All RPGs and Storygames by Tod Foley are now available at DrivethruRPG. Bring these games to your table!
You may get involved in a coffee mishap on the way out of the door leaving a stain on your shirt. This is among the numerous stains that Tide’s Stain Remover, an Alexa skill, can help you remove.
Alexa: A quintessential voice assistant
Voice assistants like Alexa are beginning to play a colossal part in our everyday lives. That is exactly why Tide, one of the largest producers of laundry products, has plunged in to utilise Alexa as a Stain removal expert. With the growing popularity of Amazon Alexa, organisations can consider the best ways to extend their omnichannel content strategy for including dissemination of content on voice and chat platforms. Integrating Alexa with Drupal, one of the leading content management systems in the market, can be great for allowing content to be accessed both via web and voice assistants.
As Amazon’s cloud-based voice service, Alexa is available on a plethora of devices from Amazon like Echo and third-party device manufacturers. It was named after the Library of Alexandria which attempted to collect all of the world’s knowledge. It lets you tell your wishes, at least the simple ones like playing music tracks and finding food recipes and fulfils them.“With Alexa, you can build natural voice experiences that offer customers a more intuitive way to interact with the technology they use every day.” - Amazon Alexa
Its collection of tools, APIs, reference solutions and documentation lets anyone build with Alexa. Creating cloud-based skills helps in disseminating content and reach customers via millions of Alexa-enabled devices. Alexa Skills Kit lets you build engrossing voice-first experiences. Moreover, Alexa Voice Service lets you develop voice-forward products through the incorporation of Alexa into your devices or controlling your devices with Alexa. You can even leverage it for your businesses by making it easy for users to access your services by voice.
Gartner predicts that because of the staggering advancements in emotion artificial intelligence (AI) systems, the personal devices will know more about an individual's emotional state. So, Alexa will get to know us more and more in the future and can even be able to detect and assess how we are feeling with the tone of our voice.
Alexa, also, leads in the market share of smart speakers as can be seen below.
Amalgamation of Alexa and Drupal
Integration of Amazon Alexa and Drupal can be done with the help of Alexa Drupal module. For this, the Drupal website should be available online and using HTTPS. You can start by installing and enabling the Alexa module on the Drupal site. Then, a new Alexa skill can be created in Alexa Skills Kit. This is followed by the processes of copying the Application ID that is provided by the Amazon in ‘Skill information’ and submitting it to the Drupal site’s configuration. You can, then, move on to configuring Alexa skill in Alexa Skills Kit and creating a customised handler module for managing custom Alexa skills.
To demonstrate how this works, a digital agency used a sample supermarket chain called Gourmet Market and connected Alexa to its Drupal-powered site using Alexa module. A list of intents, that refers to the commands you want the users to run which is similar to Drupal’s routes, is specified. This is followed by the process of specifying a list of utterances that is basically the sentences that you want the Echo to react to. After the execution of the command, a webhook callback is received by the Drupal site and the Alexa module validates the request.
Suppose if you ask Alexa about the fruits that are on sale, Alexa would make a call to the Gourmet Market Drupal site and come up with the relevant information. Certain items can also be tagged as ‘On Sale’ by the store manager and the same changes are automatically and swiftly reflected by Alexa’s voice responses. And the best part is that the marketing manager won’t require any programming skills as the Alexa forms its voice responses by talking to Drupal 8 via web service APIs.
The site could also deliver smart notifications. When posing a question enquiring about an item that is not on sale, the site can automatically notify the user through text once the store manager puts the tag of ‘On Sale’ on it.
The digital agency showed another example of a combination of Alexa and Drupal through a fictional grocery store called Freshland Market. Here, a user chooses a food recipe from Freshland Market’s Drupal site and collects all the ingredients to go ahead with the cooking process. The food recipe asked by the user is for 8 people but the site has the same for 4 people. The Freshland Market Alexa skill, by itself, adjusts the number of ingredients for 8 people. So, amidst a series of questions and the relevant ingredients and cooking steps, the user is easily able to prepare the food without having to look at the laptop or mobile phone.
Coming together of Alexa and Drupal can be a great solution for removing friction from user experiences. With Drupal as a stupendous content store and Alexa as a quintessential voice assistant, you can bring about a world of difference.
We believe in open source innovation and are committed to offering great digital experiences with our expertise in Drupal development. Talk to our Drupal experts at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know how do you want us to be a part of your digital transformation endeavours.
DrupalCon Seattle is next week! We’re excited to get together with the community for learning and collaborations.
But first, we have to travel to Seattle. We’re so excited about it that we made a Spotify playlist made up of all Seattle bands.Spin up our playlist for your drive or flight!
So much great music has come from Seattle, you’re bound to find something you like.
We’re busy at DrupalCon with summits, sessions, community work, and more. Come visit us at booth #306, or check out where we will be below. Either way, come say hello.Summits
- Monday April 8, 8:30 am – 12:30 pm: Anne Stefanyk is joining Pantheon at Selling to the Marketing Buyer.
- Tuesday, April 9, 9:00 am – 4:30 pm: Anne will be leading an afternoon breakout session at the Nonprofit Summit,
- Tuesday, April 9, 10:00 am – 4:30 pm: AmyJune Hineline will be leading the Community Summit.
Our community liaison AmyJune will be staffing the at the Core Mentoring booth on Wednesday and Thursday. She’ll also be doing two workshops:
- Monday April 8, 1:00 to 3:00 pm: AmyJune will be leading a first-time contributor workshop,
- Friday April 12, 9:00 am to noon: AmyJune hosts an encore first-time contributor workshop. Other Kanopians will be available to help with setting up tooling and getting folks ready to tackle real issues.
Kanopians are speaking at three sessions:
- Wednesday 1:30 pm: Anne joins a panel discussion about Scaling Beyond Drupal.
- Thursday 9:45 am: Kat White joins Anne to share a D8 case study on an international cleaning client
- Thursday 3:15 pm: Anne talks about how to love working remotely.
BOFs are a great way to have intimate discussions on topics, and collaborating with peers is one of our favorite things.
- Wednesday 11:00 am: AmyJune Hineline is hosting one on SimplyTest.me.
- Wednesday 4:45 pm: Sean Dietrich is hosting one on Docksal.
- Thursday 2:30 pm:, Jim Birch is hosting the Drupal and SEO BOF.
Each Kanopian will be collaborating all week long while at DrupalCon! Keep a look out for Jim, Jason, Cindy, Kat, AmyJune, and Sean as they join other Drupalers to help push the Drupal project forward.
Looking forward to seeing you there!
For DrupalCamp Belarus in mid-May, I'll be giving a talk entitled "Tales of Drupal Past: Origin Stories of Drupal Contributors." My goal is to feature folks from the Drupal community and share their stories of coming into Drupal, with the goal to help inform and inspire others about our community, coming from a wide range of diverse perspectives/backgrounds.
How about... YOU? What were you doing before Drupal? How'd you get your start? What are you doing now? How has Drupal changed/impacted your life?
I would really appreciate any responses, whether in the comments here, on your own blogs, and/or on social media (with the #DrupalOriginStories tag, please). (Especially if you're based in Eastern Europe, I would love to hear from you!)
I can share mine, as a start... (Feel free to make yours shorter or longer than this, however! :))
I first encountered Drupal because I'm one of those people who runs around "viewing-source" on websites I visit to see what's ticking under the hood. I first saw Drupal in the source of Spread Firefox, where fans of the Firefox web browser crowd-sourced marketing/promotion materials/events, and ran across it sometime later (2005) in the list of Google Summer of Code mentoring organizations.
I was a huge fan of FLOSS/open source for many years prior to this (first installed Linux in 1995 when Debian fit on like 7 floppy disks, lol), but always believed I was not "smart" enough nor "skilled" enough to actually participate in an open source project. GSoC was important for breaking down this belief, because I surmised that if it was for students, they probably expected we didn't know everything yet.
So, I applied. And somewhat miraculously, got accepted (thanks, robertDouglass!) and assigned a mentor (thanks, @chx!). Thankfully, there is not a single shred of any of my original code left in Quiz module these days, but it's kind of rad that it's still kicking around out there almost 14 years later! :)
Once I got on "this" side of my imaginary "you must be THIS smart to contribute" wall, I began to realize that...
- Making change in an open source project is truly a collaborative process, with many different people and many different skills (dev, testing, ux, a11y, design, dev, security, promotion) all putting forth what they know to arrive at the optimal solution.
- There are no rockstar experts sitting about barfing out perfect code. ;) In fact, I've reviewed code from most of the "Drupal rockstars" you know, and they're all pretty crap the first time through. ;) (Very much including myself!)
- If you can demonstrate through your words/actions that you are one of the "helpers," (versus someone complaining/trying to get other people to do work for you for free/etc.) you will get near INFINITE amount of patience and mentorship and other support from the community. (Because there are not many "helpers" out there relative to the amount of users and complainers.)
So, I began to throw myself into contributing wherever I could: core and contrib development, patch reviews, QA, Drupal.org webmaster stuff, security team, UX team, Drupal Association, core committer, etc. (Note: This was highly unsustainable, and I do not necessarily recommend this course of action, LOL. ;))
These days, I am hugely fortunate to be paid full-time to work on Drupal by Acquia, as part of their Drupal Acceleration Team. My main focus is in supporting, unblocking, and accelerating community efforts around Drupal's strategic initiatives, as well as my role as a product manager on the core committer team (setting roadmaps, keeping an eye on what our competitors are up to, and brutally-but-kindly-as-possible WebchickTestCase-ing unsuspecting patches.:P).
Over the course of my time with Drupal, I've gained an incredible amount... learning new things every day, numerous friendships-that-feel-like-extended-family (some of literally a decade or more), travel to all corners of the globe, hearing and taking in numerous diverse ideas and perspectives, and more. Thank you so much to everyone who makes this possible. <3Tags: drupal#DrupalOriginStoriesgoogle summer of code
The 2019 edition of MidCamp is over, but our team left Chicago with a lot of great advice, fresh perspectives, new connections and good vibes. In what is now the 6th year of its existence, this annual spring conference heralds the coming of spring and the national DrupalCon in April.
Matt and Mike talk with a bevy of bots who are presenting on Wednesday at DrupalCon Seattle.
Cleaning up before and after Drupal 7 to 8 migration so things go smooth, minimizing the need to write complicated YAML or PHP scripts for every single thing.Read More
We’re excited to attend and present at DrupalCon Seattle this year. Here’s a breakdown of what we’re looking forward to day by day, and information about where you can see Amazee sessions throughout the week.Felix Morgan Wed, 03/27/2019 - 20:12
Monday, 8 April
Monday and Tuesday will be a time for summits, sprints, and BoFs. Be sure to check out Michael Schmid as part of the Performance and Scaling Summit. In the evening you can join the DrupalCon Monday Night Pub-Crawl for community and drinks.
Tuesday, 9 April
In addition to the many summits and sprints be sure to check out the First-time Attendee Networking Breakfast if you're new to DrupalCon. After hours you can join a group run or one of several parties.
Wednesday, 10 April
In the morning, don’t miss the annual DriesNote where you can hear about the current state of Drupal as well as what the future holds. In the evening, the prestigious Splash Awards will showcase the best of Drupal from 2018 in the inaugural global international edition of these awards.
Thursday, 11 April
Thursday will be a day full of Amazee sessions. First up, Maria Comas will host her session GraphQL 101: What, Why, How from 09:45 - 10:15 in Room: 606. Be sure to check it out to get a basic overview of GraphQL and how to get started using it.
Catch John Albin Wilkins and his session CSS-in-JS and Drupal sitting in a tree… from 10:45 - 11:15 in Room: 6B. John will discuss the learnings from Amazee Labs trying several different CSS-in-JS solutions and why we finally decided on using CSS Modules.
In the afternoon, Michael Schmid will present Best Practices: How We Run Decoupled Websites with 110 Million Hits per Month at 13:00 in Room: 6C.
Finally, you can finish out Thursday with the popular social event Trivia Night where you can test out your Drupal knowledge with a chance to win prizes or earn the title of Drupal trivia champions, and win small prizes to boot!
Friday, 12 April
On the final day of DrupalCon, the community comes together to make contributions before saying goodbye until next year. We can’t wait to see all of you at DrupalCon 2019!
A handful of “life-saving” module releases, enlightening tutorials, well-curated Drupal theme selections... This month has “spoiled” us with lots of valuable Drupal blog posts. Therefore, coming up with a shortlist of 5 Drupal blog posts has been quite a challenge for us here, at OPTASY.
But, in the end, we did manage to trim our bulky lists of favorites. To focus on our common preferences and keep only the following truly valuable pieces of content on Drupal in our final selection:
Sooper Drupal Themes: Customer Experience: 6 key insights to prevent your customers from leaving you
When we think of what influences a consumer on which brand to pick we usually think of advertising, right? Well, while advertising does have some impact in the customer decision making process, what matters more is the customer experience provided. Nowadays, in order for a company to be able to stay relevant in the field that it is activating, it has to be able to provide a seamless customer experience.Customer experience makes or breaks a business
At this moment, the customers have the power to really punish a company for not providing the products or services on par with the competition. Given the fierce rivarly between businesses and the wide range of competitors, a customer has the power to change companies at will, without any consequences. What this means is that, companies have to increasingly keep up with the rising expectations of the consumer. According to the studies, half of the customers are prone to leave a good or bad review regarding the satisfaction of the services or products provided by a company. This trend applies especially to the younger generations.The importance of customer retention
So, why is it important to keep a customer? According to studies, it is five times more expensive to acquire a new client rather than to keep investing in an already existing customer. On top of that, the probability of selling to an already existing customer is significantly higher than to sell to a newly attracted lead. Also, already existing clients are more likely to try new products while also spending in general more than a new one.What makes a customer leave?
The biggest reason why customers are leaving is usually the fact that they have received an unsatisfactory service or product from the company. Nowadays, consumers are quick to penalize a company for an unsatisfactory experience. On top of that they are well aware that their influence in the marketplace is stronger than ever, are willing to use that power to influence your companies reputation for both good or ill. The leading causes for customers leaving is that the company or brand is not taking into consideration the customer needs. On top of that, providing a poor customer support and not learning from the feedback also adds up to the customers leaving. Naturally, not every customer experience can be a positive one, at some point there are bound to be some mistakes, maybe a parcel is delivered on the wrong address or the product delivered is in poor condition. Now, when those situations arise, the customer is taking into account how the company is responding to those situations. If the client has the feeling that he is putting more effort in fixing the problem than the company, then he is way more inclined to spread the word about his bad experience to others, while also being more prone towards switching brands altogether.What should you do to prevent customers from leaving?
The best way to prevent a customer from leaving is to provide a really good customer experience. To do that, it is good to take into consideration that companies have to provide a good customer experience across every step and stage of the customer life cycle. Moreover, customers expect ease and convenience every step on the way regardless of how, when or why they are in contact with your company. Also, customers consider that speed is paramount. Basically, they expect to get what they need without delay. When filing a complaint, the consumers also want for it to be immediately addressed, same goes for when they post a review. One way of keeping customers is to make a loyalty program rewarding them with something of value for their loyalty. This way, the customer is going to feel that he is appreciated and he is going to be more likely to stick around and be a good consumer to you.Why is this important for your Drupal business? Basically, you can apply this information to your Drupal business in a couple of ways. You can take into consideration the needs of your customer by researching and asking him about the kind of website he wants to have build for him. You should provide your customer with features that make their website more easy-to-use, for example by installing our Glazed Builder visual page builder. Next, you can take into account the feedback provided by your client, regarding the website you are building for him. After the project is done, you can provide fast customer service and support. It is important your support is available through your customer's preferred channel, whether that be email, phone, or making all these elements add up to a seamless customer experience, which your client will be more than thrilled to be a part of. Conclusion
Key insights to keep in mind:
- Provide a seamless customer experience
- Take into consideration the customer needs
- Personalize the experience based on every consumer
- Take negative feedback into consideration
- Provide fast service and customer support
- Reward loyalty
If you want to be competitive on the market, then be sure to deliver an unforgettable customer experience to your consumer. Nowadays, customers are sure to punish or reward a company or brand according to the experience that was provided, so, be sure to be on the good side of the consumer to be able to reap most of the benefits.
DrupalCamp London brought together hundreds of Drupalers of all stripes and sorts.This includes of course the C-suite: big movers, entrepreneurial founders, diverse CXOs—those leaders tasked with driving both consistency and change at their agency.
Every store owner dreams that their shopping cart is full of goods and successfully proceeds to checkout. There are general shopping cart tips to achieve this. Today, we will focus on Drupal Commerce stores that have many ways to make your cart convenient and attractive. To implement them, there are useful Drupal 8 modules for Drupal Commerce shopping cart, which we will review right now.Read more
What is govCMS?
The govCMS distribution is supported in Drupal 7 and Drupal 8 version, which has installation profiles for Australian government websites and it is being actively managed on Github (https://github.com/govCMS/govCMS8) and features are maintained from https://www.govcms.gov.au/.
To work with govCMS, we have to take care of some factors in order to create a site with the govCMS platform.
They have limited number of the module they support and we have to stick to that only and need to find alternate options with the twig and preprocess functions only and they do not allow us to create custom modules as well.
Here is the list of modules that they support: https://www.govcms.gov.au/govCMS-d7-modules
Unfortunately supported modules for Drupal 8 are less compare to Drupal 7, but we can create support request of community and if it's valid then they can include a module on SaaS platform.
Our Experience about working with govCMS
We have worked with govCMS for one of our clients from Australia, who is working with another agency before we met, and already he had started site development with them, and fortunately, he gets to know about the quality of work done so far from the previous agency.
They have added lots of contrib modules and to achieve some functionality they have created custom modules as well, but as the govCMS platform doesn't support such modules we have to flush out all existing implementation and started from the beginning.
All features which are build using custom/contrib modules, we had to find alternatives and get things done only with supported modules and using preprocess functions and twig alters. and along with that, we have to make sure that site is WCAG compliance as it is a government website they must be. So all things we delivered to the client successfully as per the client's expectation with the boundary of govCMS restriction.
More details about what is govCMS
Drupal gets big in the Australian Government
With almost half of Australian Government departments now running Drupal, and hundreds of more sites now live within various agencies, Drupal has transformed the way government websites are built and managed.
Drupal 7 : https://www.drupal.org/project/govcms
Drupal 8 : https://www.drupal.org/project/govcms8
The aim is to provide a single solution for unclassified websites using a common codebase and a shared feature set on a scalable and secure list infrastructure.
govCMS distribution is supported as SaaS by amazeelabs in collaboration with govCMS community and it supports several contributed modules which are available, here is a list of modules which can be used with SaaS https://www.govcms.gov.au/govCMS-d7-modules.
Workflows and Ahoy
It is interesting to see that the .ahoy.yml is just a set of command shortcuts, which is similar to the scripts section of a composer.json. Every implementation can be smoothed over by a single Ahoy command, and the underlying implementation can evolve without the developer even noticing.
Speculating, I think the hardest part about adding Ahoy commands will be naming them. Even then, the GovCMS team will have the luxury of focussing on the "SaaS govcms 8 on Lagoon" use case, rather than something like BLT which attempts to have commands for "any Drupal anywhere".
Flocon de toile | Freelance Drupal: Automatically provide options to a list field type with Drupal 8
As a user experience designer, most of my career has been focused on designing for adults. When the opportunity arose to help redesign a product for kids, I jumped at the chance to learn something new. Though, switching focuses from serving adult audiences to children proved to be a challenge. I'm not a parent and also usually do not interact with kids on a daily basis.
When it comes to testing in software development, the range of options is huge. From unit testing on the backend through browser compatibility testing on the front end, there are a variety of testing approaches that will save you, your clients, and their audiences, time and headache. Katalon Recorder is a quick, simple way to get started with testing and to see the value that automated tests provide within a matter of minutes.What is Katalon Recorder?
Katalon Recorder (KR) is a Selenium-driven browser plugin for Chrome and FireFox that lets you control your browser with simple commands instead of actual clicking, typing, tabbing, and scrolling. Put simply, KR can interact with your web application and report back when things don’t go as planned. Katalon Recorder aims to emulate human actions such as clicking, typing, and verifying the status of onscreen content - and as such works very well as an automated replacement for human testing.How does it work?
With Katalon Recorder, you can record your browser actions - such as clicking through your menu items - and then play those actions back as automated commands. You can also handcraft a wide variety of commands that assert the existence of HTML elements or copy, among a host of other things. The successful playback of well crafted tests indicates that your menus, content, and HTML structure haven't changed — in other words your application is behaving as expected.The Basics: Record and Playback
After clicking Record KR will bring your browser into focus, then log all of your interactions as individual commands. Once Stop is clicked, those commands can be played back, saved to a file, shared with others to play in their browsers, or modified to fine-tune functionality. With Katalon Recoder’s Record feature setting up initial tests that mirror human-driven clickthroughs takes moments of your time and can then be played back by anyone anywhere — including non-technical staff or even client teams.Creating Complex, Rigorous Tests
Katalon Recorder allows you to organize one or more individual commands as Test Cases, and one or more Test Cases as Test Suites. Complicated tests can be created by chaining together several Test Suites. You could, for example, write tests that log a test user in, search for a product by SKU, click into the results, add the product to their cart, navigate to the cart and assert the product is there, then complete the purchase using test financial data. All of those actions except assert the product is in the cart can be recorded from your interactions. That means that in many cases, the amount of time that it takes for you to perform an action on your website is, using the recorder feature, the amount of time it takes you to write the automated test.Flexibility Via Hand-Crafted Commands
Once you have saved the form for your Person node, you’ll get redirected to something like http://mysite.dev/node/887 where 887 is the node ID for your content. The storeEval command lets you save the ID number to a variable that we can access later in our tests. See the image below:
Katalon Recorder covers a lot of bases. Whether you're using just the Record option for building basic spot-checks, or combining advanced features to create rigorous and complex functional testing, it's surprising what can be achieved in so little time — especially given KR's very tenable learning curve. While the examples above are exceedingly simple, in some recent projects we’ve combined thousands of commands across dozens of test cases that provide thorough regression testing and automated QA — and it all started with the click of a Record button.
Radix is a Bootstrap 4 powered theme which is set up out-of-the-box to compile the Bootstrap library locally. It is targeted towards advance front-end developers who want total control on how Bootstrap is loaded and comes with Browsersync and Font Awesome built-in. The theme doesn’t support loading Bootstrap via a CDN out-of-the-box. I’d recommend you look at the Barrio theme if you prefer to load everything through a CDN.
Because you’re compiling Bootstrap, you get the added benefit of being able to modify the _variables.scss which is used to customize Bootstrap and can control what SASS components get imported. By importing only what you need you can drastically reduce the size of the compiled CSS file.
The theme comes with a Drush command (Drush 8 only), drush radix "Theme name", which makes it easy to generate sub-themes. The sub-theme comes with a package.json which has all the required packages.
Just run npm install, then npm run dev to compile Bootstrap. It uses laravel-mix to compile everything so you don’t have to spend time configuring webpack files.
In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to install Radix, create a sub-theme, how to compiling everything and learn about Radix Layouts.