My experience at DrupalCon LA 2015 - Part 2

June 18, 2021

Drupal 8 t-shirtsTux army

I'll show some of the most cool sessions I had the chance to assist.

An interesting fact is that by Friday, there are remaining only 22 issues, that means that 6 of them have been resolved on this week, is fantastic to see how Drupal is evolving in so few time.

These 3 days have been all about showcases, new stuff coming for Drupal 8 and also, a day full of work to learn to contribute to Drupal.

Wednesday

I assisted to various rooms with topics like "Open source projects' sprint development", "Internationalization", "A showcase about a headless Drupal application created for the good of society" and also Drupal 8 stuff for plugins creation.

The one that took my attention was the one for sprint development, it talked about all requirements needed for open source software development teams to contribute, what's an sprint and how projects like Drupal take on this approach to make Drupal grow, also how can this approach be applied in other open source software projects.

The showcase about the headless Drupal application was interesting, not only because the technical goals they reached like Drupal as a headless application, Angular JS front end, or the soft performance reached at mobile version of the site, but also of the main objective these guys from Manati, Costa Rica reached: fighting against illegal stuff being sent around different places of Costa Rica, they got an scalable API to be used not only by the Government of Costa Rica, but also for other government entities.

What amazed me is how much Drupal has developed as a powerful CMS/CMF that it allows to be used by such a powerful tool like AngularJS in a probably slow Internet connection.

Joe Shindelar speaking about Drupal 8 plugins.

Joe Shindelar speaking about Drupal 8 plugins.

Q&A with Dries

This session was one of the most important sessions of Thursday, in this session the audience asks questions about Drupal that 4 important members of Drupal must answer, these were:

Angie, Alex Pott, Jess, Dries

Angie, Alex Pott, Jess, Dries.

Jess mentioned an interesting fact: 6 months ago, there was around 130 critical issues reported at Drupal core, by politics of Drupal.org, all critical issues must be resolved in order to launch a release candidate. Right now there are 22 critical issues left to achieve that goal.

Some questions asked in the session table were:

  • Drupal 8 vs other CMS: why should I choose it instead of the rest? Dries mentioned some of the improvements that has been done for Drupal 8 like Object Oriented Programing for Drupal's API's, Symfony on its core, lots of issues fixed from previous versions, a better configuration management for modules, caching improvements, and a more robust and scalable product, also some UX improvements for content managers.

Angie also mentioned that Drupal 8 will be more secure, since critical security issues were found at previous versions of Drupal, those issues are going to be fixed for the final release.

She also mentioned that Drupal itself maintains its open source philosophy, so there won't be modules doing stuff that the system or the user may not notice.

  • Why Drupal uses custom issue tracking system instead of GitHub?
  • How can a contributor look at it and how can that system be improved?
  • How to sell Drupal for governments?
  • How to find info about taken decisions for not using Symfony ready tools and creating new Drupal 8 stuff for the same work?
  • Why that gap between Symfony and Drupal 8 exists?

Angie answered me that there are a place where people discuss to make such decisions, there are the change records which it connects issues to discussions and final decisions about some steps taken for Drupal 8. Then Jess mentioned that api.drupal.org has enough info about API, however its not complete, and then he clarified that an issue I mentioned is about the gap between Symfony and Drupal 8, so Angie explained that Symfony is a framework made by developers for developers.

Drupal has 2 objectives: developers and site builders, so as the way Drupal exists.

Routing system; for example which has to be kind of re factored since Drupal requires lots of routes and site builders, also contrib modules can generate more.

Finally Alex Pott added that Symfony is a framework to build products and Drupal is a product.

Friday of Sprints

Friday was a day for the benefit of our benefactor: this day is to contribute to Drupal (and also Saturday, at this day the extended sprints were done). Sprints are workshops where people joins into teams to solve various problems.

In the morning I assisted the mentored sprints, I get my hands into a Drupal 8 core issue (is not as important as it sounds, mentors wouldn't ever assign important issues for us), so our mentor assigned me and our team a simple issue, but the main part was not to solve it, it was to learn how to team work with a Drupal team and learn to use more deeply the drupal.org issue manager.

Now there is a patch uploaded by us pending to be tested, meanwhile another group also uploaded a patch, so we learned to review a ticket and execute Drupal's unit tests.

General sprints room, with teams map.

General sprints room, with teams map.

In the afternoon, I moved to another table just to give another try to a different team, in that team me and 2 more guys were trying to find and reproduce an issue, but we found that sometimes at drupal.org the older is an issue, the harder it becomes to fix, even to reproduce, since another issue fix that was merged may possibly fix issues by accident (or open others), so we found that the issue we were reviewing was unable to be reproduced.

Then it was the general sprints room, it had teams working in various big topics like:

  • Organic groups forum module
  • COD (the one I contributed at Monday sprint)
  • Migrate module as a core module
  • Front-end united
  • Panopoly
  • Entity API for Drupal 8
  • Drush / Drupal console

Conclusion

All this week I've learned a lot of new technical stuff on Drupal 8, but also i have a new sight about how Drupal 8 is developed, how such a big community works and also why Drupal 8 is being so expected not only by Drupal users but by lots of enterprises and organizations: Drupal 8 mixes all benefits of being a modular multi-use CMS and the power of Symfony, a killer combination that is close to be finished, Drupal 8 is at the horizon! And some enterprises are already using them, like Amazee, and even Dries mentioned it in his keynote.

Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoyed these posts and whatever comment or question you'd like to tell us, please use the comments section of the blog.