Web Wash: Add Quick Search and Drop-downs to the Toolbar using Admin Toolbar in Drupal

Planet Drupal - Mon, 2021/05/31 - 12:00pm

Drupal comes with a toolbar which is useful when administering a Drupal site. If you log in and have the correct permissions, you’ll see a toolbar across the top of the page that allows you to access back-end configuration pages.

The Admin Toolbar module extends the functionality of the toolbar and gives you lots of extra features such as drop-down menus, access to cache and cron settings and an autocomplete search.

In this tutorial, you will learn how to install and configure Admin Toolbar and its sub-modules.

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Agiledrop.com Blog: Mission possible: Combining the design aesthetics with technical functionality

Planet Drupal - Mon, 2021/05/31 - 11:10am

In this article, Stewart Dunlop of Udemy discusses the importance of balancing the aesthetics and performance in website design.

READ MORE
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Sergiu Nagailic (Nikro) Blog: Gatsby.JS Live Previews with Drupal

Planet Drupal - Sat, 2021/05/29 - 7:45pm

If you have a decoupled Gatsby + Drupal site, then you’re probably annoyed waiting for 5-10 minutes for the build to finish - to see how your CMS changes landed on the actual website. There’s a better way - Gatsby Previews (took me a while to look into it). With Live Previews you can view your new and edited content instantly.

How to enable the Preview

There’s this neat contrib module - called “Gatsby” - https://www.drupal.org/project/gatsby

It consists of 4 different sub-modules:

  • Gatsby - Improves integration with GatsbyJS including adding Live Preview and Incremental Builds;
  • Gatsby Fast Builds - Enables faster Gatsby development builds by only downloading content that has changed;
  • Gatsby JSON:API Extras - Adds additional enhancers when using Gatsby with JSON:API;
  • Gatsby JSON:API Instant...
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clemens-tolboom commented on pull request binogure-studio/chart-gd#3

On github - Sat, 2021/05/29 - 3:59pm
clemens-tolboom commented on pull request binogure-studio/chart-gd#3 May 29, 2021 clemens-tolboom commented May 29, 2021

This is changed to sub_index in master branch

clemens-tolboom commented on pull request binogure-studio/chart-gd#3

On github - Sat, 2021/05/29 - 3:58pm
clemens-tolboom commented on pull request binogure-studio/chart-gd#3 May 29, 2021 clemens-tolboom commented May 29, 2021

I cannot run the example for same reasons. This PR looks good to me :-)

Talking Drupal: Talking Drupal #296 - Linux 4 Everyone

Planet Drupal - Fri, 2021/05/28 - 4:07pm

Today joining us is Jason Evangelho to talk about his journey to Linux and the community he is building.

www.talkingdrupal.com/296

Topics
  • Guest Host Fatima joining us
  • Guest Jason Evangelho
  • Fatima thanks to vaccines was able to visit a friend she had not seen in a while
  • John back from vacation
  • Nic is painting his basement
  • Stephen first week did not produce the show
  • Jason bought tickets to see the Foo Fighters live... in 2022
  • Now known as a "Linux guy", what triggered your switch to Linux
  • What is Linux for Everyone all about
  • Proton
  • Linux for Everyone podcast, youtube, and community
  • Where do you stand on the scale of FOSS always and using proprietary software
  • Nic and Stephen Advocate for Linux on Talking Drupal
  • What holds the Linux market share back
  • EDU and Gov in Linux
  • Best benefit of using Linux
  • Top tips for switching to Linux
Resources

Ditching Windows: 2 Weeks With Ubuntu Linux On The Dell XPS 13 Linux for Everyone Proton Voice.com Make it Linux Lenovo Hardware Video Gnu Health

Guests

Jason Evangelho linux4everyone.com @Linux4Everyone

Hosts

Stephen Cross - www.stephencross.com @stephencross

Nic Laflin - www.nLighteneddevelopment.com @nicxvan

John Picozzi - www.oomphinc.com @johnpicozzi

Fatima Sarah Khalid - @sugaroverflow

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OpenSense Labs: Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Open Source

Planet Drupal - Fri, 2021/05/28 - 3:24pm
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Open Source Maitreayee Bora Fri, 05/28/2021 - 18:54

Malcom Forbes, the publisher of Forbes Magazine once said, “Diversity: the art of thinking independently together.” This quote gives us a very strong message that diversity in ideas and opinions can work for the benefit of the society at large. So, when we talk about diversity in open source, we get to see a similar scenario, where people are encouraged regardless of their gender, race, age, class or nationality to express their ideas, innovations and skill sets in a single platform to enhance better performance and results in their respective careers. 

Here, I would like to draw your attention towards some of the insights of this vast topic i.e. diversity in open source. With the help of this article, I would like to give you an idea about the community contribution towards open source followed by the various challenges encountered by the community in building a platform welcoming diversity.

Let’s begin by discussing the important role of community in open source.

Power of Community in Open Source

Open source gives you the opportunity to bring up your unique ideas and innovations independently in front of the whole world. You get full freedom to share your skills regardless of ethnicity, socioeconomic status, exceptionalities or geographical area and so on. In this manner, the open-source community is built up by the contributions made by people from every nook and corner of the world. Here, we will have to understand the fact that community can be regarded as the backbone of open source. With the help of the community, one can strengthen the open source ecosystem by active participation and contribution.

Now, let us get a better understanding about the open source community with the help of a contributor funnel created by @MikeMcQuaid below:

Source: Open Source Guides

The above diagram shows three categories of participants in the open source community. Like the users, contributors and maintainers. These participants play an important role in the progress of the open source community. You will be surprised to know that every user can become a potential maintainer. It is possible by making the experience of each stage of the category easy and hassle free which indeed will encourage every user to take more responsibility and become an active maintainer of the community. 

Here, the question which now comes is, how can you maintain a healthy community? Let me give you an idea of how you possibly can build up a trust-worthy community which will contribute with best endeavour. So, the first and foremost thing to do is, welcome the participants and make them feel valued in the community. After they step in, give them clarity about your work with the help of a README which will provide them full transparency regarding your project. As documenting everything about your project with a README is always a must for better understanding which is also supported by GitHub’s 2017 Open Source Survey. Thereafter, you can let the participants start their contributions by handling simple issues which will boost up their confidence and help them get more involved at work. This further gives you a chance to share the ownership of your project with them making them feel more accepted in the community. While doing that if anyone comes up with any queries, you should always be ready to answer them at the earliest. 

Your community can be a great place for the contributors to learn from each other’s experiences and expertise. Therefore, it is your responsibility to expand your community by sustaining the right people and letting go of the ones who unnecessarily create a toxic environment for everyone. You should stand strong for your community giving equal value to everyone’s opinion and ideas. In this way, you can build a prosperous and healthy community for all. 

What’s next? Let’s now take a look at some of the tweets supporting community contributions to open source.

Contributing to open source is easier for some than others. There’s a lot of fear of being yelled at for not doing something right or just not fitting in. (…) By giving contributors a place to contribute with very low technical proficiency (documentation, web content markdown, etc) you can greatly reduce those concerns. — @mikeal, “Growing a contributor base in modern open source

The truth is that having a supportive community is key. I’d never be able to do this work without the help of my colleagues, friendly internet strangers, and chatty IRC channels. (…) Don’t settle for less. Don’t settle for assholes. — @okdistribute, “How to Run a FOSS Project

While it’s important to create a sense of belonging for the members of an open source community, it is equally important to encourage diverse minds to be a part of the community and become more and more inclusive. Let’s look at a research report conducted by the World Economic Forum that highlighted the importance of diversity and inclusion at workplace. This report explains that when all the employees, managers and the entire organization work under well managed diverse teams, they tend to perform better than homogeneous teams in terms of their usual productivity. Therefore, the practice of diversity, equity and inclusion should be encouraged by the open source community too. This can be seen in the below diagram:

Source: World Economic ForumChallenges while Promoting Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Open Source Communities

In the past few years, the open source community has witnessed some challenges while promoting diversity, equity and inclusion. Let us discuss today some of the most important challenges by taking help of some genuine survey reports.

Not enough contributions from female and non-binary coders

According to a 2017 GitHub open source survey, 95% of contributors of open source projects were male, whereas only 3% of contributors were reported to be female(1% defined as non-binary). The US Bureau of Labor Data says that only 21.2% of professional developers are female.  

Here comes a diagram from 2019 DigitalOcean developer survey to show that the participation of male in open source is comparatively more than female:

Source: DigitalOcean

Next, let’s look at another diagram where the participation of young developers, both male and female are shown in comparison to older generations of contributors regarding their experience in open-source.

Source: DigitalOcean

From the above diagram we can understand the fact that when the younger generation both male and female join the open-source community, they don’t find any hurdles in terms of guidance or required resources. But as we know that the older generation of contributors mainly comprises of male due to gender diversity. So, they do not preferably contribute to the change needed in the community towards gender inequality. As a result, the young female contributors experience injustice and are deprived of opportunities. Therefore, the cycle of male preference in open-source continues.

The sad state of women in a male-dominated world

To get a deeper understanding about the reasons for lack of diversity in open source, let us look into another seminar paper which was written as a part of the lecture Free and Open Technologies, held by Christoph Derndorfer and Lukas F. Lang at TU Wien, Austria, during the winter term 2019/2020. This seminar paper talks about a case, Katie Bouman. 

In April 2019, the first visualization of the black hole was revealed. After this, another picture went viral which was of a young female computer scientist, named Katie Bouman. She is a postdoctoral fellow at MIT and a member of the team running Event Horizon Telescope, contributing with her algorithm to capture this image. Her team consisted of 200 researchers. But solely, Bouman was made the face of the black hole project by the media. Bouman tried to clarify this confusion but was made a role model as she was a woman working in a men-dominated field. On the other side she received immense hatred and even her Wikipedia page was said to be deleted. So, with this case you get an idea about the diversity problem in open-source.

Women need to be empowered within open source communities 

Then we have one more report named “Towards a More Gender-inclusive Open Source Community” published by the Institute of Development Studies at the (DIAL) Digital Impact Alliance. It brings light into the circumstances of gender diversity. This paper shows how women can be supported and an inclusive community can be built.

This report says that there has to be some changes in facilities for women to empower them to contribute actively in open-source. Let us see how can it be done:

  • Resources: In order to excel in one’s career aspirations, one should be given the right amount of resources which can be used to reach the desired goals. Similarly, talking about women in open source, they should also be provided with the opportunity of learning various skills required to enhance their knowledge and contributions. They should be given a friendly working atmosphere to come up with their ideas and plans in the community.
  • Institutions: This comprises the different social environment one gets in life in the form of family, educational institutions and the society at large. It is usually seen that a woman is less likely to get the necessary support from her family in terms of education and other facilities. Growing up when they want to pursue their career and also look after their family life, they are stopped from doing so and are left to take tough decisions of choosing one over another. Therefore, a change in the society’s perception is needed to encourage women to manage their both family and career with dignity and respect.
  • Agency: This comprises the ability of a woman to become a good leader and a decision maker. When it comes to open source, there is less encouragement towards women to prove their capabilities compared to men. So, such injustice has to be abolished for equal and fair chances.

As a part of the above mentioned report, one interview was conducted among women who were contributors working  as programmers and multi-taskers. It’s definitely high to empower and encourage more women to participate in open source ecosystem going by the number of women who were in the open source projects at the time of interview.

Open source organisations and communities in which women contributors were active at the time of interview | Source: DIALTime, money, and recruitment from demographically homogeneous communities are obstacles too

In a report by GitHub, in association with The Case Foundation, Nadia Eghbal states that one of the reasons why there is a lack of diversity in the open-source community compared to the technology sector, is because the open-source contributors need time and money to contribute initially which at times can be very difficult. The open source ecosystem must be enhanced by the inclusion of diversity, believes Lorena Mesa, an engineer at GitHub and the Director and Vice-Chair Elect of the Python Software Foundation. Justin W. Flory, a member of the RIT LibreCorps and UNICEF, an open source initiative said that the early leaders of OSS recruited contributors from homogeneous communities leading to diversity issues which can be seen till the present. He further stated, “I look at what we're going through now in this emergency of emphasis on communities, on diversity inclusion, and I feel like there is no other way to describe it then as a feminist movement in free software.” Learn how good leadership and inclusion within the open source communities can make a world of difference.

Neverending myths about open source have to vanish

Now, a contribution is made by Nithya A. Ruff, the Head of Comcast’s Open Source Program Office about some misconceptions which people have about open-source. So, here it goes. The first misconception is that you need to be a programmer in order to join the open source community. But it isn’t true. Open-source is also a platform for various other industries other than technology. The second myth is that the culture and norms of the open source community is easy to navigate. But in reality it isn’t so. You will find a lot of feedback where the new contributors reveal that they don’t get the necessary co-operations from the community members. The third misunderstanding is about the fact that you can’t be a casual contributor but you rather have to work under an open-source project for your entire life-time. But the truth is, you can work according to your convenience and be a short time contributor.

Here are few tweets supporting the above discussions:


So, the above myths can also be termed as challenges towards a more diverse open-source community. Therefore, necessary steps should be taken to overcome these adversities.

Open source meritocracy and the significance of diversity and inclusion

Now let’s also look into some of the information depicting the truth about inequality and favouritism within the open-source community. Women were seen compromising their health when in the year 2015, a heart transplant was available to only 20% of women compared to 80% of men. Apple launched its first Health Tracking App in 2014 which omitted a woman’s menstrual cycle that should have been one of the major concerns regarding a woman’s health and wellness. Amazon was seen removing its AI recruiting tool which was designed to select applicants based on resumes submitted to the company over a 10 years time period that mostly came from men.  

So, apart from the above mentioned challenges of diversity in open-source, you will find many other such discriminations based on socioeconomic status, nationality and so on. In cases like this a question comes to my mind, what if meritocracy was practiced in open source? It could help the community in finding the right participants with merit, intelligence, creativity and skills who were truly deserving. With meritocracy, the open-source could experience diversity, equity and inclusion within the community. This ideology is also supported by huge companies like Google, Facebook, Microsoft and Netflix. More on the impact of large companies on open source here.

Meritocracy does not consider the reality that tech does not operate on a level playing field. — Emma Erwin and Larissa Shapiro, Mozilla.

Statistics show that 78% of companies run all of their businesses with open source software. So, looking at the ratio, it is a must that all the companies working in open source software should follow the rules and regulations and include contributors encouraging meritocracy within their community. If not all, but some are taking initiatives in giving opportunities to the people around the globe looking forward to being a part of open-source. Here is an example: Outreachy is a program which organises a three month paid internship with free and open source software projects for people who experience favouritism and are under-represented  in the technical industry where they are living. 

After discussing the challenges of the open source community, let’s now peep into the topic, ‘Code of Conduct’ which cannot be avoided. 

Is Code of Conduct Enhancing Diversity in Open Source?

Code of conduct can be a medium of communication among the contributors of the open source community. It helps people to know about the set rules, regulations and practices that are to be followed in order to maintain the professional conduct of an organization. 

For open source projects, The Contributor Covenant was created by Coraline Ada Ehmke who is a software developer and an open-source advocate. This contributor covenant works for safeguarding the rights of the members of the community from experiencing misbehaviour and ill treatment. So, it is followed by prominent companies like Apple, Google, Salesforce, Linux, Creative Commons and many open-source projects as well. It has become an essential part of the open source community. We have with us an example where Eric S. Raymond, one of the founders of the Open Source Initiative was banned for violating the code of conduct by his misbehaviour. But alone CoC can’t stop discrimination happening in the field of diversity in open source. There is a need for better authority and management which can strictly look after the matter. 

Wonderful Stories from Open Source Communities Embracing Diversity

The Open source community can be termed as a social movement which is diverse. It is a community model which is designed to help aspiring people contribute to the world their ideas, innovations and unique talents. Here we have some examples of extraordinary open source contributors:

1. Drupal

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion are valued by Drupal as there is a separate team to monitor their active participation and implementation. Drupal celebrates the pride month every year by changing its logo on social media platforms. This is observed inorder to thank the members of Drupal for welcoming and supporting LGBTQ+ into their community.

When the world was once again reminded, through the George Floyd incident, that the 21st century still witnesses the violent incidents of racism, the Drupal Community joined hands in raising its voice against such brutal attacks. The statement given by Drupal is as follows:

(We stand with people across the globe in condemning racism, racist behavior and all abuses of power. We grieve for the black community, which has endured another unspeakable tragedy in a long history of injustice)

Drupal believes in the ideology of getting better quality results or performance out of diverse working groups in the community. The Drupal Diversity and Inclusion Contribution Team aims at increasing the contributions to the Drupal projects by the people who are underrepresented or devalued in the Drupal community.

The diversity problem was handled by Drupal in a very smart way, by introducing Drupal conferences and workshops. These platforms gave exposure to the underrepresented groups to speak and open up their views, perceptions and ideas to a larger audience increasing their confidence level. A speaker training workshop was hosted on September 21 and 28, 2019 with Jill Binder by the Drupal Diversity and Inclusion Group to inspire people around the world. 

The Community Working Group(CWG)  also conducts workshops for the community leaders to provide them the necessary tools, resources and knowledge to build a friendly and flourishing community. To get a better idea of conducting successful conferences, CWG follows feedback from past workshops like Teamwork and Leadership workshop conducted at DrupalCon Nashville. Such workshops are of two days duration. The first day was spent by discussing the needs or necessities and challenges faced by the community members. It was followed by the discussion of utilizing the nudges appropriately and building a positive environment within the community. Then the second day, they talked about emotional intelligence and finding ways to resolve conflicts. There was also a case study challenge, where various groups were assigned tasks of resolving conflicts which were seen in Drupal or other open-source communities. These workshops proved to be beneficial for the community members. 

Drupal encourages healthy conversations to maintain a positive ambience within the community. Even though people try to maintain a peaceful environment, sometimes due to differences in opinions people tend to hurt each other’s feelings. To resolve this issue, an idea was discussed at a Community Working Group (CWG) workshop at DrupalCon Seattle. For the Drupal community, the CWG Community Health team has been working on a communication initiative which comprises a series of de-escalation templates labeled as “Nudges”.


There are five nudges which the community members can utilize when they come across any such uncomfortable circumstances within the Drupal community. Every nudge gives a clarity about why a certain comment towards a member can be harmful and it also provides some relevant links like the Code of Conduct and Values and Principles.

Below are the nudges. Take a look:

  • Inclusive language (gendered terms): Use of gendered language is prohibited. Such language impacts the community negatively as it encourages gender inequality within the community.
  • Inclusive language (ableist terms): Use of  ableist language can hurt the sentiment of people with disabilities. Therefore, one is abstained from using such language within the community.
  • Gatekeeping knowledge: When a community member expects a new community member to know everything about the project without giving the required guidance and questions his/her contributions and ideas, then this nudge can be used. The new contributor shall be supported by helping them learn the necessary concept and topic.
  • Cultural differences: The members coming from different backgrounds, speaking a culturally specific language are undervalued for their contribution by the other members as they are unable to speak the global language common for all. While translating one has to be very careful as expressing something exactly the same in a different language might at times sound rude and uncomfortable.
  • Escalating emotions: Every community demands mutual understanding and proper communication inorder to build a healthy environment for all. So, while working together every member should be given equal amount of respect and dignity without any discrimination. The Drupal community further takes care by providing resources to the members at the time of conflict.

Give a look at what Dries Buytaert, the founder of Drupal, wants to share about gender and geographic diversity statistics of the recent years. It is as follows:

Gender Diversity’s position was closely observed by Dries Buytaert as it is one of the biggest challenges of the open-source community. A slight progress was seen in terms of contribution but still wasn’t enough to be celebrated as a victory of gender equality. Let’s take a look below:

Source: Dries Buytaert's Blog

Here we have the top 20 countries from which contributions are made in Drupal. The below diagram says it all:

Source: Dries Buytaert's Blog

With the above explanations, we get to know that the efforts are made to improve gender and geographic diversity. But it isn’t enough. Therefore, better practices and strategies have to be made in order to reach the desired results. Learn more about Drupal's role in encouraging diversity and inclusion here.

2. Red Hat

Red Hat is one of the leading open source provider companies which actively takes initiative in building an open source community filled with innovation and productivity of better technology. They believe in the collective contribution of every skilled participant irrespective of gender, race, class or nationality within the community. One of the initiatives it took to encourage diversity was by including Women in Open Source Community Award in 2015. This ceremony was organized to appreciate and honor women for their outstanding contribution towards the open source community.  

Red Hat observed a very sensitive matter of using inappropriate language by software programmers which at times affected the sentiment of some participants. The usage of terminology like ‘master’ or ‘slave’ was the major concern. Chris Wright, chief technology officer at Red Hat confirms that Red Hat is building a team to examine its documentation, code and content to find out the improper language and replace it with the right ones. Some of the changes are as follows:

  • Master branch will be renamed as ‘main branch’
  • Whitelist to be renamed as ‘allowlist’
  • Blacklist to be changed to ‘denylist’
3. Mozilla

Mozilla is one of the communities who is open and easily accessible to everyone looking for meaningful contributions towards the vast open source community who is constantly seeking growth. Diversity has been one of the interests of this community and they have always taken the necessary steps towards it. 

In 2018, the code review process was made equal for all without any gender bias by this community. To improve diversity within their staff they published a blogpost in the year 2019. Here is the progress they made:

  • There was an increase of women in technical roles from 13.2 percent to 17.4 percent in their community.
  • Out of all people managers, the women representation has increased from 36.0 percent to 39.1 percent and in terms of executive leadership roles, the graph has raised from 33.3 percent to 41.2 percent within December 2018.
  • The representation of minorities rose from 6.9 percent to 7.9 percent in 2018, but the target of 8.9 percent couldn’t be achieved.
  • From underrepresented minority groups, Mozilla hired 12.4 percent people and also a rise in people of colour from 35.2 percent (2017) to 36.2 percent (2018).

In cooperation with Kubernetes and companies like Red Hat, Mozilla gives importance to the execution of codes of conduct so that proper communication and professional conduct can be maintained within the people of diverse nature. Most importantly, it raises funds for open source projects.

4. The Linux Foundation

The Linux Foundation focuses on broadening the practice of diversity and inclusion, building a more welcoming space for people from diverse backgrounds and expertise. This association commits towards constructing a bias free environment by taking few initiatives as follows:

  • Initiative of Inclusive Naming
  • Advancing diversity and inclusion in Software Engineering
  • Availability of free online courses
  • Diversity and Inclusion in Events
  • Live Mentorship Series
  • LiFT Scholarships

Out of all these, advancing diversity and inclusion in Software Engineering is something that can catch one’s attention. The Linux Foundation announced the Software Developer Diversity and Inclusion (SDDI) project on 26th October 2020. Through SDDI, exploration and utilization of best research procedures, the diversity and inclusion in software engineering could be increased.

5. The Apache Software Foundation

The Apache Software Foundation started a project named Apache Diversity and Inclusion with the mission of constructing a community valuing diversity and inclusion giving exposure to a wide group of people seeking career path/ professional advancement.


6. The Academy Software Foundation

The Academy Software Foundation stands against the injustice and inequality happening in the open-source community. It aims at removing all the barriers which creates hurdles in the process of growth and development of potential contributors all over the world.

To set your basics right and make your open source project more diverse and inclusive, Open Source Diversity is a good place to start. From identifying projects which support underrepresented groups like WikiProject Women in Red (for increasing the women representation in Wikipedia) to finding mentorship programs like Write/Speak/Code (visibility for women and non-binary coders through thought leadership), Open Source Diversity has it all!

Conclusion

To completely abolish the challenges of diversity, equity and inclusion in the open-source community is not easy. But there is no end to consistent effort and endeavor. So, it is important to be fully aware of the situation and work towards the collective goal as a team around the world. Therefore, let’s never forget, ‘Diversity leads to Prosperity’

blog banner blog image Diversity And Inclusion Diversity Equity Inclusion Open Source Drupal Blog Type Articles Is it a good read ? Off
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robertroose.com: Drupal multisite: Everything you need to know

Planet Drupal - Thu, 2021/05/27 - 4:55pm
Drupal multisite: Everything you need to know

What is a multisite, why would you need it and why is Drupal combined with Domain Access the best fit?

Robert Roose Thu, 05/27/2021 - 16:55
Categories:

OSTraining: Migrate Data from a CSV File in Drupal 8/9

Planet Drupal - Thu, 2021/05/27 - 3:25pm

The process of migrating data into a Drupal database from a CSV file can be fulfilled through Drupal’s integrated Migrate API and three extra custom modules (Migrate Source CSV, Migrate Plus and Migrate Tools). 

This is known as the ETL (Extract - Transform - Load) process, in which data is fetched from one source in the first step, transformed in the second step, and finally loaded to its destination on the Drupal database in the third step. 

This tutorial will explain the creation of 12 book nodes for a library database.  Keep reading to learn how!

Categories:

Droptica: How to Create a Drupal Landing Page?

Planet Drupal - Thu, 2021/05/27 - 9:27am

Virtual business card, flyer, minisite – all these terms perfectly reflect the nature and essence of landing pages. They consist of several horizontal segments in which advertising content is presented, encouraging you to continue exploring a given topic on other dedicated and full-sized webpages. Let's check the possibilities Drupal gives us when creating these specific websites.

A page made of blocks

To create a one-page website composed of horizontal segments – clearly separated from each other, yet forming a consistent whole – we can use several tools or modules available in Drupal's core. The first option that comes to mind is using blocks. In Drupal, blocks work just like Lego bricks, elements containing any content. They can be displayed in different regions of the page, one above the other. Sounds like something we need!

While the idea of using simple blocks, mainly containing text, will work great in this case, achieving visual requirements or the desire to include slightly more complicated content (e.g. counters, multimedia, combination of text and multimedia, carousel, etc.) seems to be time- and labour-consuming. A high level of block personalization will require us to create several block types and/or content types and additional fields from scratch, along with additional classes for a purpose of a correct display.

For the proponents of clean code - Twig

One of the available solutions is also the option to create a twig collection, where – using the HTML and PHP code – we are able to create a landing page with any level of complexity, using the available or new fields. This option, however, requires us to spend many hours in front of the screen, countless lines of code, not to mention the subsequent maintenance and content management. To implement this solution, one definitely needs a person with technical knowledge – also at the stage of introducing the content.

Creating a Drupal landing page - modules

As we mentioned earlier, a landing page in Drupal can also be built using modules. Let's check out which of them we can use and how.

Layout Builder module

A very useful tool that has been recently added to Drupal's core is the Layout Builder module, which allows you to create templates for the structure of displaying elements on a page. The user has the ability to define their own "regions" for different types of content, using a very helpful drag and drop interface. In simple terms, it replaces the default display management function, which defines how and which fields are to be displayed, and additionally gives the opportunity to put blocks in place. When creating a template, you can feel like a graphic designer juggling the elements, while all the tools they need (in our case – the options for editing blocks and sections) are at hand in the form of an edit bar. To use this module, you need to launch it manually, as it isn’t enabled by default when installing Drupal.

When creating a new content type or wanting to use Layout Builder for an existing one, go to the display management tab. An additional "Layout options" section will appear below the list of fields, where we select the "use Layout Builder" option. Instead of a list of fields, a "manage display" button will be added, which will redirect us to the Layout Builder interface. We can freely manage the order of elements, add blocks that may contain fields from any entity, forms, plain text, links, views, and even an entire menu. Blocks are added within sections. Each section can be arranged into any number of columns between 1 and 4. The order of sections can't be changed or "dragged", so be careful when adding them.

 

Unfortunately, Layout Builder won’t do everything for us. We need to put more effort into styling all the elements. There is, however, an additional module – Layout Builder Styles – dedicated to creating new classes for Layout Builder blocks and sections, with the ability to define restrictions concerning which blocks a given class will be assignable to. A beta version is currently available, and our Drupal installation can’t be older than version 8.7.7. However, to take full advantage of the style management capabilities, without having to interfere with the code, we need to install one more module - Asset Injector, where we'll define all the parameters of the previously created classes. Then, when editing every block or section, we'll be able to assign one class available on the list.

  Paragraphs module

The second most frequently chosen option when creating a Drupal landing page is the use of the Paragraphs module along with Entity Reference Revisions. Paragraphs allows you to create templates that will later be sections (aka paragraphs of a page). One paragraph may consist of many fields of any type. Such a collection will constitute the type of paragraph to be used by any selected content type. For example, let's create a new content type named "Landing page". At this stage, in addition to the default "body" field, we add a few other fields that are important to us. This time, we only need one field of the paragraph type.

Now we'll create two new types of paragraphs: “banner” and “image + text”. Under Structure -> Paragraph types -> Add paragraphs type, we create new types of paragraphs and manage the fields to be included in them. For a banner, it'll mean an image field. For the “image + text” type, it'll also mean an image field and formatted text. As is the case when creating content types, with paragraph types we can manage the display of fields and their formatters. You'll surely notice in the list that you can add a field of the paragraph type, this way we can create nested paragraphs and use the already existing ones.

Having the types of paragraphs, let's check out what the landing page creation will look like. It's worth mentioning that without defining in the content type settings what specific paragraph is to be its content, we are presented with a list of all available paragraph types, which we can add multiple times thanks to setting “unlimited” when creating a paragraph field.

 

Paragraphs is a powerful tool that allows you to maintain a high degree of flexibility when creating landing pages. The pitfall when using this module is managing the content later, especially if we create a complex structure with multiple nested fields. The person editing the content on the page may then feel lost and overwhelmed by the enormity of tabs and settings.

Tuned-up paragraphs. Creating a landing page in Droopler

If you like the option of using paragraphs the most, you'll surely find what Droopler has to offer for creating one-page websites to be even better! Droopler is our free Drupal distribution for creating webpages. It contains many ready-made templates and components.

For this tool, we used the idea of creating paragraphs and nested paragraphs to "assemble" a webpage. In the default version, along with the Droopler installation we get a number of predefined types of paragraphs at our disposal. These are the most commonly used kinds of paragraphs when creating webpages.

Types of paragraphs in Droopler

Then why should we use Droopler and how does it really differ from the previously presented possibilities offered by the Paragraphs module, apart from saving time when creating the most popular types of paragraphs?

Appearance

Already at first glance, we can see one fundamental difference – the added paragraphs look professional and, if we are satisfied with the used colour scheme, we don't have to do anything else with them! However, if we decide to change it, overwriting the default skin won't be a problem. You can find more information on this topic here.

Editing directly on the created page

I mentioned earlier that it can be confusing to navigate around editing a content type that consists of paragraphs. This problem has been solved in Droopler thanks to using the Geysir module and the possibility of editing paragraphs directly on the created page, in the form of modal windows. The interface also allows you to “cut” and “paste” paragraphs, that is, to reorder and remove them without having to go to a content type edit page. This way everything remains clear and we immediately see the effects of our changes.

  Additional options

The Paragraphs module is field-based, allows you to choose the formatter and manage the display, but there is no room anywhere for additional options related to styling or quick reorganisation of the content within a single paragraph. If we want to have a paragraph with an image gallery, we need separate types for putting 4 or 8 thumbnails. The same happens when using different types of media – a separate type is needed for images and videos.

Droopler is highly flexible in this aspect. The banner paragraph type accepts both an image and a video file. What's more, for every type of paragraph in the "settings" tab in the adding paragraph window, it's possible to configure margins and padding, as well as to define additional classes that we determine in our skin, and there's even the option of choosing a predefined colour scheme.

 

If we want to create a paragraph composed of tiles, we can choose which of them should be highlighted by increasing their size in relation to the rest, achieving the effect of a "masonry" gallery.

Do you have a prepared block that you'd like to use and place among the paragraphs? In Droopler, paragraphs can also consist of blocks, in the tab we can choose from among all those that currently exist on our page. The block with icons and links to social media - ready. A quick contact form? This has also already been done for us.

Summary

Landing pages or one-page websites are a very specific type of content that we can find around the web. It should be simple, transparent, look modern and encourage us to go to the further, target pages. It's a huge tool in the hands of marketing teams, so Drupal was also designed to give users, including non-programmers, the option to quickly create these kinds of pages. Some of the methods presented in the post show a low degree of difficulty and can be implemented by a layman (Layout Builder, Paragraphs). However, they have their limitations and at some point the "architecture" created with them becomes too complicated and difficult to maintain. Additionally, the intention to create something non-standard will require the help of a developer, especially for styling. By choosing Droopler, we can be sure that the landing page creation process will be simple and pleasant, as well as visually effective, without having to tamper with the code. Anyone, without exception, will be able to learn to manage paragraphs with ease, and in less time than expected.

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Redfin Solutions: Migrating into Layout Builder

Planet Drupal - Wed, 2021/05/26 - 10:15pm
This year at DrupalCon North America Redfin Solutions’ CTO Chris Wells had the honor to speak for the first time at a DrupalCon. His presentation Migrating into Layout Builder had the privilege of being one of the most well-attended sessions of the conference.
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Security advisories: Drupal core - Moderately critical - Cross Site Scripting - SA-CORE-2021-003

Planet Drupal - Wed, 2021/05/26 - 8:33pm
Project: Drupal coreDate: 2021-May-26Security risk: Moderately critical 14∕25 AC:Basic/A:User/CI:Some/II:Some/E:Proof/TD:DefaultVulnerability: Cross Site ScriptingDescription: 

Drupal core uses the third-party CKEditor library. This library has an error in parsing HTML that could lead to an XSS attack.

Solution: 

Install the latest version:

Versions of Drupal 8 prior to 8.9.x are end-of-life and do not receive security coverage.

Reported By: Fixed By: 
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Tag1 Consulting: Inside the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA) with Emma Jane Hogbin

Planet Drupal - Wed, 2021/05/26 - 5:55pm

Disaster response is a critical humanitarian effort, requiring collaboration and organization - sometimes on a massive scale. From earthquakes in Nepal and Haiti to hurricanes in the Bahamas and other massive disasters, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA) is a resource for relief efforts. Emma Jane Hogbin of OCHA joins Managing Director Michael Meyers in this Tag1 Team Talk on OCHA, what it does, and how OCHA works to ensure humanitarian groups have the information they need to quickly respond to disaster. Emma Jane is a long time Drupal community member, and has authored multiple books on Drupal and Git. Join Emma Jane and Michael as they talk about what OCHA does, their role in humanitarian disaster response, and how their office is streamlining technology to aid teams on the ground. For a transcript of this video, see Transcript: Inside UN OCHA with Emma Jane Hogbin. ### Related content - https://www.unocha.org/about-ocha/our-work. There's a 2-3 minute video at the bottom that's actually a pretty good overview of what OCHA does. In general, OCHA is project management for disaster response. - News from the humanitarian community at large...

Read more lynette@tag1co… Wed, 05/26/2021 - 08:55
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Lullabot: Speed up Drupal’s Front-end with WebP Images

Planet Drupal - Wed, 2021/05/26 - 4:36pm

Enabling WebP images on your website can save millions of bytes per page load! That might sound like a bit of an exaggeration, or maybe a little tacky, but it’s true. On slower connections, that can be the difference between a visitor viewing your page or pressing the back button in frustration.

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OpenSense Labs: The web personalisation checklist

Planet Drupal - Wed, 2021/05/26 - 12:13pm
The web personalisation checklist Akanksha Mehta Wed, 05/26/2021 - 15:43

Owing to the numerous aspects and applications of web personalization, it might be a confusing term for many despite its omnipresence across the virtual world today. Web personalization is best understood as individualization of a website customised in a manner to cater to an individual's unique requirements. The importance of this concept can be realised from the fact that the founder and CEO of Amazon, Jeff Bezos, prophetically mentioned something along the lines of personalization almost 2 decades ago.

"If we have 4.5 million customers, we shouldn't have one store, we should have 4.5 million stores."

Jeff Bezos in 1998
Why do you need website personalisation?

There are numerous statistics and numbers that point towards better business relationships with customers when personalisation is adopted, as when a user feels a personal connection with a piece of content or a layout, he is more likely to invest in the product or service. This is substantiated by the fact that Invesp's survey points out that around 56% of online shoppers are likely to return to a website when they see product recommendations customised according to their interests. Running a cross check from the other end as well, it has also been noted by MarketingProfs that 66% of marketers said that a chance of an improved business performance was their main reason for going forward with personalization. Listed below are some additional statistics that showcase the benefits of web personalization.


On the other hand, if data and numbers don't speak to you to dig deeper into the human value of building relationships and don't just care about the turnover, web personalization is still your best friend. Apart from the very obvious benefits of increased conversions and sales, DSR duniya prasad the ways in which web personalization helps a business.

  • Meeting customer expectations

From customers' point of view, in this age of integrated tools and technologies, web personalization is not something out of the blue - rather, they expect a degree of customisation from the businesses that they associate with. As backed by sufficient research and data, custom recommendations and suggestions work better in attracting and retaining customers in the longer run.

  • Building brand loyalty

As a subsequent side effect of having invested more into the research and the choices made by the customers, you would garner greater brand loyalty. Tailored marketing strategies, no doubt, speak more to the user than the generic ones. 

  • Engaging your customers

User relationships are nurtured and allowed to grow with your website creating relevant offers, content and CTAs (Call To Action). Once you have done the job of gaining their attention right, the purchase can be accelerated even further by using personalization.

  • Trustworthiness

When you give to the customer, you are bound to receive back. For the smooth User experience ranging across the site and getting recommendations for products that they actually like and value, customers are bound to trust your website more than the others and are likely to rely more on your data.

Types of website personalisation  User controlled

User-controlled personalization is where the entire website is controlled by a custom criteria set by the user himself. It is usually explicitly asked what the user's specifics related to geography, gender, languages spoken etc. are. These kinds of websites rely on the fact that the user will  take out the time to tell them they are in order to be directed towards personalized products and services based on their own inputs.

The most common method of initiating user-controlled personalization is by asking the consumer to create an account and hence provide a bunch of details about themselves in the process.

For the geographical location of the user, more often than not, their IP(Internet Protocol) addresses are tracked to see what part of the globe they belong to.

Behavioral

In the other kind of personalization, it is not explicitly asked from the user about what they want and who they are. Personalization here is placed more on the user's website browsing history and also based on their interactions with the website content. The data so gathered is then utilized to understand their deeper interests and gauge out their persona. For example, Netflix first observes what are shows one watches and then recommends newer shows based on their history. Considering how much data this process involves, the research can be a pretty daunting task, but works in a magical way once conducted properly.

Contextual

Contextual personalisation is when the activities that you do in the day are analysed and used as a context to provide further recommendations to you. Perhaps the best example of this is a fitness tracking software - it recommends activities to you based on how much you’ve walked or exercised in a day. 

Personalisation can also range from varying degrees and levels depending on where you want your user to find you . 

Email personalisation

Consumers that identify themselves to a business by giving out their email address for some form of notifications or newsletters are sent targeted emails that form a part of an essential communication based on the data that the consumer has provided. Addresses are utilised for targeted email campaigns and differ from other generic ones as they have greater chance of lead to user conversion.

Campaigns

Custom landing pages might be created from time to time to support the cause of a campaign if it is relevant to the organisation's ethical cause. Usually CTA is placed in these landing pages to donate or contribute in some manner. 
Implementing web personalisation

Where to start?

With research, of course! Research regarding personalization will vary greatly depending on the kind of industry and business vertical you are looking to create content for. It should also go along well with your other goals and objectives should fall in line with the rest of your tools in use. While collecting data ensure that it is factually  correct and not outdated, that you are adhering to all regulations while collecting it, and that you have a virtual silo for storing all of this data and extracting it whenever it is required.

Identifying your audience

Once all the data is within your arms' reach, used to identify your target audience and also create the personas of your visitors. These personas should be vividly detailed and should contain all relevant information needed to create custom experiences. Here's an example of a detailed user persona.


Details like this will save essential time and effort while going through the data of thousands of users as you'll know exactly what to look for. This will help you immensely in the process of identifying your target audience. Learn more about the importance of audience segmentation in web personalisation here.

Setting your goals

Assuming that the research and segmentation part is done and dusted with, it is now time to get realistic and think about what is achievable and how much resources are required to complete the exercise - also whether the allocation is in line with the bigger picture. Once the data is studied and understood, you can now create an actionable plan that demonstrates how you plan to achieve your goals by using personalization and what your monthly or quarterly targets should be. 

Also always keep in mind that personalization is an incremental process and as you get more data with each interaction, the metrics need to be updated - that is, if you want to stay updated.

Mapping out the approach

But where does the plan of action start with? Do you create a separate landing page based on the data, or should it be incorporated in the home page itself? Now is the time to lay out a plan for personalizing the navigation and examining the touch points where the data needs to be delivered. You should not lose focus of the main goal, which is to generate maximum returns from this exercise. The right or wrong placement of a single line has the capacity to make or break your efforts.

Content and Design

This is the step where all of the research done is put into practice. The actual elements of a page that a customer interacts with are its content and design, and these should be highly reflective of what the user wants. The teams dealing with these two elements should be given access to the data and should be briefed comprehensively about what their work should comprise. Everything from the colour palette, the layout, to the kinds of images used are dynamic - but should also be intrinsically connected to your brand image. You should not be struggling to maintain your identity in the face of all of this personalization.

  • The header is your hero. Rightly said, the first impression is extremely important and it is important to put forward a good one. If you can personalize the header using an IP address to create a personal greeting to the customer, there would be nothing like it. The sub heading underneath every header and the image in the backdrop can also be personalized for each category of consumer that you are targeting. 
  • Add elements like featured blogs and other content based on the interactions that the user has had - like recommending ebooks or product related educational pieces. 
  • Highlight specific features of a product or solutions that you offer which are sure to resonate with the kind of audience that you are trying to attract. You could also try experimenting with motion UI to ensure that attention is attracted towards that part of the page.
  • A huge driver can also be customer testimonials, hence be sure to include some at a prominent spot in the homepage. Logos of brands that are associated with you, are partners with you or have invested in your company also add to the trustworthiness factor.

To know more, read about the significance of UX in the age of personalisation.

But is it working?

Early trends in metrics should not be ignored. Keep some analytics tools handy for examining the early trends in data after everything has been implemented. Have a clear analysis of 'before' so that you can compare the 'after'. Take into account the things like

  • Time spent on the site
  • Frequency of visitors
  • Content interacted with
  • Volume of new and returning visitors in comparison to the previous volumes recorded

Dive into the statistics and use it for the initial A/B testing. Analyse the data from different perspectives by keeping into account any seasonal or contextual effects that might have impacted the user behaviour during the said period of time. 

In mid stage metrics, points of data should be deduced from

  • Number of actions taken on the site
  • User feedbacks, if any
  • Quality of visitors - are they a part of your target audience?
  • Trends in lead to user conversion

Lastly, these metrics should be utilized to provide better iterations in the future.

Web personalisation in the near future

Less physical, more digital.

A miniscule number of companies have been deploying personalisation  beyond their digital presence. It has been predicted that all the places of interaction that have been largely physical till now will gradually be digitised, like food chains or clothing stores. Several clothing stores that have digitally transformed themselves to adhere to the present times allow 'online trials' using augmented reality to provide a personalized experience to the consumer. AI (Artificial Intelligence) enabled tools are utilised to improve the services - for example, it has been noted that food since Macy's and Starbucks use GPS (Global Positioning System) to trigger relevant in app push notifications to the consumer when they are near one of their stores. To know more, read how machine learning enhances personalisation at scale and in what different ways machine learning can be utilised for effective web personalisation.

Hence, in upcoming years we can expect the digitisation of presently predominantly physical spaces.

Scaling empathy

What makes AI stand out in this world surrounded by technology is its ability to incrementally improve after every interaction. Recently, McKinsey noted that smart speakers like Alexa and Google home for getting smarter over time and adding more to the skill set day by day.
 


The relationship of humans with technology and personalization is at a somewhat peculiar junction where we want the machines to understand us and not be completely mechanical - rather, a slight emotional, human touch is preferred. Thus, the concept of empathy will scale and devices will be expected to be more understanding of human behaviour in different times and contexts.

Formation of ecosystems

It is well known by now that a shopper's buying experience cycle - starting right from the introduction to a product till the end result of finally buying it is a cumulation of several touchpoints both offline and online that contributed to the overall buying experience. For example, an ad seen online, a promotional phone call, an offline retail store all might have contributed to the experience but at different timelines and regions. The next step towards personalization as it expands further would be to create a connection between all of these points and create an entire ecosystem to get personalized products and services delivered to the customer. It does not seem to be that far away, with smart home devices working towards integrating the entire place together and using shared experiences to render personalized offerings. For a complete guide on web personalisation, read here.

Taking the future as a reference

It is always better to live in the future as compared to the present. If you want to future proof your strategies it would be wise to roll out bigger investments on customer data and analytics. You can also make investments in finding and training translators so that you can personalize your brand's experience even further for the global crowd. The future of personalisation is agile and cross disciplinary, and traditional marketing efforts could go futile. Therefore, it would be best to refer to the upcoming trends and strategize your efforts accordingly - in order to remain a step forward than the others. 

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Agiledrop.com Blog: 5 key considerations for successful hybrid work

Planet Drupal - Wed, 2021/05/26 - 10:32am

In this article, we’ll take a look at 5 main things companies need to guarantee to ensure a successful transition to hybrid work.

READ MORE
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Ben's SEO Blog: A Brief Overview of the Token System

Planet Drupal - Tue, 2021/05/25 - 5:20pm
A Brief Overview of the Token System In order to create dynamic paths and metatags, you'll want to become familiar with Drupal's powerful Token system. It's worth some time going over, especially if you are new to Drupal. Tracy Cooper Tue, 05/25/2021 - 10:20
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Security public service announcements: Off Cycle Drupal Core Security Release - PSA-2021-05-25

Planet Drupal - Tue, 2021/05/25 - 2:31pm
Date: 2021-May-25Description: 

There will be a security release of Drupal Core 8.9.x, and 9.1.x on May 26th, 2021 between 16:00 - 18:00 UTC. This Public Service Advisory is to notify that the Drupal core release is outside of the regular schedule of security releases. For all security updates, the Drupal Security Team urges you to reserve time for core updates at that time because there is some risk that exploits might be developed within hours or days. Security release announcements will appear on the Drupal.org security advisory page.

The security risk of the advisory is currently rated as Moderately Critical.
This is not a mass-exploitable vulnerability as far as the security team is currently aware.


Given that this is a moderately critical vulnerability and is not believed to be mass exploitable it is not covered by Drupal Steward partners.

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Specbee: Adding custom oEmbed providers to remote video media source with Drupal 9 & Drupal 8 oEmbed Providers module

Planet Drupal - Tue, 2021/05/25 - 1:22pm
Adding custom oEmbed providers to remote video media source with Drupal 9 & Drupal 8 oEmbed Providers module Ankitha 25 May, 2021 Top 10 best practices for designing a perfect UX for your mobile app

One of the ways to engage your visitors is by using various multimedia on your website and Drupal’s Media module provides a fantastic way to achieve that. An additional support was added to the Media module in Drupal 8.6.0 that lets you easily embed third-party videos from an URL into your site’s content called the oEmbed feature.

While having oEmbed support in the Drupal core is great, there are a few key requirements that might still be missing. In this blog we shall try out the oEmbed Providers module that extends the core’s media oEmbed functionality. The oEmbed Providers module is compatible with Drupal 8.8.4 version and above (and also works with Drupal 9!).

What is oEmbed Technology?

According to oembed.com, oEmbed is a format for allowing an embedded representation of a URL on third party sites. The simple API allows a website to display embedded content (such as photos or videos) when a user posts a link to that resource, without having to parse the resource directly.

Basically, oEmbeds allows a website's content to be embedded to another web page. The oEmbed format is supported by the most popular resources with multimedia content - Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Flickr, Vimeo and many more.

Configuring oEmbed Providers on Drupal Step 1: Enabling the Media and Media Library core module
  • Enable the media and media library core module in your site.
Step 2: Install and Enable the oEmbed Providers module
  • Download the oEmbed Providers module using your method of choice (composer recommended). $composer require drupal/oembed_providers
  • Enable the module in your site.
Step 3: Configuring the oEmbed Providers module
  • Once enabled you can visit the configuration form at /admin/config/media/oembed-providers.
  • This module provides several features as listed below by extending core's oEmbed functionality:

         a. Add custom oEmbed providers

            ▪ Core Media provides no option for adding custom providers. The oEmbed providers module lets you do that by navigating to Configuration >  Media > oEmbed Providers > Custom Providers and clicking on Add oEmbed provider.

             • Fill in the necessary details to define a custom oEmbed provider and save the configuration form. Now you will be able to embed videos from this custom provider into your Drupal site. Here, I have given an example of a RadioPublic provider, you can fill in details of providers of your choice.

       

     b. Global enable/disable providers

      ▪ The oEmbed Providers module provides an user interface for enabling and disabling providers.

   

     c. Modify the providers list URL

        ▪ The oEmbed Providers module provides an user interface to alter the providers URL as the core Media module by default fetches the list of providers from here

 

     d. Disable the fetching of providers list

        ▪ The oEmbed Providers module provides an user interface to disable the external fetch of providers, for instance, when the site uses only custom providers.

   

    e. Provides hook_oembed_providers_alter()

       ▪  The oEmbed Providers module provides a hook_oembed_providers_alter() that lets to alter provider definitions.

Step 4: Adding media to a content
  • Once you're done adding a custom oEmbed provider, you can now embed the videos from that custom provider into your Drupal site.

  • Add a media field to any of your content types and choose ‘Remote Video’ media type.

  • Now provide a video link from your custom provider. Here we have created a RadioPublic provider and saved the content.

 

Okay, that’s it! You can now see the videos from your custom provider being rendered on your Drupal site.

Please Note: Once you get your custom providers working, you can also contribute this to a public oEmbed repository. It contains configuration information (the registry) for oEmbed providers, as YAML files in the providers directory. Once your PR gets merged, it will be listed out in https://oembed.com/providers.json and thus available for all Drupal developers to use with just the core media. Few months back, the YAML for Radiopublic provider (as shown in above example) got merged to the repository and it’s now available for us to use on Drupal. How cool is that?!

See the Drupal.org change record for more details on the oEmbed support and status.

The oEmbed providers module is a great feature that extends the Drupal media module’s oEmbed functionality. Go check it out and we’d love to hear back from you on how it worked! To get regular updates on more of our interesting articles, please check our blog section and subscribe to our weekly newsletters today! Need expert help with your next Drupal project? Contact us today and we’ll get back to you ASAP!

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OpenSense Labs: Digital Experience Platform (DXP) : The Ultimate Guide

Planet Drupal - Tue, 2021/05/25 - 11:28am
Digital Experience Platform (DXP) : The Ultimate Guide Akanksha Mehta Tue, 05/25/2021 - 14:58

Providing an optimum digital platform that is accessible, meaningful as well as communicative of your organisation’s plans and objectives is imperative to creating a healthy brand image and also for being considerate of your customers’ demands and expectations from you. Most consumers today expect a widespread and uniform and digital presence of the brand that they are associating with - a presence that lays everything out on the table and leaves close to nothing behind closed doors.

This is where the concept of a Digital Experience Platform (DXP) comes in. A DXP is an integrated software framework that is used to reach out to a wide horizon of audiences through an array of digital channels and touchpoints. The recent decades of the digital boom have brought it to many organisations’ notice to invest in DXPs to build, deploy and continually improve their websites, applications and digital experiences. 

There are two core principles that stand out in the explanation of a digital experience platform.

  • Multiple integrated technologies are needed to connect to a wide array of digital touchpoints.
  • Management of all of these expanded experiences is done from a central platform that acts as a single control centre.

Let's have a look at the visual definition of a DXP.

Source : Xtevia

A recent report showcased that 47% consumers would abandon a brand that doesn't provide relief and product suggestions and shop from some renowned organisation like Amazon instead. Impact found that companies have been realising the importance of an expanded digital presence, with over 44% of the surveyed companies were presently working towards a digital first approach, while 34% had already undergone a transformation. 

Owing to these statistics, it comes as no surprise that the Global Digital Experience Platform Market continues to keep expanding year after year.

Source : Data Bridge Market ResearchKinds of DXPs

Two of the primary approaches to Digital Experience Platforms are:

Open DXP

A platform that serves as the connective bridge of digital experiences by integrating multiple products from different vendors together so that they can work and perform as one, is an Open DXP. Hence organisations that already have a wide digital presence and own multiple digital experience products will be able to utilize Open DXP better.

Closed DXP

A closed DXP on the other hand is also a one-stop-shop that has all major DXP components - but the differences that all of these components are maintained by a single provider and integrations with other applications is fairly limited. 

When it comes to choosing the right approach out of these two, it can be very tricky for an organisation as it depends upon what a certain business might be looking for. For instance, an organisation can avoid closed DXP if it does not want to completely ditch different parts of its platform that are working well for it today. On the other hand, choosing open DXP can be fruitful as it lets a business maintain the part of its experience toolset that is working fine. An Open source DXP can lend flexibility to an organisation’s future. A digital business should still look at what it really wants based on all the different factors.

Based on organisation’s specific use cases, DXP has branched itself into three further categories:

CMS DXPs

For today’s creative agencies that require management tools and creative freedom than what a CMS offers, a CMS (Content Management System) DXP makes the cut by focusing more on the needs of the marketing department as well as the User experience (UX) of the platform. These are particularly sought-after if the business is B2C - where the sale cycle is short and the audience is large, as CMS-heritage DXPs have strong offerings for web-based analytics, user segmentations, advertising and campaigns. Learn more about choosing the right CMS and why Drupal can be the way to go.

Portal DXPs

On the other hand if your business is one of those where long-term customer relationships are valued even after the transaction has been made, a Portal DXP is better suited for the purpose. These trace their origins back to providing customer portals and help businesses understand the factors that lead to better customer loyalty and retention. These DXPs can be especially useful for gathering inputs before providing customer service and assistance in issue resolution. 

Commerce DXPs

Commerce DXPs are used for setting up online e-commerce platforms. In addition to product related content delivery and online shopping platform style web interfaces, Commerce DXPs also provide the capabilities related to inventory management, shopping cart, payment integration and checkouts.

DXP vs CMS vs WEM

Now that we're done with defining and analysing the different kinds of DXPs, let’s address the most common query when it comes to these platforms - how is a DXP different from a CMS or a WEM (Web Experience Management)? As the diagram below shows, these similar sounding terms have different use cases and are suited to companies with different goals and aspirations. A DXP has grown out of the limitations posed by a traditional CMS, with regard to creating and managing customer experiences - letting the user dive deeper into the concepts and applications of UX. Forrester's Mark Grannan defines the difference between CMS and DXP as 

“Web CMS is critical for developing, managing and optimizing web, mobile, and other content-based experiences. API-first architecture and cloud deployments are reshaping the packaging of digital capabilities into more granular tools that can be assembled on demand.”


A Web Experience Management platform was also born out of newer customer needs, introducing cross-channel functionality for content and data delivery. A WEM enables a brand's business units to share information digitally across channels, and gives the business greater visibility into the user behaviours and personas according to their activities on these channels. 

But the ultimate solution for delivering multi-channel marketing and better user experiences emerges in the form of a DXP, as it brings out the best in both worlds. 

When do you need a DXP?

But of course, not everyone would require a DXP as it completely depends on an organisation's present needs and future aspirations. One must look out to onboard a DXP if 

  • Building relationships with your audience throughout the transaction is one of the chief goals of your organisation.
  • Your future plans include organising omni-channel experiences that provide you the ability to reach out and deliver content to multiple devices and channels like mobile phones, tablets, email inboxes and social media.
  • In a bid to enhance the User Experience of your digital presence, your organisation's pipeline mentions several integrations of new data and platforms to optimise the content and the layouts for your end users. 
  • Further elaborating on the UX, content personalization and differentiated customer experiences are rated high on importance to retain customers and create value. When you work with a DXP, it does the job of collecting consumer data, defining user personas, and serving custom content to specific audiences, also alongside connecting this data with other channels like social media and mobile applications. Hence, a DXP integrates with other systems and departments to create highly personalized experiences for your audience.
  • A platform that does most of the analytical thinking by itself is also great for comprehensive strategizing and planning your roadmaps across channels all while having a single, sturdy management. Not just in the planning, a DXP is also great for retrospection and management of the entire campaign and for incorporating the inputs so received into the workflow.
Choosing the right DXP

While it may seem like a daunting task to choose the perfect digital experience  for your enterprise, the job becomes much easier when you go through the process step by step. Choosing the ideal DXP should consist of the following steps.

Map out your requirements

It is easy to get caught up in the flashy new features offered in the market, but you must keep in mind that your company has unique requirements and that the features and functionalities you might have on your wishlist shouldn't just be there because they're an upcoming trend or a buzzword. Anything that you plan to invest on should add value to the organisation. Set realistic goals and about your requirements in a phase by phase manner, ranging from high priority to low priority.

Assess your readiness for transformation

There is quite a lot of change that happens when fundamental decisions like onboarding a DXP are taken. It is now time to analyse whether your content delivery channels and your diverse audience would benefit from this change - and if they would, would they benefit enough for you to go through the ordeal? Is your audience receptive to change and welcomes new initiatives? Or is it more a laid back user base that wants to identify with traditional systems and methodologies? More importantly, do you have enough resources to absorb the changes that come about - i.e., are you ready both in spirit and capacity to make this change?

Onboard some experts

Bigger projects require a broader perspective, so do not take it upon yourself to analyse who the leading technology vendors are and which one to go for, as there is expert help available for that at any point. Keep an eye out for analysts like Gartner and Forrester that constantly release rankings including top players in digital experience, commerce, CMS and the likes. All of these should be considered while the research is undergoing for a new DXP.

Evaluating surrounding ecosystems

Don’t trace the journey without conducting thorough research about what is going on in the market and with your competitors. Note which organisations used which parts of different technologies and tools, and how well these have helped the enterprise to flourish in the duration. Also take the time to examine  the goals or features of other businesses that overlap with your organization's and how they have been catalysing their workflow with the use of newer tech. Methods that are already tried and tested will help you out a great deal as there is no better testimony than a practical  example.

Also ask your vendor for plenty of references for you to study during the research process to be absolutely sure before finalising a DXP.

Plan a roadmap

Lastly, don’t think only about the present but also the future. There should be a pipeline of tasks that are to be done with regard to the platform in the next few months. Team discussions regarding the execution and usage of the DXP should take place beforehand so that everything works at its optimum. 

Benefits of using a DXP

There's a reason why many big organisations seem to be gravitating towards DXPs to take care of their present and future roadmaps. This is because a DXP comes with some pretty solid advantages.

Integrated Controls

DXPs are best suited for multi-channel deliveries and expanding into the far reaches of the web all while keeping a single integrated control panel. A DXP is well equipped to create comprehensive strategies across different platforms all while keeping the operations seamless, and also enabling close collaboration among web page optimisation, content optimisation and also email campaigns. Not only this, you can also rely on the platform for analytics tracking and A/B testings.


Flexibility

DXPs can be pretty dynamic and flexible in application and that is exactly what's needed in the fast evolving world of today. DXPs, owing to their open API (Application Programming Interface) first architecture, are flexible enough to integrate the latest technologies so that you can serve that to your customers as soon as possible. Thus, a DXP is both accommodative of changes in your plans as well as scope of the project, as scalability is one of its primal strengths.

Personalization

As DXPs are great with analysing, tracking, and everything else that constitutes user research before rolling out a product, they also are simultaneously great for creating personalized user experiences of these channels by taking into account the several inputs that they received over these touchpoints. If your business bases itself on creating unique experiences for your customers, a DXP is quite a godsend. 

Being future proof

Investing in a platform which is as moldable and customisable as a DXP also is a method of future proofing yourself against an impending technical debt. Apart from this, as organisations dive deeper into the user journeys, relationships that could sustain in the future are also nurtured as needs are understood as well as addressed in a better manner. The information that a DXP gathers for you can turn out to be invaluable in the time to come.

Exploring upcoming digital experience trends DXP and AI

To study all the data flowing in from multiple sources, analyse it, and to bring forward better content and servicing after reviewing the inputs received and also to continuously maintain and improve the process, artificial intelligence is brought into the loop. The entire concept of a DXP is based on artificial intelligence - AI is interwoven intrinsically in DXP and has access to data from every tool and touchpoint. In turn, the DXP acts as the ultimate seat for the AI to understand and improve the experience from customer acquisition to loyalty.

Voice Interaction

'Smart speakers' constitute a space in the digital sphere that hasn't been mastered yet. But there is no denying that they have become an essential part in the digital experience journey of a customer, and brands that can offer these services seamlessly are sure to have competitive advantage over the others. More about conversational UI here.

Maintaining Privacy

Customer privacy is more important than ever. If you can give your customers the assurance that every data that is collected from them is used for a purpose that they know of, hence involving them into the brand operations, it adds great value to your overall relationship. It shows the end user that you have nothing to hide, that you are transparent, and more importantly, you can be trusted. 

The process matters

Consumers will care more about how you do things. Do you tap on the trends to deliver updated content to your user base? Or is your style more laid back and rigid? As business relationships get more intermingled consumers are going to care it's more than just the product that they're purchasing. They are also going to be  interested in your method of operations, your digital presence, your accessibility on the various channels you're present in, your problem solving techniques, etc. 

Digital will bridge the gap

Digital has been the saving grace during these stressed times, and will continue to be in the saviour even later on. Companies will rely on their digital platforms to access the far reaches of the globe to their scattered audiences. Even within the organisation, a business that is digitally integrated is, in a way, future proof, as it delivers greater visibility into the work of each department and hence better insights on the working of the entire organisation as a whole. This enables one to correct the mistakes faster and achieve greater efficiency faster.

It is inevitable that a business that is flexible, omnipresent, considerate and updated will win the competitive edge in the near future. Hence, it is recommended to start your digital transformation journey as early as possible!

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