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Freelock : The case for git as a deployment tool

mer, 17/06/2015 - 06:10

More and more I keep running into assertions that Git is a version control tool, and that if you use it for deployment, you're doing it wrong.


At Freelock we find it to be a very effective deployment tool, and I'm not seeing a solution that meets our needs any better.

Two presentations in particular caught my attention recently mentioned this:

DevOpsDeploymentDrupal PlanetDrupalgitSaltJenkinsDocker
Catégories: Elsewhere

Drupal Easy: DrupalEasy Podcast 157 - Rabbit Food (Anna Kalata - Getting Started in Core Development)

mar, 16/06/2015 - 20:40
Download Podcast 157

Anna Kalata (akalata), a freelance Drupal Developer ( from the Chicago area joins Ryan Price and Mike Anello to talk about getting started in core development, the New Jersey Shore Sprint, workflow, the Druplicon, Drupal major version stats, and our picks of the week.

read more

Catégories: Elsewhere

Blink Reaction: Building Native Apps - Part 1

mar, 16/06/2015 - 19:39
Building native mobile apps with Ionic Framework and Drupal back-end: Setup Development Environment

Today, a large amount of web traffic comes from mobile device users. For this reason, responsive websites – those with great adaptation for smartphones, tablets and even watches and TVs – are a must-have for any company or startup. However, browser web-applications have a lot of limitations and some performance issues on devices. If you want a prime user experience for customers who use gadgets to interact with your services, a native mobile app is the best choice. It will give you an opportunity to use all native APIs, which use device hardware resources to communicate with users. In most cases web-apps don’t have that capability.

Technology introduction

There are currently two popular platforms for mobile devices: Android and iOS. Each relies on a specific language for applications – Android uses Java as its main programming language, and iOS uses Swift in its latest version. But it is possible to make apps for these and other platforms, without needing to learn each language (or having a different developer for each). This is done through hybrid applications: you can write simple HTML + CSS + JavaScript web-apps, and then convert them to native apps. There a few pros and cons to using hybrid apps instead of native ones:

  • No need for developers to learn new programming languages

  • One codebase for all mobile platforms

  • Can use almost all native API’s

  • Can use the same content as your web-app

  • A little bit slower than native, but not critical

  • Output files have a bigger size

Why Ionic?

In this tutorial series, I will use Ionic Framework to build our native app. Ionic Framework is an open-source project that works under the Apache Cordova platform and has AngularJS under the hood. The Cordova platform functions as a bridge between our HTML5 application and native device APIs; it has a base functionality for building, and many more available plugins. In addition, it works with a dozen mobile operating systems such as: Android, iOS, Windows Phone, FirefoxOS and more. Ionic provides us with an opportunity to write an app with all capabilities of AngularJS and its modules, along with a design starting point and UI elements. It has a NodeJS CLI to control building processes and a couple of boilerplates to make project starts immediate and simple.

Environment Setup

At this point we have a choice of how to build our development process. The first option is to use a preconfigured Vagrant install called Ionic Box - if you aren’t familiar with Vagrant you can read the following tutorial series. Ionic Box is a Windows virtual machine with all the software you’ll need to develop Android native apps. In this post, I will build an Android application because I’m working on Windows, but I will show how to add iOS support to your project if you are on Mac.

The second option is to install all programs manually on your system. For this, I made a step-by-step plan to set up your Windows environment:

  1. Install Java:

    1. Go to Oracle Java downloads page and click on the JDK download link:

    2. On the JDK download page, accept license agreement, choose and download the distributive for your operating system

    3. Run installer with default options

    4. Configure Environment Variables in system

        1. Go to Control Panel -> System and Security -> System

        2. Click on Advanced system settings

        3. Click Environment Variables button

        4. Click New button in System variables fieldset and add JAVA_HOME variable with value being the path to your jdk folder

  1. Install Apache Ant

    1. Download distributive from here

    2. Run installer

    3. Configure Environment Variables in system

        1. Go to Control Panel -> System and Security -> System

        2. Click on Advanced system settings

        3. Click Environment Variables button

        4. Click New button in System variables fieldset and add ANT_HOME variable with value being the path to your ant/bin folder

  1. Install Android SDK:

    1. Go to the Android SDK download page

    2. Click on “Other Download Options” link

    3. Download distributive for your system

    4. Run installer with default options

    5. In command prompt, run command: android
      This will start Android SDK Manager Tool, which allows you to download all packages that you need

    6. Check all Tools, Extras, and APIs 14 and higher, then click Install Packages button

    7. Configure Environment Variables in system

        1. Go to Control Panel -> System and Security -> System

        2. Click on Advanced system settings

        3. Click Environment Variables button

        4. Click New button in System variables fieldset and add ANDROID_HOME variable with value being the path to your sdk folder

  1. Install NodeJS:

    1. Go to the NodeJS web-site.

    2. Click on “Install” link, and it will start downloading the distributive for your operating system automatically

    3. Run installer with default options

  2. Install Cordova and Ionic:

    1. Open NodeJS command prompt

    2. Run the following command: npm install -g cordova ionic
      This will install Cordova and Ionic globally in your system, so you can access their commands from command prompt.


Congratulations - you have setup your environment to build hybrid mobile applications for Android with Ionic Framework! Check back in tomorrow and we’ll continue this process. Or, contact us if you have questions about this process or anything else, we'd like to help.

Best PracticesDrupal PlanetLearning SeriesTechnology ToolsPost tags: AppsIonicDrupal
Catégories: Elsewhere

Drupal Watchdog: Write a Migrate Process Plugin, Learn Drupal 8

mar, 16/06/2015 - 19:24

A few of us were coaching Campbell Vertesi on porting the CSV source to Drupal 8 and he asked as an aside about mapping US states he had in a taxonomy vocabulary to taxonomy IDs during a migration. Glad you asked! The answer gives us an example for quite a few concepts in Drupal 8, so let’s dig in! We will go over the code line by line.


This particular class is a plugin. Plugins are normal objects in a predefined directory with a little metadata. For example, field widgets and formatters are plugins: they get a field and they return a form or a render array. We can change the formatter freely, only the type and meaning of the inputs and the output is fixed. Another good example are the image effects. Migrate uses plugins for everything: sources, processing, destinations. See more.

Namespaces, PSR-4

Line 8 contains a namespace declaration: the first part is Drupal and then the module name migrate_plus then the rest. Typically a plugin will follow by the a Plugin part and then the name of the defining module migrate and finally the type of a plugin process if the defining module has several. Not every plugin type requires such a long namespace, for example entities simply use Entity after the module name: Drupal\taxonomy\Entity. Drupal 8 will look for classes of the migrate_plus module under modules/migrate_plus/src (and all the other usual places for modules) and then the rest of the path is the same as namespace -- this is specified by the PSR-4 standard so this class is in the directory modules/migrate_plus/src/Plugin/migrate/process (sneak preview: a few lines later we will find the class name is TermReference and so the filename is TermReference.php).

Use Statements

Line 10-16 contains use statements. use some\namespace\classallows us to just write class in later code and the Drupal coding standards require this. It really is just syntactic sugar, you can even use non-existing classes. As an aside, many of us have found the PhpStorm IDE very convenient for Drupal 8 development: for example, it takes care of the file placement and naming from the previous section and adds these use statements automatically for you.


Line 21-23 contains an annotation. Annotations are a very useful feature in sane languages (like Python) so much so that the PHP community have implemented them in user space… several times. As such, Drupal 8 uses the annotations syntax of Doctrine on classes and PHPUnit annotation on tests. The Doctrine annotations are pretty close to a PHP array except {} is used instead of array(). We can see a very simple example here: this is using the MigrateProcessPlugin annotation and the plugin definition is array(‘id’ => ‘term_reference’). Every plugin must have an id at least. In previous versions of Drupal you would’ve used a hook_migrate_process_info returning an array keyed by the same id and some data. Although the info hooks are gone the alter hooks are still here: for example migrate_process_info_alter is a valid hook (although at this moment undocumented as its utility is severely limited). Other similar hooks, however, are much more useful, for example hook_entity_info_alter.

MigrateProcessPlugin itself is a class in the Drupal\migrate\Annotation namespace and it’s useful to know this because this class is the nexus of information about process plugins.

Classes, Base Classes and Interfaces

Line 25 contains the class name, a base class and an interface. One of the fundamental building bricks of Drupal 8 are interfaces. Interfaces provide a contract, that by which classes that implement it agree to provide certain functionality so that they can be used the same way other classes that use the interface. In other words, every class will have certain methods which take a certain kind of input and provide a certain kind of output. They are absolutely fundamental to plugins since any code interacting with a plugin will only know about the methods the interface require and nothing about the plugin details itself. Because of this, plugin types can require their plugins to implement a specific interface and Drupal throw an exception if they don’t.

Base classes are not a language feature, they are typical of Drupal 8 however: these classes contain some useful common logic for implementing an interface. Extending these instead of implementing an interface is very strongly recommended (although not mandatory at all). Some interfaces do not have a base class, for example ContainerFactoryPluginInterface.

Services, Injection

We will skip the constructor for now and talk about the create method starting on Line 40 required for implementing ContainerFactoryPluginInterface and then we will cover the constructor briefly.

Previous versions of Drupal were often strongly coupled: hardwired function calls were the norm. In Drupal 8 a lot of functionality is provided by so called services. There is a service for all sorts of things: working with entities, logging information, installing modules etc. The container itself is an object and the most used method of it (by far) is get as visible on line 46. You can find the services provided by core here. Because the container provides so many things it is not a good practice to pass and store the container in an object. By doing so, it becomes harder to understand (and to test) a class as it can basically depend on anything. Instead only the static create method will get the container, it passes the necessary services to the constructor and the class itself now has clean dependencies.

By far the most commonly used service is the entity manager: the getDefinition method gives us the entity type object, the equivalent of entity_get_info in Drupal 7. The getStorage gives us the storage object, which in turn can query and load entities of a particular type. (Then the entity objects can save themselves.) If we are not coding a nice little plugin then the entity manager can also be accessed at \Drupal::entityManager(). The Drupal class has methods for most common of the functionality. Most of these methods are just wrapping a $container->get() call so this list is also useful as a list of services. See more on services.

So the create method grabs the taxonomy term storage object and passes it to the constructor. The constructor in turn will call the base class constructor which initializes the common plugin properties, our constructor then initializes our own properties: most importantly the term storage is now available to every method in the class.

Entity Query

We have a getTermId helper method, not required by any interface -- it can not be as interfaces have public methods only. This method queries the term storage for the terms in the specified vocabulary. This perhaps looks familiar -- almost like a database query in Drupal 7. This, however, is for entities only and the condition method is extremely powerful, for example to find nodes posted by users joined in the last hour, condition(‘uid.entity.created’, REQUEST_TIME - 3600, ‘>’). Also, in general, already in Drupal 7 using SQL queries was discouraged but in Drupal 8 it’s safe to assume accessing the database is just doing it wrong.

The entity query returns a list of entity ids and then we load those terms. The following interesting tidbit is $term->name->value, this is one of the ways to access a field value in D8 but it’s mostly just for demo, using a proper method $term->label() is strongly preferred. This $entity->fieldname->propertyname chain can continue: we can write $node->uid->entity->created->value to get the created time for the node author.

The entity query condition closely mirrors this syntax: change the arrows to dots, optionally drop the main property , in this case value and you will get the previously mentioned condition('uid.entity.created', ... to query the same. The Entity API is a really powerful feature of Drupal 8.

Process Plugins

Finally we arrived to the transform method which is the only method required from a process plugin. Migrate works by reading a row from a source plugin then running each property through a pipeline of process plugins and then hand the resulting row to a destination plugin. Each process plugin gets the current value and returns a value. Core provides quite a number of these, a list can be found here. Most process plugins are really small: the average among the core process plugins is a mere 58 LoC (lines of code) and there is only one above 100 LoC: the migration process plugin which is used to look up previously migrated identifiers and even that is only 196 LoC (lines of code).

In our case the actual functionality is just one line of code after all this setup. Of course this doesn’t include error handling etc.

So there you have it: in order to be able to run this single line of code, we needed to put a file in the right directory, containing the right namespace and classname, implement the right interfaces, get a service from the container and run an entity query.

Catégories: Elsewhere

DrupalCon News: Planning for Friends and Family at DrupalCon

mar, 16/06/2015 - 17:59

As part of our extended Drupal family, many Drupalistas bring their spouse, significant other, friend or children along to DrupalCon. As we know, the Con is always jam-packed with sessions, BoFs and sprints that keep us busy; Barcelona will be no different. After the Drupalers have drained our brains at the convention center, we jaunt off to group dinners, sponsor parties or the coder lounge to continue getting our Drupal on.

Catégories: Elsewhere

ThinkShout: A Tale of Two Devsigners

mar, 16/06/2015 - 14:00

It’s June, which means Devsigner is just around the corner so, naturally, we’ve got design on the brain. What’s Devsigner? Well, I’m glad you asked. Devsigner is a conference held here in the Pacific Northwest geared towards front end developers and development-minded designers. Sessions focus on the relationship between design and web development, bridging the gap that separates the design from the code. The math looks like this: developer + designer = devsigner.

ThinkShout’s own devsigners Josh Riggs (User Experience Lead) and Eric Paxton (Front End Engineer), will be speaking at this conference at the end of the month. I sat down with Josh and Eric to learn a little bit more about their design process, and how we work with our nonprofit clients to ensure that their sites don’t just work, but that they also deliver a fantastic user experience.

You two make up the dynamic design duo here at ThinkShout. What do your respective roles entail? How do you leverage your different skill sets?

Josh: My role as the UX lead right now is handling all aspects of user experience and visual design. I’m responsible for interpreting site maps and requirements, plus things like client/user needs and creating a user interface out of that. That starts with wireframing and ends with a visual design layer.

Eric: My role as Front End Engineer is very much in the implementation phase. Though I do advise in the discovery and budgeting phase, just so we can be sure that we can actually implement what the client wants. It’s nice because in the past, before joining the ThinkShout team, I’d done the whole gamut. From the requirements gathering phase to wireframing, and then the implementation. Here at ThinkShout, I’ve found my sweet spot. I do occasional wireframing, but I get to focus on lots of implementation. I also implement Josh’s designs. I write a lot of Javascript and Sass, basically.

Josh: Eric is like the alchemist. He takes the metals - the designs from me - and turns them into websites. There is actually a large spectrum in between where my responsibilities stop and Eric’s begin. We still talk about things like, how do we go from an idea being on a screen, to that idea being a functioning website? We’re constantly thinking about how to best utilize our respective skillsets, always reevaluating our process to improve upon it.

What’s a recent project that you’ve really enjoyed working on?

Eric: The SPLC (Southern Poverty Law Center) microsite. I thought that was very well done. Josh did a lot of the front end work on that and I came in and did the site optimization, which is what I’ll be talking about at Devsigner. I thought that went really smoothly because at that time, all the work he’d done in the browser went directly to implementation. We were able to take exactly what he’d designed and just build off of it.

Can you talk a little bit about what the design process for the SPLC microsite was like, Josh?

Josh: We happened to be working on that right around the same time as I was doing wireframes for the upcoming SPLC main site that we’re redesigning. We were already doing a lot of thinking about their content and what their needs were. Because the Selma: Bridge to the Ballot movie was coming out on the anniversary of the Selma March, we wanted to have this ready to go in time for that day. There was no way we were going to launch the whole SPLC site along with it - we were too early in development for that - so we decided to split that project up and give them a campaign microsite that would be easy to build while we continued to work on their main site.

A lot of that meant working with their team to define their content needs. I began with basic wireframes in Sketch, and uploaded them into Invision to give them interactivity. As SPLC came up with more fidelity to what their needs were, we solidified the visual designs. Luckily, they already had a lot of assets that their really great internal design team had created for the movie, so I was able to go off of that style. I took their visual style and applied it to the wireframes and at that point, I went to Eric for a consultation and said, "Ok, if we’re going to build this in Jekyll, what’s the best way to do this as far as the architecture goes?" Eric was a huge help in regards to file structure. He wrote a great rake script to automate all the Jekyll, Sass, and Javascript components. That’s when I jumped in and rebuilt what I’d done in Sketch, and added more fidelity with HTML and Sass. I then passed it onto to Eric so he could do his unicorn magic.

Eric: And that’s a nice part about where our skills overlap: we can get closer to what we want. He’s a better designer than I am. My strengths lie in the code. I’ve designed when I had to, but it’s not my forte, so it’s nice to have Josh’s expertise. So these skill sets compliment each other. I feel comfortable handing over my implementation to design and saying, "Hey, can you polish the nav? Or the design?" Things like that.

What design trends do you want to see more of? Or less of?

Eric: I think flat design is getting boring. I’m starting to see a little bit more texture in the things we’ve done. Like patterns, not just flat design for the sake of flat design. There’s texture strategically used to make things look better. For instance, in the Capital Area Food Bank of Texas site, there’s a bit of a pattern in the footer. It’s not just a flat blue background with text. I really like patterns that are used to call out different sections of a design. It adds to it and brings something out of the page. It used to just be that admin interfaces were this flat. But now everything reflects that. Lots of rectangles. I personally like shapes and textures and patterns.

Josh: It’s tricky to know when to add life to what’s a very flat trend right now. I come from the old school world of web design, which was about how cool can you make your shadows look in Photoshop, how three-dimensional can you make things appear. Now that’s kind of like wearing skinny jeans in the late nineties, when you wouldn’t be caught dead wearing them. Or neon colors. So I think what’s happening is that it’s not just that flat design is popular. If you look at other design mediums, like automotive or architecture, there’s a phase with extreme ornate elements. You know, crazy fins, details, lights, every car had a custom badge. All that stuff. And then you have the modern era after that where everything gets streamlined and simplified. It’s more about the function over the form, and the function drives the form. You see the opposite in the Victorian era. Go walk along the St. Johns bridge and look up at a lamp. You’ll see these ornate, twisted little embellishments along the lamps. But the purpose of a lamp is to provide light. Those embellishments do nothing to support the function. They’re just there to make it look pretty.

I think we’re seeing a lot of that in digital design as it matures. We’re getting rid of the stuff that doesn’t support the function and focusing more on the intent of the users. While we’re taking that ornate-ness out of it, we’re also adding a lot more micro-interactions and animations. Things that actually help you do what you’re there to do. At first, I was kind of against that. But now that I think about it as post-modern design for the web, it makes more sense to me.

How do you advise nonprofits on this? Do these same trends benefit nonprofits as much as they do for-profits?

Eric: I think knowing your end user is what determines your path. A lot of nonprofits have similar goals as for-profits when it comes to their websites - they’re trying to tell a story and engage their users. But the main thing is, do the organizational goals reflect what the user is coming there for? For instance, we work with the LA Conservancy. They work to preserve historical buildings in LA. We didn’t just look at them, and then try to make their website look like a pretty building. But we also had this discussion in LA about form versus function. But I wonder, where does that meet in the middle? That’s what I struggle with. Because I do think there’s value in ornate elements like that. They set a mood. So I think that’s part of function - that ornateness sets the mood you want to present to your users to help them feel the connection to the organization’s cause.

Josh: Nearly every major design phase, whether it be automotive, architecture, art, whatever, there’s always a backlash to those current trends. So there will be backlash to flat web design. It may be a subculture, it may take over. But whenever something gets to be ubiquitous, there’s always someone who wants to do something totally different. It’ll be interesting to see what that is.

I feel like that’s the nature of creativity… We see something, we make it part of our process, plus a spark of something new.

Eric: We all have things we’re influenced by. To me, Google stands out. They’ve really led in the trends that people are using. There’s a level of depth to their designs that make me feel like I can reach out and grab it. It’s flat in some ways, but yeah, there’s definitely some depth.

Josh: Yeah, I think Google’s done a really great job. And you can see this happening in the app world. The current trend is also getting ubiquitous.

Devsigner is at the end of the month and you both are leading your own sessions. Can you tell us a bit about them?

Eric: My session is called "Optimization is User Experience." I think this is something everybody can use, which is why it’s listed as a beginner talk. We learn web design, we learn app design, we release these things to the world where we don’t have control over devices and users’ bandwidth, so it’s important to know that this beautiful thing you’ve created can be experienced correctly regardless of what device it’s viewed on.

Josh: So my session is based on something I’ve noticed. I worked on a lot of projects where there’s limited time, budget, or resources. Maybe there isn’t any resource for stock photography, or there’s just a really small team working on it. I’ve always had to find ways to be creative with what I have and with a small budget. I signed up to speak at Refresh Portland and I figured this might be a shared struggle and that other people could learn from my experience: how to stay under budget and still come up with a great, workable design. It’s called "Ballin’ on a Budget."

Want to dig deeper into design with Josh and Eric and pick their brains? Come to Devsigner, which takes place during June 27-28 at the Pacific Northwest College of Art in Portland, Oregon. Check out the full session schedule on the Devsigner site. You can also follow Josh and Eric on Twitter at @joshriggs and @epxtn.

Catégories: Elsewhere

InternetDevels: Best Drupal Video Player Modules

mar, 16/06/2015 - 13:47

Greetings to all who want to add video integration to their Drupal website! Drupal module development never stops, offering us a large number of various modules for working with videos. I have hunted through a huge amount of Drupal video modules for you.

To begin with, you need to decide where you want to store your video, how you want to display it, etc.

Let's discuss the pros and cons of each method. Here we go!

Read more
Catégories: Elsewhere

KnackForge: Mitigating Apache Internal Dummy Connection issue

mar, 16/06/2015 - 06:00

This is one of the bothering issues we had lately in our project. I'm summarizing the list of causes and possible ways to fix / mitigate the same. So what is Apache's Internal Dummy Connection is all about? Official Wiki page explains it better. See snip below,

When the Apache HTTP Server manages its child processes, it needs a way to wake up processes that are listening for new connections. To do this, it sends a simple HTTP request back to itself. This request will appear in the access_log file with the remote address set to the loop-back interface (typically or ::1 if IPv6 is configured). If you log the User-Agent string (as in the combined log format), you will see the server signature followed by "(internal dummy connection)" on non-SSL servers. During certain periods you may see up to one such request for each httpd child process.

#1: VirtualHost

As mentioned, Apache makes a call to itself. If your default VirtualHost is configured to serve dynamic database driven site like Drupal, it will certainly result in increased resource utilization. Changing the same to serve static index.html should make the dummy http request faster and less resource intense. Even if you have directory listing, symbolic links and/or AllowOverriding turned on, it is suggested to disable them.

#2: .htaccess Rewrite Rule

If default VirtualHost couldn't be changed for some reason, with mod_rewrite you can prevent request hitting the Drupal with rewrite rule. 

Catégories: Elsewhere

Mediacurrent: Contrib Committee Status Review for May, 2015

lun, 15/06/2015 - 22:18

As with most other Drupal development studios, our May was dominated by DrupalCon. For the first week we were doing final preparations - making sure everything was ready for our booth, adding the final polish to our presentations, and packing for the trip. Needless to say, it was an excellent week from many perspectives, and we look forward to DrupalCon being in New Orleans next year.

Catégories: Elsewhere

Drupal Watchdog: Caffeinated Drupal

lun, 15/06/2015 - 18:42

Once upon a time, I drank coffee purely to wake myself up in the morning or to stay awake during a late night coding marathon. Eventually, I gained an appreciation for the different flavors, smells, and textures to be found in different coffees and brewing methods. That appreciation has grown into a pursuit of the perfect cup of coffee which, while it may never be achieved, provides me with a fun hobby as well as an endless supply of amazing coffee.

Performance tuning a website is another of those endless pursuits wherein you may never actually reach a happy ending.

Is there such a thing as a perfectly performing website? The answer to that question is much like the perfect cup of coffee: perfection lies in the eye of the beholder. While we may not ever be able to achieve a perfectly performing website, we can certainly define goals for what would be considered a well performing site. And by precisely measuring aspects of the site’s performance, we can know if our adjustments are moving us in the right direction or not.

Of course, when defining performance goals, like any project, it’s best to begin at the beginning. In this case there’s no better place to start than a nice cup of Kenya Peaberry, brewed in a manual pour-over to bring out the amazing citrus fruitiness (with a touch of spice). Mmmm, if that’s not nirvana, it sure is close! Now we can jump right in.

Defining Performance Goals

As I mentioned, we need to define goals in order to know where we’re going with the performance tuning, otherwise we’re likely to get people working on random performance improvements that may or may not meet our business requirements. The more specific the goals, the better. Here are a few ideas to get us going:

  • The front page must load in under X seconds.
  • The site must support at least Y concurrent users.
  • Popular entry points to the site must load in under Z seconds.

The important point here is to create an authoritative list which will get everyone on the same page and understand exactly what they’re working towards. Even if you are a team of one person, this is still a great way to define an endpoint for your (current) performance work.

Catégories: Elsewhere

Microserve: Setting Up Drupal Bootstrap

lun, 15/06/2015 - 18:02

For those looking for a reliable, responsive front-end framework to base their website/drupal theme upon, Twitter Bootstrap can be hard to beat. Luckily there is an existing, contributed theme available to take out the hard work of integrating Bootstrap and Drupal... Well nearly all the hard work.

This step by step tutorial hopes to serve as an extension to existing documentation for Drupal Bootstrap and strives to fill in a few blanks and signpost the odd 'gotcha' that can potentially leave the novice banging their head against their monitor. It assumes you already have a decent grasp of the drupal folder structure and a knowledge of LESS CSS preprocessor.

Drupal Bootstrap Theme

Download the latest version of the Bootstrap Drupal Theme.

Unzip the contents into the sites/all/themes/ folder of your drupal site.

Copy the folder 'bootstrap_subtheme' and place the copy in the root of your regular sites/all/themes/ folder (You should now have two separate theme folders 'Bootstrap' and 'bootstrap_subtheme' at the same level in your theme folder structure).

Before anything else, rename the 'subtheme' copy to reflect the project you are working on. (for the purposes of this tutorial we'll name ours 'mytheme')

Bootstrap Editable Source Files

Bootstrap Drupal Theme provides the core framework to use bootstrap within Drupal, but we still need to include the latest working distribution of the editable bootstrap source files themselves.

In the future this should be possible using drush, but for now there are two methods for including these files. Either via link to the CDN, which is convenient, but does not give us full editability of LESS files, or by downloading the files to our theme to be used locally. Further info:

We want to choose the second method...

  1. Download the latest distribution of bootstrap from: (Choose the second, 'SOURCE CODE' version.)
  2. Download to the root of your new sub_theme (mytheme).
  3. Unzip and rename the unzipped folder 'bootstrap'. (Yep this is where it can seem confusing, you will now have a new folder called 'bootstrap' inside your new bootstrap sub_theme)
  4. Inside your new subtheme edit the .info file. On the first line change 'name =' value to match your new theme name ('mytheme' in this instance).
  5. Now we need to tell the theme which method to use for including the Bootstrap distribution. Towards the bottom of the  .info file, uncomment all lines under the heading 'METHOD 1: Bootstrap Source Files'  (yes, all those JS files.)
LESS Preprocessor Method

Although you can run a (very restrictive) installation of Bootstrap using standard CSS, it's unlikely you'll want to pass up access to the wealth of in-built variables and mixins available in the core LESS files, so now we need to choose which method of LESS compilation we want to use.

If you wish to install and use a local LESS compiler, you can leave the .info file set to use /css/style.css and then set your preprocessor to compile all LESS files to this file.

*I recommend however using the Drupal LESS module, to let Drupal do the compiling for you in browser. For this method, change the 'Stylesheets' entry in .info to point directly to /less/style.less

For this method to work, you will need to download and install the drupal Less module here:

Secondly download the Preprocessor library (lessphp) from:

to > /sites/all/libraries/ unzip and rename the folder to 'lessphp'

Enable the LESS module (if you haven't already) and go to /admin/config/development/less in the Drupal admin menu.

Choose 'less.php' as your LESS engine and turn on 'Developer Mode'. (This will ensure LESS files are recompiled on each page load.) - *Make sure this is turned OFF before site goes live.

Turn On The Theme

If you haven't already, enable your sub_theme and make it the default theme.

Disable the main Bootstrap theme (it doesn't need to be enabled for the subtheme to work.)

Clear your drupal cache and you should be good to go.

JQuery Update

For boostrap to run properly, you will have to have JQuery installed and running at atleast version 1.7. Make sure you have the JQuery Update module installed and set to 1.7 or above. (I've run bootstrap on 1.10 without problems.) 

You can change the version on the JQuery Update config page, or specifically for the theme, you can switch the version on your bootstrap sub_theme's theme settings page. 

*If you have selected a version of JQuery 1.7 or above and you're still getting drupal errors complaining that Bootstrap requires this version, you can choose to 'Suppress jQuery version error message' under Advanced on the sub_theme settings page. 

Missing Variable Errors?

Sometimes the Drupal Bootstrap theme can fall out of sync with the latest Bootstrap version.

If after enabling the subtheme you get lots of red errors about missing variables, do the following:

Inside your subtheme:

Make a COPY of the latest variables.less from the distribution files (mytheme/bootstrap/less/variables.less) and use it to REPLACE the version in your theme's custom files (mytheme/less/variables.less)

This should stop bootstrap looking for out of date variables.

Page Templates

While you 'could' copy the page.tpl.php and html.tpl.php templates from the Drupal core and set about adding all the necessary bootstrap classes and regions to them, It makes much more sense to start off by making copies of the versions supplied inside the main Bootstrap parent theme, where most of the ground work has been done for you.

You can find templates at: bootstrap/theme/ (where 'bootstrap' is the main parent theme installed from the page and html templates are inside the 'system' sub folder.

Copy the templates you need, to you sub_theme's template folder. (Create one if there isn't one already.)

Bootstrap LESS Files

In your sub_theme, you will initially have the following LESS files:

  • bootstrap.less 
    Never edit this. It's only purpose is to import all of bootstrap's core less files - the integral part of the framework.
  • overrides.less
    You will sometimes want edit some values in this file. It mainly contains drupal specific resets and 'overrides'.
  • variables.less
    This is where you can change the values of default bootstrap variables to set site wide typography, form styles, grid styles, branding etc. VERY USEFUL
  • styles.less
    This is initially empty other than a few import declarations. This like a normal style.css or .less file, is where you will put the bulk of your project specific custom LESS code.
  • header.less, content.less, footer.less
    I don't personally tend to find any use for these region specific files. These can safely be deleted if you don't intend to use them. If you do delete them, also make sure to delete their import declarations from the top of 'style.less'.
Custom Variables

You could create a new LESS file for your own custom variables, but I find a lot of my custom variables can be additions to existing bootstrap variable structures (for instance there is already a @brand-primary color value in variables.less and I nearly always add a @brand-secondary color), so it makes sense to include them in the same file and flow. So I add my variables to the existing file, making one consolidated, semantic file.

Custom Mixins

Mixins are a little different. You can just include them in style.less. You can also include them in the bottom of the existing overrides.less file. (You can include them anywhere really, but as you will often want to use variables within your mixins, it's advisable to call them after all variables have been imported from bootstrap and your own custom files.) I think the neatest way is to create new custom LESS file and keep all the custom mixins separate. For instance, on my current project, i've created a ‘custom-mixins.less’ file and imported it into style.less straight AFTER the existing imports like so:

// Bootstrap library. @import 'bootstrap.less'; // Base-theme overrides. @import 'overrides.less'; // Theme specific. @import 'custom-mixins.less';

Wait!? Where was variables.less in those import declarations? 

Well, one thing to be careful of is that you don't want to import the same file into more than one other less file directly. This would in essence mean the entire file would be imported twice. So because variables.less has already been imported into overrides.less, it's content will be inherited through importing override.less into the above file.

Here's a diagram to try and better explain the bootstrap .less inheritance flow, mentioned above: 

In Conclusion

Hopefully these tips will be of use and help navigate the initially daunting landscape of getting Drupal and Bootstrap to play nice together.

This guide is based on the worflow I have personally found most logical and efficient, but if you have other methods or further tips to 'share with the class', feel free to leave a comment below.

My closing 'top tip' to developing with Bootstrap, Drupal or otherwise is to always have the Bootstrap site open in a tab, for easy reference of it's existng grid structure, variables, mixins, js plugins and info.

Martin White
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Acquia: Build Your Drupal 8 Team: The Forrester Digital Maturity Model

lun, 15/06/2015 - 16:46

In business, technology is a means to an end, and using it effectively to achieve that end requires planning and strategy.

The Capability Maturity Model, designed for assessing the formality of a software development process, was initially described back in 1989. The Forrester Digital Maturity Model is one of several models that update the CMM for modern software development in the age of e-commerce and mobile development, when digital capability isn't an add-on but rather is fundamental to business success. The model emphasizes communicating strategy while putting management and control processes into place.

Organizations that are further along within the maturity model are more likely to repeatedly achieve successful completion of their projects.

Let's take a look at the stages of this model, as the final post in our Build Your Drupal 8 Team series.

Here are the four stages:

Stage 1 is ad hoc development. When companies begin e-commerce development, there is no defined strategy, and the companies' products are not integrated with other systems. Most products are released in isolation and managed independently.

Stage 2 organizations follow a defined process model. The company is still reactive and managing projects individually, but the desired digital strategy has been identified.

Stage 3 is when the digital strategy and implementation is managed. An overall environment supportive for web and e-commerce development exists, and products are created within the context of that environment.

In Stage 4, the digital business needs are integrated. Products aren't defined in isolation, but rather are part of an overall strategic approach to online business. The company has a process for planning and developing the products and is focused on both deployment and ongoing support.

The final capability level, Stage 5, is when digital development is optimized. Cross-channel products are developed and do more than integrate: they are optimized for performance. The company is able to focus on optimizing the development team as well, with continuous improvement and agile development providing a competitive advantage.

Understanding where your company currently finds itself on the maturity scale can help you plan how you will integrate and adapt the new functionality of Drupal 8 into your development organization.

If you are an ad hoc development shop, adopting Drupal 8 and achieving its benefits may be very challenging for you. You may need to work with your team to move up at least one maturity level before you try to bring in the new technology.

In contrast, if your team is at stage 5, you can work on understanding how Drupal 8 will benefit not just your specific upcoming project, but also everything else that is going on within your organization.


  • A comprehensive SlideShare presentation on Digital Maturity Models.
  • A blog post by Forrester's Martin Gill that mentions the Digital Maturity Model in the context of digital acceleration.
Tags:  acquia drupal planet
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Annertech: Web Development on Fire? Smoke testing a Drupal Website

lun, 15/06/2015 - 12:57
Web Development on Fire? Smoke testing a Drupal Website

Documenting code 10 years ago was always something that I wanted to do, but, let's face it: clients didn't give a damn, so unless you did it for free, it rarely happened. And I felt very sorry for the developer that had to fix any bugs without documentation (yes, even my code contains bugs from time to time!).

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Drupal core announcements: Recording from June 12th 2015 Drupal 8 critical issues discussion

lun, 15/06/2015 - 11:56

It came up multiple times at recent events that it would be very helpful for people significantly working on Drupal 8 critical issues to get together more often to talk about the issues and unblock each other on things where discussion is needed. While these do not by any means replace the issue queue discussions (much like in-person meetings at events are not), they do help to unblock things much more quickly. We also don't believe that the number of or the concrete people working on critical issues should be limited, so we did not want to keep the discussions closed. After our second meeting last week, here is the recording of the third meeting from today in the hope that it helps more than just those who were on the meeting:

Unfortunately not all people invited made it this time. If you also have significant time to work on critical issues in Drupal 8 and we did not include you, let me know as soon as possible.

The issues mentioned were as follows:

Alex Pott
Rebuilding service container results in endless stampede:
Twig placeholder filter should not map to raw filter:

Francesco Placella[]=Open&priorities[]=400&version[]=8.x&component[]=entity+system&component[]=field+system&component[]=language+system&component[]=content_translation.module&component[]=language.module&component[]=views.module&issue_tags_op=%3D
FieldItemInterface methods are only invoked for SQL storage and are inconsistent with hooks:

Lee Rowlands
Make block context faster by removing onBlock event and replace it with loading from a BlockContextManager:

Francesco Placella
FieldItemInterface methods are only invoked for SQL storage and are inconsistent with hooks:

Alex Pott
Rewrite \Drupal\file\Controller\FileWidgetAjaxController::upload() to not rely on form cache

Gábor Hojtsy
Twig placeholder filter should not map to raw filter:

Daniel Wehner
drupal_html_id() considered harmful; remove ajax_html_ids to use GET (not POST) AJAX requests:

Francesco Placella
Node revisions cannot be reverted per translation:[]=Open&priorities[]=400&version[]=8.x&issue_tags_op=%3D&issue_tags=D8+upgrade+path

Daniel Wehner
SA-CORE-2014-002 forward port only checks internal cache:

Francesco Placella
Nat: it would be good to have your feedback on the proposed solution the translation revisions issue aside from its criticality (see and following)

Fabian Franz
[PP-2] Remove support for #ajax['url'] and $form_state->setCached() for GET requests:
Condition plugins should provide cache contexts AND cacheability metadata needs to be exposed:
Make block context faster by removing onBlock event and replace it with loading from a BlockContextManager:

Alex Pott
[meta] Identify necessary performance optimizations for common profiling scenarios:

Nathaniel Catchpole
Core profiling scenarios:
Node::isPublished() and Node:getOwnerId() are expensive:
And User:getAnonymousUser() takes 13ms due to ContentEntityBase::setDefaultLangcode() ( is similar.

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Jim Birch: Using CKFinder to organize image uploads by Content type in Drupal 7

lun, 15/06/2015 - 11:00

As you may have noticed, /sites/default/files can quickly become a pretty busy place in your Drupal installation.  When creating image or file fields, we can add folders in the Drupal UI to organize the uploads.  But when we allow users to upload using the CKEditor WYSIWYG Editor, we have to work a bit harder to organize those uploads.

I am currently working on a project where we want to organize the uploads by content type.  Certain users have access to certain content types.  We want to be able to keep the separation going with the files.  Our goal is to have the wysiwyg uploads in the same folder as the "featured image" field on each content type, which is in /sites/default/files/[content-type].

What I quickly learned, was that IMCE is great in so many ways, and part of our normal Drupal install, but there is no obvious way to do this.  You can use IMCE to organize in a variety of different ways, like php date based folders and user id folders.  You could even have a roles based system, by creating an IMCE profile per role.  But I couldn't figure out a way to organize by field, or Content Type.

CKFinder to the rescue.  CKFinder is a premium file manager plugin for CKEditor.  When integrated with the CKEditor Drupal Module, both can be customized right in the Drupal UI.

Read more

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PreviousNext: How to index panelizer node pages using Drupal Apache Solr module

lun, 15/06/2015 - 09:44

Apache Solr Search is a great module for integrating your Drupal site with the powerful Apache Solr search tool. Out of the box it can index nodes and their fields, but Panelizer pages won't be indexed. In this post I show how you can get around this by indexing the rendered HTML of a panelizer node page.

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Web Omelette: Drupal 8: custom data on configuration entities using the ThirdPartySettingsInterface

lun, 15/06/2015 - 09:00

In this article we are going to look at how to use the ThirdPartySettingsInterface to add some extra data to existing configuration entities. For example, if you ever need to store some config together with a node type or a taxonomy vocabulary, there is a great way to do so using this interface. Today we are going to see an example of this and add an extra field to the menu definition and store the value in this way.

There are a number of steps involved in this process. First, we need to alter the form with which the entity configuration data is added and saved. In the case of the menu entity there are two forms (one for adding and one for editing) so we need to alter them both. We can do something like this:

/** * Implements hook_form_alter(). */ function my_module_form_alter(&$form, \Drupal\Core\Form\FormStateInterface $form_state, $form_id) { if ($form_id === 'menu_add_form' || $form_id === 'menu_edit_form') { my_module_alter_menu_forms($form, $form_state, $form_id); } }

Inside this general hook_form_alter() implementation we delegate the logic to a custom function if the form is one of the two we need. Alternatively you can also implement hook_form_FORM_ID_alter() for both those forms and delegate from each. That would limit a bit on the function calls. But let's see our custom function:

/** * Handles the form alter for the menu_add_form and menu_edit_form forms. */ function my_module_alter_menu_forms(&$form, \Drupal\Core\Form\FormStateInterface $form_state, $form_id) { $menu = $form_state->getFormObject()->getEntity(); $form['my_text_field'] = array( '#type' => 'textfield', '#title' => t('My text field'), '#description' => t('This is some extra data'), '#default_value' => $menu->getThirdPartySetting('my_module', 'my_text_field'), '#weight' => 1 ); if (isset($form['links'])) { $form['links']['#weight'] = 2; } $form['#entity_builders'][] = 'my_module_form_menu_add_form_builder'; }

In here we do a couple of things. First, we retrieve the configuration entity object which the form is currently editing. Then, we define a new textfield and add it to the form. Next, we check if the form has menu links on it (meaning that it's probably the edit form) in which case we make its weight higher than one of our new field (just so that the form looks nicer). And last, we add a new #entity_builder to the form which will be triggered when the form is submitted.

The getThirdPartySetting() method on the entity object is provided by the ThirdPartySettingsInterface which all configuration entities have by default if they extend from the ConfigEntityBase class. With this method we simply retrieve a value that is stored as third party for a given module (my_module in this case). It will return NULL if none is set so we don't even need to provide a default in this case.

Let us now turn to our #entity_builder which gets called when the form is submitted and is responsible for mapping data to the entity:

/** * Entity builder for the menu configuration entity. */ function my_module_form_menu_add_form_builder($entity_type, \Drupal\system\Entity\Menu $menu, &$form, \Drupal\Core\Form\FormStateInterface $form_state) { if ($form_state->getValue('my_text_field')) { $menu->setThirdPartySetting('my_module', 'my_text_field', $form_state->getValue('my_text_field')); return; } $type->unsetThirdPartySetting('my_module', 'my_text_field'); }

Inside we check if our textfield was filled in and set it to the third party setting we can access from the config entity object that is passed as an argument. If the form value is empty we reset the third party setting to remove lingering data in case there is something there.

And that's pretty much it for the business logic. We can clear the cache and try this out by creating/editing a menu and storing new data with it. However, our job is not quite finished. We need to add our configuration schema so that it becomes translatable. Inside the /config/schema/my_module.schema.yml file of our module we need to add this:*.third_party.my_module: type: mapping label: 'My module textfield' mapping: my_text_field: type: text label: 'My textfield'

With this schema definition we are basically appending to the schema of the config entity by specifying some metadata about the third party settings our module provides. For more information on config schemas be sure to check out the docs on

Now if we reinstall our module and turn on configuration translation, we can translate the values users add to my_text_field. You go to admin/config/regional/config-translation/menu, select a menu and when translating in a different language you see a new Third Party Settings fieldset containing all the translatable values defined in the schema.

Hope this helps.

In Drupal 8 var switchTo5x = true;stLight.options({"publisher":"dr-8de6c3c4-3462-9715-caaf-ce2c161a50c"});
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Chen Hui Jing: Developing Drupal sites as a team

lun, 15/06/2015 - 02:00

A lot of people, myself included, start out with Drupal on their own, developing and building everything as a one-person operation. When we’re working by ourselves, there will be certain good practices that we neglect, either out of convenience (there’s no point doing X since I’m the only one touching this project), or out of ignorance (wow, I had no idea that was how Y was supposed to be used).

Working with a team of people to build a Drupal site (or any other development project) requires more structure and discipline to ensure the project doesn’t descend into a pile of spaghetti code. I’m going to try to summarise the processes that worked for my team thus far. I...

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Code Karate: How to A/B test your Drupal Site

dim, 14/06/2015 - 15:48
Episode Number: 208

Are you testing your site? Until recently, we weren’t and it was costing us. Every element on your website should have a meaning and if you aren’t testing it against something else how can you be sure that you are maximizing your results!

Tags: DrupalDrupal 7Site BuildingDrupal PlanetTips and TricksUI/DesignJavascript
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DrupalOnWindows: Database Transactions in Drupal

dim, 14/06/2015 - 07:00
Language English

This article is not what about transactions are, but the particularities of its implementation in Drupal.

Drupal database abstraction layer has the ability to handle transactions and nested transactions.

It uses the PDO transaction capabilities to start/commit/rollback the higher level transaction in the scope, and database specific functions such as SAVENPOINT to handle the nested transactions.

Transactions in Drupal are quite a mess to use:

More articles...
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