An Open Dialogue on Work and Life in a Distributed Team

By | February 24th, 2016|Categories: Balance, Culture, How-To|

A group of us at CivicActions recently sat down to hold a frank discussion about life as part of a distributed team. What did each of us find?

Infographic: 10 Steps to Mindfulness Meditation

By | March 10th, 2015|Categories: Balance, Culture, How-To|

Are you interested exploring a mindfulness meditation practice? This great infographic from the Garrison Institute is all you need to get started!

Working in a Distributed Team Environment

By | February 2nd, 2015|Categories: Culture, How-To|

At CivicActions we are a completely distributed team with clients all around the globe. When I first tell people that I work in this environment, they think one of two things: 1) I can slack off all day lounging in my PJs or 2) that it must be awfully lonely working at home. I am sure that both of those instances can be true in some companies, but not in our case.

Civicrm and Sendgrid email api v2-v3 upgrade fix

By | December 22nd, 2014|Categories: Development, How-To|

A client using Civicrm recently approached us with a problem: bounced emails, sent through the Sendgrid email service were no longer reporting as bounced. All emails, regardless of status, were reporting as being successful. Our custom module (D6 integration) was attempting to extract data from the post, thusly: $_POST['job_id'] Unfortunately, [...]

Lifehacks for Focus and Mindfulness

By | July 14th, 2014|Categories: Culture, How-To|

On our all-hands scrum this week, we talked about some lifehacks that help us to be more mindful or help us with focus. Here are some highlights.

Module Development in Drupal 8

By | August 31st, 2013|Categories: Development, Drupal 8, How-To|

AJ shares learnings from porting custom Drupal 7 modules to Drupal 8.

Installing Drupal 8 on Ubuntu 13.04 with Nginx

By | April 21st, 2013|Categories: Drupal 8, How-To|Tags: |

Does Drupal 8 love the latest Ubuntu, Raring Ringtail? Let's find out.

Using Javascript and “i18n” for Multi-language / Multi-country Drupal Websites

By | January 21st, 2013|Categories: Drupal, How-To|Tags: , |

CivicActions has had an opportunity to work on some localization projects using Drupal and i18n, and we want to share some of our tips about using JavaScript for string translation.

Search API: The New Face of Search in Drupal

By | January 28th, 2012|Categories: Drupal, How-To|

Affinity Bridge's Katherine Bailey and Tom Nightingale gave an awesome introduction to the Search API module at the recent Vancouver Drupal User Group's meeting. Affinity Bridge was using the Drupal 6 Searchlight module previously. Searchlight had three things going for it: You could plug it into the popular Apache Solr [...]

HTML5 Canvas with Dave Shea

By | January 13th, 2012|Categories: Events, How-To|

One of the great things about living in Vancouver is the abundance of tech talent. Last night, for instance, CSS Zen Garden creator/author, Dave Shea, shared his thoughts and experiences with HTML5 Canvas, at an HTML5 Meetup. Dave also introduced us to his own canvas project, Paintbrush JS. Modernizr creator, [...]

Drush screencast: core-quick-drupal command

By | October 3rd, 2011|Categories: Drupal, How-To|

A new command in Drush 5 is the core-quick-drupal command (alias "qd") - the purpose of this command is to get you running in Drupal with zero setup. All you need is php-cgi and the PDO sqlite driver - you don't need MySQL or Apache running at all. Running the command [...]

How CivicActions Adopted Agile/Scrum – Part Three: Applying the Methodology

By | April 14th, 2011|Categories: Agile, How-To|

In my last post, I wrote about the important step we took in forming our single, large team into small, focused project teams (called Pods), and how we did that. Once we got the important step of generating Focus out of the way with the Pods, the way was clear, even [...]

How to Transfer Your Domain Name from Go Daddy – Picture Tutorial

By | April 12th, 2011|Categories: How-To|

For years I have been intending to transfer my nearly 20 domain names to a new provider. My very first domain was registered at Network Solutions (for free!) nearly 17 years ago, and in a way, that moment marked the first step on my "dot com" journey. Around 2001, in [...]

Alternatives To Go Daddy For Domain Registration

By | April 11th, 2011|Categories: Development, How-To|

I think all of us at CivicActions were disgusted by Go Daddy CEO Bob Parsons' vacation video featuring him murdering an elephant in Zimbabwe (and the subsequent butchering of that elephant by local villagers wearing Go Daddy hats overdubbed with the song Hells Bells). Bob Parsons has exhibited some pretty [...]

Tips For Foundations Using Twitter

By | April 6th, 2011|Categories: How-To|

Last week I wrote about some research we conducted regarding Foundations and their use of Twitter. One thing I noticed in our research is that many Foundations are primarily using the Twitter website to interface with the service. In this post I will highlight a few tips for Foundations that [...]

Running Multiple Versions of Firefox on Mac OS X

By | March 29th, 2011|Categories: How-To, Testing|

Cross-browser testing requires using as wide range of browsers as possible. It’s most effective when you have all those browsers on one machine. We've have written in the past about installing multiple IE browsers but what about Firefox? I recently downloaded Firefox 4 to see what the fuss was about, but [...]

How CivicActions Adopted Agile/Scrum – Part One – The Way We Were

By | March 23rd, 2011|Categories: Agile, How-To|

"A Quiet Revolution" is how I can best describe the process by which CivicActions has, over the last two years, adopted the Agile/Scrum process as our means of working with clients, internal teams and one another. And it continues as we learn more, add team members, work with new clients [...]

CiviCRM Access Control (ACLs) Demystified

By | February 18th, 2011|Categories: How-To|

I have always found CiviCRMs ACLs (Access Control Lists) system to be a bit of a mystery and a setting them up right to be a black art. In most standard demployments of CiviCRM, fiddling with the ACLs is almost completely unnecessary, but in larger organizational deployments there is often a [...]

How To Set Up An SVN Repository In 7 Simple Steps

By | May 25th, 2010|Categories: Development, How-To|

Update: We've been using (and recommend) git for version control since around 2011. We leave this post available because it seems popular. For some time now, I've wanted to have an svn set up on my shared web host similar to what we have here at civicactions.  Having to make [...]

Adding Custom Breadcrumbs to Views Pages

By | March 30th, 2010|Categories: Development, How-To|

Recently I needed to add custom breadcrumbs to views 2 generated pages. Now we were using excellent custom_breadcrumbs 1.x to add custom breadcrumbs on site. At that time I discovered that 1.x version of custom_breadcrumbs do not support views generated pages and 2.x version of module (which supports views) is [...]

Nonprofit Marketing Plan Template

By | March 23rd, 2010|Categories: How-To, Nonprofit|

Hot on the heals of yesterday's post regarding sharing our Client Questionnaire, Nancy Schwartz of Getting Attention posted a ready-to-use Nonprofit Marketing Plan Template that provides a thorough overview for generating your marketing and online strategy. GOALS  - Key question: What is your organization’s main goal (1-2 goals)?  What are your communications [...]

Sharing Our Client Questionnaire for Website Development

By | March 22nd, 2010|Categories: Development, How-To|

A thread began a few days ago on the Drupal Consultants list regarding Client Questionnaires. Not long ago, Ian and I went through our own Client Questionnaire with the intention of supporting a client with a new project. In the end we simplified our original laundry list of questions to this much shorter [...]

Facebook Tip: Add a Tab With Custom HTML To Your Page or Profile

By | August 18th, 2009|Categories: How-To|

Recently a client asked if there was a way to add some custom HTML to a Facebook "Page".  I did a little research and found the My Info application and some handy instructions for adding it to your page, rather than your profile. Go to the main About/Help page for [...]

AJAX-ifying Drupal Node Forms

By | June 20th, 2009|Categories: Development, Drupal, How-To|

Recently, for the first time with Drupal 6, I needed to create a form where a variable number of fields could be added to it by simply clicking a 'Add more' button. I wanted to design a node form where users could create a custom compilation album of their favourite [...]

Synchronized Mail, Contacts, Calendars Across iPhone, Google,,

By | March 30th, 2009|Categories: How-To|

I have spent considerable time over the last year or so trying to get my data and systems set up to have email, contacts and calendars available both online and offline on both my main computer, my mobile device and online as a guest user on others computers. All the [...]

Email Management Strategy Phase 2: IMAP with Gmail iPhone and Thunderbird

By | March 27th, 2009|Categories: How-To|

In Developing A Personal Email Management Strategy I discussed the sorting, filtering and processing of the seemingly endless flow of email I receive. Recently, I took the plunge and converted my non work email to IMAP in preparation for converting work email to the same. The goal is to be [...]

Setting Up CiviContribute Forms For Anonymous Users (ACLs and User Access)

By | September 16th, 2008|Categories: How-To|

Here is a little tip that will make your life easier, especially the first time you go down the road of setting up CiviCRM's CiviContribute forms for a website where anonymous users will be making donations (not anonymous donations, just users that are not logged in). When setting up CiviContribute [...]

Using CSS to wrap long fieldset legends

By | September 16th, 2008|Categories: Development, How-To|

In a recent project I encountered a very long legend in a fieldset from a node add/edit form. Instead of wrapping, it forced its way into the right-hand sidebar and was generally causing a mess of the layout. In looking into this I discovered that legends don't wrap by default, [...]

The Way We Work: Twitter Hack

By | July 16th, 2008|Categories: How-To|

Yesterday while waiting at the Cancun airport with Aaron, Henry, Mirasol, Nedjo, Owen and Justine, a few of us got to talking about FriendFeed, Twitter and Aaron and I are avid users, tagging all sorts of interesting sites. And we follow numerous lists and feeds thus pulling together [...]