Mad Scientist Road show

Slides on slideshare

Post-DrupalCon2017 sprint that lead to HAX working in Drupal

As lead developer on ELMS: Learning Network, I've often been told I'm a bit of a mad scientist. We do things bold, bright, and always a bit crazy in ELMS land and so I wanted to package several deeper developer concepts from the platform in a way that's reusable by others. This talk will use elmsln as more of a implementation space for highlighting the following "science" experiments created to make the project possible. As a result, this will be a type of lightning talk within a talk in which many concepts are broken into digestable mini-talks. This should help increase engagement instead of being a bogged down fall asleep technical talk.

  • Simulating accessibility in real time with field loss, dyslexia, colorblindness simulators and more (via a11y module)
  • How to talk to your Drupal site in the browser (via SpeechRecognition API / annyang ) and have it talk back (via SpeechSynthesisUtterance) with working examples
  • xAPI - Experience API; What it is, what it affords you, and why companies like Amazon are gaining interest in a learning standard
  • How we use the Git PHP library, 3rd party open book creation tool Gitbook and github to produce drupal nodes from markdown files; distributing content production and enabling a world of open, reusable Open Educational Resources (OER) in the process (via OERSchema)
  • Lessons learned from building an Angular 2 app for improved user experiences (and why we'll use webcomponents now instead)
  • What Webcomponents / Polymer is, how it will revolutionize building applications for the web, What HAX is (and how far along we are with it) and how we envision using them both to eliminate templating in Drupal (over time) and save Drupal authoring experience from "Website tonight" software. #NoTPL

Part inspiration, part showcase, part crazy, this talk will be able to hit many different audiences from the most technical to the newest drupal attendee and those completely off our island. It will be of interest to education and non-education attendees alike because even though our use-cases come from education, things like SpeechRecognitionAPI, Headless development, Polymer / Webcomponents and Markdown importing workflows are use-case agnostic.

The talk will be given by the @elmsln core development team: @btopro (Bryan Ollendyke) and @hey__mp (Michael Potter).

Links to play with during the talk (and after):


Session Track


Experience level


Drupal Version


Session Time Slot(s)

04/25/2017 - 12:00 to 04/25/2017 - 13:00
319 -