Drupal Association blog: Drupal Core Beta Testing Program call for the upcoming Drupal 8.8.0 release
As announced in December 2018, the Drupal Association assists the Drupal project by coordinating a beta testing program for minor releases of Drupal core.
Agencies and other organizations who are supporting ambitious Drupal 8 sites are invited to be part of the beta testing program. This means that, when a beta release is about to be made, we can help core maintainers work with organizations on the Beta Testing Program to install the beta core release on real-world examples of Drupal websites, in their staging environments. The beta testers can then feedback to the core maintainers any issues they see running the beta core release in a structured way.
Being part of the Beta Testing Program is a key contribution to the Drupal project and also helps organizations to be very aware of any changes relevant to their supported websites.
Would your organization, and the Drupal project, benefit from participating in the Beta Testing Program? You can apply to join:
Agencies and site owners who maintain large and complex Drupal 8 production sites. In particular, sites that use a wide range of contributed and custom modules or have large volumes of content.
For several years, Google has leveraged Drupal as the primary tool for developer portals built for its popular Apigee Edge API platform. With the introduction of the production-ready Drupal 8 distribution in May 2019, an announcement was made that support for the D7 platform would expire in 12 months. Concurrent with that announcement we know that D7 end-of-life will occur in November of 2021. This means that many Apigee portals will need to make the move to Drupal 8 or Apigee’s integrated portals in the near future.
In this article, we will walk through the steps to migrate Apigee portals from Drupal 7 to 8. The first decision you will need to make is whether to upgrade your existing custom build or move to the new Drupal 8 kickstart distribution. To help guide this decision, let’s first take a look at what the Apigee distribution for Drupal 8 has to offer and why you would want to leverage this platform.
Apigee Developer Portal Kickstart (D8)
The Apigee documentation site has excellent instructions on how to set up a developer portal using their Drupal 8 distribution. We will take a quick look at the features that come with the newest install profile.
Apigee Kickstart Homepage screenshot
The Apigee distribution once again has a nice out-of-box experience. This time around the base theme leverages a Bootstrap base theme that makes it easy to brand and customize your site.
The content types you see will be familiar: Article, Basic page, FAQ, Forums, and a new Landing page content type. Video, images, and audio are now more appropriately Media types in Drupal 8. The SmartDocs content type is gone in favor of a new API Doc type that supports the OpenAPI format (see below).
API doc screenshot
Adding content is now more flexible in Drupal 8 with the implementation of Paragraph types. Paragraphs allow you to add different components onto the page in any order you like. See the homepage example below.
Apigee Paragraphs screenshot from Homepage
In Drupal 8, Apigee also added some new block types. Blocks are still useful for components that need to live on more than one page.
Apigee block types screenshot
The great thing about Apigee’s distribution is that it also includes sample content which makes getting set up a breeze.
For organizations setting up a portal for the first time, leveraging this distribution is the way to go. For portals being upgraded from Drupal 7, this is more of a judgment call. If your portal has been heavily customized it might be better to move forward with a traditional Drupal 8 upgrade which we will cover under Custom Migrations. If, however, your organization’s portal previously had taken advantage of out-of-box functionality, then it makes sense to migrate content to Apigee’s D8 project which we will walk through next.
The maintainers of the Apigee kickstart distribution have supplied a module to make migrations as painless as possible. The apigee_kickstart_migrate sub-module provides the Migrate module configuration that maps Drupal 7 content to their newer Drupal 8 counterparts. Again, this is most helpful for portals that did not heavily customize content in Drupal 7. Included in this sub-module are instructions on how to run the migrations and how to extend migrations with custom fields.
The following table shows how content is mapped from the Drupal 7 portal to Drupal 8.
Drupal 7 (Devportal)
Drupal 8 (Kickstart)
Basic page (page)
Basic page (page)
Forum topic (forum)
Forum topic (forum)
When would you go with a custom Drupal 8 upgrade over leveraging the Kickstart project?
Where you run into trouble with distributions in Drupal is when you lean on so many customizations that the distribution gets in the way more than it saves time. In those instances, it’s better to stick with your own custom implementation.
The Mediacurrent team recently released the Migrate Pack module to make things easier for developers. This module has been tested against several sites and distributions including the Apigee Drupal 7 install profile.
The approach here would be to install Migrate Pack and the two additional Apigee modules in lieu of leveraging the distribution. The two key Apigee features you will need are the Apigee API Catalog and Apigee Edge modules. All of these projects should be installed using Composer.
If your theme was built custom in Drupal 7, then it will need to be manually ported to Drupal 8’s Twig-based theme engine. The other option is to instead borrow the Bootstrap-based theme included with Apigee’s distribution. It should be said that if the latter approach is taken, it might be better to migrate everything to the new Kickstarter rather than cherry picking the theme.Next Steps
Apigee has very good support and documentation to get you started on moving to Drupal 8. For issues and bugs specific to the Drupal distribution, the Github project issue queue is the best place to look. The Migrate Pack module also has its own issue queue on Drupal.org should you run into problems.
Mediacurrent has logged over 100,000 hours in Drupal 8 development, many of which are Drupal 7 to 8 upgrades. We would love to work with you on your next project.
A note from our fabulous DrupalCon Minneapolis program committee:
With a December 4, 2019 deadline we are one-third of the way through the DrupalCon Minneapolis 2020 session submission period. The program committee is thrilled with what we’ve seen so far, with many compelling sessions to review—from accessibility to Xdebug. If you aren’t one of the early submitters, however, we still need your voice! And we are here to support you.
Maria Espie Vidal, writer for Timedoctor.com, wrote a post for our blog in which she breaks down the role of an IT project manager. Check it out and gain a better understanding of the multifaceted job of IT project management.READ MORE
There has been a lot of thoughtful debate about the Drupal project's contribution credit algorithm in recent weeks, and some great ideas have been proposed. In the meantime, however, we've also been monitoring concerns about gaming of the current algorithm. Making changes to the contribution credit algorithm must be done with care, because it has a significant impact on how we recognize contributions and also on the ecosystem of Drupal service providers. Today the Drupal Association engineering team deployed a quick tune-up to the contribution credit algorithm.
This change strengthens the existing multiplier which weighs issue credits based on the usage of the project. Issues on more highly used projects will now be weighted even higher, and those on lower usage projects will be weighted lower.
We're calling this a tune-up with good reason. This is not a fundamental update of the credit system; this is a small change to help resolve some recent issues with the current version of the algorithm.
Developing a true 'Contribution Credit 2.0' system is a much larger project, but one we're hoping to undertake soon.
In the meantime:
- If you have feedback on the small change we made today, you can find the issue here.
- If you'd like to propose new ideas about the next generation of the system, please do so in this issue.
As the community thinks about the contribution credit system, we encourage you to remember that there will always be a human element to recognizing contribution - and our goal should be a system that enables better interaction between project contributors.
Autumn is here! One of the things we’re looking forward to this month is DrupalCon Amsterdam from the 28th - 31st Oct 2019. Autumn is the most magical time to visit Amsterdam! An opportunity to mingle with the Drupal community in Amsterdam, what else could a Drupaler wish for?
QED42’s support for the Drupal Community around the world is unwavering. Would it be sponsoring DrupalCamps, DrupalCons, organizing Drupal meetups, or contributing to Drupal.org.
And we hope you will join us at DrupalCon Amsterdam, this month!| Meet us!
QED42 is proud to be a Silver sponsor this year. If you are a Drupaler you wouldn’t miss visiting QED42’s booth. We are known for our exuberant booth vibes, designs, activities, and goodies. It is our tradition of unveiling a new Drupal t-shirt design at every DrupalCon. Check out the story behind our Hindi Drupal t-shirt series here - https://www.qed42.com/blog/story-behind-our-hindi-drupal-t-shirt. Our Drupal t-shirt design for #DCA is inspired by the vibrant and spirited culture of Amsterdam. Accompanied by a couple more goodies that you will absolutely adore!
This year, QED42 will be showcasing a wide range of our capabilities including:
- Decoupled Drupal
- Gatsby e-commerce demos
Come say Hi to our team at DrupalCon Amsterdam Booth No - 16, we would love to discuss ideas around how Drupal meets the ever-changing needs of the digital world.| Sessions
Our Drupal experts are presenting at DrupalCon Amsterdam 2019. You can find us at these sessions:Houdini - New Era of CSS
- Date: 28th Oct 2019
- Time: 15:00 - 15:40
- Location: G 103
- Track: Drupal + Frontend
- Level: Intermediate
- Speakers: Vidit Anjaria and Saket Kumar
Here’s a sneak peek of our session - https://www.qed42.com/blog/building-powerful-custom-properties-CSS-houdiniDesigning the future of the Drupal Admin UI
- Date: 30 Oct 2019
- Time: 09:00 - 09:40
- Location: G 103
- Track: Drupal + Frontend
- Level: Beginner
- Speakers: Archita Arora, Sacha Eggenberger, and Cristina Chumillas
There are some exciting keynotes lined up for you at DrupalCon Amsterdam!- Tuesday, October 29 at 9:00 AM | Talk: Driesnote
Speaker: Dries Buytaert - Founder- Wednesday, October 30 at 1:30 PM | Talk: If I can do it, so can you
Speaker: Sue Black - Professor of Computer Science and Technology Evangelist, UK Government Strategic Advisor, Women’s Equality Party candidate for London Mayor 2020, Professional Speaker, Author- Tuesday, October 29 at 1:30 PM | Talk: Humanity in tech
Speaker: Boris Veldhuijzen Van Zanten - CEO and Co-founder of thenextweb.com- Monday, October 28 at 1:30 PM | Talk: Drupal core initiative leads keynote
Attending DrupalCon Amsterdam? Don’t forget to1 flash your badge and spread the word - https://events.drupal.org/amsterdam2019/spread-word. Follow @DrupalConEur for recent updates around the event.
Drop by our Booth 16 and meet the QED42 team! We would love to share our exciting projects and learn more about your experiences and challenges with Drupal.Ruchika.Mohite Wed, 10/09/2019 - 16:58
Drupal is a wonderful Content Management System with tons of features that solve many problems for editors and content managers. A developer can take different approaches to achieve the same result, and the Drupal update process is no exception.
It is possible to update Drupal either with Composer, Drush, or manually within the CPanel interface. The first two methods imply that you have at least mid-level experience with the command line and secure shell access to your public host. The third method is more visual and is suitable for developers beginning with Drupal.
Keep reading, if you want to learn how to update your Drupal site with this method.
The Drupal project is global. There are people using, implementing, and contributing to the Drupal project in nearly every country of the world.
Being able to encourage and support our global community to promote and grow the project must also be a global operation, and we are delighted to read that the Drupal Association of Colombia (ADC) has now been officially formed.
This local association will help to promote and stimulate the use of Drupal in Colombia and act as a focus to propel the Colombia community’s efforts and initiatives in accordance with the Drupal values and principles.
The founding members of the local association are partners and executives of two experienced Drupal Agencies in Colombia: Jairo Pinzón, Aldibier Morales, and William Vera from Seed EM and Jorge Alexander Salcedo and Carolina Poveda from Bits Americas; a senior Drupal developer and very active community member, Iván Chaquea; a marketer and very active Drupal adopter Jonathan Osorio from Grupo Éxito; and from the academic side, Socrates Rojas, dean of the faculty of computer science from the Instituto Técnico Central of Bogota, a prestigious public technical school.
Membership is now open to organizations and individuals who wish to join the Drupal Association of Colombia and who share the same interest. By joining, members will have access to all the local activities, training, official Drupal events, and the opportunity to contribute in a more cohesive way. More information will soon be available at www.asociaciondrupal.org.
The ADC is now preparing for its first official event — Drupal Camp Medellin on June 5-6, 2020.
Please join us in congratulating all involved and wishing them a successful future!File attachments: colombia.png
It’s a pleasure for us to bring to a focus GTD in a city. Last weekend ADCI Solutions showed how entertaining can be creating a website using the Drupal platform. It was “Star Wars Global Training Day #9” where only the quickest teams got awards! Check out how it was.
Skpr - pronounced Skipper - is a cloud hosting platform specifically designed to maximise the productivity of development teams by giving them full control right from the command line.by Nick Schuch / 8 October 2019
During our consulting engagements with large organisations, we recognised a clear trend; they were moving away from narrow, single-site hosting services and building bespoke platforms on top of Kubernetes to support their multi-site, multi-technology initiatives.
Back in 2016 we had this exact need for hosting our entire portfolio of sites. Throughout this journey we found that providing developers with a simple Command Line Interface (CLI), has led to huge improvements in our team's efficiency and the overall quality of our products.
So, today we’re announcing the public launch of our hosting platform, Skpr. The platform for teams who want a simple command line tool, backed by a range of industry-leading services and supported by our own team of experts.Why Skpr is different
Many hosting platforms provide a web interface where deployments can be dragged-and-dropped between environments.
While these solutions are more effective for non-developers, they fall short in integration and extendability within the workflow of the developers actually doing the job. Having a Command Line Interface (CLI) means that not only do we provide the same level of control, we provide the flexibility to extend those workflows.
- Scripts - Having a CLI means that Skpr can integrate into existing automation, along with CI tools such as CircleCI.
- Documentation - Complex tasks carried out via a GUI are very difficult to document. CLIs mean you spend less time describing a user interface and more time documenting the actual process.
With a few commands, developers have the control to package, deploy, configure and monitor their services right from the command line.
And while we want to provide a platform that's powerful, reliable and secure, we're passionate about making it easy-to-use as well.
To find out more, visit skpr.io.Tagged Skpr, Cloud Hosting, Drupal Hosting
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- Point Two
- Point Three
HonorHealth is well-known as a community health system drawing from a strong legacy of care for those in their community for more than 100 years in Phoenix, AZ. HonorHealth provides critical, life-saving services; they focus their energy on providing first-in-class medical services, training, and humanitarian assistance. HonorHealth needed a content management platform to help them communicate not only their services, but also their innovations in treatments, technology, and clinical research in a way that is comprehensible and effective for their audiences.The Challenge
The previous honorhealth.com was a Drupal 7 site that offered inconsistent search interfaces, a splintered “make an appointment” experience, and an overall menu and content structure that was based on internal organizational needs. With a renewed focus on their customers, HonorHealth wanted to build a new website that would improve the crucial “find care” experience for their users.
More specifically, they wanted to make it seamless for patients to:
- Find and receive the right care
- Get access to their health information
- Manage their care easily
- Maintain their health or cope with a condition
HonorHealth engaged Palantir.net to create an easy-to-administer, modernized Drupal 8 platform. The new consumer-centric honorhealth.com:
- Builds and fosters trust through design and good usability
- Makes it easy for users to find care and locations
- Features a site structure driven by actual user priorities
- Is WCAG 2.0 AA compliant
With an eye on the future, Palantir focused work on creating a platform that will be easily extendable as HonorHealth expands the services they provide to their community over time. Palantir knew it was essential to create a strong platform in order to enable HonorHealth to integrate more technologies in the future as part of their continuum of care.Collaborative Discovery Phase
The project began with an in-person workshop that joined together the Palantir team with a large group of client stakeholders (15+), each with varied levels of project context, technical knowledge, and ongoing involvement in the overall project. As Palantir interviewed the organizational stakeholders, it became clear that putting patients and prospective patients first and foremost was going to be critical to the success of the project. Palantir worked with their partners at HonorHealth to make sure the team was answering every challenge through the lens of “does this first serve patients and prospective patients?”
Inception focused heavily on user testing of HonorHealth’s existing personas, which were validated through abbreviated top task research in order to get data on the specific priorities of the primary audiences. The results of this work were incorporated into the page designs and informed the Information Architecture (IA) hypothesis, which was tested further using a tree test. The tree test helped us determine which tasks users could easily complete on the site and which tasks were especially difficult to complete.
Palantir used a series of “sketch sessions”–workshops where the team and client stakeholders collaboratively define key user flows and experiences. The outcome is low-fidelity, annotated wireframes that can initiate conversations around the build and move the project forward.
Both the UX and development team at Palantir participated in these sessions, which enabled them to overlap design work with development work much longer, creating a more integrated approach to developing the HonorHealth site. This innovative approach enabled Palantir to show the site–with real content–in it much sooner than traditionally possible, which meant HonorHealth could provide incremental feedback on the site. This process of migrating data early and evolving it in-place also made it easier to showcase data integrations as they lived alongside CMS-controlled content.Building a Valuable IA
Using data from the top tasks research, Palantir developed a framework of “most valuable experiences” for HonorHealth’s audiences. The site’s information architecture and hierarchy, calls-to-action, navigation, and layout are all anchored around these experiences – always surfacing the information users need in the most contextually relevant places and laying the groundwork for personalization opportunities in the future.
The most notable highlights of the new site include:
- A consolidated appointment flow (universal button, main landing page) that helps users decide how to proceed
- A straightforward, consistent search experience for finding doctors, locations, clinical trials, articles and events
With the previous site, content design elements were created mostly inline on individual pages by a web manager with HTML knowledge. This limited who on the team could make changes to the site and slowed down the process of updating the site with critical content. With the new honorhealth.com, the editorial team has a set of dynamic, flexible, field-based content components that enables content editors to craft compelling narrative content pages, without needing to know HTML.Modern Design
The new honorhealth.com cleverly incorporates their existing brand elements while modernizing the design. Simple and straightforward, the updated design is easy to use and connects and resonates with key audiences.
Integrating With Key Systems
One of the overall goals when embarking on this redesign was to create an experience that mimicked the streamlined usability of an ecommerce site. HonorHealth wanted to create a place where patients could easily make choices about their care and schedule appointments with minimal effort. In order to provide this experience, it was imperative that the new platform could play well with HonorHealth’s external services and created a firm foundation to integrate more self-service tools in the future.
- SymphonyRM offers a rich set of data served by a dynamic API. HonorHealth leverages SymphonyRM’s Provider Operations services to hold its practice location and physician data. Palantir worked closely with Symphony to help define the data structure. Through this work, HonorHealth was able to reduce the number of steps and people required to maintain their provider and location data. By leveraging the strategy work done and the technical consultation of Palantir’s Technical Architecture Owner, HonorHealth was able to keep focused on the most valuable content to their users throughout all of their integrated systems.
- Docscores provides a platform for gathering high-quality ratings and review data on healthcare practitioners and locations. Palantir integrated this data directly with the physician and location data provided from SymphonyRM to create a research and discovery tool for HonorHealth users. On the new HonorHealth website, users can find physicians near a specific location and read about other patients’ experiences with them.
- Clockwise provides real-time wait estimates for people looking for Urgent Care services in their area. Each of these individual “under the hood” integrations don’t represent a significant shift for website users, but when all of these changes are coupled with the intense focus on putting the user experience of the site first, the result speaks for itself: a beautiful website that works well and empowers people to engage in their ongoing healthcare in meaningful ways.
Each of these individual “under the hood” integrations don’t represent a significant shift for website users, but when all of these changes are coupled with the intense focus on putting the user experience of the site first, the result speaks for itself: a beautiful website that works well and empowers people to engage in their ongoing healthcare in meaningful ways.
At risk of sounding trite and cliche, the term ‘best in class’ legitimately does apply.Jake Kelly
Web SpecialistKey Results
Each and every page of the new Drupal 8 site fits neatly in a hierarchy of user-centric top-tasks. Each page is outcome- or action-oriented and centers on the question: “What are our users trying to accomplish when they come to this page?” The new site surfaces valuable, decision-influencing information like Emergency Department wait times and easy appointment request forms in key places to help users get the services they need and want, quickly and efficiently.
The new HonorHealth site has taken a strong step forward in effectiveness for not only patients, but the internal team as well. By taking a strategic approach to how their data is managed across all of their vendors and integrations, Palantir was able to find efficiencies and make that process easier, so that HonorHealth can focus on what they do best – providing top-notch care to the communities that they serve.Building a modernized Drupal 8 site structure prioritized by user priorities
Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota (LSS) is one of the state’s largest private nonprofit social service organizations, providing a vast array of services in all 87 Minnesota counties for children and families, older adults and people with disabilities.
Jacob Rockowitz: Acquia, Automattic, and Microsoft should lobby governments to fix accessibility issues in Open Source
Recently, I nudged governments to get more involved in fixing accessibility issues in Open Source projects. Getting governments to do anything can feel like a monumental challenge. Maybe we need to build better alliances and then collectively lobby the governments to change how they approach Open Source.
Dries Buytaert, the founder of Drupal, recently published a blog post titled, "Balancing Makers and Takers to sustain and scale Open Source," and while reading it I wondered, “Are we approaching the problem of sustainability too much as developers? Should we step back and look at the challenge of sustainability from a business and political perspective?”
Is changing an Open Source project's license going to change how other organizations contribute to Open Source? Changing the licensing is a different approach. The recent "Open-source licensing war" felt like a few individual companies are trying to make a significant shift in Open Source, however lacking a unified front. If Open Source companies are going to take on Amazon, they are going to have to do it together by building alliances.
The definition of alliance sounds very much like what happens in Open Source communities.
Political alliances (a.k.a. parties) are what powers most governments. The scale of some open source projects has required better governance. In Dries' blog post, he spends time exploring how organizations use Open Source (a.k.a. Takers) without helping to build the software or community (a.k.a. Makers). His post ends with three valuable suggestions that are focused on appealing to organizations and rethinking how the Open Source...Read More