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Drupal's long-term growth obstacles

Dries Buytaert - 21 December 2018 - 7:53am

Drupal 8 has been growing 40 to 50 percent year over year. It's a healthy growth rate. Regardless, it is always worth exploring how we can continue to accelerate that growth.

Earlier this week, I wrote about the power of removing obstacles to growth, and shared how Amazon approaches its own growth blockers. Amazon identified at least two blockers for long-term growth: (1) shipping costs and (2) shipping times. For more than a decade, Amazon has been focused on eliminating both. They have spent an unbelievable amount of creativity, effort, time, and money to eliminate them.

In that blog post, I promised to share my thoughts around Drupal's own growth barriers. What obstacles can we eliminate to fuel Drupal's long-term growth? Well, I believe the limitations to Drupal's growth can be summarized as:

  1. Make Drupal easy to evaluate and adopt
  2. Make Drupal easy for content creators and site builders
  3. Reduce the total cost of ownership for developers and site owners
  4. Keep Drupal relevant and impactful
  5. Promote Drupal and help Drupal agencies win

For those that have read my blog or watched my DrupalCon keynote presentations, none of these will come as a surprise. Just like Amazon's examples, fixing these obstacles have been, and will be, multi-year efforts.

Drupal's five product strategy tracks. A number of current initiatives is shown on each track. 1. Make Drupal easy to evaluate and adopt

We need to make it easy for more people to try Drupal. To help evaluators explore Drupal's possibilities, we improved the download and installation experience, and included a demonstration site with core. We made fantastic progress on this in 2018.

Now that we have improved the evaluator experience, I'd love to see us focus on the "new user" experience. When you put yourself in the shoes of a new Drupal user, you'd still find it hard to set up a local development environment. There are too many options, too little direction, and no one official way for how to get started with Drupal. The "new user" is not receiving enough attention, and that slows adoption so I'd love to see us focus no that in 2019.

2. Make Drupal easy for content creators and site builders

One of the most powerful trends I've noticed time and time again is that simplicity wins. People expect software to be functionally powerful and easy to use. This is especially true for content creators and site builders.

To make Drupal easier to use for content creators and site builders, we've introduced WYSIWYG and in-place editing in Drupal 8.0, and now we're working hard on media management, layout building, content workflows and a new administration and authoring UI.

A lot of these initiatives add tools to the UI that empower content creators and site builders to do more with less code. Long term, I believe that we need to more of these "no-code" or "low-code" capabilities in Drupal.

3. Reduce the total cost of ownership for developers and site owners

Developers want to be agile, fast and deliver high quality projects that add value for their organization. Developers don't want their tools to get in the way.

For Drupal this means that they want to build sites, including themes and modules, without being bogged down by complex upgrades, expensive migrations or cumbersome developer workflows.

For developers and site owners we have made upgrades easier, we adopted a 6-month innovation model, and we extended security coverage for minor releases. This removes the complexity from major upgrades, gives organizations more time to upgrade, and allows us to release new capabilities more frequently. This is a very big deal for developer and site owners!

In addition, we're working on improving Drupal's Composer support and configuration management capabilities. This will help developers automate and streamline their day-to-day work.

Longer term, improved Composer support could act as a stepping stone towards automated updates, which would be one of the most effective ways to free up a developer's time.

4. Keep Drupal relevant and impactful

The innovation in the Drupal ecosystem happens thanks to Drupal contributors. We need to attract new contributors to Drupal, and keep existing contributors excited. This means we have to keep Drupal relevant and impactful.

To keep Drupal relevant, we've been investing in making Drupal an API-first platform for many years now. Headless Drupal or decoupled Drupal is one of Drupal's competitive advantages. Drupal's web service APIs allow developers to use Drupal with their JavaScript framework of choice, push content to different channels, and better integrate Drupal with different technologies in the marketing stack.

Drupal developers can now do unprecedented things with Drupal that weren't available before. JavaScript and mobile application developers have been familiarizing themselves with Drupal due to its improved API-first capabilities. All of this keeps Drupal relevant, ensures that Drupal has high impact, and that we attract new developers to Drupal.

5. Promote Drupal and help Drupal agencies win

While Drupal is well-known as an Open Source project, there isn't a deep understanding of how Drupal is evolving or how Drupal compares to its competitors.

Drupal is improving rapidly every six months with each new minor version release, but I'm not sure we're getting that message out effectively. We need to promote our amazing progress, not only to everyone in the web development community, but also to marketers and content managers, who are now often weighing in heavily on CMS decisions.

We do an incredible job collaborating on code — thousands of us are helping to build Drupal — but we do a poor job collaborating on marketing, education and promotion. Imagine what could happen if these thousands of individuals and agencies would all collaborate on promoting Drupal!

That is why the Drupal Association started the Promote Drupal initiative, and why we're trying to rally people in the community to work together on creating pitch decks, case studies, and other collateral to promote and market Drupal.

Here are a few things already happening:

  • There is an updated Drupal Brand Book for organizations to follow as they design Drupal marketing and sales materials.
  • A team of volunteers is creating a comprehensive Drupal pitch deck that Drupal agencies can use as a starting point when working with new clients.
  • DrupalCon will have new Content & Digital Marketing Track for marketing teams responsible for content generation, demand generation, user journeys, and more; and a "Agency Leadership Track" for those running Drupal agencies.
  • We will begin work on a competitive comparison chart — contrasting Drupal with other CMS competitors like Adobe, Sitecore, Contentful, WordPress, Prismic, and more.
  • A number of local Drupal Associations are hiring marketing people to help promote Drupal in their region.

Just like all open source contribution, it takes many to move things forward. So far, 40 people have signed up to help with these marketing efforts. If your organization has a marketing team that would like to contribute to the marketing of Drupal, check out the Promote Drupal initiative page and please join the Promote Drupal team.

Educating the world about how Drupal is evolving, the amazing use cases we support, and how Drupal compares to old and new competitors will go a very long way towards raising awareness of the project and growing the businesses built on and around Drupal.

Final thoughts

After talking to hundreds of Drupal users and would-be users, as well as dozens of agency owners, I believe we're working on the right things. Overcoming these growth obstacles are multi-year efforts. While the various initiatives might change, I believe we'll keep working on these four tracks for the next decade. We've been making steady progress the last few years but need to remain both patient and committed to driving them home. Just like Amazon continues to work on their growth obstacles after more than a decade, I expect we'll be working on these four obstacles for many years to come.

Categories: Drupal

Bootstrap Utilities

New Drupal Modules - 21 December 2018 - 7:27am

Bootstrap Utilities is a module that adds Filter options and editor tools.

Categories: Drupal

Running A Game Against Your Grain

Gnome Stew - 21 December 2018 - 6:24am

When you run a lot of games for a lot of different people, it’s easy to develop a reputation for running the kinds of games that come most easily to you. At cons, I’ve always run a lot of light-hearted story forward games, like Love and Justice, Heroine, and All Outta Bubblegum. Even when I run games that tend to the more serious, once they’re in my hands there’s no guarantee they’ll stay that way. All of this begs the question: can I run a “serious” game?  It seems like it would go against my grain.

 Games that are dark, tragic, and sometimes horrific. Games that could play as grimdark movies and TV series, because playing at the table gives me breaks for breath that television and movies don’t, uplifts me in safety and companionship in a way that TV and movies can’t.  Share1Tweet1+11Reddit1EmailLet’s define what I’m talking about a little better: when I say serious, I mean the kind of game where we gather breathlessly to partake in the drama. Where the decisions are difficult and meaningful at every intersection of the story. Where we don’t end up with pigeons powering a submarine because I said “yes and” to one more crazy thing, and yet another game goes off the rails. Where we can maintain the air of solemnity necessary for a genre like horror, drama, or tragedy.

Sure, I play games that aren’t intrinsically funny all the time. Games that are dark, tragic, and sometimes horrific. Games that could play as grimdark movies and TV series, because playing at the table gives me breaks for breath that television and movies don’t, uplifts me in safety and companionship in a way that TV and movies can’t. We laugh and we break tension and then we dive back in.

But can I, the one shot giggly GM, run a serious game? Sometimes I’m not sure.

For one thing, it’s about knowing the tropes of the genre I’m going to run in. It’s true that I consume media that matches my standard play style as a GM — it’s much easier to roll with tropes you don’t know as well when you’re playing instead of running the table. All this means is that I’m most comfortable with tropes from anime, action movies, romance, baking shows, and comedies. As a consumer of media, I tend to take mine on the lighter side. Of course this is reflected in my games as a general rule, because it also reflects my comfort zone. I don’t like to be stressed out by the media I’m consuming to relax.

Knowing the tropes relates directly to the kind of GM I am. My favorite mode is to be a reactive GM, starting with a few very basic plot points and evolving based on what my players hand me. It’s easy to run this way for light games and comedy, and harder to bring serious tropes without coming across as accidentally comedic. Certainly some of the difficulty for me in improvising is related to my levels of familiarity with the tropes of more serious genres, but I would argue that it’s more difficult to pull off in general. To run a serious game I would need to be much more proactive than I usually am about prep.

Lastly is what my primary enjoyment in running a game springs from. I love running high energy tables. The easiest way to produce high energy is to make people laugh — other emotions require more investment and can be difficult to produce in a one shot, especially at a con game.

And yet, the answer to the question of running serious games is yes. Sure, my games will probably never be Batman movie types of grimdark, and they don’t need to be. I can still create real emotional reactions in my players when I reveal the bad guy was their estranged spouse all along, who was doing it to try to save them, or when the whole story ends up being about their best, dead companion (Bombshell, if you were wondering). Serious doesn’t mean that the table always has to be serious start to finish, only that we’re committing to keep the game and the story serious.

 I am a firm believer in the power of games to give us opportunities to practice empathy with people in different situations than our own. Share1Tweet1+11Reddit1EmailI am a firm believer in the power of games to give us opportunities to practice empathy with people in different situations than our own. I may not have all the tropes down for genres we might consider serious, but I know that I can run a game that explores difficult feelings (in fact, I’m writing one). I believe the key to a serious game for me, whether I am playing it or running it, is a willingness on the part of both the table and the GM to be vulnerable. If I am running a serious game, it’s on me to go all in to the same level as my players. It’s on me to make sure that we are creating and cultivating a culture of safety to allow people to be vulnerable at my table. It’s on me to guide us and push on the points we seem to be most interested in. And it’s on me to do the work so that I can improvise within the framework of a more serious game, whatever that means in terms of outside investment.

Are you stereotyped as running a particular type of game? Do you think you could be successful outside of that space?

 

Categories: Game Theory & Design

AddWeb Solution: Continuous Delivery with Drupal - The Need of the Hour!

Planet Drupal - 21 December 2018 - 4:02am

Continuous Delivery - A trending word in the world of technology. Continuous Delivery(CD), along with Continuous Integration(CI), is becoming a popular term even with the non-technical people. And hence, every IT company is seeing a flood of clients coming with the demand of both of them. Both of these techniques - CI/CD are closely associated with the quality-oriented work methodologies - Agile and DevOps. And so are we!

 

Team AddWeb has been for years been associated with and following Agile and DevOps. Just as we’re associated with Drupal. No wonder, we have been ardently following continuous delivery with Drupal for years now. So let us first throw some light on this popular concept of ‘Continuous Delivery with Drupal’.

 

What is Continuous Delivery?

Continuous Delivery is a process of automatically deploying all your changes made on development stage, directly to the production stage. This kind of delivery is done by accepting all the unit-cases followed by coding standards. Once the code is merged with the stage branch from the development branch, the same stage branch also gets an automatic update with the help of Jenkins and git-webhook, which is triggered by merging the branches. A similar process of automatic delivery is also followed on the production site; where the code is merged with the master branch from stage branch, which is later deployed to the production servers.

 

Team AddWeb, as we mentioned previously, has been persistent followers of CD with Drupal via Jenkins, Ansible, and RocketChat. We believe, in today’s day and age, CD, and CI hold so much of significance because one can define repetitive tasks for one time and then on every build the same mentioned steps will run in order to update the new content. And when we speak of so much so of its importance, let us also share the tools, block diagram and process that we, at AddWeb, choose to follow for Continuous Delivery.

, ,

CD/CI Tools Used by Team AddWeb:

There are multiple tools that can we used to follow the process of Continuous Delivery. Let us share the ones that we, at AddWeb, have been using for years. You can consider this as a recommendation from us, for the amount of experience we hold in using them successfully for all these years.

  1. Git

  2. Docker

  3. Jenkins

  4. Ansible

  5. Rocket-chat

Block Diagram Used by Team AddWeb:

Just as a picture is worth a thousand words, a diagram for us - the techies, is worth a hundred written words. We at AddWeb, do understand and empathise with this fact and hence, here’s the block diagram that we personally use for Continuous Delivery.

, ,

Process Followed by Team AddWeb:

Every developer has their own process to be followed for Continuous Delivery. Here’s the one that team AddWeb choose to follow:

  1. As soon as the developer pushes code into the git repo, a webhook will be triggered. This will call Jenkins, which will further run the Ansible playbooks. These Ansible playbooks comprise of the code of delivery process, which is eventually followed by sending a push notification to the RocketChat server once the code is successfully built. One also receives this push notification in case of built failure condition.
     

  2. Pipeline code is written in Ansible playbook for a continuous delivery process:
    - Create a backup of code and database
    - Pull the latest code on the server by git pull
    - Run composer install for Drupal-8 sites to install new modules, libraries
    - Run drush updb -y
    - Run drush cim -y
    - Run drush cr
    - Send notification of successful build or failed build job details into Rocketchat

Hope the overall understanding and the provided guideline regarding the much-talked about and significant Continuous Delivery has proven helpful to you. In case, you have something to add on to the above information or even correct anything, feel free to contact us. Also, you can share what do you want us to share in our next blog. We’re all ears for suggestions and recommendations.

Categories: Drupal

Referer to Entity Reference

New Drupal Modules - 20 December 2018 - 5:20pm

Allows you to turns the HTTP referer field into the default value for an entity reference.

Enable support for a specific entity reference by editing the field, and ticking the "Set value from HTTP Referer field if it matches a valid url for an entity on your site" checkbox.

If the referer url is a valid entity reference, it will be used to populate the default value for the entity reference.

Categories: Drupal

Drupal core announcements: Seeking volunteers to fill new core team facilitation roles

Planet Drupal - 20 December 2018 - 1:13pm

Over the past five years, to meet the growing velocity in Drupal 8 core development and facilitate a more mature release process, we've gradually grown the Drupal 8 core committer team from two people to four, then six, then twelve people.

We've reached a team size where we'd benefit from additional team members whose primary focus is helping the committer team function more effectively, through facilitating process; communicating with other maintainers, initiative teams, and the community; and organizing meetings and discussions.

To this end, the core team is adding two additional roles to our governance (more details behind the link):

  • A committer team facilitator role, responsible for helping organize and run committer discussions. The committer team facilitator supports the committer team in the team's priorities (but does not set these priorities). This important project management assistance will allow the core committer team to spend more time reviewing and committing patches, which will increase the quality and speed of improvements.
  • A core initiative facilitator role, responsible for supporting core initiative teams across initiatives and helping initiative coordinators. This is a very important role because it helps initiative teams to deliver software that meets end user needs and brings better community awareness to the efforts going on within initiatives.

Both roles are estimated to be a 10-15 hour/month commitment, and we're suggesting a renewable one year term for each.

Adding project management backing to the team will help us be more effective, and to better focus on those roles and tasks that only committers can do. I'm excited about this direction, as it embodies our principle of everyone has something to contribute, valuing non-technical contributions at the same level as technical contributions by making these roles a formal part of the committer team.

If you're interested in one or both of these new roles, please get in touch!

Categories: Drupal

Come to GDC 2019 and spend a day learning to build better esports

Social/Online Games - Gamasutra - 20 December 2018 - 10:17am

Learn to inspire better sportsmanship in your players, build out an international playerbase, and more at GDC 2019's Esports Day, a full day of learning from some of the leaders in the field! ...

Categories: Game Theory & Design

Drupal Atlanta Medium Publication: Your Holiday Gift from DrupalCamp Atlanta: Session Videos Now Live

Planet Drupal - 20 December 2018 - 10:00am
To Zach Sines and Taylor Wright, It’s not goodbye, it’s see you later.2018 DrupalCamp Atlanta Group Picture

Thanks to all of the presenters and participants who attended 2018 DrupalCamp Atlanta (DCATL). We are excited to provide you with a little holiday gift. The Session Videos are now live. View here

I would also like to thank the awesome DCATL team that I had the pleasure to work with:

  • Sarah Golden — Acquia
  • Nikki Smith — Sevaa
  • Zach Sines — Manhattan Associates
  • Taylor Wright
Overcoming Challenges

As with any event, this year’s DCATL had some interesting twists and turns that we were able to overcome. The biggest and most noticeable one, of course, was the construction that was happening at the hotel. Two weeks before the event, I met with the hotel event staff to discuss our setup. On my way into the hotel, everything looked as I expected and it was business as usual. When I entered the lobby I noticed they were putting up a temporary wall that blocks off the hotel bar. During our discussion I was informed there was going to be some construction going on during our camp but as ensured that the event space wouldn’t be impacted.

The DCATL team arrived at the hotel to load in and everyone was mortified when we saw the front of the building. No more than 10 minutes after we arrived, I received a message from one of the trainers asking, “are we still having the conference?” We immediately started thinking about how we can alleviate the situation so we took a picture of the building an sent an email out to everyone ensuring them that the interior of the building was okay and that we were still going to have an awesome conference.

It wasn’t all doom and gloom. 10 days before the camp, we were still short on the financials and were kind of sweating it out (although we had reserve funds to cover the costs) thinking of ways that we could reduce costs without getting rid of too much programming. I received a phone call from an employee at Turner, asking if they could be a Diamond Sponsor and would also like to sponsor the after party. WOW! I couldn’t believe we were getting bailed out in the last minute, phew!

2019 Goals for DrupalCamp Atlanta

After the camp, I got a chance to have lunch with a mentor of mine and we talked about where are the next generation of Drupalers going to come from and what purpose camps serve today vs ten years ago. So based on our discussion here are my top two goals I would like to propose to the DCATL organizing team.

Increase the Number of Case Studies with co-presentations from Drupal shops and their Clients.

Another topic we discussed was how Acquia Engage has taken a different approach by showcasing their clients and providing opportunities for Drupal shops to schedule a meet and greets talk with their clients. During the opening session at DCATL I asked the audience, “raise your hand if you have invited a client to attend or co-present at DrupalCamp Atlanta.” Out of all the attendees maybe 2 raised their hands.

Increase the Number of Student Attendees

When looking some of my Drupal colleague's user profiles so many of us over 10 years. This means we are getting old folks :) But more importantly, where are the net generation of Drupalers going to come from. The state of Georgia has 114 colleges and 326,609 students. I know it takes a lot of energy but we have to figure out a way to use our camp as a pipeline for nurturing the next generation of Drupalist.

It's Not Goodbye Its See You Soon

For the past 5.5 years, I have had the pleasure to work with Zach Sines and Taylor Wright as board members of the Atlanta Drupal Users Group (ADUG). Both Zach and Taylor were key stakeholders in the restructuring of the organization. Zach took on the writing of the bylaws that states how people are elected, what are the rules for participating, what are the roles and responsibilities of each officer and so on. Taylor has a ton of finance experience so he took on the responsibility of cleaning up our financials and paying all of our bills. These two have been by my side, even after heated discussions and have been what I like to call my nice translators. Sometimes I have the tendency to be too blunt so they were always had my back :).

Zach in the Green on the Left. Taylor in the Green on the Right

Earlier this year, both Zach and Taylor informed all of us that 2018 will be their last year serving on the board. Not to get too mushy but I am going to miss them both a lot, I mean a ton. Not just for their expertise but hearing their voices on our monthly calls and some of their hilarious stories. But what is great about Drupal is that you build some lasting relationships and now I consider these two my friends. Thank you for all the work you have put into running these events, and I know this is not goodbye its soo you soon.

ADUG is Looking for New Board Members

With our current vacancies, the Atlanta Drupal User Group (ADUG) is currently looking for new board members to join our team. While the serving on a board can sound intimidating we are really just a bunch of Drupalers who want to give back to the community. All of our meetings are held on a video call. If you are interested or know some who would be a great fit, please feel free to contact us.

Your Holiday Gift from DrupalCamp Atlanta: Session Videos Now Live was originally published in Drupal Atlanta on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Categories: Drupal

Network orchestration: Researcher uses music to manage networks

Virtual Reality - Science Daily - 20 December 2018 - 9:26am
A researcher uses sound as a simpler alternative to manage complicated network tasks.
Categories: Virtual Reality

Making a Video Game with GameMaker Can be a Fun Activity - by Sophia Addison

Gamasutra.com Blogs - 20 December 2018 - 7:03am
How many more days are you planning to spend only on playing the same video games? Time to make your own computer game by using GameMaker. Experience its amazing user-interface and make the perfect video game on your own in a hassle-free way.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

The 5 Best Countries For Soft Launching Your Hyper-Casual Game - by Sunny Cha

Gamasutra.com Blogs - 20 December 2018 - 7:03am
A recent Tenjin study revealed that paid hyper-casual game installs can be up to thirteen times cheaper than other genres, but which countries provide the most scalable audiences while remaining cost-effective during a soft launch?
Categories: Game Theory & Design

DrupalEasy: DrupalEasy Podcast 214 -Travis Carden - Drupal Spec Tool

Planet Drupal - 20 December 2018 - 6:55am

Direct .mp3 file download.

Travis Carden, (traviscarden), Senior Software Engineer at Acquia joins Mike Anello to talk about the spreadsheet-based Drupal Spec Tool, a very cool tool that allows teams to specify different parts of a Drupal site and then generates diagrams and Behat tests.

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Categories: Drupal

Hide login

New Drupal Modules - 20 December 2018 - 6:05am

WIP

Simple and lightweight module to move (aka hide) the user login form.

Categories: Drupal

DrupalCon News: Community Connection - Tara King

Planet Drupal - 20 December 2018 - 4:49am

We’re featuring some of the people in the Drupalverse! This Q&A series highlights individuals you could meet at DrupalCon.

Every year, DrupalCon is the largest gathering of people who belong to this community. To celebrate and take note of what DrupalCon means to them, we’re featuring an array of perspectives and fun facts to help you get to know your community.
 

Categories: Drupal

Agiledrop.com Blog: Top Drupal blog posts from November 2018

Planet Drupal - 20 December 2018 - 3:21am

To continue with our tradition of compiling the top blog posts involving Drupal from the previous month, we’ve prepared a list of blog posts from November 2018 that stuck with us the most.

READ MORE
Categories: Drupal

Droptica: It’s been a year with Droopler!

Planet Drupal - 20 December 2018 - 1:00am
Soon, we will be celebrating the first anniversary of the day Droopler – our open Drupal 8 distribution – was released. It is a perfect time for some summaries and plans for the future. In this article, I’m going to show you how Droopler works and what awaits its users in the upcoming release.
Categories: Drupal

Imperfect GM: Expanding Horizons

RPGNet - 20 December 2018 - 12:00am
How do you get your group on board with trying new games?
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Bulk Entity Action

New Drupal Modules - 19 December 2018 - 10:11pm

Under Development.

Categories: Drupal

Token Debug

New Drupal Modules - 19 December 2018 - 9:01pm

Adds an admin page that helps debug tokens.

Categories: Drupal

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