Posts Tagged:API

rfp-robotRFP ROBOT: Website Request for Proposal Generator

The time has come for a new website (or website redesign), which means you need to write a website request for proposal or web RFP. A Google search produces a few examples, but they vary wildly and don’t seem to speak really to your goals for developing or redesigning a new website. You need to write a website RFP that will clearly articulate your needs and generate responses from the best website designers and developers out there. But how?

Have no fear, RFP Robot is here. He will walk you through a step-by-step process to help you work through the details of your project and create a PDF formatted website design RFP that will provide the information vendors need to write an accurate bid. RFP Robot will tell you what info you should include, point out pitfalls, and give examples.


Friduction: the internet's unstoppable drive to eliminate friction

There is one significant trend that I have noticed over and over again: the internet’s continuous drive to mitigate friction in user experiences and business models. Since the internet’s commercial debut in the early 90s, it has captured success and upset the established order by eliminating unnecessary middlemen. Book stores, photo shops, travel agents, stock brokers, bank tellers and music stores are just a few examples of the kinds of middlemen who have been eliminated by their online counterparts. The act of buying books, printing photos or booking flights online alleviates the friction felt by consumers who must stand in line or wait on hold to speak to a customer service representative. Rather than negatively describing this evolution as disintermediation or taking something away, I believe there is value in recognizing that the internet is constantly improving customer experiences by reducing friction from systems — a process I like to…

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Websites We Like: May 2017

It’s been far too long since we rounded up some of the most interesting websites out there. But this time we have a diverse round-up of whacky interfaces and beautiful layouts to look at. Let’s dive straight in! Nick Jones’ Portfolio The portfolio of Nick Jones is one of the neatest personal websites I’ve ever seen. As you flip through each page and project that Nick has worked on, the interface rotates and zooms in as you get closer to the end. Not only that but the interface changes color and the tiny animation on the title of each post draws your eye to it. In fact, I think this is the first time I’ve felt comfortable with a designer changing the basic paradigm of mouse scrolling – it somehow feels fluent and natural rather than janky and weird. Hey, they always tell us the cheapest things to animate are…

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Free Drupal 8 Training by Drupal Mumbai in association with Iksula services on Global Training Day – 3rd June 2017

Start:  2017-06-03 10:30 – 17:00 Asia/Kolkata Organizers:  rachit_gupta Ashish.Dalvi Event type:  User group meeting Free Drupal 8 Training by Iksula services on Global Training Day – 3rd June Saturday, Jun 3, 2017, 10:30 AM Iksula ServicesVenue: Iksula Services, B-702, Mangalya Building, Off. Marol Maroshi Road, Marol, Andheri (East) Mumbai, IN 10 Drupalers Attending Hello Drupalers,We are excited to announce that the “Drupal 8 In a Day” training session will be held on Saturday, June 3rd, 2017 by Iksula Services on Drupal Global Training Days.This training session is an initiative by Drupal Mumbai in Collaboration with Iksula services and Drupal Association.What is Global Training Days?• Drupal Global Trai… Check out this Meetup → Hello Drupalers, We are excited to announce that the “Drupal 8 In a Day” training session will be held on Saturday, June 3rd, 2017 by Iksula Services on Drupal Global Training Days. This training session is an initiative by…

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The Secret to Turning Ideas into Working Features

When we talk about development process, we tend to focus on process artifacts and rituals like tickets and sprint planning meetings. But how does a ticket become actionable in the first place? How do you leave a sprint planning session with enough knowledge to start development? That piece can be less clear. The secret? Definition. In this post, I’ll walk through an example from a recent project that illustrates the unheralded but hugely important definition process. The project: We designed and implemented an email builder application for iContact, an email marketing platform. The Viget players: Me (product manager), Brandon (UX), David (developer). The iContact players: Angela (product owner), Laurie (QA lead), Mark (developer). Here’s how that feature went from roadmap to reality. Step 1: Get on the Roadmap Early on, we collaborated with iContact’s product team to define the product roadmap. We knew we couldn’t implement all their ideas in…

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Simple Offline Website

A little while back, Nicolas Bevacqua wrote the fantastic article Making a Simple Site Work Offline with ServiceWorker. We kinda tag teamed the idea. Nicolas did all the work, but I put forth the idea (and designed the crappy little website) that we were going to make work offline. I wanted a site that wasn’t as complicated as a major web app with loads of resources and API usage, but wasn’t as simple as a single HTML page. Everything in that article is up-to-date and serves as a great reference to getting started with offline capabilities for a site. Just a few notes: I updated the repo to make sure it was all working properly. Again the example isn’t totally barebones, but simple. It has a little build script that represents fairly normal modern web development: Sass, asset concatenation/minification/sourcemaps, SVG icon system, and… shuffling things around to make a production…

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Managing Drupal Sites with Composer

Talking through the growing pains of using Drupal with Composer dependency management at DrupalCon Baltimore. Drupal gets better when companies, organizations, and individuals build or fix something they need and then share it with the rest of us. Open source technologies become better, stronger, and smarter when others take it upon themselves to make a positive difference contributing their knowledge, time, and energy to it. Acquia is proud to play a part, alongside thousands of others, in making tomorrow’s Drupal better than today’s. One of the people making a difference is Jeff Geerling. Jeff Geerling (geerlingguy), Senior Technical Architect at Acquia, is a prolific and valued open source contributor. He has 150+ open source projects around both the Ansible and Drupal projects. His Drupal modules are used by almost 100,000 sites. I spoke with him about the BoF session he set up at DrupalCon Baltimore, Managing Drupal Sites with Composer.…

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Four Killer Features of Nunjucks

Nunjucks calls itself “A rich and powerful templating language for JavaScript”, which sounds about right. It’s not intentionally super lightweight like Mustache or the slightly more robust (but still pretty light) Handlebars. It’s a full-on language, packed with all kinds of stuff you might want when writing templates. You can run it in the browser, but you probably shouldn’t. This is meant to be run in Node.js and used to compile templates server side. In other words: it’s a real fancy HTML preprocessor. Let’s look at some features that I think are particularly cool about Nunjucks. Fair warning: this is highly subjective and based on only light experience! I’m only using like 10% of what Nunjucks is capable of here. Nunjucks is a Node thing, so you install it with npm and work with it through the command line, build tools, and that whole world. Here’s a single screenshot showing…

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Beyond Websites – Using Drupal for Digital Signage

Using Drupal 8 to power real-time signage systems. Acquians Adam Weingarten and Mike Madison shared their knowledge and experience in a session at DrupalCon Baltimore called “Beyond Websites: Using Drupal for Digital Signs”. Drupal gets better when companies, organizations, and individuals build or fix something they need and then share it with the rest of us. Our community becomes better, stronger, and smarter when others take it upon themselves to make a positive difference contributing their knowledge, time, and energy to Drupal. Acquia is proud to play a part, alongside thousands of others, in making tomorrow’s Drupal better than today’s. “People are looking for ways to present information outside a conventional web page. Drupal has a lot of established patterns for web pages but not many for some of these new experiences. This session helps fill those gaps and give people a roadmap for how to build their own next-generation…

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Using Fetch

Whenever we send or retrieve information with JavaScript, we initiate a thing known as an Ajax call. Ajax is a technique to send and retrieve information behind the scenes without needing to refresh the page. It allows browsers to send and retrieve information, then do things with what it gets back, like add or change HTML on the page. Let’s take a look at the history of that and then bring ourselves up-to-date. Another note here, we’re going to be using ES6 syntax for all the demos in this article. A few years ago, the easiest way to initiate an Ajax call was through the use of jQuery’s ajax method: $.ajax(‘some-url’, { success: (data) => { /* do something with the data */ }, error: (err) => { /* do something when an error happens */} }); We could do Ajax without jQuery, but we had to write an XMLHttpRequest,…

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State of Drupal presentation (April 2017)

Last week, 3,271 people gathered at DrupalCon Baltimore to share ideas, to connect with friends and colleagues, and to collaborate on both code and community. It was a great event. One of my biggest takeaways from DrupalCon Baltimore is that Drupal 8’s momentum is picking up more and more steam. There are now about 15,000 Drupal 8 sites launching every month. I want to continue the tradition of sharing my State of Drupal presentations. You can watch a recording of my keynote (starting at 24:00) or download a copy of my slides here (108 MB). The first half of my presentation provided an overview of Drupal 8 updates. I discussed why Drupal is for ambitious digital experiences, how we will make Drupal upgrades easier and why we added four new Drupal 8 committers recently. The second half of my keynote highlighted the newest improvements to Drupal 8.3, which was released…

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7 Topics that Should be Covered During a Digital Discovery Workshop (including 70+ Specific Questions You Should Ask)

Discovery Workshops play an important role in the success of any development project. If a Discovery Workshop is not conducted the right manner, its value can be lost. At the beginning of a project, Discovery Workshops are the part of the “Discovery Phase,” which can be considered as the courtship period, during which a strategic partner usually collaborates with his client to understand the project’s requirements and functional specifications, and to discuss content modelling, solution architecture and so on. The aim is to define the project’s business goals by fitting the pieces together. This is the foundation of any project. However, a successful Discovery Workshop is only achieved when the right set of questions are asked. Here is my list of questions that I consider are important to ask while you are onsite with client, discussing the details of his or her project. For me, the right set of questions…

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React Sketch.app

The “normal” workflow I’m sure we’ve all lived is that design happens, then coding happens. A healthy workflow has back-and-forth between everyone involved in a project, including designers and developers, but still: The code is the final product. You design your way to code, you don’t code your way to designs. It was only a little over a month ago when it was news that Sketch 43 was moving to a .JSON file format. The final release notes drop the news quite blasé: Revised file format But Jasim A Basheer rightly made a big deal of it: … it will fundamentally change how the design tools game will be played out in the coming years. “enables more powerful integrations for third-party developers” is stating it lightly. This is what the fine folks at Bohemian Coding has done — they opened up Sketch’s file format into a neat JSON making it possible for…

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Drupal is API-first, not API-only

More and more developers are choosing content-as-a-service solutions known as headless CMSes — content repositories which offer no-frills editorial interfaces and expose content APIs for consumption by an expanding array of applications. Headless CMSes share a few common traits: they lack end-user front ends, provide few to no editorial tools for display and layout, and as such leave presentational concerns almost entirely up to the front-end developer. Headless CMSes have gained popularity because: A desire to separate concerns of structure and presentation so that front-end teams and back-end teams can work independently from each other. Editors and marketers are looking for solutions that can serve content to a growing list of channels, including websites, back-end systems, single-page applications, native applications, and even emerging devices such as wearables, conversational interfaces, and IoT devices. Due to this trend among developers, many are rightfully asking whether headless CMSes are challenging the market for…

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The Many Tools for Shape Morphing

To no one’s surprise, I’m sure, there are lots of different ways to do the same thing on the web. Shape morphing, being a thing on the web, is no different. There are some native technologies, some libraries that leverage those, and some libraries that do things all on their own. Let’s look at some of the options (with demos) and weigh the advantages and disadvantages. SMIL The original, native technology for shape morphing is SMIL. We have both a guide to SMIL on CSS-Tricks, and an article talking about replacements for it, since it doesn’t work in Microsoft browsers and Blink threatened to yank it at one point. I wouldn’t suggest doing important work in SMIL but it is OG shape morphing. See the Pen Sitepoint Challenge #1 in SVG and SMIL by Noah Blon (@noahblon) on CodePen. Our article How SVG Shape Morphing Works covers SMIL shape morphing…

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Facebook F8 2017 – What Marketers Need to Know

Facebook’s F8 conferences have earned the reputation of being one of the most innovative and fascinating tech events of the year. While F8 is known as the “Facebook Developer Conference”, it doesn’t mean there’s only news about high-tech gadgets. In fact, there are also many insights and ideas that social media marketers can use. If you missed the F8 conference live broadcast, it’s not too late to read about all the announcements. We worked hard for you, and gathered together the most important announcements about Facebook, Messenger, Instagram, Workplace, Oculus, and other Facebook’s apps. During his (most waited) speech at F8 Mark Zuckerberg said: We are building the technology to give anyone the power to share anything they want with anyone else.” Mark Zuckerberg on the stage of F8 at Fort Mason (San Francisco) And we better believe him. Zooming on Facebook’s 10-year roadmap reveals (as if we didn’t know!)…

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Legally Binding Electronic Signatures with eversign

There are few things more obnoxiously tedious than being asked to sign a document over email, where they tell you to print it, sign it, scan it, and email it back. One time I Photoshopped my signature onto a document, and they were able to tell somehow and made me go through the whole rigamarole instead. We’re working with highly sophisticated computers here, can’t I sign this thing with the web somehow? Yes, you can! As long as the company asking is using eversign, that is. Companies of any size can use eversign, from individual freelancers to medium-sized businesses to mega corporations. You upload your documents (like a PDF contract, rental agreement, or anything else you need a legally-binding signature on) and use their wonderfully nice Document Builder UI to indicate the areas that information or signatures from who the document is being sent to. Here’s a little video of…

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Acquia in action at DrupalCon Baltimore!

Check us out in person If you’re coming to DrupalCon Baltimore and you’re curious about Acquia, there are a couple of ways to meet the company and see what we’re about beyond the marketing and sales efforts that get directed at potential clients. One great way is to come to our sessions! Looking at the breadth of topics covered, you begin to get a sense of how much is going on behind the scenes at the company. You can see and hear Acquia experts talking about everything from data-driven workplace improvement to the latest in Drupal 8 front ends to how and why Drupal is still changing rapidly during the conference. We’d obviously be very happy to talk with you at the Acquia Query Lounge in the exhibitors’ hall, in the Hallway Track, our industry meetup, or wherever you might meet us along the way, too! Oh and we’re Acquia…

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Dungeons & Dragons & Drupal

For the past twenty years, whenever I learn a new language or technology, I follow the same pattern. First, I’ll follow along with some online tutorials or examples from books or the back of a magazine. Next, I try to use this language to solve some simple problem I’ve been having lately. Finally, when I want to be certain I grok it, I build a Dungeons & Dragons character generator. If I can do that, I can build anything a project throws my way. At this year’s DrupalCon in Baltimore, MD, I will be discussing the parallels between Dungeons & Dragons and Drupal site building. Dungeons & Dragons is a microcosm of Drupal site building involving narrative-driven business logic, intensely detail-oriented rules, and even edge cases that only have to be considered because of that one Chaotic Neutral stakeholder. D&D Player Characters are made up of fielded data that has…

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Stop Using Drupal 8 Features on Production!

In the Drupal 7 days, it was pretty common for a production deployment to include the (in)famous “drush fra” line to bring in any new/updated config. Because of that, lots of former Drupal 7 developers are bringing that practice to Drupal 8. But things have changed, and this is generally a bad idea in D8. Why shouldn’t I use Features on Production in Drupal 8? When deploying from QA to Prod, you have tested the full site config on the QA environment (right?) and you want to mirror that onto Prod. Running drush features-import-all only handles the config that is Featurized, and a site typically contains a lot of config that you don’t have in a Feature. Because of that, just doing drush features-import-all doesn’t ensure that Prod is a mirror of QA, thus you can have bugs/regressions/etc. Ok, then how do I push config to the Production site? Instead…

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