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March 2018 Updates for the Contrib Half Hour

by Damien McKenna
March 21, 2018

The Contrib Half Hour, our series of half hour online meetings which we started last November, has continued over the past few months and have been working quite well. In January we announced that they were expanding in scope, and today we're announcing it's expanding once more.

Testing lab!

Following my article on why you should write tests, and then guides showing how to write simple Simpletest tests for Drupal 7, simple PHPUnit tests for Drupal 8 and the March 15th meeting, we're going to add a regular meeting focused on writing tests for Drupal modules!

Unlike the previous meetings, these new meetings will take a hands-on lab format. We'll be helping everyone write tests, starting at the very beginning and slowly build up to adding a good amount of test coverage for our modules.

Attendees do not need to have any understanding of how to write tests, just a willingness to learn. We'll be covering both Drupal 7 and 8, so pick a module you'd like to work on and come join us!

Issue lab!

The second addition will focus on Drupal's issue queues. Each session we'll pick some issues and specifically work through them together. We'll be looking for people to nominate issues to work on and then see how far we can go to collaboratively resolve the issues, or at least push them a step forwards. We'll be open to all sorts of issues from across the entire Drupal ecosystem, so if you're running into a specific problem I do hope you'll join us.

Meeting schedule

Looking to the future, our schedule looks like the following:

  • March 15th: Presentation: Testing for beginners
  • March 22nd: General Q&A
  • March 29th: Presentation: Planning a project release
  • April 5th: General Q&A
  • April 12th: No meeting, we'll be at DrupalCon!
  • April 19th: Testing lab, first meeting
  • April 26th: No meeting
  • May 3rd: Issue lab, first meeting
  • May 10th: Presentation: topic TBC
  • May 17th: General Q&A
  • May 24th: Testing lab
  • May 31st: Issue lab
  • June 7th: Presentation: topic TBC
  • June 14th: General Q&A
  • June 21st: Testing lab
  • June 28th: Issue lab

As you can see there are several presentation time slots open, those topics haven't been decided yet but we'll keep you posted.

Meeting time

The meeting time is going to continue as it has since January:

Meeting recordings

As discussed before, all of our meetings are recorded, so here are all of the recordings for the year:

  • January 4th:
    On this, our first meeting of 2018, we took a look at applying patches and what to do when the patch doesn't apply correctly. When this happens it is then recommended to take a few minutes to manually recreate the changes and then upload a new version, a process called "rerolling".
  • January 11th:
    As this was our first Q&A meeting we got into some interesting topics, including how to get a local setup working for testing a contribution, downloading a project using either git or Composer, and gotchas when adding tests to a project.
  • January 18th:
    This week we looked at how to report a bug or request a feature.
  • January 25th:
    This week we had a general Q&A discussion.
  • February 1st:
    This week we looked at creating a patch for a bug or feature request.
  • February 8th:
    This week we had a general Q&A discussion.
  • February 15th:
    This week we looked at how to report a security issue.
  • February 22nd
    This week we had a Q&A session. Unfortunately, due to PEBCAK, the recording was lost.
  • March 1st:
    This week we took a look at Drupal's online documentation and showed how to improve it.
  • March 8th:
    Nother Q&A meeting. We took a look at some of the changes to make Drupal and the contrib world fully compatible with the new PHP 7.2 release. We also took a look at the new Drupal core 8.5.0 release, and pondered posting photos (screenshots) on issue queues.
  • March 15th:
    We looked at writing tests for a Drupal 8 module, showing how to get started with tests and then writing a very rudimentary test for a module. This is a companion to two blog posts on our site, so be sure to check those out too. And yes, unfortunately the meeting ran a little over time and ended abruptly before I could show uploading a patch with the new test file, but hopefully the blog posts and previous recordings will be enough to help.

See you online!

I'm excited for the potential of our new schedule, I do hope you'll be able to join us at each Thursday at 1pm EST / 5pm UTC.


Meet team member, Damien McKenna

Damien directs internal initiatives that strengthen Mediacurrent’s commitment to open-source principles, collaboration, and sharing knowledge. Regularly ranked as one of the ten most active contributors on, Damien has been a significant member of the Drupal community since 2007.

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