Drupal Planet

Axelerant Blog: What Is Digital Accessibility Audit

1 month ago

A digital accessibility audit evaluates how well a website or other digital assets follow the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). It also refers to being compliant with each country's related laws or acts, including the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Section 508, Section 504, and the European Accessibility Act (EAA).

Drupal Association blog: Meet YALI Fellow Denaya Dennis!

1 month ago

As you may have read in our previous blog post, the Drupal Association is pleased to be hosting Young African Leader Initiative (YALI) Fellow Denaya Dennis! The Mandela Washington Fellowship, YALI’s flagship program, empowers young African leaders. We invite you to get to know Denaya and learn more about his background!

Meet Denaya Dennis

Denaya Dennis is South Sudanese and is passionate about digital education, peace, and people’s development. In 2019, Denaya was a Mandela Washington Fellow at the University of Notre Dame. A graduate of IT, Denaya volunteers as a teaching assistant at the University of Juba, School of Computing, with majors in Business applications and information systems. In 2017 he co-founded Alela Technologies Ltd, a tech company providing ICT services to private, corporate, and public institutions in South Sudan.

Denaya is the founder and Executive of Koneta Hub. This innovation-driven organization uses the approaches of Human-centered design in providing community-driven solutions with an emphasis on digital literacy and rights, business incubation, tech 4 peace, and innovations on the SDGs. Denaya believes in the power of innovation as a driving force for sustainable development!

Within his community, Denaya is also an ICT trainer and mentors young people to learn new skills that are important in today’s job market. As a startup trainer, he strongly believes in the power of Design Thinking in providing long-lasting people and community-driven solutions. Within East Africa, Denaya has volunteered with many organizations in supporting startups as a mentor and innovation challenges judge. His experiences are helping to shape the South Sudan startup ecosystem.

Outside of tech, Denaya is a recording artist singing Christian contemporary songs in the Star Eagles Music, which he co-founded with Tony Manas. Denaya got married to Teddy Grace in December 2022.

I got to know about Drupal when I attended the CMS Africa Summit in 2016 in Kampala, and since then, I have loved everything about Content Management Systems. My desire to use the CMS platforms grew, and I was able to create business opportunities for myself. One thing I am confident about in life is that you can do anything, provided you are committed to it.

- Denaya Dennis

The Drupal Association is thrilled to have Denaya on our team until 2 March 2023!

Kevin Reynen - DEV Community: Features Salesforce and Drupal have in Common - Project Browsing (Part 1)

1 month ago

A few months ago, Aaron Crosman posted What I Brought from Drupal to Salesforce. While I've done a lot of CMS/CRM integration work, I've only been integrating Drupal with Salesforce and its related services for a few years. I still consider myself new to Salesforce development and I'm still learning about the open source side of Salesforce at events like Salesforce Community Sprints.

If I do get something wrong, please let me know and I'll update the posts.

Another reason for writing a series highlighting some of the similarities between Salesforce and Drupal is to respond to a recent post by Jacob Rockowitz questioning whether his Blueprint project that leverages Schema.org had a future.

I briefly mentioned Blueprints in a presentation at BADCamp, but I wanted to dive in deeper into Blueprint as well as some of the other features starting to mature in "modern Drupal" where I've seen similar approaches working well in Salesforce.

To keep myself sane, I'm breaking this up into 3 parts;

  • Project Browsing - Project Browser and AppExchange
  • Schema Management - Blueprint and Educational Data Architecture
  • Advanced Configuration Management - Config Patch GitLab API and GearSet
Project Browser and AppExchange

The UI in the work coming out of the Drupal Association's Project Browser Initiative is very similar to Salesforce's AppExchange (and MetaDeploy, AppExchange for open source and Commons supported Salesforce packages).

Visually, the UX of the Project Browser and AppExchange are very similar.

Out of the box, Project Browser isn't really that exciting for developers.

So I can search for modules inside the application I'm building and then go to Composer to composer require drupal/[PROJECT NAME]? Why would anyone get excited about this?

The exciting part of Project Browser isn't using it to browse the same projects on Drupal.org in a different UX, it's being able to customize that experience for a specific use case or infrastructure. A feature that gives users a list of projects they can install directly on a test/sandbox version of their site is a game changer in a higher ed use case.

How do I know?

On the CMS side, we wrote something similar to Project Browser the University of Colorado in Drupal 7 we called Profile Module Manager. While the colorado.edu sites are now run from a monorepo/custom upstream approach on Pantheon, the original on-prem infrastructure paired Profile Module Manager with a custom devops solution to add a "bundle" of code to a site's codebase. The user experience of Profile Module Manager within Web Express in D7 and Project Browser with a customized project feed in D10 will be very similar.

Project Browser won't really be exciting until it can be combined with the Auto Update Initiative work. That work requires Composer 2.3.5 or later which many hosts (including Pantheon) do not support yet.

On the CRM side, when browsing packages and clicking Get It Now of free packages will bring up a prompt asking you where to install the package based on instances you have registered with the account you are authenticated with... or to spin up a new sandbox to test just this package.

While Drupal's Project Browser UX is designed to be used with the CMS instance you are planning to install the package on, it's not hard to imagine large, Drupal centric hosts like Acquia or Pantheon offering customized Project Browser feeds that list platform friendly/approved modules.

Modern Drupal still has to define a way to install front end dependencies required by PHP projects. Salesforce solves this to a certain extent with Lightning Web Components, their open source Web Component foundation.

While there is some traction around #2873160 to use NodeJS installer for Composer and #3340712 to get single directory components into Core, this is still going to be a challenge.

It is also important to acknowledge that most packages you can install through the different Salesforce project browsing services are NOT free or open source. Between the AppExchange and MetaInstall services, you'll find 4 different types of packages.

Paid plugins are more common in the WordPress ecosystem, but the underlying plugin code is considered a derivative of WordPress where distribution triggers the GPL-2.0 or later licensing requirement.

Where I think this is going to get interesting is the potential for more commercial Drupal packages in SaaS offerings. We've already seen some large hosts charge for value added services for sites hosted on their infrastructure like Acquia Site Studio. We may see more groups exploit the GPL SaaS Loophole enabling customers to install commercial modules and themes from customized Project Browsers.

As long as the end-user is interacting with your software over a network and you control the hardware / infrastructure the software is running on, that is not considered distribution.

While different than traditional, pure GPL Drupal sites, after seeing the quality in competing packages in Salesforce, I personally think a tier of commercial, closed source modules would be good for Drupal.

ComputerMinds.co.uk: Drupal 10 upgrade: Introduction

1 month ago

On 14th December 2022 Drupal 10 was released. We can't say we immediately set about the task of upgrading all our Drupal 9 sites, but we did start thinking and planning to move all our sites in 2023.

I thought it might be fun to take a look at how we do an upgrade and specifically the upgrade of this very website.

So over the next few weeks we'll be slowly getting this site ready and as up to date as possible before making the jump up to Drupal 10.

We've got a few challenges ahead, this site was originally a Drupal 8 site and has a fair amount of technical debt, we're going to need to pay down some of that debt and make some fairly major changes along the way.

We're going to need to make some 'infrastructure' level changes along the way too and ensure our hosting will cope with Drupal 10, and we're going to need to test out the new site to make sure that everything works as it should etc.

Keep an eye out over the next few weeks for more articles in the series and follow along and apply the techniques here to your own sites.

kevinquillen.com: Drupal and ChatGPT

1 month 1 week ago
Everyone is talking about ChatGPT and where tools like these can fit into everyday life. But is the future of artificial intelligence only chatbots? I wrote an article about five ways we have integrated the OpenAI API (what ChatGPT is built on top of) into Drupal 10 to see how AI tools can change and augment daily content management tasks. We've also released this work as a set of modules on Drupal.org. This will be interesting to develop throughout the year as these tools evolve!

Matt Glaman: The legacy of DrupalVM's impact on my career

1 month 1 week ago

Jeff Geerling recently announced that the DrupalVM project is officially archived. DrupalVM was crucial in helping provide standardized local development for Drupal developers. DrupalVM was a customized Vagrant setup with batteries-included tooling powered by Jeff's many Ansible roles.

For me, it's wild to think back to 2014 when DrupalVM was first created. The ways we handled local development and all of the emerging technologies. Virtual machines ruled the land, and Vagrant empowered a new way to manage headless virtual machine instances. To use Docker on macOS, you had to use boot2docker to create a virtual machine.

Axelerant Blog: What Is Document Accessibility

1 month 1 week ago

A document is considered accessible when it can be read with the same ease by someone with vision, hearing, or cognitive impairment as by someone without any impairments. Ensuring accessibility is easiest during the initial stages of creating a document.

Specbee: Get the Most Out of Apache Solr: A Technical Exploration of Search Indexing

1 month 1 week ago
Get the Most Out of Apache Solr: A Technical Exploration of Search Indexing Saranya Ashok Kumar 21 Feb, 2023 Subscribe to our Newsletter Now Subscribe Leave this field blank

A search feature enhances the user experience of a website by allowing the user to find what they’re looking for easily and quickly. More so for large websites, e-commerce sites, and sites with dynamic content (news sites, blogs).

Apache Solr is one of the most popular search platforms used by websites of all sizes. It is an open-source search engine based on Java that lets you search through large amounts of data, like articles, products, customer reviews and more. Take a deeper look into Apache Solr in this article.

Check out this article to learn how to configure Apache Solr in Drupal

Why is Apache Solr so popular?

Apache Solr is fast and flexible and allows for full-text search, hit highlighting (highlights the matching search term), faceted search (a more refined search), real-time indexing (allows new content to be indexed immediately), dynamic clustering (organizes search results into groups), database integration, NoSQL features (non-relational database) and rich document handling (to index a wide variety of document formats like PDF, MS Office, Open office).

Some good-to-know facts about Apache Solr:

  • It was initially developed by CNET networks, inc. as a search engine for their websites and articles. Later, it was open-sourced and became a top-level Apache project.
  • Supports multiple programming languages like PHP, Java, Python, and Ruby. It also provides APIs for these languages.
  • Has built-in support for geospatial search, allowing to search content based on its location. Especially useful for sites like real estate websites, travel websites, etc.
  • Supports advanced search features like spell checking, autocomplete, and custom search via APIs and plugins.
  • Uses Lucene for indexing and searching.
What is Lucene

Apache Lucene is an open-source Java search library that lets you easily add search or information retrieval to the application. It is versatile, powerful, accurate, and works on an efficient search algorithm.

Although known for its full-text search capabilities, Lucene can also be used for document classification, data analysis and information retrieval. It also supports many languages other than English like German, French, Spanish, Chinese, Japanese, and more.

What is Indexing?

All search engines begin with indexing. Indexing is the processing of original data into highly efficient cross-reference lookup to facilitate rapid search.

Search engines don't index data directly. The texts are first broken into tokens (atomic elements). Searching is the process of consulting the search index and retrieving the doc matching the query.

Advantages of indexing
  • Fast and accurate information retrieval (collects, parses and stores)
  • Without indexing, the search engine requires more time to scan every document
Indexing flow

First, the document will be analyzed and split into tokens. All those tokens will be indexed to the inverted index. Inverted index is a way in which Solr builds the index.

How inverted indexing works

Lets consider we have 3 documents:

  1. I love chocolate (D 1)
  2. I ordered chocolate cake (D 2)
  3. I prepared big vanilla cake (D 3)

The way it is tokenized is as shown in the 2nd column of the below table.

“Chocolate” is available in D1 and D2
“Cake” is available in D2 and D3
“Big” is available in D3
“Ordered” is available in D2
“Prepared” is available in D3
“Vanilla” is available in D3

You will notice that words like “I”, “love” are not tokenized. These are called Stop words which will not be indexed or searchable by Solr.

So when someone searches for the term “Chocolate Cake”, the engine looks into the index. Instead of looking for the document, it first looks into the index to see which documents do the words “Chocolate” and “Cake” fall under. This makes it easy and faster to fetch the particular document only. This is called inverted indexing.

Storage Schema

Apache Solr uses a document-based storage schema and stores every piece of data as a separate document within a collection. This allows for efficient and flexible storage and retrieval of data.

In Drupal, each node is considered as a document. So when you index your node to Apache Solr, it is considered as a document. Each document can contain multiple fields. Lucene does not have common global schema. Which means you can index any type of field in each document in Apache Solr.

How to Install Apache Solr
  • First, make sure you have Java installed on your system.
  • Next, let’s install Solr from here: https://solr.apache.org/downloads.html
  • Download and extract Solr.
  • Run this command on the Solr folder.

           ◦ bin/solr -e techproducts

             This will create a dummy core for demonstration and it will also start the Solr server.

  • Once the server has started, go to your browser and type “http://localhost:8983/”.
  • Make sure Solr is installed successfully with dummy core.
Directory Structure

Once you have installed Solr, you will see many folders like:

Docs - contains documentation about Solr
Dist - Solr main .jar file
Contrib - contains add-on plugins and specialised features of Solr
Bin - scripts of Solr
Example - contains demonstrate solr capabilities
Server - heart of Solr. Contains Solr web application, logs, Solr core

Config files

To create a core, we need two files mandatory.

  • Schema.xml
  • Solrconfig.xml
  • It will contain the types of fields you plan to support and how those types should be analyzed.
  • Contains various settings that controls the behavior of a Solr core like request handler, request dispatcher, query components, update handlers, etc.
Querying in Solr

Now lets see how to query the Solr results in the Solr admin UI.

Query Parameter
  • Local parameters are arguments in a Solr request that are specific to a query parameter.

For example: cat: electronics

  Query Parameter with operations
  • We can query multiple fields with operation.

For example: cat: electronics id:TWINX2048-3200PRO with q.op AND
cat: electronics AND id:TWINX2048-3200PRO


  Filter Query

A filter query helps narrow down the results of a search. A query can be specified by the fq parameter to restrict which documents are returned in the superset, without affecting the score.

  Sort Parameter

The sort parameter arranges search results in either ascending (asc) or descending (desc) order. Depending on the content, the parameter can be used either numerically or alphabetically.

  Rows Parameter

The rows parameter allows you to paginate results from a query.

  Field List Parameter

The fl parameter limits the information included in a query response to a specified list of fields.

  Default field Parameter

Default field parameter is the default field for query parameter.


Highlights Parameter

The highlight feature in Solr enables the inclusion of fragments of documents that match a query.


Some of the most common highlight parameters are:

  • Hl.fl - Highlights a list of fields.
  • Hl.simple.pre - Specifies which "tag" should be used before a highlighted word.
  • Hl.simple.post - Specifies which “tag” should be used after a highlighted term.
  • hl.highlightMultiTerm - If it is set to true, Solr will highlight wildcard queries. If false, they won’t be highlighted at all.



Facets enable users to explore and refine large sets of search results. They’re displayed in a UI as checkboxes, dropdowns or other controls. The two general parameters to control facets are:

  1. Facet parameter

Using the facet parameter, users can generate facets based on the values of one or more fields in their search index. In the search results, the facet parameter can be configured to control how facets are generated and displayed.

      2. Facet.query paramater

When a user includes a facet.query parameter in their Solr query, Solr will generate a list of facet counts that correspond to the number of documents in the index that match each query. Facet.query is useful when you want to generate facets based on complex search criteria that can't be easily represented using a simple field value. 

There are several other facet parameters like the facet.field (to specify the fields that should be used to generate facets), facet.limit (max number of facets to display for each field), facet.mincount (min number of document needed for the facet to be included in the response), facet.sort (specifies the order in which the facet values should display).


Final Thoughts

Apache Solr is a highly versatile search engine that comes with many interesting features which can be customized as per your requirements. Drupal works extremely well with Apache Solr. If you’re looking for Drupal experts to configure a powerful search engine for your new project, we would love to take it further!

Author: Saranya Ashok Kumar

Meet Saranya Ashok Kumar, Drupal Specialist, who’s extremely fond of coding and Drupal and likes sharing valuable content through her YouTube channel. Saranya likes tapping her toes to her favorite music and dreams of traveling to the Maldives.

Email Address Subscribe Leave this field blank Drupal Development Drupal Planet Drupal

Leave us a Comment

  Recent Blogs Image Get the Most Out of Apache Solr: A Technical Exploration of Search Indexing Image From Mother to Manager - Shreevidya’s Career Story Image How to Integrate Google Tag Manager with Drupal 9 - An Easy Step-by-Step Tutorial Want to extract the maximum out of Drupal? TALK TO US Featured Case Studies

Great Southern Homes, one of the fastest growing home builders in the US, sees greater results with Drupal


A reimagined digital solution for Abaco, a global leader in embedded computing systems for the defense industry


Upgrading the web presence of IEEE Information Theory Society, the most trusted voice for advanced technology

View all Case Studies

Lullabot: Troubleshooting a Slow Mac

1 month 1 week ago

It happens often. Early in a project, a team member will offhandedly say something like "the site is slow," "my computer is slow," or "Docker is slow." Those all may be true. But it takes specialized knowledge to track down the root cause of performance issues. This article covers the same tips we share with our team to help solve workstation performance problems.

Talking Drupal: Talking Drupal #387 - ChatGPT

1 month 1 week ago

Today we are talking about ChatGPT with Ezequiel Lanza.

For show notes visit: www.talkingDrupal.com/387

  • What is ChatGPT?
  • What is AI?
  • What is Machine Learning?
  • Common misconceptions
  • How does it work?
  • Accuracy
  • Programmer bias
  • Use cases
  • Impressiveness
  • Drupal
  • Significance of Open Source

Hey GitHub - Coding with your voice ChatGPT Wolfram Alpha


Ezequiel Lanza - github.com/ezelanza @eze_lanza


Nic Laflin - www.nLighteneddevelopment.com @nicxvan John Picozzi - www.epam.com @johnpicozzi Katherine Druckman - katherinedruckman.com @katherined

MOTW Correspondent

Martin Anderson-Clutz - @mandclu Search API Solr Boost By User Term Allows your site to boost search results that share taxonomy term references with your users.

The Drop Times: The Rising Age of the Developers

1 month 1 week ago

Starting a newsletter with a rant about ageism is not my intent. I am not against developers gaining age or aged developers building things. I respect them. 

Last week, TheDropTimes (TDT) published a few interviews, which the larger Drupal Community read. In one of those interviews, I remarked on a question pointed towards Mike Herchel that 'the mean age of Drupal developers is increasing.' 

Mike carefully avoided confronting me on the veracity of my claim so that I wouldn't feel intimidated. I am thankful for that. I do not have any data to prove the statement or to disprove it. It remains an unconfirmed allegation until we have the numbers to substantiate it. 

But this is my perception of the Drupal community and almost all Free, Libre, and Open-Source Software communities. The leaders I see in the communities I once frequented are all in the 35-55 age bracket or even older. 

Some newer technologies have many takers, some of which are JS frameworks. They might still be FLOSS. What I am saying is about established technologies that have not entirely lost their sheen. 

Down the lane, these new technologies might turn legacy, and they, too, would face a similar drag in the influx of new developers. I think of it as a bane of the commons. 

For the sake of argument, consider this averment at face value. The engine to drive the enthusiasm to sustain a project and attract newbies shouldn't be the freshness of something. It should be the ideal tooling that makes everyone comfortable, gradually reducing the learning curve through the years and nurturing an accepting and receptive community that would reward the efforts. 

In the Interview with Mike Herchel, a community at large member of the Drupal Association's board of directors, he responds that 'most newer developers flock to the JavaScript-based ecosystem because of better developer tooling and marketing.' He also points out that 'many smart people are actively working on better developer tooling within Drupal core.' And the 'Association has many plans to do a better job marketing Drupal.' As a vibrant community, we must be thankful for that. TDT is also an independent attempt to build strong muscle in marketing Drupal to the world. And we say it with utmost responsibility. We say marketing Drupal, which includes the whole ecosystem, including the companies and developers working in the realm. 

That is why we chose to interview Jurriaan Roelofs, the founder and senior product manager at DXPR, a company known for its SaaS offering with which one could build Drupal websites without knowing how to code. It is a detailed interview about the development of Drupal Layout Builder, one of the best drag-and-drop experiences available in Drupal. 

We continued our interviews with the organizers and speakers of the recently concluded Florida DrupalCamp. Aubrey Sambor, a senior Front-end Developer at Lullabot, speaks about her work in web accessibility following her dad becoming a quadriplegic. Mark Shropshire, Senior Director of Development at Mediacurrent, reflects on the regulatory and standards requirements at organizations that fostered his interest in security, eventually ensuring the creation of Guardr. He also talks about Cypress testing framework for functional testings of Drupal and related headless front-ends, the subject of his session. In his interview with Alethia Braganza, Jonathan Daggerhart weighs the strengths and weaknesses of Drupal and WordPress. He talks about 'sustainable web development practice' and explains 'transparency,' a cultural pillar around which he built his company: these interviews and the interview with Mike Herchel were part of our FLDC series. 

Last week, TDT published a listicle with 12 email marketing apps integrated with Drupal and its modules. Add these tools to your MarTech quiver.

We routinely report on awards and accolades. An article published about the German Splash Awards had discrepancies that someone pointed out through our contact form. We have since taken down the report and will republish it with the corrected info. In Vol.01, Issue 04 of the newsletter published on February 13, 2023, the nutgraf had a significant mistake altering the sentence's meaning. Instead of revered, which means respected (the past tense of the word revere), we wrongly wrote rever, which means 'the upper part of some upper garments that folds back at or near the neck to give the appearance of a collar.' By the time we noticed it, the newsletter was already gone. We regret such mistakes and will strive to correct them as far as possible. If you see any such shortcomings, please get in touch with us immediately. 

Last week, we reported on Promet Source winning the Web Excellence Award, Joe Shindelar of Drupalize.me updating the Drupal User Guide for D10, Drupal Academy's video tutorial on passing variables into twig templates, Drupal Partner's case study on NIFTEP, an institute under Georgia State University, reducing spam signups on their website, Patti Cardiff's article in Promet Source's blog about why and how to measure web performance, Russel Jones video tutorial on Style Headers in Drupal with CXX Flex and Tailwind CSS, Magic Logix's blog post on benefits of Drupal Development Servies, an update on the upcoming DrupalCamp NJ, call for speakers in OpenSource North, the opening of registrations for DrupalCon Pittsburgh, Early Bird discount for DrupalCamp Ruhr,  Drupal 10 Masterclass book by Adam Bergstein, the announcement of DrupalSouth 2023deadline of feedbacks for Project Browser Initiative, Lullabot's webinar on structured content, and other stories. 

This is for the week. Happy reading. 

Sebin A. Jacob

#! code: Drupal 10: Creating Context Aware Plugins

1 month 1 week ago

In previous articles I have written about injecting context into context aware plugins and creating custom context providers and wanted to complete the series by writing about creating context aware custom plugins.

The context system in Drupal is a powerful way of injecting dynamic data into plugins without writing code to add that data directly to the plugin itself. Instead of adding custom code to find the current user or the node from the route of the page you can inject the context into the plugin using the context system and add code to make use of that data. Although most commonly used in blocks it can be found in a couple of other plugin types in Drupal core, like the condition plugin for example.

In this article I will go through how to create a context aware plugin, including how to create custom plugins and how to allow that plugin to understand the context_definitions annotation. Once the custom plugin is complete we will render it using a Drupal controller action to prove that the context works correctly.

Let's start by creating a custom plugin, we'll call this plugin ContextThing and it will be used to print out the context passed to it. The first step in creating custom plugins is to create an Annotation class.

Plugin Annotation Class

Annotations are special kinds of comments that have a number of functions in Drupal, but in this case we are using them to inform Drupal that a particular class is plugin.

As an example of annotations in action we can look at defining custom Blocks. To define a block plugin you would start the class annotation with @Block and then add the fields you need to the annotation definition. This would look something like this.

Read more

The Drop Times: Drupal Camp Florida 2023 is Here!

1 month 1 week ago
The 15th annual Florida DrupalCamp 2023 is here! Florida DrupalCamp is an annual conference that brings web professionals worldwide to learn, network, and talk about web development and Drupal. Florida DrupalCamp is called a “camp” to emphasize the unconference style of the event.
17 minutes 3 seconds ago
Drupal.org - aggregated feeds in category Planet Drupal
Subscribe to Drupal Planet feed