Planet

By Mike Gifford on 02/10/2017
Photo from B Corp Retreat outlining need for interdependence.
OpenConcept is a pretty small company and most of our services we consume are digital, so in the scheme of things, we have a pretty small footprint on our planet and our local economy. That being said, as Mahatma Gandhi said “Whatever you do will be insignificant, but it is very important that you do it."
I just returned from my second B Corp Champions Retreat and I am even more enthusiastic about being able to leverage our small contributions to make a much bigger impact. I believe strongly in fixing the problems at the source, and many of our societal problems boil down to consumption...
By Mike Gifford on 12/06/2017
Canadian Flag Behind Chicken Wire
Originally posted on LinkedIN in two parts.
The Government of Canada’s Web Renewal Initiative has failed. It may not be public yet, but there really is no way to redeem this half-conceived initiative to centralize all government pages onto a single website - Canada.ca.
This goal was lifted from the UK Government’s Government Digital Services (GDS). The goal of the GDS team was no less than digital transformation. Our government appears to have mistaken the alpha.gov.uk site as the end goal, rather than a platform with which to experiment with new ideas in government usability. The GDS is...
By Mike Gifford on 05/12/2016
Image flow chart
This article was initially posted as a guest blog on The Digital Echidna Blog on December 2, 2016.
Lots of organizations are working hard to see that their IT is accessible to their visitors and staff. Reducing barriers for effective two-way communications is really important for businesses that want to engage fully with their community. Unfortunately, many organizations overlook the many challenges with online web forms.
Organizations who adopted Drupal 7 benefit from having semantic labels associated with their web forms automatically. This is a particular problem with custom built web-...
By Mike Gifford on 02/12/2016
This article was initially posted as a guest blog on The Digital Echidna Blog on November 29, 2016.
So you’ve gone all out on making your website accessible. You considered accessibility at every stage of your project. You started by choosing Drupal. You then evaluated the wireframes for potential problems, took careful consideration that the colours had sufficient contrast, had your developers do regular accessibility checks with every sprint, brought in an external reviewer at the end of the project to evaluate your work, etc.
It was the textbook example of how you should approach building...
By Mike Gifford on 07/01/2016
This article was initially posted in on Dec 29nd, 2015 in the Ottawa Business Journal.
Most of us are more connected to the Internet than ever before.
Not only do we have phones, tablets, game consoles, and televisions that are connected , but we also use the net for shopping, civic engagement, social and archival purposes. New appliances, cars and devices use the Internet without many of us even knowing it. So much of our lives are tangled up in the Web, and all indications are that this trend is increasing by leaps and bounds.
Many people are concerned about the social impacts of this...
By Mike Gifford on 23/10/2015
Wind and solar farm in California.

Stephanie Daniels sums it up well, "Optimized sites are better for the environment. That’s because they’re significantly faster, more usable, with content that’s optimized for SEO and user experience. It’s my belief that Drupal has all of the tools in place to create sustainable websites…if you just know where to look.".
If only I had Drupal back in 1995. That was the year I built my first website for a Fair Trade Retailer called Bridgehead. Back at this time, the Internet was a very different place. People were using the web at that point, but it wasn't embedded in our lives like it is now...
By Liz Pringi on 20/10/2015
Foreword:
   Google Analytics is a great tool to see where people are browsing on your site, to monitor traffic, and possibly some other perks I'm unaware of.  ;)  So it's important to make sure it still works when you're upgrading the Google Analytics Tracking ID and updating the Google Analytics module, or just updating the module.
   Why would you want to do that?  Well: The 1.x branch of the Google Analytics module is now no longer supported, so if you want security updates you'll have to update to the 2.x branch (pretty straight-forward).
   If you're reading this post, you're likely ...
By Mike Gifford on 14/10/2015
Web accessibility is an important but often neglected piece of today’s web environment. Drupal 7 Core made a step in making the websites more accessible by default. Since it's release there have been improvements to Core's accessibility and also to the contributed modules to make the platform much more accessible.

 

Drupal 8 has added extensive support for accessibility in the Core. For anyone trying to make a barrier-free website, it is important to know what these features are and how each can be used.

 

Throughout this series we will look into the variety of...
By Matt Parker on 03/08/2015
"Software testing" is a term used to refer to a variety of methods, tools, and practices for verifying that a software application works, at many different levels.

All of us in the web development industry do some sort of software testing (even if the testing we do is manual and ad hoc, e.g.: refreshing a webpage after making a change to ensure the code you just wrote works). In this blog post, I will attempt to discuss why you might want to move away from ad hoc testing to more-formal testing, try to dispel some myths about formal testing, and give a high-level overview of the different...
By Matt Parker on 16/07/2015
This post is a follow-up to last week's post, Conforming to coding standards with linters.

As we learned last week, linters are tools that you can use to check if a file contains any syntax errors, and/or whether it conforms to coding standards. This blog post discusses how to ensure that linters get run automatically when you make a commit.

If you find a better process, please blog about it and post a link in the comments!

This tutorial assumes:


You write or modify code,
You have linters to run on your code, and,
You use Git to manage your code.



Git hooks

Git has a way to fire off...

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