DrupalCon Portland Day 2 Recap

Welcome to Day 2 at DrupalCon!! Today is another exhilarating day packed with cutting-edge sessions, collaborative workshops, and unparalleled networking opportunities. There are few better ways to enhance your skills and connect you with the vibrant Drupal community. Let's dive deeper into the world of Drupal and check out a few highlights from Day 2:

Keynote: Open Source AI Now: Why Open Must Win the AI War

Noted author Alex Salkever gave a thrilling keynote on open source and AI. A battle is underway right now for the future of technology. Artificial intelligence is clearly poised to disrupt every industry. It will change the way we work and live and it will accelerate progress while introducing new perils. Massive change is coming and open source vs proprietary or closed systems is a critically important conversation to be having during these changes. Alex emphasized the benefits of open source AI.

Open source AI democratizes knowledge, fostering innovation by allowing a global community to contribute and iterate on software. This transparency accelerates advancements by enabling peer review, ensuring robust, secure technologies and minimizing biases through diverse input. It reduces costs, facilitating access for businesses and researchers, enhancing competition, and leading to a richer ecosystem of AI applications. Open systems pave the way for ethical oversight as practices and algorithms are open to scrutiny, encouraging accountability. This model nurtures educational opportunities, preparing a wider talent pool for the future and driving economic growth through collaborative problem-solving and shared progress.

Open Source AI Keynote

Photo: Alex discusses AI in his keynote.

Drupal 11 Deep Dive: What's New, How to Prepare

Gábor Hojtsy held an enlightening session to dive into the anticipated features and updates of Drupal 11. With a planned release window around August 2024, and a contingency set for December 2024, this was an important in-depth preview. 

We looked at essential questions such as:

  • What innovations and changes can you expect in Drupal 11?
  • How can you best prepare for the transition to Drupal 11?
  • What is the support lifespan of Drupal 10, and what does the upgrade timeline look like?

Don't miss this chance to stay ahead of the curve with Drupal's evolving landscape. You can find additional Drupal 11 information at dev.acquia.com/drupal11 

Gabor's Drupal 11 talk

Photo: Gabor Hojtsy giving his Drupal 11 session talk today to a standing-room-only crowd.

Case Study: Lenovo's Journey with Drupal and Creating 100+ Language-Specific Sites
Provide an overview of Lenovo's digital presence and the need for a scalable and multilingual solution.
Discuss the complexities involved in creating and maintaining numerous language variations of a website.

An Interactive Web Accessibility Workshop

Digital experiences are ever changing, and for marketing and IT business leaders — it's important to keep in mind that digital accessibility is changing too. For years, the state of digital accessibility has made too-slow progress; WebAIM’s 2024 report on website accessibility found that 95.9% of home pages had detected Web Content Accessibility Guideline (WCAG) 2 failures. And businesses are paying the price.

We all have important questions to wrestle with: How do you ensure that your organization isn’t missing out on growth opportunities by not delivering accessible digital experiences? How do you encourage and build an accessibility-first mentality within your organization? And how do you ensure education, accountability, and compliance?

Key Insights and Statistics from Today's Workshop:

  • A notable 8% of the male population experiences colorblindness.
  • Participants identified a significant challenge: a lack of prioritization for accessibility in leadership roles, which often results in insufficient funding and contributes to difficulties in establishing an accessible digital presence.
  • Despite Green/Red color blindness being one of the most prevalent types, there is a persistent trend of using these colors in tandem to denote positive and negative outcomes respectively, which can be problematic.

Essential Insights:

  • The scope of accessibility is broader than commonly perceived, impacting a diverse range of individuals.
  • Overcrowded webpage content complicates the use of screen readers, which are typically designed for linear listening and can be overwhelming with excessive information.
  • Disparate priorities between UX designers and developers can pose challenges to unified efforts in accessibility enhancements, underscoring the importance of cross-team communication to fulfill accessibility objectives.
  • Integrating accessibility discussions early in the project lifecycle is crucial for its thorough consideration and implementation.
  • The accessibility journey can be thwarted by seemingly small oversights, such as an unselectable ‘accept terms’ checkbox via screen reader, leading to significant user frustration after navigating through complex processes like form completion.
Lars' Accessibility Workshop

Photo: Accessibility expert Lars Holm Sorensen leading a popular, interactive workshop on Web Accessibility.

How to Use Automated Tools to Upgrade Your Site from Drupal 7 to Drupal 10.x
Mike Madison is focusing today on a timely problem: the pending Drupal 7 End-of-Life. Today we have 43% of the entire Drupal community still on Drupal 7 despite the Drupal 7 EOL coming in January 2025. Acquia recently open sourced its migration automation tool, Acquia Migrate: Accelerate (AM:A) to help the community get to D10 and prepare for D11.

Promoting Accessible Content Throughout the Publishing Lifecycle
Accessibility isn’t strictly the responsibility of developers and designers. Arguably the most important, and often forgotten about, area that affects a website’s accessibility is the content itself. Importantly, this topic continues to surface and stay in the news. This is to the benefit of everyone, including business innovation.

Automate, Integrate, Innovate: AI-powered GitLab CI for Drupal Module Development
In this session, we embark on a journey into the future of code review, where the integration of ChatGPT and GitLab CI revolutionizes the Drupal module development process.

Protecting Your Site with Automatic Updates
Ted Bowman focuses today on a problem that we can all relate to: Keeping sites updated and secure. Is your site one of the many Drupal sites running outdated and possibly insecure versions of Drupal core? We use Ted's session today to learn how the Automatic Updates module can help keep your site up-to-date with the latest security updates and make using Composer with a Drupal site easier.

All of this and so much more today at Drupalcon Portland. Check back tomorrow for Day 3 highlights!