Brian Lewis | Modules Unraveled

047 Ezra Gildesgame and the Drupal Commons Distribution - Modules Unraveled Podcast

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This week Ezra Gildesgame talks about the Drupal Commons Distribution, what it is and the status of the Drupal 7 version.


  • What is Drupal Commons?
    • What do you mean by “social business software solution for organizations”?
    • What features does Commons come with? (What modules provide those features?)
    • Is there a place that lists the available features?
  • What’s the status of a Drupal 7 version?
  • How does Acquia make money from Commons?
    • Gets folks to consider Drupal where they might not have otherwise - specific sales situations or advancing Drupal in general
    • Support
    • Network subscriptions
    • PS engagements to partners
  • What are the plans for Commons after the initial release?
    • GDO
    • Network services
    • Feature additions
  • How can people get involved in working on Commons?

Use Cases

  • Can you name a few medium or high profile sites that are built off of Commons? (Either D6 or D7 is fine.)

How can people help?

  • If people want to get involved, where do you need help right now?
  • How can we try out the Drupal 7 version of Commons?

Questions from Twitter

  • Laughing Bird Ltd (@laughingbird1): Hi @ModsUnraveled @ezrabg @drupalcommons I need to understand if drupal / Acquia Drupal can work on local PC with Windiows 8. Thanks.
  • Donna Benjamin (@kattekrab): Can you also give us a quick update on the Conference Organising Distro?#MUP047
  • Nitin Mudgal (@nmudgal): Any thoughts/plans of VOIP integration with @drupalcommons in its core like for updating content? #MUP047

046 Fabian Franz and Twig in Drupal 8 Core - Modules Unraveled Podcast

Fabian Franz joins me this week to talk about what Twig is, and how it got into Drupal 8 Core.

Background on Twig

  • Before we jump into what Twig is, what it does, and how it got into core, I want to get a little background on the topic.
  • Twig is an external project that we’re integrating into Drupal, right?
  • Who started the Twig project?
    • Fabien Potencier, founder of Symfony
  • When was that?
    • October 07, 2009 (
    • When I started with Drupal, another coincidence?
  • What is Twig replacing?
    • PHP Template
  • Why?
    • Easier syntax
    • Security
    • Endless possibilities

Twig as it is now

Jen Lampton was on the Drupalize.Me Podcast back in September talking with Addie about Twig. But, for the three people who are listening to this, and aren’t subscribed to the Drupalize.Me podcast, can you tell us a little bit about:

  • How it affects site administrators/clients?
  • How it affects site-builders?
  • How it affects theme developers?
  • How it affects module developers?
  • Is there a user interface that comes with Twig? Or is this just for coders?
  • Does Twig affect the way we use Panels, Display Suite, Context or other layout modules?
  • How does Twig affect:
    • Security
    • Performance
    • Multilingual sites

Twig in Core!



  • How long has the “get Twig in core” process been in-progress?
  • How many people have been working on getting Twig into Drupal?
    • I don’t really know, but over all code sprints and sandbox commits I would say 50-100 with a core team of around 5-10 people.
    • Just looking at who has sandbox commit access is exciting.

  • What was/is your involvement with that process?
    • Late to the game: 24th of September, through chx role call
    • Found an issue, thought about a different solution, worked on it
    • First working approach posted on my birthday :-D
    • Solved a real blocker (references in twig land) with some MAGIC!
    • Then First real Core Patch by me: Oct 4

  • When did it get committed to Core?
    • LIVE COMMIT! :-D on Nov, 3rd. Soo exciting!

  • How much of core has been replaced with Twig?
  • If I download Drupal 8 today, will the core themes all be ‘Twig themes’?
  • Questions from Twitter

    • Micah Godbolt (@micahgodbolt): what are the major frustrations in d7 that twig will be addressing in d8
    • Cameron Eagans (@cweagans): Pretty much everyone knows that Twig is awesome, and the ones that don't are in denial =P
    • Karyn Cassio (@TechGirlGeek): Kudos to the team implementing #TWIG for #Drupal 8's theme layer. Exciting stuff.
    • Carson Black (@carsonblack): what kind of feedback have they received from designers about how it works?
    • Carson Black: have they seen an increase in the # of designers since they created twig?
    • Transition (@Transition): what are the best ways to get started learning it? It'll be new to most Drupal Front-End devs.
    • Transition: also, are there any differences b/w using Twig on it's own vs. using it in Drupal?
    • Jared Stoneberg (@rock_soup): really impressed that twig actually works w/render arrays

    045 Thomas Seidl and the Search API Module - Modules Unraveled Podcast

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    Thomas Seidl joins me to talk about Search API and some of its add-on modules that improve search in Drupal.

    Search API

    • What does the Search API do that Drupal core doesn’t do?
    • Where did this project get started? and why?
    • Is there a possibility of getting this into D8 core?
    • Search Views
      • How does this integrate with Views?
    • Search Facets
      • What are Facets?

    Add-on Modules

    Backends for the Search API

    • Solr search
    • Database search
    • Fuzzy Search
    • Xapian
    • Sarnia
    • Mongo DB backend

    Add-ons by Thomas

    • Search pages
    • Multi-index searches
    • Saved searches
    • Autocomplete

    Add-ons by other maintainers

    • Search API attachments
    • Extended search page
    • Pretty Facets Paths
    • Search API ranges
    • Search API sorts
    • Search API context
    • Search API AJAX
    • Search API Location
    • Search API live results

    Questions from Twitter

    • Damien McKenna (@DamienMcKenna): Any hopes to merge with ApacheSolr so one generic solution for searching rather than Solr getting so much direct development?
    • Damien McKenna: Any plans to add a storage-engine agnostic "more like this" feature?

    044 Owen Lansbury and DrupalCon Sydney - Modules Unraveled Podcast

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    Owen Lansbury, the DrupalCon Sydney local team lead, talks about DrupalCon Sydney and what to expect at the conference.


    • I’d like to start out by getting a brief overview of what DrupalCon is for anyone that might be listening who hasn’t been to one.
      • The main way people working in Drupal come together face to face

    DrupalCon Sydney

    • When is it?
      • Feb 6-9 2013. Training and business day on the Wednesday, Main sessions Thurs-Fri, Sprint on Saturday
    • Where is it?
      • Right on the sand at the Crowne Plaza Coogee Beach. Big discount on normal rates to stay on site, so check out the website for the Venue details.
        10 minutes from Sydney airport and downtown
    • Who are the keynote speakers, and what will they talk about?
      • Dries Buytaert - The State of Drupal. 3rd time in Australia
      • Very high profile sitting member of the Australian parliament advocating open government. Full details released soon.
    • What tracks are available?
      • Coding and Development
      • Frontend
      • Business and Strategy
      • Sitebuilding
      • Community
      • Content
      • Case Studies
      • Business Day
    • Are there any featured sessions you’d like to point out?
      • Very excited by the international featured speakers making their way to sydney, inc Vesa Palmu coming from Finland, Jen Lampton, Addison Berry
    • What pre conference trainings will be available?
    • How much do they cost?
      • US$440
      • DrupalCon Ticket sales close on February 5, but 70% of tickets are already sold.
    • What has been going on since DrupalCon Munich
      • Ticket sales
      • Session proposals close this Friday (10/26/2012)
      • See
      • Social events

    043 Robin Barre and the Workbench Suite - Modules Unraveled Podcast

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    Robin Barre of joins me this week to talk about the Workbench suite of modules.


    • The Workbench suite is an awesome suite of modules! I haven’t used it on a site yet, simply because I haven’t taken the time to learn it. But they say that the best way to learn something is to teach it, so I’m actually in the process of putting together a video series covering the entire suite. So, I’m excited to get that out later this month!
    • To quote the project page “Workbench provides overall improvements for managing content that Drupal does not provide out of the box.” Would you be willing to elaborate a bit on what those improvements are?
    • Use Case: From what I understand, this is like a “Workbench API” module. It doesn’t do anything on its own, but includes the code and functionality common to the other three modules, separated out so that you don’t need to enable all of the modules if you just want the functionality one of them. Is that true? Or does the Workbench module do something on its own?

    Workbench Access

    • Workbench Access provides some awesome access controls to who can create and edit content on a site. What are the possible ways of deciding who has access to what?
      • Are there plans to include Organic Groups as usable hierarchies?
    • Use Case: hierarchichal access control

    Workbench Moderation

    • Okay, so, I haven’t dove into Workbench Moderation or Workbench Media yet, so I’m flying blind here. What exactly does Workbench Moderation do?
    • What states can you add?
    • Why would you want to add additional states?
    • Can this be integrated with the Scheduler module to schedule the next version?
    • When is the 2.x version due?
    • Use Case: editorial workflow and any time you want to save as Draft

    Workbench Media

    • This integrates with the media module right?
      • What does this module do that the Media module doesn’t do by itself?
      • What does it do to the way media is viewed?
      • Does it control access to media assets? (ie: “my media”)

    Questions from Twitter

    • Steve Burge (@alledia): I'm interested in how much Workbench takes over from core parts of Drupal. For example, would you use WorkBench Access instead of core user roles and permissions?

    042 Deepak Gupta and the Social Login module - Modules Unraveled Podcast

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    Deepak Gupta of joins me to talk about the Social Login module.

    Social Login

    • Does this integrate with LoginRadius?
      • What is LoginRadius?
    • What does the Social Login module do for a Drupal site?
      • Does it just associate a social profile to a Drupal user, and let them login using that account instead of their Drupal username?
      • Can this be applied to a site that already has a bunch of users?
      • Is there any sharing of profile information between the various services and the Drupal account? ie: profile photo.
        • If the fields don’t exist on the Drupal site (ie. physical address) does this create fields for that? or just ignore it?
      • Does Social Login create share links too? So that when someone is logged in they can Tweet about a post or share it on Facebook?
      • I saw that this provides “Social Statistics”, what kind of statistics does this gather?
    • Which platforms are supported out of the box?
    • How is LoginRadius making money from this?
      • Is it due to the partnerships you have with companies like Mozilla Corporation and Microsoft?
    • What’s planned for the future of the module? (Or LoginRadius in general)

    Use Cases

    • How would a site-builder benefit from this module?
    • What benefit does it provide as far as user engagement?

    041 Alex Weber and the Subs module - Modules Unraveled Podcast

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    This week Alex Weber talks with me about the Subs module. I'm particularly interested in this module as I'm going to be using it on Modules Unraveled in the near future.


    • Where did the idea for the Subs module come from?
    • In your opinion, what is the state of subscriptions in Drupal 7?
    • What are some other options for setting up memberships in Drupal 7?
      • Rules/Rules Scheduler
      • Commerce Subscription Product
    • Where are the gaps in the process that Subs plans to fill?
    • Why would someone want to use Subs instead of Rules etc.?
    • What's the current state of Subs? Is it ready for use in production sites?

    Use Cases

    • What are the various ways that you can restrict access to content using Subs?
      • Subs Role
      • Integrate with NOPremium
      • Integrate with Profile2
      • Integrate with Organic Groups (soon)
      • Monthly (yearly etc.) membership sites
      • Sites which allow restricted access to certain content
    • What payment modules do you integrate with?

    Questions from Twitter

    • Jerryitt: Where do you see sub's limitations versus other ways of doing this in drupal using rules etc? And whats planned for the future?

    040 Eric Peterson and the Better Statistics Module - Modules Unraveled Podcast

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    Eric Peterson joins me this week to talk about the Better Statistics module and what kind of data you can collect about your site and your visitors.

    Better Statistics

    • What kind of statistics are we talking about here?
    • Does this compare to Google Analytics?
    • Why make the module in the first place?
    • What is the Statistics API?
    • How can developers use the API?
    • Is there documentation?

    Use Cases

    • What kind of data can be collected about users?:
      • In progress: Browscap [#1787488]
      • In progress: IP Geolocation Views & Maps [#1791526]
    • What data is collected on the page request:
      • How long did Views take to generate/execute/theme queries?
      • What entity/node was loaded?

    Questions from Twitter

    • @nateswart:
      • What performance considerations/issues exist with Better Statistics? #drupal #MUP040
      • Specifically, Google Analytics uses a JS callback as opposed to this more server-side model. #MUP040 #drupal
      • Would you consider support for a "slave" database of sorts (for stats only)? Would that address performance issues? #MUP040 #drupal

    039 Donna Benjamin and the Drupal Association Elections - Modules Unraveled Podcast

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    Drupal Association

    Before we begin, I want to get some background on the topic:

    • How many users are active in the Drupal world? (and what does “active” mean in this case?)
    • How many members are in the Association? (And does this include organization memberships?)
    • Why is that number so low?
    • One reason I can think of is lack of understanding about what the association does. I’ll admit that even I’m a little fuzzy on that. The biggest thing I know is that you’re involved with DrupalCons. So, can you tell us more about how the association helps and influences the Drupal world?
    • What are you doing to attract new members?
    • What are some of the benefits of being a member?

    Drupal Elections

    • What exactly are we electing? (ie: All new board, just a couple of positions?)
    • Who can vote?
    • When is voting open/closed?
    • Where can we go to learn more about the people running?
    • Where can we go to actually vote?
    • Voting is being done using the “Instant Runoff” method (also called the “Alternative Vote”). There’s a great YouTube video that explains how it works. But for anyone who might be listening in their car, or not near a computer, can you briefly explain how it works?
    • I was just curious how the association came across it, and why you chose to use it.

    Questions from Twitter

    • @tsvenson: "Donna: How important do you see the "community" elected chairs to the @DrupalAssoc for Drupal's future success? #MUP039"

    I liked what MortenDK wrote “if you don’t vote for the Drupal Association’s Board you are not allowed for the next year to complain over Drupal - If you do vote you have that right ;)

    038 Jake Strawn and Michelle Lauer and NodeMaker - Modules Unraveled Podcast

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    Jake Strawn and Michelle Lauer of ThemeGeeks join me this week to talk about their new distribution NodeMaker.


    Basic Features

    • During installation, choose which Apps you want to enable. Using our admin UI, you can change this at any time.
    • Install optional default content that really shows off the power of the distro.
      • Too many times when installing a distribution or Drupal core alone, you really get no idea what’s going on behind the scenes or what the site in front of you is capable of. Our powerful set of default content demonstrates all the features available to you and creates a complete site out of the box that is ready for you to dig into and customize with a much greater understanding of how all the pieces fit together.
    • An interactive launch checklist so you know that you have completed all of the steps needed.
    • Lots and lots of in-site documentation. (Although it is not all written yet.)

    Feature Sets

    • Global stuffs....
      • Intuitive URLs and Breadcrumbs based on those
      • Free tagging on every content type
      • A Headline Image so every piece of content is interesting, whether it is displayed as a teaser or you are looking at the full node
      • Associate related content with each other to increase intra-site linking
      • Display ANY of your social media site links so users can find you elsewhere on the web.
    • Multi-user Blog with archive and browsing by category
    • Announcements with archive and browsing by category
    • Galleries
      • Responsive slide shows
      • Any piece of content can have an existing gallery attached
    • Events
      • Event listing and FULL calendar feature where you can browse by year, month, week, or day.
    • Testimonials
      • Any user can write one, you get notified and choose to publish
    • Social Network Functionality
      • Discussion Forums
      • Advanced user profiles
        • Lots of fields
      • Facebook style status updates
      • Activity log

    Front End

    • Omega NodeMaker is a new subtheme of Omega that serves as the base theme for NodeMaker, and will serve as the base theme for all ThemeGeeks premium themes that target NodeMaker.
    • Responsive out of the box, NodeMaker gives you a more complete experience regardless of the device your visitors use.
    • Standalone web app mode on compatible iOS devices

    Use Cases

    • For new Drupal users, provides all the normal out of the box functionality that you know you want but might not know how to build yet.
    • For the advanced Drupal site builder/developer, cut 2-3 weeks of development time out of every project when using NodeMaker as a starting point.
    • For when that friend says: “Hey, you build websites right?!? Can you build me a website tomorrow? I only have 200 bucks... “ You can actually say “Sure... I can help you out” and launch a site with everything they need in just a few minutes! I mean, you know you really do hate telling your friends that they can’t afford your work, so NodeMaker makes it simple!!
    • Whatever the need for you site, NodeMaker’s core functionality is a very sturdy platform to get you started on your next project.

    Questions from Twitter

    • @jerryitt: Is there plans for the future of #nodemaker #omega for a panel's type of interface for region and zone configurations?