When we remember we are all mad, the mysteries disappear and life stands explained.
Given that this was my last weekend before leaving for Gen Con I was looking for something fun to do with my kids on Saturday. My wife suggested the Colonial Plantation, which I’d never been to in spite of it being only about 15-20 minutes away from our house. It was not an event weekend, so I didn’t expect to get much out of it.
I couldn’t have been more wrong.
With hardly anyone else there, my family had the full attention of the people who worked there. They were all very knowledgeable about colonial farm life in Pennsylvania and they showed us how they grew crops, raised animals, lived, cooked, wove clothes, preserved food, and fired muskets. In short, it was a crash course in a slice of life on a colonial farm, and I was fascinated by the facts I’d learned. In the end, of course, a Game Master is a Game Master and Gnome GM even more so, so when we were leaving I turned to my wife and said “now I’m inspired to run a colonial-era campaign.”
If I ever do get around to running that campaign you can bet that, although it’s likely to have the preternatural involved, I’ll have that farm in mind when painting a mental picture for my players. And if I don’t, I’ll still be able to apply some of what I’ve learned in other genres.
All of this, of course, I could have gotten from a decent book or web crawl, but it just wouldn’t have been the same as actually standing in front of the farm house and surveying the grounds, watching the people work, and talking to people that could actually demonstrate facets of life in the 1700s.
So how about you? Have you ever gone somewhere that really inspired you to develop a campaign about it? Did the knowledge that you’d gained help immerse the players, or was it a case of too many of the wrong details? Has going to a particular place ever hammered home how wrong you’d gotten it in a previous campaign where your new knowledge would have mattered?
Have you ever needed a quick and easy way for a site admin to contact a customer on a Drupal Commerce-powered site to send a message about his or her order? For example, to ask the customer question about the order, or to provide him or her an update on the order status?
Introducing Commerce Customer Contact, a module that extends and customizes the Contact module in core to display a contact form in any or all of the following places:
As one of Canada’s most successful integrated media and entertainment companies, Corus have multiple TV channels and websites for each channel.
It had been a challenge to have multiple channels' live schedule data displayed on websites. All the data are from a central repository. It became a little bit difficult since the repository is not always available. We had used Feeds module to import all the schedule data. Each channel website keeps a live copy of the schedule data. Things got worse because of the way we update the program items. We delete all the current schedule data in the system and then imported from the central repository. Sometimes, our schedule pages became empty because the central repository is not available.
Pedram Tiv, the director of digital operations at Corus Entertainment, had a vision of building a robust schedule for all channels. He wants to establish a Drupal website as a schedule service provider - content as a service. The service website download and synchronize all channels schedule data. Our content manager can also login to the website and edit any schedule items. The site keeps all the revisions for the changes. Since, the central repository only provide raw data, It is helpful we can edit the scheduled show title or series name.
I loved this brilliant idea as soon as he had explained it to me. We are building a Drupal website as a content service provider. It means we would build a CMS for other CMS websites. Scalability is always challenging for a modern website. To make it scalable, Pedram added another layer of cache protection. We added S3 cache between the schedule service and the front end web servers. With it, schedule service can handle more channels and millions of requests each day. Front end websites download schedule data from the Amazon S3 bucket only. What we did is creating and uploading seven days' schedule data to S3. We set up a cron job for this task. Every day, It uploads thousands of JSON schedule files for different channels in different time zones of next seven days each time.
This setup offloaded the pressure of schedule server and let it serve unlimited front end users. It gives seven days of grace period. It allowed the schedule server to be offline without interrupting the service. One time, our schedule service was down for three days. The schedule service was not affected because we have seven days of schedule data in an S3 bucket. By using S3 as another layer of protection, it provided excellent high availability.
Our schedule service have been up and running for many months without a problem. There are over 100,000 active nodes in the system. For more detail about importing large number of content and building an efficient system, we have some other blogs for this project.
So, it turns out the Drupal CMS can be beautiful. I kid you not! Anditko has updated the Adminimal theme with a material skin based on Android Lollipop. I've mentioned Adminimal before, an admin theme that greatly improves the look and feel of Drupal’s CMS, and the latest update takes it that step further into the land of stunning.
Commerce integration with the VirtualMerchant payment processor.Origin
Entity data provides a simple API to add data to any entity. It works similar to core's variable_set/get/del system. Except the data is associated with a entity and only loaded when that entity is loaded.
The primary usage involves the getter/setter methods:
entity_data_set($entity_type, $entity_id, $name, $value, $revision_id = 0, $language = LANGUAGE_NONE);
entity_data_get($entity_type, $entity_id, $name, $default = NULL, $revision_id = 0, $language = LANGUAGE_NONE);
This module adds a password field for anonymous users to the "Account information" pane on the checkout step of Drupal Commerce. When the checkout process completes, the user is automatically logged in.
Using high tech time travel technologies, this project will predict when cron will run next.Dependencies
- Drupal 8 beta12 (Module is incompatible with beta11 and older)
Steam Vent is a module that connects to the Project Oberon REST server. Project Oberon is a REST server that acts as a middleman to Valve's Steam network.
Faster, more secure, more maintainable. Three nice benefits we get from our new standard Drupal server architecture.
This year we're replacing our old "traditional" LAMP stack with an entirely less pronounceable LNDMPS version. We still use Linux, MariaDB and PHP, of course, but instead of Apache we've moved to Nginx, and we've added Docker and Salt.DrupalDrupal PlanetDockerSaltConfiguration ManagementSecurityPerformanceDevOps
I like to be technology/platform agnostic, but last couple of years I’ve built everything on top of Drupal. I get this question many times: “Why not using something else?”. My answer is usually: “I became so good at using it, that it only makes sense to me”. I tried to came up with some objective reasons, to […]
When you first install the Views module, it comes with several example views.
One of the most popular examples is the Glossary view, which takes a large amount of content and organizes it all by the first letter of the content title. This is useful in a lot of situations, especially when you're creating a directory of businesses or people.
Here's what the Glossary view looks like:
This module provides a user interface for adding jquery_waypoints settings to your site.
Drupal 8, which has been in beta for a few months now, is causing plenty of excitement. In the beginning, Drupal made confident claims that it would be a major step forward:
Drupal 8 will set a new standard for ease of use, while offering countless new ways to tailor and deploy your content to the Web. Easily customize data structures, listings, and pages, and take advantage of new capabilities for displaying data on mobile devices, building APIs, and adapting to multilingual needs.
Drupal 8 has many new features, and Drupal.org also describes it as having a "leaner, meaner core," an "easier migration process from earlier versions," and "in-place content editing tools." Modules and themes will also become more powerful because of Drupal 8's adoption of OOP (Object Oriented Programming).1. Creating a Bridge for New Developers
And speaking of the new OOP approach, this new feature might be one of the more exciting aspects of Drupal 8.
It's finally building a bridge to new developers.
Drupal 8 is much more compatible with the programming standards of PHP, and this means that new developers who may not know Drupal very well can still come in with their OOP PHP familiarity and contribute to projects.
Besides adding a wider door through which more developers can pass, Drupal 8 is improving things in all the ways you might expect in our current Age of the Smart Device:2. Drupal 8 is Actually Mobile-First, Not Just Mobile-Friendly
Drupal 8, not surprisingly, will be mobile-first. It's a good thing too. According to SmartInsights.com, 80% of Internet users now own a smart phone, and the majority of digital media consumption is now done on mobile devices. Mobile-first is the new standard for web design, and Drupal 8 is embracing that trend. For example, Drupal 8's built-in themes are all responsive, and the administration toolbar is mobile-first.3. File System-Based Configuration
The new management system makes it easy to switch configuration changes with greater consolidation and versatility (which translates into fewer headaches). Here's how Drupal describes it:
Drupal 8 has a whole new configuration system to store configuration data in a consistent manner. All of your site configuration from enabled modules through fields, contact categories to views, are stored with this system. The system is designed to make it much easier than prior Drupal versions to make changes, export site configuration to files, and import those changes back into the site.4. HTML 5-Based Markup
HTML 5-based markup means, among other things, native input tools that make it simple to design for mobile. It also means that the output templates have simpler elements. It's definitely a much-needed feature. And they were thorough with it, as their initial list of HTML 5 objectives reveals:
The main goals of this initiative will be to implement HTML5 in Drupal core in a way that will:
- Have the most benefit for end users.
- Enable contributed modules and themes to evolve using HTML5.
- Allow theme developers to control where to use the new semantic elements, and opt out entirely if they so choose.
- Adding support for the new form elements to Drupal's Form API.
- Adding new semantic elements in core templates in an appropriate way.
- Adding ARIA roles to markup to improve accessibility.
- Simplifying style and script elements.
- Ensuring input filters and functions accept HTML5 elements.
Drupal 8 features a new WYSIWYG configuration, two-column editing, improved draft-saving, and the ability to edit content without reverting to the full edit mode.6. Drupal 8 Will Speak Your Language
Drupal has its eyes on the global prize, and Drupal 8 is clear evidence of this. It has powerful multilingual features: it has built-in interfaces that can translate anything in the system, it will grab software translation updated automatically from Drupal, and, according to Drupal, it can "build pages with Views language filtering and block visibility."