The Technical Lift of Drupal 8

Posted on Wed, 07/27/2016 - 13:13

Drupal 8 has been widely praised for improving the developer experience (DX). The "best of breed" adoption of tools (see: Symfony, Guzzle, PHPUnit, Composer, etc) clearly positions Drupal to mature and evolve beyond that which one community is able to do alone. But, there are many different considerations of DX that need explored. And, what lift is required for the community to grasp this new version? And, what is the impact? DX ConsiderationsProbably the number one thing that is praised with Drupal 8 is the technical modernization. Drupal is already challenging to learn effectively. But, if

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Theming Drupal 8 Field Collections

Posted on Fri, 07/01/2016 - 13:59

I'm a big fan of Field Collections. It provides a high level of flexibility in setting up an auxiliary (and potentially shared) data structure that can associate with another entity. As such, it's a highly customizable way to do relational data in Drupal. This shouldn't be confused with Inline Entity Form which helps embed an entity within another entity (and is also an amazing project). One of the major challenges is around the fact that the Field Collection entity is decoupled from the entity in which it is hosted. This complicates practically everything from rendering, Views, and much more

development drupal

A slideshow in Drupal 8

Posted on Tue, 03/15/2016 - 19:33

I thought I'd play around with creating this feature in Drupal 8. Here's the step-by-step run down. This is assumed your logged in with an administrative user. 1. "Slideshow Item" data structureCreate a slideshow item content type with any structure you desire. In my case, I added an image, a title, a description, and a link. This was all done by core provided field types.Manage > Structure > Content TypesAdd Content TypeFill out the form for slideshow items and SaveEnter the fields you desire for the data structure 2. Slide orderingI considered adding a weight as a numeric field. However, I

development drupal

Site Updates in Drupal

Posted on Thu, 03/03/2016 - 15:16

Site updates in Drupal are one of the most critical, proactive things needed to eliminate vulnerabilities on your site. While the open source community strives to make these updates smooth, there are no guarantees there won't be issues for your specific site based on how you've extended your Drupal instance. This is because each site may have it's own custom code, it may have it's own combination of contributed modules with unique interactions, and it may have it's own visual theme. The key point is that it's not a safe assumption that site updates meet all use cases. Most module maintainers

development drupal

Common DrupalVM Use

Posted on Mon, 02/29/2016 - 10:26

I long struggled with how to effectively do local development in Drupal. Few would argue the merits of doing local development over working directly on a production system. While the problem seems straightforward, nothing seemed to work quite right. It took me quite a while to land on DrupalVM. I'd like to explain how I landed here and some of the ways I use/configure DrupalVM to support my needs. RequirementsThis whole experiment made me think about what criteria I was evaluating these against...MOST IMPORTANT - I really want my solution to JUST WORK with as little set up as possible. Most

development drupal

Simpletests hanging in Drupal 8?

Posted on Sat, 07/18/2015 - 21:42

I recently had a difficult situation in which I could not debug a hanging Simpletest in Drupal 8. Before continuing on, add the dblog module as a dependency to the Simpletest you are writing and rerun it. Your test may be hanging because it cannot write to the error log. If it continues to hang, read on. Hanging test with no outputWhen a test hangs, there are no signs of life. It leverages Drupal's Batch API. The screen just sits on a progress bar of death. This process continues to run indefinitely and then causes performance issues. When running the test, it will never leave the batch screen

development drupal

Imitation is the best form of flattery

Posted on Sun, 01/04/2015 - 20:07

I personally believe cut-and-paste coding can be one of the sloppiest and least reliable ways of developing a product. Consider the source. After teaching Comp Sci for several years, I can confidently claim that this is the worst type of coding. Most of the cut-and-paste code comes from the web. Someone goes onto Stack Overflow, slaps in variables and values to meet their use case, and commits their change. Consider the source! You have no idea who posted the code, the merit of the code, or if it follows best practice. There is often a ton of metadata missing as well, e.g. the supported major

development drupal

Acquia certification exams

Posted on Sun, 09/14/2014 - 17:25

Drupal is definitely a framework enterprises can leverage. I think few would argue this. But, the term open source freaks out a lot of people. What it boils down to is how to best leverage this framework. This means that we as a community need to adopt best practices in how Drupal is used. While these best practices may be enforced when contributions are made back to the Drupal community, it certainly is at a developer's discretion on how to set up Drupal for their specific web property. As such, a tool needs to exist to measure these developers against best practice. Acquia's certification


Routine stifles innovation

Posted on Sun, 08/31/2014 - 14:04

I was recently asked about what separates my company from others I have worked in the past. What immediately came to mind was the relationship with my team, the work we do, and the sheer talent. Those elements alone still make me get up in the morning. But, over a cold beer, something else struck with me. My company has no routine and I love it. Let me Google that for youYes, this may set you back initially. Routine typically has to do with schedules or habits. But, what I am referring to is very much about our culture. We're a newer company that is still applying polish to our offerings

development drupal people

Local Drupal development sandboxes

Posted on Mon, 08/04/2014 - 12:35

If you're doing Drupal development, having a local sandbox is a necessity. Why? No one should be making untested changes on a production or staging server. And, a development server should be free of initial development errors where the developer should execute a small set of engineering tests before deployment. Plus, it can be time consuming to regularly deploy code developed locally onto a development server. To summarize: a local sandbox is absolutely best practice. I hope to summarize how to quickly get up to speed without having to rehash the lessons I have learned. DisclaimerThis blog

development drupal