Apr 20 2019
Apr 20

It was easy!

Ok - I did have help from cafuego, so there's some bits of the process that were just magic to me.  But once I had access to the environments, I enabled the migrate modules, and followed instructions on drupal.org and hey presto it was done!

I did need to do manual clean up - re position blocks into differently named regions, and recreate some menu items for taxonomy.

I also got stumped for a bit about why I could no longer free tag, but that turned out to be a simple setting change.

There's still some tweaking to do, and I know that the path to files has changed, so there's lots of broken images I need to tidy up, but other than that, all seems well.

During his keynote at DrupalCon a couple of weeks back, Dries said the time to move to D8 is now.

He's right.

Oct 27 2018
Oct 27

Six years and 9 months... is a relatively long time. Not as long as some things, longer than others. Relative. As is everything.

But Six years and 9 months is the length of time I've been on the board of the Drupal Association.

I was elected to serve on the board by the community in February 2012, and then nominated to serve for another two terms. That second term expires on 31 October. My original candidate statement makes somewhat nostalgic reading now... and it's now that I wonder, what I achieved. If anything?

But that's the wrong question. There's nothing useful to be gained in trying to answer it.

Instead - I want to reflect on what I learned.

I learned something from everyone at that table. Honestly, I never really lost my sense of imposter syndrome, and I'm freely and gleefully willing to admit that.

Cary Gordon - we shared a passion for DrupalCon. That show grew into the incredible event it is because of seeds you sewed. And your experience running big shows, and supporting small community libraries seemed to be the perfect mix for fueling what Drupal needed.

Steve Purkiss - we were elected together! Your passion for cooperatives, for Drupal, and for getting on with it, and making things happen was infectious! Thank you for standing with me in those weird first few months of being in this weird new place, called the board of the Drupal Association!

Pedro Cambra - I wish I'd heed the lesson you taught me more often. Listen carefully. Speak only when there's something important to say, or to make the case for a perspective that's being missed. But also good humour. And Thank you for helping make the election process better, and helping the DA "own" the mechanics.

Morten - brother. I can't even find the words to say. Your passion for Drupal, for theming, and for our community always inspired me. I miss your energy.

Angie "webchick" Byron - mate! I still can't fathom how you did what you do so effortlessly! Well, I know it's not effortless, but you make it look that way. Your ability to cut through noise, sort things out, get things done, and inspire the Drupal masses to greatness is breathtaking.

Matthew Saunders - you made me appreciate the importance of governance from a different perspective. Thank you for the work you did to strengthen our board processes.

Addison Berry - Sorry Addi - this is a bit shameful, but it was the mezcal, tequila and bourbon lessons that really stuck.

Danese Cooper - I was so grateful for your deep wisdom of Open Source, and the twists and turns of the path it's followed over such a long time. Your eye to pragmatism over zealotry, but steadfast in the important principles.

Shyamala Rajaram - Oh Shyamala! I can't believe we only first met at DrupalCon Mumbai, or perhaps it was only the first time, this time! Thank you for teaching us all how important it is for us to be in India, and embrace our global community.

Ryan Szrama - you stepped onto the board at such a tough moment, but you stepped up into the role of community elected Director, and helped make sense out of what was happening. Sorry not to see you in Drupal Europe.

Rob Gill - Running. I didn't learn this. Sorry.

Tiffany Farriss - You're formidable! You taught me the importance of having principles, and sticking to them. And then using them to build a foundation in the bedrock. You do this with such style, and grace, and good humour. I'm so thankful I've had this time with you.

Jeff Walpole - You made me question my assumptions all the time! You made me laugh, and you gave me excellent bourbon. You always had a way of bringing us back to the real world when we waded too deep into the weeds.

Vesa Palmu - So many things - but the one that still resonates, is we should all celebrate failure. We should create ritual around it, and formalise the lessons failure teaches. We all learn so much more from mistakes, than from successes.

Sameer Verna - For a time, we were the only linux users at the table, and then I defected back to MacOS - I still feel a bit guilty about this, I admit. You championed Free Software at every step - but also, so often, guided us through the strategic mumbo jumbo, to get to the point we needed to.

Steve Francia - "It's not as bad as you all seem to think it is" I don't know why, but I hear this mantra, spoken with your voice, whenever I think of you. Thank you for your Keynote in Nashville, and for everything.

Mike Lamb - I've not yet put into practice the lesson I need to learn from you. To switch off. To really go home, and be home, and switch off the world. I need me some of that, after all of this. Thank you so much for all you've done, but more for your positive, real world perspective. Ta!

Annie - I missed your presence in Germany so much - I feel like I've still got so much to learn from you. You bridged the worlds of digital and marketing, and brought much needed perspective to our thinking. Twas an honour to serve with you.

Audra - With you too, I feel like I was only beginning to get into the groove of the wisdom you're bringing to the table. I hope our paths continue to cross, so I can keep learning!

Baddy Sonja Breidert - A powerful lesson - as volunteers, we have to account for the time, passion and energy we borrow from the rest of our lives, when we give it to Drupal. And Drupal needs to properly recognise it too.

Ingo Rübe - You taught me how to have courage to bring big ideas to the table, and show grace in letting them go.

Michel van Velde - You taught me to interrogate my assumptions, with fun, with good humour, and honest intention of doing good.

George Matthes - You taught me the power of questioning the received wisdom from history. You reminded me of the importance of bringing fresh eyes to every challenge.

Adam Goodman - a simple, but important lesson. That leadership is about caring for people.

Suzanne Dergacheva - newly elected, and about to start your term - I had too little chance to learn from you at the board table, but I already learned that you can teach the whole community kindness by giving them carnations! #DrupalThanks to you too. And power to your arms as you take the oars as a community elected director, and help row us forward!

And to all the staff who've served over the years, your dedication to this organisation and community it serves is incredible. You've all made a difference, together, to all of us. Special mentions for four of you...

Kris - from Munich to Vienna - my constant companion, and my dive bar adventure buddy. Til next time there is cheese...

Holly - Inspiring me to knit! Or, more accurately, to wish I could knit better than I can. To knit with conviction! It's a metaphor for so much, but also very very literally. Also I miss you.

Steph - Your vibrant enthusiasm, and commitment to DrupalCon always inspired me. Your advice on food trucks in Portland nourished me.

Megan - where to start? I'd never finish. Kindness, compassion, steely focus, commercial reality, "operational excellence", and cactus margaritas.

I save my penultimate words for Dries... Thank you for having faith in me. Thank you for creating Drupal, and for sharing it with all of us. Also, thank you sharing many interesting kinds of Gin!

These final words are for Tim - as you take the reins of this crazy sleigh ride into the future - I feel like I'm leaving just before the party is really about to kick off.

Go you good thing.

Good bye, so long, and thanks for all the fish.

The DA does amazing work.
If you rely on Drupal, you rely on them.

Please consider becoming a member, or a supporting partner.

Mar 17 2018
Mar 17
DrupalCon Nashville kattekrab Sat, 17/03/2018 - 22:01

I'm going to Nashville!!

That is all. Carry on. Or... better yet - you should come too!


Feb 17 2018
Feb 17

What even is "Site Building"?

At DrupalDownunder some years back, the wonderful Erica Bramham named her talk "All node, no code". Nodes were the fundamental building blocks in Drupal, they were like single drops of content. These days though, it's all about entities.

But hang on a minute, I'm using lots of buzz words, and worse, I'm using words that mean different things in different contexts. Jargon is one of the first hurdles you need to jump to understand the diverse worlds of the web. People who grow up multi-lingual learn that the meanings of words is somewhat arbitrary. They learn the same thing has different names. This is true for the web too. So the first thing to know about Site Building, is it means different things to different people. 

To me, it means being able to build a website with out knowing how to code. I also believe it means I can build a website without having to set up my own development environment. I know people who vehemently disagree with me about this. But that's ok. This is my blog, and these are my rules.

So - this is a post about site building, using SimplyTest.Me and Drupal 8 out of the box.

1. Go to https://simplytest.me

2. Type Drupal Core in the search field, and select "Drupal core" from the list

3. Choose the latest development branch, right at the bottom of the list.

For me, right now, that's 8.6.x, and here's a screenshot of what that looks like.

SimplyTest Me Screenshot, showing drop down fields described in the text.

4. Click "Launch sandbox".

Now wait.

In a few moments, you should see a fresh shiny Drupal 8 site, ready for you to explore.

For me today, it looks like this.  

Drupal 8.6.x front page screenshot

In the top right of the window, you should see a "Log in" link.

Click that, and enter admin/admin to login. 

You're now ready to practice some site building!

First, you'll need to create some content to play with.  Here's a short screencast that shows you how to login, add an article, and change the title using Quick Edit.

[embedded content]

A guide to what's next

Follow the Drupal User guide to start building your site!

If you want to start at the beginning, you'll get a great overview of Drupal, and some important info on how to plan your site. But if you want to roll up your sleeves and get building, you can skip the chapter on site installation and jump straight to chapter 4, and dive into basic site configuration.


You have 24 hours to experiment with the simplytest.me sandbox - after that it disappears.

Get in touch

If you want something more permanent, you might want to "try drupal" or contact us at catalyst-au.net to discuss our Drupal services.

Image by mohamed Hassan from Pixabay
Aug 10 2017
Aug 10

I gave a talk a couple of years ago called Tools for Talking.

I'm preparing a new talk, which, in some ways, is a sequel to this one. As part of that prep, I thought it might be useful to write some short summaries of each of the tools outlined here, with links to resources on them.

So I might try to make a start on that over the next week or so.

In the meantime, here's the slides:

And here's the video of the presentation at DrupalCon Barcelona

[embedded content]

Apr 05 2017
Apr 05
Making Views in Drupal 7 and Drupal 8 kattekrab Wed, 05/04/2017 - 11:45

This talk was written for DrupalGov Canberra 2017.

Download a PDF of the slides.

Or view below on slideshare.


Making views - DrupalGov Canberra 2017 from Donna Benjamin drupal drupalplanet content management
Mar 10 2016
Mar 10

We've got a great line-up of candidates to choose from this year in the Drupal Association board election. It's a really tough choice.

But reading through the candidates statements it seems many of them seem to think that being on the board of the association somehow influences the project directly. It doesn't.

The board governs the association. It doesn't govern Drupal.

The Association doesn't govern Drupal either.

As a community - we should probably think and talk about project governance more than we do, and perhaps consider or Re-consider how the association fits into the picture.

The Association works to keep the lights on for Drupal.org, and run DrupalCon. There's other important stuff, but those two things are the Big Jobs - the heavy lifting. Last year we ran a fund-raising campaign to directly fund work on the project. That was new, and great work was done, but we also didn't decide who did that work, or what work they did.

Last year, Holly (our awesome Executive Director) wrote a great blog post that outlines what the board does.

Anyway - some rushed and random thoughts after I cast my vote.

Please cast yours!

If you have an account on Drupal.org and logged in during the past 12 months, you are eligible to vote. Please do so!


Dec 12 2015
Dec 12

Open Source Software. Gotta love it.

I was fooling around with the second alpha release of the Bootstrap theme for Drupal8. I hit a snag, made a wish (by posting an issue to drupal.org) and Lo! and Behold! Not long after the wish was granted and a Beta was released.

If you're one of those people who uses Drupal to publish stuff online, and just want to get something up quickly without using Drupal's default Bartik theme, then you might want to take a look at Bootstrap.

Yes, there's still some rough edges in there - but if you're willing to share your thoughts, and be constructive, you too might be able to help improve it faster!

Head to https://www.drupal.org/project/bootstrap to check it out.

Or perhaps just fire up Bootstrap on simplytest.me

Sep 10 2015
Sep 10

Communication can be surprisingly hard.

Human beings talk a lot. Well many humans do. Some less so, Some more so, but I reckon, in general, there's a lot of daily jibber jabber.

Some of that talking is light hearted "Small Talk". Some of it is world changing speeches. Some of it is the daily to and fro we need to get stuff done; at work, at play, at home.

Some talking leads to conflict. Whilst thinking and talking about how to resolve conflict in more constructive ways, me and Gina Likins puzzled over how we could talk about compassion, and the important part it plays in conflict resolution. We talked about Empathy and Sympathy, and examined various definitions of all these words.

In the end, this is what we came up with. We were thinking about Free and Open Source Software communities. But it seems to have resonated with others, so, I thought I'd post it here, and expand a little on each point.

Sympathy, Empathy and Compassion are "Big feels". So, this is just my take on how we might more easily distinguish them from each other.


This is when we feel sorry for someone. We acknowledge that something has happened which isn't good for them, and is causing them some level of distress. In the software world, it might be like noticing that someone has reported a bug.


This goes a step further. This is when we really acknowledge something is wrong. Perhaps we've experienced it too, we understand the issue is real. In software terms, perhaps we can replicate the bug, and acknowledge it's an issue that needs addressing.


The next step comes when we are motivated to help. We've not just acknowledged there's a problem, but are willing to do something to help fix it. In software terms, it means stepping up to help fix the bug that's been reported.

Bug trackers and issue queues can be sources of minor conflict. We lack the non-verbal queues provided by tone of voice and body language that help when raising issues. It's natural to feel defensive. But perhaps, taking a moment to reflect on how we communicate, and what we hear, what we mean, and how we respond, could really help us get more done, together.

Aug 27 2015
Aug 27

The Drupal 8 Accelerate campaign has raised over two hundred and thirty thousand dollars ($233,519!!).  That's a lot of money! But our goal was to raise US$250,000 and we're running out of time. I've personally helped raise $12,500 and I'm aiming to raise 8% of the whole amount, which equals $20,000. I've got less than $7500 now to raise. Can you help me? Please chip in.

Most of my colleagues on the board have contributed anchor funding via their companies. As a micro-enterprise, my company Creative Contingencies is not in a position to be able to that, so I set out to crowdfund my share of the fundraising effort.

I'd really like to shout out and thank EVERYONE who has made a contribution to get me this far.Whether you donated cash, or helped to amplify my voice, thank you SO so soooo much. I am deeply grateful for your support.

If you can't, or don't want to contribute because you do enough for Drupal that's OK! I completely understand. You're awesome. :) But perhaps you know someone else who is using Drupal, who will be using Drupal you could ask to help us? Do you know someone or an organisation who gets untold value from the effort of our global community? Please ask them, on my behalf, to Make a Donation

If you don't know anyone, perhaps you can help simply by sharing my plea? I'd love that help. I really would!

And if you, like some others I've spoken with, don't think people should be paid to make Free Software then I urge you to read Ashe Dryden's piece on the ethics of unpaid labor in the Open Source Community. It made me think again.

Do you want to know more about how the money is being spent? 
See: https://assoc.drupal.org/d8-accelerate-awarded-grants

Perhaps you want to find out how to apply to spend it on getting Drupal8 done?
See: https://assoc.drupal.org/d8-accelerate-application

Are you curious about the governance of the program?
See: https://www.drupal.org/governance/d8accelerate

And just once more, with feeling, I ask you to please consider making a donation.

So how much more do I need to get it done? To get to GAME OVER?

  • 1 donation x $7500 = game over!
  • 3 donations x $2500
  • 5 donations x $1500
  • 10 donations x $750
  • 15 donationsx $500 <== average donation
  • 75 donations x $100 <== most common donation
  • 100 donations x $75
  • 150 donations x $50
  • 500 donations x $15
  • 750 donations x $10 <== minimum donation

Thank you for reading this far. Really :-)

Jul 10 2015
Jul 10

I often find myself describing the digital domain to people who don't live and breathe it like I do. It's an intangible thing, and many of the concepts are coded in jargon. It doesn't help that every technology tool set uses it's own specific language, sometimes using the same words for very different things, or different words for the same things. What's a page? A widget? A layout? A template? A module, plugin or extension? It varies. The answer "depends".

Analogies can be a helpful communication tool to get the message across, and get everyone thinking in parallel.

One of my favourites, is to compare a web development project, to a landscape design project.

One of the first things you need to know, is who is this landscape for and what sort of landscape is it? The design required for a public park is very different to one suitable for the back courtyard of an inner city terrace house.

You also need to know what the maintenance resources will be. Will this be watered and tended daily? What about budget? Can we afford established plants, or should we plan to watch the garden grow from seeds or seedlings?

The key point of comparison, is that a garden, whether big or small, is a living thing. It will change, it will grow. It may die from neglect. It may become an un-manageable jungle without regular pruning and maintenance.

What analogies do you use to talk about digital design and development?

Image: XIIIfromTOKYO - Plan of the gardens of Versailles - Wikipedia - CC-BY-SA 3.0

Jul 05 2015
Jul 05

I've given a "Constructive Conflict Resolution" talk twice now. First at DrupalCon Amsterdam, and again at DrupalCon Los Angeles. It's something I've been thinking about since joining the Drupal community working group a couple of years ago. I'm giving the talk again at OSCON in a couple of weeks. But this time, it will be different. Very different. Here's why.

After seeing tweets about Gina Likins keynote at ApacheCon earlier this year I reached out to her to ask if she'd be willing to collaborate with me about Conflict Resolution in open source, and ended up inviting her to co-present with me at OSCON. We've been working together over the past couple of weeks. It's been a joy, and a learning experience! I'm really excited about where the talk is heading now. If you're going to be at OSCON, please come along. If you're interested, please follow our tweets tagged #osconCCR.

Jen Krieger from Opensource.com interviewed Gina and I about our talk - here's the article: Teaching open source communities about conflict resolution

In the meantime, do you have stories of conflict in Open Source Communities to share?

  • How were they resolved?
  • Were they intractable?
  • Do the wounds still fester?
  • Was positive change an end result?
  • Do you have resources for dealing with conflict?

Tweet your thoughts to me @kattekrab

Jul 02 2015
Jul 02

I wrote this as a comment in response to Dries' post about the Acquia certification program - I thought I'd share it here too. I've commented there before.

I've also been conflicted about certifications. I still am. And this is because I fully appreciate the pros and cons. The more I've followed the issue, the more conflicted I've become about it.

My current stand, is this. Certifications are a necessary evil. Let me say a little on why that is.
I know many in the Drupal community are not in favour of certification, mostly because it can't possibly adequately validate their experience.

It also feels like an insult to be expected to submit to external assessment after years of service contributing to the code-base, and to the broader landscape of documentation, training, and professional service delivery.

Those in the know, know how to evaluate a fellow Drupalist. We know what to look for, and more importantly where to look. We know how to decode the secret signs. We can mutter the right incantations. We can ask people smart questions that uncover their deeper knowledge, and reveal their relevant experience.

That's our massive head start. Or privilege. 

Drupal is now a mature platform for web and digital communications. The new challenge that comes with that maturity, is that non-Drupalists are using Drupal. And non specialists are tasked with ensuring sites are built by competent people. These people don't have time to learn what we know. The best way we can help them, is to support some form of certification.

But there's a flip side. We've all laughed at the learning curve cartoon about Drupal. Because it's true. It is hard. And many people don't know where to start. Whilst a certification isn't going to solve this completely, it will help to solve it, because it begins to codify the knowledge many of us take for granted.

Once that knowledge is codified, it can be studied. Formally in classes, or informally through self-directed exploration and discovery.

It's a starting point.

I empathise with the nay-sayers. I really do. I feel it too. But on balance, I think we have to do this. But even more, I hope we can embrace it with more enthusiasm.

I really wish the Drupal Association had the resources to run and champion the certification system, but the truth is, as Dries outlines above, it's a very time-consuming and expensive proposition to do this work.

So, Acquia - you have my deep, albeit somewhat reluctant, gratitude!


Thanks Dries - great post.

(Drupal Association board member)

Jul 01 2015
Jul 01
Wednesday, July 1, 2015 - 11:53

I did another video the other day. This time I've got a D7 and D8 install open side by side, and compare the process of adding an article.

Apr 29 2015
Apr 29

I'm speaking at DrupalCon Los Angeles. 5pm, Tuesday 12 May in the 518 - Trellon room.

I first spoke about Constructive Conflict Resolution in Amsterdam at DrupalCon last year. I posted the slides, recording and speakers notes from that talk to the PreviousNext blog.

I'm reprising that talk in Los Angeles because someone else is now unable to make it, and I was asked if I could fill in. When I originally proposed the talk for LA I had planned to rework the slide and narrative - but unfortunately won't have much time to do that before the conference. However this is a conversation starter, and we'll have an opportunity in the room to discuss how we might embrace conflict as a force for good, as a force for progress. How to harness it, how to minimise it's potential for harm.

I hope to see you there!

Constructive Conflict Resolution will be in the core conversations track at DrupalCon Los Angeles.

Apr 02 2015
Apr 02

Pia Waugh, Director of Coordination and Gov 2.0 for Technology & Procurement Division, at the Australian Government Department of Finance recently gave a talk about collaborative innovation. She challenged attendees from the public sector to step outside their organisational silos and work together to make the most of their resources.  She acknowledges the constant pressure public servants are under when being asked to deliver more and more with less and less, but suggests collaborative innovation as the key to doing exactly that.

The open source community epitomises the principle of innovative collaboration.  Competitors often work together to drive technology forward. It’s a strange concept for some. But for those of us in open source software development communities, it’s as natural as breathing.

aGov is a Drupal Distribution. It forms the foundation for govCMS, the new hosted web content platform for Australian Government agencies. The Australian Government is joining a growing list of governments around the world adopting Drupal as the standard baseline for publishing content online. The Canadian government is using a Drupal distribution, as does the Estonian government. The Dutch government has also benefitted from agency collaboration on a common Drupal theme.

aGov is open source.  Anyone can participate in the ongoing development of this platform on Drupal.org. To actively collaborate on the project you will first need to register an account.  It’s easy, and free.

Once people are signed up, they’re able to search the Drupal issue queues, comment on issues, and even post their own issues, feature requests, give reviews and submit patches. For more information on how to contribute to the Drupal community see https://www.drupal.org/contribute.

With an open platform beneath us, we have to wonder, what might the future hold for Government web content management? govCMS and aGov represent an enormous opportunity for the Australian Drupal community to heed Pia’s rallying cry and engage in some innovative collaboration.

Let’s work together.

Mar 21 2015
Mar 21
Sunday, March 22, 2015 - 08:37An empty wheelchair at the bottom of the stairs

PSA: If you are a web professional, work in a digital agency or build mobile apps, please read this article now: Taking the social model of disability online

Done? Great.

"The social model of disability reframes discussion of disability as a problem of the world, rather than of the individual. The stairs at the train station are the problem, rather than using a wheelchair."

El Gibbs has reminded me of question time during Gian Wild's keynote at Drupal Downunder in 2012. Gian asserts that accessibility guidelines are a legal requirement for everyone, not just Government. There was an audible gasp from the audience.

It's true that our physical environment needs to include ramps, lifts, accessible toilets, reserved parking spaces, etc in order to accommodate those with mobility needs. Multi-lingual societies require multi-lingual signage. There are hearing loops - but for some reason, this "social model" of accessibility doesn't seem to have extended online.

Making the digital world accessible, and counteracting the systemic discriminatory impact of failing to do so is something we must take seriously. We must build this in during planning and design, we must make it easy for content editors to maintain WCAG compliance AFTER a site or app is delivered.

Building accessibility features in from the beginning also means it costs less to implement, and delivers a double win of making the whole team more mindful of these issues to begin with. It should be part of the acceptance criteria, it should be part of the definition of done.

I'd like to see us tackle these issues directly in Drupal core. If you're interested in keeping track of accessibility issues in Drupal, you might like to follow drupala11y on twitter, and check out issues on drupal.org that have been tagged with "accessibility"

Accessibility traps might not affect you now, but they will. This is probably affecting people you know right now. People who silently struggle with small font sizes, poor contrast, cognitive load, keyboard traps, video without captions. 

My own eyesight and hearing is not what it was.  My once able parents now require mobility aids. My cousin requires an electric wheelchair. A friend uses a braille reader, and yet I still forget.  It's not front and centre for me, but it should be. Let's all take a moment to think about how we can focus on making our online and digital world more accessible for everyone. It really does benefit us all.

Mar 20 2015
Mar 20

UPDATE 21 March 2015: I cancelled the chook raffle in favour of a bigger better crowdfunding initiative by the whole board of the DrupalAssocation. We are using crowdrise.

And in honour of the humble chookraffle - Everyone who donates over $100 via my page still wins a customised digital chicken badge with their name on it!


The Drupal Association board approved a new initiative to help get Drupal 8 done. It's called the D8 Accelerate fund. We also agreed to personally help do fundraising to support the program. So I'm running a chook raffle. For those of you who don't know what that is, Wikipedia gives a decent introduction.


The Drupal Association is working with the Drupal 8 branch maintainers to provide Drupal 8 Acceleration Grants. The goal is to fund work that will positively impact the release date. Drupal 8 has had over 2,400 contributors to date, which is more than any release so far. We hope that this initiative will encourage even more people to join the effort to get D8 done.

Feb 10 2015
Feb 10

update: republishing with some notes from  Peter Wolanin , who has been working directly on the issues that caused me dive in here in the first place. Many thanks Peter for the clarifications and corrections!

Sometimes, diving in to try and help work on something in an open source project can leave you feeling stupid, lost and confused. Generally, you'll find you are not alone. Sharing the problem, and the solution when you find it, can be helpful to build your own understanding, but also might help others too. So, just in case I'm not the only one feeling lost and confused about why the path / route / link issue in Drupal is so complex, I thought I'd share some of my confusion and a little ray of light that might help unravel this tangle of related terminology.

In the Drupalverse, we use IRC to connect with each other.  So I popped into channel and asked:

Can someone describe how drupal uses these terms? route, path, url, uri, link, menu item - or point me to a reference?

Angela Byron generously responded with a rough outline of definitions, which I've fleshed out a bit below with some references.


"this URL goes to this PHP code, and can only be accessed by these kind of people."
As far as I can tell, this is a relatively new concept for Drupal with routing and controllers, replacing the hook-menu system we had previously. Here's a couple of references that might be helpful if you want to build a deeper understanding.

update: Peter Wolanin wrote to say

In D6 & D7 the menu system was the routing system. "this is a relatively new concept for Drupal" is not correct. We re-wrote things in terms of Symfony classes, but the basic concepts are actually the same. In Drupal 7 the data is stored in the {menu_router} table, in D8 it's been moved to just {router}. The big different in D8 vs D7 is that a single path may match more than one route name. In D7 a path is identical to the route name, so there cannot be more than one.


Uniform Resource Locator eg. "https://www.drupal.org/community" It's generally the address we use to find content on the web.


Uniform Resource Identifier is often confused with URL because it's so similar. See the URI wikipedia page for more information. I'm not sure if or how Drupal distinguishes between the use of URIs, URLs and URNs (Uniform Resource Names), but let's save that yak to shave on another day.

The Build a module team made a video that describes the difference between a URL and a URI
What the difference is between a URI and a URL (a Drupal how-to)

update: Peter adds

Recent patches landing in core have adopted a URI field for storage for the Link Field, so you will (in the database at least) now start to see URIs like entity:node/5 and user-path:/blog


The path is like a pathway to find content eg. admin/content but because it can be an alias, it may not actually represent the location of a file on disk, which helps lead to some of the complexity under the hood in Drupal, and the confusion about when to use http://example.com/blog/yakshaving, /blog/yakshaving, or node/5

update: Peter notes

The Path section should mention at least the idea of "base path" - the prefix including the subdirectory that needs to be adding to an "internal path" to make a relative URL. It would also be worth noting that by adopting the new routing system we are trying to remove, as much as possible, use of or reference to the internal path in favor of routes when referring to a Drupal page.


the base path will usually just be a "/" unless Drupal is installed in a subdirectory.


<a href="http://kattekrab.net/foo">foo</a> - This one seems pretty straightforward - it's the HTML markup used to point to a URI or path.

Menu item

A link in a menu - which could be pointing to a route, path or URI.

update: and final note

The term "menu item" here is wrong. It should be "menu link". In D6 & D7 a "menu item" is the thing that's been replaced by a "route object" in D8. However, I will acknowledge that in D6 and D7 there is a lot of code that may use variables or comments referring to a menu link as a menu item - this is generally a reflection of logic carried forward from D5 where they were actually the same thing.

Hope that helps you, it certainly helps me to lay it all out like this. And, just in case you're wondering how I fell down this rabbit hole, this relates to a series of critical issues holding up the release of Drupal 8.  If you can help, please get involved  or buy a ticket in my chook raffle to help fund the Drupal 8 Accelerate initiative.

Feb 10 2015
Feb 10

The number of critical issues holding up the release of Drupal 8 is now in the 50s. When will it be released? When it's ready. In the meantime there are some great opportunities around to start to get up to speed on what Drupal 8 is all about. Not least of which are 7 sessions at DrupalSouth in Melbourne next month.

Check them out:

First up, our keynote by Angela "webchick" Byron: Drupal 8: What you need to know

Since March 2011, the community has been hard at work on Drupal 8, which is currently undergoing active development. This revolutionary new release sports tons of improvements, and Angela Byron, Drupal core committer and long-time core developer, will lead you through the most important ones and how they'll impact your future site building endeavors.

Get answers to your frequently asked questions, learn about the changes coming down the pipe for clients, site builders, designers, and developers. You'll also find out more about the core development process, some tips and tricks on how the community works and how to contribute. Best of all, you'll take away some action steps on how you too can help make Drupal 8 the most awesome release of Drupal yet!

Lee "larowlan" Rowlands: Contributing to Core without losing your mind

Contributing to Drupal core can be satisfying, educational, overwhelming, frustrating and many more emotions, all in the one issue.

In this session I'll share some things I've learned from contributing to Drupal 7 and Drupal 8 core.

Topics covered

  • Negotiating issue queues
  • Finding your niche
  • Git and patch workflows
  • Dealing with politics and personalities
  • Not sweating details
  • Development approaches
  • Learning through reviews
  • Building networks and friendships
  • Automating your processes with phing
  • Automated tests


Justin "beejeebus" Randell: Best practices for configuration management in Drupal 8

Drupal 8 ships with a new Configuration Management System (CMI) that vastly improves on Drupal 7. A Drupal site's configuration can be expressed as a set of yaml files, and stored and managed just like source code.

In this talk I'll explore the powerful new CMI features, and present best practice workflows for managing configuration across Drupal 8 projects.

Trying to figure out how Drupal 8's new CMI features will work with your development team? Come to this presentation and we'll try to work it out.

Vladimir R and Josh Martin: Services in Drupal 8: using Drupal as data storage for mobile apps, web apps and websites

Web services is one of the official Drupal 8 incentives. Known as "headless Drupal", web services allow us to use Drupal as a data storage for applications and websites using various frameworks and technologies. 

In this presentation we will cover

  1. Introduction to web services. We will cover origins and types of web services, crucial componets and basics to get us going. We will look into the difference between Drupal 7 and Drupal 8 service setup and why it was crucial to get services into the core. 
  2. Examples of use. Modern web applications, mobile application and a lot of web sites are using web services for reusing exisitng application components or connecting existing applications together. For this presentation we've built mobile application, simple website and booking web app using Drupal 8 as well as various other libraries to demonstrate the practical use of web services.
  3. Drupal 8 services configuration. In this section we will cover how to get your hands dirty "under the hood" by configuring Drupal to work in examples from the previous section.


David Peterson: How Everything is Connected - Drupal 8 and Schema.org

The world is complex and is full of connections and relationships amongst "real things". The web is complex and full of links between text, video and images.

How do we bridge this divide between the real world and the online web? The Graph. The knowledge graph defines what is important to us and how it relates to the things we care about.

When you publish a Drupal site is built with rich Content Types and fields, relationships link things together in a way that provides unique value to your end users. Then this wonderful data is hidden away as soon you you save the page and HTML is generated. Schema.org integration within Drupal 8 uncovers these hidden "things" and relationships and describes them as rich data within your HTML. 

So, that sounds great, right? But why would you want to do this? Schema.org was created by the largest search engines in the world Google, Bing, Yahoo and Yandex. They are consuming this data to provide end users with a much richer and more relevant search experience. Google has stated that 15% of all websites it has indexed use schema.org. That adds up to ... A LOT :) 

SEO is no longer a dark art. SEO is about encoding the rich relationships and entities from your website and sharing them to the wider world.

Come to this session and hear about this wonderful new and interconnected world -- the Knowledge Graph.

Magda Kostrzewa: How to create a custom theme in Drupal 8

In this session we will look at some of the new features that are in Drupal 8 theming as well as demonstrate how to create and configure a Drupal 8 sub-theme from Classy, the new core theme in Drupal 8.

This session is for current Drupal themers who want a glimpse into how to get started creating your own sub-theme in Drupal 8 as well as those new to Drupal who want an introduction to Drupal 8 theming.


Jibran Ijaz: Create your own bespoke Views Style Plugins for Drupal 8

Views in Drupal Core was the first initiative to reach feature completion in Drupal 8. Like all other core systems Views has embraced PSR , Plugin Systems, Annotations and ConfigEntities.

This session is about how Drupal 8 makes it easy and painless to create a ViewsStyle Plugin.

We'll learn:

  • How to add a custom theme to a plugin.
  • How to add a display option to a plugin.
  • How to use configuration options to customise the HTML output.
  • We'll also take a look into some contributed views style plugin modules.


Grab a ticket now!

Feb 05 2015
Feb 05

Accessibility matters. For everyone. For those of us who build the web, and for those who use it too. All of us.

Here's some great resources that caught my attention in recent days.

Anne Gibson writes that "Web accessibility means that people can use the web." in an article on List Apart about Reframing Accessibility for the Web. It's really good. She advocates creating a test matrix for accessibility and putting the focus back on the technology available, rather than the abilities of the people who use it. This is strong, clear practical advice we should all consider.

Jeremy Fields has repurposed the WCAG and WebAIM reccomendations to create an Interactive WCAG guide. This makes it easy to link to a specific principal or guideline. 

Ollie Campbell highlights some of the ways that older people use the web, and digital devices is different to how young people do, and to be mindful about our assumptions when designing for the elderly.

Discovering these resources pushed me to reframe some recent conversations about meeting accessibility guidelines.  We often get stuck debating compliance details, when really we should be thinking about setting our content free as flexibly and cleanly as possible.  We're not just ticking boxes.  At least, I hope we're not.

Drupal is one of the best content platforms for web accessibility, but it still has shortcomings. Unfortunately, many people who lack the deep understanding of what makes accessibility important still build sites that don't meet WCAG guidelines.  I think it's up to all of us to spend a bit more time getting up to speed on the intricacies, and build it into our practice, and not just meet those guidelines, but exceed them!

[Image from from the W3C's Web Accessibility Initiative Guidelines and Techniques page - Read a description of this image ]

Update 6 Feb: Included Ollie's article on designing for the elderly. 

Nov 20 2014
Nov 20

It's been a while since the last DrupalCamp in Melbourne, so the community came together recently to share what they know. Here's a brief wrap up of the two day event.

The Melbourne Drupal community recently gathered at our new library in Docklands. It was the first time I visited the venue, and I have to say I was impressed.  The wifi was great, the facilities were accessible, and there was such a good variety of room set ups.

The day began with a series of lightning talks.  Speakers gave a quick outline of what they planned to cover, and the full sessions were scheduled out based on how much interest there was in the topic.

DrupalCamp begins - Photo by Alexar

Check out the DrupalCamp Melbourne website to see the range of sessions that was covered on Day 1


Day 2 was Sprint Day.  I even took a moment to show some people how I navigate the issue queues on Drupal.org

Donna demos the issue queues - Photo by Justin


Huge kudos is due to Brian Gilbert and Stuart Clark of Realityloop, plus their team of volunteers for putting on a great camp. Thank you!

DrupalCamp Melbourne Group picture

Drupal Community
Nov 19 2014
Nov 19

DrupalSouth is the biggest Drupal gathering in the Antipodes.

We'll be at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre over three days in early March 2015. March 5-7 to be exact.

Find out more at the website

The call for sessions is open, and we're trying hard to get the word out wide and far, to whisper in new ears, and encourage people of all sorts to share their ideas for sessions so we can create a truly wonderful, inspiring, engaging and fun program for this conference!

For those who may not know, Drupal is an open source content management system. It's used by people and organisations all around the world, for all sorts of web sites. It's also being used as back end application framework for mobile apps! It's amazing what Drupal can do.

Drupal events are the heart and soul of the community that makes Drupal. Bringing people together drives the project forward, and forges friendships.

But we're also part of the wider web. So we want to hear from all sorts of web specialists, not just Drupalists.

Please, submit a session, or simply help us spread the word. The deadline is looming and won't be extended. Get that proposal in by 30 November 2014. https://melbourne2015.drupal.org.au/program/session-submission

Nov 19 2014
Nov 19
kattekrab's picture

Please please peeple to submitses your sessionss!!??!!

Speakers get a free ticket.

Also - spread the word. Thanx.

Especially keen to see some more sitebuilding talks - stuff aimed at beginners, and also stories and case studies from people and organisations USING drupal to achieve their goals.

Come on folks, this is OUR conference, roll your sleeves up and help us get the word out so we get a bunch of great sessions to choose from to build a brilliant program.

Maybe ping a client or two and encourage them to do a case study? Maybe reach out to a jquery or symfony specialist and encourage them to come share what they know?

Work with project managers and designers who "get" Drupal? Get them to come and share their expertise?

It doesn't even have to be about Drupal itself. We are part of a wider web, content strategy, user experience, business development - we all rely on these things too.

Final push. Four days. Let's do it!

Thanks everyone.

jpourzal's picture


Oct 16 2014
Oct 16

How can the Drupal community recognise and handle conflict more constructively? This core conversation session from DrupalCon Amsterdam aimed to start a discussion about creating an army of empowered bystanders ready, willing and able to use conflict as a positive force in the community.

Conflict is a part of human nature.

Core Conversations at DrupalCon are a place for people actively working on and contributing to Drupal core or Drupal.org to meet, discuss and plan the future of Drupal.  I was honoured to have my session on conflict resolution selected for this track at DrupalCon Amsterdam.

I hoped to start a conversation with the community about how we recognise and handle conflict.  I hope we can grow to see conflict as a positive force. A force we should harness in order to take a constructive approach to disagreement.  The Drupal community values consensus, which is a good thing. But avoiding the conflict that consensus often generates means we risk stagnation.  We need to continue to innovate, and test our ideas.  But we need to do it with respect, trust and compassion.

Ultimately, I'd like to build a Drupal peace keeping force.  A peace corps of people willing to help mediate and negotiate, and help others better understand and accomodate opposing perspectives.

Here are the slides

Here is the session video.

[embedded content]

Here are the rough speaker notes.

Conflict is human nature.  

Although, not exclusively.  Cats and Dogs are famous enemies.

Conflict is natural. And we have a natural, biological, response to conflict. An adrenalin rush forces us to make a choice. Flight or fight? Or freeze?

Conflict isn’t just war.  Many of us think conflict is “Big” violence. Blood on the streets. But it’s often much smaller; a simple misunderstanding, a fear of speaking up, or an unmet, unexpressed need.  

I mentioned Flight or Fight.  There are some other common responses to conflict…

It’s easier to walk away, to give up.  Avoidance is not a constructive response.  Avoidance generally doesn’t help us build a better solution.

Or try to pretend it isn’t happening. Denying there’s a problem doesn’t move the issue forward to construct a solution.

It’s not a game.  Though many people play with conflict as though it is a game.  If you’ve seen the classic movie War Games, you may remember… “The only way to win, is not to play”

History… is the story of conflict. Our human histories are marked by stories of war and conquest. And by the various ways of resolving conflict. 

Some have tried building walls.

Building arsenals of missiles.

And others by resolving conflict in courts.  Even this is not a truly constructive resolution - there’s usually a winner.  And a loser.

Challenge is at the heart of conflict.  And I believe, that Accepting that challenge is the Key to constructive resolution.

We need to explore, test and challenge ideas. Competing ideas. And as Albert Einstein said “We can’t solve problems using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.”

So what is Conflict?  It's different things to different people. It's defined in different ways in different contexts.

It's at the heart of why diversity matters.  The different ways we approach conflict is cultural, is gendered, is about power and authority.

What do you think?

Our relationship with power and authority also impacts how we handle conflict.

My view, is that respect is at the heart of how we should respond.

In most martial arts, we start with a bow. This is a show of respect to our opponent.  Putting respect front and centre when we disagree with each other is crucial.

There are two sides to the coin.  We must both be respectful, and feel respected.

But we also need to have trust in each other.  Trust that we CAN find common ground, that we DO have mutual goals, or values.

And, most importantly. We need compassion.  We need to have empathy and try to understand the opposite perspective which forms the foundation of our conflicts.  Respect, Trust and Compassion are the keys to constructive conflict resolution.

There are non constructive ways to solve conflicts, but they… aren’t pretty… 

If you disagree, you could pull my hair

Smack me in the face

Bite me on the chin.

But that just usually ends in tears.

Drupal Drama - In the Drupal community, we value consensus.  We test ideas, and we work towards finding common ground we can all agree on.

Sometimes it’s simply a matter of discovering we actually want the same thing, but have been pulling in different directions.  

But sometimes we can’t reach consensus.  Instead we reach stagnation.  Where no-one’s idea could “win”, and vast amounts of time and energy are wasted.

Stagnation is not healthy.  So how do we avoid this?

We have a code of conduct.  We’ve had it for a while.  But we had some unfinished business. We had a “ToDo” item, which said “Develop a conflict resolution process”  We’ve done that now.

And what I want… is a Drupal peace keeping force.  A Peace corps that can help… keep the peace.

Our conflict resolution policy is here at drupal.org/conflict-resolution - it’s the culmination of work begun by others, and continued at last year’s first community summit in Prague.  Randy Fay wrote a series of blog posts about governance. We had a template from the Vic Human Rights Commission. And we ended up with this.

Essentially.  There’s 3 steps.

1. Try to talk to each other and work it out between you

2. Ask someone else to help mediate the dispute

3. Reach out to the Community working group

But we need that peace keeping force.  An army of empowered bystanders ready and willing to help maintain the peace.  And stand up, and speak up. But we might need to skill up to do that.

The Drama Triangle is a useful model for thinking about interpersonal conflict. Hands up if you’ve ever found yourself drawn into a drama or conflict, and felt confused or uncomfortable about how that happened?  There’s a chance you were drawn into this negative, but seductive dynamic.

This is an alternative - challenge, create, coach.

The Victim becomes a Creator (focused on a vision, working toward a goal). The Persecutor becomes a Challenger, pushing others to acquire new knowledge or skills and strive to be their best. The Rescuer must become a Coach - supporting, assisting, facilitating).

Ultimately, we need to work together to avoid stagnation, wasted effort, and making people feel bad, we need to embrace conflict constructively. It’s fine to disagree.  

But rather than tear me down…

Can we build something together?

I want us to build a culture of respect. Where bystanders are empowered to help.  Where it's ok to challenge an idea to help make it better,but not ok to tear someone down for thinking differently.

Whenever two good people argue over principles, they are both right. - Marie Ebner von Eschenbach

Let’s have less of this. (Holes in walls in gaza)

And more of this. (Van Gogh’s sunflowers)

Jul 02 2014
Jul 02
Wednesday, July 2, 2014 - 20:09

Hey @drupal Beware the ides of March. Over 5-7 March 2015 @DrupalSouth is coming. See http://t.co/YP1LJMSD30 & sign up for announcements

— kattekrab (@kattekrab) June 29, 2014
Mar 27 2014
Mar 27

UPDATE: The policy has now been adopted by the community working group. It lives here: https://drupal.org/conflict-resolution (now with pretty URL!)

For some time we've had a bit of unfinished business around the Drupal Code of Conduct around how we manage and respond to conflict.

The Community Working Group has drafted a policy and is now looking for community feedback over the next 2 weeks. Please check out the draft in the drupal-cwg issue queue.


Mar 14 2014
Mar 14

The Drupal community working group exists to uphold our code of conduct, and work on the supporting policies and procedures we need to do that. Read more about it in the Governance group on Groups.drupal.org

[Photo Community Summit at DrupalCon Prague by Amazee Labs]

Mar 14 2014
Mar 14

In early 2013 our fearless and benevolent leader, Dries Buytaert, formalised a governance structure and started a number of working groups for the Drupal project as a whole, and for our home on the Web, Drupal.org.

Governance Structure Diagram

The Community Working Group's job is to "Guarantee a friendly and welcoming community for the Drupal project by upholding the Drupal Code of Conduct."

In 2012 Randy Fay, a longtime and significant contributor to the Drupal project, wrote a series of blog posts articulating some of the challenges of informal governance structures like ours. If you really want to know the full story behind the creation of the community working group, you should start with Randy’s blog, as well as this proposal that came out of a governance sprint held in July that year.

The aim of putting this governance structure in place is to help the Drupal community deal with the challenges of scale. Formalising roles and teams that already exist in the project supports the work of contributors "doing" in the do-ocracy, and provides more support to those people already actively engaged in community issues.

Dries asked Angela Byron, Roel de Meester, George DeMet and myself to form the first Community Working Group.

Angela Byron Angela is a long-time "cat herder" in the Drupal community who frequently gets drawn into a conflict resolver role and has helped the community through some "meaty" topics such as the CVS to Git migration, and five major Drupal core releases.

Roel De Meester Once upon a time, Dries asked him to look after Drupal.be, The Belgium community website. Nowadays, he's interested in connecting people and ensuring that new members find their way in the community. He's known for his no-nonsense approach and collaborative nature.

George DeMet George is a Drupal Association Advisory Board Member, chair of the Drupal.org Content Working Group, co-chair of DrupalCon Chicago, and one of the folks who helped develop the DrupalCon Code of Conduct.

Donna Benjamin and Me? I was one of the first people elected to the board of the rebooted Drupal Association and I'm really passionate about the non-code aspects of maintaining an open source community.

DrupalCon Prague was a milestone for the group. Lisa Welchman gave a keynote address on the importance of governance for communities like ours. Some people came away from her talk scratching their heads and asking questions.

Why is this relevant to a software project like ours?

In essence Lisa Welchman reminded us that there is no code without people. It is the people, and not the code that define the Drupal community. We have good processes for managing the development and quality of our code. We still don’t have great processes for how we support and acknowledge people and their contributions.

Lisa spoke about a giant fungus as a good analogy for web governance, but also for an open source community like ours. She asked "How do you grow something to be big, that maintains its integrity and maintains its identity?" Lisa suggests that standards and a stable environment are key.

For our code we have coding standards. For our community, we have a code of conduct. That code of conduct represents the foundation of our social standards.

[Photo: Amazee Labs]

In Prague we also held the first Drupal Community Summit. A group gathered to focus on how we might tackle building a conflict resolution policies and processes for the Drupal community. Could we create something flexible enough to apply to all the kinds of conflict we see in our community? How can we acknowledge that conflict itself can be a good thing? We explored questions like these and listed the sorts of conflicts we might need to handle. https://drupal.org/node/2116441

The community summit was a great success, so we'll be doing it again at DrupalCon Austin. https://austin2014.drupal.org/community-summit

[Photo: Amazee Labs]

I'll write a series of follow up articles about our ongoing efforts to define, refine and field-test policies and processes on how the community can deal with conflict and complaints.

We can't do this work alone. We need a team of people willing to help. Many people are already doing this kind of "work" in our community, if you are, please let us know! Or maybe you're doing it and don't realise you are.

If you are someone people look to to smooth things over when things get heated, or someone with experience in conflict resolution outside open source communities, then please get in touch with the Community Working Group. Tell us

  • What are you doing?
  • How can we support you?
  • How can we amplify your effort and successes?
  • How can we improve?

This is Drupal, so of course we have an issue queue!

We also have a discrete incident report form only seen by members of the community working group.

Please look through our issue backlog. We’re looking for people willing to help us mediate disputes, formulate and refine community policies, and look for ways to build a community culture we can all be proud of.

Oct 13 2013
Oct 13

Thought I'd have a play with a bleeding edge pre alpha 4 development snapshot of Drupal 8. I hit a minor documentation/installation snag. This is probably frustrating for people, so I'm documenting it here in order to later find the right place, right person, right way to report it, and perhaps improve it.

I've nearly finished installing D8! Yay. Now I'm at the "Configure site" stage where I get this helpful message suggesting I ought to consult the "online handbook."

All necessary changes to sites/default and sites/default/settings.php have been made, so you should remove write permissions to them now in order to avoid security risks. If you are unsure how to do so, consult the online handbook.

The page title of which is "Webhosting issues". This is what it looks like.

Elsewhere, we do provide the specific commands needed to remove write permissions. But not here, where we suggest they might be found. Perhaps we should link to https://drupal.org/documentation/install/settings-file instead?  I'm not sure. The large number of confused comments on that page seeking further guidance suggests there's still room for improvement. One of those comments points at https://drupal.org/node/244924 "Securing file permissions and ownership".

I'm sorry I don't really have any concrete suggestions on precisely HOW we could improve this experience, but I do feel we could do better!  I also have no idea where to post this as an issue on drupal.org. Tweet me, or find me on irc.

Sep 16 2013
Sep 16

The Drupal Association board has two positions for members elected by the community.

Voting is open now, but only for a couple of days. Voting closes midnight Thursday 19 September 2013.

Don't procrastinate...

VOTE NOW - community elections for the board of the Drupal Association

Who to vote for?

There are 13 candidates to choose from. You can find out more about them from their nomination statements, and from 2 meet the candidate sessions held last week.

Who can vote?

Anyone with an account on Drupal.org when nominations opened on 1 September 2013, and has logged in during the past 12 months is eligible to vote.

How to vote?

Login to the Drupal Association website, go to https://association.drupal.org/vote2014, and rank the candidates in the order you prefer.  You don't need to order all the candidates, just the ones you'd prefer to be on the board.  We're electing 2 candidates to sit on the board.

Jul 18 2013
Jul 18

Drupal 8 is around the corner!  And there's a lot of goodness coming. I wanted some of that goodness now, so I've just updated the theme here to Responsive Bartik so it's now mobile friendly.

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
Arthur C. Clarke, "Profiles of The Future", 1961 (Clarke's third law)

Magic - that's what this feels like.  I did nothing but install a new theme. Drupal - and the extraordinary community behind it made this happen.

The amazing Jen Simmons created Bartik, with contributions from John Albin and Jacine.  The responsive version for D7 was largely built by John Quinn who also had help from others.  I'm sure there are countless more people who have been involved in tracking, testing and patching issues for this. Kudos to all of you. And Thank You.

Apr 10 2013
Apr 10

Trumpets and drums. Hear the call!

The Drupal7 Theme system is impenetrable.  Drupal8 will very hopefully change all that, but we really need to rally the troops now and get it done.

We need an example TWIG theme so we can start seeing how it works, pull it apart, put it back together. We need to pour over the template and CSS files. We need to try to understand how they're calling functions, variables, thingies, widgets and whatsits! Then we can start to build the mental model in our minds, so we can fill it with new creative solutions.

But this is a chicken and egg problem... 

I've spent much of the morning trying to learn some PHP at codecademy.com. Why? Because I felt that my lack of understanding of PHP was holding back my ambition to be a Drupal themer when I grow up.

(Aside: I hit a bug I had to work around. Until such time as I realised it was a bug in the system - and not a bug in my thinking, I was feeling very stupid and incompetent. This is a surprisingly salient point. For people who are learning something new and unfamiliar, bugs, hacks and workarounds are unhelpful. Needing to know arcane or inscrutable incantations before starting to learn is not helpful. In fact, it is downright destructive when trying to create new neural pathways.)

I then went looking for something to explain why we have print render thingie instead of just print thingie... how is that helpful? I wondered. Who came up with that idea? I pondered. And, did they happen to explain themselves somewhere and will that help me see the light?

So, I turned to my trusty search engine and found these illuminating scrolls! [sorry, I mean blog posts]

Around this time last year, the shift began. Most of the twists and turns are listed in this meta issue: New theme system It attracted 274 comments, and 37 mentions on IRC.

More recently, Jen Lampton has been doing lots of presentations on Twig Check out the slides and video from DrupalCon Sydney. And chx put out a public service announcement stating his support for Twig has less to do with Symfony, and more to do with Security. 

It was around this time last year that the shift began.  And in November 2012, Twig was committed to Drupal8.

So, now we have Twig. But what is Twig? It's a modern PHP template engine. Here's node.tpl.php converted into a Twig template.

Please - please - if you care at all about the future of Drupal dive in now. This is important. Really.

Mar 13 2013
Mar 13

A week or so ago, Dries posted this

Which links to a number of draft charters for working groups focussed on different facets of the community, the software project, our tools and infrastructure.

Dries wrote

This is a work in progress. Please help shape the future of Drupal.org governance by reviewing and commenting on the following proposals:

Please take a moment to review Dries post, and each of the draft charters. Please comment, and please help spread the word about this proposal. It's important. :-)

Jan 10 2013
Jan 10

6-9 February 2013
Crowne Plaza Coogee Beach
Sydney, Australia

DrupalCon Sydney, our first DrupalCon in the Asia Pacific region, has sold out!
We are so excited by the positive response from attendees, we wish we’d booked the opera house instead!

We’ve opened a waiting list for those who missed out on tickets, and will be releasing tickets as they become available, however there are still many opportunities to participate in all the wonderful events surrounding DrupalCon.

The Business Day program on Wednesday 6 February, keynoted by long-time open source advocate Pia Waugh , targets the conference theme of growing Drupal Downunder, and is a great event for business leaders, evaluators and decision makers to hear real stories and strategies around adopting Drupal. http://sydney2013.drupal.org/drupal-business-day

DrupalCon is a great opportunity to access hands on instruction from some of the world’s top Drupal trainers. Training programs on Git, Drupal Commerce and Building a Drupal site from scratch also kick off the conference on Wed 6 Feb 2013. If you missed on a ticket to DrupalCon why not snap up a ticket to one of these great training workshops.

The main conference on Thursday and Friday is filled with a rich and diverse selection of sessions from speakers from around the world, as well as home grown talent from the Australian Drupal community. Here’s a selection of our featured sessions.

Two “floating” tracks may be unfamiliar to diehard fans of DrupalCon. The Content Authoring and Case Studies tracks are aimed at broadening the appeal of DrupalCon beyond the traditional audience of geeky Developers, to try and engage a broader audience of non-technical Drupal users.

Our Advanced audience is invited to attend the Core Conversations Summit on Friday, which features a D7 to D8 module upgrade demo with webchick and an hour long D8 open forum with Dries and many Drupal Core Contributors.

Keynotes are always a big part of DrupalCon, and what kind of DrupalCon would it be without ? Dries will set the scene for the true state of Drupal 8 development and give a view of the road ahead.

After hearing about the future of Drupal, attention shifts to our second keynote, the Honourable Senator Kate Lundy, detailing how open source software makes it possible for governments and their people to engage with each other more directly, during her Friday morning keynote, “From Open Source, to Open Government.” Senator Lundy has been a powerful advocate for the adoption of Free and Open source software, and has been internationally recognised for blazing a pathway for a more open approach to government.

The conference concludes with a full Sprint Day on Saturday 9 February, which is open to anyone who wishes to attend. Make the most of the Drupal expertise in town and find out how to make your mark in the Drupal project.

New to contributing or just sprints in general? Come to Community Tools Workshop on Saturday morning get your Drupal Toolbox in order and level up your skills with Sprint leads xjm, ZenDoodles and add1sun, and other leading contributors.

Many in the Aussie Drupal community have made the pilgrimage North to attend DrupalCon in Europe or North America, so we are incredibly excited to welcome the world to join us in February Downunder.

See you on the beach!

PS. If you're coming from overseas - Don't forget you need a visa!

Jan 10 2013
Jan 10

You will almost certainlyif you are overseas and planning to travel to Australia to come to one of these awesome geeky events:

DrupalCon Sydney has sold out, however you can still buy tix for training and Business Day!

Dec 16 2012
Dec 16
Sunday, December 16, 2012 - 17:23
Oct 10 2012
Oct 10

Our second community election process to choose two at-large Directors for the board of the Drupal Association concluded with the successful election of Morten Birch Heide-Jørgensen (mortendk) of Denmark and Pedro Cambra (pcambra) of Spain. The result was ratified today by the Drupal Association board. Morten and Pedro's terms begin on 1st November 2012. Steve Purkiss and Donna Benjamin will continue to sit on the board until our terms expire in February 2013. The nomination committee has a separate process underway to fill the Class Director vacancies on the board.

A very strong field of 17 candidates nominated themselves to "represent and reflect" the community at the board table. I would like to thank all the nominees for standing up to be counted, for their willingness to participate in the election process, and for their commitment to making the Drupal Association a stronger organisation. I hope they all continue to participate in and support the work we do.

  • Floh Klare - (SirFiChi)
  • Todd Tomlinson - (toddtomlinson)
  • J. Matthew Saunders - (MatthewS)
  • Chris Ward - (chrischinchilla)
  • Valery Lourie - (valthebald)
  • Aimee Maree Forsstrom - (amaree)
  • Narayan Newton - (nnewton)
  • David Stoline - (dstol)
  • Joseph Bachana - (joebachana)
  • Pedro Cambra - (pcambra)
  • Jeremy Thorson - (jthorson)
  • Simon Hobbs - (sime)
  • Morten Birch Heide-Jørgensen - (mortendk)
  • Steven De Costa - (starl3n)
  • Bert Boerland - (bertboerland)
  • Jeffrey A. "jam" McGuire - (horncologne)
  • Forest Mars - (forestmars)

To learn more about the 2013 election and details on each candidate see the nomination list and my earlier election2013 blog posts.

1467 votes were cast out of a pool of 264,911 eligible voters (0.55%). This is an improvement over the last election when 655 votes were cast out of a pool of 273,005 voters (0.24%). 

The process we used to run the elections was designed by the community through transparent discussion on groups.drupal.org, prior to the last elections. We decided to adopt a broad definition of eligible voter. All those with an account on Drupal.org who have been active in the past year are eligible to vote. The alternative was to restrict eligibility to financial members of the Drupal Association. We also decided to use a preferential voting system. If you are interested in the background on these decisions you may like to review these two posts on groups.drupal.org.

The new board of directors will come together for a board planning retreat in San Francisco, 5-6 November 2012, immediately following BADcamp.

Sep 24 2012
Sep 24

I've been organising the community elections for the Drupal Association.  I put out a call for nominations, ran sessions to Meet the Candidates, and have just announced that....

Who can vote?

You are eligible to vote if you have an account on , logged in during the past 12 months, and created your account before 31 August 2012 when the election was announced.

How to vote?

  • Check box and confirm you're eligible to vote.
  • Rank the candidates in your order of preference.
    You do not need to rank all candidates.
    Why rank them? Watch this video.
  • Save the form.

Vote Drupal 2013 - Meet the candidates

Floh KlareFloh Klare (SirFiChi)
I'm a Sitebuilder. I use Drupal for personal projects. I'm active in the german community and a leader of the German Drupal-Initiative e.V. I can use Drupal for free and want to give something back. I want others to know, that they can do the same.

Todd TomlinsonTodd Tomlinson (toddtomlinson)
36 years in the IT industry, global experience, prior board positions, non-profits, professor/teacher, live/eat/sleep Drupal.

 J. Matthew Saunders (MatthewS)
I bring 17 years from the technology world, 13 years in Opensource, 6 years of highly active participation in the Drupal community, 8 years of nonprofit management in a US based Technology focused nonprofit, two J. Matthew SaundersVP board positions in nonprofits including policy development, and two university qualifications - one a Masters - focused on organizational management for nonprofits. I'm passionate about Drupal and adore the Drupal Community.

Chris WardChris Ward (chrischinchilla)
I got into Drupal several years ago, initially as a developer but more recently as a project manager, evangelist and community builder. I'd be keen on driving several initiatives: Cleaner, more efficient and user friendly documentation. Creating better case studies for Drupal, the whys and the business benefits of using it. Better community building across the wider tech community, i.e. encouraging Drupal experts to talk at relevant more general conferences and events aside from just Drupal related events.

Valery LourieValery Lourie (valthebald)
Teaching and course-organizing experience, as well as connection to non-English speaking developer communities in Israel and former Soviet Union (Russian is my mother tongue). I think both communities are "under-penetrated" by Drupal today.

Aimee Maree ForsstromAimee Maree Forsstrom (amaree)
A Community perspective from a non rock-star roots level and experience managing Open Source Conferences and Meet-ups, Passion :D

 Narayan Newton (nnewton)
I got into Drupal while I was a student systems administrator at The Oregon State Open Source Lab, the hosting providers for Drupal.org. INarayan Newton hope to represent the Infrastructure Team. A major responsibility of the DA Board is infrastructure and currently there is no voice on the board for that largely volunteer team. I also hope to provide some sensible review of future technical projects funded and managed by the board.

David StolineDavid Stoline (dstol)
I want to be part of the DA Board because I want to help shape the future and growth of the community. Having worked with the DA in the past, through my organizational experience with CapitalCamp, I bring a different perspective that will help the overall governance of the DA.

Joseph BachanaJoseph Bachana (joebachana)
I have been working in technology consulting for my entire adult life. Over the years, I learned not only about how to implement Drupal successfully, but what it means to be committed to an open source project. I want to help and use both my expertise and creative thinking as well as what resources I can apply to help the Drupal project be even more successful in the coming years.

Pedro CambraPedro Cambra (pcambra)
I'm a Spanish Drupal Developer very involved with the community since 2008, I've helped to organize 6 different events in Spain since then, including the this year's Drupal Developer Days in Barcelona, my motivations are to represent the Spanish speaking community in the board and help to grow stronger binds between the Drupal Association and the local groups all around the globe, no matter what their current size is. My main objective: having a Drupalcon in South America sooner than later.
- Session 1
- Session 2
- Session 3
- Session 4

Jeremy ThorsonJeremy Thorson (jthorson)
I'm an active Drupal hobbyist, and the guy who keeps the testbots running. What I bring to the board is i) passion, drive, and demonstrated initiative, ii) a balanced approach to conflicts and challenges, iii) relevant background and non-profit board experience, and iv) a wide breadth of perspectives, representing multiple roles in the community. See my blog post for specific details!
- Session 3
- Session 4

Simon HobbsSimon Hobbs (sime)
I'm Simon Hobbs (sime). I'm a Drupal consultant and trainer from Melbourne, Australia. I am a former business owner of a Drupal services company and have been active in the Australian Drupal community. I believe in a stable, conservative Drupal Association with a realistic scope. My personal focus would be on training, how to continue and strengthen the DA's global training initiative.

Morten Birch Heide-JørgensenMorten Birch Heide-Jørgensen (mortendk)
I run a small Drupal design & theme shop in Denmark: geek Röyale. We as a board need to shift focus back to the community, reevaluate how the organization operates, clearly define why the organization exists, and for whom it exists, and do better as leaders to support and grow Drupal worldwide.

Steven De CostaSteven De Costa (starl3n)
I'll bring a strategic marketing framework to the Board - but don't confuse this with posters and tweets :) I want to help the DA define its position within a broader economic view of the IT services industry and leverage the flow of value to benefit the Drupal project. 1st up: I'll aim to bring new funds via Govt memberships and a grants funding initiative.
- Session 1
- Session 4

Bert BoerlandBert Boerland (bertboerland)
Bert has been active as a user, handbook writer, tester and evangelist since the Drupal's early days op on drop.org and has a long standing track record in the Drupal community. He donated the Drupal.org domain to the community. This is ambitious, adding transparency, communicating the value of the DA when it comes to drupal.org, facilitating the diversity of local camps and making sure the DA is for everybody worldwide. I know however that I can help the DA here and am dedicated to do so.

Jeffrey A. 'jam' McGuireJeffrey A. 'jam' McGuire (horncologne)
If you're contributing to Drupal, we're on the same side - however and wherever it is that you contribute. I would bring multilingual-, multicultural-, non-US-centric perspective; experience from international community - and business worlds; as well as communication - and marketing skills to the board.

Forest MarsForest Mars (forestmars)
New York based hypermedia architect working with Drupal for over 5 years in business, media, and the non-profit sector. I'd like to see contact fine-tuned between the board and the community-at-large, a task that requires not only impeccable communication, but also a nuanced understanding of the complex mix of divergent goals and even tensions which make up the project and surrounding community. Such an understanding naturally gives rise to the desire to contribute exactly what's needed to bring our stated goals to fruition, reflected in attendance - if not yet participation - at our newly open and, incredibly exciting, DA board meetings.

Sep 24 2012
Sep 24

Voting is now open in the community elections for new Directors "At Large".

How to vote?

  1. Login to association.drupal.org
  2. Check box and confirm you're eligible to vote.
  3. Rank the candidates in your order of preference.
    You do not need to rank all candidates.
    Why rank them? Watch this video.
  4. Save the form.

Voting is open for two weeks, closing at 23:59 UTC 7 Oct 2012.


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