BTMash

Blob of contradictions

Drupal and "Hacking" core - one possible approach

Thu, 06/30/2011 - 12:49 -- btmash
Tweet on twitter by me: Presented on hacking Drupal Core. No burning car (yet).

Over the years, I've seen and heard the phrase "Don't hack core!" mentioned by countless Drupal developers, designers, site administrators, etc. There are many blog posts on the matter (the most recent being a few weeks ago though his stance is slightly different from what I see from the rest of the community) and the number of kittens that die whenever someone hacks core. There was even a wristband created a few Drupal Conferences back. Heck, I may have had it and worn it at some point. Read on to find out.

Click here if you want to skip directly to the 'how' and slides.

Finally got some new games and now a Club Nintendo prize

Mon, 06/27/2011 - 00:36 -- btmash
I am going to receive a batch of Hanafuda cards as my reward. Woohoo!

After years of saving up points, I finally reached the 800 point mark on Club Nintendo. The way it the points work is that for each Wii game that you own, you get 50 points; for each DS game, you get 30 points. It is then followed up by a survey which awards you a further 10 points per game. However, the points expire at the end of the year, and I decided to go all out :)

Backing up your MySQL databases - (yet) another approach

Thu, 06/16/2011 - 00:17 -- btmash

Nearly every place, I work at, a common problem comes up that is not implemented: backing up the database(s). Working with Drupal, I commonly see the usage of Backup and Migrate for backing up databases. Which isn't a bad first approach. But a number of questions come to mind - what if you have a database server that doesn't just serve Drupal websites (I have a db server that hosts sites running wikimedia, wordpress, and in the past Ruby on Rails applications)?

Correcting views queries using views_query_alter

Thu, 06/09/2011 - 14:29 -- btmash
Letters representing tables linked to each other showing complex relationships.

I like problem solving. My good friend Oliver knows this and recently came to me with a Drupal problem that involved nodes related to other nodes and presenting them to the user in the correct order. For the Food Republic, he had galleries which contained story nodes which you could go through via a pager (showing the photo content one item at a time). Both an issue of views and *not* an issue of views, we needed to figure out a way to continue utilizing views while giving correct results.

Optimizing your site - modules gone wild.

Fri, 06/03/2011 - 23:00 -- btmash
This is a graph from munin showing how there was a large increase in queries/sec

While working on the one of the more content-heavy websites at my workplace (over 100k nodes consisting of galleries of photos, with some galleries having well over 2000 photos), I had noticed that while performance for logged in users (which isn't high since only site editors can log in) has mostly stabilized (there are areas where performance can improve), performance for all other site visitors was very inconsistent. Some of the galleries and gallery photos pages seemed to load fairly quickly while others took a few seconds for the page to show up.

Presenting the Display Suite module at the Los Angeles downtown Drupal Meetup

Thu, 05/19/2011 - 09:00 -- btmash
Display Suite really is pretty darn awesome!

On May 17, I did an inpromptu presentation on the Display Suite module for Drupal 7 written by Kristof De Jaeger (also known as swentel). For those that don't know, Display Suite allows you to take full control over how your content is displayed using a drag and drop interface. Arrange your nodes, views, comments, user data etc. the way you want without having to work your way through dozens of template files. A predefined list of layouts (D7 only) is available for even more drag and drop fun!

5 years of Drupal

Thu, 05/12/2011 - 10:12 -- btmash
I am officially 5 years, 12 hours old at the time of writing this blog post.

As I was digging through old emails, I realized that 5 years ago today, I started my first job out of university as a junior systems programmer / web developer at zinc Roe Design. I was hired to help finish a website that had been built in Drupal (4.6 - not that I knew the difference back then) and had no idea that it would lead me to where I am today.

Apache Solr and Ubuntu: Multiple Instances

Wed, 05/11/2011 - 16:37 -- btmash
Drupal and Solr play very well together, be it with apachesolr or search api.

At CalArts, I have wanted to move the search functionality on our Drupal powered websites into something better for a long time. We have been using the Lucene API (which is lucene search ported to PHP) module on most of them since September of last year but (even though I am a big fan of the module) we truly wanted a way to offload the search services onto another vps (or server; basically, something more flexible).

Migrating Content part 3: Nodes with your own field handlers

Wed, 04/27/2011 - 14:45 -- btmash

(Updated June 4, 2011 - address new handler requirements with Migrate 2.1 by removing stdClass)

In this finale (?) on using the Migrate module, I will go through how to go about writing your very own field handler to pull in content into a field type that does not yet have a mapped path. In this example, we will be migrating an events (so the date field from the date module will require a migration path). At the time of writing, http://drupal.org/node/1021076 had not yet been resolved (or have the ability for date_to and date_from to be established) so we will write out a field handler that handles just this!

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