Serenity of thought

Posted on Thu, 07/24/2014 - 13:42

Rands' recent blog post Busy is an Addiction struck a chord with me. It's made me rethink many aspects of my day-to-day routine. Work Smarter, Not Harder It's so easy to say, I'm busy. In reality, I should be working smarter, not harder. Busy is as much of a state of mind, as it is the items on your plate. It's a routine, a lifestyle, and a shitty excuse. If you fall into the busy pattern, I personally believe it's easier to make mistakes. Your pace is more frantic, your getting pulled in thirty different directions, and you really don't have the time needed to pay attention to what your doing

development drupal people

Open source tools are free

Posted on Mon, 07/21/2014 - 16:39

In a previous job, I had a boss that I really admired. He's near the end of his career and his experience had made him wise. He was humble, but would chime in as needed. One of my favorites was his ability to bust out short one-liners that would hit the nail on the head. Around the water cooler, we regularly discussed open source. Here are some highlights: Free like a puppy This one always made me chuckle. But, it's true in so many ways. I look at the open source community. At times, people's evaluations of open source tools are skin deep. "Ah, they are free!". This typically follows two

development drupal

Nodes with no page views

Posted on Wed, 07/16/2014 - 16:55

PrefaceNodes are the unquestioned most robust data structure within Drupal. It has widely adopted integration, e.g. Views, Features, Context, Rules, etc that make the Node a popular Drupal entity for countless use cases.However, the default node structure comes with a lot of baggage. It has built in publication states, authoring information, and revisions. Most of the time, these features are advantageous. Others, not so much. Nodes with no pagesDue to the robust features available for nodes, a content type is often created for nodes that do not actually have viewable pages. Let's look at a

development drupal

Risks and Unwavering Swagger

Posted on Fri, 05/02/2014 - 09:49

Push aside the user stories, contracts, and legalities. When push comes to shove, the developer delivers the goods. In my mind, there is huge risk to a project with the role of a developer. Let's be clear though. Every project has risks. Every project has some complexity behind it. What this means is that there is a dark art to the design decisions made by the developer. I've never seen a client accurately define what content types or modules need to be installed. Again, if they were that educated about what needed to be done, they wouldn't be paying you to do it. The developer must learn

development drupal people

The role of the noob

Posted on Wed, 04/23/2014 - 10:03

Peter Nixey describes good developers as both technology proficient and hard working in his blog post. His concept of "simplicity" is worth noting. I highly encourage developers to create code that limits complexity. But, there is an even more important aspect of complexity: usability.Simplicity and excellence are most reliably attained by starting with something, anything, that gets the job done and reworking back from that point.Enter the noob. Every project should have someone in this role. Technologically detached. Familiar with project goals, but does not look at one line of code. No

development drupal people

Migration Tips and Tricks

Posted on Wed, 04/09/2014 - 14:42

The Migrate module is, hands down, the defacto way to migrate content in Drupal. The only knock against it, is the learning curve. All good things come to those who take the time and learn it. I have summarized some tips and tricks I have learned. Thank you to Mike Ryan and Alex Ward for helping me get up to speed. Drupal's Migrate module is a code-centric approach to migration. As such, I highly recommend leveraging Drush during development. Here are some tips I have used, some of which require Drush to be installed. 1. drush mreg Quick and dirty way to register new Migration classes after


Mediated web file content management

Posted on Thu, 10/31/2013 - 11:06

This is a topic I have grown all too familiar with, as this is my thesis topic for my master's degree. I thought I'd share some basics to set the stage in this area of work. Background Users upload files as content to web-based systems. Think of Facebook and how user's upload images and/or videos to share with friends. The key concept is around the notion of sharing. What is appropriate file sharing (anonymous access, authenticated access, membership-based access)? What is not appropriate sharing? This question changes based on application-level policy, meaning it's difficult to find a one

development drupal

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

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

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