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What it was like being part of the Drupal apprenticeship scheme.

Thank you, Drupal community - I want to express my sincere thanks to everyone who helped me prepare this presentation, sharing their insights into how Drupal fits into bigger and better ways of doing business. The fact that we can all talk about this so openly while competing for business is one more sign of how special the Drupal community is. I’m so glad you all choose to “open source” some of the ways you are succeeding and help the rest of us along the way! And thank you Drupal Camp London organizers for the invitation to give a keynote address at your conference, and thanks to the audience for your presence and warm reception despite the early hour on Sunday.

Drupal isn’t enough anymore

10 years ago, just having a website was transformational. But pretty much every business has one nowadays; they're a commodity. You need something especially good looking, functional, or powerful for it to be special. Your skillset--the ability to make functional, powerful websites--was also transformational, a good base for running a business. Now that is largely a commodity, too. Competitors like Wordpress.com, Squarespace, Wix, Shopify, and others offer solid, attractive, basic websites with lots of useful functionality. And they are only getting easier to use with every release.

So don’t sell Drupal!

What's the answer? How do you stay relevant and build a sales pipeline today? Don't sell Drupal. Move up the value chain. If you simply receive instructions to put a banner here and a slideshow there--to turn someone else's plan into code and nothing more--you're not where you need to be on that chain.

Placing yourself and your business higher up the value-creation chain means offering more than writing code, more than offering to build Drupal websites. You need to offer more: business value. You might have special insights or expertise. You might be able to solve the problems of a particular industry or vertical especially well it. You could deliver value through something you build with Drupal. Drupal might be one of your weapons of choice for facilitating digital transformation, or marketing, or what have you ... and you have a choice: specialize or diversify ...

Keynote Drupal Camp London 2017 - video

Session Takeaways
  • Why hanging out the Drupal slate isn't enough anymore.
  • Questions and problems that businesses need help with today ... That you may be able to answer.
  • Examples of Drupal-based businesses delivering more value than just Drupal code.
My Thanks ...

My thanks once again to all of the following people and everyone else whose ideas and actions helped inspire me and help our community:

  • Florian Lorétan - Wunder
  • Alex Urevick-Ackelsberg - Zivtech / Probo.ci
  • Tim Deeson & Christiann Jansen - Deeson
  • Megan Sanicki - Drupal Association
  • Lukas Fischer - NetNode / OpenInbound
  • Dave Ingram And Andrea Rosi - Acquia Lift
  • Adrian Rollet & Ronald Ashri - Roomify
  • Dominique de Cooman - Dropsolid / Cooldrops
Skill Level: BeginnerIntermediateAdvanced

This is a joint statement from project lead Dries Buytaert and Megan Sanicki, Drupal Association Executive Director.

Over the last week, the Drupal community has been in a debate over the various decisions made by us in relation to long-time Drupal developer Larry Garfield. As with any such decisions, and especially due to the circumstances of this one, there has been controversy, misinformation and rumors, as well as healthy conversation and debate. Many people feel hurt, worried, and confused. The fact that this matter became very public and divisive greatly saddens all of us involved, especially as we can see the pain it has caused many.

First off, we want to apologize for not responding sooner. We had to take a pause to process the community’s reaction.  We also wanted to take the time to talk to community members to make sure all of the concerns were heard and understood. This was further complicated by the fact that we don't have a playbook for how to respond in unusual situations like this. We also want to acknowledge that our communication has not been as clear as it should be on this matter, and we are sorry for the added confusion.

We want to thank all of the community members who stepped in to help. Many spent days helping other community members by listening, hosting discussions to foster healthy, respectful conversations, and more. You have helped many people and your caring acts reminded us once again why we love to serve the community and why it is so special.

Over the last week, we talked to many people and read hundreds of posts in various channels. These are some of the things that we heard:

  • People are afraid that they will be asked to leave the community because of their beliefs or sexual lifestyles.

  • There are concerns about Drupal leadership playing "thought police" on what are and are not acceptable viewpoints to hold.

  • People want to hear more about the timeline, information gathered, and how decisions were made.

  • People don't understand why there weren’t any ramifications for those who participated in gathering information about Larry's private life.

  • People believe Dries has too much authority.

  • People believe that a decision this complex should not be made by a single individual.

And we heard much more.

We know this has been difficult for all involved. There is no quick solution to the current situation; it will take time to heal, but we want to make a start today by providing better insight into our decision-making process, answering questions with the FAQ found below, and by placing a call for improvements in our governance, conflict-resolution processes, and communication.  

Addressing community questions and concerns

One of the main concerns that has been voiced is that a long-standing member of the Drupal community was removed, based solely on his beliefs being outside the "norm". We feel this is not representative of the situation.

We want to strongly emphasize that Drupal is an open-minded and inclusive community, and we welcome people of all backgrounds. Our community’s diversity is something to cherish and celebrate as well as protect.  We apologize for any anxiety we caused you and reiterate that our decision was not based on anyone’s sexual practices.

Dries and Megan based their decisions on information from a variety of sources, including the Community Working Group and Larry himself. This information included:

(a) reports, both formal and informal
(b) some of Larry's online interactions, both on and off Drupal.org
(c) information provided by Larry during subsequent discussions to get clarity
(d) information from one or more members-only sites.
It should be strongly noted that we do not condone the manner in which this last source of information was gathered by members of our community.  

Insights from this collection of information caused us to take action, particularly given Larry's prominent leadership role in the community, which leads to a much greater impact of his words and actions.

We heard that many would like to better understand the timeline, information gathered, and how decisions were made. While the news of last week was a complete surprise to most, it is important to note that this has been a careful, and deliberate process that has been going on since October 2016. Following the Drupal community's governance, the Community Working Group attempted to provide conflict resolution. When it became clear that some of the issues raised went beyond the scope of their charter, they determined that it was appropriate for the matter to be escalated to Dries, as project lead. This was consistent with their existing policy and process.

Dries discussed the information from the Community Working Group with Megan and some board members. Dries, as project lead, made the decision about Larry’s role in the project during this discussion.  

Some have asked why Larry was removed from the community and not just from his leadership roles. The answer is that Larry had indicated on several occasions that he was drawing down his involvement in the Drupal project, and that context helped inform Dries’ decision.

Dries, with the support of the Community Working Group, had the first of what was intended to be a number of conversations to resolve any remaining concerns.

Megan was informed about Dries’ decision, and also reviewed the information provided by the Community Working Group. Based on that information, Megan made the operational decision to remove Larry’s DrupalCon session and concluded his track chair role.

Larry appealed Megan’s decision to the board, which only has oversight of the Drupal Association. They reviewed the Community Working Group information and Larry’s personal statements, met in a special Executive Session attended by all board members, and upheld Megan’s decision. Dries recused himself from this vote, so the board could make its decision independently.

After the appeal process, Larry chose to publish his own account of what happened, effectively ending the process in the middle of what we expected to be a series of constructive discussions. This resulted in several loose ends.

After Larry’s second blog post, on Tuesday, March 28th, he reached out privately to Dries to discuss how to resolve matters and find the best way forward.

We remain committed to working on closure for this situation with care and respect for everyone involved.  Dries and the Community Working Group hope to have a private discussion with Larry in the coming weeks.

Many have also expressed anger over how the information about Larry came to light, and whether there will be consequences for those who participated in gathering information about his private life. The Community Working Group is currently handling this situation through their standard process.

What needs to change

We are fortunate that we do have governance in place. We have never encountered a situation like this before, where a decision this complex had to be escalated and made. This extraordinary situation highlighted areas that we need to improve. From our own observations and what we heard from the community, we identified some specific areas of improvement (but by no means all):

  • Diversity, equality, and inclusivity issues are complex and require new perspectives and approaches, especially as we assess and improve our Code of Conduct.

  • It is not healthy or wise to escalate difficult decisions about code of conduct or community membership solely to the project lead.

  • We need to clearly define our values so that everyone knows and agrees to the context in which the community works together.

  • We need to figure out how to balance transparency with the need to maintain a safe space and provide confidentiality for individuals in order to resolve conflicts in a way that causes minimal disruption to our community.

There is a lot to address. We will launch several initiatives to find solutions to the problems above.  We want to collaborate with the community, the Drupal Association, and outside experts on these efforts. It is important that we take these steps. We value our special community and we want to make sure that it has the right structure and sound governance to remain healthy and vibrant.

We want to begin healing to start right away and that starts with us talking more with the community. We will host online meetings and a meeting at DrupalCon Baltimore on these topics where we can have a healthy dialogue. This will provide community members the opportunity to talk directly with the Community Working Group, Megan, and Dries to propose solutions to some of the governance challenges that brought us here.

Finally, we want to acknowledge this has been a very difficult and unprecedented situation. We realize not everyone will agree with our decisions, but we hope all can understand the care we took in deliberating and the intention behind our actions. We appreciate the community’s patience on this matter, and we look forward to taking these steps in collaboration with you.

----

FAQ

When did the conflict resolution process start?

  • October of 2016.

Who is responsible for what decision?

  • Dries, as project lead, made the decision about Larry’s role in the project after the Community Working Group escalated to him when they felt they could not resolve the issues surrounding this matter.

  • Executive Director of the Drupal Association Megan Sanicki made the decision to to remove Larry’s speaking and track chairmanship at DrupalCon.

  • Larry appealed the DrupalCon decision, which then went to the Drupal Association board who reviewed material provided by the Community Working Group along with Larry’s statements. They upheld Megan’s decision.  Dries recused himself from this vote.

What was the process followed for each decision?

  • The Community Working Group, which is part of Drupal’s governance structure, provided conflict resolution. When it became clear that some of the issues raised went beyond the scope of their charter, they determined that it was appropriate for the matter to be escalated to Dries. This is consistent with their existing policy and process.

  • Dries discussed the information from the Community Working Group with Megan, and some board members. Dries also met with Larry. Larry had indicated on several occasions that he was drawing down his involvement in the Drupal project. That context informed Dries' decision. It is also important to note that Dries intended to have more discussions with Larry to determine what the decision looked like, but those conversations ended when Larry chose to post publicly.

  • Megan was informed about Dries’ decision and also reviewed the information provided by the Community Working Group. Based on Dries’ decision and information learned from the Community Working Group materials, Megan made the operational decision to remove Larry’s DrupalCon session and concluded his track chair role.

  • Larry appealed Megan’s decision to the board, who only have oversight of Drupal Association. They reviewed the Community Working Group information and Larry’s personal statements and upheld Megan’s decision.  Note: Dries recused himself.

What information was used to inform the decisions?

  • (a) reports, both formal and informal, (b) some of Larry's online interactions, both on and off Drupal.org, (c) information provided by Larry during subsequent discussions to get clarity, and (d) information from one or more members-only sites. It should be strongly noted that we do not condone the manner in which this last source of information was gathered by members of our community.   

Did Dries overrule the Community Working Group?

  • No, he did not. The process is designed so that the Community Working Group can escalate issues to Dries if they cannot be resolved. This process was followed.

Is the Drupal project “against” people who practice BDSM or other non-mainstream sexual practices?

  • Absolutely not. We are an open-minded and inclusive community.

Will there be repercussions for Klaus Purer’s conduct?

  • The Community Working Group is handling this situation through their standard process.

In recent days there's been a bunch of insightful and thought provoking reflection within the Drupal community (as well as a share of bullshit). I've benefited from hearing perspectives that remind me of my biases and privileged placement as a cis white male. A comment by Melissa Anderson, someone I know and respect, had particular impact for me.

A lot of attention has focused on a particular action by Drupal project owner Dries Buytaert. But many are going deeper.

The trouble with Drupal is not so much any individual action.

The trouble is that, for all its collective trappings and thousands of contributors, Drupal is formally structured as a dictatorship.

Really? In 2017? Yes, really.

The Thing About Dictatorship

As detailed in documentation of the Drupal project structure, the self-anointed "benevolent dictator for life" not only exerts ultimate control over code but also "preserves [that is, controls] the philosophy, culture, and principles of the project."

Wow. Think about that for a minute.

The occasional overt dictate can indeed be worrisome. But I'm actually much more troubled by what's so normalized in the project that it passes without comment.

I won't repeat what I've gone on (and on!) about in previous comments and reflections on Drupal's power structure going back over a dozen years. Here's a selection:

But I will add I'm struck anew by what seems to me the unusual depth and reach of the authoritarian model in the Drupal project.

I've often heard it said, for example, that Linux, too, has a so-called "benevolent dictator for life".

True. But, contrary to Drupal, the Linux dictator doesn't individually set the terms of reference of, and appoint every member to, key community structures. (Come to think of it, isn't there something Orwellian about a so-called "Community Working Group" appointed by a dictator?) Unlike Buytaert with the Drupal Association, the Linux dictator doesn't have his name written into the bylaws of the Linux Foundation as a director with own reserved slot, nor has he served as the de facto permanent board president of the Linux Foundation since its inception. He doesn't have a seemingly permanent seat on the committee that vets every nomination to the Linux Foundation board.

And, crucially, unlike Buytaert in Drupal, he isn't a founder and key executive of the Linux company that exerts the deepest influence on the software.

Effective checks on the absolute power of the project founder? It's really hard to find any.

For thousands of people caught up in the Drupal project, what does all this mean in practice? As in many communities, boundaries often blur. Drupal can come to define not only one's work life, but also leisure activities like volunteer coding or meetup organizing, even key daily social links and interactions.

Put that together with a patriarchal model, intimately tied to capitalism and corporate power, permeating all these realms - work, leisure, friendship, community - and you get a deeply troubling degree of influence. One that, precisely because it's everywhere, may be almost invisible. In a community where it's all about personal ties and influence, power seldom needs to act overtly.

"Dictator for life". This, too, is something to think long and hard about. That's a lot of future years. For those who stay, what does it mean, this prospect of being part of a dictatorship culture most of one's life?

There's a tonne of beautiful energy in the Drupal project. There are brilliant and passionate people who care deeply about our community and are rightfully proud of our collective project.

Not thanks to the dictatorship model. In spite of it.

Is what we're seeing the beginnings of a "Drupal spring"? If so, where might it lead?

The Coming Fork

Conditions are ripe for a fork of the Drupal project. But what kind of fork?

For a software community mired in regressive power dynamics, a fork can be a positive source of renewal, allowing participants to resolve contradictions and carry forward the project's best attributes.

Or a fork can replicate the same regressive crap that prompted problems in the first place.

Worse--given the current context, a fork could reinforce and enshrine forms of cis white male privilege.

So the key question is not so much whether to fork. Rather, it seems to be: if so, how?

A cultural fork

Yes, there are deep problems with Drupal's code base, many resulting from the warping effects of corporate interests. But the primary challenge of a fork is not about code. It's about culture.

The dictatorship model in Drupal runs deep. So, no, a light makeover isn't going to cut it. A fork needs a radical cultural reset.

We need to look to voices of diversity and inclusion.

We need to create room for critical perspectives and insights that too often have been shouted down by louder voices in the project--ones that, over and over, have rushed to attack questioners of the founder's prerogatives. (I speak as someone who's repeatedly been targeted for my critical voice. And sometimes, yes, silenced.)

We need to deeply question a culture that promotes living for the cause as a positive or even a required leadership quality.

In the Backdrop fork of Drupal, I and others promoted a "project management committee" structure, replacing the single dictator with a group of lead contributors. And I do think the more diverse and inclusive Backdrop leadership team is a huge improvement over Drupal.

But, here, is it enough? Not nearly.

I personally want to look for inspiration and ideas to the platform cooperative movement, which is opening horizons for free software collectively owned by those who use and build it.

That vs. dictatorship? I know where my heart is.

Existing strengths

A fork should draw in existing progressive initiatives and structures in and around the Drupal space.

One that I'm involved with is Drutopia.

We've also got an expending number of engaged, radical organizations and cooperatives in the Drupal sphere. How do we draw them in? Or, maybe better put: how can we be open to them drawing us in?

A fork shouldn't require people to switch

Strategically, a new fork will probably have the most scope and impact if it doesn't force people to switch immediately to something new. Instead, it could work as a drop-in replacement for Drupal 8--and future Drupal versions.

For those familiar with the MySQL database, think MariaDB, the community-led fork of MySQL. If you already use MySQL, you can switch very painlessly to MariaDB--and get some great improvements for your effort. Your existing MySQL databases just work. The MariaDB project maintains compatibility by merging in changes from MySQL.

In the same way, a Drupal fork could "just work" if your site was originally built on Drupal.

Moving Forward

Crises in authoritarian systems play out in familiar ways. There will be - there already are - calls for a brand of "healing" that involves returning to the fold, reflecting sagely on lessons supposedly learned, and pledging renewed faith in the beneficent leader. Ah, I see one such post just appeared from the Drupal Association. Right on cue.

And there will be organizing on the ground. By those of us truly fed up with a corrosive patriarchal agenda, one that once again masks its power behind a false and exploitative language of inclusion.

Who are hungry for progressive change.

"If you're not testing, you're doing it wrong." I can't remember how many times I've heard those words. Each time, I'd feel a little pang of guilt, a little bit of shame that every day, I wrote code for myself and clients that wasn't tested. I'd be frustrated with the developers who repeated that mantra. Sure, it was easy to say, but hard to live up to. How do I test? What do I test? Should I test? How would I justify the costs?

As a developer who started his career writing custom code for Drupal applications, it was easy to skip testing. Drupal 7 was really quite untestable, at least in any practical sense. Drupal core itself was tested, and big modules like Views, Ctools, and Entity API had test suites too. But finding tests in other custom code or smaller modules was a rarity. Even today, with a vastly more testable code base, documentation for testing Drupal code is terse and hard to come by. It's focused on educating core contributors and module maintainers, not day-to-day developers writing modules to satisfy particular real-world needs.

I hope this series will change that for you.

I will make the case that you should be testing; that you'll save time and you'll save money, and that you won't need to "justify the cost." This series will start from first principles:

  • What is automated testing?
  • Why is automated testing a net positive?
  • How do I write my first test?
  • How do I write the one after that? (because that's really where it gets hard isn't it?)
Part Zero What is automated testing?

I define automated testing as the act of asserting that your code achieves its goals without human interaction.

Types of Automated Tests

There are many types of automated testing. Each serves a specific need and each operates at a different level of abstraction. They form something like a pyramid, your most numerous tests should be at the bottom, as you go higher up the stack, you should have fewer and fewer tests.

At the lowest level, are unit tests (and that's what this series will focus on). Unit testing is code that you write to test or "exercise" the actual custom code that you write. Unit tests isolate very small bits of functionality and assert that your code can handle all kinds of inputs correctly. You might write a unit test to assert that an add(x, y) function adds numbers correctly.

Above unit tests, are integration tests. Integration tests assert that the small bits of functionality that you tested with unit tests "integrate" together. Perhaps you wrote a suite of arithmetic functions which you unit tested individually. When those functions come together into a calculator, you might write integration tests to validate that they all work in harmony.

At the highest level are system tests. System tests assert that your application works as a cohesive whole. These "acceptance" tests are usually best expressed as the functionality your client cares about. "Can my potential customer use a calculator to estimate a mortgage payment and then call me for a quote?"

There are no definite lines of separation between these types of tests, they all fall along a continuum—it's a curve, not a step function.

It's not important to know exactly where your test falls on that curve, really, it's just important to know that:

  • You can test at different levels of abstraction.
  • You do not need to test everything at every level of abstraction.
Different Tools for Different Tests

Just as there are different types of tests, there are different tools that go along with them. As with all things in software development, there are lots of tooling choices and tradeoffs no matter what you choose. The beauty of using Drupal, however (or any framework) is that some of those choices have already been made for you either officially or by convention in the community.

At the lowest level, is unit testing. The standard adopted by Drupal 8 is PHPUnit. PHPUnit is a suite of command line tools and base classes that make writing tests easier. Drupal has extended some of the PHPUnit classes with some extra features that make testing code written specifically for Drupal easier. The Drupal class used for unit testing is called UnitTestCase. We're going to take a deep dive into this, and all the Drupal testing classes and tools later in the series.

At the integration test level, Drupal uses a mix of PHPUnit and Simpletest, but is migrating all of its Simpletest based code to extensions of PHPUnit tests that can achieve the same things. In Drupal, the class primarily used for this kind of testing is called KernelTestBase.

At the system test level the lines begin to become somewhat blurred. Drupal calls these “Functional” tests and there are two classes for them. WebTestCase and BrowserTestBase classes can do quite a bit, and are the standard for testing Drupal Core and contributed modules. They work well for contributed modules and Drupal core because they don’t need to test the specifics of a real-world Drupal application and all the configuration and customization that implies.

The Drupal community has largely settled on Behat as the standard for testing real-world Drupal applications. Behat works by starting a "headless" browser that can emulate a real user by doing things like clicking links and filling out forms. These kinds of tests let you test the configuration of your Drupal site holistically—your theme, javascript and custom code—which ensures that everything works well together.

I hope this post has given you a sense of what automated testing is and some basic terminology that we can share in the next part of this series: “Why Automated Testing will Save You Time and Treasure.”

Start:  2017-04-04 12:00 - 2017-04-06 12:00 UTC Organizers:  catch cilefen xjm Event type:  Online meeting (eg. IRC meeting)

This Wednesday, April 05 is the release window for Drupal 8.3.0, the next scheduled minor release of Drupal 8. There will be no Drupal 7 bugfix release this month.

To ensure a reliable release window for the minor release, there will be a Drupal 8.3.x commit freeze from 12:00 UTC Tuesday to 12:00 UTC Thursday. Now is a good time to update your development/staging servers to the latest 8.3.x-dev code and help us catch any regressions in advance. If you do find any regressions, please report them in the issue queue. Thanks!

To see all of the latest changes that will be included in the release, see the 8.3.x commit log.

Other upcoming core release windows after this week include:

  • Wednesday, April 19 (security release window)
  • Wednesday, May 03 (patch release window)

For more information on Drupal core release windows, see the documentation on release timing and security releases, as well as the Drupal core release cycle overview.

Drupal Dev Days Seville 2017 documentation christophe Sat, 01/04/2017 - 17:38

Just bookmarking here the amazing documentation that was produced during the Dev Days.

MidCamp 2017 was a huge success! Thank you to everyone who came, helped, supported, spoke and attended!

MidCamp 2018 is confirmed for March 8th through March 11th, 2018 back here at the DePaul University Lincoln Park Student Center!

Come and join us next year!

Stay connected:

MidCamp is one of my favorite Drupal events—it hits the sweet spot (at least for me) in terms of diversity, topics, and camp size. I was ecstatic when one of my session submissions was accepted, and just finished presenting Developing for Drupal 8 with Drupal VM.

You can see slides from the presentation here: Drupal VM for Drupal 8 Development, but without the full video there are a lot of gaps (especially on slides where there's just a giant emoji!). Luckily, Kevin Thull of Blue Drop Shop is hard at work recording all the sessions and posting them to YouTube. He's already processed the video from my session, and it's available below:

We are very happy to announce that after several months of combined work with Concern Worldwide and Apple we now support Apple Pay via desktop, iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch @ Concern.net!

This was a fascinating endeavour for our team with many requirements spanning both hardware and software.

We now have tools in place for Concern.net donation forms to enable existing donors to make a donation, or increase their regular donations by following a marketing link and press a single button on the form before using their fingerprint to authenticate payment.

There is a famous saying that “The best GUI is no GUI” This ideal is now a tangible possibility.

Stay tuned for further developments as to how you can donate without fuss to one of the world’s leading charities.

Our many thanks to all the teams at SystemSeed, Concern and Apple that helped facilitate this work.

Please consider making the world a brighter place for those in need by going to Concern.net and donating via Apple Pay or any other method today.

Third & Grove goes to DrupalCon Baltimore antonella Mon, 04/03/2017 - 05:59

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