Drupal support group

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facilitated by Courtney

We went around the circle to talk about why we are in the session. Lots of people have love/hate relationships with Drupal.

Courtney has been working with Drupal since 2004 and builds sites for nonprofit clients. She loves Drupal, but sees the challenges it poses for clients. It can be frustrating for people who use it that aren't developers.

One of the good things about Drupal is it is very extensible and very easy to modify, but that has sort of backfired because there can now be so many versions.

Drupal Roadmap is documenting what new features are being added - a good place to see what the options are and decide what you're going to implement.

It's much easier to use when you do a clean install of Drupal than if you inherit a project that is an old version of Drupal that has a lot of extensions added.

It's good to make documentation on how you are setting it up to start with so others who are trying to make changes later know what they're working with.

A lot of small orgs that have smaller budgets cycle through a lot of dev shops, because the dev shops drop them when they realize they can't make enough money with the org.

Drutopia has a simple one page manifesto about Drupal you can sign on to. Planning to change their name (and make a list of trustworthy Drupal developers).

Upgrading from versions (Drupal 7 to Drupal 8) is a very tedious manual process, unlike Wordpress where you can just press a button.

Drupal 8's main competitor is Rails or node.js - it's a very different system and different target audience from Drupal 7.

It's been promised that there will be no more major changes between versions, so going from Drupal 8 to Drupal 9 (when it comes) should be easier than 7 to 8.

Another option is to upgrade from 7 to Backdrop. Backdrop won't force you to upgrade to 8 - it will stay compatible with 7 forever.

There was a demo at the Drupal camp in Atlanta that created a React component that lets users do updates in a simpler interface. React is a javascript front-end thing written by Facebook, which Wordpress forced to move to open source. You have your template code, your CSS, and your JS all in one file. It makes the components very portable - you can move it from one project to another without many problems. It also lets you edit just one file to change a design instead of having to go into three different files.

Drupal 7 can internationalize, but it can be very complicated - not just turning on a module, but you have to find a lot of loose ends, edge cases, etc. Drupal 8 is better for supporting multilingual sites.

Paragraph module on Drupal 7 site is a good replacement of Panels. Paragraph lets you create bundles of components - like an image, text, a button. You can drag and drop, which is nice, and you can also choose the paragraph width as the editor - so you can add a 1/3 or 2/3 width paragraph or full width. It works for a lot of use cases. It's much cleaner than Panels.

Paragraphs is well-supported, and it seems to be what a lot of Drupal developers are gravitating towards.

They built something similar into Drutopia.

It's a unique challenge when your users are techies and are capable of developing a website on their own. They will go in and add executable CSS and Javascript if they don't like what's alreday there.

Mytube is a Drupal module created by EFF that filters Youtube videos so you can display them on your website, while stripping out a lot of the tracking.

Drutopia is a distribution ecosystem that is creating more user-friendly way for a nonprofit to build and update a Drupal site. It has content types like "Campaigns" and "Actions" with multiple Actions in a Campaign.