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Drupal CMS Guides at Daymuse Studios: Elegant Drupal 7 Administration: Mobile Theme, Menu, Modules

ven, 10/07/2015 - 01:29

Use this system of Drupal admin theme and modules to create a mobile-friendly, modern Drupal 7 administration user experience. Improve workflow, help users.

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Acquia: Front End Performance Strategy: Scripts

jeu, 09/07/2015 - 21:31

In the last installment of this series, we considered CSS optimization. This time we’re going to look at the impact of scripts.

Remember, as architects and developers, it’s up to us to inform stakeholders about the impacts of their choices, offer compromises where we can, and implement in smart and responsible ways.

So, picking up on our last post, most everything about the way Drupal handles CSS holds true for JavaScript, with a few notable exceptions.

CSS aggregation removes whitespace, but JavaScript aggregation done using Drupal core's aggregation system doesn't do that or any other form of minification or uglification. It simply concatenates our scripts.

Like CSS, JavaScript also has three groups:

  • Library - Libraries, via drupal_add_library
  • Default - Modules
  • Themes - Your theme

Drupal creates aggregates for each of these three groups in the head, but can also deploy to the footer when the scope is set to ‘footer.’

When and where to load your JS

Drupal_add_js features a great option in the options array called scope that allows us to load JavaScript in the footer. This helps decrease our visual page load times by moving render-blocking JavaScript out of the way to a place where it won't impede the loading of other assets (like images, styles, other scripts).

The options array also provides an option called type which defaults to ‘file.’ When using the default option of ‘file,’ it tells Drupal that this is a script hosted on our site, so it's eligible to be aggregated. Combined with the every_page flag set to ‘true,’ just like with our CSS, these scripts get aggregated with the scripts added using ‘.info’ files into the big site-wide aggregates. If the every_page option is left out, or it is set to ‘false,’ then these scripts are aggregated as one-offs outside of our main three site-wide JavaScript aggregate files, again, just like with our CSS.

The type option can also be used to create inline scripts, which can be handy in a couple of ways. It will print our JavaScript directly into our header or footer depending on scope, but it's also useful for dynamically loading external scripts so they become asynchronous. Going forward, the async_js module is probably the way to go. I personally haven't had the opportunity to try it out, but I look forward to the chance. If you've used it, let us know in the comments how it worked out for you.

The third 'type' is the one we use for loading external scripts, which we seem to do often these days. Using an asynchronous method, mentioned above, is important because of the additional round-trip time to get the script. However, a slightly less effective way to handle it without using the older method of an inline script, or an additional module, is simply scoping the script to the footer and setting the type option to external (which prevents it from being aggregated).

Unlike with CSS, I'm less inclined to add JavaScript on every page because I like to scope JavaScript to the footer whenever possible. Since it isn't blocking render down there, the additional HTTP request doesn't really bother me. Generally, if it's on most pages, or a page visited by most users, go ahead and add it to every page. If it isn't and it's scoped to the footer, then only add it when it is needed. If it has to be in the header, and on an obscure page that isn't frequently visited by users, you're probably going to need to do some A/B testing to compare the performance hit on the obscure page by not including it on all pages vs. the performance hit on all the other pages by including it on all pages. I like to err on the side of the majority, meaning, I tend to only include the JavaScript on the obscure pages.

JavaScript: Know when to say when

You can do almost anything with JavaScript, and leveraging a framework like jQuery makes it easier to want to do everything with JavaScript. However, in addition to blocking page render and increasing the size of the page that has to be processed by the browser, there are other performance considerations with JavaScript.

It runs locally, in the browser, which means it uses a visitor's memory and processor. Poorly written or heavy use of JavaScript can lead to a poor user experience in the form of everything from delayed and choppy animations to browsers becoming unresponsive and/or crashing. For simple animations, consider using CSS3 animations, benchmark them using a tool like Chrome's dev tools or Firebug, and go with the least expensive performance option (these usually end up being the smoothest animations as well).

These script performance problems are often magnified on mobile devices where the hardware resources are more scarce and we often resort to using more JavaScript to solve challenges presented by the smaller viewport. This should reinforce the importance of a mobile first strategy, not only for design but also for development. It also highlights the need for open communication between the product owners, the design team, and the development team.


Scripts, like styles, contribute front-end implementations that can seriously hamper Drupal’s back-end magic. By favoring stylesheet aggregation and reigning in exuberant preprocessing, we can save the browser a lot of work. Applying the same principles to JavaScript, while properly placing scripts in the header or footer-based on function, can also improve our page-load times.

Next time, in our final post of the series, we’ll take a grab-bag look at some subtle, more specialized techniques that just might shave off those last few milliseconds. Stay tuned for a post covering Content Delivery Networks (CDN), semantic HTML, and how to encourage improved client-side content selection.

Tags:  acquia drupal planet
Catégories: Elsewhere

Acquia: Quick Tips for Writing Object Oriented Code in PHP

jeu, 09/07/2015 - 21:15

Recently I began working on a D8 module, but this isn't a story about a D8 module. The work I did provided me an opportunity to get back to my pre-Drupal object oriented (OO) roots. Writing OO code in PHP presented some curve balls I wasn’t prepared for. Here are some of the issues I encountered:

PSR-4 Autoloading: How to set up your files to be loaded

First things first, how do you include OO code in your project? In D7 you had to add the files to a .info file for a module or do module_load_include. In D8 all you have to do is follow PSR-4 namespacing. If you follow the PSR-4 folder and namespace structure your classes will be auto-detected. No more need to add them to a .info file! If you are writing code for D8 then it’s done. Great. In D7 you can use the XAutoload module to get PSR-4 autoloading in D7 today!

Namespacing In PHP: Loading your files

Namespacing in PHP can be confusing and misleading. In Java or .NET, in a file you first import other namespaces you intend to use. In the example below we use the “using” keyword. Then you declare the namespace wrapper for the code that is being implemented.

using System;
using Microsoft.VisualBasic.Devices;
namespace SampleNamespace
    class SampleClass
PHP is VERY different. It’s actually the opposite. First you declare the namespace then inside the namespace you have your “includes.” In PHP including the use statements outside of the namespace would contaminate the global-scope.

namespace SampleNamespace
use GuzzleHttp;
use GuzzleHttp\Subscriber;

class SampleClass
Now this is where things get tricky. If there is a class called Client inside GuzzleHttp then you would expect that you could use it by writing the following.

namespace SampleNamespace
use GuzzleHttp;

class SampleClass {
function sampleFunction(){
          $myClient  = new Client();
And you would be wrong. The way that PHP interprets classes are RELATIVE to the current file’s namespace. So it actually sees “$myClient = new Client();” as “ $myClient = new SampleNamespace\Client();” which does not exist so the declaration fails. To work around this you can reference the actual class in the use statement. If you have multiple classes you must have an include for each one. It’s more verbose than what you might expect coming from .Net or Java e.g.:

namespace SampleNamespace
use GuzzleHttp\Client;
use GuzzleHttp\Subscriber\Mock;

class SampleClass {
function sampleFunction(){
          $myClient  = new Client();
   $mock = new Mock();
} Dynamic Typing: A variable can be anything!

PHP is a dynamically typed language. It provides great flexibility and velocity when coding, especially procedural code. However, this can be a nightmare when you are writing OO code. It means that you cannot make assumptions about the type being passed into an object. If you make assumptions and those assumptions are invalid your code can behave unpredictably. What are you to do?


You might be surprised to know that PHP allows you to apply and enforce function param types. PHP 5 introduced the concept of type hinting. With type hinting you can set type on objects. e.g
function sampleFunction(MySampleClass $a){

If a type hint is violated, an InvalidArgumentException is thrown. There is a catch to type-hinting in PHP, it doesn’t work for scalar types e.g (string, int, bool). There is also no type hinting on return types. You’ll have to wait for PHP 7 for both. In order to work around the scalar limitation in PHP5 you’ll need to write your own functions.

Setting up your code for an IDE

One of the advantages to writing Object Oriented code is that it works really nicely with an IDE like PHPStorm. If you have written type hinted code PHPStorm will pick up on it and help you with auto completion as you work. For the things that aren’t explicitly hinted you can use PHPDoc comments. e.g

* Gets a specific setting by its name/ID.
* @param string $id
*   The name/ID of the setting to retrieve.
* @return ZoneSettingBase
*   The setting object given the ID passed in.
public function getSettingById($id) {
return $this->settings[$id];
PHPDoc comments are actually mandatory as part of drupal-coding standards. Their omission causes coder’s code sniffer to fail.

You can also type-hint variables:

/* @var GuzzleHttp\Client $client/*
private $client;
While these hints are comments and not syntax they make the developer experience a lot more pleasant. No Enums :(

PHP still doesn’t have a formal enumeration type so you will have to get creative and roll your own.

I often create CONST arrays and throw an exception if a function param is not in that array. It’s a poor-man’s enum. There is currently a proposal to add enums to PHP7. We’ll see if it makes the cut!

Associative Arrays

Associative arrays reflect the dynamic typed heritage of PHP. They are incredibly flexible and a quick and easy way to move data from one point of your app to another that being said the lack of structure requires a developer to know everything about the underlying implementation of the array. Also without a debugger they have no way to determine what is actually in an array. The dynamic nature of these arrays makes them undocumentable. That makes coding with someone else’s array hard. The idea of OO is that you have structured data and layers of abstraction so that a dev doesn’t need to know the low-level implementation details. When going OO you should try to convert arrays into structured, documentable classes that hide the underlying implementation. If you need to accept an array as input parse it and break it out into objects as soon as possible. Developers will praise you for it!

No Function Overloading

PHP does not natively support function overloading. Since PHP is dynamic it’s possible to come up with some Frankenstein solutions to get around this. However, Frankenstein code often confuses other developers interacting with your code and is to be avoided. For better or worse you need to accept this constraint.

Dusting off the design cobwebs. How to assign responsibility to classes.

The lack of overloading can actually be beneficial especially in the context of class constructors. Like normal functions you cannot have multiple constructors in PHP (You can technically write a static class method to work around this constraint). This sounds like a pain. However, it forces you to articulate the single responsibility of a class. Often overloaded class constructors can be a sign that a class is taking on too many responsibilities. For example if you have a constructor that take params and another for parsing an array you might ask why should my class know about another representation. Maybe it's a break in tiered architecture and violating a separation of responsibilities. In this case something that might be perceived as a limitation is actually supportive and liberating.

Go Forth and Write OO Code

As we transition into D8 writing solid PHP OO code is more important than ever. D8 is built around OO classes. Even in Drupal 7 we can start to strive towards an OO world. Obviously in Drupal 7 most problems don’t lend themselves to an OO approach. However, even having that option gives you new tools to solve problems in Drupal! The resulting code has a clarity and aesthetic that most procedural code just can’t match.

Finding those opportunities to apply an OO solution keeps you sharp and ready to hit the ground running on Drupal 8.

Tags:  acquia drupal planet
Catégories: Elsewhere

Cruiskeen Consulting: Drupal 8 and hosting requirements

jeu, 09/07/2015 - 19:05

I'm writing a little bit today about some of the concerns that folks are having about Drupal 8, the new hosting requirements it imposes, and particularly the concerns that smaller organizations will not be able to find Drupal 8 compatible hosting plans. There is a lot going on with us and with other hosting companies at the moment to support Drupal 8 and other PHP software that has more modern requirements. We don't think this will be an issue with most reliable hosting companies by the time Drupal 8 ships.

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Acquia: Sustainable contribution 2/2 - Giving back is the same as making money.

jeu, 09/07/2015 - 18:35
Language Undefined

Part 2 of 2 - I spoke with John Faber, Managing Partner with Chapter Three, on March 17th, 2015.

In part 1 to talk about the business advantages of contribution and sustainability when basing your business on open source software. We also touch on Drupal 8's potential power as a toolset and for attracting new developers, doing business in an open source context, and more!

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Drupal Bits at Web-Dev: Drush sql-query output

jeu, 09/07/2015 - 16:47

Despite several tries, I have never had any luck using the native sql output formatting commands to work with drush

Catégories: Elsewhere

Drupalize.Me: Learning Drupal 8 from Boilerplate Code

jeu, 09/07/2015 - 15:02
Drupal 8 represents a lot of changes and a steep learning curve for many Drupal developers and themers. While many of these changes are exciting, there are many things to learn just to get started. One way to learn about the code involved with Drupal 8 modules and themes is to take a look at core's modules and themes for examples to follow. Another, is to use a code scaffolding tool like Drupal Console to generate boilerplate code and comments that you learn from and then customize.
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Drupal core announcements: Drupal 8's minimum PHP version increased to 5.5.9

jeu, 09/07/2015 - 06:17

Pursuant to the discussion at [policy] Require PHP 5.5, the minimum PHP version of Drupal 8 has been raised to 5.5.9, and this change will be included in the next Drupal 8 beta (8.0.0-beta13).

(PHP 5.5.9 was chosen because it is also the same minimum version as Ubuntu's LTS, which in turn influenced Symfony 3.0, Travis CI, etc.)

This is a future-proofing move which buys us a few things:

  • Some nice language features and a built-in opcode cache.
  • Compatibility with the latest versions of various external dependencies, including Guzzle 6 and the upcoming Symfony 3.0
  • Better security for our end users, since PHP 5.4 will become end of life September 15, 2015 (most likely prior to Drupal 8's release).

We looked extensively into the adoption and hosting support of PHP 5.5 prior to making this move. While there is not widespread adoption of PHP 5.5 as of today, we nevertheless found that most hosts offer the option for PHP 5.5, due to PHP's security policy.

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Mediacurrent: Mediacurrent Dropcast: Episode 7

jeu, 09/07/2015 - 04:39

In this episode we celebrate the founding of our country by talking up a few modules we have discovered and enjoy. Ryan talks about the Image Field Focus module and how it makes cropping a joy without the gamble of a cropping image style. Bob waxes poetic about the WYSIWYG Field module, which is very similar to his WysiField module. As always we keep you up to date about Drupal 8 and Ryan brings it home with The Final Bell. This was recorded on the day before all went out for the holiday weekend so there are times where we derail the train. At least this time we have an excuse.

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Drupal core announcements: API module seeking co-maintainer

jeu, 09/07/2015 - 00:24

For the past 8+ years, Neil Drumm (drumm) has been maintaining the API module, and I've been co-maintaining it for the past 3+ years. (This is the module that builds and displays the Drupal API reference site Both of us have "some" other responsibilities in the Drupal ecosystem, and we'd like to find a new co-maintainer.

The ideal person would be:
- A good PHP coder familiar with and willing to follow the Drupal project's coding standards
- Familiar with the site and its features
- Familiar with the API docs standards
- Familiar with both Drupal 7 and Drupal 8 core code (or at least familiar with the kinds of code it contains and the Drupalisms that it has), since both are displayed on the site
Of course, all of these "ideals" are negotiable and/or learnable, and it could be that a few co-maintainers would be better than just one.

The next step would be for the person or people who are interested to start making patches for a few issues, and once a few of those have happened, we would consider making you an official co-maintainer. The project page has a link to documentation for how to get a local API site set up, and the module also has a robust set of tests. The code in the API module is somewhat obtuse, but I'd be happy to start anyone out with a quick tour (or help you find an issue to work on). The module runs on Drupal 7 only at this time, and this is unlikely to need to change anytime soon (it displays Drupal 8 code but runs on Drupal 7, like the other * sites).

So if you're interested, you can either jump in and find an API module issue to work on and make a patch, or use my contact form or IRC to contact me and discuss.

Sorry... by policy, comments on this post are disabled, since it is going into the Core group (as well as Documentation).

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DrupalCon News: Save 100€ on Barcelona Tickets: Buy by Friday

mer, 08/07/2015 - 20:32

Are you planning on attending DrupalCon Barcelona? If you are, we hope you’ll get your tickets this week and save 100€ in the process.

Every DrupalCon has varied ticket pricing levels, and DrupalCon Barcelona is no different. We’re offering earlybird pricing so that frugal DrupalCon attendees can get their tickets for less, but that pricing expires on Friday at 23:59 Barcelona local time (UTC +2).

For those looking at purchasing tickets, be aware that prices are as follows as we lead up to the convention:

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Drupal Watchdog: Caffeinated Drupal

mer, 08/07/2015 - 16:34

One of the signs that you’re in a good coffee shop is if they serve their milk-based espresso drinks with an artful rosetta (floral pattern) on top. This is referred to as Latte art. At first glance, it may appear to be an offhand flourish by the barista – similar to a bartender flipping a bottle in the air before pouring a drink – but it is actually much more than that.

Latte art is a representation of the care and expertise that went into creating your drink: a good quality coffee bean; the ideal grind in order to pull an espresso with the right amount of crema (the oily brownish foam that sits on top of a good shot of espresso); milk that has been steamed just right to have a micro-foam consistency (uniform small bubbles throughout); and, of course, the perfect pour to blend the milk and espresso just right until a flower, heart, or other artful creation emerges on top.

While we sit back and enjoy today’s coffee – a Brazil Yellow Bourbon Latte (amazing bitter cocoa flavors, is this a latte or a hot chocolate?!?) – let’s consider how an optimally performing Drupal site compares to the creation of latte art.

There are many factors that contribute to a high performance Drupal site. For starters, we can look at factors such as code quality, the use of caches where possible, database configuration, and front-end caching. For a Drupal site to perform at its best, all of these components must be done well. Even a small misconfiguration or a bit of buggy code can be enough to slow a site to a crawl, especially when serving a large amount of traffic. The same can be said for latte art: if the coffee beans aren’t fresh enough to produce crema, or the milk isn’t foamed properly, or the pour of the milk isn’t done with the correct technique, the result will be an ordinary-looking – and possibly poor-tasting – drink.

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Mpumelelo Msimanga: Drupal: Filters for External Data Views

mer, 08/07/2015 - 16:18
Drupal: Filters for External Data Views

A Drupal View that uses Views Database Connector (VDC) to show external database tables will not have all features of a “normal” View. For example, select filters are only available for list fields, references and taxonomy terms. In this post I use two modules to improve the exposed filters in my external data View.

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Realityloop: Custom Formatters 7.x-2.4

mer, 08/07/2015 - 07:51
8 Jul Stuart Clark

Full disclaimer, I am saying this as the developer of the module, but it is definitely the module that I am the most proud of.

That’s Custom Formatters with a capital CF; custom formatters (with lower case characters) are a core part of Drupal, they are the layer that takes Field data from the database and presents it to the frontend of your website in a more visually appealing style.

The Custom Formatters module quite simply adds the ability for site builders and developers to create or tweak their own custom formatters from within the website, never needing to touch the site file system.

And now, with Custom Formatters 7.x-2.4, it’s even better.


What’s new in Custom Formatters 7.x-2.4?
  1. New Formatter format/engine; Formatter presets
    This is the big one, the catalyst for the new release; Formatter presets give you the ability to take complex Formatters with settings and turn them into new simplified, end-user approved formatters.

    More on this below.
  2. Support for Display Suite fields
    I’ve been a big fan of Display Suite (DS) since I first came across it years ago. Custom Formatters did have support for DS in the Drupal 6 version, but I had made the decision to not support it in Drupal 7 due to DS’s own Code fields. Due to popular demand (my self included), that decision has been reversed.
  3. Fixes to the HTML + Token format
    HTML + Tokens was always supposed to be the format that made this module site builder friendly, but to various issues with native Field tokens in Drupal 7 it has never worked overly well. I’m happy to say that this is no longer the case, and HTML + Tokens formatters work extremely well.

    More on this below.
  4. Miscellaneous bug fixes.


How to use Custom Formatters?

Using custom formatters is relatively straight forward, anyone who has used any CTools Export UI based module (Views, Context, etc) should be familiar with the user interface:

By default it comes with some example formatters, and you can import others from your own collection or from, but chances are you are most likely going to want to create your own Custom Formatters.

To do so, simply click the + Add button and you will be presented with the following interface:

You will need to provide the following information:

  1. Formatter name
    The human readable name of the formatter, what the site-builder, or possibly end user will see when choosing a formatter.

    Entering this value will auto-generate the Machine name, which can also be manually edited.
  2. Description
    Only used within the Custom Formatters interface, useful to explain what the purposes of the formatter are, where it’s to be used and what modules it requires.
  3. Format
    The format/engine of the formatter you are about to create. Out of the box there are three formats, but additional modules are able to provide additional formats. The format determines the method of how the Formatter is created, and as such I will go into more detail for each individual format below.
  4. Field type(s)
    Depending on the chosen format, you need to assign the formatter to one or many field types types (image, file, textfield, etc).
  5. Formatter
    The formatter interface itself is dependent on the chosen format, more details on each format below.

Once you have created your formatter, you can preview the formatter within the Preview interface. This allows you to apply the formatter to an existing field on an existing entity, or if the Devel generate module (provided by the Devel module) is present you can apply the formatter against a devel generated item.

Lastly, ensure you save your formatter, as you don’t want all your hard work to go down the drain. Alternatively, Save & Edit frequently during the creation of the formatter.


Format types

Out of the box there are three formats available with Custom Formatters, but the module is written in such a way that any 3rd part module could add an additional format.



The PHP format was the original format engine for the Custom Formatters module, it mimics as closely to writing a formatter within a Drupal custom module as feasible, and as such is only recommended for use by those with knowledge of PHP and the Drupal API.

The PHP format is provided with all required data for writing a formatter in the $variable array, as well as an individual variable per array key ($variable['#items'] is the same as $items):

  1. $obj_type: The entity type (node, taxonomy_term, etc)

  2. $object: The entity object.

  3. $field: The field definition.

  4. $instance; The field instance.

  5. $langcode; The language code.

  6. $items; An array of all field item data for formatting.

  7. $display; The formatter display settings and formatter settings.

With this data you are free to do with what you will. However, in general a standard pattern is to iterate over the $items array and populate an $elements array which is finally returned to Drupal:

  1. $elements = array();
  3. foreach ($items as $delta => $item) {
  4. $elements[$delta] = array(
  5. '#markup' => $item['value'],
  6. );
  7. }
  9. return $elements;

This pattern allows support for multiple items, as well as taking advantage of Drupal's Render Arrays system.


HTML + Tokens

The HTML + Tokens format allows you to create simple and easy Custom Formatters with no more than HTML and Tokens, as the name implies. While this has been available for a long time in Custom Formatters, in the latest release it has been vastly improved upon, primarily with improved support for the Entity tokens module (provided by the Entity API module).

Any entity type token can be used, as well as chained tokens specific to the field in use, but it is important to take into account where the formatter will be used when choosing the formatters. For instance, if you were to use a Taxonomy term token on an Image field formatter that is going to be displayed on a Node entity, the Taxonomy term token will not work.

The markup in your formatter is rendered per field item, so if you are using a multi-value field, each value will run through your formatter. This is where the improvements to the Entity tokens module support is important, as you can target the field values directly.

If you are formatting an Image field, you can target the URL using the Entity tokens chained token [file:url], which is unique to each item value.

In addition to the improvements with the Entity tokens module integration, I also released a new module, Field tokens, which adds two different type of tokens which are extremely useful with HTML + Tokens formatters:

  1. Formatted field tokens
    Tokens that allow you to pass the field through an existing Formatter with provided formatter settings.

    Example: [formatted_field-image:image:image_style-thumbnail] would pass the current image field value through the Drupal core Image formatter via the thumbnail image style.
  2. Field property tokens
    Tokens that provide you with the specific property of a field value.
    Example: [field_property:alt] would return the Alt value for the current image field value.


Formatter preset

A new addition to the Custom Formatters module, and while maybe not the most obvious, it is a great addition that was a direct response to the Wysiwyg Fields module.

The Formatter preset format allows you to replace formatters with complex formatter settings forms with simple preconfigured formatters with more user friendly names. Especially useful when the formatter choice is exposed to a non-technical user.

Below you can see an example of the Youtube field and formatter in use in Wysiwyg Fields with it’s abundance of formatter settings (on the left) and a Formatter preset of the same formatter preconfigured as desired (on the right).

It’s obvious a lot simpler, so simple in fact that there’s no evidence that a formatter or formatter settings are present, it will just work.

Creating a Formatter preset is quite different to the other Custom Formatter formats. There is no textarea field, instead you are presented with an interface similar to screenshot below:

Things to note are:

  1. Formatter
    The existing formatter which you are using as a source for this Formatter preset.

  2. Formatter settings
    Everything below the Formatter field are specific to the chosen Formatter, they are that Formatter’s settings.

Extremely simple, but a huge improvement to the user experience.



While not an out of the box Format for the Custom Formatters module, I think it’s important to mention this for two reasons:

  1. Drupal 8 is coming, and it’s bringing the Twig templating system with it.
  2. This is a great example of how other modules can create new Custom Formatters format types.

The Twig format requires the Twig filter module, which doesn’t yet have a stable release, but is still well worth a look.

The interface is much like the PHP and HTML + Tokens formats, with the difference of using the Twig templating language, which is said to be simpler for frontend developers.


Using a formatter

Once you’ve created your formatter, that formatter can be used in many different ways, as the the Formatter system is just the theme layer to Drupal’s field system, so in general a Formatter should be able to be used anywhere a Drupal field is used.

Examples of ways to use a Formatter include, but are not limited to:

  1. Drupal’s core Manage display interface

  2. Views using the Field style

  3. Wysiwyg Fields

  4. Formatted field tokens with the Field tokens and Token filter modules is a companion website for the CustomFormatters module.

It contains various Formatters which can be used as they are, or as examples of how to write your own formatters.

There are also plans to provide the ability for uses to share their own formatters with others.

The website is completely open source, and anyone wishing to steal the site or contribute to the site can do so at


Download Custom Formatters now

Head on over to the Custom Formatters project page and download Custom Formatters 7.x-2.3 now.

drupal planetdrupal 7custom formatters
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OpenConcept: The Drupal North Code Sprint

mar, 07/07/2015 - 23:40

The inaugral Drupal North Regional Summit was a blast!

The official Drupal North sprint was held on Sunday, June 28th, starting around 10am and ending at 4pm, in Ryerson University's Rogers Communication Centre Transmedia Zone. 21 attendees showed up from all over Canada, the United States, and even Costa Rica:

After everyone introduced themselves, Cottser and I gave an introduction to writing patches, and how issues move through the issue queue from "Active" to "Closed" (video to follow).

Then, we paired up to get Drupal 8, Drush, and Drupal Console working on our computers, and work on issues we were interested in. We worked on 9 issues:

At time-of-writing, 2 of these issues are fixed, and 5 more need review.

Also, congratulations to Jeremy Knab for his first commit mention in Drupal core (from #2501701)!

Overall, we had a great time and learned a lot! Thanks to everyone who came out, and to the DrupalNorth organizers for organizing everything!


AttachmentSize DrupalNorth 2015 sprinters sitting around a table, introducing themselves.167.46 KB DrupalNorth 2015 sprinters sitting around a table, listening to Cottser.189.44 KB DrupalNorth 2015 sprinters gathering around and setting up a television, about to set up Drupal Console.164.66 KB cyborg_572 and crasx setting up.177.64 KB Cottser demonstrating how to turn on the automated testing module in Drupal 8 to enzo, bohemier, adamwhite, and HelloNewman.142.43 KB bohemier and adamwhite working together on an issue and laughing.143.63 KB HelloNewman eating a Timbit while nafes & Cottser concentrate on their work. In the foreground is an iconic Tim Hortons coffee.93.58 KB Topic: Primary Image: 
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Darryl Norris's Blog: How To Request A Node via REST Using Web Services in Drupal 8

mar, 07/07/2015 - 22:05

Drupal 8 is going to be a central place to store data and can easily connect with different third-party applications. Dries Buytaert has talked about this idea multiple times in DrupalCon Austin and DrupalCon Bogota, where Drupal 8 is going to be an API to connect to other places. For this reason, Drupal 8 is now integrated with web services in core. In other words, this is an easy way to export data into Hal-JSON, JSON, and XML. I decided to start playing with web services in Drupal 8 to see how I can export my data in JSON format and connected with third party app. I found many tutorials that talks about Drupal how to export JSON data using the Views module, which for many use cases can be very good. I started to think, “What...Read more
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Acquia: How to Evaluate Drupal Modules for Performance Optimization

mar, 07/07/2015 - 19:58

Drupal was designed from the ground-up to be modular. Once you install Drupal core, you can add any number of modules to enhance Drupal's basic functions.

Unfortunately, contributed modules can also impede performance. For example, it's common to find contributed third-party modules that are incompatible with newer versions of Drupal, or other modules. Besides being a security hassle, this can often curb performance.

Evaluating Drupal modules for such issues is thus essential for a smooth Drupal experience. As part of this ongoing blog series on ways to improve Drupal website performance, let’s review how you can evaluate modules.

General module evaluation

The first step in module evaluation is to consider general usage reports, statistics, and maintainer reputation. One by one, go through the following:

  • Does the module officially support your version of Drupal?
  • Good maintainers write good code. If you see the same maintainer's name crop up on a number of well-regarded modules, you know you will at least get quality code.
  • A high maintainer activity level (i.e. commits to a module) indicates a proactive maintainer who takes care of issues quickly.
  • Higher total module usage generally means it's a well-regarded module with fewer performance issues.
  • A large number of stagnant, open issues can point to poor code quality and maintenance.
  • Sudden changes in usage patterns over a short period of time can be indicative of performance issues. For example, if people suddenly stop using a popular module, it could mean that users encountered performance or security problems.

Once you've gone through these steps, you can undertake a performance evaluation.

Module performance evaluation

Now you need to analyze the module performance on your own site.

  • Record site performance before installing any modules. This should include page load time, server load, and user scenario completion time.
  • Record site performance immediately after installing the module.
  • Monitor memory usage continuously to correlate the performance before and after module installation.
  • Perform the same steps for every module individually over time.

These actions will give you quantifiable results on each module's performance as it relates to your site. You might find that highly rated, widely used modules sometimes don't play well with your version of Drupal, while less used modules work perfectly well.

Final questions

Besides evaluating performance, you also need to ask a few questions before using a module.

  • Does the module scale? A module that works perfectly well for a small enterprise website might break when used on a large community-powered platform. Scale is difficult to measure but it is one of the biggest performance bottlenecks in any website.
  • Is performance a top priority? While performance is important, it is by no means necessary for certain types of websites. For example, a small corporate website visited mostly by internal team members may not need top-notch performance.
  • What happens if the module fails? This is an important question. If your module stops working, does it break the site completely, or can the users at least access parts of the site? For example, if the module that controls the login system fails, your users won't be able to use their accounts at all.
  • Do I really need the module? Far too many websites use more modules than necessary. This leads to "module bloat." Ask yourself: “Do I really need this module? Is there a simple manual workaround to enable this function?” If "yes," try to avoid using a module. Keep in mind that the fewer modules you use, the smaller chance of failure.

Modules are crucial for running a Drupal website, but they are also one of the leading causes of website performance issues. Evaluating and understanding modules is essential for running a fast and secure Drupal website.

Tags:  acquia drupal planet
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Drupal core announcements: Drupal 8 core updates for July 7th, 2015

mar, 07/07/2015 - 19:40

Since the last Drupal 8 Core Update, DrupalCon Los Angeles took place, the proposed organizational structure for the Drupal project was approved and MAINTAINERS.txt was updated to reflect this (although it still needs to be updated in the Drupal 7 branch), and the Drupal Association announced updates to their 2015 financial plan.

What's new with Drupal 8?

Drupal 8.0.0-beta11 and 8.0.0-beta12 were released, a new category for issues, plan, was added to categorize meta issues, the Drupal 8 Security bug bounty program was launched, Angie "webchick" Byron analyzed Drupal major version adoption and walked us through the new DrupalCI testing infrastructure, hook_update_N() became required for core patches that introduce data model changes, the number of outstanding criticals was reduced to a new all-time low of 15, and for a while, every single critical was RTBC or being addressed!

Some other highlights of the month were:

How can I help get Drupal 8 finished?

See Help get Drupal 8 released! for updated information on the current state of the software and more information on how you can help.

We're also looking for more contributors to help compile these posts. Contact mparker17 if you'd like to help!

Drupal 8 In Real Life Whew! That's a wrap!

Do you follow Drupal Planet with devotion, or keep a close eye on the Drupal event calendar, or git pull origin 8.0.x every morning without fail before your coffee? We're looking for more contributors to help compile these posts. You could either take a few hours once every six weeks or so to put together a whole post, or help with one section more regularly. If you'd like to volunteer for helping to draft these posts, please follow the steps here!

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Gábor Hojtsy: Win prizes by playing with Drupal 8's multilingual site building features!

mar, 07/07/2015 - 15:03

Drupal 8 packs a historic amount of site building features which make producing websites easier than ever with core or just a couple contributed modules only. There are already various live Drupal 8 multilingual sites using little more but core.

It is hard to grasp the many things with useful levers and knobs in Drupal 8. Think about combining views with entity view modes and blocks; block language visibility with menus; user preferences with comment submission; language filtering and entity rendering; translatable fields with administration views; and so on and on.

Wouldn't it be fun to experiment with the possibilities and come up with clever ways to combine core features to solve common problems? You may be familiar with the name and format of O'Reilly's Hacks Series which reclaims the term "hacking" for the good guysfolks — innovators who explore and experiment, unearth shortcuts, create useful tools, and come up with fun things to try on their own.

Long story short, hereby, we announce the Drupal 8 multilingual site building hacks contest!

  1. Come up with clever ways to combine Drupal 8 core features (and if needed one or at most two contributed modules) to fulfill a multilingual site building need.
  2. Write up the steps taken. See an example in hack #1. (We'll do light editing of the post if needed, don't let perfection be the enemy of good).
  3. Register on to submit entries (requires approval for spam protection).
  4. Submit entries by end of day (CEST) July 31st.
  5. One person may submit as many entries as they wish.
  6. All entries will be published after review (and possible light editing).
What is in it for you?

The top 3 best hacks will receive unique presents from Hook42 and Amazee Labs! (Further sponsors welcome). You'll either receive the presents at DrupalCon Barcelona or we'll mail it to you if you are not coming to DrupalCon. This is of course additionally to the joy of getting to play with some of the less frequented but definitely no less fun features of Drupal 8.

What is in it for us?

All hacks will be published under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0, so the community will benefit. Additionally to that Gábor Hojtsy and Vijayachandran Mani are building an open source presentation with the best tips (same license). This will be presented at Drupalaton Hungary and DrupalCon Barcelona. Similar to our existing open source workshop, everyone will be able to present this at local meetups and camps or follow along at home at their own pace.

What kind of hacks are we looking for?

Hack #1 is hopefully a good example. Really the only common thread between the hacks would be to satisfy a multilingual site need or use multilingual features in some other clever way (even for features that are not necessarily multilingual). Some ideas for hacks that may help you start off experimenting:

  1. Swap textual site logo Need to swap a site logo with text on it for different languages? Use a translatable custom block with an image field. Configure the display mode and add some custom CSS if needed.
  2. Translator todo helper Create a views block for content translators to summarize the number of outdated translations they have to update (and link to content administration filtered to that language)
  3. Language dependent front page Use block visibility to display up to date content on a well maintained language while an About us / Contact us page on languages where resources are limited to maintain useful fresh content.

Of course these are just some things we made up (although still eligible for the contest). Looking for your creative ideas and solutions!

Questions, concerns? Contact us!

This is a crosspost from

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