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Drupal is a powerful content management system and framework that makes building powerful websites possible for mere mortals. Some of the posts here will be syndicated to Drupal planet.

jQuery goodness

While listening to the Drupal podcast #53 I decided it was time to take the plunge and do a few jQuery/Javascript things here. So comments will now preview live as they are being entered and thanks to the combination of imagecache (not jQuery related) and lightbox the pictures appearing in the more recent posts now display with the lightbox effect.

Lullabot workshops and server rebuilds

Lullabot LogoIt has been a busy 2008 so far. I spent the first full week of the year at the Lullabot Drupal API workshops in beautiful, rainy, Portland. It didn't take long to figure out that I also really wanted to head off to the themeing workshops in February as well. I came home ready to wrap up a couple of projects and spend countless hours working on patches and uber-cool modules and hacks for all kinds of sites.

Short shell script for speeding up getting Drupal modules

What follows is a short shell script I use for making it easier to get modules from the Drupal repository. It is best to use this script only with sources where you have a great deal of confidence in the source of the file you're downloading. Of course nothing substitutes for using good practices when it comes to deciding whether to install a program and its possible implications.

Read on for the code itself. It is a very simple script that makes it easy to copy the location of a file from a website and then download and uncompress the file. It could be much fancier but it does the trick.

#!/bin/sh

if [ $# -ne 1 ]; then
         echo 1>&2 Usage: dget URL
         exit 127
fi

curl $1 | tar xzv

To use this script on Mac OS X copy it into a text file. You then need to set permissions to make it executable. The easiest way to do this is:

The Visualize Backtrace Module

The hits just keep piling up this week. This time it is a great new Drupal module called Visualize Backtrace which will be a boon for Drupal developers all over. It even comes with an introductory screencast showing it's awesomeness. To get it working it requires ZGRViewer and XDebug and a little behind the scenes tinkering but I can't wait to install and have this tool for testing.

Drupal developer search engine

One of the things about doing Drupal development is one is always searching for information. There are many great sources of information and things like Planet Drupal that are a wealth of information. Then there are sites like the API site and sites for PHP and MySQL manuals that come in handy for other things. To make it easier to search the areas I needed I setup a Google Custom Search Engine for Drupal developer search. Please feel free to add additional sites that would be useful. Presently in addition to the main drupal.org sites it searches Planet Drupal, PHP, MySQL, and w3's CSS documentation.

Weekend gift - Drupal 6 beta 1

Just in time for a weekend of testing we have Drupal 6 beta 1. There will be many, many installations this weekend. Mine won't come until Sunday after some playing around on Saturday. There should be a competition this weekend to see who can submit the most unique bugs and a separate challenge for who can submit the most patches that solve open issues.

Making outbound links generic

I'm looking for a good way to make outbound links from a Drupal site not show the full path of the referring page when the user reaches an external server. There are some posts in the Drupal forum about doing this sort of thing. In short, instead of wanting to track clicks I'm more interested in not making the internal URL evident to the external server. For example if I have an internal page at the following URL:

http://example.com/top-job-applicants

One easy way is of course not to use path aliases and that would be the quick work-around. However, in some cases I want users to be able to remember a URL and most don't recall 'node/1234' as well as they do 'job-applicants'. The challenge is that for privacy reasons I don't want to make evident to the operators of a server linked from the internal page that the user is an applicant (and maybe they aren't but are a prospect I want to encourage to apply).

A cursory look at the modules list didn't reveal the answer. Likely a module for this with a filter that can be applied to redirect all links through it will be the solution.

Summer of code and other Drupal greatness

Google's Summer of Code 2007 came to an end earlier today. The Drupal project is left with some great new innovations. And on top of interesting things like the DAST project for automating deployment and staging there is a new Autopilot module that looks promising. (Haven't tested it yet but will soon!) Many great new things to test and of course sites to build. It is also worth noting that everyone interested in Drupal should stop over and take the survey to help give some feedback about where Drupal should go in version 7 and beyond. Which reminds me it's time to get cracking on testing with Drupal 6. New file management here I come!

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