Drupal Development

By Mike Gifford on 21/01/2013
We've been strategizing, evaluating & deploying the Government of Canada's (GoC) Drupal 7 Web eXperience Toolkit (WxT) since it was first released over a year ago.  We've implemented this for government agencies inside & outside the GoC because it is clear that so many agencies need to meet the dual challenge of a site which is both bilingual & accessible. 
The Drupal Variant of the Web eXperience Toolkit is an open platform for web publishing which has a critical mass of public sector agencies collaborating with it publicly in GitHub.   It is also exciting to see institutions...
By Jesse Payne on 19/11/2012
My first Drupal Camp Toronto experience is sadly over. There was a whole lot to absorb and although I found that I did learn a few new things, the most beneficial part of the conference for me was the inspiration I gained from others. I met many kindred spirits and future partners in crime. It was really interesting to learn about some of the initiatives that others are pushing forward. Overall I would say that Drupal Camp Toronto 2012 was a great event and really well organized. I would recommend it to anyone that is remotely interested in Drupal to go checkout the next such event, which for...
By Mike Gifford on 18/06/2012
After sprint beers
Drupal's first Accessibility Sprint was a great success with around 30 people participating either on site or remotely.  It was graciously hosted in the offices Evolving Web, where we were able to take advantage of their great location in the old port of Montreal.  It was organized by the Montreal Drupal Association and we're really fortunate to have both accessibility maintainers present as Everett Zufelt & Brandon Bowersox-Johnson, were able to make their way up.
The biggest impact of the sprints are the things that you can never quantify. The building face-to-face relationships within...
By Mike Mallett on 22/05/2012
One very common task faced by web developers worldwide is the need to move data from an old site to a new site. Frequently I have been faced with data migrations where the old and the new system are not even compatible systems (i.e. another CMS -> Drupal, or better yet, custom ASP + HTML -> Drupal! Fun!). Drupal's Migrate module is an extremely powerful and robust tool for managing this often complicated task. The Drupal.org site has plenty of documentation on the basic functionality of Migrate. In this article I will discuss some pitfalls of the Migrate module.
There are, as always,...
By Mike Gifford on 06/04/2012
Earth Quake Example Map
I've been curious about maps and accessibility, but it hasn't been something I've had much time to explore. Because maps are so visual, it's hard to think about how to make them fully accessible. Sarah Bourne in Making maps accessible asks the serious questions that that are at the heart of this issue, and frankly ones that I haven't had the opportunity to explore.
I have recently begun learning more about digital maps, thanks to some recent work involving OpenLayers. I had an opportunity to think about this a problem on a practical level of how can I help to improve the tools that are being...
By Michael Ducharme on 23/03/2012
​Drupal 7's integrated Fields API (formerly CCK) is a great step forward in allowing us to quickly create robust content types that integrate much better core. With the included Fieldgroup module, we can group fields into logical sections:

This is great for creating a single logical group containing multiple fields. We can set the number of values allowed for each field which exposes the 'Add another item' button, but what if we want to instead set the number of values allowed for this entire fieldset?

​Field Collections and the Entity API
The Entity API (also part of Drupal...
By Mike Gifford on 14/11/2011
OpenConcept has been participating working in the work of building a Drupal theme for the Treasury Board Secretariat's Common Look & Feel (CLF) for a number of years now.  We started distributing one in 2008 based on the Zen theme & Drupal 6.  It was pretty simple and relied on a great many modules to be downloaded & configured before it would work as expected.  We didn't get many contributions to improve the theme after providing it to a number of departments we and releasing it on IRCan, so we didn't invest much more in it.  At the very least it needed an install profile to...
By Mike Gifford on 27/06/2011
I took a great opportunity to go to Guelph to both participate in and present to the 2011 Accessibility Conference. I was able to meet with a number of great accessibility professionals from Southern Ontario who were gathered for this event at the University of Guelph.  I missed the A11yCamp which Sean Yo organized and also to Derek Featherstone's HTML5/CSS3 training, but sent two of my team to it.
In thinking about what to present to this audience I had rethink a few things.  In presenting to Drupal audiences I had to go into depth about accessibility and work to educate the audience about...
By Mike Gifford on 26/04/2011
The quick summary is that it's not ready yet, but it's looking very exciting! To get an update on the status of geospacial modules the following wiki is key.  Unfortunately, of the 20 or so geo modules, only 6 have a Drupal 7 release at this point (only two of which are alpha releases & the rest are development releases).  

GMap includes location, taxonomy & macro utilities and of the 27,000 sites using this module there are 1000 that are presently using the Drupal 7 development release;
GeoNames ties to the GeoNames web service;
Geofield stores points, lines & polygons and...
By Mike Gifford on 27/03/2011
Here's a summary of accessibility presentations from DrupalCon San Francisco & Chicago. I've put them in an order that I hope will allow people who know nothing about web accessibility to progress through a rather complex subject. All DrupalCon videos are stored on Archive.org which now also has an option for using HTML5 video.
This is my first time using this great new HTML5 tag to embed a video. It's also a great space to highlight that there are as yet no captions available for these videos & I've yet to figure out how to make the controls accessible to keyboard only users &...