Recent Blog Posts

By Mike Gifford on 19/12/2014

At this time of year, a lot of people are thinking about gifts, both those that we give and receive. It is often a joyous time, although often stressful too. People come together and often reflect on what has happened in the last year, celebrate the victories and set new goals for the year ahead. We have a great deal to be thankful for and it is a time of year when we find ourselves expressing gratitute for those who have supported us and are part of our community.

I don't think we...

By Mike Gifford on 01/12/2014

I was happy to have OpenConcept well represented at Ottawa's first Ladies Learning Code Drupal event. There was a great turnout of interested people, keen to get their feet wet learning Drupal. Mathew Winstone from Coldfront Labs led the full day event. It was clear how much work he had put into getting new people who weren't familiar with programming started with Drupal.

It was great to be able to leverage Pantheon's free hosting service to get people started. Fortunately, we didn't...

By Mike Gifford on 01/12/2014
Ryan Weal & Others in the Code Sprint

San Francisco is beautiful in the fall, BADCamp has become a real institution in the Drupal community, and I had an opportunity to present about Drupal 8's accessibility. So I packed my bags and flew down to sunny California and was able to participate in several Drupal Core Code Sprints, the NGO Summit and several talks.

It is useful to go to these community events and to have a chance to hang out with other people who are shaping this community. The Drupal community involves a lot...

By Mike Gifford on 23/10/2014
Organizers of A11yYOW 2014

Digital Accessibility is a really big and complicated issue. There are no simple fixes because the technology keeps changing and the web standards are regularly being adjusted in attempt to keep up. A site that is considered accessible today, may not be accessible viewed this way in 6 months.

Ultimately it is about building technology such that the widest number of people can have the greatest access to the web. The web has become our town square and school as well as our our path to...

By Mike Gifford on 22/10/2014
Duane Raymond preseting in Ottawa.

It was great to work with Duane Raymond and George Irish to create a FairSay campaign/fundraising training in Ottawa on October 15th. I've corresponded with Duane for many years and have always wanted to make the trip to Oxford to go to the eCampaigning Forum. After organizing these events for over a decade, Duane has built quite a considerable base of knowledge and an extensive global network.

In the afternoon session we had very interesting conversations on building a digital...

By Mike Gifford on 17/10/2014
Flynn Theatre B Inspired

I had a great time in Burlington earlier this month with the B Corporation community. It was inspiring to be around people working for change and meeting people who are working to make business a force for good in this world. Over 350 people came from around the world to attend this event and it was exciting to see how global this movement has become. The event was held in Vermont and it was clear to see the pride of all of the local B Corps who have been fighting to make a difference in...

By Mike Mallett on 15/10/2014

On October 14, 2014 Google announced that SSLv3 (Secure Socket Layer, version 3) was vulnerable to an attack which has been given the cute name POODLE (Padding Oracle On Downgraded Legacy Encryption).

OpenConcept has previously recommended the removal of support for SSLv3 in our Drupal Security Guide. Fallback to SSLv3 has been disabled on OpenConcept's servers. All HTTP servers providing encrypted service (HTTPS) should be forced to drop SSLv3 and support only TLS (Transport Layer...

By Mike Gifford on 26/09/2014
Sharron Rush and Cliff Tyllick

Web accessibility is complicated. The technology is constantly changing as is how we are using the medium. The Web has become a critical means of simply participating in our society and many people are simply excluded from participation.

Knowbility has offered a training on Web Accessibility since Section 508 was adopted back in 1998. Working with people with disabilities, this community has been a hub for training web developers about how to build barrier free sites.

They are...

By Mike Gifford on 10/09/2014
Roadtrip Back from DC DrupalCon

This is a story of our origins that I hope will resonate with others seeking change in this world. There are many truths, some of them are here.

Foundation

The name OpenConcept came from a kitchen table conversation between three friends: Nancy Shaver, Russell McOrmond and myself. The initial idea was to use the Web as an interface for Popular Education (PopEd) and to help build Sustainable Communities. This idea never got off the ground at the time, but Russell continued to direct me...

By Mike Gifford on 09/09/2014
Google Styled Map from Hackable Cities Guide

Canada's Cities Need a Digital Roadmap, and it needs to engage with citizens.

Most Canadians interact with the local level of government more than any other, and increasingly this is being done electronically

Defining a Digital Roadmap

A roadmap is a common planning tool to help both visualize and achieve a particular goal. It's useful to build consensus around any multi-stakeholder process. Projects often stall if they get caught up in the details, because there is no...

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