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DrupalCon News: DrupalCon Global Mega Update: How the first Virtual DrupalCon will Look and Feel

9 hours 2 min ago

In light of last week’s challenging events, we are reflecting on the importance that Drupal is global in scale and has the capability to promote hope through access. With the launch of Drupal 9, we're witnessing an increased interest in the Drupal project from around the world. This year, we have a unique opportunity with our virtual conference to reach a broader audience than ever before. Join us to learn and meet others online everywhere at DrupalCon Global from July 14-17th, 2020 (registration is open now). 

Just a Gwai Lo: Drupal 9 Is Here, and the Pirate Module is Ready. Yarr!

Fri, 06/05/2020 - 15:45

In anticipation of the June 3rd launch of Drupal 9, I spent the weekend a week previous to the launch dusting off the Drupal module I'm most famous for: the Pirate module! What does it do, exactly? Like the WP extension, the Pirate module changes your site's content to pirate-speak on September 19th, International Talk Like a Pirate Day. I took the tagline ("Ah, Squiddy! I got nothing against ye. I just heard there was gold in yer belly. Ha ha har, ha ha ha har!"), which I buried in the configuration, from a non-pirate, sea captain Horatio McCallister. (Spoiler alert: He's not even a real sea captain.) It adds a text filter (previously known as an input format) to whatever field you specify, and on September 19th, that field's content is changed into various pirate-like sayings, interspersed with yarr! and avast! During Drupal's semantic versioning transition, versions 8.x-1.1 forward are intended to be fully compatible with Drupal 9.

The module started out as an internal ticket at Bryght in 2005. Boris Mann came across the Talk Like a Pirate plugin for WordPress, and since both Drupal and WordPress are written in PHP, he wanted it ported over. I took the ticket, 45 minutes before a colleague saw it and, almost 15 years later, it serves as the project I use to keep up with Drupal internals. Thanks to a patch from Snehal Brahmbhatt, later confirmed by a robot, I am able to legitimately claim that the module has full Drupal 9 compatibility. (Unlike the move from Drupal 7 to 8, Drupal 9 is an update, not a rebuild.) It has had an official release for all versions of Drupal since 4.6.

Over the weekend of updating the module for D9, I caught wind of DrupalSpoons, and without fulling realizing the implications, I applied to have the Pirate module mirrored there. (Moshe was excited!) After reading the DrupalSpoons announcement, I understood it to be an experiment in using GitLab as the issue queue and repository platform more directly than the Drupal core and contributed modules projects, which uses GitLab as an underlying provider for their official repositories. As long as code and issues are synced between the two, I don't have a problem pushing and responding in both spaces.

I'm looking forward to September 19th this year and years to come. Yarr!

OpenSense Labs: Writing For Designers

Fri, 06/05/2020 - 10:55
Writing For Designers Tuba Ayyubi Fri, 06/05/2020 - 14:25


Writing is an exploration. You start from nothing and learn as you go.
- E. L. Doctorow

When you think of a writer, the first thing that would come to your mind is someone who writes novels, blogs, or poems, or maybe scripts. That’s where we go wrong. Today, content is required in every part of the web. Not only does it help your audience create a relationship with your brand but it covers every single aspect of the business. Upkeeping your content will help you upkeep your brand.

Most of the designers don’t see writing as a skill that is required for them. UX designs are not complete without writing. It is important for them to communicate in order to influence. 

Writing Can Be Hard

Writing is hard even for writers. There are times that you have to write about things that you don’t believe in or things that you don’t know about. The more you accept that it is a tough task, the more it becomes easy for you. 

Even though writing is hard, it doesn’t have to be painful. In school, we were asked to write essays which had a specific word count which made most of us assume that writing is a painful and unpleasant experience. 

A writer's job is to help in selling a product, but a designer who writes does more than that. He is responsible for the writing along with the design.

Essential Tips For A Designer To Improve Writing 

With the apps and websites becoming more complex, the need for clear guidance within them has grown. Words convey meaning, and writing in a concise manner helps the users to understand the message your design and content is trying to send. 

Writing will help you become a better designer and a better thinker. In a way, writing is similar to designing. In writing you have to decide which ideas you need in the content and which ones to remove. Similarly in designing, you look for features that your design needs or features that need to be removed from it. 

Writing in a clear and concise language helps the users to understand your content easily and get the desired information. Here are some ways that will help:


When a user searches for something on the web, they usually search for keywords. So, it is important to use clear and front-loaded heading to make it easier for users to reach your webpage. 

Use short sentences that give a clear message. Long and complicated sentences make the readers work harder to understand what they are reading. They would want you to get straight to the point instead of confusing them with complex words and sentences that are not needed. If you do this, it shows that you respect the readers time and attention.

Too many lines can confuse the users so it’s always better to use bullet lists wherever possible. Try to keep it short and clearly emphasize the points that you are trying to make. 

It is crucial to prioritize your content. When a user visits your webpage, he should be able to get the important information in the beginning and continue to read if they want to understand more of the content.

Source: The Ready | MediumReasons why writing makes you a better designer

Now that we know of a few tricks to make our writing clear and concise, let’s quickly look at how consistent writing makes you a better designer:

Thoughts


When you make a mistake or repeat a thought in your writing you will remove or change it and run your thoughts around it to get better ideas. Writing is great exercise for your mind and it helps you to stay organised and logical in your thinking. 

Growth

Another benefit of writing is that it makes you a better listener which is a crucial skill for designers. The more you read and explore the world of writing, the more you become involved with creativity.

Creativeness


Writing makes you creative! A designer with great writing skills brings out more creativity in his designs. Keeping a small notepad to make notes when you read, talk or observe something helps you gather ideas for designing. 

You can try the pen and paper magic. Writing things down using a pen and a paper benefits your brain. Writing everything down, whether it’s during a user interview, or you’re conducting research or testing, helps you remember and understand better.

Clarity


Having clarity in your writing improves your understanding with the users. It not only helps you in supporting your reasoning but also to answer any sort of objections made on your content. 

It is important that the readers understand what you write. Your writing should be so clear that even a reader who is new to the subject is easily able to understand it. After you are done writing, you can ask a non-designer to give it a read so that you are able to get an idea if the audience will be able to understand your content. 

Leadership


Writing makes you a better leader. When you start writing, you research the particular subject.  More and more writing will help you get clearer thoughts and explain your concepts better to your readers and listeners and support your reasoning. 

Conclusion

It is important to write friendly content so that when a user engages with your website he feels like he is engaging with a human rather than computers.

You can always keep trying and find resources to improve your writing skills. Read as much as you can. It is important to explore to keep your thoughts moving and enhance your creativity both as a designer and writer. 

blog banner blog image Drupal Designer Design Ideas Content Creation UI/UX Writers UX Design UX Writer Design writing Blog Type Articles Is it a good read ? On

Matt Glaman: Boost your test writing productivity with PHPUnit for PhpStorm

Fri, 06/05/2020 - 06:30
Boost your test writing productivity with PHPUnit for PhpStormThursday 4, June 2020mglaman #
  • phpstorm
  • phpunit
  • drupal

Kristen Pol: Drupal for justice

Fri, 06/05/2020 - 03:36

As I'm sure you already know, Drupal 9.0.0 was released yesterday which was the result of thousands of people in the Drupal community coming together to make Drupal even more amazing. The release has a new Drupal 9 landing page and a Drupal 9 video that highlights the journey of Drupal and the Drupal community. We are truly better together.

You are also most certainly aware of the tragic killing of George Floyd as a result of police brutality and the resulting protests throughout the United States and other parts of the world. As an American, it sickens me to see how the Black community is treated in the US. Systemic racism is real and real change is needed urgently. Watching the peaceful protests throughout my country, I feel outrage, sadness, and hope.



Source: WYDAILY

For better or worse, I've been on Twitter a lot over the last couple months, and during the last couple weeks, it's been difficult to reconcile the content in my Twitter feed. Violence and anger and grief from yet another senseless tragedy in the Black community. Excitement and pride and joy from years of hard work on Drupal 9. I've struggled to take pleasure in the Drupal 9 release while watching the heartbreaking events unfold in the news.

I wanted to write a post about how amazing Drupal 9 is and how amazing the Drupal community is. Yet I'm preoccupied with thinking how I can make things better, how I can make the world better. Knowing many in the Drupal community, I am certain I am not alone with these thoughts and feelings. I did some research and have found some reactions from the Drupal community in light of recent events that I would like to highlight.

read more

Electric Citizen: What You Need to Know About Drupal 9

Thu, 06/04/2020 - 17:06

Happy birthday! Drupal 9 was officially released on June 3rd, 2020 and is available to start using today.

But what does this mean for the thousands of websites currently using Drupal 8 (and earlier)? Do you have to upgrade? Will your existing Drupal site no longer be supported? What is new and how different is it from the Drupal we know? 

Let’s take a look at these questions, review the upgrade process and highlight what’s new or changed with the latest version of this popular open-source CMS.

Joachim's blog: Using lazy builders with Twig templates

Thu, 06/04/2020 - 16:04

Lazy builders were introduced in Drupal 8's render system to solve the problem of pieces of your page that have a low cacheability affecting the cacheability of the whole page. Typical uses of this technique are with entire render arrays which are handed over to a lazy builder.

However, in retrofitting an existing site to make use of caching more effectively, I found that we have a large amount of content that would be cacheable were it not for a single string. Specifically, we have a DIV of the details for a product, but also in that DIV there is the serial number for the user's specific instance of that product.

The whole of this product DIV was output by a Twig template. I could have ripped this up and remade it as a big render array, putting the lazy builder in for the serial number, but this seemed like a lot of work, and would also make our front-end developers unhappy.

It turned out there was another way. The render system deals with placeholders for lazy builders automatically, so you typically will just do:

$build['uncacheable_bit'] = [ '#lazy_builder' => [ 'my_service:myLazyBuilder', [], ], ];

but as I learned from a blog post by Borisson, you can make the placeholders yourself put them anywhere in the content and attach the lazy builders to the build array. This is what the render system does when it handles a '#lazy_builder' builder render array item.

One application of this is that you can pass the placeholder as a parameter to a twig template:

// Your placeholder can be anything, but using a hash like the render system // does prevents accidental replacements. $placeholder = Crypt::hashBase64('some_data'); $build['my_content'] = [ '#theme' => 'my_template', '#var_1' => $var_1, // This is just a regular parameter as far as the Twig template cares, // output with {{lazy_builder_var}} as normal. '#lazy_builder_var' => $placeholder, ]; $build['#attached']['placeholders'][$placeholder] = [ '#lazy_builder' => [ // The lazy builder callback and parameters. 'my_service:myLazyBuilder', [], ], ];

With this approach, the Twig template just needed some minor changes. It doesn't care about the lazy builder; all it sees is the placeholder string which it treats like any other text. The render system finds the placeholder in the '#attached' attribute, and handles the replacement when the rendered template is retrieved from the render cache.

The result is that we're able to cache much more in the render cache, and improve site performance.

Now I just have to figure out the cache tags...

Centarro: Adding Custom Ajax Commands to the Add to Cart Form

Thu, 06/04/2020 - 15:34

Most eCommerce platforms support offering multiple product variations on a single product display page. These variations are often differentiated by named attributes, e.g. size, color, etc. In Drupal Commerce, we support all of this via Product and ProductVariation entities paired with ProductAttribute and ProductAttributeValue entities that define those differentiating attributes on each variation. Furthermore, you can fully customize your product data model by adding fields of any Drupal field type to your products and variations.

Unlike many other platforms, we support virtually unlimited variations and attributes for any product. It may seem like a small thing, but consider that Shopify, one of the largest eCommerce platforms in the world, only lets you add 3 such attributes to your products, only supports entering options via free-tagging, and offers no way to change how attributes are rendered on the Add to Cart form. This is all elementary in Drupal Commerce thanks to the strengths of Drupal's data model.

Read more

Agiledrop.com Blog: Drupal 9 - a new era for enterprise digital experiences

Thu, 06/04/2020 - 11:26

Drupal 9 represents the framework's most significant shift and paves the way for a new outlook on digital experiences. In this post, we give an overview of some of the most notable novelties with Drupal 9 and why they’re so groundbreaking for the digital sphere.

READ MORE

ComputerMinds.co.uk: Drupal 9, it's here!

Thu, 06/04/2020 - 09:13

It’s here! June 3rd 2020 marks the official release date of the first production ready version of Drupal 9. It feels like Drupal 8 was only released a short while ago but it turns out it’s been 4.5 years already! The release of any new major version of Drupal is an exciting milestone in the project’s history and with a shiny new brand logo in place, Drupal 9 is ready to hit the ground running.

We are already well underway doing upgrade builds for our clients that are still on Drupal 7, and for those that are on Drupal 8 already, we will be shortly getting those running on Drupal 9 too.

With the release of Drupal 9 now out in the wild, you only have until November 2021 until Drupal 7 and 8 reach end of life (EOL). By that time those versions will no longer receive any further security updates. So it’s imperative that any Drupal 7 or 8 sites out there have plans to complete the upgrade to Drupal 9 in time before then because the work required for Drupal 7 sites to upgrade may be pretty significant. One of our developers Christian wrote an excellent article on upgrading your existing Drupal 7 site in May last year, so be sure to check that out if you haven’t already.

So what new features can you expect when upgrading a Drupal 8 site to Drupal 9? Well, nothing immediately obvious. The first release of Drupal 9 (9.0.0) contains the exact same features as the final minor release of Drupal (8.9.0), just with updated dependencies that Drupal 9 relies upon and there’s been a clear out of deprecated code from the 8.x codebase. This means Drupal can continue to improve in future with less baggage holding it back.

Work in progress 'Olivero' theme for Drupal 9

This is an exciting new front end theme currently in the works called ‘Olivero’ - which aims to give Drupal 9 a fresh modern default theme - and a new default admin theme called ‘Claro’. New and exciting features of Drupal 9 will start arriving with the release of Drupal 9.1 onwards...

At ComputerMinds we still believe strongly in Drupal as the number one platform of choice to build our sites upon and it’s evident that others share that view as there are now over 1 million websites powered by Drupal. It remains a very powerful platform which allows us to build exactly the kind of experience that a client wants, tailored to their specific needs, whilst being able to scale up to potentially handle millions of users and pieces of content. (If your site gets that big!)

Being open source itself and using other open source technologies like Symfony, Composer, Twig and PHPUnit to power it means it’s now more widely accessible than ever to other PHP developers that may have experience with other frameworks using some of the same underlying technology.

Whether it’s powering nonprofit websites such as the Rainforest Alliance, Government websites such as the Colorado General Assembly, providing a superior CMS editing experience for a global magazine like The Economist, helping boost Tourism numbers to Fiji, promoting your favourite music artist like Bruno Mars or helping you to find your favourite recipe on BBC Good Food, Drupal really can do it all.

Drupal 9 is available to download right now from drupal.org so what are you waiting for? Go check it out! (Of course those of you with a properly managed workflow will be upgrading from 8 to 9 using composer, so get that composer file updated!)

If you’ve liked what you’ve read and feel like you’re ready - or in a position - to start thinking about a site upgrade, why not start a conversation with us today by using our contact form. We’d love to hear from you and look forward to seeing what benefits we can bring to your site.

Dries Buytaert: Drupal 9.0.0 released

Wed, 06/03/2020 - 21:12

Today, we released Drupal 9.0.0! This is a big milestone because we have been working on Drupal 9 for almost five years.

I updated my site to Drupal 9 earlier today. It was so easy, it's hard to believe.

As I write this, I'm overwhelmed by feelings of excitement and pride. There is something very special about building and releasing software with thousands of people around the world.

However, I find myself conflicted between today's successful launch and the tragic events in the United States. I can't go about business as usual. Discrimination is the greatest threat to any community, Drupal included.

I have always believed that Drupal is a force for good in the world. People point to our community as one of the largest, most diverse and most supportive Open Source projects in the world. While we make mistakes and can always be better, it's important that we lead by example. That starts with me. I am committing to the community that I will continue to learn more, and fight for equality and justice. I can and will do more. Above all else, it's important to stand in solidarity with Black members of the Drupal community — and the Black community at large.

During this somber time, I remain incredibly proud of our community for delivering Drupal 9. We did this together, as a global community made up of people from different races, ethnicities, genders, and national origins. It gives me some needed positivity.

If you haven't looked at Drupal in a while, I recommend you look again. Compared to Drupal 8.0.0, Drupal 9 is more usable, accessible, inclusive, flexible, and scalable than previous versions. We made so much progress on such important things:

  • Drupal 9 is dramatically easier to use for marketers
  • Drupal 9 is easier to maintain and upgrade for developers
  • Drupal is innovating with its headless or decoupled capabilities

It's hard to describe the amount of innovation and care that went into Drupal since the first release of Drupal 8 almost five years ago. To try and grasp the scale, consider this: more than 4,500 individuals contributed to Drupal core during the past 4.5 years. During that time, the number of active contributors increased by almost 50%. Together, we created the most author-friendly and powerful version of Drupal to date.

Thank you to everyone who made Drupal 9 happen.

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

Wed, 06/03/2020 - 19:00

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

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

Wed, 06/03/2020 - 18:30

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

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

Wed, 06/03/2020 - 17:14

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!

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

Wed, 06/03/2020 - 16:30

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

Annertech: Drupal 9 Launches Today

Wed, 06/03/2020 - 15:57

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).

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

Wed, 06/03/2020 - 15:29

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.

OpenSense Labs: OpenSense Labs Celebrates 4 years Today

Wed, 06/03/2020 - 15:23
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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Palantir: Drupal 9: An Update, Not a Rebuild

Wed, 06/03/2020 - 14:00

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