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Dries Buytaert: Thunder, a Drupal distribution for publishers

8 April 2016 - 6:29am

Earlier this month, the international media group Hubert Burda Media (about 2.5 billion annual revenue, more than 10,000 employees, and more than 300 titles) released its Drupal 8 distribution, Thunder. Thunder includes custom modules specifically tailored to the needs of professional publishers.

This is great news for three reasons: (1) I've long been a believer in Drupal distributions, (2) I believe that publishers shouldn't compete through CMS technology, but through strong content and brands, and (3) Thunder is based on Drupal 8.

Distributions enable Drupal to compete against a wide range of turnkey solutions, as well as break into new markets. The number of vertical distributions that can be created is nearly limitless, and the possibilities are endless. Thunder is a great example of that.

Professional publishing is one of the industries that has faced the most extensive business model disruption because of the web. Many companies are feeling pressure on their revenue streams, yet you'll find that some companies still focus their efforts on building proprietary, custom CMS platforms as a way to differentiate. This doesn't have to be the case – I've long believed that Drupal (and open source, more generally) can give publishers endless ways to differentiate themselves at much lower costs.

The following video gives an overview of the Thunder approach:

Custom features for publishers

Thunder adds a range of publisher-centric Drupal modules to Drupal 8 core. Specifically, Burda added integrations with audience "circulation" counting tools and ad servers, as well as single sign-on (SSO) support across multiple sites. They've also developed a theme which implements infinite scrolling.

Thunder users also benefit from a range of channel- and feature-specific enhancements through collaboration with industry partners. The following extensions are already available or in the final stages of development:

  • provides an easy-to-use editor for interactive content. The data from the resulting polls and quizzes is available to the publisher.
  • offers a video CMS and their video player. And Microsoft will support the video solution with 100,000 free video streamings per month through their Azure cloud.
  • Facebook will provide a module for integrated publishing to their Instant Articles, exclusively for Thunder users.
Smart collaboration

I admire the approach Burda is taking to bring publishers, partners and developers together from throughout the industry to develop the best open-source CMS platform for publishers.

At the core is a team of publishing experts and developers led by Ingo Rübe, CTO for Burda's German publishing operations, and initiator of Thunder. This team will also be responsible for coordinating the continuous development and enhancement of Thunder.

Under Thunder's policy, all features provided by industry partners must be offered for free or with a freemium model; in other words, a significant part of the functionality has to be provided at no cost at all. Smaller publishers will likely benefit from this approach, as they will be able to use a full-fledged publishing solution that is continuously enhanced and maintained by larger partners.

Big brands are already using Thunder

Although Thunder is still in public beta, Burda has migrated three brands to Thunder. The German edition of Playboy (about 2M monthly visits) was the first to move at the end of 2015. The fashion brand InStyle (about 1.8M monthly visits) and gardening website "Mein schöner Garten" (about 1.5M monthly visits) are also running on Thunder. Most of the other German Burda brands are planning to adopt Thunder in the next 12 months. This includes at least 20 brands such as and, which have more than 20 million monthly visits each.

You can download Thunder from

Categories: Drupal

Acquia Developer Center Blog: Co-Podcast from Mumbai! Introducing The Geek Voice with Parth and Hussain

8 April 2016 - 4:37am

Welcome to the first of six podcasts I recorded in Mumbai as DrupalCon Asia 2016! It pleasure to record this conversation with an old Drupal friend and Acquia podcast guest--Hussain Dehgamwala (aka Hussain Abbas)--and a new Drupal friend and guest--Parth Gohil--both from Axelerant. And it was my privilege to be the first guest on their new podcast, The Geek Voice! We’re releasing this conversation together. Be sure to go check out Episode Zero of their show to see what else they have up their sleeves ... and what they said about me when I wasn’t around ;-)

In my part of the audio and video of this recording we touch on how Drupal and IT in India are evolving, and the many facets of contribution on today’s Drupal and open source landscape. When The Geek Voice takes over and turns the microphone on me, they ask me about my activities as Acquia’s Developer Relations Evangelist, we talk about the Drupal 8 Module Acceleration Program, and my Acquia origin story.

Thank you, Indian Drupal Community

I have been to a lot of DrupalCons in the last decade ... wow, yes, feels funny to say it, but I have actually been going to DrupalCons since 2006 ... and I’d honestly say DrupalCon Asia in Mumbai was my personal favorite. I was impressed with the Indian Drupal community and I see great things in the future of this group of young, diverse, and dynamic people. Thank you for everything you do, Drupal India people! Can I be on your team? :-)

Interview video - 28 min.

What’s going on with Drupal in India?

jam: Can you talk about what’s going on in Drupal and Open Source in India a little bit?

Hussain: Sure. For what you say about excitement definitely we have been waiting for this Con for years, actually years. We’re so happy it’s finally here. Well in India a lot of great things are happening in Drupal since forever, I think. I mean we had our first meet up in 2005 in Ahmedabad. Am I right?

Parth: Yes. The first camp happened around 2009, but yes.

Hussain: Yes. In Bangalore we have been having regular meet ups camps. We had a great camp last year and I know Deli, Mumbai, Hyderabad, they have been having camps since 2011.

jam: So, in a lot in Europe and places in America, a great camp, has 80 people, 200 people, 300 people, right? There aren’t very many that are above 350. Let’s say BADCamp--the NYCamp in New York City. London, 600-700 people. What’s a normal average size of a camp in India?

Parth: Five hundred plus :-D

Hussain: Otherwise it’s not called a camp. It’s a big meet up. We had a mini camp and we saw about, what? We had about 100 registrations and I don’t remember how many turned up but--yes.

Parth: I think about 80.

jam: Eighty is a really nice size though. One of the reasons why I love going to camps--DrupalCon is very important and obviously, I like it but for me so much more of the grassroots stuff happens at the camps now. When you spend two or three days with 80 people, you get the chance to talk with so many more people directly and on a personal level and really spend time with people you want to talk to.

Hussain: Yes. That’s why we pay a lot of attention to meet ups. We keep it--we treat it as a very important thing. We have it monthly at least we try to. A lot of companies sponsor it also. About the minicamp, yes, you’re completely right definitely. The last minicamp we had, like I said, around 80 people turned up. There’s this person who turned up and since then he has been a regular contributor to all the events. In fact he has pulled together the community like we have not been able to in a few years. He has created WhatsApp groups and he’s pulling people from different companies and like asking them to follow up. So, our WhatsApp Group is like around 200 people now.

Code and beyond - All contribution counts

jam: We were in a panel discussion yesterday about the transformation of Indian IT and Open Source and what have you. One thing came up and I think this is relevant too, is to let everyone in. Bring everyone in. Let everyone come and see what’s going on because you never know what skill someone is going to have. They could be a great coder, right, but we need so much more than that.

Parth: Yes. Well, if you ask me, I am not a coder myself and I’ve been part of the Drupal community since three years now and I haven’t written a single line of code. There’s a good balance of people that we should have, coders and non-coders and I think the conclusion was that will automatically balance itself. I mean the demand and supply will automatically balance it out. So yes, as many people as we can gather in the community is always good.

jam: So, you both work for a company called Axelerant. Hussain is India’s number one code contributor to Drupal 8 (thank you!). Is that right? And Parth, your contributions are completely different. You’re a Community Manager at Axelerant. What does that involve? What do you do?

Parth: I help support the local communities do their camp’s meet ups. I help them get the word out, entertain them while they’re there--something like a mini jam maybe. Yes, I support the community to organize events basically. I’ve been organizing camps since three years and I think under my belt I have Drupal Camp Delhi, two years in a row, Mumbai last year then Drupal Camp Hyderabad, Drupal Camp Bangalore, Drupal Camp Pune. So I’ve done all the camps. I’ve been on the Core Committee of all the camps.

jam: Wow, that’s awesome! Well thank you for doing that. Now tell me, Axelerant hired you to do this and pays you to do this. What are your goals? What do you have to tell your manager that you succeeded, and what sort of business value does Axelerant get from having a community organizer on staff?

Parth: This is not more of a business move for us, to be very honest. It’s more of a branding effort and elevating the community from the ground up. I mean, we’ve been sponsoring each and every camp since 2013 from what I know. So basically, my effort also goes to spreading our culture, throwing the right image for Axelerant to our prospective employees if you will. I think my company likes me and they trust me with what I’m doing. So they’re like, “Go! Yeah, go ahead. Yeah, whatever you do, we’re fine with it.” As long as I’m reaching out to as many people as I can, they’ll help me.

Hussain: Another thing is as far as code contributions are concerned, he organizes monthly sprints in Axelerant. From the code contributions part of other things, so I’ll have many roles at Axelerant. We are very dynamic that way. We keep switching. In the middle I held a role called Full-Time Code Contributor. When I started out with that, it was a new role for the company as well, for the organization as well. When I started out I was trying to figure out the same thing what you’re just asking like, what is the company looking to get out of this? When I had this discussion, they said, “No, just jump into it. We’ll see. We’ll see where it goes. Just jump into it. There is no concrete objectives defined yet but we’ll work upon it on the way. We don’t care about numbers. We don’t care about commit mentions or issue credits or anything. Just go there."

jam: “But we need Drupal 8 out, so please help those people.”

Parth: Yes. Exactly.

Geek Voice Takeover!

The Geek Voice is ...

Parth: Yes, episode zero. Let me take over. Yes. All right, let me take over and I’m going to be asking jam who is now ...

jam: Evangelist Developer Relations, Acquia.

Parth: And before?

jam:I was Community Affairs Manager, and then we had an interim thing called Open Source Evangelist, but as we figure out our part in contributing to Drupal, beyond paying full-time core contributors and what have you, right now, it was a very natural progression for me. I have a strong affinity with our community.

Anyway, it seemed like a natural alignment for me to be doing a job to help developers in their day-to-day life. If I can connect you with a bit of information that’s important or introduce you to a new idea or show you that your work as a developer makes a difference out in the world or changes how people are thinking, that’s what I’m focusing in on now and it’s great. It’s great. So far. It’s new. I’ve only been doing it technically for about six or seven weeks. It’s very similar to what I was doing before anyway so it’s a pretty happy place for me.

Parth: All right. That’s sweet. I mean the way you’ve been weaved into the community, you’re like a role model, if you will. Yes and ... so this is something that was new to me when I came in and the first thing that Ankur [Ankur Gupta, Axelerant CEO] told me was, “Hey, look at what jam does and we should do something similar and be awesome.” and that’s why I am the Community Manager at Axelerant. I’m so awesome because I’m following his footsteps.

jam: Wow. I’m really not sure what to say now but ... thank you.

Hussain: Okay. When you say Evangelist in Developer Relations, can you give us an instance very developer centric something which you set up recently?

jam: We’re doing a couple of things that have tied together nicely recently. We’ve got a series called The Drupal 8 Module of the Week. Now that Drupal 8 is out, the contributed module space is behind. That’s not a bad thing. It’s normal for our releases but Drupal 8 is much more ready to use than any previous release of Drupal so early and we wanted to highlight the fact that people really can jump in and go. We wanted to instill confidence in the platform by showing all these modules are actually ready, right? Right now, every week with a colleague of mine, we’re publishing articles about Metatag, about BigPipe, about things that are ready to go and making your sites better for your clients. So we’ll say who wrote it, why did they do it, what was the situation, what it solves, how it benefits the client, how it benefits a developer and I love that. One of the ones we did recently which was BigPipe ... which is amazing ... We happened to do a webinar with Wim Leers who’s one of the maintainers of that at the same time. So I was able to put together a package of information of two webinars and the little interview with him all talking about BigPipe and then everybody should now know that this is out there and available. You just install it and you go. That’s a simple example.

Hussain: Okay. That sounds cool. How does anyone reach you if they want to? If they’re working on a module and if they want to put it in the Module of the Week, how does anyone reach you?

jam: That’s pretty easy. I’m quite easy to find online. If you to @horncologne on Twitter it’s probably the simplest way to find me and get in touch with me. My email is Just go ahead and write me. I’ve got a nice pipeline of articles coming. It’s not the only project I do. I’m really, really interested in highlighting people who are succeeding with the technology of Drupal. So, if you have a great case study, if you have a great project, if you have something that you’d really like to show off, if I can, I’d love to do something about it. Maybe it’s a podcast, maybe it’s an article or if it doesn’t fit in in any of my formats I would also be very happy to connect you with maybe someone else who could on another platform or whatever. I’m really, really interested in making developers lives better by connecting them with good information.

Hussain: Yes and personally I can vouch for that. You always responded on Twitter. So, yes, that's the easiest place to reach you.

Drupal 8 Module Acceleration Program

Parth: At Acquia you have program where you’ve come up with funds for reporting modules for D8. Can you tell us more about that?

jam: So, I’ve been in with Acquia a very long time. I was the 18th employee and one of the reasons why it’s been so great is I come out of the Drupal trenches. Drupal’s my project. It’s my Open Source love. Right from the beginning Acquia has made incredible contributions. We’ve screwed up. We’ve made mistakes. We’ve upset people. I’ve seen us really try and make it right, really apologize, whatever, but in terms of how much we try to give to the platform, I’m just so proud to be in the place where they send a guy around the world talking about Open Source, to a place where there are [roughly] 12 [paid, full-time]core contributors and so on.

It completely – so, knowing all of that, a couple of months when I heard that we were going to put a half a million dollars straight into Drupal 8 module upgrades, I was pretty blown away. So, what we’ve done at Acquia, the guy who’s organizing the program is called John Kennedy. He is also the product owner of our Drupal distribution which is called Lightning which is really cool. Check out Lightning. It’s like a base platform for building enterprise Drupal sites with a lot of opinionated architectural choices so that you can get commonality across big sites and make smart choices about workflows and so on.

Because we need to get Lighting into Drupal 8, we realized “Hey, we gotta get more modules moving faster so we can use it, too,” ... And this principle of enlightened self-interest is very important in Open Source ... We made a calculation along the way. This is pretty simple. If we invest this much money we’re going to get huge returns out of it and so will the community. The idea is John has been in touch with a lot of different people, a lot of maintainers, a log of project owners in the Drupal community and all the stuff that we considered important for Lightning and a few other things, the maintainers have all agreed to work at a community rate so it's not at a commercial level. It’s not like what you’d get on a big client project but real money, good money that you can live on. We’re paying that rate and so they give us an estimate of the hours, what they need to port a module to Drupal 8 and we’ve been pushing that out and it’s really, really great. I’ve talked with a couple of the maintainers who’ve been doing it and it’s just ... This is really a feel good moment and I think this is one of the best investments that we’ve made in a long time. I’m really, really proud that we can do something like that.

Hussain: It’s amazing. It’s incredible. Thank you for that. Thank you.

jam: It wasn’t me but you’re welcome. :-D

Parth: Next, tell me more about how you got engaged with Acquia. How many years ago again?

jam: I started with Acquia in August 2008. The short version is that I had been doing Drupal consulting and my first Drupal event was DrupalCon Brussels in 2006 and there were 200 of us there. At registration, you walked in the door and you handed Dries €20.00 and you got a t-shirt and you were in. I had meet Dries then and before I was working in Drupal apart from being a professional musician, I worked as a translator and a writer, and he engaged me to write all the texts and the legal disclaimers and the API documentation for Mollom--that was his other startup when he brought out Acquia. I did all of the text of Mollom. We had worked together a little bit because we knew each other sort of second-hand through the community and at some point Acquia needed a--the position was called Senior Writer. I knew Drupal and I have been doing professional writing for 10 years basically. It seemed like a really good fit and I wanted to move on from my situation and this little startup sounded like a good idea.

Parth: Little startup!

jam: Well, I was the 18th employee. This was a small company and you have to imagine that everybody did everything. I worked on and I was the most junior person in Engineering. I documented Drupal Gardens when we built it. I documented our first hosting platform, I did testing, bug reports and all that stuff. Over time, I transitioned. 2011 I transitioned into the Marketing Department because I was getting better known in the community and I was given a very, very nice budget to go and help the community and I sponsored--in 2012, I sponsored 84 Drupal Camps. I don’t think any single person has sponsored that many. Now, it wasn’t my money but I think it’s also money well spent, and did a lot of community investment through that and then as time goes on this is has transitioned to an Evangelist job. I mean it’s been a good ride.

Parth: All right, one more thing. You’ve always told me in our conversations in the past week, you do this because you want to be true to the heart and you don’t want to do anything that you don’t stand behind. Can you tell us more about that ideology that you have when you work in the community?

jam: Yes. I’m going to try and tell you a really very short version. In the last 10 years, I’ve been forced to grow up. I’ve had to become an adult. I mean I have children. Friends and relatives have died and I’ve had to deal with that. People my own age have gotten sick and it’s all--it’s real life. It can be really hard. As I’ve gone through some of these hard times ... I’ve been doing Drupal for 11 years so in the same time frame as I had to face up to facts and become an adult, I got involved in Drupal and involved in Open Source. The changes in me, inside me they feel completely tied to the Open Source values: transparency, honesty, sharing, paying if forward, paying it back, all that stuff that we practice. We don’t just say it would be nice to do that. We live that in our communities. Because these things were happening at the same time, for me somehow, it’s just one. When you see me doing stuff, when you hear me doing stuff, it’s actually really me. This is not--I’m not putting on a show or something. So, it would be really, really hard for me to take a job that wasn’t helping people. I think I can imagine being in other jobs, other companies, that happens. I think if you make something that make people’s lives better, it doesn’t even have to be developers, right? It has to be something I can believe or I would really have trouble doing it. Expressing that in what we do today: I mean, I deeply admire our community and our technology and that’s what I’ve been doing for a long time but it could apply elsewhere too. I guess that’s the shortest version of that.

Hussain: That’s really, really inspirational.

Parth: Yes, yes. Exactly and so I was super inspired with that and that’s why I’m like--you have to mention that on the podcast.

Hussain: You heard it first here.

Parth: First. We do a lot of firsts and we’re going to do a lot of firsts in our coming episodes, so you better follow The Geek Voice!

jam: Thank you so much. It was really a privilege to be on your podcast. I really enjoyed that and you brought up stuff that I wouldn’t just bring up on a normal basis. Thank you for taking the time to have me on your podcast. I really, really enjoyed it.

Skill Level: BeginnerIntermediateAdvanced
Categories: Drupal

OSTraining: Create a Drupal Photo Gallery with Views Galleriffic

7 April 2016 - 1:48pm

An OSTraining member asked us how to use the Galleriffic JQuery plugin with Drupal.

The standalone version of Galleriffic allows you to create styling image galleries and slideshows.

The Drupal integration with Galleriffic allows you to use Views to create a galleries. These galleries can be attached to nodes themselves or act as stand-alone galleries. 

Categories: Drupal

Lullabot: Selling Drupal Modules and Distributions

7 April 2016 - 1:00pm
Matt and Mike talk to Taco Potze, Robert Douglas, Matthew Tift, Greg Dunlap, and Jeff Eaton about selling Drupal modules, and all of the benefits, downsides, and questions that arise from selling GPL and dual-licensed software in the Drupal community.
Categories: Drupal

Promet Source: Did a Lack of Drupal Updates Lead to the Panama Papers?

7 April 2016 - 11:07am

The amount of data leaked in the Panama Papers hack has proven monumental but what's alarming for all businesses is how the information was extracted from the Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca: the data was most likely taken by exploiting a security flaw from one of the firm’s outdated systems. Open source systems can be exploited if known security flaws aren't patched within a reasonably quick turnaround time, and in the case of the Panama Papers there were almost too many holes in the security dam. 

Categories: Drupal

Hook 42: DrupalCon New Orleans Multilingual Training - Laissez Les Bon Temps Rouler!

7 April 2016 - 11:00am
Thursday, April 7, 2016 Hook 42 is ready to let the good times roll at DrupalCon in New Orleans, et vous?

Are you an agency who has multilingual clients, or do you want them?

Are you a themer, site builder, or developer who already works on multilingual sites?

Do YOU want to expand your knowledge base and skills so you can start building multilingual sites?

Have you heard the rumors that multilingual in D8 is easier than D7 and want to experience that first hand?

If you answered yes to any of the above questions, join us on Monday May 9th, for our Hands-On Drupal Multilingual for D7 and D8 Training!

The training will be led by Kristen Pol & Aimee Degnan, who literally wrote the books on multilingual in D7 & D8.

Now that you’re ready to laissez les bon temps rouler for you, your clients, and/or your site - here’s a brief overview of what we will cover during the training.

What Good Times Will Roll - aka Learning Objectives

You'll be learning a lot in one day! Here are some highlights:

  • Understand what Drupal components might need translations
  • Configure interface translations to be pulled from automatically
  • Pros and cons between node/content translation and field/entity translation
  • Configure entities (nodes, comments, users, etc.) for translations
  • Update views, site variables, and other configuration to support different languages
  • Drupal 8 site building exercises WITH multilingual support!  A great way to get introduced to Drupal 8!

Reaching audiences from different countries and with different language preferences can boost site conversions, improve user engagement, and create happier customers. Drupal is a go-to CMS for both small and large websites. But, until Drupal 8, building a multilingual site in Drupal has been quite challenging. In Drupal 7, it can take up to 20 core and community modules (or more!), lots of configuration, and often many patches from the issue queues to get a site prepped for multiple languages and translations. But have no fear!

For the first part of the day, we'll be following the Drupal 7 Multilingual Sites book which covers adding languages, configuring language negotiation, installing interface translations, configuring entities for translation, and more. For the second part of the day, we'll work with multilingual in Drupal 8 using the Drupal 8 Multilingual Sites book.

You'll get to bring the books and guided exercises home with you for reference when building your next multilingual site.

Make sure you sign up early to get the discounted rate and ensure the training happens. Don’t miss out completely by waiting too long!

Details of the Good Times

When The Good Times Roll: May 9, 2016 - 9:00am - 5:00pm

How Much The Good Times Cost: $450 early bird rate (through April 15), $500 regular rate - includes light breakfast, lunch and coffee breaks

I'm still thinking about the good times - I want a few more details

I'm ready to roll! Just sign me up!

Hook 42 Topics: Services:
Categories: Drupal

Axelerant Blog: 12 Reasons To Use Drupal In Higher Education

7 April 2016 - 11:00am

Using Drupal in higher education has been a popular choice among leading schools. It’s become the preferred website platform for hundreds of institutions of higher learning around the world. Schools like Harvard UniversityStanford Law SchoolDuke UniversityBrown UniversityRutgers UniversityUniversity of OxfordUniversity of Prince Edward IslandKarlstad UniversityZaman UniversityBentley UniversityUncommon SchoolsUniversity of Waterloo, and Yale have chosen Drupal as their preferred content management framework because it best supports current and future needs of students, faculty, alumni, and their communities.

In short, Drupal has proven these top schools that it serves higher education website needs. Here are ten specific reasons it’s best for your school.

The Top 12 Reasons To Use Drupal In Higher Education: 1. Multi-Site Functionality

Most universities and colleges maintain multi-faceted websites, ones that serve a broad range of purposes. By leveraging Drupal’s built-in multi-site functionality, institutions provide their departments with a substantial toolbox and relevant media types for communicating with students, staff, and other users via a single system.

This multi-site capability helps institutions break out independent websites by giving control and ownership to individual departments. This control structure significantly reduces administrative overhead from the IT office. SomeDrupal in higher education distributions like Open Atrium allow you to build intranets for any educational institution.

2. Easy Responsive Design Implementation

According to an eMarketer study, an estimated 90 percent of US college students will own a smartphone by the time they graduate in 2016. Now with Drupal 8, academic centers can easily use Drupal in higher education to stay up-to-date and relevant to users by delivering smoother, responsive website experiences out of the box.

Experiences from each user’s device of choice. Drupal sites adapt to user evolutions, making it optimal for institutions with student demographics. It’ll also be easier for admins to manage content with a dashboard (one that’s responsive and mobile ready out of the box as well).

3. Workflow Modules

Drupal’s Workflow modules and features set allow universities and colleges to control and manage the publication process actually, without limiting its use as a mere content management tool. There’s granular control available for every content operation.

At each step, employees can be notified to complete their tasks (like editing). This control keeps team members from performing tasks out of order and keep projects moving forward.

Looking for a partner?

4. Content & User Access Control

With Content and User Access Control, site administrators can create privileges grouped together by access level, function, and role. These permission sets can be assigned to groups of users rather than manually granting privileges to each and every user. Permission sets help decentralize task responsibilities like creating, editing, and managing content, all without putting extra workload on your IT hub.

These Drupal in higher education access control features are exceptionally handy on university websites where professors, students, alumni, and site visitors require unique user experiences and different access rights. The domain access module enables sharing content across multiple sites quickly, allowing site owners to share configuration settings and users among various college or university portals.

5. Multilingual Awesomeness

With Drupal 8 now available in over 110 languages, you can have your site available in almost any language that your student demographic needs. This feature allows decision makers to take into account: international student associations, global event communications, foci of studies, and more.

6. Efficient Use Of Taxonomy System

Drupal’s taxonomy system is a robust method for classifying website content into groups. Taxonomy systems can be designed and deployed on a per-content basis.

This system ensures extremely efficient content categorization on the site, resulting in ease of access for site visitors or users. Through taxonomy usage, only relevant content is delivered to site visitors; this avoids distractions and simplifies navigation.

7. Collaboration Modules

Apart from forward-facing content—static pages, forums, course schedules, blogs, and articles—Drupal provides powerful collaboration features and document management for back-end users. These systems are not typically part of the public front-end but are critical for faculty and students who require access to manuals, handbooks, procedural guides, and research documents. Because of its tools for collaboration, Drupal is a prime system for supporting internal teams and research for university and college websites.

8. Single Sign-On

Most every higher education institution has existing authentication systems for email or other internal accounts. With Drupal using LDAP and CAS, single sign-on for academic websites are easily doable. These single point access integrations result in a secure environment for users who want multiple resources and services via a single login.

9. Community Support for Drupal in Higher Education

IT movers and doers can connect with Drupal community groups around the world, and can easily search the issue queue for questions and answers related to institutes of higher education. Some community group examples are:

10. Social Media & Email Campaigns

Drupal’s integrated capabilities make engagement easier. From email marketing services like MailChimp, Constant Contact, etc. to higher ed social media campaigns launched via Twitter, Youtube, Pinterest modules, and more.

11. Drupal’s Multisite Approach

Multisite management needs are common for institutions of higher ed. Different departments or student initiatives often require sister domains. Drupal’s flexibility means effective content storage for each website. Sharing different site content can be done with the Domain Access module, allowing configuration, user, and content settings to be managed between or across sites.

12. 400+ Vendors With Experience With Drupal In Higher Education

Colleges and universities have many vendors to choose from. We’re in the top 10.

Want to see how well Drupal works for Higher Education? Check this out. jQuery(document).ready(function() { var custom_cta_viewed = false; jQuery(document).scroll(function() { if ( typeof ga !== 'undefined' && typeof isScrolledIntoViewPort !== 'undefined' && jQuery.isFunction( isScrolledIntoViewPort) && isScrolledIntoViewPort('.custom-cta') && custom_cta_viewed == false ) { custom_cta_viewed = true; ga('send', 'event', 'cta', 'view', 'suny-maritime-college-drupal-migration'); } }); });

Article originally published December 3, 2015, and has been updated.

This article 12 Reasons To Use Drupal In Higher Education by Parth Gohil first appeared on Axelerant - Axelerant: Expert Drupal Development, Support, & Staffing.

Categories: Drupal I am getting excited about Drupal 8

7 April 2016 - 8:54am
Drupal 8 review from an experienced Drupal developer Pre Build 1st high-profile Drupal 8 website early 2016 Worked on lots Drupal 7 and Drupal 6 sites Contributed to rules-8.x Configuration management works All configuration is in-code now. A total break with earlier Drupal versions, where...
Categories: Drupal

CiviCRM Blog: TexasCamp 2016

7 April 2016 - 6:40am

This weekend the Skvare team attended TexasCamp, the first state-wide DrupalCamp! The Dallas conference attracted users and developers from all over the state to learn and network. Skvare showed community support with a Gold-level sponsorship. Since CiviCRM and Drupal work so well together, we shared some presentations that touched on the intersection of both.


Mark Hanna shared information on a new open-source online learning system powered by CiviCRM and Drupal. This week's release of Skvare's Tin Can compliant Learning Record Store is a Drupal-native API that expands Drupal capabilities for flexible, open-source Learning Management Software. This open-source solution can significantly lower the barrier to entry for organizations seeking to implement an online learning program.



View the video that goes with the slides below.



Feel free to play around with the alpha release of Tin Can Learning Record Store code and let us know what you think.

Kate Shaw presented an intro to CiviCRM as software for nonprofits, discussing use cases for managing membership, special events, and crowdfunding.

Peter Petrik shared information on hosting and performance improvements and Personal URL's.

Thank you to LevelTen Interactive for organizing and hosting, and to our fellow sponsors, Pantheon, Amazee Labs and Acquia.



If you'd like to learn more about CiviCRM, now's your chance

Register to win a free ticket to CiviCon 2016 by April 15. Sessions for CiviCon 2016 are taking shape. Whether you're new to CiviCRM or a seasoned user there is something for you at CiviCon Colorado 2016! If you’re an active user of CiviCRM but lack the resources to attend, here’s one barrier that’s been removed to help get you to Fort Collins this June. Head on over to our registration page to enter the drawing!

Categories: Drupal

Amazee Labs: Weshalb Security wichtig ist - #PanamaPapers

7 April 2016 - 3:36am
Weshalb Security wichtig ist - #PanamaPapers

Jeder, der irgendwann einmal für die Sicherheit einer Website zuständig war oder ist weiss, wie schwierig und aufwendig diese Aufgabe ist. Es erscheinen fast täglich Security Updates für alle Services, welche die Website nutzt: das beginnt beim Linux Kernel, geht weiter mit dem Web Server bis hin zum Content Management System selbst, in unserem Fall Drupal.

Michael Schmid Thu, 04/07/2016 - 12:36

Jedes Mal, wenn ein neues Security Update erscheint, stellt sich die unvermeidliche Frage: Muss ich nun wirklich die Zeit investieren, um das Update einzuspielen oder kann ich einfach darauf hoffen, dass ich ungeschoren davonkomme?

Bei Amazee Labs ist die Antwort absolut klar und es gibt keine Ausreden: Security Patches werden so schnell wie möglich eingespielt!

Was passieren kann, wenn jemand seinen Security-Job nicht macht sieht man sehr schön (...) am Beispiel der #PanamaPapers.

Die Wahrscheinlichkeit, dass der Leak auch technische Gründe hat, ist gross; es gibt klare Zeichen dafür, dass sich niemand um Security Patches und ähnliches gekümmert hat und dass die Site deswegen angreifbar wurde.

Bis jetzt sind keine Details bekannt, wie genau die 2.4 TB Daten geleaked sind, aber es sieht sehr danach aus, als ob eine der Websites von Mossack Fonseca, nämlich, gehacked wurde.

Ein Blick auf den Source Code dieser Website zeigt, dass sie mit Drupal 7 erstellt wurde.

Wir sehen auch, dass die CSS und JavaScript Files nicht aggregiert wurden; das ist übrigens nicht die beste Idee in Bezug auf die Performance, aber das ist eine andere Geschichte.

Wenn wir uns noch etwas weiter umsehen entdecken wir noch einige Unschönheiten.

Der Change Log zeigt auf, dass die Site immer noch auf der Drupal-Version 7.23 läuft. Das heisst, dass die Website seit mehr als 2 Jahren nicht mehr aktualisiert wurde; damit hat sie eine massive Sicherheitslücke – „Drupalgeddon“. Das bedeutet, dass man irgendwelchen PHP Code problemlos in die Site einspeisen kann.

Theoretisch wäre es möglich, dass die Site für Drupalgeddon gepatched wurde und dass nur die Versionsnummer im Changelog nicht geändert wurde. Aufgrund des generell schlechten Zustands der Site gehen wir aber nicht davon aus, dass dies der Fall ist.

Eine weitere Möglichkeit für Hacker wäre, sich Login-Daten der Site mit einer DROWN Attacke zu beschaffen. Eine DROWN Testsite zeigt, dass die Website dafür nicht geschützt war, als DROWN im Februar 2016 released wurde.

Vielleicht werden wir nie wissen, wie die Site genau angegriffen wurde, aber eines steht fest; nämlich, dass es passiert ist. Deswegen ist die wichtigste technische Erkenntnis für uns die Bestätigung, dass die Sicherheit einer Website essentiell und nicht zu vernachlässigen ist.

Genau deswegen brauchen wir bei Amazee Labs automatisierte Update Tools wie Drop Guard for Drupal und machen wöchentliche Sicherheits- und Wartungsarbeiten.

Categories: Drupal

Amazee Labs: Keep your website up-to date, security is key! #PanamaPapers

7 April 2016 - 3:35am
Keep your website up-to date, security is key! #PanamaPapers

Everybody who ever had to keep a website secure knows how hard this is: Almost every day there are updates for all the different services that run your website; starting from the Linux Kernel, to the web server, and the content management system, in our case Drupal, itself.

Michael Schmid Thu, 04/07/2016 - 12:35

And every time there is a new security update you ask yourself:  Should I take the time and install it or can I just hope that it will not hit me, because who would hack me?

At Amazee there’s only one answer: update and fix as fast as possible!

There’s a good (well…) example of what can happen if you don’t take your security job serious these days. The #PanamaPapers are all over the media across the globe: There’s a high chance that this data leak might have a tech aspect too, as there are strong indicators that the site security wasn’t maintained and that there are several vulnerabilities.

Currently the details of how the 2.4 TB of data exactly leaked are not public yet, but it is likely that the data might have been hacked from one of the company’s websites:

Let’s take a quick look at the source code of this site; we can see that it was built with Drupal 7.

What we can also see is that CSS and JavaScript files are not aggregated (that’s not a good performance practice by the way).

A deeper look into other files unveils more dangerous things.

The changelog shows that the Drupal version is still 7.23; this means that it’s older than 2 years and has a very bad security hole “Drupalgeddon”. This allows anybody to inject PHP code on the website.

It’s possible that the site itself is patched for this security hole and still has the version Drupal 7.23 in the changelog.txt, but from the general (bad) state of the site we assume that this is not the case.

It’s also possible that hackers were able to steal website login data via the DROWN attack. A DROWN attack test site shows that the site was vulnerable when DROWN was released in February 2016.

We might never know exactly how the data leaked, but it’s sure that it happened! Our key learning on the tech side is that security is very important and laziness can have very bad consequences.

That’s why we at Amazee Labs are using automated update tools like Drop Guard for Drupal and have weekly maintenance windows for all our servers and services.

Stay safe!

Categories: Drupal

Lullabot: Why Paid Drupal Modules Fail: Drupal as Art

7 April 2016 - 1:23am

Recently the Drupal Association announced accepted sessions for DrupalCon New Orleans. While it looks like we can expect another great DrupalCon (this will be my 7th straight North American DrupalCon), one particular session on the program about the sale of Drupal modules caught my attention. Although I have tried to stay focused on preparing my own sessions, I have had conversations with other people in the Drupal community about “paid modules” that have led me to the conclusion that confusion about this topic persists. So here I would like to offer a perspective on why these kinds of plans consistently fail. Specifically, I hope to expand the scope of this frequently discussed issue and suggest why so many paid module initiatives fail: the Drupal community protects its free software with the same vigor that other communities protect artistic freedom.

The GPL Protects Software Freedoms

Before offering my analysis, I should start by acknowledging the obvious reason why paid Drupal modules fail: the General Public License (GPL). The Drupal Association clearly states that “Drupal modules and themes are a derivative work of Drupal. If you distribute them, you must do so under the terms of the GPL version 2 or later.” Consequently, anyone who wishes to sell a Drupal module must provide the source code.

Drupal community members are standing by with their credit cards ready to purchase those modules – and then post the code to so that everyone else can use it. These principled individuals believe that copyleft provides a powerful tool for ensuring software freedom and will exercise their right guaranteed by the GPL that allows the recipient (buyer) “to copy, distribute or modify” the module or theme purchased. The seller “may not impose any further restrictions on the recipients’ exercise of the rights.” The GPL greatly curtails most plans to sell Drupal modules, and these would-be capitalists might have more success selling popsicles during a blizzard.

Yet the GPL does not close the debate on this subject. I have heard many reasons provided to justify revisiting this conversation, and most frequently they come down to money. Let me share some direct quotes used to justify the pursuit of a “Drupal Marketplace,” “paid Drupal apps,” or “paid modules”:

I have read and listened to a great deal of arguments defending these commercial endeavors, and I remain unconvinced that the potential upsides outweigh the considerable drawbacks.

A History of Failure

The words of the American literary critic Fredric Jameson influence my thinking on this topic: “always historicize!” A look at attempts to sell Drupal modules reveals a distinct lack of success, and yet people continue to claim they have found a solution. Consider SubHub, who announced in 2011 to great fanfare the “World’s First Drupal-Powered App Store.” They hoped to offer some of their “apps” at no cost, while other “apps” would require a small recurring charge. This plan failed and SubHub abandoned their initiative in 2013, lamenting the fact that the Drupal community “simply didn’t share the same motivation to make Drupal a highly commercial, competitive alternative to WordPress.” My apologies to anyone who built a Drupal site with integral SubHub functionality.

Also in 2011 – a big year for “apps” in the Drupal community – Phase2 announced the Open App Standard initiative. The title contains the word “open” so surely this plan would find traction with Drupal people, right? While Phase2 found some success with OpenPublic, which uses apps, I don’t see evidence that “apps” ever found traction in the Drupal community, and certainly not adoption with alacrity.

Keep in mind that many people make money selling Drupal services and that the community generally supports such efforts. I work at a company filled with people who make money building Drupal websites. Rather, I think this evidence shows that paid module schemes tend to fail, that others have found Drupal to be “actually a horrible solution to build apps,” and that when people ask the question, “Is a Drupal App Store a good idea?” the community generally responds with a decisive “no” (unless it features ponies). We absolutely want people to succeed in the community, just not by selling modules.

Certainly exceptions exist. For instance, some companies have found success selling Drupal themes. A case could be made that Acquia, a company founded by Drupal’s creator, peddles its own variety of “paid apps.” The Acquia Connector module “enhances the Drupal experience by providing the support and network services to operate a trouble-free Drupal website.” However, the module does little without an Acquia Subscription, which requires regular payments.

Acquia, and other similar services, get around the restrictions of the GPL by taking advantage of something known as the “application service provider (ASP) loophole.” When the Free Software Foundation published GPL version 2 (all Drupal code must be GPL version 2 or later) in 1991 we did not use web services like we do today. Because providing a subscription service (such as Mollom or New Relic) does not involve distributing software, Acquia need not provide any additional code than that which connects the site to the service.

The Drupal community could adopt a stronger copyleft license that closes the ASP loophole, such as the Affero General Public License (AGPL). Just do not expect this to happen anytime soon. Dries Buytaert, the founder and project lead of Drupal, built a business that takes advantage of this loophole and he made his opinion clear a decade ago in a blog post titled, “Long Live the Web Services Loophole.”

Consequently, the focus of the discussion around paid modules often revolves more around the merits and problems of what Richard Stallman calls “Service as a Software Substitute (SaaSS)” than on actually selling Drupal modules that address common challenges. While some companies have found success with the SaaSS model, why do so many others fail? To answer this question, we must look beyond code and licenses to the Drupal community.

Products and Practices

I wrote at length about the Drupal community in previous articles such as “The Cultural Construction of Drupal” and “Better, then Bigger: Cultivating the Drupal Community,” and I do not intend to re-hash those same ideas here. Rather, I would like to examine why “paid module” schemes have flopped.

As I see it, one fundamental explanation for failure has to do with when business people misunderstand Drupal as a product rather than an organic accumulation of practices, or more broadly, when they ignore the differences between machines and humans. I deliberately add the qualifier “business” to describe these people because all efforts to create paid products are intended to generate revenue. Efforts to sell Drupal modules, in the Marxist sense, epitomize efforts to create capital, to accumulate money – a goal that comes off as at odds with a community that values participation.

All modules that come with a fee are intended to generate revenue, but we must not forget that “free” modules (that are also “Free”) have the potential to do the same. Many people, including me, enjoy getting paid to write Drupal code. For the paid module argument to work, its defendant must demonstrate that existing models are somehow lacking. Defending a new commercial approach necessitates, in my view, demonstrating the unsatisfactory nature of a free software project with more than 33,000+ shared modules that has existed for more than 15 years and has a vibrant marketplace of vendors offering Drupal services. Such an argument not only requires a high level of mental gymnastics, it, at least tacitly, represents an affront to years of successful collaboration.

Because some of those recommending that Drupal re-evaluate its commercial ecosystem are contributing members of the community, I open myself up to the critique of constructing inaccurate divisions, pitting Drupal and its community against business people who desire to convert Drupal into a revenue-generating product. But we know too well that many of us in the Drupal community could represent either side. We aim to balance our need to support our families with our desire to defend Drupal and fight for its freedom. Luckily, we can often choose both.

Drupal as Art

Moving away from discussions of licenses and capitalist motives, I would now like to venture beyond the typical boundaries of the “paid module” discussion to explore why people feel so connected to Drupal. I get the sense that many people in the Drupal community do not actually understand the intricacies of the GPL and how it differs from other free software licenses such as the AGPL. I believe that the community is protecting something more ephemeral. Consequently, this part of my argument ventures into much more abstract topics and requires thinking about Drupal differently, less as a “technology” and more as an artistic practice.

I am not the first person to notice Drupal’s artistic side. For example, a DrupalCon session had the title “Zen and the Art of Drupal.” Someone else even created a new word, “Drupl’Art,” to describe “Drupal code that is both beautiful and artistic.” The conception of “Drupal as art” is not new, but I am going to be using it here in order to offer new insights into how the Drupal community works.

More than just a thought experiment, the idea of Drupal as art becomes useful when we position it within another long-running debate, namely the effect of technology on art. For instance, when proponents position technological advances as something that improves the lives of many, critics will sometimes note that those advances also threaten the purity of art – for example, photographs (the “new technology”) were seen as a threat to portraiture (“pure art”). Ironically, Drupal, as I construct it here plays the role of art, even as we cannot deny that most people would label Drupal “technology” well before they would ever call it “art.” And yet when members of the Drupal community react negatively to the suggestion of paid modules, it is not simply because of the GPL, it is because the community is defending its perceived “purity.”

Drupal and art have both been understood as pure expressions, deeply tied to their predecessors, consisting of ever changing practices, and driven by community. Yet it would be idle to suggest that concerns about the threat of technology to art are exactly the same as concerns about the effect of paid modules on Drupal’s ecosystem. Nonetheless, I believe that we can better understand the Drupal community’s typical allergic reaction to “paid modules” by interrogating previous debates about technology and art.

This line of reasoning follows a long history of thinkers who have conflated art and technology that goes at least as far back as Ancient Greece. The Greeks did not enjoy art for aesthetic reasons. The word “technology” refers to a “treatise on a practical art or craft” and its Greek root is techne. For the Greeks, techne also referred to art. Aristotle described techne as both practical knowledge and practical art. And what Drupal enthusiast would not admit that most websites convey practical knowledge?

In his 1954 essay, “The Question Concerning Technology,” the German philosopher Martin Heidegger variously described both art and technology as a “mode of revealing,” a way of “bringing forth.” A painting reveals another person’s point-of-view and a website “reveals” information. As uncomfortable as it may seem to some among us to describe Drupal as art, it helps explain why people feel so connected to Drupal and vigorously defend its purity. The community wants to work together and reveal its solutions rather than hide them behind a web service. Developers treasure not just revealing websites, but revealing (sharing) the code in the modules that enables their functionality.

Another well-regarded German philosopher, Walter Benjamin, provided valuable insights that are useful for our purposes in his 1936 essay, “The Work of Art in the Age of Its Technological Reproducibility.” Therein Benjamin explores when inventions such as photography and film (both being kinds of “mechanical reproduction”) “separated art from its basis in cult, the semblance of its autonomy disappeared forever.” Not only did these products threaten the group, they also threatened the group’s output (its art). He believed that “the unique value of the ‘authentic’ work of art always has its basis in ritual.” Likewise in the Drupal community we value ritual: we discuss issues, post patches, review the work of others, attend camps and cons, celebrate the accomplishments of new members, and create code with unique value – code that lives with other Drupal code on Hiding code threatens our rituals.

Paid modules or services revoke our access, our autonomy, and our beloved practices. Drupal is something people do, and we cannot learn by doing when we cannot see the code. Products are purchased, while practices are lived. Drupal, like other forms of techne, is communication, and we cannot communicate in the same manners with black boxes as we can in the issue queue.

In addition to affecting what we do, the existence of paid modules could negatively affect perceptions of the Drupal community. Benjamin writes of a “decay of the aura,” which sounds much like what the Drupal community works against. While some may argue, as one Slate writer did, simply that “Drupal hates change,” many in the Drupal community still believe that Drupal exudes a sort of magical aura. We hold the community close to our hearts and defend its name. We do not half-heartedly promote our community, we instead speak of our “unique, diverse Drupal community,” say that “Drupal has made a big difference in my life,” and that “I’m truly proud to be part of this community.” We protect our people, practices, and reputation by following the Drupal Code of Conduct, in the hope that “we preserve the things that got us here.”

Our current system for creating modules on values the work of humans. Benjamin observes, “What matters is the way the orientation and aims of that technology differ from those of ours. Whereas the former made the maximum possible use of human beings, the latter reduces their use to the minimum.” Drupal is not so much the thing that is built but the way it is built by people. In fact, one of Lullabot’s most frequently quoted core values is “be human.”

The Drupal software will never be complete, and we hope the sharing continues indefinitely. In the same spirit, Benjamin believes, “It has always been one of the primary tasks of art to create a demand whose hour of full satisfaction has not yet come.” The Drupal community wants to continue building, to keep moving forward, never content that we have finally arrived at an “end” where our interactions have been replaced by web services.

Fredric Jameson once warned that “machines are indeed machines of reproduction rather than of production.” The Drupal community has produced a great deal of code that powers much of the web. Few among us would want to shift from production to reproduction, from working together to solve problems to purchasing solutions to problems. Repeatedly and continuously solving the sames problems – building the same websites – breeds boredom. We like to create new and shiny things, producing not reproducing. Our rituals, our process, and our freedom to tinker allows us to continuously move forward.

The Contrasting Case of WordPress

Even if these theories accurately describe the Drupal community, they do not fully account for the success of paid WordPress plugins. Do paid plugins make WordPress unpure, inhabited by a community of dispassionate contributors? Absolutely not. Does the availability of paid plugins somehow cheapen the WordPress community or imply that WordPress lacks meaningful rituals? Certainly no. WordPress powers a huge chunk of the web with GPL-licensed code. It would be fruitless to deny the overwhelming success of a project with a vibrant community. Rather, I hope to convey how the WordPress community’s embrace of paid plugins informs my argument that the Drupal community understands its practices as a kind of artistic expression.

Simply suggesting that WordPress and Drupal are different helps about as much as arguing that Drupal and WordPress are words that contain an incommensurable number of letters. We could go a step further, as Dries Buytaert often does and argue not only are they different, but that WordPress and Drupal target different markets, with “WordPress dominating the small business segment” and Drupal geared toward the “larger organizations with more complex requirements” (an idea I dispute). If that were true, one would think the community that caters to “large organizations” would have the customers with the funds to purchase modules rather than get them at no cost. Then again, the reverse argument seems equally defensible, and that small businesses would rather pay for plugins than for those reportedly expensive Drupal developers. None of these avenues feel satisfactory.

One might expect that WordPress and Drupal espouse contrasting ideas about paid add-ons and the GPL. Quite the contrary, the licensing page provides clear guidance about how plugins should be licensed: “derivatives of WordPress,” including plugins and themes, “inherit the GPL license.” While they admit to “some legal grey area regarding what is considered a derivative work,” they “feel strongly that plugins and themes are derivative work and thus inherit the GPL license.” The community leaders back up their assertions with thoughtful discussion as well as expert analysis from the Software Freedom Law Center. The WordPress licensing page even provides a link to Drupal’s “excellent page on licensing as it applies to themes and modules (their word for plugins).” Thus, WordPress and Drupal provide almost exactly the same guidelines.

Remarkably, certain members of the WordPress community completely ignore the advice on the licensing page. They claim “the GPL FAQ has no legal validity.” Some sellers proudly declare, “got my own licensing terms” and others offer code with terms and conditions that make no mention of the GPL. Some explain the norm thusly: “Premium WordPress plugin and theme developers usually sell you a license key, which allows you access to support and automatic upgrades.” One store believes it takes advantage of GPL loopholes and sells plugins under a default split license ostensibly to “protect authors.” In other words, the plugin directory that lists over 40,000 plugins is not a comprehensive directory of WordPress plugins. If this sounds a bit like the Wild West, then you may be a Drupal developer.

If Drupal modules are about process, then WordPress plugins – at least a portion of them – are products. Members of the WordPress community write at length about the benefits of "premium products." Some stores offer plugins that are “guaranteed to work, always updated, top quality plugins. Beautifully coded, packed with features, and easy to use.” They offer “free trials.” Another store proudly trumpets its “professionally developed and supported options not found on” Ventures of this nature are justified with such syllogisms as “‘free’ doesn’t make me rich.” Plugins like these are products, plain and simple, and clearly the WordPress community (“happy customers,” as one site put it) willingly pays.

In comparison, Drupal developers get modules from More than just a “best practice,” this is the norm in the Drupal community. It keeps things simple, and has a practical benefit: acquiring a new module requires typing drush dl module-name.

Incidentally, another kind of software facilitates an analogous workflow: GNU/Linux. For example, to install software on my operating system, Debian, I type apt install package_name. I would never consider downloading software to my computer from some random website, let alone software that I could not inspect. For me, at least, these two processes (drush dl and apt get) feel nearly identical, and I could make a good argument that the Drupal community is more like the Debian community (i.e., that many of the commitments outlined the Debian Social Contract are lived in the Drupal community) than the WordPress community.

Once again, the words of Benjamin feel relevant: “It might be stated as a general formula that the technology of reproduction detaches the reproduced object from the sphere of tradition. By replicating the work many times over, it substitutes a mass existence for a unique existence.” App stores for paid plugins fragment traditions established on The Drupal community, on the other hand, has decided not to purchase paid Drupal modules, not to depart from its tradition of keeping Drupal as close to 100% free as possible. Whenever this issue arises, the Drupal community votes with its voices and its wallets to favor practices over products, to reveal the modules it creates rather than conceal them behind paywalls, to work with – rather than sell to – each other. The fact that WordPress customers have chosen a different path reveals contrasting, not misplaced, priorities.

While it is difficult to generalize a community with more than a million users (or at least user accounts), Holly Ross, Executive Director of the Drupal Association, believes “the one thing we all have in common is that we care about the fate of Drupal.” It might be fate that someday paid modules will find success in the Drupal community, and that would not necessarily be wrong. It would mean, however that the essence of Drupal has changed. That may even signal the end of Drupal. But history suggests that day will not soon come. Until then, the Drupal community will continue to defend its practices. It will band together to resist paid module schemes, treat its software with a reverence that others reserve for works of art, share code, and encourage others to do the same.

Works Cited

Benjamin, Walter. The Work of Art in the Age of Its Technological Reproducibility, and Other Writings on Media. Edited by Michael W. Jennings, Brigid Doherty, and Thomas Y. Levin. Cambridge, Mass: Belknap Press, 2008.

Heidegger, Martin. The Question Concerning Technology and Other Essays. New York: Harper Perennial, 1977.

Jameson, Fredric. The Political Unconscious: Narrative as a Socially Symbolic Act. Cornell University Press, 1982.

Jameson, Fredric. Postmodernism, or, The Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism. Duke University Press, 1992.

Categories: Drupal

Drupalize.Me: In the Community: Migrate, Documentation and Events

7 April 2016 - 12:53am

So far, 2016 has been a great year for Drupal and Drupalize.Me. We started off as our own company, and we’ve been heads-down on lots of new Drupal 8 tutorials. We have a deep love for Drupal and the community around here—so in addition to working hard at our business, we encourage each other to roll up our sleeves in the wider community as well. Here’s a little rundown of what’s been on our team’s radar recently.

Categories: Drupal

PreviousNext: Handling Errors in Complex Drupal Form Validation

6 April 2016 - 10:25pm

Recently, I have been working on a site which has a big mutli-step form which is using a lot of custom form elements, custom auto-completes, custom form api states and ajax based sub-forms. It is all built using Drupal form api. The best thing about this form is that all the fields and sub-forms map to a data model. This gives us the benefit of validating the form fields using the Symfony validation component. This is good because we can write all the validation separately and test it using phpunit without bootstrapping Drupal. To convert this data model into form fields we wrote a form factory and connected it all together using the service container module.

Whenever you are working with complex multistep forms and updating a sub-form based on user input then you can't exactly show the form errors in the order in which the fields appeared on the form. In this post I'll explain a process in which we can achieve just that - keeping the form error messages in the same order as the form fields.

Categories: Drupal

Chapter Three: Drupal to Drupal 8 via Migrate API

6 April 2016 - 3:12pm

Most of us already familiar with the Migrate module in previous versions of Drupal and I personally have been using it for several years to perform content migrations from different CMS's into Drupal. Migrate module is now part of Drupal 8 core which supposed to make it much easier to use. Unfortunatley this is not 100% true and in order to perform content migration you have to install several additional contrib modules. As of today there is no way to run migrations through interface as it was possible in Drupal 6 or 7 (and personally I don't think you really need the UI).

In order to be able to run migrations in command line you will need to install the following modules:

Categories: Drupal

Drupal @ Penn State: The Care and Feeding of Your Website

6 April 2016 - 3:06pm

A question on the PSU DUG Slack channel got me thinking. How is it that websites are still being constructed at Penn State without any thought being put in as to how its is going to be maintained? Or by whom?  

To be clear, I am not talking about content creation or maintenance, but maintaining the code/server/DB/etc. that supports or runs the site? Or to develop new features and functionality, going beyond just updating code or applying security patches. Of course, this is not restricted to Drupal development - there are many other examples.

Categories: Drupal

Drupal @ Penn State: Pulling Git repo content into Drupal

6 April 2016 - 3:06pm

The ELMS Learning Network team is seeking to not only transform education, but also the concept of content and how you can interact with a CMS. By taking our network based approach to educational delivery to Drupal, and viewing Drupal as more of an engine connecting people rather then a product out of the box, we can craft innovative solutions (like this one).

Categories: Drupal frontpage posts for the Drupal planet: Drupal 8.1.0 RC1 is available for testing

6 April 2016 - 2:46pm

The first release candidate for the upcoming Drupal 8.1.0 release is now available for testing. With Drupal 8, we made major changes in our release process, adopting semantic versioning and scheduled releases. This allows us to make significant improvements to Drupal 8 in a timely fashion while still providing backwards compatibility. Drupal 8.1.0 will be the first such update, expected to be released April 20.

Download Drupal-8.1.0-rc1

8.1.x includes an experimental user interface for migrating from Drupal 6 and 7, the BigPipe module for increasing perceived site performance, and more. You can read a detailed list of improvements in the announcements of beta1 and beta2.

What does this mean to me?
For Drupal 8 site owners

The final bugfix release of 8.0.x has been released. 8.0.x will receive no further releases following 8.1.0, and sites should prepare to update from 8.0.x to 8.1.x in order to continue getting bug and security fixes. Use update.php to update your 8.0.x sites to the 8.1.x series, just as you would to update from (e.g.) 8.0.4 to 8.0.5. You can use this release candidate to test the update. (Always back up your data before updating sites, and do not test updates in production.)

For module and theme authors

Drupal 8.1.x is backwards-compatible with 8.0.x. However, it does include internal API changes and API changes to experimental modules, so some minor updates may be required. Review the change records for 8.1.x, and test modules and themes with the release candidate now.

For translators

Some text changes were made since Drupal 8.0.0. automatically offers these new and modified strings for translation. Strings are frozen with the release candidate, so translators can now update translations.

For core developers

All outstanding issues filed against 8.0.x are automatically migrated to 8.1.x after the final 8.0.x patch release. Future bug reports should be targeted against the 8.1.x branch. 8.2.x will remain open for new development during the 8.1.x release candidate phase. For more information, see the release candidate phase announcement.

Your bug reports help make Drupal better!

Release candidates are a chance to identify bugs for the upcoming release, so help us by searching the issue queue for any bugs you find, and filing a new issue if your bug has not been reported yet.

Note that there are known issues with the experimental Migrate module suite, especially the incomplete Drupal 7 to Drupal 8 migration path. If the bug you find is not covered by one of these issues, your detailed bug report with steps to reproduce is a big help!

Front page news: Planet DrupalDrupal version: Drupal 8.x
Categories: Drupal

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