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Sooper Drupal Themes: Why Drupal is the Go To CMS for Higher Education

Planet Drupal - 10 April 2019 - 2:27am
Who is choosing Drupal as a CMS?

Picking the right type of CMS for any website is no easy task. However, when it comes to complex websites that have to be shown on a wide variety of displays and in 10 different languages, the choice is even harder. In this article, I am going to tell you the reason why universities such as Harvard, Oxford, MIT, Stanford etc. are choosing Drupal as their default Content Management System.

Growth is no problem

Higher education websites are constantly growing and expanding. On top of that, most university websites are having sister sites. This means that a CMS has to handle a bigger degree of complexity when it comes to managing multiple websites. Having this in mind, more simplistic Content Management Systems are likely to fail at handling such a big amount of data in an efficient way. However, Drupal was specifically designed for this. For Drupal, handling such an impressive amount of data in a quick and efficient way is no problem. 

Multi-platform support

Another interesting factor that comes into play when choosing the right CMS is technology. The main consumer market for universities are students. Research shows that on average a student owns 6.9 devices. What this means is that they spend a lot of time on different electronic devices such as laptops, smartphones and tablets. With Drupal however, the websites are already optimized for different screen sizes, provided that you use a mobile-ready theme like our Glazed framework theme. This means that when a website is built and ready to launch, Drupal is going to automatically adapt it to be also shown in the right format for the screen of a smartphone or any other device that is capable of browsing the internet. This leads to a further drop in the IT overhead costs.

Language is no barrier for Drupal

University websites usually have to come in a variety of languages for international students. The entire multilangual support architecture of Drupal has been rebuild from the ground up. It makes it easy to create a multilingual experience by having the native language functionality directly integrated in Drupal 8 core API’s. Universities now can have the power to adapt to any kind of student demographic. What this means is that Drupal gives you the option to be able to extend your communication campaign in over 100 different languages. 

Easy content management

Managing content is easy on Drupal 7 and 8. All you had to do was presss the edit button present on every page. However, the Drupal experience can be further improved by using Glazed Builder, which is taking this a step further by adding inline editing for the easy access and convenience of its user. This improved experience can benefit universities especially, since a university website should facilitate an easy access to downloading, uploading, updating and editing different files. With Drupal and Glazed Builder you don’t have to be a computer wizard to take advantage of the easy content management that it's offered.

No licensing fees

Proprietary CMS’s are usually charging licensing fees, which have to be taken into account by a university when calculating the cost for building a website. With Drupal however, the costs for licensing are non-existing. The reason for this is that Drupal is an open source CMS. What this means is that people are dedicating their free time for developing the project without any monetary expectations in mind. With this in mind, Drupal is sure to be able to cut down the costs which you would otherwise have for building a new website by choosing another CMS. 

Drupal, the perfect choice for higher education

Drupal is one of the best content management systems currently on the market. There are many advantages, however, when also taken into account with the lack of licensing fees, Drupal is the obvious CMS of choice for higher education institutions. So what are you waiting for? If you're a university and are looking to upgrade your website, then Drupal is the right answer for you.

Categories: Drupal

Jeff Geerling's Blog: Drupal VM 5 ('Flynn Lives') brings updates to all the things!

Planet Drupal - 9 April 2019 - 2:10pm

It's been five years since Drupal VM's first release, and to celebrate, it's time to release Drupal VM 5.0 "Flynn Lives"! This update is not a major architectural shift, but instead, a new major version that updates many defaults to use the latest versions of the base VM OS and application software. Some of the new default versions include:

  • Ubuntu 18.04 'Bionic' LTS (was Ubuntu 16.04)
  • PHP 7.2 (was PHP 7.1)
  • Node.js 10.x (was Node.js 6.x)

See the full release notes here: Drupal VM 5.0.0 "Flynn Lives"

There are also a number of other small improvements (as always), and ever-increasing test coverage for all the Ansible roles that power Drupal VM. And in the Drupal VM 4.x release lifecycle, a new official pre-baked Drupal VM base box was added, the geerlingguy/drupal-vm Vagrant base box. Using that base box can speed up new VM builds by 50% or more!

Categories: Drupal

Quick Links

New Drupal Modules - 9 April 2019 - 1:55pm
Categories: Drupal

Menu item content fields

New Drupal Modules - 9 April 2019 - 1:39pm

The main purpose of the module is to be able to add fields to
custom menu items and render them with different view modes.

Categories: Drupal

Virtual reality offers benefits for Parkinson's disease patients

Virtual Reality - Science Daily - 9 April 2019 - 1:28pm
Researchers are reporting early success with a new tool to help people with Parkinson's disease improve their balance and potentially decrease falls with high-tech help: virtual reality. After practicing with a virtual reality system for six weeks, people with Parkinson's disease demonstrated improved obstacle negotiation and balance along with more confidence navigating around obstacles in their path.
Categories: Virtual Reality

Fortnite un-features community build containing inappropriate imagery

Social/Online Games - Gamasutra - 9 April 2019 - 11:26am

It's a very slight bump in the road for Epic and a reminder to other devs of the additional moderation needed when features that highlight user-made content are brought into the mix. ...

Categories: Game Theory & Design

Supporting Girls Who Code at DrupalCon

Dries Buytaert - 9 April 2019 - 9:22am

For most people, today marks the first day of DrupalCon Seattle.

Open Source communities create better, more inclusive software when diverse people come to the table. Unfortunately, there is still a huge gender gap in Open Source, and software more broadly. It's something I'll talk more about in my keynote tomorrow.

One way to help close the gender gap in the technology sector is to give to organizations that are actively working to solve this problem. During DrupalCon Seattle, Acquia will donate $5 to Girls Who Code for every person that visits our booth.

Categories: Drupal

Dries Buytaert: Supporting Girls Who Code at DrupalCon

Planet Drupal - 9 April 2019 - 9:22am

For most people, today marks the first day of DrupalCon Seattle.

Open Source communities create better, more inclusive software when diverse people come to the table. Unfortunately, there is still a huge gender gap in Open Source, and software more broadly. It's something I'll talk more about in my keynote tomorrow.

One way to help close the gender gap in the technology sector is to give to organizations that are actively working to solve this problem. During DrupalCon Seattle, Acquia will donate $5 to Girls Who Code for every person that visits our booth.

Categories: Drupal

Webform double opt-in

New Drupal Modules - 9 April 2019 - 9:08am
Categories: Drupal

Drupal core announcements: Core topic discussions at DrupalCon Seattle 2019

Planet Drupal - 9 April 2019 - 7:56am

DrupalCon Seattle includes are a number of core conversations where you can learn about current topics in Drupal core development, and a week of sprints where you can participate in shaping Drupal's future.

In addition to the core conversations, we have a few meetings on specific topics for future core development. These meetings will be very focused, so contact the listed organizer for each if you are interested in participating. There are also birds-of-a-feather (BoF) sessions, which are open to all attendees without notice.

Also be sure to watch Dries' keynote for ideas about Drupal's future! Check out the extended Dries Q&A session on Thursday as well to get even more questions answered.

All meetings will be in Room 507-508 in convention center, except for the retrospective on Thursday which is in Room 401 at the Convention Center, very close to lunch.

Time Topic Organizer Monday, April 8th 1pm Automatic updates David Strauss Monday, April 8th 4pm Symfony 4/5 meeting Alex Pott Tuesday, April 9th 4pm Core compatibility, d.o, contrib semantic versioning discussion XJM Wednesday, April 10th 11am Autosave in core discussion Cristina Chumillas Wednesday, April 10th 3:30pm Media path to stable Adam Hoenich Wednesday, April 10th 5pm CMI boundaries Fabian Bircher Thursday, April 11th 9:45am Frontend deprecation, theme policies Laurii Thursday, April 11th 12pm Initiative leads retrospective discussion Gabor Friday, April 12th 10am Drupal strategy, how to do less, how to gracefully remove things Alex Pott Friday, April 12th 11am Layout translations discussion Ted Bowman Friday, April 12th 1pm Claro path to core Cristina Chumillas
Categories: Drupal

Game Design Book Reviews: Game Programming Patterns - by Caleb Compton

Gamasutra.com Blogs - 9 April 2019 - 7:17am
In my first game design book review I take a look at Game Programming patterns by Robert Nystrom. This book is a great resource for somebody who knows a little about programming, but wants to learn more about how to program a video game.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Tips on writing code for Data-Oriented Design - by Marc Costa

Gamasutra.com Blogs - 9 April 2019 - 7:15am
Personal preferences on writing code for Data-Oriented Design instead of Object-Oriented Design.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Japanese Aesthetics in the Metal Gear Solid Series - by Kaleb Eberhart

Gamasutra.com Blogs - 9 April 2019 - 7:14am
A deep dive into the Metal Gear Solid series and how Japanese aesthetics played a major role in the influence of core designs as well as some visual aesthetics.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Meet Blue, the low-cost, human-friendly robot designed for AI

Virtual Reality - Science Daily - 9 April 2019 - 6:37am
Researchers have created a new low-cost, human friendly robot named Blue, designed to use recent advances in artificial intelligence and deep reinforcement learning to master intricate human tasks, all while remaining affordable and safe enough that every AI researcher could have one. The team hopes Blue will accelerate the development of robotics for the home.
Categories: Virtual Reality

Paragraphs Webform

New Drupal Modules - 9 April 2019 - 5:44am
Categories: Drupal

Cloudflare Stream

New Drupal Modules - 9 April 2019 - 5:17am
Categories: Drupal

Tocbot

New Drupal Modules - 9 April 2019 - 5:04am

This module provides a wrapper around Tocbot which builds an automatic table of contents (TOC) from headings in an HTML document. This is useful for documentation websites or long information pages because it makes them easier to navigate.

Categories: Drupal

Android Shadow of the Beanstalk Review

Gnome Stew - 9 April 2019 - 4:30am

I grew up in the 80s, but I was a latecomer to cyberpunk. I loved Blade Runner, and read a few Philip K. Dick short stories, because at one point in the 80s I think 98% of all movies were adapted from one of his stories (this figure may be slightly exaggerated). But I didn’t read Gibson’s Neuromancer, and I never got into the crop of cyberpunk RPGs that I saw popping up in Dragon Magazine over the years. Shadowrun was that game that my friends learned without me when they went off to college.

In fact, what finally got me into cyberpunk was reading collections of Transmetropolitan in my late 20s. When I later picked up on a few more of the staples of cyberpunk, what struck me about Transmetropolitan was that it could be very cynical and grim about its world, and yet have some glimmers of hope in the stories. Life could be terrible and strange, but it could also still be strange and wonderful.

Having set the parameters of my primary interface into the subsystem of science fiction indexed as cyberpunk, let’s plug into the specific coordinates of my vector for this review run, the Fantasy Flight Genesys supplement Shadow of the Beanstalk, a sourcebook for playing in their Android setting.

How Much Chrome Does It Have?

This review is based on both the PDF of the product as well as the hardcover. The product is 258 pages long, with a two-page index in the back. Both formats are in full color, and there are full page pieces of art introducing each chapter, as well as several half-page images, maps, and illustrations of gear throughout the book. Like other Fantasy Flight products, the artwork is high quality, and many of the images may be familiar, as they appear in multiple product lines associated with the Android IP.

Most of the pages are shades of blue, with darker “file folder” sidebars to call out special information. A few sections, such as the section on the net, have a different color scheme, with the net pages appearing almost black, and the adversaries’ chapter being largely in golds and orange.

Introduction

The introduction sets the stage for what this book is, what it details, and what else you will need for a campaign. As a supplement to the Genesys RPG, this product is assuming you will have a copy of both the core rules and at least a set of the narrative dice that Genesys utilizes (experience tells me that you may need more than one set).

Fairly early into the introduction, the book suggests that for a more detailed look at the setting, you may want to pick up a copy of the Worlds of Android art and setting book. This immediately made me wonder how “table ready” this book was going to be, but we’ll revisit that later.

The rest of the introduction outlines the core concepts of the setting. Some of this information is delivered as online articles complete with digressions from a character that is currently hacking into the site. The actual date is never mentioned, but the setting revolves around New Angeles, a mega-city in Ecuador dominated by multi-national corporations, and home to a massive space elevator that provides access to the lunar colony of Heinlein and allows for shipping to Mars.

Why is the setting called the Android setting? One of the defining aspects of future society is the invention of androids. Androids are a term used for competing technologies, fully synthetic mechanical constructs called bioroids, and genetically engineered, purpose-built clones, neither of which have full rights as citizens.

While the setting clearly has cyberpunk elements, including multi-national corporations and a world-spanning computer network, the wars, colonies on Mars and the moon, and social issues like clone and bioroid rights also remind me of science fiction stories like The Expanse series of novels.

Chapter 1: Character Creation

Character creation unfolds in a manner similar to the process outlined in the Genesys core rules, but this section addresses changes in the process. The main points of divergence are the setting specific archetypes, careers, skills, and talents, and the introduction of factions and favors.

Factions are important for the favor economy because they will determine who you owe, and who owes you. Favors are divided between small, regular, and big favors, and you can owe bigger favors to get more resources at character creation. It’s not entirely unlike Obligation in FFG’s Star Wars Edge of the Empire, except the discreet favors and their size are tracked, rather than creating an obligation score that can be triggered.

Archetypes include the following character types:

  • Natural (unenhanced humans)
  • Bioroid (synthetic constructs)
  • Clone (purpose-built biologicals)
  • Cyborg (mechanically enhanced humans)
  • G-Mods (genetically enhanced humans)
  • Loonies (humans native to the lunar colonies)

The careers specifically detailed in this book include the following:

  • Academic
  • Bounty Hunter
  • Con Artist
  • Courier
  • Investigator
  • Ristie (rich heirs to the corporate elites)
  • Roughneck (blue collar space workers)
  • Runner (people that stick their brains into computers for fun and profit)
  • Soldier
  • Tech

Since Edge of the Empire is my favorite expression of FFG’s Star Wars RPGs, I’m not surprised that I really like the concept of favors and the rules surrounding them. I did find it a little ironic that the rules note that you can reskin the Animal Companion talent from the core Genesys book to account for drones, but the rules also subdivide the core Genesys computer skill into Hacking and Sysops. While I realize that in the real-world computer skills are definitely more granular than a single skill, I’m not convinced that they need to be broken out for an RPG. There are a few more details on what each skill gets used for later on in the book.

Chapter 2: Equipment and Vehicles

This section has a few more details on the favor economy but also details a slew of cyberpunk style equipment for the player characters to interact with. This chapter is also the home of the single most 90s piece of equipment I’ve ever seen, the charged crystal katana. Most of the weapons skew more towards monofilament blades, flechette guns, mass drivers, and masers.

There is a section that details various substances that may have addictive properties. There is a sidebar that discusses treating this topic with care, and being mindful both of real-world issues and any concerns players may have at the table, and I appreciated that inclusion.

Because this is a Genesys game, various pieces of equipment have hardpoints that allow for equipment to be customized in various ways. If you are familiar with cybernetics from the Star Wars RPGs, one way that cybernetics differ in this setting is that strain threshold is very important to their installation and operation. Augmentations lower strain threshold, limiting the number a character can have. Additionally, various special effects are triggered by spending strain.

The good news is that Shadow of the Beanstalk avoids old school concepts like “humanity” or “essence,” and doesn’t imply that enhanced people lose hold of their humanity with too many augments. There is just a limit to how many major augmentations a character can reasonably utilize. Unfortunately, there are still a few lines of text that imply having an altered emotional state is “creepy,” and the tone feels overly harsh and judgmental.

Chapter 3: The Network 

Since a large portion of the setting is based on cyberpunk vibes, we have a chapter on The Network, and what it looks like to hack into various systems. This chapter gives a history of the global Network, as well as details on evocative things like God Code (programs that spontaneously write themselves in the Network), “ghosts” of runners that lost themselves while submerged in the Network, and religions that have arisen from these quirks of the virtual world.

There are also rules for hacking. This is not shocking for a cyberpunk setting. While they are a little more involved than I would like, a big benefit of how the rules work is that everything is framed in a manner similar to other aspects of the rules. ICE programs have a program strength that operates in a similar manner to character health. Icebreaker programs work in a manner similar to weapons in the “real world.” Remember earlier in the book where they split the computer skills up? If you are intruding on a system, you are using hacking. If you are defending against intruders or acting against someone entering a computer that you are “supposed” to have access to, you use sysops.

What I really appreciate is that there is a simplified version of hacking included in this chapter as well, which the GM is encouraged to use in situations where a more involved run would be cumbersome, which still gives benefits for having icebreakers and ICE installed.

Chapter 4: New Angeles and Heinlein

This section goes into more detail on the setting. While it briefly mentions a few areas outside of New Angeles, the Beanstalk, and Heinlein (the lunar colony of New Angeles), the main focus is on those core areas of the setting.

Each of the main districts of New Angeles is detailed, and each of them is essentially a small city in its own right. The various districts have information on the undercity, plaza, and penthouse levels of the area, and most of them follow a format of presenting general information, then providing a specific example location, and NPCs native to those locations, rather than giving exhaustive details on every major business and location.

In addition to the city districts on Earth, there are sections on Midway Station (the space station halfway up the space elevator that dominates the city), the Challenger Planetoid (a rock towed into geosynchronous orbit to facilitate the shuttles launched from the elevator), and Heinlein, the lunar colony that provides Earth with He-3 from its mines.

Despite mentioning the additional details in the Worlds of Android setting book, there are plenty of setting details in this chapter, with a ton of adventure hooks. There should be more than enough for multiple campaigns worth of material in what has been provided.

While I really like these details, I would much rather have a few more out of setting sidebars discussing potential issues with introducing topics like war, labor disputes, and slave labor that is a constant part of the setting with bioroids, clones, and even AI. Players may even be playing characters that don’t have full rights as people, or characters that are marginalized as being on the losing side of a war, so a little more discussion on safety would have been appreciated.

Chapter 5: Adversaries

The adversaries chapter gives a whole range of stats for security guards, drones, cyborgs, gang members, animals, and criminals that PCs might run into in the course of a game. These are organized in the standard Genesys groupings of minions, rivals, and nemeses, meaning that the NPCs work better in large groups, are fairly similar to PCs, or are more formidable than any single PC, in broad terms.

By far, the best entry is the teacup giraffe. Not because it’s a fearsome beast, and not just because it’s adorable. The Too Cute and Way Too Cute abilities are just too good not to enjoy.

Chapter 6: The Game Master

The Game Master chapter opens by explaining the mindset of people that live in the setting, and how that mindset changes based on the character’s position in society. It also includes advice on descriptions, the importance of social encounters and capitulation, referring to the social encounter rules in the core Genesys rules. It then wraps up with the Android Adventure Builder, a section that has several base jobs, escalations, and climaxes. While the hooks have a fairly linear outline, the escalations and climaxes can be mixed and matched with different hooks to create different adventure progressions.

I normally like a setting book to have a sample adventure, but in this case, I think the Adventure Builder is a solid toolkit for outlining what adventures should look like in the setting, with enough flexibility that it can be used multiple times. What I do think was lacking in this section was a discussion on how groups get together. Most of the hooks broadly assume PCs that are sort of outlaws, maybe mercenaries, but I would have loved to have had a few group templates to give examples of how the disparate archetypes might come to work together.

There is also some discussion on how there isn’t much discrimination based on nationality or ethnicity in the setting, with the exploration of similar topics being focused on android and clone rights, and societal stress between loonies and humans on Earth. That said, there are definitely some nationality-based stereotypes that echo in the setting, including Russian, German, and Japanese companies and neighborhoods that both feel a little too one dimensional in places, and belie the concept that only the manufactured prejudices are present in the setting.

There are a handful of paragraphs about creating micro-cultures in the setting, neighborhoods that are based on cultural backgrounds, religious affiliations, or other signifiers. There are examples of these in the setting chapter, and the book encourages players to use those as examples to make more, but three paragraphs of discussion feel really thin to fully convey the care you would have to use in creating a micro-culture based on any existing modern-day signifiers. I feel like this section would have been better served with advice on keeping these micro-cultures based on unique setting elements or exercising care and collaboration with those that understand the real-world foundations of such cultures.

Strong Signal While the setting draws heavily from cyberpunk tropes, it also draws broadly and allows for a wide variety of campaign styles. Share1Tweet1Reddit1Email

While the setting draws heavily from cyberpunk tropes, it also draws broadly and allows for a wide variety of campaign styles. The setting information is concise enough for campaigns, but evocative enough to inspire further research. In general, rules for limiting cybernetics avoid some of the pitfalls of other cyberpunk games, and the mechanics for gaining benefits give similar items in this setting a different feel than, for example, cybernetics in the FFG Star Wars games. There is some very solid advice on structuring jobs in a manner appropriate to the genre, and while the opening scenarios are very specific, the twists to be introduced later are broadly applicable. This is a deep mine for campaign material.

ICE

The only real content warning in the entire book is about addiction, but the setting has many points that could cause safety concerns, including politics, religion, class, and national origins coming into conflict. The section on creating micro-cultures introduces the concept of creating a micro-culture and is especially thin and potentially fraught. While it is great that the setting is wide open for many kinds of stories, there isn’t much time spent examining how to bring together disparate character types, or examples of what different teams of player characters may look like, beyond assuming they will be criminals doing jobs, defaulting to one of the most common cyberpunk tropes.

Qualified Recommendation — A product with lots of positive aspects, but buyers may want to understand the context of the product and what it contains before moving it ahead of other purchases.

The setting really speaks to me. It manages to be grim and dystopian without being so cynical that it doesn’t allow for some feeling of hope. It leaves room for more heroic goals, instead of painting a life of endless jobs for the sake of survival. It does fall into the same pattern that many setting books fall into, presenting the setting without diverting enough to discuss how the various parts can be used at the table.

The GM advice is solid but could be fleshed out more, and for a cyberpunk setting, there isn’t nearly enough discussion on safety and the potential problems that could come up when introducing elements of the setting at the table. Because of that, anyone bringing this to the table should know that they will be doing the safety work on their own.

What are your favorite cyberpunk settings and games? What cyberpunk media informs your enjoyment of the genre? We would love to hear about it in the comments below!

Categories: Game Theory & Design

Yandex.Maps (formerly Geofield Yandex Maps)

New Drupal Modules - 9 April 2019 - 4:11am

Port "Geofield Yandex Maps" module to Drupal 8.

Provides elements for work with Yandex.Maps API 2.1:

1. Theme function
2. Form element
3. Geofield widget
4. Geofield formatter
5. Views handler (soon)

Categories: Drupal

Pages

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