Facebook-Datenskandal: Deutsche wohl doch nicht betroffen

heise online Newsticker - 26. Mai 2018 - 13:30
Von dem Datenskandal um Facebook und Cambridge Analytica sollen nun offenbar doch keine deutschen Nutzer betroffen gewesen sein. Zuvor hatte Facebook mit 310.000 Betroffenen in Deutschland gerechnet.

Cisco Talos deckt riesiges Router- und NAS-Botnetz auf

heise online Newsticker - 26. Mai 2018 - 12:30
Mindestens eine halbe Million Geräte sind unter der Kontrolle vermutlich staatlicher Angreifer. Das Erschreckende: Die Autoren der Schad-Software VPNFilter haben einen Schalter eingebaut, der die infizierten Systeme auf Befehl zerstört.

Analysten: Google überholt Amazon beim Verkauf von smarten Lautsprechern

heise online Newsticker - 26. Mai 2018 - 11:30
Google soll erstmals mehr Smart Speaker als Amazon verkauft haben und übernehme damit den ersten Platz bei den Verkaufszahlen, sagen Analysten von Canalys.

Tschechischer Abgeordneter schürfte Kryptowährung auf Staatskosten

heise online Newsticker - 26. Mai 2018 - 11:00
In seiner Prager Dienstwohnung schürfte ein tschechischer Parlamentsabgeordneter die Kryptowährung Zcash mit Stromverbrauch auf Staatskosten. Mit der Abwärme habe er im Winter auch geheizt, verteidigte sich der Politiker.

JavaScript: npm 6.1.0 schiebt ein weiteres Sicherheits-Feature nach

heise online Newsticker - 26. Mai 2018 - 10:30
Kurz nach dem Sprung auf die neue Hauptversion liefert der Paketmanager npm ein Update für den neuen npm-audit-Befehl nach, das Sicherheitslücken automatisch beheben soll. Damit setzt das Team die mit Version 6 gestartete Sicherheitsinitiative fort.

Uber steigert Umsatz um 70 Prozent und macht Gewinn

heise online Newsticker - 26. Mai 2018 - 9:30
Der Fahrdienstvermittler Uber hat seinen Umsatz im ersten Quartal deutlich gesteigert und nach vielen roten Quartalen einen riesigen Gewinn von 2,64 Milliarden US-Dollar eingefahren. Grund dafür ist aber ein Sonderfaktor.

Wegen DSGVO: Instapaper sperrt Europäer aus

heise online Newsticker - 26. Mai 2018 - 9:00
Der Später-Lesen-Dienst Instapaper sperrt seine europäischen Nutzer aus – zumindest temporär. Grund ist die DSGVO, die ab dem 25. Mai gilt.

"iCar" in Klein: Apple lässt autonome VWs über sein Firmengelände flitzen

heise online Newsticker - 26. Mai 2018 - 8:30
Der iPhone-Hersteller hat mit Volkswagen einen Vertrag zum Ankauf von Transportern geschlossen, die mit Apples Selbstfahrsoftware ausgerüstet werden sollen. Zuvor gab es wohl auch Verhandlungen mit BMW und Daimler.

Kommentar zur Zuckerberg-Anhörung: Die falsche Sprache für Facebook

heise online Newsticker - 26. Mai 2018 - 8:30
Mark Zuckerberg hat im Europaparlament viele Fragen einfach ausgesessen. Vielleicht liegt Facebooks geringe Auskunftsfreudigkeit in eigener Sache ja an der Ansprache, vermutet Jo Bager. Er hat da einen Vorschlag.

ChefConf 2018: Alles automatisieren

heise online Newsticker - 26. Mai 2018 - 8:30
Auf der ChefConf 2018 stellte Chef seine neuen Dienste für eine weitere Automatisierung von DevOps-Prozessen vor. Auch mit anderen Konzernen wie HPE und Microsoft kooperiert das Unternehmen zunehmend.

Lullabot: Making Legacy Sites More Performant with Modern Front-End Techniques

Planet Drupal - 26. Mai 2018 - 0:00

Earlier this year Lullabot was engaged to do a redesign of Pantheon’s homepage and several landing pages. If you’re not familiar with Pantheon, they’re one of the leading hosting companies in the Drupal and WordPress space. The timeline for this project was very ambitious—a rollout needed to happen before Drupalcon Nashville. Being longtime partners in the Drupal community, we were excited to take this on.

The front-end development team joined while our design team was still hard at work. Our tasks were to 1) get familiar with the current Drupal 7 codebase, and 2) make performance improvements where possible. All of this came with the caveat that when the designs landed, we were expected to move on them immediately.

Jumping into Pantheon’s codebase was interesting. It’s a situation that we’ve seen hundreds of times: the codebase starts off modularly, but as time progresses and multiple developers work on it, the codebase grows larger, slower, and more unwieldy. This problem isn’t specific to Drupal – it’s a common pandemic across many technologies.

Defining website speed

Website speed is a combination of back-end speed and browser rendering speed, which is determined by the front-end code. Pantheon’s back-end speed is pretty impressive. In addition to being built atop Pantheon’s infrastructure, they have integrated Fastly CDN with HTTP/2.

80-90% of the end-user response time is spent on the front-end. Start there. – Steve Souders

In a normal situation, the front-end accounts for 80% of the time it takes for the browser to render a website. In our situation, it was more like 90%.

What this means is that there are a lot of optimizations we can make to make the website even faster. Exciting!

Identifying the metrics we’ll use

For this article, we’re going to concentrate on four major website speed metrics:

  1. Time to First Byte – This is the time it takes for the server to get the first byte of the HTML to you. In our case, Pantheon’s infrastructure has this handled extremely well.
  2. Time to First Paint – This is when the browser has initially finished layout of the DOM and begins to paint the screen.
  3. Time to Last Hero Paint – This is the time it takes for the browser to finish painting the hero in the initial viewport.
  4. Time to First Interactive – This is the most important metric. This is when the website is painted and becomes usable (buttons clickable, JavaScript working, etc.).

We’re going to be looking at Chrome Developer Tools’ Performance Panel throughout this article. This profile was taken on the pre-design version of the site and identifies these metrics.

undefined Front-end Performance with H2

HTTP/2 (aka H2) is a new-ish technology on the web that governs how servers transfer data back and forth between the browser. With the previous version of HTTP (1.1), each resource request required an entire TCP handshake that introduced additional latency per request. To mitigate this, front-end developers would aggregate resources into as few files as possible. For example, front-end developers would combine multiple CSS files into one monolithic file. We would also combine multiple small images, into one “sprite” image, and display only parts of it at a time. These “hacks” cut down on the number of HTTP requests.

With H2, these concerns are largely mitigated by the protocol itself, leaving the front-end developer to split resources into their own logical files. H2 allows multiplexing of multiple files under one TCP stream.  Because Pantheon has H2 integrated with its global CDN, we were able to make use of these new optimizations.

Identifying the problem(s)

The frontend was not optimized. Let’s take a look at the network tab in Chrome Developer Tools:


The first thing to notice is that the aggregated CSS bundle is 1.4MB decompressed. This is extremely large for a CSS file, and merited further investigation.

The second thing to observe: the site is loading some JavaScript files that may not be in use on the homepage.

undefined Let's optimize the CSS bundle first

A CSS bundle of 1.4MB is mongongous and hurts our Time to First Paint metric, as well as all metrics that occur afterward. In addition to having to download a larger file, the browser must also parse and interpret it.

Looking deeper into this CSS bundle, we found some embedded base64 and encoded SVG images. When using HTTP/1.1, this saved the round-trip request to the server for that resource but means the browser downloads the image regardless of whether it's needed for that page. Furthermore, we discovered many of these images belonged to components that weren’t in use anymore.

Similarly, various landing pages were only using a small portion of the monolithic CSS file. To decrease the CSS bundle size, we initially took a two-pronged approach:

  1. Extract the embedded images, and reference them via a standard CSS background-image property. Because Pantheon comes with integrated HTTP/2, there’s virtually no performance penalty to load these as separate files.
  2. Split the monolithic CSS file into multiple files, and load those smaller files as needed, similar to the approach taken by modern “code splitting” tools.

Removing the embedded images dropped the bundle to about 700KB—a big improvement, but still a very large CSS file. The next step was “code splitting” the CSS bundle into multiple files. Pantheon’s codebase makes use of various Sass partials that could have made this relatively simple. Unfortunately, the Sass codebase had very large partials and limited in-code documentation.

It’s hard to write maintainable Sass. CSS by its very nature “cascades” down the DOM tree into various components. It’s also next-to-impossible to know where exactly in the HTML codebase a specific CSS selector exists. Pantheon’s Sass codebase was a perfect example of these common problems. When moving code around, we couldn't anticipate all the potential visual modifications.

Writing maintainable Sass

Writing maintainable Sass is hard, but it’s not impossible. To do it effectively, you need to make your code easy to delete. You can accomplish this through a combination of methods:

  • Keep your Sass partials small and modular. Start thinking about splitting them up when they reach over 300 lines.
  • Detailed comments on each component detailing what it is, what it looks like, and when it’s used.
  • Use a naming convention like BEM—and stick to it.
  • Inline comments detailing anything that’s not standard, such as !important declarations, magic numbers, hacks, etc.
Refactoring the Sass codebase

Refactoring a tangled Sass codebase takes a bit of trial and error, but it wouldn’t have been possible without a visual regression system built into the continuous integration (CI) system.

Fortunately, Pantheon had BackstopJS integrated within their CI pipeline. This system looks at a list of representative URLs at multiple viewport widths. When a pull request is submitted, it uses headless Chrome to reach out to the reference site, and compare it with a Pantheon Multidev environment that contains the code from the pull request. If it detects a difference, it will flag this and show the differences in pink.


Through blood, sweat, and tears, we were able to significantly refactor the Sass codebase into 13 separate files. Then in Drupal, we wrote a custom preprocess function that only loads CSS for each content type.

From this, we were able to bring the primary CSS file down to a manageable 400KB (and only 70KB over the wire). While still massive, it’s no longer technically mongongous. There are still some optimizations that can be made, but through these methods, we decreased the size of this file to a third of its original size.

Optimizing the JavaScript stack

Pantheon’s theme was created in 2015 and made heavy use of jQuery, which was a common practice at the time. While we didn’t have the time or budget to refactor jQuery out of the site, we did have time to make some simple, yet significant, optimizations.

JavaScript files take much more effort for the browser to interpret than a similarly sized image or media file. Each JavaScript file has to be compiled on the fly and then executed, which utilizes up the main thread and delays the Time to Interactive metric. This causes the browser to become unresponsive and lock up and is very common on low-powered devices such as mobile phones.

Also, JavaScript files that are included in the header will also block rendering of the layout, which delays the Time to First Paint metric.


The easiest trick to avoid delaying these metrics is simple: remove unneeded JavaScript. To do this, we inventoried the current libraries being used, and made a list of the selectors that were instantiating the various methods. Next, we scraped the entirety of the HTML of the website using Wget, and cross-referenced the scraped HTML for these selectors.

# Recursively scrape the site, ignore specific extensions, and append .html extension. wget http://panther.local -r -R gif,jpg,pdf,css,js,svg,png –adjust-extension

Once we had a list of where and when we needed each library, we modified Drupal’s preprocess layer to load them only when necessary. Through this, we reduced the JavaScript bundle size by several hundred kilobytes! In addition, we moved as many JavaScript files into the footer as possible (thus improving Time to First Paint).

Additional front-end performance wins

After the new designs were rolled out, we took an additional look at the site from a performance standpoint.


You can see in the image above that there’s an additional layout operation happening late in the rendering process. If we look closely, Chrome Developer Tools allows us to track this down.

The cause of this late layout operation down is a combination of factors: First, we’re using the font-display: swap; declaration. This declaration tells the browser to render the page using system fonts first, but then re-render when the webfonts are downloaded. This is good practice because it can dramatically decrease the Time to First Paint metric on slow connections.

Here, the primary cause of this late layout operation is that the webfonts were downloaded late. The browser has to first download and parse the CSS bundle, and then reconcile that with the DOM in order to begin downloading the webfonts. This eats up vital microseconds.


In the image above, note the low priority images being downloaded before the high priority webfonts. In this case the first webfont to download was the 52nd resource to download!

Preloading webfonts via resource hints

What we really need to do is get our webfonts loaded earlier. Fortunately, we can preload our webfonts with resource hints!

<link rel="preload" href="/sites/all/themes/zeus/fonts/tablet_gothic/360074_3_0.woff2" as="font" type="font/woff2" crossorigin> <link rel="preload" href="/sites/all/themes/zeus/fonts/tablet_gothic/360074_2_0.woff2" as="font" type="font/woff2" crossorigin> <link rel="preload" href="/sites/all/themes/zeus/fonts/tablet_gothic/360074_4_0.woff2" as="font" type="font/woff2" crossorigin> <link rel="preload" href="/sites/all/themes/zeus/fonts/tablet_gothic/360074_1_0.woff2" as="font" type="font/woff2" crossorigin> <link rel="preload" href="/sites/all/themes/zeus/fonts/tablet_gothic_condensed/360074_5_0.woff2" as="font" type="font/woff2" crossorigin> undefined

Yes! With resource hints, the browser knows about the files immediately, and will download the files as soon as it is able to. This eliminates the re-layout and associated flash of unstyled content (FOUT). It also decreases the time to the Time to Last Hero Paint metric.

undefined Preloading responsive images via resource hints

Let’s look at the Film Strip View within Chrome Developer Tools’ Network Tab. To do this, you click the toolbar icon that looks like a camera. When we refresh, we can see that everything is loading quickly—except for the hero’s background image. This affects the Last Hero Paint metric.


If you we hop over to the Network tab, we see that the hero image was the 65th resource to be downloaded. This is because the image is being referenced via the CSS background-image property. To download the image, the browser must first download and interpret the CSS bundle and then cross-reference that with the DOM.

We need to figure out a way to do resource hinting for this image. However, to save bandwidth, we load different versions of the background image dependent on the screen width. To make sure we download the correct image, we include the media attribute on the link element.

We need to make sure we don’t load multiple versions of the same background image, and we certainly do not want to fetch the unneeded resources.

  <link rel="preload" href="/<?php print $zeus_theme_path; ?>/images/new-design/homepage/hero-image-primary--small.jpg" as="image" media="(max-width: 640px)">   <link rel="preload" href="/<?php print $zeus_theme_path; ?>/images/new-design/homepage/hero-image-primary--med.jpg" as="image" media="(min-width: 640px) and (max-width: 980px)">   <link rel="preload" href="/<?php print $zeus_theme_path; ?>/images/new-design/homepage/hero-image-primary--med-large.jpg" as="image" media="(min-width: 980px) and (max-width: 1200px)">   <link rel="preload" href="/<?php print $zeus_theme_path; ?>/images/new-design/homepage/hero-image-primary.jpg" as="image" media="(min-width: 1200px)">

At this point, the correct background image for the viewport is being downloaded immediately after the fonts, and this completely removes the FOUT (flash of unstyled content)—at least on fast connections.


Front-end website performance is a constantly moving target, but is critical to the overall speed of your site. Best practices evolve constantly. Also, modern browsers bring constant updates to performance techniques and tools needed to identify problems and optimize rendering. These optimizations don’t have to be difficult, and can typically be done in hours.

undefined Special thanks

Special thanks to my kickass coworkers on this project: Marc Drummond, Jerad Bitner, Nate Lampton, and Helena McCabe. And to Lullabot’s awesome designers Maggie Griner, Marissa Epstein, and Jared Ponchot.

Also special thanks to our amazing counterparts at Pantheon: Matt Stodolnic, Sarah Fruy, Michelle Buggy, Nikita Tselovalnikov, and Steve Persch.

Agaric Collective: Embracing Data Privacy

Planet Drupal - 25. Mai 2018 - 23:05

With Europe threatening $25,000,000 fines and Facebook losing $80,000,000,000 of stock value, are you paying attention to data privacy yet? If millions and billions of dollars in news headlines never grabbed you, maybe you've noticed the dozens of e-mails from services you'd forgotten ever signing up for, declaring how much they respect your right to control your data. These e-mails are silly and possibly illegal, but they nonetheless welcome us to a better world of greater privacy rights and people's control of their own data that we web developers should embrace.

The huge potential fines (for large companies, the sky's the limit at four percent of global revenue) come from the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation, and they signal that the GDPR is more than a suggestion. If you're not a European-based company, the European Union does not intend to discriminate: You're still liable when citizens of member states use your services or are monitored by you.

Don't lose sleep for Facebook's wealthy stockholders. That sizeable dip in Facebook stock was not due to the impending GDPR enforcement, but came in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal. Since then, the privacy-invading monopoly so many rich people are betting on regained its market cap and then some. (GDPR-related lawsuits are just starting.)

There's a lot of good resources for GDPR-proofing existing sites (see the bottom of this article); the work ranges from trivial for most sites to monumental tasks for web developers who, fortunately for me, aren't me (and who have finished their labor, I hope, as GDPR enforcement took effect today).

The fun and exciting part starts when we get to build new sites or new features on existing sites and from the beginning put privacy by design into practice (which also is in the law). And yes, I'm referring to complying with a continental government's regulations as fun and exciting.

This goes well beyond an organization's web site, of course. Web developers may be the ones to introduce it to organizations, though, so we should be prepared. Here's the gist.

Organizations must request any personal data in clear and plain language describing the specific pieces of information and how it will be used, such that consent can be given freely and unambiguously through an affirmative action.

This means you need to be always thinking of why you are collecting information, and not collecting information you don't need at all, and deleting any personal information you no longer need. You can collect nearly anything if you get clear consent, but if you have a legitimate business interest for the data you collect, you'll have even fewer requirements, and the people who use your site or service will have a smoother experience.

You further need to allow people to export their personal data, to rectify inaccurate data, and to challenge decisions you make on the basis of their personal data. If you don't have a legitimate business interest for the data (or it's overridden by people's rights), then you must also provide a mechanism for people to erase their data.

If your business interests involve spying, lying, or trying to manipulate people into bad financial, personal, and political decisions— maybe re-think your business. At the very least, try to avoid becoming part of the infrastructure for a police state.

It's GDPR day, a wonderful opportunity to think ethically, and explore another way to put your customers, clients, or constituents first!


From most thorough to most practical.

Ashday's Digital Ecosystem and Development Tips: Solr search with Drupal 8

Planet Drupal - 25. Mai 2018 - 20:57

Search is an important facet of any large website these days. We’d talked previously about why you want to take full control of your site search. Bombarding your users with a mess of links won’t do anyone any favors. One of our favorite solutions for this problem is Apache Solr and recently we had the opportunity to set it up on Drupal 8. Let’s take a moment to go through a bit of what that solution looked like and some thoughts along the way.

Transkribus entziffert Uromas Handschrift

heise online Newsticker - 25. Mai 2018 - 18:30
Transkribus digitalisiert historische Dokumente, die sich nur noch schwer lesen lassen. Je mehr Text die Software auswertet, desto besser das Ergebnis. Jeder kann das Tool nutzen – auch Laien, die Uromas Briefe entziffern wollen.

Neue Gentest-Anbieter machen unrealistische Versprechungen

heise online Newsticker - 25. Mai 2018 - 18:00
Können DNA-Tests verraten, welche Kosmetik man benutzen sollte oder welchen Wein man mag? In den USA kommt eine ganze Reihe derartiger Angebote auf den Markt, doch Experten sehen wenig Substanz dahinter.

Display Week 2018: Zungenroller fürs Shutter-Display

heise online Newsticker - 25. Mai 2018 - 18:00
Ein Display der etwas anderen Art zeigt die New Visual Media Group auf der Display Week: Statt mit Flüssigkristallen oder organischen Leuchtstoffe erzeugt NVMG die Bildpunkte mit kleinen Metallröllchen, die auf Knopfdruck ausrollen.

Drupal blog: When should we release Drupal 9?

Planet Drupal - 25. Mai 2018 - 17:50

This blog has been re-posted and edited with permission from Dries Buytaert's blog. Please leave your comments on the original post.

Since the release of Drupal 8.0.0 in November 2015, the Drupal 8 core committers have been discussing when and how we'll release Drupal 9. Nat Catchpole, one of Drupal 8's core committers, shared some excellent thoughts about what goes into making that decision.

The driving factor in that discussion is security support for Drupal 8’s third party dependencies (e.g. Symfony, Twig, Guzzle, jQuery, etc). Our top priority is to ensure that all Drupal users are using supported versions of these components so that all Drupal sites remain secure.

In his blog, Nat uses Symfony as an example. The Symfony project announced that it will stop supporting Symfony 3 in November 2021, which means that Symfony 3 won't receive security updates after that date. Consequently, by November 2021, we need to prepare all Drupal sites to use Symfony 4 or later.

Nothing has been decided yet, but the current thinking is that we have to move Drupal to Symfony 4 or later, release that as Drupal 9, and allow enough time for everyone to upgrade to Drupal 9 by November 2021. Keep in mind that this is just looking at Symfony, and none of the other components.

This proposal builds on top of work we've already done on in the context of making Drupal upgrades easy, so upgrades from Drupal 8 to Drupal 9 should be smooth and much simpler than previous upgrades.

If you're interested in the topic, check out Nat's post. He goes in more detail about potential release timelines, including how this impacts our thinking about Drupal 7, Drupal 8 and even Drupal 10. It's a complicated topic, but the goal of Nat's post is to raise awareness and to solicit input from the broader community before we decide our official timeline and release dates on Drupal.org.

Drupal blog: The Royal Family using Drupal

Planet Drupal - 25. Mai 2018 - 17:45

This blog has been re-posted and edited with permission from Dries Buytaert's blog. Please leave your comments on the original post.

Last weekend, over 29 million people watched the Royal Wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. While there is a tremendous amount of excitement surrounding the newlyweds, I was personally excited to learn that the royal family's website is built with Drupal! Royal.uk is the official website of the British royal family, and is visited by an average of 12 million people each year. Check it out at https://www.royal.uk!

File attachments:  royal-uk-742x1114.jpg

iX 6/2018: Chatbots entwickeln und nutzen

heise online Newsticker - 25. Mai 2018 - 17:00
Sie sind nie müde oder genervt und entlasten Support-Mitarbeiter von Routine-Fragen: Dank Chatbots können Nutzer immer mehr Dinge im Dialog in natürlicher Sprache erledigen statt über Apps und Websites.

Sicherheitsleck bei mehr als 170 Online-Apotheken

heise online Newsticker - 25. Mai 2018 - 17:00
Angreifer hätten über Wochen persönliche Daten und Bestelllisten von Kunden mehrerer Online-Apotheken mitlesen können. Betroffen waren Shops, die Software der Firma Awinta nutzen.