Acquia Developer Center Blog: Terrific Tools for Drupal 8 Training

Planet Drupal - mer, 26/08/2015 - 19:20

We couldn’t have trained dozens of Acquia employees on Drupal 8 without using various applications to schedule, measure our progress, and follow communications about the massive undertaking.

Let’s take some time in this, the fifth blog in a series about Drupal 8 instruction, to give a quick overview of the tools we used to train.

We used the collaboration software Confluence because we could set it up quickly. Kent Gale, the co-author of this blog and my partner in the training project, and I would have preferred to have built a tool within Drupal. But we went with Confluence because we were able to deploy it quickly and edit content. It’s where we placed project documentation to enable in-place editing.

Calendars kept in Google Docs spreadsheets accounted for every employee’s time. Every trainee had time blocked off each week for training. It was protected time, so to speak, agreed upon by employee and supervisor – time that was free of any other obligation. Each week, I’d also schedule 30 minutes with each employee – although meetings didn’t last that long – to talk about training. I wanted to see if they faced any barriers or had questions they were too embarrassed to ask in training sessions. We found this hands-on check-in – which was brief but frequent – kept everyone on track.

We also used email and a chatroom to communicate. Initially, email was the preferred route, but as more people enrolled in training, the chatroom was better able to handle the flow of communications. The spontaneity of a chatroom allowed a lot of questions to be answered quickly. It built a resource as well as type of behavior.

On our tracking sheet, we followed the time each employee spent on training and could see how much time was left. We also tracked the lessons they completed and could see if a team fell behind and could quickly address why.

When you’re ready to train, find a tool and use it a lot before starting the program to ensure it will accomplish what you need. Then pick an end date and work backwards. That will tell you how much time you’ll have. From there, you’ll be able to determine if you should compress training to reach a deadline or if you can spread it out over time.

As organized and motivated as we were, and despite starting early, it was still difficult to carve out time for nearly 50 people, and keep our end-date within reach. It was a commitment. So keep that in mind: Your managers and employees have to commit to protecting training time to make it all happen. Otherwise, it’s very easy to let the opportunity slip away.

Blog series: Organizing to Rock with Drupal 8Workflow: PublishedFeatured: NoTags: acquia drupal planetDrupal 8 related: YesAuthor: Thomas Howell
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Mediacurrent: Accessible Names - Label All the Things! (Part 2)

Planet Drupal - mer, 26/08/2015 - 18:52
Label the Rest of the Things!
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Singlebrook Technology: Styleguide Driven Development in Drupal

Planet Drupal - mer, 26/08/2015 - 18:37

At Singlebrook, we're using Styleguide Driven Development to create efficiency and strengthen code quality.

Jeff Amaral led a session at Cornell Drupal Camp 2015 on the topic of Styleguide Driven Development. He has shared his slides here as a downloadable PDF: "Singlebrook Styleguide Driven Development in Drupal"

The slides contain an outline of major points to consider when using Styleguide Driven Development, as well as some links to helpful resources. 


Theming in Drupal has many challenges. The biggest, in our experience at Singlebrook, is coordinating the creation of new site functionality and the CSS styling of the new markup, especially when multiple developers are working on a site.

In this session, we discuss our brand new theming process using CSS/HTML components, some extensions to the styleguide module, and improved developer/themer communication. We cover:...

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Advomatic: Altering Data For a Drupal 8 Migration, Step-by-Step

Planet Drupal - mer, 26/08/2015 - 18:00

We’re working on our first Drupal 8 project here at Advomatic, and Jim and I have been tasked with implementing a content migration from the client’s existing Drupal 6 site. My first assignment was to write a plugin which rewrites image assist tags in node body fields as regular HTML image tags. Fortunately, lots of... Read more »

The post Altering Data For a Drupal 8 Migration, Step-by-Step appeared first on Advomatic.

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ThinkShout: Migrating from Luminate CRM to Drupal and the Salesforce Nonprofit Starter Pack

Planet Drupal - mer, 26/08/2015 - 17:00

We've helped a number of nonprofits move from Luminate CRM to Drupal-Salesforce solutions, including the Young Survival Coalition, Facing History and Ourselves, the National Kidney Foundation, and the Los Angeles Conservancy.

Without getting too deep into the technical architecture - which you can nerd out on in other posts on our blog - our open source Salesforce integration can map any object/field in Salesforce to a corresponding entity type/field in Drupal. We can then sync these records bidirectionally. We can even support complex, cascading upserts of multiple records in real time.

This allows us to leverage everything that’s great about Drupal (CMS tools, personalization, paid and unpaid event registrations, membership purchases, general ecommerce, and user access controls) with everything that’s great about Salesforce's Nonprofit Starter Pack (NPSP) 3.0 (best-in-class donor management, unlimited extendability and scalability, flexible and intuitive reporting tools, and the most robust Application Exchange available).

It's always been clear that Salesforce provides much better constituent relationship management tools on the backend than Luminate or other Convio/Blackbaud products. What’s kept Luminate in the game for so long has been its public-facing web features, such as membership management and event registration tools.

That said, there is no way that Luminate could ever keep up with the pace of innovation that we see with comparable features in Drupal. The open source model and volume of contributions from the Drupal community is unparalleled. Leveraging Drupal as a donor/constituent front-end for Salesforce, we can provide seamless user experiences that engage with website visitors more deeply, because we can personalize these experience based upon data pulled from Salesforce’s API.

Take the Los Angeles Conservancy as a case study:

When we met the Conservancy, they were struggling to engage stakeholders through an aging website and cumbersome collection of Luminate donation and event management tools. Asking website visitors to click away from their website to third-party forms provided by Convio severely hurt their conversion rates. Mobile event registrations and contributions were almost nonexistent on their site.

The Conservancy wanted an interactive and mobile-friendly solution that would allow their constituents to easily sign up for free walking tours, buy tickets to movie events, update their membership information, set up recurring membership payments, and make donations towards different fundraising campaigns.

By leveraging Drupal event registration and ecommerce tools, we were able to build all of these features within the Conservancy’s new responsive website. This provided a much more seamless user experience. Conversion rates soared as a result. In fact, the Conservancy staff came to us 3 months after the relaunch concerned that their Google Analytics showed decreased traffic on their event registration pages. They worried that they were losing registrations - when in reality, their conversation rates were going up so dramatically, and the time for completing an ecommerce transaction was dropping so quickly, that these forms were seeing less page clicks while their volume of transactions and their revenue was going up.

With Drupal-based event registration and donation tools, we have 100% control over ecommerce workflows. We can also support complex pricing options based upon constituent data in Salesforce. For example, we can adjust ticket pricing based upon membership status. Again, we benefit from Drupal Commerce, an ecommerce solution that powers over 60,000 websites, including some of the largest stores on the Internet.

Further, integrating these Drupal-Salesforce solutions with iATS Payments, we can create Drupal-based donation portals that support “card on file” as well as recurring donations. And with iATS’s integration with Salesforce, donors can update their credit card information or make a donation over the phone by calling the Conservancy, storing this payment information for their next online transaction.

In short, Convio/Blackbaud just can’t compete… With what our clients save in confusing and expensive Blackbaud licensing fees, we can build more effective fundraising solutions that lead to much higher returns for their investment.

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Drupal Watchdog: VIDEO: DrupalCon Los Angeles Interview: Jeremy Rasmussen

Planet Drupal - mer, 26/08/2015 - 16:22

“People like the beard,” quips Jeremy Rasmussen (Director of Web Development, Lever Pulley), who writes a frequent column in magazine (Subscribe! https://drupalwatchdog.com/subscribe/2015)
about Drush, that Swiss Army knife that “makes Drupal bend to your will.”

Tags:  Video DrupalCon LA Drupal Video: 
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Pronovix: 6 days to win 50k USD with the new context.io module — a powerful mailhandler alternative

Planet Drupal - mer, 26/08/2015 - 14:25

We’ve just released Context.IO, an API module with a Feeds] plugin submodule that uses the context.io API to import emails into a Drupal site. If you build something interesting with the module in the next 6 days, you can participate in the Context.IO App challenge and make a chance to win 50k USD.

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Zivtech: Website Documentation Tips and Insights

Planet Drupal - mer, 26/08/2015 - 13:30

Managing a website without documentation is like trying to put together Ikea furniture without the directions--it's just not happening. Often, documentation is overlooked by companies and organizations on a budget, but it is a truly invaluable part of building a new website. Check out some great tips and tricks from our team of technical documenters, and learn how we provide our clients with documentation for their sites.

Write with Efficient Tools Writing documentation requires generating dummy content, and our earlier post on lorem ipsum generators give you lots of tools for generating placeholder text. However, technical writers also need to create annotated screenshots to accompany the words that they write, as well as repeat the actual technical steps they are documenting. So here are some additional tools we found to be great assets to a documentarian's repertoire:
  • Awesome Screenshot - Use to take screenshot of a full webpage with auto-scrolling. Also provides a link to share your screenshot (stored on the cloud).
  • Window Resizer - Save pre-configured browser window sizes to capture your responsive design layouts.
  • No Scrollbars Please! - Remove the scrollbar from your browser to take a clean screenshot (especially of a webpage requiring scrolling).
  • Skitch - Use to capture desktop screenshots and annotation with arrows and text. We use it in combination with the extensions above.
  • Firefox Selenium IDE - Automate the repetitive technical steps that you are documenting.

Confluence Macros If you use Confluence (an Atlassian product for documentation that integrates with JIRA), then check out the following Confluence macros which we find to be extremely useful.
  • Code Block - Insert code snippets throughout a page with syntax highlighting
  • Excerpt and Excerpt Include - Reuse a part of documentation on multiple pages
  • Expand - Initially hide some documentation as a link, which expands to display content upon a click on the link
  • Info, Tip, Note, and Warning - Callout important information, such as status of the feature documented and release versions.
  • Panel - Add border (like a box) to separate some documentation from the rest
  • Table of Contents - Great for the beginning of a tutorial guide or as a sidebar on a long page
  • Page Tree - Great on a page that introduces a topic with sub pages

Be Agile with Documentation

If you are agile, your documentation can be too. In a Johnson & Johnson Drupal project, we are providing documentation services as technical writers embedded amongst developers. Because we are integrated as part of their agile development process, we track our work in JIRA, participate in standups and retrospectives, such that documentation is continuously up to date with each sprint. We find that writing in agile iterations is a great way to capture feedback from various parties involved, including product owners, developers, and users in trainings. This way, strong documentation can be produced to maximize support for everyone on the project. Writing technical documentation is easier and more efficient to do in-sprint, while the features being documented are still present in the minds of the developers and product owners.

Find the Voice for Your Audience Documentation being agile also means that you can adapt your writing voice to best suit your audience. Try to always learn more about your audience as you write documentation throughout the project. So far, this blog post has been written in an informative, technically instructional voice. Now say that our audience wants something lighter, more familiar, and empowering, then perhaps we should adapt our voice to something as follows.

Ask Not What Your Product Can Do For You — Ask What You Can Do With Your Product

When doing technical writing, it's easy to be... well, too technical. Just because you're a "technical writer" doesn't mean you should think of your audience as "technical readers." Your audience consists of people that want to do things. Empower them! Don't drone on and on about how "this product does many things" (yawn), when you can enable your reader by telling them "You can do many things with this product!" Yes, sometimes the product simply "provides," but any opportunity you have to inform the reader of what they can do, instead of telling them what the product does, take it.

  • Boring: "From the dropdown menu, a number of items are available. Selecting one will customize this feature."
  • Empowering: "By clicking the dropdown menu, you will see a number of items available to you for customizing this feature. Choose the option that best embodies the spirit of your brand."
Much better, right? The first example, while technically sufficient, does little to engage the reader, and does the bare minimum to inform them of what needs to be done. The second example puts them in charge of driving the product, and uses "you" to communicate directly to them. Also, the second sentence of the empowering example informs the reader of what their motivating reason behind making their choice is. Don't just tell your readers how to do things; let them why they're doing things and what it can do for them and/or their business.

Every website is different, so technical writing should be flexible, adaptive, and leverage the best tools to complete documentation for its team.

Want to learn more about about documentation? Check out our Training & Documentation page. Terms: Related Services Training We turn smart people into great developers. Read more
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Holger Levsen: 20150826-jenkins-fourth-state

Planet Debian - mer, 26/08/2015 - 12:41
jenkins has a fourth state

So, at the jenkins.debian.org BOF (very short summary: j.d.o will be coming soonish, long summary thanks to the awesome video team) I shared a trick I discovered almost a year ago, but had never really announced anywhere yet, which enables one to programatically use a fourth state to the existing three jenkins job states ("success", "unstable" and "failed"), which is "aborted".

Common knowledge is that it's only possible to abort jobs manually, but it's also possible to do that like this:

TMPFILE=$(mktemp) curl https://jenkins.debian.net/jnlpJars/jenkins-cli.jar -o $TMPFILE java -jar $TMPFILE -s http://localhost:8080/ set-build-result aborted rm $TMPFILE exit

The nice thing about aborted job runs is that these don't cause any notifications (neither mail nor IRC), so I intend to use this for several cases:

  • to abort jobs which encounter network problems
  • to abort jobs where a known bug will prevent the job from succeeding. This will require a small database to map bugs to jobs and some way to edit that database, so I will probably go with a .yaml file in some git repo.

I've no idea when I'll get along to actually implement that, so help doing this is very much welcome and I'd also be glad to help hooking this into the existing jenkins.debian.net.git codebase.

In related news, I'm back home since Monday and am thankful for having shared a very nice and productive DebConf15 with many old and new friends in Heidelberg. Many thanks to everyone involved in making this happen!

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NOKUBI Takatsugu: 1Gbps FTTH

Planet Debian - mer, 26/08/2015 - 11:22

This month, I changed FTTH Internet from 100Mbps to 1Gbps. The costs is almost same as the past line.

To change the line, I had need to be witness in the construction, so I  couldn’t get time to attend DebConf 2015.

According to Speedtest.net, I can get about 300 Mbps upstream bandwidth.

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Raphaël Hertzog: Freexian’s report about Debian Long Term Support, July 2015

Planet Debian - mer, 26/08/2015 - 11:14

Like each month, here comes a report about the work of paid contributors to Debian LTS.

Individual reports

In July, 79.50 work hours have been dispatched among 7 paid contributors. Their reports are available:

Evolution of the situation

August has seen a small decrease in terms of sponsored hours (71.50 hours per month) because two sponsors did not pay their renewal invoice on time. That said they reconfirmed their willingness to support us and things should be fixed after the summer. And we should be able to reach our first milestone of funding the equivalent of a half-time position, in particular since a new platinum sponsor might join the project.

DebConf 15 happened this month and Debian LTS was featured in a talk and in a work session. Have a look at the video recordings:

In terms of security updates waiting to be handled, the situation is better than last month: the dla-needed.txt file lists 20 packages awaiting an update (4 less than last month), the list of open vulnerabilities in Squeeze shows about 22 affected packages in total (11 less than last month). The new LTS frontdesk ensures regular triage of CVE reports and the difference between both counts dropped significantly. That’s good!

Thanks to our sponsors

Thanks to Sig-I/O, a new bronze sponsor, which joins our 35 other sponsors.

No comment | Liked this article? Click here. | My blog is Flattr-enabled.

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Realityloop: Drupal Development tips for Common Problems

Planet Drupal - mer, 26/08/2015 - 08:21
26 Aug Jarkko Oksanen

Some problems when developing are simply annoying, and show up again and again. Many of these are relatively tricky to solve without knowing the best solution for the problem. I’ve combined my answers to a few of these problems that I've found I run into often.

1. You need to access Drupal site with no login details

Sometimes it just happens that there will be a website that you need to manage, and you don't have the administration password for it. You might think that there is a reset password functionality, but if the email of the administrator is invalid, getting the password is not so simple.

Use Drush to generate an one-time login link

This is a very quick and easy way to get logged into Drupal. It only requires that you have server access and Drush (http://www.drush.org/) is installed. The drush command you would use is:

drush uli

Drush will then output you a one-time user login link for this particular website. The Drush command has options that you can add to it that are listed below.

--browser : Optional value denotes which browser to use (defaults to operating system default). Set to 0 to suppress opening a browser.
--uid : A uid to log in as.
--redirect-port : A custom port for redirecting to (e.g. when running within a Vagrant environment)
--name : A user name to log in as.
--mail : A user mail address to log in as.

A more advanced command example would be:

drush uli --browser=firefox --name=admin node/2

This would log you in using firefox, for the admin user, and redirect you to node/2.

For more to read on Drush check out http://www.drush.org/en/master/

Update password using the database

In the case Drush isn’t available, your only option may be accessing the database. The idea is to simply change the encrypted password to another one through the database. If you’re using a GUI such as Sequel Pro, all you need to do is to navigate to users and change the encrypted password of the user admin.

Without a GUI, you can do it with a simple MySQL query.

UPDATE users SET name='admin', pass='$S$DfQ/y58nGpZvyRLYd3LSyJ.s82xSC3Z.2oxdCIL4EHKAYcQnDl9T' WHERE uid = 1;

This would set the password of admin, if its the uid 1, to “lol”. This is an encrypted password string. To create your own password hash you can navigate to Drupal docroot and run the following command.

php scripts/password-hash.sh 'yourpassword'

And it will generate you an encrypted password.

Use a module to hack your way through

This is a solution I would only use on local setups to change my password. There is no real use case for using this on production servers, as it logs everyone in as user 1 that try to access the site. However, if you don’t have any server access, and can only push code to the server, this might be your only shot.

  1. global $user;
  2. $user = user_load(1);

Then you can go change the account settings or promote other users to uid 1.


2. No images show up on my local development site

As we know, Drupal consists of three components, the database, the codebase and the files. The third one is considered the least important when developing, but to thoroughly test your work you do need the images to show up.

There is often an issue that the Drupal site that you are working on has hundreds if not thousands of large images which could end up as large as 10gb downloads, and downloading this for your local setup is simply not worth it. Fortunately there are a few solutions that you can use to conquer the problem.

Stage file proxy


Stage file proxy regenerates the image links in a way that they will use the production server to get the images, and doesn't make you download them to your local setup. However default behavior of the module downloads the files when they’re missing. I encourage using the “Hotlink” mode of the module which does as previously explained.

Installing Stage File Proxy can be as simple as :

  1. drush en stage_file_proxy -y
  2. drush variable-set stage_file_proxy_origin "http://www.example.com"

But in most cases I find that saving the settings manually from the configuration is needed. It supports even locked in sites, with more documentation at https://www.drupal.org/project/stage_file_proxy.

Using JS to populate images with a dummy image

If you are working without an internet connection or there are issues with stage file proxy, then what you can do is to use JS to populate broken images with dummy images. This doesn't respect Drupal image styles, but it is a way to play with images. Add it to your JS after document ready.

  1. $('img').error(function(){
  2. $(this).attr('src', "/dummy-image.jpg");
  3. });
3. Getting a database without server access

Getting a database, files and code from your Drupal website can sometimes be tricky, especially when you have no server access. For example; you are working on a client site that has been forgotten somewhere in the cloud for a year, and no one has access to the server, there is still a solution you can try to get a copy of the site.

Use the Backup and Migrate module.


Fortunately most cloud servers allow modules to be installed on the fly. All you need to do is to use Drupal UI to install this module and you’ll be able to get a copy of the website easily. To do this you need to enable Update Manager, and then install the file using /admin/modules/install user interface. If the server where your website is does not support this, then you need to gain access to the server.

The latest version of the Backup and Migrate module allows you to get a whole site with database, files and code. For simpler sites, using this module is great.

4. Moving modules around in a Drupal setup causes errors

Drupal gets angry when you move modules around in a setup. When you as a developer get your hands on a drupal website that other people have worked on, often the first instinct is to move the modules into a correct directory. Doing this can cause errors on the site and often results in a WSOD.

The error that results is often something like follows:

Fatal error: require_once(): Failed opening required '/profiles/profile/modules/contrib/entity/includes/entity.inc' in /profile/includes/bootstrap.inc on line 3161

This is due to Drupal looking at functions where they were before, and now don’t exist anymore. To fix this issue you need to fix the module paths.

Repair paths via drush registry rebuild

Drush to the rescue again! Compared to the manual solution explained after, this is definitely faster and a safer solution. Install Drush rebuild registry by running the following command (you need to have drush installed first):

drush dl registry_rebuild

After you’ve moved the modules to the directory you want just run the drush registry rebuild command.

drush rr

This will go through your module registry and fix all of the broken connections.

Then clear your drupal caches, and if needed re-run the drush rr command.

Do not blindly trust the power of this command on production servers. I would recommend thorough testing before moving modules around and doing these changes on live sites, as it can become a mess. Always remember to take a backup of your database!

Repair module paths manually

If for some annoying reason you cannot use the power of Drush, or it has failed you, you can still do things manually. Manually fixing is time consuming if you’re doing a lot of changes to your directory structure. Remember to backup your database before starting.

  1. Make sure you’re logged in your Drupal setup before moving the modules. This allows you to access the /admin/modules page. Accessing this page rebuilds the system table which might solve your problem. Move your modules to the directory you want, and access the /admin/modules page.
  2. If the problem still continues you need to manually fix the following tables: system, registry and registry_file. The have filenames for each module, these need to be fixed as they are pointing to wrong directions. The following query is an example and was used when moving modules from the profile to a sites/all/modules/contrib setup.

    1. UPDATE system SET filename = REPLACE(filename, profiles/myprofile/modules', 'sites/all/modules/contrib');
    2. UPDATE registry SET filename = REPLACE(filename, 'profiles/myprofile/modules', 'sites/all/modules/contrib');
    3. UPDATE registry_file SET filename = REPLACE(filename, profiles/myprofile/modules', 'sites/all/modules/contrib');


  3. After doing the changes, clear your Drupal caches and keep your fingers crossed for success. You might need to clear all the caching from the database as well.

5. Creating your re-usable local.settings.php

This is more of a personal touch. In my local development I’ve tried to create a local.settings.php that is relatively universal to all of my projects.

There are modules that always cause issues with local development such as securepages, or just need config, such as the before described stage_file_proxy. The local.settings.php is a file that is added to your docroot to provide these settings and make it faster for you to develop.

  1. # Local site configuration settings.
  2. if (is_readable('/path/to/site/sites/default/local.settings.php')) {
  3. include_once('/path/to/site/sites/default/local.settings.php');
  4. }

And on your local when you’re setting up your site, you just add your optimal local settings php.

This is my current version of the local.settings.php. Check out my latest one at GitHub and feel free to contribute to it, or add your comments below. The idea would be to include as much as I can in a file, as extra config doesn't really matter!
This will speed up your development by making sure that the settings you want are there, and most importantly done without clicking around the site!

  1. global $conf;
  3. // Turn off Secure Pages. Secure Pages Module.
  4. $conf['securepages_enable'] = FALSE;
  5. $conf['https'] = FALSE;
  7. // Stage File Proxy Configuration
  8. $conf['stage_file_proxy_origin'] = 'http://mysite.com';
  9. // Stage file optional with securepages
  10. // $conf['stage_file_proxy_origin'] = 'http://username:password@mysite.com';
  11. $conf["stage_file_proxy_use_imagecache_root"] = FALSE;
  12. $conf['stage_file_proxy_hotlink'] = TRUE;
  15. // Turn off Caching.
  16. $conf['cache'] = 0;
  17. // Block caching - disabled.
  18. $conf['block_cache'] = 0;
  19. // Expiration of cached pages - none.
  20. $conf['page_cache_maximum_age'] = 0;
  21. // Aggregate and compress CSS files in Drupal - off.
  22. $conf['preprocess_css'] = 0;
  23. // Aggregate JavaScript files in Drupal - off.
  24. $conf['preprocess_js'] = 0;
  26. // Minimum cache lifetime - always none.
  27. $conf['cache_lifetime'] = 0;
  28. // Cached page compression - always off.
  29. $conf['page_compression'] = 0;
  32. // Turn off other caching.
  33. $conf['css_gzip'] = FALSE;
  34. $conf['javascript_aggregator_gzip'] = FALSE;
  37. // Turn on all error reporting for local development.
  38. error_reporting(-1);
  39. $conf['error_level'] = 2;
  40. ini_set('display_errors', TRUE);
  41. ini_set('display_startup_errors', TRUE);

This will speed up your development by making sure that the settings you want are there, and most importantly done without clicking around the site!

These are just some of the problems have come up during the days. If you have one you’re always running into, feel free to leave a comment about it!

drupal planetdrupaldevelopmenttips
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Modules Unraveled: 146 Drupal Update Automation and Drop Guard with Manuel Pistner - Modules Unraveled Podcast

Planet Drupal - mer, 26/08/2015 - 07:00
Published: Wed, 08/26/15Download this episodeUpdate Automation
  • I’d like to talk a little bit about automation processes in general before we jump into Drop Guard, if that’s okay. What types of things are we talking about updating? Server configuration? Drupal projects? Deployment?
  • What are some of the technologies you were using before developing Drop Guard? Maybe the underlying pieces that make up the Drop Guard architecture.
Drop Guard
  • What is Drop Guard?
    • Simply put, Drop Guard is a service to automate Drupal updates with seamless integration into development and deployment processes. Drop Guard helps Drupal shops and other Drupal support and service providers to automate their update work. In case of critical security updates Drop Guard will update the site automatically within 1 hour. This makes the operation of a site more secure and reliable and makes Drupal updates a full part of the development process.
  • You said it’s “integration into development and deployment workflows.” What do you mean by that?
    • Drop Guard works simply as a dedicated team member that is responsible for applying updates in the development as well as in the maintenance and support life-cycle of a project. You can configure Drop Guard to work with any hosting provider and with any team workflow. Drop Guard can execute different Rules-Based commands to trigger deployment actions just as a real team member would do it on manual update work.
  • How granular can you get with updates? Security only? All updates?
  • How does Drop Guard actually work? Is there a module to install? Server setup?
  • What happens if a bug is introduced with an automatic update? Is there a process to notify the developer?
  • Who is Drop Guard designed to be used by?
    • Drop Guard is designed to help Drupal agencies and freelancers to deliver Drupal update services automatically. Every Drupal shop can use Drop Guard as a white label service to deliver update services to their clients as part of support contracts. For end users that don’t understand the processes behind deployment and developement deeply enough, the service is too complex but Drupal shops will definitely benefit from additional developer time that they can save for their project business.
  • What prompted you to start building the Drop Guard service? And when was that?
    • We started with the base technology in 2012 to build a system for our internal support contracts. We had the need to automate recurring things and ensure that our SLAs for security patches are processed reliably. When Drupalgeddon shocked the Drupal world and many sites had to be patched in a very short period of time, we already had the benefit of automated updates for our supported projects. At this point I realized that the system might have a benefit for other Drupal shops. So Drop Guard has its birthday with Drupalgeddon :-)
  • Do you have any insights of the roadmap of Drop Guard?
    • Sure! Currently we are in an internal Beta phase. That means we harden the service with some trusted users and we will add more beta users each week till the end of September.Then we will open Drop Guard for a public Beta version where everybody that is interested can start using the service with the help of our support team. I am sure that there are many usability issues we will face as the high flexibility results in a more complex configuration processes. But thanks to our current beta users we were able to address and fix many of them till now. Also the Feedback from Drupalcon Barcelona visitors will be an important milestone for us.
  • Does this work with all hosting providers? (VPS, Pantheon, Platform.sh, Acquia cloud etc.)
  • What does the pricing structure look like after the beta period?
  • You mentioned there’s an incentive for people to get involved with the beta now. Do you want to talk about that?
Episode Links: Manuel on drupal.orgManuel on TwitterDrop Guard on TwitterDrop Guard WebsiteDrop Guard WebinarTags: Automationplanet-drupal
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Dirk Eddelbuettel: RProtoBuf 0.4.3

Planet Debian - mer, 26/08/2015 - 05:01

A new maintenance release 0.4.3 of RProtoBuf is now on CRAN. RProtoBuf provides R bindings for the Google Protocol Buffers ("Protobuf") data encoding library used and released by Google, and deployed as a language and operating-system agnostic protocol by numerous projects.

This release comes upon the request of CRAN and adds additional import statements to the NAMESPACE file. While we were at it, a few more things got cleaned up and edited---but no new code was added. Full details are below.

Changes in RProtoBuf version 0.4.3 (2015-08-25)
  • Declare additional imports from methods in NAMESPACE.

  • Travis CI tests now run faster as all CRAN dependencies are installed as binaries.

  • The tools/winlibs.R script now tests for R (< 3.3.0) before calling the (soon-to-be phased out) setInternet2() function.

  • Several small edits were made to DESCRIPTION to clarify library dependencies, provide additonal references and conform to now-current R packaging standards.

CRANberries also provides a diff to the previous release. The RProtoBuf page has a package vignette, a a 'quick' overview vignette, and a unit test summary vignette. Questions, comments etc should go to the GitHub issue tracker off the GitHub repo.

This post by Dirk Eddelbuettel originated on his Thinking inside the box blog. Please report excessive re-aggregation in third-party for-profit settings.

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OSTraining: Drupal Error: More Than 5 Failed Login Attempts

Planet Drupal - mer, 26/08/2015 - 02:22

If you've forgotten your Drupal password and try unsuccessfully to login, you may get this message:

Sorry, there have been more than 5 failed login attempts for this account. it is temporarily blocked

The image below shows how the message appears. I'm going to show you how you can fix this error.

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Norbert Preining: Plex Home Theater 1.4.1 updated for Debian/sid

Planet Debian - mer, 26/08/2015 - 01:21

Debian/sid is going through a big restructuring with the switch to a new gcc and libstc++. Furthermore, libcec3 is now the default. So I have updated my PHT builds for Debian/sid to build and install on the current status, both for amd64 and i386.

Add the following lines to your sources.list:

deb http://www.preining.info/debian/ sid pht deb-src http://www.preining.info/debian/ sid pht

You can also grab the binary for amd64 directly here for amd64 and i386, you can get the source package with

dget http://www.preining.info/debian/pool/pht/p/plexhometheater/plexhometheater_1.4.1-2.dsc

The release file and changes file are signed with my official Debian key 0x860CDC13.

For Debian/testing I am waiting until the transition has settled. Please wait a bit more.

Now be ready for enjoying the next movie!

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Richard Hartmann: Tor-enabled Debian mirror, part 2

Planet Debian - mer, 26/08/2015 - 01:11

Well, that was quite some feedback to my last post; via blog, email, irc, and in person. I actually think this may be the most feedback I ever got to any single blog post. If you are still waiting for a reply after this new post, I will get back to you.

To handle common question/information at once:

  • It was the first download from an official Tor-enabled mirror; I know people downloaded updates via Tor before
  • Yes, having this in the Debian installer as an option would be very nice
  • Yes, there are ways to load balance Tor hidden services these days and the pre-requisites are being worked on already
    • Yes, that load balanced setup will support hardware key tokens
  • A natively hidden service is more secure than accessing a non-hidden service via Tor because there is no way for a third-party exit node to mess with your traffic
  • apt-get etc will leak information about your architecture, release, suites, desired packages, and package versions. That can't be avoided, but else it will not leak anything to the server. And even if it did.. see above
  • Using Tor is also more secure than normal ftp/http/https as you don't build up an IP connection so the server can not get back to the client other than through the single one connection the client built up
  • noodles Tor-enabled his partial debmirror as well: http://earthqfvaeuv5bla.onion/
    • It took him 14322255 tries to get a private key which produced that address
    • He gave up to find one starting with earthli after 9474114341 attempts
  • I have been swamped with queries if I had tried apt-transport-tor instead of torify
    • I had forgotten about it, re-reading the blog post reminded me about apt transports
    • Tim even said in his post that Tor hidden mirror services would be nice
    • Try it yourself before you ask ;)
    • Yes, it works!

So this whole thing is a lot easier now:

# apt-get install torsocks apt-transport-tor # mv /etc/apt/sources.list /etc/apt/sources.list--backup2 # > /etc/apt/sources.list << EOF deb tor+http://vwakviie2ienjx6t.onion/debian/ unstable main contrib non-free deb tor+http://earthqfvaeuv5bla.onion/debian/ unstable main contrib non-free EOF # apt-get update # apt-get install vcsh
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2bits: Re-Indexing your content to Solr, the fast way ...

Planet Drupal - mer, 26/08/2015 - 00:00
There are rare occasions when you want to re-index all your site's content in Solr. Such occasions include: Major Drupal version upgrade (e.g. from Drupal 6.x to Drupal 7.x). Changing your Solr schema to include more search criteria. Upgrading your Solr server to a new major version. Moving your Solr server from an old server to a new one.

read more

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Drupal.org Featured Case Studies: Wight & Company

Planet Drupal - mar, 25/08/2015 - 22:41
Completed Drupal site or project URL: http://www.wightco.com/

Wight & Company (Wight) is an integrated architecture, engineering, and construction services firm with offices in Chicago and Darien, Illinois. Wight has expertise in key markets including corporate, commercial, federal government, higher education, local government, PK-12 education, and transportation and infrastructure. 

TOKY Branding + Design created a website that sets Wight apart from the all-too-common aesthetic and functionality of competing firms. TOKY specializes in digital and print work for clients in architecture, building, and design, as well as the arts, education, and premium consumer products.

Key modules/theme/distribution used: Advanced MenuAPC - Alternative PHP CacheEntity APIEntity cacheField collectionImageAPI Optimize (or Image Optimize)Memcache API and IntegrationMetatagRemote stream wrapperSpeedyTaxonomy access fixTaxonomy displayOrganizations involved: TOKY Branding + DesignTeam members: Daniel Korte
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Shitiz Gag's Blog: [GSoC 2015: Hawk Authentication] Week 14: Concluding Summer of Code

Planet Drupal - mar, 25/08/2015 - 19:07

This would be my last weekly update as far as Google Summer of Code 2015 is concerned. The long road is coming to an end as the season closes on Friday, 28th August 2015. This week I tackled a bug in core of Drupal which I discussed in my last week’s update.

Fixing WWW-Authenticate

This issue is #2553531 on the Drupal bug tracker. Previously when a user was accessing an area which required them to be logged in without logging in, Drupal would call authentication providers for a “challenge”. This challenge allows Basic Auth to specify it’s WWW-Authenticate header and send a HTTP 401 unauthorised error telling the user that they need to be logged in and can use Basic Auth as a means to log-in. This was good, as basic was the only protocol which would communicate via WWW-Authenticate until Hawk came along.

WWW-Authenticate can have multiple values, a server sending WWW-Authenticate: Hawk, Basic for example is saying that the client can use hawk or basic auth protocol. This wasn’t possible in the current code base as Drupal did not allow multiple Auth providers to specify the challenge. I modified the code to allow multiple auth providers to send their challenge which gets compiled by the authentication provider manager into an exception. Previously, the auth provider would send an exception itself which is why multiple auth providers could not specify their own challenge.

This fix is still to be accepted into Drupal core, although I hope it would get accepted soon.

Concluding Summer of Code

This would probably be the last coding I will be doing during Summer of Code, but it’s not last related to Drupal or my project as I plan to continue it’s development after GSoC as well and hopefully I get to stick around Drupal for a long time.

I had a lot of fun during the summer, and I got to learn a lot of new things as well as got introduced to Drupal and it’s community. I worked on implementing a new protocol within PHP, developing a general purpose library which can be used by anyone willing to use the protocol with PHP and implemented the protocol as a Drupal module. All things that I have never done in the past, and the things I struggled with at times but ultimately learned them and managed to succeed to the best of my abilities. I also improved my understanding of concepts such as Dependency Injection, unit testing, composer, authentication and authorization as well as security concepts related to them, encryption, hashing and general Drupal architecture and development.

For students participating in the future, don't hesitate to ask around the Drupal community via the forums or IRC if you get stuck doing something as they are very helpful. Drupal is a complicated beast and there are a lot of people apart form your mentor who are willing to help, it would also be faster at times when your mentor might not be available. I took a lot of help from the community during my project and the community really helped around.

I’m glad to have taken part in this year’s summer of code and I will remember this experience forever. A big thanks to my mentor Jingsheng Wang (skyred) and the Drupal community for their support as well as Avantika Agarwal for proofreading my blog and documents related to Summer of Code. I will continue with what I started this summer of code and try to learn and share as many things as I can.

Thank you!

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