screen shot from Grace Hopper website that shows diverse group of women coding.

Backdrop CMS is participating in the Grace Hopper Celebration, Open Source Day 2022. This blog post was specially written for the same event in 2020.

Dear Open Source Day participants,

We are so grateful that you are volunteering your time to help us make Backdrop CMS a better product for the 1000's of small businesses and non-profits that rely on it. Over the next couple of years, some 700,000 Drupal 7 sites will be looking for a path forward as Drupal 7 reaches end of life.

We built Backdrop CMS (forked Drupal) about 7 years ago, specifically for the many small organizations for which Drupal 8/9 may no longer be a viable upgrade option, as well as for new projects that are looking for something between Wordpress and Drupal 8/9. Backdrop CMS may be a better alternative in these cases, as it:

It's always great to have new eyes testing, using, and developing for Backdrop CMS - because your fresh perspective helps us uncover and fix problems that we might have gotten used to. Your fresh perspective is also helpful for us in making changes in our community, to make it more welcoming and attractive to prospective contributors. Please, ask us anything you need or want to know, and provide feedback on both the product and the process.

  1. What needs better documentation?
  2. How we can improve our workflow to on-board new contributors?
  3. What your initial impression is of Backdrop CMS as a product, and ideas for how we might improve it.

Most important thing for you to know!

We are excited to have you in our issue queue. Please, feel free to ask questions and make mistakes. Don't worry about doing the wrong thing, just do something. We'll do our best to provide thoughtful and constructive feedback. We've informed our core community that you will be there, and have asked them to help out as much as possible. 

Need help, ask us!

  1. We have three project representatives that will be available in the Open Source Day Slack channel. Look for us there anytime between now and the end of the event.
  2. We expect to have someone available in Zoom for parts of the day if you need to talk with someone, or if it would be helpful to do a screen share. We'll post details on the day of the event HERE, as well as in the Slack channel.
  3. Please, be comfortable posting questions in the issue queue. Hopefully, we'll have additional volunteer contributors responding to questions in the issue queue. 

Setting up your local dev environment

Many Docker based local development tools have recipes for Backdrop CMS. 

  • Lando - used by many Backdrop CMS core developers
  • D-Dev - another good option.

Sandbox sites

  • Quickly spin up a 24 hour temporary sandbox in the cloud to test and explore Backdrop CMS. We often use these for testing, or for reproducing bugs.
  • Every Pull Request in the issue queue generates a sandbox site for manual testing - sample PR sandbox.

Finding an issue to work on:

Feel free to scan for any issue that you are interested in, do not feel constrained by the "Good First Issue" tag. 

  • Needs feedback - some of these issues could use the fresh perspective of someone new to working with Backdrop CMS. 
  • User Experience issues (quick link to filtered search query)

Once you find an issue an issue that interests you:

  1. Post a short note to let everyone know that you are working on that issue or would like to. Say something like "Hi, I'm _____ and part of Open Source Day 2020. I'll be working on this issue today."
  2. Then ask us any questions you have either in Slack, or directly in the issue queue. 

Report a bug or request a new feature:

  • We would love to hear your feature request or bug reports. We have Github templates to help you get started. Please, feel free to submit your ideas and bug reports. Your fresh eyes will see things that we don't see anymore. 


Other resources

  • Zulip Chat - Our ongoing chat channel about Backdrop CMS
  • User forum - This is the best place for support questions about how to use Backdrop CMS.
  • Weekly meetings - You are invited to join us at one of our weekly meeting to discuss outreach, usability, and core development. Everyone is always welcome.