Recap DrupalCon Europe
DrupalCon Europe was a digital event this year, but it was still an experience - with all the fun stuff. Our biggest highlight was of course the session on “4 years of Thunder: Why Hubert Burda Media went for open source”. Our colleague Michael Lenahan from Burda Home experienced four intense days and took diligent notes - read his recap here.
Drupal and Ansible: a way of managing a 2000+ environment infrastructure
The first session for me today was the Ansible talk: At BurdaHome we use Ansible extensively for our own DevOps, so this was a very useful talk. Afterwards I chatted with the presenter Mattias Michaux: He said that Ansible Tower is very expensive and closed source, so they built their own orchestration around Ansible and use it to provision hundreds of sites at their agency Dropsolid. Their architecture is very cool, there is a lot we can learn here.
PHP 8: What's new and changing
Next up was a very useful overview of the new features in php 8: I love the way that php is growing into a more mature language, not so much a sloppy scripting language any more.
TDD - Test Driven Drupal
One of my favorite sessions today was on Test Driven Development: A clear overview of functional testing, kernel testing and unit testing, when and how to use each, with nice, clear examples. Slides for that talk are here: https://www.oliverdavies.uk/talks/tdd-test-driven-drupal
Taking Maximum Advantage of Drupal Core's Composer Template
"Taking Maximum Advantage of Drupal Core's Composer Template" was at a basic, accessible level, a good refresher with useful tips on composer usage. One thing I picked up was how to use tools like the Packagist Semver Checker, and how the various plugins work, such as the drupal/core-composer-scaffold plugin.
Drupal initiative leads keynote
The improvements that come with composer version 2 are particularly cool. These were also mentioned in the Drupal initiative leads keynote session in the afternoon.
And of course, the highlight of the whole day was the Flamenco Dancing Lesson in the evening. No screenshots were taken, we were all too busy shaking our funky stuff.
Open personalization with Apache Unomi in the GDPR era
My first session today was from Nick Veenhof, he was presenting Dropsolid's solution for user journey experience workflows using Apache Unomi and Mautic.
Moving Drupal forward by breathing new life into local community
Next was an interesting talk on sustaining a healthy Drupal community – touching on some themes that would re-occur in the Driesnote in the afternoon.
Configuration Management Initiative 2.0
I really enjoyed the update on the configuration management initiative. It included some new stuff (new to me at least) on a new kind of update hook – a deploy hook which can be run after your config is imported (to make changes to existing nodes on your site, for example). In the question and answer session, the Thunder Update Helper got a mention as a way of providing a diff on top of your current configuration.
My best (and worst) strategies for dealing with high-demand work
A nice non-technical session was “My best (and worst) strategies for dealing with high-demand work” – some life-hacks from Michael Schmid from Amazee.
Advanced front-end debugging techniques for back-end developers
Out of all the sessions from Day 2, the one I would recommend the most is the last one: "Advanced front-end debugging techniques for back-end developers". The presenter Anna Mykhailova went at a break-neck speed through all her favourite ways to debug in the browser. She picks out where Firefox is strongest and where Chrome is better (take-away: Firefox is way better than I thought and better than Chrome in many ways). This talk was high-energy, fast and enthusiastic and full of useful tips.
Sustainable practices for building and maintaining the Open Web
The panel “Sustainable practices for building and maintaining the Open Web” was a nice gentle way to start the day, an intelligent and quiet discussion about what makes open source sustainable. It was a bit like listening to the radio while having my morning coffee.
One of the conclusions was very nice, it was about the word “contribution”. This word has connotations of altruism, of contributing selflessly to a project. However, selfless contribution leads to burn-out, it is not sustainable. We need instead to think about using the word “collaboration” – where it is a win-win. If I collaborate with others on shared code, we are doing it for selfish reasons and we are all benefitting. It means I don't have to maintain all this code myself. So: Collaboration, not Contribution.
Drupal - the choice of the Australian government
Drupalcon Europe is like the Eurovision Song Contest for Geeks, so it was nice to see this entry from Australia :) I seriously recommend watching the first half of the talk “Drupal - the choice of the Australian government” – the Australian Government uses Drupal a lot! You can leave the second half of the talk, when he starts talking about the various States in Australia – they use Drupal a lot too – but by now, you have seen the most interesting part.
Then that evening was Trivia Night. As ever Julia Pradel was on the winning team. I seriously need to learn from her, for me it's "all about the participation", you know, the Olympian ideal where it's enough to just be there.
The Friday contribution day is always one of my highlights. This time I was on a very friendly table, and it worked nicely via zoom. We worked on this 17-year-old issue to do with the behavior of Drupal if you log in while cookies are disabled in the browser, here it is if you are interested: https://www.drupal.org/project/drupal/issues/2946