Newsfeeds

Privateer Press Posts Gen Con Preview

Tabletop Gaming News - 26 July 2018 - 8:00am
A week from now, Gen Con will have started (well, even really, before then, since there’s Wednesday night stuff nowadays). How horrifying is that (for all of you that have tons yet to do before the show)? For those that are excited to see what’ll be there, Privateer Press is giving you a sneak peek […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Acro Media: Secure Encryption with Libsodium and Acquia Cloud

Planet Drupal - 26 July 2018 - 7:45am

Encryption is an important part of any website that needs to store sensitive information. Encryption takes sensitive data that is in a readable form and encodes it, making it unreadable. This essentially hides the information from anyone who might try to access it without permission to do so. The encoded information can only be decoded by an entity that has a paired decryption key.

Our requirements for this particular Drupal website build included:

  • Acquia Cloud - One of the leading Drupal hosting providers.
  • Libsodium - Because of Acquia Cloud, we needed a custom compiled php extension
  • Encrypt - A Drupal module that exposes encryption APIs to other modules.
  • Key and Lockr.io - Drupal modules for managing the encryption key.
  • Sodium - A Drupal module to provide libsodium to the encrypt module.
Why use libsodium instead of mcrypt?

Libsodium is a portable, cross-platform implementation of NaCl. Experts recommend libsodium for its simple interface and strong cryptography. The sodium Drupal module takes an easier approach, which is to use a high-level package, paragonie/halite, to work with libsodium.

The other choice for encryption in PHP is mcrypt. It's the default method in the Drupal 7 version of the encrypt module. Despite that, it's a bad choice because it's difficult to use correctly. Mcrypt is deprecated in PHP 7.1 and removed in PHP 7.2.

Installing Libsodium on Acquia's PHP 7.0

PHP 7.2 has libsodium built in and if you're on 7.1 or below you can install it from PECL. We're going to be using Acquia Cloud, so we can't yet run PHP 7.2 and we can't install any PHP extension we want - not as easily as we'd like to.

Acquia requires that extensions be compiled including their dependencies. The php-libsodium extension depends on libsodium itself and we have to produce one binary for both libraries. We'll be compiling libsodium the crypto library as a static library and php-libsodium the php extension that provides bindings to libsodium for PHP applications as a dynamically linked library so it can be loaded by a regular PHP install.

Let's get started!

  1. Download the latest libsodium from https://github.com/jedisct1/libsodium/releases.

  2. Compile libsodium so it's static, not shared. Put it in a directory we'll use later.

    $ ./configure --libdir=/home/me/sodium/library --disable-shared --enable-static--enable-static makes it static, not shared. It'll be a part of the php extension when we build it instead of a separate dependency.

    --disable-shared prevents creating a shared library version of the library.

    --libdir puts it in a directory where we'll use it later.

  3. Compile with PIC (Position Independent Code).

    $ make CFLAGS='-g -O2 -fPIC'
    $ sudo make installHere's our sodium library and a pkgconfig directory we'll need to point the php extension at.

    $ ls /home/me/sodium/library
    libsodium.a libsodium.la pkgconfig
  4. Download the latest version 1 release of the libsodium php extension from https://github.com/jedisct1/libsodium-php/releases.

    Use phpize to get the extension ready to compile. Normally a PHP extension is compiled as part of PHP. This script is used to set up things up so it's like we're doing that. You need the -dev version of PHP to get phpize, so install php7.1-dev or the equivalent for your situation.

    $ phpize7.1
    Configuring for:
    PHP Api Version: 20160303
    Zend Module Api No: 20160303Now you'd notice a lot more files in the directory, like the configure script.

  5. Set the package config directory to the one where we installed libsodium.

    $ export PKG_CONFIG_DIR=/home/me/sodium/library/pkgconfig
  6. Configure libsodium-php with the path to libsodium.

    $ ./configure --with-libsodium=/home/me/sodium/library --libdir=/home/me/sodium/library--with-libsodium tells it where to find the dependency we just created.

  7. Check that libsodium.so is not looking for a shared libsodium library.

    $ ldd modules/libsodium.so
    linux-vdso.so.1 => (0x00007ffcdd68e000)
    libc.so.6 => /lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/libc.so.6 (0x00007f71f26eb000)
    /lib64/ld-linux-x86-64.so.2 (0x00007f71f2d0f000)There's no libsodium dependency there, so we're good to use our libsodium.so PHP extension! Deploy the file and configure PHP to load the extension. Since we're on Acquia Cloud, Acquia does that after we provide the file.
Get encrypted!

If you're running Drupal and need encryption setup, or if you're looking to start a new project and exploring options and requirements, ! One of our business developers will be happy to help.

Categories: Drupal

EDW HealthCheck

New Drupal Modules - 26 July 2018 - 7:19am

The HealthCheck module is a monitoring module that exports the status of a drupal application's core, modules and themes in a JSON format.

Categories: Drupal

CMON Announces Munchkin Dungeon

Tabletop Gaming News - 26 July 2018 - 7:00am
Just about all of us, at some point in time, has played a game of Munchkin, or possibly one of the dozens of separate sets, or the CCG. But CMON and Steve Jackson are teaming up to bring a new form of Munchkin to your tabletop. It’s Munchkin Dungeon, a new board game set in […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

OpenSense Labs: Beyond the Books: Building LMS and e-Learning Systems with Drupal

Planet Drupal - 26 July 2018 - 6:50am
Beyond the Books: Building LMS and e-Learning Systems with Drupal Akshita Thu, 07/26/2018 - 19:20 This blog explains how Drupal is the platform for redefining the eLearning frameworks.

A large number of people are still hesitant to try out unconventional learning methods owing to a number of reasons. Effective eLearning and knowledge management solutions are an essential element of success for most organizations. 

Drupal has been providing excellent results in the e-learning ecosystem. It has been modified for less technical admins and students with a highly robust and scalable infrastructure. Streamline it with low cost, faster loading, and easy tailoring of content, Drupal shouldn’t be a tough choice.

For an efficient and effective e-learning, the development has to be simple, faster, and less expensive. In fact, a successful LMS needs a sophisticated platform that must help its stakeholders with excellent results in less required skills making knowledge management and learning easy for both, the organization and students. 

Traditional Vs E-Learning 

Teaching might be a tough job but how different are the traditional and modern learning methods? 

The pains and perks differ but how much?

  • Making the learning more interesting
  • Keeping up with the process of learning through a different medium
  • Use of specific fonts, colors to ensure interactivity
  • Keeping a balance with visuals
  • Ensuring engagement within the group 

However creative e-learning might be, the traditional learning environment, does not require the degree of self-discipline nor is it flexible in terms of deadlines and class meeting times.

What is the hullabaloo all about?

A lot is said and done in a traditional classroom through language, facial expressions, and body language. To make up for such clues and ideas, online courses have greater reading requirements.

The assignment has more directions and a deadline to adhere to, in the online learning environment.  As for the learners, they complete the assignment and upload it to the LMS. 

Drupal vs SaaS LMS: Why opt for Drupal?

Distinct organizations have different learning workflow, assignment mechanism, and management process of students. With Drupal, it is easy to customize the framework according to your needs. Drupal's flexibility allows you to build custom and specific solutions. You can also create standard sets of code and extend them to meet particular client use cases. 

Digital Literacy
A traditional classroom setting requires physical presence while an online environment requires tech savviness. Learners should be able to navigate, evaluate and create information using a variety of technologies. They should be able to use the basic word and numerical processing software.

Individualized Learning 
This is the leading difference and advantage of eLearning vs traditional learning. The learner experiences a one-on-one, tailored instruction that is not possible in the traditional environment. A shift from a curriculum-centered to a learner-centered environment makes eLearning a winning proposition.

Quality and Response time for Feedback 
In a traditional setting, feedback is prompt. But in an online setting, feedback can take more hours. The feedback process needs to be channelized in a way that the students feel a greater sense of community support.

Challenges

Become Opportunities

Tracking the attendance

Authenticate students

Create student/teacher relationships

Conduct individualized instructions

Facilitate classroom management

Provide relevant and current materials

Conduct guided and group discussions

Create virtual classrooms

Manage group dynamics 

Support vigor, authenticity

Manage interruptions

Faster loading time

Covering the Challenges and Needs with Drupal 

A well-planned eLearning system will address the issues in a strong and effective way,
flexible to meet the unique needs of all the participants. In this section, we will explore how Drupal is helping meet the challenges. 

One of the foremost challenges remains the infrastructure. #RecreatingClassrooms 

  • Digital Classrooms

One of the important goals is to create the digital classrooms in a way that it keeps the feel of the classroom alive. Drupal supports many such approaches for the task. 

Modules such as Organic groups enable the users to create and manage their own 'groups' with the functionality of subscribers. The subscribers from each group can also communicate amongst themselves.

It provides usual node types such as blog, story, page, etc. The block shown on the group homepage facilitates the surfer with a quick summary of the content or group. It also allows groups to be selective.  

Selective groups require approval in order to become a member or even invitation-only groups. There are lots of preferences to configure groups as you need. This ensures classes remain exclusive and elusive to the disturbances. 

Another module - Group - allows you to create arbitrary collections of your content and users on your site and grant access control permissions on those collections

Classes on a school website. With a teacher as the administrator, students as the members and the content as the learning material. Articles in the Group are created by the teacher and only visible to the students in the Group. Forums created in the Group are safe places to discuss the class as they are only accessible to the teacher and the students.

Revamping your Higher-Ed website? Devise content strategy for your higher education websites with Drupal

  • Multiple User Types

Teachers, need to have their notes, resources, and access to different content types to organize classes/groups in a better way. When conducting virtual groups, user roles, types, and permissions are, thus, important for the security and smooth functioning of the groups also known as virtual class. Out of the box, Drupal 8 offers different user types, roles, and permissions which can be leveraged so the teacher (group coordinator) has access to different resources than the rest. 

You can set:

  • Anonymous user
  • Email unverified user
  • Authenticated user
  • Confirmed user
  • Community user

Additionally, you can use Multiple Registration - Drupal module - to create two user registration pages. One for general users and one, let's say, for hosters. You can add several specific fields for hoster registration page and these fields should not be available on the general user registration page. Furthermore, if you need some hosters fields only on user edit page, without showing these fields on the registration page, this module could help you here too.

Challenges Become Opportunities With Drupal

Tracking the attendance

Authenticate students

School Administration module to keep a track of attendance

Create student/teacher relationships

Conduct individualized instructions

Views and Taxonomy tagging 
ŽReuse and repurpose with Individualize content.

Facilitate classroom management

Provide relevant and current materials

Modules such as Web form and Quiz. 
ŽAssess comprehension or survey and compile results and data

Conduct guided and group discussions

Create virtual classrooms

Comments, Forums, Polls (Drupal core)
ŽProvide interactivity

Manage group dynamics 

Support vigor, authenticity

Modules - Group - to facilitate groups 

Manage interruptions

Faster loading 

Modules such as memcache
  • Adding Content

To tap into different learning styles the presentation of the information in multiple formats simultaneously is important. In one tested example, a presentation connects the script of a video to the video itself, so that students can read the material as the video streams onto the screen.

This benefits from the reinforcement of reading and helps the virtual groups. Drupal offers IMCE module which helps in image/file uploader and browser that supports personal directories and quota. It also helps with the operations of the image (jpg, png, gif) such as resizing, creating thumbnails, setting preview. Other than setting permissions for the directory, it also supports the private file system. 

  • Managing Menu

Managing groups from different scenarios, in an eLearning platform, can be tough. The platform must allow users to function in both worlds very comfortably and supports educators between school and home or work and home transitions. Students have various paper schedules to keep track of their classes, and online students need the same. 

Drupal’s ability to support bi-directional data sharing, along with providing an easy menu with configurable blocks of menu links with advanced features not available in Drupal 8 core.

Menu Block allows you to display blocks of menu links starting with any desired level of a menu and limited to any desired depth. This module provides an additional configuration so you can choose to expand all menu links with children or to root the menu tree to a specific menu item.

Another module, Administration menu, provides a theme-independent administration interface for easier navigation. It's a helper for novice users coming from other CMS, a time-saver for site administrators, and useful for developers and site builders.

It not only contains regular menu items — tasks and actions are also included, enabling fast access to any administrative resource your Drupal site provides.

  • Managing Non-text Content

One of Drupal’s strengths is presenting different bits of information to different users based on permissions, roles, and other identifiers. To keep the learning interesting, teachers can organize quizzes, voting, or add different videos. 

This is possible with the Quiz module which lets you create graded assessments. A Quiz is given as a series of questions. Answers are then stored in the database. Scores and results are displayed during or after the quiz. Administrators can provide automatic or manual feedback. 

The Fivestar voting module adds a clean, attractive voting widget to nodes and comments and any entity, to keep the user interface very interesting and democratic. 

  • Organizing the Content

Taxonomy and its tags are one way to allow students to customize their learning experience through Drupal. Correctly classifying information is a very early premise in education and library sciences. Drupal’s core Taxonomy functionality provides an excellent basis for creating online classification systems.

To give your eLearning system a strong foundation, develop a smart nested taxonomy structure that is very clear to the end-user. Drupal will punish you if you don’t put enough time into understanding and organizing your content.

Other important modules and features by Drupal are: 

  • Mathjax: Allows to write all mathematical equations and displays on the webpage. Indeed a great tool for academia.
  • hierarchical_select: In case of a large number of terms which is used to tag the content. These terms also have a hierarchy and the user is expected to select the child most suitable term. 
  • diff: Diff module give better visibility of the difference between the two versions of a content.
  • Elysia_cron: A great cron management tool which gives fine grain control over each task giving the flexibility to schedule each individual task separately.
  • ajax_comments: The modules enables the user to post a comment without refreshing the page 
Building Techtud with Drupal 

Techtud is an Edu-Tech social networking site and started in 2013. It combines various features of social networking which helps improve learning experience with videos and pictures & increasing user engagement. 

The basic idea was to promote the culture of learning while sharing, on a platform which was dynamic in its own sphere. So we wanted:

1) To reinvent the traditional form of learning

2) Through a social media platform

3) Where not only students can watch videos but also add content for the larger community.

Techtud currently gets 500,000 page views per month to serve 20,000+ users all around the globe. Challenges

The challenges revolved around building a platform which: 

  • Is user-friendly and has engaging features.
     
  • Is easy-to-use, which would ease the process of identifying the content type, structure and its presentation for easy discovery.
     
  • Needed a framework which would help add content to our database without affecting the performance of the website. 
     
  • Is flexible in providing easier workflow and management capabilities. 
Result

The project was completed in 6 sprints spanning 2 weeks each. The easy workflow management ensured that the users can add as much as they want. 

Techtud currently gets 5,00,000 monthly page views to serve 20,000+ users all around the globe. Building Techtud was not like building a site, it was building a community which would promote the idea of  “Quality education for all”. 

Looking for a web development agency which can help build your e-learning system? Contact us at hello@opensenselabs.com and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

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Categories: Drupal

Drupal Retry Platform

New Drupal Modules - 26 July 2018 - 6:20am

Provides an integrated API for retriable tasks such as remote sync operations, etc...

Categories: Drupal

Wyrd Announces Malifaux 3.0

Tabletop Gaming News - 26 July 2018 - 6:00am
The Year of New Editions rolls onward. This time, a favorite miniatures game is getting an update. It’s Wyrd Games and their flagship, Malifaux. It’s moving to version 3.0, and they’re looking now for people to be part of the Closed Beta for it. Check out some of what’s been changed and see how you […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Gnomecast #45 – Actual Play in the World Today

Gnome Stew - 26 July 2018 - 5:58am

Join Ang, Jared, John, and Senda on Gnomecast for a follow-up discussion of Ang’s Gnome Stew article “Actual Play, Character Death, and Fan Toxicity” and a discussion about RPG sessions as public, consumable media and how they affect the hobby. Can these gnomes rally enough fan support to keep out of the stew?

Download: Actual Play in the World Today

Keep up with all the gnomes by visiting gnomestew.com, following @gnomestew on Twitter, or visiting the Gnome Stew Facebook Page. Check out Gnome Stew Merch, and support Gnome Stew on Patreon!

Follow Ang at @orikes13 on Twitter or find her in the Misdirected Mark Google+ Community.

Follow Jared at @KnightErrant_JR and his blog What Do I Know?, and you can find his actual play videos on his YouTube channel.

Check out John at johnarcadian.com and you can see his TED Talk “Tabletop Roleplaying Games as Social Practice.”

Follow Senda at @IdellaMithlynnd and follow her podcast She’s a Super Geek at @sasgeekpodcast.

Categories: Game Theory & Design

Opigno Instructor-led Trainings

New Drupal Modules - 26 July 2018 - 4:55am

This project is related to Opigno LMS distribution.

It implements the instructor-led trainings (ILT) entitiy, that can be added to learning paths in combination with online modules and virtual classrooms. ILT sessions make possible to register attendance of users and give them a grade. These sessions can be defined as mandatory steps in the learning path.

Once created, ILT sessions are automatically added to the users' calendar.

Categories: Drupal

Opigno statistics

New Drupal Modules - 26 July 2018 - 4:54am

This project is related to Opigno LMS distribution.

It implements dashboard statistics in Opigno, that are available at 3 different levels:

  • global level to get a quick overview of how the platform performs, the most active users and trainings
  • training level, to get an overview of use and completion per module and user
  • user level, to see the user's achievements

Statistics dashboards are generated from data stored in cache tables, to make their generation faster.

Categories: Drupal

Apisearch

New Drupal Modules - 26 July 2018 - 3:59am

Ultra fast, reliable & scalable search.
Give to your users the best search experience ever.

http://apisearch.io

Categories: Drupal

Monetizer101

New Drupal Modules - 26 July 2018 - 3:53am

Drupal integration for Monetizer 101 products see http://monetizer101.com/products/

Dependencies
  • Flag
Installation
  1. Download and enable the module.
  2. Configure at Administer > Configuration > System > Monetizer101
  3. Enable monetizer for each content type you want. Settings for each content type
  4. available in content type setting form Administer > Structure > Content type > Content_type Name
Categories: Drupal

Go Back

New Drupal Modules - 26 July 2018 - 2:31am

Allows you to add a block to any type of content. This block adds a button that allows us to return to the previous page that we visited on the site or customize the page where we want it to redirect.

We have 2 modes of use:

Categories: Drupal

ABANDONED - Naming mistaken

New Drupal Modules - 26 July 2018 - 1:25am
Categories: Drupal

Rockets Away!: Backgrounds in Spaaaaace!

RPGNet - 26 July 2018 - 12:00am
The third 5e menu: backgrounds.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Failure often paves the way for success

Dries Buytaert - 25 July 2018 - 6:05pm

Success and failure are not polar opposites: you often need to endure failure to enjoy success. In Google's 2004 Founders' IPO Letter, Larry Page wrote:

We will not shy away from high-risk, high-reward projects because of short term earnings pressure. Some of our past bets have gone extraordinarily well, and others have not. Because we recognize the pursuit of such projects as the key to our long term success, we will continue to seek them out. For example, we would fund projects that have a 10% chance of earning a billion dollars over the long term. Do not be surprised if we place smaller bets in areas that seem very speculative or even strange when compared to our current businesses. Although we cannot quantify the specific level of risk we will undertake, as the ratio of reward to risk increases, we will accept projects further outside our current businesses, especially when the initial investment is small relative to the level of investment in our current businesses.

Think big and fail well — fail fast, fail often, and learn from your mistakes.

Categories: Drupal

Skirmisher Publishing Running 12 Titles, for 12%, for 12 Days

Tabletop Gaming News - 25 July 2018 - 3:00pm
The folks over at Skirmisher Publishing are no Scrooges. They are looking to celebrate Christmas all year around with their special 12 Days, 12 titles, for 12% sale. That’s right, it’s a collection of 12 of their most popular titles for only 12% of their regular price. Obviously, you only have 12 days to get […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Entromancy Sci-Fantasy RPG Coming To Kickstarter

Tabletop Gaming News - 25 July 2018 - 2:00pm
Every day, we’re looking for new power sources for our world. Fossil fuels will run out eventually, and we need to replace them with something. In Entromancy, part of that replacement is made by ceridium, a new element. However, along with energy, it’s unleashed magic on an unsuspecting world. Your characters find themselves in San […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Ashday's Digital Ecosystem and Development Tips: Drupal Module Spotlight: Straw

Planet Drupal - 25 July 2018 - 1:30pm

 

It is essential that content be well-categorized, especially on large websites. Drupal includes the Taxonomy module for doing just this, and it is able to account for most content tagging scenarios. However, when you actually go to categorize content, it can be a bit confusing.

Categories: Drupal

Crowbar! The Rangers at Pointe DU Hoc Strategy Board Game Up On Kickstarter

Tabletop Gaming News - 25 July 2018 - 1:00pm
There were many daring raids and operations during WWII. One possibly of the most was the assault on Pointe du Hoc. Now, you can bring the action and tension of that ranger raid to your tabletops with Crowbar!. The game is a solitaire tactical strategy game, with coop mode available as a stretch goal. The […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

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