Specbee: Top 5 Reasons Why You Should Migrate from Drupal 7 to Drupal 9 (even with the EOL extension)

Planet Drupal - Tue, 2022/04/12 - 9:07am
Top 5 Reasons Why You Should Migrate from Drupal 7 to Drupal 9 (even with the EOL extension) Shefali Shetty 12 Apr, 2022

It was coming in fast. Even with the previous end-of-life deadline approaching, the most recent Drupal usage statistics (March 26, 2022) suggest that as many as 500,000 websites are still on Drupal 7. That makes it a slight majority of Drupal websites all together! There are a lot of reasons for that, one being that moving to Drupal 9 is a big project that not everyone is ready to take on. There was danger brewing with the types of industries and government institutions still using Drupal 7 for their content management requirements. Dropping support could have created a serious problem.

With that in mind, to continue to provide support and security to all Drupal 7 site owners while not leaving them vulnerable, the Drupal community along with Drupal project lead, Dries Buytaert, recently announced that the Drupal 7 End of Life date will be further extended to November 1, 2023. The previous end of life for Drupal 7 was extended to November 2022 due to the impact of the pandemic on businesses and budgets. To put that in perspective, Drupal 8 has already reached its end of life on November 2, 2021.

But is it a good idea to wait till November 2023 to migrate your Drupal 7 site to Drupal 9 (or Drupal 10 coming soon)? The Drupal community and Specbee recommends you NOT to wait till 2023 to take that leap. Here’s why.

But wait, why are so many organizations still on Drupal 7?

If this is you, we understand you have your reasons to stick around with Drupal 7. The following are some of the “why’s” we’ve heard from our clients who were on Drupal 7 (but are now safely on Drupal 9).

• Budget - Maybe it goes without saying that upgrading to a new and advanced platform consumes more of your marketing and IT budget. Especially for this migration as Drupal 9 is a completely fresh build. The change in the database structure needs more development time as well. 

A deeper ROI analysis will help you substantiate the cost. Upgrading to a more robust, extensible, modern and secure platform like Drupal 9 is worth the investment. More on that below.

• Unsure of stability - If your Drupal 7 site is complex and with a lot of custom development, you might feel that staying with your current Drupal 7 system is more comfortable than moving to Drupal 9. It’s scary, right? And since it could take a couple of months of development time, you might get questioned about the long-term stability of the migrated functionalities.

With a trusted Drupal development partner and some prep work before your Drupal 9 migration, all of the above mentioned uneasiness can be ironed out. Sure, you can flex Drupal 7 to the changing environment but with Drupal 9, flexibility and stability is built into its core.

• Unavailable Modules - You may have heard that not many of the Drupal 7 contributed modules are ported to Drupal 9. And that’s true!

While a significant number of contributed modules have been ported to Drupal 9 (most of the popular ones are now a part of core) some were deprecated in the spirit of streamlining. Now you don’t really need very many contributed modules to build a Drupal 9 website. And we can guarantee that there’s nothing built on Drupal 7 that can’t be custom built better in Drupal 9.

• Integrations - Many of our clients were skeptical if Drupal 9 would be able to support all their existing integrations that Drupal 7 has been gracefully handling. 

The good news is that just isn’t a problem. Drupal 9 has been built on a modern architecture that allows websites to integrate and exchange data with any third-party application of your choice. 

• Unaware of the power of Drupal 9 - Yes, this is one of the most prevalent reasons why Drupal 7 site owners are not migrating to Drupal 9.

The assumption that it’s not a huge advancement in speed and usability is a mistake. Along with the tons of features you will get with Drupal 9 (more on that later), staying on an old technology that is hard to grow should be reason enough to upgrade to Drupal 9.

• The New Vendor Onboarding - Understandably, Drupal 7 site owners find it hard to trust a new (more often than not) vendor and if they can deliver quality.

Finding a reputable/reliable Drupal development company is key to addressing this issue. Make sure you read this article to know how to evaluate a Drupal partner to get a better idea. Choosing a partner who works exclusively on Drupal is a big advantage.

• Simple Websites - Maintaining simple, single page or websites that have very minimal custom or contributed modules is easier with Drupal 7.

Although Drupal 9 has been built to meet expectations of small business owners to large enterprises and you will need to move eventually, in cases like this, you can probably hold off a little closer to Drupal 7 end of life. Your migration shouldn’t take much time and holding off will allow you to better prepare your budget.

Why you should plan your Drupal 9 migration now

We’ve gone through the most common reasons people hold off migrating. Now let’s talk about the gigantic leap forward Drupal 9 provides. After all, you’ll need to make a case as to why Drupal 7 site owners and leadership should make the upgrade ASAP. The first thing most people think is that there’s plenty of time till November 2023. But these benefits are worth the migration alone and are why we recommend that now is the best time to upgrade your Drupal 7 website to Drupal 9.

1. A Next-Gen Platform

Moving to a new and advanced platform is the best way to meet your client’s current expectations.

Not unlike how car makers upgrade their models every 5 years (or less sometimes) as technology and minimum requirements to advance, the same can be expected for websites. Sure, an older car had features like air-conditioning, power windows, airbags, decent horsepower and more that were standard for their time. But today’s standards require more than that. Enhancements like side curtain airbags, automatic climate control, traction control, gas efficiency, etc., have elevated the driving experience and are in-line with the modern trends in safety and comfort.

Bringing it back to technology, upgrading to a fresh and modern platform is the most cost-effective thing you can do to turn your average site into one that’s a supercharged lead generation and user experience dream. Drupal 9 has been built on a platform that is extensible and scalable to meet every growing organization’s digital experience needs. Leveraging the power of an advanced, innovative, and robust platform like Drupal 9 makes perfect sense. Waiting just extends the amount of time you’re technologically behind the modern standards.

2. Continuously Evolving 

Drupal 8 was built with the idea of continuous innovation which has (and will always be) carried forward to its successors (Drupal 9, Drupal 10…). The big difference has been the adoption of modern libraries like Symfony, Twig, Guzzle which have enabled developers to build high performing and innovative web applications. Plus, the API-first approach lets you deliver content to different devices, channels and platforms seamlessly. 

Keeping up with the latest PHP versions, MySQL versions, libraries help in getting the most out of them. With the inclusion of features like Composer, it is now possible to manage dependencies and conflicts, allowing for significant functionality to be added without having to build everything from scratch. This enables Drupal to be both effective and sustainable enough to run enterprise level sites. All this leads to organizations building applications that are built on modern platforms and better performing. 

3. Easy upgrades forever

With the big jump from Drupal 7, it’s natural to think that once you have migrated to Drupal 9, upgrading to the latest Drupal release will be a hassle every time going forward. That is just not the case.

Yes, as mentioned earlier, migrating from Drupal 7 to Drupal 9 is going to be a major project with an entire platform rebuild. But once you’re on Drupal 9, upgrades are going to be easy forever! With the adoption of the new semantic versioning beginning with Drupal 8, new features are now released with every minor version update and major upgrades. This allows you to innovate faster and provides a smoother learning curve. You will never have to replatform again. We promise! 

4. Missing the boat

Drupal 8 introduced many fantastic features that have been enhanced in Drupal 9. If you’re still using Drupal 7 to manage your content, here’s a little hint of what you are missing out on.

  • Better security - With the Drupal community and security team prioritizing and actively focusing on security of Drupal 9, you can rest assured that your website is safe. The removal of deprecated code means you have a leaner codebase, thus decreasing chances of security risks or errors.
  • Powerful performance - Many performance enhancing modules are already built in Drupal 9 core. Modules like the Big Pipe (improving the frontend rendering pipeline) and the Internal page cache (data caching for faster content delivery) are now baked right in. Meanwhile some of them are contributed - like the Advanced CSS/JS aggregation module (improving frontend performance), Blazy module (lazy loading of images), CDN and more.
  • Better editorial experience - The Layout builder module, now in Drupal 9 core, is a fantastic tool for site builders and content editors to build customized and flexible pages easily. It has a very user-friendly UI with drag and drop capabilities that make it easy to work with. The Media module, also in core, makes media management simple and efficient.
  • Powerful content moderation - Drupal 9 has a built-in effective content moderation workflow that helps marketing teams streamline their publishing workflow. In addition, you can also leverage the Content moderation module to further customize and expand its capabilities.
  • Configuration Management - Configuration data can now be stored, managed and moved within various environments easily and consistently with the Configuration management in Drupal 9 core.
  • API-first approach - Drupal 8 took the API-first approach route and this was a game changer. It gives you the flexibility of integrating with any third-party system of your choice and delivering content irrespective of the platform, device or channel.

5. Ready to jump in?

Let’s face it. A complex Drupal 7 website with deeper levels of customization will need more time and development effort to migrate to Drupal 9 when compared to a simple website. And, yes, it’s going to be a complete rebuild from the ground up. No one likes putting budget to something like this, but the risk mitigation itself makes it a worthwhile investment. 

The other factor here is the last minute rush (we see this a lot). Many organizations get desperate when they can’t find availability from the more established Drupal development companies and go with someone who isn’t qualified. We have a whole customer segment of “migration rescues”. A poor migration is an overly expensive fix, unfortunately. Don’t make that mistake. Before you migrate, you have four important things to do:

  • Do your research and find an ideal Drupal development partner who can make even your complex Drupal 9 migration seem easy. 
  • Prepare yourself well for the information that will be needed to audit your current Drupal 7 site. Here’s a quick checklist for you to keep handy.
  • Get a migration audit performed by the Drupal partner you have chosen (we can do it for you for FREE if you’d like). This audit report will give you detailed information on your content structure, backend and frontend architecture and SEO structure so that the Drupal experts can plan the best migration strategy that works for your website.

Planning your Drupal 9 migration is vital. And the time is right now. Don’t wait till the last minute and risk your web presence. We have been successfully migrating Drupal 7 websites to Drupal 9 for many of our clients and can do the same for you. We’d love to hear about your project! Talk to us.

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Talking Drupal: Talking Drupal #342 - Acquia Code Studio

Planet Drupal - Mon, 2022/04/11 - 8:00pm

Today we are talking about Acquia Code Studio with Matthew Grasmick and Ron Northcutt.

www.talkingDrupal.com/342

Topics
  • What is Acquia Code Studio?
  • Are merge requests something that can be done via the Acquia Dashboard?
  • Can I make edits in the browser?
  • Is it Acquia Cloud only?
  • Can you use gitlab, github or bitbucket?
  • How does testing work?
  • Can it co exist with current dev tools?
  • Can you add additional tools like sonarqube?
  • Are there additional fees?
  • Can existing customers use CS?
  • Is there a local setup?
Resources Guests

Matthew Grasmick - @grasmash Ron Northcutt - @rlnorthcutt

Hosts

Nic Laflin - www.nLighteneddevelopment.com @nicxvan John Picozzi - www.epam.com @johnpicozzi Mike Anello - @ultimike

MOTW

Calendar View A lightweight module to display any Views results in a calendar table. Compatible with any View as it - should - respects exposed date filters (e.g. >=, <=, ‘between’…etc) and the default rendering of the results (e.g. display fields or as rendered entity).

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Jacob Rockowitz: The future of our Drupal CMS and Schema.org: APIs, UI, and UX

Planet Drupal - Mon, 2022/04/11 - 5:53pm

Introduction

The current trend in the CMS community is pushing organizations to consider going headless, which for most organizations is a momentous amount of effort. The reality is that having a well-thought-out CMS architecture can significantly help an organization address its current and future digital challenges and ongoing digital strategy.

Every few years, organizations have to rework their digital strategy starting with establishing a web presence, adopting a CMS, sharing content, building a responsive mobile website, creating personalized user experiences, and authoring voice-friendly content. This list won’t stop there. Headless CMSs are not a trend - they are a major shift in how organizations create and manage their content to make it easier to future-proof an organization's digital strategy for their next digital challenge.

Goals

Headless CMSs have been the talk of the town for several years. This post aligns with the direction that headless CMSs are taking the industry in while also focusing on the need for good data, APIs, and authoring tools.

To help keep this discussion focused, my goals (and hopefully takeaways) in this post are to emphasize the importance of:

  • Defining a modern approach for organizations leveraging Drupal or considering moving to Drupal.
  • Recognizing the reality that we may need to rearchitect our existing content architecture.
  • Nudging our community to collaborate on a shared universal Schema.org-first data modeling approach with familiar entities, fields, and predictable relationships.

Background

My organization is at a crossroads where our digital presence needs to become a multi-channel personalized and competitive digital experience. We were early adopters of Drupal 8 and, at one point, even considered Read More

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Wim Leers: Drupal Dev Days Ghent 2022: sprints FTW!

Planet Drupal - Mon, 2022/04/11 - 2:09pm

So what was DDD Ghent like?

Statistics

I’m especially interested in sprinting on the CKEditor 5 module for Drupal core, since that’s what I am currently working on for Acquia, because that is one of the biggest must-haves/blockers for Drupal 10. 86% of issues worked on at DDD Ghent was not CKEditor 5, so … I’m hoping others will do blog posts similar to this one! :D

New contributors

I worked with at least a dozen people who’d never contributed to CKEditor 5 before. I mentored in various ways: how to do the issue write-up, how to debug, how to find examples, how to write a kernel test, how to use data providers, how to run and write a functional JS test, how to create a contrib-to-core CKE5 button upgrade path, etc.
I know that (my colleague and fellow CKEditor 5-in-core contributor) lauriii mentored scott_euser to help us get external images support, and he helped dawehner write a complex CKE5 plugin that the popular token_filter module will be able to use for its upgrade path too.

Thanks to all of you who contributed to the CKEditor 5 module in Drupal core last week (in alphabetical order): andreasderijcke, brentg DieterHolvoet, Dom., Eli-T, ifrik, jcnventura, joevagyok, marcvangend, mpp and seanB. Better still: several of these people started issues of their own and ended up collaborating on each other’s issues!

Takeaways

The #1 takeaway for Lauri and I was that the upgrade path we had written assumed valid text format + CKEditor 4 configuration, which was definitely a faulty assumption, since just like the text format admin UI had done historically, there was no validation for any of this: the site builder is expected to know valid filter orders and which filters ought not to be enabled while using CKEditor 4. This utter lack of validation and hence guidance is what CKEditor 5 definitely does much better. But … we need to get those sites upgraded to CKEditor 5 too. That was the top critical we found, and it’s already fixed: #3273312. Basically, most long-time Drupalists apparently create new text formats and always add filter_autop and filter_url to them out of habit. The majority of people testing the upgrade path ran into this!

But extra special thanks go to ifrik and Dom. — they worked on CKEditor 5 the entire week and both not only reported but also contributed to lots of issues!

The second most frequent hurdle was contrib CKE4 plugins not having any actionability: the user feels stuck. We’re improving on that in #3273325. And more importantly, we’re starting to see that some modules are obsolete, which means core can (and MUST!) provide an upgrade path for certain contrib modules — see #3274278 for the first of that, and we now have a Drupal handbook page where coordination is now happening.

And despite not feeling well at all, lauriii still attended the magnificent live accessibility testing that we got from Bram Duvigneau, where he basically applauded our CKEditor 5 toolbar configuration admin UI. (And found some hurdles in CKEditor 5 itself when using NVDA.)

Live accessibility testing of Drupal 9 @ckeditor 5 integration at @drupaldevdays by @bramduvigneau with @wimleers https://t.co/JRphSVpNcK pic.twitter.com/w9XtsuKMaB

— Gábor Hojtsy (@gaborhojtsy) April 7, 2022

So I’d say: the sprints at DDD were a big success!

And not just on the technical front: I got to show my hometown to many fellow Drupalists, so I have many beautiful memories to look back to :)

Morning #Drupalers. Let's get ready for Day 3 of #DrupalDevDays. Hope this group photo helps you energise for today :D

Today's schedule at https://t.co/RAa7HfN9t6

Get Set Go!

(Many thanks to @BramDriesen and @Borisson for coordinating and taking this amazing group photo) pic.twitter.com/rGXMyyrAH5

— Drupal Dev Days (@drupaldevdays) April 6, 2022
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Electric Citizen: See you at DrupalCon Portland 2022

Planet Drupal - Mon, 2022/04/11 - 11:04am

It's been a long three years, but the Drupal community is getting back together in person for DrupalCon Portland! (Apr 25-Apr 29)

The pandemic robbed us of the first-ever DrupalCon Minneapolis (our "hometown") in 2019, and again in 2020 for what should have been DrupalCon Boston. But finally in 2022, the Drupal community is getting back together in person for the annual DrupalCon North America. 

Although the finer details continue to change each year, the basics remain the same – thousands of Drupal developers, users, site owners, content editors, trainers, and learners all gather for a week of training, summits, keynotes, sessions and socializing. It's one of our favorite activities and we're so glad it is back.

Sponsoring and Supporting Drupal

Electric Citizen continues to be a strong supporter of open-source and Drupal in 2022. We've renewed our commitment as a premier supporting organization, and continued our practice of sponsoring DrupalCon as well.

If you're in Portland this April, find us on the exhibit hall at booth #304!

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#! code: Drupal 9: Deleting And Ignoring Drupal Composer Directories From Git

Planet Drupal - Sun, 2022/04/10 - 10:12pm

Composer is an excellent way of managing dependencies but in order to use it properly it does require a build and deployment process.

The two ways of deploying a site built with composer is to either generate an artefact with the composer dependencies installed, or to install composer as part of the deployment process. Both of these approaches require not committing the vendor directory and other third party libraries (like Drupal core for example) to the git repository.

Many developers tend to go for the approach of committing the composer dependencies to the repository in order to simplify their workflow. This approach, while simple, does have its problems. I have talked about the problems of committing the composer vendor directory in detail in a previous article.

If you need to swap from a vendor in git approach to a deployed application approach then there are some thing you'll need to do in order to remove those directories from your codebase.

The best way to remove the vendor directories from your codebase is to automate it. This means that if you ever want to test your deployment process then you can run a single command to remove all of the non-custom files. This is also a useful way of triggering a full re-install of the project.

Create a file called nuke.sh and add it somewhere in your project (preferably outside of your webroot). This file contains a number of deletion (i.e. rm) commands that go through your codebase and removes any vendor, Drupal core or contributed code. I normally create this file in "scripts/nuke.sh".

Read more.

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php[architect]: Testing The Core

Planet Drupal - Fri, 2022/04/08 - 11:46pm

This month, John and Eric introduce the new Drupal Dab column by Nicola Pignatelli which will be focused on the Drupal CMS system. They also discuss the How to Hack you Home with a Raspberry Pi series is going.

Chris Tankersley takes us down the path of licenses with some thoughts on choosing one for our project in his article Which License to Choose? He discusses the pros and cons of several open-source licenses and explains the benefits and drawbacks. In Security Corner, Eric Mann discusses Operational Security. He touches on what happens when disaster strikes, learning from mistakes, best practices, and the ongoing quest for security. Next to time, one of the more frustrating areas to code is money, and in this month’s PHP Puzzles Making Some Change, Oscar Merida goes over the challenge of making change. He also shows some solutions to last month’s challenge on the best ways to make change.
We’ve all heard the excuses for not having tests, tests are “confusing”, “difficult”, “takes too long to write”, or are just “complicated.” There’s also a saying, “any tests are better than no test.” In this month, The Workshop, Joe Ferguson goes over one of the easiest ways to get some basic tests in your project with his article Accept Testing with Codeception. I have personally been a huge fan of Edward Barnard’s new DDD Alley column. This month he continues the series with When the New Requirements Arrive, where he talks about what you do when new requirements for a codebase are introduced and how to handle them. He touches on the solid principle, bloated classes, test boundaries, and more. Frank Wallen continues his new column, PSR Pickup, where he moves on to PSR 12 Extended Coding Style Standard and discusses what this PSR is and why you might want to use it in your projects.

The post Testing The Core appeared first on php[architect].

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Drupal Association blog: Google Summer of Code 2022 is open! Eligibility expanded!

Planet Drupal - Fri, 2022/04/08 - 8:15pm

This post brought to you by Drupal Association board member Nick Veenhof, in collaboration with Jingsheng Wang.

Congratulations. We are thrilled to announce that Drupal is accepted to Google Summer of Code once again in 2022. This will be Drupal’s sixteenth year as a mentoring organization. Moreover, starting in 2022, this program will be open to all newcomers of open source that are 18 years and older. The program will no longer be solely focused on university students or recent graduates. To read more details of the change in GSoC, please visit here.

For people interested in applying GSoC at Drupal

With robust content management tools, sophisticated APIs for multichannel publishing, and a track record of continuous innovation—Drupal is the best digital experience platform(DXP) on the web, proudly open source.

Drupal is a powerful framework that has inspired a new generation of digital experiences. Drupal is also the open-source CMS that helps you deliver ambitious, elegant, and performant digital experiences at scale.

Please follow Getting Started with GSoC documentation to understand the application process at Drupal. Also, we are excited to talk to you on Slack in #drupal-google to chat in real time if you have any questions. If you are already familiar with the process, you can also jump right into Drupal's GSoC 2022 Project Idea Page.

For people interested in mentoring projects or have ideas

If you have been an active contributor at Drupal, we’d love to have you open new project ideas as well as mentoring during the program. It is definitely not too late for you to get involved. The program admins want to help you to find the right applicant before April.19th (see 2022 timeline).

Please review Drupal's GSoC 2022 Project Idea Page, and join the Slack channel in #drupal-google.

We would also appreciate Drupal agencies to help spread the word, and help us to recruit great candidates.

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Finalist Blog: Some highlights from the Drupal Developer Days 2022

Planet Drupal - Fri, 2022/04/08 - 4:21pm
This week I had the pleasure of being able to attend the 11th edition of the illustrious Drupal developer days. This latest edition took place in Ghent, and although I bought my ticket in 2019 I needed to wait more than two years for the actual event to take place. It was well worth the wait because it was great to attend this smoothly organised, in-person Drupal event. I did not have the time to see all the sessions but I am happy to summarize some of them here in this blogpost. Whirlwind of Drupal improvements In the Drupal Initiative Leads keynote presenter Gábor Hojtsy gave a…
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Event Organizers: Drupal Event Organizer Sessions at DrupalCon Portland

Planet Drupal - Fri, 2022/04/08 - 5:41am

We are looking forward to the first in-person DrupalCon since 2019! There are many opportunities to connect with fellow event organizers throughout the week.

Monday, April 25 Tuesday, April 26 Wednesday, April 27 Thursday, April 28

We look forward to seeing you in person at DrupalCon!

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Chapter Three: When the Drupal 9 Upgrade is Hard

Planet Drupal - Thu, 2022/04/07 - 10:12pm
One of the major selling points of Drupal 9 is that the upgrade is really easy: fix your deprecated code, update your contrib modules, run some composer magic, and you’re done. While that usually is the case, some sites have their own set of hacks, oddities, and technical debt that make the upgrade process a lot more arduous. If you’ve found yourself in the middle of one such upgrade then you’ve come to the right place. This blog post isn’t a complete guide on how to upgrade to D9; it’s supplemental to the existing documentation found here.
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Drupal Association blog: Build Your Drupal Expertise at DrupalCon with Hands-on Training

Planet Drupal - Thu, 2022/04/07 - 4:00pm

One of the defining characteristics of the Drupal community is its relentless sharing of information. The variety of presentations at DrupalCon speaks to this phenomenon. Beyond the case studies and thought leadership talks you find at any tech conference, you also find conversations about the future of Drupal where presenters share the decisions they’re making that will determine how Drupal works. You see glimpses of the open source process out in the open. People also tend to share the code they used to solve one problem or another, and speakers tend to be open about sharing the details of how they solved a problem.

All this combination of detail and conversations about future features makes DrupalCon exciting and useful, but it can also be a lot of information to take in. If you’re relatively new to Drupal or are attending the conference with the goal of picking up a particular skill, it’s worth considering taking one of the hands-on trainings that the conference offers. Drupal training companies like mine put together a curriculum that guides attendees through a topic with demos, hands-on exercises, and lots of time to answer questions. Everyone gets a chance to try everything, which is a fantastic way to build confidence and spend more time with a topic than the typical presentation format allows for.

Each training spans two days, so you have time to attend other sessions and absorb the information over two days. You’ll attend part one on Monday morning and part two on Tuesday afternoon.

If you’re already signed up for the conference and want to add training to your ticket, just email registration@association.drupal.org with the name of the training you’d like to attend, and they can help you add it to your ticket.  If you haven’t signed up for DrupalCon yet, you can buy a combined ticket for the conference and a training.

At DrupalCon Portland, the trainings offered are:

Hope you’re able to join us and super-charge your Drupal expertise at this year’s conference.

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Droptica: What Features Will Drupal 10 Bring and How to Prepare For Its Release?

Planet Drupal - Thu, 2022/04/07 - 10:36am

Drupal is one of the most popular content management systems for websites today. Part of the natural cycle in the life of any software are regular updates and development, as well as the creation of newer versions. We bring it up because the 10th version of the Drupal system is coming, and with this article, we want to provide you with a closer look at it.

Drupal 10 release date

The latest stable version of Drupal is 9.3.x. "The nine" had its premiere on June 3, 2020 and didn't bring any breakthrough changes compared to the previous version. The main differences were: a new version of Symfony (i.e., 4), updating the Twig theme engine and getting rid of the outdated code. At first glance, it's hard to distinguish Drupal 9 from 8, and both versions were very compatible on the day of the release.

The release of version 10 has its "time window" falling in the second half of 2022. The release date depends on the end of support for Symfony 4 in November 2023 and CKEditor 4, which ends its life at a similar time. This translates into no more security updates and fixes for known bugs. Drupal is based on the Symfony framework, and its code is very much dependent on it. Adapting Drupal 9 to a newer version of Symfony would require a lot of work, not only related to Drupal core but also to additional modules. Therefore, a more sensible approach is to create a new version of Drupal, conforming with the standards of the latest release of Symfony while implementing new solutions and concepts – without worrying about backward compatibility.

The most likely release date for Drupal 10 is August 2022.

Join the Drupal community and help developing new version

Drupal is an open source project created by the community, so anyone may contribute to its development. By becoming a member of the Drupal community, you may help with releasing and developing the new version. Currently, Drupal 10 is already in the development version, and the Drupal community is working hard to release a stable version later this summer.

To find out how you may help exactly, check out the #d10readiness channel on the official Drupal Slack. There's also a list of bug reports and ideas for the development version, where you can find out what the developers are currently working on. The members of the Drupal community may contribute by reporting or resolving issues. The main goal of all activities: to release Drupal 10 in 2022!

Drupal 10 features

Version 10 will bring us many new features. Of course, as was the case with the transition from version 8 to version 9, the main change that somewhat initiates the creation of Drupal 10 is the new version of Symfony. Drupal 10 is to be based on Symfony 5.4, but it’s already being prepared for version 6. This is related to the requirement of using PHP version 8.1 at least.

The appearance of both the front end and the back end will also change significantly. The new Drupal is designed to be more accessible to new users. It'll look modern, be easier to use and still allow for great expandability. Developers will also get the new starterkit theme, which will significantly change the approach to template building in comparison with Drupal 8 or 9. Drupal 10 will also get refreshed JavaScript components, which will replace jQuery UI.

Claro administration theme

The time-worn Seven theme, created in 2009 for Drupal 7 and slightly refreshed in Drupal 8, were deterring new users, giving the impression of an outdated system. In Drupal 10, it'll be replaced by the Claro theme, designed in accordance with the latest standards, and adapted to take advantage of the full capabilities of the latest version of this CMS.

Source: Drupal.org

Olivero front end theme

Not only the administration panel will get a new look. The user browsing the page will also feast their eyes on the modern appearance. The Olivero theme has been designed to take full advantage of the new system's capabilities and be compatible with the functionalities that are well-liked by the users, such as Layout Builder. The theme will be WCAG AA-compliant.

Source: Drupal.org

New starterkit theme

There'll be a change in the approach to template building compared to Drupal 8 or 9. Thanks to the new starterkit, we won’t extend the base theme, but we'll generate a clean template as a starting point for building our theme. This will allow for avoiding inheriting the entire template, which has very limited update options due to maintaining backward compatibility. The concept of sub-theming remains unchanged – we'll still be able to create additional themes that inherit the design elements from our main theme. The generation of the theme itself is to be automated and performed by built-in Drupal scripts.

php core/scripts/drupal generate-theme mytheme   CKEditor 5

Another great change in Drupal 10 will be the new WYSIWYG editor. It's hard to call it just an update of CKEditor from version 4 to 5, as all the code was written from scratch. The authors used a new proprietary data model and architecture, unlike the DOM used in version 4.

CKEditor 5 is to come with an extensive API, giving great opportunities for expansion and integration with modern technologies such as Angular, React etc. An interesting fact is that there'll be no source editing mode, known from WYSIWYG editors because it doesn't generate HTML code on an ongoing basis, and only at the moment of saving it converts the content into the code that is readable by browsers.

Decoupled menus

We've known for a long time that Drupal works great as a headless CMS. Version 10 will bring changes also in this area. One of the most important initiatives in this update will be the introduction of decoupled menus – a functionality that'll allow you to easily update the menu from the administration panel. Thanks to this, websites using front-end frameworks such as React or Angular will be easier to use and won’t require a developer to introduce minor changes to the web page. Drupal 10 will surely also bring more solutions that'll facilitate the implementation of the decoupling strategy.

Automatic updates

The next step in making Drupal easier to be used by the average website administrator will be automatic updates, a feature that has long been around in most popular CMSs. Automatic updates will include security and Drupal's core updates. There are plans to expand this feature so that it also supports minor updates and the updates of contributed modules.

Module browser and one-click installation

In pursuit of other popular CMS systems, Drupal 10 will have a built-in module browser that allows you to search for and install a given tool from the administration panel. This is another functionality intended to make Drupal more accessible, especially for new users. Currently, the installation of modules in Drupal consists of several steps, and in some cases (e.g., installation using Composer in the command line) requires some technical skills from the user. The module browser is to have a lot of features, intuitive filtering, and proposed modules that are most often used by the community.

Source: Drupal.org

How to prepare to upgrade to Drupal 10?

Drupal 9 users should keep an eye on current updates, in addition, they may check their website with tools such as Rector or Upgrade Status, which will help them estimate how much work will it take to update to Drupal 10, and which modules won’t be compatible with the latest version. Updating from version 9 to 10 will be the same as any minor Drupal core update. Unfortunately, it requires a bit of technical skill from users. It can be done in two ways: using Composer or manually.

Drupal 8 reached the end of its life on November 2, 2021 and is no longer officially supported. Therefore, as soon as possible, its users should update the system to version 9, and after its official release – to version 10. Drupal 8 wasn't significantly different from version 9, so upgrading to Drupal 9 isn't complicated at all. The process consists of several steps and is described in the official documentation. You may also use the Upgrade Status module.

Drupal 7 will be supported until November 2023, and although Drupal 10 should already be released by then and will have tools for migrating from version 7, you may now migrate (not update) to version 9, most of the modules of which will be adapted to version 10 on the day of its release. The migration process is definitely more complicated, and it's unlikely to carry it out without the help of qualified specialists.

Updating the website on an ongoing basis provides us with security and business continuity and may save a lot of work in the case of switching to a newer version. Our Drupal support team can help you update or migrate your web page.

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Web Wash: Select Taxonomy Terms Using Autocomplete Deluxe Module in Drupal

Planet Drupal - Wed, 2022/04/06 - 1:30pm

Autocomplete is often used in taxonomy fields, such as the tags field. It helps users locate previous taxonomy terms by displaying a drop-down selection list according to what they are typing. If multiple entries are allowed, it is often separated by commas.

This module uses the jQuery UI autocomplete, implements a taxonomy widget and provides a result for multiple selections similar to the Chosen module, but without downloading a plugin.

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Ramsalt Lab: New web accessibility law in the EU from 2022, this is what your website needs to have

Planet Drupal - Wed, 2022/04/06 - 10:01am
New web accessibility law in the EU from 2022, this is what your website needs to have Hansa Pandit Drupal frontend developer 06.04.2022

With this ongoing pandemic across the globe, we are now much more dependent on the internet. Most of us will sooner or later face some kind of disability to access the web world, which makes it imperative that our websites are accessible to everyone.

What is web accessibility and why does it matter to me? 

Web accessibility is a practice where websites are designed and developed considering all the users in mind including those with visual, auditory, cognitive, and motor disabilities. Web accessibility helps us to achieve our goal of making websites accessible to all.

In most countries, there are laws governing accessibility. If you own a website or are planning to get one, do remember to have a look into the standard called Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) and the laws that your state follows. In Norway and the EU, you run the risk of getting penalties if your website is not following WCAG. 

Check your website

In Norway, all websites must follow WCAG version 2.0. While your website might have followed all rules by the time it was launched, content, code, and structure change over time. So a good rule of thumb is to do an accessibility audit annually. Many of the requirements, must be checked manually but others can also be checked automatically, and there are several free tools you can use.
Check how accessible your website is on wave.webaim.org

The new EU directive from 2022

A new EU directive was admitted as Norwegian law by Stortinget on May 28th, 2021. The law is in effect from 2022 with a year of implementation time, and from the year 2023, all public sector websites and apps in the EU must follow the Web Accessibility Directive (WAD) and WCAG version 2.1. In addition, it requires the publication of an accessibility statement for websites and mobile apps and calls for a feedback mechanism for users to flag accessibility problems. 

While non-public sector websites still can follow WCAG 2.0, it doesn’t hurt to help people with disabilities more by also following the new rule sets. 
So if your website is not updated as per the WCAG 2.1 guidelines, now is the time to get it upgraded.

What is new in WCAG 2.1

WCAG 2.1 doesn’t replace version 2.0 but it’s an extension of WCAG 2.0. This section is for those who are a bit more into the technical definition, you might want to skip this part. Let’s have a look into the new guidelines that were introduced in WCAG 2.1 in order of their success criteria.

Level A
  • Character Key Shortcuts: As per success criterion 2.1.4, in the web pages, where keyboard shortcuts can be enabled using a single key,  there must be a way to turn off or reconfigure it.
  • Pointer Gestures: As per the success criterion 2.5.1, the user should be able to operate all the functionality with a single pointer. Multipoint or path-based gestures could be too complex for some users to interact
  • Pointer Cancellation: As per the success criterion 2.5.2, sometimes the users may trigger a touch or mouse event accidentally, for such situations pointer actions must be configured to cancel the event triggered.
  • Label in Name: As per the success criterion 2.5.3, ensure that the labels that you use for your elements such as input fields match the text that’s presented to the user visually.

Motion Actuation: According to the success criteria 2.5.4, if a function is triggered by device motion, there should also be an option to activate it using the User interface components.

Level AA
  • Orientation: According to the success criterion 1.3.4, your website should be accessible to all users regardless of the device orientation. This applies to most users that access the websites on mobile or tablet devices.
  • Identify Input Purpose: According to the success criterion 1.3.5, the form fields that collect the information should be able to gather information programmatically.
  • Reflow: According to the success criterion 1.4.10, when the width of the user’s screen changes, your content should be able to adjust itself that it doesn’t require any horizontal scrolling, someone with low vision can greatly benefit from it.
  • Non-text Contrast: According to the success criterion 1.4.11, the non-text element on a website like User Interface Components and graphical components that conveys information should have a minimum contrast ratio of 3:1.
  • Text Spacing: According to the success criterion 1.4.12, ensuring that the user can change the spacing between characters, lines, words, or paragraphs for better readability.
  • Content on Hover or Focus: According to the success criterion 1.4.13, if there is additional content on the screen like navigation dropdowns, you should ensure that this additional content is
    • Dismissable: There is a way to escape the content without moving the pointer hover or keyboard focus.
    • Hoverable: If pointer hover can trigger the additional content, then the pointer can be moved over the additional content without the additional content disappearing
    • Persistent: The additional content remains visible until the hover or focus trigger is removed, the user dismisses it, or its information is no longer valid.
  • Status Messages: According to the success criterion 1.4.3, when status content appears on the screen without changing the user’s focus, ensure that the status message can be programmatically determined by assistive technologies.
Level AAA
  • Identify Purpose: According to the success criterion 1.3.6, the purpose of the links, buttons, navigation controls, icons, and other user interface elements can be programmatically determined, which can be extracted by any assistive technology that a user selects.
  • Timeouts: According to the success criterion 2.2.6, you need to inform users of the duration of inactivity that can cause loss of data. Some users with disabilities may require more time to read in comparison to others, so informing the user about the timeouts would help them utilize their time in a better way.
  • Animation from Interactions: According to the success criterion 2.3.3, users should have an option to disable the animations unless it is required for the functionality or conveys some information.
  • Target Size: According to the success criteria 2.5.5, pointer inputs (like buttons) should be at least 44px by 44px in size to make sure users can easily touch them. The pointer input can be smaller if anyone of the following is true.
    • There is an equivalent link of size 44 x 44 on the same page.
    • The target is in a sentence or a block of text.
    • The size of the target is controlled by the user agent.
    • The size is essential for the information being conveyed.
  • Concurrent Input Mechanisms: According to the success criterion 2.5.6, users should be able to use the input method of their choice, some may want to use a keyboard while others might prefer voice commands.
Need help with web accessibility?

At Ramsalt, we strongly believe that everyone should get an equal opportunity. If you are looking to get an accessible website or just need accessibility improvements for your website, we’d be happy to help you.

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Drupal Association blog: Get the Most out of DrupalCon Summits

Planet Drupal - Tue, 2022/04/05 - 7:28pm

People in the Drupal sphere are big on sharing. Beyond sharing code, they like to share case studies and talk about the successes and pitfalls of their projects. True to the spirit of open source, when Drupal users get together, they are motivated to share their perspectives and best practices with their peers. 

Like every year, this year’s DrupalCon Portland will feature industry summits, giving Drupal users in a particular field the opportunity to learn from each other. A summit is a conference-within-a-conference, and unlike the larger conference, it has one track. Everyone watches the same presentations, participates in roundtable activities, and guided discussions on topics of interest to the group. 

This year, industry summits span two days: Monday morning and Tuesday afternoon, giving you the chance to network with attendees who share the same concerns as you. Find out all the details and the summit schedule. You’ll see that there are four different summits for DrupalCon attendees: 

  • Non-Profit Summit 
    • Connect with other Drupal users from the not-for-profit, citizen sector space, including web developers, content creators, designers, strategists, and managers.
  • Healthcare Summit 
    • This is your chance to connect with other Drupal users from Pharmaceutical Companies, Hospital Systems, and more.
  • Higher Education Summit
    • Connect with other Drupal users from universities and colleges, including web developers, content creators, designers, strategists, and managers.
  • Government Summit
    • Are you a federal, state, or local government employee? A private sector employee supporting government? This summit is for you! 

If you’re already signed up for the conference and want to add a summit to your ticket, just email registration@association.drupal.org with the name of the summit you’d like to attend, and they can help you add it to your ticket. If you haven’t signed up for DrupalCon yet, you can buy a combined ticket for the conference and the summit. Hope to see you there!

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Talking Drupal: Talking Drupal #341 - Mentoring at DrupalCon

Planet Drupal - Mon, 2022/04/04 - 8:00pm

Today we are talking about Mentoring at DrupalCon with AmyJune Hineline.

www.talkingDrupal.com/341

Topics
  • Mentoring at DrupalCon
  • Why is mentoring important
  • How can people help
  • Why do people become mentors
  • How does a mentor get started
  • How does mentoring help the community
  • Do mentors get contribution credits
  • What is being done to convert periodic mentors to consistent mentors
  • What makes you passionate about mentoring
  • Discover Drupal
  • Were there any lessons from virtual events that will persist to live events
Resources Guests

AmyJune Hineline - @volkswagenchick

Hosts

Nic Laflin - www.nLighteneddevelopment.com @nicxvan John Picozzi - www.epam.com @johnpicozzi Mike Anello - @ultimike

MOTW

Layout Builder Section Navigation Adds a new block available to layout builder that displays a list of anchor links for other components of the same section.

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#! code: Drupal 9: Getting A Good Score In Google PageSpeed Insights

Planet Drupal - Sun, 2022/04/03 - 9:49pm

Google PageSpeed tool was created to give webmasters an indiction of how their site will perform when analysed by the Google search engine. As Google takes a variety of different factors into consideration when ranking sites the tool gives an indication of the health of the site.

The score it calculated using a percentage, with different bounds of the score being coloured differently. Between 0 and 49 is poor and is coloured red, between 50 and 89 is average and is coloured orange, above 90 is considered good and is coloured green.

Getting a perfect score in the Google PageSpeed Insights tool is by no means the end goal of site performance improvements or even search engine optimisation. It will absolutely have some benefits in terms of your site traffic though and is worth including in your site key metrics.

I won't put all of the page speed rules in this article since they change depending on what version of the tool you use. Google has plenty of documentation on their developers website detailing exactly what is measured and how much of an impact it has on the score of the site.

I find that I can run the system one day and find one or metrics have been added or tweaked that then change the outcome. This then, will be a best practice approach that looks at some of the ways that you can improve your site to achieve the best score.

Since I've spent a lot of time looking at improving PageSpeed scores on sites I have been involved with. I have quite often managed to reach a score of above 90, with the occasional site reaching a perfect score of 100.

Running PageSpeed Insights

What is confusing is how to run the tool in the first place as there are a few ways to get this information and not all of them produce the same result.

Read more.

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