Entice hack meeting Thursday 5 June

We'll be meeting in the new part of restaurant 1 this Thursday 5 June at 4pm.

Got a question about your website? Want to share a problem, an idea or want to help other people out? We'd love to see you there. 

Entice hack meeting Wednesday 21 May

We'll be meeting in the new part of restaurant 1 again next Wednesday 21 May at 4pm.

Got a question about your website, a problem, an idea, want to help other people out? We'd love to see you there. 

One thing I'd like to explore next time is ideas to improve the Entice website itself, making it a living, relevant resource for us all. Bring along your ideas...

Over the past two sessions I helped a lot of people who seemed to be grappling with very similar front-end development issues. How do I tweak this block? How can I change the layout of just the front page? How can I put an image in the banner? I wonder whether talks or workshops on these front-end issues might be useful. If you think so, please complete this survey. Please share this link with anyone you know at CERN who might be interested - this doesn't have to be focussed on Drupal.

Entice hack meeting Thursday 8 May

The next hack Entice hack meeting will be at 4pm on Thursday 8 May in the new part of restaurant 1.

Based on informal feedback I think the first hack meeting was useful. It was a little chaotic, but I think it was a good opportunity - especially for beginners - for people to bring issues along and get support. Hope to see plenty of helpers along next time. We'll try alternating between Wednesdays and Thursdays for these meetings to give those with regular commitments on a particular day to come along. Suggestions on how we can improve the format always welcome!

I met briefly during the last hack with Harri Toivonen who is working on the CERN IdeaLab project. He suggested that we may be able to use the new IdeaLab space for our hack meetings later this year once it's ready. In the meantime we'll try agin with the informal setting of resto 1: several people stayed on for a refreshment until quite late on, during which some interesting ideas bubbled up.

We'll look at having a more traditional Entice meeting towards the end of May to give an opportunity for the Drupal service managers to announce service and infrastructure changes and to get feedback from the community. More on this to come over the next couple of weeks.

I look forward to seeing many of you at the next hack, 8 May!

Next Entice meeting - new format 16 April 2014

Thank you to everyone who took part in the recent survey that I posted online. The results are here.

Around a third of the Entice list responded. Several things that strike me from this survey:

  1. Presentations are not necessarily people's favourite means of learning and sharing.
  2. The majority of people describe their proficiency in developing in Drupal as 'beginner' or 'intermediate'.
  3. Some people would like to see Entice deal with web content management issues at CERN beyond Drupal.

I'm not sure yet how to best to cater for this last point - if you have suggestions please let me know. More on this in future.

Cath Noble, Cian and I had a quick brainstorm yesterday about the other two points. We thought it would be good to try a new 'hack' format for meetings. The idea is to set up a more frequent, less formal and more participatory format. Something that is closer to the Drupalcamp and hack sprint meetings that the Drupal community itself uses.

Please join us for the first Entice 'hack meeting' at 4pm Wednesday 16 April at the end of the new part of restaurant 1 (the area with the high tables).

Come to help others (there will be people fairly new to Drupal who have projects they want to get started), get ideas, solve a problem, or simply to see what's happening. We have a couple of ideas for mini projects to get started on, such as improving the documentation area of the Entice website - we'll see who turns up and what people want to work on. I look forward to seeing you there!

We'll try and set this meeting to run every two weeks - I'll send a reminder email for the next one.

Results of Entice user survey

Thank you to everyone who took the time to complete the recent online user survey. We had 27 responses - about a third of the 84 people listed on the Entice e-group. Here are the results.

How do people describe themselves?

Website manager 11
Developer 7
Service manager 3
Manager 3
Editor 2
Other 1

How proficient are people at (general) web or application development?

Beginner 7
Intermediate 11
Advanced 9

How proficient are people at developing sites in Drupal?

Beginner 16
Intermediate 6
Advanced 5

Entice should focus on

Web content management 17
Drupal 10

People are most interested in

CERN web infrastructure 9
Site building / configuration 9
Front-end development 5
Integration 2
Other 2

People prefer learning by

Workshops / asking others 12
Documentation 7
Watching presentations 3
Online forum 3
IRC / chat 1
Social / collaborative media 1

Themes that came up in the comments

  • Creation of templates and distributions (for experiment or departmental websites, for instance)
  • Creation of a knowledge base
  • Move away from presentations, try more interactive format

Piwik Statistics on the Infrastructure

We would like to announce that the CERN Web Statistics service based on Piwik ( has been integrated into the Drupal infrastructure.


This service allows to you to track user information where they navigate into your website providing you interesing charts to analize the usage of the site.


New sites created from now on the infrastructure will have the feature enabled by default.

For existing sites, they have been pre-registered and pre-configured on the Piwik service but statistics won't be gathered until administrators of the site enable it. In case you are interested in enable this feature you just need to enable the Piwik module and it will be automatically configured. Click the next link to access the list of your site's modules:




As said the module will come preconfigured but you can still customize it by going to:




Statistics charts are accessible for owner and moderators from the WebServices interface on the next url:

New 'Site editing' course available in technical training catalogue

A message from our colleagues in technical training in HR:

A new Drupal course is available in our catalogue “Drupal site editing: advanced”. This is a follow up course to the existing Drupal Site editing (now labelled beginners) with target audience all public (no IT development experience required). For more information see the training catalogue: Drupal Site Editing: Advanced (2 days, 420 CHF)

This two day course objective is to create a multilingual drupal site using the CERN theme with custom views and custom content types. The trainer is Valerie Huret. The language of the sessions will depend on the language preferences of waiting list participants.

Available Drupal courses

Here is a summary of all the Drupal courses now available in the technical training catalogue:

Title Audience Description
Drupal in a Day Everyone Introduction to the basic features of Drupal - what it is and what it can do. 1 day course.
Drupal Site Editing: Beginners Everyone How to edit content on an existing Drupal site. 2 day course.
Drupal Site Editing: Advanced Everyone How to set up and configure a new Drupal site from scratch. 2 day course.
Drupal Site Developers Developers How to set up and configure a new Drupal site from scratch, including more advanced features. Experience with web development and Drupal required. 2 day course.
Drupal Individual Coaching Everyone One-on-one troubleshooting to help with Drupal development projects. 1h-4h.

There are therefore three possible learning paths:

  1. For personnel who need to migrate their project work pages and manage them OR for personnel who need to keep an existing Drupal web page updated (no programming experience required): Drupal Site Editing Beginners or/and advanced
  2. For managers or developers that need to learn Drupal jargon: Drupal in a Day
  3. For developers who need to develop more advance features in Drupal sites (with programming experience): Drupal Site Developers

Theme and module development planning

Last week we spent several days planning our development work for the CERN website from now until June. This work will lead to new features for site managers and editors using the 'cern' Drupal theme. Here's what we're planning:

  • Refactoring all HTML, CSS and javascript on cern_base and cern themes. This should make the themes leaner and easier to develop.
  • Two modules that will enable editors to embed CDS images into nodes: CKeditor plugin, and a CDS image field module.
  • Adding a 'site map' feature to improve navigation.


We've found that as we build new features and iterate on existing code it's really important to occasionally take the time to go back and have a clean up. We're going to take a good couple of weeks to do this, which will make our future iterations easier and reduce the amount of code we send to the browser - making things faster for end users. We'll look at removing Sass - the CSS compiler workflow we've been using - to make it easier for other developers to jump in.

CDS image integration

At the moment we have a clunky workflow for images on the CERN website. Editors pick an image in CDS, download it, reformat it for web, and then upload it to the CERN website where it is enriched with metadata such as tags, title, description, attribution details and so on. Sadly this valuable metadata never makes it back to CDS. We're going to change this so that metadata enrichment happens on the CDS side. The CDS multimedia development team are going to help extend the image API so that CDS does all the hard work and serves the images for the CERN website. We'll produce two Drupal modules - a CKeditor plugin and a CDS image field module.

Improving navigation options on the 'cern' theme

Site managers are struggling to use the main navigation that the 'cern' theme offers. So we're going to look at building a site map feature that, alongside the tabs seen at larger screens, will create a structured map of the site content based on the main menu. This will serve as the mobile navigation. We'll also look at improving navigation hierachies, so that relationships between primary, secondary and tertiary navigation is more clearly expressed.

Keep an eye out on the Entice announcements section for calls for input and early releases to test on your websites.

Entice user survey

Entice was set up by David Foster as a forum for CERN people running and developing websites to get together and define their content management infrastructure needs. When this led to the establishment of a new service at CERN - Drupal - David passed on the stewardship of Entice to Tim Bell. Now that Drupal at CERN has developed into a well-established service with a solid infrastructure, Tim has passed the baton on to me to take the group forward.

Where do we go from here? I have a couple of ideas, but I'd really like to hear from you. What do you need from Entice? How often should we meet? Should we maintain a clear focus on Drupal, or should we go back to the group's broader content-management roots?

I'd be really grateful if you could complete this short user survey (you can also complete it anonymously here if you prefer). I'll post the results of the survey on the Entice website later in March / April.

For our next meeting, I propose trying a new collaborative hack format where participants bring their Drupal site-building problems for input from the rest of the group. We'll try and do this on the afternoon 27 March - note the date. If you'd like to join a huddle to figure out the best format / space / theme for this event, please drop me a note. I'll post more details about this event on the Entice website and mailing list soon.


PS If you know of friends or colleagues who are not yet active in Entice but who might be interested, please pass on the link to the survey and encourage them to join the Entice e-group.


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