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Updated: 16 hours 23 min ago

Lullabot: Front-end Rapport #7

8 August 2014 - 6:35am
What are You Going to Learn This Month?

Topics: Tools, Technique, Education

Categories: Drupal

Drupal Association News: Introducing Drupal.org Terms of Service and Privacy Policy

8 August 2014 - 6:32am

Almost half a year ago, with the help of the Drupal.org Content Working Group and lawyers, the Drupal Association started working on a Drupal.org Terms of Service (ToS) and Privacy Policy. After a number of drafts and rewrites, we are now ready to introduce both documents to Drupal.org users. Read the announcement on Drupal.org for more information.

Categories: Drupal

Aten Design Group: Declarative Programming and Drupal

8 August 2014 - 6:17am

Lately I've been very interested in declarative programming. Last week Smashing Magazine published my article on Declarative Programming and the Web, and last weekend I gave a talk at DrupalCamp Colorado on "Footless Drupal" in which I talked about how Drupal 8 is using declarative programming for configuration; how the Config in Code (CINC) module is aiming to, among other things, backport that to Drupal 7; and how it's already possible to use custom configuration workflows outside the default Drupal interfaces.

If you're not already familiar with declarative programming and/or the Drupal 8 configuration API, I recommend reading my declarative programming article in Smashing (of course I do), as well as Drupal's configuration API documentation before continuing. All caught up? Great, let's talk about some next steps for expanding declarative programming in Drupal.

Custom Configuration Tools

First, we need more tools for managing configuration, with interfaces designed around more specific workflows. We're using a wide variety of approaches to building Drupal sites, and with a standard configuration format, there's no reason we shouldn't have the same variety of configuration interfaces. Do you define your content types in spreadsheets? Me too. I made an interface for that. Do you test your menus as static HTML? Great, let's make an interface that converts HTML menus to Drupal menu config. Do 90% of your views show all content of a given type? Let's auto-generate those Views configs.

While there's still a lot changing in Drupal 8, and some of that will likely impact configuration structures, those structures are stable enough and simple enough that we should be building our own tools around them today. And as CINC gets closer to D8 config API parity, we can use more and more of the same configuration in D7 as well. These tools can be written entirely outside Drupal, in a completely different language if you prefer, which then exports to YAML. Or you can take advantage of the information available within Drupal, i.e. current site configuration and content, and build modules with new interfaces. The world is our new Drupal configuration playground. Let's get playing.

Declarative Forms

But there's also no reason declarative programming in Drupal needs to stop at configuration. Drupal has a wide variety of non-configuration concepts that could benefit from declarative approaches. One area I've been thinking a lot about lately is forms. Drupal's form API is already mostly declarative, but it's built around PHP arrays, and we interact with form arrays with imperative code. We could probably learn a lot by comparing Drupal forms to existing standards for declarative forms, like XForms. But simply taking a form array and formatting it as YAML would be a good start. (Or we could do it as JSON, as Amitai Burstein has suggested).

I'm sure declarative forms in Drupal would end up being a large and complex project, but it would come with large benefits as well. Many form alters apply universally to a given form, so they might as well be editing the original form definition directly. That wouldn't make sense in community module code, but moving the form definition outside code would allow such form alters to happen directly in the configuration. The same way we can now do \Drupal::config('node.type.page')->set('name', 'Basic page')->save(), we could do form alters with something like \Drupal::form('formid')->set('mytextfield.#title', 'My Text Field')->save(). Or with a YAML workflow, simply editing a YAML file would edit the form. That's already a huge benefit, as it would open up many form alters to a much wider group of implementers. Remember when we edited forms directly in HTML? A YAML form interface could give us that same ease of editing while still maintaining the power of Drupal's form API.

And just like with declarative configuration, declarative forms would open up a wider world of use cases. Forms created in Webform or the field API could be easily reused in custom modules. And the same forms could be built or used entirely outside Drupal, opening the door for more form-building tools focused on specific workflows.

Hopefully this is enough to get more people excited about taking advantage of the parts of Drupal that already have declarative interfaces, and also pushing declarative programming even further in Drupal. I'm continuing to work on these ideas and will likely have more examples to share soon, but I'd really like to see more people playing here. If you're already working or interested in working on declarative programming in Drupal, let's talk.

Categories: Drupal

Lullabot: Keeping Up with Drupal News

7 August 2014 - 11:38pm

This week the podcast gets a little bit meta by discussing how to find Drupal news. Addison Berry is joined by three different community news sources: Mike Anello of DrupalEasy podcast, Bob Kepford of The Weekly Drop newsletter, and Chris Weber from Drupal and Coffee in the Morning hangout and the Google+ Drupal community. We discuss why following the news is important, and how we manage to keep up with it.

Categories: Drupal

DrupalCon Amsterdam: Register before midnight and save 50€ on tickets to DrupalCon Amsterdam

7 August 2014 - 10:16pm

Will you be coming to DrupalCon Amsterdam?

DrupalCon is where all the big magic happens. From sprints that improve the project to training that brings in new talent, attending DrupalCon is the best way to get involved, get connected, and give back.

Take a break from your summer holiday and secure your place at DrupalCon before ticket prices rise on 8 August (that's tonight!) at 23:59 Amsterdam local time. Save the €50 you'd pay on a late ticket and make sure you buy your tickets now to take advantage of the regular rate. You can even buy for your company, with our easy prepaid tickets.

On the fence about attending?

If you're having trouble deciding whether to attend, we suggest you check out the schedule of sessions, BoFs, parties, and more, see who's going to be in Amsterdam, what you can learn, and how you can help the project while you're there. We've even got Cory Doctorow keynoting the event on Wednesday! What's not to love about that?

If you're having trouble convincing your boss to send you, check out these resources we've put together to help you get your manager's buy-in on the conference.

There will be great sessions, fantastic training opportunities, a quickly-filling business summit, a community summit, tons of sprints, and lots of fun at DrupalCon Amsterdam.

Have more questions? Check out the @DrupalConEur Twitter handle for breaking news and new information, or let us know if you need help.

We hope to see you in Amsterdam!

Categories: Drupal


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