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We must have been some very well-behaved kids developers, judging by the big pile of great Drupal blog posts that we got this time of year... 

From:
 

  • particularly valuable content on topics that you’ll hardly find any information on the web (e.g. the concept of relationships in Drupal) 
  • to useful and easy-to-follow step-by-step guides on how to use new Drupal modules to their full potential (see the Smart module for creating user-friendly event schedules)
  • to “teasers” of promising work-in-progress features for Drupal (see Jacob Rockowitz’s initiative to add variant support to the Webform module) 
     

… we’ve unwrapped many blog post “presents” this month. 

And now we’re ready to... resume this “unboxing” session for you.

Here are 5 Drupal blog posts that we enjoyed reading in December over warm cups of cinnamon coffee/ginger tea/hot cocoa…
 

1. How to Use Relationships in Drupal 8

Such a pleasant surprise this post here from the OSTraining team (aka Jorge)!

As a reader points out all too well in the comments:

OPTASY Favorites: Top 5 Drupal Blog Posts of December: How to Use Relationships in Drupal 8

Jorge starts by pinpointing the real-life scenario where you’d set relationships while creating a Drupal view:

When you choose “Content” as the base table from where you want your data to be retrieved, you also select a specific content type. But if you set a relationship between several content types, you enable your view to pull data from them all.

This way, you get to put together a more complex view, with data being pulled from multiple tables. If and only if you set a relationship between them.

Since it’s an OSTraining tutorial, it doesn’t “fall far from the tree”: it’s as neatly structured and easy to follow as all of their guides:
 

  • it goes on with an example where the 2 main content types selected for the View are “Author” and “Book”
  • it continues with a step by step guide, backed by a series of “enlightening” screenshots, on the selected fields for the 2 content types, on how to create the View itself, on adding relationships to your View... 
     

A valuable tutorial indeed: both by the chosen topic and by the way that its author covered it.
 

2. Paragraphs: How to Manage Irregular Content in Drupal 8

“Yet another blog post on the Paragraphs module you must be thinking now.

And still, we enjoyed reading this one here, from the Promet Source team.

It’s one of those Drupal blog posts that’s ideally concise, well written, clearly structured and to the point. And it goes beyond defining the module and insisting on its “aura” as one of the most powerful Drupal modules.

In addition to that, it:
 

  • draws attention to its additional usages (e.g. adding setting fields to the content edit form to customize a page’s output)
  • provides us with a handful of tips on how to easily implement Paragraphs into a Drupal website (e.g. detecting repeated instances of content on your web pages and moving them into view or block; this way, Paragraphs will reference them in the right locations)
     

3. Personalized Webforms, by Jacob Rockowitz, One of the Best Drupal Blog Posts of December

Luckily for us, Jacob Rockowitz had an... epiphany at the Aquia Engage event, which determined him to write this piece of content. 

A truly valuable one, which plants the… “seed of hope”. Hope that we’ll soon be having personalized forms in Drupal.

After he:
 

  • insists on the crucial role that personalization plays in creating and delivering the best user experiences
  • outlines web forms’ role in putting together such personalized experiences for the user
  • presents, briefly, Acquia’s 3-step approach to personalization: the crawl-walk-run method
     

… Jacob brings his own “star” into the spotlight: the Webform Drupal module.

He goes on pointing out to the current limitations of the module with respect to personalization:

It relies on conditional logic. But not all the aspects with a heavy impact on the user experience (e.g. the form’s descriptions, labels…) can be modified based on conditional logic.

Then, he exposes the main functionality that web forms should incorporate to be 100% effective in delivering a fully personalized experience:

Supporting variants.

“Being able to create and manage variations of a webform will open up the Drupal community to performing A/B tests and building out segmented forms.” (Source: jrockowitz.com) 

OPTASY Favorites: Top 5 Drupal Blog Posts of December: Personalized Webforms

Source: jrockowitz.com

Jacob Rockowitz is working on adding variant support to Webform so… here’s another wish to add to our list for 2020.
 

4. Getting Started: React in Drupal 8

A clear and concise step-by-step guide on how to add React to a Drupal website. 

Or, in other words:

On how to add a fast and interactive user interface to your Drupal site.

It starts with a brief presentation of each of the 2 approaches to Drupal decoupling: headless and progressive. Then, it delves you straight into the tutorial:
 

  • configuring Drupal to send data to React via API (aka progressively decoupling Drupal)
  • installing and using the React module, which ships with all the boilerplate code needed to get React up and running on your Drupal website
     

The post ends with the team’s advice for us to delve even deeper into this subject by going through their suggested documentation on how to progressively decouple React in Drupal 8.
 

5. User-Friendly Event Schedules with the Smart Date Drupal 8 Module

Another straightforward and useful tutorial that we loved.

A step-by-step guide on how to get the most of the Smart Date Drupal 8 module to create a flexible and user-friendly event schedule.

Its structure follows this logic:
 

  • first, it points out how an ideal schedule functionality should work
  • next, it highlights those key features of the Smart Date module that allows it to meet the editors’ and users’ needs with respect to this functionality
  • last, it takes us through a step-by-step tutorial on how to enable the module... all the way to creating its layout
     

The END!

This is what our selection of the 5 Drupal blog posts in December includes.

We’re pretty curious now: what great pieces of content on Drupal have you enjoyed reading while sipping on your hot cups of tea or coffee or… chocolate this month?


Image by Susanne Jutzeler, suju-foto from Pixabay 

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