Recent Blog Posts

By Mike Gifford on 20/12/2013

Another year is coming to a close and we are again wishing you all the happiest of holidays at this special time of year. 2013 has been a very exciting year for us, including some amazing projects, new team members and fun DrupalCons and Camps. We are also proud that as of this week we are a Certified B Corporation. Looking forward to another interesting year to come!

We wish you and yours all the best in 2014

- The OpenConcept Team

By Mike Gifford on 20/12/2013
B Corporatioin Logo

We started the process of becoming a B Corporation early in 2013 after being exposed to it through HubOttawa in January. Initially it seemed like it would be an interesting way to more officially support the kind of work that we've been doing since we began in 1999. There are plenty of people who see starting a web business as a type of get-rich-quick scheme. I started OpenConcept for a very different reason; I saw that running a small business could be a way I could work to make the world...

By Jesse Payne on 13/12/2013

With two back to back Drupal 7 multilingual projects involving unique domains for each language we kept running into the same frustration. Syncing the databases back and forth from local, testing, staging, and live environments in a way that does not require manually going into the database to chage the language domain settings seemed impossible, or at least as elusive as a fox.

All I personally wanted was a simple way to override the language domains depending on the environment I...

By Jesse Payne on 03/12/2013

Working recently with an accessibility focus group has provided some very useful insight into areas where we can make some quick accessibility improvements to Drupal 7. Amongst several other similar improvements in terms of Aria related attributes, we have come to the conclusion that adding aria-describedby to form field elements will help with providing context between form elements and their descriptions. Without context, form field descriptions are confusing.
The following...

By Mike Mallett on 28/11/2013

Drupal is a powerful web application framework and Content Management System. It is capable of serving high volume websites at incredible speeds. But a poorly configured cache setting can grind your web site to a halt, leaving impatient visitors waiting for pages. Excessive page load times will even drive some visitors away with the impression that your site has gone down. The most common recommendations for Drupal 7.x caching beyond the defaults provided in Core are APC, Varnish, and...

By Mike Gifford on 31/10/2013

It is really, really embarrassing that a kid in elementary school could hack into any government computer system, however a 12 year old boy has pleaded guilty to doing just that in 2012. I'm not sure how much is known about how he did this, and no doubt he is a very bright and curious child, but this really needs to be a glaring warning about a systemic problem with how governments in Canada manage security. 

In my dealings with government IT, I find far too often that departments go...

By Mike Gifford on 25/09/2013

We've been doing a lot of work recently building a best practice guide on security and wanted to be able to send our clients a simple list of principles that are written in plain language. 

There is Safety in the Herd: Leverage large, well maintained open source libraries (packages) with a critical mass of users and developers. Use compiled packages and check data integrity of downloaded code. Start with OpenBSD, Debian/Ubuntu or RedHat/CentOS WITHOUT cPanel. Order Matters: Don’t open up...
on 04/07/2013

Drupal often gets compared to a set of lego blocks each with a different purpose, and to build a Drupal site you simply have to find the blocks you need and build the site. Easy!


Well, for a seasoned developer it may be easy, but for someone starting out it may be a bit daunting. Especially since you don't usually get a pre-packaged kit of all the Drupal blocks you need for your desired site - instead you have to wade through tens of thousands...

By Mike Gifford on 25/06/2013

There are lots of ways to set up a enterprise server environment for Drupal, but in dealing with IT folks who are coming from other Content Management Systems (CMS) or worse static sites, there is an asumption that for an organization to have control, that they need to have a completely isolated server.

Many organizations historically have not had a CMS which had the workflow structure and level of interactivity that Drupal comes with. Historically, the staging server has been used as...

By Mike Gifford on 21/06/2013

OpenConcept believes in the importance of community & the power of open source. Drupal is a great software product, but the community behind it is bigger and better than the software itself. Open source approaches are really disruptive when they are applied properly because they can disrupt the producer/consumer mindset which has been drilled into our heads over the last 50 years.  When we realize that we can contribute something which helps others and by making the community stronger...

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