OpenSense Labs: Marrying Alexa with Drupal

Planet Drupal - 31 March 2019 - 10:05am
Marrying Alexa with Drupal Shankar Sun, 03/31/2019 - 22:35

You may get involved in a coffee mishap on the way out of the door leaving a stain on your shirt. This is among the numerous stains that Tide’s Stain Remover, an Alexa skill, can help you remove.

Voice assistants like Alexa are beginning to play a colossal part in our everyday lives. That is exactly why Tide, one of the largest producers of laundry products, has plunged in to utilise Alexa as a Stain removal expert. With the growing popularity of Amazon Alexa, organisations can consider the best ways to extend their omnichannel content strategy for including dissemination of content on voice and chat platforms. Integrating Alexa with Drupal, one of the leading content management systems in the market, can be great for allowing content to be accessed both via web and voice assistants.

Alexa: A quintessential voice assistant

As Amazon’s cloud-based voice service, Alexa is available on a plethora of devices from Amazon like Echo and third-party device manufacturers. It was named after the Library of Alexandria which attempted to collect all of the world’s knowledge. It lets you tell your wishes, at least the simple ones like playing music tracks and finding food recipes and fulfils them.

“With Alexa, you can build natural voice experiences that offer customers a more intuitive way to interact with the technology they use every day.” - Amazon Alexa

Its collection of tools, APIs, reference solutions and documentation lets anyone build with Alexa. Creating cloud-based skills helps in disseminating content and reach customers via millions of Alexa-enabled devices. Alexa Skills Kit lets you build engrossing voice-first experiences. Moreover, Alexa Voice Service lets you develop voice-forward products through the incorporation of Alexa into your devices or controlling your devices with Alexa. You can even leverage it for your businesses by making it easy for users to access your services by voice.

Gartner predicts that because of the staggering advancements in emotion artificial intelligence (AI) systems, the personal devices will know more about an individual's emotional state. So, Alexa will get to know us more and more in the future and can even be able to detect and assess how we are feeling with the tone of our voice.

Alexa, also, leads in the market share of smart speakers as can be seen below.

Amalgamation of Alexa and Drupal

Integration of Amazon Alexa and Drupal can be done with the help of Alexa Drupal module. For this, the Drupal website should be available online and using HTTPS. You can start by installing and enabling the Alexa module on the Drupal site. Then, a new Alexa skill can be created in Alexa Skills Kit. This is followed by the processes of copying the Application ID that is provided by the Amazon in ‘Skill information’ and submitting it to the Drupal site’s configuration. You can, then, move on to configuring Alexa skill in Alexa Skills Kit and creating a customised handler module for managing custom Alexa skills.

To demonstrate how this works, a digital agency used a sample supermarket chain called Gourmet Market and connected Alexa to its Drupal-powered site using Alexa module. A list of intents, that refers to the commands you want the users to run which is similar to Drupal’s routes, is specified. This is followed by the process of specifying a list of utterances that is basically the sentences that you want the Echo to react to. After the execution of the command, a webhook callback is received by the Drupal site and the Alexa module validates the request.

Suppose if you ask Alexa about the fruits that are on sale, Alexa would make a call to the Gourmet Market Drupal site and come up with the relevant information. Certain items can also be tagged as ‘On Sale’ by the store manager and the same changes are automatically and swiftly reflected by Alexa’s voice responses. And the best part is that the marketing manager won’t require any programming skills as the Alexa forms its voice responses by talking to Drupal 8 via web service APIs.

The site could also deliver smart notifications. When posing a question enquiring about an item that is not on sale, the site can automatically notify the user through text once the store manager puts the tag of ‘On Sale’ on it.

The digital agency showed another example of a combination of Alexa and Drupal through a fictional grocery store called Freshland Market. Here, a user chooses a food recipe from Freshland Market’s Drupal site and collects all the ingredients to go ahead with the cooking process. The food recipe asked by the user is for 8 people but the site has the same for 4 people. The Freshland Market Alexa skill, by itself, adjusts the number of ingredients for 8 people. So, amidst a series of questions and the relevant ingredients and cooking steps, the user is easily able to prepare the food without having to look at the laptop or mobile phone.


Coming together of Alexa and Drupal can be a great solution for removing friction from user experiences. With Drupal as a stupendous content store and Alexa as a quintessential voice assistant, you can bring about a world of difference.
We believe in open source innovation and are committed to offering great digital experiences with our expertise in Drupal development. Talk to our Drupal experts at and let us know how do you want us to be a part of your digital transformation endeavours.

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Categories: Drupal

Content Feedback

New Drupal Modules - 31 March 2019 - 9:58am

Content Feedback module provides users a content feedback form on content pages/nodes. Users with content feedback form access will post feedback of the current content.

Content Feedback form can be allowed for selected content types. Fields for the content feedback form can be configurable. All content feedbacks are displayed and grouped by status. Users can review and update status to resolved for the content feedbacks.

Categories: Drupal

Camera field

New Drupal Modules - 31 March 2019 - 8:11am
Categories: Drupal

Customer Journey

New Drupal Modules - 31 March 2019 - 12:37am
Categories: Drupal


New Drupal Modules - 30 March 2019 - 3:22pm
Categories: Drupal

User Specific Revision Diff

New Drupal Modules - 30 March 2019 - 9:00am

This module provides ability to visually attribute changes from each user per revision who authored them (e.g. using different colors per user along with their name)

Categories: Drupal

Facet granular date

New Drupal Modules - 29 March 2019 - 10:36pm
Plugin for Drupal 8 facets that creates drill down date facets.

This module was built to solve the issue* where date facets are no longer drilldown in Drupal 8. This module provides a new Facet processor to achieve that.


Categories: Drupal

Video Game Deep Cuts: A is for Apple Arcade, B is for rolling bones?

Social/Online Games - Gamasutra - 29 March 2019 - 4:59pm

This week's roundup includes a look at the Apple Arcade announcement, an intriguing video on how the Mongolian steppes do gaming, plus pieces on Sekiro, clicker games, AR, video game folklorists. ...

Categories: Game Theory & Design

Centarro Insights

New Drupal Modules - 29 March 2019 - 2:50pm

Centarro Insights is a plug and play sales and analytics dashboard for Drupal Commerce stores. It gives merchants immediate visibility into sales trends, traffic by channel / campaign, conversion rate, top selling products and customers, and more.

Categories: Drupal

Security researcher pleads guilty to hacking into Nintendo and Microsoft

Social/Online Games - Gamasutra - 29 March 2019 - 1:46pm

24 year old security researcher Zammis Clark avoided jail time by pleading guilty to hacking into Microsoft and Nintendo servers and stealing confidential information. ...

Categories: Game Theory & Design

Kanopi Studios: DrupalCon Seattle is here!

Planet Drupal - 29 March 2019 - 12:49pm

DrupalCon Seattle is next week! We’re excited to get together with the community for learning and collaborations.

But first, we have to travel to Seattle. We’re so excited about it that we made a Spotify playlist made up of all Seattle bands.

Spin up our playlist for your drive or flight!



So much great music has come from Seattle, you’re bound to find something you like.

We’re busy at DrupalCon with summits, sessions, community work, and more. Come visit us at booth #306, or check out where we will be below. Either way, come say hello.

  • Monday April 8, 8:30 am – 12:30 pm: Anne Stefanyk is joining Pantheon at Selling to the Marketing Buyer.
  • Tuesday, April 9, 9:00 am – 4:30 pm:  Anne will be leading an afternoon breakout session at the Nonprofit Summit,
  • Tuesday, April 9, 10:00 am – 4:30 pm: AmyJune Hineline will be leading the Community Summit.

Our community liaison AmyJune will be staffing the at the Core Mentoring booth on Wednesday and Thursday. She’ll also be doing two workshops:


Kanopians are speaking at three sessions:

Birds of a Feather (BOFs)

BOFs are a great way to have intimate discussions on topics, and collaborating with peers is one of our favorite things.

  • Wednesday 11:00 am: AmyJune Hineline is hosting one on
  • Wednesday 4:45 pm: Sean Dietrich is hosting one on Docksal.
  • Thursday 2:30 pm:, Jim Birch is hosting the Drupal and SEO BOF.

Each Kanopian will be collaborating all week long while at DrupalCon! Keep a look out for Jim, Jason, Cindy, Kat, AmyJune, and Sean as they join other Drupalers to help push the Drupal project forward.

Looking forward to seeing you there!

The post DrupalCon Seattle is here! appeared first on Kanopi Studios.

Categories: Drupal

Migrate Nodes to Media

New Drupal Modules - 29 March 2019 - 11:57am

Provides a UI for mapping content type fields to core media fields and executes the migrations. Users can create multiple migrations and run them. Also provides JSON output for content types and maintains a list of content type to node path mappings.

Categories: Drupal

Shifting Layout Blocks

New Drupal Modules - 29 March 2019 - 11:55am

The Shifting Layout Blocks module makes it possible to define block components in Layout Builder that shift automatically one position further, when adding a new shiftable block. The last shiftable block in the layout will be removed. The shifting process works across sections and regions. That will make it possible to place different kinds of blocks in between, which will be automatically ignored.

Categories: Drupal

Angie "webchick" Byron: #DrupalOriginStories

Planet Drupal - 29 March 2019 - 8:13am

For DrupalCamp Belarus in mid-May, I'll be giving a talk entitled "Tales of Drupal Past: Origin Stories of Drupal Contributors." My goal is to feature folks from the Drupal community and share their stories of coming into Drupal, with the goal to help inform and inspire others about our community, coming from a wide range of diverse perspectives/backgrounds.

How about... YOU? What were you doing before Drupal? How'd you get your start? What are you doing now? How has Drupal changed/impacted your life?

I would really appreciate any responses, whether in the comments here, on your own blogs, and/or on social media (with the #DrupalOriginStories tag, please). (Especially if you're based in Eastern Europe, I would love to hear from you!)

I can share mine, as a start... (Feel free to make yours shorter or longer than this, however! :))

I first encountered Drupal because I'm one of those people who runs around "viewing-source" on websites I visit to see what's ticking under the hood. I first saw Drupal in the source of Spread Firefox, where fans of the Firefox web browser crowd-sourced marketing/promotion materials/events, and ran across it sometime later (2005) in the list of Google Summer of Code mentoring organizations.

I was a huge fan of FLOSS/open source for many years prior to this (first installed Linux in 1995 when Debian fit on like 7 floppy disks, lol), but always believed I was not "smart" enough nor "skilled" enough to actually participate in an open source project. GSoC was important for breaking down this belief, because I surmised that if it was for students, they probably expected we didn't know everything yet.

So, I applied. And somewhat miraculously, got accepted (thanks, robertDouglass!) and assigned a mentor (thanks, @chx!). Thankfully, there is not a single shred of any of my original code left in Quiz module these days, but it's kind of rad that it's still kicking around out there almost 14 years later! :)

Once I got on "this" side of my imaginary "you must be THIS smart to contribute" wall, I began to realize that...

  • Making change in an open source project is truly a collaborative process, with many different people and many different skills (dev, testing, ux, a11y, design, dev, security, promotion) all putting forth what they know to arrive at the optimal solution.
  • There are no rockstar experts sitting about barfing out perfect code. ;) In fact, I've reviewed code from most of the "Drupal rockstars" you know, and they're all pretty crap the first time through. ;) (Very much including myself!)
  • If you can demonstrate through your words/actions that you are one of the "helpers," (versus someone complaining/trying to get other people to do work for you for free/etc.) you will get near INFINITE amount of patience and mentorship and other support from the community. (Because there are not many "helpers" out there relative to the amount of users and complainers.)

So, I began to throw myself into contributing wherever I could: core and contrib development, patch reviews, QA, webmaster stuff, security team, UX team, Drupal Association, core committer, etc. (Note: This was highly unsustainable, and I do not necessarily recommend this course of action, LOL. ;))

These days, I am hugely fortunate to be paid full-time to work on Drupal by Acquia, as part of their Drupal Acceleration Team. My main focus is in supporting, unblocking, and accelerating community efforts around Drupal's strategic initiatives, as well as my role as a product manager on the core committer team (setting roadmaps, keeping an eye on what our competitors are up to, and brutally-but-kindly-as-possible WebchickTestCase-ing unsuspecting patches.:P).

Over the course of my time with Drupal, I've gained an incredible amount... learning new things every day, numerous friendships-that-feel-like-extended-family (some of literally a decade or more), travel to all corners of the globe, hearing and taking in numerous diverse ideas and perspectives, and more. Thank you so much to everyone who makes this possible. <3

Tags: drupal#DrupalOriginStoriesgoogle summer of code
Categories: Drupal

Media directories

New Drupal Modules - 29 March 2019 - 7:29am

The directory structure for Media.

Categories: Drupal

PDF to HTML node generator

New Drupal Modules - 29 March 2019 - 6:57am
Categories: Drupal

Video Game Deep Cuts: A is for Apple Arcade, B is for rolling bones?  - by Simon Carless Blogs - 29 March 2019 - 4:55am
This week's roundup includes a variety of looks at the Apple Arcade subscription announcement, an intriguing video on how the Mongolian steppes do gaming, plus pieces on Sekiro, clicker games, AR, video game folklorists, and lots more besides.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Reviewing Safety In Games

Gnome Stew - 29 March 2019 - 4:30am

The discussion on table culture in roleplaying games often turns to safety tools. This was not always the case, and it is a welcome and needed development. The discussion about safety tools, however, is often had outside of any discussion that is presented within the text of a game. If you have purchased some of the most popular RPGs on the market right now, and that is your only exposure to roleplaying games, you may not have seen a dedicated section discussing table safety specifically for that game.

The World That Was

You may have seen table or player management sections. You may have seen sections on best practices and even the importance of general empathy at the game table. But most of the biggest players do not have sections in their books discussing safety tools, nor do they have sections that call out content in their games that might cause problems or stress for some players. Many times the advice given to game moderators is not geared towards alleviating potential problems with the content and themes of the game itself.

I’m not specifically calling out those publishers, although it would be great to normalize safety discussions and content warnings in games. I bring this up because many of the biggest game publishers are working with intellectual property that has been in existence for decades. The unfortunate truth is that while some game innovations can be revolutionary, many aspects of the RPG industry are still governed by inertia, and it will take effort to move aspects of gaming in another direction. The inertia at the upper end of the roleplaying hobby is to let individual tables “sort it out.”

I have started to include more discussion on safety and content warnings in my reviews. This didn’t occur to me when I first started doing reviews. It was very easy for me to move in the direction I had always moved in. I was suffering from my own inertia. I knew what affected me in games. I knew how the tables I had gamed with for years reacted to certain topics. I did not attempt to take myself out of my own perspective in order to see where other problems might develop.

I have included in my reviews which games have sections on safety or content warnings, and when they do not. In many cases, I still believe that many games without safety sections or content warnings are worth purchasing and playing, but without discussing safety, a modern game designer is either assuming that no one will have this discussion, or that the discussion will happen without any prompts. I think this is a mistake, and it is a mistake worth pointing out.

Growing Pains

I have seen the argument that people will “work out” the safety issues within their own groups, and that they don’t need the rules to address the topic. The problem with this line of thinking is that it defaults to either assuming that everyone at the table has known each other for a long period of time, or that someone new to the table will go out of their way to introduce the topic when they join a group. This is problematic in that it is assuming a static population of gamers, or that the burden of emotional labor lies solely on people new to the table.

We have new game moderators every day. When they read a new ruleset, they need to know that it is normal and expected that they are concerned about safety. We have people that have never thought about safety at the table before. This is not because they want to introduce harmful content, but because it has never occurred to them that they might. They need to know that safety is an aspect of roleplaying, and it affects the table, consciously or not.

The World that Could Be

If a game includes a section on safety or content warnings in the same way that a game might address the rules or scenario creation, it makes safety a normal, healthy, expected part of the game. Directly examining the aspects of your game that may lead to problematic content is designing with intentionality, and discussing those potential issues with game moderators will make their ability to create scenarios within the game stronger. Not only will closely examining the elements of your game make people at the table safer, dissecting the elements used for storytelling is one of the best ways to make sure that the good experiences you have at the table do not just happen by accident, but can be addressed and repeated.

As much as it is important to focus on safety as a community of gamers, if the only drive to include safety tools and to have discussions about content comes from individual gaming groups or people discussing safety on the internet, that puts an undue amount of stress on the participants of the hobby. Every person that creates a game thinks about the content they are creating. Directing those thoughts towards safety, and why troubling content may or may not be included, can be used to help push gaming in a new direction and to give us inertia towards a positive future where more gamers feel included in the hobby.

The Road to Empathy Without those stories, I would not be as likely to try to be better, and I honestly believe that the greatest benefit of roleplaying games is in creating empathy Share1Tweet1Reddit1Email

If you aren’t certain that content warnings and safety discussions are needed in games, try to think back to all of the media that you have consumed over the years. Is there a novel, comic, movie, or television show that received a lot of accolades, but you were unaware of some of the content in that work? If something was more graphic, somber, or violent than you initially thought, would you have felt better knowing those things? Running into that content, did it make you less likely to consume media from that source, knowing that you might be exposed to items you don’t enjoy?

Empathy isn’t something you can turn on or off. We can strive to be empathetic, but until we have the opportunity to interact with others, we will never know how careful we are in observing the needs of those around us. Because empathy is something we must be open to, and that we must constantly refine, we cannot assume that because we do not mean to do harm that we will not do harm. The first step on this path is to open the discussion, and when the game you are playing already includes the discussion, it is that much easier to begin.

Thank You

I want to stop for a moment and thank every person that has shared their stories about safety at the table. Without those stories, I would not be as likely to try to be better, and I honestly believe that the greatest benefit of roleplaying games is in creating empathy. We continually put ourselves in the place of other people, and attempt to see the world from a perspective that is not our own. This is the true power of the hobby.

Do you have any games that you feel do a particularly good job at introducing safety-related topics? Do you have any stories about safety discussions that made you feel particularly safe at a table? What do you think the best practices in starting a safety discussion should be? We want to have this discussion with you, so please feel free to post in the comments. We will be looking forward to hearing from you.

Categories: Game Theory & Design

Frontpage route

New Drupal Modules - 29 March 2019 - 3:32am

A simple module that adds a /frontpage route.

This solves the issue where you want to display blocks or other static content on the frontpage.

Categories: Drupal

Geofield Map

New Drupal Modules - 29 March 2019 - 1:53am

Geofield Map enables the integration of functionalities for Drupal 8, based on the Geofield module.

It implements Geoportail V3 API.

Categories: Drupal


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