Newsfeeds

Erik Erskine: When your composer build breaks

Planet Drupal - 31 October 2017 - 5:00pm

Yesterday a project on github was moved, causing Drupal's own build process, and that of many other websites, to “break”. Here's what happened:

  1. The coder library was removed from github (it's main home is on drupal.org).
  2. Drupal core's composer.json had a reference to the now non-existent repository.
  3. Anyone attempting to obtain Drupal by downloading it's source and running composer install couldn't.
  4. Many other developers who tried to build their websites were similarly left disappointed.

This seems to be a risk that comes with dependency management, and raises the question of should vendor be committed to version control? I'm hoping that this post will help you answer that.

Read more

Categories: Drupal

Daybreak gives PS3 version of DC Universe Online 3 months to live

Social/Online Games - Gamasutra - 31 October 2017 - 4:36pm

The DC Universe Online dev plans to shut down the PS3 version of the F2P MMO game on January 31st, 2018 in order to 'focus our resources on further optimizing the game for PlayStation 4.' ...

Categories: Game Theory & Design

V Reich Faction For Punkapocalyptic Up On Kickstarter

Tabletop Gaming News - 31 October 2017 - 3:00pm
Punkapocalyptic is looking to add a new faction. It’s the V Reich. They’re all-inclusive, letting in anyone… as long as you’re not a mutant. That, they just won’t tolerate. The new faction is up on Kickstarter now. From the campaign: Who are the V Reich? No one knows exactly who stablished the V Reich operating […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Commerce Paycom

New Drupal Modules - 31 October 2017 - 2:08pm

Commerce Paycom integration

Still under active development, description will be updated soon

Categories: Drupal

Gobblin’ Goblins Card Game Up On Kickstarter

Tabletop Gaming News - 31 October 2017 - 2:00pm
I do a lot of cooking. And I try and make things as tasty as possible. Even with that, some people are picky eaters. Goblins, however, are not picky eaters. They’ll shove just about anything into their maw. Just look at Gobblin’ Goblins and you’ll see. It’s a new card game that’s up on Kickstarter […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Lockwood’s Asylum Deck-Building Game Up On Kickstarter

Tabletop Gaming News - 31 October 2017 - 1:00pm
If there’s one criticism of deck-building games, it’s often that players can feel like there’s not a lot of interaction between them. You build your own deck while the other players build theirs. Well, Lockwood’s Asylum looks to change all that. In the game, you’re not only building your own deck, but also your opponent’s. […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

The Widow’s Tear Location Guide and Bestiary for Starfinder Up On Kickstarter

Tabletop Gaming News - 31 October 2017 - 12:00pm
Space is big. Really big. You might think it’s a long way down the street to the chemist’s, but that’s just peanuts to space. Listen, there’s all sorts of strange places out there, and it’s best to have a guide to help you along. One such guide is the Widow’s Tear guide as well as […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Aten Design Group: Drupal's Upgrade Path and the Product Approach

Planet Drupal - 31 October 2017 - 11:46am

Here at Aten, we do a lot of work with Drupal, mostly on large redesign projects for nonprofits and universities. We’ve been in the business for a while now (since 2000), and one thing we’ve been talking about for years is the predicament of “buy-maintain-replace” release cycles. Specifically, website redesigns often fall prey to a problematic purchasing cycle that directly counteracts strategic goals.

It goes like this: first there’s a capital campaign, then a big spike in funding to do a redesign project, followed by modest support budget for a few years. During support, things everyone would like to change start to pile up, often beginning as a “backlog” or “wish list,” inevitably becoming a “gripe list” for all the things that are slowly and surely making your website obsolete. Time passes and the gripe list grows. We hear things like, “Our current website is horribly outdated; it isn’t even responsive.” Rather than invest in old technology and continue addressing the growing list of issues, tasks are pushed off for a future redesign. Eventually, there is a new capital campaign. The cycle starts over, rinse and repeat.

If you’re coming from a product background and you’re programmed to value ongoing development and continuous innovation, this already sounds bad. But if you’re from traditional IT management, you might think of redesigns more like purchasing any other technology solution. You buy it, it gets old, you replace it – often with some form of ongoing support between major expenditures. The smaller the support requirement, the more successful the project. Likewise the longer you can go without upgrading, the more successful the project.

The trouble is, your website, app, etc. doesn’t really work that way. Your website shouldn’t just be checking boxes on functionality requirements the way your phone system or workstations do; rather, your website is the public face and voice of your organization. It needs to keep up and tell your story clearly, every day. It needs to evolve as quickly as your organization does. And that requires ongoing investment. More than that, it requires a fundamental shift in the way decision makers think about planning digital projects.

There’s already a ton of fantastic material about the need to adopt a product approach over the more traditional project mindset. One of my favorite posts on the subject was written back in 2015 by the team at Greenpeace titled, “Product teams: The next wave of digital for NGOs?” I especially love this infographic. The illustration is spot on: first, a huge spike in money and time with a brief climax at launch, followed by diminished investment during a prolonged support period with equally diminished satisfaction, all to be repeated over and over again.

Interestingly, this problematic “buy-maintain-replace” cycle actually aligned closely with the release cycle for previous versions of Drupal. For years, timing for the “buy” stage in the cycle aligned surprisingly well with the stable release for major Drupal versions. First, you built a website on Drupal 4. Support phase ensued. Over a few years wish lists turned to gripe lists. Momentum grew behind doing the next major redesign, right on time for the stable release of Drupal 5. Rinse. Drupal 6. Repeat. Drupal 7.

While we were talking more and more about a product approach, the technology actually lent itself to the project mindset. Quick example: retainers are a big part of our business at Aten, and have been important for helping us support clients in the product approach. With retainers, clients invest consistently in their digital platforms over the long term. We identify strategic priorities together, maintain a backlog, organize sprints and deploy iterative releases. But with past versions of Drupal, an organization still needed to invest heavily for major release upgrades. At some point in the cycle, there were diminishing returns associated with ongoing investment in an outdated system. We started prioritizing tasks based on the fact that a large redesign was looming. We said things like, “Let’s just wait on Drupal 7 for that.” In many ways the underlying platform was promoting a “buy-maintain-replace” development cycle. The product approach was still valuable, but hampered by inevitable obsoletion of the technology.

Enter Drupal 8.

With Drupal 8, there’s a lot to be excited about: configuration management, component-based theming, improved performance, content moderation, modernized development tools, support for API-first architecture, and the list goes on. But I want to focus for a minute on Drupal’s release cycle.

Drupal’s vastly improved upgrade path is a huge win for the platform and a major reason organizations should consider migrating to Drupal 8 sooner rather than later.

With past versions of Drupal, major release upgrades (i.e. D6 to D7) required a significant development effort and usually constituted a major technology project. As I’ve touched on already, upgrades would typically coincide with a complete redesign (again, buy-maintain-replace).

With Drupal 8 the release cycle is changing. The short, non-technical version is this: Drupal 8 will eventually become Drupal 9. If you stay up-to-date with underlying changes to the platform as it evolves, upgrading from 8 to 9 should be relatively simple. It’s just another release in your ongoing development cycle.

With Drupal 8, an organization can invest consistently in its digital platform without the problem of diminishing returns. As long as you adopt the product approach, your platform won’t become outdated. And that’s fantastic, because the product approach is what we’re all going for – right?

Resources and Related Reading:

Categories: Drupal

JSON Content

New Drupal Modules - 31 October 2017 - 11:14am

Note: this is a back-end utility module with no user interface. All interaction with the module is currently handled through Drush unless a module referencing this as a dependency adds additional functionality.

High Level Overview

JSON Content is intended for importing and exporting (coming later) content while minimizing hurdles related to interrelation of content. All content for import and export is formatted in a JSON structure parallel to the entity value arrays to make extending the data as simple as possible.

Categories: Drupal

Elevated Third: Release Notes, Translated: Drupal 8.4

Planet Drupal - 31 October 2017 - 11:01am
Release Notes, Translated: Drupal 8.4 Release Notes, Translated: Drupal 8.4 Nick Switzer Tue, 10/31/2017 - 12:01

Drupal 8.4 is here! The most current minor release of Drupal 8 officially came out on October 4. This release contains lots of changes that push Drupal 8 forward in some big ways, but what are those changes and what do they mean to you?

The changes introduced in Drupal 8.4 affect everyone from Drupal developers to content administrators and site owners. I’ve broken things down into four categories, and we’ll cover the high points of each one. If you’re interested in really digging into the details, check out the full release notes available on drupal.org.

Security

The initial release of Drupal 8.4 doesn’t contain any major security updates that make it a mandatory update in the hours, or days, immediately after release. That being said, this is still an update that is critical for site security because as soon as a new minor release of Drupal comes out, security issues in previous minor releases are no longer patched.

I recommend updating to Drupal 8.4 as soon as possible because there is always a chance of a critical security release. You don’t want to get stuck dealing with the complexities of updating from Drupal 8.3 to 8.4 when you’re also racing the clock that starts ticking when a security vulnerability is made public.

Browser Support

Drupal 8.4 made some major updates to the versions of Internet Explorer that are supported out of the box. Previously, Drupal supported Internet Explorer 9 and up. Since Microsoft discontinued all support for Internet Explorer 9 and 10 in April of this year, Drupal has followed suit and will only be supporting Internet Explorer 11 moving forward.

No need to panic yet though - your site won’t cease to function in Internet Explorer 9 and 10 as soon as the 8.4 update is implemented, but bugs related to those browsers will no longer be fixed. Starting in Drupal 8.5, which is currently scheduled for release in March of 2018, existing workarounds for these browsers will be removed. This will impact every site differently, depending on how much support your frontend provides for these older browsers, so start talking to your developer now about the best approach for your site.

New and Updated Features

Drupal 8 introduced the idea of experimental modules in core. These are modules the Drupal core team has decided provide valuable functionality and should be included in core but still need testing. Many of them can be used in production releases without any issues, but, until they are officially declared stable core modules in a minor release, there may be breaking changes or non-existent upgrade paths as new minor releases of Drupal come out.

Quite a few notable modules were moved from experimental to stable status in Drupal 8.4, so I’ll provide a quick rundown here.

Datetime Range - Dates are challenging for web developers. Especially when you start dealing with things like ranges and events that span time zones. The Datetime Range module is another great tool in the Drupal developer’s toolbox. The module makes managing date and time ranges and integrating them with other parts of Drupal, much simpler.

Layout Discovery - There isn’t much to see on the frontend with this module, but it’s a really big step forward for Drupal core because standardized layout systems have never been possible with Drupal in the past. This module sets the groundwork for a common layout system across core and contributed modules.

Media - Finally! Media in Drupal core! This is a huge addition and one that will affect the team at Elevated Third in a big way because we have leveraged the contributed Media suite of modules very heavily thanks to its ability to provide a centralized media library that makes media management a breeze for content admins. Transitioning from the contributed Media module to the core Media module will bring it’s own set of challenges, but the good news is that transition does not have to happen immediately.

Inline Form Errors - This is a great little module we’ve used on quite a few sites to make the admin experience better. With Inline Form Errors, we’re able to quickly implement a system for providing users feedback when they fail to complete the necessary actions in a form.

Workflows - This is another piece of functionality lots of Drupal users have been craving. In the past, our team has leveraged the Workbench suite of modules to provide content workflow capability, but now, with Workflows in core, we have the groundwork for providing more advanced content administration experiences without the need for additional contributed modules.

Behind the Scenes/Developer Tools

In addition to everything we’ve already walked through, Drupal 8.4 implemented some major changes under the hood that are worth knowing about. These changes most directly affect developers but impact anyone involved in the Drupal ecosystem because they significantly increase the complexity of this update over previous Drupal core updates.

Symfony updated from 2.8 to 3.2 - When Drupal 8 was released, you probably heard a lot about Drupal “getting off the island” and embracing the standards and practices of the larger PHP development community. Incorporating Symfony into Drupal core made this transition much simpler than it would have been to write all of the required backend components from scratch. Symfony is a PHP framework that provides a huge amount of functionality to Drupal under the hood. Just like Drupal, Symfony also has major releases, and Drupal needs to be sure it’s leveraging the latest and greatest from Symfony. This kind of update won’t often happen because Symfony releases major versions every two years. When a Drupal minor release does incorporate a major Symfony version update, the complexity of the update does increase.

jQuery updated to 3.0 - jQuery is an extremely common Javascript library that has been packaged with Drupal core for a long time. One of the problems with previous major releases of Drupal is that they would get stuck running really old versions of jQuery because Drupal core did not have a minor release system that allowed these kinds of updates. Until this release, Drupal included jQuery 2.x, which will not be receiving feature updates anymore. This update might break some frontend functionality, but leverages the latest and greatest jQuery has to offer.

Drush support - Drush is a command line tool a huge number of Drupal developers leverage to make day-to-day development work much more efficient and easier to manage. It is an invaluable tool for our development team here at Elevated Third. With Drupal 8.4, Drush version requirements were increased, so our team found that we needed to upgrade our tools, in addition to Drupal core. This requires careful planning to be sure everything plays nicely during the update process, and after the updates have been applied.

What happens next?

The Drupal core release cycle works around minor releases every six months. The next expected minor release is Drupal 8.5, in March of 2018. Between now and then, there will likely be multiple patch releases that will introduce bug fixes and security updates, which will be much simpler updates and should be applied as soon as they are released.

Minor release updates introduce more complexity than the Drupal world has ever seen for updates within a major release, but the tradeoff is that when Drupal 9 comes out, you won’t have to completely rebuild!

Stay tuned for my next post detailing the Drupal 8 release cycle, where I’ll dig more into how this works, why and when you should update and what we can expect for the future of Drupal.

Categories: Drupal

EA tweaks Star Wars Battlefront II's loot box drops following beta feedback

Social/Online Games - Gamasutra - 31 October 2017 - 11:01am

Following a short open beta earlier this month, EA has altered how the game's loot box system works in-game to "help keep everyone on a level playing field." ...

Categories: Game Theory & Design

Podcast Roundup

Tabletop Gaming News - 31 October 2017 - 11:00am
Happy Halloween, everyone! I’m actually in costume, though you can’t see it. I’m dressed up as “me on Saturday.” Hey, having a set wardrobe for particular days of the week means that putting on a costume is as simple as changing which day I wear which shirts. Though it does make me feel like I […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Free-to-play Fortnite: Battle Royale surpasses 811k concurrent players

Social/Online Games - Gamasutra - 31 October 2017 - 10:15am

Epic's multi-platform take on the emerging Battle Royale genre crossed 800,000 concurrent players over the weekend, roughly a 300k jump in three weeks. ...

Categories: Game Theory & Design

PSA: This is your last week to submit talks for the GDC 2018 Tutorials!

Social/Online Games - Gamasutra - 31 October 2017 - 10:03am

The deadline to pitch talks for the Board Game Design Day closes Wednesday, November 1, while the deadline for the Level Design Workshop the Tools Workshop, or eSports day close Friday, November 3.   ...

Categories: Game Theory & Design

Mantic Games Posts Vanguard Alpha Rules Online

Tabletop Gaming News - 31 October 2017 - 10:00am
The Kickstarter campaign for Mantic’s fantasy skirmish game, Kings of War: Vanguard, starts tomorrow. But if you know me, you know that I like to know what I’m buying before I put my money down for it. The folks over at Mantic feel that you should also know what you’re getting into before you put […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Modiphius Releases Children of Orion – The Venu Sourcebook For Mindjammer

Tabletop Gaming News - 31 October 2017 - 9:00am
In pretty much any game, you’re going to have the good guys and the bad guys. It’s those two opposing forces that creates the narrative. In Mindjammer, the Venu are those bad guys. Everyone is under the hell of the harsh emperor. The new sourcebook for the game, Children of Orion, gives players and GMs […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Acquia Engage 2017 keynote

Dries Buytaert - 31 October 2017 - 8:29am

This October, Acquia welcomed over 650 people to the fourth annual Acquia Engage conference. In my opening keynote, I talked about the evolution of Acquia's product strategy and the move from building websites to creating customer journeys. You can watch a recording of my keynote (30 minutes) or download a copy of my slides (54 MB).

I shared that a number of new technology trends have emerged, such as conversational interfaces, beacons, augmented reality, artificial intelligence and more. These trends give organizations the opportunity to re-imagine their customer experience. Existing customer experiences can be leapfrogged by taking advantage of more channels and more data (e.g. be more intelligent, be more personalized, and be more contextualized).

I gave an example of this in a blog post last week, which showed how augmented reality can improve the shopping experience and help customers make better choices. It's just one example of how these new technologies advance existing customer experiences and move our industry from website management to customer journey management.

This is actually good news for Drupal as organizations will have to create and manage even more content. This content will need to be optimized for different channels and audience segments. However, it puts more emphasis on content modeling, content workflows, media management and web service integrations.

I believe that the transition from web content management to data-driven customer journeys is full of opportunity, and it has become clear that customers and partners are excited to take advantage of these new technology trends. This year's Acquia Engage showed how our own transformation will empower organizations to take advantage of new technology and transform how they do business.

Categories: Drupal

Dries Buytaert: Acquia Engage 2017 keynote

Planet Drupal - 31 October 2017 - 8:29am

This October, Acquia welcomed over 650 people to the fourth annual Acquia Engage conference. In my opening keynote, I talked about the evolution of Acquia's product strategy and the move from building websites to creating customer journeys. You can watch a recording of my keynote (30 minutes) or download a copy of my slides (54 MB).

I shared that a number of new technology trends have emerged, such as conversational interfaces, beacons, augmented reality, artificial intelligence and more. These trends give organizations the opportunity to re-imagine their customer experience. Existing customer experiences can be leapfrogged by taking advantage of more channels and more data (e.g. be more intelligent, be more personalized, and be more contextualized).

I gave an example of this in a blog post last week, which showed how augmented reality can improve the shopping experience and help customers make better choices. It's just one example of how these new technologies advance existing customer experiences and move our industry from website management to customer journey management.

This is actually good news for Drupal as organizations will have to create and manage even more content. This content will need to be optimized for different channels and audience segments. However, it puts more emphasis on content modeling, content workflows, media management and web service integrations.

I believe that the transition from web content management to data-driven customer journeys is full of opportunity, and it has become clear that customers and partners are excited to take advantage of these new technology trends. This year's Acquia Engage showed how our own transformation will empower organizations to take advantage of new technology and transform how they do business.

Categories: Drupal

Steamforged Posts Final Version of Guild IDs for Guild Ball

Tabletop Gaming News - 31 October 2017 - 8:00am
Though sports teams are built around a core style that they want to utilize in order to win, each one will also practice ways to counter-act other team’s special styles. You certainly know of teams that focus more on offense or defense, or some other specialization. Guild Identity Cards for Guild Ball let coaches customize […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Trailer Quick Tip: Humility - by M. Joshua Cauller

Gamasutra.com Blogs - 31 October 2017 - 7:38am
The gameplay trailer for The Mortician's Tale does something that's easy to overlook. It humbly represents the game. In this quick-tip, we look at that approach, how to glean from it.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

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