While there are many companies based in open source software that are successfully funding themselves based on consultancy and other services, that’s not necessarily true of individual contributors. As part of our series of talks with Open Source Leaders, Tag1 Consulting’s Managing Director Michael Meyers, VP of Software Engineering Fabian Franz, and Yjs founder Kevin Jahns talk with Dries Buytaert about open source projects and communities. This talk focuses on open source project sustainability and funding. Dries talks about some of the key points that made Drupal successful, and how the project and the Drupal Association have changed and pivoted based on challenges like the coronavirus pandemic. Dries also gives some pointers on how he started to sell his project to others, and how that started to change his role in the project over time, from the primary developer, to a project head focused on visibility. – Part 1 ### Additional resources – Elinor Ostrom: Governing the Commons: https://www.amazon.com/Governing-Commons-Evolution-Institutions-Collective/dp/0521405998 – Featured Essay: Elinor Ostrom’s work on Governing The Commons: An Appreciation — _For a transcript of this video, see [Transcript: Open…
Wed, 04/07/2021 – 09:20
Drupal’s 20th Birthday Year
As we close out the first quarter of 2021, we continue the celebration of 20 years of Drupal with #DrupalFest and #DrupalCon!
#DrupalFest is a month-long celebration of all things Drupal, taking place online all around the world. DrupalFest lasts throughout the month of April. Most events are free, and we encourage everyone to attend, and even submit your own!
DrupalCon is right around the corner from April 12-16, happening online. This year’s DrupalCon reflects a renewed focus on the strategic initiatives that drive innovation in Drupal. Each day has a half day of live programming for and then a half day of contribution, and all personas are welcome! Join us!
Increased focus on Strategic Initiatives
Speaking of strategic initiatives, the current primary initiatives being highlighted at DrupalCon and beyond are:
- Easy out of the Box – This mega-initiative combines the efforts of Layout Builder, Media, and Claro to help empower content editors in Drupal to take advantage of the best that Drupal can offer.
- Automatic Updates – This initiative is focused on the #1 most requested feature in Drupal: automatic updates. The initiative is building a robust and secure system for automatically updating Drupal, starting with security and patch releases.
- Drupal 10 Readiness – The Drupal innovation train keeps rolling! The Drupal 10 Readiness initiative is rallying the community around what we need to reach our Drupal 10 release date, and helping site owners ensure they’re ready for the upgrade when the time comes.
In addition to the content at DrupalCon, you can find ways to get involved in any of these initiatives by checking out the Drupal Strategic Initiative section on Drupal.org.
Decoupled Menu Initiative Support
This is the first step in making Drupal a project greater than just PHP. This capability leans into Drupal’s future in Decoupled applications, and in digital experiences beyond the web browser.
Since the launch of general projects as a new content type on Drupal.org the Decoupled Menu Initiative has made great progress on creating standardized endpoints/libraries for decoupled Drupal solutions.
At DrupalCon North America the Decoupled Menus initiative leads invite you to a hackathon to begin to create applications for this work.
The rapid movement on this initiative shows how quickly the Drupal community can pivot into more robust and standardized Decoupled implementations, and furthers Drupal’s lead in the marketplace.
Easy Out of the Box Support
For the Easy Out of the Box team, the Drupal Association has been focused on connecting the initiative leads to the Drupal Contribution Mentoring team, so that at DrupalCon there will be a variety of onramps to help new contributors support this work.
Easy Out of the Box is effectively three initiatives in one, focused on Layouts, Media, and the Claro administrative theme, so people with interest in any of those areas are more than welcome.
AutoUpdates Initiative Cross-Project Collaboration
The Drupal Association Engineering team continues its close collaboration with the AutoUpdates initiative team. Because AutoUpdates requires a server side component that will live on Drupal.org infrastructure, the engineering team needs to be closely involved.
This initiative has also had a heavy focus on cross-project collaboration – with three CMS partners in the PHP ecosystem collaborating together on the basic principles of supporting securely signed update packages.
We’re also collaborating with other partners, such as the Cloud Native Computing Foundations ‘TUF'(The Update Framework) team, and the team behind Composer.
At DrupalCon North America the TUF team will be presenting about securing software package delivery – a topic that is sure to be interesting for all.
Drupal 10 Readiness Support
Drupal 10 is slated for release in June of 2022, which is only a little bit more than a year away. Fortunately, Drupal 10 follows the continuous innovation model of Drupal development that was so successful in the transition from Drupal 8 to Drupal 9. In essence, so long as site owners are up to date with the latest version of Drupal 9 they should be able to make the jump very easily. The only area of concern is deprecated code.
To that end, the Drupal Association engineering team collaborated with Gábor Hotjsy to set up automate code deprecation checking using the DrupalCI infrastructure. This allows the team to understand the most used instances of deprecated code, so that contributed module maintainers can be made aware of the need to update, and so that the Drupal Rector team(supported by Palantir.net) can begin creating automatic deprecation patches.
GitLab Merge Request Updates
Last year, Drupal.org migrated our community contribution tools to GitLab, by integrating the existing Drupal.org issue queues with GitLab’s merge request functionality.
Thanks to these improvements, the complete contribution lifecycle can be completed entirely in the browser. As a contributor to Drupal you no longer need to use command line git, install a local development environment, or use a local IDE in order to make your contributions.
Since the initial launch, we’ve received feedback from many people in the community about improvements to usability with the Drupal.org issue queue integration. Looking at the child issues of this issue, we can see rapid usability improvements that have sped the pace of contribution.
More recently, we worked with our partners at Tugboat.qa to release live deployment previews of your code changes – first for Drupal Core, but now available for contributed projects on Drupal.org as well. This means that even reviewing visual changes or seeing your code deployed to a site can all be done without leaving your browser. This is a huge boon to all contributors, but especially to usability and accessibility experts who can much more easily view the impact of changes across issues.
Major improvements to Community events
In collaboration with the Events Organizers Working Group, the Drupal Association has updated the Drupal.org Community Events section. This new section represents a central repository for all of the events taking place across the Drupal Community, and will ultimately be the replacement for Groups.Drupal.org.
This section allows anyone in the community to submit their events, whether online or in-person, and provides a variety of views to help people find events they’d like to attend. Events can be filtered by type(con, camp, meetup, training, etc); proposed events can be submitted to help avoid scheduling conflicts; and calls for content/speakers can be promoted.
A feed of these events is made available for 3rd party tools built by the community, which is already being used to feed Drupical.com.
Local events are the heart of our community, so we hope that you’ll help us by submitting your local events to this new tool!
Led by community volunteer u/jhodgdon, Drupal.org’s documentation tools have seen a variety of updates. In particular, the Drupal contributor guide is now much more complete, helping folks who are new to contribution in Drupal find a place to fit in and get started.
We’ve also deployed improvements that make it easier to understand whether the documentation you’re reading is up-to-date, and how to report problems if you find them.
If you’re looking for somewhere to contribute – helping to update documentation is a wonderful place to start!
Coming soon: Discover Drupal Portal
Coming up at DrupalCon is the announcement of a new program: Discover Drupal. This program is part of the Drupal Association’s talent and education initiatives, and represents the Drupal Association’s commitment to growing the Drupal talent pool and increasing diversity in our community.
With the official announcement just around the corner we won’t spoil the details here, but very soon you’ll be able to check out the new web portal for the Discover Drupal program and find out what it’s all about.
Over the course of the last quarter the Drupal Association engineering team has provided a variety of feature updates for the Drupal project in terms of testing infrastructure:
- PHP8 Testing support – The Drupal Association provided PHP8 testing environments in DrupalCI, and so Drupal versions 9.1 and beyond are all fully PHP 8 compatible.Staying on the leading edge of compatibility gives Drupal the advantage of improved performance and security, and sets us up for success when it’s time for Drupal 10.
- Code Standards test for Drupal Core – Drupal Core tests now provide code standards testing results, saving a laborious manual step when reviewing core contributions.
- GitLabCI/Pipelines – The Drupal Association has also enabled GitLabCI/Pipelines for these new general projects. This is a precursor to moving to GitLabCI for all Drupal CI uses. With direct maintainer control of the CI configuration for these projects, we can see automated workflows to support a wider variety of projects – allowing for more innovation. However, we need to be cognizant of cost controls as we open up this capability.
The year is off to a fast-paced, productive start and as always it is humbling and gratifying to see the great work that the community accomplishes with the tools the Drupal Association provides.
As always, we’d like to say thanks to all the volunteers who work with us, and to the Drupal Association Supporters, who make it possible for us to work on these projects. In particular, we want to thank:
- Acquia – *NEW* Enterprise Supporting Partner
- Google – *NEW* Enterprise Supporting Partner
- Mediacurrent – *UPGRADE* Enterprise Supporting Partner
- Tag1 – *UPGRADE* Enterprise Supporting Partner
- Acro Media – *UPGRADE* Signature Supporting Partner
- Centarro – *UPGRADE* Signature Supporting Partner
- Elevated Third – *UPGRADE* Signature Supporting Partner
- FFW – Renewing Signature Supporting Partner
- Palantir – *UPGRADE* Signature Supporting Partner
- Annertech – *NEW* Premium Supporting Partner
- Chapter Three – *UPGRADE* Premium Supporting Partner
- Cyber-Duck – *UPGRADE* Premium Supporting Partner
- Dropsolid – Renewing Premium Supporting Partner
- EPAM – Renewing Premium Supporting Partner
- Electric Citizen – *UPGRADE* Premium Supporting Partner
- Investis Digital – Renewing Premium Supporting Partner
- Kanopi Studios – *UPGRADE* Premium Supporting Partner
- Message Agency – Renewing Premium Supporting Partner
- Platform.sh – Renewing Premium Hosting Supporter
- Promet Source – *UPGRADE* Premium Supporting Partner
- Ramsalt Lab – *NEW* Premium Supporting Partner
- undpaul – Renewing Premium Supporting Partner
- ANNAI – Renewing Classic Supporting Partner
- Arizona State University – Renewing Classic Supporting Partner
- Atlantic.net – Renewing Classic Supporting Partner
- Bear Group – Renewing Classic Supporting Partner
- Berger Schmidt – Renewing Classic Supporting Partner
- Chromatic – Renewing Classic Supporting Partner
- Code Koalas – Renewing Classic Supporting Partner
- Factorial GmbH – Renewing Classic Supporting Partner
- Forum One – Renewing Classic Supporting Partner
- Green Geeks – Renewing Classic Supporting Partner
- Hostinger – Renewing Supporting Partner
- Inclind – Renewing Classic Supporting Partner
- Interpersonal Frequency – Renewing Classic Supporting Partner
- Intracto – Renewing Classic Supporting Partner
- Inviqa – Renewing Classic Supporting Partner
- Isovera Consulting – Renewing Classic Supporting Partner
- KWALL – Renewing Classic Supporting Partner
- Liip AG – Renewing Classic Supporting Partner
- Mobomo – Renewing Classic Supporting Partner
- MOURI Tech – Renewing Classic Supporting Partner
- One Shoe Interactive – Renewing Classic Supporting Partner
- OpenSense Labs – Renewing Classic Supporting Partner
- Position2 – Renewing Classic Supporting Partner
- PSW Group – Renewing Classic Supporting Partner
- Redfin Solutions – Renewing Classic Supporting Partner
- UEBERBIT GmbH – *NEW* Classic Supporting Partner
- Unic AG – Renewing Classic Supporting Partner
- UniMity Solutions Pvt Limited – Renewing Classic Supporting Partner
- University of Virginia – Renewing Classic Supporting Partner
- Urban Insight – Renewing Classic Supporting Partner
- Vardot – Renewing Classic Supporting Partner
- weKnow – Renewing Classic Supporting Partner
- Avalara – *NEW* Community Technology Partner
- Bluehorn Digital – *NEW* Community Supporting Partner
- Docomo Innovations – *NEW* Community Supporting Partner
- GAC Digital Solutions – *NEW* Community Supporting Partner
- Old Moon Digital – Renewing Community Supporting Partner
- Symetris – Renewing Community Supporting Partner
- Walden O’Neill – *NEW* Community Supporting Partner
Leading up to DrupalCon I’ve also begun work on the Generic Drupal Web Components project. Starting with a menu component, it aims to create a library of generic web components that are accessible, framework agnostic, possible to style, and easy to use with data provided by Drupal. Here’s a quick video overview:
While these instructions were written for marketers, developers can also benefit. The ability to provide a more easily SEO’d website to a client will always be in demand. Should you wish to partner with Volacci on SEO services for new websites, please feel free to reach out to us.
Bookmark this page! We will keep this section updated with the latest Drupal release instructions, but please be patient — research and writing takes time.
What this guide is.
If you were sitting at the desk next to us right now and needed help with a Drupal SEO technical problem, we’d just tell you how to solve it, walking you through the necessary steps. That’s what this guide is.
What this guide isn’t.
We won’t go into detailed, basic explanations on what SEO is and why it’s important. There are many great resources online with full explanations of how SEO works, what Google is looking for, and how to win the online marketing game. We’ll link to some good ones so you can dig deeper when you need to. We’re especially fond of Moz.com, and always send people to their Beginner’s Guide to SEO if they’re just starting out.
We explain how we do the technical SEO on a Drupal website. It’s not the only way, but we’ve found it’s the way that works best for us. If you get through this guide (or get too busy to complete it), and your site is still not ranking, then seek professional help.
How to read this guide.
It’s best to install the SEO Checklist module, and check the items off as you complete them. This guide details each section of that Checklist.
Throughout this guide, you’ll find various text styles to help make concepts clearer or to draw your attention to important aspects of a task. Here are some examples:
- Italic. Warnings or critical terms.
- Bold. New words or to draw attention.
Code. URLs or code snippets
- “Quotes”. Interface elements you’re interacting with.
Notes, Tips, Warnings
Extra information that helps you better understand a concept, avoid a misstep, or give additional functionality.
Sometimes, it can be helpful to know how hard a task is going to be, so we’ve included them to make things clear. Here’s what they mean:
- Easy: Straightforward and quick.
- Normal: A bit more involved, maybe 2 or 3 separate steps but no heavy lifting.
- Hard: It’s going to take some thought and time to do this. Still, most marketers should be able to knock it out with some effort.
- Expert: This task is time-consuming, technical, or difficult. You may need to get some help from a Drupal developer to get it done.
Tue, 04/06/2021 – 16:43
Tue, 04/06/2021 – 23:09
Every fourth adult in America is battling a major disability everyday of their life;
As many as 217 million people are suffering from visual impairment;
Do these numbers seem shocking to you? They certainly were for me. And the more unfortunate fact is that these numbers will only grow in the future. So, what should be done? We cannot stop people from getting a disability, that is in no one’s hand. However, we can ensure that that disability should not hold them back. We should endeavour for inclusion, wherein every person on this planet gets an equal opportunity, disability not being a criteria impeding on their life experiences.
To that accord, accessibility was designed, for inclusion, for equality and for making the differently abled feel that their voices and their feelings value. Accessibility has expanded as a concept since its inception and now, it is also being rigorously practised on the web.
The web or the internet is for everyone, you cannot say that it was designed with a particular demographic in mind because it simply wasn’t. From 5-year-olds watching YouTube videos that are making them prepared for school to 70-year-olds watching a YouTube tutorial on how to update their WhatsApp status, the internet is for everyone and web accessibility ensures that it can be accessed by everyone without difficulty.
This brings us to the meaning of web accessibility, which is to design something on the web that includes the needs of the differently abled. People with auditory, cognitive, visual and speech disabilities amongst others should be able to perceive, understand, navigate and interact with the web with ease. You should remember that accessibility is not just limited to people with disabilities, it also transcends to other aspects of life that may affect one’s ability to perceive what is right in front of them. Old-age, bright sunlight, the size of the device being used and the person’s mental and physical state at one point, all are included when we talk about accessible design on the web. Therefore, when businesses and organisations are able to build such experiences that cater to all of what I just mentioned, only then would they be truly accessible.
Here is a video to help you understand accessibility a little better.
Why Do You Need to Prioritise Accessibility?
After looking at the meaning of accessibility, it is important to understand its importance. Until we know the true value of something, we don’t become inclined to accept it. And accepting accessibility and implementing it has to be a priority today.
“The power of the Web is in its universality. Access by everyone regardless of disability is an essential aspect.”
With Tim’s words at the back of our minds, let’s find out what the fuss about accessibility is for. Here are three reasons that sum up the crux of accessibility and why it ought to be practiced down to the very of the web business.
Do you want to build a wider consumer base?
The paramount reason for practising accessibility lies in the numbers we talked about in the introduction. The close to one billion differently-abled people in the world would be able to access your web project with ease. They won’t feel frustrated or undervalued by your business model, if it is accessible. And can you guess what that means? Yes, you’ll be able to target a market that your competitors might have overlooked. And that is enough to get you the revenue you endeavour for.
Do you want to be on the good side of the law?
You know the United Nations? I’m sure you do. And when the UN says something is important and needs to be followed, you follow it. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities clearly states that access to information and communications technologies is a basic human right. And when you make websites that are inaccessible to persons with disabilities, you are going against the UN and you won’t want that.
Even in the US, the Americans with Disabilities Act also establishes grounds for web accessibility and adherence to those guidelines is important to stay on the good side of the law, don’t you agree?
Do you want your brand image to be positive?
Then, there is the concern about brand image. If I had to describe accessibility’s essence, the only thing that would do it justice would be social inclusion. Including every section of the society and every scenario that may hamper their web experience, and building a web project that takes into account all of that would most definitely get positive feedback from the audience using it. And that is how you build a positive brand image.
Now, tell me are you not on the side of accessibility? Are you not craving to make the entirety of your website truly accessible to the users, whoever they may be, whatever their physical or mental condition be, and wherever they may be?
If that is the case, continue reading because I am going to be talking about accessibility tools that are found in Drupal, a leading CMS, so that you can use those tools and modules to make your site the epitome of accessibility.
Let’s Start by Understanding Drupal and Accessibility as One
Drupal has certain checklists that are used to evaluate the competence of a particular aspect of your project, these are called Drupal Core Gates. There are six in total, ranging from Content to Frontend and testing. And you would be glad to know that accessibility is one of these six parameters, this alone is explanatory enough to let you know how much Drupal prioritises this part of web designing.
Drupal’s Accessibility statement states that,
“As an inclusive community, we are committed to making sure that Drupal is an accessible tool for building websites that can also be accessed by people with disabilities.”
And there is more;
- Drupal stringently adheres to the World Wide Web Consortium’s WCAG 2.0 and ATAG 2.0 guidelines in its core operations;
- Drupal’s HTML structures also conform to WCAG 2.0 standards;
- Drupal also focuses on adequate contrast between text colour and the background;
- Drupal stresses on keyboard usability, thus testing a project by only using the keyboard is an important part of Drupal’s accessibility process;
- Finally, Drupal emphasises on form fields being labeled to the proper standards.
All of these are proof of Drupal’s compliance with accessibility, meaning that Drupal is incomplete without it. With the additional WAI-ARIA support, Drupal is becoming all the more proficient in building projects that are accessible and rich internet applications.
With that said, let us look at the accessibility-centric features found in Drupal.
The Logic Semantic
The addition of WAI-ARIA landmarks, live regions, roles and properties has equipped Drupal to provide more semantic HTML5 elements that can be leveraged by assistive technology.
Let’s try to understand this, when an assistive device scans a web page for information, it extracts the data about the Document Object Model (DOM), or the HTML structure of the page. No further information is read by the screen reader.
Often these assistive devices only allow a user to select to read the headings on the page or only the links. It prioritizes according to the hierarchy in which the headings and links are presented making browsing easier for users of assistive devices. So, HTML and WAI-ARIA help in achieving screen-friendliness and making the UIs more interactive.
Aural users play a major role where accessible design is concerned. To that accord, Drupal.announce() has been made a part of Drupal core so that timely messages can be delivered to these users relying on a screen reader with different tones as well; you can be assertive or polite, it is up to you. This is the Aural Alerts feature.
The Tabbing Manager
Users that are visually impaired and the ones who cannot operate a mouse can opt for the Tabbing Manager. This is a feature that would essentially become a guide for these users, so that they are able to access all the salient features and that too in a logical order.
The CSS Options
Your content can be displayed in multifarious ways; it is up to you to decide how you want it. With Drupal’s CSS classes, you can control the way your content is hidden or not. Would certain screen readers can view it or all of them, would hidden, visually hidden or focusable or entirely invisible, you would get to decide every single nuance.
This is due to the centralised alternative to CSS display:none; and the standardisation of the HTML5 Boilerplate naming convention.
The Accessible Forms
It is important to provide the necessary feedback to users about the results of their form submission. Both the times when successful and when not. This incorporates an in-line feedback that is typically provided after form submission.
Notifications have to be concise and clear. The error message, in particular, should be easy to understand and provide simple instructions on how the situation can be resolved. And in case of successful submission, a message to confirm would do.
Drupal forms have turned out to be impressively more open to the expansion of available inline form errors. It is now easier for everyone to identify what errors they might have made when filling in a web form.
Fieldset labels are utilized as systems for gathering related segments of forms. Effectively implemented
In today’s electronically driven communication world, data security is no small matter. What’s safe? Who do you trust? Who else can access your data, and do you even know who those people or companies are selling it to? A critical part of data security is encryption. It protects everything from our personal information, helping prevent identity theft, financial information like your bank account and credit card from being accessed, to company secrets. According to a 2019 CNBC article, cyberattacks cost businesses an average of $200,000, with 43% of attacks being aimed at small businesses. What can your business do to help ensure your data is protected, while still enabling collaboration? Take a deep dive into understanding end to end encryption, and how emerging technologies like Yjs can be incorporated to meet your needs. Tag1 Managing Director Michael Meyers and VP of Software Development Fabian Franz are joined by Yjs creator Kevin Jahns, and Nik Graf, a technology consultant and creator of Serenity Notes in this Tag1 Team Talk. ### Related content – Serenity Notes – Yjs – Index of Yjs resources on Tag1 Photo by Philipp Katzenberger on Unsplash
Mon, 04/05/2021 – 07:21