Screenshot of the OpenForce 2022 webpage

Backdrop CMS is proud to be participating in OpenForce 2022 from March 3-28, 2022. Here is an update of a previous blog post customized for this event.

Dear OpenForce2022 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 500,000 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.

Every 4 months the Backdrop CMS community has an online gathering to share information and plan for the future. Our next Backdrop LIVE is happening on March 11-13. OpenForce 2022 participants are all invited to participate for FREE. Just, mention your participation in OpenForce when you register here

Tech Stack

Backdrop is mostly built with PHP, MySQL, and some limited Javascript. We have some front-end CSS tasks available as well. See system requirements

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 or your OpenForce 2022 mentors!

  1. We will try to be available as often as possible in the #backdropcms Discord channel for OpenForce 2022, but this might not be the best place to reach us directly.
  2. Please, feel free to find an issue and post a question about how to get started directly in the issue queue. Our community is generally very friendly and supportive of new contributors. If you experience any difficulties with anyone, be sure to let us know.
  3. We have our own chat channel at Zulip Chat where there is almost always someone available to answer your questions. We have active members spread around the world.
  4. Check with @HIMANSHU in discord

Setting up your local dev environment

You can set up your local using your favorite web/SQL/PHP stack software, according to the Backdrop CMS system requirements. Additionally, 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 OpenForce 2022 and I'll be working on this issue."
  2. Then ask us any questions you have either in Zulip (our chat channel) 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.