AWebFactory the making of (Part 2) Getting started with process, methods and tools

In my book Leveraging Drupal I set out to wed what have always been my career basing best software development process practices with Drupal site building and development. Chapter 1 (possibly the only part of the book not immediately obsolete the moment it was published in February, 2009), entitled “Keeping it Simple”, describes the process you can practice in order to squarely face the varied responsibilities of getting a web app up and running. It names the steps you can follow towards fulfilling that goal. It is still freely downloadable as an example chapter. We will use it to gear ourselves towards implementing a properly prioritized backlog of stories in order to revamp AWebFactory.com .

Now, we could just say, as is increasingly the fashion, “we use scrum”, or “we use agile” and even provide the obligatory life-cycle diagrams. But how do we actually get to that? In what context are we even operating? The only fair starting point for any target app is: Why build it at all?

AWebFactory.com revamp: the making of (Part 1) - Setting up an Eclipse IDE development environment for your Pantheon Project

This is the first of a series of articles which will log the revamping of the AWebFactory company website and its migration to Pantheon, the "Cloud Platform for Drupal", which will not only be host to live deployment, but which will also serve as a development platform.

Signing up

So I signed up for an account on Pantheon, a free developer account to begin with. I went to https://www.getpantheon.com/ and clicked on Create Free Account. Filled out the details, received a confirmation account (curiously, even with GMail, which is pretty discerning about those things, it arrived in the Spam folder, so do check that when you create your account), and after validating my site when I was logged in (https://dashboard.getpantheon.com/login ) there was a sign on my dashboard offering a link to Create a site now.

Responsive web design off the shelf with Panopoly

I've recently blogged enthusiastically about Panopoly in the context of a simpler, lower cost and more “share the wealth” democratic path to powerhouse Drupal web app development emerging from the recent Denver DrupalCon 2012. And I've promised to write a series of articles on “using Panopoly as a starter kit for the rest of us” in the context of a responsive process and the creation of a responsive user experience. Well, with the recent release of Panopoly 7.x-1.0-beta3, there's no time like the present to write the kick-off article.

So together with my fellow AWebFactory web developer compañero martindido (Martín Di Doménico) we installed the new beta3 version and here share our findings:

CTools modal form kickstart

After Drupalcon Denver 2012, it's patently obvious that it's certainly time to start using Drupal 7 as your mainstay for production sites, since the pros now outweight the cons even for conservative working stiffs like me. So the question often arises, when you go to do something you are thoroughly used to doing in Drupal 6, you say "where are my old friends from Drupal 6?" and cringe.

So we have to help each other out, one such example is, say, how do I put a form into a modal window (i.e. popup) in Drupal 7? Sometimes, once you see a simple example, then it's straightforward to apply all the juicy info from the advanced help modules and documentation you can find on d.o. and around the web. The problem is often how to break the ice, how to get started.

Responsive Web Design State of the Art at DrupalCon Denver 2012

I didn't attend any responsive web design sessions at DrupalCon Denver 2012 because there was just too much going on under the hood, both for Drupal 7 and Drupal 8. But before this milestone event fades into the past, it is necessary to grab what this historic "reaffirmation" DrupalCon tells us about the state of Drupal is in this key area and how the rest of us should incorporate it into our development process. What frameworks, base themes, standard configurations, and other approaches should we adopt?

This corrects the grave omission of the whole key subject of responsive web design from my recent report back article on DrupalCon Denver 2012.

Here I attempt to address the question by treating myself to an Easter Sunday responsive web design marathon, and grabbing my first conclusions, synthesized with my thinking up to the present (“Mobile first” is the tip of the iceberg and when blithely repeated reduces to a buzzword without addressing the huge multi-server and services, real time and single page app challenges that are increasingly facing the web app builder. While mobiile first (there, I've said it) responsive web design is key, promiscuous Drupal with multi-node servlets and services integration is fundamental). But this material is absolutely essential, there's a lot to learn, don't go to work without it: I present here my take on each of the following presentations: Rethinking responsive building techniques with drupal - johnalbin, Responsive web design: the past, present, and future – lewisnyman, A responsive project process – daveruse, Creating responsive and mobile-first drupal themes - himerus, Html 4 s - while we're waiting for the revolution - mortendk, and finally Keynote - Luke Wroblewski. BTW, Panopoly is responsive out of the box (what does that even mean?).

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