Four Kitchens: Introducing Saucier

Planet Drupal - Wed, 2015/07/15 - 11:11pm

With the first party API building tools built into Drupal 8 core, there’s been a lot of talk about building semantic APIs in Drupal; when, how, and why you should or should not. However, a commonly overlooked piece of this picture is how to go about actually consuming these APIs. And as it turns out, consuming an API, even a well designed one, can present a number of challenges. That’s why we created Saucier, a Node.js framework used to quickly create web pages from data that has been consumed from a Drupal API.

JavaScript Drupal

OpenConcept: Conforming to coding standards with linters

Planet Drupal - Wed, 2015/07/15 - 6:27pm

At the the DrupalNorth code sprint, I spent some time chatting about code linters, and how to use them to ensure your code conforms to coding standards. So, I thought I'd share the process that works for me.

If you find a better process, please blog about it and post a link in the comments!

This tutorial assumes:

  • You write or modify code in a language like PHP, JavaScript, CSS, Bash, etc.
What is a linter?

Simply put, a linter is a static analysis tool that you can run to ensure that your code is free from syntax and/or style errors.

Types of linters

To help me prioritize fixing linter messages, I usually classify linters into two types:

  • Linters that check for syntax errors, and,
  • Linters that check for coding standards violations.

I consider linters that check for syntax errors manditory, since I can't really think of a time when I would want code which contains syntax errors (in PHP and JavaScript, syntax errors cause unrecoverable fatal errors if the file containing the code is ever parsed (i.e.: white screen of death, JavaScript engine halting)). I will not commit code unless these types of linters give the okay.

I consider linters that check for coding standards violations strongly recommended (as they affect the maintainability of your code), but technically optional (because code that doesn't conform to standards still works). I try to avoid committing code that doesn't pass these linters; but there are some circumstances when that is unavoidable (e.g.: if I have to commit a contributed module, or if it's a hotfix and there's a plan to make the code more-maintainable later).

Checking for syntax errors

Many interpreted languages and shells have a syntax-checker built into them, for example:

  • php -l $file will check a PHP script for syntax errors,
  • bash -n $file will check a BASH shell script for syntax errors,
  • ruby -c $file will check a Ruby script for syntax errors,
  • perl -c $file will check a Perl script for syntax errors,
  • zsh -n $file will check a ZSH shell script for syntax errors, and,
  • fish -n $file will check a Fish shell script for syntax errors.

I wasn't able to find any built in syntax linters for JavaScript, Python, and PowerShell, but please leave a comment if you know of one.

Checking for coding standards

Github has put together a showcase of clean code linters, but note that they are limited to ones developed on Github.

As a Drupal developer, I usually use:

Since Drupal's coding standards differ slightly from other communities, all of these tools need to be configured slightly before you can use them. I'll explain how to install and configure all of these below.

Note that PHP CodeSniffer, the Drupal coding standards sniffs, and the Drupal Best Practice sniffs are used by the Drupal Automated Project Review tool.

PHP CodeSniffer

To set up PHP CodeSniffer, I'm assuming that:

  • You know how to use the command-line,
  • PHP is installed on your machine and in your PATH,
  • You have installed Composer,
  • You want to install PHP CodeSniffer globally (i.e.: for all projects), and,
  • Composer's ~/.composer/vendor/bin folder is in your PATH.
  1. Tell Composer to install PHP CodeSniffer globally:

    composer global require 'squizlabs/php_codesniffer'
  2. Install the Coder module globally, so we can use it's Drupal coding standards and best practices sniffs:

    composer global require 'drupal/coder'
  3. Register the Drupal and DrupalPractice Standards with PHP CodeSniffer:

    phpcs --config-set installed_paths ~/.composer/vendor/drupal/coder/coder_sniffer

To check that a file conforms to the Drupal coding standards, run:

phpcs --standard=Drupal $file

To check that a file conforms to the Drupal best practices, run:

phpcs --standard=DrupalPractice $file Setting a default coding standard

It is possible to set a default coding standard (i.e.: so you can just run phpcs $file), but:

  • You still have to run

    phpcs --standard=DrupalPractice $file

    to check that the file conforms to best practices, and,

  • If you ever have to work on non-Drupal projects, you'll have to explicitly state:

    phpcs --standard=PEAR $file

    for php's default functionality.

Instead of setting a default, you could create an alias in your shell. For example, if you use Bash, adding...

alias drupalcs='phpcs --standard=Drupal'

... to your .bash_profile or .bashrc will let you run...

drupalcs $file

... instead of...

phpcs --standard=Drupal $file

If you use another shell, this is left as an exercise to the reader.

Fix coding standards violations with the PHP Code Beautifier (phpcbf)

PHP CodeSniffer also ships with a command called phpcbf (PHP Code Beautifier), which can fix some coding standards violations automatically. For example, to convert a file to the Drupal coding standards, run:

phpcbf --standard=Drupal $file

A word of warning: I haven't tested phpcbf very extensively, so your mileage may vary. It may eat your code and/or socks.

Ignoring files, or parts of a file

You might want to ignore coding standards violations on legacy code that the team has decided isn't worth the effort to convert to coding standards.

  • You can ignore whole files by adding a

    // @codingStandardsIgnoreFile

    comment at the top of the file, immediately after the opening PHP tag.

  • You can ignore certain parts of a file by surrounding that part of the file with

    // @codingStandardsIgnoreStart


    // @codingStandardsIgnoreEnd


See the PHPCodeSniffer advanced usage instructions for more information.


To set up ESLint, I'm assuming that:

  • You know how to use the command-line,
  • You have installed Node.js,
  • Node.js' npm ("Node Package Manager") executable is in your PATH, and,
  • You want to install ESLint globally (i.e.: for all projects).
  1. Tell npm to install ESLint globally:

    npm i -g eslint

    On certain machines, you may need to run this command with sudo; but try it without sudo first.


ESLint needs a .eslintrc file (and usually, a .eslintignore file as well) in your project's root directory.

If you're working on a Drupal 8 project, ESLint will just work, because it's configuration files ship with Drupal 8.0.x core. For other projects, you'll need to copy .eslintrc from Drupal 8 core.

Drupal 8.0.x core's .eslintignore probably won't work for your project, but I've put together some templates for your D7 projects, and you can also refer to the official .eslintignore documentation if you need to customize them further.


To check that a JavaScript file conform to Drupal coding standards, run:

eslint $file CSSLint

To set up CSSLint, I'm assuming that:

  • You know how to use the command-line,
  • You have installed Node.js,
  • Node.js' npm ("Node Package Manager") executable is in your PATH, and,
  • You want to install CSSLint globally (i.e.: for all projects).
  1. Tell npm to install ESLint globally:

    npm i -g csslint

    On certain machines, you may need to run this command with sudo; but try it without sudo first.


CSSLint needs a .csslintrc file in your project's root directory.

If you're working on a Drupal 8 project, CSSLint will just work, because it's configuration file ships with Drupal 8 core. For other projects, you'll need to copy .csslintrc from Drupal 8 core.


To check that a CSS file conforms to Drupal coding standards, run:

csslint $file Running the coding-standards linters

Once PHP CodeSniffer, ESLint, and CSSLint have been installed and configured, you can:

  • Check that a PHP file conforms to Drupal coding standards with:

    phpcs --standard=Drupal $file
  • Check that a PHP file uses Drupal best practices with:

    phpcs --standard=DrupalPractice $file
  • Check that a JavaScript file conforms to Drupal coding standards with:

    eslint $file
  • Check that a CSS file conforms to Drupal coding standards with:

    csslint $file
A note on the history of Drupal coding standards checkers

In the past, most of us used the Coder module to check that our work conformed to the Drupal coding standards and documentation standards. However, the Coder module relied on parsing PHP, JavaScript, etc. code using regular expressions, which were hard to understand, write, and maintain, and couldn't catch all cases (because almost all programming languages are parsed with tokenizers and context-free grammars).

The move to PHP CodeSniffer started with the Drupal Code Sniffer (drupalcs) module, which eventually was imported into the Coder module's 7.x-2.x branch. It concentrated on checking PHP code only.

As the Drupal Community developed our own CSS coding standards and JavaScript coding standards, we needed a way to automatically check those too. Rather than writing our own parsers, we decided to "get off the island" and use what the wider web development community was using.

Stay tuned

Next week, I will blog about automatically running linters when you commit code, which can be pretty useful.

Topic: Primary Image: 

Promet Source: Better Debugging: Conversations with Duckie

Planet Drupal - Wed, 2015/07/15 - 5:50pm
Learning to Strategize & Plan with Help from an Inanimate Friend

Ever wondered what the best sounding board for a debugging plan might be? If you could describe the ideal listener, which qualities come to mind?

A wish list might include: patient, calm, totally uncritical and not rushing off to the next fire that needs putting out. Hard to find someone who fits the bill, am I right? Well, terrible puns aside, our team has recently discovered someone who does fit the "bill" — as in duck bill.


Mediacurrent: Mediacurrent is Gearing Up for NYC Camp

Planet Drupal - Wed, 2015/07/15 - 3:46pm

We all know one of the best things about Drupal is the community. If you’re looking to learn more or make connections, there’s almost always a meet-up, camp or other event nearby.  


Palantir: Saying No to Say Yes

Planet Drupal - Wed, 2015/07/15 - 3:20pm

At DrupalCon Los Angeles I gave a Core Conversation with the unassuming title "No", where I argued that in order for the Drupal project to be successful in the long term, it needs to have a clear and explicit focus. While in part it was an excuse for me to work Grumpy Cat pictures into a DrupalCon presentation, the broader point is one that I believe bears reiterating.

Companies or projects that can't focus tend to have problems. Instead of doing one thing well, they end up doing lots of things poorly. For instance, in an infamous 2006 internal memo that became known as “The Peanut Butter Manifesto”, a senior executive at Yahoo! argued that the company lacked a cohesive vision and was spreading itself too thin trying to be everything to everybody… like peanut butter on bread. In his words, "We lack a focused, cohesive vision for our company. We want to do everything and be everything – to everyone." Sure enough, Yahoo! faltered badly with no killer feature or service and is still struggling to make up lost ground from that era.

Jack Welch, former CEO of General Electric, said it bluntly: "If you don't have a competitive advantage, don't compete." Put another way, if you aren't striving to be the best at something, it's not worth doing. Say "no" to anything where you aren't working to be the best.

What is Drupal's focus?

What do we, as Drupal, want to focus on? And how do we determine if we're doing so successfully? There's no clear, explicit consensus on that within the community. We try to support new contributors and let "rough consensus" decide what we accept or not. That is great for community building, but it doesn't scale to product management at the scale Drupal is now. There’s no way to establish a clear, explicit consensus on what the project wants to focus on (and not focus on), or how to determine if we’re doing so successfully.

Emma Jane Westby called this problem "The Danger of Having No Why" at DrupalCon Austin. Our nominal mission statement roughly boils down to "be a good CMS". What being a good CMS means, and what problems Drupal seeks to solve, is an undefined question. The mission statement doesn't provide any guidance in terms of what functionality to focus on, or what type of user to emphasize. In her words, "We need to stop pretending to be something that everyone will love."

Without a clear and explicit focus, Drupal runs the risk of becoming what Jeff Eaton has called The CMS of the Gaps: a "generic" system that tries to be "good enough" for everyone, but is not great for anyone. That in turn makes Drupal vulnerable to increasingly strong focused tools (Wordpress for blogging, PHPBB for forums, Symfony and Zend Framework and Laravel for custom business logic, etc.) that are not standing still, but getting stronger and more inter-operable every year. We can't "do everything and be everything to everyone" if we want to do that well.

What of Drupal 8?

In the five years since I last talked about its audience priorities, Drupal has made a radical shift. Drupal 8 jettisoned many old assumptions, made significant cultural changes, and reinvented itself as a more modern content management platform.

Drupal 8 shifts the emphasis more heavily toward a certain class of content management that makes a discrete distinction between usage and administration, with a strong emphasis on content strategy and platonic content.

As Drupal has become a stronger CMS, it has become a weaker pure framework. And that's fine, given the shifts in the rest of the PHP market. Tools like Symfony and Zend Framework fill that space better today, while Drupal is a far better content management platform than rolling your own on top of a bare framework. That specialization means end users still have Free Software options for different use cases, and they're better than expecting one generic program to serve every use case.

Looking at what we've accomplished in just a few short years, I am incredibly proud of the work the community has done, both technically and socially. However, the process of getting there was incredibly and unnecessarily painful. Because we didn’t have a well-defined decision-making process, we saw increased conflict and burnout within the Drupal core developer community. Quite simply, the path that we are on will not get us where we want to be.

The new core governance model is a big and positive step forward. Subsystem maintainers and the Product Owners now have greater clarity and autonomy in their roles. But those people need to not only have but communicate, and agree upon, a clear focus for both the project and for their areas of responsibility. If we're all pulling in different directions, or worse no direction, then we're back where we started. If we can all be in explicit alignment in terms of what the goals of the project are, and are not, we can all drive toward that "Why" faster and more effectively, both for the remainder of Drupal 8's development and well into the future.

Deciding Who Drupal Is (And Is Not) For

If we want to improve developer morale and avoid defaulting to the “CMS of the Gaps”, then we need to prioritize certain tasks and use cases at which Drupal needs to excel. And that means saying “no” to other tasks and use cases. That distinction needs to be one that is both explicitly made and communicated, so that we know that at the end of the day everyone is on the same page.

This means that as a project, we need to be thinking about questions such as:

  • What edge cases are just not worth supporting due to the instability they'd cause in the system?
  • What types of applications are we okay with people not building in Drupal?
  • What features are we willing to not accept, because they make the code too brittle or complex for the other use cases we support?
  • What site is just "too simple" for Drupal to be an appropriate tool?
  • What site is just "too complex" for Drupal to be an appropriate tool?
    • There are a couple of ways we can go about answering these questions:

      One would be a revision to Drupal's mission statement to make it more targeted and actionable. The current mission statement doesn't provide any guidance in terms of what functionality to focus on, or what type of user to emphasize. A mission statement should be a statement that you can always refer back to and say "does this thing support that statement? If yes, do it. If not, say no."

      Another useful tool is personas. Personas are an important part of content strategy and user experience for a website, but also an important part of product development. They can help identify the users that are being targeted, and how to serve their needs, but, by extension, those features that are not useful to an identified persona are easy to exclude.

      Take the Content Working Group's personas for users, for instance. They lay out five personas: Newcomer, Learner, Skilled, Expert, and Master. The purpose of's content is to help people move up that scale as smoothly as possible. However, the working group makes this very explicit statement:

      For further clarity and focus primary and secondary personas were determined. Primary personas are who we design for first. Each primary persona requires their own set of features and content, and the needs of a primary persona will not be met if we do not design for them explicitly. The needs of secondary personas can mostly be met by focusing on the primary personas. However, there are a few needs specific to them that we will need to accommodate for.

      Based on user interviews, Learner and Skilled were determined as primary personas. Secondary persona is Expert. Newcomer and Master are tertiary personas.

      That is, is "for", primarily, Learner and Skilled users, and helping those users get to the next higher level. Content decisions should be made, primarily, to support those users. Content that would help an Expert or Master user is fine, but only if it doesn't hinder the primary goal of aiding and training Learner and Skilled users.

      That provides a clear framework for deciding not only what content and information architecture to adopt, but what to not bother spending resources on and, potentially, what content to reject (at least from high-level pages) as it would confuse that primary audience.

      Similarly, we could develop "use case personas" for Drupal. These personas are not archetypical people but archetypical sites or applications. For what type of site or application do we want Drupal to be the world-recognized obvious best choice for? And in order to achieve that, for what type of site or application are we willing to say Drupal just is not going to be the best fit and likely never will be? We need to ask, and answer, both questions.

      At the very least, we need to define some metrics to define our focus. In late 2010, on the eve of Drupal 7's release, I noted that the HTML5 Working Group has a very clear metric by which it guides its focus:

      In case of conflict, consider users over authors over implementers over specifiers over theoretical purity.

      Drupal needs to define its "constituency tie-breaker" metric and apply it consistently. Favoring different users over others in some issues, but the other way around in others, does not help Drupal succeed. It just confuses both contributors and users.

      Getting to “Yes” by Saying “No”

      Focusing on a goal is how one achieves it. Focus is a prerequisite for effectively achieving that goal. And focusing on that goal means not focusing on other potential goals.

      Few people enjoy saying "no" to someone. It's difficult. It should be difficult. But that doesn't mean we can avoid doing it. Sometimes we need to say “no” in order to make an explicit decision, as opposed an implicit amorphous one. Implicit decisions are those that get made for us by us environment, by our process, or by someone else we don't know. Those kinds of decisions are rarely the best ones. To once again quote Jack Welch, "Control your own destiny or someone else will."

      Saying “no” and saying “yes” are complementary tasks. While we can’t say “yes” to every feature, by explicitly eliminating a few, we can focus our efforts, and our decision-making about what to include or not include, on those that remain. And by building a collective priority of audiences and use cases that puts us all on the same page, we can support those users at the top of our list even better than we do today.

      So as we wrap up Drupal 8 and start looking toward 8.1 and eventually Drupal 9, I put the question to everyone: To what shall we focus our efforts on, and to what we say “no”?

      Those questions cannot be separated.


This Month in Drupal Documentation - June 2015

Documentation Team - Wed, 2015/07/15 - 1:21pm

Here's an update from the Documentation Working Group (DocWG) on what has been happening in Drupal Documentation in the last six weeks: the successful start of the Drupal 8 User Guide and 929 edits on

Drupal 8 User Guide

At the beginning of June, we posted an proposal for a Drupal 8 User Guide with the idea to apply for a Community Cultivation Grant. The feedback was so overwhelmingly positive and included so many people interested in writing and editing, that we decided to skip asking for a grant and start working with all those additional contributors instead; see the Inaugural Update for details.

Jennifer and Joe then spent time at the Twin Cities Drupal Camp to work guidelines, templates and other practicalities, while Amber took over the project management. The work on the actual content started at a sprint there. We've taken the experience from the sprint and other feedback into account and continously develop the guidelines further so that there is now a comprehensive set of instructions and Quick Start Guide in the Contributor Guidelines. IRC meetings will take place every two weeks, to be announced on the Documentation groups page.

A big thanks to everybody who has contributed so far!

Thanks for contributing!

Since 1 June (our previous TMIDD post), 268 contributors have made 929 total documentation page revisions, including 7 people that made more than 20 edits:

200 people who just made one or two edits - but altogether that adds up to a lot of small an big fixes that make our documentation a shared effort and just that bit better for the next person who reads it. -- thanks everyone!

In addition, there were many many commits to Drupal Core and contributed projects that improved documentation -- these are hard to count, because many commits combine code and documentation -- but they are greatly appreciated too!

Documentation Priorities

The Current documentation priorities page is always a good place to look to figure out what to work on, and has been updated recently.

If you're new to contributing to documentation, these projects may seem a bit overwhelming -- so why not try out a New contributor task to get started?

Upcoming Events Report from the Working Group

In the last weeks, we mainly focused on getting the Drupal 8 User Guide under way.

If you have comments or suggestions, please see the DocWG home page for how to contact us. Thanks!

Sorry... because this is posted in the Core group as well as Documentation, comments are disabled.

tsvenson: Create your own responsibility

Planet Drupal - Wed, 2015/07/15 - 12:08pm

It has only gone a few days, but my first Kickstarter campaign is already delivering new learning and understanding. As I looked over what happened during the time I've been sleeping it struck me:

  • I am designing and creating my own responsibility!


...and I like it.


Digital Identity leads the way

Yes, this is clearest proof so far that my search for developing a better working Digital Identity actually works.

Many of the pieces I have thrown from my mind and out on internet are now coming back. This time with clearer structure and identifiable boundaries and guidelines to help me make the most out of previously unorganized and unstructured thoughts and ideas.


To name a few important thought experiments that have been developing over the last few weeks.

Have I been kickstarted already?

...think I have.

Only two nights ago I suddenly remembered that last year, when I heard Kickstarter was coming to Sweden, I started working on the campaign now launched.

That was shortly after I had written the I am a Follower and Thinker post, where I presented the idea of changing "Followers & Leaders" to the more modern and internet-adjusted version "Followers & Thinkers".

At the time I was debating the usefulness of dividing up humans in two such either/or camps as followers and leaders throughout history has made it out to be. Two camps where you can be a member of only one. Where the leader-camp is crowded, vocal and overall a very hostile well gated and guarded community to make yourself a name in.

Open has unfolded new ways

I have spent a considerable time of my years on the internet within various Open Source projects. Over the last 6+ years especially within the Drupal Community where I have met many brilliant minds to follow, think and learn from.

The last one year, or so, I have had to fight a more personal battle, occupied trying to figure out the reasons behind me not fitting into either the analog (my everydays), nor the digital (especially online) worlds.

Wherever I went, tried and started to work on something it always ended up in failures and disappointments. Wherever I poked my mind it felt I was causing more trouble than good. Not just for myself, but for practically everyone that happened to cross my line of actions.

As the number of troubles I caused grew, my health - particularly mental health - got worse. More and more I locked myself into own mind-debates, trying to figure out what the hell I was doing wrong. Nothing made any sense as:

  • All I wanted was to help
  • Make contributions to the common good
  • Collaborate to learn and make progress


That was back then, now I have had almost a year to think.

A year decoupled from the societally obligations and other invisible musts that humankind have created, built upon and brought with us through history and until today.


Make responsibility your own

No matter if this Kickstarter results in funding, it has already helped me find a better way forward.



What started out as a tidy-up exercise quickly transformed into something I passionately feel I can take responsibility for.

Something to work from to help make sense out of the world around me.

Something I also feel will work much better than anything I have put my mind to before.

It has freed my mind of many stale musts and obligations that previously drained energy and wasted time.


Welcome to respond to this post at

Jim Birch: Clean Up Google Docs' HTML Programmatically

Planet Drupal - Wed, 2015/07/15 - 12:00pm

We are often tasked with entering content into the CMS' we build for our clients.  Cleaning up the HTML of those documents is always a chore, no matter who puts them together.  I figured out that I spend most of my time stripping out what Microsoft Word, OpenOffice, and Google Docs put in there.  My desire is to have simple HTML, that will pick up the styling of my Drupal or Wordpress theme.

My searching for a better way has led me to a great script called GoogleDoc2Html created by Omar AL Zabir.  Using Google Docs and the Google Docs Script Editor, this script emails a pretty simple HTML file of the document to your Google email account associated with your Google account.

You can upload your document to Google Drive, and open/convert it with Google Docs, or create a new one.  Even with documents created with Google docs, and exported as HTML, I still have to go it and remove things like class="c0 c1" on paragraph and list items, along with a bunch of <span> tags added throughout.

Here's a screenshot of the export of a document created in Google Docs, exported as HTML, and opened in HTMLTidy run in Sublime Text:

Read more


Realityloop: 5 Beautiful & Simple jQuery snippets for Drupal

Planet Drupal - Wed, 2015/07/15 - 6:16am
15 Jul Jarkko Oksanen

We all know that there is an abundance of Javascript and jQuery libraries out there that provide all kinds of interesting functionalities for almost every issue you could think of. During the last few years of working on various projects I have gathered snippets, scripts and plugins that I am reusing when the need comes up. This article will demonstrate some of the better and easily re-usable ones.

1. Parallax Scrolling backgrounds

The parallax effect has been a nice thing to have for a while now and is especially useful in brochure sites or one page websites. However it has its uses in other contexts as well. I came across a simple function to apply the effect to css backgrounds awhile back. Notice that it only works on backgrounds, not on other elements.


  1. // Parallax scroll.
  2. $.fn.parallax = function(options) {
  4. var windowHeight = $(window).height();
  6. // Establish default settings.
  7. var settings = $.extend({
  8. speed : 0.15
  9. }, options);
  11. // Iterate over each object in collection.
  12. return this.each( function() {
  14. // Save a reference to the element.
  15. var $this = $(this);
  17. // Set up Scroll Handler.
  18. $(document).scroll(function(){
  19. var scrollTop = $(window).scrollTop();
  20. var offset = $this.offset().top;
  21. var height = $this.outerHeight();
  23. // Check if above or below viewport.
  24. if (offset + height < scrollTop || offset > scrollTop + windowHeight) {
  25. return;
  26. }
  27. var yBgPosition = Math.round((offset - scrollTop) * settings.speed);
  29. // Apply the Y Background Position to Set the Parallax Effect.
  30. $this.css('background-position', 'center ' + yBgPosition + 'px');
  31. });
  32. });
  33. };

Use the speed setting to set the speed of the parallax effect.

And to simply use it:

  1. $('.background').parallax({
  2. speed : 0.3
  3. });

This is simple enough to use as a part of your Javascript scripts instead of using a library.

Jsfiddle with a gradiant to display effect. Use with an image for optimal demonstration:

For more complex usage, the library that this work is based on is located at:

2. Floating block

Sometimes you just want to “fix” something on your website after scrolling the page for a bit. This could be a login block, your main menu or anything else.

You can use a plugin to implement this behavior.

Snippet (only with the plugin installed):


D7 module that implements the behavior:

3. Smooth Scrolling to anchor links

A smooth scrolling behavior to anchor links on page is an effect that is both nice and simple. Its as simple as it sounds and gives you an animation on anchor link clicks.



  1. $(function() {
  2. $('a[href*=#]:not([href=#])').click(function() {
  3. if (location.pathname.replace(/^\//,'') == this.pathname.replace(/^\//,'') && location.hostname == this.hostname) {
  4. var target = $(this.hash);
  5. target = target.length ? target : $('[name=' + this.hash.slice(1) +']');
  6. if (target.length) {
  7. $('html,body').animate({
  8. scrollTop: target.offset().top
  9. }, 1000);
  10. return false;
  11. }
  12. }
  13. });
  14. });

D7 modules that implement the behavior: or

4. Back to top

A small effect that makes blogs and websites more user-friendly. A button that appears and scrolls back to the top of the page that you’re currently on. Especially for mobile devices its a great thing to have. This can be used in conjunction with the last snippet to create a nice smooth scroll back to the top.


  1. function back_to_top(selector){
  2. $(window).scroll(function () {
  3. if ($(this).scrollTop() > 50) {
  4. $(selector).fadeIn();
  5. } else {
  6. $(selector).fadeOut();
  7. }
  8. });
  10. $(selector).click(function () {
  11. $(selector).tooltip('hide');
  12. $('body,html').animate({
  13. scrollTop: 0
  14. }, 0);
  15. return false;
  16. });
  17. };
  19. // Call this function on your button selector.

And then you only need to create a button on your page somewhere and apply the function with the collect selector.

Back to top

And of course a bit of css to make the button fixed.

  1. .top {
  2. cursor: pointer;
  3. position: fixed;
  4. bottom: 25px;
  5. right: 25px;
  6. display: none;
  7. }

Drupal modules for the behavior: and

Demonstration and original source:

5. Keep your footer at the bottom of the page

On many sites that I’ve worked with I’ve run to the issue that the page is shorter than the actual page. Keeping the footer at the bottom at all times can be accomplished by using perfect markup and css (, but in some cases some javascript is needed due to time or markup limitation concerns.


  1. var footerHeight = 0,
  2. footerTop = 0;
  4. function positionFooter(footer) {
  5. footerHeight = footer.height();
  6. footerTop = ($(window).scrollTop()+$(window).height()-footerHeight)+"px";
  8. if ( ($(document.body).height()+footerHeight) < $(window).height()) {
  9. footer.css({
  10. position: "absolute"
  11. }).animate({
  12. top: footerTop
  13. })
  14. } else {
  15. footer.css({
  16. position: "static"
  17. })
  18. }
  19. }
  21. positionFooter(".your-footer");

This snippet places the footer at the bottom of the page. It should be called on window resize to make the effect perfect. The snippet is a simplified version of what's presented in the link below.

Demonstration and original source:

drupal planet

DrupalCon News: Training Spotlight: Developing Healthy Web Projects

Planet Drupal - Wed, 2015/07/15 - 12:34am

We are bringing one of our best-rated trainings back! If you missed this popular class at last year’s DrupalCon Amsterdam, here is your second chance to dive into Agile Scrum techniques and improve your project management skills.

Agile methodology has shown it stands a much greater chance of success than traditional project management. More and more organizations, including governments and some of the world’s biggest companies, are moving to adopt it. In this full-day course, we cut past the evangelism that exists around Agile, and instead focus on real-world practical training that you can put into action.


Acquia: Start Developing Sites on Drupal 8 with Acquia

Planet Drupal - Tue, 2015/07/14 - 11:34pm

This is a part of our Drupal 8 Ready series of blog posts. Read what Dries has to say on This post will be focused on our push toward Drupal 8 for Drupalists.

If you have been wondering when the right time is to start new projects with Drupal 8, you are not alone. We are approached with this question from partners and clients on a daily basis and have built up a many faceted decision tree for determining which way a project should go. Some of the questions we ask include:

  • When will you start UAT?
  • When do you plan to launch?
  • What authoring and integration functionality will you need at launch?
  • What is the category of the site you will be launching: Campaign, Brand, Intranet, Portal, Community etc.
  • Do you have developers proficient in Drupal 8?
  • Do you have Symfony developers on your team?
  • Do you intend to use modules outside of the top 50?

We have been recommending Drupal 7, but are now at the watershed moment where we can with great certainty recommend that users of our platform start building Drupal 8 sites for launch later this year. There are some projects that won’t be a fit, but if you are still trying to make this decision, it just got a whole lot easier.

Why should we use Drupal 8?
Most reading this post will know the major architectural changes baked into Drupal 8, if not I recomend a visit to this page: These on their own should give you some good reasons to make the move, but digging a little deeper, back-end developers should read about:

According to Morten DK, front-end developers should also be getting very excited about Twig.
In general, Drupal developers are loving Drupal 8, just ask core committer Alex Pott or the teams from Phase2, Amazee Labs and Chapter Three.

The Decision
Acquia has made a company-wide commitment to upgrade Acquia Platform and enable our Customer Success team for Drupal 8. This will ensure our customers can reap the benefits of Drupal 8 while having support to overcome its current challenges.

    Starting your Drupal 8 project now means:
  • Working with a reduced and immature module eco-system
  • Upskilling Drupal developers for object oriented programming
  • Retraining site-builders on the new authoring tools
  • Updating your continual integration scripts

We have a four-pronged approach to supporting our customers in this endeavour:

  1. We have long supported Drupal 8 on our development platform, Acquia Free, but as of this week, customers will be able to develop Drupal 8 sites on Acquia Cloud Enterprise and as of Drupal 8 RC1 we will be offering full production support. This will give customers the ability to leverage the full power of our 50 person, expert-laden, follow-the-sun support team in development, launch and maintenance of Drupal 8 sites.
  2. We have an internal tracking system for active module development among our many projects, allowing our PS, TAM and support teams to give you up-to-date information on the likely release schedule for critical modules.
  3. We have Drupal 8 enablement and migration packages available to speed up your new site development and Drupal 6/7 migration.
  4. Shortly we will be launching our updated Drupal certification programme for developers and site builders for Drupal 8.

The future of Drupal 8 on Acquia
At Acquia we are always thinking about how we can better serve developers. We have put years of research effort into developing better tools Drupal 8 and we have some very exciting releases in our short term pipeline:

  • A new Drupal 8 version of our open source drupal distribution, Lightning. This will be released by the end of the year to give developers a standard architecture and starting point for developing amazing Drupal 8 sites for enterprise (Full Disclosure: This is a shameless plug, as I am the new product manager for Lightning).
  • Upgrades of our existing products Acquia Lift and Acquia Cloud Site Factory to Drupal 8.
  • A completely refreshed automated build system in Acquia Cloud Enterprise with both new APIs and a GUI to enhance your development velocity on Drupal 8.

Thanks @EclipseGc and @webchick for inspiration. I hope this post has helped you make your decision.

Acquia is going all in!

Tags:  drupal drupal 8 developer acquia drupal planet

Drupal Watchdog: Five Ways to List Content

Planet Drupal - Tue, 2015/07/14 - 10:48pm

Drupal is exceptionally good at creating exactly the right data model for your content. As you begin modeling your content, you should also think about how you will retrieve and display, or list, the content on your site.

This article explores five ways you can list content on your site once it has been created.

  1. Curated lists of content: Menus
  2. Categorization of content: Vocabularies and taxonomies
  3. Discretionary lists of related content: Views
  4. Wayfinders for people: Breadcrumbs
  5. Content maps for search engines: Sitemaps

The experts will already see some flaws with my categories: you can use Draggable views and Nodequeue to manually curate Views, and you can use Menu block to improve the wayfinding experience. Let's stick with the broad strokes for now though.

Curated Lists with Menus

Menus allow you to manually curate a list of content which exists on your site, almost like a Choose Your Own Adventure of links (See Figure A).

Menus are typically used for areas of static navigation. For example, the primary menu of your site, a set of utility links (log in, log out, my account), or the legal section (ToS, privacy policy).

Once a menu has been created, it becomes available as a block, which you can place into any region of your site (See Figure B).

To extend the usability of the core Menu module, you may want to use one of the following contributed modules: Menu block; DHTML menu, Superfish, or Nice menus; Menu position; and Navigation 404.


3C Web Services: Tips to minimize Form Spam on your Drupal Website

Planet Drupal - Tue, 2015/07/14 - 9:06pm
If you have forms on your website that the public can submit then you will, without a doubt, have to deal with form spam. Fortunately there are some easy steps you can take to greatly minimize spam submissions on your website.

Acquia: Sustainable Energy in the Cloud - New AWS Wind Farms

Planet Drupal - Tue, 2015/07/14 - 8:25pm

Yesterday Amazon Web Services announced its largest sustainable energy initiative yet, and perhaps the most ambitious in the cloud industry: building a 208 megawatt wind farm called Amazon Wind Farm US East in North Carolina. In conjunction with the already launched Amazon Solar Farm US East this pushes AWS’s largest region towards being entirely powered by sustainable energy, and demonstrates AWS is actively meeting its lofty green goals.

AWS’s 2014 commitment to have 100% of its global infrastructure powered by sustainable energy is exactly the type of “Think Ahead” ambition that solidifies it as a key strategic partner for Acquia. AWS leads the public cloud pack by offering three completely carbon neutral regions including US-West (Oregon), EU (Frankfurt) and AWS GovCloud (US). Since Acquia Cloud runs in 7 AWS regions, and we are extensive users of the US-East region, we are thrilled to see advances in power generation for the region.

In the years since AWS’s original sustainable energy announcement they have been aggressively expanding their use of sustainable energy and pushing the cloud industry towards a brighter future. In May 2015 AWS passed 25% of global infrastructure consumption coming from sustainable energy sources and they are on track for making 40% by the end of 2016. With Gartner reporting that Amazon Web Services is 10x larger than its next 14 competitors combined it is evident that Amazon is pushing the industry in a big way towards sustainability.

Acquia shares AWS’s thinking that “the greenest power is that which is not consumed.” Acquia Cloud’s elastic scaling allows our customers to benefit from efficiently running their workloads in the cloud. According to analysis by AWS and others, cloud customers run 77% fewer servers, consume 84% less power, and reduce carbon emissions by 88%. The promise of the cloud is to efficiently and nimbly move around workloads, so we’re excited to see results such as these.

At Acquia we’re constantly striving to improve our own energy efficiency and sustainability. We’re thrilled that AWS is delivering on its promises. Wind power accelerates the cloud ecosystem and is important for all involved.

Tags:  cloud green sustainable energy aws acquia drupal planet

Four Kitchens: Porting Site Audit to Drupal 8

Planet Drupal - Tue, 2015/07/14 - 8:25pm

As part of Four Kitchens’ ongoing commitment to Drupal 8, I’ve been collaborating on the next generation version of Site Audit, a project for analyzing Drupal sites for best practices. Earlier this year, Site Audit was selected for inclusion in the Drupal Google Summer of Code 2015.


OSTraining: Connect Drupal and Views to External Databases

Planet Drupal - Tue, 2015/07/14 - 8:16pm
We often get asked whether Drupal can show information from other websites.

In particular, people want to pull information and display it through Views.

The Views Database Connector module makes this relatively easy. Let's show you how it's done.


Commercial Progression: Paragraphs are Drupal's answer for structured content

Planet Drupal - Tue, 2015/07/14 - 7:31pm

About a year ago, Chris pointed the dev team toward a cool new module called Paragraphs. Since then, we've played with it on test sites, rolled it for use on sites for clients (including some big ones!), and tried combinations of bundles and fields that push the limits.

Here are some of the cool things we've done with Paragraphs:

Made a feature

Part of our slick workflow of near-instant enterprise-grade local dev sites/repos using compro_install_profile and compro_utils is making Features for the functionality we use on multiple client sites. This allows us to develop sites quickly, and gives us standardization.

Installing compro_paragraphs makes sure:

  • Paragraphs, Media, and a few other modules are ready to go
  • Bundles for long text, blockquotes, headings, and image/video get created
  • Templates and styles abide by reasonable defaults

The feature depends on compro_content, which makes available input formats, WYSIWYG settings, image formats, etc.

Integrated it with fanciness

New features, like compro_highlight, include paragraph bundles (albeit without a strict dependency). This gives developers an easy implementation, regardless of whether the site they're working on uses paragraphs.

One thing that's cool about compro_highlight is that the single entity (a hero or call to action) and collection of entities (slideshow, gallery, etc.) are of the same type, so a bundle with an entityreference field (and inline_entity_form) can handle a ton of different configurations; especially when used in conjunction with entity view modes!

If a site needs regular content, along with the ability to insert slideshows and calls to action throughout the body, additional features like compro_highlight and its built-in paragraphs support are a great answer.

Extended the formatter

All the tweaks below are part of paragraphs_formatters module.

Let's say you wanted the teasers in the blog listing to only show text. Or maybe you want blockquotes to appear as "pull quotes" in the sidebar.

Our extended formatter lets you pick which bundles to show, how many, and can start from a delta other than zero. It makes a view-mode-centric dev workflow just that much easier!

Tweaked the widget

One of the reasons Jeff Eaton gave for why Paragraphs isn't his choice for the body field is that the UI is a bit more cumbersome. The field widget we've got isn't a knock-out-of-the-park, but it shows that there's plenty of room to make paragraphs-based content entry more intuitive.

It's mostly CSS, aside from changing the weight of some buttons!

Made them reusable

By default, the title of all paragraphs is "Paragraphs item". We made a little callback that give more information about the paragraph, making it possible to use paragraphs in entityreference fields.

If you wanted to write something once but display it in a bunch of places, this little label callback could be key! You could even do it in a paragraphs bundle.

Oh! And if you find yourself writing tons of label callbacks, give label_maker a shot.

Other stuff!

We've done many variations of paragraph bundles:

  • Block reference bundles
  • Classing link fields for button/CTA bundles
  • Classing text bundles to display all fancy
What's next

There's a lot more cool stuff to do:

  • Start playing with Drupal 8 and paragraphs
  • Refine the field widget
  • Dream up more formatters
  • Enhance token and views support
  • Hotkeys for widget UI?
  • Ability to insert interstitials?

We're looking forward to seeing what the Drupal community does with paragraphs, and are excited to contribute in any way we can.


Doug Vann: 5 Things I Have Learned From Delivering Drupal Training [updated]

Planet Drupal - Tue, 2015/07/14 - 3:11pm

I have so many amazing adventures as I travel around delivering Drupal Training to Universities, Corporations, Governments, etc. I've always wanted to blog about how it is such a learning opportunity for me. It is an enriching experience to sit in front of a new class and start down the road of transferring knowledge. I hope you enjoy this 1st pass at some of my experiences!

Train the trainer!
That's the first thing I’ve GOT to say. The students in my class, no matter how "NEW" they are to Drupal, have invariably encountered something that I have not. Whether it’s a module that filled some very specific need, OR some piece of news in the Drupal ecosystem, or some awesome feature that their vendor built into their site. It never fails! I even learn from their questions. They ask how to do such-n-such or how to make this thing change based on that thing. Together, as a class, we approach questions like that and we architect a solution. I learn something new every day I spend with them! 

What’s fun is…. I take the new discoveries from the last engagement and incorporate them into my next Drupal training! That evolution of content and presentation really snowballs the learning-value as time passes!

Show me where it hurts!
We all know that Drupal [as does any solution] has its pain points, counterintuitive elements which work against you rather than with you. Sure… We've addressed many of these over time. Often I'm able to point out a module that solves, or somewhat helps, a UI issue. But there are times when a user will make a mistake and not select what should have been selected or select the wrong option. This is discovered minutes later when their sandbox site is not doing what mine, or their neighbor’s site is doing. In this, I discover yet another GOTCHA in Drupal. As seasoned veterans, many of us wax over the lengthy UI pages of adding fields to content types and configuring Views. But each class I teach reminds me that these powerful configuration pages are a land mine where lesser experienced individuals could potentially cause a detonation!

No one gets hurt in my Drupal training BUT we are very honest about some of the challenges of navigating these very powerful configuration pages. Each time I learn a new GOTCHA, I preeminently strike against it in the next class! :-)

You want WHAT?!?!?
OMG! I’ll try to make this brief. Whether it’s 1day or a full week of Drupal training, we wind up spending some amount of time in what I like to call, “Stump the Chump!” The intent is not to trick me, but our QnA sessions very often turn into a “How would you build super-dee-duper complex functionality X & Y & Z?” When this happens, it’s rarely some fanciful what-if scenario. No. It is a sincere question that addresses a real need. Once again we take some class time to architect this solution using what we have learned AND borrowing from my many past experiences. Oh yah… And Google is REAL helpful at these times as well! :-)

The age of discovery!
Many of us know that the “Discovery Phase” is possibly THE MOST important phase of the project. I find organization after organization that wound up getting something from a vendor which they didn’t expect because they never actually told the vendor what they wanted. So many questions were unasked and unanswered that the final delivered product only barely meets the client’s needs. In better circumstances, I see a site that meets way more expectations in functionality BUT the usability is atrocious. What do I learn here? I learn how to ask better questions on my own development projects. In reality only a Vulcan-Mind-Melt would allow the developer to truly know what the client is thinking, BUT short of a sci-fi solution, there is a real solution. We can ask better questions and guard against the client’s assumptions. I train organizations who have worked with some of the best shops in the Drupal industry. It becomes very clear to me that some clients make it very difficult for the shop to do proper discovery. So I do what I can to encourage all of my clients to participate wholeheartedly in that process as it is the best insurance against unsatisfied expectations down the road. I listen to their past experiences and find out why things didn't go well. It’s rather eye-opening what is going on out there!

DevOps FTW!
When delivering Drupal Training, we invariably wander into staging and deployment. Sometimes it is on the list of topics, other times it just forces its way in. What have I learned from this? I have learned that far too many organizations are shooting themselves in the foot by trying to get their IT department to make this work for them. Time and time again, I see Higher-Ed, Governments, and Private Industry hitting their collective heads against the wall trying to work against internal processes and expecting non-web ppl to suddenly be a valuable partner in the publication of important data on the site. This says to me that the need for effective tools to get the job done is greater than anyone truly appreciates. Services like Acquia Cloud & Pantheon & are not just cool toys or fancy tools, but thet are actually essential tools that more ppl need to be using. Seriously... I have seen A LOT of time, energy, and money wasted on trying to get a site launched or updated or major changes instituted. I am truly saddened to watch this happen over and over again. What am I learning here? I'm seeing that DevOps is an afterthought. I'm seeing that there's disconnect between the Marketing/Web ppl and the IT ppl. I'm seeing a reluctance to move these operations off to a third party. I can tell you... When I demonstrate Pantheon to the class I am often told, "We NEED this, but the CTO would NEVER allow it!' So sad...

Alright… There you go! Five things I have learned while delivering Drupal Training. I may have to publish more in the near future!

How about you!?!?!?!?!?

I know I have many friends out there who spend a lot of time spreading the power and knowledge of Drupal.

What are you experiencing? When was the last time you had to say, “Wow! That’s a new one on me!” to a room full of people who collectively have spent less than 1/2 of the time you have in Drupal-Land! :-)

Comment below and share your stories!

Drupal Planet

View the discussion thread.


Drupalize.Me: PHP Classes and Objects

Planet Drupal - Tue, 2015/07/14 - 3:02pm

Object-oriented programming (OOP) is way of organizing your code to be more efficient, and it takes advantage of some really nice features in modern versions of PHP. One of the basic concepts of OOP is, not surprisingly, an object. Directly related to working with objects is understanding PHP classes. Drupal 8 is taking big steps to move to an OOP architecture, and so you will get very familiar with both of these as you start to jump into Drupal 8 development.

This tutorial, based on the video Create a Basic PHP Class, will explain what a class is, show you how to set up a class, and look at a PHP object. By the end of this tutorial, you will be able to create a class, an object, add a property to your object, and set the value of the property inside the class.


Acquia: Drupal Modules Can Improve Site Performance

Planet Drupal - Tue, 2015/07/14 - 2:54pm

Drupal has modules for just about everything, including improving site performance. You can use these modules to see what's going on with a site and figure out the changes needed to increase Drupal's speed. As part of an ongoing series about ways to improve Drupal website performance, let’s take a closer look at the modules that can make your life a lot easier.

Find the Bottlenecks: Devel

Before trying to improve a Drupal site's performance, it's important to know where the bottlenecks are in order to avoid making random changes. The Devel module provides sharp insight by showing information such as how many queries ran to build a page, how long execution took, and how much memory was used. This information is especially helpful for assessing the impact of changes such as installing and disabling modules. Even if you don't understand all the detailed information the Devel module provides, seeing trends in the numbers will, over time, be useful.

Improve Caching: Entity Cache, Views Content Cache, Panels Hash Cache, and Panels Content Cache

Changing Drupal caching behavior can have a big impact on performance. When applications have a large amount of entity data (information on things like users and content), using Entity Cache can lead to large performance gains with almost no configuration. It's less useful if there's only a small amount of entity data.

To control other cache settings, Block Cache Alter lets settings for each block be configured individually. This allows for more fine-grained control than the settings on the Performance page.

Another change that can improve performance is using a cache based on content-driven expiration, rather than discarding cached data after a specified amount of time passes. The Views Content Cache, Panels Hash Cache, and Panels Content Cache modules provide this functionality.

Improve Database Usage: Views Litepager and Memcached

For sites that use the recommended InnoDB MySQL storage engine, Views Litepager speeds up the creation of pages for views. Rather than creating links to every single page, it provides just “next” and “previous” links. It's incredibly simple and beneficial. The drawback is that site visitors can move only one page at a time through a long list.

Another great addition is Memcache, which lets you integrate Drupal with Memcached, a free and open source, high-performance, distributed memory object caching system that is available on Acquia Cloud. The combination lets Drupal use the database only for large, heavy content, and caches other information elsewhere. To get the best performance from Drupal, it's really important to move as much work – caching and logging – off the database so it can focus on providing the content.

Standard Tools for Performance

There's so much benefit from some of these modules that they're practically standard at many companies, including here at Acquia. Almost everyone uses Devel. Acquia uses Memcache in its cloud platform.

But every organization is different, so find the tools and configuration settings that work for your needs and make them standard across all your development projects. That'll free up time for developing instead of tuning performance.

Tags:  acquia drupal planet