Blogs

Dear reader, this week the following stories got our attention. Enjoy!

Opinion

Dries Buytaert: To start an Open Source project or not?
Time and time again the Open Source model has proven its worth. The question if to start an Open Source project is one that shouldn't be made on a whim, argues Dries Buytaert.

Business

Mashable: Will Twitter Ever Be Mainstream?
Twitter, with its imminent IPO plan, has been surrounded by additional buzz this week. Seth Fiegerman raised an interesting question if Twitter will ever make the mainstream.

Design

NoJPEG
The JPEG format has many positives, however its limitation with transparencies is an aspect that can't be ignored. The site NoJPEG isn't an initiative against the format but tries to educate about the downsides.

Drupal

Drush Commands
Drush is an amazing command line shell and scripting interface for Drupal. Besides being able to interact with Drupal's core it also empowers you to handle some contrib modules. Here is an overview. (Unfortunately at the time of writing the site was down, but you can get an overview using a Archive.org cached version.)

Tweets that cut through the noise

By Daniel Truninger 8th October 2013 Team

DrupalCon Prague attendees already had the chance to meet our latest team member: Marc Pfändler is a Zurich born and bred man of many talents who decided to tread a new career path and start an apprenticeship as information technician. He joins us to complete the practical part of his training. It is safe to say that he has taken to the team like a duck to water.
 
Welcome to the A-Team, Marc!
 

Dear reader, while one of our favorite toys makes an appearance in this edition, Twitter's IPO and Google's doodles also mange to get a mention. Enjoy!

Drupal

Drupal Groups: This Week in Drupal Core: October 2, 2013
Alex Bronstein provides a round-up of the progress made on Drupal 8 during DrupalCon Prague.

Project management

Vitamins: Lego calendar

Our love for Lego is well documented, so it shouldn't come as a surprise that this idea got our attention.

Fun

Creative Bloq: Every Google doodle ever in one giant GIF
Google's doodles are legendary. In order to celebrate the search giant's 15th birthday, Daniel Stuckley created a giant GIF containing every very single Google Doodle.

Business

The Next Web: Twitter by the numbers
The folks over at The Next Web dug through Twitter's S-1 filing and collected some figures buried in it.

Tweets that cut through the noise

 

 

Congrats Boris! Make sure to attend his and Michael's session at the world's biggest free Drupal event.

By Dagmar Muth 4th October 2013 Business

It was an awesome DrupalCon at which I chased UX and design insights. This is what I brought back:

Keynote from Aral Balkan

If you ask yourself what you should think of the recent revelations around Prism and why you should continue to give all you can for open-source projects, watch Aral's talk.

This keynote also highlights the meaning of the expression "the experience is the product" and that user experience is built upon an entire system including the devices, the internet connection and the software we are using and stressing the importance of experience-driven open. He announced that he intended to bring his brilliant ideas and conclusions to life with his latest initiative Codename Prometheus.

Designing in the browser

A big UX topic at this DrupalCon was prototyping and designing in the browser. Two talks and one BoF inspired me and gave me strong motivation to head in that direction.

I got told that it will not be easy. During the BoF held by Greame Blackwood we discussed some tricky questions:

Are HTML prototypes thrown-away or reused for operational code?
The group came to the conclusion that reusing some of the code must be the goal. However, transforming prototypes to operational code is difficult and requires very tight integration and communication between designers and developers. If not reused, there is still a big benefit of designing and prototyping in the browser: Right from the start we can see how solutions will look in the final medium, the browsers of the different devices.

Are frameworks such as Twitter Bootstrap usable or limiting the possibilities?
Some of the attendees were using frameworks, most of the time for quick throw-away prototypes or when those frameworks were part of the final solution. However for the entire process, frameworks seem to be too limiting in the available style and structure. 

Should the design process start in the browser?
Paper is not dead - scribbles on paper are a cheap and accessible way to gather the first ideas. In this step the customer is heavily involved. Paper prototypes can be refined to a stage where they can be used for first usability tests. Then designing in the browser starts on an already solid base.

Technologies for design and frontend

It is nice to see that tools are being developed that bridge the gap between design and frontend development. 

Micah Godbolt presented his AngularJS based framework called Tractor to create responsive Drupal prototypes, which unsurprisingly is open-source. It has many little features that make life easier for those who prototype, e.g. you don't need to search for the lorem ipsum text in the perfect length on the Internet. Instead you can specify this directly in Tractor.

A similar system was presented by Snugug. Yeoman can be used for a similar purpose as Tractor.

Content author experience

Content authors are one of the most critical and most ignored stakeholders when launching a new CMS. Pameela, herself a former content editor, talked with conviction and passion how easy it is to improve the user experience for the content editors for Drupal 7 sites. In fact, it is - I have documented about 7 improvements that can altogether be done in less than 2 hours and will expand on this topic in a future blog post.

By Gregory Gerhardt 2nd October 2013

Why do we fear what’s unlikely to kill us? We are risk illiterates! But without risk literacy we jeopardise health and wealth. Gerd Gigerenzer, director at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development and director of the Harding Center for Risk Literacy in Berlin, argues that everyone can and should learn to deal with risk and uncertainty. A democracy needs risk-savvy citizens who cannot be easily frightened into surrendering their money, their welfare, and their liberty. We should begin to teach risk literacy to everyone. Pro-tip to start: Always ask for the absolute risk and don't get frightened about relative numbers!

Bubbly Miki Adderley, rational engineer by background, showed a great game with a head spinning aerial silk performance before she went on to convince the audience to spin crazy fantasies that we want to experience - and execute. Her message: Let curiosity dictate your actions! Sounds just like Amazee Labs Extreme.

 
My personal highlight of the day: 21 year young Michael Moor who gave his rational yet infectious speech on how the application of rationality can help us figure out how to have the greatest positive impact on the world. He most prominently put his finger on non-human animal suffering through human action. Keep it up Michael, you were gorgeous.
 
Who is responsible when things do things to things - or beings? Algorithms have emerged as agents of knowledge. We are being tracked, profiled, read. If knowledge is power, we have to watch the watcher. Judith Simon's point: We need to reclaim agency power and knowledge: Critical usage, critical design and governance might retain our civic liberties from things wrapping themselves around us. To start, let's practice epistemic hacking.
By Gregory Gerhardt 2nd October 2013

Suzy Moat, a computational social scientist, showed us what our behavior on the Internet tells her about the decisions we might make in the real world. How often people had looked at the Bank of America's (and other DJ 30 companies') Wiki page was used for a successful investment strategy (page views decrease: Buy stock in week t+1, page views increase: do the contrary). The number of wiki page edits, however, could not be used as signal. Richer countries search google for the future, using years ahead (e.g. 2014, 2015) whereas poorer countries tend to search more backwards (e.g. 2012). How people communicate on Twitter can predict riots. The patterns of information lead to patterns of behavior.  

 
 
8 million people will die of cancer this year, worldwide. Emmanuel Delamarche, Pathologist, gave a presentation on a game changing technology in the landscape of pathology. It allows to shape liquids and bring the right chemicals precisely to micro-areas of tissue sections. Looks like IBM's technology could remove some of pathologists' headaches.
 
 
Following Mia Aegerter's musical performance, Sean Dromgoole, a consumer researcher specializing in entertainment, was this morning's entertainer. With British humor he presented how Marketing will have to adapt in a new world. Information used to be delivered from an authoritarian position, the king, the priest, the xy. The model of knowledge NOW is peer-2-peer, is non-authoritarian. We compose our own aggregates in a constant, ongoing process. Declarative markting like "Guinness is good for you" or "Guinness makes you strong" is out, today marketers have to start a conversion.
By Gregory Gerhardt 2nd October 2013

Nicolas Perony, a complex systems scientist focusing on the study of biological systems, gave us a refreshing insight into the extraordinary complexity of mammals' society around us. Bats for example, despite their peanut-sized brains, can maintain individualized, long-term social bonds beyond their social unit. Dominant meerkats give way to their subordinates when it comes to crossing (dangerous) roads. The evolutionary logic: Simplicity (individual rules of movement) lead to social complexity, and social complexity leads to resilience.

We have come through the storms of female liberalisation. Gender normalisation is close in many parts of the world. Today the programmer can be a SHE, rather than a HE. Marily Nika, a PhD student at the department of Computing, Imperial College London, gave us a futurespective of how the four agents of socialisation in a young girl’s life – Family, Peers, Education and Mass Media – have evolved over three generations.
 
 
The ability of the human hand spans from primitive actions like fighting, to playing and conveying emotions. Jan Fridén, a professor and senior consultant of Hand Surgery at Sahlgrenska University Hospital and University of Gothenburg, gave us a rough intro to reconstructing hand function in people with nerve and tendon transfer, e.g. transplanting an elbow flexor to the thumb - the king of the hand. In the words of Jan Friden, simple surgery can bring back freedom and joy to paralyzed people.
 
We heard from Lily Asquith, a High Energy Particle Physics research scholar working on the ATLAS experiment at CERN. Their attempts to capture the behavior of the recently discovered Higgs boson in sounds was presented to our wonder and bafflement. The sonification reminded me of a mix of my first flight simulator on Commodore 64.
 
And now a *well earned* coffee break!
 

In this week's edition we take a look at your knowledge of HEX colour codes, some crazy figures and give DrupalCon Prague its last hooray. Enjoy!

Drupal

Flickr: The DrupalCon Prague, Europe 2013 Pool

Since pictures are worth more than a thousand words, the DrupalCon Flickr pool certainly shouldn't be missed to get an impression of the event. Besides Flickr, Contrib.to should be your next stop.

Mogdesign Blog: Announcing Drupalfund.us - Crowdfunding the future of Drupal development
A new platform was launched to reward contributions made to the Drupal community. We already have supported the first project.

Social Media

Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake take a Twitter conversation to real life. #omg #lol 

Fun

Hex Invaders
Do you know your #FFFFFF from your #000000? Here's a playful way to test your knowledge with an arcade hall classic.

Buisness

Apple Insider: Apple's iPhone revenue alone bigger than Microsoft, Boeing, Procter & Gamble
Prepare yourself for some mind boggling numbers. It's incredible how one product alone can generate more revenue than major companies. 

By Corina Schmid 26th September 2013 Drupal

1) Today's keynote speaker Aral Balkan invited us to expand our horizon and shift our thinking towards an experience driven open technology.  He said that in order for open source to succeed it needs to adopt to mainstream and in order to adopt to mainstream we need to create and design great and beautiful experiences. In case you missed it you can watch the whole talk here.

2) Now here are some exciting news! It was announced that Drupal 8 will have a migrate module in core which will be the path to upgrade from version 7 to 8 and even from version 6 to 8. So this goes to all migration-pros out there; make sure you join one of these code sprints to contribute and make it an awesome module!

3) Robert Douglass and his wife Kimiko Ishizaka enriched the DrupalCon with a quite unusual session. In their Bach to the future session, Robert demonstrated how Drupal helped revolutionize a whole industry. With the Musescore platform the whole tradition of music notation was turned upside down. With the Drupal multilingual modules the website has been translated into 30 different languages! To find out more about how open source takes the music world to a different level check out Musescore and Open Goldbergvariations.

4) Rumor has had it, but now its official. The next DrupalCon will be in the land of tulips and bicycles, in the beautiful city of Amsterdam. We are looking forward to seeing you all next year in Amsterdam!

5) After all the DrupalCon has come to its end. And all that is left from our booth is a gigantic sticky tape ball. At least the packing down has never been easier and quicker! All that's left to say is a huge thank you to all who contributed in making this conference a memorable experience.

By Andrew McClintock 25th September 2013 Drupal

1) Johanna Bergmann and Megan Sanicki took the stage early this morning to discuss the importance of Drupal.org's Supporting Partner Program. With financial support from businesses worldwide, Drupal.org is able to employ a tech team, whose primary goal it is to continually improve the community's home on the web.

2) Lisa Welchman was Wednesday's keynote speaker. Her talk was about governing our community and how to strike a balance between too much control and not enough. She encouraged us to hold close our culture and our values as a community, but also warned us not to exclude outsiders, those that aren't hard-core tech.

3) Drupalcon Labs are new to the schedule this year, and very popular it seems. These two-hour, hands-on sessions have proven to be chock-full of relevant information. Today's lab Twig It — Ship It! demonstrated Twig as an effective and easier-to-understand alternative to Drupal's previous PHPTemplate theme engine.

4) Our very own Michael Schmid presented a Business Showcase today, where he explained our second-screen solution for The Voice of Switzerland. And be sure to check out his encore presentation tomorrow, where he will discuss the ins and outs of Translation Management

5) And finally, a few of us Amazee's joined the crowd at Vyšehrad Beer Garden to enjoy some cold drinks, brats, and beautiful views of Prague. 

 

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