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Code Karate: Drupal Views Module: Creating lists of content on your Drupal site

Planet Drupal - ven, 17/04/2015 - 21:14
Episode Number: 203

In this episode we cover an overview of the Drupal 7 Views module. The Drupal Views module is probably the most popular Drupal module and is installed in almost every Drupal 7 website I build. It’s so popular in fact that it’s included in Drupal 8 by default.

Tags: DrupalViewsDrupal 7Site BuildingDrupal Planet
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Drupal.org Featured Case Studies: National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum

Planet Drupal - ven, 17/04/2015 - 20:30
Completed Drupal site or project URL: http://www.baseballhall.org/

The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum (BHoF) is an American institution. For 75 years they have housed the archive of America's favorite game, welcoming new inductees each year and connecting generations with their huge love and knowledge of the sport.

BHoF has a large and dedicated audience, but their location in Central New York limits the number of physical visits to the museum. To reach a wider audience, they needed to unlock the full potential of their online presence.

Cogapp helps organizations use digital media, specializing in large-scale, mission-critical projects for prominent institutions.

BHoF appointed Cogapp to perform a discovery phase to research user engagement, the kinds of content that are of interest to users, and key value propositions of the website to its visitors. This work then fed into developing the site, with the central objective being to showcase the vast number of artifacts in the Hall's collection, creating connections that bring these objects to life for site visitors.

Key modules/theme/distribution used: Islandora Imagecache ExternalParagraphsEntity APIMetatagFeaturesStrongarmMasterVarnish HTTP Accelerator IntegrationOrganizations involved: CogappTeam members: alxbridgechapabutassos
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Drupal Watchdog: VIDEO: DrupalCon Amsterdam Interview: Angie Byron

Planet Drupal - ven, 17/04/2015 - 18:59

Angie Byron is Director of Community Development at Acquia. For this interview, during the final day of DrupalCon Amsterdam, we were able to find an empty auditorium. Alas, filming with my brand-new GoPro camera, we got off to a topsy-turvy start...

RONNIE RAY: I’ve had you upside down.

ANGIE BYRON: Oh hahaha!

I go by Angie Byron or webchick, and more people know me as webchick than Angie Byron.

Today, what I love to do at DrupalCons, on the last day of the sprint days, is just walk around all the tables and see what everyone is working on, cause there’s hundreds of people here and they’re all sort of scratching their own itches on everything from Drupal-dot-org to, like, what is the newest coolest content staging thing gonna be?, to how are we going to get Drupal 8 done?

And everybody working together and collaborating with people they don’t get to see all the time, it’s a lot of fun for me.

I feel like we made a lot of really great decisions about the Drupal 8 release management stuff here that we’ll be able to put into practice, and help try and focus efforts on getting the critical issues resolved, trying to clean up the loose ends that we still have, and getting the release out the door faster.

And the other thing I’m going to work on for the next month is something called Drupal Module Upgrader, which is the script that can help contrib modules port their modules to Drupal 8. It automates a lot of that task.

Now that Beta is here it’s a great time for people to update their modules, so I want to work on tools to help facilitate that.

RR: What are you reading, besides books on Drupal?

AB: Not much. Although I love reading kids books, because I have a daughter who’s 16 months now and she loves to be read to. So my latest books I’ve been reading are Where is the Green Sheep? and Go, Dog, Go! and a bunch of Richard Scarry stuff and things like that because she loves to know what everything’s called. She loves books.

There’s a Dr. Seuss book called Oh, The Places You’ll Go! That book is dark, man, that is like a dark book. It’s entertaining. I remember it from when I was a kid but I don’t remember it like that!

RR: Music?

AB: I listen to a lot of old music cause I’m one of those curmudgeonly people who thinks the best music was already made. So, like I’ve been having like a ‘70s rock, ‘80s pop, ‘90s punk rock, like – that’s sort of what’s in my chain all the time. Hair metal, junk like that. How to relive my kid-age stuff.

I think the community has grown to such an enormous size now that I guess one thing I wonder about, – not really worry about– but am curious about, is if can we still maintain that small-knit community feel that we had back when I started, when we were 70 people at a DrupalCon – not the 2,500 people we have now.

It’s cool to kind of walk around DrupalCon, especially on a sprint day, especially because I feel we have retained that – and people are finding people to connect with and cool things to work on and stuff like that.

I think it’s something we all need to collectively be intentional about is, you know, it’s not just enough that Drupal is just a great software project, it’s also about the people and trying to maintain that welcome feeling – that got us all in the door – for generations to come.

So that’s something I would leave as a parting note.

Tags:  DrupalCon DrupalCon Amsterdam Video Video: 
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Chapter Three: Presentation: Drupal 8 Module Development

Planet Drupal - ven, 17/04/2015 - 18:15

This session was presented at Bay Area Drupal Camp, San Diego Drupal Camp, Phoenix Drupal Camp, and Stanford Drupal Camp.



Have you written a few simple modules for Drupal 7, and are a little bit nervous to find out the changes you'll be facing in Drupal 8?

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Aten Design Group: Speeding up Complex Drupal Data Loads with Custom Caches

Planet Drupal - ven, 17/04/2015 - 17:27

Recently we had the task of loading data from a content type with 350 fields. Each node is a University’s enrollment data for one year by major, gender, minority, and a number of other categories. CSV exports of this data obviously became problematic. Even before we got to 350 fields, with the overhead of the Views module we would hit PHP timeouts when exporting all the nodes. If you’re not familiar with Drupal's database structure, each field’s data is stored in a table named ‘field_data_FIELDNAME’. Loading an entire node means JOINing the node table by entity_id with each related field table. When a node only has a handful of fields, those JOINs work fine, but at 350 fields the query runs slow.

On this site we’re also plotting some of the data using highcharts.js. We really hit a wall when trying to generate aggregate data to plot alongside a single university's. This meant loading every node of this content type to calculate the averages, which turned our slow query into a very slow query. We even hit a limit on the number of database JOINs that can be done at one time.

In retrospect this is a perfect case for a custom entity, but we already had thousands of nodes in the existing content type. Migrating them and implementing a custom entity was no longer a good use of time. Instead, we added a custom table that keeps all the single value fields in a serialized string.

The table gets defined with a hook_schema in our module's .install file:

function ncwit_charts_schema() {   $schema['ncwit_charts_inst_data'] = array( 'description' => 'Table for serialized institution data.', 'fields' => array( 'nid' => array( 'type' => 'int', 'default' => 0, 'not null' => TRUE, 'description' => 'node id for this row', ), 'tid' => array( 'type' => 'int', 'default' => 0, 'not null' => TRUE, 'description' => 'intitution term id that this data belongs to', ), 'year' => array( 'type' => 'int', 'default' => 0, 'not null' => TRUE, 'description' => 'school year for this node', ), 'data' => array( 'type' => 'blob', 'not null' => FALSE, 'size' => 'big', 'serialize' => TRUE, 'description' => 'A serialized array of name value pairs that store the field data for a survey data node.', ), ), 'primary key' => array('nid'), );   return $schema; }

The most important part of the array is 'data' with type 'blob', which can be up to 65kB. Not shown is another array to create a table for our aggregate data.

When a new node is saved hook_node_insert() is invoked. hook_node_update() fires both when a new node is saved and when it's updated.

/** * Implements hook_node_insert(). * save serialized field data to inst_data table for a new node * For a new node, have to use this */ function ncwit_charts_node_insert($node) { ncwit_charts_serialize_save($node); }     /** * Implements hook_node_update(). * save serialized field data to inst_data table */ function ncwit_charts_node_update($node) { if (isset($node->nid)) { // we're also calling this function from hook_node_insert // because hook_node_update doesn't have the nid if is a new node ncwit_charts_serialize_save($node); } else { return; } }

Now we actually process the fields to be serialized and store. This section will vary greatly depending on your fields.

function ncwit_charts_serialize_save($node) { // save each value as a simple key => value item foreach ($node as $key => $value) { $data[$key] = $value[LANGUAGE_NONE][0]['value']; }   $fields = array(); $fields['nid'] = $node->nid; $fields['tid'] = $node->field_institution_term[LANGUAGE_NONE][0]['tid']; $fields['year'] = $node->field_school_year[LANGUAGE_NONE][0]['value']; $fields['data'] = serialize($data);   db_merge('ncwit_charts_inst_data') ->key(array( 'nid' => $node->nid, )) ->fields($fields) ->execute();

When a node is deleted we have some clean-up to do.

/** * Implements hook_node_delete(). * Also remove node's data from inst_data */ function ncwit_charts_node_delete($node) { if ($node->type !== 'data_survey') { //only care about data_survey nodes return; }   $query = db_select('ncwit_charts_inst_data', 'i'); $query->fields('i')->condition('i.nid', $node->nid); $result = $query->execute(); $data = $result->fetchAssoc(); if ($data > 0) { db_delete('ncwit_charts_inst_data')->condition('nid', $node->nid)->execute(); } }

When first installed or when fields get changed, we added a batch process that re-saves the serialized strings. Aggregate data is calculated during cron and saved in another table. Rather than loading every node with JOINs, the data comes from a simple query of this custom table.

Pulling the data out of the database and calling unserialize() gives us a simple associative array of the data. To pass this data to highcharts.js we have a callback defined that returns the arrays encoded as JSON. Obviously this gets more complicated when dealing with multiple languages or multi-value fields. But in our case almost everything is a simple integer.

This process of caching our nodes as serialized data changed our loading speed from painfully slow to almost instant. If you run into similar challenges, hopefully this approach will help you too.

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EvolvisForge blog: Tricks for using Googlemail at work

Planet Debian - ven, 17/04/2015 - 15:54

For these who similarily suffer from having to use Googlemail at work. If anyone else has more of these, please do share.

Deactivate the spamfilter

The site admins can do that. Otherwise, you will have work-relevant eMails, for example from your own OTRS system, end up in Spam (where you don’t see it, as their IMAP sucks) and deleted without asking 30 days later. (AIUI, the only way to get eMails actually deleted from Google…)

Do not use their SMTP service

Use your own outgoing MTA. This brings back the, well, not feature but should-have-been-granted-but-Google-doesn’t-do-it-anyway that, when you write to a mailing list, you also get your own messages into your own INBOX.

Calendars…

I have no solutions for this. I stopped using the Googlemail calendars because they didn’t think it a problem that, when I accept an invitation in Kontact (KDEPIM as packaged in Debian sid), the organiser of the calendar item in the sender’s calendar (for which I do not have write permissions) changes to me (so the actual meeting organiser cannot change anything afterwards) and/or calendar items get doubled. I now run a local uw-imapd (forward-ported to sid by means of a binNMU) for sent-mail folders etc. and a local iCalendar directory for calendars.

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Midwestern Mac, LLC: Thoughts on the Acquia Certified Developer - Front End Specialist Exam

Planet Drupal - jeu, 16/04/2015 - 22:34

Previously, I posted my thoughts on the Acquia Certified Developer - Back End Specialist exam as well as my thoughts on the Certified Developer exam. To round out the trifecta of developer-oriented exams, I took the Front End Specialist exam this morning, and am posting some observations for those interested in taking the exam.

My Theming Background

I started my Drupal journey working on design/theme-related work, and the first few Drupal themes I built were in the Drupal 5 days (I inherited some 4.7 sites, but I only really started learning how Drupal's front end worked in Drupal 5+). Luckily for me, a lot of the basics have remained the same (or at least similar) from 5-7.

For the past couple years, though, I have shied away from front end work, only doing as much as I need to keep building out features on sites like Hosted Apache Solr and Server Check.in, and making all my older Drupal sites responsive (and sometimes, mobile-first) to avoid penalization in Google's search rankings... and to build a more usable web :)

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Acquia: Sites that Cannot Fail -- Forecasting the Big Storm

Planet Drupal - jeu, 16/04/2015 - 21:04

Sometimes we can’t plan for it. Sometimes we have a moment’s notice. Other times it’s our most anticipated day of the year. No matter the situation, every organization has experienced a time when their digital properties could not fail—or the business impact would be devastating.

In this blog series, we’re showcasing what it meant for three of our largest customers to have a site that could not fail. We’ll highlight both business and technical preparation, continuous improvements, platform insights, and the importance of always listening to those providing feedback on the experience.

The Story

The Weather Channel’s weather.com, one of the top 20 most trafficked sites in the US, provides millions of people every day with the world's best weather forecasts, content, and data. On average, it serves 15 million page views per day to 30 million unique visitors per month. But when major weather events loom, like a hurricane or nor’easter, the site will serve up to a billion requests a week.

These requests include delivering hundreds of dynamic maps and streaming video to users in over three million forecast locations. The site has to remain stable with instantaneous page loads and 100 percent uptime, despite these bad weather traffic bumps of up to 300 percent.

The Weather Channel’s legacy platform was groaning under this pressure. It was using approximately 144 servers across three data centers to deliver more than 17,000 articles updated on a minute-by-minute basis.
So in November 2014, weather.com moved its entire website, which serves more than 20 million pages of content, to Drupal and the Acquia Platform, facilitated by the experts at Acquia partner MediaCurrent.

Within weeks, one of the nastiest winters on record began moving into the Midwest and Northeastern part of the US. Prodigious web traffic followed.

The new site, now the busiest Drupal site in the world, never buckled. In fact, it thrived, delivering faster, more efficiently cached pages to customers.

“weather.com is thinking ahead to a future where up-to-the-minute weather information requires an open delivery platform that adapts to fast changes in technology,” Tom Erickson, CEO, Acquia, said at the time. “The Weather Channel is leading the transformation of how we interact with weather news; people expect accurate weather forecasts on-demand, and they want to be alerted to events that may impact their life, work, travel, and leisure. weather.com is gaining the agility to deliver on customers’ increasing expectations. It’s leading the charge with contextual weather insight that anticipates every user’s needs.”

A recent global survey of more than 500 businesses for the Reducing Customer Struggle report found that companies are losing nearly a quarter of their annual online revenue due to a bad website experience. That’s billions of dollars lost and customers who won’t come back because of a digital experience that left a bad impression.

Whether you’re a weather site watching traffic rise with the barometric pressure, an enterprise facing transformation in an industry where digital transformation is lacking, or a smaller brand on the cusp of breaking into a new market, your digital presence can’t fail.

Dave Terry, co-founder and partner of client services at Mediacurrent, said, “Acquia opens up all kinds of opportunities for weather.com. The site relies heavily on the ability to quickly create and distribute massive amounts of content, and with Drupal, weather.com gains editorial agility and the ability to innovate and bring the latest applications and features to the user experience.”

Behind the Scenes

When it comes to capacity planning, some organizations plan for a worst-case scenario. They purchase larger-than-necessary capacity to be permanently available. But this is wasted money. Conversely, some organizations under-plan for traffic. Without the means to increase capacity on demand, they suffer outages and, ultimately, loss of revenue.

With Acquia Cloud, the guesswork is eliminated. You only pay for what you need. Acquia Cloud scales with burstable and elastic resources, which can be added quickly and easily on demand. Our operations team can scale up resources for any period of time, and then return resources back to normal levels when traffic subsides.

We know that scaling is complex, so we do the work for you. We add resources in real time to address changing traffic conditions seamlessly when a site needs it most. Scaling on Acquia Cloud does not require risky architectural changes like migrations and resizing. But we do scale the ecosystem, not just the hardware. We scale across all layers of the environment––web servers, file systems, databases, and load balancers. The architecture scales across the MySQL database layer using data replication and the file system layer utilizing GlusterFS to ensure syncing. The web server layer is scaled up by running active web servers in multiple availability zones. We run dedicated Memcached servers for sites with high workloads and multiple load balancers to ensure traffic is distributed. This level of Drupal-aware customization doesn't exist outside of Acquia.

As part of the scaling enablement strategy, it is important for customers to have a site insulation strategy so that visitors are not aware of traffic increases. Acquia uses Varnish caching in front of all traffic to speed up sites. Additional features such as geolocation, mobile redirection, and CDN implementation can be enabled. Acquia has over 25 personnel across our Professional Services, Technical Account Management, and Support organizations who specialize in performance, focusing load testing, database query rewriting, stack tracing, and more.

At Acquia, our passion is customer success. Because of that, your site doesn’t become the next headline. Your best day doesn’t become your worst; your biggest events are uneventful behind the scenes. In essence, we don’t sleep, so you can. Our team of experts is on hand 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year so that you don’t fail. You get a true partnership with Acquia.

No matter the time of day, or the size of the traffic spike, we have your back. So instead of downtime, your traffic spikes yield growth and success.

photo: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

Tags:  web platform drupal acquia drupal planet
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Achieve Internet Blog: Is Your Site Ready For Google’s New Search Ranking Algorithm?

Planet Drupal - jeu, 16/04/2015 - 20:35
How does mobile-friendliness affect Google search rankings? Google reports:
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Daniel Pocock: Debian Jessie release, 100 year ANZAC anniversary

Planet Debian - jeu, 16/04/2015 - 19:48

The date scheduled for the jessie release, 25 April 2015, is also ANZAC day and the 100th anniversary of the Gallipoli landings. ANZAC day is a public holiday in Australia, New Zealand and a few other places, with ceremonies remembering the sacrifices made by the armed services in all the wars.

Gallipoli itself was a great tragedy. Australian forces were not victorious. Nonetheless, it is probably the most well remembered battle from all the wars. There is even a movie, Gallipoli, starring Mel Gibson.

It is also the 97th anniversary of the liberation of Villers-Bretonneux in France. The previous day had seen the world's first tank vs tank battle between three British tanks and three German tanks. The Germans won and captured the town. At that stage, Britain didn't have the advantage of nuclear weapons, so they sent in Australians, and the town was recovered for the French. The town has a rue de Melbourne and rue Victoria and is also the site of the Australian National Memorial for the Western Front.

Its great to see that projects like Debian are able to span political and geographic boundaries and allow everybody to collaborate for the greater good. ANZAC day might be an interesting opportunity to reflect on the fact that the world hasn't always enjoyed such community.

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Acquia: Drupal is fun to use - meet Karen Grey

Planet Drupal - jeu, 16/04/2015 - 18:49
Language Undefined Drupal is more fun - meet Karen Grey

I sat down with Karen Grey at Drupal Camp Brighton 2015 to find out more about who she is and what she does with Drupal. I apologize for taking her out of the code sprints for that time! Since we spoke, Karen has taken on a position as Senior Drupal Developer at i-KOS in their Brighton office.

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Drupal Watchdog: RESTful Web Services Module Basics

Planet Drupal - jeu, 16/04/2015 - 17:30
Article

Drupal 7 does not have built-in support for representational state transfer (REST) functionality. However, the RESTful Web Services module is arguably the most efficient way to provide resource representations for all the entity types, by leveraging Drupal's powerful Entity API. Unmodified, the module makes it possible to output the instances of the core entity types – node, file, and user – in JSON or XML format. Further entity type resources and formats are possible utilizing hooks in added code.

As with any REST solution, the RESTful Web Services module supports all four of the fundamental operations of data manipulation: create, read, update, and delete (CRUD). The corresponding RESTful API HTTP methods are POST, GET, PUT, and DELETE, respectively.

Anyone hoping to learn and make use of this module – especially for the first time – will likely be frustrated by the current project documentation, which is incomplete, uneven, and lacking clear examples. This article – a brief overview – is intended to introduce what is possible with this module, and help anyone getting started with it.

We begin with a clean Drupal 7 installation (using the Standard profile) running on a virtual host with the domain name "drupal_7_test". After installing and enabling the module, we find that it does not have the configuration user interface one might expect. In the demonstration code below, we focus on the node entity type.

Nabbing a Node

The simplest operation – reading an entity instance – is performed using a simple GET request containing the machine name of the entity type and the entity's ID.

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Drupal Association News: We Love Our Volunteers!

Planet Drupal - jeu, 16/04/2015 - 16:15

This week is National Volunteer Week, a week to recognize that volunteerism is a building block to a strong and thriving community.  The Drupal Community is no different: as an open-source project our volunteers are vital to the health and growth of our project.  There are so many roles and levels of contribution within our Drupal ecosystem that we at the Drupal Association wanted to highlight how much your contribution means to us and our work.  I took some time and asked around, here’s some of the glowing praise our staff has to say about our phenomenal volunteers. 

“I am continually impressed with the volunteers that I get to work with.  Not only do they rock at their jobs, but they are so dedicated to the work that they do for Drupal and the Cons specifically!  Anyone who has volunteered for a Con knows that it is a large undertaking, and a responsibility that isn't taken lightly. These volunteers come back each week with positive attitudes, valuable ideas and great results.  Although I have only been at the Association for a little over six months, I can truly say that these volunteers are what gives our Cons the 'special sauce' and I am lucky to get to work with volunteers from around the globe on a daily basis.” 

- Amanda Gosner, DrupalCon Coordinator

“Most of my day is spent with Drupal Association staff, who have the luxury of getting paid to think about Drupal for 8 hours a day. A good chunk of my job is working with volunteers though-- the Board of Directors, Drupal.org Working Groups, Community Organizers, DrupalCon session speakers. So many of you give so much of your time and your smarts back to the project and the community, and it's my privilege and duty to learn from you all.”

- Holly Ross, Executive Director

"I look forward to working working with community volunteers to help build and improve Drupal.org. The site would not be where it is today without everyone's work."

- Neil Drumm, Drupal.org Lead Architect

 

“I want to thank Cathy and Jared for being my sprint mentor at DrupalCon Latin America. I made my first comment on the issue queue. It felt so good to cross into that world finally, even if it is was just a baby toe crossing over.”

- Megan Sanicki, COO

 

“It feels like I’m hearing news every day about the amazing programs our community members put together all over the world — from Los Angeles to Uganda and beyond. Without help from amazing community volunteers who donate time working on social media, in the issue queues, or even volunteers who take a brief moment to drop a note in my inbox (“have you seen this?”), these stories would never be shared with our wider community.” 

- Leigh Carver, Content Writer

Today, we invite you to take a few minutes to recognize your fellow Drupal contributors by tweeting or sending a message via IRC to appreciate each other.  After all, without our volunteers, our Drupal Community would not be as lively, bright, and welcoming.  Want to lend a hand?  Our get involved page has plenty of ways to volunteer with the project.

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KnackForge: Drupal 7 - Hooking Ajax events and views refresh

Planet Drupal - jeu, 16/04/2015 - 15:40
Drupal has a solid Ajax interface, we can hook into the Ajax events at various places. I will explain some 5 important methods,   1) beforeSerialize - called before data is packed and runs before the beforeSend & beforeSubmit 2) beforeSubmit - called before the ajax request 3) beforeSend - called just before the ajax request 4) success - called after ajax event returns data 5) complete - called after the request ends   Lets say you want to capture some ajax event (in built or made by other module) to do some event like Views refresh. We can use a very simple logic to do that.  
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Pronovix: Prototyping LinkForward with Drupal, a startup case study

Planet Drupal - jeu, 16/04/2015 - 15:10

This is the story of how I built a first prototype for LinkForward, a web application for power networkers, and how I built it in record time using Drupal (12 hours), without a single line of custom code.

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Andrew Shadura: Power button and logind

Planet Debian - jeu, 16/04/2015 - 14:05

If you have configured your laptop’s power button to act as sleep button using acpid, then installed systemd or systemd-shim and pressed the button only to find your laptop to shut down after it wakes up from sleep, set these options in /etc/systemd/logind.conf:

[Login] HandlePowerKey=ignore HandleSuspendKey=ignore HandleHibernateKey=ignore HandleLidSwitch=ignore
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Cruiskeen Consulting: Drupal for Developers Second Edition

Planet Drupal - mer, 15/04/2015 - 23:53

Almost everyone who does any form of Drupal development uses Drush - it's the Swiss Army Knife of the Drupal world. Drush is the Drupal Shell, and it lets you do a whole lot of amazing things with Drupal sites without actually going to the site, logging in, and clicking buttons.  It's a command-line tool (and since I'm an old UNIX hand, it's just right for me.

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Joachim Breitner: Talk and Article on Monads for Reverse Engineering

Planet Debian - mer, 15/04/2015 - 23:45

In a recent project of mine, a tool to analyze and create files for the Ravensburger Tiptoi pen, I used two interesting Monads with good results:

  • A parser monad that, while parsing, remembers what part of the file were used for what and provides, for example, an annotated hex dump.
  • A binary writer monad that allows you to reference and write out offsets to positions in the file that are only determined “later” in the monad, using MonadFix.

As that’s quite neat, I write a blog post for the German blog funktionale-programmierung.de about it, and also held a talk at the Karlsruhe functional programmers group. If you know some German, enjoy; if not, wait until I have a reason to hold the talk in English. (As a matter of fact, I did hold the talk in English, but only spontaneously, so the text is in German only so far.)

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