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Agiledrop.com Blog: Interview with Tiffany Farriss, CEO of Palantir: The advantage of being digital native in times of crisis

Fri, 04/03/2020 - 09:26

Our first Business Leaders interview features Tiffany Farriss, CEO of the digital consultancy Palantir.net. We spoke with Tiffany about the power of the Drupal CMS and being digital native, and discussed the current global crisis and how it necessitates a shift in the way we approach remote work. 

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Lullabot: Clean Drupal Codebase Design with Application Services

Thu, 04/02/2020 - 15:18

Drupal 8 has allowed and fostered the use of new design patterns through both Drupal core itself and through some well-known contributed modules. Those patterns are generally oriented to dealing with Drupal the framework, as expected. But, what about your business logic?

ThinkShout: Accessibility for Teams in a Hurry: Steps for Getting Started

Thu, 04/02/2020 - 13:00
Start Small

Give yourself a scope that is reasonable. For example, committing to make all new content accessible is more doable than retrofitting hundreds of pages of old articles. Set goals that are both ambitious and reasonable.

Read the Guidelines

Select the compliance level you’re working toward to get a better understanding of what accessibility means. Then it won’t feel so complicated.

Simplify the Language on Your Team

If you decide to meet WCAG 2.1 AA, don’t make people say that. Just call them ‘the guidelines’. Have a shared vocabulary so everyone can participate without having to be overwhelmed by a bunch of new acronyms.

Pick Your Testing Tools

This way, your team is measuring success in the same way. Define when testing should happen in your process and who is doing it. Build in redundancies so you can look out for each other as you go.

Most Importantly, Support Each Other!

We’re learning new things all the time, and it’s just part of the process. You’ve got this! Just take it one step at a time.

Resources

ThinkShout: Accessibility for Teams in a Hurry: Navigation

Thu, 04/02/2020 - 13:00

A reliable and accessible navigation system is a priority for any website. Not only is it how users find content, it’s how they understand what types of content a site has to offer. This tells users the story of who you are as an organization, creates a connection and trust between your organization and your audience.

An accessible navigation means that people can access all of the content on the site through any device. It also reflects a larger system where all the decisions around color, interactions, scale and language come together. Some simple fixes to just the navigation alone, can make a big difference in the accessibility of your site.

The principles in our posts about Color Contrast and Links and Buttons apply to the navigation system as well. In addition to those, here are a few things your team should consider when creating and maintaining an accessible navigation:

Scaling

When designing the navigation system, consider how it performs when scaled. People with low vision will zoom in to better see your site. An accessible navigation should allow people to zoom in to 400%. Often, a site zoomed in to 400% will default to the mobile version, which is why keyboard testing your mobile size is also important.

To create a navigation that can scale gracefully, all break points should be designed and built. At ThinkShout, this part of the process is really hands-on and collaborative as the full team tests for accessibility throughout the process. Testing should include using actual devices during QA to make sure the navigation will stand strong.

In this example, we designed this highly interactive map, knowing it was critical for all users to access the information from any device. When you zoom in on a desktop, even at 400% the menus are still clear and usable.

Dropdowns and Mega-Menus

When building a navigation, it’s important to write semantic code as much as possible. Dropdowns, mega-menus and anything interactive needs to be thoroughly keyboard tested to make sure people can

  • Get to them
  • Open them
  • Close them

These features should be tested with an automated tool as well. Navigation can be complex.ere are some great references from W3 with code examples.

Skip Links

A Skip to Main Content link is really useful if a user is navigating through the site without a mouse or using a screen reader. This link would allow the user to avoid hearing or tabbing through the navigation on every page.It’s at the very top of the site, and on a lot of the sites we work on it becomes visible when you focus on it, but is otherwise hidden.

When someone clicks on a Skip to Main Content link, the focus moves to a same-page link below the navigation. This is something we’d recommend for every site.

To Summarize
  1. Test your site zoomed in at 400%. Does it still work? Do things go offscreen?
  2. Test dropdowns and mobile menus with a keyboard. Can you get to it? Can you click it?
  3. Include a Skip Link: People should be able to bypass the navigation

What’s next? Check out our post on Getting Started >

Resources

ThinkShout: Accessibility for Teams in a Hurry: Links & Buttons

Thu, 04/02/2020 - 13:00

Links and buttons can cause all kinds of accessibility bugs. Everyone that uses a website engages with links and buttons countless times without even thinking even about it. When you do have to stop and think about what a button does, or where it goes or why it’s not working, it’s frustrating.

This topic is especially important because links and buttons are how we actually do anything online. Without access to the links and buttons on a site, people are excluded from information and experiences. At ThinkShout, our process for creating accessible links and buttons is highly collaborative and as what we build becomes more complex, responsibilities are shared more and more.

Test Color Contrast for Links

Testing color contrast for links and buttons has an additional guideline to consider:contrast when a link is in body text. If a body copy link doesn’t have underlines, it needs to have a 3:1 contrast ratio between itself and surrounding text in addition to the foreground vs. background ratio of 4.5:1. The WebAIM color contrast checker can specifically test link color contrast within body copy. The goal here is for your site visitors to know when something in body copy is a link.

Define Action States for Buttons

When designing a button, four action states that need to be considered:

  1. Standard: how it looks by default.
  2. Hover: How it looks when a user has hovered, but not yet selected
  3. Active: how it looks when it has been selected
  4. Focus: how it looks when you navigate to it with a keyboard.

Action states give a visual queue to users that they are engaging with a button. Most teams know to create a hover state, but defining a focus state will make navigating a page with a keyboard much clearer and easier.

This is an area where collaboration between design and development is key in the handoff and during implementation. If action states are missing, our developers ask the designer what they should be. If the designer finds one is missing during QA, they let the developer know.

Give Buttons and Actions Clear Labels

Accessible labels can happen during content creation AND in the code.

Loop in Content Creators

Labeling buttons and links is another area that requires a full team effort and often involves multiple stakeholders to align on language. Clearly Labeling an action is just as important as having a headline that makes sense. While many of these interactions feel minor while designing a system, they are meaningful and should be carefully considered. Designers should collaborate with stakeholders to make accessible language recommendations.

Icon Buttons Need Labels Too

When coding a site, a common bug is on icon buttons that do not include labels. Search, hamburger and social media buttons are notorious for developers forgetting to put a label on them which means you only know what they do if you can see the visual icon. You can use a property called an aria-label to add a label that’s available to assistive technology like screen readers.

Links Should Make Sense Out of Context

Labels need to make sense out of context because some users are navigating a site with their voice using tools like Dragon. If the text in each button is the same, folks can’t just say the name of the button without performing a workaround to access the button they want to click. When people get to a site they don’t read every word they scan the page. Instead of doing that visually, using a screen reader you can pull up a list of Headings or Links and browse that list to find what you’re looking for.

A puppy website with several “Click to Vote” buttons. More specific text in buttons helps users know what they do when visual context isn’t available.

In this example, the Click to Vote! buttons are confusing because a user wouldn’t know if they’re voting for the dog above or below the button. A simple fix here would be to change the button text to be clear, like “Vote for Zeus”.

Target Size of a Button Should be at Least 44 x 44px

In WCAG 2.1, the minimum target size for compliance is 44px by 44 px. This also matches Apple’s recommendation in their Human Interface Guidelines.

Tiny buttons are obnoxious for anyone, and even more so if you have limited mobility, Parkinson’s or low vision. Do all of your users a favor and make sure your touch targets are large enough. That doesn’t mean your design has to get huge, You can use your code to make the link target larger without impacting design.

A button with padding creates a much larger touch target than one without padding

Write Semantic Code

A span or div pretending to be a button isn’t really a button.

  1. Use semantic tags like <button> and <a> tags
    Don’t Get tricky! Buttons and links should be semantic. If you’re using javascript to make a div or a span into a button, it will work if you use a mouse. Unless you’re intentional in how you code it, many users won’t be able to find or interact with it.

  2. Watch out for clickable elements made with <div> or <span>
    When keyboard testing, if you can’t land on a link or button, it probably isn’t coded as an actual link or button. In that case, you might need to rewrite some code to make it accessible.

Caption: Corgi’s pretending to be hotdogs: cute.
Spans or divs pretending to be buttons: not cute.

Testing Buttons
  1. Double check work by using the WAVE tool to catch missing or suspicious labels and to ensure that links make sense outside of the visual context.
  2. Perform a simple keyboard test by clicking near the button or link, then using the tab key I navigate to it.
  3. Make sure there’s a visual focus state and it matches what has been designed.
  4. Make sure you can click on the link or button by using the return key.
To Summarize
  • Define Action States
  • Give them clear labels
  • Links and buttons should make sense out of context
  • Target size should be at least 44px by 44px

What’s next? Check out our post on Navigation >

ThinkShout: Accessibility for Teams in a Hurry: Color Contrast

Thu, 04/02/2020 - 13:00

Making accessible design decisions starts by establishing an accessible color palette. Defining a color palette can be really exciting as it sets the tone of the experience, yet it’s a fragile part of the process. People attach a lot of emotion to color. If you combine that with branding considerations, this part of the process must be handled with care and can often take time to get right.

There are some key considerations when creating a color palette for your website. Some are as simple as making intentional design choices and others can involve multiple stakeholders.

Define the Palette

An accessible color palette has sufficient contrast for legibility and interactions. It’s more usable for people with low vision or color blindness and makes information more legible for everyone. Sometimes brand colors have already been established that might not be accessible for digital applications. This requires working with a brand team or stakeholders to create an accessible, digital version of an existing palette.

Decide What Colors are for Decoration vs. Information

Consider how the color is being used within your system. Once you define your palette, consider which colors can be used just as decorative elements rather than using them to communicate key information. This allows you to retain color combinations with lower contrast or similar values without compromising your site’s accessibility.

When we talk about contrast our goal is to make sure information can be read, which means there’s at least a 4.5:1 contrast ratio between the foreground and background colors.

To test contrast while you’re creating designs, there are plugins out there for tools like sketch, but one of our favorite tools is WebAIM’s website where we can check contrast for multiple uses. For example, a pairing might not work for small text, but would work well for symbols and headlines.

In addition to contrast, colors with too similar value aren’t discernable as a way of communicating information for people with color blindness and are difficult to read for all audiences.

Establish Action Colors and Create a Style Guide for Developers and Site Administrators

Color meaning should be applied consistently. Users often associate color with meaning. That means it’s important to communicate each color’s purpose to your dev team and the site admin by creating style guides.

A Sample Workflow:   Primary Secondary When Tool Used Color Contrast Designer Developer Primary:
Design

Secondary:
After built Primary:
WebAIM

Secondary:
WAVE To Summarize
  1. Define your palette
  2. Decide what colors are for decoration vs. information
  3. Test your color combinations
  4. Establish action colors
  5. Create a style guide for developers and site admins

What’s next? Check out our post on Links & Buttons >

Resources

ThinkShout: Accessibility for Teams in a Hurry: Laying a Foundation

Thu, 04/02/2020 - 13:00

Accessibility is a complex topic and can feel overwhelming when you’re getting started. Our goal with this series is to help you take those first few steps, and share some of the things we’ve learned about bringing accessibility into our processes across teams and departments.

Start by making your focus progress, not perfection. You don’t have to be an expert to start making your site more accessible. If you fix one button, that’s progress. This is a journey and change takes time, and hopefully some of the things we’ve learned can help you along the way.

Accessibility is not nice

Left, right handed can opener, Right: Left handed can opener

Before we talk about what accessibility is, let’s take a look at what accessibility is not. Accessibility is not nice. To demonstrate what this Kat Holmes quote means, here are two images of can openers. One was designed for right and left-handed people. One was designed for people who are right-handed. The person who designed the one that works for more people didn’t do it as a feel good activity or out of the goodness of their heart. They recognized a product was excluding people and created a product that’s usable by more people.

“Accessibility is not nice.” -- Mismatch, Kat Holmes

Similarly, accessibility isn’t a feel-good activity. It’s taking the time to identify and confront the exclusion you’ve unintentionally built into your site. No one builds an inaccessible site on purpose in the same way that the person who designed the right-handed can opener probably doesn’t have a grudge against left-handed people. We’re human and we build things for people assuming others are exactly like ourselves. A great thing about Accessibility is that it forces us to learn about how other people use the things we make. And that in turn makes us better at making things.

What is accessibility?

Understanding accessibility on the web starts with understanding disability. A common misconception is that accessibility is just for folks who are blind.

When we talk about an accessible website, we’re talking about one that works for people who:

  • Have low vision, no vision, or color blindness
  • Have speaking and cognitive disabilities
  • Are Deaf
  • Are neurodiverse
  • And people who have mobility-related disabilities

25% of people have a permanent or temporary disability, so accessibility is not charity for a small group of users. It’s good design, content and coding practices to better serve your entire audience.

There are 4 principles of accessibility:
  • Perceivable: Can people perceive the content with their available senses?
  • Operable: Can people operate this?
  • Understandable: Can people understand what it does
  • Robust: Can all devices use this?Is it built to last?

Measurement & Compliance

The internationally used standard is the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) defined by the W3C (world wide web consortium). These are referred to as the W.C.A.G. or Wuh-kaag.

These standards have three levels: A, AA, AAA. AAA can have a bigger impact on design and be more challenging to implement. That’s why the AA standard is widely accepted as the standard level of conformance.

In the United States the federal government doesn’t require websites to meet a certain conformance level unless they’re receiving federal funds. Section 508 now points to WCAG. If you’re receiving federal funds, you must meet WCAG 2.0 AA.

For organizations that are not government funded, the Americans with Disabilities Act requires that “places of public accommodation” be accessible. Federal judges have overwhelmingly ruled that the internet is now a place of public accommodation and businesses as well as nonprofits can’t discriminate based on disability.

2018 and 2019 have been record breaking years for web accessibility lawsuits, with filings happening every hour, so it’s important to prioritize accessibility on your site and to build it into your processes because the modern web is becoming increasingly accessible.

Testing

Regardless of the tools you use you need to include both manual and automated testing. Manual and automated tests are like reading a menu vs enjoying a meal. For examples of tools, check out the resources listed at the end of this post.

Automated tests:
  • Measure what’s there or not: the ingredients.
  • Can’t measure the user experience.
  • Only catch about 30% of errors.

Manual tests determine whether the site does what it’s supposed to do and what the experience is like.

Manual testing includes navigating the site by:
  • Using a keyboard only (with no mouse or trackpad.)
  • Zooming into the screen to 400%
  • Using a screen reader
Example Process

Once you’ve picked your testing tools, decide who’s responsible for using them and when. Here’s an example workflow for a simple button.

  1. The Designer: Establishes and tests color combinations
  2. The Developer: Tests after building it
  3. The Designer: Tests the live component during QA
  4. Project Managers: Do a final test before launch

That might seem like a lot of testing, but we’ve discovered broken forms, donate buttons that didn’t work on mobile and all kinds of bugs by doing accessibility testing.

To Summarize
  1. 25% of people have a temporary or permanent disability.
  2. WCAG 2.1 AA is a standard most commonly used internationally to measure accessibility.
  3. Nonprofit, for-profit and government organizations cannot discriminate based on disability.
  4. 2019 had more than 1 website accessibility lawsuit per hour of every day.
  5. Manual and Automated tests should be used to measure the accessibility of your site.
  6. Bring testing into your process and build in redundancies to make sure your site is accessible.

What’s next? Check out our post on Color Contrast >

Resources

Droptica: Build your corporate website on Drupal

Thu, 04/02/2020 - 09:21
Corporate websites are often large and packed with many different functionalities. This makes building a website very time-consuming and, consequently, expensive. At Droptica, we have developed a way to build a corporate website on Drupal faster and cheaper. From this article, you will learn how we do it.  

Mobomo: Usability and UX Can Make Space Cool for Everyone

Wed, 04/01/2020 - 22:14

Back in 2013, when I first joined Mobomo, we migrated NASA.gov from a proprietary content management system (CMS) to Amazon Cloud and Drupal 7. It goes without saying, but there was a lot riding on getting it right. The NASA site had to handle high traffic and page views each day, without service interruptions, and the new content management system had to accommodate a high volume of content updates each day. In addition to having no room for compromise on performance and availability, the site also had to have a high level of security. 

Maybe the biggest challenge, though, was laying the groundwork to achieve NASA’s vision for a website with greater usability and enhanced user experiences. If NASA’s audience all fell into the same demographic, that goal probably wouldn’t have seemed so intimidating, but NASA’s audience includes space fans who range from scientists to elementary school kids. 

Our mission was to create a mobile-first site that stayed true to NASA’s brand and spoke to all of the diverse members of its audience. A few years later, we relaunched a user-centric site that directed visitors from a dynamic home page to microsites designed specifically for them.

Making Space Seem Not So Far Away

NASA.gov includes data on its missions, past and present. To make this massive amount of data more user-friendly, we worked with NASA to design a site that’s easily searchable, navigable, and enhanced through audio, video, social media feeds, and calendars. Users can find updates on events via features such as the countdown clock to the International Space Station’s 20th anniversary. NASA.gov users can also easily find what they need if they want to research space technology, stream NASA TV, or explore image galleries. 

The NASA.gov site directs its younger visitors to a STEM engagement microsite where students can find activities appropriate for their grade level. The site also includes the NASA Kids’ Club where students can have some fun while they’re learning about exploration. For example, they can try their hands at virtually driving a rover on Mars, play games, and download activities. 

Older students with space-related aspirations can learn about internship and career opportunities, and teachers can access lesson plans and STEM resources.

How to Make it Happen

To successfully achieve NASA’s goals and manage a project this complex, we had to choose the right approach. Some website projects are tailor-made for a simple development plan that moves from a concept to design, construction, testing, and implementation in a structured, linear way. The NASA.gov project, however, wasn’t one of them.

For this website and the vast majority of the sites we develop, our team follows DevOps methodology. With DevOps, you don’t silo development from operations. Our DevOps culture brings together all stakeholders to collaborate throughout the process to achieve:

Faster Deployment

If we had to build the entire site then take it live, it would have taken much longer for NASA and its users to have a new resource. We built the site in stages, validating at every stage. By developing in iterations, and involving the entire team, we also have the ability to address small issues rather than waiting until they create major ones. It also gives us more agility to address changes and keep everyone informed. This prevents errors that could put the brakes on the entire project.

Optimized Design

NASA.gov has several Webby Awards, and award-winning web design takes a team that works together and collaborates with the organization to define the audience (or audiences), optimize the site’s navigation and usability, and strike a balance between the site’s primary purpose and its appeal. 

Mobile-First

Because NASA.gov users may be accessing the site from a PC, laptop, tablet, smartphone, or other device, it was also pivotal to use mobile-first design. Mobile-first starts by designing for the smallest screens first, and then work your way up to larger screens. This approach forces you to build a strong foundation first, then enhance it as screen sizes increase. It basically allows you to ensure user experiences are optimized for any size device. 

Scalability

NASA.gov wasn’t only a goliath website when we migrated it to Amazon Cloud and Drupal. We knew it would continue to grow. Designing the site with microsites that organize content, help visitors find the content that is most relevant to their interests, and enhance usability and UX informed a plan for future growth. 

Efficient Development Processes

DevOps Methodology breaks down barriers between developers and other stakeholders, automates processes, makes coding and review processes more efficient, and enables continuous testing. Even though we work in iterations, our team maintains a big-picture view of projects, such as addressing integrations, during the development process. 

Planned Post-Production

DevOps also helps us cover all the bases to prepare for launch and to build in management tools for ongoing site maintenance. 

What Your Business Can Learn from NASA

You probably never thought about it, but your business or organization has a lot in common with NASA, at least when it comes to your website. Just like NASA, you need a website that gives you the ability to handle a growing digital audience, reliably and securely. You’re probably also looking for the best CMS for your website, one that’s cost-effective and gives you the features you need.

Your website should also be designed to be usable and to provide the user experiences your audience wants. And, with the number of mobile phone users in the world topping 5 billion, you want to make sure their UX is optimized with mobile-first design. 

NASA’s project is also an illustration of how building your website in stages, getting input from all stakeholders, and validating and testing each step of the way can lead to great results. You also need a plan for launching the site with minimal disruption and tools that will make ongoing management and maintenance easier. 

You probably want to know you are doing everything you can to make your content appealing, engaging, and interactive. You may think NASA has an advantage in that department since NASA’s content is inherently exciting to its audience.

But so is yours. Create a website that showcases it. Not sure where to begin? Click here and we’ll point you in the right direction.

The post Usability and UX Can Make Space Cool for Everyone appeared first on .

Drudesk: Create a real estate website on Drupal with all the needed features

Wed, 04/01/2020 - 18:43

Real estate & property management businesses can reap huge profits from having a well-built website — and many of them actually do!

However, sites in this area are not built in one click. They require reliable and smooth third-party integration, excellent property categorization, advanced search, and more. This makes the choice of the CMS a responsible task. In this post, we take a tour on the features and opportunities that prove it’s a great idea to build a real estate website on Drupal.

Drupixels: Drupal 8 admin themes for next level admin experience

Wed, 04/01/2020 - 17:39
If you are one of those people who always use "Seven" as the Drupal administrator theme then this is the right time to switch. Here are some of my recent favorite theme options for the Drupal 8 administrator interface for the next level admin experience.

Gábor Hojtsy: Four ways to track a list of Drupal issues a group of you cares about

Wed, 04/01/2020 - 11:20

Drupal 9.0.0-beta2 was released this week and there are only 63 days to go for Drupal 9.0.0's release. Many product developers, distribution authors and so on are now looking at what is left to be Drupal 9 compatible and which of their dependencies are doing what where. So effectively tracking a list of drupal.org issues somewhere is on many people's minds. While you can follow issues on drupal.org that only works for your personal needs. Actually Surabhi Gokte asked me yesterday about tools for group issue tracking, and I decided to write up a quick blog post because the answers are likely useful for many people. Here are two public and two possibly private ways to track drupal.org issues. I've used each in some form throughout my years with the project and you may find some of them useful.

Public: use a drupal.org META issue

Drupal.org project developers, this is a good way to track your tasks belonging to a larger goal like Drupal 9 compatibility. Create a regular drupal.org issue for your project and use the issue link filter. [#123456] is the format to use to link to issues and get their title and even status colors represented on your issue. The only thing you need to keep an eye on is that issue summaries are cached, so as the status/title of listed issues are updated, that is not reflected on the summary. As you are likely to adjust the list as things get done and new things are discovered, the status and titles of the listed issues should get updated in the meantime. An example of this technique is [META] Requirements for tagging Drupal 9.0.0-beta1. This technique allows anyone with a drupal.org account to help maintain your list of issues.

Once you have a META issue like this for Drupal 9 compatibility, please link it from your Drupal 9 plan on your project page, see:

65 days to go until the Drupal 9 release on June 3, 2020.https://t.co/JmRQ2Cdaun project maintainers, now is a great time to indicate your Drupal 9 plans! Edit your project page and fill in the Drupal 9 plan field to help contributors help you the most effectively pic.twitter.com/QrBpZCDgiW

— The Drop is Always Moving (@DropIsMoving) March 30, 2020

Public: use Contrib Kanban

Contrib Kanban is a great service developed and ran by Matt Glaman of Centarro. You can register and create custom boards based on a list of issues, such as this kanban board for Umami's Spanish translation. Only you will be allowed to maintain your issue list but the results are shown very visually and dynamically in a kanban board style.

Public/Private: use any tool with the Drupal issue Chrome browser extension

Matthew Grasmick built the Drupal Issue Chrome browser extension which turns links to Drupal.org issues on any webpage to their colored and titled forms very much like in the META issue method. This will pull the data for issues live, but only people with the extension installed will see the titles and statuses. You can use this for private tracking or public tracking. We use it at Acquia to track some drupal.org issues through Jira tickets.

Public/Private: use a scripted spreadsheet

This method could work in any scriptable spreadsheet system. We used it extensively at Acquia with Google sheets and I believe it originates from Andrea Soper (ZenDoodles) and Jess (xjm) from several years ago. Set it up like this:

  1. Assuming an empty spreadsheet, designate a column for issue numbers. You will use this column to enter the ID of issues you want to track. Let's assume this is column E for the rest of the example. Also let's assume you use the first row for header text for the columns.
  2. Add this to F2: =IF(E2="","", regexreplace(importxml(hyperlink( concat("https://www.drupal.org/node/", E2)), "//*[@id='block-project-issue-issue-metadata']/div/div/div/div/div/text()"), "\n","")). This column will be your issue status.
  3. Add this to G2: =if(E2="","", hyperlink( concat("http://www.drupal.org/node/",E2),concat("#",E2))). This will be your issue link.
  4. Add this to H2: =if(E2="","", substitute(regexreplace(importxml(hyperlink( concat("https://www.drupal.org/node/", E2)), "//title/text()"),"\n",""), " | Drupal.org","")). This will be your issue title.

At least in Google sheets, you can hold-drag these values to fill in the rest of columns F-H with appropriate computed values. You can also apply conditional styling to status values, etc. A clear benefit of this approach is that you can assign tabular metadata to issues, like your private severity or priority information or assignments within your company as to who is planning to look into it without getting into a priority argument on the issue.

By the way it would definitely be more reliable to pull this data from the Drupal.org REST API. We used this method extensively for years at Acquia to track high priority issues leading up to Drupal core releases. However we are not currently using this method and I did not go to convert the logic from our old sheets, so improvements welcome.

These are methods I used that are still available and work fine. Do you have better ways to do issue list tracking? Let me know in the comments.

The Russian Lullaby: Building Symfony events for Drupal

Wed, 04/01/2020 - 02:00

Recently I was preparing some events to intercept requests in Symfony and sharing some approaches with my colleagues I discovered that in my environment the topic of Event Management in Drupal (dispatching events, subscribing events) was not well known, so I prepared some snippets to share and from there I thought to write some introductory article. Undoubtedly, in the latest versions of Drupal, certain components of Symfony have not only made their appearance, but also have been gaining importance and surely this will extend further in time, given its elasticity and fully integrated OOP …

Promet Source: How to Facilitate an Innovative Remote Meeting

Tue, 03/31/2020 - 23:21
Recent challenges sparked by widespread work-at-home mandates are revealing an essential need to ensure productivity and engagement for remote meetings. Many of us are familiar with the internet meme video, A Conference Call in Real Life.  It may resonate as all too real (but still very funny!).  With the right approach, however, remote meetings can be productive, engaging, and spark creativity. 

Drupal blog: Sustaining the Drupal Association in uncertain times

Tue, 03/31/2020 - 21:16

This blog has been re-posted and edited with permission from Dries Buytaert's blog.

Today, I'm asking for your financial support for the Drupal Association. As we all know, we are living in unprecedented times, and the Drupal Association needs our help. With DrupalCon being postponed or potentially canceled, there will be a significant financial impact on our beloved non-profit.

Over the past twenty years, the Drupal project has weathered many storms, including financial crises. Every time, Drupal has come out stronger. As I wrote last week, I'm confident that Drupal and Open Source will weather the current storm as well.

While the future for Drupal and Open Source is in no doubt, the picture is not as clear for the Drupal Association.

Thirteen years ago, six years after I started Drupal, the Drupal Association was formed. As an Open Source non-profit, the Drupal Association's mission was to help grow and sustain the Drupal community. It still has that same mission today. The Drupal Association plays a critical role in Drupal's success: it manages Drupal.org, hosts Open Source collaboration tools, and brings the community together at events around the world.

The Drupal Association's biggest challenge in the current crisis is to figure out what to do about DrupalCon Minneapolis. The Coronavirus pandemic has caused the Drupal Association to postpone or perhaps even cancel DrupalCon Minneapolis.

With over 3,000 attendees, DrupalCon is not only the Drupal community's main event — it's also the most important financial lever to support the Drupal Association and the staff, services, and infrastructure they provide to the Drupal project. Despite efforts to diversify its revenue model, the Drupal Association remains highly dependent on DrupalCon.

No matter what happens with DrupalCon, there will be a significant financial impact to the Drupal Association. The Drupal Association is now in a position where it needs to find between $400,000 and $1.1 million USD depending on if we postpone or cancel the event.

In these trying times, the best of Drupal's worldwide community is already shining through. Some organizations and individuals proactively informed the Drupal Association that they could keep their sponsorship dollars or ticket price whether or not DrupalCon North America happens this year: Lullabot, Centarro, FFW, Palantir.net, Amazee Group and Contegix have come forward to pledge that they will not request a refund of their DrupalCon Minneapolis sponsorship, even if it will be cancelled. Acquia, my company, has joined in this campaign as well, and will not request a refund of its DrupalCon sponsorship either.

These are great examples of forward-thinking leadership and action, and is what makes our community so special. Not only do these long-time Drupal Association sponsors understand that the entire Drupal project benefits from the resources the Drupal Association provides for us — they also anticipated the financial needs the Drupal Association is working hard to understand, model and mitigate.

In order to preserve the Drupal Association, not just DrupalCon, more financial help is needed:

  • Consider making a donation to the Drupal Association.
  • Other DrupalCon sponsors can consider this year's sponsorship as a donation and not seek a refund should the event be cancelled, postponed or changed.
  • Individuals can consider becoming a member, increasing their membership level, or submitting an additional donation.

I encourage everyone in the Drupal community, including our large enterprise users, to come together and find creative ways to help the Drupal Association and each other. All contributions are highly valued.

The Drupal Association is not alone. This pandemic has wreaked havoc not only on other technology conferences, but on many organizations' fundamental ability to host conferences at all moving forward.

I want to thank all donors, contributors, volunteers, the Drupal Association staff, and the Drupal Association Board of Directors for helping us work through this. It takes commitment, leadership and courage to weather any storm, especially a storm of the current magnitude. Thank you!

Srijan Technologies: Considering Decoupled Drupal? Things You Need to Know

Tue, 03/31/2020 - 15:30

With our clients, we are continuously experiencing a growing demand for delivering more interactive web applications and personalized content across platforms.  

ThinkShout: ThinkShout’s COVID Commitment: Four Ways to Stabilize Your Digital Platform

Tue, 03/31/2020 - 15:00

The global COVID-19 pandemic has affected each of us in profoundly personal, and yet somehow deeply shared, ways. Facts on the ground have changed so quickly, and so dramatically, that we find ourselves overcome with a huge range of emotions and needs: caring for immediate families, worrying about loved ones, reaching out to neighbors, and obsessing over news from every corner of the globe. And while our personal concerns may remain focused on community-based ways to get through this crisis together, our ability to serve our clients is paramount — if you’re reading this, we’re likely talking about your organization.

The time we are living through has only served to amplify how essential your work is, and we know first hand how much your teams are stepping up in the face of this crisis to move it forward. You deserve partners that can rise to meet the challenge alongside your team.

Our Response

As a B Corp committed to supporting mission driven organizations, ThinkShout has always strived to live the values that you fight for day in and day out, and those values are most essential during times of duress, to ensure that we don’t lose our way when navigating a crisis. Rather than just assuming business as usual, we surveyed our team to understand their needs in this new era, and made necessary adjustments to ensure that we can find our new balance between work and life, and continue to operate at full capacity to serve your needs. We are also adjusting to our new shared virtual reality by creating free webinars, blog posts, and best practices for anyone in our community to learn from, including a new series on Equitable Digital Connections. We want you to know that we are thinking about your evolving needs every day. It is our job to stay ahead of emerging best practices, to learn from the efforts of similar organizations, and ensure that you have the digital tools and support to continue your work.

Tangible Ways to Deepen Digital Engagement

This is a moment where innovation and creativity are required from each of us as we respond to today’s crisis in a way that not only meets the challenge, but also helps shape the future to be more just and equitable for the communities you serve.

Our current situation presents two clear new opportunities:

  • Deepen engagement with audiences by exploring new ways to use current platforms to leverage existing offerings.
  • Expand engagement with audiences by exploring new-to-your-organization platforms and engagement tactics.

This applies to everything from strategic communications and campaigns, to how knowledge products are distributed.

Our immediate recommendation is to lean into exactly what makes your organization unique — your core product offering — and then consider how every digital tool at your disposal can better communicate its relevance and importance. Now is the time to embrace concepting, creating, and implementing equitable and accessible digital platforms and engagement tools. In this hopefully short era where all communication is virtual, it is our responsibility to bridge the digital divide both between organizations that have the capacity to engage with their core audiences and those that don’t, as well as within organizations as they work to best leverage digital systems to support all programs, partnerships, and mission-critical efforts. For organizations focused on social good, this is even more essential.

We are actively engaged with all current ThinkShout clients to discuss how the systems and strategies you’re already using can flex to meet this moment. Partnering with your organization as strategic, creative, and technical experts is our very reason for existence.

Where To Focus: Stabilizing Your Digital Platform

ThinkShout is investing deeply across four critical areas that all of our partners should prioritize at this time. As more services become digital-only (and perhaps in ways that are more permanent than initially thought), we need to be extra vigilant to ensure that content is accessible and designed for all audiences. If you don’t currently have a direct contact at ThinkShout, please reach out to learn more about how we’re expanding core offerings in:

  • Accessibility: Now is a great time to ensure that your digital products are accessible to everyone. Auditing top content, analyzing your options, and building a phased roadmap are steps you can take today.
  • Audiences: How are your products and content informed by human insights? New approaches to developing behavior-based personas can result in better outcomes organizationally and for the individuals you serve.
  • Ecosystems: How do your digital platforms—audience-facing and administrative alike—serve your organization? Where are redundancies and otherwise inefficient systems hindering streamlined experiences for your users or efficient processes for your team? Are you considering new tools and need to evaluate how they fit into the full ecosystem?
  • Full-Stack Content Strategy: When it comes to a platform that’s optimized for search and social, the little things are the big things. If you haven’t already, now is the time to audit and update your platform’s URL structures, metadata, keywords, and page titles for social and search.

Social distancing does not imply a lack of social connection. To the contrary, it makes the latter more essential than ever. People crave connection. A sense of belonging — and purpose. You can provide that to all of us as we sit, isolated, searching for meaning in the chaos and, most of all, a way to help. Let us know if we can help you make those connections that our society so urgently needs.

Agiledrop.com Blog: The most important thing in an agency partnership

Tue, 03/31/2020 - 13:23

In this post, we'll discuss the most important element to an agency partnership: communication. We'll explain why it's so essential, provide examples of good and bad communication practices, and finish with some tips for more effective communication with partners.

READ MORE

Specbee: How to create a Custom Drupal 8 Theme in 9 Simple Steps

Tue, 03/31/2020 - 13:06
How to create a Custom Drupal 8 Theme in 9 Simple Steps Neslee Canil Pinto 31 Mar, 2020 Top 10 best practices for designing a perfect UX for your mobile app

Drupal 8 gives developers and site owners the flexibility of creating bespoke components that can be put together to build compelling digital experiences. Themes are Drupal’s design blocks that represent the visual appearance of a website. Drupal 8 comes with choices of core themes and third-party themes. However, if none of them cut it for you, you should probably be looking at Drupal 8 custom theme development. With Drupal 8 custom themes, you can tailor-fit your design to the exact requirements.

Drupal 8 provides Bartik as the frontend theme, but if you need a Drupal 8 custom theme then you can create your own Drupal 8 theme development, thus improving your Drupal theming skills. The easiest way to really understand Drupal 8 theme development is to practice and create one from the ground up.

Getting Started with Custom Drupal 8 Theme Development

Let’s get started with creating a Drupal 8 custom theme for our Drupal website.
STEP 1 : First, we need to create a custom theme under ‘web/themes/custom’ folder. We will name the folder as custom_theme.  

   
      Create Custom Drupal 8 Theme folder

STEP 2 :Next, we will need to create an info.yml file. We need to specify the basic keys for it. Let us specify it over here.


       Create an info.yml file CODE: name: Custom Theme type: theme description: 'Custom Theme for My Website.' package: Other core: 8.x

STEP 3 : Now,let’s create alibraries.yml file to specify all the libraries we need (CSS AND JS) for our custom Drupal 8 theme.We will also create CSS and JS directory and its files to link it in here. We are going to name the library as global-styling.


       Create a libraries.yml file CODE: global-styling: version: 1.x js: js/script.js: {} css: theme: css/style.css: {}

STEP 4 : After creating the libraries.yml file, we need to link it to our theme.For this, we are going to add it in the info.yml file which will then apply it to the whole theme. 
 


        Linking the libraries.yml with the custom Drupal 8 theme CODE: libraries: - custom_theme/global-styling

So, the key will be libraries and path will be the theme name - ‘custom_theme’ / library name - ‘global-styling’.

STEP 5 : Next, we need to inherit the ‘Base Theme’.In our case, we will inherit ‘classy’ theme which is a Drupal core theme. So, the key will be base theme in info.yml. 


        Inheriting the Base theme - classy CODE: base theme: classy

STEP 6 : Now, we will define the‘regions’ for our theme. In info.yml, we have to define under the ‘regions’ key.

 
         Defining 'regions' CODE: regions: branding: Branding navigation: Main navigation search: Search featured: Featured content: Content right_sidebar: Right sidebar footer_first: Footer First footer_second: Footer Second footer_third: Footer Third footer_bottom: Footer Bottom

Under ‘regions’ key you can define your regions for the custom theme. Here,
branding: Is the id of the region which should be lowercase letter.
Branding: Is the name of the region which can be Uppercase letter.

STEP 7 : After we have defined our regions for our custom theme, we need to override page.html.twig to grab our ‘regions’instead ofthe classy theme’s. We will create templates/system directory under which we will create the page.html.twig.


       Override the page.html.twig CODE: <header aria-label="Site header" class="header" id="header" role="banner"> {{ page.branding }} {{ page.navigation }} {{ page.search }} header> <section class="featured" id="featured" role="complementary"> {{ page.featured }} section> <section class="main" id="main"> <main aria-label="Site main content" class="content" id="content" role="main"> {{ page.content }} main> <aside class="right--sidebar" id="sidebar" role="complementary"> {{ page.right_sidebar }} aside> section> <footer aria-label="Site footer" class="footer" id="footer" role="contentinfo"> <div class="footer--top"> {{ page.footer_first }} {{ page.footer_second }} {{ page.footer_third }} div> <div class="footer--bottom"> {{ page.footer_bottom }} div> footer>

 In page.html.twig, we will create html structure for our regions. As you see in{{ page.branding }} –Here,

page - Is the key to render ‘regions’ in the page

branding- Is the region which we have defined in info.yml file.

So now, we have created our regions and rendered it in the page, now let’s start.

Step 8 : Go to Appearance in your Drupal site.You can see your custom theme present in the Uninstalled themes section.


        Uninstalled Themes Section

You need to click ‘Install and set as default’ option to install your theme in the site.

After it is installed,go to Structure -> Block Layout.Your Custom Theme will appear under the Block Layout.

​​​​​​  

You will see a link for ‘Demonstrate block regions (Custom Theme)’.Click on the link.You can see all the regions that you had declared in theinfo.yml and added in page.html.twig
 


       Regions added in info.yml and page.html.twig

Step 9 :Now, you need to apply styles in the CSS for each region as per your design.We will use cssin this case;You can even use SCSSif you’d like. Just inspect the branding region - you shouldsee the region class and then add the CSS to that class. 

 

Add CSS in style.css as per your requirement.

.header{ display: flex; justify-content: space-between; padding: 10px; }

.header.region { padding: 5px; }

.header.region-branding { flex: 0 1 20%; }

.header.region-navigation { flex: 0 1 50%; }

.header.region-search { flex: 0 1 30%; }

.region.block-region { padding: 15px; }

.featured{ padding: 40px 20px; background-color: indianred; }

.main{ padding: 50px 0; display: flex; justify-content: space-between; }

.main.content { flex: 0 1 65%; }

.main.right--sidebar { flex: 0 1 30%; }

.footer--top { display: flex; justify-content: space-between; padding: 10px; }

.footer--top .region { padding: 5px; }

.region-footer-first, .region-footer-second, .region-footer-third { flex: 0 1 30%; }

 

The Result: Your Drupal 8 Custom Theme is ready!

 

If you need to write any hooks or create suggestions for your twig file, you could add the .theme file in your custom theme (shown below).


      Adding the .theme file

Custom theme development gives you freedom to design themes that are bespoke to an organization. Here’s hoping this brief guide helps you get started with developing Drupal 8 custom themes for your future projects. Looking for expert Drupal developers to help you build unique custom Drupal themes for your next Drupal 8 website? Contact us now.

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

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Srijan Technologies: Drupal 9 is Backward Compatible - Why Should You Care?

Tue, 03/31/2020 - 08:26

As Drupal 9 release has already become a buzzword in the Drupal community, people have been anticipating its new features since long alongside the after-effects of end of lives for Drupal 7 & 8 in 2021.