HAX - decoupling authoring experience from Drupal to use anywhere.


  • Bryan Ollendyke
  • Michael Potter

HAX - Headless Authoring eXperience


Last year at DrupalcampNJ, after a late night of work, Michael Potter (@hey__mp) had the idea that the way for us to fix our front-end development woes was to pursue an HTML specification called Webcomponents. What happened next was a complete gutting of the ELMS:LN front-end, disabling dozens of modules and deleting hundreds of  thousands of lines of Drupal based modules and theme layer while getting greater functionality our of webcomponents.

Authoring Experience in Drupal, and CMSs in general, need a facelift

As we masted webcomponent technology, one thing finally became clear: HAX was within reach. HAX is short for a Headless Authoring eXperience. In December btopro released the first version for public consumption at the domain http://haxtheweb.org . It is a 100% headless authoring experience that is compatible with HTML we've dumped into body fields in the past as well as any other system. This is not Drupal specific, we teach Drupal how to utilize it. Because of the way we've attacked this problem it can easily be extended with new sources of information, new custom elements and can be plugged into any CMS or static-site system with drastically less overhead then past methods. Think CKEditor but if it actually was understandable how to extend it and your own design assets would work with it elegantly.

What you'll learn

  • What is AX, Why do we need a new design pattern for content creation

  • What are webcomponents, how we can build and share them, how is this different from Vue / React / Angular, what some libraries to produce them are (Polymer, StencilJS, SkateJS, lit HTML, etc)

  • What is HAX Why we built it, where it's going, why your content authors will crave it.

  • Why we feel this unlocks upgrade paths from D6 and D7 to D8 and beyond

  • How we've started integrating identical webcomponents into ELMS:LN, Drupal 6, Drupal 7, GravCMS, Backdrop and Drupal 8 and how you can too!

  • How you can get involved


  • Bryan Ollendyke - Penn State - College of Arts & Architecture. ELMS:LN Project lead
  • Michael Potter - Penn State - Eberly College of Science. ELMS:LN Core maintainer
  • Zane Sensenig - Penn State - Smeal College of Business. ELMS:LN contributor
Attachment Size
HAX app exchange diagram 208.88 KB

Who Should Attend

  • Content Editors
  • Designers
  • Everyone
  • Front-end Developers
  • Site Builders


Having used WYSIWYG editors in the past and wanting to move beyond that world without infinitely complex data models like panels, DS, field collections, paragraphs and more. This allows for similar yet more flexible workflows then pattern lab.