Newsfeeds

Drupal.org blog: A new look for Drupal.org

Planet Drupal - 21 September 2016 - 12:09pm

As you can see we've put a fresh coat of paint on Drupal.org - but the changes run below the surface. This latest iteration of the front page brings the key concepts of our design system to the forefront: Clean, Modern, Technical.

This change also brings new editorial tools for Drupal.org content editors. The new home page provides us more flexibility with content and presentation, and so you'll see more frequent updates, more information about DrupalCon, and more editorial flexibility on the home page than you've seen in the past. These tools are also helping us to build cleaner, modern landing pages - like you've just seen with our Fall Membership Campaign.

We've previewed this work with several key members of the community and the board, and we want to say thank you to everyone who's given us their feedback on this first step for our new home page. We also want to give an extra special thank you to dyannenova for her contributions to this effort.

This is just the beginning - very soon we'll have a new visual look for the case studies that are featured on the home page, and then shortly after that we'll begin promoting solutions to Drupal evaluators in specific industries, like Higher Education, Media & Publishing, and Government.

If Drupal.org is the home of the community, than the front page is our front door. We want to welcome new users and evaluators of Drupal, highlight the project's strengths, and promote news and happenings from throughout the ecosystem.

We hope you like the changes, and we think you'll like the upcoming iterations even more. We'd love to hear your feedback!

Categories: Drupal

WizKids Previews Renet Tilley For HeroClix

Tabletop Gaming News - 21 September 2016 - 12:00pm
I mentioned in the previous post how time seems to be flying by this week. Well, for Renet Tilley, time’s always flying by. But that’s ok, because with her Scepter of the Sands of Time, she can go whenever she needs. It’s like that old chant, “What do we want!?” “Time travel!” “When do we […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Blizzard is saying goodbye to the 20-year-old Battle.net brand

Social/Online Games - Gamasutra - 21 September 2016 - 11:10am

Blizzard announced today that it's deep-sixing the "Battle.net" brand -- though not the technology itself -- now that the notion of a dedicated multiplayer network for games seems quaint. ...

Categories: Game Theory & Design

Midweek Snippets

Tabletop Gaming News - 21 September 2016 - 11:00am
Is this week going by quickly for everyone else, or is it just me? I woke up this morning and sort of shocked myself with the fact that I was putting on my Wednesday shirt already. We’ll be getting to the weekend before we know it. But in the meantime, we should stock up on […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Four Kitchens: Component-Based Theming in Drupal 8: The Video Series

Planet Drupal - 21 September 2016 - 11:00am

Check out our video series on component-based theming in Drupal 8. […]

Categories: Drupal

Gale Force Nine Previews Doctrine Cards For Tanks

Tabletop Gaming News - 21 September 2016 - 10:00am
The countries engaged in WWII didn’t just differ in the technology they put into their weapons of war, they also had very different training strategies and different combat doctrines that they followed. So if you just swapped a Panzer for a Pershing, you’d still have a different way that the tank was used in combat […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Drupal Blog: Drupal 8.1.10 released

Planet Drupal - 21 September 2016 - 9:33am

Drupal 8.1.10, a maintenance release which contains fixes for security vulnerabilities, is now available for download.

See the Drupal 8.1.10 release notes for further information.

Download Drupal 8.1.10

Upgrading your existing Drupal 8 sites is strongly recommended. There are no new features nor non-security-related bug fixes in this release. For more information about the Drupal 8.x release series, consult the Drupal 8 overview.

Security information

We have a security announcement mailing list and a history of all security advisories, as well as an RSS feed with the most recent security advisories. We strongly advise Drupal administrators to sign up for the list.

Drupal 8 includes the built-in Update Manager module, which informs you about important updates to your modules and themes.

Bug reports

This is the final security release for the 8.1.x series. Future maintenance releases will be made available in the 8.2.x series, according to our monthly release cycle.

Change log

Drupal 8.1.10 is a security release only. For more details, see the 8.1.10 release notes. A complete list of all changes in the upcoming 8.2.x branch can be found in the git commit log.

Security vulnerabilities

Drupal 8.1.10 was released in response to the discovery of security vulnerabilities. Details can be found in the official security advisories:

To fix the security problem, please upgrade to Drupal 8.1.10. (Sites testing the 8.2.x release should update to 8.2.0-rc2.)

Update notes

See the 8.1.10 release notes for details on important changes in this release.

This is the final security release of the 8.1.x series. Sites should prepare to update to 8.2.0 following this release.

Known issues

See the 8.1.10 release notes for known issues.

Categories: Drupal

Alt.Ctrl.GDC needs your unique alternative controller games!

Social/Online Games - Gamasutra - 21 September 2016 - 9:03am

The ever-popular ALT.CTRL.GDC is returning for GDC 2017, and seeking submissions until Dec. 2nd for one-of-a-kind game peripherals, contraptions and novelties which enhance game experiences! ...

Categories: Game Theory & Design

Thunderbirds: Above & Beyond Expansion Now Available

Tabletop Gaming News - 21 September 2016 - 9:00am
It’s just a fact that there’s always going to be things going wrong in the world. Either some form of natural disaster or some crazed madman and their organization of evil will mean that rescue of innocents is going to be necessary. Thankfully, the Thunderbirds are go, ready to swoop in and save the day. […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Lullabot: Modern decoupling is more performant

Planet Drupal - 21 September 2016 - 9:00am

Two years ago, I started to be interested in API-first designs. I was asked during my annual review, “what kind of project would you like to be involved with, this next year?” My response: I want to develop projects from an API-first perspective.

Little did I know that I was about to embark on a series of projects that would teach me not only about decoupled Drupal, but also the subtleties of designing proper APIs to maximize performance and minimize roundtrips to the server.

Embedding resources

I was lucky enough that the client that I was working with at the time—The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon—decided on a decoupled approach. I was involved in the Drupal HTTP API server implementation. The project went on to win an Emmy Award for Outstanding Interactive Program.

The idea of a content repository that could be accessed from anywhere via HTTP, and leverage all the cool technologies 2014 had to offer, was—if not revolutionary—forward-looking. I was amazed by the possibilities the approach opened. The ability to expose Drupal’s data to an external team that could work in parallel using the front-end technologies that they were proficient with meant work could begin immediately. Nevertheless, there were drawbacks to the approach. For instance, we observed a lot of round trips between the consumer of the data—the client—and the server.

As it turns out, The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon was only the first of several decoupled projects that I undertook in rapid succession. As a result, I authored version 2.x of the RESTful module to support the JSON API spec in Drupal 7. One of the strong points of this specification is resource embedding. Embedding resources—also called resource composition—is a technique where the response to a particular entity also contains the contents of the entities it is related to. Embedding resources for relationships is one of the most effective ways to reduce the number of round trips when dealing with REST servers. It’s based on the idea that the consumer requests the relationships that it wants embedded in the response. This same idea is used in many other specifications like GraphQL.

In JSON API, the consumer can interrogate the data with a single query, tracing relationships between objects and returning the desired data in one trip. Imagine searching for a great grandparent with a genealogy system that would only let you find the name of a single family member at a time versus a system that could return every ancestor going back three generations with a single request. To do so, the client appends an include parameter in the URL. For example: 

?include=relationship1,relationship2.nestedRelationship1

The response will include information about four entities:

  • The entity being requested (the one that contains the relationships).
  • The entity that relationship1 points to. This may be an entity reference field inside of the entity being requested.
  • The entity that relationship2 points to.
  • The entity that nestedRelationship1 points to. This may be an entity reference field inside of the entity that relationship2 is pointing to.

A single request from a consumer can return multiple entities. Note that for the same API different consumers may follow different embedding patterns, depending on the designs being implemented.

The landscape for JSON API and Drupal nowadays seems bright. Dries Buytaert, the product lead of the Drupal project, hopes to include the JSON API module in core. Moreover, there seems to be numerous articles about decoupling techniques for Drupal 8.

But does resource embedding offer a performance edge over multiple round-trip requests? Let’s quantitatively compare the two.

Performance comparison

This performance comparison uses a clean Drupal installation with some automatically generated content. Bear in mind, performance analysis is tightly coupled to the content model and merits case-by-case study. Nevertheless, let’s analyze the response times to test our hypothesis: that resource embedding provides a performance improvement over traditional REST approaches.

Our test case will involve the creation of an article detail page that comes with the Standard Drupal profile. I also included the profile image of a commenter to make things a bit more complex.

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In Figure 1, I’ve visually indicated the “levels” of relationships between the article itself and each accompanying chunk of content necessary to compose the “page.” Using traditional REST, a particular consumer would need to make the following requests:

  • Request the given article (node/2410).
  • Once the article response comes back it will need to request, in parallel:
    • The author of the article.
      • The profile image of the author of the article.
    • The image for the article.
    • The first tag for the article.
    • The second tag for the article.
    • The first comment on the article.
      • The author of the first comment on the article.
        • The profile image of the author of the first comment of the article.
    • The second comment of the article.
      • The author of the second comment of the article.

In contrast, using the JSON API module (or any other with resource composition), will only require a single request with the include query parameter set to 

?include=uid,uid.field_image,field_tags,comments,comments.uid,comments.uid.field_image

When the server gets such a request it will load all the requested entities and return them back in a single swoop. Thus, the front-end framework for your decoupled app gets all of its data requirements in a JSON document in a single request instead of many.

For simplicity I will assume that the overall response time of the REST-based approach will be the one with the longest path (four levels deep). Having four parallel requests that happen at the same time will not have a big impact on the final response time. In a more realistic performance analysis, we would take into account that having four parallel calls degrades the overall performance. Even in this handicapped scenario the resource embedding should have a better response time.

Once the request reaches the server, if the response to it is ready in the different caching layers, it takes the same effort to retrieve a big JSON document for the JSON API request than to retrieve a small JSON document for one of the REST requests. That indicates that the big effort is in bootstrapping Drupal to a point where it can serve a cached response. That is true for anonymous and authenticated traffic, via the Page Cache and Dynamic Page Cache core modules.

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The graphic above shows the response time for each approach. Both approaches are cached in the page cache, so there is a constant response time to bootstrap Drupal and grab the cache. For this example the response time for every request was ~7 ms every time.

It is obvious that the more complex the interconnections between your data are the greater the advantage of using JSON API's resource embedding. I believe that even though this example is extremely simple, we were able to cut response time by 75%.

If we now introduce latency between the consumer and the server, you can observe that the JSON API response still takes 75% less time. However, the total response time is degraded significantly. In the following chart, I have assumed an optimistic, and constant, transport time of 75 ms.

undefined Conclusion

This article describes some sophisticated techniques that can dramatically improve the performance of our apps. There are some other challenges in decoupled systems that I did not mention here. If you are interested in those—and more!—please attend my session at DrupalCon Dublin Building Advanced Web Services With JSON API, or watch it later. I hope to prove that you can create more engaging products and services by using advanced web services. After all, when you are building digital experiences one of your primary goals you should be to make it enjoyable to the user. Shorter response times correlate to more successful user engagement. And successful engagements make for amazing digital experiences .

Categories: Drupal

Drupal core announcements: Media in Drupal 8 Initiative plan posted for review

Planet Drupal - 21 September 2016 - 8:54am

As we are ramping up to work on significant user improvements for Drupal 8.3, one of the key areas of progress could be with media management user interfaces and features. For that to happen, we need to agree on what we are going to work on and then have people to implement it. The Media in Drupal 8 Initiative plan is being formed and is open for feedback now if having better core media support is near and dear to your heart. Please review and post feedback on the plan.

If you'd like to get involved with the implementation, you are more than welcome! The media team meets every Wednesday at 2pm GMT on IRC in #drupal-media.

Categories: Drupal

A Case Study of Steam Reviews for an Indie Kickstarter Game - by Peter Castle

Gamasutra.com Blogs - 21 September 2016 - 8:34am
An in depth description and analysis of the challenges Steam's recent review change has caused for our newly released indie Kickstarter game and a simple suggestion to help fix the system.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Community building economics - by Daniel Don Nilsen

Gamasutra.com Blogs - 21 September 2016 - 8:34am
Community is something of a mystical beast hunted by game studios around the globe. In this article I show how and why economics is the right tool to build the desired community. While the main focus of the article are MMOs, the principles are universal.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Crashing Season – A Story of Puppies, Sweat and Tears - by Antti Kananen

Gamasutra.com Blogs - 21 September 2016 - 8:33am
Making mobile games is a journey through sweat, tears and joy. In this blog post a Finnish mobile game company Koukoi Games shares its own story about developing its first mobile game title with deep passion and a true fighting spirit.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

7 tips to showcase your games - by Dario D'Ambra

Gamasutra.com Blogs - 21 September 2016 - 8:32am
If you're going to showcase your game there are some things to remember and consider. We learned them the hard way, but now you have the chance to learn from us without efforts.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Blocky Roll: Dev Diary - Entry Two - by Dylan Wakeford

Gamasutra.com Blogs - 21 September 2016 - 8:31am
The past few weeks since our first dev diary entry has also seen more work on level designs and 3D asset and environment designs.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Dark Side of the Sun - by John Szczepaniak

Gamasutra.com Blogs - 21 September 2016 - 8:28am
An examination of the controversial underworld of the Japanese videogame industry
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Introduction to Game Design and Development at the Hanze University of Applied Sciences - by Vasil Kichev

Gamasutra.com Blogs - 21 September 2016 - 8:24am
Staring the Game Design and Development course at Hanze takes a while. Paradoxically, though, starting to design and develop games doesn't take long at all - there's hasn't been a lesson where we haven't had to do some sort of gaming or designing.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Virtual Worlds, Real Economics - by Matthew McCaffrey

Gamasutra.com Blogs - 21 September 2016 - 8:24am
Gaming culture is a vibrant new arena of action where sound economic ideas have a real chance to take hold. There is already much discussion about how in-game economies emerge and evolve. But games incorporate economics at even more basic levels.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

New Releases Available For Wolsung Steampunk Skirmish Game

Tabletop Gaming News - 21 September 2016 - 8:00am
Steam. It’s one of the most important resources on the planet for human civilization. Just think of all the things its done for us (and continues to do, considering anything that runs on nuclear power technically runs on steam). It’s even created some great miniatures games! Well, it’s been the basis for miniatures games, anyway. […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

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