An Engagement Manager’s guide to site building in Drupal 8 – week 01

More a log than a guide, but you get the idea!

Day 0

Many a weeks before Day 1! started putting a backlog together, the site is for an Open Social Transformation project, its open sourcing the materials designed and developed for Peace Through Prosperity’s social transformation programs that have had epic results so far. The aim is to make the materials and processes available under a creative commons license for communities across the third rock to use and transform for the better, from the ground up.

Day 1

  • Theme-Library-D8-Theme-install-fail 25th Oct 2015 installed Acquia Dev Desktop and got cracking, first impressions; intuitive, a bit like WordPress thats a plus! the learning curve wont be as steep as I had suspected it might be.
  • Bartik looks dull and boring, decided to go on a Theme hunt.
  • Downloaded Zircon – installed, set as default, does not work,
  • Downloaded Adaptive – installed, needs something called AT Core, searched, and installed, set as default, does not work,
  • Back to google, found MAYO, looks nice, installed, does not work,
  • Am 30 mins into my hunt for a theme that looks good and works and am nearing to an OFT moment.
  • Another 5 mins and reached OFT moment.
  • Decided to go with Bartik, into settings and am determined to make this look nice, wasn’t that hard actually! 
  • But need to clean up my Theme library! this is what it looks like after 35 mins.
Drupal-8-engagement-manager-suite-building-guide-001
Five minutes of fiddling about in Bartik’s settings and moving the Login Box to Footer 5 (not disabling it for now) this is what my home page looks like!
Not bad for a newbie to Drupal… the fruits of less than an hour’s labour and it is responsive out of the box with zero effort! 
OK that’s too much excitement for the day, going to quit while I am ahead and get back to it in a few days.

Day 2

A few days later… Decided to hit the deep end before creating my pages and static content, time to add some fancy Blocks, getting the @bringptp Twitter feed on the home page would be epic!
The search began for a Twitter module for D8, two choices, Alex Finnarn’s Drupal-twitter-feed and the Twitter Module off D.O – hit a glitch with both, with the Finnarn’s Drupal-twitter-feed module off GIT the challenge became lack of documentation, once set up, had no way to figure out what to do with it as a newbie. With the Twitter Module installing the Entity API became a pain, first things first Entity API is part of D8 Core WTF! kept getting “entity-8.x-1.x-dev.tar.gz does not contain any .info.yml files error”,  looked into the error and got lost in the conversations about it on D.O! whoosh over my head! It was time to call in the big guns, time to reach out to Dakku for help figuring this out. As for the rest of today’s timebox will be getting the pages and content in shape to give the site some semblance of a site prior to diving into the Lingotek module. On reflection today was less frustrating, packed up when I hit a blocker, started finishing and stopped starting, am practising what I preach. 

Day 3

Met up with Dakku and made use of the lunch hour to get some help with the Twitter modules I installed and failed to get them working, turns out its the modules and not my lack of perseverance! Alex Finnarn’s Drupal-twitter-feed module doesn’t show up on the configurations page as the limited documentation suggests it should, so ditched that and moved to the Twitter Module. Got introduced to the issues queue for modules and how to find answers to issues I am having that others have faced, reported and found solutions to, turns out there is an issue with the module as reported on the issues queue, the module has a dependency on Entity API stated in the twitter.info.yml which shouldn’t be there, this dependency prevents the module being installed. Anyway decided I’ll get to Twitter feeds in a Block at a later date once its been patched – which by the way is under way. Dakku on it, submitted a patch that is pending review. With Twitter feeds out for the time being I got a short introduction to Drush and how to install modules using it, haven’t quite got my head around it yet but the fear of the Terminal is slowly giving way to possibilities of being able to use the command line to get sh*t done.

Day 4 & 5

Drupal-8-engagement-manager-suite-building-guide-003 Back to building up my site, first things first the ‘read more’ link on the home page is getting real annoying, I need the entire content of my page displayed and not a snippet of it, late night IMing for help Dakku pointed me to ‘admin/config/system/site-information’ should have seen that! (mental note to explore more).  Menu links added, with the home page taking shape keen to get some play time with Blocks, a bit of toing and froing got to grips with creating custom blocks and wooHoo! rusty HTML knowledge’s coming back and is handy too. Added two custom blocks: Gofundme and a Vimeo widget blocks and it looks Epic!
 
Still have some time to spare, decided to go social, and got pointed to the Social Media Links module by Dakku, looks awesome but came undone after installation! opened up the modules folder, had a look at the Readme file but when I go to ‘/admin/structure/block/manage/social_media_links/social-media-links/configure’ there is ‘no page found’ dang it! so close so close! must pack it in and get back to this in a couple of day. 
 
Even if I say so my self am chuffed with what has been possible over 3-4 hours spread over a week, next up getting the Social Media Links module to work and then to Lingotek before I start exploring Organic Groups, which will have to be de-prioritised since Organic Groups Module is not ported to Drupal 8 as yet.

 

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