Top Drupal blog posts from February 2023
Like every month, we’re bringing you a selection of our team’s favorite Drupal articles from the past month. Check out what we read in February.
The Rise of OpenAI and ChatGPT
We’re kicking off this month’s list with an article that’s not exclusively focused on Drupal, but nevertheless covers a topic so important that it definitely deserved a spot: the rise of generative artificial intelligence, namely, OpenAI and ChatGPT.
Velir’s Kevin Quillen, author of the article, first tells the reader more about OpenAI and what kind of projects their AI powers before diving into the specifics of integrating OpenAI with Drupal via its API.
Kevin breaks down 5 features of using OpenAI in Drupal: prompt/text generation explorer; content generation; integration with the CKEditor; log analysis; and text embedding. He also lists some features that are currently still in development and are likely to be available in the future.
Artificial Intelligence, the future of Content Management and the Web
Let’s continue in the same context, with an article by Dries about AI and its impact on content management and the web as a whole, which also references the above article by Kevin by showcasing some example features of his OpenAI-Drupal integration.
One of the most notable impacts of artificial intelligence which Dries highlights is its disintermediation of traditional search engines, an important step in what he calls the “Big Reverse of the Web”.
Besides the impact and use in content management, the article also talks about the current and future usage of AI in software development, before finishing with some challenges and concerns of generative AI such as legal/copyright issues.
Upgrading to Drupal 10 (And Beyond) With Composer
Now, for the first Drupal-specific article in this month’s selection, we have Matthew Ramir of Bounteous showing how to use Composer to update to Drupal 10 and beyond. He starts off with an explanation of how Composer tracks and manages dependencies, followed by a section about checking for upgrade compatibility with the Upgrade Status module.
The second half of the article covers using Composer to update PHP versions before a step-by-step breakdown of how to upgrade Drupal core, including how to handle potential conflicts when upgrading; some of these can be easily resolved (e.g. requiring the latest version of a module), while some may require custom solutions.
Why Drupal Is the Smart Choice for Higher Education
One of the most essential tenets of education is that it should be accessible to everyone, and so a large section of Sylvie’s article is dedicated to accessibility tips and tricks for content managers, designers and developers.
The article also showcases a few of the most compelling features of Drupal and Acquia for higher education – namely, the power of personalization through a case study for the University of Dundee, and the streamlined multisite management which has helped institutions such as Rice University.
Hands-On With Drupal 10: Crafting Content With CKEditor 5
We continue with an article by Evolving Web’s Kate Bundy about the improvements of the Drupal 10 content editing experience thanks to the latest CKEditor 5. She starts off with an overview of the new features available in Drupal core: an improved user interface; balloon panels; easier management of tables; updated style dropdown; and streamlined creation of complex lists.
In addition to this, CKEditor 5 also has a premium version which comes with additional features such as tracking changes, revision history, real-time collaboration, exporting to Word or PDF, and more. Some upcoming features include autoformatting and support for TypeScript plugins.
Drupal 10 is here – Are You Ready for It?
Moving on, we have an article on Perficient’s blog giving a short overview of the new features in Drupal 10 and the main reasons why site owners should upgrade to the latest version as soon as possible. As the article’s author Raghuraman Ramdoss points out, the main reason for upgrading is the looming end-of-life date of Drupal 9 and its dependencies.
However, the newer versions of these outdated dependencies make the Drupal platform even more powerful. Drupal 10 runs on the latest versions of PHP and Symfony, streamlines content management with the new CKEditor 5, and facilitates all admin work through the new core theme Claro.
How “Laziness” Improves Performance: Exploring the Image Lazy-loading Technique in Drupal
Another great article from last month comes from the ImageX team and shows how to use lazy loading to optimize the images and thus the performance of your Drupal website. The first half of the article explains how lazy loading works and what benefits it brings, while the second half is dedicated to lazy loading in Drupal.
As of Drupal 9.1, native lazy loading is enabled for images by default, but the core functionality still needs improvement. Certain contributed Drupal modules also enable lazy loading of images, and the article also covers each of these – namely, Lazy-load, OEmbed Lazyload and Image Lazy Loader.
Open Source vs Proprietary Software: 3 Common Myths, Busted
In the last article we’d like to highlight this month, Pierina Wetto of Evolving Web busts three of the top myths regarding open source vs. proprietary software: that proprietary platforms offer better user support; that proprietary is more secure than open source; and that proprietary gives more value due to the higher cost.
Pierina also considers the wider talent base in open-source software communities, which is especially true for Drupal. Other benefits of Drupal as the open-source platform of choice include its accessibility, its flexibility and its suitability for large, complex government websites.
We hope you enjoyed (re)discovering these articles. Tune in next month for an overview of the top Drupal content from March!