In the fast-moving world of technology, it’s vital that designers and developers keep abreast of the latest developments if they’re to stay ahead of the game. Our BSL engineers are no exception, and recently attended a Drupal 8 workshop to learn more about the latest version. Drupal is just one of the CMS platforms that BSL uses for some of our projects.
Open source content management
A look at our portfolio is proof that BSL has more than one field of expertise, designing and developing custom software applications for the web, tablets, smartphones and the desktop. Such flexibility means our engineers need to work with a range of tools and systems, including Drupal – an open-source content management system that BSL frequently uses as a front-end framework in client web sites. And there’s plenty of competition in the open source world – WordPress, Backdrop, Magento to name but a few – each with their own capabilities and nuances. As a provider of innovative and customized software it’s essential we keep fully up-to-date with (r)evolutionary new versions of these tools – including the arrival of Drupal 8. Reason enough for us to attend the Drupal Training Day 2016 on February 19.
Drupal training day 2016
This training day is an important date in the diary for anyone involved in the Drupal open source community, whether they’re students, teachers or fellow software engineers. More than 200 visitors took part this year, and the availability of Drupal enthusiasts to answer users’ questions guaranteed the day’s success. There was virtualization software for Windows, OSX and Linux users, the new Drupal version was distributed, and advanced and beginners’ training sessions throughout the day provided practical examples of front- and back-end development, programming and site building.
Tried-and-tested – so what’s new?
Drupal is a tried-and-tested, solid web content management system. A tool that can be used ‘as it is’, or one that’s equally valuable for PHP enthusiasts to develop a great web experience. Drupal is particularly suitable for sites that need to support a large numbers of web visitors and users.
BSL has built up a well-earned reputation for Drupal expertise over the years – we’ve worked on a number of complex Drupal-based projects for Bibliotheek.nl (now part of KB) and NBD Biblion, and our Drupal specialists have recently provided their know-how onsite for a major newspaper group in the Netherlands. Think too of our in-house websites supporting the literary app BoekWijzer and our social media app, DilemmaMatch!
After the launch of Drupal 8 a few months ago, the obvious question for us was ‘what does Drupal 8 have to offer?’
Drupal 7 versus Drupal 8?
The differences between Drupal 7 and 8 may not be immediately obvious for most web site visitors, but they are there. Most importantly for the end-user, version 8 should provide more mobile device compatibility out of the box, as well as other improved responsive abilities. Important from a user’s perspective at a time when the number of mobile page views is growing fast. In keeping with current trends, more than 50% of visitors to your web site will probably be using a mobile browser in 2016.
And for developers, we’re promised that version 8 offers an ‘improved developer experience’, with better functionality and options, including improved file handling. Drupal 8 also offers easier configuration management, making it equally suitable for smaller web sites with lower visitor volumes.
One point to bear in mind before installing the latest version: Drupal 8 needs more than 4 times the disk space required by Drupal 7. Not really a problem the availability of large, inexpensive disks and SSD’s , but if you host your site(s) externally you might need to check the amount of disk space in your contract.
BSL engineers, never standing still
Armed with the latest product information and the hands-on experience gained during the Drupal training day, our engineers will put Drupal 8 through its paces in the coming weeks. Making use of test sites, we’ll examine stability, any issues that need patching, and overall performance before we incorporate it into our client software.
If you’d like to find out how our experience and expertise can help you, then get in touch with the Bright Side of Life to learn more about our Drupal skills, and much more besides…