Life in transition

Posted on Fri, 10/25/2013 - 16:27

Standing in a Boston hotel room, I went to put my room key in my sport coat pocket and found something that gave me pause. It was a sign. ----- Life has truly been chaotic. My Master's program is winding down, and while I love my job at Penn State and the team I work with, I felt change was coming and desperately needed. The last several years have been spent juggling my job, teaching, side company, family, master's degree, and so on. I drive two hours a day to work, I don't make it to the gym nearly as much as I should, and I always feel like I'm taking time away from my family and beautiful

Automated Drupal Code Improvements

Posted on Tue, 10/22/2013 - 22:19

The Coder module (http://drupal.org/project/coder) is well known for assisting developers in producing code up to snuff with the community defined standards. Such standards have been integral in helping the community grow in a consistent manner. The ultimate goal is to find an automated way to help developers out. Such examples include a code review and performing routine code manipulation. The standard for analyzing code leverages known static analysis approaches. There are two principle goals for code: consistency and simplicity. Consistency To understand what consistent code looks like, we

development drupal

Should the Pens trade Orpik?

Posted on Tue, 10/22/2013 - 10:54

Much focus has been paid to Matt Niskanen or Simon Depres finding new towns. This is the most likely scenario, as Niskanen's youth and recent good play has surely garnered focus. His trade may be more likely, as Depres came to camp over weight. Although young defense talent is a major asset in this league. Letang is locked up, Martin played well (after a rough previous year), and the defensive depth is stacked (see: Maata, Pouliot, Ruopp, and Dumoulin). Further, Engelland provides an adequate substitute/backup. My focus has shifted to Orpik. He's in a contract year, his return is uncertain

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Varnish and Drupal

Posted on Mon, 10/21/2013 - 20:55

Drupal is a complex and robust system. Due to all of the processing required to bootstrap Drupal, enabled modules, enabled themes, and page-specific rendering, one can imagine performance becomes a major concern. There are two primary ways of caching: a cached version of a page (passive caching) and back-end optimization (active caching). Varnish serves as a passive cache, having to rebuild itself once page content changes. This is common practice, as caching often has an expiration. The expiration can be an amount of time for automatic rebuilding of content, or can be triggered manually (like

development drupal

Tools I can't live without

Posted on Thu, 10/10/2013 - 12:05

My previous post outlined my exploration in text editors. But, there are several other tools that revolutionized my ability to do my job. Skitch - shareable screenshots with the ability to draw, annotate, etc. If you are seeing an error, need to make design changes, etc. Make a screenshot in Skitch, upload it to their servers, and share the URL with those you are communicating with. Shapes - OmniGraffle is awesome, but pricey. Shapes is a straightforward and cheap diagramming tool. This is a real quick and dirty way to share workflows and transitions. Much love for a $4.99 tool. VMWare Fusion

A brief comparison of text editors

Posted on Thu, 10/10/2013 - 10:56

To innovate, you often have to risk getting out of your comfort zone. The last several years, I have had varied needs which have required me to evaluate new text editors that offer more robust functionality. For years, I used Dreamweaver primarily as a text editor. I never used (or liked) the fancy GUI HTML editing. But, Dreamweaver provided three primary features that I loved. The syntax highlighting for PHP / JS / HTML really worked for me. The code could be split up into different Dreamweaver projects (with some directory as the project root). And, it has an integrated FTP manager to push

development drupal

Research contributions when problems are already solved

Posted on Tue, 10/08/2013 - 10:41

What happens when there are a lack of open problems? On the surface, it seems to make it more difficult to have impactful contributions. I just think it requires you to think outside of the box. Drupal is a great platform to look at this issue. A few nights ago, I was using my online banking system which required me to answer security questions as a form of two-factor authentication. I thought this would be a great problem to solve in Drupal. However, this is a solved problem: https://drupal.org/project/security_questions How does one contribute when problems are already solved? Let's consider

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