Drupal core announcements: Announcing the Bug-Smash community initiative!

Happy to announce we’re attempting to kick off a new community initiative primarily focused on fixing and closing bugs.

We’re hoping to

  • reduce the total amount of open core bugs
  • reduce the average age of open bugs
  • increase the number of closed bugs
  • mentor those looking to get move involved in contributing to core
  • give community members from countries in the Eastern Hemisphere the chance to participate in a core initiative in their local time zone.

We need you!

Resolving core bugs requires a wide range of skills – we’re looking for volunteers to join us who can help with one or more of the following tasks:

  • Triaging and classifying bugs
  • Writing good bug reports, with steps to reproduce
  • Writing patches to resolve the bug
  • Writing automated test-cases to confirm the bug, and that it is resolved
  • Reviewing patches, through the lens of each of the core gates e.g. technical, accessibility, performance, backwards-compatibility, documentation, internationalization and usability.
  • Communicating with sub-system experts in order to gain sign off on non trivial changes
  • Writing documentation as required
  • Manual testing of the patch
  • Communicating any changes via blog posts, change records, release note snippets etc.
  • Coordination and management

If you are are looking to get involved – come join us on Slack in the #bugsmash channel.

We will meet asynchronously in the #bugsmash slack channel fortnightly on a Tuesday at 0400 UTC which maps to the following times:

  • 2pm AEST
  • 12 noon AWST, CST
  • 4pm NZST
  • 9.30am IST
  • 6.00am CEST
  • 5.00am BST
  • 8.00pm PST
  • 11.00pm EST

Gábor Hojtsy: Thanks for making a difference at Drupal 9 Porting Weekend!

I organized Drupal 9 Porting Day for April 28 as part of my #DrupalCares funding sub-campaign to help the Drupal Association bounce back from their financial losses due to the ongoing pandemic. It was a lot of fun with Lee Rowlands, Vladimir Roudakov, Adam Bergstein and Mike Lutz helping lead the contribution before and after my time of availability. 126 issues were worked on and 43 newly Drupal 9 compatible releases were made then.

Given how fun it was, with Drupal 9 coming out next week it was logical to do another event. Last Friday would have been a great opportunity in person at DrupalCon Minneapolis if not for the pandemic (again). So I decided to schedule the event for that weekend. Surabhi Gokte and Gabriele Maira helped a lot in getting the event off the ground and we announced Drupal 9 Porting Weekend for May 22-23 to accommodate people available on the workday as well as the weekend.

With more time to prepare, a lot more interested folks signed up to help lead the event in their respective timezones. 14 leads signed up and helped contributors for 52 hours, while the event lasted. Thanks Vladimir Roudakov (VladimirAus), Janna Malikova (JannaKha), Vaibhav Jain (vaibhavjain), Tsegaselassie Tadesse (tsega), Gabriele Maira (gambry), João Ventura (jcnventura), Oleh Vehera (voleger), Matthew Radcliffe (mradcliffe), Michael Lutz (mikelutz), Adam Bergstein (nerdstein), Kristen Pol, Qiangjun Ran (jungle), Jaideep Singh Kandari (JayKandari) and Digant Jagtap (digantdj), you were fantastic!

Kristen Pol and Tsegaselassie Tadesse were also very active in the planning stage, Kristen published a very detailed guide to the weekend, Tsega wrote up and posted developer tips. The Bassam Ismail posted this video based on those guides of an actual Drupal 9 project update running with Upgrade Status and Rector, ending in submitting the patch:

So with everything well prepared, Vladimir and Janna started the weekend and the leads were handing off responsibilities to each other throughout the whole event. This is how time coverage looked like for the whole 52 hours. There was not a single time when someone was not there to help:

We had a lot of fun and learned a ton from each other. While numbers will not explain the event, that is all we have after the fact to look at, so here they are:

When looking at project releases, the weekend also supported a major increase in daily newly Drupal 9 compatible releases also with several days of after-effects (I am counting these with my own script):

New releases at the weekend and shortly after included fun modules like Pirate but also seriously cool modules like the Tome static site generator, Quicklink and top 200 most used modules like Views Accordion and Schema.org Metatag.

As luck would have it Drupal 9.0.0 RC1 was also released on this weekend, which meant that people testing their updated projects also gave the Drupal 9 release candidate a test drive right away.

For me this event was amazing to organize. The results in new Drupal 9 compatible projects before the stable core release and the additional testing of the release candidate are all good material outcomes. The raised awareness around the porting process and tools as well as the know-how shared will last even longer as people use what they learned and teach others as well. Also the concentrated increased use of the tools resulted in more improvement suggestions, so we can make them even better for the next wave of porters to come.

Thanks all for your involvement, you made a lasting difference. Keep spreading your know-how and all the good things about Drupal 9!

Ps. Next up is celebrating the release on June 3rd, 2020! Post your artwork, selfies, videos and events at https://celebratedrupal.org/ and let’s have some fun together.

Ny Media: 5 tips for universal design

5 tips for universal design

En gruppe glade folk med ulike handikap.

silje
May 29, 2020

Universal design of ICT is about designing websites, apps and self-service machines so that as many people as possible can use it regardless of disability. Those who use your website may be visually impaired or blind and therefore dependent on screen readers, or people with disabilities who use keyboard only or other tools to navigate the website, or users with cognitive disabilities.

We’ve put together five tips on how to make the site accessible to as many users as possible.

01 Typography – make your website easy to read

Your website should be easy to read. Those who use the website may be visually impaired, may have cognitive impairment, or may simply want to scour the content of the page. Simple design concepts such as using the right size of the text, length of lines and subheadings help here.

In documents and on print it is common to use 12 dots on text, while on screen this text becomes very small. It is recommended to use 14 or 16 points instead. The text should also stand out above the background. Avoid long texts on images and, if necessary, use a  semi-transparent background color.

Long lines are harder to read, and the long distance from end to start of the next line can also interfere with the flow of reading. For a single-column page, 45 to 75 characters are considered satisfactory lengths. It also helps with the read flow that the start of each line is equal. Body should therefore be aligned to the left, not centered.

Divide the text into paragraphs and use headings and subheadings. This makes it easier to understand the structure of the text. Make sure the headings are bigger so that they are different from the body text. 

02. Contrast for the visually impaired and color blind, but also those who are out in the sun.

obile phone held up towards the sun, with reflection on the screen.

It is of little help that the text is large enough if you have light gray text on a white background. Good contrast on texts, buttons and icons is very important. This is not only for the visually impaired, but also for users who have low brightness and contrast on their screen, such as when out in the sun.

For at innholdet skal komme godt nok frem skal kontrasten være 7:1 på liten tekst (f.eks brødtekst) og 3:1 på overskrifter og større illustrasjoner, ikoner o.l. 

For the content to appear clearly enough, the contrast should be 7: 1 on small text (eg body text) and 3: 1 on headings and larger illustrations and icons.

03. Proper use of alt text

Alt text is a texts that can be read by screen readers so that those who cannot see the image won’t miss any important information on the page.

A typical mistake is to start the alt text with “Picture of ..”. or “icon for …”.  The screen readers knows that the content is an image, but it needs a text to describe it to the user. Therefore, use the alt text to describing the image rather than explaining that it is an image.

It is also important to be detailed if it is important to the context. The alt text should not consist of keywords, but be a complete sentence. Examples of bad alt text for the image above would be “Person with mask, graffiti wall”. A better alt text is “Man with a white Guy Fawkes mask is facing camera in front of a graffiti wall.” Also, make sure the text is not too long. The maximum length of the alt text is 125 characters.

04. Make the links stand out from the text

Links in the body text can sometimes be difficult to detect, especially for the visually impaired and color blind. The links should therefore be clearly distinguished from the text around, both in color and underline. But it is not just in the design that one can make a difference, it also matters what text you use. We often see links at the end of a sentence that are named “here”. For example, “Read about our services here”. Instead, you want to tell the user what the link does or what content it links to in the link text itself. A better link text would be “Read about our services“.

05. Make the texts easily understandable

This tip is very much related to the first, but this is more about language and content production than design and layout. Keep in mind that some users might have some cognitive disabilities. A simpler language and shorter sentences might make it easier for these users.

  • Make your texts short and precise. Avoid writing long paragraphs that cover several topics.
  • Use bullet points if possible.
  • Simplify the language. If you use abbreviations or subject terms, it is wise to explain these the first time they are used.
  • Use images and illustrations to divide the content and to illustrate the main points.

Drupal blog: Preparing to Celebrate Drupal 9

The launch of Drupal 9 is less than a week away, and that is cause for celebration. In the past, the Drupal community and the Drupal Association have organized a variety of celebrations across the globe. For Drupal 8’s launch we saw more than 200 release parties happen on six continents. 2015 Drupal 8 Celebrations

Celebrations in the time of COVID-19 are a much different affair; the world looks different than it did for Drupal 8’s launch in 2015.

But that doesn’t mean we aren’t going to celebrate!

For Drupal 9, the community has built CelebrateDrupal.org – a central hub for all of the virtual celebrations the community will undertake this year for the release of Drupal 9.

We encourage you to join in the fun!

You can post your virtual events for others to join, upload photos of your Drupal 9 cupcakes, or selfies of your celebration, or add video. We’ve also provided a complete brand kit with the updated Drupal brand, which you are welcome to use as part of your celebrations.

We encourage you to post about your celebrations on social media using the hashtags #CelebrateDrupal, #Drupal9, and #D9LaunchDay (on June 3rd). 

Finally, we’d love to have you join us for DrupalCon Global, from July 14-17, where we’ll be reflecting on the Drupal 9 launch as a community.

While we’re sad we can’t celebrate in person, we’re thrilled to celebrate with the whole Drupal community virtually following Drupal 9’s release on June 3rd. We’ll see you online!

Spinning Code: SC Dug May 2020: Virtual Backgrounds

This month’s SC DUG meeting featured Will Jackson from Kanopi Studios talking about his virtual background and office.

Before everyone was learning to use Zoom virtual backgrounds, Will had built out a full 3D room for his background, including family pictures and other fun details. He talked about what he built and may inspire you to try some more personalized than swaying palm tree and night skies.

If you would like to join us please check out our up coming events on MeetUp for meeting times, locations, and remote connection information.

We frequently use these presentations to practice new presentations, try out heavily revised versions, and test out new ideas with a friendly audience. So if some of the content of these videos seems a bit rough please understand we are all learning all the time and we are open to constructive feedback. If you want to see a polished version checkout our group members’ talks at camps and cons.

If you are interested in giving a practice talk, leave me a comment here, contact me through Drupal.org, or find me on Drupal Slack. We’re excited to hear new voices and ideas. We want to support the community, and that means you.

Community Working Group posts: Loss of Work Resources

It’s been a long few months for many of us and we’re all ready for some good news!! Luckily, as a part of the Drupal open source community, we have some. Our group continues to be full of strong, resilient, and uplifting individuals who truly understand that we’re all in this together. 

You Have Resources

We cannot recommend strongly enough to please, stay connected and in-touch with your local community. Now more than ever, this can help maintain momentum and provide the companionship that many of us miss during this time of social and physical distancing. Many local and regional meetups provide time at the beginning of their events for networking, including dedicated time for those looking for work and those who are hiring. We encourage virtual event organizers to continue to provide (or even expand) this aspect of online events.

Beyond the power of word-of-mouth, there are other online resources available to you in these unusual times. There are Drupal Camps that have year-round job boards posted on their websites. Drupal.org has a whole section of their website dedicated to those looking for work. The organizations that are posting here are invested in Drupal, just as you are. This common spark could start you on a new path. 

What You Can Do for Yourself

In spite of the global state, there are many things you can do – you are empowered! We suggest you start with the following:

  • Add your profile on Drupal.org
  • If you already have one, give your Drupal profile an overhaul and be sure it’s up to date. 
    • Update your bio: Ask yourself if that is really how you see yourself
    • Past companies: Don’t forget to show your growth
    • Bio Picture: Just make sure that if you look like it’s your prom picture, that you intended it that way.
    • Ask a fellow community member to review and provide suggestions for improving it. Many of us have difficulty in promoting ourselves, so ask for help to ensure that potential clients/employers see you for all that you are!
  • Update your resume
  • How to prepare for an interview
  • Don’t get shy. We repeat: Don’t Get Shy! Even when feeling the “aloneness” of it all, get out there virtually. Attend local meetups and camps to network and grow the community
  • Keep learning. In the face of everything, stay curious! It’s probably how you started down this road, to begin with

How Employers Can Help

Great leaders know that communication is the key to success. Now more than ever, your leadership skills and community contributions are needed to help pull us through this global crisis. Please, 

  • Be transparent with employees and contractors. We are all in this together.
  • Sponsor DrupalCamps at the job board level to get connected.
  • List any open positions on Drupal.org.
  • And remember the gift of presence; network at local and regional meetups and mentor those you can.

We Never Stop Growing

Even in challenging times, we as individuals and as groups cannot stop growing. Take time, get talking, and get excited. There are many more roads to be traveled, together.

Resources

We welcome additional resources in the comment section, thanks!

Mediacurrent: Introducing Mediacurrent Multisite+

Mediacurrent Multisite+ logo

One of the most powerful features with Drupal is the ability to create multiple site instances from the same base platform. The Drupal multisite system is great for managing university departments, government agencies, and corporate microsites wanting to standardize design and features across many sites.

The problem with the standard multisite setup is that it’s not easy to spin up new sites without the help of a developer. Mediacurrent makes this process painless with our new launch tool for multisite! The Mediacurrent Multisite+ solution allows site administrators to create a new site from a simple web form located in their website’s Drupal 8 admin interface. Creating a new site instance now takes a matter of minutes. 

Read on to find out how this works, or contact us now for a free demo.

Here’s how Multisite+ works

We will get you up and running in 3 steps. For our initial launch, we support Drupal 8 on Pantheon.io’s hosting platform with Acquia support in Q3, 2020 and Drupal 9 coming soon. 

Step 1 – Configuring the Application

The first thing we will do is set up the application environment to be compatible with a multisite environment. Drupal 8, by default, is built to be multisite-compatible by allowing configuration to be re-used across multiple site instances. 

For the Pantheon hosting environment, we will create a custom Upstream from the desired Drupal 8 application. Our Multisite+ integration will leverage this Upstream to provision new sites, each with their own dedicated resources.

custom upstreams for Area Alert and Rain distributions

Example of Upstreams created by Mediacurrent

Step 2 – Setting up Automation

As a next step, our DevOps team will set up the automation that allows the Drupal application to interact with the hosting environment. This process does the “heavy lifting” of actually spinning up the site instance and running the installation process.

Step 3 – Enabling the Multisite+ Module

Finally, we will add and configure our Multisite+ module for the primary Drupal 8 application that needs to kickoff new site installations. This module connects your application to the automation that does the actual work to set up your new website instance.

When we’re done with this one-time setup, a new form becomes available that administrators can use to initiate a new website build.

Mediacurrent's Multisite+ form setup in Drupal

Multisite+ form example

And that’s it! Now your administrators have the keys to create new campaign sites, microsites, or any other type of site that leverages an existing Drupal 8 application.

Ready to get started?

Mediacurrent would love to work with you to better enable your teams to manage multiple Drupal websites. For more information on how to get your organization set up, please visit our contact page or chat with us right now (see bottom right corner of the page). We would be happy to talk more about your project or schedule a demonstration.

Lullabot: Should You Upgrade from Drupal 7 to Drupal 9?

Drupal 7, our much-loved CMS that was released in 2011, is nearing the end of its life. No, that’s not hyperbole; Drupal 7 is scheduled to reach end-of-life in November 2021. Drupal 8 has been out for a few years, but at the time of this writing, Drupal core usage statistics indicate that only about 350,000 of the more than 1.1 million reporting Drupal core sites are using Drupal 8.x. Over 730,000 of those sites are still using Drupal 7.