WordCamp Sacramento 2018: Beautiful warm, knowledge filled days and very cool nights out with the WP family

Once again, I did not have to fly to an event, something that happens so rarely for me I lead with it on the blogs where it happens. Returning to The Big Tomato we were met with the most idillic weather I can imagine. Special thanks to my colleague Alexander who actually did the driving. There were a number of reasons I was exited to come back: the sessions, giving my newest talk and such. But the community coming together and watching new connections get made and making introductions that went far beyond just technical conversations is what I feel is really at the heart of my special feelings about WordCamp Sacramento 2018

Food and Fun

Speaker Dinner

The first official act of most camps is the getting together of the speakers and sponsors and organizers and volunteers who make the event happen. Same as last year we returned to the pretty awesome Hot Italian to get some pizza, drinks and a choice of gelato or sorbetto. I had the latter as an affogato with a creamy double chocolate nut cream based gelato. It was spectacular. The conversations were wonderful and the staff was downright awesome. Stop by and give them some business if you are in the area, they are doing it right. After closing this out, some of us went to enjoy the classic video games and pinball offered up at Coin-Op, the local brewcade. Very happy to say that with the help of a pocket full of quarters and the talents of my friend Jamie we beat The Simpsons Arcade Game. I played as Homer.


The Sacramento Convention Center coffee is not bad. But it is not bad in the way Folgers is not a bad brand for that it is. There was a Starbucks open for those that wanted a step up. This event is also known for it’s copious amounts of snacks. All the sponsor tables are extra long to accommodate plastic punch bowls full of candy, energy bars, and all manor of packaged sugar. It is pretty delightful and I never felt like I was more than a few steps away from sating any hunger pangs.


The way the schedule works for this camp, there is only lunch on day one and they want to accommodate everyone. They accomplish this pretty well by giving lunch tickets to get pre-selected items from food trucks they bring to the nearby park. The lines are a bit long but the weather was absolutely gorgeous and gave us a chance to eat outside and fellowship while eating a variety of options. I had a pretty good extra crunchy falafel on rice with a salad.

While the lines themselves are never anyone’s favorite part of a meal service, I do want to applaud the WordCamp Sacramento Organizing Team for ensuring that all food allergies and preferences would be able to be met. This is so important in the idea of inclusion and welcoming everyone in. Waiting a tad longer for better food is a welcome price to pay to make sure everyone can be fed.


WordCamp Sacramento has faced the problem of the afterparty and landed squarely on the side of ‘make sure everyone is safe and does not have to travel or wait around to network after the event’. By this I mean the afterparty is a networking reception immediately following the last session and light appetizers and very delicious agua fresca was served. Part of me really likes this approach because it encourages people to talk about their shared experience while it is happening and gives people a way to connect without the pressures to go to another location where alcohol might be a factor. While I am a fan of drinking myself, I am very aware that not everyone thinks that way and I am glad this event is another example of their commitment to inclusiveness in Community, which was the theme this year.


I never want to sound preachy, though I know I most certainly come off that way fairly often, but I get very excited about the fact that more and more people are turning up to these self organized WPVegan events. I put up a call for dinner and several folks I had not yet met and some old friends joined in for a special treat of a meal at Capitol Garage. I love their tofu ‘wings’ and the cashew based western patty sandwich is super filling. Also the staff was out of this world nice to us. They were so nice that I even went back the next morning for a snack and some espresso before the day of sessions. Thanks to all who support more sustainable and more delicious foods.


I honestly did not think the karaoke quality could go downhill from the Denny’s from last year, but there we were.

Note about the hashtags

If you are at a camp and want to make a hashtag happen, then just do it. What WCKaraoke and WPVegan has taught me this last year is that you are very rarely completely alone in your thoughts and beliefs in the WP community. Expressing your desire to want to get together and hang out based around a common interest is a great way to include others and to meet wonderful people. You might even get some new people excited about the things that make your excited in the process.


Coffee was coffee again. No lunch was served due to the sorter, later starting schedule. But there was an afternoon snack break planned which offered hot pretzels and brownies.
No tweets of this break exist that I can see, so here is a snack related one.


Opening Remarks

Leverage Linting To Be A Better Developer
Matt Vanderpol

As a developer, there are things that you wished someone would just sit you down and explain. This was a shining example of just that. This is the second time I have seen Matt speak and both times he flat out impressed me with his no-nonsense approach to just telling people the truth and hard facts of what it takes to be better at professional software development. In a very sincere manner, he laid out what Linting is and more importantly, how you will benefit from it. The bulk of the talk was on actual implementation details and people around me were taking a lot of notes.

Raw Notes:
(missed first few minutes)
Benefits of Linting
Catch bugs
Enforce best practices
ensure return
no arguments (about formatting, just focus on code quality)
Let’s look at Process Flow
and adding to existing project
Resources (slides are going to be available)
Many goals for this talk, the biggest is to be a jumping off point
* Edit –
* Lint –
* Report
do what works for your project, this is not the ‘one true way’
Rules are the lynch pins of the project
formatting rules – cosmetic, spacing, indentation, etc
code quality rules – how long should functions be, variable name standards
the second one is harder
Inline config
ignore or Tweak
* special comments
* by file
* by block
* by line
//this is an inline comment
IDEs can show your errors as you work
rule sets are most often predefined
indenting is that tab or spaces, that is example
Reports show you where the problems are
3 main things
Report errors
Autofix is a thing, but it changes things without you
prettier (is a program for this)
up to you, he does not like this
* stylelint – node based solution – fast (the one we will look at)
* scss-lint
* sass-lint
Config file for stylelintrc.json
JS COnfig File
webpack with bable to es6, es5 is shipped after minification
extending an existing rule set
options to config specific rules per
PP ruleset
* WordPress
He would start with WP, easier to learn,
not parallel, different but accomplish basically same thing
PGP Config File
rule sets are like plugins a bit
Errors and warnings work the same in the PHP-code-sniffer
everything with an X can autofix in the tool
auto add parenthesis for instance
flag ot show the sniffs by instance and the code
add to existing project – can be a fairly big activity
Autofix is nice to clean up low hanging fruit
run linter again
then you are looking at things that need conversation and decisions
ignore entire files?
Ignore specific rules in file?
Fix Everything?
Existing – lint new code!
if you want to exclude or ignore old code, thats OK, but going forward LINT!
sample theme is available screaming-fist
Code quality measurements
PHP Unit is the standard!

Better Search And Beyond: An Introduction To ElasticPress
Vasken Hauri

Vasken and I met a few years ago and I knew that if he was presenting there would be a lot to take in. This man is a wealth of knowledge and it is a very rare event where I get to hear him speak. Elasticpress is something I hear about pretty often and have to speak about. While my current employer does not support it directly, opting for [Solr], I still think it is important to understand the tools the community is using overall. This talk is exactly the crash course I would send people if they ask me in the future. Can’t wait for this to get to wordpress.tv

Raw Notes:
What is Elasticsearch
open source java based standalone DB and query engine based on Apache Lucene
Designed to do queries WP can not do out of the box
Restful API
Relevant Results, Performant aggregation and is much more!
Running it
Own server with Docker
Or get 10UPs Elasticpress tooling
amazon has a thing
Basic search functionality
If you install ElasticPress and all WP Search queries run thoguh it
but is that all you want?
can be used with any taxonomy (Categories, tags, or custom)
Helps visitors focus in on content they’re looking for
great alternative to traditional keyword search
designed to fit into your theme’s stylesheets
WooCommemrce integration
Great for search faceting and findability (fuzzy matching, etc, helps people find stuff)
also for searching past orders
easy to add things iteratively over time
let’s break mysql
start with a million posts
add a healthy sprinkling of revisions
store some useful, queryable data in taxonomies and metadata
query is reasonable from business logic is not good computer logic
can blow up very quickly
if you add one line of ep_intergrate a the top, very fast
filtered search
Specify meta and taxonomy fields to include in your search
Allows you to create buckets
improves complex queries that are impossible in MySQL
multi-site search
pass sites-all and search them all
related content
ep_find_related($post_id, $return = 5)
Document search
got a legacy process that involved PDF or Office docs, now that content can be searchable in WP
Requires Ingest Attachment plugin running on the ES instance
Other features?
protected content: enables to index non-public data from your WP install
Autosuggest helps searchers find what they are looking for
NB: this does require that visitors be able to directly access your ES cluster
filter events within a geographic range
sort event by date
aggregate by event types
Things to consider
retrieving specific post from DB works fine, don’t use ES for this
not everything is faster
ES does not do security. anyone can index anything, can delete indexes
no native permissions
you have to lock it down
Debugging EP
tons of plugins for this plugin
see what is happening behind the scenes
Advanced customization
ep_config_mapping enables field mapping and tokenization
ep_register_feature() lets you add own features int he same way as WooCommerce module, protected content an others

The Biggest Design Problem I’ve Confronted Is Project Management
Chris Ford

No secret that I love talks about Project Management. As my career path pushes me further into this realm I can honestly say if it were not for talks about the PM role at WordPress events and Drupal events I would feel way more lost than I do. Chris is a wonderful presenter. She laid out how she went from designer to PM and how her previous experience and specialization allowed her a unique perspective that helped her better communicate with her team. While it is easy to open a slack channel or email thread, it is not so easy to actually actively listen to what is being said and to meet people on their wavelength all the time. A look a the basics of design is a great way to think about the basics of how a team should communicate.

Raw Notes:
Her background is not PM
it was design
what she learned in design helped her succeed with PM role
Principles, processes and presentations
Number 1 is Empathy
for her this mean to actually care about people
bedrock of design
have a genuine interest
be flexible
this is an under appreciated part of Empathy
if you ‘decided’ what the solution is before understanding the problem, can’t be empathetic
Communication is another key principles
shared language
Using asana has helped standardize language
a project vs a task
active listening,
don’t just wait to talk
clients are paying you to listen to them
had a watershed moment where she realized if someone didn’t understand what she was talking about it was her fault, not their fault
this small shift changed everything
everyone brings something to the table
Collaboration – we have to work with other people
Process – design thinking
not showing the arrow thing
a few been very helpful
Define the problem
if you don’t know what you are solving you will never solve it
observe, research
Test Everything
Iterate often
things change over time and that is how it should be
small changes
frequent feedback
this is key to everything
a 5 year plan is real
not stressed about things she has not done yet
Visual hierarchy
let people know what is important by showing it
borrow/steal design ideas from other projects
4 page checklist for Asana
Use templates!

The Benefits of Continuous Integration
Andrew Taylor

Literally everything I know about this topic is the result of either Andrew’s or Steve Persch’s work. In fact, in my Postitnow project is built using Andrew’s example repo for BackstopJS training. It is always a pleasure to see him speak and this is my favorite delivery so far. This is one to watch for on wordpress.tv

Raw Notes:
Maintaining sites is the what we are doing
update a site, see is it the same site,
did this update break things?
slide by side
easy to miss small things, like padding issues
world of updates and testing
should update, but do we always check all features?
trying to not break production
client signs off on things once it works
need to make sure it worked before the feature
the ideal workflow, make change and then fully test site
do not let bugs out
but changes happen frequently
changing things is boring!
manual testing kinda sucks, adds up quick, lot of time
Make the robots do the work so we can be lazy but still have the benefits
Tools make this easy
WordHat, Lighthouse, Backstop
What I want to be doing is fix what the client thinks is broken in production
not looking for the breaks
CI servers, Travis, CircleCI, GitLab runners
script and defined workflow
if you run gulp, grunt, webpack locally
can have this done from a CI server
VRtesting does have limits
noise is an issue
automated Workflow Examples exist on his github
rigged for Pantheon, but you can mod to use any staging environment
reduced overhead
we don’t do manual testing every time because there is too much work
reinvest your time to automate more things, just analyze test results over time
consistency. Team wide.
gives us confidence!
reliable communication
git to store Jira tickets in commits
don’t untangle things and hunt for things by hand any more
get Jira to update itself
thinking deeper about the update process
update and then repeat on all sites
automating this means we can scale this
make this run while I am focused on other things
occasionally things break , but we know where and we fix and move on
test on every change, automate your tests
enforce the rules
upfront work
outweighed by long term benefits

Solving Content Reuse And Syndication
Jake Goldman

Jake gave a talk at WordCamp for Publishers 2017 that changed the way I thought about decoupled systems. Jake returned with a talk that wonderfully detailed the problem set of publishers who need content distribution across multiple properties. While the use case itself is fascinating to me, the solution, Duplicator, that he and his team at 10UP have built is just as interesting. I guess I am just trying to say I really enjoyed this talk.

Raw Notes:
Uber example
blog in a network
blogs have different editorial staffs and methodologies
don’t want to give editors world wide access
but also want freedom per region
if publish in one region how do we reuse content accross the newtork
9to5 network
electric, 9to5 Google, etc
6 different sites across tech/lifestyle subject matter sites
don’t want to become a generic tech crunch
in their feed they want to highlight something from another site
have that link directly back to the original source to cross promore
Bloomjoy, syndication network
work with a lot of lifestyle brands, a lot of them
most large properties have more than one property
Promoting content across sites
pushing from content staging env to prod
new content types, news releases, whole set of publications and push all at once
challenges and opportunities for them
editorial efficiency (UX)
maintaining and managing copies
SEO issues around attribution to original source that does not double count content
meta tag – rel=”canonical”
this solves this
Authorship & “Users”
do you create author for Jane Doe on all the sites or just the original site
one solution to rule them all
2 modes to think about how to distribute
1. push it our to all the sites
2. pull from other content providers you can pull into your sites
Adds “Distributor” box in your wp-admin
Clean UI
other concept – connection types in the tool
sites distribute to and from other sites
internal = inside multisite
external = site to non-multisite site
internal, all access is maintained based on previous settings
for external, one authenticated connection you create
at creation time setting rights and access levels
Distributor MUST be installed on all sites to work this
exposes the REST API in a novel way
currently support regular REST API
and the wp.com REST API – slight variation
if you want to get fancy can make own connection types
Drupal, AEM, Contentful
would love to see other people build and use these
connection to product catalog
custom content distributor UI (Associated Press)
RSS feeds and etc
Body, Media, Taxonomy, Metadata
content – different plugins and blocks on different connections
solutions is ‘rendered’ and ‘raw’ content body are both shared
by default, we try to be smart about this based on what editor is where
you as a dev can override this
render as HTML if missing block
Media – content with a lot of media can be very slow to copy and time out
canonical URLs in body
solution: copy featured image,use remote images in body. Option to copy “attached” media, Hooks and Filters
Road map: intelligently scan and update body for local assets
smarter for things like timeout
Different sites often classify content differently
send all the taxonomy
for now hooks and filters
road map – set ‘right’ taxonomy at time of send
Metadata is the full one…
common to say “here are related story with post ids” breaks if post order is different
dev: Hooks and filters metadata
Road map: add build in support for poplar plugins and solutions that rely on meta data
example: ACF
tool auto checks if post type before syndicating
fundamental, all copies get updates from original version
content managers are forking the original
locked by default on destination
can unlink it and then edit
users, replace author name with name of the site it came from with link
auto handle meta tags
SEO correct
YOAST SEO assumed and compliant
support Gutenberg (Beta right now)
designing with extension in mind is key to all their work, seriously here
can ignore hierarchy from a code level
not all networks are the same
modify content behavior
add attribution before it goes out.
good road map laid out, wants to get more devs looking at it
free to use, is behind reg
would love more feedback

Accessibility: Beginning The Journey
Ben Byrne

“Make your sites Accessible. You don’t have to tackle it all at once, but every little step in the right direction helps.” says Ben. Every time I go to any talk about this subject area I learn at least one new thing that helps me improve my site moving ahead. This time around I learned to never link text that simply says ‘click here’. Someone using a screen reader to just display the links from a page will get a lot of unhelpful ‘click here’ links they will have no idea what to do with. Small things and incremental improvements make all the difference in the long run.

Raw Notes:
Not full time job is focus on A11y
but it is a full time concern
let’s clear up some expectations about who a11y is for
issues are common and not necessarily permanent
he does not know a real % and ow that math works,
maybe who is using a screen reader
focus on the ideas
when some people hear about a11y, they think permanent situations
not always the care
visual impairment
auditory impairment
grampa holding a baby vs autoplay
cognitive impairment
might be really tired or you might be a cat
Why care?
search engines
nobody wants to limit our reach, want all users to use your site
when working with non-profits, strings attached, if not a11y, no grant $
withdrawn $ and government issues and lawsuits if you are dropping ball on this
Section 508
W3C WCAG 2.0
levels A, AA, AAA
needing to meet AA is largest chunk of customers
AAA is highest standard no one feels need to get there
2.1 is coming
19 new things added, not revise old things
the basics!
not final total checklist
use ALT, TITLE attributes
keyboard navigability
mindful of TABINDEX
skip-to-content link
remember doc structure
use semantic HTML5
<nav> <aside> <main> etc
be mindful for good A11y
use descriptive titles, headers, and link text
never use ‘click here’
do not reference this by position
see sidebar at left
we live in a responsive world, left, beneath are not guaranteed on all screens
no autoplay, ever!
captions on video, audio and other non-text content
no images of text
in code:
indicate language
don’t have major errors
Gracefully handle zooming
Spectrum – another good tool
simulates different colorblindness situations
WCAG contract ratio analyzer
other tools
AXE (from deque systems)
this is not a binary problem
it is a spectrum
journey is never complete
Compliance is not everything
the UX is that matters
Every step is good
as long as it is forward
don’t feel you have to solve everything at once.

My Session

Shipping Content With WP-CLI

I really had a great time giving this talk. This is, by far, the most complex talk I have ever attempted. I was able to refine it after presenting this back at WordCamp Montreal earlier this year and glad I did. I had really good conversations around this after the talk and I was delighted a couple project managers said they had new ideas to take back to their team to save valuable time. One person mentioned they wrote down 5 terms they had not encountered before and they were going to research these as a way to improve. It might be the last time I present this to be honest. The star of this talk is good ol’ fashioned BASH and I really have a desire to help people understand that as a topic next. Stay tuned.

Wrapping Up

This is my local WordCamp. No, it is not in my hometown, but that is the truth for so many people that come to any camp, traveling from their homes and routines and loved ones to a city they do not actually live in. They come from miles and miles around to share their knowledge and to rejoice in the community of WordPress and FOSS. This year was a great one, with so many new people to meet and so many new things to learn. I am so amazingly grateful for the chance to be a part of it all. Cant wait until next year for WordCamp Sacramento 2019

Drupal GovCon 2018: Contemplating cicadas in the warmth of some perfect summer days

My trip back to The House of Mercy landed first in Baltimore, which one of my favorite places, though it did not give me a chance to visit the town proper, just BWI. As I landed I thought I was meeting two of other Drupal enthusiasts who where going to land about the same time. Only, they had landed at Dulles. Fortunately this was one of a limited handful of miscommunications I experienced upon my return to our nation’s capitol metro area, specifically the Natcher Conference Center at the National Institute of Health for Drupa GovCon 2018.

Food and Fun

Tuesday night fun

Though I had missed connecting with other fliers at the airports, this was quickly remedied by a call to come to dinner via twitter from some of my favorite people in the world, the Drupal community! We gathered at World or Beer which is not where you think it is. It is behind where you think it is, as are many addresses in Bethesda. That aside, it was a great way to kick off a wonderful week.


Getting into the Natcher Center is an adventure in the same way dealing with the TSA is an adventure. Many guards carrying walkie talkies and a long line of metal detector/x-ray machines. After that, a short set of questions, an ID scan and a visitor badge is printed out to be displayed the rest of the time you are on the federal property that day. We get to repeat this feat each morning. Not painful, but this is the only event I go to where security is this tight.
Coffee and teas awaited us including some sponsored iced coffee, which was super appreciated in the summer heat. The morning whipped by and soon enough the familiar extra long lines of lunch that happen at this very well attended event emerged. The food was Middle Eastern, with some terrific falafel and some remarkably good baba ghanoush. I wish I would have written down where it was from.

Opening Reception

Rather than a giant end of show blowout after party, GovCon chooses to do an opening reception to celebrate sooner and give us a chance to network earlier in the event. We returned to Brickside Food and Drink. I must applaud the food selectors who made sure a vegan falafel was made available, which got immediately consumed and left piles and piles of chicken wings at the end of the night. Perhaps a sign that the scales are tipping away from meat faster than many meal planners have anticipated.

Some of us extended the evening’s celebrations a tad further as well, ending with some impromtu DrupalKaraoke


Thursday was a repeat of Wednesday with the coffee and the lines. Traffic flowed better since it was a box lunch option this day. I had a hummus wrap with many fresh veggies crammed inside, rounded out by local favorite Utz chips.

After the day of sessions, some people gathered for a Game Night. I just wanted to note it here, I did not attend.

Instead I got to go with many other Drupal folks to Smoke and Barrel, a location that is famed for it’s super tasty vegan options and well curated whiskey selection. Some of us ventured out to see some sights after that, including a stop by the White House with our new friend from West Africa who’s giddiness over seeing this so close up was downright infectious. We learned a lot about all the presidents that night too. It was a night to remember.


The morning was slower feeling as is the last day of a conference in general, but coffee perked us up and we got a picnic cookout for lunch with Boca Burgers and some wonderfully ripe watermelon.

We were treated to some cupcakes by the fine and outstanding Joe Crespo of ATEN Design.

After the daytime learnings on the final day, the Speaker/Sponsor dinner was held to give those of us who volunteered and organized and sponsored and did all the things needed to make a con happen a chance to unwind and connect one last time under the banner of the event. We returned to Birckside once again and I got to show off my skills at the first few levels of “Mike Tyson’s Punch Out”. I admit, I completely forgot how to defeat Soda Popinski. Some of us went out after that to some other foods at True Foods and out for some more fun after that.


Adam Bergstein

We need to get organized. Seriously. We are at a point where we can continue to complain about the state of the world or we can actually spend the resources and time to change it. Adam laid out a solid outline for a path forward if we really do want to make sure the community grows and evolves to make sure Drupal exists far into the future. There is a much needed conversation around this and I applaud Adam for pushing it forward.

Raw Notes:
Hero’s journey
Seriously impressive scale
work not done yet
old learning curve joke
still true though
hard to learn Drupal
on top of the base tech, D has its own querks
hope the learning curve is not eternal evergreen
fighting the good fight
ninja turtles overcome adversity
inspire us
Hero’s journey
Act 1 separation
act 2 descent
Act 3 initiation
Act 4 return
parallel steps
Luke Skywalker
Promoting impact
challenges us to find part and help
his dreams shifted from ninja turtle to helping people with tech
Looked at Drupal
how was this possible
The appeal was thousands of volunteers giving away work for free
giving back to make the world better
usage drove maturity and that grew reach
shear scale is immense
potential is great
small acts, when multiplied by millions of people can transform the world – Howard Zinn
not one person dong everything, which is what he previously thought
hard at first to join the community
even submitting a patch was a major issue for him
continued on
slowly got easier and more natural
solving problems for ourselves can help so many other people
reaches out to people who help him and he helps others
makes us better and lets us provide for our families
contributing to something bigger
Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly. – JFK
Dying before going into battle
old samurai way, any outcome is fine
Don’t be afraid of learning in public. the journey is more important that he destination – Kelsey Hightower
Future Drupal Community Vision
Doing things too slow can feel like we don’t care
change is inevitable
accept uncertainty and proceed boldly
continuous learning
ongoing experiments
We can not solve our problems with the same level of thinking that created them – Albert Einstein
people do not spend time on things they do not see as valuable
Aligning the needs of people
Clear identity – values and principles, code of conduct, governance, strategic vision
Values and Principles – needs a great deal of community feedback
new committee that is still in formation to focus on this
DGW, working group
looking for new folks
code of conduct
Governance goes well beyond events
Governance task force, trying to improve this
all community lead
Not a guarantee of a fix, but process is moving
Our community is like an elephant
hard to see it all at one time from our perspective
No standard use of Drupal name space
confusing since not all things are applying in same way
need to centralize efforts
to scale and evolve we need to get much better at understanding the whole elephant
make efforts more visible
help people align passions and efforts
Drupal Associations
need legal support, guidance, training
Community has been critical sometimes
need to actually support this effort
We need to have better documentation and easier on-ramp
technical docs are a start, but docs are needed for everything
shift from technical artifact to a useful service
A new community site
centralize info
mission, vision, V&P, strategic plan
groups and events
on-boarding, mentoring
Simplytest.me was a project that was meant to lower the barrier of entry for new folks
One important trait of high-performing teams is that they use their diversity to come up woth better solutions – Chris Sims
Sustainability comes from serving people inclusively
open to those that need it the most
Amy June joined after being a hospice nurse
now channels that energy to help people use the web
how do we do it?
it’s huge, how do we start?
community onboarding, but also for existing members need to be able to do things in new ways
builds trust and human connection
local and regional cultural differences, this is associations need
must be transplanted to multiple languages
Kevin Thull, very inclusive, records sessions so we can all benefit from them
the world of knowledge he has enabled is amazing
Creativity is the power to connect the seemingly unconnected – William Plomer
Harness the creativity to foster
Process for advancing is messy and does not scale
need a new group to manage this process better

Horizontal DevOps ~ Scale your team and tools across projects.
Geoff St. Pierre

I went in expecting a talk similar to what Kelly Albrecht gives on communication. Ever since I saw his talk, what DevOps even means has shifted in my brain. Instead was a talk on tooling and how technical debt actually costs real hours and real money when your team works on more than one project at once. No matter how many projects, having a project folder and a Lando instance for each makes context switching as painless as possible.

Raw Notes:
Horizontal is scaling across projects
not just scaling for one project
how do we keep people efficient and working on multiple projects?
Common issues around losing whole days switching between silo’ed stacks
Prevent that context switching (Gulp, vs Compass for Sass, Ruby vs PHP, etc)
no one likes to lose time across projects
Don’t be afraid of change
Don’t change too quickly
Introduce change slowly and measure for effectiveness
once measured and proven
Document the thing, how are people actually using it?
Brief history of Local Dev
no deploy mechanism, just live!
Applications got complex and enter LAMP
local stack was was fast but hard to maintain, rigid and nearly impossible to share
evolved to Virtual stack
still difficult to share
composable (verbose)
lighter than VM
easy to share
Enter Lando!
vagrant vs lando
71 lines of config
8 lines of config
pure @Docker
bash aliases and commands
$lando drush migrate-status
there are other solutions
Docker Compose
ddev is another options
start states
$lado init
D8, Pantheon, many more
this writes your config file
you could hand compose
lando start fires off docker compose
you can write your own docker compose files too, tweak to your liking
proxy server, DB server, appserver
node to manage your sass
and you can version control to distribute
then they just $lando start and we are all good
customizing the whole darn thing
—config example—
you can add run steps
once started run this set of commands
maybe yarn or gulp
make sure this command is available to lando
terminus or platform
Why do this?
increase efficiency
make your staff more productive
level up your devs faster
increase confidence and ability to deliver on complex projects
become a revenue stream or selling point
interject the needs for this in your projects
advocate for DevOps
‘where are we deploying and how as we deploying?’
Who is on the devops team?
Think in interfaces!
what are the places devs and stakeholders and clients touch
are you breaking it by changing how they interact?
aim to make day to fay dev and on-boarding seamless
Documentation is critical
Your company, your tools and every project needs a README
pick good partners
who are you choosing?
everything comes with a cost

Healing a Broken Project
Aimee Rae Degnan

As with any talk she give, Aimee brings a sense of humanity that a lot of technical talks just don’t aspire to do. I love hearing real case studies and anything drawn from hard earned life lessons. This talk was surely that. The best part for me came when she asked us to provide examples of how our projects are going using ‘adjectives in twitter sized descriptions’. The room felt a united sense of catharsis that they were not alone and all people have frustration points with certain projects.

Defining healing
temporal characteristics of issues
acute issues – severe and sudden in onset, life happens
Chronic issues (occur over time)
Comorbidity – simultaneous multiple chronic issues
Complications – a difficulty, a secondary issue aggravating existing issues
how can you tell is a project is broken
Feeling “Will this project ever end?”
Stakeholders ask “Is it done yet?” a lot and intensely
primal analysis
give adjectives to give twitter length descriptions of your project
what does your gut tell you?
1 – large complex, data integration and expertise required, good project
2 – there was a along difficulty, multiple deaths on project, data corruptions – bad sign, bleh
couple examples from the room
“Obstructionist gaslighting (room exploded in laughter could not hear rest)
Understand some project anatomy
purpose and business goals
Normal project pains
work is called work for a reason. Put your grumble filter on
fluctuations are normal for budget, schedule and team
varying velocity based on project phase
calibration of quality and velocity
balace of real world scope and reaching scope
There are ABNORMAL signs though
temperature of the project, look at data
budget and schedule overage
low client happiness
low team morale
things aren’t being built or wrong things built
unplanned impactful events (mergers, deaths)
If you are coming in as project recovery person this is hard to deal with
Answer the distress call
harder to influence change if you are in the mix of it.
First question: What is going on with this project
noun, assignment of a degree of urgency to wounds or illnesses to decide the order of treatment of large number of patience
to assign degrees of urgency
what is happening RIGHT NOW
what is the FIRST thing that happens NEXT
– Stop all work, Continue with caution to Keep Going
Revisit purpose
Why does the project exist?
what was the stakeholder really trying to do?
is the project purpose still relevant?
is it time for a pivot?
this is a big conversation with stakeholders. Sometimes the end goals get lost in the shuffle
Review the Deliverables
many times, tasks, requirements and priorities are set by transient people to the project
some deliverables may not be relevant. This is a good time for a backlog review
is anything defined?
is anything built?
are the right things built?
Analyze the people
feelings (everyone has them but really pay attention to theirs)
Project team:
Prepare for the hard conversation
Surface findings from triage
identify next steps
identify methods used to address previous failings
define which phases of the project will need attention and how much
at this point, new estimates may not be possible
use data to support your points
use humanity to convey health
Understand the stakeholders to prep the most effective method
don’t cherry coat things, be supportive and positive though
this is time for real, transparent change
Sometimes you have to restructure the team
open discussion of failures
transparent sharing of improvement approach
remove team members
add new folks: supporting skills, extra hands
provide training, if needed
be open to feedback and ideas from your team
the people will need to be heard!
Start out right!
Kickoff and project one-sheet
project schedule
project status reports
communication plan/set meetings
consistent and capable team
weekly progress report
fine balance structure must be catered to your team. too much or too little structure are equally disruptive
use tools that all team member can access and understand
Keep your eyes on the big picture!
focused, process based on discovery
Functional approach to expose gaps
end to end, as is walk-through of site
use Workshops and time-boxed discovery
BEWARE discovery efforts can lead to more discovery
time box helps
leverage meeting facilitators that can navigate a tough room
record meeting for reference. It keeps people honest and accountable
Redefine deliverables
Provide structure
provide more information
tiered delivery/progressive product features
perform a needs recalibration
-must haves
-should have
-nice to have
Keep in context
use plain English and avoid jargon!
Then work and work and time passes
but sometimes the project does not heal
causes and responses
no executive sponsorship/suport
no clear purpose
no clear budget
schedule slippage
mismatched team
behavioral issues

Demystifying Composer
David Hernandez

Composer is a magical black box to me that I barely understand outside of how to copy paste the commands from other peoples’ repositories. That is much less true now than it was before I saw this talk but I have not yet done the work to really understand it. I am admitting this because David flat out explained we are not going to ‘get it’ until we do that work and that is why hy has made a tutorial repo available to us all to help us figure this thing out and remove the magical veil. I can’t wait to dig in when schedule allows!

Raw Notes:
Made a gihub for us
run it step by step
don’t just read it or watch this talk
tutorial intro really
some commands are slow
A dependency manager
Drupal is the worst implementation of composer is the issue
not built from composer, it adapted composer to Drupal
it is a command line tool
no GUI
Getting started
dependent on your CL in your terminal
make sure you are using the right version of PHP
run composer in the container if using Docker
everything we do ends up in a composer.json
that is config file
it tells composer what to do
most important file
then the lock file
it writes this itself based on .json and what composer does
packages are downloaded into a vendor directory
composer command
finding into and adding dependencies
composer.json is written and composer.lock is the last thing written
runs as PHP in shell
$composer require vendor/package
many commands – will list info if you ask it too
composer init
optional command but this gets you going in an empty directory
runs a wizard to set you up right
you can just write the JSON but this is handy and nice
nice because correctly writes the json
example json
require is the most important part of the json really
composer install
run this to read the composer.json and write the composer.lock file
writes a vendor directory (in Drupal, this can be very bad, it is actually bad)
commands that gather data and install dependences are memory hogs!
composer.json = 43 lines
composer.lock = 4300 lines
composer require
go get it and put it in right
composer require –dev
adds info to require-dev section
by default composer will download the dev dependencies section
use –no-dev with the install command to avoid it —
Version Constraints
exact 8.5.1 = 8.5.1
wildcard 8.5.*
range >=8.5 <8.6 (be careful to make sure you are telling it right range)
Stability contraint 8.6.x-dev = unstable (dev) branch 8.6.x (alpha, beta, stable, dev)
increment last digit ~8.5.0 = 8.5.0, 8.5.9
increment last two ^8.5.0 = 8.5.x, 8.6.x, 8.7.x ect
IN semantic versioning, first digit is a significant digit, it will not change this, you have to manually change this
implementing versions is just adding it to the end of the command
$composer require drupal/console:^1.0.0 –dev
Minimum stability
understand this one
to composer this is the minimum stable version I will accept
it is OK to get dev if I say
dev, alpha, beta, RC, or stable
works with version constraints
project wide or per package
more instability
“prefer-stable”: true
prefer to download stable, but other versions can be specified
only do dev if you force –dev
Adding repos
out of the box COmposer looks to packagist.org
Drupal can be retrieved from there, but not themes or modules
neither will pages
need to tell it to packages.drupal.org
can run pre-install, post-install, pre-update, post update, ect
this stops Drupal from adding to the Vendor directory
used for metadata
drupal/drupal and drupal/core
complete copy of Drupal 8
Essentially webroot
don’t use
Subtree split of just the /core directory
use with scaffold
Updating is actually pretty easy
composer update
composer update drupal/console
look at your .json and .lock if this fails
composer does not do this by deafault
so someone made composer-patches
path to the patch can be a URL or local or within the project
create-project command
create project basically clone an existing repo, acts a a starting point
$composer create-project drupal-composer/drupal-project:8.x-dev
Composer will not install modules for your
this is not drush
be mindful of the .lock file
it will contain exactly what happened
think ahead how you will manage Compose as a team
read the messages
it will likely tell you why something didn’t work
it can be slow
it actually solves more issues than it causes to add vendor to git
this is controversial

Can We Figure This Drupal Component Thing Out Already?
Brian Perry
Adam Bergstein

I will admit it again and again, I am not a front end expert. But just like any other topic I don’t understand I am going to keep on going to these sessions to learn more and at least be able to talk at some level of competency when I do ask questions about this from more knowledgeable sources. I am not aware of too many more knowledgeable sources than Brian and Adam. The other big reason I went to this talk was because there is a tacit disagreement between these two on implementation details. However, the level of professional respect for one another overcame any negativity this disagreement might have generated. This talk is a wonderful example of how we can disagree in the most constructive and productive ways!

They had debate at Midcamp, turned it into a talk
Design and implementation
pattern lab was an attempt
making best use of reusable pieces
ongoing conversation, might change their opinions
how do I reuse the design assets through the web
examples in wild
pattern lab Drupal starter kit
Emulsify Drupal theme
Shila Drupal theme
and several others
also worth noting is DYI custom theme for this
might be only able to do this on one site
if a theme, then very hard to share and get exact results
outside of Drupal is impossible with this path
tech bias (SASS vs LESS, etc)
poor documentation on how and why problems were being solved
need flexibility in Adam’s mind
Problems Adam hit when setting out to try a fix for this
-Creating a fully decoupled solution
-shared tech baseline between the design and the CMS
use the right tech for your team
looked at Twig
having aggregation in a single file with Gulp/Grunt is essential for him
-the packaging and delivery of design system assets
-the implementation of design system assets in the CMS
-Change management of ongoing changes
Normalization – Atomic design
design patters resemble db normalization
create patterns in their most atomic form
reuse as needed, DRY principle
Really this was all intended for prototyping
work fast and separate from actual implementation
KISS concept
design system should define the simplest version of the ideal model it is expecting
this should reduce the need for the design system to perform heavy/complex processing
can be a warning sign you doing too much if can’t follow this guiding principle
code examples
raw values of what to expect
spitting out data, that is all the design system is doing
Least responsibility principle
the design system own the ideal model
twig example
just includes a patternlab twig file and map to elements
Understand pattern variations
patterns have attributes that are defined in the data
data is often thought of as content
example code template
Let’s adhere to standards
Atomic design
BEM – Block Element Modifier
Drupal/CSS/JS framework standards
Implementation ideas!
Process of packaging, releasing, change management
create releases of design system
leverage task manages like Grunt to build on CSS file and multiple JS files
use COmposer to bring in dependencies
Map design assets in the theme
remediate and launch CMS changes
in design system
ass composer.json
in Drupal project
add repository entry in composer.json referencing system repo
configure installer paths to install in docroot/libraries
composer require your design system
Adam does not like to do this, leaves in Vendor directory and Drupal caches it
Patterns are not a one to one mapping in the CMS
Flexibility to use any pattern in any way
provide well defined approach to handling design system overrides
some patterns are not implemented in a CMS
Pages are often just mockups and representation of pattern usage
must use core sponsored tools
custom block types
layout discovery/ layout builder
content types
view modes
Optional contrib modules
Paragraphs module
UI Patterns module
Display Suite module
This was just a WP specific tool
Very recently, someone wrote a session about D + G
experience of using a WYSIWYG better
it falls down in how it structures data
difficult to do with design systems
big red flags going off in Adam’s head

Keynote day 2
Deborah Bryant

There are few companies that have the track record with Open Source that RedHat does. And there are very few people who have the credentials Deborah Bryant has around the Open Web. She laid out the case for a free and open internet not by reciting facts and figures, of which there are many, but instead encapsulating these into very relatable and repeatable stories. Stories have the power to travel and be repeated for hundreds and in some cases thousands of years, as Neil Gaiman explained. I know I will be telling these stories of why Drupal is important and how we can advance to make the world a better place together!

Raw Notes:
Oregon open source bill
she had to testify the bill, as it stood, was bad
Open Source Values
the more time she spent at Oregon State
she came to believe:
The development model may be more important then the code itself
she founded the Government Open Source Conference in 2005
ran until 2012
started evaluated many OSS projects
in 2008 OSS pops up in Washington DC more and more
administration change
OSFA Open Source For America
increase in conversations about how government operations can benefit from open data
dispelled a lot of myths
international crisis congress
infrastructure mapping, was amazing to save live with OSS
Healthcare IT
Disaster Response
Open Streetmaps
Human rights
Social Good
Hacker Bus: Teaching Brazilian kids computer ethics
Sri Lanka has the highest % of oss devs in the world
Country Portal project
elevated for economy for the country
answered how do University students get trained in this stuff
Helped Malaysian get to non-proprietary tools in government
ICT global operations team for the World Bank
extending OSS to developing nations
ad-hoc consulting services
If you know how to open source…
Then Share MORE!
be an ally
be available
support something you care about
one concern many folks have is how to build community
RedHat is looking for help on this
Documentation is a real need across all projects
not accessible if people can’t find the docs

Government Issue(s): Leveraging Accessibility with Usability to Serve Really Diverse Audiences
Tearyne Glover

If any member of a community can not access public information on their government’s website and as a result, not get access to services they need, then we have got to do better. You sometimes see diversity talks that give you all sorts of reasons to feel bad and not a lot of actionable insights on how we can try and make it better. Tearyne got up and explained how to use data to drive the conversation forward for a more inclusive internet in very demonstrable and replicate-able ways. Understanding who is actually using your website and how they understand what is written on your website is a mandatory step int he right direction. Only with data can we help others change their minds. And helping the folks in charge of things like web portals change their mind is the only way we are going to advance!

Raw Notes:
What they got wrong and what they got right
UX front end dev for City of Dallas
a communications specialist
Curb cuts example
Who benefits?
visually impaired
many others too
She used to answer phones a lot and got swimmers ear from holder her head on the side
was hard to use headphones
started using subtitles
realized this was useful
Ensuring direct and indirect access through accommodations to people with disabilities
accessibility is heavily related to universal design which aspires to create environments that are designed to be accessible to older people
Design for All
a philosophy targeting the use of products and designs for all people
Employees Retirement Fund
Dallas has 12,911 employees, 9,690 are unsworn
sworn pension contributions are 13.32% of employee pay
2002 ERF launches first site, static
2015 launched active employees’ portal
2017 launched retiree portal, giving them access to their 1099-R forms online
2018 Pay stubs launched in retiree portal, giving access to pay stubs online and stopped mailing physical stubs, saved a lot of money
You have to know your audience
Diversity and inclusion is a good definition but what does it mean in reality
we are good at making images and some words
but let’s get beyond the fluff top level
Dallas stats
1.3 Million people
33.4% native Spanish speakers
most employees 62.9% do not live in city limits
Languages in Texas
many varied languages, need to deal with them
COD employee ethnicity, very diverse
and ages, she is keeping track of a retirement system, so very important
Income diversity
average salary between $35K and $90K
3,913 employees make up our top five departments
top pay compose only 3% of total workforce
Instead of lip service, how do we serve them?
1. build the margins in your product from the beginning
Summer sessions, what are their concerns.
technical – many people only have phone access
intersectional issues you solve doing this alleviates many issues
image in text sliders
obviously an accessibility no no
no alt text
how can people see it
or translate it
solution: Front page panels
new front page slider
actual text from a node, can be swapped around
simple HTML but shows all the same information
username and password screen
same screen
harder to brute force
reduced the number of attacks
used modal
on checking our Drupal analytics
the forgot password link showed up as a Spanish search
nobody translated it
being able to talk conversationally vs financial planning in second language very different things
They did translate modal before getting rid of it
this solved majority of issues
2. Identify pain points that create challenges
3. Design you products to offset the situations that result from the marginalization
commute times
City Hall, street department, parks, city attorney’s office can have very different experiences
retirees have different needs and requirements all their own
resulting in very different user experiences that need to be accounted for
due to her hybrid role, has a lot of one on on experiences with members
make sure you ask people
also use analytics data
Feedback tools
bad reviews are helpful to fix issues
What have they learned?
have to hold self accountable
New standards for Dev
one they had portal, now have customers you need to service
Frontend to UX dev transition
ticketing system
adopted a PM system
standards list
Spanish must be easy to access
Screens and Devices
tablet and smaller screen view must be accounted for
many internet explorer users are forced to use it
Cost of exclusion
counselors end up with more calls about basic knowledge that don’t need human touch (data gathering)
Members end up frustrated
instead of resorting to the source of truth, members sometimes disseminate incorrect information among each other
members make decisions that can harm financially in the long term
‘windfall tax’ issue
benefits of including people
members know they have a resource always
self service nature makes them empowered
members generally make much better decisions fo their futures
the portal frees counselors up to service more people better
we should hold ourselves accountable to be inclusive
incremental changes as we learn

Automated Accessibility Testing
Brian Thompson

I go to a lot of talks, as evidenced by my notes repo. So many talks I go to expose an idea but stop short of giving firm steps for what to do about this information. This leads to a feeling that Brian described to me as “a need to go do a bunch of work to figure out what how to use the ideas presented”. He seeks to remedy this in his talks and does so by giving not just concrete examples, but giving exact commands to add to your testing scripts to accomplish the goal of testing for accessibility. Now, instead of reading a bunch of docs and trying to figure out so many things on my own, I feel I have a new tool in my toolbox I just have yet to implement. I wish all talks were this actionable.

Raw Notes:
His grandmother could not really see domino later in life
was feeling the dots to understand what she held in her hand
this was his first accessibility lesson
would you build a bridge that only a specific type of car can use?
Andrea Fercia
Accessibility cases
blind woman sues toys R us for not being accessible and violating law
Winn-Dixie must update website for the blind
wet willies (bar in Florida)
terrible website
also sued along with Sabre technologies got sued for building it
we could be at risk for not building accessible sites
we need to care about this!
how do we go about doing that?
how much does it cost? that is what the sales people ask
WCAG just came out
automated accessibility testing
automated tools can be temperamental
big websites take long times to test
Cool demo
URL and API key to request reporting
can make json for readability
2 or 3 levels of digging deep on Drupal makes this tricky
reportype=2 is more useful
Google Lighthouse
in chrome, audits options in dev tools
you can pick a lot of options and run a report against not just A11y
seo, and other options
quickly identify elements from the reporting
lighthouse can tell you what needs checked manually
visual version vs CI version
On Gitlab, likes the CI system
one command with passed chrome flags
can use in docker very easily
commit it
they represent CI with a rocketship, which is pretty cool.
CI output does not automatically fail test
you need to write a parcer to understand reporting
enter AXE CLI
Canadian company, open sourced it
been around since 2016,
Designed for CI
one command, $ axe url –exit
–exit is what emits an exit code if problem persists
Bring it all together
many options
Google Lighthouse gives you many other things as well
think automation in all things
how do we do this?
docker containers for lighthouse and aXe CLI are available
see slides for URLs
no more chrome support in RHEL

Keynote day 3
Julián Rodriguez Orihuela

I honestly had not read the session description and went in rather blind to what was going to be presented. I left the session with a pretty big sense of ‘wow’ at how fast and how dramatically the team rebuilding and unifying their central government’s web presence is working on improving services for their customers: the citizens. While the technical details are indeed interesting the lingering impression came from the sense of duty to their fellow Argentinians. This was not just a case study on how things can be implemented but what these changes can mean for disenfranchised parts of the population, helping make services much more available to those who really need it the most. Next time someone asks about a use case for Drupal that highlights how it is different than closed platforms, this talk should top your suggestions list.

Raw Notes:
Argentina is pretty great in many ways
G20 held there
more than 25% of citizens in poverty
in a journey
strong emphasis of saving and preserving life
mandate to work to make more professional civil service leveraging technology and egovernment
when they arrived, there was no digital strategy in 2015
separate things in different ministries
very sparse platforms
experiences varied too much
principles on how to serve citizens
Focus on the Citizen!
One government, don’t need to know every ministry or agency, just should act like on thing
We go to the citizen
Measure and improve – don’t have to get it right the first time
need humility to make it better
Rewrite official website and guidance
one platform for the whole government
plan for multiple channels
took their service guide
remade in Drupal – put beta in the name
wanted tog et conversation going with citizens
migrated their own website to this new site
Then they need to grow up
how to get other ministries involved
had a mandate that 1 year after started
“All internet portals of the National Public Sector are to be developed through the General Web Portal GOB
used the formula YMMV
consistent strategy, similar strategy from local civic team strategy
presidential mandate
huge deficit
a couple big early adopters
scalability and security issues in current platforms
some stats
292 gov orgs to be migrates
2/3 of the way there
8 content types
faceted search
using panelizer
services 1,800
Areas, 600 (homepages)
news articles 14,000
pages 4,000
book paged 4,800
plan for 100% migrations by end of 2018
500K visits per day
8-10M a month
how the heck they move so fast?
our v1 methodology
Migration means rewriting the stuff, not using the script to move from one place to another
archives of news they do that but mostly it is just rewriting it elsewhere
v1 is better than what had at least
“not the best, but better”
adjust content based on analytics – data driven
trains people working on sites
focus on the service guides, the most important part for them
Don’t bother with the ad-hoc features yet – letting people maintain that themselves if too complex to move
have to compromise on things
ministry of health and the Press team for the president
they want their own special landing pages for important things
vaccinations, taxes, emergency situations
what’s next?
content audits
user research for content
end to end services, show all transactions needed for larger life events – ‘how to buy a house example

Motivate Your Agile Team with an Open Source Mentality
Laura Lacy

My favorite part of this talk might have some near the beginning with a modified explanation of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs that replaced the lowest tier with WiFi and Battery Life. Truer essentials have never been defined. In all seriousness though, having lead many a team and going through many methodologies, Laura sharing her experiences was at the same time entertaining and highly informative. I had not heard of the RE:WORK project yet and am looking forward to digging into that more to expand my project management vocabulary and tool set.

Raw Notes:
What motivates people?
Maslow’s hierarchy of needs
see tweet
motivation 3.0
extrinsic vs intrinsic motivator
motivated to perform to earn reward or avoid punishment
intrinsic is doing ti for its own sake
extrinsic motivation
good for routine work
can decrease intrinsic motivation
we begin to expect rewards and can perform worse when they arn’t met
best for creative or knowledge tasks
examples, Montessori school
20% time – work on what you want
extrinsic has a hidden cost of rewards
“now that” rewards vs if-then rewards
preschoolers and watched kids color
3 groups
group 1 offered a cert before coloring
group 2 gave cert after coloring
group 3 no reward
group 1 significant decrease in desire to color, 2 weeks after the fact
The candle problem
examine different aspects of what motivates people
candle, matches and box of tax
affix candle to the wall so the wax doesn’t drip
functional permanence, must use the box from the tacks
2 groups
group 1 timing just to get a baseline
group 2 has incentives $5 for top 25%and $20 for #1 performer
group 2 took 3.5 minutes longer on average
Atlassian case study
Fedex shipit days
occur once per quarter
24 hours
must deliver something of value to customers
innovations delivered!
faster jira load times
confluence plugins
better retros
24 hours to innovate, is like 20% time on steroids
INtrisic motivation
wikipedia – 27 MIllion registered users
linux – 75% of cloud apps
apache – 26% of the top 1M sites
re:Work project from Google
1. psychological safety: can we take risks on this team without feeling insecure or embarrassed
2. dependability: can we could on each together to do high quality work on time
3. Structure and clarity: are goals, roles and execution plans on our team clear
4. meaning of work: are we working on something that is personally important for each of us
5. impact of work: do we fundamentally believe that the work we’re doing matters
Agile manifesto
individuals and interactions
working software
customer collaboration
responding to change
management 1.0 – treating people like cogs
servant manager
embracing culture
deliver wow through service
embrace and drive change
create fun and little weirdness
be adventurous, creative and open-minded
pursue growth learning
build open and honest relationships
builds a positive team spirit
be humble
what van we do personally
what keeps you up at night, what gets you up in the morning
flow test
motivating motivators
Do you want to feel accepted or do you just want get things done
diverse views are important to get things done
AS a leader
make team decisions
involve all in gaol setting
rotate facilitators
team health check
promote the culture
hold space of the room
making sure people know how we act together as a group
need to act it, live it
get to know each other!!

My Sessions

I got to give two talks at this event.

Let’s Learn Git. No More Excuses.


Discovery, discovery, discovery, discovery! The most import part of the project

I really love teaching people things and helping people learn concepts. In the case of git, I have a pretty simple goal: Let’s get people over the hurdle of being afraid of the darn thing. I got a lot of great feedback some of the participants that this helped sure up certain concepts or had indeed given them confidence that they could in fact get this stuff figured out.
In the case of my Discovery talk, the goal is slightly different than explaining a technical concept with a very clear correct and incorrect way to do it. As with anything that involves the people part of a process, I am not sure there is a true right way or wrong way, only tactics and strategies that are effective or ineffective situationally. The real value comes from the conversations that the attendees have in the Q and A and hopefully out in the hallways and the streets afterwards.
It was a great honor to give these talks and participate in this conference. I learned so much giving these talks and having these conversations.

Wrapping up

Ultimately this conference was about us, the true owners of the republic and of the open source code. You and I. Being in a place once decribed by The Magnetic Fields as “The seat of freedom and sweet democracy” gives a certain pause to the normal processing of thoughts that accompany these technical conferences. The ‘why’ of the event might have been on the surface a way for Government employees using Drupal to connect, similar in that regard to Stanford’s Drupal Camp, but the real why we are doing any of this felt better pronounced for me. We are doing this because making an Open Web out of Open Source technology ensures a freedom that we are realizing ourselves. Not handed to us by higher authority, but forged by the participants and constituents themselves. Messy and loud and maddeningly slow at times, democracy of software or of our way of governance is self determination in action. I can’t wait for next year already, when we can yet again rejoice together as we reflect on our shared values and vision for a just, free and equitable society at Drupal GovCon 2019.

WordCamp Montreal 2018: A city as beautiful as I remember it and connecting things.

“Mount Royal” is a pretty amazing place in the summer when the temp is a very comfortable 26 deg C/ 80 deg F and not too humid. The days are long and the people are in a celebratory mood, getting to lose the toques and parkas in favor of a rainbow of colors and light fabrics. THe streets convert to what feels like a giant festival atmosphere with European like sidewalk cafes lined with coffee and wine drinkers along any major avenue. And the background of the river and mountains made every view from practically any vantage completely picturesque. These were the conditions that met me as I flew from Chicago for the 10th anniversary edition of WordCamp Montreal 2018

Food and Fun

Speaker Dinner

What would a WordCamp be without a Speaker/Sponsor dinner? We gathered down a half closed street, behind a tarped off fence that hid Kafein making it feel less like a cafe and more like a private club with a giant patio that extended well past the front of the store. Here we had some light food options which included very decadent vegan brownies. The staff was downlight delightful and made us all feel at home. It was such a treat to see folks from this community that I never get to see in the US and it set the mood for everything that followed.


Aside from New York City, Montreal is the town renowned for their bagel. There is a bit of a rivalry. As if to participate in this fray, the organizers brought in a giant bag of bagels each day for us to sate our hunger for two full days of sessions. The coffee and tea service, which were excellent and a notch above most catered options I have sampled, were accompanied by various spa water options with strawberries, mint, lemon and cucumber. Orange juice was also served.

Lunch was sandwiches and salads. The vegetarian and vegan lines were separate and that made me happy since my line was much shorter. Still, everyone got fed and many a good conversation was had.

After Party

The plant based food fans of Montreal joined me for some of the best vegan fast food on earth at La Panthere Verde which boasts 6 locations now. Best non-animal poutine I have had yet. I love being part of this. Next time you see me, ask me about the WPVegan hashtag.

We would have likely returned to the same spot we went to for the 2017 camp but that place had a fire in an apartment above and was not in operations at the time. Instead we went to a funky cafe/bar Cafe Osmo which felt to me like a place intended to be something rather futuristic in the mid seventies. It had a lovely patio and a slanted glass window. It was a blast to get to hang out with the WordPress community here and talk about everything from the weather to content strategy and everything in between. It also was an ideal location for further revelries, which included some WCKaraoke for sure.


More bagels and coffee and peanut butter with the bear on it met us on the morning of the second day. The previous night meant there was a slower rush as people filtered into the hall, but we were in full swing by the time sessions fired up. Lunch was pizza. I am again thankful for the plant based options, but given that I was in the hometown of my other favorite Canadian based vegan fast food chain, Copper Branch so I decided to indulge there with some of the best tempeh BBQ I know about.

The afternoon snack break brought with it a very special snack, the 10th anniversary celebratory cupcakes!


Go With the Flow: Boost Your Efficiency With a Development Workflow
Ann Cascarano

There are some basic things that you will need to know as a new developer. One of the greatest strengths of WordCamps is that someone will literally sit you down and tell you these things. These are peer reviewed thought leaders in their field who care that the free and open internet gets built in better, more accessible ways, for free, mostly on the weekends. This talk is a pretty great one for anyone who wants to technically advance from novice.

(came in late)
level up talk
You need a local
you need a safe space
mess around
code editor
atom, sublime
Command line
install tools
node, git
all the commands
code history
protect the integrity of the history of your project
very light and fast
video game save point methodology
git is not github
Staging site
must mirror production environment
another backup
recovery strategy
managed and unmanaged all allow this workflow idea
might just be easier in managed

Bridging the Gap between Designers & Developers
Mehgan Dove

I did not see some of this talk. But what I saw reminded me of everything I know about DevOps being more about tightening the communications feedback loop. We need to start trying to learn a more common language, especially in an age of more rapidly expanding tool chains and their inevitable acronyms that make the jargon unparseable. I am grateful for this talk because having the conversation about having better conversations is a conversation we need to have. When we think about interpersonal communications, especially within organizations, having better defined channels and processes in place should make for more efficient workflows.

Raw Notes:
learn some development
if you are handing over things and not care how it is implemented
and don’t know what is hard or complex and don’t care
you are going to have a bad time
have some respect for your designers work and skill
Handover in layers
Design s not arbitrary
show some respect
layouts are hierarchical in so many ways
Devs should not have to guess or recreate things in Photoshop
provide layers!
use guidelines and agree

Made you Look: Eye-Catching Web Design Trends

There are talks where I learn something and it seems like I am the last to know it. This time it was the concept of Pantone Color Of The Year that I had a wow reaction to and everyone else was like, ‘yep’. For that moment alone this was a great talk, but the fast pacing and just example after example and idea after idea was just entertainingly engaging. The sites she shared are all over the map on style, but it made me keenly aware of micro animations, which I see all over on sites now. Thanks Mandela Effect.

looking at yogurt
colors and bold
Pantone of the year
Ultra Violet its bold 2018
neon colors
have to have a lot fo contrast
have to see neon colors
high contrast,
trickles down into everything
bold colors again sunet patterns
full screen websites
lot of monochromatic
Be honest
this is possibly scary
if you want to add a pop of color, just add a bringht pop
one or 2 neon color
otherwise rainbow vomit everywhere
adobe color wheel, helps make complementary colors
another is brandcolors.net
color codes for influential brands
different colors
color pallets must work, don’t get too far without sorting it
illustration styles, more individuals and textured
multidicipline project
created illustrations and font to bring endangered animals to light
illustration over photo
striking typography
very striking
creative typography, funky
monochromatic again
food typography
look around and grab inspiration everywhere
in the real world
objects and elements in play with the typography
deconstructed type
not new, but will show up on the web more
broken grids and free form
no defined grid
before thinking about breaking the grid, remember why the grid is good
why are you doing it?
define a strong grid so broken shows
negative space
concise vs wordy
see copy first
way interact with the
micro animations
particle background
little JS gradient effect, very light, not heavy
adds a little something
She is not a wizard
thats how she knows what is using WP
and the themes used
glitchy and not perfect, but fun
augmented reality
minimalist photography
What story are you telling
where are you guiding them,
what is the journey
whats next
more customized shopping approaches
Anything goes right now though
no 2 sites are alike
if it works if it does not they won’t notice (ha)

How to Format Your Text to Help Your Readers

I have left a handful of talks and felt like I got the wind taken out of me. This time, I learned that I have been doing headers wrong this entire time. Literally the entire time. I thought H3 and H5 were just style options and I can not even fathom what I have been doing to screen readers and the like. Moving ahead, starting from this post I am going to be using the right headers correctly. There were many other good points as well and it was a lovely talk.

Raw Notes:
History lessons
March 12, 1989 Sir Tim
makes proposal for HTML
1993 publishes standards
Jakob Nielsen “How Users Read on the Web”
Summary: they don’t
they scan picking out individual words and sentences
Wall of text loses everyone
HTML is not a programming language is markup
structure of a page
semantically – elements themselves describe the content
Know the basic tags
H1 – H6 and accessibility
Don’t use H1 on the page or post, that is reserved for the page title
important for SEO and Ally
having H4 without an H2 is actually really bad
Help all readers
think older readers
Formatting in WordPress
Gutenberg is coming
1/2 the room never heard it was coming
Tour of the editor and Admin
Bold and Italics
not for pretty
for emphasis
Alignment is important
stick with left alignment unless Hebrew or other language with RtL

Your First Headless WordPress Project with ReactJS and GraphQL

I am going to finally actually build a front end project one day, I know I am. And when I do, talks like this that just in plain English explain what things like GraphQL actually do will be the reason that project will be successful. This is a great talk for folks who are ready to roll up their sleeves and dive in. My notes can’t do code examples too well, so I opted to not even try, await this to arrive on WordPress.tv.

Raw Notes:
Old fashion, desktop to web
how CMS works
responsive design
Tons of things that need to hook to the backend to get data
Advantages of decoupled
separate content and presentation
generate unique user experience
make your content available to mobile apps, kiosks, VR and anything else
/Retrieve post
overfetching – getting too much data for the UI
a query language for the API
retrieve only thee needed data
RESAPI – Post endpoint/ users EP/categories EP
GraphQL is one call that grabs those pieces
self hosted GraphQL
Framework for WP apps (server+client)
Relay from FB
Apollo-boost = no setup, cache, manage local and server data
you can extent wp-graphql plugin
retreive data
reactjs setup
in CLI create-react-app
create project
install packages
code examples

A Buddhist Guide to WordPress Development

When I was a traveling salesman in my younger days I listened to books on CD, one of which was Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse and to be honest, that is the sum knowledge of what I think about when I think about Buddhism. I really appreciated the bit of history lesson and the pacing, especially toward the end, of new concepts and ideas. His no-nonsense slides are a valuable resource for anyone wishing to explore either Buddhism or WordPress best practices or both.

Raw Notes:
Buddism and Jer in a talk
Pali and theravada
very diverse religion, lots of sects
school of the elders, Sri Lanka, Thailand
root of secular ones
sources for secular Buddhism
Contracted with Mahayana, greater vehicle, a diverse branch in china and Japan
FYI: Words here are in Pali not Sanskrit
Religion or Philosophy
both metaphysical and pragmatic
most teachings apply directly to material life
its an ancient science, got some things right
Ancient Indian cosmology is weird and a bit crazy, metaphorically can teach a lot though
Buddhism is a series of very useful lists
Quick meditation, anapanasati breathing meditation
breath in
breath out
just be
5 minutes exercise
anicca impermanence
whatever is subject to origination is subject to cessation
everything changes and we are all going to die
everything we have is borrowed, death or WP updates will take it all away
often translated as suffering and pain and dissatisfaction
nothing lives up to our hopes, so everything brings disappointment and stress
unpleasant things are dukkha because we can’t avoid them
pleasant things are dukkha because we can’t hold onto them
Lack of essential self
Three features of every CMS, PLugin and Theme
Impermanent: Won’t last forever
Unsatisfying: Guaranteed to disappoint
essence-free: Just a bunch of code
accept these things and let them go!
Cause of stress is clinging to our expectations
when we try to control the world, we suffer pointlessly
the ‘second arrow’ is the one we shoot ourselves
cycle of clinging and disappointment
when we imaging WP won’t challenge us that is makes us crazy
End of stress is freedom from clinging
if we accept things we are free from disappointment
Wisdom, Virtue, Mindfulness
8 fold path
Kamma truth cause and effect
really means actions
kammic fruition are effects of your karma
intention is key, as long as we know our intentions are truly good we can live with peace of mind
Samsara WO
Rebirth WP
We are reborn when we return to old themes, plugins and code
we inherit the decisions of our past selves, good or bad
learn from challenges you’ve passed on to yourself
wee clearly how your current decisions will determine your future
check the logs
being aware of yourself and body and mind in each step
Samadhi means concentration as well as meditation
set aside time just fro this training
meditate on wholesome states to develop altered states
like any skill, regular focused practice is how we get better
metta – kindness
Panna wisdom
all experiences created in our mind
accept things as they are, let go of what is painful
clear conscience and open heart
be mindful
mediate as much as you can and it all gets easier
insighttimer app

WooCommerce Troubleshooting Basics

I don’t think there are enough support talks at camps. They definitely exist, and I am extremely grateful to all that give them. But I think there can be more. Helping other people is a natural instinct for most people. The art of helping others is itself a set of skills one can achieve proficiency. Sarah was kind enough to tell us how she does it for Prospress and WooCommerce clients at a range of skill levels themselves. There is a lot of hope in teaching people how to find answers. I was pretty worn out at this point in the camp, so my notes are pretty sparse on this one.

Raw Notes:
internet wizard
Quest goal
learn Woo troubleshooting
to acquire more tools to fix all the things
fell confident when troubleshooting
Backup and Staging
Backups – important, fall back point
Google is your guide
Google error and description of the problem
sometimes github
sometimes WP codex
sometimes stackoverflow
reproducing the issue
scenario 1 pending payment orders with Stripe
looking at what screen they can see
test by doing the action yourself
reading a bit of the docs revealed the expected behaviors had changed
simple as a setting was blocking their issues
scenario 2, country not displaying orders
quick Google after replicating scenario
congrats you are now a Level 1 internet wizard
slay bugs

My Session

Shipping Content With WP-CLI And Why That Is Awesome

I have spent a ton of mental effort on this talk and this was the first time I gave this one. I am very proud of what I made as a result, this is the tools and workflow for how I post content to my site.. The largest part is postitnow and the internal modular component the terminus wpclonecontent plugin. I also learned a ton about behavioral testing, Visual Regression testing and am happy to share the tiny bits I know. At the end of it I think I am making too many broad points in the talk and still feel trapped in the fear that this is a lot of ‘look at me’, rather than having a conversation about the differences between ‘copy’ and ‘content’ and the difference between WP as the holistic platform for editing and as an artifact repository, as we generally do with modern code and build systems. I feel now in reflection, perhaps the general premise of ‘stop overwriting the DB’ is less obvious a goal then I can see it as from my vantage point. Perhaps I should articulate that more. I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to have a career path that gave me the opportunity to go to enough sessions that I could present this. It will be tuning this talk for Sacramento in September.

Wrapping Up

Every camp I go to a WordCamp it teaches me brand new things. Not just in the sessions, but in every facet and about so many aspects of life. I have called San Francisco home for so long that until I started traveling this much I feel there was a perspective I was missing. A wider perspective that makes me think we have so much more in common than we are believing we do. I would have no idea how to gather such a wide view if it were not for my community of OSS folks. Seeing how much we really all do have in common and how much we have to learn from one other gives me hope beyond hope for what we can accomplish next.

If you do get the chance I would highly visiting Montreal in the summer. It is seriously like being in a whole other country. I hope I get to go back next year for WordCamp Montreal 2019

WordCamp for Publishers 2018: Chicago – Seeing the city in a new light and saying goodbye to an old friend

For a third time I got to return to Great Commercial Tree in 2018. The first time it was 20F degrees outside but a great time was had and the second time it was pretty nice but it was early in Chicago’s amazing festival season. This time the weather cooperated exceptionally well and the days, while humid, inspired a population to embrace a summer at its peak and relax a lot of the expected hustle bustle the metropolis normally brings to mind. I was not there for a festival exactly, but I did have a festive time celebrating the publishing world embracing the Open Internet as we gathered for WordCamp for Publishers 2018: Chicago.

I had attended the previous year’s event in Denver and kinda knew what to expect but given this is the only WordCamp that moves around the country, I actually found this as (word that means novel and exciting but a bit intimidating and tiring) a new wordcamp. Unlike the previous year, I did not go to give workshop or lecture, but instead to volunteer, support, learn and connect with folks working on a problem set I find utterly fascinating: publishing. Specifically, the process of creating content, publishing that content publicly and then managing the platforms we build to share that content. Given that this is the only single vertical official WordCamp it offers a rare perspective into a limited but very serious set of issues in a space. The other places I have felt this focus on common issues have included WPCampus and WooConf. Both have strikingly similar looks and feels as a WordCamp, but are unsanctioned by Central.WordCamp.org. Having the official support and legitimacy of the WordCamp name brand I think adds a weight the organizers could not achieve otherwise, a claim I am going to support with the caliber of the participants as substantial evidence.

Food and Fun

Speaker dinner:

While I was not a speaker, I still got to attend the Speaker/Sponsor dinner as a sponsor and volunteer. We descended on Pink Taco which was of top quality. I couldn’t help but notice the website layout looked rather familiar, like an off the shelf use of tentyseventeen. I m not sure if this played a part in the venue selection but it surely didn’t hurt. One of the speakers even referenced the site in her talk in the following days.

This is also the part with the bit of sad news. If you have read tales of my other jaunts to Chicago, it is unmistakable that my go to Karaoke spot had become Blue Frog’s Local 22. While on my way to Pink Taco, my path lead me directly past the now shuttered building. Yes, it has closed down and we have lost one of the finest karaoke spots I have experienced. If you have ever sang with me there, I am grateful we had the chance to make those memories. And special thanks to my friend Doug who had alerted me to this when it was shutting down, so the blow didn’t come as nearly a devastating shock as it could have been. Still was a blow though.


There are few other cities, even in America, that inspire one to eat and overeat as much as Chicago. This tradition was respected by the organizers and the awesome team at Setka Editor who supplied us with a literal ‘wall of donuts’ to go with our ‘university catered coffee’, which I have written enough about not to comment further on herein.

Lunch was pretty OK and the organizing team did an outstanding job of meeting any and all dietary restrictions and specifications. Day one lunch was a box lunch with the standard sandwich, chips, fruit and cookie. This is in no way a slight against our organizers, but I am starting to wonder why catering companies feel mushy, grilled eggplant, pretty low in protein, is a suitable ingredient in wraps. Fresh grilled eggplant can be a delight but that is not what ends up in our hands at scale. Still, thankful for the plant based options.

Architectural Boat Tour

Not even going to lie, one of the reasons I had been looking forward to this particular WordCamp was the extra curricular activity plan. We all received a ticket for a tour of the Chicago river in our welcome bags. The welcome bag is a tradition I hope more camps adopt and for those that do like WCPHX one of the little things that as an attendee I appreciate. We boarded the CHICAGO’S FIRST LADY and an extremely knowledgeable and enthusiastic volunteer guide from the Chicago Architectural Foundation told us the history of not just the buildings that soared above us but of the river walk and the river itself. My neck felt a bit strained by the end as I craned it upwards to check out the varied and unique architecture collage that is metro Chicago. I honestly have to say this was my second favorite group outing at any camp ever, and the number one experience in the US, only tailing the Golden Loop and Northern Light expeditions I experienced in Iceland. If you have never taken one of these 90 minute boat tours, I would recommend them, especially the evening ones.

After the boat

Being in such an historic district of the metropolis, some of the party went to watch fireworks and another faction of revelers ventured to a couple of the old town’s more historic, albeit for different reasons, local establishments featuring libations.

Day 2

After the first day had left me non-enthused by the lunch option, I decided to order myself some of my favorite local vegan grub from Native Foods. This turned out to be folly on my end as the second day’s provided lunch was a very hearty middle eastern option with loads and loads of falafel, hummus and other plant based delights. I think my biggest take away is that I might start inquiring about the lunch options ahead of ordering ‘a la carte’ again.

After Party

Before we gathered for our after party festivities at the end of the sessions, a few of us gathered in for one of my new favorite rituals arranged around a hashtag, ‘#wpvegan’, or ‘Vegans who WP’ as my colleague and friend John Eckman coined it. We converged on one of the greatest hallmarks of plant based food in the midwest The Chicago Diner to have the best non-dairy milkshakes I think humanity has ever concocted and the heartiest Ruben sandwiches that you can feel good about eating but still guilty for the calorie bomb that it is. Of all the tribal rituals to whose origins I born witness, this small but rapidly expanding band might bring me the most glee.

The festivities that happened at Broken Shaker were just as great as any other occurrence that had happened at the camp. There was a terrific punch served from a giant silver bowl behind a bar that looked like it would have been at home in a pirate captain’s grand hall. A candle lit bookcase adorned a corner that again felt like a ship’s study moreso than it felt like an upscale hotel in Chicago.

Before we know it we found the hour late and the draw of WCKaraoke alluring enough to venture to Brando’s Speakeasy. Many other karaoke fans, a bachelorette party and at least one other convention of folks also found their way there by the time we arrived, but through persistence and the sweet, fast talking of Daniel we found our chance to sing a few times, dancing the night away as we went.


Opening remarks

“Decisions, not Options” in the Age of Gutenberg
Chris Van Patten

With the reality of the changeover of WP content editor advancing on us relentlessly, it is becoming more critical to have sessions like this. Understanding the ‘why’ of Gutenberg is, on some level as technologists, critical to the understanding the ‘how’ of the editor. Many of the decisions being made right now by the core team are being made with the deliberate attempt to shield users from having to think much beyond presented configuration choices. While that might sound counter to the open source nature of ‘run the software as you see fit’ the GPL promotes, I actually think it makes a lot of sense given the extendable nature of the pallet of blocks and there is nothing from extending blocks yourself. This is a great talk for anyone new to Gutenberg but who is old hat at traditional publishing.

Raw Notes:
The WordPress way
We got used to it
stuff that worked will keep working but new is coming
You ain’t use to this stuff
think carefully
Design for the Majority
Out of the box should just work
Striving for Simplicity
Decisions, not options
Guidelines, not rules
Think carefully about control belongs
think carefully about control should exist
Support most essential options, no more
make decisions that let your users feel they have options
Good we are playing with it now
Block action menu
this is new, no equivalent in TinyMCE
What is the common actions?
for features or functionality that change the block relevant to the context
Duplicate adds to the page
The block canvas
for first time, can see the placeholders inline in the editor
was kinda popular with tiny views, but that was a nightmare
rich text content
Block Inspector
Can be a challenge, can become overwhelming quick
instinct is to shove everything into the inspector
first and foremost, want smart defaults
Document Inspector
things that were once better as doc settings are better as block settings
Plugin sidebar
new and not a ton of use cases right now
splashy/giphy pick list of images
interface for choosing a thing is obvious
maybe Yoast might have their own plugin sidebar, possibly
Easy access from the top menu bar
—–(slack thing)
some issues for him
Plugin Sidebar vs Block Canvas
where should we really be inserting content
blocks inside blocks?
So, use Gutenberg core controls where possible
Gutenberg is the forms API we always wanted
core control style standards now
Don’t fall back to metaboxes
will not be a great experience
Options in code don’t have to be options in UI
Gutenberg HIG
officially opinionated

Taking What Back, and from Whom?: Imagined Communities and the Role of WordPress in the Future of the Open Web
John Eckman

John is really a great speaker. He at once sounds authoritative and honest in a almost folksy way that invites curiosity rather than reverent or blind acceptance. He is a wealth of information on what is going on in this space and is eager to share where he obtained his know how. I really appreciated his wrap up, reminding us as long as we are serving others, not just people like us, we are surely going to find a path forward.

Raw Notes:
came in late
Open web
decentralized web, internet archive
“build the web we want and the one we deserve”
are those the same thing??
bringing together a world that end sup magical (paraphrase)
Coalition for better ads
initial better ads standards
gathering worst kinds of ads, what is wrong is presented first
AMP and what do we do with it?
it is an open standard and one John supports
Data protections – GDPR, we are behind the ball in the US
nothing in GDPR sounds like nothing new, it is what we should have been doing
Rather than thinking about getting better data
Role of WP in the Future
WP is imagined (not imaginary)
the community is too
Mor10 ethics of web design is the thing to watch!
Immanuel Kant quote maxim
Democratize Publishing – thinking about ethics, very good thing to be thinking about
Free and OSS in letter and spirit
using the bill of rights
freedom 0 was added last, but it is the most important building block so it got inserted as 0
Better News https://betternews.org/
Ethical path to better systems
Open protocols
distributor plugin from 10UP
Accessibility as a pervasive feature
we allowed ourselves to move away form accessibility vs web 1.0
Project VRM (from Harvard)
Ethical Design Manifesto
Inclusivity is also a core principal!
Stop thinking about how we serve people like us
serve others
Recode/Decode Ma.tt

Reader revenue and the (less) open web: What happens when we all have paywalls
Eric Ulken

I am very glad this talk happened int he order it did for the day. It gave a context and a history for someone like me, peripheral at best to this level of publishing. This back story to how we got to where we are right now with pay walls and walled gardens was extraordinarily helpful in framing all the rest of the conversations I heard while I was there. It also filled me with a great hope that we are nowhere near a final, baked solution for this and the greatest innovations are most likely yet to come. We must have courage and start thinking beyond what got us here and invent new ways to engage that makes sure news and critical, timely information is not just the purview of elite and/or self selecting.

Raw Notes:
he has worked at the big papers
“Information only wants to be free if someone, somewhere pays for it”
For a while we forgot about the homepage and SEO
forgot the customers were coming through the front door
Paywall 1.0
rude and crude
since then have improves
front door wanes, then grew again
people became accustomed to paying for content
Paywall 2.0
2011 at the Times
An elegant way to extract revenue from your heaviest users without killing audience reach or ad revenue
Meter does something else, publishers brought needs into alignment
putting users in center of what we do
Problem solved..no so fast
some numbers
average publisher
50% tile
only 2% convert
the very best performing sites converted .96% of time, per month
over time NYT 3.5 million, 130 Unique, 2.7% subscriber rate
Boston Globe 95K 5M unique, 1.9% SR
Star Tribune 55K 7M unique, 0.8% SR
A crude segmentation tool
10 free articles vs 5 free
stop seeing more casual users and conversions drop
try before you buy is stretched beyond recognition
What happed when all have paywalls?
moving that direction…
Who uses the Incognito window a lot?
Have you ever tried to cancel?
CA law to let people cancel online if buy online
also sneaky introductory pricing
Subscription Hell, the paywall backlash
the openness continuum
open to closed
contrib model – sub only products
public media – the Athletic, The TImes UK
some in between like WSJ and Meters
Contributions alone are not going to solve the issues
60% want access to local news
40% notice a lot of interesting, useful articles
31% want to support local journalism
Well, there are a lot of good ways to support as a reader
should publishers care to cove this?
imaginary papers
100 users a month
1/2 are fly-bys
2 subscribers
those 2 are die hard and account for a lot of page views
48 are ‘in the funnel’
what business runs off of 2% of users supporting the whole group
philanthropy is maybe one, but no business really runs this way
but if can get a little money from more people
2 subscribers = $20
but add 8 low cost products + 2 subs = $36
with cannibalizations
who’s working on what?
Smarter segmentation by pricing – Google
Bundles – Apple/texture
Micropayments: laterpay, civil
COntributions, News Revenue Hub/ INN
Also lenfest, shorenstein Center, American Press Institute, Public Radio Bizlab
This is not easy stuff, but there are a lot of people working on this front
What can you do?
Listen to your audiences
Understand their range or goals and motivations
think beyond subscriptions
share what you learn
Remember not every will pay money but might contribute in other ways

Why Paywalls Are Good for the Open Web
Nick Johnson

I am not one to willing pay for content that often. It took me until Netflix released Marvel’s The Punisher series before I even did a Netflix trial. The was ultimately was not the content itself I ended up paying for, but instead the service that delivered me an HD version, on demand with subtitles, that I could watch without any fear of DMCA notice or shady asset loading that other methods risked. We, especially in America, are very used to paying for services. Modifying the conversation away from a guilt trip that ‘you must pay for content or content won’t exist’ into one of ‘look at all the amazing things we can give you for such an incredibly low price point’ might be key to dramatically better results.

Raw Notes:
Coming from it as a software developer, nit a journalist
what is the Open Web
Year of the Open Web was 2017, but it keeps going
single underlying principle connecting all these ideas: an open web is a web for and by all its users, not select gatekeepers and governments
Buzzfeed disagreed
Google and FB are going to have to fix the paywall issue that is bad for Open Web, otherwise only 2-5% of people will get quality news
Ad rev in publishing are not meeting the need for content producers
FB revered policy on closed content this year
Google said: Ads alone can no longer pay for journalism
Buzzfeed in march said a paywall for Buzzfeed might make sense
What are pain points?
2008 was a bad year
decades ago new medium like Radio and TV challenged
internet was a mixed bag
CL and FB killed the classified
Digital ad revenues aren’t making up for print ad revenue losses
many who are still struggling when making the jump
ad revenues have plummeted
eat enough carrots, you turn orange
too much of a good thing is bad
case in point, advertising!
in context it is fine, but shoved in your face adverse reaction
advertising is out of context if not relevant or if it is invasive
online ad engagement is down
7% user engagement in 1997
2012 – 0.1%
people learn to overlook online ads
Let’s shift it
let the journalism drive the cart
subscription economy is here!
different types of experiments going on
is what we have bringing back people
Vehicle crash coordinator
content generation is already open source
anyone can gather news
Many people would rather pay for someone to set up WP than set it up themselves
shift off of content to the service
makes more sense for paywall for the service
News reporting should not feel guilty for content paywall, not really what
How do paywalls and open web work together?
It makes sense that business should monetize core business
paywall also brings a responsibility with it for journalists
shift in perspective that makes us want to make more valuable things
will people pay?
many people will
case study: what would you be willing to pay?
gave options but only showed one price at a time
$3, $6 and $10
5.06% for the $6, highest but not by much more than $3 4.94%
we need journalism to exist
connected created government abuses without good local reporting
tax rates higher, more corruptions
Ask. It hurts if you don’t
a bible and a newspaper in every house, a good school in very district – all studies and appreciated as they merit – are the principal support of virtue, morality and civil liberty

Meta and Schema: Defining the Content about your Content
Jim Birch

Not going to lie here, I didn’t really take new notes. The next section is verbatim notes from another time I heard this talk. The only new addition, other than some reworked slides, was the inclusion of Speakable, which is an assistive A11y standard to do with screen readers (at least how I understand it).

Do you like whirlwind, two fisted, no holds barred, data filled sessions that have almost too much information shoved in your face? I love them. I wish every talk I went to I learned anywhere close to as much information as Jim presented. I will admit I started playing with a couple of the resources he introduced me to and might have missed part of what he was presenting in my notes. If you think you have meta nailed down, good on ya, but still, check this thing out. I am betting you will find a new tool or trick in here somewhere. And for those who have never thought about meta or schema before, prepare to have a new world view opened to you.

Raw Notes:
How do we look to others?
How does content look to others?
what you do for Google is good for all the other services
TL/R Specs and validators
w3c HTML 5.2 specs
WATWG Meta Extensions
Open Graph
Twitter cards
Meta, from the Greek, prefix, concept
like card catalogs
full time gig back in the early days of libraries
Dynix, early but popular
Enter the W3C defining 5.2 spec
4.2 docs about Document Metadata
6 things
– head element
– title only one
– base tag, element to set the base for something
– link, link to other resources
– style – embed information in the doc for styling
– meta – for everything not the previous 5
all name value pairs, only in the head of the doc
name=> value(content)
There are defined metatags in the spec
author, application-name, description, etc
pragma directives language construct that specifies compiler and other technical information
Other Metadata names
list all that have been applied for and their extensions
You can make your own metadata you define on your own
no one would know it was there but you, but you can do some stuff like priority of search engine
Unicorn from W3C
see how good of a coder you are?
pass/fail for
Google meta tag validator for things it understands
title, googlebot, refresh
that is it for google, one document, that is all
Open Graph Protocol
Let’s webpage to become object
required fields
title, type, image, url
music, video, book, etc
FB has a debugger – important to use for FB to re-scrape content
pinterest validator
LinkedIn – using random variable at the end of url to force them to refresh
twitter card
rich photos and such
summary large image
player card
app card
they also have a validator
How to implement in WP?
Yeast SEO plugin
add meta and fills in some things for you
can but in Open Graph tags
same with twitter cards
Theme itself can use logic to use image via php code
Started by google, Open source
way to put structured data on sites, in email messages and beyond!
goes on for days
drill down into most of them
Most popular are creative works
can implement a few different ways
inline was first and popular
What does Google care about?
Google Search Gallery Page
How? Yoast of course
Schema Plugin
JDFlynn made a tool to generate the needed JSON
again, theme can use logic to suss this out
Test and Verify
Google to test

How to Stop Editing in Google Docs (and Other Tidbits to Help You Find the Right Editorial Workflow)
Jodie Riccelli
Shayda Torabi

I am a little obsessed with aspects of content deployment recently. I went into this talk very eager to hear how their ideals around the process of going from copywriting to deployed content. What I left with was a set of questions and the desire to have a conversation around tool chains. IN a nutshell, their proposed solution to a complex editorial workflow would draw all the disparate pieces into a seamless administrative experience leveraging a single needed WP login. This is a bit at odds with my gut feeling that we should be instead moving towards a world where WP is only the CMS and editing and content creation is not something native nor even dependent on the underlying storage and dissemination platform. There is a lot of room here for needed debate and I am more than glad to have such wonderful peers in this space to have this conversation.

Raw Notes:
We are up to 31.4% of the web
14.7% of the top 100 sites
just growing
empowering people to write their own stories
more interconnected with other systems and we need to react to that
Teams are spread out
Frankenstein solutions, all sorts of pieces shoved together without any real planning
People inherit solutions, having to act out what they are giving
how to pic and figure out better tools
Current solutions do exist
publishpress and editflow
but they are locked in and still honestly a little kludged together
licensing models vary wildly
How Viacom, Campbell’s and Microsoft use WP
bending the tools to how they want to use it
content is king. Needs to be done fast and accurate
collaborate and redlining and costs and access are easier with Google docs
Using 3rd party systems to create content and recreate in WP
Copy/Paste is not even easy
Multiple languages
approval process is not just one and done
better control of advertisement placing within content
At WebDev they are making tools to solve this
met with client, heard all their issues and made a tool
streamline the admin editor to make it do what they need and only what they need
easy to show sign off and queuing
tablet vs mobile view editing
theoretical and then they started building this idea out
What do we need to consider to make this real?
Let’s make the editorial process as important as the site itself
Define the workflow
wireframing, whiteboards, anything. Document it and understand what you are really doing
WP lets you have granular user roles, so define what you need
hint https://codex.wordpress.org/Roles_and_Capabilities
WP roles vs real roles, not all map 1:1
how do you pay? Set the parameters per user
automatically calculate things
content, where does that come from and what is what?
conceptualize into a user interface
dashboard with rolling task list
Editorial calendar
might be in Google calendar or evernote or a whiteboard
assignment due date, color coordination, other ways to visually organize it
We need tools to be reactive to events/changes
Assignments – giving people items to do and converse about it
fluid is the goal, if you are jumping from platform to platform- not good
First draft – WP shines here already, editor is already in place
Fact Checking, making sure we have the right information
WP edits with comments and color coordination in a single screen vs platform switching
Media is essential
how to manage it and store it is vital to any content system
challenge was 3rd party media service overseas
get media onto the site in real time
video and photos and syncing with a site
why are we using ‘backdoor methods’ instead we could leverage WP directly
make it easy to A/B test, social previews in the dashboard
how do we actually edit in WP and make this happen?
track edits within the docs
go back to original writer for further edits
once editors approve do not ship yet
go through your process and QA your post
visual testing, accessibility testing
social media testing
process of QA that you are confident with anything you are posting
throughout the process never left WordPress
think about adding and editing content as much as we think about web design.
Don’t settle.
Demand more from your CMS

The Narrow Path for Local News
Austin Smith

My biggest take away from this talk was that we actually need to be innovating more and taking bigger risks with what we think the medium of web publishing can do. THe most telling moments were his screenshots and analysis of multiple sites on how much real estate is devoted to ads vs subscriptions vs content. For an industry that strives to make money from anything but ads, it was shocking what a tiny fraction of the screen and in how inconspicuously subscription and membership promotions are handled on so many sites. I have not been aware, nor ever had I heard anyone say ‘The Netflix model’ before, but I am seeing it everywhere now where the majority of the screen is devoted to conversion to subscriptions. Strange as it sounds, newspapers have a lot to learn from the online movie business.

Raw Notes:
What is the most unethical thing you ever did as a developer
he posted on HackerNews mentioned that
Jared Kushner requested Austin to delete articles
innocent article, but this story of deleting it went crazy
Realized he should not have done this
don’t delete articles, just append
WordPress does not allow this
Back to local news
Issues around president saying ‘press is the enemy of the people’
Press is not an enemy should be more important than open web
we need First Amendment protections to do our work
The Times and New Yorker are just as guilty of leaking or selling user data
Slow websites and walled gardens or society with no journalism
Slow internet any day, we absolutely need journalism
ads are what slowed us down
ad tech made the market need a whole layer that slows things down
Recreating same story, is that serving the good
maybe not
If it doesn’t make money or attract attention, don’t do it
simplify to just if it don’t make money, don’t
if we can break out of the
local papers need to engage the user’s ideas
engaging eyeballs is a little weird
we need to engage the whole brain
revenue strategy should be clear from user experience
News products that do not serve display ads will convert more readers to paying customers than those that do not
not logged in, visiting, fractional bit of real estate to promote their subscriptions
better on some sites
Netflix model comparison
harder to extract value from old news vs old TV shows
Digital news brands must exit the attention rabbit hole and become a valuable part of a healthy routine
Marketing healthy lifestyles
Whole Foods and gyms and such are selling the benefit, not the fear they will not exist
your weakest product will define whole business of products are synchronized
| low equity | high equity
High scale | |
low scale | |

Public traded and equity owned
NPR Civil
Noting Good
Many independent news orgs, newspapers owned very wealthy people
Consolidations are happening a lot
billionaires are doing good things and very bad things

A faster open web: Why speed matters and how to get there
Barb Palser

“speed is, for lack of a better word, good” is a phrase I could easily imagine being said during the outpouring of fact and interpretation of tooling from a very knowledgeable expert on such things. Google does have some of the sharpest minds and more interesting tools based on more data than has ever been amassed by any single body in human history. There underlies this all of this something I hesitate now to call ‘assumed correctness’ of it’s interpretation, but don’t know how else to express. The moment that sat with me and the one that I have been pondering, especially in the light of the next speaker, came from a question around AMP for Email. An audience member asked if this pretty terrific sounding premise of ’email content that updates upon open’ would work on other systems like Outlook or the like. This was met with a pause, as of the thought of it had not been realistically entertained in the talking points and an admission that ‘it would need to be on platform to real the effects, at least for now’. While I myself and my company rely on gmail, the necessity to do so to claim benefit from a new tech left me a tad uneasy, especially in light of the underlying theme of the conference and was stated, the talk itself, the open web.

Raw Notes:
Not really a talk about AMP
Taking back the Open Web
A challenge we are facing internally
Pinterest improved landing page engagement for second difference 15%
Financial Times 5% engagement change for every second of site speed
0.7% revenue impact for every 100MS
We get it!
But at scale, no we do not, the HTTP Archive tells us so
median mobile site is heavier than the median desktop site
median mobile page weight inches up
over 2MB is average size of a WP site
huge range in WP, long tail
not to say hard to build fast, but not nearly as hard to build slow one
First COntentful Paint
any visible content
people with WP sites are performing well 1/2 as often as other sites
Onload (Page finish leading) 67% with WP is slow vs 44.3% with other tools
Fun with Perf tools
Lighthouse – code and performance audits
Chrome UX Report (CrUX)
how real users are experiencing the web
real user data
top 4MM origins on the web
launched October 2017
used chrome browser data
PageSpeed Insights (PSI)
So What?
Track real user experience over time for any site
Looked at 7 sites and made a comparison using these tools
most OK to Good, one really bad
unless you have unique content or sticky users, pretty obvious who is going to overall do worst
Sluggish pages are not a mystery
images, Code Bloat, Blocking script
Yes, courage!
Must embrace and talk to customers about this stuff
Speed is the FT’s most valuable feature for monetization
assigning value to it, it is very important
Over months and years, must think about customer lifetime value
not just conversions
putting it in $ instead of % will get stakeholder attention
Ecosystem forces at work
You are an ecosystem force!
We in the room build and run these sites
If Speed was a requirement from the early days, would be a different internet
Your site is awesome – most sites are awesome – Consumers, Advertisers and publishers choose the open web
Well lit paths
should be easier to build and maintain over time
non-website technical owner should benefit as well
Enter AMP
open web is more encumbered with no end in site
can change vs we do change, different things
time for the open web to take a step forward
fast and engaging and monetizing as the best walled garden
progressing fat but lot of confusion around it as well
moves fast so likely not everyone up to speed
OSS, super fast and smooth loads
used by 56MM domains globally
surfaced to consumers by top search and social platforms
Features to news hundreds of third party integrators
rapidly evolving
AMP for email
email as amp docs
keep content up to date
AMP for Gmail in dev preview
AMP Stories, open for devs now
building for Gutenberg now
AMP and WP have been dialing this in, Native AMP mode v1.0beta is here
Themes and plugins are coming

Why we ditched AMP, and other UX choices we made for launching membership
Brian Boyer

There are few talks I see that define a conversation for me as sharply as this one did in the ongoing pro/anti AMP discussion in the FOSS community. Not only did I leave with a much clearer feeling of what AMP lacked from a functionality perspective, I also have never heard such a ‘no holds barred’ criticism of the players who caused the need for the existence of AMP. In a talk that I am very positive will never make it to WordPress.tv, due to some R rated language at times, I can only hope someone out there caught the livestream and will make it available to the rest of the world. I have never been more convinced that people need to think more critically about this subject of ‘my site’ vs ‘my AMP implementation’ and what that really means for an open web.

Raw Notes:
Intro, lot of work in media, for profit but mission driven organization
Journalism should be like a church
shared system of beliefs
People pay because they want us to exist
out business model is love
1. Reader
2. Subscriber
3. Member
but it is not that easy
Love happens when your audience identifies with your point of view
journalism is not objective, we choose what to write and not to write
but the stories themselves are more Objective written
we expect the work to speak for itself
with that into
the title
One thing was they needed a donation form
explicit on point of view
if you love it too give us money
implicit messaging sets the mood
Denverite, the Denver site!
Navigation is more than way finding
it’s the list of things you care about
not so obvious it is implicit list of our priorities
Chicago Tribute example
phenomena not unique to Journalism, but endemic in it
homes and cranes vs Real Estate and Construction
Point of view of Denverite: We’re geeks like you
best place to ask someone to do something is at the end of the content
Newsletter – You’re like us, get more stuff like this…
submit vs sign up
popups vs natural feeling box at end of an article
newsletter – must know – need to know – fun to know
we generally suck at hierarchical layout to our news sites as far as making sense of the whole day
wall of information effect
no one has really cracked the issue yet
newsletters are easier to express take on the day in a clean ‘top to bottom’ fashion
Newsletter is not an accessory for the website, website is an accessory for the newsletter!
Powerful tool for readers
We got a lotta subscribers
if you’re already one, we’re wasting our pixels
if we know you are a subscriber, prompt to be member
member only events and promote higher levels
Nobody ever wants to log into your news site EVER!
For them, they use links in Newsletters and cookie that
MailChimp UUID to look them up
simple API calls to fetch user data
not all the dots connect all the time
but that is OK
just gotta cover the big use cases
First real issue on why they ditched amp
1. We need mote control over UX than AMP allows
2. Building and testing multiple code bases is awful
3. Their site is really, really fast
lightweight WordPress setup
We got over our FOMP
Fear Of Missing Pageviews
AMP is not the open web
slow and creepy
leaving the solution to Google does not fix our problems
we must do that

Press, Publish, React: Rebuilding TechCrunch
Mike Selander
Libby Barker

Oh man, do I love a case study. And this was a great one. I have to admit, by this time in the event, my note taking skills had started too fade a tad bit as I found myself engrossed in what was being said and needed to concentrate on it in the moment to comprehend what I was hearing in real time. The imagery conjured by their description really felt like you were on an actual journey and not just dryly contemplating another set of ‘user experiences’. Islands and rivers factored prominently. Things I have learned about the drawbacks to decoupled solutions again reared their head confirming yet again the need for the CMS and it’s functionality that we have come to depend on online. This is going to be a great one to watch for any developer embarking on a serious use of a decoupled architecture project moving ahead.

They were brought on early to redevelop their platform
Wanted an ambitious big plan
decoupled WP application
cornerstone of their workflow
By decoupling they keep WP but lose front end dev issues
the approach
Goals of site was more interactive than ever
Decided on React on WP
WP meant all the admin side did not change
serves almost the entire site
user interaction is better and faster with React
slightly different
Semi decoupled
River experience
Wanted to deliver a single page application feel for the whole site
river of content, endless scroll to discover content
works same on categories or in homepage
presented couple of challenges
how do you effectively navigate through?
clicking on story brings through to another river feel
Ads and analytics were important
strategic user engagement
React constraints
Proprietary ads system enforces by owners of TechCrunch
Library to deliver as as expected by React
Traditional is monolithic and
React and View both rely on WebPack, reload without actually going back to server
ReactWP script, extend for any WebPack application
changed on_enqueue as WP needs it to exist
self documenting endpoints
Very easy o use, gives you all info needed as new endpoints discovered
React oEmbed container
gracefully handle
giving credit to the team

Wrapping Up

There was a contributor day on Friday and I do feel a bit of remorse, or at least FOMO for missing such an event. Perhaps even I would go so far as to label it regret, as it would have been a great day for the WP Marketing community to further progress some topics. I didn’t skip out without a firm cause though. I had to travel on Friday to Montreal, for WordCamp Montreal 2018, but that is a tale for another post.

I really do love Chicago. From the recessed buildings, that allow the streets to feel less cavernous than it’s eastern contemporary cities, to the river that never stops flowing as if reflecting the energy of the inhabitants its banks. As I gaze at my calendar for the rest of the year, I don’t see her on my itinerary again, but I know that it will not all that much lunger before I once again visit this Metropolis of the Midwest.

WordCamp Denver 2018: In which I learned a lot while preparing to teach something and I talked very fast

Somehow City of the Plains
feels relatively local to me, even though it is 2 full hours in the air to get to and from this high altitude city. Compared to placed like Belgrade or Boston that is basically no real travel time. There are also a lot of similarities between my part of California and that part of Colorado, with all the natural history and airport way outside the downtown area. I was not there for the great outdoors or to sneak into the Underground Music Festival. I got to return to this gem of the West to rejoice with my fellow WordPress community together in person at WordCamp Denver 2018

Food and Fun

Speaker Dinner

No WordCamp would be complete without the speakers, sponsors and organizers getting together for a little celebration for making the whole thing happen. We are all volunteers in this, even those of us who are paid by companies to represent those companies, we still are giving up our weekends and nights and mental energy to make sure the camps happen. It takes a lot of work to organize one of these things, so having a special event where we just celebrate that fact is always a positive experience. This time around we went up to Blackbird Public House for some pizza and craft beverages. Such a great time was had an a new hashtag was born!

Day 1

This camp has a notably later start time, with registration not even starting until 9:00 am, a full hour later than most camps. This meant I could sleep a touch longer and enjoy some coffee before I left the hotel. I gotta say this time around the percolated stuff the volunteers made was superior to the hotel coffee, not an often repeated feat. Candy and snacks flowed throughout the day, thanks in part to the GreenGeeks crew bringing more candy than is healthy for a conference 5 times the size of this one. Lunch was OK. Sandwiches and chips and such.

Sticker Giant’s World Record Sticker Ball

Sticker Giant not only supported this camp by donating lots of awesome stickers, which they do for many a camp, but this time they rolled out the big one! They hold the Guinness World Record for the Largest Ball of Stickers ever!. Coming into the environments at around 231lbs we got to add to it at the event in what was on the schedule as a Goofy Activity. People had a blast adding a whole new layer devoted to the WordPress space. It was a treat to get to help make a record even better.

Dinner and After Party

There has been a noticeable increase in the last couple years of plant based food fans or at least people willing to give it a whirl. Every time I have gone to Denver since making the switch myself, I have been encouraged to go to Watercourse Foods and now I know why. Some of the best prepared and thought through 100% vegan cuisine I have yet to experience. Some of us gathered for a pre-party meal to make sure we had a full stomach before heading to the after party and drinking the wonderful concoctions brewed up by the fine folks at Fermaentra Tap Room. Nothing against their beers, but the real star of their menu had to be the kombucha. Several folks who have never tried it before and folks like me who were so-so on the beverage, were utterly delighted by this bright, refreshing citrusy goodness that they poured. Good job for selecting this sopt and great job to the brewers! Just to not it down, an attempt at WCKaraoke was made over at Ogden Street South, but the evening got away from us before we could make a real collective go of it.

Day 2

The second day was all Workshops. A portion of the previous day’s attendees returned to learn things like SEO and WP-CLI (which I was teaching, more on that later). We were met with coffee and pretty great breakfast burritos, which is one of my favorite breakfast options. The vegan option had corn and mushrooms and I think broccoli. Lunch was pizza. One of the nice things about pizza is that unless you put cheese on it, it can easily be plant based. Unfortunately no tweets exist of either of these offerings I can find, so here is a generic picture of the day with a mention of the food.


Opening remarks

Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Loop?
Chris Reynolds

I’ll admit it. I have never understood The Loop for exactly the same reasons it took Chris so long to wrap his head around it: The name makes it sound like a magic black box. At some point with magic, you have to throw your hands in the air and just say “I can’t explain it, it just works.” We, however, are doing computer science! Chris’ slides were not just informative and broke down The Loop better than I have seen in a talk yet, but they were also hilarious. Using knock knock jokes to explain ‘if ( have_posts )’ will be burned into my memory forever. I can honestly say this was a talk that pulled me over a line of understanding and I will be forever grateful to Chris.

Raw Notes:
Issue is the loop make it sound like a magic black box
What is it?
codex definition. HUh?
If have posts : whole have posts : the_post
if ( have_posts())
knock knock, do you have posts?
simple conditional that returns if there are posts, 0 or 1
keep going while it returns true
what are we doing
the_post – sets up the current post
think through all ‘the’ functions
the_ID, the_title, ect
the_posts makes all those work
setup_postdata( $post );
what does it al mean?
the magic
DB interactions
/?s=whosis chris reynolds
SQL query
s post status publish
combine all these things
query = new WP_Query([
‘s’ => ‘reynolds’;
code missing
And even more combining and complex searches and refinements
arrays can even be passed in
using queries
used query_posts
national park service different pats of the help center different parts of site
take taxonomy term and add to the search form so only search in taxonomy
in this case Museum management
difference between this and wp_query
get_post returns: big array of post objects
dump out a query, you get a whole bunch more stuff, array of post is way tat the bottom
it will tell you the SQL query it used to find the posts
you can debug the query itself
beneath that is array of post objects
doing the same things in general but
query_posts (don’t use it!)
set up the posts but does something
codex say don’t use it
it overrides the main query
manipulates the posts you are in, that is bad
Slides: s3q.uswcden2018-loop

The Basics of Building a WooCommerce Website
Jamie Schmid

I love hearing Jamie present. She presents a ton of data and I always walk away with new perspective on at least a few points. This talk met that expectation and I now know that you always, always, always want to have a backup payment processor already fully thought through from the start. I honestly went in with an attitude that “Paypal is good enough for me” and left saying, “Well, let’s make sure I test Stripe….”. Also her quick point on having a client walk you all the way through multiple packaging and shipping scenario is huge. As a small time online store owner, I would never have thought to make a plan for x items vs x+1 items but those shipping conditions matter and will cost a lot of time to figure out after the project is delivered.

Raw Notes:
Intro to WooCommerce talk, her first one
plan, things she ran into people were not expecting
also, general order of setting things up out of the box
Start with planning
Your product, types and attributes
your requirements, POS, billing, accounting
payment processing
shipping and tax
products, not all products the same, what is different
Reqs, do they have brick and mortar? Need POS?
a surprise later is expensive
coming from etsy or Shopify or what?
can it be imported at all? is it easy, almost never.
Payment processing
check the requirements, do you need a backup (yes)
company PayPal, stripe, authorize.net, si this determined?
PCI compliance? this is hard for some hosts
Shipping and Tax.
ask the client to map the whole shipping process
figure out the rules with them
shipping rules, scenarios are import to walk through
Site Mapping, super important
terms and conditions
return policy, they absolutely need this
sizing chart
product pages
Now we get to Build it! If we have all the above info, this is ready to start
The Woo Wizard is actually really helpful to get going from scratch
demo time!
Jetpack and TaxJar
wants to drill into payment gateways
don’t process on your site if you can help it

My Website Is Live, Now What Do I Do With It?
Michele Butcher-Jones

Sometimes you wish someone would just sit you down and tell you what the deal is. Like, what you need to know to be successful and what mistakes you can easily avoid if you see warning signs. Michele did exactly this to a room full of freelancers and agency folk at camp. I love this kind of straight talk. No fluff, no ‘touchy feely’ sentiment, just solid advice, learned the hard way by successfully doing this stuff over a career. This is one of the talks I can point to when people ask me what makes FOSS different than other ways of going about software: We stand up and tell the world exactly how to do it better and never hide what we learned under a bushel. We gotta let it shine!

Raw Notes:
when you inherit a site, they are clueless a lot
Expect them not to know and have to explain these pieces
Hosting and FTP info
logging in for the first time
what plugins are there and why?
whats in the media folder
what is a post vs a page, people will ask!
What theme?
always use a child theme
‘it’s what makes it pretty’ when explaining to clueless client
update the site as soon as information changes
security for your sites
update! Update! UPDATE!!!
security plugins
regular checkups
always make backups
off server backups
without doing this, you can(will) get hacked
lose traffic and interest if not updated

Keynote: Why Community is More Important than Networking
Angela Bowman

A Keynote at the end of the day? Yes, that is what they did and I applaud them for it! I love the idea that we can learn all day long and then, before we go our separate ways to get ready for the after party or back to our families, we can get in one place and be on the same page with one big, well presented idea. And boy howdy, was this well presented. Angela took us on a journey and I think illustrated to a lot of folks that no one is born and expert in WP, or anything else. We all learn from and are encouraged by the people around us, so let’s get to it and start encouraging more people. Let’s connect more. Let’s stop asking ‘what do you do?’ and start asking ‘what do you love?’. We have so much knowledge to share and so much to learn. Only together can we keep advancing and growing.

Raw Notes:
(I got in a little late thanks to cleaning up the sponsor booth)
her history, working with Nonprofits
learned some CSS
then learned about CSS
started on WP on v2.0
outside the box thinking
alone, didn’t know anyone else doing this
meetup group of graphic designers
pivoted her life
partners and supporters
possibilities grow so much more
learned dos and don’t together with Bethany Siegler
started teaching classes together to learn
first WordCamp in 2010
WP is bigger on the inside
her first talk soon thereafter
camps are not just about free shirts
also about stickers and such
people put a lot of hope into WordPress
got to learn from each other
build relationships, it is why we are here
don’t begin conversations with what do you do?
something different
asking what they do outside of their job
how can I help you vs what can you do to me
You never know how you are going to affect other people

My Sessions

Nobody wants a website. They want results!

I ended up talking really, really fast. Jamming the same amount of information into half the time it took me to give the same talk last time certainly interjected a lot of energy into the thing. It was fantastic to have a pretty big room reverberating that energy back to me. I loved all the feedback I got afterward and it was super awesome to meet so many new people. I hope I can give this talk a few more times before it evolves into another form. Thanks to all that came out!

WP-CLI – Don’t Fear The Command Line

Giving workshops is fun, but I would put it as a bigger challenge overall than a talk. Both definitely take preparation and time and a lot of mental energy, but in a general lecture style WordCamp session you rarely stop and help someone try to figure out to debug a composer issue. I hope people got a lot out of it and I was thrilled to do it, but wow, I sitting and writing this later the same day I delivered it, I think I need to put many hours into a revamp before I submitted for a 3 hour workshop on this subject again. I also thought that I might just require everyone to install Lando before we started so we would all have the same issues in the same environments. Still, very glad I got the opportunity to learn as much as I did while doing this and hope others found it useful as well.

Wrapping Up

Denver is an interesting town in a lot of ways to me, but the real joy is the community. Being a shorter camp and the fact that I was there solo meant I saw far fewer talks than I normally do, but wow, those hallways conversations that I did not take notes on for public consumption taught me a whole lot. Speaking to people about what they are passionate about and helping to further some of their thoughts around this market and various technology points. I always learn so much. I think that if WordCamp.org was an accredited university I would have a Masters by now.
I am already looking forward to the next time I get to go to Denver for any reason, and though it is a full year out I am already looking forward to an even bigger and better WordCamp Denver 2019!

WordCamp Boston 2018: Summer is wonderful in Boston and teaching people Git is awesome

For the 2nd time in 3 weeks I got to go to “The Athens of America
and got to go there in perhaps the best time of year to go. This time around I was met with very pleasant temperatures and pleasantly surprising light traffic. The city was kind enough to reroute some predicted thunderstorms for us as well, though it did allow a little rain to get through. The people were in full summer celebration mode this time around and it was a joy to be around so many cheerful folks in general. It made for a great WordCamp Boston 2018!

Food and Fun

Pre-camp WP friends dinner

This is one of the fee camps that I go to that does not do their speaker dinner on the night before the camp kicks off. In fact they don’t do a speaker dinner at all, they do a brunch for us, more on that later. This left me an evening on my own, which I will admit has the potential to be a lonely time. Very fortunately for me, one of the most thoughtful folks I am proud to call friend Mike Demo did some groundwork and invited a number of us campers together to a dietary restriction friendly joint near the harbor and only a few minute walk from the old part of town, Warehouse Bar & Grille. A few of us found our way to a few of the oldest bars in the United States where we were treated to some amazing covers by the ‘Best event band in Boston’ The Sweet Beats. It was a wonderful kickoff for a wonderful weekend.

Day 1

Coffee was Starbucks, which always tastes burnt to me when served from a Cambro. Fortunately they had some solid tea choices as well for my caffeine fix. While en general trying to reduce carb intake, the sesame bagels, one of many pastry and fruit options present, called out to me. It was a pretty good fuel for a very busy morning of setup, greetings and Happiness Bar fun.

Lunch was a bag lunch. I had a pretty tasty and spicy red pepper hummus wrap from the university catering with some chips and an apple. No tweets I can find show the camp eating together in the big auditorium where it was served, but it was a beautiful sight. Instead here is a tweet that features one of our afternoon snack options.

After Party

As in the previous year’s event, which I was also lucky enough to attend, we adjourned immediately after the last session down the road to the White Horse Tavern. Having limited plant based options I did a quick side trip with fellow herbivore and local history expert John Eckman down a few blocks to Whole Heart Provisions. The place knocked my socks off with their inventive flavor profiles and killer (but kind to animals) crispy brussel sprouts. Back at the White Horse, we got to enjoy a summer evening out on their back patio and even indulge in a few rounds of corn hole, which just so happened to feature Rachel Cherry’s favorite football team.


Not only did we go back to [Limelight Stage and Studios][http://www.limelightboston.com/] for some karaoke fun, but we got to see some of our favorite local regulars while there. For some folks there, it was their first time to ever go out and experience the magic that is the empty orchestra. Some folks who had been passive observers in the past got up and sang for the first time and some folks did old favorites that delighted the whole izakaya. I really do love the energy of this place and I would rank it above Otter’s Saloon as my favorite non-San Francisco karaoke spot if they carried soda water. Still, with such a large turnout from the camp, the experience will rank as one of my favorites.

Speaker Brunch / Day 2

The second day of the event kicked off by the speakers and sponsors and volunteers gathering back at the White Horse for what I would accurately describe as a simple but pretty OK breakfast buffet and really stellar coffee. I hesitate to call it a true brunch because the bar was not open during our special event and no mimosas, the defining beverage of brunch, could not be had. It was still really good since it featured one of my favorite foods of all time, fried breakfast potatoes. Waking up fully by catching up with some old colleagues and meeting some new folks was a real treat and put us all in a great mood for the second day of camp. Huge props to Cory Maass for kindly giving me a ride to the camp afterwards.

Dinner and coffee:

Since Day 2 is a little more than half the day, no lunch is provided. Just a snack break with pastries and more coffee and tea. This meant that by the closing remarks many of us were famished. Again, Mike Demo gets some praise from me for putting forth an option that could meet my diet, Blaze Pizza. This ‘Subway for fast fired pizza’ type establishment not only wins in my book for having great ingredients, but also for having a terrific social media manager that engaged our tweeting and has a great sense of humor. We finished our meal with a trip next door to get some coffee at Blue State Coffee. It was terrific to squeeze a few last moments with my WordPress family before heading off to the airport to return home to my beloved SF after what felt like a blur of a trip.


Opening Remarks:


The Gutenberg Journey
Tammie Lister

Even with my going to as many sessions as I have about the WordPress 5.0 editor, AKA Gutenberg, and having just heard her give a highly related talk back at WordCamp Europe. This time Tammie gave a much more broad appeal talk about the why of Gutenberg with some great updates on the project’s status and less about the individual features. I walked away with a lot of optimism for what comes next as far as the end user experience.

Raw Notes:
easy to get started but
harder to learn fully
the WP Way is not always what we want
we deal with it and work around
is coping really the way?
It all started out with just words
was a flat way
now we want to publish rich content
Blur of White story
truly tells story
should be very easy
we are too reliant on many
held together with hope and Tetris
creating amazing work but hacking around blockades
this happens to all software
a rethink is needed from time to time
WP was unchallenged for the longest time
new planets being discovered in the publishing universe
not only the obvious choice anymore
SquareSpace, Wix, etc biting at the heels
not self hosted but orbiting and pulling in users
people don’t want the hassle of caring for their own WP
Gutes is not a miracle cure
but it is a step to push us into the future
the foundations are the packaging
Thinking in parts and patterns
components – humans are great at this
principles are the same, all pattern recognition
Block by Block HTML editing prevents breaking whole post
safe container for content
once you understand how to use one block, know how to use all the blocks
Placeholders are very critical to the system
prompts to engage with the block
this allows for templating
less confusing experience than what is right now
true WYSIWYG path
direct manipulation
change it, you see it
we expect this now actually, we are super use to seeing this due to apps
touch devices trained us to think this way
we have need based options
if want to eat soup, don’t need a utility tool with lots of options
bad experience leads to trust problems
just doing what is needed is primary to the experience Gutenberg is striving for
expected options
not kitchen sink, just what most users will expect
Safe exploration of new options, good for learning
the delight is what we want with Gutes
WP right now is people just coping
move on path to people thriving with the experience
accessible experience is good for everyone
key to this project
tips – welcome guide
the little nudges are helping educate
editor needs to work across any device
mobile or apps are essential
performance is even more important on mobile
WP can be molded to the experience you want it to be
extending the CMS is very key
Gutenberg makes this more accessible
The Journey
3 phases
1. Editor – the one we are in right now
has taken longer due to the need to rebuild foundational level tings
2. Customization – more page builders – templating
3. Theme – not really determined
going to be a really exciting time as we get further along
most stats only show what has happened
v1.0 8/29/17
been 30+ releases
3, 128 closed issues
3,861 PRs closed
8/6/18 v3.2 – feature complete
bug fix and iteration now
teams all across the web have joined this journey
Many folks have shaped the direction of the project
atomicblocks.com – new theme, set of blocks and plugins
even on its own its a great Gutes theme
testing and feedback been in the heart of the project
many different resources
booths and user testing
helping guide the
the path ahead
lot more work left for sure
-4.9.8 Try Gutenberg callout
-Feedback and iteration – all the wider feedback
stress cases expected
-Ready to get into core
alpha and beta releases
-5.0 – the thing all this phase is leading to
then start the next phase
a busy time for everyone in WP
The Future
personal views, not necessarily facts
the theme elephant needs to be dealt with
we will see more of a shift to style guides
maybe config files but not a lot more in themes
where editor and customizer start/stop will blend
themes create good boundaries
Gutenberg will get us t where we should ave gotten by now
come join the journey

Blobs, Chunks, and Blocks: Structured Content in the Age of Gutenberg
John Eckman

Whenever I get to tell my favorite stories, John and The Southern V always is on that list. A really down to earth and selfless guy who just happens to have a ton of experience running a super successful agency that donates a lot of open source code and furthers the projects in the process. Still, even knowing him as I do, I have never seen him talk about a technical matter and in fact I have not seen him give a session since I started this project of publishing my notes about what I see. This talk was a brilliant use of the case study model to explore multiple ways to solve an issue while discussing the wider implications of these lower level decisions. As someone who does not think a terrible lot about taxonomies and re-usability of components in general, this was a wonderful exploration of how someone should be thinking about it.

Raw Notes:
Interested in the concept of structured content
lot of great opp
We’ve been here before
presentational logic and structure in one blob
makes reuse difficult,
but faster to create
content broken into small structures components
separate presentation and structure
facilitate reuse
more planning needed to execute
in 2013, he argued WP is blobby but can be made chunky with ACF and such
enter the Gutes
blocks are making it easier to edit content
but is it making us more blobby or chunky
can get us to easier to develop and use
and preserve structured content
looking into code
it is better than blobs of html we had before
some structured
hypothetical case study
Metadata vs Data
Meta – Album- artist
-Review – author
WYSIWYG editor in content
Very blobby
no reuse
Not much consistency
very fast and simple
don’t do this
if doing a one off post, not a bad idea though, bad for a site
round B – could shortcode to insert Album
structures the data slightly
use shortcode UI
still pretty blobby
hard to access data inside the shortcode
hard to track relationship of shortcode to posts using it
better way to do this,
review CPT with specific post meta and taxonomy
template for CPT
more consistency
but what about Multiple albums in a review
in print this is just there – review can account for multiple albums
Round 3 (pre-Gutes)
Review and Album CPT w/relationship
artist or label as CPT or Taxonomy
enables reuse: Show other albums by this artist
Editing is more complex, create album first then review it is mandatory here
Enter the Gutenberg
Round 1
custom blocks for albums
editors can but it anywhere
but inconsistent
but no reuse
Better than the old blobby way?
round 2
Reviews CPT and Block template
consistent layout
some reuse of sections
round 2b reusable, shared, saved blocks for albums
Underneath the hood, saved blocks are just CPT with clock content
not easy to see if they exist already
still pretty blobby
Round 3
reviews and albums as CPT
Album CPT could still use a block template
set taxonomies on review based on Album CPT pull
decent reuse
round 4
Reviews and albums as CPT
if Album does not exist, create it
set taxonomy and relationships on album save enable editing a a blovk
Get the editing experience of a blobby system where you edit the things you want
preserve the structured data to be able to reuse it
Why does it matter?
Future proofing
what happens when new devices get introduced and necessitates different combos of output
New features
single record for each object
Enable relationships
show other albums by this artist
show other albums by category
show other reviews of the a
block based editing can improve the experience
closer to WYSIWYG
more flexibility to move things around
Block based editing can make WP blobby
proper content modeling and planning are required

The Basics of building a Gutenberg Block
Amanda Giles

Given that the theme of so many of the sessions this year slanted toward the WordPress 5.0 editor, project Gutenberg, I decided to embrace it and sit through some sessions that I knew would be over my head technically. This talk, while all topics I had sat through before, actually brought a few concepts together in my head rather nicely. Amanda’s code examples, all in ES5, which needs no build step, made a little more sense to me and I am starting to grasp these concepts, even without having learned JavaScript deeply. I still have yet to actually do anything with this knowledge other than write about it and discuss conceptually with my peers but I do hope to get to explore coding something in the not too distant future for the Gutes.

Raw Notes:
Gutes history
Anatomy of a block
comes with standard blocks
save and reuse blocks
it will soon appear
plugin now
WP 5.0
4.9.8 callout
classic editor plugin
write your own blocks
almost entirely in JS
PHP is just to bring in files
abstraction layer over React
ES% or newer
ES5 2009
ES6 2015
ES8 is the current
they want a release a year
ESNext is the currently being worked on version
JSX is another component, JS XML-like syntax
needs a package manager
node, webpack, etc,
Many Gutes Block tutorial use JSX, but not all
this demo is in ES5
no build step needed
syntax differences
example code
Gutes handbook shows ES5 and ESNext
build a CTA in Gutenberg
block, background, button, etc
on the backend, in admin,
5 steps to building a plugin
1 create plugin main file
2 register backend editor JS, CSS
3 register frontend CSS, JS if dynamic
4 in PHP:Register block type using register_blovk_typle()
5 n hooked JD file, call block in editor
steps 2,3 and 4 happen all together
tagged to the init hook
before we get into JS part
comes with JS libraries as globals
others too
single JS call containing our complete block code
General info about the block including title, icon, category, keywords
code samples code samples
many resources presented at the end

Use Your WordPress Powers for Good
Michelle Ames

Michelle is one of the nicest folks I know and her passion for teaching people how to WordPress is pretty inspiring. She speaks a less technical jargon in her talks and makes the subject of ‘how do I get started or advance in this stuff’ extremely approachable. Getting into the weeds of the code and technical matters is great, once you are ready to receive that, but this talk was really geared toward folks who are on their way there and are not sure how to get down that path on their own. The short answer is there is no reason you need to do it on your own! That is the raw power of our community. There are hundreds, maybe thousands of people ready to answer any and all WordPress or industry related question so we all win together. If you are down the path already, make sure you are remembering to help those who are not as far along the path of the WordPress way.

Raw Notes:
We have all made bad websites
bad clients
made a little money
but we have fun
but we can do more
we can mentor people
introducing people to WP
giving them advice
that is how Michelle learned
this is what she taught her daughter’s friend
later hired her
maybe can’t mentor
teach classes
nothing to a bad website
why are you teaching other people, are they not competition
nope, internet too vast
she has never been in the same bid as anyone she knows
charge more and teach people
hold a clinic
basically happiness bar you are running yourself
teaching some basics, sometimes they decide they just need to hire someone
like her
one a month Co-Working
just work on won stuff in the same room
gives you a set of resources and not working alone
exchange ideas
Teach someone like someone taught you
Speak up at a meetup
speak at a meetup
got hacked, fixed it, hacked again, learned why, fixed it right
tells this at meetups
organize a meetup
pay it forward
Pay it back to WP
participate in the forums
you likely know the answers to some of the questions
help with videos
can share around even if not as good as WP.tv quality
Help organize or volunteer at a WordCamp – the real heroes of WordCamps
Help out at the Happiness Bar
You can just show up and help
she had impostor syndrome
quickly gave way when first person asked about CSS
Participate in a hack-a-thon
What else we get from giving back?
we get clients from it!
new jobs!
warm fuzzies
getting started:
go to co-working
participate in WP Forums
help someone else

Subscription and Membership Based Income using WooCommerce
Ross Viviano

Lately I have been getting more and more interested in the inner workings of Woo. While I knew it could be possible to have a subscription and content behind sign up, I was very fuzzy on how that actually would work. Ross lifted the veil on this and I have a much better handle on this topic now, which I am super thankful for. A good WordCamp session is worth reading a hundred docs, and for me at least, I retain much more.

Raw Notes:
Recurring vs one time payments
more predictable revenue stream
some clients think easier to match their needs and expectations
one time payment system is scarier
what is needed
do need a payment gateway
Stripe or PayPal
paid Woo plugin called Subscriptions
payment gateways are not all created easily, needs to have subscriptions built into it
25 officially supported one
Prospress has great docs to add to a plugin
as a personal note, important to have multiple gateways
install and setups
Simple Subscriptions
expire after
sign up
free trial – adds time to total expire after
sale price
default subscriptions
viable subscriptions
similar to variable products
add attributes to that subscription
recurring donations for a nonprofit
1 month-6 month-yearly
create variations from attributes
that makes 3 different subscription products
editing monthly subscription, drop downs
multiple variations possible
the possibilities are very extensive
customers can change per
if customer has more control inspires more confidence
status of the subscription and sub number and other meta
was as bulk editor view
lot of control over this screen
subscription details page
customer subscription status
everything can be customized
new email types
4 new coupon types that come with subscriptions
good for rewarding customers
Allow switching subscriptions
go from one plan to the other without re-sign up
simple subscription
recurring, varying periods
full sign up fee when switching
like shipping use case
Memberships is another plugin
by SkyVerge
other plugins for this, but these are the 2 best
why is this needed, if using Subscriptions, you don’t
but can restrict content on site based on groupings
Groups plugin is interesting too
length based memberships
posts category tags
pricing tiers tied to membership
import/export CSV – push to email marketing tools
memberships and subscriptions integrations
subscriptions enable recurring billing
team them up and you can grant access to content based on subscription level
able to use a free trial period
memberships supports that upgrade/downgrade model
only members of the level
example product: Meatball Pizza Bowl from Olive Garden
manage section shows details of subscription
if accessing pages not in subscriptions, no access
remember everything is a post, order number and sub number can’t be the same
every order is a post essentially
there are plugins to get sequential
-Subscribe All The Things
can add subscription options to non-subscription type options
product bundles, mix and match bundles
subscribe to a cart before checkout
-Follow Ups
-WooCommerce Subscription Downloads
Teams for WooCommerce memberships

Just for reference here is the mentioned Meatball Pizza Bowl:

(Slightly) Advanced Topics In Block Development
Josh Pollock

When Josh gives a talk, I do my dang best to keep up but I am so far beneath his technical prowess that I don’t actually absorb all that much while in the session. However, once I sit and think about it and reread my notes and think about it in context, I think these talks are a major driver of my development as a technical person. Josh is also a truly great thought leader around how things can be implemented in a sustainable and scalable way. He thinks in terms of ‘beyond WordPress’ and how to interact with the entire rest of the internet and that is exactly the kind of thinking that is going to make sure WP stays relevant long into the future.

Raw Notes:
How do we
yes this is complex to learn
but it solves so much
should npm/yarn/etc?
dependency management
sanity is restores
node_module get big
takes code and make it into browser safe
full featured builder
helps get your files compiles and bundles
can transpile latest JS(babel) and anything else
also for CSS
hard to learn
fast moving eco-system
cont, let, arrow,


every block is becoming own packages
npm i @wordpress/element
using react right now
all this stuff is put on wp Global
don’t have to build my own
if you enqueue these things can do on admin
or can npm install all these packages
you want core to lead things on the page, have to tell webpack not to bundle this on screen
in a WP plugin npm i -D @wordpress/name
in React App? npm @wordpress/name
the webpack alias is used in Gutenberg core code
Using Jest and Enzyme
component testing
Snapshot testing
DOM testing
a11y testing
compares functionality snapshots to let you know when it breaks
easiest way into react
Scaffolding tools for Blocks
“I sort of understand webpack. That’s probably enough” – Josh Pollock
wp-cli scaffold
wp scaffold plugin movies
wp scaffold block movie –tile=”Movie Block”
on github:
Create Gutenberg Block
hot module replacement
Composing blocks
creating blocks out of modular components
modular building blocks – thinking in react
more usable and more testable, only one concern
using WP state management
Example ‘Checkbox Controls’
Passing data back up
Inspector Controls

Hiding the Pulleys and Strings
Jesse Friedman

I went into this talk without reading the description based on the fact that I see all the PH CMSes I am involved with as ‘glorified string manipulation’ at its heart (credit to fellow Pantheor Ronan Dowling for the paraphrase). Also based on the fact that Jesse’s twitter handle is @professor, so I knew I would learn a lot. I sat down and was met with something different than I had imagined but something very valuable. I hear a lot about personalization but this talk maybe the best definition of the subject, complete with actionable examples, I have every heard of. If you are interested in Personalization, make sure to check this one out when it hits WordPress.tv!

Raw Notes:
Personalization is not one thing
lady brought in a giant iMac into a Starbucks
a reorder button is not customization
predictive analytics and tracking and predicting actions is key
everyone thinks only the big companies are doing
who is visiting your site
what is their intent
Not everyone is there to purchase that product
don’t tie me to the thing I bought, it might not be for me
Goals of a blog
subscribe and comment
share and stay
Albuquerque journal case study
increased engagement just by turning on related posts
Jetpack made this simple and automatic, reduced server load actually
Back to blog example
what pages visited
did they scroll all the way down ( mark posts as read)
did they do a search?
did they click any links (categories or tag)?
did they share?
did they comment?
let’s take the subscribe button and change it to something personal
grab the category name and sub it in to what page they landed on for subscribe button
understand the path the user has taken
every tag has it’s own RSS feed
you can subscribe to any tag feeds
add feed auto on comment forms, lets you reach back out easier
email follow up with commentators
akismet + manual looking at data lets you control this easier
thanks them, recap their visit
give them back quick share links
customized search page
customized 404 search page
bring in customers
call or Directions
make a reservation
they are there for hours, directions, menus, specials, reservations
just want to get in and out of the site and server the data fast
goal should not be to have time on the site
Boston restaurant Pop Razzi
he just cared about up to date
but let’s look at 2 users
1 is 500+ miles away while closed
2 is 10 minutes away from a location during business hours
we should think of them differently with different goals
level of intent
proximity coupons
Ecommerce sites
search is key
Google actually handles most search actually overall
nice prompt if repeated visits to a type of page
cart abandonment is an area we are focused on a lot in this market
coupon codes are popular now
no one uses this trick: in the email is a cookie
you can track open rates
if you tie a cookie to expiration date you can better understand intent
you can tie that to a campaign to fire off another email
2nd 2nd chances
(I had to go at this point due to setting up for my workshop)

My Session

Let’s learn Git. No more excuses.

When I first heard that I was going to be able to teach a Git workshop at this event, I honestly thought maybe 12 or at most like 15 people would show up and roll up their sleeves. About 50 people showed up. As with every other time I have presented this subject there were people who needed a little more encouragement than others to actually embrace the command line and ‘force-of-will’ their way through this rapid fire curriculum. I was kind of astonished that I saw very few people drop out, which I think mostly was to attend another session that started half way through this workshop spot.

I want to take a second to say the thing that most blew my mind about this experience was the willingness of folks to help their neighbors through the rough spots. I had not asked for, not prepared any assistants for this class (see opening paragraph of this section). Without the dedication of a few specific people who just dropped everything and helped monitor the room and give personal attention to a students that were, in some cases, on the verge of giving up a few times, I don’t think this would have gone nearly as well. This is the very heart of our community. Paying forward the help we all got along the way to stand as tall as we do. In my overexcited mental state wrapping up the class and answering lingering questions from attendees, I did not record the names of my special 2 helpers and can not cite them by twitter handle or, shamefully, by any of their monikers, but your efforts will never be forgotten as long as I can recall this event. Thank you to you if you are reading this. You know who you are.

Happiness Bar

There are few joys greater in my mind than helping a person understand the path forward on a problem. This is the fun of working a Happiness Bar shift. From basic CSS modification to how to go about selecting the right theme to how to default your homepage to be a static page, I was pleased as punch to get to answer any and all questions. I even got to have a great discussion with Dave Ryan about the differences between shared hosting and isolated container architectures along with some other community members. I know I have said it before, but if you do find yourself at or near a WordCamp in the future, sign up for a shift or just go hang out for a bit. I think you would be surprised how much you can learn.

Wrapping Up

I want to call out one person who didn’t get a mention otherwise in this post and that is Mr. Rich Hill. I don’t want to steal his thunder, but he is working on some content that I got to participate in that I think will very much help further many a community conversation. I know it helped me gain some valuable perspective. He is one of the folks giving his all to try and solve a real need with his mind mapping based solution.

Boston is really one of my favorite cities and so many good things happened on this trip, that even with the lengthy report I am still leaving off many details which I will treasure forever. The community is beautiful in what is truly a City on a Hill
with so much rich history and forward looking innovation. I can’t wait to return and reunite with my New England compatriots, hopefully, at a minimum for WordCamp Boston 2019

Design4Drupal 2018: Views from the top floor and walking further than we needed to while a good time was still had

I always consider The Olde Towne one of the iconic American cities. By this I mean that if I go to Serbia or Iceland and talk about cities in the US, people always know San Francisco, New York, LA and Boston. They have a picture in their heads, and with good reason, of some of the oldest buildings, some of the oldest bars and some of the more famous landmarks in this country. It was quite an honor to go be part of the magic of old bean town as I accepted the invitation to speak at Design4Drupal 2018.

Food and Fun


Coffee and snacks and tea were still being set up when I first arrived. But when I finally was able to get some coffee it was actually pretty good for college catering. I think that because there was an open Starbucks in the building they knew they should step up their game. Lunch time rolled around and us special meals folks were treated extremely well. I had a pretty amazing ‘Cobb’ salad with beets and avocado. Even the afternoon snacks had a vegan section what was more than just fruit.

There was no official party or goings on on the first night. This let me catch up with some of my favorite Drupal community members who also didn’t have official other plans. We found a BBQ joint with a reasonable set of veg options and a great mixologist on staff, The Smoke Shop.


Very much a repeat of the previous day. Again huge props to the organizing team who really looked out for us with dietary restrictions. Very notable fact, the catering thought that small whole cakes would be a good decision for some reason as snack. I got a good chuckle out of that.

After Party

We gathered at Meadhall in Cambridge for a very fun evening of snacks and beverages and fellowship as a community. No tweets that actually showed the party and the venue in full swing can be found, so here is a sample tweet about the venue.

Yes, we also found some time to do DrupalKaraoke. THanks to the good people of Courtside for letting us celebrate area man’s birthday with y’all.


Friday was Sprints and Training Day. We had coffee and snacks abounding and lunch even offered up vegan pizza and a pretty healthy salad option.


Opening Remarks

10 Vital Lessons For Running A Successful Digital Agency
MaryAnn Pfeiffer

MaryAnn is the kind of shop owner I hope other shop owners are paying attention and learning from. This talk is a no-nonsense look at very practical aspects of running a business. I really loved her approach of laying out the advice, then explaining how she came be believe this and the data behind it. I highly recommend this one if you are running a business of any kind.

Raw Notes:
Her 4th year here
goal is to help save you some time and effort and void mistakes she has learned the hard way
not a coder, pre-internet marketing
marketing communications
personal intro and polling audience
1. Begin with the end in mind
lawyers are better on the way in than on the way out
making sure you get paid for your work and work is not stolen
keep things professional
she learned from a client she had been working with for years
her work was stolen by an advisory board, went to court
2 years
another client who had signed a contract
only took 2 months to get paid
another client wanted to change the contract too much
had to say no
all had to say Attorney and they backed off
even her mom needs to sign a contract if she wanted work
2. Friends can be clients but they are customers first in that case
Specific lens of friendship is bad for business
Clients can make really good friends though
as long as professional lens is there
3. Think long term
don’t just take any project that comes along
you will regret taking bad fits into your portfolio
strapped for cash, will take about anything
Client relationship is a 2 way street
4. Brainpower should cost money
don’t give free consulting advice
your knowledge and time are real assets
been doing this 17 years
for first 10 years did a lot of unpaid consulting time
now has a ‘pick your brain’ paid consulting
written report or other deliverable around advice
5. Realize there is strength in numbers
invest in financial tools and advisors to grow your business
She hired a person to handle finances and accountant much smoother
6. Be a work in progress.
Sooner you start documenting and process management the better
project manager came in and had no idea how to start
all process was in people’s heads, not written down
took weeks to document
had to define the processes
7. business is business
No one is a one person shop
we all have to use outside vendors
choose those vendors wisely
seemed easy to just get friends and ‘down the street’ convenient
but not always a fit
now she has stable of vendors who are trusted and provide real value
referrals must be because of business fit
8. No I in Team
working with partners who can keep your relationship secure
had a server fail, hosting company
known them for year, bad luck run on his part
multi day outage
80% of her sites were down
headache and really should have been end of business event
she was prioritized as a client but still the end clients wanted to migrate hosts
but they all still trusted her
chose Pantheon cause we care
Fiery hoops and made sure the clients were satisfied
(Great job Roxanne!)
9. Transparency leads to trust
clients depend on you but you depend on them
must help each other get better
took her a while to be really transparent
tough position to be in if you agree to do work you don’t know how to do
instead figuring out if can do, otherwise refer them
want them to be a happy client so they trust long term for things they are competent
10. Every little thing, going to be alright
can’t force them to jump though
can be frustrating, you have to just let it go
business is not personal and you need to let go of ego

Wednesday Keynote

The Building Blocks Of The Indie Web
Jeremy Keith

I didn’t go into this talk expecting it to be as technical as it was, but wow I am very glad I went in with an open mind. I left with a much better understanding of what is even possible around owning your own content and how it all fits to make a better overall internet. It is not the responsibility of large corporations to protect your content and privacy, it is yours. Things like OAtuh and ‘rel me’ might seem like technical novelties, but what they represent, if embraced, mean a much freer internet where a content creator decides on when and how their content is used in a more meaningful way than using FB, Twitter, etc, could ever allow. This is also a very entertaining talk in my opinion with some of the better thought through slides I have seen in a while. They don’t work stand alone but amplify his talk when he is going through them.

Raw Notes:
Owning your content going forward
Ideally Capitalism good
bell curve distribution
in theory it could be economically good
if a level playing field
Rich get richer and poor get poorer due to feedback loops
Internet explorer
wants to see many browsers competing on features
dodged a bullet
routed around it, like networks
hub and spoke
airports still use this, old telephone
single point of failure
well connected nodes distributed network
still possible for network to work even if one goes away
military background survive nuclear attack
but really people working on it thought
nuclear weapons with hub and spoke
reduced the possibility
shared with the Russians
no top down and nodes can add in as needed
no permissions on the WWW to create a new URL or link
no planned structure
wild crawling mess
walled gardens – Compuserve and AOL
the web Won!
wanted free open
but returned to walled gardens like Facebook, Twitter, etc
FB is media company in the world but we make all the content for them
the better the network
the first person who had a fax machine had a completely useless device
before FB it was a singular social
basically pushed us back to the hub and spoke model
hypothetical, an election
single point of failure
like WP and Drupal are popular and get attacked more
temping target, large attack vector
Convenience is driving it
trade control for this convenience
they now control your content
the movement tries to balance that
indieweb, you should have your own website
link rot is a fact of life
comes back to the architecture of the web
proposal to hypertext conference in 1991
2 directional links
one directional links
but 2 direction isn’t that hard
link rel=
rel stands for relationship
works on a as well
a rel=
a rel=me
but that does not make 2 direction though right?
spec element on profile links
kind of 2 directional
relme auth
piggyback OAuth
can sign in to a service using your own website
why would you even do this?
authentication is the hardest point of an API
micropub – incoming post requests
you can use anyone else’s interface that conforms to this standard
publishing elsewhere send to own site
but POSSE is better
Post own send somewhere else
using ITTT for ths
Webmention another W3C standard
brid.gy is a service on these things
monitoring responses and can ping you and push to you by authenticating
can do comment but also do interesting things with the data
plugins available
works for Drupal as well
but why? why this?
should all be different whys
but it is about control of our media
but this is all about tech
but that is not what indieweb is about
it is about design principals
have to have fun!
emoji included
your site is your playground
the original motto of the World Wide Web was: “let’s share what we know.”

How Technical Should A Drupal PM Be?
Matthew O’Bryant

I do a fair amount of thinking about Project Management since I talk to so many people who work on projects. I also see that as an appealing career path to be honest, as it is something that gets things done and in an ideal world, unites folks for the better. Matthew does a pretty good job of reality checking anyone that might be approaching this field lightly. He systematically walked through terms and concepts that PMs of any skill level should be mastering and at least familiar with. The final answer of “how technical” is ultimately “it depends”, as with so many other things in life. However, knowing more and continually learning is certainly a good approach no matter what.

Raw Notes:
Long history of CS sales and technical background around sales and marketing
bought a home loan automation, learned coding and architecture
Dreamweaver, ASP
20 years of this stuff
Digital Project Manager
I think in 1’s and 0’s but I speak English
Does it even matter
Main role is
hit deadlines
manage a budget
resource coordination
quality control
client satisfaction
Answer is yes, it matters
carpenter using a hammer vs making a blueprint
actual answers, it depends, on quality of the project
small sites maybe less important
even some medium, depends on what you need to integrate, maybe great contrib modules
maybe less to explain
maybe more technical
support SLA
Endurance vs Stress test
more complex you need to have a better technical understanding and be able to translate it
knowing terminology
adding content
basic HTML and CSS editing
Basic understanding of Views
intermediate skills
paragraphs, pathauto
admin toolbar
many more
know your basic contrib modules
Drupal permissions
views config
commerce features attributes
so you can have the conversation with the clients
version control for Configuration Management
Module configurations
more advanced things
know git
W3C WCAG 2.0
Perceivable Information and UI
Operable User Interface and Navigation
Understandable Information & UI
Robust content and reliable interpretation
Peer code review
Cross Browser Testing
Performance Testing
Security and Penetrative Testing
Google Analytics
Google Tag Manager
Heat Mapping Tools
improve your skills
Build your own website

Storybook: An Interactive Pattern Library for Your Decoupled Applications
Brian Perry

Brian is an excellent presenter and this talk is a continuation of an idea I first heard him discuss at Midcamp. Now, I will always caveat that front end stuff always seems a little out of my wheelhouse, as I don’t really touch that side of things in my day to day. However, this adds a bit of magic show element to any of these talks where I just get to be impressed a thing is possible without fully grasping how it does it’s thing. ‘Knobs’, for instance, seems like a completely logical tool anyone would want to use for making fast changes when prototyping or developing but I can’t point to a single thing on my agenda to have a reason to dive into it at the moment. Still, I am very grateful to get to attend these talks and expand my knowledge base around this area. You never know what tomorrow will bring or when I am going to need to need this stuff. It was a very good demo.

Raw Notes:
Atomic design approach
Atoms -> molecules ->Organisms -> Templates -> Pages
build components and prototype them
integrate with Drupal in interesting ways
test things before you integrate fully
can be Twig
on github as well
website in github
bulk is in React
slide shows, galleries, ect
reaction is the folder you want
Another example
Uber React-Vis
visual storybook focused on components for visualization
JSX add on
Adding Storybook to a project
npx create-react-app my-app
cd my-app
npx -P @storybook/cli getstorybook
npm run storybook
starts a localhost instance site
going to be pretty bare bones but that is scaffolding
Individual story files
config.js file
iterates through options and pull in what you want
example story: Album
Music discovery app
Row with an album cover, name, render method to render JSX
select album function
import React
import {storiesOf}
import { Album }
import { AlbumList }
Album story
Addon: Actions
Can see a lot of things
log the actions and functions
with Knobs you can fiddle with things in real time to experiment before committing
Lot of demo!
List View story
Combine all this with Puppeteer to test all the things
deploying is straightforward as well
build to a .out directory
or NPM script
and can post that anywhere with static JS bundles
Drupal and Pattern Lab?
style guide guide, gatsby edition
the storefront in the workshop
really is a dev tool

5 Essential Lessons You Can Learn From Art History
Jennifer Smith

I’ll admit it, I didn’t fully read the session description before I got there and thought we were going to be looking at classical architecture, painting and sculpture from all throughout history. Instead we started in 1900 and I quickly got acquainted with the importance of The Bauhaus and Swiss Design and how we can all benefit in our daily choices from embracing simplicity over needless ornate embellishments. I also learned how to quickly apply the Golden Ratio to a layout without a lot of hassle, which I am going to start leveraging as design choices pop up. TL;DR – centering is the lazy way to show you don’t know about design, so stop centering everything and flat is better than drop shadows.

Raw Notes:
There is design in everything
If you follow best practices
looks more professional
takes stress away
impresses others
don’t make your company look bad
10 minute art history
Early 1900’s
could go back further but this is modern era
Emphasis on tech
manufacturing process and function
style subordinated to purpose
Electricity comes around
have to design things to use it
like fans and such Peter Behars
tea kettle
unified appearances
glass walls was a super big innovation
reason behind every component and decision
Van de Velde
trained as a painter
served as an architect, designer, teacher
jewelry and other common things
first real silverware sets
art to industry as well
German Association of Craftsmen
form determined by function
elimination of all ornament
elevated functional aesthetic
1918 war ends and design things ramp up in post war
1919 Bauhaus school
to this day still think German Engineering is good because of this
free to people who qualified, school just for designers
building for a soft machine, humans
Bauhaus became a philosophy
eliminate elements that do not matter
form follows function
everything is designed
make design accessible, avoid overloading and over stylizing
Craigslist is EVERYTHING at once, Google is one thing, done well
1933 Nazis killed the Bauhaus
1940’s Swiss Design
after exit from Germany, kind of makes sense
not specific to Swiss, but international style
flair for design forever there though
international typographic style
this is used by all large corporations now
Used Asymmetric layout
Flush left, ragged right
preference for photos over illustration
Dieter Rams, less is more
record player
Braun juicer
inspired by that juicer, Apples products in the 90s
10 principals list
Less is more!
don’t give the user more than they ask for
focus on needs not distractions
fierce reduction of elements
United vs American Airlines apps
United has a lot of unneeded parts when you first look
new flat design is actually just the swiss style
shiny is not needed
Windows 10 no rounded corners, grid
LingsCars.com best site about what not to do with design
how to eliminate unneeded objects?
Do you really need this in a box (boarders are a sign of weakness)
Does this need a drop shadow (most likely no)
Does it help to have this in 3D
does the gradient convey more information?
BWI is actually on the right path
but there is a video on their desktop site that takes a lot of space
mobile apps are cleaner
Using mind maps, helps figure out what is important before design work begins
don’t give people sloppy stuff
Eye pattern testing showed no real difference between serif and sans-serif
on-screen considerations
Xheiht 65% of the Cap height
strong counters
do not use Script or Cursive
use a typographic grid
Always adhere to type ramp
visually 2X the size so people can see the import stuff
Rule of thirds
Golden ratio
Fibonacci sequence based on rabbit research
very replicated in nature
multiple by 1.62 for a perfect pleasing size rectangle
helps to not center everything
can overlay Golden Ratio on your screen over anything
and break down proportions as needed, repeatedly
Google Materials

Thursday Keynote

Exploring the New Drupal Front-end with JavaScript

I always love a good Driesnote and was a bit curious how this would stack up. A visibly more relaxed Dries, in front of a smaller crowd than DrupalCon brings, really had a conversation with us and introduced several members of the audience to the history of Drupal for the first time. More importantly than our past, it was great to hear an impassioned view of the future and what that can look like. Not too dissimilar from WordPress, the take away for me is embracing JavaScript on the presentation layer is not optional anymore, so it is up to us to make sure our testing frameworks and APIs are up for it. Especially in a world where every new dev is at least learning JS basics, it is going to make adopting Drupal even easier int he future and will let us draw from a much larger pool of devs to grow the community.

Raw Notes:
History of JS, Drupal, API-First, JavaScript-driven Drupal admin interface
Brief history of JS across the stack
JS was invented in 10 days
Brendan Eich wrote the first JS version
in the beginning everyone thought it was amateurs
JS was not cool at first
asynchronous JS
lead to AJAX
then frameworks like JQuery, dojo, mootools prototype
adopted by Drupal, first CMS to use JQuery
put it on the map
2008, Chrome build JS engine V8
10 years ago, they were very future looking
10x performance improvement over internet explorer with V8
2010, twitter made unprecedented move,
implemented new API server for everything/everyone
Moved the rendering to the user’s browser
model is common now, but this was a first
over capacity whale showed that this initially did not do well
time to first interaction was pretty poor
had to download a lot of things
in 2012 partial rollback of rendering back to the server
AIRBNB made the code very reusable
JS word right now, Babel, nightwatch
tooling has really evolved
History of Drupal
message board for his friends
registered dorp, means village
typo to drop.org, happy accident
thought up public name for code, 30 seconds. Thought of Drupal
Google and Mobile had no real existence
1 our of 40 sites on the internet use Drupal
14 million visits to drupal.org per year
reinvented ourselves many times
each morning we are born again, what we do today matters most
slow start on D8 after release
but getting better
51% increase in D8 adoption last year
REST API first initiative
Drupal’s REST support is pretty good, rich and mature
user logging/reg, media,
JSON API and GraphQL
pretty robust, moving them into core
pretty close
maybe in 8.6
more and more companies designing API first
Chupachups UK, Warner Music, teach.org many, many others
people at sea using Drupal locally and syncing once back at shore
integrate with anything including other Drupal sites
NewBalance is ideal use of both traditional and decoupled
Working on JS-driven Drupal admin interface
Drupal’s own UI is still not JS first/forward
could be more interactive and better if we do embrace it
Drupal needs cutting edge experience
Trying to replace a single page, they identified 6 steps
1. stabilize the JSON API module, pretty close
2. Improve our JS testing infrastructure
3. Create designs for the administration UI
4. Allow contrib modules to use React or Twig
no big bang swap of whole UI, introduce more dynamic incrementally
not everything needs React, but want it when you do
5. Implementing missing web services APIs
like permissions, found gaps in coverage
Admin areas have some things that are only in that use case
6. Make the React UI extensible and configurable
Good news, this benefits EVERY decoupled builds
why should we care?
used to be you made a site and just left it alone
now people live in the frameworks like Drupal, always changing
Drupal is no longer the Drupal you used to know
it continues to evolve all the time
slides at https://dri.es

Iterative UX: Find It Cambridge Case Study
Benjamin Melançon

I was very curious on this talk what a Find It Cambridge even was. Turns out it is a resource that can greatly help any community better organize it’s events and resources. Benjamin is just the nicest guy as well, which never hurts a presentation. For instance he deferred to team members in the room who had worked on this this project with him for various sections, making it seem like their whole team was up there presenting and he was just a player in the larger picture. I have heard too many talks where this would not have happened, even though the team is literally in the room. It encourages me to think about these sort of opportunities to involve others in my sessions. I don’t actually think my notes on this one are that good, as I had a few distractions in this one, so this is a case study I would encourage you to just watch for yourself on youtube thanks to the hard work of Kevin Thull

Raw Notes:
must have a budget
an ongoing budget if not a large one
iterate on what someone else has built
what another website does
issue is they want Google/FB/other expensive commercial site
find something similar to what you want to build and use the elements that work well
Sommerville pub was there to help them figure out what worked well
research showed more info was expected from a .org vs a .gov
that is changing in Mass thanks to mass.gov!
Resource Portal Interviews
Students from the school of public health reached out as part of a project to research with them and provide analysis
Testing other sites
You need content, you can not design without content
Google sheets originally,
then another content store was used
compare to other sites
see how buttons work well there
a wireframe allows us to experience design while implementing quickly in dev
Best 7 letters when talking to a designer or Developer
discontinuous Improvement
have to break and improve things
Go where your users are
use IE if they still use it at your user’s facilities
visualize everything
visual maps
Lessons learned from user testing
there were many
not including 141 programs that forgot to check themselves as All Ages
water play parks
seasonality or weather dependent results
more use cases
curated lists of things

Building a better page builder with Bootstrap Paragraphs
Jim Birch

Going to be very honest here. I originally went to see this because I wanted to support Jim giving the last session of the camp. I always love his talks but going in I had a fear my mind would wander and my notes would be pretty spotty. However, this is actually a really interesting area, even though front end. Jim’s presentation skills are second to none and his raw passion about this subject matter is infectious. At it’s core this is a talk about DRY and how to make everything reusable. This is a great lesson for anyone, not just front end folks.

Raw Notes:
Different widths for different content elements
better typography
wanting images
structured content
ability to add semantic markup
easy to administer
slide things around
Bootstrap framework – HTML and JS pre-configured
powers about 25% of the web as a front end
mobile first and responsive
Create grid markup and readable
standardization helps
on-boarding is easier
mixins for adding existing styles to semantic html
best practices for small/lo budget projects
get 80% there when you start
Open Source – MIT license
If already using Paragraphs
how many times have you repeated yourself
but a litttttle bit differently
install this modules and start exploring right ow
Strategy – create a module to give you want you need
create base templates and CSS that could be included with any Bootstrap include
harness the power of Entity Reference Revisions fields to neat Paragraphs
Have global width and color options
Inspiration – Les and David Needham’s great presentation using Paragraphs
they came out with idea of paragraphs as content paragraphs and layout paragraphs
and ponies
Global settings
Every paragraph should gave widths and backgrounds
background colors
empty classes follow the standards for bootstrap conventions
Content bundles
layout bundles
image includes a link field
embed JS or connect to mailchimp, Pardot, Eloqua, etc.
Drupal Blocks – render them in line with the other paragraphs
not everything works though
copy and extend for custom blocks
Views paragraph bundles, reference field, lets yo put a view into a paragraph, even with an argument
up to 6 pieces of content
distributes equally
two uneven columns 1/4s and 1/3s
3 uneven columns, it gets messy but possibilities are wide
column wrapper
another layer
carousel for those that like them
images and text, just no other carousel inside a carousel
slide interval speed settings
Modal – 4 fields – title, body, footer
Tabs like the accordion
tabs and accordions in a tab
2 Submodules
contact and webform
Contact form let’s you reference the content form entity
add new or use existing contact form
Webform, same thing but for Webform module
using Block element modifier markup
Markup – div.paragraph
Twig – width example
Drupal asset libraries to apply styles
theme has hierarchy to the modules
module libraries folder
custom blocks
add fields
dropping in setting default
make your own content fields
manage display
Working globally
mostly config and a couple templates
packaged up in a module
thought was ‘how can this be reusable?’
does not want to rebuild again and again
create a module structure
Drupal console has a command that magically does this
add templates and CSS and JS
configure in the .libraries file
export the config
Just delete the UUIDs
Rename field_ to your own machine to avoid future collisions
if needed, add function to override template in .module
Bootstrap Pages module
article content type and an author and a landing page
meta tags and schema.org, optimized images, responsive, precofigured URLS
use frameworks to save time and be more productive
this is his attempt to do this
also can use this approach for any other framework
make it reusable

My Sessions

Nobody Wants a Website. They Want Results!

Discovery, discovery, discovery, discovery!

I got to talk at MIT! This is pretty exciting to me. I not only got to deliver 2 talks at this camp, which is cool into itself, but I also got to give two related talks that are part of a larger set of topics, which is the sales/project process. With ‘Nobody Wants a Website’ I focus on the qualification process and uncovering KPIs or at least what is measurable early. I got to follow that up a day later with ‘Discovery, discovery, discovery, discovery!’ and dig into what I think of as the most important part of the whole process. It was a really great feeling to give this ‘cycle’ of talks and I am guessing this is how Matthew Barney feels whenever they show all of Cremaster Cycle at once.

Sprints Day:

I always love a contribution day. The community coming together to make the project happen and evolve the state of things. I was very happy to get a chance to wrap my head around the Tour module, specifically the notion of leveraging routes and attributes. This is one of the more overlooked aspects of Core in my opinion and I look forward to being able to better get a grip on how to contribute back to the project moving ahead

Wrapping Up

I always will like Boston for the history, for the warm people if it is warm outside and for the pretty awesome Drupal community based out there. I am actually going to be headed back that way in the near future for another event. I am already looking forward to next year when I might again get a chance to speak at MIT in the shadow of the offices for the W3C, Stallman and Tim Berners-Lee at Design4Drupal 2019!

WordCamp Europe 2018: Belgrade in the rain and understanding jet lag in whole new ways

I do not often get to go to Europe. Not as often as I feel I should. Visiting a place with so much history, with such a differing culture, I always feel so small and inexperienced. This feeling comes with some small level of frustration, resulting from the forced immersion in foreign culture, foreign currency, and foreign everything else, especially time zones. At first I was a little too out of my element but was grateful I found footing quickly. I was superbly happy that there was one thing that was very familiar to me, my amazing WordPress community, who all were gathered for WordCamp Europe 2018

Food and Fun


Arriving in Serbia, between the Sava and Danube rivers after a brief layover in the Munich Lufthansa lounge, I was met with one of the hottest days in recent memory for the city. Fortunately for me I quickly ran into some of my WPLife folks who had a tremendous idea for cooling off, getting some awesome gelato and espresso. It was a fantastic way to start trying to fight the jet lag, which would prove to be a pretty intense battle throughout my entire trip.


Part of the reason that I am so in love with the free and open source community is the spirit of cooperation and competition between the service providers. I work for a website operations platform Pantheon, which can be seen as a GoDaddy competitor from a certain point of view. However, our offerings really address different concerns and use cases at the end of the day. In the spirit of an open and cooperating community the GoDaddy team opened their local office space to anyone who wanted to co-work. I took them up on the offer and got to see so many awesome people and even got some direct help on my Postitnow project on the matter of tagging from the always gracious and oh so talented Alain Schlesser. They even bought us all lunch!

One of the things I was repeatedly told about Eastern Europe was that there would be no vegan or even non-dairy options on the menu anywhere. Based on my experiences in Paris last year I came in with a bit of hopelessness that I could keep to my plant based food options. But this was a completely unfounded fear since it turns out that a) Serbia has some of the best produce I have experienced outside of California and b) vegetarianism is clearly starting to win across all cultures.

Also, I am not alone in this struggle to consume more sustainable and responsible foods in the WP community. I was invited by the just swell Monique Dubbelman to a fantastic vegan dinner at the funky and quality focused Mayka. Sunflower cheese is pretty great though a tad salty. The Belgrade Stake, seitan based, come with an ‘eggplant caviar’ that I am not entirely sure how they made but I will be attempting in my home kitchen in the near future.

Thursday –

I got much more to say about Contributor Day later on, but for this section, just focusing on the food. There were the weird, tiny cups of coffee you only can get from European catering, served and oh so many pastries and fruits for fueling us all day long. the catered lunch options were spot on and very dietary restriction friendly. It was so great to feel welcome and know others felt it too.

Speaker Dinner

It wouldn’t be a WordCamp if there were not a Speaker/Sponsor/Volunteer/Organizer dinner. As a backup workshop presenter I got an invite. We got to party at the top of one of the tallest buildings in all of Belgrade, at the Top Of The Hub, Restaurant and Lounge. While there were some vegan options, including a pretty terrific blackened tofu that even the omnivores were raving about. It was amazing to meet so many new people while seeing so many familiar faces and raising a glass with them all.


In my experience, Europeans take their pastries very seriously. I was not prepared fully for how seriously, indicated by the sheer quantity of options at the Sava Center where WCEU was held. There were also so many beverage choices that if you got dehydrated, that was on you.

There was so much amazing food for lunch. I have no idea what the omnivorous options were because the vegetarian and vegan options were in their own section. I am not going to keep droning on and on about how our hosts gave plant based options but I find myself just now realizing that I am only verbose on it because it is unexpected, though it should not be. It is kindness. And expecting less that should be a disservice to any organizer. I will refrain from gushing through the rest of this post.

Leaving the venue proved to be a bit of a challenge for some of us.

Do you like ping pong? Thanks to the awesome people at Savvii, the whole community got to come out and play at an event they called WordPint. While my host had paid for wine and beers, I couldn’t help but take advantage of the exchange rate and very, very affordable local prices on highest shelf liquids.


One of the things I learned previously ‘on the continent’ is that karaoke is not as well adopted as it is in the ‘new world’. I originally had a bit of despair that all the avenues I investigated left me befuddled at best. Fortunately there exists a most resourceful and energetic man named Vladimir Ranđelović who introduced me and the WCEU crew to SongWars. Imagine playing “Rock Band” with four singers at a time with multiple teams playing a round robin style tournament. This is not the karaoke I am used to, but my goodness, this is one of the most unforgettable nights WCKaraoke has ever known.


Day two of sessions brought so many more pastries, fruits, coffee, beverages and rice cakes. It also brought another amazing day of food.

If I could say enough good things about my colleagues, it would take more pages than the whole sum of the world wide web currently have capacity to display. What I can say is it was a true honor to find spectacular vegan food and completely unexpected Experiment unfiltered wine at Radost. This very elegant eatery is also the home to a delightful family of cats, who entertained us endlessly as we dined.

After party:

I could try to explain the after party, but there would be no way to convey it all in text. So here are a few tweets that I think summarize it.

Sunday tour:

Serbia is so full of history and amazing sights. I am grateful for Mike Demo for organizing a walking tour of the city, including the Nikola Tesla Museum and the Serbian Orthodox Church. It was a delightful way to spend a Sunday. Capped off by a wonderful last group diner with the awesome Tina Todorovic and Dejan Markovic and a few others at the tapas joint Ambar.


Contributor Day

The main reason I was very excited to go to Belgrade was not the food or the fun or the sessions this year. Those things are all important and I am grateful for all of it, but the real reason I think WordCamps should exists is Contributor Day. A day we dedicate to work on the project collectively and share in the energy of making WordPress together. This is the heart of what Free software is all about. Free as in speech.
Though we are building for a tool set to be used on the internet, the WordPress community and what we are building is far from just code and electrons. We had this shown to us by the internet not working almost all day. Even when we could connect, it was terrible. But you know what? That did not stop us from writing new copy, or from making plans, or from doing the thing we really had meant to do all along and connect as people.
I have rarely been prouder of my team and how far we have come in just one year. Taking the on-boarding process down to a single PDF printout and giving new users clear and simple steps to get to contributing. Things we wished we had, we made. Things we wanted to see, we invented. Getting to be part of the pioneers that made the next level and generation of community happen is unlike any other feeling I have ever had. I am so thankful for it I can barely contain it.

As far as what we actually got done, I am going to be really lazy and just link us over here.

Opening Remarks

JavaScript APIs in WordPress
Adam Silverstein

Fist session up and I thought I had enough caffeine to keep up with anything. Then the session started and Adam went so fast that he actually had to build in rest points to his talk in order to slow down. Basically there is a whole world of WP features that live right in the developer console and are exposed on every page thanks to the REST API. Some things are well documented, some are not. Overall, there is a whole world to explore here. This is an area I know I want to learn and will eventually have to if we keep making everything JS, but other areas are just calling for my time a little more these days.

Raw Notes:
Really about functions and utilities and
On github.com/adamsilverstein/wceu2018
Ma.tt told us to embrace JS deeply
Deeply = learning frameworks and build systems
Hello WP JS
RestAPI and Gutes,
hello window.wp global where JS features live
the wp name space
in console
lot of objects to play with
objects tools
docs are coming, workng on it
demo code
ads.txt plugin
more code, see github
text to rich code editor
you can customize the media editor
very complex, not good docs
from Felix
periodic data transmission between client and server
runs at regular pace
data back and forth on schedule from multiple apps
very well documents
some hosts disable heartbeat due to server stress
import category of posts
2 main event, send and tick
5 seconds heartbeat is near enough real time for updates in a progress bar
customizer api
very well documented, start with the handbook
workhorse in WP
client helper library for REST API
wp.a11y – speaks to screenreaders, important to JS heavy sites, annouce events to screenreads
WP NPM packages
gutenberg is making packages
lightweight and efficient EventManager for JS
Gutenberg hooks
pretty OK docs right now
github repo is good, but all falling out of date
fill slots with custom components
manage and interact with state
similar to DOM construction and HTML
slew of tools in JS and APIs
NPM lets us build for WP and out of WP and in Gutes and out of Gutes
Q&A – When will it be merged?
A: April, don’t know what year… 😀
learn the chrome debugger

When to use the API
Sean Blakeley

Many a great point was made in this intro talk about the consumability of the REST API and I really like that he is talking about grabbing individual elements from any post programmatically. If you know anyone who is just dabbling with the idea of the REST API and WP, this is really solid content to help get them motivated and the creative use cases flowing.
I kinda hate to say it but the biggest lesson I learned from this is do not trust animated slides and conference centers. He still did a fantastic job even though his slides would not cooperate. But as a result, I think I need to rethink some of my animated gif based slides now.

Raw Notes:
SCRUM based, 12 years or so in WP
API use in existing projects
Why: what: when
Why use it?
Devs and for the WP project
prior to the REST API WP was a monolithic block box
APi let us move data in and out of system, liberated data
so we can integrate with other services and systems
innovators dilemma
smaller software projects are going to disrupt and dominance means slow to change to react
WP needs to challenge it’s own dominance, REST API and Gutenberg do this
what is it?
API is like a power socket in the wall
not useful into something is plugged in
translation of what we want to another audience
imagine sports company
want to use WP to make content
also want to ingest news feeds
select and publish some with summary and contextualizing
performance overhead is too much for WP directly
build a content API and do not change the WP layer
API delivery system
simpler architecture
start up wanting to show details of swimming pools
public queryable API
elastic search
WP as the GUI, the real work done by alternative storage system
Existing systems
Fairfax and HumanMade case study
presenting integrating experimenting
plugin Site In Numbers
chunking into zones
push and pull into the JS layer
Using the Rest API to integrate into systems
sage ecosystem case study
advice service
Ionic app – run by WP site
WP as a game engine??
football matches
interconnectivity of objects
time and how it persists in the virtual world
Gutes: As we have moved into modular chunks,
POst and Pages are black boxes
display or not
Gutes splits content into discreet blocks
transients as a way to store data
a-sync transients by 10UP
start integrating with other services that was not possible before

Content security policies: a whole new way of securing your website that no one knows about
Miriam Schwab

Do you remember the moment when you realized “Oh, I should be using HTTPS on everything!” If you have not had that moment yet, sorry for the spoiler. This talk effectively was a wake up call about CSP. It makes so much sense to just whitelist assets that the browser should be able to load, think about the render blocking elements you could halt before they start render blocking. I also kinda feel like I should have heard about this before. It is actually on my to do list to figure this out before my next post goes out, I will report how it goes in the post wrap up then.

Raw Notes:
Either going to love this or sleep through it
WP Garage
most attacks XSS
Cross Site Scripting
Load their code in your browser
once in that state, has access to your storage, dom, cookies
persistent Originate in the DB – comment injection
reflected: originates in the victim’s request – bad link
DOM-Based – everything on the browser side
OWASP top 10
XSS the user is the victim, not the application
session hijacking/cookie theft, account takeover,redirects, unwanted ads,
a11y extension in the UK and EU mostly
line of script to use
hack library and turned into crypto mining
user resources
a cryptominer for your site
slower devices
100% CPU, etc
55% of orgs affected
How do we protect ourselves and users?
CSP constant security policies
just say what the good stuff is and what you want to load
very few people using it now
not included in the whitelist, does not load
CSP Syntax
Strings specifying type of resources
content-security-policy: default-src ‘self’ https:;
only allow https assets
script-src ‘self’ https://www.google-analytics.com
unsafe inline
unsafe eval
script-src ‘unsafe-inline’ ‘unsafe-eval’
Nonce or Hashes more secure way to do it
subresource integrity – SRI
hashing to allow only when properly matching
don’t use
x-xss, x-frame,
how to add this in?
Server level headers,
a functions
meta tag – can’t be used with everything
also htaccess
header information and how content securit
keycdn has a tool
CSP evaluator from google
SOPHOS security headers
WP plugins Security Headers
https headers
SRI plugin
Report URI – tools for generating headers
telerik fiddler – only one that can read site and tell what need to add to security policy
adoption, 23,690 out of top Million sites
another way to test – script, plug into console


Keynote and Q&A with Matt Mullenweg
Matt Mullenweg

There already is so much written about this already that I don’t feel I can add too much to the conversation. I will say that I am very, very happy to hear Matt and I have the same favorite feature in Gutenberg, copy and pasting Markdown.

Staying Healthy In the Digital Space
Christina Varro

Not even going to lie, Christina gave one of the most useful talks I think I ever saw on the topic of figuring out WordPress update management tooling back at WordCamp Seattle 2016. I should publish those notes, that was before I started this blog format. The world has certainly evolved in 2 years but management tools are slower to change than the front end and it’s JS wizardry. Anyhow, I was excited to see her talk about something else other than tech because I knew she would bring her pragmatic approach to any subject and it would be awesome. Turns out I was right. Well researched and full of little tips and healthy habits, this was a talk that, since it is a lightning talk, you can send around to any department at the office and to any of your relatives and they would probably benefit. Now, sit up straight.

Raw Notes:
Eye strain
improper computer use
20-20-20 rule
position the screen
late night work
artificial blue light from monitor disrupts
wear blu-blockers
avoid looking at screens for 2-3 hours before bed
turn down all lights 1-2 hours before bed
expose yourself to bright lights in the daytime
take a break
make an effort to connect to a person in person
Set boundaries between work and personal
back pain and wrist pain
Sitting is more dangerous than smoking
More you sit, the more your blood stops flowing
Stand up every 30 minutes
spend 15 minutes per hour standing
drink water
invest your office set up
learn to sit properly

Easing the anxious mind: dealing with anxiety in the workplace
Laura Nelson

Another lightning talk. They move so fast. It was solid content and took a lot of bravery to stand up on a stage and do something like this in front of a crowd that big. But I know it helped someone, because it helped me. Hearing that other people have unrealistic worries sometimes and that I am not alone out here with the struggle is pretty encouraging. I hope we have talks like this at every camp.

Raw Notes:
Generalized anxiety disorder she manages
define anxiety
often banded around as worry or stress
anxiety is a constant
1. Keep a diary
a worry journal
in real time
rank them and ‘n/10’ score
exhausting stuff
2. Make plans and stick to routine
hard as a freelancer
give yourself time to think about things
3. talk about it
it can be hard at first
You are not alone
60 Million people in the EU suffer from anxiety
4. Be kind to yourself?
give yourself a break
what’s a reasonable adjustment
1. Work starts when they get there, start later
2. Keep a nice working environment
3. promote a healthy work-life balance
4. listen

WordPress and Inclusive Design
John Maeda

John is one of my favorite speakers in the world. His vision is pretty clear as it underlays every talk I have seen him give. That mission is to help us all make a better world through thoughtful communication. I don’t know if he ever would describe it so abruptly but that is what I see in every talk. His passion to do things that make people think rather than fit into the predefined patterns has driven some very interesting conversations and I think put us on a path towards his goals.

Raw Notes:
inclusivity is hard since it requires change
pushing our limits
fashion always pushes limits
design pushes you to think differently
forces interaction by questioning how it is supposed to be
Wapuu silhouette – some anger but creator loves it since people are using it
without change we only have death
wants to start an Automattic design award focused on experience
issue with design in tech – shallow design
engineer and dev, does not work, re-fix it until it does work
too tired to make it usable
too tired to make it feel good
spray design on it
trying hard to make it look not bad
deep design is not like rocket science, it is 4 things
discovering the problem
hypothesize how to fix
deliver the solution
listen and look at how people use it
we love shipping it, we do not like the feedback
we are very focused on delivery
in deep design must spend time on listening and discovering the problem
all about creative, not about the money
but after a while, should he worry about the money
got his MBA
found that it is important to understand the money
Apple control of aluminum and process
not many aluminum
ability to bend wood
teaforte tea bag vs green tea in traditional bag
analogy for our modern day
FOSS vs Free but I will spy on you
best way to enhance that core service is the experience
everyone copies what is better, like the iPhone x clones
we are in less than 5% of the world that

Intro to Drupal (for WP folks)
David Needham

Yes, I do get to work with this guy. My expectations were high, having seen him talk on a few occasions before, but David brought a new level of everything to this session. From the first words out of his mouth drawing us into a story of how he met Drupal, and all OSS really, to the clear explanations he gave of how Drupal works in a different way than WordPress does, David held the whole room transfixed. I have been trying to explain the differenced between the CMSes for a while, but not have a whole slew of data points and this presentation to send them to if I get asked again. He even gave case studies, which I think are the best way to learn the value of a thing. We do have those in WordPress as well by the way (working on more and looking for new ones still).

Raw Notes:
His origin story
in a class, a professor made them write a CMS
then said “That is why you don’t write your own, now use an OSS one”
everyone else chose WP, he was encouraged to use Drupal
he got involved in the community
volunteering is very important
What is Drupal?
Dries in Belgium created one fo the first social networks
a website where friends could share things like photos
he open sources it and that is what Drupal came from
6% of the top 10K websites
that is where it excels, at the top
over 1Million devs and growing
Free as in beer
free as in speech
free as in puppies
A website also requires feeding and care
D8 is object oriented
Symfony PHP framework
known as being hard to learn, but standardized now
but a professional PHP from a different project can learn it faster
small business owner at a camp hiring Drupal experience
but since D8 move, as long as they know OOP PHP they can work there
A new person with no Drupal background made a core commit on first attempt since he knew PHP OOP
Drupal is modular
the ecosystem is different, no commercial modules
no ongoing support contract around the modules
Also means less fragmentations
OSS from the Drupal community means all the code back to D.O
Drupal is themable,
extremely customizable
down to a per piece of content basis
box of legos, makes it harder to approach
built in data structure, specific content and field calls
meta around that
very good for data analysis or connecting to multiple applications
Structured content
core, very key to how it all works
build your own data structures
and access/roles is built in
staff directory example
Chicago Park District example
facilities – name, type, photos, address, photos, hours
data created elsewhere and pulled in
editors also editing
pushed out to a few other places
kinda ugly interface to be honest
but configurable in any ways to display anything
slideshow, sidebar footer, whatever
block display
custom admin tables
Hong King Trade Development Council
using Views to build a dynamic front page on their site
Drupalcal to meet the community
free Drupal training online too
experiencing like a different country
see the world a little bit different
advocating checking out other communities and out of your comfort zone
in conclusion, the website for his class
it ended up doing very well and
had a fully functional ecommerce store for fake things
not here to convert you
motivation is to show that we are similar
more alike than different
grown together
Drupal had content types: WP Post Types
Drupal query building: WP has this too actually from Plugins
Gutenberg is also being thought of in Drupal form a different philosophical point
but get out there and learn

Origins of Design Inspiration
Simon Cooke

You sometimes see talks that explain a technical trick or pattern that makes the mind really focus in on details. And sometimes you see talks that speak to how the universe works and how we need to widen our perspective. This talk fell into the latter camp and I walked away with a pretty different understanding of how I should be thinking about time and my day then when I walked into the room. Perhaps you don’t resonate with the findings but for me, I found that the ‘morning focus’ and the ‘evening creative’ pattern was spot on. It made me question a number of things along the way. Still processing all this still at the time of writing.

Raw Notes:
Bob Dylan quote
Finding something,
like inspiration was a think
Egyptians thought it was a spirit
Greek thought ti was something that followed you around, genius
map of the mind in modern times
looked at Design theories
many ways to bubble up ideas to the top
at Pragmatic they use “design thinking”
David Kelly thought leader around this
5 sections
Ideate <—-where we will spend most time in this talk
things start with rough sketches
digitize and
mussli (SP?) mewsly?
mind-mapping input in new chrome windows
ideation is brainstorming
input and output
I don’t believe the value of brainstorming is the ideas generated
value lies in the shared perspective of the people who participated (paraphrase)
Tim Sheiner of Salesforce
Lot of tools available, may be equal, but some can be more inspirational
The Process:
Start with our own habits
Daily Adventures
change it up, do something different, introduce simple change to change frame of mind
drink something different, new coffee shop, take a different path
Rhythm, normally about timing
creative are creative peaks 7-11am AND 4-9pm
ideation meeting, don’t do it at 2:00pm
Daniel H Pink book “When” on mood swings supports this theory
that curve is split in 2
morinng spike is hyper focused state of mind
most ah-ha moments though are in the evening peak 4-9pm
creatives minds need time to chill out, less pressure
brains get to wander and connect the dots of all experiences recently
that is where creativity really happens
Influence is the past major point of ideation for him
Influence = inspiration
they are equal
transformed in equal quantity
digital environment
physical world
digital – screenshots of phone, lot of visual and written content
very much influencing him
other digital content, blog posts, httpster.com,
WOGD – high quality content
jotting a lot of notes at night
in morning then process it
podcasts and audiobooks
Physical world up next
fun, slides and stuff
should feel comfortable in your working space
but can not compete with volume of written data on digital
but different
experience as much as you can of the physical world
community, there are the people around you
friends, family, co-wokers, Campers
Tools – find the ones that work for you
Process – tweak a few habits and find a rhythm
Influence – influence = inspiration
challenge, help someone find inspiration in you and find inspiration in them

Anatomy of a block: Gutenberg design patterns
Tammie Lister

My notes are not the best on this one because it is hard for me to watch demos and try to capture what I am experiencing. There was a lot of really awesome stuff but it reads flat on the page. This is THE talk you should show your designer friends who are questioning the 5.0 editor and the thinking that has gone into the UI.

Raw Notes:
Not a technical talk
about the ideas behind design of Gutenberg
basically everything is a block
all we should have to learn is how the blocks work, then we will know all of it
roots of it, sketch of it
basically based on the whole experience of WP
blueprints (shows a design sketch of the thing)
element bar
sidebar blueprint
status, revisions, all the things you expect with WP
adding block
shared and reused blocks
walked through nested block and other blocks
blueprint of a standard block
bar, menu, and arrows
sidebar can be moved and placed as you prefer
Doc sidebar is same as in block sidebar, always there
primary and secondary action
toolbar has primary actions
things it should not function without it
secondary are anything else
any block can become any other kind of block
work moving transform into one place
Unselected placeholders
selected and with content
unselected but contains content
basic anatomy of a block
Gallery block
much closer to true WYSIWYG
every bock should give a preview
and show you what to do intuitively
Blocks should adapt
blocks usable on all devices
Where should blocks live? Plugins so they can be reused!
leave the themes alone
Direct manipulation
receive immediate feedback
expected user experience
Block Styles
editor block
when should you build a block?
there are also other ways to do it
potential ideas are boundless
making content with not much or
Tips – new user experience guide
a bit of a story
thanks for all the contributions

Beyond Gutenberg
Matías Ventura

When you read the phrase “currently leading the Gutenberg editor project” in a bio, that is probably a speaker who’s session you should attend. I will admit my notes are a little lax on this one due to the jetlag yet again, but this is one I am really glad I saw live. The ideas and topics flowed fairly fast as well. The demos were hard to capture as well and should really be seen. We are getting so close to that final release candidate that makes it into the auto update, maybe. Lots to do, but then again there is always a lot to do.

Raw Notes:
how the things have been made and how it is going is goal of talk
30 releases in one year
200+ contributors
3000+ code merges
how to bring a blocked based experience without fragmenting the community and content
took a while to arrive at blocks
optimize for the user
content first
no lock-in
incremental developer
Semantic web
since WP inception this is central
block editing is concern of manipulating content but not for display it
HTML as the format
page as the privileged entity and more meaningful experience
lift up and manipulate blocks
slightly higher order HTML
we are using native HTML tool manipulate content
block attributes
demo time
maintaining since last time he talked is columns block
markdown FTW
reusable blocks
scales up
seeing a lot of plugins creating blocks
needs testing help with
nested blocks
layouts and
child blocks
API tools to allow mixtures of blocks and templates
reusable layout units
locking templates is new as well
experience new page mock up from Mel Choyce

Wrapping Up

In the Lyft back to San Francisco, I felt the cool air and familiar hum of a car made to be driven in America driving over truly Bay Area roads and I felt at home. I don’t know if I really appreciated what Belgrade offered and what the time really meant to me there. So many amazing new friendships forged and memories made. From the sessions where I fought sleep to the dance floor where I introduced someone to crowd surfing. From the pouring rain that overwhelmed a city’s public transportation capacity to the vacant alleys that Google Maps thought I should squeeze through. From the moment I landed to the moment I unpacked, this has been one of the more memorable things I have ever gotten to do.

Thank you everyone who made it happen.

I have no idea if I will make it back to Belgrade or even that part of the world again. I never really thought I would make it there in the first place. Next year, same conference is going to be in Berlin and I have always wanted to go there as well. Hopefully I will see you before then, but if not can’t wait for WordCamp Europe 2019

Twin Cities Drupal 2018: Exactly right weather and learning that a turn of a corner means a very different neighborhood experience in Minneapolis

It might not sound intuitive, and I think this might sound like an advertisement, but I think I get some of my best work done inside the United Lounges at SFO, including the vast majority of this post actually. There are these back cubical co-working spots that feel like a place I used to work at in Oakland when I was first figuring out the Bay Area. A place that forced a good work ethic because you definitely did not want to lip down further on the rungs of quality of labor choices. And the fluorescence flicker is at a temp that raises your anxiety just enough that you fall into quicker rhythm while hacking at something or writing something up. I was getting a lot of work done on a Wednesday morning as I was about to fly out to the Mini Apple for Twin Cities Drupal Camp 2018.

“There are only seasons in the cities,” my Lyft driver stated dryly as we left the airport and ran into a traffic delay. She let out a light sign and continued “Winter and construction.” This was not a joke, as traffic delays getting into the city made me very glad that I could get to almost everything on foot, which is my preferred mode of travel these days. I have found walking in a city reveals more about the character than reading millions of data points. Knowing how the lavender smells and realizing how much I have taken the wild lavender of California coastal climates for granated. Seeing co-working/art/loft spaces that could be in any city ever next to Starbucks which are in every city ever. I came with a different eye this time, evaluating the subtleties of one of the few cities I can say I am frequent enough that the bartenders and KJ’s at the karaoke spots remember my face from last time. It cast a wonderful underglow to the whole trip and made me re-see how really wonderful so many people I already thought the world of really and truly are.

Food and the Fun

Wednesday Night Baseball

Just by happenstance about 12 of my amazing Pantheon teammates were in the area, which is not too surprising give than about 7 of them live there and work from our Downtown Minneapolis office. Thanks to the wonderful and thoughtful Tessa Kriesel the whole gang got to go out the ballgame and see The Twins play the White Sox. It might not have been a great night for the Twins, but it was a great night for us all.

Speaker Dinnner

I always love these things, even when I go into them a little under the weather. Coming out of it I felt on top of the world. Hanging with the crew that put on the camp, all of them volunteers giving of themselves freely to make something bigger than any of us could accomplish alone. Hell’s Kitchen in downtown took very good care of us, helping us all feel full and making sure to cater to our dietary needs. I even learned about this awesome whole repo for FOSS android stuff, F-Droid, which I will be searching first from now on. FOSS FTW!!!


Coffee was coffee enough to fight the sleepy off for the morning and a light selection of fruits and yogurts met us as we arrived. Lunch was on our own and while it felt a tad antisocial, I did something I have never done before at a camp. I bought groceries and made a salads for both days. I was not the only person to choose to stay at the venue and I got to hang out with a pretty awesome crew of people, so it ended up very social after all!

Friday After Party

Drupal and WordPress differ on a number of philosophical points, that have nothing to do with code. Drupal Camps feel like a reason to have a sprint day and an excuse to get together and play board games, with the sessions remaining very serious and important, but secondary to those two goals. This camp, for instance, had 2 after parties, one after each camp day. The first of them was at one of my favorite art collective spaces I have ever visited, The House Of Balls. This place used to be an underground punk club that transformed into something you would imagine only could exist at Burning Man, but here it is in the middle of the midwest. No real way to explain how this place feels, but there was DrupalKaraoke so you know it was magic.


Coffee once more flowed but this time, our voices in the tea drinking community were heard and we had some lovely teas to choose as well. Green for me please. Lunch was again on our own and my prepped salad in a bag was the envy of the table where I sat. Eating high fiber never tasted so good.

The Saturday After party lacked some of the flare of the Friday night fun, but it was so great to see so many people just relaxed and engaging as people, not as work colleagues or business contacts, over great Chinese food and more board games, like The Thing at Advantage Labs at Flock MPLS. 1/2 the place felt like a recycled saw mill operation and the other felt like what happens to lawyer offices if the lawyer suddenly goes out of business. Neither of these things are bad, especially in the context of a co-working space. I had an early flight and did not stay until we all left, but I did get a chance to swing through Otter’s Saloon, my favorite karaoke experience outside San Francisco and would feel bad if I didn’t give them a shout out in this post.


Opening Remarks:

Drupal and the Music Industry: Learning from Our Success
Matthew Tift

If you really stop and think about it, case studies are literally the final output of a project. Everything that has ever happened in every attempt to solve the issue, process improvement that resulted, new system integrated with or written along the way, should in an ideal world make it into a case study. I love them and think they are the most valuable pieces of content ever produced. A session that would discuss multiple case studies in one of my favorite industries of all time seemed like the exact right thing for me to attend. I actually ended up seeing this session as the natural follow on to Michael Schmitt’s Keynote which had happened at the previous week’s Texas Camp. While Michael focused on the government use of the tools, Matthew had an aguabaly sexier topic of the music industry, of which he has a deep knowledge. If you want to be able to brag about someone who everyone has heard of using Drupal for all it can do, be proud that list is as far ranging as Beyonce to Tom Petty and from Berklee School of Music to MTV. Be proud Drupal community, we make the world sing.

Raw Notes:
A way to connect live coding and the music industry
Who sponsors Drupal?
You can now acknowledge who paid for you to do that piece of research and development
not a technical session
how the Drupal community has successfully found a niche in music industry
Dreis published 27 posts that talk about musical acts using Drupal
not the ‘official truth record’ but a trail that shows how Drupal was adopted
MTV using Drupal in 2006, 4.3
real developmental period with a lto fo contracts
Many other music sites Dreis did not blog about though…
before that, let’s talk about D.O redesign
for 3 personas
for Marketers
non-profit, Healthcare, Higher Ed, Media and Publishing, Government
Here is where Drupal is successful
used Wappalyzer to who what sites are Drupal
so many sites are Drupal, overwhelming
tom petty, cardi B
labels use Drupal, Atlantic, Nonesuch, RHINO, Warner Music, many others
Also, Music Schools
SO many higer ed
Berklee school of music, ASU, etc
NAMM, MTV, Classical-music.com
Good for business
you can drop names on clients
you can use it without caring that much about the underlying philosophy
lot of business value we can point to via this success
also Cause and Effect
Standardization – across so many brands, one solid foundation
Cooperation and working together is throughout all this
Sony + Drupal – sponsoring multilingual work in D6
not just building the functionality for themselves, share with the world
not just that people are doing this, but a sense of sharing
this marked a move to the ‘serious developer’ out of the hobby category back in 2009
Sony Lessons
Engage with the community, makes it all better
Working with Drupal core, not against it (don’t hack core)
Fix Core too
Developers like to get to do it right
Went through the commits to see who else has pitched in
Universal music was only other one – environment_libraries from 2015
something special about the Sony case then
Music is content and we do content management
Most of the web does not need the complexity
audio on the web, internationalization
not everyone has a lot of content, maybe don;t need as much CMS
Dries pushes this idea
‘Ambitious Digital Experiences’
on the front of D.O
there is a whole other level going on with this
a lot of people listen to music and have special relationship with it
many people in Drupal also musicians
Jeff Robins of Lullabot was in ‘Orbit’
A sense of Belonging
Musicking by Christopher Small
we like process of creating and there is something about music that makes it a good fit
Our community likes to get together and there is a lot of music sometimes
Drupal songs!
Robin Hood
taking money from the ‘big evil corporations’ and using it to share code with the community
public good
money to give things away
Metta (kindness in sanskrit)

Progressive Decoupling: A case study with PRI
Brandon Hundt

Having grown up and discovered NPR and PRI on my own as a teen, this organization and all the hours and hours of driving they helped he endure in the first parts of my adulthood hold a special place for me. To hear someone working there personally thank my company for making their life better was more than heartwarming. It was one of those moments that reinforced that I am not really working a job, I am answering a vocation. Technically I found this a very keen piece. If you are considering decoupling, this is a very good session to see as homework.

Raw Notes:
50 -60 RSS feeds built into views
needed a custom platform
Rest API was decided
project did not go well
4Kitchens helped them figure out custom was not the way to go
needed a Viable platform
New Paths Forward
Decoupled D7 was the path after all things considered
What they did
started with the home page for decoupling
RESTFul API – had to develop this for them
Restful module, JSON compliant APIs
read points and CRUD endpoints
robust front end
React to make a component library for UX
using Storybook
it became the favorite tool for whole team on project
live storybook
bit.ly/priStoryBook ~ bit.ly/priReactLessons
Next JS Frontend
1.0 launched in April of 2018
some advantages but also challenges
pros: It works! The goal was met that it functioned
40% faster overall
In part thanks to the edge cache from @getpantheon
Mitigated risk
no migration! this is big, limited budgets meant this was too time consuming
used what they had, saved a lot of work
also set them up for migrating to D8 at some point
Modern framework – a dev said “I really enjoyed working on this stack”
that is a super positive!
stakeholders where satisfied
Not all wine and roses
increased support burden on a small team
time is $$$ and cost is a real challenge
initial thought was he would have plenty of time to rebuild the site year to year
Prioritization is a challenge
not really managing users at all,
traffic is mostly not logged into anything, over 90%
can you tell from React if logged in?
not really, but can get to it if they go down that path
different direction on that now, in the works

The Next Big Thing And Why Should I Care?
Dan Moriarty

I went into this session with no cear idea on what Dan even meant by that title. I was delighted to be able to hear Dan quickly give a brief synopsis of the forthcoming tech and his pros and cons to it as well as a very simple ‘should I care and when’ judgement. Throughly researched and well thought through, I only wish this session had been longer so we could have had a longer and deeper follow up discussion. Hopefully Dan will keep giving this kind of talk as tech ever changes and that change keeps accelerating.

Raw Notes:
Missed intro
CSS grids vs Flexbox
only have so much mental capacity or time
Skeptic vs Cynic
Skepticism is good in general, asks questions
Gartner Hype Cyle
predicing the future based on trends
1. Voice Search
smart speakers
does not have one yet
why care?
20-25% all searches by voice
location based search
more and more popular
Comscore thinks 50% of all search will be made by voice by 2020
What should I be doing
Have online content you can search (duh!)
Plain spoken, natural language, understand how search is differnt with voice
Easy to understand
His call: Learn it now!
2. VR and AR
what do we mean by VR?
360 videos
360 video, VRML was predecessor, for house tours
no special devices needed
low bar of entry
no interactivity
VR and Web VR
Traditional VR using devices for an immersive experience
Occulus Rift, Cardboard, etc
leaving the real worlds to work within VR
WebVR is experiencing VR within a web browser, as a progressive enhancement
Only on special versions of borwsers like Firefox Nightly
Augmented Reality
overlaying real world in your device view
Brining virtual objects into the real
Apps like Ikea PLace and Pokemon Go
Apple AR kits
Google called 2018 the year of AR
My call: Dabble, still 2-3 years out from hitting web designers
AI – what does that even mean?
pattern recognition on a large scale
machine learning algorithms
machine learning
predictive algorithms
speech and image recognition
chat bots
impact to the web? some
tools to enhance you content
Tools to help users
tools to improve UX
Tools to increase engagement
Tools to improve efficiency
to replace your job
grid.io uiKit
What to know
Be informed about the tools exist
Use tools like Google AI.API to contruct tasks
My call, Dabble, 3-4 years out from real tools
4. Chatbots
logic trees based on user input
guide for searcihng/sorting
initial interface for easy to answer questions
NLP to understand requessts
landbot.io, as an example of a chatbot AS a website UI and a service that builds chatbots
Users spend more time in messenger apps, less in social media
want instant info, just by asking a bot
Delivering info to the user
How to use them
Slack, FB, other applications
Create your own
his call: Dabble now!
5. Blockchain
shared data and resources
can I use it?
used in crypto currency
could be used in financial transaction, big ticket items
His call: ignore for a few more years
6. AMP
Accelerated mobile Pages
publish mobile optimized content making loads fast
Cched by google
AMP module from Lullabot
Should be be using it?
On article heavy content, easy to implement
Google promoting loading webpages inside email
not for dynamically hanging data
does it create a walled garden??
De we need instant loading
His call: could know and now
Progressive Web Aps
PWA, alternative to native apps
using HTML and JS
Dynamic like an app
Data can be stored offline for phone or tablet
Should tou learn?
8. GDPR – Geeneral Data Protection Regulation
sets rules on how companies can use your data
site visitor may be from abroad
His call: do it now!
Feel good about yourself if you don’t know everything.
It’s OK to not know everything!

Drupal 8 Migrate: It’s not rocket science…
Jack Franks

Jack is an immediately likable fellow, in my opinion and his ideas and thorough understanding of migrations in general struck me as a real asset to the community as a whole. Getting to chat with him at the speaker dinner about content deployment and how we might approach that in Drupal effectively made my head spin with the possibilities of using Migrate module for ETL. This talk didn’t exactly address my postitnow use case but it points to at least a viable path which he is already looking down. THis session also should get an award for best use of NASA data for any session ever delivered at a Drupal Camp.

Raw Notes:
But we are playing with a lot of rocket/space data
Not coving D6-D7
Not talking about D8migrate and d7 Migrate
Not Multi language imports
How does this Migration thing work anyhow?
Source -> process -> destination
for the most of our use cases we mean Drupal
can also mean out of D as well
What does it look like?
1. Start with Source plugin, where data comes from
2. Results of source are converted and mapped to your destination with Process plugins.
3. Destination determines where it ends up
This sounds grat, how do we do it?
Migrate is in core, but you need some other things too
Something that makes stuff way easier
Migrate_devel – print source and map
config_update –
how do we do it?
Create a moduel. (just a .info.yml file or Drupal gm in concole
Create a config/install dir
Ass a config file

run it
Testing is tricky
code is at tiny.cc/d8migrate
Helper module
Let’s dissect a source plugin
screenshots and demo code
process plugins
using lando locally to debug, pretty cool
ton of plugin ids
see if data is what it is supposed to be format
then process and return it
simple, most of them only do one thing
PDF parser example
live demo time
custom destination plugin
every file in every directory of the system
now to the NASA data
rovers on Mars
machine crash…oh no!
demo keeps going
pulling data from NASA API
see this data structure

Antaeus At Work; Human Centrism in Experience Design
Christopher Stephan

I honestly went into this session based on the misguided belief that Antaeus was a framework for design. I am not kidding. Workng at a place called Pantheon that has internal project names like Valhalla and Styx and meeting rooms named Dionysus and Hera, it is not too strange for me to make this kind of mistake. Also, I did not read the session discription too thoroughly after learning that Christopher was from The Nerdery and I knew I would be in for a treat regardless of the topic. All those points plus the exploration of Experience Design, of which I have little direct formal experience, made this one of the first ones I highlighted as a ‘should attend’ on my schedule.
I am very glad I did. Not only did I learn another new story from the seemingly boundless inherited tapestry of mythology, but I also gained some wonderful insight into how others have used the idea of active listening to improve all our lives. Christopher is a wonderful presenter and I feel this is one of the more engaging sessions I have been in at any camp.

Antaeus at work
got to do the work
imagine a hammer, everything needs hits
but need to figure out how to specifically do with it
what do we know about Antaeus?
not much
Antaeus was a child of gods, Giant in greek mythology
used to challenge people to wrestling
as long as his feet were on ground, invincible
Hercules liften him and beat him
His power was connection
HUman centrism
the approach we take and solutions we arrive at are based on…
serving needs
deep empathy
Building that ase is work
needs have to be determined
The needs you serve have to be determined
You can get business values, but not the list that reflects the needs of the populations served
You don’t build empathy secondhand, must be direct working relationship
feedback won’t come looking for you, well bad does sometimes, good does not
We do research to find needs
We do work in person to build empathy
SO that means
You have to get up close and personal with the people you are trying to help
you have to forget about what you want and hear what they want
Terry Pratchett’s ‘first sight’
You’ll need a foundations understanding of the pressures and motivations in play
Iteration is key
Need to share work and accept it’s problems as fuel for improvements
That every change you make, opens the door to new potential improvements or issues
tech is constant change, always new was to fall behind
The needs and expectations of the people you serve is itself a moving target
Needs of the same person at 10:00am are not the same at 3:00pm
or first of month vs end of month
but it is worth it
innovation comes from observation and recognition of emergent needs
You will find opportunities to serve your users instead of someone else’s
but let’s be cautious on Best Practice, that normally means borrowing someone else’s solution
no idea how they were formed for the most part or what issue they were originally trying to solve
Human centrism only works when we make contact with, and learn from, those we want to serve
so why Antaeus anyhow?
when was he strong and when was he weak?
What does this imply about human centrism Experience Design
What happened when le lost touch, he got squished
so will we
Probable Benefit Density Chart
He made it up
y=operating expertise | x=constituents contact
none-> consistent
quadrants Satisfying
anyone can do usability testing
decent usability testing just means plunking someone down and watching what they do with the thing you built
the more consistent you make the contact, the more yor expertise grows
the more adept at applying methods AND analyzing results, the more value you get
avoid predictive questioning “will you…”
“future me is an unreliable bastard”
Like Anteaus hman centrism relies on contact
never one and done
there is no merit badge, or cert for this
finite shelf life on anything you learn
true iteration means a loop of articulation and testing
prototype just gets a conversation and data, can be a single sktch or a full fleshed out dummy site
The moment you lose touch, you are not Human Centric
this weems like a lot of change
and there is ALWAYS a reason not to engage
timeline too tight
Budget is too small
no access to right people
Changing course is not an option
what happens when we don’t engage
disconnecting is a stakeholder saying you can’t
If you care about experience, you have to stay in touch.
What an I do now and without a budget?
Gather a pool of users, to give feedback or participate in research when needs arise
your intentions and their intentions don’t align, but you can get them in alignment
review ticket queues, analyze it!
look for recurring issues and requests
then you can understand the enduring issues in the system
start planning to conduct research and testing as basic components of every new feature and build
make time, appropriate funds, gather resources
just start engaging with Drupal users and do not stop…EVER!
investing in contact will get us there
Iterative trigger theory
internal iterative trigger
contextual iterative trigger – you and the stakeholders and other devs, etc
external trigger – outside your team completely but cares about the ting you are trying to enable
we already do this with code quite often, this is a further step to the outside

Rediscover Google AMP: Learn to integrate AMP with your Drupal project
Jason Want

As someone who has installed and activated the AMP plugin for WordPress and considered it for Drupal, I went into this talk with a true novice perspective. When I left I had a new vision for how I could think about content and delivery. Rather than HTML, what if we design with an AMP first position that, when breaks, defaults back to plain HTML. This is a new idea in my head but the scalability implications, especially for news and updating information websites seems like it is well worth exploring. Though Google driven, this is actually all open source at the end of the day, so there is that as well.

Raw Notes:
Icebreaker, literally a pic
asks us some questions around news
we are not using apps anymore really
install, use it once and then back to normal
FB, Chrome, Amazon, ect
using mobile for browsing
increase in retail on mobile more and more
pre-2016 – Fliboard
Apple news with iOS9
2015 AMP annuonced
2016 – AMP results start appearing top story of mobile search
FB supports IA in articles
AMP Preview
Apple News 2 releases with iOS10
AMP in all search results globally
WP – AMP’d up tens of millions of sites
Reddit – Bing – Ebay
SO, what is AMP?
Open SOurce Library that provides straightforward way to create web pages and email that are compelling, smooth, and load near instantaneously
AMP on Github
3 core peices
1 AMP HTML – slightly mod HTML for performnce
2 AMP JS library
-manage resource loading async
-sandbox iframes
-precalc layout of every element
-disable slow CSS selectors
3 Google AMP Cache
using HTTP2
does not serve non-valid AMP pages
straightforward way
basically header does it
AMP components incude their own JS
amp-sidebar, amp-(fill in the blank)
No External Sytlesheets or inline Element Styles
instead use inline stylesheets
max 50kb of inline style
but include tag for fonts from some sources (limited)
disallowed CSS
Margin: 0
fiter: greyscale
only GPU accelerated
disallow regular markup, alternatives in component library
requires amp-form-0.1.js
uses Ajax and more involved of a setup than normal CMS forms

invisible sidebar to add things to
amp carousel, specific to what it can include and individual attributes
Like Angular – change elements with the state of a selector
attributes can be set with this, so ecommerce possible, ebay biggest user right now
2017 – history again
Triple Lift serving AMP ads
canonical URL
amp-install-serviceworker for PWA
enhanced analytics
Fast Fetch ads
Adwords announces AMP pages for ads
Many devs don’t like AMP since ‘not really’ open-web
moving to web packaging (open standard)
AMP email
AMP communicates AMP-based tech and web standards
AMP Consent for GDPR
amp-geo, dynamic goe-personalization – based on CDN POP location, low effort to get
Google Mobile Search includes page speed as ranking factor
many, many resources
Drupal and AMP
D8.2 AMP Module
provides ability to enable AMP modes for content types
provides AMP formatters
GA, AdSense, DoubleClick, amp-pixel
you do not get AMP components
no sidebar
no AMP first approach
-> 8.3x
AMP is not the only way
existing solutions
component based rendering with use of my_module.libraries.yml to minimize CSS and JS assets
Responsive and optimized image assets
performance audit tools (Lighthouse)
Drupalcon session from Mike Carper Get a Perfect 100 in Google PageSpeed

Steering the Open Web
Michael Babker

Almost as a response to the last session I attended on AMP, this talk actually had to address that question of community driven vs corporate sponsored OSS. This is not a minor discussion point either, as this is one of the things that makes tings like Joomla and Drupal stand out among all the CMS projects in a way others wish they could claim. While sponsored development speeds things along, there is something to the idea of a small group of dedicated developers not only solving a difficult problem and then, on their own, with no financial or material incentive outside of altruism and a spirit of human togetherness, release their work to ther world for us all to share the benefits. This is a must watch for anyone wondering what this Free and Open Source stuff is really all about. (Hint: The Free stands for Freedom)

Raw Notes:
Joomla Background, WP, all across the web space
9 years in army
but always dabbled with HTML sites
Part of the Joomla Association Leadership Board
full time PHP, stopped doing talks for a couple years
used a phrase offhandedly – Open Source Advocate
was at Open Web Lounge at DrupalCon with WP, Joomla and Drupal there
all about OSS
top 3 CMS is 36% of web stpace
owns 78% Web Market Space
We are democratizing publishing
freedom to build! Freedom to change. The freedom to save
Security is a huge issue with us
lot of nuance
Automatic Updates – for the WP market, this is paramount, giving up some feature releases for this
Open Source is collaboration, not competition
Lot of security overlap between the projects
leaders and consumers talking together at Drupalcon
why it is important to keep it open and that is what he wants to discuss
Sustainability in OSS
even if OSS dies tomorrow, projects likely to keep going for a while
Sensio labs taking care of Symfony for example
can’t rely on take, take, take, there must be a give back

Personal Internet Security Basics
Dan Ficker

To know Dan Ficker is to immediately like him. I could spend a few paragraphs elaborating on that, but for the purposes of this blog, let’s focus on Dan’s passion for doing things the right way. His twitter game, for example, puts mine to shame I feel and his live tweets are every bit as thorough as my notes hope to be. In fact, for the sessions I didn’t go to, but Dan did, I got great overviews of the main take aways. That, to me, is the highest form of Twitter use, conveying a whole session down to a few comprehensible pics and point summaries that are very easy to consume. He brought this same elevation of the form to a talk everyone should send to all their clients and friends if you care about their online security at all.

Raw Notes:
Not about how to make your company safe,
different talk
personal security
Security is an aspiration, not a state
encryption is your friend
What is encryption anyhow?
Math that keeps your data private
Internet is data packets
much like mail, many computers are sent this along the way
without encryption, they can read your data
encryption is the secret code between sender and receiver
one way encryption
also known as hashing
64 character is good
process is irreversible, no way to get back to the original data
commonly used for passwords
Public Key Encryption
Private and Public key
public key can decrypt messages written with the private key
good to send encrypted data
when is data encrypted?
HTTPS = Encrypted
Encryption keeps data secret between your browser and web server
browsers often show a padlock next to the URL
If not using HTTPS, you are sending your password unencrypted to the server
without HTTPS, any router or compoter alond the path can see file resources you are requesting. with HTTPS, they only can see what server you are requesting data from
Email can be secure, but consider it insecure in general
HTTPS does not guarantee no one will or will not see your data, but it is a risk not to use it
radio waves
assume unsecure
public wifi is never secure
with a password and WPA2, it is at least encrypting data between your machine and AP
more common one is actually ‘123456’
Come up with one or a few passwords to remember
now ee use them for everything
change occasional and a lot of just tack a number to the end
password resets, clunky
now we use hundreds of sites
sometimes banks, very secure things
some of these will get hacked and your paswords will get leaked out
Now you should probably change that same password on every site
only have a few passwords since hard to remember
Dan once had a ios app that had a site that he created a password for
that password got leaked
he got hacked, lost his netflix account to someone in Peru
got it back, not too bad
but could have been a lot worse
If you give your password to a company, they might not encrypt it
it might get hacked
better passwords
Random with alphabet, numbers and special characters
20+ characters long
unique for every site and service
no need to regularly change anymore
impossible to remember, good thing
passwork manager vault
you remember one password
optionally use multiple factors as well to protect this vault of data
Laspass, free
1Password, $35 year
iCloud Keychain, included with apple devices
KeePass, OSS
plugins for major browsers
offer to save any login info you put in browser
apps for desktop too
random password generator
notes for storing other related account data
multi-factor authentication
something you know(password)
something you have (yubikey)
something you are (fingerprint, face, DNA)
something you have or know, easier for enemies to use
better to use 2 factor, pass + one of the others
2 step verification
something you will be able to know and have
getting a code from a message for instance
not really multiple factor, but better than single factor
phone numbers are not secure
back end of a phone system is not too secure actually
coerced customer service peple may do the wrong thing
Solutions: Don’t de verification via SMS, Do it via an app on your phone
Google, Twitter, Facebook, etc allow for it
do need to deal with this on new devices
Passwords that are hard to remember
recovery questions on resets are actually a vulnerability
Solution, create random words that can be pronounced if need be
store the questions and answers in password manager notes areas
to some extent, you have to trust:
your ISP
phone company
cloud service providers
Trust no one!
LastPass or 1Password, if you lose yout password to that, you are lost
encryption means you contro your destiny and security
with great power comes great responsibility
Keep those keys safe!
have an automated backup plan for important data
backup data on-site as well as offsite
safe deposit boxes or something actually make sense here
Securty Now! podcast
Steve Gibson, security researcher
SQRL – slick new password-less login system

My Session

Nobody wants a website. They want results!

After multiple attempts at this talk, I am really comfortable with it and see another evolutionary step with it to come next time I give it. I am very grateful to the people that came out, since I learn something new every single time I give this talk due to the Q&A being a discussion that I get to facilitate rather than a ‘ask the expert at the front of the room’ type of deal. I am getting better at this approach but I still find myself stealing the spotlight by adding my $0.02 when someone else might have a new point of view in mind who was just about to speak before I monologued on and on. It’s all a work in progress.

Wrapping Up

Almost every time I travel I am grateful for it. From Memorial Day to the end of June 2018 is 5 trips, and TCDrupal was the final one. I had some reservations about doing this right before WCEU, like literally the days leading up to me leaving, being home for 24 hours before taking back off to Belgrade. But was it worth it? 100% yes, absolutely no doubt about it.

There are things I can’t express thoroughly in the limited time I have to write, but there is simething amazingly spectacular and special about the Twin Cities community. Not just the Drupal community, but the whole place. From it’s downtown tourist attracting brightlights to the still of the fields between the freeways and no-mans-lands of industrial parks, there is a something to it all. But the Drupal community above that is even more something.

On the way back home, I randomly got to sit next to Karim Marucchi on a leg of my flight. If there is someone as in love with the ideals of open source and understanding the deep, real value in that for large scale organizations, well, I have not yet met them. It made the flight seem too short for a change. This community thing is amazing. I hope it is not too long before I can yet again return to Minneapolis, maybe for TCDrupal 2018.

Texas Camp 2018: The blazing heat of Austin and learning much about Drupal core

I occasionally get on an airplane and am freezing thanks to the AC being cranked all the way up. This was the case when flying to the lone star state and was immediately met with 104 degree heat when they opened the doors on the ground. To be honest, this is not my favorite kind of weather, but at least I would be indoors for the most part, since I was there for Texas Camp 2018.

This was the second time I have ever been to City of the Violet Crown or Texas at all for that matter. The first time had literally changed my life. It was my first Drupal event I had ever attended, DrupalCon 2014. It was the event where I went from just another sales guy in a another tech job I thought was interesting to full blown community member and Drupal enthusiast. It would be hard to understate the importance of this for my life and there is zero doubt I would not be writing this now, nor would I be even living this well, if it were not for that trip. Tamping down crazy expectations of something that life changing, I went in like I do every camp. What I got out of it was again some of the most memorable moments I have had in this space yet.

Food and Fun


Speaker dinner

After a long, full day of training the speaker, sponsors, organizers and volunteers all got together for some Texas BBQ over at Stiles Switch. It was awesome to see everyone. The team made me feel very welcome with the food, by brining in some vegan quesadillas that really hit the spot along with some awesome veggies we all could share. Other folks with dietary restrictions also commented on how inclusive this event was. Not even going to mention it on the other things below, there were vegan options every singe time we were together, just as I think it should be.


No coffee to be found. I almost cried and went a walking around to try to find some. The only coffee place I could find opened at 10:00am. I don’t know what Texas thinks coffee is for exactly or when they think it should be consumed, but this was literally a first for me and was not too pleasant a surprise. However there were breakfast tacos. No lunch was provided so I ended up eating the really awesome and tasty breakfast tacos all day long

There was a Friday night after party as well. We gathered over at 4th Tap Brewing, another co-op, to play some board games and try their pretty terrific brews. I am normally not a beer drinker, but if you are in the area, drop in and see of they still have the Highland Scoundrel, a 10% ABV malty Scotch-style ale, made with peated malt smoked in-house. Best beer I have ever tried.


More breakfast tacos! No coffee, which lead to sleepiness on my end and might have ended disastrously if not for the heroics of David Needham who brought me iced coffee.
We again were on our own for lunch and instead of just grabbing the free option, I ventured around the block to Wich ‘Wich which has pretty awesome selection of subs, wraps and salads. It was great to get to hang out with my Drupal folks over a meal.
The after party was a hoot, taking place not too far away from the venue at The Local Post where we had more drink tickets than we knew what to do with and a terrific spread of food. Afterwards, we found a pretty awesome karaoke spot over at Common Interest and sang and sang and sang until they threw us all out at closing! At the karaoke, we got to see something that was a first for me, a trumpet player playing along with some of the singers and doing the best version of ‘Georgia On My Mind’ I think I have ever heard.


Training Day

Training: Visual Regression Testing with BackstopJS

I was super pumped to be able to co-present/assist with this training. I had done so at LoopConf and it was awesome. Being able to do it here again was also good, though this time I had my own agenda. I used the time to really wrap my head around some of the internals and how I could better use them for my workflow that I build Postitnow around. Here is a video of my then current results

Friday Keynote

Keynote: Breaking the Binary: The Politics of Code and Inclusivity in Technology
Nikki Stevens

Inclusion is one of the things we like to pay lip service to a lot I think. When Nikki showed some examples though of us getting it wrong, it was like a gut punch. I love a good gut punch, it makes me uncomfortable but motivates me at the same time. Like when I think about Accessibility, I always get that same feeling of ‘I am not doing enough’ which drives me to always make alt text at least now. Now I am inspired to always consider ‘am I being tolerant or am I being inclusive with this decision’. They are both important but they are very, very different ideas. I am glad to be on this journey of FOSS with so many people from so many backgrounds. This is and excellent talk to put us in the right direction, but it is up to each and every one of us to move down this path and make tomorrow better, and more inclusive, for everyone.

Great intro from Michael Schmid
Are things the way they are now, the way they have to be?
binary does not change for instance
code does not change
but we used to have balanced ternary system
nothing is inevitable or unchangeable
can we image a different future?
definitions from the crowd
intersection of change
power is exchanged
tech work is political
algorithm to tell who on skid row on who gets a house
it affects real things
internet exists in the real world
internet is just tubes filled with cats
we forget that this is computers made with stuff from mines
in a system, we are all connected
do small choices matter? yes
vim vs emacs
trello vs jira
vagrant vs lando
all the choices matter
the foundation for inclusion is the ability to imagine new futures
no one knows how tech works in general populations
does you ‘user’ exist
average pilot issue
Open demographics began last year
gender: male/female/other
open-demographics on github
gender form to many more options
small choice, huge difference
distributed credit shatters illusions of meritocracy by showing all the labor involved
supported by charts that show 86% male in the space
reinforcing illusions in the system
What’s the business case?
Diverse companies do better and make more money
changing ideas about women
why are we still here?
what is the business case for not changing our hiring practices
data show this is import to change
what systems are we supporting with our corporate and
why are black women so
things designed for white faces/skin
not taking things like gender diversity in stats
tech is important and impacts the world

My talk

Discovery, discovery, discovery, discovery! The most important part of the project

I really had a great time presenting this. Had a pretty full house and people gave me good feedback. The more I think this stuff is common knowledge the more I am always surprised people say they have not encountered some of this stuff before. I am about to retire this one I think, going to replace it with the best parts of a couple other talks about process and give a polished ‘Follow the Process to Success’ kind of a talk, but no time line on that. Thanks to you if you came out to it or listened online.

Getting closer to your customer: Using Drupal in the last mile
Kelly Albrecht

I honestly went to this talk with the thoughts of a) I think Kelly is an awesome presenter and b) What does he mean by last mile here? I was right on the money with the first assumption, Kelly knocked it out of the park and this was a great presentation. I was honestly surprised by the second part, having my expectations completely subverted and walking away literally pumped about a part of Drupal Core I did no know even existed. I spend a lot of time talking the ‘hows’ around DevOps. Automating and such, which is at the heart of the tech side of ‘What is DevOps?’. I don’t spend almost any time thinking about or discussing the ‘Why is DevOps?’.

Why we are thinking this way and how to implement
How close are you to your customers now?
easy to push customers away if you see them as interruptions
lot of misconceptions of what DevOps is
people think about it terms of servers and machine
DevOps came from the developer and the operations folks not communicating
shortening the feedback loop and adding value to chain
customer benefits
break down the wall of confusion
automation helps
feedback though is critical
narrow version of this topic and that is ok, we talk about it a lot
want to automate to noops (no ops)
this is short sighted
Whole point is delivering something of value to the customer
think about getting everyone in loop to customer as communicative as possible
Dev, Test, Engineers to get to mind set
build,CI,Deploy,Operate,feedback,plan,build loop
manager / maker schedule
feedback comes in as tickets
that is what the devs thought
needs to think wider with it
apply flow and automation ot customer feedback as well
which new thing is more important than the other new thing
what’s new, what is, how is it?, what’s next
people lose faith based on how they misunderstand a product
WP as a community thinks about the end customer a lot more than Drupal generally does
What if we modified the Drupal login experience
Tour is in D8 core, not being promoted but very valuable
?tour trigger tour trick pop-up
end user feedback at the end of a tour
get feedback quiz
if people feel their feedback would be heard, they give it
We need everyone’s perspective to make our product as intuative as possible
keep experimentations simple and cheap,
iterate to get closer to you
related: https://www.drupal.org/contributor-tasks/create-tour

a11y — ARIA Rules: To Use Or Not To Use
Susan LaRonde
Charles Leverington

ACCESSABILITY FTW! You know it as well as I do, this is everyone’s responsibility. As if to underscore this and literally have the universe put a face to the issue, when we went out to Karaoke on Saturday, a group of visually impaired folks were having a party and ripping the stage up with how great they were! I had an ah-ha moment of imaging any of them trying to use this site, or anything else I have touched. These awesome people should have the best experience possible. It is a real blessing that Drupal (and WP for that matter) make accessibility automatically OK and it does not take much to get 100% of the way there from our end as content makers and site builders. Don’t delay, make your site accessible today!

Speaker notes are available on the slides from link
examples of ARIA accessible approved code are freely examples
add functionality where semantic HTML does not
classes and how they relate
HTTML DOM tree JS Accessibility tree Assistive technology user
right click inspect, look at JS events, look for accessibility tree
only exists since 2012
most roles are automatically made in HTML5, leveraging semantic HTML
roll = navigation
no aria is better than bad ARIA
do not overwrite existing accessibility semantics
do not change the native semantics unless you have to
ARIA uses KISS principal
lot of code examples in this talk that ironically I had to strain to see from even my third row seat
third rule of ARIA, always make sure keyboard controls are usable
NVDA – NVAccess, free and open source

The traffic fallacy
Sean Eddings

I work on a team that is in the midsts of trying to adopt a more Agile methodology for working on projects that fall outside recurring events. Every time I see a talk about this stuff, I feel it puts me a much better place to even communicate ideas on how to apply SCRUM or Kanban with others. This talk started with a ‘where is he going with this’ moment. Then he got there and I don’t think I can think about tickets in the same way ever again. If you are struggling with tickets and your whole team being too darn busy to get anything done, this this is the talk for you and a way of thinking that will help optimize everything about functional deliverables.

lives in NYC
traffic is bad and many places are too
but thinking while stuck in traffic
not a ton of thought given to solving
he researched and Houston to Katyland TX
41 minutes to go 28 miles on average
right now, hour and 20 minutes
in 2004 nonprofit said 25million hours wasted
delay would double by 2025
about $503,620,000 lost opportunity per year
engineers, extra lanes means more capacity
Texas spent $2.8 billion to widen the Katy Freeway
average time increased from 41 min to 64 minutes
55% increase
the amount of freeway increased the number of cars increased, ratio remained the same and actually worsened
50 lane freeway in hong kong
freeway engineers have the best intentions
Need a vehicle and progress limit
Manhattan is experiment with congestion pricing
no go on this idea now
Stockholm, Sweden, bunch of islands
set up experiment, costs a $1 to enter central city
when people saw the data after 6 months
travel time decreased by 50%
emissions dropped by 14-18% in inner city
what about our industry
Backlogs are like this, things taking forever never get done
think, more people, get done faster
looked at task list and too many things assigned to single contributors
Value was taking too long to get to the customer, and everyone was too busy
looked at they way they managed processes
realized they had a command and control model
traditional management says 100% utilization of people was the key
but if everyone is busy, delivering value with predictability is not impossible
changed to prioritized delivering work to the customer as quickly as possible
goal: put our good ideas into action quickly
1. Visualize our process
2. limit our work in progress
3. improve as a team
1. visualized
moved away from tech, went to boards and paper
high level visibility for team
bottlenecks easier to see, respect or change
makes hidden work apparent
2. limit work in progress
how many things can you really work on?
excessive WIP heightens distractions
marked WIP limits on board
there is no right WIP limit for everyone
a lower WIP is generally better
a too high WP leaves work idle
too low leaves people ide
WIP limits are not rules
take a list of work, prioritize it based on biz value
that is your backlog
work top to bottom
right now thinking of tasks and breaking them in different ways so something is completed
task that needs approval example,
deliverable is the thing to be evaluated but that is a new card once feedback is given
conversation the team has on who does what
always keep things in motion though to get to value delivered
flow efficiency is the sum of value adding activities in relation to the throughput time
Flow Efficiency = Value Adding Activities/throughput time
Works because devs do not put things in To Do
selected for dev is a parking lot
ready to deploy is a staging area
what stayed the same?
Multi-functional team
dedicated team
queue hygiene
daily stand ups
what changed
optimizing for getting a single work unit through the process as quickly as possible
ea members attached to work
team members pull work
that takes a lot of autonomy
Good to Great teams:
set the stage
gather data
generate insights
decide what to do
clone the retro
What did we learn?
Start with what we have
prioritize our work
visualize our process
limit WIP
Retros are how team improves
goal is to deliver value faster to customer
Agile and Lean, are all about experimentation and learning. Enjoy the trip

Saturday Keynote

Keynote: The Future of Drupal
Michael Schmid

I can not overstate how good this one was. Whatever you are doing when you read this, stop and go watch this talk! My summary is OK for my purposes but it loses Michael’s impassioned tone and the pure excitement he expresses about how we are being adopted as a community philosophy and software by governments around the globe. I went in thinking ‘oh great, another talk on how we are not growing and maybe some hand waving around some stats’ and I left going ‘oh yeah, I forgot that Drupal is the best expression of FOSS Internet CMS anyone has made yet. We are doing some great stuff and we can keep making it great!’ Some version of this should be the keynote at DrupalCon Seattle.

We need to talk Drupal
You taught us a lot Drupal
growing companies
You have changed lives
but you also changed a lot
Drupal 8 is not the old Drupal
Upgrading from D7->D8 is really hard
Modules work differently
OOP everywhere, you have to understand deeply
so many new things to learn
and already Drupal 9 is in discussion
Adoption is slowed down and it is scary
same is true for DrupalCon attendees
no DCon Europe
You also created physical and mental pain
Drupal Confessions
didn’t do his due diligence and found out too late
He is sorry for what happened
it is gone now, but caused a lot of pain he sees now
Had to learn composer and the CLI
so complex now
and now need to learn JavaScript
and it is very different too
and now the Security Issues
so many hours
is Drupal over?
is that our tomorrow?
NO! it is not over
Who is Drupal?
If we blame Drupal, we are blaming ourselves
we are all in there together
The others are not sleeping
Drupal is already powering the web
we have a lead
over a million sites
5% of top Million websites are Drupal
181 governments use Drupal for sites
So many governments decided to use this code we make
Want to buy a car, you are likely using Drupal sites
Lush – Drupal commerce, but because of our code
NBC, Pfizer, etc
Drupal is used more and more by bog and important websites
is more market share really better?
D.O Data Usage is voluntary
many people disable the ping back to Drupal
Now we have a road map!
we have a plan for next
an upgrade path
D9 Upgrade path, as easy as 8.0 to 8,1
will be smooth process
Camps are happening and getting more and more important
Camps are less intimidating than Cons
Camps are closer to the people
and much more affordable
only works if businesses sponsor
It is hard since ‘what do I get back’
small $ back, sure
but you are making Drupal better and possible
and send employees to participate and bring community closer
should be sharing that knowledge internally
lunch and learn it, share what you loved
employees: ask to go to camps
All the major frameworks using Symfony framework
Drupal started that
added complexity, but makes us all stronger
why embracing and using other tools
We have always done it, like jquery
Less overall work
brings us closer to the rest of the PHP world
easier to hire engineers
We need package managers
there is no other way
everybody uses it
everyone has always used package managers
like driving a car
it seems impossible at first
Secure is much more transparent
Drupal Security is completely volunteers
Same processes like Linux, Google, Apple, etc
hosting companies have you covered
Most popular tools, tops the list
TensonFlow, React
Stanford intro CS is in JS
Decoupled frameworks
this is how most large sites work now
API first is key
MOre dev, design, UX capabilities
So Drupal, forefront of decoupling
Full support for JSON-API and GraphQL
Contenta CMS
Angular, Elm, Ember, React, Vue
still a hard problem, but this is getting easier
So Dear Drupal
Lets build the future
Accept and embrace change from all of us
we always making it better
but that takes investment from us all
and if we believe

Hmm, I Didn’t know that Module Existed!
Fito Kahn

I started out in 2013 on Drupal 7 and have never really put it away, though I do much more WordPress stuff in my personal dev experimentation. I thought I would go to this beginner talk to learn a little about what Drupal 8 modules were all about, especially after learning about tour being in core earlier in the day. I took incomplete notes because I kept opening tabs for the modules Fito introduced me to and was just like ‘wow, I didn’t know about this one’ with almost every feature. With a goal of introducing the site builder to how to make very customized sites without cracking open the code even once, he made the case very well that through configuration of the modules alone, D8 can do just about anything out o the box or with a couple easily installed components. Again, this list is incomplete, but good thing there are also resources like this.

What have I gotten myself into?
Some people on first site right now
Overwhelming at first
but there is hope
there are so many modules
and the Joy of D8 being awesome
History of D8 75 core modules in D8
not as many contrib modules needed
30 core in D7
important dates
3982 D8 modules in 2018
8641 D7 Modules
Experimental Models as well
many in core are turned off, just need activated,
Modules that will make life better
– Admin Toolbar/Tool Bar Extra
– Coffee and Coffee Extras – search in admin that is easy to use
– Pathauto – makes URLs with tokens easy
– SEO Checklist 0
– Content Moseration/Workflows – in core!
– multilingual support, content translation in Core – 4 modules
– Webform – you can design your own
– Simple Sitemap – lighter than XML sitemap
– Slick/Slick Extras – one of many solutions for slideshows/carousel
can be touch to configure
– Focal Point – crop API
– Honeypot – defer spam bots from completing forms, not as intrusive as captcha
– Autoban (Automatic IP ban) using watchdog table
– Scheduler
– Paragraphs – editors control flow of content – replaces bidy field with content types you can mix and match
– Views Reference – field conjunction with paragraphs, adds more flexibility
– Panels/Panelizer/Display suite – create drag and drop layouts for customize looks of site
Let’s remember this is all to avoid actually touching code
this is all just install and config, very different than hand changing views
– settings tray – core. Customizer for Drupal
– Bricks
– String overrides
– Statistics – in core – can slow down the site but valuable info
– Module filter
– Alexa – yeas integrate Alexa with a D8 site

Archiving and Visual Regression Using Drupal 8
David Stinemetze

David was so impassioned about this idea, I just had to see this in action! Going in I was not 100% sure what to expect from this. The idea, as he had described it to me, seemed logical but I wasn’t sure about how it did it nor did I really get an idea of why you would even do this. Leaving the session, I was blown away by the quality of what they are building and sharing with the community. Leveraging the beautiful solution of BackstopJS, we get a solid path for backups, archiving and automatic testing that I had not thought of before. It is well worth watching just for David’s enthusiasm.

Old parts of site don’t change
testing anyway
add on a wayback machine element
Module overview
Web Page Archive module snap local or remote, triggered periodically, compare snapsops based on URL or XML sitemaps
Snapshops can be captured on any site
not just current instance, not just drupal, not just sites you own
Requirements, D8
Learn D8, Ease of use for non-tech users
Drupal 8 plugin ecosystem makes it easy to support additional use cases
give back to the Drupal community
Capture Utilities
Drupal plugins responsible for performing captures
uses annotation based discovery
configurable per instance
Captures screenshots of URLs
uses Headless chrome and puppetier
can also capture raw HTML
Skeleton Capture, prototyping tool
Web Page Test Capture Utility
Captures web performance test results
just capturing it now
other proposed use cases
Configuration Archive Capture
Rendered DOM capture
Google Analytics Capture
Security Scan Utility
can configure easily with dropdowns
don’t want to manually capture each page, use site map
capture stores things, storage can be an issue
Current Project Sessions – yesterday Spot the Difference tool
Visual Regression is all about the things human eyes easily overlook
slider compare
compare screenshots Heatmap
bright red to highlight differences
Release plan drupal.org/node/2930857
Some remaining issues
You can help
needs new code, needs reviews, etc
demo time
in config, website archive tab

Goldilocks Decoupled: What the Future Holds for Decoupled Publishing
Mike Minecki

I hear decoupled being talked about a lot and I am certainly one who has seen it as not only a better way to think about building for multiple end user system. Mike reminded us all that this is not a panacea for all our issues and there are a lot of disadvantages for decoupled systems if the team is too small, the use case requires a lot of the CMS solved services or other things that a REST API can not do well yet. Even though this was towards the end of the camp, the conversation that flowed from the end of the presentation was lively and I didn’t capture that effectively. If this sparks an interest, go listen to the conversation from the recording.

This is not a demo or a show and tell
why Devs love Decoupled
Hard choices
are you doing stand alone or hub
chart for this out there
simplifies the ideas of it
if there are other apps basically
heart of the chart is layout and display management
modules, toolbar notifications, caching and performance
end up with choices
coupled, progressive, fully decoupled
more JS –>
Why do Devs love it?
bad reasons
new and shiny, Drupal is hard, performance, Dogfood API
Why good
good reasons
Shared templates and language
building frontend in JS is really fast and rather easy
Static site generators are really performance
separation of concerns
a lot more to a website than static markup and content
Content routing and complexity for instance
Decoupled pitfalls
Snowflakes – every front end unique
can’t install stuff (like twitter cards or sitemap.xml)
caching and routing – static site generators don’t work for bigger sites
Progressive Decoupled – the middle way
Redheaded stepchild of the monoloth and JS framworks
need deep understanding of both to build new stuff
DX is only great if 2 teams
Tons of Content APIs
0 ways to render them without a dev
44 decoupled backend listed on headlesscms.org
that’s weird
off the reservation – Arc publishing
a pagebuilder
Superdesk publisher
lightweight source renderer
benefits for devs
Editorial controls
Built to work with reverse proxies
Standardized workflows

Wrapping Up

It was an intense few days for me. Some personal stuff happened, like it often does, that distracted me a bit. Very fortunately for me I was far from alone and had my Pantheor and Drupaler family members there to help me get back on track. This event also re-sparked an honest curiosity about what this D8 thing can even do. Time to get exploring now for sure. I know I will be digging into a few things more deeply and don’t be surprised if you hear me talking about tour sometime very soon at a DrupalCamp, as a BOF if nothing else. Also, I didn’t have the chance to see it live, but for sure check out the session about Drupal’s Layout Builder that I am pretty keen on as well. So many good ideas, hard to fit it all in one blog post.
I do hope I get to go back to Austin again in the future, but man I sue hope it is not nearly as hot when I got back. If nothing else, I hope to return for a future Texas Drupal Camp!