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To bean or not to bean?

Dries Buytaert - 19 August 2014 - 3:15pm
Topic: Personal

Last weekend our Nespresso machine died in front of my eyes. Water started leaking from its base during use and it shorted the electricity. It was a painful death. I'm tempted to take it apart and try to repair it but it also brings up the question; what to buy next?

Part of me enjoys the convenience of the Nespresso machine, the other part of me is eager to buy my first "serious" espresso machine.

See, I'm a coffee lover. That is to say, like most of the people living in the US I have a coffee addiction, and have been brainwashed into spending more and more on my daily coffee intake. To make matters worse, we live in a society where we call the people who make great coffee "artists". I'd love to practice some coffee artistry myself and make that perfect barista-grade cup of coffee.

I did a little bit of research and picking an espresso machine is not easy. It turns out this is a complex space. The choices range from super-automatic machines (e.g. they do everything from grinding, dosing, tamping to brewing) to semi-automatic machines (e.g. you manually grind your own beans and tamp them) to manual machines (e.g. you control how long the brewing water sits over the bed of coffee, resting as it were at neutral or boiler pressure). There are even "coffee schools" that offer classes and certifications to become a professional barista.

While I love the smell of fresh ground coffee and an above perfection espresso, I also don't want to take 15 minutes to make a cup of coffee. I usually need my first cup of coffee to help me wake up and I'm often crunched for time, so I don't want it to be super complicated.

Espresso or Nespresso? To bean or not to bean? Help!

Categories: Drupal

Phase2: Profiling Drupal Performance with PHPStorm and Xdebug

Planet Drupal - 19 August 2014 - 1:34pm

Profiling is about measuring the performance of PHP code, at least when we are talking about Drupal and Xdebug. You might need to profile your site or app if you work at a firm where performance is highly scrutinized, or if you are having problems getting a migration to complete. Whatever the reason, if you have been tasked with analyzing the performance of your Drupal codebase, profiling is one great way of doing so. Note that Xdebug’s profiler does not track memory usage. If you want to know more about memory performance tracking you should check out Xdebug’s execution trace features.

Alright then lets get started! 

Whoa there cowboy! First you need to know that the act of profiling your code is itself taking resources to accomplish. The more work your code does, the more information that the profiler stores; file sizes for these logs can get very big very quickly. You have been warned. To get going with profiling Drupal in PHPStorm and Xdebug you need:

To setup your environment, edit your php.ini file and add the following lines:

xdebug.profiler_output_dir=/tmp/profiler/ xdebug.profiler_enable=on xdebug.profiler_trigger=on xdebug.profiler_append=on

Depending on what you are testing and how, you may want to adjust the settings for your site. For instance, if you are using Drush to run a migration, you can’t start the profiler on-demand, and that affects the profiler_trigger setting. For my dev site I used the php.ini config you see above and simply added a URL parameter “XDEBUG_PROFILE=on” to my site’s url; this starts Xdebug profiling from the browser.

To give you an idea of what is possible, lets profile the work required to view a simple Drupal node. To profile the node view I visited http://profiler.loc/node/48581?XDEBUG_PROFILE=on in my browser. I didn’t see any flashing lights or hear bells and whistles, but I should have a binary file that PHPStorm can inspect, located in the path I setup in my php.ini profiler_output_dir directive.

Finally lets look at all of our hard work! In PHPStorm navigate to Tools->Analyze Xdebug Profile Snapshot. Browse to your profiler output directory and you should see at least one cachgrind.out.%p file (%p refers to the process id the script used). Open the file with the largest process id appended to the end of the filename.

We are then greeted with a new tab showing the results of the profiler.

The output shows us the functions called, how many times they were called, and the amount of execution time each function took. Additionally, you can see the hierarchy of all function calls and follow potential bottlenecks down to their roots.

There you have it! Go wild and profile all the things! Just kidding, don’t do that.

Categories: Drupal

Phase2: Profiling Drupal Performance with PHPStorm and Xdebug

Planet Drupal - 19 August 2014 - 1:00pm

Profiling is about measuring the performance of PHP code, at least when we are talking about Drupal and Xdebug. You might need to profile your site or app if you work at a firm where performance is highly scrutinized, or if you are having problems getting a migration to complete. Whatever the reason, if you have been tasked with analyzing the performance of your Drupal codebase, profiling is one great way of doing so. Note that Xdebug’s profiler does not track memory usage. If you want to know more about memory performance tracking you should check out Xdebug’s execution trace features.

Alright then lets get started! 

Whoa there cowboy! First you need to know that the act of profiling your code is itself taking resources to accomplish. The more work your code does, the more information that the profiler stores; file sizes for these logs can get very big very quickly. You have been warned. To get going with profiling Drupal in PHPStorm and Xdebug you need:

  • PHPStorm
  • PHP with the Xdebug extension
  • A website running on Drupal.

To setup your environment, edit your php.ini file and add the following lines:

xdebug.profiler_output_dir=/tmp/profiler/ xdebug.profiler_enable=on xdebug.profiler_trigger=on xdebug.profiler_append=on

Depending on what you are testing and how, you may want to adjust the settings for your site. For instance, if you are using Drush to run a migration, you can’t start the profiler on-demand, and that affects the profiler_trigger setting. For my dev site I used the php.ini config you see above and simply added a URL parameter “XDEBUG_PROFILE=on” to my site’s url; this starts Xdebug profiling from the browser.

To give you an idea of what is possible, lets profile the work required to view a simple Drupal node. To profile the node view I visited http://profiler.loc/node/48581?XDEBUG_PROFILE=on in my browser. I didn’t see any flashing lights or hear bells and whistles, but I should have a binary file that PHPStorm can inspect, located in the path I setup in my php.ini profiler_output_dir directive.

Finally lets look at all of our hard work! In PHPStorm navigate to Tools->Analyze Xdebug Profile Snapshot. Browse to your profiler output directory and you should see at least one cachgrind.out.%p file (%p refers to the process id the script used). Open the file with the largest process id appended to the end of the filename.

We are then greeted with a new tab showing the results of the profiler.

 

The output shows us the functions called, how many times they were called, and the amount of execution time each function took. Additionally, you can see the hierarchy of all function calls and follow potential bottlenecks down to their roots.

There you have it! Go wild and profile all the things! Just kidding, don’t do that.

Categories: Drupal

DrupalCon Amsterdam: Schedules, BOFS, & Training in Amsterdam

Planet Drupal - 19 August 2014 - 11:20am

The schedule for DrupalCon Amsterdam is live, which means that you can start planning out every detail of your Amsterdam experience. You can start the hard work of choosing the sessions, BOFs, and social events you want to attend, and build your own schedule right on the DrupalCon Amsterdam site.

BOF scheduling is live

Speaking of BOFs, you don’t have to wait until DrupalCon Amsterdam to claim yours: you can start using the online booking feature today to schedule your BOFs. Be sure you do it soon, though— BOF rooms go fast!

Register for training before 5 September

Lastly, we need more people to register to attend training at DrupalCon Amsterdam. Show us you're interested in these topics! Book before 5 September to make sure the course you want to attend runs. We know it's difficult to make a decision this early out, but classes which do not meet the minimum to run will be cancelled!

The training options are all fantastic and a great opportunity to learn more about Drupal, so register today.

See you in Amsterdam!

Categories: Drupal

IBP Catalog

New Drupal Modules - 19 August 2014 - 11:11am

IBP Catalog

Credit

Maintainer and developer: targoo

Development sponsored by Marique Calcus and written by Calcus David. For professional support and development services contact Marique Calcus.

Categories: Drupal

Drupalize.Me: Upgrading Drush to work with Drupal 8

Planet Drupal - 19 August 2014 - 7:00am

When I first started learning Drupal, I remember the process of enabling and disabling modules on the Modules page and it took for-ev-er. My laptop was in serious danger of getting hurled across the room, due to my frustration. Then I discovered drush, and downloading and enabling modules was now performed with ease instead of pain and suffering. Of course there's a lot more you can do with drush than just download and enable modules, this is just one example.

I've been using Drush 6.x on my local machine for quite some time now. Poking around Drupal 8's UI and seeing what's new, I haven't missed drush too much...until it was time to test drive a new contrib module for Drupal 8. When I typed into my Terminal window drush dl page_manager, I got quite the error message:

Drush 6.x only works with Drupal 6 or 7. If I wanted to use Drush on my Drupal 8 site, I would need to upgrade to Drush 7.x.

Categories: Drupal

Drupalize.Me: Upgrading Drush to work with Drupal 8

Planet Drupal - 19 August 2014 - 7:00am

When I first started learning Drupal, I remember the process of enabling and disabling modules on the Modules page and it took for-ev-er. My laptop was in serious danger of getting hurled across the room, due to my frustration. Then I discovered drush, and downloading and enabling modules was now performed with ease instead of pain and suffering. Of course there's a lot more you can do with drush than just download and enable modules, this is just one example.

I've been using Drush 6.x on my local machine for quite some time now. Poking around Drupal 8's UI and seeing what's new, I haven't missed drush too much...until it was time to test drive a new contrib module for Drupal 8. When I typed into my Terminal window drush dl page_manager, I got quite the error message:

Drush 6.x only works with Drupal 6 or 7. If I wanted to use Drush on my Drupal 8 site, I would need to upgrade to Drush 7.x.

Categories: Drupal

ComputerMinds.co.uk: Language lessons: What are you translating?

Planet Drupal - 19 August 2014 - 5:00am
Content (node-level) translation or entity (field-level) translation?

It seems an obvious question to ask, but what are you translating?

The tools exist to translate just about anything in Drupal 7*, but in many different ways, so you need to know exactly what you're translating. Language is 'a first-class citizen', in the sense that any piece of text is inherently written by someone on some language, which Drupal 7 is built to recognise. Sometimes you want to translate each & every individual piece of text (e.g. at the sentence or paragraph level). Other times you want to translate a whole page or section that is made up of multiple pieces of text.

Categories: Drupal

Joachim's blog: Getting Module Builder ready for Drupal 8

Planet Drupal - 19 August 2014 - 1:12am

I've just made a commit to Module Builder that adds unit tests. This is a big deal, because having these frees me up to start making the big changes that are needed for supporting Drupal 8's new structures: routes, plugins, forms, and so on.

The biggest challenge is going to be the interface. Currently, you give Module Builder just a module name and a list of hook names, and it does the necessary. On the command line it's nice and simple:

drush mb mymodule install schema node_insert form_alter views_data_alter

The first parameter is the module name, and everything that follows is a hook name. Now we add to the mix requests such as a form called MyModuleCakeToppingForm, or an entity type plugin, or a route bake_my_cake and its page controller. How to elegantly specify all that over the command line, without making it horribly unwieldy and impossible to remember how to use?

It's also going to be an interesting exercise in reading my own documentation and seeing how much sense it makes after something like 7 months away from the code.

From what I recall, Module Builder uses a hierarchy of component generators to build your module. Taking our example above, the first thing that happens is that the Module generator class kicks in. 'So, you want a module, do you?' it asks, 'You'll need some of these.' And it begins to assemble a list of further generators, for the components it needs: an info file, and the hooks generator. The hooks generator does the actual job of examining your list of requested hooks, and decides based on that that you need three code files: a .module, a .install, and a .views.inc. So by now we have a tree of generators like this:

- Module -- Info file -- Hooks --- Code file: .module --- Code file: .install --- Code file: .views.inc

This is not a class hierarchy; this is a tree of objects where each generator has a list of the generators beneath it, and is responsible for collecting data from them. Once we have the tree, we iteratively have each generator assemble the data it wants to contribute, starting with the Module generator at the top.

The original plan when I wrote this system was to make the smallest granularity be a file. The leaves of the generator tree would assemble the text for their file's contents, and the Module generator would collect the files up and return them to the caller for output (either in the UI, or to write them directly).

However, while the original intention of this system was that it could be generalised to base components other than modules (so profiles and themes, which are both supported to some extend but lack the UI, see above!), it's also proven to be extendable downwards to smaller components, and to be worthwhile to do so.

Enter the Form generator. Once we have a generic Function generator (and its child class the HookImplementation), we can create a Form generator. Given a form machine name, 'foo_form', it simply knows to add three copies of the Function generator: 'foo_form', 'foo_form_validate', 'foo_form_submit', along with the correct parameters and some boiler plate code.

And we can specialize this further: the AdminSettingsForm simply extends the Form generator, and adds a menu item component, which itself ensures hook_menu() is requested.

At this point it starts to get a bit complicated, as we have components that request other components that are in totally different parts of the component tree. That's the point at which I think I was when I realized I needed tests so that I can refactor and clean up the messy bits of this, and enhance and extend it, without breaking what's already there.

So that's the current state of Module Builder: not yet ready for Drupal 8, but has lots of potential. At this point, I'd really welcome input on the Drush interface, as that's the big quandary. And any input on new Drupal 8 component generators would be great too; there are a few open issues in the queue. And finally, Module Builder is a complex beast; should anyone looking at the code find it baffling and impenetrable, do please file a documentation issue to highlight the problem and request clarification.

Categories: Drupal

Ubercart Stock Changelog

New Drupal Modules - 18 August 2014 - 6:21pm
What is Ubercart Stock Changelog?

This module allows site administrators to better manage their product stock by having the site record all changes in product stock, both decrements (usually from user orders) and increments (usually from restocks).

A stock change log is provided under the Administration > Store > Reports section to view the changes in product stock over time on a global or per-product basis.

Features
  • Records all changes to product stock and its configuration: stock active status, stock level and stock threshold
  • History of product stock changes can be viewed globally or on a per-product basis
  • Views integration - default stock change log is customizable to better meet the site's needs
Categories: Drupal

Ubercart Abandoned Cart and Order Reminders

New Drupal Modules - 18 August 2014 - 5:39pm
What is Ubercart Abandoned Cart and Order Reminders?

This module allows you to send reminder e-mail notifications to customers who have abandoned a cart or order on your site. The notification template can be customized to your needs, and you may choose to enable notifications for abandoned carts and abandoned order independently.

Features
  • Sends notifications for abandoned cards (for logged in users only) and for abandoned orders (logged in users or those who have entered and email address)
  • Configurable delay for when a cart is considered abandoned
  • Can be linked to a Boolean user profile field to allow users to opt-out of future notifications; see the README.txt file for details
  • User activity (updating cart, checking out a new order or order submission) automatically suppresses notifications on older abandoned carts and orders, preventing duplicate or needless notifications
  • Uses a Rules-based action set for better user control over how notifications get sent
Categories: Drupal

Daniel Pocock: Is WebRTC private?

Planet Drupal - 18 August 2014 - 12:55pm

With the exciting developments at rtc.debian.org, many people are starting to look more closely at browser-based real-time communications.

Some have dared to ask: does it solve the privacy problems of existing solutions?

Privacy is a relative term

Perfect privacy and its technical manifestations are hard to define. I had a go at it in a blog on the Gold Standard for free communications technology on 5 June 2013. By pure co-incidence, a few hours later, the first Snowden leaks appeared and this particular human right was suddenly thrust into the spotlight.

WebRTC and ICE privacy risk

WebRTC does not give you perfect privacy.

At least one astute observer at my session at Paris mini-DebConf 2014 questioned the privacy of Interactive Connectivity Establishment (ICE, RFC 5245).

In its most basic form, ICE scans all the local IP addresses on your machine and NAT gateway and sends them to the person calling you so that their phone can find the optimal path to contact you. This clearly has privacy implications as a caller can work out which ISP you are connected to and some rough details of your network topology at any given moment in time.

What WebRTC does bring to the table

Some of this can be mitigated though: an ICE implementation can be tuned so that it only advertises the IP address of a dedicated relay host. If you can afford a little latency, your privacy is safe again. This privacy protecting initiative could be made by a browser vendor such as Mozilla or it can be done in JavaScript by a softphone such as JSCommunicator.

Many individuals are now using a proprietary softphone to talk to family and friends around the world. The softphone in question has properties like a virus, siphoning away your private information. This proprietary softphone is also an insidious threat to open source and free operating systems on the desktop. WebRTC is a positive step back from the brink. It gives people a choice.

WebRTC is a particularly relevant choice for business. Can you imagine going to a business and asking them to make all their email communication through hotmail? When a business starts using a particular proprietary softphone, how is it any different? WebRTC offers a solution that is actually easier for the user and can be secured back to the business network using TLS.

WebRTC is based on open standards, particularly HTML5. Leading implementations, such as the SIP over WebSocket support in reSIProcate, JSCommunicator and the DruCall module for Drupal are fully open source. Not only is it great to be free, it is possible to extend and customize any of these components.

What is missing

There are some things that are not quite there yet and require a serious effort from the browser vendors. At the top of the list for privacy:

  • ZRTP support - browsers currently support DTLS-SRTP, which is based on X.509. ZRTP is more like PGP, a democratic and distributed peer-to-peer privacy solution without needing to trust some central certificate authority.
  • TLS with PGP - the TLS protocol used to secure the WebSocket signalling channel is also based on X.509 with the risk of a central certificate authority. There is increasing chatter about the need for TLS to use PGP instead of X.509 and WebRTC would be a big winner if this were to eventuate and be combined with ZRTP.

You may think "I'll believe it when I see it". Each of these features, including WebRTC itself, is a piece of the puzzle and even solving one piece at a time brings people further out of danger from the proprietary mess the world lives with today.

Categories: Drupal

Drupal.org Featured Case Studies: Viraland

Planet Drupal - 18 August 2014 - 11:27am
Completed Drupal site or project URL: http://www.viraland.gr/

Viraland is a Greek online community where you can find the latest viral messages from around the world. Users participate in the community by posting new content and sharing it through social channels. Strange, meaningful and popular messages that go viral are posted daily in Viraland, reflecting the interests of its users.

Key modules/theme/distribution used: ViewsPanelsZenMediaJanrain Social LoginRulesInternationalizationField PermissionsTeam members: highvrahos
Categories: Drupal

CasperJS

New Drupal Modules - 18 August 2014 - 9:31am

CasperJS is a navigation scripting & testing utility for PhantomJS and SlimerJS written in JavaScript.

This module provides a Drush wrapper to run CasperJS tests against a Drupal site. It also provides a set of useful methods to perform actions such as:

Categories: Drupal

Context Admin Exclude

New Drupal Modules - 18 August 2014 - 9:00am

Context Admin Exclude
---------------------
Out of the box, contexts set to display Sitewide without specific URLs will get executed on every page, including admin pages. Sometimes the context doesn't really need to be executed on admin pages, such as node/add.
These contexts cause Drupal to bootstrap and do some work that is not really needed. If you want to change the list (/admin/structure/context/settings), you can implement the hook_context_admin_exclude_admin_paths_alter().

Installation
------------
Install the module as usual

Categories: Drupal

SitePoint PHP Drupal: Fine Tuning Drupal Themes with Patterns, Arg and Types

Planet Drupal - 18 August 2014 - 9:00am

In this article, we’ll discuss how you can leverage various Drupal API functions to achieve more fine grained theming. We’ll cover template preprocessing and alter hooks using path patterns, types and args(). We’ll use the arg() function which returns parts of a current Drupal URL path and some pattern matching for instances when you want […]

Continue reading %Fine Tuning Drupal Themes with Patterns, Arg and Types%

Categories: Drupal

Zivtech: Creating Parallax Scrolling with CSS

Planet Drupal - 18 August 2014 - 7:58am

Here at Zivtech, we are obsessed with creating immersive experiences for mobile and the web using cutting-edge design and Open Source Software like Drupal and Angular.js. One of the web design techniques that we've had on our radar is Parallax Scrolling, which gives depth to a page by scrolling two dimensions of the site at different rates (for example, text in the front would scroll faster than the image behind it). Parallax Scrolling is most often associated with 2D video game development, but has been becoming more and more prevalent on the web (for some live examples see Creative Bloq's post "46 Great Examples of Parallax Scrolling"). 

While we find this technique engaging, we never adopted it for our designs due to the fact that it relied heavily on Javascript tools and techniques that we found caused performance issues, and especially due to problems with making it work within a responsive web design. However, that may be about to change. In a recent post on his blog, Keith Clark wrote about an exciting new way to create Parallax Scrolling through CSS rather than Javascript, making for more mobile-friendly and responsive Parallax Scrolling effects. Clark writes:

Deferring the parallax effect to CSS removes all these issues and allows the browser to leverage hardware acceleration resulting in almost all the heavy lifting being handled directly by the compositor.

This technique, which removes the bulk of the work off the browser, creates the illusion of 3D without bogging pages down. Now, with CSS, we can maintain the same effect without creating a disjointed experience across multiple platforms. Check out Keith's post on pure CSS parallax scrolling websites for code snippets and samples.

Terms: Drupal PlanetParallax ScrollingCSSJavaScriptDrupalAngular.jsDesignWeb Designresponsive web design
Categories: Drupal

Appnovation Technologies: Different Point of Views

Planet Drupal - 18 August 2014 - 7:25am

The Drupal Views module is an amazing tool. It certainly has contributed significantly to the widespread adoption of Drupal.

var switchTo5x = false;stLight.options({"publisher":"dr-75626d0b-d9b4-2fdb-6d29-1a20f61d683"});
Categories: Drupal

Gábor Hojtsy: Moving Drupal forward at Europe's biggest warm water lake

Planet Drupal - 18 August 2014 - 7:08am

Drupalaton 2014 was amazing. I got involved pretty late in the organization when we added sprinting capacity on all four days, but I must say doing that was well worth it. While the pre-planned schedule of the event focused on longer full day and half day workshops on business English, automation, rules, commerce, multilingual, etc. the sprint was thriving with backend developer luminaries such as Wim Leers, dawehner, fago, swentel, pfrennsen, dasjo as well as sizable frontend crew such as mortendk, lewisnyman, rteijeiro, emmamaria, etc. This setup allowed us to work on a very wide range of issues.

The list of 70+ issues we worked on shows our work on the drupal.org infrastructure, numerous frontend issues to clean up Drupal's markup, important performance problems, several release critical issues and significant work on all three non-postponed beta blockers at the time.


Drupalers "shipped" from port to port; Photo by TCPhoto

Our coordinated timing with the TCDrupal sprints really helped in working on some of the same issues together. We successfully closed one of the beta blockers shortly after the sprint thanks to coordinated efforts between the two events.

Our list of issues also shows the success of the Rules training on the first day in bringing new people in to porting Rules components, as well as work on other important contributed modules: fixing issues with the Git deploy module's Drupal 8 port and work on the Drupal 8 version of CAPTCHA.

Thanks to the organizers, the sponsors of the event including the Drupal Association Community Cultivation Grants program for enabling us to have some of the most important Drupal developers work together on pressing issues, eat healthy and have fun on the way.

Ps. There is never a lack of opportunity to work with these amazing people. Several days of sprints are coming up around DrupalCon Amsterdam in a little over a month! The weekend sprint locations before/after the DrupalCon days are also really cool! See you there!

Categories: Drupal

Acquia: Drupal Stories Kick Off: My Own Drupal Story

Planet Drupal - 18 August 2014 - 6:55am

It’s no secret that Drupalists are in high demand. I’ve blogged about the need for training more Drupalers and getting to them earlier in their careers previously, but that’s just one aspect of the greater topic which merits a closer inspection as a cohesive whole.

Categories: Drupal
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