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Drupal In the News: Drupal Launches Newest Version of the CMS Already Powering Top Organizations Around The World

Wed, 2020-06-03 13:00

PORTLAND, Ore.  June 3, 2020—Drupal, the most powerful enterprise open source content management system, is launching the latest—and most comprehensive—upgrade to its popular software today.

Drupal 9 comes with even more of the cutting-edge features that Drupal developers and users love. One out of every 30 websites in the world including Lufthansa, the CDC National Prevention Information Network, the European Commission, Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders, NASA, GRAMMYs/Recording Academy and Stanford University trust Drupal as the platform for their ambitious digital experiences.

Drupal 9 - Continuous innovation in technology and user experience

The updated version delivers powerful new features and an enhanced user experience. These features empower Drupal’s vision for the next generation of the web and include:  

  • Dramatically easier tools— a new layout builder, WYSIWYG media management system and content workflow tools make Drupal much easier to use. It enables users to take advantage of Drupal's robust technical architecture more easily than ever before. 
  • Continuous innovation—powerful new features delivered continuously, keeping Drupal at the cutting edge of the web. 
  • Easiest upgrade in a decade—and Drupal’s commitment to easy upgrades in the future means never having to worry about a major replatforming to stay up to date. 

One of the key reasons Drupal has been successful is we have always made big, forward-looking changes,” says Dries Buytaert, founder and project lead of Drupal. “As a result, Drupal is one of very few CMS platforms that has stayed relevant for 20 years." 

One of Drupal’s key users says they depend on Drupal’s easy-to-use interface to keep their content up-to-date—even when their developers aren’t immediately available. 
 

In a case study about how the ACLU uses Drupal, the ACLU team says, "With Drupal's new capabilities to create and administer content, including robust media support ...[and] full layout control, without the aid of developers, ... [Drupal] empowered the ACLU to be more dynamic and responsive to external events." 
 

While this new version makes it easier for non-developers to contribute to dynamic web platforms, it also continues to advance the underlying technology at the forefront of digital experiences—enabling developers to build the next generation of the web.

"Drupal's API-first architecture puts it years ahead of competitors as a decoupled or headless framework,” says Tim Lehnen, chief technology officer for the Drupal Association. “Drupal can serve as the content hub for rich experiences built with the latest technologies, including modern javascript frameworks like React, Angular, or Vue, or even with emerging channels like digital assistants and AR/VR applications." 
 

Buytaert says a key focus was making the process of upgrading as easy as possible for its users. 

"Drupal's innovation has only accelerated since the release of Drupal 8 four years ago,” says Buytaert. “Historically, major upgrades have been costly. With Drupal 9 we wanted to innovate quickly and provide an easy upgrade path from Drupal 8. We did exactly that! The upgrade from Drupal 8 to Drupal 9 is the easiest major upgrade in the last 10-plus years."

Powered by a global community

Drupal is a true open source project, leveraging the expertise of tens of thousands of developers around the world. Drupal has earned a reputation for security, performance, accessibility and scalability that is unparalleled in the CMS ecosystem. Drupal's core strength has always been its ability to manage structured data—written once, and reused anywhere—and the Drupal community has doubled down on this with Drupal 9. 

To upgrade or get started

If you’re ready to experience Drupal, discover how easy it is to build or integrate your digital portfolio by visiting drupal.org/9

Need some help onboarding with Drupal or building a digital experience from scratch? There are many agencies in the Drupal community that would be happy to help.

About Drupal and the Drupal Association

Drupal is the open source content management software used by millions of people and organizations around the world, made possible by a community of 100,000-plus contributors and enabling more than 1.3 million users on Drupal.org. The Drupal Association is the non-profit organization dedicated to accelerating the Drupal software project, fostering the community, and supporting its growth.

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For more information contact Heather Rocker,  heather@association.drupal.org

Categories: FLOSS Project Planets

InternetDevels: Simple guide how to redirect a website URL in Drupal

Wed, 2020-06-03 12:30

Most websites, even ones that have a perfect URL structure from the beginning, may need URL redirects sooner or later. URL redirects are small tasks that carry a big value. Since one of our fields of expertise is Drupal website support & maintenance, we often face website redirect tasks.

Read more
Categories: FLOSS Project Planets

DrupalEasy: Announcing "Composer Basics for Drupal Developers" - a 7-hour, online workshop

Wed, 2020-06-03 11:14

We recently debuted our brand-new, 7-hour, live-instructor, online Composer Basics for Drupal Developers workshop to alumni of our flagship Drupal Career Online program. We've been gearing up for this launch for well over a year now, teaching select parts of the curriculum as part of Drupal Career Online, at various Drupal events as in-person workshops and presentations, as well as our own experience working with Composer with our clients. 

We believe that the result is the most complete and best-practice-focused Composer training available for Drupal developers today. (And a super-helpful 50-page reference document that comes with the course.) Not only does the workshop cover the absolute basics of Composer, but it also includes in-class examples of converting an existing site to using the new drupal/recommended-project dependencies, as well as how to handle Git code conflicts in composer.lock files.

We are thrilled with the impact the course has had based on our beta-testing of the workshop:

I've attended multiple DrupalEasy workshops and the Composer Basics workshop helps demystify the tool that can seem like a blackbox for so many developers. Mike is a great teacher. He makes sure to thoroughly explain and demo confusing topics so everyone understands the problem and the solution.
- Bo Shipley, May 2020 workshop participant

The material in the Composer Basics handout is thorough and a great standalone resource.
- Micah Burnett, May 2020 workshop participant

Understanding Composer is a necessity when working with modern Drupal, Mike makes everything clear and understandable so you can get out there and make something great.
 - May, 2020 workshop participant

This course will actually enable me to utilize composer in my daily workflow. Erased my fears of the unknown
- May, 2020 workshop participant

The first public offering of this workshop will be on Monday, June 15 from 1:30-5pm ET (part 1) and Tuesday, June 16 from 1:30-5pm ET (part 2). The cost is $250, but if you signup for our newsletter (via the form in the page footer below), you'll receive a 25% off promo code. 

The workshop includes the 50+ page PDF of the material. Topics covered in the workshop include:

  • What is a dependency manager?
  • Composer fundamentals
  • Creating a new Composer project
  • Autoloader basics
  • Using Composer with Git
  • Version constraints
  • Troubleshooting updates
  • Deconstructing the drupal/recommended-project template
  • Customizing Drupal scaffolding files.
  • Converting an existing Drupal 8 codebase
  • Dealing with code conflicts in composer.lock
  • Adding dependencies from private repositories
  • Helpful Composer plugins

Interested? Check out all the details and register today! Interested in a private workshop for your development team - contact us to make it happen!

Categories: FLOSS Project Planets

Srijan Technologies: Site Owner’s Guide to a Smooth Drupal 9 Upgrade Experience

Wed, 2020-06-03 10:30

Drupal 9 will be launched today. After so much hard work, collaboration, anticipation and excitement, it is finally here.

Categories: FLOSS Project Planets

Annertech: Drupal 9 Launches Today

Wed, 2020-06-03 09:57

Drupal 9 launches today, with the revolutionary new simple upgrade path, removal of deprecated code, and no new features (which is actually a good thing).

Categories: FLOSS Project Planets

Drudesk: Drupal 9 is already out! Be ready for website migration

Wed, 2020-06-03 09:29

Today is June 3 that means that Drupal 9 is already out. What can we expect?

What updates are offered? How to migrate to Drupal 9 painlessly?

Today DruDesk experts answer those questions and others.

We would like to note that DruDesk switched to a high-efficiency model of cooperation. This means that we complete your tasks twice as fast. If you have additional questions - write to us.

Categories: FLOSS Project Planets

OpenSense Labs: OpenSense Labs Celebrates 4 years Today

Wed, 2020-06-03 09:23
OpenSense Labs Celebrates 4 years Today Shankar Wed, 06/03/2020 - 18:53


It’s not just another day. June 3, 2020 marks the 4th year anniversary of OpenSense Labs. If it wasn’t for the unprecedented situation caused by Covid-19 pandemic all over the globe, the OpenSense Labs Team would have headed out for a luncheon and taken part in some exhilarating and adventurous activities.

It’s the times like this that make us come out better and stronger. The OpenSense Labs Team has always found a way to stay together, help each other out, work collaboratively and bear the fruits each day. Even though the Covid-19 pandemic has made us stay indoors, we have kept on marching ahead. We have always believed: Wherever We Are, We Are One.

A small customised workstation at our homes beside the window is not that bad either. As we sit down, reach our hand out, lift a corner of the curtain with our fingers and white light floods the desk, hope for the return to normalcy becomes firmer. As we move into our 5th year, our resolve to get bigger and weather headwinds along the way becomes more strong.

Humble beginnings

It feels powerful to put the experience down in words. It’s like trapping it in a jar and it can never fully leave you. For Vid (CEO, OpenSense Labs), the humble beginnings of the organisation is a reminder of all the hard work that went into it. It’s something that drives him to keep moving forward.


It was the time when he was on a break and contemplating the future roadmap of his professional life. What better place than the open hillsides and deep woods to start the foundation work of a new startup! Working alone against the lovely, idyllic, and picturesque backdrop can be inspiring. The wings of the rushing wind seem to be bearing you onward. The voices of the air are singing to you.

At a place like this, with thrilling chlorine-blue sky stretched taut and featureless like silk, woods all green and golden, hills looking glorious in the flashing sunlight, Vid drew the definitive blueprint for an organisation that would go on to become one of the best Drupal agencies in the global marketplace. Today, he proudly looks at OpenSense Labs’ invaluable contributions made to the development and promotion of Drupal. Vid still remembers the days that went into the planning of an organisation of this scale. They will linger long upon the retina of his memory.

The first office First day in the office

The birth of a refreshing idea accompanied itself with the task of setting up an office premise. But, how much of workspace would three people require to start the proceedings? Well, a small room with a table and chairs for three would suffice. So began the journey of OpenSense Labs and it saw significant growth in a short period of time. Soon, it was time to move to the bigger office.

Open-source innovation with Drupal First year anniversary

By the time, we celebrated our first anniversary, our team had already grown in number and we had moved to a bigger workspace. Today, into our 5th year, we now have 50+ talented individuals helping the organisation move by leaps and bounds. From Drupal development to unique staff augmentation offerings, Drupal Commerce to web performance optimisation, web personalisation to Drupal 8 upgradeDrupal 8 migration to support and maintenance, we have made the foray into everything Drupal. We utilised our Drupal expertise and various open-source software projects, yielded great results with our open-source thinking, and triumphantly carried out small to large scale projects.


Our fourth year anniversary also coincides with the launch of Drupal 9. We are looking forward to providing ambitious digital experiences with an all-new Drupal.

Building an amazing organisational culture


Envisage yourself looking at the faces of Linus Torvalds or Elon Musk or Quadro Nikola while trying to give your best in the project you are working on. That’s exactly what you get here at OpenSense Labs’ office. Posters of these influential persons give you enough motivation to pour in everything that you have got and give your best shot.

We always strive for creating a company culture that embraces and promotes mentorship. When new guys join the team, a designated mentor makes sure to look radiantly pleased to hear their questions. They survey their thoughts that seem to be shuttling through all the coils inside their brain like fast, frantic centipedes. It’s almost like opening their skull, unspooling their brains and sifting through it, trying to catch and pin down their thoughts. We feel it’s important for senior pros to understand the newbies’ minds and make them feel comfortable and do their best.

The friendly and positive environment makes you feel at ease. There is a strong sense of tranquillity felt in the office premises. Even a time-sensitive project, that can sometimes be a high-pressure job, can be dealt with easily.

And, being a part of the OpenSense Labs family makes you want to celebrate your birthdays in the office. There is always someone who would throw cakes on your face. Someone would open a bottle of wine (with a crest of white spilling over the lip of the bottle) and pour a glass for you.


We make sure that you always get an ample amount of opportunities to learn new things and try newer avenues. When opportunities do knock on the door, everyone makes sure that they sweep them into the palm of their hand, close their fist around them and pocket them. For instance, whenever a DrupalCon or a DrupalCamp is held in India or anywhere else in the world, we encourage everyone to present a session in such national and international conferences.

First annual retreat

Annual retreats are something that we look forward to every year. Everyone seems to be in a jolly mood during the bus journey. Different playlists being flipped through and finding one everyone on the bus seems to be enjoying. Music bleating from the speakers at night while everyone takes a quick nap preparing themselves for the exciting day that lies ahead.

As you reach your destination, the sky dims into a cooler blue and silver clouds lie on the rim of the horizon. You look forward to dancing all night under the night sky. The bonfire illuminates the features of jubilant individuals in the darkness. As the sun rises again, you can’t wait to play a match of cricket. It’s even more wonderful to witness light rains. You cherish the moments when grey stone darkens to black and rain moves over the grass and whispers on the slick roof tiles.

(a)(b)

Visuals from the recent annual retreat in February 2020

We have always believed that the employees are the pillars of strength for any organisation. So, we do everything we can to contribute to the happiness of our employees for the extraordinary contributions that they make towards the organisation’s growth.

Post-Covid-19, the world hasn’t been the same. With the people world over trying to stay connected and bond over digital platforms, we too have kept ourselves connected through virtual bonding sessions. As a matter of fact, we have played virtual games even before the Covid-19 pandemic. So, it hasn’t been difficult to organise online activities and interact with our colleagues. The kind of camaraderie that we share with each other is phenomenal. Which is why our pre-Covid-19 and post-Covid-19 work atmosphere has only changed on the map. Our Delhi office remains vacant. The Team has got distributed and has been working remotely since the outbreak of this pandemic. Nevertheless, our success rate hasn’t gone down a bit.

OpenSense Labs Team, distributed within and outside India, working from home since the outbreak of Covid-19 Thank you

If not for the hard work of each and every individual of the OpenSense Labs’s Team, we wouldn’t have reached all the milestones and come this far. The launch of Drupal 9 on the fourth year anniversary of OpenSense Labs means one thing: It’s the beginning of great things to follow. We will keep prioritising digital innovation, build remarkable websites and web apps with Drupal 9, and keep getting better at everything that we do.

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Categories: FLOSS Project Planets

Palantir: Drupal 9: An Update, Not a Rebuild

Wed, 2020-06-03 08:00

Drupal 8 promised to change the game for developers and site builders. The release of Drupal 9 is the realization of that promise.

With today’s release of Drupal 9, we thought it would be helpful to look at why this release will be a major milestone for the project.

At Palantir, we’ve been working with Drupal since version 4.7. Personally, I started evaluating the platform with Drupal 4.5. Since then, I have been an active contributor, module developer, and even core subsystem maintainer. I even maintain one module that I originally wrote for Drupal 5.

When previous major versions of Drupal core were released, the upgrade process was, to put it mildly, complicated. Drupal never followed a backward-compatibility policy, preferring to move forward with each release. In theory, this meant a lighter code base and less legacy “cruft” to deal with. In practice, it meant major system rewrites as part of each release. 

In past releases, those changes have included such elements as the FormAPI; multiple rewrites of the menu system; the introduction of the database abstraction layer; putting configurable data fields into core; adding Symfony and the use of services; using Twig for the theme layer. The list goes on.

For site maintainers and module authors, a new major core release essentially meant rewriting large parts of your code base. That would inevitably lead to a lag period after the release, as module maintainers worked to update their code.

On top of that, the rearchitecture of the core system meant underlying changes to data structures, so updating a site wasn’t just about the code. Updates meant modifying the database because of changing content type definitions. Or replacing deprecated modules and techniques with entirely new ones. For these reasons, moving to a new version of Drupal often meant a complete rebuild and migration rather than a software upgrade.

In the Drupal 8 release cycle, leading up to the release of Drupal 9, all of that changed. The project moved to:

  • Scheduled releases every 6 months
  • Planned deprecations of APIs and code-level elements
  • Automated testing and tools for updating existing code

Now, with Drupal 9, we are finally in a position to perform a software update rather than a system rebuild. Tools like Upgrade Status and Rector -- which I have written about previously -- give site and module maintainers tools to audit their code and make the changes more easily. As a result, you can make your sites Drupal 9 compatible while you are still running Drupal 8.8 or 8.9. 

And that provides a level of confidence that we haven’t had before. Instead of advising clients to perform major upgrades every five years or so, we are now in position to support ongoing, incremental improvements. With confidence in the underlying, enterprise-level architecture, we can shift our energy from compatibility to creativity. Dupal 9 makes it easier to focus on the business needs of the entire organization, instead of the technology that powers it.

Drupal Open Source
Categories: FLOSS Project Planets

OpenLucius: So, yeah.. we built OpenLucius 2.0 (Drupal 9)

Wed, 2020-06-03 02:46

In 2014 we were proud to release OpenLucius 1.0 on Drupal 7. Since that time a lot has happened in the (Drupal) world as well as with our agency.

We had to drop support in 2018 unfortunately, but we always had the intention to build a new version; that would encapsulate all learnings from the past. Early 2020 we were finally able to start developing the new version in Drupal 8; first release is now available in Drupal 9.

What is OpenLucius

OpenLucius aims to be a lean and fast social, culture building, productivity platform; ready to use after installation. The goal is to be easy-to-use software that helps your people to:

Categories: FLOSS Project Planets

Evolving Web: Introducing Drupal 9, the Next Evolution of a Proven Web Platform

Wed, 2020-06-03 00:46

Today, we're excited to celebrate the launch of the most stable and mature version of Drupal to date. Drupal 9 is the culmination of the work of thousands of contributors around the globe, collaborating to create an innovative platform that's designed for everyone to use.

What's really exciting about Drupal 9 is that it represents the work of 4 and a half years of steady work since Drupal 8 was released. Rather than a single cycle of new features added all at once, features have been released steadily since Drupal 8.0. And now all those features are already tested, stable, and ready-to-use.

What Has Changed Since Drupal 8?

Since November, 2015, there have been 8 feature releases for Drupal 8 that progressively and steadily satisfy more and more requirements for ambitious web projects. Features like Media and Layout Builder have been fully integrated into an already rich content model. This really takes Drupal to the next level compared to other options in the CMS ecosystem and means that Drupal can adapt to the digital information design needed by each individual project.

For those who upgrade to Drupal 9, continuous improvements will continue to be added in the same way. This first release of Drupal 9 represents an upgrade to the underlying technology, but there's no radical change to how Drupal works. Upgrading is important because it means that you can keep benefiting from the innovation, while staying secure and stable.

Why Should I Use Drupal 9?

In broad strokes, there are 3 main reasons to use Drupal 9:

Drupal 9 Enables Innovation

Drupal is open source, but it's also open in that it doesn't lock you into one set of technology solutions. It can adapt to your marketing tools of choice, the devices you want to push data to, and the future use cases that are coming down the road. By simply having a strong content architecture, Drupal sites are easier to extend and build on. Features will continue to be added via regular feature releases (Drupal 9.1, 9.2, etc) so you'll benefit from improvements that are added as the web evolves.

Drupal 9 Prioritizes Ease-of-Use

The thing that I'm most excited about in Drupal 9 is how much easier it's going to be for content editors to use. Layout Builder provides drag-and-drop page building. The Claro theme provides a more accessible and streamlined admin interface. Content Moderation provides workflows that are actually adapted to content editors' needs. And that's what's great about Drupal's its flexibility empowers you to create an experience that's just right for your content editors. Ease-of-use and content editors experience is at the top of the list for Drupal 9 feature releases. Expect to see continuous improvement to the experience of using Drupal.

Drupal 9 is Mature

Drupal 9 isn't a risky proposition or bleeding edge. It's been tried and tested by not just a small set of proprietary users, but a global community of users including countless government and healthcare organizations. It's built on a solid technology stack that's been tested and optimized for use cases where security, performance, and accessibility are of the utmost priority. Its multilingual capabilities are truly built into the core, not an afterthought as with so many other content management systems.

Open source development means that features are built and tested from the perspective of many. Our community truly takes pride in the fact that Drupal is secure, fast, and accessible. These aspects of Drupal are not an afterthought, but part of the core values of the community that are reflected in the software. It's in our culture to care about our users, and that culture stays with us in Drupal 9.

Dive into Drupal 9!

So since today is launch day, you have some homework to do:

When Drupal 9.1 is released, you'll start seeing new features added and you won't want to miss out on the train to the future, so get started upgrading today.

If you need help with your upgrade, we'd love to hear from you. And if you want to learn how to run an upgrade yourself, Evolving Web will be scheduling our first Drupal 9 Training soon. Subscribe to our Learn Drupal Newsletter to find out as soon as it's announced.

+ more awesome articles by Evolving Web
Categories: FLOSS Project Planets

Drupal Association blog: Statement of Support and Taking Action

Tue, 2020-06-02 20:09

For our team at the Drupal Association, the events of the past week have once again emphasized the severity and violence of racism that communities experience in the United States and across the world every day.

Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, where communities of color are disproportionately affected, seeing racial turmoil unfold is particularly painful and difficult to witness. We stand with all communities of color and all people across the globe in condemning racism, racist behavior and all abuses of power. We grieve for the Black community, which has endured another unspeakable tragedy in a long history of injustice.

Drupal is global in scale, reach and opportunity. It takes many contributions, from many diverse contributors to thrive. Drupal is about standing up for what could be and for promoting hope through access. As such, our community adheres to a set of values and principles. Of particular importance is our value to “treat each other with dignity and respect” emphasizing that we do not tolerate intolerance toward others. It is time to live our values out loud seeking first to understand, then to be understood.

The Drupal Association values equity, diversity and inclusion, and we recognize we still have work to do to create meaningful change. Here are the ways in which we are encouraging our team to take action. We are sharing in hopes that you will take action, too.

If you have resources to share or organizations to highlight, please post them on social media using the hashtag #DrupalBetterTogether so that we may compile a comprehensive list for our community.

In the coming weeks and months, you will learn more about the programs we are putting into place to take action. Our Drupal Community is truly Better Together, and together we will accelerate our ability to affect positive change. Now is the time to raise our voices, not to silence them.

Categories: FLOSS Project Planets

Promet Source: Drupal 9 Has Dropped! What To Do Now

Tue, 2020-06-02 15:13
The long-anticipated drop of Drupal 9 has arrived. This marks an exciting step in the evolution of Drupal. A migration from Drupal 8 to Drupal 9 is not as complex and cumbersome as previous version releases. Drupal 8 to Drupal 9 will be an upgrade that is more akin to a point release. If you are not prepared to upgrade to Drupal 9 immediately, you are not alone.
Categories: FLOSS Project Planets

Jacob Rockowitz: Sharing Webforms...Anywhere!!!

Tue, 2020-06-02 14:11

The Webform for Drupal 8 is built upon Drupal's Form API (FAPI); the building, validating, and submission handling of a form relies on Drupal's backend code. Drupal, and most content management systems, are moving toward a decoupled approach where the backend content authoring tool is separate from the front-end presentation layer. Until now, there was no easy way to decouple a webform from Drupal's presentation layer.

Decoupled Drupal and sharing Webforms

A decoupled approach for the Webform module means that Drupal would handle the backend form builder and the submission processing. In contrast, the user-facing input form would be rendered using a front-end framework like Angular, React, and Vue.js. In the Drupal community, people are experimenting with decoupling webforms by exposing webform elements using a JSON schema or REST API, and then rendering the input form using Gatsby with React. The biggest limitation of this approach is recreating 80+ webforms elements with complex business logic as React native components. For me, this feels like an overwhelming challenge; it requires rebuilding Drupal's Form API and the Webform module's presentation layer from scratch. Stepping back from this challenge/problem, the goal which everyone is working towards is being about to use a webform outside of a Drupal website.

Embedding a Webform using an iFrame

A widespread solution to embedding external content within another website is to use an Inline Frame element ().

In the webforms specific use case, an iframe allows a webform to be nested in any HTML page. With this approach in mind, I started to research...Read More

Categories: FLOSS Project Planets

Evolving Web: How to Use Alt Text and Accessible Images to Create Maximum Reach

Tue, 2020-06-02 10:01

Images play an important part in media and advertising. They can be very effective in creating a mood or feeling and are great at emotionally connecting with people. Websites are no exception. However, not all users are able to see the images on a website or may need accommodations to do so. In a hyper visual world, where images and visual cues like colour are used to represent a brand, elicit emotion in consumers and create strong psychological cues, it can be easy to forget that not every client can see. This is why it's important to ensure that the thoughts and messages those visual cues communicate are still being broadcast to users who cannot see or have poor vision.

One important way to do this is to make sure the semantic text of the website communicates the same tone and evokes the same message that the graphics and visual cues do. A second, equally important way is to ensure that any messages contained in the images are clearly communicated to users who are visually impaired. 

Not All Users Have the Same Needs

Users who are visually impaired do not all have the same needs. Some users might be able to see the images but cannot make out the different colours due to colour blindness. They need images with enough contrast to distinguish the different parts of the image without relying on colour. This is especially true for graphs and charts, so be sure to distinguish the components using patterns or hashing, in addition to colour. Another reason to consider contrast within your images is that you want them to be clear if printed in black and white. There is nothing worse than a logo that becomes illegible every time it's printed out in black and white. 

Other users with poor vision are able to see and distinguish colours but need to zoom in to read the content. They need images with a high enough resolution that don't become pixelated or distorted when enlarged. This also helps ensure your website still looks good when displayed through a projector. 

Lastly, some users cannot see images at all and need to access websites through a screen-reader. They rely on alternative (alt) text to tell them what the images represent. Describing images with alt text isn't always straightforward, so let's look at how to do this effectively. 

How to Use Alt Text Effectively 

Alt text allows users who cannot see and use a screen-reader to absorb the information that images provide. Even your company logo in the top-left corner should have an alt text to signal to users where they are. Since the alt text is going to be read aloud by a screen reader, be as succinct as possible and avoid numbers or symbols. A common mistake is to forget that the screen reader will already indicate that something is an image, so just write 'duck playing soccer' instead of  'image of a duck playing soccer.' There's a general guideline that each alt text should be less than 140 characters, so save the extra info for a caption, or a link to another site. 

Alt text is also widely used by search engines (think Google Image search), so writing thoughtful descriptions will not only help accessibility, but will also drive traffic to your site. Just don't be tempted to pump your alt texts with a ton of keywords as site visitors using screen readers (and Google too) will be annoyed. 

Generally, there are different types of images, each requiring a different alt text approach.

1. Functional Images


Functional images perform an action, such as opening a link. They should have alternative text that describes the action that happens when the user clicks that link. For example, "Search this page" for a magnifying glass that indicates a search function. Often, a brand logo is used as a functional image that returns users to the home page. In this case, the alternative text should indicate where the logo links to and can include the brand name as well: "Evolving Web Home."

2. Informative Images


Informative images convey short information or concepts that can usually be expressed in a short phrase, such as "Young children playing baseball at City Park." Sometimes, an image is used more to convey a feeling or concept. For example, a picture of an all-smiling family camping at a campground can have alternative text such as "Families love camping at The Eager Beaver's Dam Good Campsite."

3. Complex Images


Complex images, such as graphs or diagrams, need to have alternative text that conveys the data or same information. In this case, it's best to provide a full-text alternative to the data contained in the graph. Also, for users who have trouble distinguishing colour, always be sure to indicate different parts of a graph or chart using distinctions besides colour, such as hashing. For further explanations on how to describe different types of complex images, The Diagram Centre is a great resource. 

4. Images Containing Text

Images containing text should include the text included in the image in their alternative text. However, other than the logo, as a general rule avoid embedding text in images or using images as text. 

5. Decorative Images

" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="34acfb7e-fae1-4cd9-8160-d7edaad8ea50" src="https://evolvingweb.ca/sites/default/files/inline-images/05-decorative-images.jpg" />
Decorative images are the final type of image. These images serve no purpose other than to just look nice. They are the one exception to always having alternative text to your images and should have no alternative text. 

If you want further details on how to write alt text, this blog breaks it down pretty well. 

One Minute Summary

It might seem complicated at first, but images are one of the easier website components to make accessible. The key is to have appropriate alt text. As a quick recap, for the images themselves, make sure all images have a high enough contrast so they can be interpreted without colour and are zoomable. Next, use alt text to label them appropriately. Images that do an action should indicate the action in the alt text whereas those that simply demonstrate something should describe what they show. Images which are purely decorative should have no alt text. 

Follow these tips and everyone will be able to enjoy your site. And if you need more guidance, join our upcoming Web Accessibility training

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Acro Media: 5 Risks to Your Business in Running End of Life Software

Tue, 2020-06-02 10:00

End of life (EOL) software is a very real problem. Whether your business is using ecommerce and customer relationship management systems across multiple platforms or relying on basic scheduling and accounting software, you will at some point reach a technological expiry date.

When a system reaches end of life, the creator/owner of the software/technology no longer delivers support services for the product. That can include technical support, hardware or software upgrades, bug fixes, security patches, or feature development. In short, the system gets abandoned by its owner. 

Software becoming obsolete can cause all sorts of problems. Here are five risks to your business in running EOL software:

1. Security

End of life technology receives no security updates. No bug fixes. No patches. No monitoring. Your technology is dead in the eyes of the creator. That means your security is completely compromised, not only for the platform that is EOL, but also potentially for any others that connect to it.

At minimum, your system can be accessed and your content or records edited, stolen, or deleted. If you have any user data, financial data, or sensitive information, you could have a major problem. The monetary and reputational cost could kill your business.

A survey of 2,600 CIOs across the U.S. found that the number one concern was keeping systems and information secure. If you take no action on EOL systems, you are essentially condemning yourself to failure in that regard. 

2. Maintenance

Just because the software maker is no longer supporting the software doesn't mean you have no options for supporting it going forward. There are agencies that specialize in supporting older technology. But that support doesn’t come cheap, and integrations into other systems require even more time-consuming and expensive workarounds. 

As a general rule, maintaining EOL software is complex and expensive. Is it really worth not moving due to fear of change?

3. Liability

If you hold people's information and data, you are responsible and liable for it. Using systems that are not properly supported to keep that data secure means you can be prosecuted for not complying with government or industry regulations. Fines, shutdowns, and even jail time are potential outcomes from not acting responsibly with the information you have been entrusted with. 

4. Reliability

If you were a taxi driver, would you willingly drive an old car that is no longer maintained and has sporadic issues? Of course not. That’s because your livelihood relies on the economics of your vehicle. 

But that is what you are doing if you continue with EOL software. Old software is less reliable and more prone to failure. Even if you are able to find people who will work on it for you, it's going to cost a lot more money, because it takes much more time and expertise. 

And if it connects to other systems, be prepared for much more testing time to ensure that all the variables across all systems are working properly. Because there's no guarantee that they will.

5. Cost

EOL software costs more, whether it’s through lost/stolen data, updating and maintaining with third parties, legal liabilities, or lost revenue from downtime or issues. 

The sticker price on a new system can sometimes seem large. But the security gained from having well maintained and supported systems is critical. 

One side benefit from moving from EOL software is the opportunity to review your company's entire technology stack/architecture. We often see that when going through the cost and process of moving systems: Other changes are made to improve workflows and processes. These often result in net savings for the business. So not only do they spend less, they eliminate their security risks and improve workflows.

If you have software moving towards EOL, it's essential to look at not only replacing the single system, but also assessing your whole technology landscape for opportunities to make larger improvements.

Conclusion

Ultimately, EOL technology is costly to your business in multiple ways. Most technology providers give lots of notice when one of their products is going to be unsupported. That gives you time to assess your options and determine the path you should take. 

In some cases, it's migrating to a new version or equivalent product. In others, it’s reorganizing your company's whole technology structure and moving away from a system that was holding you back. 

To determine if your system has reached EOL and plan for your next move, check out our End of Life Playbook.

Categories: FLOSS Project Planets

Specbee: Programmatically creating a block in Drupal 8 – A brief tutorial

Tue, 2020-06-02 08:38
Programmatically creating a block in Drupal 8 – A brief tutorial Suresh Prabhu 02 Jun, 2020 Top 10 best practices for designing a perfect UX for your mobile app

Blocks are an integral part of any Drupal website. They are chunks of content that can be placed in various regions and can be easily moved around the web page. Blocks can contain simple text, forms, or some complex logic.
The Block module is now a core module in Drupal 8 that can be enabled. Sometimes installing other core or contributed modules can make blocks available. Although these blocks can be modified to suit the layout, complete flexibility and customization can be only achieved with Custom blocks.
We can create a custom block programmatically or via the Drupal Interface. Here, we will be creating a block programmatically and enabling it through the admin interface.

How to Create a Custom Block in Drupal 8?

Let us get started with creating a custom block in Drupal 8 in a few simple steps -


1. Create a module

To create a custom block, it is necessary to create a “.info.yml” file in modules/custom directory. Here a custom directory does not exist. You will need to create it. Create a directory named “custom” under the module directory. And under “modules/custom” create a directory called “block_example”. This directory name will be the name of the module created.
Inside this folder that you just created, create a “.info.yml” file. Here it will be block_example.info.yml as the module name is block_example. Within this file, enter the following contents:
 


After creating the folder and file with the above content, go to the dashboard and enable the module you just created. The name of the module here is Block Example.

 

2. Create a Drupal Block Class

Now to define the logic for the block, we must define the Drupal block class. We need to follow PSR-4 standard code for custom blocks. The php class of the block is placed under modules/custom/block_example/src/Plugin/Block directory. Create this folder structure and create a class named ExampleBlock.php under the Block directory.
This file should contain:

  • Annotation metadata - This will help to identify the Block created. To know more about Annotation check Annotations-based plugins.
  • Annotation contains:
      The “id” which is a unique, machine readable ID for the custom block created.
      The “admin_label” defines the human readable name of the custom block which is displayed in the admin interface.          

The ExampleBlock extends Blockbase class which will provide generic block configuration form, block settings, and handling of user defined block visibility settings.

Here we are displaying a markup in the block.

3. Enable the Block to display the content
  • After saving the file to enable the block, go to admin > Structure > Block layout.
  • Click on Place block under the region the block should be displayed. Here the block is placed in ‘Sidebar second’.
  • After clicking on Place block, search for the custom block you just created.
     

 

  • Click on Place block for the block you want to display. The configuration window opens where you can set the configuration as per requirement.

Here the block is displayed for every user's front page. After the configuration is changed as per the requirement, click on Save block and come back to the site.

The Drupal 8 custom block created is now visible in the region where the block is placed.

4.Methods used in the class created for custom blocks
  • build() : This method will render a render-able array. In this example a simple markup is returned. Even the complex contents like forms and views can also be returned.
  • blockAccess() :  This method defines a custom user access logic.

                       • The AccessResult class is called here. 
                       • The method allowedIfHasPermission() checks if the current user has thepermission to view this content or not.
 

  • blockForm() : This method allows to define a block configuration form. 

 

  • blockSubmit() : This method is used to save the configuration defined in the previous method blockForm(). 

     

  • blockValidate() : This method validates the configuration form of the block. 

     

 

Although the concept of blocks is the same in Drupal 7 too, the implementation in Drupal 8 is quite different. The code for each block is well organized in a separate class. In Drupal 7, all blocks related code were written in “.module” file, which can get messy. I hope you found this tutorial useful and helps you get started with creating your own custom blocks. We offer expert Drupal development services at Specbee and can help you build digital experiences that drive results. Contact us now.

Drupal Planet Drupal Drupal 8 Shefali ShettyApr 05, 2017 Subscribe For Our Newsletter And Stay Updated Subscribe

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Agiledrop.com Blog: Interview with Pivale's Darren Fisher: Baptism of fire at DrupalCon

Tue, 2020-06-02 03:00

We spoke with Darren Fisher, digital transformation consultant, designer and front-end developer at the UK company Pivale. Find out how Darren transitioned from working in the print industry to web design and development, and what are the things he most loves about Drupal. 

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Evolving Web: The New Drupal Logo: Just in Time for Drupal 9

Mon, 2020-06-01 10:59

As you might have heard, Drupal 9 is being released this Wednesday. There is a lot to celebrate, you’ll find evidence of Drupal 9 celebrations as teams prepare to upgrade to the new version of our favorite content management system. However, there is no distinct Drupal 9 logo to go with this release. Instead, a new evergreen logo will be used to represent all versions of the Drupal project and software. And there’s a good reason for that.

The Original Drupal "Logo"

To provide some context, when I first used Drupal 12 years ago, Drupal had a single recognizable branding element: the famous Druplicon. Not a true logo, the Drop icon is a well-loved community symbol: a character that has been adapted a thousand different ways in typical open-source fashion, just like Drupal itself. If you’ve ever attended a Drupal event, you’ve seen variations on this original drop. Although loved by Drupalers, it’s a bit of a curiosity to outsiders and probably too grass-roots for marketers and digital directors trying to select a solution for their next corporate website.

A selection of Druplicons from druplicon.org

The Drupal Wordmark

When Drupal 7 was released, a word mark came along around the same time. As Drupal gained wide adoption by large organizations, the wordmark provided consistency and an easily recognizable symbol of the Drupal project, used by insiders and outsiders alike.

The Drupal 8 Logo

When Drupal 8 was released, a stylish drop emerged to represent this new version of the software. With the cut-out of an 8 inside a drop, the logo is simpler and sleeker than the Druplicon. We used it in pitch decks and product comparisons, and having a more mature logo allowed us to visually represent the modernization in the underlying technology of Drupal 8.

The Drupal Evergreen Logo

If you, like me, tend to have a dozen or so Drupal.org tabs open at a time, then you’ve already seen the new Drupal evergreen logo. Our friend the Druplicon has morphed into a sleeker droplet. The observant among you will recognize its origins in the DrupalCon brand. The drop shape is the same, stripped of the hexagonal treatment, and  showing the light Drupal blue color.

And that slight shift in branding is just like Drupal 9 itself. Drupal 9 is an upgrade of the underlying technology (Symfony and its related libraries), so that Drupal can keep innovating. It’s a big deal that migrating to Drupal 9 is no big deal.

Drupal 9.0 is a huge improvement on Drupal 8.0, so much effort has been put into carefully scheduling and releasing feature after feature over the last 4 years. Each feature releases since Drupal 8 came out has progressively made Drupal more powerful and more mature. And for those who upgrade to Drupal 9, features like a new admin UI, a new default theme, and other continuous improvements will continue to be added. Just like a logo that is tweaked until it’s right, it’s a platform that keeps innovating and improving. The Drop is always moving.

A Community Effort

Like everything else, the creation of the Drupal Evergreen Logo was a community effort. Huge thanks to Sixeleven for creating the logo (generously donating their time during the peak of Italy's COVID crisis). Thanks to Gábor Hotsjy for pushing the project ahead along with all things Drupal 9, and to the Drupal Association for making it happen. Let me know if you want to get involved in the Promote Drupal Initiative to help with similar projects in the future!

Show Me the Logo!

You can download the new logo, the wordmark, and the Druplicon from the Drupal Media Kit and take a look at Drupal’s Brand Book and marketing materials from the Promote Drupal initiative.

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Tag1 Consulting: RELAXed Web Services and extending JSON:API - part 2

Mon, 2020-06-01 09:59

Decoupled Drupal has been a hot topic in the Drupal community for several years now, and there are now many projects implementing decoupled Drupal architectures, as well as a bevy of content...

Read more preston Mon, 06/01/2020 - 08:53
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