DrupalCon Global Day 2

Day 2 of DrupalCon Global was chock full of great presentations, and we also attended the 2 summits, Community and Performance & Scaling. Everyone has settled in to the platform and rhythm of the conference now, and it's been great catching up with friends and community colleagues.

As Amber says,

I'm enjoying DrupalCon Global more than I thought I would, to be honest. (Still bummed about missing a trip to Minneapolis!) But I'm learning a lot and reconnecting with what is going on with the project and in the community.

Here are our notes from day 2, which again, are not fully fleshed out, but highlight the things we found interesting or want to follow up on.

Sessions

Drupal Initiatives Plenary

  • Great community initiatives to participate in. Quick overview of each one with some info about how to get involved.
  • Drupal Diversity and Inclusion (DDI) -
    • They have a booth in the Hopin Exhibit Hall if you want to learn more or chat with someone
    • Ideas for ways to take action
      • Read the Code of Conduct and understand it
      • Consider being an official CoC Contact
      • Speak up when you see a problem, prepare to disrupt harassment
      • Notice who is present; who's missing? Sponsor marginalized individuals
      • Management: Fix hiring, recruitment and pay gaps
      • Update your language

Single sign on across Drupal 8

  • Slides
  • A good walk through of the presenter's medium article on the same topic. Did a good job explaining the different components of a single sign on system, their role, and how to integrate Drupal at each point in the process.

Trans Drupal: Designing with transgender users in mind

  • Gender 101 and history
    • What is (personal) gender? The easiest answer is that it's whatever a person says theirs is
    • Social gender is a social organizing principle (e.g. men's and women's bathrooms)
  • All work is biased in some way - none of it is perfectly neutral
  • Words and images, be aware (find images on https://genderphotos.vice.com/ and https://getavataaars.com/)
  • Let people change their data, make sure it updates everywhere, and don't keep the old values (avoid deadnaming). Transition means a lot of different things and can happen at any time/over time. You want to get rid of old data completely so that it can't be resurfaced later.
  • Do you really need to track gender on your site? Why? If so, it's complicated to do.

Unit tests in Drupal: The road to test-driven development

  • Introduction to TDD
  • Live demo of the Red > Green > Refactor feedback loop using PHPUnit
  • Unit Test fundamentals & vocabulary

Dries Q&A

  • Make DX of Drupal better for devices with less power/RAM to increase adoption among students and others.
    • Any change we make to improve Drupal's DX/performance in this respect will both help lower end devices, but also benefit all sites. e.g. sidewalk curb cuts
  • Is there still a sizeable market for small businesses? Or are they moving to site-builder tools.
    • On the lower end of the market there are lot of competing technologies, and while Drupal can be used it's harder to convince people. vs. high end of the market there's less competition and more opportunity for Drupal to stand out.
  • Do you see online conferences becoming a permanent mix for the Drupal community going forward?
    • Dries: Likes that it lowers the travel barrier, and makes it more accessible to people
    • Dries: Misses seeing people in person, and misses human interaction, which Dries believes is an important part of what has made Drupal successful.
    • Heather: DA is committed to in-person, and doesn't see the desire for that going away. But, is open to exploring how virtual events can supplement in-person ones.
  • What unexpected things, positive and negative, have you observed about yourself and the community as a result of the COVID pandemic?
    • Good leadership is important in moments of crisis
    • Value of cooperation
  • How can we answer the criticism that Drupal is not popular and has a poor perception amongst developers in general
    • Drupal is so far ahead of the competition in a lot of ways that people just don't know about. e.g. caching and big pipe ... most devs have no idea about these things and their importance but benefit from them when they use Drupal. Also, Drupal is a model OSS community.
  • 3 biggest goals you have for the future of the product?
    • Adoption, ease of use, low cost of maintenance
    • Increase adoption to a point where it can be used as a wedge issue to promote the open web
    • See Drupal grow by making it easier to use, and lower the maintenance burden

Drupal.org panel

  • New Contributor Guide that aims to make it easier for contributors to on-board themselves and find things to work on
  • Lots of changes to packaging and stuff that happens behind that scenes that as an end user you probably don't care much about as long as it works but make a big difference for module maintainers and the security team
  • Issue Forks & Merge Requests - new tools for maintainers open for opt-in beta now, a Drupal.org implementation of something akin to GitHub pull requests. A bit improvement over the current .patch based workflow and will lower barrier to contributing to Drupal.org hosted projects. Mostly working on trying to iron out UI/UX issues before enabling it for all of contrib. And then core as well.
  • Future projects:
    • Federated login
    • Better telemetry
    • Upgrade Drupal 9
    • Packaging related to auto-updates initiative
    • Preparation to support the release of Drupal 10.

Drupal 9: New initiatives

A working session to discuss next steps for D9 initiatives. One major challenge for all initiatives is the need for people to help with project management and just general organizing of things. There was some talk about the proposed JavaScript menu component idea that was proposed in the Driesnote. Mostly recognizing that it requires better definition. Lots of agreement that keeping it limited in scope to something small and attainable is important. And, one of the primary goals is to create/demonstrate an on-ramp for JavaScript developers into the Drupal core community.

Looking to Drupal 10. Move everything to PHP8, and help/pressure upstream libraries to do the same. CKEditor is EOL, need to either update to new version or remove. jQuery related, it's probably time to convert to vanilla JS. Which also means removing jQuery UI, an maybe Backbone too? [meta] Release Drupal 10 in 2022

Easy out-of-the-box initiative needs a leader. And combines efforts from at least three other ongoing projects like Claro, and Olivero. Needs someone who can help with accessibility and focus on accessibility related issues within the initiative. Someone who cares about day-to-day users of Drupal and beginner experience.

Improving your onsite search

  • Making sure your Drupal site is optimized for both organic and onsite searching
  • Why onsite searching is important:
    • It presents your site as a reliable resource
    • It blocks out competitors, which may show up in a Google/Bing search
    • It increases a customer's satisfaction by validating the decision to be a customer.
  • How to make onsite searching a priority: Basically, you apply the same SEO/tagging/taxonomy/metadata/keyword principles that help optimize a site for organic searching.
  • Finally, you can use Google Analytics to learn what people using onsite search are looking for, and how they're phrasing those searches. This learning can be applied to future content creation.

Mind-blowing content planning in native Drupal

  • A great presentation from Lukas Fischer from Netnode about the nearly-released 1.0 version of the Content Planner module, a tool suite that helps plan editorial content calendars.
  • Lukas demoed how to download it, showed the module's flexible and configurable dashboard, (walking us through what types of views and widgets you could add), and made a strong case for why it should replace Google/Microsoft sheets and Trello (yup, that's us) for planning and managing content.

Drupal Security Team Q&A panel

  • Great info about what the Drupal Security Team does.
  • Highlight was Portland Drupal community member Sam Mortenson (https://twitter.com/mortensonsam) explaining how he, as a security researcher, finds bugs.

Sharing is caring: Don't hold your knowledge hostage

From squiggles to straight lines: Sketching discovery & UX

  • Marissa Epstein shared how she uses sketching in discovery and UX processes. In a world of perfectionism and over-engineering prototyping solutions, Marissa demonstrated how sketching is a great way to quickly flesh out ideas and get clients (and the whole team) on board and confident in the direction the site design is going.

Drupal Automatic Updates in action and in depth

  • This was my first time seeing a live demo of the Automatic Updates module. Really promising work here and there's a lot of work still to come in "Phase 2". This is one of the priorities for Drupal 10, as Dries explained in his Driesnote, so expect some great progress on this front.

Media in Drupal 8: everything you need to know

This was a really in-depth look at Media in Drupal 8. The presenter was one of the maintainers and did a live demo where he created media types and showed us all how to build and use Media Library. He used a fresh install of Drupal to walk us through each step and I found it very helpful. It was a great session for beginners and perhaps even some intermediate site builders looking to learn more about Media.

Summits

Community Summit

15-minute talks:

  • Events Organizer update - Baddy Breidert
    • Some history on this working group, where they are now, and how to get involved.
  • Cultivating the Drupal Community Mindfully - Matthew Tift - mindfulness is not for solving problems, but to rethink our relationship to problems; how mindfulness can help our community based on our values and principles; cultivating an intentional community by being present
  • If you want to cry, watch Mario Hernandez's presentation, Why teaching someone else is the best way to learn.
    • And a meaningful way to both lift others up and contribute to the community
  • The ROI of a Dedicated Community Person - Anne Stefanyk
    • Having a dedicated community person makes it easier for the rest of the team to make impactful contributions with the "short" amount of time they get on a weekly basis to contribute to OSS. The community person on the team can help the rest of the team keep up with what's going on, and allows them to jump in and contribute without having to spend a tone of time figuring out what's happened since I was here last week.
  • Be a good boss: How to support your marginalized colleagues - Tara King
    • Cute animal pics for a hard topic.
    • This topic has real, material impact on people's lives; it's not about looking good.
    • Being kind isn't good enough. What does "kind" mean for different people?
    • Actions to take:
      • Reflect on yourself
      • Slow down (speed and spontaneity is not inclusive) - "Go fast and break things might work for software, but it's never good for people."
      • Make space (for processing experiences)
      • Ask (don't assume, just ask)
      • Practice (being uncomfortable)
      • Culture add, not culture fit
      • Educate yourself (use the Googles)
      • Increase pay equity and transparency

Performance & Scaling Summit

  • Mike Herchel - front-end performance audit
    • WebPageTest is a useful (low overhead) tool to get started testing your site.
    • Lighthouse is another useful tool for profiling your site.
    • Continuously profiling your site, and being aware of where the slow parts are is 80% of the battle.
  • Janna Malikova - load testing your Drupal website before it's too late
  • Shane Thomas - Decoupled Performance
    • Decrease your JS bundle size
    • pay attention to your images
    • make use of browser cache (progressive web app)
    • JSON:API Boost module
    • Optimize your API
      • Optimize GET requests using includes
      • Subrequests module
      • JSON:API Extras module
      • filters to explicitly filter out content
  • Michael Schmid - How to survive COVID-19 as a hosting provider

Let day 3 begin!

Day 2 was great and we're excited to dig into day 3, which is the last day of presentations. Don't forget that Friday is the community contribution day and everyone can participate. You don't need to be registered for DrupalCon to take part. So sign up for the DrupalCon Global Contributions Room to get involved and hang out with lots of great people.

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