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Front End Performance Strategy: Scripts

In the last installment of this series, we considered CSS optimization. This time we’re going to look at the impact of scripts. Remember, as architects and developers, it’s up to us to inform stakeholders about the impacts of their choices, offer compromises where we can, and implement in smart and responsible ways. So, picking up on our last post, most everything about the way Drupal handles CSS holds true for JavaScript, with a few notable exceptions. CSS... More

Quick Tips for Writing Object Oriented Code in PHP

Recently I began working on a D8 module, but this isn't a story about a D8 module. The work I did provided me an opportunity to get back to my pre-Drupal object oriented (OO) roots. Writing OO code in PHP presented some curve balls I wasn’t prepared for. Here are some of the issues I encountered: PSR-4 Autoloading: How to set up your files to be loaded First things first, how do you include OO code in your project? In D7 you had to add the files to a .info file for a module or do module_load_include. In D8 all you have to do is follow PSR-4 namespacing. If you follow the PSR-4 folder and... More

GitHub Developers and Workflows

This is the fifth and final post in a multi-part series on using GitHub for Government. In the previous posts in this series, we’ve discussed the basics of GitHub for Government, what the public can and can’t see, what code should and should not be included in a public repo, and GitHub users and permissions. Now let’s dive into developers and workflows. An overview: How are things organized on GitHub and who does what? GitHub organizes projects by associating them with an organization. We’ll use Agency Z as an example. Agency Z has 10 projects on GitHub. The authoritative versions of these... More

How to Evaluate Drupal Modules for Performance Optimization

Drupal was designed from the ground-up to be modular. Once you install Drupal core, you can add any number of modules to enhance Drupal's basic functions. Unfortunately, contributed modules can also impede performance. For example, it's common to find contributed third-party modules that are incompatible with newer versions of Drupal, or other modules. Besides being a security hassle, this can often curb performance. Evaluating Drupal modules for such issues is thus essential for a smooth Drupal experience. As part of this ongoing ... More

Announcing Acquia Engage 2015 Keynote Speakers

Even though we’re just hitting peak summer season here in New England, when long beach days and starry nights prevail, our team at Acquia is busy planning a spectacular event for late October: Acquia Engage 2015. If you were one of the lucky folks who attended last year’s inaugural event, you know just how exciting it is that we’re bringing the conference back for a second year. Much like last year, you can expect some of today’s most progressive, influential leaders in the digital space to deliver keynotes, inspiring sessions on all... More

Why Open Source Is Driving Digital Transformation in Government

“Change.” That’s the word that best describes today’s digital world. Since 1991, internet users have grown from a handful of researchers to nearly 3 billion globally. Along the way, how we access and use digital information has changed as well. Government organizations, like the rest of society, are under increasing pressure to adapt to this rapid pace of change. Today’s sophisticated consumers demand dynamic, interactive experiences that help them work with–and participate in–government. To craft the digital experiences their constituents demand, governments have to adopt newer technologies... More

Front End Performance Strategy: Styles

The quest for improved page-load speed and website performance is constant. And it should be. The speed and responsiveness of a website have a significant impact on conversion, search engine optimization, and the digital experience in general. In part one of this series, we established the importance of front-end optimization on performance, and discussed how properly-handled images can provide a significant boost toward that goal. In this... More

Improve Your Site’s Security by Adding Two-Factor Authentication

Identity theft and site compromises are all-too-common occurrences -- it seems a day rarely goes by without a news story detailing the latest batch of user passwords which have been compromised and publicly posted. Passwords were first used in the 1960s when computers were shared among multiple people via time-sharing methods. Allowing multiple users on a single system required a way for users to prove they were who they claimed to be. As computer systems have grown more complex over the last 50 years, the same password concept has been baked into them as the core authentication method. That... More

Users and Permissions, and Creating an Organization in GitHub

This is the fourth post in a multi-part series on using GitHub for Government. In previous posts, we’ve discussed what the public can see and do with GitHub and what Drupal code should and shouldn’t be in a public repository. In this post we’ll discuss users and permissions on organizational accounts, and in the final post, we’ll look at developer workflows. If your developers peer review each other’s code, if you have multi-person teams and want to control roles and permissions for code access, or if your organization’s code sticks around longer than your developers, a GitHub Organization is... More

One year later: the Acquia Certification Program

A little over a year ago we launched the Acquia Certification Program for Drupal. We ended up the first year with close to 1,000 exams taken, which exceeded our goal of 300-600. Today, I'm pleased to announce that the Acquia Certification Program passed another major milestone with over 1,000 exams passed (not just taken). People have debated the pros and cons of software certifications for years (including myself... More

Caching to Improve Drupal Performance: The Three Levels You Should Know

In our continuing mission (well, not a mission; it’s actually a blog series) to help you improve your Drupal website, let’s look at the power of caching. In our previous post, we debunked some too common Drupal performance advice. This time we're going positive, with a simple, rock-solid strategy to get you started: caching is the single best way to improve Drupal performance without having to fiddle with code. At the basic level, it is... More

Seamless Migration to Drupal 8: Make it Yours

Hi there. I’m Adam from Acquia. And I want YOU to adopt Drupal 8! I’ve been working on this for months. Last year, as an Acquia intern, I wrote the Drupal Module Upgrader to help people upgrade their code from Drupal 7 (D7) to Drupal 8 (D8). And now, again as an Acquia intern, I’m working to provide Drupal core with a robust migration path for your content and configuration from D6 and D7 to Drupal 8. I’m a full-service intern! The good news is that Drupal core already includes the migration path from D6 to D8... More

Acquia's 2015 Partner Site of The Year Finalists

Acquia partners with top digital agencies that are creating amazing digital experiences in order to help companies and brands thrive in today's complex digital world. The Partner Site of The Year competition serves as a unique opportunity to showcase the best examples of their work. For this year’s competition, Acquia’s digital agency partners submitted client sites for consideration across 15 categories. After careful deliberation, Acquia’s executive team selected 48 finalists, assessing each site on visual design, functionality, integration and overall customer experience. Next... More

Conquering the Drupal Learning Curve

Common perception is that Drupal has a steep learning curve. Others, colleagues included, find the statement misleading and detrimental. I find myself somewhere in the middle. I think that Drupal development can be unintuitive to someone new to Drupal. However, I believe that any motivated, interested individual can 'conquer' Drupal development, regardless of prior experience. I decided to test the theory by teaching a pre-school teacher, a used car dealership manager, a Java developer, and five others, Drupal 7 development. Why the Reputation? Drupal allows you to change almost anything at... More

What Drupal Code Should/Should Not Be Included in a Public Repository?

This is the third post in a multi-part series on using GitHub for Government. In previous posts, we've discussed the basics of GitHub, as well as what the public can see and do with GitHub. In this post we'll look at what Drupal code should and shouldn’t be in a public repository, and in future posts, we'll discuss users and permissions on organizational accounts and developer workflows. What code can be safely made public and what code should be made public are not always the same thing. What custom code should or should not be made public depends on what your agency’s objectives are in... More

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