rc #Drupal8

— Whitney Hess (@whitneyhess) October 7, 2015

Just LOOK at it. 8.0.0-rc1 is GREEN Download - Let's build something to celebrate! #drupal8rc #drupal

— Manuel Garcia (@drupalero) October 7, 2015

Kudos to the 3000+ contributors and to the entire Drupal community that helped make this happen.

— Leslie Glynn (@leslieglynn) October 7, 2015

And, just yesterday, we painted the world blue and celebrated Drupal 8 ... a lot!

Let's paint the whole world blue! Add your #Celebr8D8 Release Party here #Drupal8

— Drupal (@drupal) November 10, 2015

With over 200 new features & improvements #Drupal8 is released! Thanks to all contributors!

— Drupal (@drupal) November 19, 2015

At the Amsterdam #Drupal8 release party!! #Celebr8D8

— Taco Potze˙ (@tacopotze) November 19, 2015

The Moment We've All Been Waiting For: Drupal 8 is Here! #Celebr8D8!

— Duo (@DuoConsulting) November 19, 2015

#Drupal8 release party in #Lahore #Pakistan with @JibranIjaz @NaveedSukhera #Celebr8D8

— Shakeel Tariq (@shakeeltariq) November 19, 2015

From Peru we're celebrating the new era #Drupal #Drupal8 #Celebr8D8 @Dries

— Agustin Rojas Silva (@Aguztinrs) November 19, 2015

Happy #Drupal 8, everyone! I am so happy to know and work with all of you beautiful #opensource people!

— HornCologne (@HornCologne) November 19, 2015

Karma party in #drupal-contribute #Celebr8D8

— webchick (@webchick) November 19, 2015

We're literally printing money here. @Dries Dollars by @LeakyTweety for #Celebr8D8 Manchester

— Paul Johnson (@pdjohnson) November 19, 2015

Acquia and downtown Boston are ready to celebrate Drupal 8! #Celebr8D8

— Dries Buytaert (@Dries) November 18, 2015


Drupal Association News: Global Training Days - November 2015 Summary

Planet Drupal - Fri, 2015/11/20 - 4:23pm

The final Global Training Days of 2015 took place on November 20th and 21st, right after the Drupal 8 release. While many in the community were finishing their celebrating, the trainers were just getting warmed up to introduce people to the world of Drupal. Thirty-nine sites held a training in 21 countries. This included both training companies and local community groups. We could not be more proud of the global representation for the event and we look forward to more success in 2016 with our quarterly DrupalGTD events.

Thanks to Marina of ADCI we made a video to introduce attendees to the community. Trainers were invited to participate and fun was had by everyone.

As for the spirit of Global Training Days, I think Mauricio of Agaric put it best in this tweet.

Organizing and presenting at #DrupalGTD takes effort, but seeing people smile when they build functional websites in hours makes it worthy.

— Mauricio Dinarte (@dinarcon) November 22, 2015

Check out the photos and updates at #DrupalGTD on Twitter. The full list of participants is on the 2015 page along with reports from the trainers as they come in.

Learn more about the program at or sign up to provide training at the next event.

Personal blog tags: Drupal Global Training DayGTD

Zivtech: How to Do A Site Audit

Planet Drupal - Fri, 2015/11/20 - 3:40pm

There are a lot of different reasons why people need a site audit. For example, you may be transferring a project from an old team to a new team that needs to understand the project what they're taking over.

Or maybe there's an internal management change inside a large organization.

For example, in an audit I'm doing now, the site was managed by one team and now they're splitting up the company and that team is not going to manage the site anymore. The people taking over have no experience with the site and they want to find out what they're dealing with.

Was it Done Right?

They might have specific concerns like security or performance that they want to audit. They might be planning a whole new phase of their project and they would like to understand where they're at with their site beforehand.

Sometimes an audit is requested to validate a hunch. Sometimes a manager doesn't think a site was built well, and wants an audit to show that. On the other hand, there are times when a developer wants an audit to show their boss that they did do things right. For example, we had somebody who wanted an audit because his boss kept on telling him that he built the site wrong because he used multiple content types and his boss was sure that you should only ever have one content type. So he wanted an audit that would back him up and say he did a good job, and he did actually do a great job. Update to Drupal 8

Another reason you might have an audit in 2015-16 is that you're considering upgrading to Drupal 8 and nobody can give you a good estimate of how much it's actually going to cost you to upgrade because nobody knows what your site does or even what problems it has. You might need an audit just to help you evaluate that.

Here Comes Judge Jody

At work, they call me Judge Jody. Being judgmental is one of those personality traits that’s both positive and negative. But when it comes to doing certain types of tasks, being judgmental is very useful. You might have some people on your team that are very open and accepting who say, "Oh, that's an interesting idea" to just about everything. They don't disagree strongly with much of anything. These folks are not necessarily the best ones to do an audit because they'll go through and all they can come up with is, "Oh, that's interesting." Someone who really has strong opinions can go faster and decide what looks problematic.

One Judge...Or Many?

You could have just one of your top people doing an audit, but you can also split it up into multiple domain experts. I also like to have an assistant when I'm doing the auditing, someone more junior who can help me write up the document, do the document formatting and learn while we're going along. As you're working on an audit you're not just learning how to do a site audit, you're also learning a lot about Drupal and the different issues people can get into making sites. I've learned more from looking at all of the awful sites that we inherit and rescue than I would have just building sites on my own because you see the consequences of all the different bad common practices that people make, where it leads, and how much work it is to clean it up. It makes me feel more strongly when I say, 'we never do this this way and this is why. We've seen what happens.’

It's also good if someone on the auditing team will potentially continue working on this site if this becomes an ongoing project. No matter how much people write in their reports, they're also putting a lot in their heads getting to know this project. That's really valuable and you want them to continue working on the site. It actually takes a long time to really get to know a project if it's a pretty complicated site, or just a particularly troubled one. Manual or Automated?

There are parts of an audit where you should use automated tools. But it’s also important to do a lot manually and just look everywhere. I'll look from the top left pixel all the way across to the bottom right. Then I'll look at the server, the code and every page I can. I'll look at the HTML, the CSS, the navigation, and the content itself. One of the amazing things I take away at the end of some site audits is that after a week of looking at some sites I still have very little idea of what the organization does, or perhaps how to purchase a product from the company. Noticing that the site does not serve its primary mission is something automated tools will not do for you.

Document Everything

I start an outline in a Google Doc, and I follow my curiosity around the site. Productive procrastination is my main mode. When I don't feel like looking at the permissions, I go look at the design, and keep jumping around until the outline starts to fill itself out.

The first step is to get access. If it is a problem to access the server, the code base, or get a copy of the database, that in itself can be a finding of the audit. If the people you're working with don't know how to get you a copy of the database or access to the server, or they don't have SSH keys, that is part of the environment that the site is living in. It could itself be a finding. These sites don’t exist in a vacuum.

If the client refuses to give you access because they have some security reasons and nothing you can sign is going to do anything about it, you'll be really limited so you'll have a smaller scope to your audit.

Ideally, work locally and get a local copy of the site set up. That way you can click around everywhere, run all the automated reports you want, and not have to worry about messing anything up. As an auditor, you change nothing. Click everywhere, but never hit save.

Typically in an audit the more you find, the better. You're not going to lose points for looking at things that people didn't think you were supposed to be looking at. Take notes the entire time you're looking so you can eventually write those up into a proper document. Talk it Over

It’s critical to set up a series of meetings as part of the audit. First, have a kick-off meeting to get basic background information: a little about the organization, how this site came to be, what it's supposed to be doing, and who's involved. Confirm the boundaries of the audit- for example should you be auditing everything at one subdomain, or more. Also make sure you have access to everything you need. There’s no need to get into too much detail at that kick-off meeting other than a basic situational awareness.

After a day or two of digging into the site, I like to have another meeting because then I have some questions and I'm very focused on the project at that point. Then I like to really dig in and ask questions about their specific concerns and odd things I’ve started to uncover.

You want to make sure that you're auditing and paying special attention to things that that the client is focused on and concerned about. It's also important to have these meetings to get a sense of the client’s technical vocabulary and background and whom you're actually addressing in this audit. It's easy to make an audit that makes you look really smart, and they will not use it at all because they don't understand what you're talking about and you’re not making your points clearly enough. Then we just have this huge, intimidating pile of paper. It’s about clear communication and not being pedantic.

Stay tuned for Part 2: Top Three Priorities of A Site Audit. Terms: Publishing Workflow Needs Review

Zivtech: How To: oEmbed with Asset in Drupal 7

Planet Drupal - Fri, 2015/11/20 - 3:20pm

In Part 1 of this series, I showed an easy system for including oEmbed rich content in a WYSIWYG, including reusing that content. In this installment I'll step through how to set it all up in Drupal 7.

How to Set Up Asset and oEmbed modules

First of all, in order to use Asset module you can't use WYSIWYG module - you need to use CKeditor module. CKeditor module is great though - you have more control of your editor configuration than with WYSIWYG module.

Install Asset module from I typically enable only Asset, Asset document, and Asset image, out of the submodules in the Asset package.

Similar to how Media module works, you need to enable the Asset filter on your input format(s). On the CKeditor settings make sure you enable the Media Asset plugin.

Also add oEmbed module and enable its submodules oEmbed Field oEmbed Embedly. Add an API key to the oEmbed Embedly configuration.

Create a new Asset type (Structure: Asset Types: Add Asset Type) called 'Embed' and pick an icon for it. At 'Manage Fields' add a link field, and at 'Manage Display' choose oEmbed for the display formatter of the link (for both Default and Full Size modes). Go back the CKeditor settings and drag your new button into your WYSIWYG configuration.

If you're having trouble getting an embed link to show up, you may need to adjust the pattern matching for the provider in the oEmbed providers settings. Often the provider has started using www or https in their URL and you need to adjust the patterns to match. Watch out for security settings in CKeditor and in your input format: some of the oEmbed content will comes with Javascript that can get filtered out and change the display. If you need to reduce security filtering, be sure you are only allowing trusted users to use this CKeditor profile.

You may also want to do some templating and styling: I overrode the oembed.tpl.php from oEmbed to not show an extra title link to the embed. I also overrode the asset.tpl.php to likewise not show the Asset title.

OK, but what if I want to add this as a field, rather than in a WYSIWYG?

Media module has a nice ability to be used as a widget for a file field, letting you reuse media from your library or add new media. So how can we get a similar feature using our beloved Asset module library?

Because Asset is an entity type, you can create entity reference fields to reuse assets. A great widget for entity reference fields is Inline Entity Form. This lets you add a new or existing asset of any type as a field. We contributed a patch for Asset to add support for Inline Entity Form, which is in the latest Dev release of Asset module.

Using Inline Entity Form, you can add a new or existing asset as a field. Adding a new Embed Asset within Inline Entity Form. Do I have to do this for every new site I make?

Of course not. This is the kind of setup you should do in a starter-kit: an install profile that you use for every site. We've added it to our Bear Starter-kit, which you're welcome to fork.

OK, but what if I use Scald or Media module and can't switch to Asset?

If you're not ready to make the Asset module plunge, you can still use oEmbed. If you like Scald, you can do a similar setup using this Embedly Scald module. And if you use Media module you can use the Media oEmbed submodule (included in oEmbed module).


#embedly_amzn_82220385 {line-height:1.5;} #embedly_amzn_82220385 * {color:#000000;background:#FFFFFF none repeat scroll 0 0; vertical-align:baseline; margin:0; padding:0; border: medium none; font-family:verdana,arial,helvetica,sans-serif;} #embedly_amzn_82220385 TABLE {vertical-align:middle;border-collapse:separate;border-spacing:0;} #embedly_amzn_82220385 TD {vertical-align:top;text-align:left;} #embedly_amzn_82220385 .embedly_amzn_out_bdr {border:1px solid #EEEEEE;-webkit-border-radius: 2px;-moz-border-radius: 2px;border-radius: 2px;} #embedly_amzn_82220385 .embedly_amzn_in_bdr {border:1px solid #999999; padding:10px;-webkit-border-radius: 2px;-moz-border-radius: 2px;border-radius: 2px;} #embedly_amzn_82220385 .embedly_amzn_img {float:left; margin:0 20px 0 0;} #embedly_amzn_82220385 .embedly_amzn_desc {width:100%;} #embedly_amzn_82220385 .embedly_amzn_desc H3{margin:5px 0;font-family:Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif;} #embedly_amzn_82220385 .embedly_amzn_desc H3 A{color:#000000;font-size:18px;font-weight:normal;text-decoration:none;line-height:26px;} #embedly_amzn_82220385 .embedly_amzn_desc .subhead{display:block;margin:0 0 5px;font-size:11px;} #embedly_amzn_82220385 .embedly_amzn_desc HR{border-top:1px dashed #999999;color:#FFFFFF;height:1px;margin:6px 0 3px;} #embedly_amzn_82220385 .embedly_amzn_desc .em_more {margin:0 10px 0 0;font-size:11px;} #embedly_amzn_82220385 .embedly_amzn_desc A.em_more {color:#003399} #embedly_amzn_82220385 .embedly_amzn_desc A.em_more:hover {color:#CC6600} #embedly_amzn_82220385 .embedly_amzn_desc .buying TD.label{width:70px;color:#666666;font-size:11px;text-align:right;vertical-align:middle;white-space:nowrap;margin:0 5px 0;} #embedly_amzn_82220385 .embedly_amzn_desc .buying TD.pricelabel{padding:3px 0 0;} #embedly_amzn_82220385 .embedly_amzn_desc .buying TD.listprice{padding:0 0 0 5px;font-family:arial,verdana,helvetica,sans-serif;text-decoration:line-through;font-size:13px;} #embedly_amzn_82220385 .embedly_amzn_desc .buying TD.price{padding:0 0 0 5px;color:#990000;font-size:20px;font-weight:normal;letter-spacing:-1px;} #embedly_amzn_82220385 .embedly_amzn_desc .buying TD.saved{padding:0 0 0 5px;color:#990000;font-size:13px;} #embedly_amzn_82220385 .embedly_amzn_logo A {background:transparent url( no-repeat scroll -160px -15px;display:inline-block;float:right;height:30px;overflow:hidden;width:140px;} YAHTZEE: Back to the Future Collector's Edition Board Game

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Stay tuned for Part 3 in which we report on what we've done to make it easy to embed 3rd party content in Drupal 8.

Terms: Publishing Workflow Ready for Publishing

Drupal Commerce: Commerce 2.x Stories: Products

Planet Drupal - Fri, 2015/11/20 - 12:57pm

Previously we talked about currencies and stores. This week we’ll focus on products.

Read on...


Freelock : Content Management on the Web has changed. Today.

Planet Drupal - Fri, 2015/11/20 - 2:03am
November 2015

Today marks the release of Drupal 8, and the birthday of its founder, Dries Buytaert. This release is more than just a new digit, it's an entirely new platform with something for everyone to love, but it's particularly big for web site owners.

What's the big deal? The biggest, most powerful, one of the most successful open source projects in the world has two major, fundamental changes that change everything you thought you knew about it.

Well, not everything. Lots of the things that people love about Drupal are getting some nice improvements:

  • Mobile, responsive support straight out of the box -- it's actually a nice experience administering a D8 site on your phone!
  • The information architecture is the same as always -- content types, vocabularies, comments, anything you've learned about how content is organized in Drupal is the same, but...
  • Lots of powerful modules like Views and CKEditor are now in core, and much less quirky than ever before
  • Deploying updates and configuration settings between multiple copies of the site is completely overhauled, and now very simple to do
  • Caching support is baked in, enabled by default, so in spite of doubling in code size it uses less computing resources and responds much faster, especially on busy sites
  • Loads of other improvements.

All of that is great, and we could go on for hours, days about how much of an improvement this is. And that is the stuff you will notice today, next week, next month. But that's not the big change, that's not the killer feature of this upgrade for site owners.

The killer feature is what happens in 6 months, in 1 year, in 5 years. And that is, the great big upgrade cost you don't have, when it's time to upgrade to 8.1.0, or 8.2.0, or even 9.0.0.

Two Fundamental Changes.

Ask any Drupal site owner where their biggest pain is. You'll run into two big complaints: How hard it is to find decent Drupal developer talent, and how painful it is to migrate to the next version. Those both change with Drupal 8.

The next version

The current version of Drupal 7 is 7.41. The new version of Drupal 8 is 8.0.0. The next version of Drupal 7 will be 7.42. The next version of Drupal 8 will be 8.0.1. Notice anything different? It's called "Semantic versioning," and yes, it's just one more number between the dots (or added to the end). But the change behind that simple little version number is enormous.

Drupal is changing its entire release process to have "minor" version releases every 6 months. That means 6 months from now will be 8.1.0, and in a year, 8.2.0. These are calendar-based releases that contain new functionality, AND maintain backwards compatibility with the previous minor version. Upgrades from 8.0.4 to 8.1.0 should be completely transparent, nothing breaking as a result -- but new stuff available.

Drupal has never maintained backwards compatibility like this before -- this is a fundamental change in the project, and it represents the maturity the platform has reached.

There will only be a Drupal 9 when there's enough changes that are not backwards compatible that it's time for a new major release. But this "minor release" plan provides plenty of notice of functionality being deprecated to allow people to transition away from those things that are going away, long before 9 arrives.

That means an update to Drupal 9, will mostly be a matter of making sure you've either moved away from stuff being changed in Drupal 8, or have added an alternative. And then update, potentially like any other minor release.

No more completely rebuilding your site in the new version! For the first time ever, major version updates in Drupal should be relatively painless, as long as you keep your site relatively current and pay attention to changes as they develop.

"Drupal Developers"

Drupal has always come with a steep learning curve, particularly for developers. This is because it has developed out of procedural code, with a "hook" system and naming conventions that make a lot of things happen "automagically". It takes a couple years to get your head around the many Drupalisms, code patterns, hooks, conventions that are not seen or used in most other projects. You need to be very proficient in coding, using a debugger, and having an open mind to be a good Drupal developer... until now.

"Object Oriented" is a term that came in vogue in development circles... in the 1960s. It became the dominant way of programming in the 1990s, particularly with the rise of Java in popularity, and it's at the heart of .NET as well as many open source practices. And while Drupal uses a lot of object-oriented concepts in its information architecture, it has never been fully object-oriented in its code... until Drupal 8.

Why should a site owner care about this? Two huge benefits -- the same two I'm talking about here:

  • Drupal development now shares the same programming architecture as 90% of the rest of the industry, instead of being its own thing. Now you don't need to find a good "Drupal developer" -- a good developer should be able to pick it up and figure it out without years of learning the specific incantations and magic charms of all those Drupalisms.
  • Updates. Because we now encapsulate all this code into objects that extend other classes, this allows for upgrading smaller bits of functionality without affecting the rest of the site. This means that it should be possible to upgrade some modules to Drupal 9, before the site itself.

I think a lot of people in the Drupal community don't fully realize how huge a change this is (and it is interesting to see some backlash to the changes from those who may fear some of this change).

In other words, when Drupal 9 eventually arrives, it won't be such a big deal -- it should be possible to run exactly the same contributed modules for Drupal 8 and Drupal 9, with no changes whatsoever -- and even if something important does need to change, it can be changed by inserting a "shim" class that translates the API changes as appropriate -- it will almost certainly be possible to run Drupal 9 modules in Drupal 8, and vice versa. And you won't have to find a Drupal-specific developer to do this for you, either.

The new world of web applications

Drupal has long been a compelling platform in terms of functionality, the speed that new functionality becomes available, and the power built into the system. Drupal 8 is not just another release -- it is the maturing of this platform into something that is completely up-to-date and capable of staying that way for at least the next decade, if not more.

If you are looking for a new content management system, a new project management system, a new platform for managing all kinds of communications between groups of people, you can't pick a better base for doing so than Drupal 8. Give us a call, and let's discuss what you want to build!


Out & About On The Third Rock: An Engagement Manager’s Guide To Site Building In Drupal 8 – Week 03

Planet Drupal - Fri, 2015/11/20 - 1:02am
More a log than a guide, but you get the idea! its a lengthy log this week, a lot got undone, done and then some. Day 1 Backlog for the week: Fonts Contact Form (customise it) Translations (Lingotek)   Take the site online  Toy around with Drush Not part of the backlog, decided to update core, followed the instructions to the letter, used Drush and broke […]

OSTraining: The Drupal 8 Beginner Class is Here and is Free

Planet Drupal - Fri, 2015/11/20 - 12:43am

Congratulations to the Drupal community. Today, they released Drupal 8!

It has been an epic journey to get here. Back in March 2011, we sat in the audience at DrupalCon Chicago and listened to Dries' plans for Drupal 8. To get from Chicago to today has taken over 1770 days, 3000 contributors and 350,000 lines of code.

Drupal 8 is far larger, more powerful and more modern than anything Drupal has released before.


Doug Vann: Drupal 8 launches today and here I sit thinking about BackdropCMS

Planet Drupal - Thu, 2015/11/19 - 11:52pm

Where I am:

  • Today [11/19/15] is the BIG day! Finally, Drupal 8 launches!
  • I have co-planned a party at my local Drupal group here in Indianapolis.
  • I just paid $12 for this giant, blue “8” balloon! [woot woot!]
  • At that party I will be delivering a show-n-tell of the new Drupal 8 back end.
  • I have shared/authored social media posts to push the BUZZ along.
  • Drupal 7 work still keeps me busy and pays the bills. 

Where I’m going

  • Tomorrow and the day after [11/20/15 & 11/21/15] I will be delivering 2 separate, free, 4hr Drupal 8 trainings for the Drupal Association’s Global Training Days
  • I’m happy to say I’m working on a D8 book for a major publisher! [more on that when allowed]
  • I still have a DEEP desire to work further on my BackdropCMS site which, to date, has served as a playground for exploring functionality.

The longer road ahead, as I see it

I have already stated that I’m a huge fan of what BackdropCMS represents. I believe in the the market viability of BackdropCMS. As you can tell, I’m also very excited at what Drupal 8 represents in the evolution of the web as we know it. I plan on using both as needed.

How do I reconcile the two? It’s quite easy. I have long felt that Drupal 8 is moving “Up Market.” No matter how you define that, it is true on many levels. I have no problem with this. It’s a natural evolution and I agree with those who said was long long long long overdue. I tend to agree. HOWEVER… I’m already on the record as saying that some of the changes in Drupal 8 can, will, and already have cost us some marketshare. This is where I believe BackdropCMS is a highly effective tool for keeping these existing sites from migrating to WP or some proprietary platform. Many clients around the world are super happy with their D7 sites, and they will remain happy for some time to come. It is a matter of time before we start seeing D7 sites move off of D7. Some will head to D8. Many will not. I want to be at the intersection when they change roads!

A few words about the “Ownership Society”

I have also bloviated at length about how Drupal promotes an ownership society where a team of non-CompSci grads can make amazing websites with Drupal. I keep saying that Drupal 8 raises the bar to the point that many of the current satisfied D7 users will need to rely on vendors to do the things that they currently do themselves. Then along comes BackdropCMS. Bringing balance to The Force BackdropCMS will once again empower those who are thriving in the Ownership Society that is, at least to some degree, no longer there in Drupal 8.

Drupal Planet

View the discussion thread.


Jay How To Solve Drupal 8.0.0's Requirements Problem On WampServer

Planet Drupal - Thu, 2015/11/19 - 11:02pm

Today is a big day for Drupal, as Drupal 8.0.0 just got released a few hours ago. So since people from all over the world will be installing it today to build websites, I'll show you guys how to solve some unusual problems that you might encounter during the installation process. When you install it on your web server, you should be most likely just fine. However, you will undoubtedly encounter the following three problems if you decide to install it on a brand new installation of WampServer (current version: 2.5):

Drupal 8.0.0 Requirements Problem

Tags: Drupal Planet

Palantir: Drupal 8 is here

Planet Drupal - Thu, 2015/11/19 - 8:34pm

Drupal 8 launched today, and with it comes a host of enhancements that benefit all of us – clients and partners alike. We're particularly excited because we – alongside thousands of others – helped architect, build, and troubleshoot Drupal 8 through its entire development process. A number of those key core contributors are on the Palantir staff, too (huge thanks to Larry, Ken, Bec, Andrea, Robin, Greg, Kelsey, Joe, and Arthur, among others!).

In fact, Palantir team members have been deeply involved in Drupal 8’s development since its start, providing technical leadership for the Web Services and Context Core and Mobile initiatives, core development support, and sprint organization. We were also an anchor sponsor for the Drupal 8 Accelerate fund which raised over $250,000 for development work on Drupal 8 to get it to completion.

For our clients, this new version introduces hundreds of breakthrough features that will help you deliver the right experience and content for your users, regardless of their location or the device on which they are viewing your site (not to mention how your editors are publishing content).

  • Mobile-first: Allows content authors to publish content on any device. The entire Drupal 8 user interface has been made responsive.
  • Multichannel, Dynamic Content Delivery: Delivers content “as a service” to any site, device, native application, or emerging channel with RESTful APIs.
  • Front-end Flexibility: Embraces client-side frameworks like Ember.js, Angular, and Backbone so front-end developers can get creative with experience delivery.
  • Enhanced Usability: Offers a reimagined, easier-to-use authoring experience, with a new editor tool and streamlined in-line, in-context authoring.
  • Translation and Globalization: Designed to support global digital strategies, Drupal 8 transforms content management localization.
  • Faster Development: Introduces an object-oriented web development framework and includes built-in Symfony components, staged configuration management, and improved unit testing support.
  • Faster Dynamic Content: Accelerates content delivery with dynamic caching for personalized, data-driven user experiences.

We've shared a great deal on Drupal 8 in the past with Larry "Crell" Garfield's D8FTW! blog series and subsequent world tour, other keynotes and presentations, and CEO Tiffany Farriss' keynote for Chicago-based Midcamp, not to mention our Founder and CEO George DeMet's recent post on what Drupal 8 means for sites of the future.

We truly look forward to sharing our vast Drupal 8 knowledge and expertise for our clients, and continuing to act as mentors and thought leaders in our Drupal development community.

For partners like Palantir, Drupal 8 provides us a powerful object-oriented, API-based architecture that enables us to do what we do best with custom PHP code, and makes it even easier for us to create code that makes Drupal play nice with countless PHP technologies and third-party integrations that so many of our clients rely on. We love this flexibility, and the fact that it modernizes the platform in a really important way.

Dries Buytaert, creator and project lead of Drupal and co-founder of Acquia says Drupal 8, “...provides a modern development framework, a reimagined user experience, and tools that empower builders to create digital experiences that are multilingual, mobile and highly personalized."

This is important for our clients since it enables them to meet their business goals more quickly. And we can use our strategy, design, and development expertise combined with our decade of Drupal experience to provide you and your audience a world-class, truly sustainable solution for years to come.

Curious about Drupal 8, and what it means for your organization?
Get in touch today, and we'll be happy to provide even more reasons why this modern, open source solution is not only an incredibly compelling choice for you, but the right one.

Let's all raise our a glass to toast Drupal 8's release, and what it means for all of us. Cheers!


Chapter Three: 8 Months of Drupal 8 On Production

Planet Drupal - Thu, 2015/11/19 - 7:21pm

As we get ready for our Drupal 8 release party today, over here at Chapter Three, Drupal 8 is starting to feel a lot more like business as usual. We launched our first Drupal 8 production site on 4/11/2015. In the intervening 8 months, we've built a few other Drupal 8 projects, and our team has learned a whole lot about what it means to do continuous development on this new version of Drupal.


Lullabot: The Lullabot Podcast is back! Drupal 8! The Past! The Future!

Planet Drupal - Thu, 2015/11/19 - 6:21pm
Drupal 8 is here! The Lullabot Podcast is back! It's an exciting time to be alive. We talk about where we've been, before we look ahead to see where we're going. Oh, and we want to hear from you. Leave us listener feedback at 1-877-LULLABOT x789.

Wim Leers: Drupal 8: BigPipe module ready

Planet Drupal - Thu, 2015/11/19 - 3:55pm

I’m happy to announce that Fabian Franz and I managed to get a first release of BigPipe published today, coinciding with the Drupal 8.0.0 release!

Rather than explaining what it does, see for yourself:

(That’s with 2 slow blocks that take 3 s to render. Only one is cacheable. Hence the page load takes ~6 s with cold caches, ~3 s with warm caches.)

Go download BigPipe 8.x-1.0-beta1!1

Fastest Drupal yet!

After Drupal 8 already shipping with both the Page Cache and Dynamic Page Cache enabled by default earlier, this is the third and final step in our quest to make the entire web fast.

  • Fast anonymous user page loads: Page Cache — entire page is cached.
  • Fast authenticated user page loads: BigPipe — majority of page including main content is cached (thanks to Dynamic Page Cache) and sent first, the rest is rendered later and streamed.

Go and enjoy the fastest Drupal yet!2

P.S.: none of this would have been possible without my employer Acquia, whom sponsored both my time and Fabian’s to make BigPipe a reality.

  1. We were able to release it today because the code was ready: it was developed over the course of several months in a Drupal core issue and “just” moved into a module, with every commit matching a comment in the issue, to make it easier to understand how the code base got to this point. 

  2. And please report any issues you encounter at d.o/project/issues/big_pipe — depending on how well BigPipe works in the real world during Drupal 8.0.x, we should be able to get it into Drupal 8.1.x core! 

  • Acquia
  • Drupal
  • performance

Dries Buytaert: Drupal 8.0.0 released

Planet Drupal - Thu, 2015/11/19 - 3:54pm

We just released Drupal 8.0.0! Today really marks the beginning of a new era for Drupal. Over the course of almost five years, we've brought the work of more than 3,000 contributors together to make something that is more flexible, more innovative, more easy to use, and more scalable.

Drupal 8 has been a big transformation for our community. This particular reboot has taken one-third of Drupal's lifespan to complete. In the process we've learned that reinvention doesn't come easily or quickly. There are huge market forces happening around us, and we can't exactly look away. Mobile is moving our society to near-universal, global internet access. Most companies have begun to transform themselves digitally, leaving established business models and old business processes in the dust. Digital experience builders are turning to platforms that give them greater flexibility, better usability, better integrations, and faster innovation. The pace of change in the digital world has become dizzying. If we were to ignore these market forces, Drupal would be caught flat-footed and quickly become irrelevant.

But we didn't. I'm proud to see that we've responded to these market forces with Drupal 8, and delivered a robust, solid product that can be used to build next-generation websites, web applications and digital experiences. We've implemented a more modern development framework, reimagined the usability and authoring experience, and made technical improvements that will help us build for the multilingual, mobile and highly personalized experiences of the future. From how we model content and get content in and out the system, to how we build and assemble experiences on various devices, to how we scale that to millions and millions of pageviews -- it all got much better with Drupal 8.

I'm personally incredibly proud of this release. Drupal 8 is the result of years of hard work and innovation by thousands of people, with lots of attention to detail at every level. Congratulations to everyone who stepped up to contribute; this was only possible thanks to your persistence and tireless hard work. It took a lot of learning, our best thinking and our best people to create Drupal 8, and I'm very, very proud of what we have accomplished together.

For 15 years, I have believed that Open Source offers significant advantages to proprietary solutions through superior innovation. Today, I believe that more than ever. Drupal 8 is another key milestone in helping us win and doing what is best for an open web. Of course, our job is not done but now is the time to have fun and celebrate this monumental milestone. Tonight, we'll be hosting more than 200 parties around the world! (It's also my 37th birthday today and the release of Drupal 8 along with all those parties is pretty much the best present ever!)


Annertech: At last, Drupal 8 is here!

Planet Drupal - Thu, 2015/11/19 - 3:48pm
At last, Drupal 8 is here!

Drupal 8, which we previously called "the most brilliantly amazing responsive accessible version of Drupal to be released so far", has just been released. This is major news for three reasons.


Don't Panic: A blog about Drupal: Screencasting again!

Planet Drupal - Thu, 2015/11/19 - 3:47pm

Ever since I started using Drupal I've wanted to share the knowledge I have gathered around Drupal. I did some screncasts a couple of years ago, in Swedish, and they were appreciated. Then, time disappeared, other projects ate my time. Since I teach the basics of Drupal at schools and more specialized educations for companies, I've never given up on the dream of continuing the screencasts in some way.

Earlier this year the company I work for, Kodamera, gave me green light to make screencasts about Drupal. My dream has come true! A website was put together to promote the episodes and so far I have made five screencasts on Drupal. My greatest challenge will be to do these screencasts in English, since it's only my second language. Though, growing up with Monty Python get straight A's in school when it came to learing English should help a litte.

Since a stable version of Drupal 8 has been released now, I'm planning a whole series of screencasts to cover the basics of Drupal, how to get to know the system. These are not meant for us who already know Drupal, instead they are meant to give newcomers and people who are curious of Drupal a good start. The first screencast - how to install MAMP and Drupal - was released earlier this week.

I also wrote a loooong blogpost on how to install MAMP:

Hopefully I will do a good job recording these screencasts, and I will do my best to include some good jokes and something from Monty Python now and then. ("Nobody expects the Spanish inquistion!")

If you want to know when I do a new screencast, subscribe to the playlists on YouTube, check the official Twitter account or follow me on Twitter, I'll retweet the tweets.

See you around!

// Adam