All RPGs and Storygames by Tod Foley are now available at DrivethruRPG and RPGnow. Bring these games to your table!
The Maestro Engine is the mechanism responsible for executing a workflow template by assigning tasks to actors, executing tasks for the engine and providing all of the other logic and glue functionality to run a workflow. The maestro module is the core module in the Maestro ecosystem and is the module that houses the template, variable, assignment, queue and process schema. The maestro module also provides the Maestro API for which developers can interact with the engine to do things such as setting/getting process variables, start processes, move the queue along among many other things.
DrupalCon Vienna must be music to the ears of Drupal developers. Every year, Drupal developers flock to DrupalCon to collaborate, network, and learn in a beautiful urban European or North American location, with the objectives of supporting the Drupal community and furthering their Drupal careers. Year 2017 will be no exception. The popular annual European version of the event will be held in Vienna, the grand Austrian capital, September 26-29, 2017. Vardot, a long-time contributor in the Drupal community and sponsor of DrupalCon Vienna will be there.
Why you should attend DrupalCon Vienna
There are many reasons for attending DrupalCon Vienna. If you are new to Drupal 8, you definitely want to come to soak up all things Drupal 8 this year. In fact, Drupal developers have 132 reasons to attend DrupalCon Vienna, one per accepted conference session. The excellent sessions rank high in most developers’ checklist. For the 2017 conference, a whopping total of over 500 session proposals were submitted. Acceptance standards were most rigorous, and only 132 sessions, or 26%, were accepted for DrupalCon Vienna. Attendees will not be disappointed by the quality of the carefully pre-selected sessions.
The accepted sessions together make up 108 hours of quality learning opportunities for attendees. To help you find the sessions that interest you the most, the sessions are classified into 13 tracks, covering the entire spectrum of topics of interest to the Drupal community. The top 4 tracks with the most submitted session proposals in DrupalCon Vienna are: Being Human, Coding and Development, Business, and Site Building.
While 3 of the 4 above mentioned session tracks are reasonably self-explanatory, the Being Human track perhaps needs some explanation. This track covers the human dynamics in a Drupal project and community. Speakers are encouraged to share personal anecdotes to illustrate principles of maintaining a healthy community and project. Leadership, mentorship, gender gap, work-life balance are all key ideas in the Being Human track.
Specifically, three of the sessions in this track draw my attention. Two are related to promoting diversity in the Drupal workspace, and to a large context, the Drupal community. The Debugging the Gender Gap session addresses the current gender imbalance in the Drupal industry, and suggests some solutions to correct the situation. The From a Single Fighter to a Team Player session makes an effort to bridge gaps of a different kind, namely, cultural and language gaps. The speaker relates back to his personal experience as a visible minority in the European tech industry. To paraphrase him, how a job is done is more important than doing a perfect job.
Drupal is different (and better) than a lot of other open-source projects because of its vision and commitment to be an open and inclusive community. These sessions are steps toward fulfilling that vision.
Coding and Development
DrupalCon marks almost 2 years since the release of Drupal 8. So, it is not surprising that DrupalCon Vienna sessions, including the Coding and Development track, are almost exclusively Drupal-8-centric. If you are still in the process of migrating to Drupal 8, it is not too late. Migrate Everything into Drupal 8 and Doctor, Will My Drupal 7 Commerce Site Survive the Upgrade? are 2 sessions that you should not miss.
One huge benefit of attending DrupalCon Vienna is to learn the latest practical development tips and techniques. Drupal developers will pick up valuable debugging knowledge from the Wait, there’s more! - Advanced debugging tactics session. I also like 2 other sessions on testing. Improved development process with better QA approach will frame a good overall mindset on testing, while Testing small to medium size client projects with Behat will drill into a specific test tool.
Unless you are a pure Drupal hobbyist, sooner or later, you will have to figure out how to make your Drupal business viable. Pinpointing star sessions in the Business track is difficult because it depends on where you are in the life cycle of a Drupal business.
If you are an entrepreneur about to start a new Drupal venture, I’d recommend Co-operative Drupal: Growth & Sustainability through Worker Ownership. Here, you are challenged to make every employee an owner of the company. The coop ownership model is still very much a novelty in the Drupal industry. However, the speaker will argue for its merits, and share personal success stories.
If your objective is to grow your existing Drupal business, then sales and marketing is perhaps your focus in this track. You can weigh whether accessibility is an applicable value that you can sell to your clients, as suggested by the Accessibility as a Business Proposition session. You can also learn valuable lessons on how to build a sales team from the session entitled Is Selling Drupal an Art or a Science?
Last but not least, if you are running a well-established Drupal business and pondering on the next step, then How to go from one to seven companies around the world and how to run them is a must-attend for you. The speakers will present the challenges of diversifying a successful company and how they met the challenges head on.
Decoupled Drupal (aka headless Drupal) has the potential to effect a paradigm shift in how websites are built. Essentially, the idea is to separate content (the Drupal CMS backend) from the display frontend. The Site Building track in DrupalCon Vienna includes 2 sessions which feature the headless architecture: Decoupled site building: Drupal's next challenge, and
Headless, stateless, DB-less: how Kurier.at is transforming digital production with Drupal, NodeJS and Platform.sh. These sessions not only introduce the possibilities and implications of such an architecture, but also point to some working examples. Site builders not familiar with the idea should definitely attend at least 1 of the sessions.
Other tracks (and sprints too)
Kudos to DrupalCon Vienna for the breadth of topics covered. Besides the above 4 tracks, developers will also be attracted to the Core Conversations, DevOps, Front End, Performance and Scaling, PHP, and Symfony tracks. And, if you want to step temporarily away from the programming side of Drupal, you will be stimulated by the Project Management, Drupal Showcase, and Horizons tracks.
While the formal sessions are great, you may want to add some activities that are more participatory in nature. DrupalCon Vienna has planned for that as well. Besides the formal sessions, there are also Birds of a Feather (aka BoF) sessions and Sprints.
BoFs are informal gatherings during DrupalCon Vienna on a specific Drupal topic, but without a pre-planned agenda. This allows attendees to collaborate and share their ideas freely and organically on a target topic. BoFs are fun and their outcome often unpredictable. In contrast, Sprints are hands-on sessions to tackle specific focused tasks for the Drupal project. Example activities include bug squashing, specifying a new feature, refactoring a small module, etc. Both BoFs and Sprints are very popular among attendees and can fill up quickly.
DrupalCon Vienna offers more than just sessions. You can sprinkle DrupalCon Vienna with social events in order to network with fellow Drupal community members. And what better backdrop to befriend them than Vienna, a city of music, art, culture, and fine cuisine.
Fellow developers, when you attend DrupalCon Vienna this coming September, drink up on coffee because you are going to need it with so many good activities for your enjoyment and career development. And if you bump into someone from Vardot at the coffee lineup between sessions, don't forget to say hello - we’re always happy to see drupalists around.
And what sessions of DrupalCon Vienna are you planning to attend? Which ones are the most attractive for you and why? Share with us your opinion in the comment section below. See you soon in Austria!
Book path is helper module to display book breadcrumb in views. It creates a quick Book tree in a separate page.
Valuebound: How to successfully set up local dev box for Drupal 8 on Pantheon server using Drush commands
Over the past couple of months, I have been facing a similar situation where many developers are unable to set up a local dev box for Drupal 8 on Pantheon server. Pantheon plays a significant role in hosting a website as it has fast set-up to local and best use of drush to accelerate administrative and development tasks for Drupal sites.
For an introduction to drush command, you can check our previous blog post where we have explained about writing custom Drush commands in Drupal and installing Drupal with Drush. In this post, I will show you how to set up local dev box for Drupal 8. This blog…
This Module provides a way for site builders to display webforms as blocks from the UI.
Other ways to embed a webform can be found here
We're starting up our Lightning talks again during our weekly developer meetings here at PreviousNext. This week was about wiring up a straight forward plugin.js and extending CKEditorPluginBase to create a custom CKEditor widget in Drupal 8.
Watch the video for a run through of how this is done in Drupal 8.by saul.willers / 6 September 2017 Drupal Development
Dated 6 September 2017Add new comment
This module allows you to easily publish landing pages from Lndr https://www.lndr.co/ to your Drupal websites.
The Drupal Commerce 2.x development process has been one big adventure! Over the last 2.5 years we've accumulated 2,000 code commits in multiple repositories from over 70 contributors at dozens of agencies. With last week's release of a stable Commerce 2.0-rc2, we've started preparing to celebrate the full release with parties around the world.
Our plan is to release Commerce 2.0 on Wednesday, September 20th, just in time for us to show it off at DrupalCon Vienna. On September 21st, we are coordinating a series of release parties at the offices of a variety of contributing Drupal agencies, including 1xINTERNET, Acro Media, Actualys, Adapt, Blue Oak Interactive, Circle WF, MD Systems, Wunder, and more.
With over 1,500 sites reporting usage and a growing number of high quality case studies, we can all feel proud of what we've achieved together. Many of these projects directly contributed to the development of core and other essential features in Commerce 2.x, including promotions, coupons, shipping, etc. We've created a Drupal Commerce 2.0 party list and showcase that we'll be updating as we go, and we invite you to get in touch to be added or to find a party near you.
The release parties will give you and your team an opportunity to review the important new features and capabilities Commerce 2.x offers out of the box. We'll provide basic slides covering those topics, and we invite you to add to them for your part to reflect on your agency's experience and involvement with the project thus far. (e.g. What Commerce 2.x sites have you launched? How did those projects go? What parts were contributed back? etc.)
Any other ideas? Leave 'em in the comments and help spread the word!
DrupalCon Europe plays an important role in moving Drupal forward by uniting community members across countries for knowledge sharing, networking, and celebrating. Plus, the event is one of the largest events focused on contribution back to the project. However, with waning attendance and financial losses, it’s time to find a new path forward so it is financially sustainable and provides value to the European community. This blog covers the financial problem we need to solve and it is part of a series that includes:
The problem we need to solve for financial sustainability
The problem we need to solve to create unique value
Results from a proposal based on community input
A new path forward for DrupalCon Europe
DrupalCon is a human experience. We certainly want to focus on the people in the community: what they want to achieve and what that looks like through an improved experience. However, financially the event needs to at least break even for us to continue providing this special experience. That is why we are starting this conversation by framing DrupalCon Europe’s financial problems.
We know that financially-focused blogs can be downright boring and not everyone feels comfortable reading financial statements. So this post provides several kinds of reports to illustrate the problem and we do our best to spell out where the challenges lay. Feel free to leave questions in the comments and we will answer them.
Last year, the Drupal Association contracted with a new financial planner, Summit CPA. They provide a lot more resources and financial insight than we have had in the past. One of the biggest things we learned last September was that DrupalCon Europe loses money. In the past, we did not include staff costs as part of the event cost, so we operated under the understanding that DrupalCon Europe was breaking even at a minimum. Our DrupalCon team spends 50% of their time on this event. Marketing spends close to 50%, the sponsor sales team spends 30%, engineering spends about 15%, and finance spends about 20%. For DrupalCon Europe, the staff costs add up to $220,000 per event.
It wasn’t wrong to not include staff costs in the DrupalCon budget. It just didn’t give the true picture of how this particular program was performing. As we started our financial turnaround last year, we realized that we need each of our programs to be self-sustaining going forward. Except, DrupalCon Europe is not self-sustaining. That puts pressure on the viability of other programs like Drupal.org, which needs to be properly funded to support everyone in the community.Understanding Financials Through Comparison
One of the best ways to understand a situation is through comparison, so let’s look at DrupalCon Europe versus DrupalCon North America, which consistently operates at a profit due to several factors. We provide several reports below to help you see the comparison and the post walks you through those comparisons.
You will notice that all financials are in U.S dollars (USD). Since the European community works with different currencies, we felt it was less confusing and less prone to error if we kept our reports in USD.DrupalCon Reports
Profit & Loss: DrupalCon Baltimore vs DrupalCon Dublin
Ticket Cost Break Down: DrupalCon Baltimore vs DrupalCon Dublin
DrupalCon North America has a net income percentage of up to 38% and makes up 45% of Drupal Association’s annual revenue. Meanwhile, DrupalCon Europe operates at a loss. For example, DrupalCon Dublin lost $176,000 and had a net income percentage of -18%. DrupalCon Vienna is forecasted to lose over $200,000 even with the programming reductions that we made earlier in the year.DrupalCon Europe Financial Challenges
In short, DrupalCon Europe income is lower than DrupalCon North America due to fewer attendees and less sponsor support. However, expense per attendee is higher in Europe. Below is a summary of the main differences that make DrupalCon Europe unsustainable. We invite you to review the Profit & Loss statements and other financial reports so you can have more clarity around these points and possibly find ones we missed.Greater Expenses than DrupalCon North America
One of the biggest cost difference is related to the convention center. Both DrupalCon Europe and North America are held in this kind of venue due to the attendance size. While DrupalCon Europe has less attendees than the North American event, it is still large enough to require us to be in a convention center.
We looked at moving the event to a hotel, but wifi and catering costs make this option more expensive. Also, hotel-based conferences require a large room block reservation that the Drupal Association would have to financially guarantee, which is a big risk. The European event attendees tend to opt for other lodging options like AirBnB. It’s unlikely we can sell enough hotel rooms to meet the guarantee and will end up paying a large penalty.
By comparing DrupalCon Dublin expenses with DrupalCon Baltimore expenses, you can see that the expense 5710: Facility and Furnishing is $328,000 in Dublin and $129,000 for Baltimore. This is the main expense putting strain on DrupalCon Europe’s sustainability.
It’s also more expensive to send staff and our contracted production team from the United States to Europe for a marathon of an event (up to 10 days).Less Financial Support than DrupalCon North America
The challenge of funding an expensive, professional event like DrupalCon Europe comes down to two things: smaller attendance and less sponsor support. Here is a breakdown of how these two revenue items differ from DrupalCon North America.Attendees
Smaller attendance with higher expenses make the event unsustainable. DrupalCon Europe attracts about 1,700 - 1,800 attendees compared to DrupalCon North America, which has over 3,000 attendees. This means there is less ticket revenue to cover costs. And DrupalCon Europe attendance is decreasing each year by about 14% a year on average (if you average in Vienna's forecasted attendance), making it harder to cover costs in the future.
Another attendee difference is that DrupalCon North America attracts end users who are either leveling up their skills or evaluating Drupal or looking for a service provider. Having end users at DrupalCon attracts Drupal shop / digital agency sponsors who get new business by connecting from this audience. Meanwhile, DrupalCon Europe primarily attracts builders (developers, project managers, designers) from Drupal shops / digital agencies. There are very few end users attending DrupalCon Europe. This impacts sponsor revenue as many Drupal shops / digital agencies do not want to sponsor an event where they are much less likely to get a business opportunity.Sponsors
DrupalCon North America has about $850,000 in sponsor revenue while DrupalCon Europe has $300,000. There are a few reasons for this difference.
A big portion of DrupalCon North America’s sponsor revenue comes from North American Drupal shops / digital agencies. As mentioned, they sponsor because they can connect with the end user attendees who give them business opportunities. They also sponsor because the event is held in a country where they conduct business.
In Europe, and as mentioned above, Drupal shops / digital agencies are much less likely to get a qualified lead because it is primarily a developer event. Additionally, the Drupal shops / digital agencies in Europe support sales in their specific countries. As DrupalCon Europe moves around, sponsors find that the event is in a country where they don’t do business and therefore don’t want to sponsor.
As for the shops/ agencies who do sponsor, they do so to support the community. It’s simply getting harder for them to invest in the event as they chose to put those funds into marketing or operations. It is important to note that hosting and software companies do find value in supporting DrupalCon since they target the developer audience.A Study of Ticket Sales Profitability
Another way to see how the income and expense challenges make DrupalCon Europe unsustainable is to look at what the sale of a ticket covers and how much is left over to go towards paying expenses.
Here is a report that shows profitability of the early bird and the regular rate ticket for DrupalCon Dublin and DrupalCon Baltimore. It shows that the profitability is:
Early Bird Rate
Early Bird Rate
Ticket Profitability before sponsor income
Sponsor income per attendee
Total Ticket Profitability
Ticket Profitability before sponsor income
Sponsor income per attendee
Total Ticket Profitability
As you can see, we lose money for each DrupalCon Europe early bird ticket we sell. You may ask, why would we ever price a ticket that loses money? It’s a good question. When we priced this we did not include staff costs in the overall event costs. We were operating under the understanding that the ticket was making money. We can see now that when we include the staff costs to the overall event costs, this ticket type loses money.
You can also see that not only does the Dublin regular rate earn $300 less profit per ticket compared to Baltimore, that profitability needs to compensate for the losses accrued by the Dublin early bird ticket sales.
Looking more closely at the report, you can also see that having less DrupalCon Europe sponsor support puts the ticket sales profitability at an even greater disadvantage.
Clearly, DrupalCon Europe has a financial structural issue to solve for.Blockers to Financial Solutions
There are a few ways to solve the financial problem. Ticket prices could be increased, we could grow attendance to improve the profitability, we could stay in the same venue each year, or we could cap attendance and have a smaller DrupalCon to control costs. We looked at these options and found the following blockers to each solution.
Increase ticket prices.
We surveyed the European community and found that there was a strong resistance to increasing ticket prices even if more value was delivered. Many see this event as a community event that should be affordable or free. Many believe they pay through their code and non code contribution and don’t want to pay more in ticket costs. Many also told us they want the ticket price to be greatly reduced.
Grow ticket sales revenue by expanding who the event serves
Attract more “builders”. Both DrupalCon Europe and North America attract a “builder persona” who work at a digital agency or Drupal Shop (developer, project manager, designer, UX). However, North America attracts builders from end users as well whereas DrupalCon Europe does not. It has been challenging to grow the end user / builder attendee at DrupalCon Europe. Part of the challenge is that when an end user adopts Drupal, the Association does not know. There is no closed-loop system that tells the Drupal Association who is using the software. We have to rely on Drupal shops / digital agencies to provide this information or be our marketing channel. In Europe, several agencies said they don’t want their end user attending so they stay positioned as “the trusted source on how to Drupal”.
Attract “evaluators”. In North America, the event has a commercial element, attracting decision makers who want to meet with sponsors and learn more about Drupal. This not only grows ticket sales, but it also encourages the high level of sponsor support in North America. However, DrupalCon Europe attendees strongly request that we don’t include a marketing or commercial focus at DrupalCon Europe, keeping it a purely developer event.
Hold a smaller event to control costs.
We researched this over the past few months. Looking at a 1,000 - 1,200 person event, venue options that can meet our event needs are still too expensive. And after testing the smaller event concept, we found that many community members were dissatisfied with this direction.
For DrupalCon Vienna, we controlled costs by making the program smaller by reducing the Monday trainings and summits. We also eliminated other elements like the DrupalCon t-shirt. Despite these changes, we are still operating at a loss due to decreasing attendance. Many expressed they understood why we needed to make these changes, but were unhappy with them. We are grateful to the Drupal Austrian community for bridging this gap and hosting summits and trainings on the Monday before Drupalcon Vienna.
This part is a bit sensitive because I’m talking about staff. They gave permission to have these details shared with you.
Last year, when the Drupal Association reduced its staff to bring our expenses in line with our revenue, we eliminated work to match the smaller team capacity. After living with that reality for a year, we can see that we did not do a good job with DrupalCon.
The DrupalCon staff consists of Rachel Friesen, Director of Events, and Amanda, Gonser, Program Manager. Rachel is an operational wizard, who is committed to excellence, and cares deeply about delivering a special experience that meets our community’s needs. Rachel has incredibly streamlined the way we produce DrupalCon from site selections, budgeting, space planning, vendor management, sponsor support, marketing oversight, and so much more. She moves an army of people ranging from the board, staff, vendors, sponsors, and community members through a process that ensures that everything gets done on time with the best possible planning. I am always impressed how Rachel goes the extra mile (er, kilometer), to hear and address everyone’s needs and ideas. It is truly a balancing act.
Many of you likely know Amanda from the DrupalCon emails or you are one of the hundreds of volunteers who work with her. Amanda is high energy, bubbly, focused, and moves hundreds of people through a process that allows everyone to contribute in their special way; track chairs who pick sessions, trainers, local volunteers who create the local experience, a troupe of event photographers, room monitors, social media volunteers, and more. As with all people management, Amanda not only gives volunteers a structure to follow, but she invests time with them to foster relationships. We can not produce DrupalCon without our amazing and generous volunteers and they deserve a meaningful experience.
While producing DrupalCon, many people want to try new things like add a new program to DrupalCon five months before the event or create a new sponsor package. There are certainly great ideas that can level up the experience. Unfortunately, Rachel and Amanda simply do not have the capacity to entertain many new ideas. That’s frustrating for both of them because they want community members to realize their ideas. It’s equally frustrating to the community members. In the end it can create a lose-lose situation.
Over the year, we noticed that Rachel’s and Amanda’s calendar is booked every hour throughout each day. When we talk, they have little time as they run from one meeting to the next. It’s a frenetic pace. We moved to Jira this year and their burndown charts show that they can not complete everything they need to do within a sprint. This pace and high levels of stress are causing health issues.
Amanda did a capacity study. It showed that she is scheduled to do over 69 weeks of work in a year (and that doesn’t include sick or vacation time). Just a reminder, a year has 52 weeks. Rachel is in a very similar situation. We looked at which work we could eliminate, but at this point there is nothing. Naturally, the situation is untenable and must be addressed immediately.
Given how small our team is, the only way to address this is by adding another staff member or contractor. This means expenses will further increase for DrupalCon Europe. We can go this route, but in the end what this tells me is that we do not have the right operational model to support two DrupalCon per year - let alone the ability to scale back up to three per year.
I want to pause and thank Rachel and Amanda for pushing through this challenging time. Please join me in thanking them. I also want to thank the other Drupal Association staff for going above and beyond to make DrupalCon a special experience. You support Rachel and Amanda in so many ways to deliver a great event for the Drupal community.
Additionally, it can not be said enough how special our volunteers are. They contribute their time and talent while already having full lives that include jobs, family, friends, and other interests. Volunteers could choose to do many other things with their free time, yet they chose to create DrupalCon for all of us. Thank you.Summary
Phew! That was a longgg DrupalCon financial overview. Thanks for hanging in there. I hope sharing all that data and insight helps answer some of the questions we’ve seen in past blog comments and on Twitter this past year.
As you can see, solving DrupalCon Europe’s sustainability is critical, not only so this event can exist into the future, but so it doesn’t put strain on the sustainability of Drupal.org, which is clearly imperative for the project’s viability. We need to answer the question “how do we balance creating a valuable event with the financial realities of event production and the realities of staff capacity?”
But before we get into solutions, let’s look at what the community wants DrupalCon to achieve.
Our next blog in this series will be about the other problem to solve: How can DrupalCon Europe provide unique value?
This module add HTML5 canvas to render an animation of raindrops falling on a glass surface as background.
Module based on rainyday.js script
1. Download rainyday.js form GitHub https://github.com/maroslaw/rainyday.js and save it in 'sites/all/libraries/rainyday/'
2. Enable module
3. Configure on page admin/config/development/rainyday
This week, I spoke with Justin Rhodes (TheJustinRhodes). Justin has been part of the Drupal community for four years, and has attended four DrupalCons.
Creates a WebP copy of image style derivatives to decrease loading times.Description
Whenever an image style derivative is created this module will also create a WebP copy of the derivative to be served to supporting browsers.
This module is used to check the current site using module exist in Drupal 8 or not. This developer's purpose only and also an active development going on this module to make simple and great to achieve.
The Domain Webform module is an add on for Domain Access which adds an option to manage a single webform for multiple domains.
Greetings to everyone! It looks like “8” is a lucky number and 8/2017 is a lucky month for drupalers. By taking a little extra energy from the sun (which is pretty environmentally friendly), the Drupal community has made so many awesome things! It feels like yesterday that we offered you the July 2017 Drupal news summary, and now we’re moving on to the wrap-up of the hot and productive August 2017.Read more