development

development

It's not you, it's me

Posted on Tue, 06/17/2014 - 23:38

Bad projects are toxic. While most staff within a company focus on the bottom line, the bottom line is no guarantee of project success. It's impossible to look in your crystal ball and make this call before a project begins. Hindsight is 20/20, right? This could be due to any number of different factors. Some I have seen include: clashing personality between teams, a lack of participation on behalf of the client, unclear expectations of roles and responsibilities, client changes the requirements throughout the project, client cannot provide the clarity of the requirements, etc.When things

development people

An Agile Spree

Posted on Fri, 05/09/2014 - 12:20

At the heart of Agile is flexibility. This is designed into sprints that are intended to account for changes rolled into subsequent sprints.But, think of an overall backlog. A high level estimation will yield a given number of sprints. This structure actually is not very flexible at all. Unless, of course, each sprint has time allocated for reviewing, testing, and bug fixing. This is a slippery slope; a more substantial change can really throw off a sprint. So, how do you address the issue of quality?I have recently been reading a lot about corporations paying others to hunt bugs in their

development people

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

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

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

development drupal people

Design issues of a distributed Drupal system

Posted on Thu, 10/03/2013 - 13:22

Scale and performance are major issues for high traffic websites. The design of the Drupal system poses many challenges to building a distributed system that can support load balancing. In Drupal, the design of the system has three principle components: code, database, and files. I will be sharing potential solutions in later blog posts. Code: This includes Drupal core and the modules that run on the web server. By running multiple web servers, you need to ensure the code is consistently maintained during deployments across all of the servers (see: continuous integration). The issue of timing

development drupal