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Drupal 8 Preview for Site Builders [October 23, 2013]
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Are you wondering what Drupal 8 holds in store for your team? If you’re a developer, you might already be learning about the new changes in the low-level architecture and how it affects your custom code. However, if you’re a site builder there are some noticeable improvements and new ways to control the configuration of your site.
Correction: The Inline images in Drupal 8 are not responsive. What you see in the presentation is special browser behavior by Google Chrome. Responsive images are possible with the Picture module as demo'd in the recorded presentation.
In this session, we will give you a preview of the important differences including the new configuration management system and new terminology in Drupal 8.
In this webinar, you will learn:
- What’s new in core including new modules and fields
- What’s gone from core such as removed modules
- About the the introduction of Views in core
- About the the new content editing improvements
- About the new mobile friendly UI
Blog posts mentioned in the presentation and demo.
Moderator: This webinar is Drupal 8 Preview for Site Builders with guest speaker, Heather James, who’s the manager of Learning Services here at Acquia. We’re really excited to have Heather on the call today. Heather, now I’m going to pass it over to you.
Heather James: Thank you so much for coming into this and checking out this sneak preview of Drupal 8 Site Building. So I hope you’ll be as excited as I am after you watch this presentation and I’m looking forward to your questions. You can ask me the questions right on Twitter @learningdrupal. If you have any questions about training for your team, I’m sure you’re curious about either the transition from 7 to 8 or when 8 is ready, please contact myself or Ben Ortega, the Director of Learning Services. I also invite you to check out our event listings to see courses that are happening near you and online and you can learn with our very talented partners who are immersed in Drupal development day to day so they can give you a lot of insights into the practical aspects of Drupal.
So what I’ll cover today – if you’ve already read the blog post that I’d been writing over the last couple of weeks, we’re really going to be spring boarding off of those somewhat. I’m going to be referring to them in the presentation so please do check back at those in more detail. So I’m going to be giving of course the obligatory warnings about being on this construction site and how to check out Drupal 8 on overview of the admin changes, things you’ll notice right from the start. Of course, we’re going to be focusing mainly in Site Building in the second half of the presentation.
So we’ll be digging into building with blocks and content types and making the most of out of your data, the schema.org as well as a dip into Configuration Management. So I won’t be covering a high-level overview of sort of how we got here and of the “under the hood” stuff. We will be coming back with some information about theming, made some tutorials on those, but there just simply isn’t enough time today. I would recommend checking [Jules Shimar’s] webinar from yesterday. The slides are available here which you can get through this link here but the recording should be up soon.
You’re probably wondering how to get your hands on Drupal 8. I wanted to give you a bit of an orientation. This diagram is really great because it shows you where we’re at in development. You can see this sort of “we are here” cloud down at the bottom left there. We’re in the API Completion phase. So the Alpha releases are coming out. You can see over on the right, this is the Site Builder. It’s what - our swim lane I guess you could say. We’re invited to come when the Beta releases are coming out. So we’re a little bit ahead of the game in this presentation. I mean considering that – so there’s simply so much curiosity though about Drupal 8. I want to give you a sneak preview now. The caveat will come out through the presentation. You’ll notice the little under-construction signs. There are going to be bugs. There may even be new bugs that I’ll discover as I’m playing around with the latest version of Head that I just downloaded.
So Alpha 4 is out right now. It was just released on October 18th, and the purpose of these Alpha releases is to help the modular developers actually identify any API problems they’re having while they can still actually be fixed. So you may have heard about API freezing. Well, sort of freezing it as a process. So it’s in the process of freezing and maybe you consider it like a flash or something like that. The question I was probably dreading is when is it going to be ready? So we can think of as – it’ll be ready when it’s ready. We have to consider this with our training program because we do have clients coming to us asking even for Drupal 8 training now. But we can’t be teaching clients on unstable dev versus the software and advising it confidently.
Yet we are also preparing ourselves - and we do actually have some clients who are building in Drupal 8, but we’re also working very closely with them. They’re taking a risk, but they’re also testing that upgrading process. That’s what everybody should be doing it right now if they have this ability to test upgrading your modules and themes, reporting those problems with the API. There’s a great presentation here on how to upgrade your modules with Drupal 8, so do check that out. Some of the facts will have changed since then but I think the process itself is pretty clear in the presentation.
Even if you’re not a developer, that is great. You can actually participate in a user experience research study. So if you just are using Drupal 8 to or Drupal itself or any content management system to create or edit content anywhere on the web, please get in contact. It may not be you. It may be a colleague that you could encourage to take part in this. Even if you don’t have time, you can tell others about it. So please do check out these announcements you’ll see about the user research. They’re recruiting now. As far as I know, you can do them online. They also have events such as BADCamp.
So with all that said, it doesn’t mean that site builders aren’t welcome to give Drupal 8 a whirl. So a really quick way to check out Drupal 8 would be to try out the free 30-minute demo on simplytestme. This is available on the Drupal 8 landing page right now. So you can actually test it out online. I won’t be doing that today. I’m going to be installing. I’ve already installed again I should say and I’ve already cloned Drupal. The instructions are fairly clear on how to do this. I use actually Acquia Dev Desktop to locate my codebase folder and then use it to create - use Dev Desktop to create a new database. Dev Desktop includes the latest version of – not the latest version of PHP excuse me, but the correct version of PHP for Drupal 8, MySQL, and Apache and so it really makes it a lot easier to start new sites. I would recommend, if you’re on Mac, to use the Beta version. You’ll find some good benefits from that.
So as soon as you start this install process, you’ll notice that it looks really slick. It looks nice. I think it’s got a good - it’s kind of pretty. That’s not the important thing. What’s really important in the new install process is that you can install in any language. So that’s going to hopefully help us even get more adopters over to Drupal. As you go through this install process, you’ll start seeing hints of new modules that are available like the tour modules, so you probably have your curiosity well-piqued by now. With that said, I really couldn’t go any further without us making us wanting utterly clear – I’ve mentioned it already, but while I’ve been using Drupal 8, I find it’s really snappy. It’s slick. Things work really well. Now and again, I bump into problems. So it would be irresponsible really to go any further without making that clear.
There are changes happening daily. You can see even a few moments ago really there were probably changes on Drupal 8. One of these examples is, like a case in point, I guess you could say is contact form field. I get so excited when I saw this. It’s like, “Everything has fields now, yay, even the contact form.” This is going to make it so I could possibly not even have to install the web form module in some cases I guess you could say because I can add fields to my contact form. This is yay. But I then started playing around with it, it was like, “Oh, wait a second. How do I expose these various categories?”
Of course, I’m not the only one wondering. It turns out yes, there’s an issue for that. I even found some funky errors that I came into. You’re going to come across stuff like that as you’re playing with Drupal 8. So what to do? The first thing is make sure you can replicate the error and describe the steps and conditions to repeat it. Search for the errors in the issue queue. So don’t be afraid to actually go into the issue queue and say, “I went through these steps and I had that same problem where…” or something like that. It’s not hard to learn how to play with patches if you’re interested. There’s also core mentoring, but the issue queue itself is openly, easily searchable. So please check it out.
So with that said, let’s look at what’s new with Drupal 8. Starting in the administration just like an overview, the first thing you’ll notice - I mean the way I saw it when I first opened Drupal 8 was kind of like, “Oh, well, that’s not very different.” So if you’re familiar with Drupal 7, you’ll find it quite comfortable and familiar. I don’t think it’s as drastic a change as it was from 6 to 7. The benefits are big. The fact that the menu can be docked on either side and you can actually administer it on mobile. That’s a really big thing even though the changes are quite subtle I guess.
There’s little things too, just overall making design more consistent across all of the administration. You might find the delete button before in random places like, “I don’t know that there was a delete tab in there. Sometimes there was a dialogue.” It’s all these strange ways of going about the delete button. Now, they’ve put it in the lower right hand corner. I had a little construction guy there though because I have a feeling they’re going to change the design of this. [Laughter] Just so you know, that’s where it’s at now.
Overall, you’ll also see some new functionality added to administration of the site. A lot of these are based on modules you already know and love such as the modules over here. So in some cases, the actual modules had been included and in other cases, similar functionalities added where - it means you won’t need that x contrib module. So one case for example is using Core. This really is a wholesale inclusion of views. It just works and it works very similar to how it did in Drupal 7. It’s just been brought into Core. So there are some UI differences perhaps but overall it works as it did. I mean it’s probably something you’ve already heard of obviously, but the benefits are far-reaching because all of the advantages had been converted to views. So there’s more filtering options available now. I think the potential is there to be able to customize administration.
So this is again a little construction guy here because as they prepared this two weeks ago, I was able to do a demo including adding the author, like an author field as a filter. I was proposing that. Someone might like to add this as a filter on their content listing. When I went in today just about an hour before the presentation, I found out, “Oh, wait a second. You can’t add exposed filters other than those that are included.” I didn’t even have time during my preparation to discover if this was a bug or this is a feature. Anyway, I think the potential is there to customize administration, customize these views. At least, you’d be able to clone this view and you’d be able to adopt it.
So for more detail, there’s simply so many. There are 32 contrib modules, which I would say are mooted by Drupal 8. That is again, either they are included in Drupal 8 or a similar functionality is in Drupal 8, that means you won’t need a certain contrib module. That’s more detailed there in the blog post and I didn’t want to go into – I’m assuming that if you’re watching this presentation, you probably came out of reading these blog posts. So they’re all in there. I think worth mentioning though in some detail are the major changes that your content administrators are going to see with the additional of WYSIWYG. It’s simply amazing for the cycle there because it’s going to save you so much time.
A lot of what you probably were doing already, adding in like this Save Draft button, you don’t have to do that. You can see here there’s a Save as Unpublished, which - it’s solving a lot of the problems that content editors were having already. There’s in place editing, which simply means you can edit the content right as you’re looking at it. So it’s even changed the images or changed text and the WYSIWYG allows you to paste directly from Word. It’s a really common problems obviously. It leaves and clear out the – I recognize it’s coming from Word and that allow you to clean it before pasting.
Overall, the WYSIWYG experience is just so much easier to configure in Drupal 7. You have a bunch of different modules. You might have to use a variety of different options to choose from. While you could still override whatever is here, all you see was Core. If you just open it up, it just works out of the box. This is the kind of thing I guess – I’ll probably mention it again, but with our Drupal 7 Site Building Training, we do spend time teaching our developers how to create customized and improved administration experience because what we know is the success of that content editing, the success of those staff people who are editing on your site, that’s just as important to the success of your project as your end-users. So this kind of thing just working out of the box is going to be a huge time-saver for site builders.
I did find some bugs though of course. I noticed I made a new content type and I set some defaults like Promoted from page or Sticky up at top of list. These default settings could have these deselected I should say. They’ll actually be reselected again automatically. So anyway, it turns out yes there are some bugs and in fact even that Sticky option might even get removed altogether. You could be watching this presentation in maybe two weeks’ time and find that there is no Sticky option anymore. So for more details about those content editing enhancements, check out this blog post again. Like I said, we spend a significant time [laughter] - significant time with Drupal 7, our site building in Drupal 7 class teaching developers how to improve this experience so seeing that this in Core is a huge bonus. It is worth going into a little bit of detail about the handling of images in Drupal 8, images and picture. I want to deal with the rule separately from the WYSIWYG aspect.
The first thing to note is that images in Drupal 8 are just responsive out of the box no matter what way you slice it. You can resize your screen and you’ll notice, like I said, even the admin menu will respond and other content itself will respond to the width of the browser. So in Drupal 8, you really have two methods for getting images to your site and I think it suits - I mean there has been some debate within the community about these two different - really almost different approaches, but I think there really are two distinct pieces for adding images to any website.
Here on the left, for example, we see image fields. Maybe for example, that might be a listing of restaurants where you want others to add in four images no more no less, and these will be displayed in a slideshow. So designers get a lot of control there over what’s input, how it’s validated, how it’s displayed, and the size of the images even possibly the color treatment. Whereas on the right, somehow it’s a different case altogether where you want inline images, where you’ve got, say an article or maybe a review of a meal and you want – use photographs of different dimensions and have the text flow around it. The writers have control so your designers give up control over how those images display.
Drupal 8 actually satisfies both right out of the box. You can choose for yourself whether or not you’re going to allow image input in the WYSIWYG to allow non-images or you can choose whether or not you want to have a combination. In fact, the article content type right out of the box will allow you to have an image field so you could have a lead image. You could actually require, for example, that a writer put in a lead image right at the top, but then they can put in inline images. So I’ve got this cookie cutter lead image. Then I’ve got this little boat on the right and I’ve got it inserted in a line to the right. I’ve just shown this sort of zoomed out, sort of widescreen, and sort of resized, a little more narrow and you can see the image resizing there. I guess we can look at that in really more detail but just generally, image handling is so much easier. Even the image sizes are easier to identify because they include the dimensions on the size - excuse me - do dimensions on the filename.
You can also have an arbitrary number of values. Before you can only have a limited number of – you could have 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 up to 10 but after that, you can only have unlimited. So if you wanted to say limit to 15 or limit to 40, you couldn’t do that before. This goes for any field, not just images of course, but I think it’s worth mentioning little things like these have been done to improve things. So this is the inline image, just to show you what this looks like. You can see in the body field hopefully on the right, just kind of tiny here, there’s a little image insert link and once we do that we got a pop-up dialogue I guess or you could say an overlay that allows us to select the image and choose a caption, an alignment. Basically that’s your garden variety inline image and it just works. You can grab that whole thing and drag it around the page. It’s so much easier to use.
As well, there is a new format, not image but also there’s now a picture. So I’m going to do a demo of this because it’s probably a little bit easier to understand when you look at it. The new picture formatter gives you control actually over the breakpoints - I think it’s probably easiest to understand if we look at it, but we’ll go here and look at – I’m sorry, look at some content here that has an image. Okay. Sorry, I’m going to add some content first. So I have an article, maybe this is a little bit like a – [Pause] so we’ll get a nice big image here. [Pause] You can see – I mean really isn’t that different. I’ve added an image field just so you can see what this looks like. We’re just going to save and publish it. Okay. Go back. There we go. So just to show you how the normal responsive behavior works. It’s better to see it I guess.
You’ll notice I don’t control the breakpoints. These are set within the theme, but they’re sensible. I think the defaults here are sensible and standard probably at this point. However, you could imagine a situation where, say for example, you have a landscape lead image like this. Everything looks fine, but you may want that on narrower devices. Maybe you want this to turn this into a square because you want to zoom into something maybe. I’m just giving you an example. So that’s where the picture module would come in handy. Picture module gives you control over what image styles matched which breakpoints. So we’ll just show you how that works.
So in our Go to Structure content type, article, manage – actually we’ll go to Manage display. This is something I have more detail about online but you’ll notice that there’s manage field, manage form display, and manage display now. This is kind of completely changed with Drupal 8 which looks really similar, but the nice thing is you can actually create more custom display settings than you have on offered here. Anyway, so here’s your image format. We only have the image format available right now. So the first thing we have to do - actually, excuse me - first of all, we’ll have to is enable the picture module. So this is nice because you can see the – get a preview of the new Extend tab. You can see the module filter here. Once that’s available, we can change the picture mappings.
So this is a little bit different than what we saw with image styles. You are probably hopefully already familiar with the idea of image styles, but we’ll just say – we’ll call this lead image. Excellent. These actual breakpoints are set from my enabled theme so we’re working here with the breakpoints available from SASS which shifts with Core. These standards I think are pretty consistent so we could set, for example, on Y that we have large and then maybe medium, and then obviously we could go small. So that seems pretty standard.
I guess it’ll be more useful just realizing now, what I will do is actually create my own image styles. So you can actually see – because that isn’t going to make any difference at all. I don’t like it 200 bytes. We’ll make it go scale and crop. [Pause] Oops, that would have been funny, 20 x 200. Sorry about that. Let’s also add - maybe desaturate so it’s utterly obvious what the difference is. So that’s our square thumbnail. So I’m going to go back to my picture mapping here for lead image and choose my square thumbnail, save it and go back to the article content type. Remember we’re looking at managing the display of that article. We’re going to change the format from picture – sorry, from image to picture and reflect a picture mapping. So we have only one picture mapping available as your theme so far and reset default back image.
So what happens by default basically - let’s use large in this case. So here we are looking at our grand reopening. I think it’s refreshed already. Oops, I closed my menu. You can see the image resizing. Oops, and as I get to the most narrow you can see changes to the square thumbnail. So you probably as well kind of trace what’s happening in the markup. It’s actually using in here a picture. As you can see here, there’s a picture tag. This is a – I sort of I guess you could say it’s sort of a draft specification from HTML5, but I think it’s a good example of how Drupal 8 is really way ahead of the game. I mean when Drupal 7 was coming out, everything was 960 grids and everybody was really happy about that. [Laughter] I didn’t even think really verdict was even done on a grid system actually. Maybe it was actually. I shouldn’t say that, but I guess what I mean to say is Drupal 8 is really getting ahead of the game by keeping and tracking what’s happening with the development of HTML5. So a picture module gives you access to that and that type of functionality. So it’s really great actually. A lot of work has gone into that. So I hope now that’s given you a pretty good sort of detailed look at some of the changes even with the way you manage fields in Drupal 8 and the picture module. I have some more detail in this blog post I just did last week – oh no, this week actually. So please do read that for some more tips.
Next, we can look at the blocks. What’s really kind of amazing - I think the first most stunning thing everyone is quite excited about, you probably heard already, is that you can place the same block in multiple places. Woohoo! I mean you could obviously create a whole page of all the search bars you want and that’s kind of silly, but it does solve a real problem. Say, for example, you’re probably not likely to have the search bar showing up twice on a page. If on the front page you want it to be in the side bar but on subsequent pages you want it in the header. In Drupal before, that would have been quite awkward. Now, it’s much easier.
What you’ll notice in the blocks UI is that the blocks themselves are instances of blocks. So I probably could have come out with a better diagram, but we can actually picture that customs blocks are created from types and those custom blocks, once you place them in the position in a region, they’re an instance of the block so you do get some flexibility in that way. So the custom – oh sorry, and the other thing that’s amazing about blocks now is that you can have fields and blocks. So this solves a problem where – I mean it was so common that people are doing convoluted things before to say, get something into a sidebar or into a header or into a footer, making special content type and making a view. Often you wouldn’t need something like that. Now, you could for example have a feature block, where editors can simply create a piece of content maybe with a link and image and have those individual fields. So, blocks themselves can have types.
So I think this is really going to change even the language around how we talk about Drupal. We’re not going to be emphasizing so much to think about just content type. We’ll really going to be pulling back and getting a bigger, more abstract view and talking about data. I think we’ll probably be comfortable talking about using the word entities, for example.
Hannah, just while you’re listening to me, I want to make sure I’m tracking the time. I realize I didn’t keep note of the time that we started.
Moderator: We’re okay for time. You probably have about 20 more minutes.
Heather James: Twenty more minutes, oh fantastic. That’s great. Cool. Alright. So, alright, about 25 past 10:00 is a good deal.
So considering that we have limited time and I’m a little more than halfway through, I’m going to - just to run through a quick example of custom type. So under menu of Structure, block way out. This is that new user interface I was talking about. I should I say have a construction sign here because I think they’re also still working on improving this, but like I said, you can place something multiple times. So there we go. Now it shows up in your top listing. Cool. So the type is what’s sort of interesting I guess. In the custom block library, we can have - well, first of all you can make any custom block. The custom block is the similar one that you’ve grown to know and love with the description and simply a text field and that basic block does the job for many cases. What we may like to have is a custom block type without a basic block and we’ll have this one be our feature block. [Pause]
To make it different obviously than our basic block, we can manage fields. All those things we can add, for example – you may want to have a link, maybe have an affiliate link. [Pause] Oh, aha, here’s an interesting thing. I was just going to add a new link because link is one of those new fields we’ll talk about in a second when we go into content types. Actually, I have enabled it as a module. So it’s available which is great. So I’m going to go back, enable the link fields and when I refresh – [Pause] there we go. There is the link.
So this is another kind of I suppose useful thing. We’ll leave this as it is for now. You’ll notice in manage fields back in Drupal 7, we would manage fields and add them and rearrange them as they should appear on the form at one page. Now, there’s a separate area just for managing how the form appears. So you may want to have the website link at the top. You can also placeholder text so you can remind people that they should have the HTP for example. Let’s see how this looks. Let me save this. Under manage display, obviously you can keep a different - make the website link appear at the bottom.
So let’s go back to the custom block library and add a custom block of the feature block type. Here you can see my placeholder text. It’s showing up there. As soon as I start typing in it’ll disappear. Okay. [Pause] Okay. So now there’s our feature block available. We’ll go back to block layout and place it into the sidebar. I’m totally expecting at some point something funny to happen with the presentation. [Laughter] I’m just wondering when I’m going to run into that error I can’t recover from. Let’s see. Let’s find out. Yay, it worked. The triple feature-block appeared, yay. So I guess that’s what’s new and different about blocks is that you’ve got – you can think of it as starting with block types - for custom blocks anyway. You start with block types and then your blocks then become - your custom blocks become instances of that block type. Then when you place them in the layout, there are instances of those in separate blocks. So that’s kind of new.
Okay. So next, we’ll look at content type fields. So I’ve kind of dipped into a little bit of field things while I’ve just shown you the block interface for example, but I think it’s worth just having a moment to think about this, what’s happening with content type and what’s really so different. There’s a recent article on this blog Inside Intercom, which they picked up on a design trend of these cards. It made me think that really our data and the information we put on our site is going to be hashed up and reused and chewed up in other places. So you’re going to be reusing that even for your own services or affiliate services and who knows what in so many different places. You’d probably want a lot more control over that. So they came up with this idea, this – they’ve sort of pointed out that these cards are kind of taking things over.
So when we think about content modeling and Drupal, we can actually kind of gain a lot of advantages. If we got stuck, it’s a lot easier with Drupal 8, especially. We can think about the fields we described, how we described the data with fields. Maybe not everything really needs to be a content type. We can create much smarter markup with schema.org attributes and properties I should and we can also output RESTful web services. So I mentioned – I kind of hinted at there are some new fields with Drupal 8 for example. These are again well-loved contributed modules you were using already anyway.
I think one of the things worth mentioning here is that the date module, the date time field is included, but it doesn’t include all the functionality of the date module so there’s no recurring date functionality for example. So there are still some things where you’ll go to the contrib modules or the correlated contributed modules for something still for some advanced functionality. It’s just amazing that there’s just so much more you can do out of the box. Comments as well are actually now a field. So before, if you remember with your content type in Drupal 7 and before, comments whether or not they’re allowed was simply default setting that an author could override. Now, I guess it’s something you’ll actually add to a content type so you can’t just add comments to anything randomly as you go which is nice.
As you see, and I mean I’ve kind of given you a little preview of that, there’s really not much – it sort of doesn’t look that different. Things have been cleaned up quite a bit, but that was the only new thing really is the manage form display. You’ll notice that with the display setting similar to what you have before. Okay, you’ve got your full content, your teaser, but what’s different is now you can actually have your own custom display settings. You can make display settings now, which is great. Of course, you’ve got custom content type. So I wanted to bring in these ideas of schema.org and we’ll dig into it in a minute or two, but I just want to introduce this notion that the content type that you’re creating has probably been created by someone else somewhere else. So what the search engines are doing is sort of standardizing these things. So it’s definitely a good reference when you’re starting to design things.
As well, I guess I sort of - this is probably out of order actually. As I mentioned, you can actually have these custom display modes. If you already know Display Suites, this is going to be a little bit familiar to you. It’s quite that you can’t do, I would say that it may turn out that if you really love Display Suite, you’re probably still going to love it and you’re probably still going to use it in Drupal 8, but you can do so much more now with lead modes in Drupal 8. You could reach Drupal 7.
So considering the time we have left, I’ve kind of already given you a demo of creating many fields done on the block and showed you custom placeholder text. So I’m going to skip that demo and go into another step. I wanted to give you a quick introduction of multi-cycles irrespective of configuration management. I’m giving this for construction guys because this is really going to greatly change the experience for us, site builders, yet there’s so much. It’s really a shifting environment. There’s so much still changing about this workflow. As it is, out of the box you get an active and a staging directory. We’ll put it that way.
Oh, I think is out of order. Okay, an active and staging directory which – let me just go to here for a second, in which all of your configuration is actually saved and filed. So if you’ve ever done something like with your views, maybe backed them up in a module, you exported your configuration from views. You saved it in a module and then you try to put that into version control for example. Now, this just works out of the box with Drupal. So anything that is configuration is saved in the MO files and this is a standard that’s used with other systems. So people who are already familiar with this will find this easy to understand.
Just going back here, what will happen – what actually happens is as you’re creating these files, they will be saved in your active directory. I mean I don’t know necessarily if all the best practices and workflow have been decided on, but it’s probably advised you don’t edit the active configuration manually. When you are probably I think that – again, this is how – they have some more construction guys on here. Your staging directory should match your current active directory, but as you’re changing things before you’re adding new configurations for example, but in fact, setting PHP will allow you to put these staging directories anywhere and you can even rename them and do whatever you need with them to suit your own system. This is really I mean one of those things where this is going to change quite a bit.
There are some ways you can import via the UI so right now you can export within the active directory. Okay. That’s alright. What you export are all of the MO files for your full site configuration. So you could take that and bring it into the staging directory of another site, but when I tested it I run into trouble with that. So to make it easier for me, for example, when I have a new fresh Drupal 8 site, I can actually take my new content type. For example, like this restaurant content type, and if I bring over it all over into staging I’ve noticed I can actually put this new files into staging and then import the changes. Again, probably, I’m not the person to be telling you about configuration management. Again, a lot of this is changing quite a bit.
So the good news is though, is that these configurations will all be able to be version controlled and shared. So you’ll be able to see and keep track of any changes that you’re making. Like I said, you’ll be able to – I think in the end, I think this is how it’s kind of worked anyway is that you can synchronize the changes. So you can see what’s new. So new files for example, it will show, “Oh there’s a new file being added and you can import it.” I noticed some problems obviously. I created problems for myself when I had made some changes to the active directory or sorry the active configuration in between sort of importing some things and it’s going to think, “Oh, you’re trying to delete something.” It’s hard to explain without giving a demo of this, but just so you know, be careful in this area when you’re playing around. [Laughter]
You can also do really silly things like I did. You can import orphan fields. So if you had just tried to pull over one file just out of curiosity like just the field that’s declared – for example, an image field, that was from the – we’ll refer to the restaurant content type, it will allow you to do that. You’ll have no trouble allowing you to do that, but it does mean basically you have an orphan field that you can’t get rid of. You could add it to other content type, but you won’t be able to do much there. So in the future, there’s possibly going to be improved UI and contrib.
There’s an issue to check out if you’re curious about - you could possibly be allowed to bring individual configuration files. Like that dependency problem I showed you with that orphan image field, I don’t think that’s going to resolve this. It could do things to break your sites though. Yes. Like I said, it’s like the four construction men warning on this area.
I think this is really kind of – I saved this for the last because I think this is really exciting, is the integration with schema.org. To appreciate it, I think you can check out this page on Google.com about their recipe search. So you could try this yourself. You could actually go and search for a recipe. You’ll notice you can do things like search for recipes by a certain number of calories or the cooking time or ingredients and the different websites will actually be outputting that content to you. So Google does a really good job of parsing whatever crazy markup people are outputting anyway. What the various search engines have done is they standardized these conventions to help then restructure markup and help you understand how to create structured markup with this micro data.
So Google, Yahoo, Bing, they’ve all gotten together and I think this is fantastic news. You can see here the search results are much easier to scan and view. I guess if you are allrecipes.com, you might be as excited about this because it means people don’t necessarily need to go directly to your site to find that information. However, it’s almost as the sea tide [laughter] and almost like the flooding waters of information and data are increased exponentially every week, sifting through this information and helping people find relevant information is absolutely so important. That’s probably never been more important than now. This is one area that Drupal is way ahead of the game. As you can see, Google spending time trying to teach site owners how to integrate their sites with this but I think Drupal is going to make it work out of the box.
So for example, if I was going to add a new content type recipe, I can go and see the schema.org declaration for that and I can decide, “Oh okay. I can follow these standards that are already there.” What schema.org reads, I suppose what their engines, excuse me, are reading is this markup that has its micro data in it that says, “Oh around in here we have the calories and over here we have the prep time.” So you can actually map your arbitrary fields to these classifications. It’s pretty much anything. It’s already set up to work perfectly fine with the Core content types of articles and your basic page.
So an article, for example, is a creative work and a creative work has the author and comments, et cetera. In the article markup then you can see outputs these properties. This is what the search engine is looking for. So if we want to create a custom one so such as a restaurant for example, how would I be able to do that? Restaurant has its own special property, but it does actually inherit just like the article does. It inherits the properties of your local business, the organization and things, et cetera. So what I would have to do is actually create a custom mapping. This is how we take the custom - the Core example and then adopt it. So I’m just really giving you a quick view of it here. We’d say that with this certain pattern we’d give it a unique ID and then match - you literally match your fields with whatever properties you want to go with.
As I gave you the warnings about configuration management, I had to make sure that my active directory would think with my staging then I put my new RDF mapping in my staging directory, in my configuration staging directory and went over to synchronize, and I was able to import it. Voila, happy days. I’ve got my restaurant listings and you can see the property except reservations. It’s really tiny on the screen. Sorry about that. You can see the property now appearing in the markup.
So I think that’s in the future. Speaking with Stefan “scor” about this, he said, “In the future it could be that there’s a user interface in contrib that means you’ll be able to manage this more easily.” There’s also a presentation he and Nick Veenhof are giving about search in SEO at that BADCamp so if you’re in the area, please do check that out. [Laughter] I think that it’s just – this is the kind of thing I think that separates Drupal from the other kind of systems that are out there. It’s very forward thinking and it’s going to help you do stuff that is going to be needed even in the next six months to a year.
So I see the time and we have just a few minutes left. [Laughter] I just wanted to say a couple of things. You’re probably wondering – okay. Well, if I can’t use Drupal 8 now, when can I use it? You can – oh sorry. Basically, you could actually experience Drupal 8 even now in a way. There’s a lot of things you could be doing if you configured your Drupal 7 site to be taking advantage of things that are even backported to Drupal 7. So my colleague knows most of the great blog posts about these different modules you could be using for example and so I think that’s – everyone has worked on Drupal 8 doesn’t want anyone to have to wait for good stuff if it’s possible.
Of course, we have the cycling courses. I think if you’re watching this and you’re not using Drupal yet at all, you really probably will be using Drupal 7 obviously and we’d want you to adopt it and get involved with it and so please check our cycling courses.
So thank you for watching. At this stage, I don’t think there’s going to be any questions. Hannah, is there?
Moderator: No, there’s no questions. I just want to thank everybody who did attend. We’ll send these files and recording out in the next 24 hours. Thank you.
Heather James: Okay. Bye.
- End of Recording -