All RPGs and Storygames by Tod Foley are now available at DrivethruRPG. Bring these games to your table!
The Acquia Memcache module provides Acquia-specific functionality and settings for customers to have a turnkey experience in enabling and configuring memcache on their Drupal 8 sites hosted on Acquia.
This is currently a placeholder for a forthcoming POC
A law passed late year has gone into effect in South Korea that sees convicted boosters hit with fines up to $18,000 and a suspended prison sentence. ...
A design system gives you a “lego box” of components that you can use to create consistent, beautiful interfaces.
Design System artifacts go by many names - Living Style Guides, Pattern Libraries, UI Libraries, and just plain Design Systems. The core idea is to give digital teams greater flexibility and control over their website. Instead of having to decide exactly what all pages should look like in one big redesign and then sticking with those templates until the next redesign, a design system gives you a “lego box” of components the team can use to create consistent, beautiful interfaces. Component-based design is how you SCALE.
At Palantir we build content management systems, so we’ve named our design system artifact a “style guide” in a nod to the editorial space.
Our style guides are organized into three sections:
- 'Design Elements' which are the very basic building blocks for the website.
- 'Components' which combine design elements into working pieces of code that serve a defined purpose.
- 'Page Templates' which combine the elements and components into page templates that are used to display the content at destination URLs.
But how do we help our clients determine what the list of elements, components and page templates should be?How to Identify Elements for Your Design System
In this post I’ll walk through how we worked with the University of Miami Health System to create a style guide that enabled the marketing team to build a consistent, branded experience for a system with 1,200 doctors and scientists, three primary locations, and multiple local clinics.1. Start by generating a list of your most important types of content.
Why are people coming to your site? What content helps them complete the task they are there to do? This content list is ground zero for component ideation: how can design support and elevate the information your site delivers?
The list of content serving user needs is your starting point for components. In addition, we can use this list to identify a few page templates right off the bat:
- Home page
- Treatment landing page
- Search page
- Listing page: Search results, news, classes
- Clinical trials landing page
- Clinical trial detail page
- Location landing page
- Appointment landing page
- Appointment detail page
- Basic page (About us, contact us, general information)
This is just the start of the UHealth style guide; we ultimately created about 80 components and 17 page templates. But it gives you a sense of how we tackled the challenge!2. Sort your list of important types of content into groups by similarities.
Visitors should be able to scan your website for the information they need, and distinctive component designs help them differentiate content without having to read every word. In addition, being rigorous about consistently using components for specific kinds of information creates predictable interfaces, and predictable interfaces are easy for your visitors to use.
In this step, you should audit the design and photo assets you have available now, and assess your capacity to create them going forward. If, for example, you have a limited photo library and no graphic artist on staff, you’ll want to choose a set of components that don’t heavily rely on photos and graphics.
In this example, we have three component types: News, Events/Classes, and a Simple Success story.
- News Component: This component has no images. This is largely about content management; UHealth publishes a lot of news, and they didn’t want to create a bottleneck in their publishing schedule by requiring each story to have a digital-ready photo.
- Events/Classes Component: This component has an option for images or a pattern. Because UHealth wants visitors to take action on this content by signing up, we wanted these to have an eye-catching image. Requiring a photo introduces a potential bottleneck in publishing, so we also gave them the option to make the image a pattern or graphic.
- Simple success story: This is the most visually complex component because successful health narratives are an important element of UHealth’s content strategy. We were able to create a complex component here because there’s a smaller number of success stories compared to news stories or classes and events. That means the marketing team can dedicate significant time and resources to making the content for this component as effective as possible.
Unlike paper publications, websites are built to enable actions like searching, subscribing, and making appointments. Your component set should include interfaces for your functionality.
In a more complex example, the Sylvester Cancer Center included a dynamic “Find a lab” functionality that was powered by a database. We designed the template around the limitations of the data set powering the feature, rather than ideating the ideal interface. Search is another feature that benefits from planning during the design phase.
For example, these components for a side bar location search and a full screen location search require carefully structured databases to support them. The design and technical teams must be in alignment on the capacity and limits of the functionality underlying the interface.4. Differentiate components by brand.
UHealth is an enormous health care system, and there are several centers of excellence within the system that have their own logos and distinct content strategies. As a result, we created several components that were differentiated by brand.
In this example, you see navigation interfaces that are different by brand and language. Incorporating the differentiated logos for the core UHealth system and the Centers of Excellence is fairly straightforward. But as you can see the Sylvester Center also has three additional top nav options: Cancer treatments, Research, and For Healthcare Professionals.
That content change necessitated a different nav bar - you can see that it’s longer. We also created a component for the nav in Spanish, because sometimes in other languages you find that the menu labels are different lengths and need to be adjusted for. In this case, they didn’t, but we kept it as a reference for the site builders.5. Review the list: can you combine any components?
Your overall goal should be creating the smallest possible set of components. Depending on the complexity and variety of your content and functionality, this might be a set of 100 components or it might be just 20. The UHealth Design System has about 80 components, and another 17 page templates.
The key is that each of the components does a specific job and is visually differentiated from components that do different jobs. You want clear visual differences that signal clear content differences to your audience, and you don’t want your web team spending time trying to parse minor differences - that’s not how you scale!
In my experience, the biggest stumbling block to creating a streamlined list of components is stakeholders asking for maximum flexibility and control. I’ve found the best way to manage this challenge is to provide stakeholders with the option to differentiate their fiefdoms through content rather than components.
In this example, we have the exact same component featuring different images, which allows for two widely different experiences. You can also enable minor differentiation within a component: maybe you can leave off a sub-head, or allow for two buttons instead of one.6. Start building your design system and stay flexible.
The list you generated here will get you 80% of the way there, but as you proceed with designing and building your design system, you will almost certainly uncover new component needs. When you do, first double check that you can’t use an existing component. This can be a little tricky, because of course content can essentially be displayed any way you want.
At Palantir, we solve for this challenge by building our Style Guide components with real content. This approach solves for a few key challenges with building a design system:
- Showing the “why” of a component. Each component is designed for a specific type of content - news, classes, header, testimonial, directory, etc. This consistency is critical for scaling design: the goal is to create consistent interfaces to create ease of use for your visitors. By building our Style Guides with real content, we document the thought process behind creating a specific component.
- Consistency. Digital teams change and grow. We use content in our Style Guide to show your digital team how each component should be used, even if they weren’t a part of the original design process.
- Capturing User Testing. Some of our components, like menus, are heavily user-tested to ensure that we’re creating intuitive interfaces. By building the components with the tested content in place, we’re capturing that research and ensuring it goes forward in the design.
- Identifying gaps. If you’ve got a piece of content or functionality that you think needs a new component, you can check your assumptions against the Style Guide. Does the content you’re working with actually fit within an existing pattern, or is it really new? If it is, add it to the project backlog!
The most important takeaway here is that design systems let your web team scale. Through the use of design systems, your digital team can generate gorgeous, consistent and branded pages as new needs arise.
But don’t take our word for it! Tauffyt Aguilar, the Executive Director of Digital Solutions for Miller School of Medicine and UHealth, describes the impact of their new design system:
“One of the major improvements is Marketing’s ability to maintain and grow their site moving forward. Previously each page was designed and developed individually. The ability to create or edit pages using various elements and components of the Design System is a significant improvement in the turnaround time and efficiency for the Marketing department.”
My favorite example of a new page constructed with the UHealth design system is this gorgeous interface for the Sports Medicine Institute.
The Sports Medicine audience has unique needs and interests: they are professional and amateur athletes who need to get back in the game. The UHealth team used basic components plus an attention-grabbing image to create this interface for finding experts by issue.
And ultimately, that’s Palantir’s goal: your digital team should have the tools to create gorgeous, effective websites.Content Strategy Design Industries Healthcare
As you may know, Drupal 6 has reached End-of-Life (EOL) which means the Drupal Security Team is no longer doing Security Advisories or working on security patches for Drupal 6 core or contrib modules - but the Drupal 6 LTS vendors are and we're one of them!
Today, there is a Critical security release for the Advanced Forum 6.x-2.x module to fix an Cross Site Scripting (XSS) vulnerability.
Advanced Forum builds on and enhances Drupal's core forum module.
The module doesn't sufficiently sanitise user input in specific circumstances relating to the module's default functionality. It is not possible to disable the vulnerable functionality.
This vulnerability is mitigated by the fact that an attacker must have a role with permission to create forum content.
See the security advisory for Drupal 7 for more information.
Note: This only affects Advanced Forum 6.x-2.x -- not 6.x-1.x.
If you have a Drupal 6 site using the Advanced Forum 6.x-2.x module, we recommend you update immediately! We have already deployed the patch for all of our Drupal 6 Long-Term Support clients. :-)
If you'd like all your Drupal 6 modules to receive security updates and have the fixes deployed the same day they're released, please check out our D6LTS plans.
Note: if you use the myDropWizard module (totally free!), you'll be alerted to these and any future security updates, and will be able to use drush to install them (even though they won't necessarily have a release on Drupal.org).
This module enables the compatibility with WebPayPlus payment platform.
Streamlining the content creation and approval processes is necessary on many websites. Editorial workflows in Drupal 8 are easy to create and manage. This is achieved by the Content Moderation and Workflows modules.
These modules are Drupal 8’s innovation — they have appeared in the core and reached stability during the time from Drupal 8.2 to Drupal 8.5. So welcome on a tour of creating and managing editorial workflows with them.Read more
Drupal 9 is coming — its arrival is planned for June 2020. So while the world continues enjoying Drupal 8’s benefits, it’s also time to start getting ready for Drupal 9. What does it mean and how to prepare? We are discussing this in our blog post.
This module allows you to change the image data source attribute to "data-lazy" or "data-src" for some markup purposes or other functionality requirements.
Note: Image may not display if you change the source attribute to "data-lazy" or "data-src". This will just provide an image markup with the data source that you've selected on the settings.
How to Set, Get and Invalidate the caches per user in Drupal 7, this blog article will explain a brief of how to do such implementation on Drupal using the default drupal cache functions.heykarthikwithu Wednesday, 26 June 2019 - 17:35:20 IST
This past week I was at Origins and doing my best to play all the RPGs I could. Mostly I ran games, meaning it was my job to get the game started. That means from sitting down at the table, getting characters made, and then getting the story going. I did this for a number of games, Hydro Hackers, The Warren, Swords Without Master, and For The Queen. Along the way, I started to notice how important that effort is in order to get a good game, and just how long the process can take. That is what I want to talk about today, something a friend called, Time To Game (TTG).
Credit to Scott R. for teaching me the term TTG.Time To Game
Time to game is the time it takes from the time you start to play until you are playing the scenario that you have provided.
This concept is more important for one-shots and convention games, where you have a limited amount of time to play the game, and you have to get the game set up and the scenario started. In ongoing campaigns, this is not an issue because you have made your characters awhile ago and just bringing them out from game to game.
There are a number of activities that get encompassed into this TTG phase of play. While not exhaustive, here are the most common high-level activities:Introduce Setting
Depending on how common your game is you may have to explain very little or a lot of the setting to the players sitting down. If you are running something like Star Wars: Age of Rebellion your setting description can likely be pretty minimal, condensed down to something like we are playing just after Episode 4 and we are on Dantooine. But if you are running something less familiar like Hydro Hacker Operatives then you need to have a description of the setting so that players have an idea about what the game is about.
So games or settings that are popular require less explanation and games that are not as popular require more.Character Generation/Selection
Depending on your game you will either have to make characters up, select pre-gens, or some combination, with the goal that before you are done, everyone has a character ready for play. Many indie games encourage you to make characters at the table, and in Powered by the Apocalypse games that is pretty much the norm, with Playbooks designed to facilitate that process. Other games, that have more in-depth character creation processes (including those that require software assistance) are better to just have pre-gens to pass out.
If you are creating characters at the table this is often more time consuming than people picking out pre-gens.Teach Important Rules
Similar to setting the better known the game, the fewer rules need to be taught up front. In general, you should only be covering the most important rules before the game starts, and then introducing other rules once play has begun. If you do have to teach rules before play starts, then the focus should be on the core mechanic of the game.
For a game of Dungeon World very little needs to be explained up front, other than how a move works. In Hydro Hacker Operatives there are some special rules about Hydration and Sweat that need to be reviewed that are outside of what common PbtA games have. In something like SW: Age of Empire it would be good to review how the dice work for task resolution.
This will also be impacted by how experienced everyone at the table is. A table of people who have never played the system before requiring more explanation than a table of veterans.Safety
Finally, there needs to be an introduction of safety tools (don’t comment here if you object to safety tools…find my past articles about them and comment there). Playing convention games with a safety tool is a good idea.
Different games need different safety tools. A rollicking game of Action Movie World may only need an X-Card to keep it from getting out of hand. While a game of Turning Point (coming soon) has three different tools embedded into the game that requires an introduction.
While the familiarity of safety tools can help speed this up, its always good to take a moment and make sure everyone is on the same page, before getting started.That Adds Up
So when you look at those general categories, these things can add up. So I know that for Hydro Hacker Operatives that it takes nearly an hour to go through all of that, with Character Generation being the longest part. In a four-hour game that is a quarter of the time is TTG, leaving three hours to run the game and conclude it before your time is up.Tips for shorter TTG If we cut things too deeply we run the risk of starting the game with players who are not ready to play, and we will spend a portion of the game time getting them up to speed. Share1Tweet1Reddit1Email
So how can we improve on that? There are for sure efficiencies that we can find and we are going to look at those in a minute, but we also have to remember that there is a point of diminishing returns. If we cut things too deeply we run the risk of starting the game with players who are not ready to play, and we will spend a portion of the game time getting them up to speed.
So there is a sweet spot where we spend some time getting everyone ready to game that is not too long and leaves them prepared enough to play. Then during the game we can fill in the additional setting and rules.
So here are some ideas for how we can go about doing that for each of the sections.Introduce Setting
Here we want to reduce the time talking to the players while they sit and listen, as much as possible. The best way to do that is to have handouts and other aids that we can give the players to look at as we are getting ready to play and while the game is going on. Remember the adage, a picture is worth a thousand words, and at least a few minutes of explanation at the table.
When we do have to introduce the setting verbally, avoid lengthy histories. In most cases, they are not relevant to getting the game going. For instance, in every scenario of Hydro Hacker Operatives I have written, you do not need to know the history of how the water table and with it the US government collapsed. I need only say that it happened.Character Generation/Selection
When possible if you can use pre-gens. Use them. The act of selecting a pre-gen is always faster than making them at the table.
If your game encourages creating characters at the table, then figure out the order to make them, and directly lead the group in making them. Gently prod players along. This is one area where side chatter can creep up, so keep people focused and moving from one section to the next.Teach Important Rules
The first thing to do is to ascertain the experience level at the table, and then teach to the least experienced. So if everyone at your table has experience in your system, then you can just do a quick check to see if anyone has questions or you can check to see if they know the rules you think are important.
But if one person at the table has never played before, or has only played a few times, then you need to teach some rules to them, and the experienced players need to chill while that happens.
As for teaching rules before the game starts, as I said above, stick with core mechanics: skill checks, combat rolls, etc. As a player, I like to know the core mechanics of a new game before I start playing so that I have some idea of how the things on my character sheet and the dice I need work. It helps me understand if my character is good at something or not, which will help me decide what actions I take during the game.
I do not advocate not teaching any rules upfront and waiting for play for the reason I mentioned above. If someone does not know how their character works they will make choices that may be dangerous or foolish only to regret them once they pick up the dice.
So figure out for the game you are playing the minimal rules you need to teach and write them down so that if you need to teach them, you do not wander off script.Safety
This starts with knowing what tools you need for the game you are running. My minimum is an X-card for any game, but then for other games, I may pull in other tools.
You should also be fully familiar with how to explain and use any safety tool you use in the game or comes with the game. I find that many gamers are still getting familiar with safety tools beyond the X-cards, and sometimes they don’t know how the X-card works. So make sure you have a very smooth explanation that is clear on how to use the took and what the tool does in terms of safety. Know things like an X-card revokes consent while Lines & Veils establish boundaries.Put it to practice
If you frequently run convention games or at game days, look at your TTG and see if it is acceptable and perhaps set a goal to reduce it by 10% to 25%. Then review what you are presenting upfront compared to what is happening at the table, and see if there are things you can remove.
I highly recommend that you outline your pre-game activities, so that you stick to a script and do not ramble or wander into other topics. Put this at the front of your prep.
Then try it out see what works and does not work and keep tweaking between events.Smooth and Fast
Time to Game is an important part of running convention and one-shot games. The longer it takes to get the game going, the less time you have to play your scenario. By being mindful and purposeful we can find ways to decrease the Time to Game while at the same time making sure that all players are prepared to play when the scenario starts.
What are the things that hang you up when you are introducing a game? What tips do you have for reducing the TTG for a game? What games hit the table faster/smoother than others?
- Adds participant id's to index in order filter messages for users
- Adds participant display names to index to search messages
- Group results per message thread
- Add metadata like 'trashed' etc to index
The Matomo Drupal Reports module provides us the reports under
reports menu( admin/reports/matomo_reports ).
The Drupal 8 Pager module provides simple pager navigation in a block to ease up the navigation between nodes of the same content type or between nodes with a common taxonomy tag.
This tutorial will explain the usage of this module with an example. Let’s start!
The popup link formatter module allows links to be open in a modal or dialog popup.Configuration
The module has no menu or modifiable settings. The configuration is done on a field by field
basis on the Manage display page by selecting the *Popup link* formatter.
This module aids in cleaning up a database (datawash and more).
You might want it when copying a production database to a development environment, where you might want API keys to be replaced or removed, passwords and other details removed and other settings modified.
The module provides a simple, straightforward plugin type that can be used by other modules to provide new cleaners. Out of the box, it comes with a number of plugins that let you clear/modify site data, API keys for the various Google related moduls (GA, GTM, Recaptcha) and more.