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Praxis Labs' Drupal blog: Testing the Aegir Network module

9 November 2015 - 2:05pm
Language En

For the past few weeks we have been working on a module called Aegir Network.

Aegir Network allows Aegir servers to communicate with each other. This means you can centralize information from different servers, and run tasks on remote sites and platforms. It also adds a server overview UI to the Aegir interface.

In short, if you're running multiple sites and platforms across multiple servers, and you'd like to manage them from one central dashboard, you should probably check out this module.

Categories: Drupal

Drupal core announcements: Proposal: D8 Core Office Hours

9 November 2015 - 1:25pm

(Stretching the definition of "core" a bit here, but this is important to Drupal 8, so hopefully this is ok. :))

Now that Drupal 8.0.0 is nearing its final release, the next task in front of the Drupal community is porting ALL the contributed projects! Luckily, this effort is very much underway, but the faster the majority of big modules are at least usable (ideally with stable releases), the faster Drupal 8 adoption will take off.

After talking to numerous project maintainers, including those with multiple Drupal 8 core commits, it seems like many would find value in having dedicated times during which to collaborate with other people porting projects to D8, get questions answered, get advice on sticky problems, and figure out where best to help.

If you'd like to help mentor these sorts of office hours, please add your name to the issue summary at and fill in the Doodle.


Categories: Drupal

Chapter Three: How to use Apple News module

9 November 2015 - 11:00am

Apple News module provides an easy way to get your Drupal site's content into Apple News.

The Apple News module contains the following submodules:

  • Apple News Example - A fully functional example to use as a base for your own module with a fully styled node export.

  • Apple News Extra - Additional preconfigured destinations including Instagram, Twitter and embedded video and other components.

Before You Start

Before you start you must have a working Drupal 7 site, permissions to administer modules and add code, and that you meet the Minimum Requirements.

To install Drupal see these guides: Quick installation and Quick installation for developers.

Categories: Drupal

Axelerant Blog: Top Drupal Agency Team Members: 10 Ideal Traits

9 November 2015 - 11:00am

Success in top Drupal agencies is achieved by its people. And with something like Drupal staff augmentation, it’s important to hone in on member staff traits. When growing your team, choosing augmentees with traits like these can mean the difference between competitive advantage and failure.

So what are some ideal (non-techie) Drupaler traits? 1. Integrity

An employee can have all the talent in the world, but without integrity and authenticity, nothing significant can be accomplished. Integrity is the stable force behind many role models. Great leaders model integrity by being honest and doing what is right no matter the circumstances.

Integrity requires you to make the right choice, even when you may not receive personal gain from the outcome. Open Source Integrity is something that should be mutually understood by contributors.

Much like the foundation of a building, this should be the basis for every good hire or Drupal augmentee. Integrity is essential for lasting success.

2. Openness

Satisfied employees comfortably voice concerns and ask questions. They know where to go for answers. In current economic times, openness is crucial—anxiety is high, doors seem closed. It’s impossible to build an atmosphere of trust if new augmentees or hirees are padlocked.

An unopen environment encourages a damaging, looming distrust within organizations big and small. To create that transparent, open workplace, more value must be placed on this trait.

3. Giving

Here’s one of the most undervalued traits of all. It usually means going above and beyond comfort zones—sharing time, talent, and more without a reward expectation. Giving back to a community like the Drupal Community goes beyond a typical gift exchange.

4. Passion

Employees who are passionate about their job can make the heaviest workload a light one. Passion (drive, motivation, zeal) is the prevalent, self-driven attitude that will help lead to success. Team members who are ready for work on Monday because they love what they do, regardless of what they do, are organizational engines.

5. Discipline

Isn’t self-discipline really about perseverance? In the workplace, it’s really about not giving up, despite setbacks. When control is tied to passion, mountains are moved.

Contrary to common belief, self-discipline does not mean being harsh toward yourself or living a limited, restrictive lifestyle. Self-discipline is about self-control, a sign of inner strength. This control becomes perseverance; it holds you to your decisions, enables you to follow them through.

6. Leadership

The workplace is an environment where effective leadership is incredibly important. Growth is impossible without it, and every member of a top Drupal agency should have the qualities of a leader.

Real leadership is an ability to foster positive action, the kind that can achieve results for an organization. The most effective leaders have a strong sense of self; they understand the qualities that spur others into action.

Effective leaders know their strengths and limitations, they create and effectively communicate a positive, realistic vision. They’re motivators and inspire followers to reach their potential. Team members with this trait look beyond self-interest and encourage others to do the same. This leading is what Drupalers have to do today—it’s a contributive trait.

7. Motivation

Like discipline, self-motivation is a power that drives us to keep moving ahead. It nurtures continuous learning and success. Self-motivation is a primary means of realizing goals and progressing. You could say that it’s linked to an inventiveness. These team members need a lot less managing than less determined individuals. These augmentees or hire want to be the best they can be.

“If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.”Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

These are the individuals who tend to learn new skills and take up regular training courses, take ownership of issues, become team leaders; they go above and beyond their job description.

8. Empathy

Being sensitive and empathetic towards others goes a long way in establishing productive and happy relationships among peers. If there’s sensitivity at play in the workplace, teams will experience a reduction in office politics, misunderstandings, and the divides that fragment what needs to be a productive work environment.

What empathy does is bring about comfort. While some firms invest in the amenities of an office space or the trappings of a creative work environment, others invest more in team members who do this by their virtue.

9. Aptness

We need people who are ready, willing, and able. Infused together, this creates aptness—apt team members. That is: team members prepared to take on challenging Drupal projects and win.

  • Ready: This sub-trait means being “prepared” in a professional sense. A top Drupaler working at a top Drupal agency has to have a constant readiness, usually in the form of technical knowledge and experience.  This preparation includes technical knowledge, operational experience, and process knowledge.
  • Willing:  Willingness in this sense is a desire to accomplish.  You must be prepared to do the job, or all the preparation in the world won’t help. Having this desire is a serious factor of professional and personal success.
  • Able:  If you are not ready, you won’t be able to do the job (regardless of your enthusiasm).  If you are not willing, all the education and experience in the world won’t help.  However, if you’re ready and willing, then you are able.

Together these sub-traits manifest in a super trait, one no Drupaler can be without.

10. Modesty

This characteristic may seem odd to many, but it shouldn’t. Let’s face it, the most sought after employees shout their values not through their words but with their work. They’re humble. Team members like this don’t feel the need to pump themselves up in front of others.

You can get a team with these traits, you know. Discover How

The post Top Drupal Agency Team Members: 10 Ideal Traits first appeared on Axelerant.

Categories: Drupal

OpenLucius: OpenLucius update | November 2015

9 November 2015 - 10:02am

We released an update of Drupal social intranet OpenLucius last week. An overview of this update:

OpenLucius Core New modules

We added two new modules

1. 'LDAP' module

This module extends the OpenLucius distro with login via LDAP. Download.

Categories: Drupal

Drupal @ Penn State: Navigating your Entity Metadata Wrapper

9 November 2015 - 9:46am

For those of you who haven't worked with Entity Metadata Wrapper in Drupal before, drop the burrito visit the documentation page on

Entity Metadata Wrapper takes working with render arrays from blah, to "yeah!" in seconds.  For instance, remeber how painful it was to get the file url out of an image field before:

Categories: Drupal

Drupal @ Penn State: ELMSLN - Coming to a camp near you

9 November 2015 - 9:46am

I was made aware that it’s been close to a year since I actually did a demo of the reason that I contribute so many modules to drupal. org. For those that don’t know, the reason I exist is a project called ELMS Learning Network. It is a Drupal 7 based deployment methodology that takes the many parts of an LMS and fragments them across a series of drupal distributions.

Categories: Drupal

Drupal @ Penn State: One liner to install php 7, mysql 5.6, apache 2.4, drush and drupal on centos 7

9 November 2015 - 9:46am

It was a nice little saturday in happy valley. Since my son is forcing us to watch the Sponge Bob Square Pants movie over and over, I decided to multi-task. Bryan Ollendyke has been talking about PHP 7 a tad bit lately so I decided to whip up an instance. 

Granted this is not ready for prime-time just yet, however, it is extremely fast and everything that I have tested so far works fine. Turn on authcache and it is REALLY fast!

Categories: Drupal

Drupal Watchdog: Busting the Bottleneck

9 November 2015 - 9:28am

Any improvements made anywhere besides the bottleneck are an illusion. — Gene Kim

How To Identify And Resolve Your Pinch Points

Rush hour is a cruel juxtaposition between drivers ready, willing, and able to get to their destination as quickly as possible, only to find themselves creeping along (or at a dead stop) due to traffic jams caused by the roads being over capacity and the lack of coordination or optimization of the travel plans of each individual driver.

Most of those drivers also know that by consulting Google Maps and Waze, they can discover the cause of the jam-up, their distance to it, and estimated time of delay; they can then make the decision to stick it out or take the next exit and proceed through the streets.

How motor vehicles flow through a network of highways and byways is a good analogy of how work flows through an organization. When the volume of your company’s work ramps up, and there comes a moment when a single stage becomes the rate-limiting constraint for the entire system, your first step is to locate that damn bottleneck.

And Waze won’t help.

Making Work and Workflow Visible

While the system-wide constraint may be obvious in some organizations, it's not always apparent until the flow of work increases to the degree that the bottleneck is overloaded and potentially damaged, making things worse (e.g. a car accident causing traffic to back up even more). The following three exercises will help identify the problem area.

Exercise #1: Inventory the Four Types of Work

As organizations grow, so does the quantity and variety of projects that are being worked on simultaneously across different teams and divisions. Unfortunately, the net result is that it becomes more difficult to quantify and prioritize what is being done. Therefore, the first order of business is simply to locate this information. You can perform this exercise digitally, using a spreadsheet, but it's much more powerful if done against a wall with index cards. Either way you'll gain insight into your organization.

Categories: Drupal Default Search API Sorts Per View in Drupal 7

9 November 2015 - 8:46am

It's been a while since I've written a post here (especially, Drupal-related). But today I have something interesting to share.

There's a module called Search API sorts ( that provides custom sorts and a global sort block for Search API. The module itself is ok, but ...

Read now

Categories: Drupal

Wellnet Blog: Webprofiler meets Devel

9 November 2015 - 7:41am

Big news for all Drupal developers!
Some days ago the Webprofiler and Devel projects have been merged together.
This is a huge win for both: Devel gets a shiny new query logger and Webprofiler can reach way more developers.

Categories: Drupal

Drupalize.Me: Meet Project Manager Sean Lange

9 November 2015 - 6:01am

We asked Sean Lange what it means to be a project manager and for some advice from his experience. Sean is an advocate for developers and project manager at Lullabot, a fully distributed digital agency. Read more about Sean's approach to his role as a project manager in this Drupalize.Me interview, part of our Drupal roles series.

Categories: Drupal

Janez Urevc: When will media be ready for Drupal 8?

9 November 2015 - 5:00am

Disclaimer: This post ended up being quite long and I apologize for that. Media is a complex problem and there is a lot to be said. If you have better things to do in your life skip directly to the most important part: list of modules in D8 media space and their status. Would you like to help? See what is our current focus. Would you like to get in touch? We will be happy to talk to you!

OK. Now we're ready to start!

With Drupal 8 around the corner a lot of people started asking me when will media be ready. It was quite reasonable to expect this to start happening. Unfortunately there is no simple answer to this question. Shortest would be: "It depends.... What exactly do you need?". I know what you're thinking now... "Are you joking with me!?"

First things first

Your web browser doesn't support playing this WebM screencast.

Screencast displays WYSIWYG embedding in D8 core.

Quite some things happened since Drupal 8 release cycle started. Initially we focused on improving core itself. Improvements that were added to core are not many, but some of them are still very nice. Most noticeable for a day to day user are WYSIWYG embedding of images, multi-upload with drag'n drop support and listing of files in the system.

Your web browser doesn't support playing this WebM screencast. TODO - add multi upload screencasr

Screencast displays multi upload in Drupal 8.

Good stuff, you have to admit that. :) I hope that you already feel better... While those won't cover every possible use case are still nice improvements that most of sites will leverage from.

Drupal 8 file listing.

At some point during the D8 cycle it became clear that we won't be able to include any more major improvements in core. It was necessary to start thinking about contrib space. Discussions were started. We tried to identify what went wrong in the past and proposed ideas to make things better.

Categories: Drupal

OSTraining: New Video Class: Drupal 7 Security

9 November 2015 - 2:04am

This week's new video class is "Drupal 7 Security".

In this class, Robert gives a comprehensive overview of what you need to do to keep your Drupal 7 website secure.

Robert explains the importance of user permissions and the User 1 account. He talks about how to safely allow people to add content to your site.

Robert also discuesses the technical steps you need to keep your Drupal installation secure, how to store important but private files, SSLs and much more.

Categories: Drupal

Web Omelette: Overriding Queues in Drupal 7. Or How Not to Create Duplicate Queue Items

9 November 2015 - 12:02am

Have you ever needed to override a Queue in Drupal 7? For example, the reliable database SystemQueue? It's actually quite easy and very flexible as well. Let me first tell you the use case we are going to work with in this article.

Let's say that we want to make sure that when adding items to a queue, those items don't already exist in the queue table. That's actually a fair request in my opinion. An option would be to make a query and see if the item already exists before delegating its creation to the responsible Queue class. However, we'd have to deal with querying for serialised data and is just not performant.

A better way is to use our own DrupalQueueInterface implementation:

/** * Custom implementation of the DrupalQueueInterface */ class MyCustomQueue extends SystemQueue { /** * Overriding the method to make sure no duplicate queue items get created * but that the items are updated if the exist. */ public function createItem($data) { $serialized = serialize($data); $query = db_merge('queue') ->key(array('name' => $this->name, 'data' => $serialized)) ->fields(array( 'name' => $this->name, 'data' => $serialized, 'created' => time(), )); return (bool) $query->execute(); } }

As you can see, we are extending from the good ol' SystemQueue but overriding it's createItem() method. Instead of the db_insert() statement with which items were persisted, we are using a db_merge() statement to UPSERT the items. This means that if the items already exit, they get updated. If not, they get created. Which is exactly what we want.

Lastly, we need to make sure this class is being used for our queue. Again the solution is simple. Let's say our queue name is my_custom_queue. When requesting it like so:


... Drupal looks in the variables table for a variable called queue_class_my_custom_queue. If it finds it, it will try to instantiate a class that has the name specified as the variable value (if it also implements DrupalQueueInterface). If there is no such variable, it falls back to the default one which is SystemQueue.

So this means that our module needs to create that variable so that when we are requesting this particular queue, we get an instance of our own class. We can do this inside install and uninstall hooks:

/** * Implements hook_install(). */ function my_module_install() { variable_set('queue_class_my_custom_queue', 'MyCustomQueue'); } /** * Implements hook_uninstall(). */ function my_module_uninstall() { variable_del('queue_class_my_custom_queue'); }

And that is pretty much it. Now our queue will use the custom class we wrote and we can make sure no items are duplicated.

Hope this helps.

Categories: Drupal

Larry Garfield: Why I speak

7 November 2015 - 2:51pm

A few weeks ago I gave a keynote presentation at PNW PHP in Seattle. It was the second time I'd given that particular talk, Eating ElePHPants, a quasi-history and lessons-learned of the process of rebuilding Drupal 7 to Drupal 8.

Overall reception was good, and afterward I was appraoched by a woman who was trying to push for better development practices and refactoring a legacy code base at her company. We've exchanged a few emails since, as she goes about trying to subvert her company's development process for its own good to introduce testing, refactoring legacy code, decoupling, and other concepts that many of us on the conference circuit take for granted.

In the course of that email conversation, she had this to say:

When I first started with this entire effort about 2 months ago, I thought I will never succeed, and I thought I had set myself up to failure - until I heard you speak about your experience. Your talk was highly inspiring and got me excited to invest more time into what I was doing and I believed in myself for the reasons I chose this effort.

And later...

All the tech talks helped me realize that I can get somewhere, made it seem within reach, but you and Adam Culp [who also gave a session on refactoring] left me inspired.

read more

Categories: Drupal

Drupal Association News: What’s new on - October 2015

6 November 2015 - 2:33pm

Look for links to our Strategic Roadmap highlighting how this work falls into our priorities set by the Drupal Association Board and Working Groups.

Drupal 8 will be released on November 19th!

Drupal 8 is finally on its way and no-one is more excited than we are. The Association plays a critical role in providing the supporting infrastructure and developer tools that make the release of Drupal possible. In September we focused hard on making sure was ready for the Release Candidate, and now we have a final release date for Drupal 8.0.0 of November 19th!

Releasing the next major version of Drupal is no small endeavor. In October we focused hard on ensuring there will be no infrastructure blockers for the release of Drupal 8. We also spent time designing the release page and improvements to the download experience which we will implement before release day.

What better reason than the release of Drupal 8 to celebrate? We've added a category for Drupal 8 release parties to - so please post your events there, or look there for one to attend!

Drupal Association Membership Campaign

With the imminent launch of Drupal 8, now is a better time than ever to become a member of the Drupal Association. In mid-October we launched a membership campaign with the goal of adding an additional 1,000 members to our current base of 3,200 and raising an additional $100,000.

To support this campaign we placed a banner on asking for your support, and asking existing members to share the campaign. The campaign will end on December 30th, and with your help we can sustainably fund ongoing improvements to like the ones you see here every month.

The Roadmap Content Strategy Documentation Section

Overhauling documentation on continues to be a top priority coming out of our Content Strategy work. As we continue to build out the features that will be the building blocks of the new Sections on, we want to gather feedback about how our existing users are using the Documentation pages and what improvements are needed.

We've added a survey in the lower right hand corner of every documentation page so that users can provide that feedback before our next round of implementation work.

About - Breadcrumbs in Beta

We're also prototyping some of the new features that will be part of the toolbox for Sections on A small feature, but a welcome improvement, is the addition of breadcrumb navigation in the new Section content types. Right now you can see a beta of this in the About section.

Search Improvements

In October we continued our efforts to improve the utility of search on Just in time for the release of Drupal 8, developers can now search for api functions through the search box and receive results from


In October we enabled DrupalCI testing for Drupal 7 and Drupal 6. We are now in the process of validating that testing for these legacy versions is functioning correctly before disabling legacy testbots and statically archiving Drupal 8 testing on the legacy system has already been disabled.

We are also focusing on tuning DrupalCI to economize the testing process. Each Drupal 8 core test job runs over 12,000 tests containing approximately 100,000 code assertions. From September to October we have reduced the average time to complete a core test from 40 minutes to 30 minutes and the average cost of a full test job from $0.37 to $0.24. However, with around 12,000 test jobs run in the past month alone (that's 14,400,000,000,000 assertions!) we will continue to look for ways to manage this expense while providing a better, faster testing service for Drupal code.

Spam Fighting
From Wikimedia Commons
by user Qwertyxp2000

The announcement of Drupal 8's release candidate lead to a surge in spam activities on, and the Drupal Association pivoted to respond, both by fighting the spam directly and by developing new tools for reporting, blocking, and preventing spam for ourselves and the community volunteers who help to fight spam on every day. We made the following changes:

  • We upgraded Flag module to version 3.
  • Our report spam links on now use Flag.
  • We built new views for spam fighters to manage content reported as spam.
  • We increased our rate limiting to prevent bulk submissions.
  • We removed automatic granting of higher user roles - there are now enough Community level users on to confirm new users manually.
  • We eliminated spam targets by fixing content filtering to rel="nofollow" user submitted links in more places.

Going into November we are hoping to implement some new tools from our Technology Supporter Distil Networks to help prevent spam registrations before they occur.

Revenue Related Projects (Funding our work)

Beyond the membership campaign we're continuing our regular work on upcoming DrupalCons. Registration for DrupalCon Asia—the FIRST DrupalCon after the release of Drupal 8!—will open soon. We're very excited to celebrate Drupal 8's release with the local community in Mumbai and with the wider community in Asia.

Design work for DrupalCon Dublin is ongoing in anticipation of the full site launch. In consultation with the local community we have some great design concepts that will really tell the story of Drupal in Dublin. We think you'll really enjoy it!

Sustaining support and maintenance Faster Development Environments

Deploying a hosted development environment for contributing to is one of the critical services provided by the Drupal Association. These environments are used both by our internal staff and by community volunteers who are creating features for As recently as a year ago it has taken up to 3 hours to spin up a new development environment. As recently as September it took around an hour and twenty minutes.

By providing our sanitized nightly snapshot of the database as a docker container we're now able to provide new development environments for in approximately 10 minutes. Even in a short time this has improved our feature development velocity.

Upgrades and Improvements

In addition to improving our development environments, we've focused on upgrading our the operating system on many of our servers to CentOS 6.7, and making sure that our Solr infrastructure is highly-available.


As always, we'd like to say thanks to all volunteers who are working with us and to the Drupal Association Supporters, who made it possible for us to work on these projects.

Follow us on Twitter for regular updates: @drupal_org, @drupal_infra

Personal blog tags: whats new on
Categories: Drupal

Drupal core announcements: Drupal 8.0.0-rc4 on Thursday, November 12, 2015

6 November 2015 - 1:22pm
Start:  2015-11-12 16:00 - 17:00 America/Chicago Organizers:  xjm catch Event type:  Online meeting (eg. IRC meeting)

In preparation for the scheduled release of Drupal 8.0.0 on Thursday, November 19, we will create the final release candidate for Drupal 8.0.x, Drupal 8.0.0-rc4, on Thursday, November 12. We have added this release candidate in addition to the scheduled release windows to provide a final testing target for changes during the RC phase. (Unlike other release candidates, this release window will not include a 24-hour code freeze.) Plan to help test this final release candidate for bugs and regressions during the final week before 8.0.0's release!

Following RC4, we will further restrict the patches we commit to severe bugs or regressions and documentation fixes only, at committer discretion. So, if you have any allowed RC changes underway, plan to complete them by November 12.

There will not be a separate release candidate on November 18. (The November 19 release date is an extension of the November 18 release window.)

Categories: Drupal

DrupalCon News: Session Submissions In Review

6 November 2015 - 11:50am

Thank you for all of the session submissions for DrupalCon Asia! In true Drupal fashion, we had a huge surge in the last few days/hours of session submissions to bring us to a total of 349! We are already busy working to make our selections, but check out some stats about the process in the meantime.


Categories: Drupal

Pantheon Blog: Easily Install Drush with a Phar

6 November 2015 - 10:45am
Composer has helped quite a lot in the area of installation and dependency management for Drupal and Drush; however, users who want to get a quick start with Drush are sometimes put off by the Composer-based install.  As of the Drush 8.0.0-rc3 release, it is now possible to install Drush using a phar. This requires fewer steps than the previous method. First, navigate to the Drush project page at
Categories: Drupal

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