Why We're Standing Up for Net Neutrality

Posted by Palantir - 10 Jul 2017 at 16:52 UTC
Why We're Standing Up for Net Neutrality brandt Mon, 07/10/2017 - 11:52 George DeMet Jul 12, 2017net neutrality header

Join us for a day of action urging the FCC and Congress to preserve Title II net neutrality protections. 

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Most people who use the internet take for granted the ability to easily access content and services from a variety of different sources. We watch movies and TV shows on Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, and countless other streaming video services. We listen to music on Spotify, Apple Music, Pandora, and Tidal. We communicate with others using social media and messaging apps like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, WhatsApp, and Snapchat. We get our news and analysis from hundreds of sites representing the full spectrum of political thought in the United States and beyond.

Being able to quickly and easily publish or consume content from nearly anywhere in the world is not just one of the key reasons for the rapid growth of the internet, but also one of its founding principles.

Today, however, that principle is under threat. The United States Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is considering rolling back net neutrality protections that ensure equal access to online content for broadband internet users. Without net neutrality, internet service providers would be able to offer preferred access to some content providers, and withhold it from others.

Some of these providers also own their media companies and have a business interest in making it easier for people to view and purchase their content than someone else’s. Because most people in the United States don’t have many options when it comes to broadband internet access, losing net neutrality protections means that many consumers may no longer be able to freely choose the online services that best meet their needs.

Think about it this way: imagine a world in which Cuisinart not only made great kitchen appliances, but they also owned your local electric company. And imagine that electric company decided that they were going to charge you more for the electricity used to power any appliances that you had that were made by KitchenAid or any other other non-Cuisinart brand. You would probably argue that that’s absurd, because there’s nothing inherently different about the electricity that’s used to power a KitchenAid toaster versus one made by Cuisinart.

But that’s precisely what the broadband internet service providers opposed to net neutrality want to be able to do: prioritize traffic from their preferred content providers, making it more difficult or costly to access others. In reality, there’s no inherent difference in the traffic that comes from one site versus another; they’re all ones and zeros. Whether you choose to watch a movie on Netflix, Hulu, or FilmStruck shouldn’t be the business of your internet service provider any more than the brand of toaster you use to toast bread in the morning should be the business of your electric utility.

At Palantir, we believe that helping others discover, create, and share knowledge can help strengthen humanity. Many of the websites and online experiences that we architect, design, and build convey information that enable people to make more informed choices and in some cases, even help save lives. It’s important to us that our work is accessible to everyone regardless of what internet service provider they’re using.

That’s why we’re proud to join forces with hundreds of other sites around the web this July 12th for a day of action urging the FCC and Congress to preserve Title II net neutrality protections. You can find out more and make your voice heard at www.battleforthenet.com. We hope you’ll stand alongside us to help keep the web a free and open place.

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Making a Custom, Acquia-Hosted Site Affordable for Higher Ed

Posted by Acquia Developer Center Blog - 10 Jul 2017 at 15:24 UTC
lectronimo

With budget cuts and rising expectations, higher education websites have become a challenging balancing act of function and affordability. Late in 2016, we set out to build a website solution that would leverage a CMS to create a repeatable, flexible website solution that meets current expectations in higher ed clients, and leaves room for them to make it their own -- without requiring custom development for each client. We also wanted to ensure that it could be deployed for under $50,000; put the work of managing and maintaining the site into the hands of the content team; and have a low-recurring cost to the client.

Tags: acquia drupal planet

Drupal vs Sitecore, Part 1 of 2

Posted by Mediacurrent - 10 Jul 2017 at 15:17 UTC
Drupal vs Sitecore, Part 1 of 2

Annually, the information technology research firm Gartner publishes its magic quadrant report comparing web content management systems (CMS) at the enterprise level. At this writing, the most recent report places Acquia/Drupal, Adobe Experience Manager (AEM), and Sitecore as the three leaders in the field, based on both their completeness of vision and their ability to execute on organizational requirements.

Setting up server for Drupal with Nginx and Php-fpm under Debian

Posted by Roman Agabekov - 10 Jul 2017 at 13:24 UTC
Setting up server for Drupal with Nginx and Php-fpm under Debian Submitted by admin on Mon, 07/10/2017 - 13:24

In the previous article Setting up Nginx on a Debian server as front-end for Apache of the series of articles for Drupal sysadmins we explained Nginx configs that allow it working through static queries while Apache serves dynamic content. This article offers a look at an alternative setup, where Php-fpm takes the place of Apache. The operating principle for our web server will be as follows:

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Entity Reference Roundup

Posted by Xeno Media - 10 Jul 2017 at 09:00 UTC

Drupal's Entity reference fields are the magic sauce that allows site builders and developers to relate different types of content. Because the fields allows builders and administrators to reference different types of content (entities), it facilitates the building of complex data models and site architectures.

Like anything in Drupal, the community takes the core tools and builds additional functionality on top. Here is a slew of modules that extend or complement the Drupal 8 core reference field so you can do even more!

Entity Reference Revisions

This module is from the team that brought you the Paragraphs module. Adds an Entity Reference field type that has revision support. It's based on the core Entity Reference module but allows you to reference a specific revision of an entity.

Use case:

An entity is actually part of a parent entity (with an embedded entity form). When the parent entity is updated, the referenced entity is also updated, thus the previous revision of the parent entity should still be pointing to the previous version of the entity in order to fully support revision diff and rollback.

Entity Reference Override

An entity reference field paired with a text field. You can use this module to

  • Override the title if you are linking to the referenced entity.
  • Add an extra CSS class to the referenced entity.
  • Override the default display mode for the field on an entity-by-entity basis.

Use case:

Aggregate lists of referenced entities like related articles, but you want to override the name or appearance of individual items.

Entity references with text

Allows you to provide custom text along with one or more entity references.

Use case:

  • Add a referenced author, the word "and ”, and then another referenced author.
  • On another node, Add a referenced author, the words "with support from ”, and then another referenced author.
  • On another node, Add a referenced author, a comma ", ”, another referenced author, the word "and ”, and then another referenced author.
Entity Reference Display

This module adds a field type that allows you to select the display mode for entity reference fields. This allows an editor to select from different display modes such as Teaser, Full, or any you add.

It also includes a Selected display mode field formatter which renders the referenced entities with the selected display mode.

Use case:

Allowing the administrator to change the display of related articles from a grid display mode to a list display mode.

Entity Reference Views Select

This module allows you to change your Entity reference fields to be displayed as a select list, or checkboxes/radio buttons in administrative forms. It does this by allowing you to use Views as the reference method, where you can format the results giving the administrator a much better experience.

Use case:

Showing an icon or thumbnail in a selectable list when referencing a list, or a referenced image.

Entity Reference Tab / Accordion Formatter

This cool little module works on both Entity Reference and Entity Reference Revisions fields and provides a field formatter for displaying the referenced entity in jQuery Tabs or jQuery Accordion.

Use case:

Returning multivalue Paragraphs items in tabs or accordion format.

Views Entity Reference Filter

Provides a new admin friendly Views filter for configuring entity reference fields. It allows users to select the labels of the entities they want to filter on rather than manually entering the IDs.

Use case:

Providing a better admin experience.

Better Entity Reference Formatter

This module extends Drupal's default field formatter for entity reference fields in order to make it more flexible by introducing a new field formatter plugin. Along side the view mode option, you can also define the number of entities to return, or a specific entity, like the first, last, or offset them.

Use case:

Showing the first related product referenced from another product.

Entity Reference Validators

The plural in its name suggests more is coming, but currently this module adds a single validator for Entity Reference fields, the Circular reference validator. This prevents you from using the entity reference field to reference itself.

Use case:

Preventing an entity reference field on node 1 from linking to node 1.

Entity Reference Integrity

This interesting sounding module lists other entities that reference your entity.

It also includes a sub-module Entity Reference Integrity Enforce which will attempt to protect entities that are referenced by other entities, and not allowing its deletion.

Use case:

Protect the integrity of the site by protecting referenced content.

Entity Reference Quantity

This module extends the default entity reference field that includes a "Quantity" value in the field definition so you don't have to build a separate entity just to store two distinct fields.

It also includes autocomplete and dropdown field widgets that allow you to select which entity and add the quantity value.

Use case:

I'll use the example from this great blog on the module: A real world example might be a deck builder for a trading card game like Magic: The Gathering or the DragonBall Z TCG. We want to reference a card from a deck entity and put in the quantity at the same time.

Entity Reference Formatter

This module creates a generic field formatter for referenced entities which allows you to select the formatter based on the referenced entity in the display settings form.

Use case:

When referencing custom entities that don't have view-modes of their own, you would not need to write your own custom formatters

Permissions by field

This module extends the Entity Reference field that adds permissions along with the referenced entity. By adding this field, you can manage access to the entities referenced by this field and select permission level (none, view, update, delete).

Use case:

A lighter version of Organic Groups, or the Group modules.

Views Reference Field

In Drupal 8, Views are now entities! Drupal core's Entity Reference field is able to reference Views, however you can't actually reference the Views displays. This module extends core's entity reference module to add the display ID so that a View can be rendered in a field formatter.

Use case:

Adding a Views reference field to a Paragraphs bundle so you can have a view in and around other paragraph bundles. We implemented this technique in the Bootstrap Paragraphs module.

Dynamic Entity Reference

So cool! This awesome module adds the functionality to let you reference more than one entity type. It create a single field in which you can reference Users, Blocks, Nodes, Contact Forms, Taxonomy Terms, etc!

Use case:

Creating a "related” field, and allowing your administrators to select anything they want.

Entity Reference Drag & Drop

This module creates a Drag & Drop widget for the standard Entity reference fields. It provides you with a list of available entities on the left, and you can select them by dragging and dropping them to the list on the right.

Use case:

Providing a better admin experience.

Phew! Thanks for making it to the end! Do you have a favorite Entity Reference module that we missed? Let us know on Twitter at @xenophiles and @thejimbirch

Happy Drupaling!

Acknowledgements

Thanks to Mike Acklin for his help with this article, and to all the awesome module maintainers and contributors!

Photo by Bethany Legg on Unsplash

On simplicity & maintainability: CDN module for Drupal 8

Posted by Wim Leers - 9 Jul 2017 at 18:02 UTC

The first release of the CDN module for Drupal was 9.5 years ago yesterday: cdn 5.x-1.0-beta1 was released on January 8, 2008!

Excitement

On January 27, 2008, the first RC followed, with boatloads of new features. Over the years, it was ported to Drupal 61, 7 and 8 and gained more features (I effectively added every single feature that was requested — I loved empowering the site builder). I did the same with my Hierarchical Select module.

I was a Computer Science student for the first half of those 9.5 years, and it was super exciting to see people actually use my code on hundreds, thousands and even tens of thousands of sites! In stark contrast with the assignments at university, where the results were graded, then discarded.

Frustration

Unfortunately this approach resulted in feature-rich modules, with complex UIs to configure them, and many, many bug reports and support requests, because they were so brittle and confusing. Rather than making the 80% case simple, I supported 99% of needed features, and made things confusing and complex for 100% of the users.


 'Details' tab Main CDN module configuration UI in Drupal 7.


Learning

In my job in Acquia’s Office of the CTO, my job is effectively “make Drupal better & faster”.

In 2012–2013, it was improving the authoring experience by adding in-place editing and tightly integrating CKEditor. Then it shifted in 2014 and 2015 to “make Drupal 8 shippable”, first by working on the cache system, then on the render pipeline and finally on the intersection of both: Dynamic Page Cache and BigPipe. After Drupal 8 shipped at the end of 2015, the next thing became “improve Drupal 8’s REST APIs”, which grew into the API-First Initiative.

All this time (5 years already!), I’ve been helping to build Drupal itself (the system, the APIs, the infrastructure, the overarching architecture), and have seen the long-term consequences from both up close and afar: the concepts required to understand how it all works, the APIs to extend, override and plug in to. In that half decade, I’ve often cursed past commits, including my own!

That’s what led to:

  • my insistence that the dynamic_page_cache and big_pipe modules in Drupal 8 core do not have a UI, nor any configuration, and rely entirely on existing APIs and metadata to do their thing (with only a handful of bug reports in >18 months!)
  • my “Backwards Compatibility: Burden & Benefit” talk a few months ago
  • and of course this rewrite of the CDN module
CDN module in Drupal 8: radically simpler

I started porting the CDN module to Drupal 8 in March 2016 — a few months after the release of Drupal 8. It is much simpler to use (just look at the UI). It has less overhead (the UI is in a separate module, the altering of file URLs has far simpler logic). It has lower technical complexity (File Conveyor support was dropped, it no longer needs to detect HTTP vs HTTPS: it always uses protocol-relative URLs, less unnecessary configurability, the farfuture functionality no longer tries to generate file and no longer has extremely detailed configurability).

In other words: the CDN module in Drupal 8 is much simpler. And has much better test coverage too. (You can see this in the tarball size too: it’s about half of the Drupal 7 version of the module, despite significantly more test coverage!)


CDN UI module version 3.0-rc2 on Drupal 8 CDN UI module in Drupal 8.


all the fundamentals
  • the ability to use simple CDN mappings, including conditional ones depending on file extensions, auto-balancing, and complex combinations of all of the above
  • preconnecting (and DNS prefetching for older browsers)
  • a simple UI to set it up — in fact, much simpler than before!
changed/improved
  1. the CDN module now always uses protocol-relative URLs, which means there’s no more need to distinguish between HTTP and HTTPS, which simplifies a lot
  2. the UI is now a separate module
  3. the UI is optional: for power users there is a sensible configuration structure with strict config schema validation
  4. complete unit test coverage of the heart of the CDN module, thanks to D8’s improved architecture
  5. preconnecting (and DNS prefetching) using headers rather than tags in , which allows a much simpler/cleaner Symfony response subscriber
  6. tours instead of advanced help, which very often was ignored
  7. there is nothing to configure for the SEO (duplicate content prevention) feature anymore
  8. nor is there anything to configure for the Forever cacheable files feature anymore (named Far Future expiration in Drupal 7), and it’s a lot more robust
removed
  1. File Conveyor support
  2. separate HTTPS mapping (also mentioned above)
  3. all the exceptions (blacklist, whitelist, based on Drupal path, file path…) — all of them are a maintenance/debugging/cacheability nightmare
  4. configurability of SEO feature
  5. configurability of unique file identifiers for the Forever cacheable files feature
  6. testing mode

For very complex mappings, you must manipulate cdn.settings.yml — there’s inline documentation with examples there. Those who need the complex setups don’t mind reading three commented examples in a YAML file. This used to be configurable through the UI, but it also was possible to configure it “incorrectly”, resulting in broken sites — that’s no longer possible.

There’s comprehensive test coverage for everything in the critical path, and basic integration test coverage. Together, they ensure peace of mind, and uncover bugs in the next minor Drupal 8 release: BC breaks are detected early and automatically.

The results after 8 months: contributed module maintainer bliss

The first stable release of the CDN module for Drupal 8 was published on December 2, 2016. Today, I released the first patch release: cdn 8.x-3.1. The change log is tiny: a PHP notice fixed, two minor automated testing infrastructure problems fixed, and two new minor features added.

We can now compare the Drupal 7 and 8 versions of the CDN module:

In other words: maintaining this contributed module now requires pretty much zero effort!

Conclusion

For your own Drupal 8 modules, no matter if they’re contributed or custom, I recommend a few key rules:

  • Selective feature set.
  • Comprehensive unit test coverage for critical code paths (UnitTestCase)2 + basic integration test coverage (BrowserTestBase) maximizes confidence while minimizing time spent.
  • Don’t provide/build APIs (that includes hooks) unless you see a strong use case for it. Prefer coarse over granular APIs unless you’re absolutely certain.
  • Avoid configurability if possible. Otherwise, use config schemas to your advantage, provide a simple UI for the 80% use case. Leave the rest to contrib/custom modules.

This is more empowering for the Drupal site builder persona, because they can’t shoot themselves in the foot anymore. It’s no longer necessary to learn the complex edge cases in each contributed module’s domain, because they’re no longer exposed in the UI. In other words: domain complexities no longer leak into the UI.

At the same time, it hugely decreases the risk of burnout in module maintainers!

And of course: use the CDN module, it’s rock solid! :)

Related reading

Finally, read Amitai Burstein’s “OG8 Development Mindset”! He makes very similar observations, albeit about a much bigger contributed module (Organic Groups). Some of my favorite quotes:

  1. About edge cases & complexity:
Edge cases are no longer my concern. I mean, I’m making sure that edge cases can be done and the API will cater to it, but I won’t go too far and implement them. […] we’ve somewhat reduced the flexibility in order to reduce the complexity; but while doing so, made sure edge cases can still hook into the process.


2. About tests:

I think there is another hidden merit in tests. By taking the time to carefully go over your own code - and using it - you give yourself some pause to think about the necessity of your recently added code. Do you really need it? If you are not afraid of writing code and then throwing it out the window, and you are true to yourself, you can create a better, less complex, and polished module.


3. About feature set & UI:

One of the mistakes that I feel made in OG7 was exposing a lot of the advanced functionality in the UI. […] But these are all advanced use cases. When thinking about how to port them to OG8, I think found the perfect solution: we did’t port it.


  1. I also did my bachelor thesis about Drupal + CDN integration, which led to the Drupal 6 version of the module. ↩︎

  2. Unit tests in Drupal 8 are wonderful, they’re nigh impossible in Drupal 7. They finish running in seconds. ↩︎

Drupal Picnic BsAs Argentina

Posted by Nacho Digital - 9 Jul 2017 at 15:12 UTC
With Buenos Aires Argentina user group we are organizing a meeting on Sat 22nd and Mon 24th of July

It's been a long time since our last camp was done on BsAs (2009) and thanks to the inspiration of Drupal Camp Chile we've been planning doing another for a while.

We finally put a day thanks to a visit from Enzo. We are calling it a "PicNic" and not a camp due to the extend it'll have, it will be two days:

  • On Saturday 22nd we'll have an sprint with mentoring
  • On Monday 24th there will be technical conferences

You can find more details on our event page.

JQuery.cookie in Drupal 7

Posted by TimOnWeb.com - 8 Jul 2017 at 00:54 UTC

A quick tip for all Drupalistas outhere: if you want to use jQuery.cookie in your project, you actually don't have to download and install the library. jQuery.cookie is a part of Drupal 7 and can be included as easy as typing: 

  1. drupal_add_library('system', 'jquery.cookie');

Wondering to ...

Read now

Overriding Admin Views in Drupal 7

Posted by Third & Grove - 7 Jul 2017 at 14:00 UTC
Overriding Admin Views in Drupal 7 josh Fri, 07/07/2017 - 10:00

Friday 5: 5 Reasons to Attend a Drupal Camp

Posted by Mediacurrent - 7 Jul 2017 at 12:47 UTC
Mediacurrent Friday 5 Logo

Happy Friday everyone, and a happy 4th of July weekend. This week we have April Sides on the program to talk about how much fun Drupal Camps are and what you will take away from them. 

 

Why we made our platform product open-source

Posted by Comic Relief Technology Blog - 7 Jul 2017 at 06:35 UTC
Drupal 8 at Comic Relief Over the last year a key objective for the Technology team at Comic Relief has… Read More

DrupalCamp Bristol 2017

Posted by Erik Erskine - 6 Jul 2017 at 23:00 UTC

Drupal has a thriving community in Bristol and the south-west, and they've put on some excellent events over the last few years. Last weekend they had their third DrupalCamp Bristol, and I was fortunate to be able to attend and speak.

Read more

DrupalCon Baltimore 2017 - SEO, i18n, and i18n SEO

Posted by Mediacurrent - 6 Jul 2017 at 18:09 UTC
DrupalCon SEO BOF Recap

DrupalCon Baltimore 2017 was, without a doubt, a great event. The first DrupalCon to hit the US East Coast since DrupalCon DC in 2009 so this (ex-) New Englander was happy to have just a day's drive to get there.

Upgrading MailChimp eCommerce and an Introduction to Drupal 8's Event System

Posted by ThinkShout - 6 Jul 2017 at 16:00 UTC

If you’ve ever built a Drupal 7 module, then you’ll be familiar with hooks: functions that allow modules to react to things happening in other modules. The hook system is functionally fine but, with so many hooks to implement, .module files often become bloated and difficult to manage.

Drupal 8’s event system does a lot to reduce the clutter of hooks. Now, instead of using a hook, you can create an event subscriber that will execute your code every time a module triggers an event. This is similar to the hook system only in the effect; the execution is very different.

Porting our popular MailChimp eCommerce module to Drupal 8 gave me the perfect opportunity learn about the event system. I use the word “opportunity” to disguise the fact that I was forced to learn how events work because it was impossible to port the module without doing so.

The MailChimp eCommerce module depends on the Commerce module, naturally, and in Drupal 8, the Commerce module makes heavy use of events.

First, let’s look at an event. I’m using an example ripped straight from Commerce.

The Commerce submodule, Commerce Cart, contains a class named CartEntityAddEvent. You can find it here.

The class itself is simple; it’s designed to store a few values - the cart, the item being added to the cart, and the quantity of that item. The class also has a few getter functions for convenience.

Most importantly, this class represents an event that’s triggered every time a user adds an item to their shopping cart. This is done using just two lines of code:

$event = new CartEntityAddEvent($cart, $purchased_entity, $quantity, $saved_order_item);
$this->eventDispatcher->dispatch(CartEvents::CART_ENTITY_ADD, $event);

The event class is created with all the relevant values, then “dispatched” to any event subscribers configured to pay attention to it. When dispatched, the event is identified by a constant - CartEvents::CART_ENTITY_ADD. This constant is used by event subscribers, which we’ll take a look at now.

This is a cut-down version of an event subscriber used by our world famous MailChimp eCommerce module.

/**
 * Event Subscriber for Commerce Carts.
 */
class CartEventSubscriber implements EventSubscriberInterface {

  /**
   * The Cart Handler.
   *
   * @var \Drupal\mailchimp_ecommerce\CartHandler
   */
  private $cart_handler;

  /**
   * The Order Handler.
   *
   * @var \Drupal\mailchimp_ecommerce\OrderHandler
   */
  private $order_handler;

  /**
   * CartEventSubscriber constructor.
   *
   * @param \Drupal\mailchimp_ecommerce\CartHandler $cart_handler
   *   The Cart Handler.
   * @param \Drupal\mailchimp_ecommerce\OrderHandler $order_handler
   *   The Order Handler.
   */
  public function __construct(CartHandler $cart_handler, OrderHandler $order_handler) {
    $this->cart_handler = $cart_handler;
    $this->order_handler = $order_handler;
  }

  /**
   * Respond to event fired after adding a cart item.
   */
  public function cartAdd(CartEntityAddEvent $event) {
    /** @var \Drupal\commerce_order\Entity\Order $order */
    $order = $event->getCart();

    /** @var \Drupal\commerce_order\Entity\OrderItem $order_item */
    $order_item = $event->getOrderItem();

    $product = $this->order_handler->buildProduct($order_item);

    $this->cart_handler->addCartLine($order->id(), $order_item->id(), $product);
  }

  /**
   * {@inheritdoc}
   */
  public static function getSubscribedEvents() {
    $events[CartEvents::CART_ENTITY_ADD][] = ['cartAdd'];

    return $events;
  }

}

Here’s the complete version, if you’re interested.

So what does it do, exactly?

Let’s start with the getSubscribedEvents() function. This is where we define which events we want to subscribe to, and assign each event a processing function. Here we are subscribing to just one event, the “cart entity add” event, and assigning the cartAdd() function as a processor.

Note that the cartAdd() function takes one argument, an instance of the CartEntityAddEvent class. That’s the same class we looked at earlier - the event class defined in the Commerce Cart module. This is where our module reacts to that event being triggered.

The cartAdd() function itself extracts the order and item information from the event and uses an instance of the CartHandler class, provided by the MailChimp eCommerce module, to send updated cart information to MailChimp’s API.

One final thing:

Event subscribers won’t work unless they are defined as a service. Services are defined in a module’s *.services.yml file, which you can learn more about here.

The service definition for the CartEventSubscriber looks like this:

mailchimp_ecommerce_commerce.cart_event_subscriber:
    class: '\Drupal\mailchimp_ecommerce_commerce\EventSubscriber\CartEventSubscriber'
    arguments: ['@mailchimp_ecommerce.cart_handler', '@mailchimp_ecommerce.order_handler']
    tags:
      - { name: event_subscriber }

We identify the class using its namespace, inject the “cart_handler” and “order_handler” services, then, finally, tag the service as an “event_subscriber”. Check out the full file here. Just for completeness, the two injected services are defined in here.

I’m a big fan of how Drupal 8 has shifted towards a more object-oriented way of doing things. It’s more organized, promotes consistency between modules, and, best of all, finally signals an end to massive .module files.

Drupal 8: Lessons Learned So Far

Posted by Appnovation Technologies - 6 Jul 2017 at 15:12 UTC
Drupal 8: Lessons Learned So Far It's crazy to think that, after the release of Drupal 8 in November 2015, development of the 5th iteration (8.5.x) will be starting in August. The new semantic versioning and 6 month release cycle looks to be working wonders for Drupal Core, keeping it fresh, up to date, and current. Are all these releases, however, making it hard for agencies such...

Using Configuration Split to have dev-only configuration in Drupal 8

Posted by Advomatic - 6 Jul 2017 at 15:07 UTC

The problem If you are using Drupal’s Configuration Management subsystem to deploy configuration out to the production environment, you’ll run into a problem where the configuration .yml files contain your development settings.  To avoid this you’ll need to use the Configuration Split module.  I couldn’t find any good documentation for this, so I had to... Read more »

The post Using Configuration Split to have dev-only configuration in Drupal 8 appeared first on Advomatic.

Drupal vs. WordPress for Higher Education Websites

Posted by Zivtech - 6 Jul 2017 at 14:32 UTC

You’re about to begin a huge overhaul of your higher education website and one of the first steps is choosing a content management system. It’s likely that Drupal and WordPress have come up in your research, and you may be trying to decide between the two.

Drupal and WordPress are often compared to one another because they’re both open source content management systems. Both are capable of creating clean, responsive websites that are easy to manage for content editors. The functionality of both can be extended using third party code. And the code for both is openly available for anyone to use, change, and distribute, meaning there are no licensing fees like those required by closed source options. 

There are a significant number of higher education websites on Drupal; Harvard, Brown, and Oxford University all use the CMS, to name a few. According to Drupal.org, 71% of the top 100 universities use Drupal. And there’s some sound reasoning behind that.

Both WordPress and Drupal have strengths and are well suited for a diverse range of projects. WordPress was primarily built for standalone websites or blogs with minimal variation in content types. Drupal was built for more complex, feature rich websites that require significant interconnectivity between pages or site sections, like those required by higher education. 

Here are some factors to consider when choosing between the two content management systems. 

Read more

The 13 mythical (or not) defects of Drupal 8

Posted by Flocon de toile | Freelance Drupal - 6 Jul 2017 at 10:00 UTC
Having had the opportunity to read a recent comparative study between Drupal 8 and SPIP, I discovered a Drupal perception that is not mine. Far be it from me to want to compare Drupal and SPIP. Indeed, I know very badly SPIP, at least only as a basic user, and much less than Drupal, and so I will not venture on such a comparison. Also, I wanted to share these mythical, real or perceived defects of Drupal 8, which I recently discovered and which I think deserve a counterpoint.

Setup Multiple Drush version's on your machine, make Drupal maintenance easier

Posted by heykarthikwithu - 6 Jul 2017 at 08:36 UTC
Setup Multiple Drush version's on your machine, make Drupal maintenance easier

How to setup Multiple Drush's in your machine, to manage the drupal 6, drupal 7 and drupal 8 sites..

heykarthikwithu Thursday, 06 July 2017 - 14:06:12 - IST, Asia/Kolkata

Drupal 8 on Google Cloud with Kubernetes

Posted by Dropsolid - 6 Jul 2017 at 06:53 UTC
Kubernetes - visual 06 Jul Deploying Drupal 8 onto Google Cloud using Kubernetes Nick Veenhof

A month ago I received the honour to present at DrupalJam 2017. What a wonderful event! I had been invited to talk about deploying Drupal 8 onto kubernetes, which can be found as a hosted service in Google Cloud.


Our move to Google

Recently, we made the decision at Dropsolid to move from regular virtual machine instances in Gandi towards instances and services in Google Cloud, as we believe that the capabilities of such a cloud provider offer possibilities that are unprecedented. GC is not only offering affordable virtual machines (instances) but also affordable and competitive offerings regarding hosted MySQL. But that’s not all... Since we like our R&D environment and are looking for achieving greater and bigger goals, it is in our interest to see that Google is publishing new AI and data-analysis APIs at a pace that we don’t see anywhere else.


In practice

So... Back to the technicalities. I wanted to run an experiment on how I could run Drupal on an infrastructure that did not need any humans behind the wheel, nor any maintenance. I found this in the way of three components:

An overview of Kubernetes and the setup can be seen in the following video:

 One component that I found to be missing, was a shared filesystem between the two ‘Pods’ (Containers). Drupal relies on user files or images and these should be stored somewhere. We do not want to alter the behaviour of Drupal or get into the application itself, as that introduces risk. Not all the websites that we would like to host, are modifiable.

  • We could map the folder to an AWS S3 bucket or Google Cloud Storage bucket, but that would be too slow for our needs. What we actually wanted is a competitor of AWS EFS, but unfortunately Google Cloud did not have this available.
     
  • We can work our way around it by setting up a NFS server or Gluster server in kubernetes, but that drives us away from our initial goal - less maintenance, so we can focus on building awesome experiences, which is the Drupal application.

If you are interested how I did the setup of the NFS, the slides go into deep detail how to set up this NFS cluster. The code is also available at https://github.com/nickveenhof/drupal-docker-with-volume

I recorded a video how this deployment works. Caution, I did speed it up quite a bit.

visual - stacked cubesKey findings

Now, what is the key take-away from all this? That I moved the particular website back to regular hosting, eg a shared space with a human behind the wheels here at Dropsolid. The reason was that for a single site, the cost outweigh the benefits and even though it is claimed to be fault-tolerant, I had numerous occasions where my pod did not want to recover, since the ‘failed’ one refused to be deleted. This ate up precious CPU space - on a server that barely had enough CPU. This can be solved with throwing more money at it, but that was not the intent.

I also discovered that constraining a pod to a fixed amount of CPU is not very useful when sharing a single server between multiple Drupal sites. Websites can have variable load and for small to medium sites with little traffic it is hard to justify the cost of pre-allocating those resources. I am curious to explore and test the Vertical Pod Autoscaling once they are finished, as this could certainly help applications with burstable workloads.

Having said that, I did learn a lot about what the future could hold. Going towards a system like this gets us really close to the 12-factor app ideology and I am completely in favour of a future like that.

 

Comments, questions? I'm curious to find out your take on this. Let me know in the comments box below or reach out directly on Twitter via @Nick_vh

Make sure to check out my the slides from this presentation here: 
https://www.slideshare.net/nickvh/drupaljam-2017-deploying-drupal-8-onto-hosted-kubernetes-in-google-cloud

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